Friday, June 18, 2010

Shapechanging Monster Standards

Those of you who purchased a copy of Asuang: Shapechanging Horrors have seen how we incorporated the new standards for monster statblocks that appeared in the latest Monster Manual. The response to that move was positive, and we're glad we made the choice so soon after seeing the format ourselves for the first time.

Now recently, we were made aware that other things have changed in the MM3 besides the aesthetic presentation of the statblocks. It has come to our attention that, like MM2 before it, MM3 made changes to the formulas that govern monster creation. The most important ones seem to be:

  • Paragon to epic-tier monsters have had damage values increased by 30-40%.
  • Brute, controller, and soldier attack bonuses have been standardized. Now the only major differences left between the roles are defenses and damage values (of course, design expectations such as artilleries having ranged attacks and controllers having attacks that impede opponents are still there, but I didn't include that here because that's not part of the formulas)
Monsters in general have also been noted as being able to do more interesting things. We don't think we have a problem in that department - the asuangs can be pretty interesting in their own right! As for the above concerns, however, we do know about them and we plan on releasing an update. 

However, we would like to mention the somewhat limited flow of knowledge going in our direction. Our country has rather substandard shipping practices, which means, among other things, that we can only expect books to arrive at least a month after its actual release. Now I won't get a copy of MM3 myself (I'm reserving my funds for Dark Sun), but one other minion of my Lord and Master will. We expect to see a copy of the MM3 by late July.

But all is not lost. I do have an active DDi subscription, so I will see the statblocks with the upgraded standards through the compendium starting on the first Tuesday of July. We can then review the changes and extrapolate new values for the various asuangs, and then upload an updated file. While we're at it, we'll fix some of the typos pointed out to us (and fix that darned Bookmarks tab, too, once we figure out what exactly went wrong - yes we know it's broken). Don't worry about re-purchasing, either. rpgnow.com and its sister sites allow you to make the download up to five times after purchasing. 

In the meantime, what's left of my spare time (my full-time demands my attention again, and preparing and running my own D&D games take up some of those too) will be used for the Barangay project. The Asuang update will have to wait until early July at best, and we would like to apologize for that. :-(