Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Sneak Preview: D&D 4e Monster Building and Customization

One of the highly touted aspects of the new edition of D&D is the ease with which DMs will be able to create and customize monsters to challenge their players. In fact, I just learned the DMs will be able build monsters on the fly, using just a few rolls of a trusty twenty-sider:


1blackbladebrute
2bloodbloodcreeper
3bonebond/bounddelver
4deathclawfiend
5demoncloak/cloakedfilcher
6doomdoomfoamer
7dreadfanggnasher
8flamefiendhorde/hordling
9ghostfirehowler
10grimgaunthulk
11icehauntlasher
12ironhornleaper
13nightmawracer
14poisonrakereaver
15razorscaleripper
16spellspikescourge
17stonetusksneak
18stormwarp/warpedswarm
19thunderwingtitan
20windwrackwurm


With attacks and abilities built right into the name, spelled out in ubiquitous damned adjectival compound nouns, a DM need only decide the creature's level range and role, and let 'er rip.

EDIT [in response to James Mishler]: The beauty of 4e is scalabilty, to wit

21acidcrawlbloodbeast

17 comments:

Jeff Rients said...

Thank you! It's been quite a while since I've seen an item about 4e that I like!

Max said...

Which is ironic, seeing as I set out to satirize one of my main aesthetic peeves about recent editions of D&D! By the time I'd cobbled the chart together I was thinking, gee, some of these sound kinda cool!

ChattyDM said...

Cool chart and and so painfully close to the Truth if the list of D&D minis is to be trusted!

Go Demon Claw Fiend!

Dr-Rotwang said...

Beware the Thunder Cloak-Foamer!

Tee hee hee!

Max said...

How hard was it not make "zoot horn roller" a possible result? Very.

James Maliszewski said...

This is just great! Kudos.

James Mishler said...

But... but... there's no way to make a Blood Blood Bloodbeast? Dammit, 4E fails me again!

Max said...

James: I believe the current plan is to address this in future Monster Manual releases, but I've posted an extra preview for now (and thanks for stopping by!)

James Mishler said...

Awesome!

Of course now Lou Zocchi has a new challenge: the d21!

He'd better get cracking before WotC trademarks that one...

Anonymous said...

Was this supposed to be some kind of a jab at 4e? Because this is awesome. A random new monster generation chart sounds like roughly the best idea ever.

Max said...

Thanks for stopping by, Anonymous Commenter. Not so much jabbing at 4e as poking fun of an overused stylistic tic of both the recent and forthcoming editions of D&D. The occasional Ironhorn Reaver is fine and dandy but too much of that sort of thing grates.

And I agree with you on the coolness of random monster building charts! If you got here via Jeff's Gameblog, be sure to check out his link to Jim Raggi's new supplement, Name Too Long to Write Here. It could be just the ticket.

Asmor said...

That is absolutely fantastic!

thanuir said...

There's a similar random generator elsewhere: http://random-generator.com/index.php?title=New_Monster_Name

Max, would you mind if I added your generator to Abulafia?

Max said...

That would be great Thanuir, thanks!

thanuir said...

After some technical problems: http://www.random-generator.com/index.php?title=D_and_D_4th_edition_monster

Capt_Poco said...

Enough! It's time to finish this, Andalius! And this time, you won't have your precious Staff of Da'Karion to save you....

Awaken the Doom-Doom Demon!

Bwahahahah! :)

James Mishler said...

Well, as usual, fantasy has become reality. There is a very similar article, the "Semi-Random 4E Monster Name Generator," in the first issue of Level Up! from Geoodman Games.

It has two columns, each rolled using 2d12, to create a single compound adjective (it presumes you are providing the noun yourself, I guess). So actually, the dreaded Bloodblood Bloodbeast can now be a reality...