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 NPCs as "monsters' in 4E

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George Krashos Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 01:36:43
So how did 4E treat NPCS in the context of giving them stats and effectively treating them as monsters?

If I say wanted to have a multiclassed fighter/cleric as a protagonist (but not necessarily as an enemy - that individual can be an ally to a PC party) in an adventure, how would hey be statted up?

-- George Krashos
18   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Arivia Posted - 03 Aug 2017 : 06:15:51
If you want, I'll look the numbers over George. They matter a lot more in 4e then the other editions.
George Krashos Posted - 03 Aug 2017 : 04:44:51
Fixed the problem by using one of the DMG2 templates. Did rather well I thought all things considered. No doubt got some of the numbers wrong, but rules have never been my schtick.

-- George Krashos
Arivia Posted - 02 Aug 2017 : 23:38:49
Couple notes:

1) There's actually specific class templates to be used on NPC stat blocks to give them the feel of that class. They're in the DMG1, DMG2, and there's one for the swordmage in the FRCG. (I think there's also one for the artificer in the ECG?) These templates fell out of favour over time, but they are serviceable. In general the idea that if you're going to fight someone in 4e you stat them up like a monster is true.

2) However, if you're not going to fight them and they're instead going to be a player ally, look at the companion rules in the DMG2. Those are specifically designed for allies and companions of the PCs, and keep the players in the spotlight.
Diffan Posted - 23 Jul 2017 : 05:59:58
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I always liked the idea of giving classes to monsters and NPCs.

On one hand I definitely agree with you. It adds a lot of variety and uniqueness to the monster or NPC and, somehow, makes it feel like it's in the same shared world with the other characters. While this has been going on for quite some time in D&D (I know of some NPCs in 1e adventures that had stats with class levels) I think each edition has made doing the process better.

However there's a bit of a downside to it, namely when 3e came out, with basically how the classes/NPCs worked and the relative difficulty said character would be if the PCs were to go up against it. It also started to fuel the class warfare in terms of certain classes being crappy compared to others. For example in 3e a CR 2 creature against 4 Player Characters is considered a Very Difficult challenge that nets them 150 XP. Thus a Human Fighter 2 is very difficult. But honestly, that's not nearly the case. 1 spell can basically end this guy. Maybe two attacks can drop him below 0 hit points and it's unlikely that they have a sufficient AC to be challenging to a PC of 1st level (like a Fighter or War-cleric or Paladin, etc). Ultimately the 2nd level NPC/Bad-guy will lose because the numbers are against them in terms of Action Economy. For every attack they make, the PCs take 4.

Even with that going on there have been many times I've really disliked playing "by the rules" for Character creation when it came to NPCs and Monsters. All creatures have to play by the same laws as everyone else (per RAW). However this really can stifle certain characteristics, options, and thematic quality because a certain NPC needs 3 feats that can't be accessed until 5th level or some-such. It's really quite annoying.

That's why I really liked 4e's pull away from One Path to Rule them ALL of 3e's monster/NPC design. I can give an evil Fighter a cool power drawn from some other monster or I can give a wizard a new spell or make one NPC really difficult to defeat because they have more HP or better Defenses or maybe the Orc Warlord you're facing is wielding two great-sword because they're gifted with a divine essence (something not easily done at 1st level in 3.5).
Wooly Rupert Posted - 23 Jul 2017 : 02:13:00
I always liked the idea of giving classes to monsters and NPCs.
Diffan Posted - 23 Jul 2017 : 02:10:04
Originally posted by George Krashos

Diffan, do you mind if I PM you and run a few things past you?

-- George Krashos

George Krashos Posted - 23 Jul 2017 : 01:09:12
Diffan, do you mind if I PM you and run a few things past you?

