August 22, 2008

[D&D 4E] [Monsters] Rotten Carcass

I've thinked a lot about the Blog Carnival (here the details) and I wanted to write a kobold undead. No ideas came to my mind.
I'm a writer who's engine works fueled by inspiration so I've start to think what kind of undead my players will love (or hate) to encounter and then bang! (that's the sound of inspiration striking me)
I ├Čve preferred to write a full undead based encounter but my work on the kobold PDF (who's coming out great btw) is absorbing my time like a drunkard in a booze pool so here we go with the Rotten Carcass (and the Rotten Upper Carcass).
The full encounter will follow my holidays (24-August to 3-September in Scotland).
The picture was drawn by me (with poor results) on my moleskine while I was searching to focus ideas. The philosophy here is that a poor picture is better than nothing.
You can notice part of the monster design around the picture (I've leave them cause I find that cool ^_^).

The XP value of a rotting carcass is a little higher than usual to balance the fact the rotten upper one gives no XP (so the XP value of the encounter is already fixed).

Try to use them in big numbers and have fun seeing your PC try to escape these slow but relentless opponents. The funny effect doubles if you surround your PCs in a big open space.

Rotten CarcassLevel 1 Minion
Medium Natural Humanoid (undead)XP 25
Initiative +1Senses Perception -2; darkvision
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
AC 12; Fortitude 15, Reflex 9, Will 9
Immune disease, poison
Speed 4
Not dead yet! (Immediate Reaction)
when damaged;Roll a dice to determine the effect:even: the rotten carcass is destroyed and in it's place spawns a Rotten Upper Carcass who act in the same initiative order.odd: the rotten carcass is destroyed (as normal)
m Chew off (Standard; at-will)
6 damages against a grabbed target. The target escapes grab.
M Grab & Bite (Standard; at-will)
+6 vs. AC: 2 damage and the target is grabbed (untile escapes).
Alignment EvilLanguages -
Skills -
Str 12 (+1)Dex 6 (-2)Wis 10 (+0)
Con 17 (+3)Int 1 (-5)Cha 3 (-4)
Equipment -


Crappy artwork by me



If it's still not clear enough, once you destroy a Rotten carcass there's a 50% chance you have destroyed only the lower half of it. If that's the case, substitute the rotten carcass with a rotten upper carcass. It's slower but still able to do damages.

Rotten Upper CarcassLevel 1 Minion
Medium Natural Humanoid (undead)XP 25
Initiative +1Senses Perception -2; darkvision
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
AC 12; Fortitude 15, Reflex 9, Will 9
Immune disease, poison
Speed 2
Prone
The rotten upper carcass is always considered prone and cannot end this condition.odd: the rotten carcass is destroyed (as normal)
M Ankle Bite (Standard; at-will)
+4 vs. AC: 4 (the prone malus is already included)
Alignment EvilLanguages -
Skills -
Str 12 (+1)Dex 6 (-2)Wis 10 (+0)
Con 17 (+3)Int 1 (-5)Cha 3 (-4)
Equipment -


Crappy artwork by me

11 comments:

  1. I love it... i may just have to apply my 4E Blighspawn Template to make them "Blightspawned Rotten Carcass". I'll make sure to include this in the RPG Carnival. Thanks again for participating!

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  2. I would advise against modifying something like XP for a level 1 minion based on a mechanic created for that minion.

    A few examples that have been published would be the Zombie Hulk, which resurrects after it has been killed but still has the same XP as other monsters its level, and monsters like Wights who can give other mobs life again, but still have the same XP.

    My suggestion would be to keep XP the same, but modify the monster instead. Don't let the cart lead the horse, and all that jazz.

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  3. Let me do the math with 10 Rotten Carcass.

    My way:
    10 Rotten carcass = 400XP
    5 Rotten Upper Carcass = 0 XP (50% spawning them every Rotten carcass death)
    TOTAL = 400 XP

    No XP changes:
    10 Rotten carcass = 250XP
    5 Rotten Upper Carcass = 60 XP (50% spawning them every Rotten carcass death)
    TOTAL = 410 XP

    Math is on my side ^_^
    The modified XP value is there only to make calculations easier for DM.

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  4. um... on this side of The Big Pond 250 + 60 = 310. But... IMHO i personally don't really care about XP. Some of the best campaigns I've ever run did not even use XP - you just leveled when it made sense for you character to level.

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  5. hahahah sorry. the right calculations are these

    No XP changes:
    10 Rotten carcass (25x10)= 250XP
    5 Rotten Upper Carcass (25x5) = 125 XP (50% spawning them every Rotten carcass death)
    TOTAL = 375 XP

    They are both considered level 1 minions ^^

    (Math is a fluid thing, right?)

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  6. Genius. Love the drawings, too.

    I agree with Bartoneus, though. I wouldn't mess with the xp value - when an ochre jelly splits you don't get more xp than normal for it, the split is just one of its powers. I still wouldn't give separate xp for the upper carcass - it's flavorful and clever but mechanically pretty weak.

    If you feel you need to tone something back in order to scale the xp back from 40 to 25, I would change the Chew Off damage from 6 to 4.

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  7. Guys... It's fourth edition I'm supposed to mess around with things! ^_^

    My shot is 40 XP are right for a minion of this kind, but you have the power to change that in your campaign.

    Remember although there's no more a 3.x style where everything was to be done by the books. Now MM is the first who doesn't follow the DMG rules and so what make you think XP are a NO TOUCH zone? ^_^

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  8. I would say it's more a matter of elegance in game design. One of the key objectives of minions is to make large groups of monsters easier on the DM, but what you've done here is not only potentially double the number of minions created, but also added a die-roll to it and THEN there's the aspect that you've changed it to 40xp so it is no longer a simple 4-to-1 ratio of minions to monsters.

    You're certainly welcome to break the rules wherever you like, we're simply suggesting more elegant solutions. :D For what you seem to be doing with this monster, I'd suggest making it a full blown monster and not just a minion.

    I am curious though, where does the MM break the rules presented in the DMG? I love finding things like that, but can't say I've noticed it yet.

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  9. Man, I am definitely springing all of these monsters on my hapless nubian college group...

    Love the kobold series, can't wait to see the rest...

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  10. @Reverend: Thanks from me and from the kobolds.

    @Bartoneus: Making them full monsters will go a little too away from my concept. I was searching to create a creature, usable in large numbers, to recreate a little of a zombie movie feeling at low levels. I was searching either for a highly expendable creature than for a minion who's not always die with a single blast, endangering a little even a spellcaster after a blast.

    I totally understand your concerns about the xp, but I think is a little too simple think that a creature can be worth 25 xp or 125 xp. There are shades of gray in between. Is right I don't respect the 1 to 5 exchange rate for minions. My rotten carcass are on a 1 to 3 exchange rate. Still easy to do the math ^_^

    For the MM almost every monster doesn't follow the DMG guidelines. Stats, AC, damages, HP... if you try to crate a monster exactly by the book and then compare him to the MM equivalent you'll notice a lot of differences. Simply now you first follow the guidelines and then tweak the creature as you like.
    DMG's ones are guidelines not rules and this is the biggest difference (IMHO) from 3.x to 4E.

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  11. Very happy although my babies generate a discussion on them ^_^

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