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[Let's Read] The 4e Monster Manual and Monster Vault

VoidDrifter

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And, because turnabout is fair play, I am now considering what would happen if you opened up demons and devils and other fiends to a similar unaligned status. How would that work? It has potential; you certainly get more of the "screaming monstrosity which introduces itself by saying BE NOT AFRAID" feel. And it also further breaks up the "Team Good vs Team Evil" concept where morality is just a hat you wear to a fight, because you can have devilish torturers serving a deity of mercy and forgiveness, so long as they're working to redeem their wards or otherwise serve the overall values of their deity. I'm pretty sure old-school Crom sent out devils if you prayed to him, for example.
For what it's worth, the 4e Underdark splatbook does state that the Underdark includes what are called "godless realms", which are places where immortals like angels and fiends can truly die. And these places tend to be colonized by a mixture of angels, devils, elementals and demons. Now, admittedly, many of the fiends here are just hiding out from the wrath of their rivals or superiors, but a goodly number of "risen" fiends can be found in such places, as can angels who refuse to serve the gods.
 

ESkemp

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These actually reappear in 5th edition... well, sort of. “Elemental myrmidons” lose the mythic aspects, being mostly-mindless high-level mooks created by spellcasters for use as soldiers. I’d prefer that they were carried over more faithfully, but I think it’s nice they’re there.
Myrmidon is probably a better name, all told. Of course, it being D&D, I'm a little surprised the name hadn't already been snagged for a race of ant-people. (Yes, there's already at least one race of ant-people but redundancy has never been a limitation for D&D writers.)
 

Terhali

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As a DM I found the 4e archons to make ideal antagonists. Militarily disciplined chaotic evil elementals who value conflict for its own sake as much as winning gave me great adventure-creating fodder.
 

Gilphon

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Calling these guys Archon was probably throwing a rock at a beehive. Like, they're not a bad monster concept by any means, but they're also a completely different concept from the traditional Archons- so using the same name just feels like trolling fans of earlier Archons. Myrmidon is a better name in that avoids that baggage, but it also loses the mythic feel, which I do feel is important, given that we're talking about the Elemental counterpart of Angels here.
 

Eklev

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I also like the name myrmidon better since archon is such a vague term in popular culture. However, I don’t mind that WotC reimagined archons as elemental soldiers since the 4e cosmology doesn’t need the old archons. At most, the old archons would’ve been made into a race of immortals who reside in the Astral Sea, but we already got other creatures (like maruts) to fill those niches.

If I wanted to run a 4e Planescape game (with the Great Wheel), I would re-introduce the original archons since they have a place there. Ultimately I find the World Axis a more compelling cosmos however.
 

VoidDrifter

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I also like the name myrmidon better since archon is such a vague term in popular culture. However, I don’t mind that WotC reimagined archons as elemental soldiers since the 4e cosmology doesn’t need the old archons. At most, the old archons would’ve been made into a race of immortals who reside in the Astral Sea, but we already got other creatures (like maruts) to fill those niches.

If I wanted to run a 4e Planescape game (with the Great Wheel), I would re-introduce the original archons since they have a place there. Ultimately I find the World Axis a more compelling cosmos however.
To be honest, I personally prefer the World Axis. The Great Wheel's archons fall into the same rut that many extraplanar monsters do, to me, and that's existing for the sake of padding out the monster manual and having something on each plane of existence. They're just generic semi-Christian angels; most of them are just "humans with wings and funny skin colors", and the "weirdest" archons are the hound and lantern archons, who just look out of place. It's the same problem as the Great Wheel's eladrin, who literally only exist to be Chaotic Good angels and who basically elf angels.
 

ESkemp

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I wouldn't be surprised if "archon" was picked because "archomental" was a previously existing term for the Princes of Elemental [Faction]. Implies a chain of command there.

Myrmidon also has a bit of a mythic feel to it, but it's so dang specific that if you know about the mythical connotations and you think about them, its applicability to elemental soldiers goes down just a touch.
 

NobodyImportant

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As for the role of traditional archons... would anyone object to opening up a monster book and seeing the entries “Angel, Lantern”, “Angel, Hound”, and “Angel, Trumpet”?
 

Strange Visitor

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Hey, since it's relevant to a lot of what would come up here: is there a good summary of the math problems that came up with MM1 and 2, and a systematic fix for them? I understand some of them (too much hit points relative to damage output, turning fights with same into a slog), but it'd be nice to have it all in one place, especially something I could download to reference were I ever to get masochistic enough to run 4e.
 
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