July 19, 2009

Random Elemental Generator

The elementals in the D&D4 Monster Manual are assumed to be the "natural animals" of the Elemental Chaos. (Think of Limbo if you prefer earlier editions.) Also, they cover a level range from 11 to 26. With this in mind, four elementals seem too little. On the other hand, it should be easy enough to generate new ones randomly (which is basically what happens in the game world).

First, we need to figure out what our elemental consists of. The Monster Manual states that they are made up of any number of elements, but let's settle for two (which is what the statted ones are). Roll 2d6, the die that lands to the left is the "primary" element.

  • 1: Fire
  • 2: Earth
  • 3: Air
  • 4: Water
  • 5: Lightning (and thunder)
  • 6: Radiance

If you roll the same element twice, you have one of the rare pure elementals.

Second, make up an awesome name for our elemental. The primary element determines the prefix, the secondary the suffix. Dig out your d3:s if you really have to be random here.

  • Fire prefixes: Flame-, boil-, heat-
  • Fire suffixes: -scourge, -fire, -pyre
  • Earth prefixes: Rock-, gravel-, mountain-
  • Earth suffixes: -wall, -stone, -crystal
  • Air prefixes: Cloud-, storm-, steam-
  • Air suffixes: -lasher, -twister, -wind
  • Water prefixes: Wave-, flood-, stream-
  • Water suffixes: -swirl, -pool, -torrent
  • Lightning prefixes: Thunder-, lightning-, flash-
  • Lightning suffixes: -storm, -bolt, -spark
  • Radiance prefixes: Sun-, flash-, flicker-
  • Radiance suffixes: -beam, -glow, -ray
  • Random second noun: Ravager, dreadnought, defender

I rolled a 6 and a 2, so it's a mixture of radiance and earth. It's a Sunstone Defender!

The third step is to stat up the monster. I won't repeat the monster creating guidelines (DMG1 page 184 and onward) here, but there are some notable steps:

  • Level: Just choose, though I might roll 1d10+10 if I wanted a random level too.
  • Role and powers: Role is based on the primary element. Powers also are, but flavour one power according to the second element.

    • Fire = artillery. Build a basic ranged high-damage attack and a basic ranged normal-damage burst attack. Give it high speed, or clumsy flight. (Magic jet engines!)
    • Earth = lurker. Can phase through earth and stone, gains Earth Walk, Tremorsense, Combat Advantage vs enemies it starts its turn out of sight of, and bonus damage against enemies it has Combat Advantage against. Can meld into stone as a standard action, giving it great damage resistance (kind of like a gargoyle).
    • Air = brute. Give it insubstantial (and half HP) which explains why it's so hard to kill. Also huge.
    • Water = soldier. Can hit and mark enemies. Gets threatening reach (with it's elongated pseudopods).
    • Lightning = skirmisher. Flight is key here. Pair it with a fly-by attack and you're set.
    • Radiance = controller. Held together by the secondary element. Give it attacks that blind, daze or stun.

Our Sunstone Defender is a Controller, with a little bit of earthy lurker. I make him level 11 (to help out Firelashers), steal powers right off the Grell Philosopher and Galeb Duhr Rockcaller, give it Earth Walk and I'm done!

Sunstone Defender Level 11 Controller
Large Elemental Magical Beast (air, fire) XP 600
Initiative +9 Senses Perception +14
HP 114; Bloodied 57
AC 25; Fortitude 23, Reflex 23, Will 23
Immune disease, poison
Speed 6 (earth walk)
M Staggering Slam (Standard; at-will)
Reach 2; +16 vs AC; 3d6+5 damage, and the target is slowed until the end of its next turn.
R Bright lance (Standard; at-will) ♦ radiant
Range 10; +15 vs Reflex; 2d6+5 radiant damage, and the target is blinded (save ends).
c Rocky Road (Minor; encounter)
Close burst 1; all squares in burst become difficult terrain if they consist of earth or stone.
a Glaring Nimbus (Standard; recharge 6) ♦ radiant, zone
Area burst 2 within 10; +15 vs Will; 3d8+3 radiant damage, and the target is dazed (save ends). The glaring nimbus is a zone that lasts until the end of the encounter. Any creature entering the zone is dazed (save ends).
Alignment Unaligned Languages Primordial
Str 18 (+9) Dex 18 (+9) Wis 18 (+9)
Con 18 (+9) Int 21 (+10) Cha 18 (+9)


A sunstone defender looks like a humanoid mass of small rocks, hovering in a humanoid aura of light.

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