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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Not much need for this since people have the books, but here it is...

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    As one of the most prolific races in a fantasy setting, humans are likely antagonists for any group of player characters. Whether the PCs are getting into a drunken bar fight, wandering into a bandit ambush, or fighting their way past castle guards, at some point they are likely to face off against human adversaries. For a Dungeon Master, this once meant creating a stat block for each human, including class levels, picking out equipment, spells, feats, skills, and so on.

    All that has changed.

    Although 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons still provides tools for creating NPCs with fleshed out stat blocks, those types of characters represent a small percent of human antagonists. Most humans are monsters. Mechanically, they resemble any other creature, from aboleths to zombies. This treatment of humans allows the DM to spend less time preparing stats, and more time developing the story and creating dynamic battles.

    Each human stat block has the same basic elements as any other monsteróinitiative, senses, hp, defenses, speed, ability scores, and so on. Humans also have monster-like powers designed on their role and purpose. Although these powers might resemble or imitate the powers of a PC class, they have different expectations for attack, damage, and effects. And if one of the powers doesnít work for your purpose, you can easily swap it out for another.

    In fact, with just a few alterations to the attack, damage, and flavor, virtually any power in the Monster Manual becomes a potential attack for a human. Itís as easy as switching a damage type, weapon, or power name. For instance, letís say you want to make the human mage (see below) into cleric. By making the damage type radiant and giving the creature a leader-like power, letís say, the incite faith power from the kobold wyrmpriest, you quickly create a cleric-like monster.

    Incite Faith (minor; encounter)
    Close burst 10; kobold allies in the burst gain 5 temporary hit points and shift 1 square.
    To the players, this human now has the necessary flavor to give the impression of a cleric; as a DM, youíve saved the 10 or even 20 minutes it would take to generate a creature from scratch. Alternatively, the Dungeon Masterís Guide offers an array of class templates to quickly apply a character class to a monster, and for those that want to handcraft each human, the guidelines are still in place to create a vivid NPC. Regardless of the human you want to make, in 4th Edition you wonít see human stat blocks taking up half a page.
    --Greg Bilsland




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    Dig the black dragon, don't quite dig the humans as monsters preview.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    You see its just an option you can use for a character, DMs still free to stat NPCs from scratch.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern.
    If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    *subtle cough*

    ...Why does it take a DC 20 Knowledge check to know that humans used to have a mighty empire, and their ruins are still scattered about the land? Wouldn't that be like saying only well-trained scholars can be expected to have heard of the Roman Empire?
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Not much need for this since people have the books, but here it is...
    I think that's kind of a minority. Amazon.com haven't shipped mine yet. I'm wondering if the stores that have shipped them will get into trouble.

    I think the whole humans as monsters works into how 4th edition rules are aimed. It's no longer us vs. them with both sides using the same set of rules. It's now more in the way of giving powers to suit the flavour. For example, a human leading kobolds and using a power like the one listed - you could flavour it as him yelling out encouragement or giving orders which makes sense as he is their leader.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    *subtle cough*

    ...Why does it take a DC 20 Knowledge check to know that humans used to have a mighty empire, and their ruins are still scattered about the land? Wouldn't that be like saying only well-trained scholars can be expected to have heard of the Roman Empire?
    The Roman what now?

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Lousy Amazon.com...

    Is there are race that hasn't had a massive empire that crumbled?
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Crow View Post
    Lousy Amazon.com...

    Is there are race that hasn't had a massive empire that crumbled?
    Gnomes.
    Orcs.
    Haflings?
    Badgers. But that's just what they want you to think.

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    Default Hey, baby ... wanna kill all the humans?

    Aw, you beat me to it. I wanted to start this thread and call it "Destroy All Humans! (4E Preview)"

    Before anyone complains, I'll note that Humans used to be listed in the First Edition Monster Manual. There were stats for berserkers and bandits, along with merchants and pilgrims. They were fun to beat up.
    Last edited by FoE; 2008-05-29 at 11:44 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    *subtle cough*

    ...Why does it take a DC 20 Knowledge check to know that humans used to have a mighty empire, and their ruins are still scattered about the land? Wouldn't that be like saying only well-trained scholars can be expected to have heard of the Roman Empire?
    Do remember that DnD is made in America.
    Last edited by Rutee; 2008-05-29 at 11:43 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    Do remember that DnD is made in America.
    I'm reminded of a segment I saw on Comedy Central a long time ago.

    "Would you pay for a vacation to go see the Eiffel Tower in Australia?"
    "What? I thought that was in...France?"
    "No that's just a replica. The real one is in Australia."
    "Oh? I didn't know that. Yeah, I'd love to go see that!"

    Something like that. I don't even remember what show it was, but the hosts went on the street and asked random people questions like that.

