View Full Version : [4ed] Monster Creation questions and odd inaccuracies?

2008-07-03, 03:59 PM
I'm playing around with the 'Creating a monster' part of the 'DM's Toolbox' section of the DMG. I've got some questions (and you can't spell 'question' without 'Quest', so I figure I'm on the right track) that I wouldn't mind finding some answers to. Such as:

Ability scores...

On average, the highest ability score of a pair is equal to 13 + 1/2 lvl.

Alright, so for a level 6 monster, 3 of the 6 stats are going to be 16s. But lets check out those wacky demons. The evistro has a very wacky ability score array, from 21 to 5. Also, what do I do for the lowest ability of a pair? For our pal the Evistro, it looks like they just picked what felt appropriate.

Also, I wanted to get a reference monster. Suppose I want to create a level 5 artillery monster that's not a gnoll....

I looked up the current lvl 5 gnoll artillerist, the 'Gnoll Huntmaster' (a level 5 artillery monster... HANDY!). As a level 5 artillerist, his defenses should be:
AC = Lvl + 12
Others = Lvl + 12 (adjusted by stats)
I'm guessing AC is also adjusted by Dex, though it's not stated in the 'Creating Monsters' section. So lets check him out: His AC should be 17. He has leather armor, for another +2 (19 AC total). However, what about his Dex? According to 'Adding Equipment' on page 174, you subtract 10 and his +4 dex from his AC to get his effective armor bonus (so his dex 'SHOULD' be taken into account). So according to the 'Creating Monsters' rule, Dex is not taken into account for the AC (?!?!?) of created monsters. Or is it assumed to be part of the '+12' AC in the original formula? As for his other defenses, his fort save should also be 17 (12 + level). However, the gnoll Con value is 14, giving +2. So why is his Fort defense 16? And if he also has +2 from Wis 14, why is his will save 14?

I'll save the rest for later. Anyone have any clarifications? Or should I not use MM monsters as 'examples'?

2008-07-03, 07:30 PM
The stuff in the DMG is just suggestions and averages. You don't have to follow them exactly.

The highest of an ability score doesn't have to be 13 + 1/2 level (+3 for important score). They can vary some. Also, the lower of a pair can be anything, as long as its equal to or lower than the higher.

2008-07-03, 07:40 PM
As Goober said, those are just rough estimates. Creatures in the MM aren't built exactly according to the guidelines in the DMG. Basically, you can give monsters you build using them whatever you want, but those are just the "suggested" stuff.

Either way, I think the 12+ (and so on) Defense values also take into account "natural armor" and so on.

Duos Greanleef
2008-07-03, 09:08 PM
Ya know, It might be a little bit on the janky side, but that's ok.
Using the books to the letter isn't always the best or most fun way to play the game.
Dream up a concept, then apply abilities powers and such as is according.
add a pinch of flavor, and a dash of personality.
The result is a wonderful concoction of your own making, which is a lot of fun to pit against your PCs.:smallwink: