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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Dimers's Avatar

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    Default Are these keywords needed?

    When designing a monster, is there any need to include any of the following keywords? In other words, are there any PC traits or abilities that would act differently against monster powers of these types?
    • rattling
    • necromancy
    • nethermancy
    • transmutation
    • enchantment
    • evocation
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    Rattling has the attached effect of imposing a -2 to attack rolls (unless immune to fear), so that would need to be accounted for somehow.

    The rest seem to be more flavor, to help describe what is happening when the NPC uses a power. They can probably be omitted if the extra line of space is too much.
    Last edited by e42randy; 2020-09-15 at 08:42 AM. Reason: Spelling

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    The reason I include Rattling in that list is, I don't think there's anything that can make a PC immune to fear, and no lesser level of PC protection from fear would change the -2 penalty. So if there's no way to make a Rattling effect not apply to a PC ... no need for a monster to have it as a keyword, right?
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    I am away from my computer with the compendium installed, but I'm pretty sure there are some features that interact with fear for PCs, even immunity. This thread has some listed, especially in Paragon tier, but I can't say whether or not it's accurate at the moment.

    I see Rattling as a different kind of keyword than the others, at least as far as NPCs go. Rattling would be a mechanical keyword, while evocation would be a flavor keyword. For a PC almost all keywords are mechanical keywords, but we're talking NPCs.

    If your goal is to remove 'unnecessary' keywords, they're all technically unnecessary. Flavor keywords you can remove without any substitution. Your argument on Rattling, I'm assuming, is that it has an effect you can bake into the power description. You can do that with pretty much any mechanical keyword, like Aura or Reliable. It's even easier for NPCs, since you don't have to worry about feats or class abilities that key off specific keywords. It makes powers much wordier and removes the reason for keywords in general, but it's doable.
    Last edited by e42randy; 2020-09-15 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Specified immunity, not just fear interaction in general

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Dimers's Avatar

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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by e42randy View Post
    ... even immunity.
    I'm surprised. I did a search on my own just now and came up with a few ways fear immunity could be a PC-side thing, starting as low as eighth level. Charm immunity, too, which astonished me even more!

    Quote Originally Posted by e42randy View Post
    If your goal is to remove 'unnecessary' keywords ...
    Not exactly, no. I always write my own monsters, and I'd have to be careful to include 'Transmutation' or 'Enchantment' or what-have-you in their powers if there's a defensive/reactive ability PCs can get against it. Immunity to fear definitely counts for 'Rattling' (though I'll need to choose between Rattling and Fear keywords for different purposes). I'm having trouble coming up with any published PC defense that'd give them, e.g., +3 to all defenses against Transmutation effects or the ability to shift 1 square when hit by a Transmutation effect ... but as we've already proven regarding fear immunity, me not being aware of something doesn't stop it from existing.
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    Dominate is a thing, so you need to consider monster vs monster interactions.

    If you're making bespoke creatures for your group, you should have a strong sense about if they have things that will make this necessary... and you know that these features came from "Rattling" even if it isn't included in the monster-block, and can ad-hoc apply it.

    If you're trying to make something for wider distribution, then if you're trying to follow strict symmetry - then yes, include those things.
    However, symmetry isn't mandatory, and monsters are deliberately made simpler than equivalent PCs, because the GM has a ton of stuff to worry about. Keep It Simple Stupid, just stick the -2 in there, the marginal gain of including the extra text is probably not worth the cognitive overhead.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    Dominate is a thing, so you need to consider monster vs monster interactions.
    In some campaigns, even diplomacy and deception can be a thing

    Might be worth checking the "soft side" as well. Maybe (for example) some cities outlaw "Necromancy"
    Then anything with that keyword would be considered illegal with whatever consequences that brings to the story

    According to this it looks like necromancy and nethermancy interact with mage class features. I'd say a fair chance the others are the same.

    https://1d4chan.org/wiki/Shadow_Magic

    Which doesn't effect monster powers but as a DM, I'd give a bonus on lore checks to recognise monsters tossing around a mage's flavor of powers. So a nethermancer gets a bonus on recognising monsters that user nethermancy powers
    Last edited by Duff; 2020-09-16 at 11:03 PM.
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diego View Post
    Keep It Simple Stupid
    Quote Originally Posted by Duff View Post
    as a DM, I'd give a bonus on lore checks to recognise monsters tossing around a mage's flavor of powers. So a nethermancer gets a bonus on recognising monsters that use nethermancy powers
    Both of those are good thoughts. I should also consider writing the latter into the monster's other text along with (e.g.) tactics and possible loot, which Keeps It Simpler during play.
    Avatar by Meltheim: Eveve, dwarven battlemind, 4e Dark Sun

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    I suppose you could make a sort of template so your monster would have Mage or Ruthless Ruffian on top of their existing powers, or bake it into the power they default if you do want the extra effects.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Are these keywords needed?

    I'd largely bake it into the power itself. Give it the Fear keyword and -2 to attack rolls EoNT instead of Rattling. Schools of magic are mostly just flavor; you can add them if you want, but there are no PC abilities I know of that interact with them defensively.

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