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4e Monster Manual Personal 1 Errata – Beetles, Drakes and Rotters

Posted by paradisio on May 12, 2009

Well, I recently ran the first session of a new campaign and did some demos as well, and I came to some conclusions, some monsters from the core monster manual, especially on the low end are just broken in 4e. So, considering that Wizards have yet to address the complaints I found online regarding these three cretins, I thought I would take it upon myself to revise them.

The creatures are:
-the humble Fire Beetle, whose area attack is far too much in groups
-Zombie Rotters, the worst minion in the game
-Needlefang Drake Swarm, the low level TPK machine.

You’re free not to use these homebrew variants, but you should be aware of their strengths and weaknesses before throwing them into a regular encounter without any changes. New stats after the jump.

Let’s get the big momma out of the way first, the Needlefang Drake Swarm. Why is this creature so broken? Because it can take out an equal level or lower character in a single round, or easily kill them. It’s a second level monster that can deal 4d10+8 damage to a character before they even get to act, and has an at-will minor knockdown attack. The creature has a clear point, knock down characters, eat them. The solution to the problem is to bring the damage down to an appropriate level, not something so ridiculously high and out of the norm of a level 2 solder type. The problems is the damage is calculated as a medium limited, but the creature has no problem inflicting this damage on single or even multiple opponents, so I scaled it back to the normal damage levels.

He’s still very nasty, but the decreased damage and saves should help substantially, although he has an additional +1 to his primary attack. Still too much? What do you think? I thought about decreasing damage to D4s or perhaps moving Pull Down to a move action.

Next up is the Zombie Rotter, the one isn’t broken, he just sucks. He’s likely the worst creature in 4e, or at least the worst minion. Even as a minion, he simply does too little while having pathetic defenses, as is, I don’t even know if he’s suitable as a level one minion, so let’s bump him up a tad. Without changing him too much, I went with the most straightforward solution: make him tougher.

Overall, in general he’s much better and much more of a threat. He’s still slow and stupid, but perhaps he might survive a tad longer and get a hit in. I gave him a bit highter to hit than normal to compensate for his low speed and lack of other special abilities.

Last is the Fire Beetle, a level 1 brute with a close blast 3 attack for a good amount of damage and recharge. The attack is justifiable considering the recharge, but the to hit bonus is too much at this level for an area attack, so I brought it down to compensate.

In the end his bonus to hit with the AoE is only +0, but this is still enough to hit a couple of characters typically in a crowd at low level, but the damage has been amped up a little bit to compensate for the significant loss to hit.

That’s it for now, any more creatures you want me to take a look at? Hopefully I’ll have something more original soon.


One Response to “4e Monster Manual Personal 1 Errata – Beetles, Drakes and Rotters”

  1. Paradisio said

    In retrospect, Needle swarm is still waaay too powerful. I found that dropping it down to d4s neutered it enough, I think overall it just needs to scrapped and completely redone, everything is way too off the chart to start with and I’m a bit confuzzled as to why it hasn’t had errata.

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