Three Tips to Prepare for the Monster Manual 3

by Mike Shea on 7 June 2010

Back in mid-May I had the opportunity to ask Greg Bilsland some questions about the Monster Manual 3. You can find the full text of that interview over at my Critical hits article: Monster Manual 3 Interview with Greg Bilsland.

Today we're going to look at three things you can do to get yourself prepared for the coming of the Monster Manual 3 and use some of the techniques in the new book to modify the monsters of the older book.

Let's jump right in.

1. Add 30 to 40% more damage for certain creatures.

According to Greg, monsters in the Monster Manual 3 have significantly higher damage output than previous monsters, up to 30 to 40% more damage in some cases. As I've noted before, monster damage output at paragon and epic tiers often seems too low to really threaten a powerful player character.

With some quick math, we can increase the damage of older monsters at the paragon and epic tier. The easiest way to do this is to add 5 damage at paragon and 10 damage at the epic tier to the damage output of high-damage creatures. You'll have to decide which of the creatures in your game would do well with the higher damage output. Lurkers, skirmishers, and any elites or solos would be good choices.

When we have the MM3 in hand, we'll have a better idea how to scale damage for older monsters.

2. Prepare a Far Realm campaign.

Greg states that many of the monsters in the Monster Manual 3 have a connection to the Far Realm. One powerful creature, Allabar, Opener of the Way, can act as the final boss to a high-level Far Realm campaign. Begin planning now and you can add many of the Far Realm creatures from MM3 into your own game.

3. Get Used to the New Stat Block.

The new stat block has a much more logical format for running monsters at the table. Get used to the new format and begin using it for your own games. Here is an example of the new monster stat block formatted in HTML and CSS by Cynical Octopus at the Tarrasqueous blog.

Initiative +9

Senses Perception +10

HP 256; Bloodied 128

AC 27; Fortitude 24; Reflex 26; Will 25

Saving Throws +2

Speed 6

Action Points 1

Static Field Aura 2

Squares in the aura cost enemies one additional square of movement to enter.

Quarterstaff At-Will

+18 vs AC; 1d10 + 6 damage.

Magic Missile Barrage (arcane, force) At-Will

+17 vs Reflex; 2d8 + 6 force damage and the target is pushed 1 square.

Entangling Force (arcane, force) Recharge 3 4 5 6

Area burst 1; +17 vs Reflex; 3d10 + 6 force damage, and the target is slowed and cannot shift or teleport until the end of Samsons next turn.

Quickened Repelling Sphere (arcane, force) Recharge 5 6

Close burst 3; +17 vs Fortitude; 1d10 + 6 force damage, and the target is pushed to a space outside the burst.

Infernal Wrath (fire) Encounter

Trigger: Samson is hit by an enemy within 10 squares

Effect: The attacker takes 2d6 + 6 fire damage.

I'm very excited for the release of the Monster Manual 3. Hopefully these three tips can get you thinking in the right direction as we await its release. Soon after its release, expect a follow-up article with more tips for using the Monster Manual 3 at your table.

If you liked this article, please consider using these links to purchase the Monster Manual 3, the Player Strategy Guide, or the Player's Handbook 3. You can also use this link to purchase anything from Amazon. If you're looking for miniatures to match all of these new monsters, look no further than Troll and Toad, an official Sly Flourish sponsor.

Send feedback to @slyflourish on Twitter or email mike@mikeshea.net.