Well, the 10th Expert Dungeon Master Competition is under way. The theme this time around is to create a pair of elite creatures... sounds like fun right... well, yea it is, but something of this just seems a little complicated to me.
The rules for this particular competition are the following:
1. Provide separate statblocks for two creatures that might be encountered together. The statblocks must contain all the information found in the Monster Statblock Template in the 4e SRD appropriate for that creature.
2. Each creature must have the Elite group role.
3. Briefly describe each creature's typical appearance and behavior.
4. Set forth what characters may know of each creature with an appropriate Arcane, Dungeoneering, Nature, or Religion check.
5. Set forth at least one scenario in which a typical adventuring party might encounter the creatures, and the strategy the creatures might employ in this scenario.
The Optional Elements which can be used for this competition are the follwing, remember you must include at least 3, count 'em 3, in your entry:
1. Each creature gains a mechanical benefit from standing within two squares of the other.
2. One creature has a Good or Lawful good alignment; the other has an Evil or Chaotic Evil Alignment.
3. One creature serves as a mount for the other.
4. Only one creature has a burrow speed.
5. The creatures appear almost identical, but one is at least five levels higher than the other.
6. The creatures are both thematically associated with a solo creature of the paragon or epic tier found in the Rules Compendium.
7. The creatures do not share the same type, origin, or size.
8. The creatures have different abilities that complement one another.
9. The creatures would suffer damage or a deleterious condition if they touched one another.
10. The creatures’ powers are antilogous in some way (fire and ice, light and darkness, etc.) but the creatures still believably might be encountered together.
I strongly encourage anybody interested in creature building to go on over to the Wizards forums and check this one out. You can find the competition under What's a DM to Do? on the Dungeons and Dragons Forums.
I'm sure everyone has lots of good ideas and that entries will be very interesting... I've got a few brewing around in my head at the moment, but the first thing i'm doing is putting together an Exel Monster Builder Sheet to make the whole process a little bit easier. The DDi Monster Creator is good, but it doesn't let you build Elite or Solo creatures very well and so i'm not a huge fan of it. The fact that you have to run it out of your browser as well isn't that great and there isn't a save function for the creatures, other than the usual copy and paste. So, i think an excel spread sheet should do the trick nicely. It will also make putting things into your DM tools account very easy and thus making creation of Monster Cards much more simple. I'm about half way done at the moment, just finished putting together some important forumals and stuff. Next will be on to actually creating my monsters... whatever shall i build... hmmmmmmmm........