    Anyway, you change your avatar too often.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    About the knowledge thing: I'm willing to bet if you go find yourself a Normal serf from 900 CE and asked them about Rome they'd give you a blank stare. They might say something about church, but the entire empire thing is more than likely to be lost on them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    I've heard that, in the wild, if one DM encroaches upon the territory of another, the offended DM will attempt to assert their dominance by throwing sacks of d12s at the intruder. If this activity proves fruitless, the DM generally shrinks back to their den in defeat, relinquishing the land, only to blog about it on their MySpace later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent View Post
    . . . the designers probably felt weird giving monsters SchrŲdinger's hit points.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Collin152 View Post
    The Roman what now?
    You know... Heroes of college students everywhere? Inventors of togas and those instant boilable noodles?

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmer42 View Post
    About the knowledge thing: I'm willing to bet if you go find yourself a Normal serf from 900 CE and asked them about Rome they'd give you a blank stare. They might say something about church, but the entire empire thing is more than likely to be lost on them.
    I considered that. However, even first-level people who are actually trained in the skill would likely miss out on that detail--Unless first-level characters can get +10 to their trained skills, they'll be clueless more often than not. We're not talking about your average peasant: First-level characters are already a cut above the rest, and actual training means they do care about it.

    Note that you can't really claim that the human empire is so ancient that nobody knows about it: The primary language, Common, has been described as the language used by the last human empire, so it can't have been that long since it fell.
    Last edited by Mewtarthio; 2008-05-29 at 11:55 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    Inventors of togas and those instant boilable noodles?
    Those are RAMEN noodles, you ignorant hoo-man!

    Oh, I can't wait to start racking up the XP for you smelly apes. "Looking for Group" suddenly comes to mind ...

    I see this village/What does it hold/What shall I butcher them with/Fire or cold?/

    There's nowhere to hide/Nowhere to run/Your village will burn like the heart of the sun/With infinite glee/It's going to be me/That slaughters the wooooorld/
    Last edited by FoE; 2008-05-29 at 11:53 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    *subtle cough*

    ...Why does it take a DC 20 Knowledge check to know that humans used to have a mighty empire, and their ruins are still scattered about the land? Wouldn't that be like saying only well-trained scholars can be expected to have heard of the Roman Empire?
    You'd be surprised...

    A lot of people in the feudal Europe didn't know a lot about the Romans, other than what they heard in from the priest. This gave rise, in fact, to a lot of the stories about giants, since they saw the ruins of Roman structures and assumed that normal men couldn't possibly have built them.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Face Of Evil View Post
    Those are RAMEN noodles, you ignorant hoo-man!

    Man, I can't wait to get XP for killing you lousy pinkskins.
    Jokes on you, I'm a lich!
    I ain't been a hoo-man for a long time!

    So... Romans gave us togas... College students... Inventors of Beer?

    These Romans... I do not like these so called Romans.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Mewtarthio View Post
    You know... Heroes of college students everywhere? Inventors of togas and those instant boilable noodles?



    I considered that. However, even first-level people who are actually trained in the skill would likely miss out on that detail--Unless first-level characters can get +10 to their trained skills, they'll be clueless more often than not. We're not talking about your average peasant: First-level characters are already a cut above the rest, and actual training means they do care about it.

    Note that you can't really claim that the human empire is so ancient that nobody knows about it: The primary language, Common, has been described as the language used by the last human empire, so it can't have been that long since it fell.
    Again, using Rome, Latin was used as a standard for centuries after the fall. And a level 1 character isn't really a huge cut above the rest. He's like that monk, who just learned to read and is going through The Histories for the first or second time. He might know a bit about it, but he's still a largely uneducated cretin.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    I've heard that, in the wild, if one DM encroaches upon the territory of another, the offended DM will attempt to assert their dominance by throwing sacks of d12s at the intruder. If this activity proves fruitless, the DM generally shrinks back to their den in defeat, relinquishing the land, only to blog about it on their MySpace later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent View Post
    . . . the designers probably felt weird giving monsters SchrŲdinger's hit points.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Also, points of light. Points of fricking light, people. People in this world are isolated. What communication there once was has broken down. There isn't even a single, universal church to help different communities keep in touch, and keep history intact. Certainly, the various churches will do what they can, but competing as they are, it's unlikely any one will have the influence the Catholic Church once held. In between settlements, there are not only bandits and roaming armies, but there are large monsters that want to eat you. This makes it difficult to hold together the fragile threads of history and civilization.
    I am a poor man, some say Iím half crazy,
    son of the sword and the knife
    Lady I pledge you my sword and my honor,
    my heart and my pride and my life
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    Alas, poor Draknir. By Mephibosheth

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    You will be missed, dear 'stache...

