View Full Version : [4e] The Boss Compendium (a work in progress)

2008-06-04, 11:09 PM
So looking over the 4.0 rules, I have to say my favorite thing is the potential for amazingly cool boss fights. With the solo monster rules, boss fights can be interesting and fun. But I also notice that there aren't very many bosses in there. Sure, there are some good solo monsters, and a few cool boss fights, but really, the solo encounters are only about as interesting as a group of normal monsters. Now, that's perfectly fine, but what if I took those rules, and made boss fights even better?

Thus, the Boss Compendium (http://edanet.com/goober/Boss_Compendium.pdf)! A free sourcebook of sorts that will be filled with all sorts of interesting and awesome boss fights, as well as information on how to design your own.

I've just started this project, and so far I've got the intro and the first boss done. I figured I'd post what I have to see what people thought. My goal is to have at least one boss for every level (1-30). If anyone wants to make suggestions, it'd be appreciated, as would any submissions. I'm accepting any boss submissions under the condition that I can edit and touch them up. If anyone wants to draw a boss so the thing has art, that'd be pretty cool too.

2008-06-05, 12:06 AM
I really like this idea. I did notice that most of the Solo monsters in the MM are Dragons, particularly in the Heroic tier, where they are all Dragons. Some more variety would be great. Hopefully I'll get to contribute to your effort.

One thing to point out, though: while I love Noxious, who is an awesome creation, a level 1 Solo monster should be worth 500 XP, not 600. Are you not going to follow the XP guidelines in the DMG?

2008-06-05, 12:26 AM
If we submit an entry, and you accept it, do we get some kind of accreditation? Like:

Noxious, The Brood Rat
by Goober4473 <-----like this

Because, I'm planning on creating a lot of Good-aligned monsters anyway, some of which will be bosses, and I think it would be cool to have my name on something.

And you need bosses for Evil parties, too, right?

2008-06-05, 12:31 AM
Yeah, I'd either put credit by the name, or in a credits section in the front or back.

Noxious is worth more XP because of her ability to summon minions that take attacks away from the boss. I noted in the intro chapter that some bosses may be worth more XP due to increased challenge, despite not being higher level, from things like additional enemies, terrain advantages, etc. Do you think it's not a good idea to do that for Noxious? Eventually there will be bosses that have a bunch of stages and really count as a couple fights worth of encounter, and give XP as appropriate. In those cases, the party should be given more options because they'll run out of abilities, but I address that in the intro.

I have a template (http://edanet.com/goober/Monster_Template.doc) for using Word to make stat blocks. I can convert Word files into PDFs.

I also updated Noxious to include Lore, some extra setup information, and when she spends action points.

2008-06-05, 01:16 AM
So would we just email you our boss monsters?

2008-06-05, 01:17 AM
Sure, if you want. I think my email is in my profile. If not, it's [email protected]

I donno if there's any better way, if it's DOC files.

2008-06-05, 02:35 PM
I got rid of the extra XP idea. If an encounter ends up being extra long, it'll just count as multiple enemies or have a special note.

I also added more ideas for extended fights, including the use of milestones, which I added to Noxious. At stage 2, the players now reach a milestone, so they get an action point and extra item use (if they have any at level 1).

And finally, I added Bel, Archduke of Avernus, by Xefas. My thoughts on this fight are that it's totally cool, but I wonder if it could be made better using the ideas for an extended fight. A battle with an archdevil is cool, but what's even cooler is a crazy long epic battle with twists and turns. Just a thought. It's fine as is.

2008-06-05, 03:36 PM
Practically, you should roll the power of the minions into the bosses stats.

Fights that last "extra long" can screw players, as even with horded dailies the player-nova will peter out eventually... At which point, the fight can quickly reduce to "can we damage it faster than it can damage us", as at-will abilities tend to be ... less tactical than encounter/daily powers.

2008-06-05, 08:09 PM
That's why I have suggestions to keep things running. Give players options besides their own encounter/daily powers, like the statues in the Noxious fight, give them milestones mid-fight to keep them going, and potentially recharge powers throughout.

It's all there in the intro.

2008-06-05, 09:01 PM
Oh, this is such an amazingly good idea! I am totally going to try and put something together in the level 8 range with three stages.

EDIT: Wow, this is harder than I thought it'd be. I might end up doing two, but probably just one.

2008-06-06, 11:12 PM
The compendium has been updated to include another of my bosses, and another emailed to me (with some edits). I'm assuming it was Jerthanis who emailed me. If not, I'll have to change the credit.

I've also added tips to both of my bosses, on ways to modify the encounter. Once I playtest, I'll also want to add some general tips on running the encounter. Just any tidbits of information that might be helpful to DMs.

I think my latest boss (the crystal guardian) fully demonstrates what I'm trying to do with this compendium. It's double-long, with 4 stages, and weird tactics throughout, including skill challenges, use of the environment, and additional powers given to the party by virtue of the fight.

2008-06-06, 11:26 PM
Just wanted to say I liked what I read so far in this, and that I would put a link to your guide in your signature, couldn't hurt!

2008-06-06, 11:36 PM
Ah. Yes. Good idea.

2008-06-07, 01:05 AM
The compendium has been updated to include another of my bosses, and another emailed to me (with some edits). I'm assuming it was Jerthanis who emailed me. If not, I'll have to change the credit.

Oops, yeah, that's me... I guess I should have signed it and made it clear.

Once I get more used to the monster creation mechanics, I might make another one in the 5ish area.

2008-07-05, 10:36 PM
This is a really great idea. I have some good ideas for two bosses, but I might take a while to make them because of my relative lack of experience in homebrewing. Some day though!

2008-07-05, 10:53 PM
Fantastic idea. I like it a lot, and you have some great work in there. Unfortunately, I don't have 4e, and don't have the bling to buy them, so I'll have to sit on the sidelines for a bit.

2008-07-06, 01:52 AM
I'd love to submit a few things, this looks cool.

However, shouldn't this be in homebrew?

2008-07-09, 03:28 AM
I'd love to submit a few things, this looks cool.

However, shouldn't this be in homebrew?

It should be. I've got a thread there now. http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84281

2008-07-09, 07:21 AM
Wow, this looks neat! I have a few ideas for some bosses, but they're more story-related than statistical at present.

I'll try to do a few bosses for you, but I plan on using these guys for my own campaigns and even books (if all goes well). As long as I can do that, then everything is fine.