-- George Krashos
Diffan Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 19:42:53
Dorric was a sort of stand-in warrior the PCs fought alongside, though he ended up betraying them because he was evil. He has Hit Points, I believe, close to what a Soldier would have in terms of the Monster (not Player Character). I did another conversion of a Forgotten Realms NPC from the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (3.0) named Sahbuti Shandardanda, a human-shade warrior of Shou decent who works as a Monk/Assassin in the Church of Shar. Here's my stats for him using 4E:

Sahbuti Shandardanda; Level 15 Elite Lurker
Medium shadow humanoid, human XP 2,400
Initiative +20; Senses Perception +17
HP 226; Bloodied 113
AC 29; Fortitude 26; Reflex 31; Will 27
Speed 8
Saving Throws +2; Action Points 1
Combat Advantage
Sahbuti deals 2d6 extra damage to any creature granting combat advantage to him.
Shadow Surge (healing)
Sahbuti regain 20 hit points at the end of his turn if he has remained invisible since the start of his turn.
Flurry of Blows
When Sahbuti hits with either a bastard sword or unarmed strike attack, the target and one adjacent creature takes 5 damage and is slid 1 square adjacent to Sahbuti or 1 square in any direction if the target wasn't targeted by the triggering attack.
Standard Action
(M) Stunning Fist (martial) Encounter
Attack: +20 vs. AC
Hit: 6d8 + 13 damage and the target is dazed and immobilized (save ends).

(m) Unarmed Strike At-will
Attack: + 19 vs. AC
Hit: 4d8 + 5 damage.

Double Attack (weapon, shadow, cold) At-will
Effect: Sahbuti makes a bastard sword or unarmed strike attack, shifts up to 2 squares, then makes another bastard sword or unarmed strike attack.

(M) Bastard sword (weapon, shadow, cold) At-will
Attack: +21 vs. AC
Hit: 2d10 + 6 cold damage.
Move Actions
Vanish into Shadow (illusion, teleportation) Recharge 4, 5, 6
Effect: Sahbuti teleports 20 squares and becomes invisible until he attacks or until the end of his next turn.
Skills Acrobatics +18, Endurance +15, Intimidate +17, Stealth +18, Thievery +18
Str 14 (+9); Dex 23 (+13); Wis 20 (+12)
Con 17 (+10); Int 17 (+10); Cha 20 (+12)
Alignment Evil; Languages Common, Shou
Equipment bastard sword, dark clothes
Diffan Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 17:46:56
Another character I created as an NPC for my Players.

Dorric Kir; Level 8 Soldier
Fighter NPC
Medium natural (human)
XP 350
Initiative +6; Senses Perception +7;
HP 89; Bloodied 44
AC 24; Fortitude 21, Reflex 18, Will 19
Speed 5
Healing Surge 2/encounter (value 22)
(m) Longsword (Weapon) At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +15 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8 + 5 Strength modifier damage and the target is marked until the end of Dorric's next turn.

(m/r) Dagger (Weapon) At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 or Ranged 5/10 +14 vs. AC (one creature)
Hit: 1d4 + 3 damage.

(M) Shield Bash (Martial, Weapon) At-Will
Requirement: Must be wielding a shield
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +14 vs. AC
Hit: 6 damage and the target is pushed back 2 squares. Dorric may then shift that many squares and end his turn adjacent to the target.

(M) Shock and Awe (Martial, Weapon) At-Will
Requirement: Must be using a shield
Effect: Dorric makes a longsword attack. If the attack hits, he may make a secondary attack against the target.
Attack +11 vs. Reflex (same as original target, one creature)
Hit: 1d8 + 5 damage and the target is pushed one square and knocked prone.

(M) Powerful Assault (Martial, Weapon) Recharge 5, 6
Attack: +15 vs. AC (one creature)
Hit: 2d8 + 10 damage, and the target is marke and knocked prone.