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Collin152 View Post
    Gnomes.
    Orcs.
    Haflings?
    Badgers.
    Because it never crumbled to begin with, MWHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

    ....Sorry.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Paragon Badger View Post
    Because it never crumbled to begin with, MWHAHAHAHAHAHAH!
    Oh, my god! the BADGERS! I told you all, but no one listened, did they?! But now they're listenening! Aren't they? Aren't they?
    Last edited by Farmer42; 2008-05-30 at 12:55 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xefas View Post
    I've heard that, in the wild, if one DM encroaches upon the territory of another, the offended DM will attempt to assert their dominance by throwing sacks of d12s at the intruder. If this activity proves fruitless, the DM generally shrinks back to their den in defeat, relinquishing the land, only to blog about it on their MySpace later.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent View Post
    . . . the designers probably felt weird giving monsters SchrŲdinger's hit points.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    I really like that Human Artwork...

    Anyway, this is good. Very good! though I hear Human racials are now sub-par.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    This treatment of humans allows the DM to spend less time preparing stats, and more time developing the story and creating dynamic battles.
    If the DM isn't willing to put in the effort necessary to create a couple of NPCs, then why the heck is he sitting in that chair?
    "Courage is the complement of fear. A fearless man cannot be courageous. He is also a fool." -- Robert Heinlein


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    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    If the DM isn't willing to put in the effort necessary to create a couple of NPCs, then why the heck is he sitting in that chair?
    Because none of his whiny players wanted the job?

    I don't have a problem with human stats, honestly. It's just another tool, like Minion rules. Need some quickie guard stats? Look no further than the MM, my friend.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    If the DM isn't willing to put in the effort necessary to create a couple of NPCs, then why the heck is he sitting in that chair?
    Because he is willing to put the effort into creating a world for those NPCs to inhabit. Because he is willing to put the effort into putting those NPCs into interesting encounters. Perhaps creating NPCs should be compared to doing long division: knowing how to do it is an important skill that nobody in their right mind ever uses if they can help it.
    Last edited by Rockphed; 2008-05-30 at 02:05 AM.
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    Rockphed said it well.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    If the DM isn't willing to put in the effort necessary to create a couple of NPCs, then why the heck is he sitting in that chair?
    It isn't that he isn't willing; it's that if he spends maybe 20 minutes creating NPCs every week instead of 3-4 hours, then he has extra time to do other things. Like create a more interesting plot, or flesh out the personalities of those NPCs more, or spend time with his family, or not have to cancel the week's session because he got caught in a meeting at work and now doesn't have time to mess around with everything.

    All I know is that up until now, I've gotten statements from all but one of my players over the years to the effect of "I'd love to DM. I've got this great plot written up and I know exactly how to structure my world. I just don't have the time to learn all the intricacies of the system, and build the monsters/NPCs I need."

    And now? Everyone wants to DM. We're thinking of rotating the DM out every month and having one big communal world because we all want to do it. DMing seems a lot more fun with a lot less effort.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Renegade Paladin View Post
    If the DM isn't willing to put in the effort necessary to create a couple of NPCs, then why the heck is he sitting in that chair?
    Because he's putting in the effort on story and battles.

    I don't really see a reason for the DM to have to be a mechanics whiz as well as Story Guy.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Reel On, Love View Post
    Because he's putting in the effort on story and battles.

    I don't really see a reason for the DM to have to be a mechanics whiz as well as Story Guy.
    Well... to be awesome...

    Though I DO appreciate that they have these little sample humanoids, because: as a DM having premade NPCs makes life so much easier... I'll focus my attention on the big-bad and his kickass lieutenants thank you very much. I don't NEED to stat out standard soldier #79 who's going to have his head popped open by magic/sword/knife/mace/moremagic by round 2.

    but if I really felt like it... I might just stat out standard soldier #32 who ended up befriending a PC and becoming the happy-go-lucky hench-sidekick-man...


    my point is... erm... everyone's allowed to do what they want...

    unless it's murder...

    well... fictional murder is okay...

    unless he's supposed to be an important NPC later on...
    Last edited by Skyserpent; 2008-05-30 at 03:00 AM.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyserpent View Post
    I don't NEED to stat out standard soldier #79 who's going to have his head popped open by magic/sword/knife/mace/moremagic by round 2.
    In fairness, you probably were only going to design standard soldier #1 and then clone him 80 times anyway.

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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    In fairness, you probably were only going to design standard soldier #1 and then clone him 80 times anyway.
    It worked for the Galactic Empire!


    ...


    for a while...
    Last edited by Skyserpent; 2008-05-30 at 03:01 AM.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Rutee View Post
    Do remember that DnD is made in America.
    Ow.

    It hurts because it's true.

    I love America, and I'm proud of some things about it. One of them is NOT the average person's grasp of geography.
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    Default Re: 4e: Humans As Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    Ow.

    It hurts because it's true.

    I love America, and I'm proud of some things about it. One of them is NOT the average person's grasp of geography.
    geogra-whatnow?
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