(C) Whirling Fury (Martial, Weapon) Recharge 6
Effect: Dorric makes a melee basic attack against every enemy in a close burst 1. Each enemy hit by the attack takes ongoing 5 damage and is pushed 5 squares.
Strength from Violence (Healing) Encounter
Effect: Dorric regains 22 + 1d10 hit points and a +2 bonus to all his defenses until the end of his next turn.
Disrupting Strike At-Will (1/round)
Trigger: When a creature marked by Dorric shifts or makes an attack that doesn't include him.
Effect (Immediate Interrupt): Dorric makes a melee basic attack against the triggering target with a +3 bonus to the attack roll. If hit, the target instantly stops moving (but may regain moving by spending another appropriate action to do so).

Surging Wrath Encounter
Trigger: When Dorric is hit by an attack
Effect (Immediate Interrupt): Reduce the damage Dorric takes by 10.
Alignment Chaotic Evil; Languages Chondathan, Common
Skills Athletics +11, Endurance +7, Insight +7, Intimidate +10
Str 20 (+9) | Dex 14 (+6) | Wis 17 (+7)
Con 17 (+7) | Int 8 (+3) | Cha 13 (+5)
Equipment plate armor, longsword, heavy shield, cloak.

m: Melee Basic Attack

M: Melee Attack

r: ranged basic attack

C: Close burst attack
Diffan Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 17:43:54
Originally posted by George Krashos

Just had another look, and the NPC as a monster doesn't look too difficult. Will wing it. Can't seem to find anything regarding how many magic items you might give one though ...

-- George Krashos

As for magic items, I tend to assign a few such as maybe armor or a weapon or maybe some potions. I'll also throw in the items power into their stat block so I don't forget.
Diffan Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 17:38:25
...You rang?

It really depends on what you want the NPC for that determines it's stats. You can easily roll up an actual PC and just use them as an NPC. You could also take some ideas from the DMG and assign level, role and some class features from a specific class. The DMG says to assign a few powers (1 encounter, 1 daily, 1 utility) of that class comparable to it's level.

For example this was my 4E NPC version of Aribeth de Tylmarande from the Neverwinter Nights video game. She has a role (Defender) with the Paladin tag and some paladin powers. Erik Scott de Bie did some of his characters from his books as NPCs that use a similar format too.

Another example you can check out is the Hero Battle: Drizzt and Hero Battle: Elminster as they were both statted up as Encounters to face off against. They have class features as a class but numbers similar to a Monster (so they can effectively take on multiple PCs at a time).

Whom might you want to stat up and what do you want these NPCs to do? Fight PCs? Fight along side PCs?

Wooly Rupert Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 16:17:40
Diffan is the god of 4E. Give him a ping.
Zeromaru X Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 14:02:30
If you still need help, I will gladly help you
George Krashos Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 09:33:23
Just had another look, and the NPC as a monster doesn't look too difficult. Will wing it. Can't seem to find anything regarding how many magic items you might give one though ...

-- George Krashos
George Krashos Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 08:17:58
Ick. I don't think I can build a 4E statblock like that. Bugger. I hope the punters don't get offended when I give them stats for every edition except 4th ...

Any volunteers out there who are 4E experts who can help me out?

-- George Krashos
Zeromaru X Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 03:28:46
Indeed, in 4e even friendly NPCs, and even companion NPCs (such as hirelings and followers), were stated as "monsters". One of the premises of 4e is that only players had a playable class. NPCs had roles. So, a soldier is a melee combatant, but no a fighter (as in, part of the playable fighter class).

However, in the DMG you have a few class templates that you could apply to monsters and companions to give them player classes' abilities. Those abilities were limited for NPCs and monsters though.
KanzenAU Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 01:56:39
It's been a while since I played 4e, but from what I remember:

Generally, they're definitely statted as "monsters" - PCs have enough abilities that a 4e style statblock would be too large. However, the DMG2 introduced "Companions", an alternative and more streamlined NPC building system targeted at allies of the PCs, which I got a lot of use from.
Irennan Posted - 22 Jul 2017 : 01:44:02
From what I know, 4e doesn't give classes to NPCs. Mechanically, they are monsters: stat-blocks and a couple special skills that reflect their character, and the tactical role that you want them to have in battle (as in skirmisher, bruiser, etc...).

Diffan will surely be much more helpful in this regard, tho.

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