WIR 4th Edition Monsters Manual

Agent Oracle

Seer of things to come
Dagon? Didn't he get made by McFarlane?

My Bad, Dagon was done by SOTA toys, and at a whopping $224.99, and 13 pounds, I think he might be a *tad* out of scale.

There's also the 9 1/2 inch tall Dagon from this guy... his original mold too. Only $82

Oh wait! You can probably find the Dagon ACTION FIGURE produced (also by SOTA), problem is: they came out in 2007.. so they seem to be 100% sold out... still poke around e-bay a bit, i'm sure you'll find one.
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3rd day, second entry. I'm off to a turbocharged start, here.

Phane Ah, the Phane. So much grief about this monster when it was first previewed, and not entirely incorrect I don't think.

Here's the first sentence--Phane's can manipulate time, which they use to sow chaos among mortals. Time Manipulation=cool, however, this is literally the first and last time it's mentioned in the description. Would it have killed Wizards to give an actual example of what sort of Time mischief they can get into? Just one?

From here we go straight into talking about Phane's making pacts with other creatures and then a physical description. It's like someone was actively trying to avoid writing any actual fluff about this monster.

As it happens, Phanes look like large panther-taurs made of mist and shadow. It's a cool enough look that I won't question the details too much. The lore entry doesn't add much either--found mostly on the Astral plane, can be found anywhere, "hunting prey". Because uber-powerful time-manipulating living God Weapons still have nothing better to do then spend most of their time cruising for a snack.

In terms of stats, the Phane is a horrible grind encounter waiting to happen. A level 26 Elite Controller with 478 HP's+insubstantial+weaken spam just has to be a gigantic pain to finish off.

The Phane is equally fast either walking or flying. It has a weak touch attack that combines a free shift with a one round slow, but Wizening Ray is really it's signature attack. Does a miserable 2d6+9 damage, but inflicts save ends weakened and daze, aftereffect save ends weaken. With an at-will. Players will cry. Seriously guys, they'll cry.

It's also flavored as turning PC's temporarily until feeble old men, which is actually pretty cool.

After being bloodied, however long that takes, the Phane also picks up a close burst one attack that does save end stun aftereffect save ends weaken and dazed. Also at-will. Savor your players delicious bitter tears as they cry and cry and probably throw dice at you.

Phane's have one more neat little trick allowing them to end any single effect with a minor action, flavored as instant time shifting. I like it, and it does add great flavor. I just wish the monster had maybe one more trick that wasn't pure bullshit from a player perspective. It's also a bit weird for a time shifting monster not to have a single teleport effect.

In any case, it's capable of absorbing a ludicrous amount of damage while dragging out the fight and inflicting no meaningful damage on it's own. In theory it would work well combined with other monsters with high damage output, but...well, bring a dice shield all the same.

I'm all for separating fluff from stats as needed, but give this monster actual fluff!

Tarrasque Everyone who doesn't suck loves the Tarrasque. Mindless Gargantuan engines of bloody destruction are always fun, at least as an idea.

The initial description of the Tarrasque is literally a single sentence, but the lore entries make up for it by being awesome. The first one describes the Tarrasque as a living engine of destruction created by the Primordials to obliterate everything the Gods have created. It sleeps in the core of the world, except once every several years when it burrows to the surface and rampages over entire continents. This is good stuff.

The second one explains that wailing on the Tarrasque enough to put is back to sleep is normally the best even epic heroes can manage, but ancient theories speculate that it might be possible to kill it permanently if it was somehow tricked to leaving the world. Once again, some great adventure hooks here.

In terms of appearance, the 4th edition Tarrasque is much more dinosaur-like then previous editions, being more of a straightforward lizardlike quadrapod without the old lobster shell thing, although I think the massive horns over it's eyes are a bit ugly.

In terms of stats, there's some good ideas here, but it still comes up a little lacking, I think. The Tarrasque is a level 30 solo brute with 1,420 HPs. So far, I have no complaints. It has blindsight 20, and an aura extending out to 40 squares that largely negates flying and keeps flyers within reach of it's attacks. this is important because the big T has no ranged ability whatsoever. I believe it's possible for someone using a longbow to still try and kite him, but that's always fixable on the fly by extending the aura...

The Tarrasque has a will defense of 32. It's more then a little ridiculously low (11 points lower then AC! 17 points lower then Fort!) and it's another thing I'd be inclined to shore up a bit before using the monster.

Also fun, Big T is immune to all charm and fear effects, and has resist 10 to all damage. It's attacks ignore all damage resistance in turns. At it's core, it's a really cool monster.

It moves at a relatively slow (for it's size) 8 speed, but it can burrow and climb at the same rate, assuming it could possibly find something big enough to climb on.

So, standard bite attack does 1d12+16 and ongoing 15 damage. For a level 30 solo? I'd make that at least 2d12+16 I think. It also has Fury of the Tarrasque, which for some stupid reason is a 1/3 recharge power. Fury allows the Tarrasque to add a second attack to it's normal bite, either a Rending Bite for 3d12+16 and a -5 AC penalty for one round, or a tail slap vs Fort for the same damage plus push 4 squares and knock prone.

Yeah, this shouldn't be a recharge power, at all. I'd make it at-will in addition to upping the damage on the basic bite attack.

He also has a trample attack he should never use, because holy crap it's terrible. Draw multiple OA's for a chance to do 1d12+16 and knock prone? No. Not happening.

After becoming bloodied, the Tarrasque loses Fury in exchange for Frenzy, allowing him to bite every creature in a burst 3. It's a solid upgrade and I like it, assuming the bite damage gets fixed a bit.

The Tarrasque's final "ability" is just a note that upon reaches 0 HPs, it sinks back to the core of the world and falls asleep again, until the next time.

He needs some work, but still, I'm a sucker for the big Godzilla wannabe and I'd love to use him some day. He's also the only abomination in the entire section that really manages to feel like a rampaging super weapon.

Next up to bat--Angels. I'll try and do them all together for a change.
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Commentary on the Tarasque...

Bite: 22.5 + 15 ongoing.
Call that 47.5 damage per hit.

This is much higher than it looks. Over half of the damage potential of the Bite is in the ongoing damage.

Fury: recharge 56, so gets ~2.5 uses before bloodied.
47.5 + 31.5 damage = 78.5 damage if everything hits.

You'll note that despite doing 3d12+ bonus damage, these powers actually deal less damage than the bite.

Trample: Ya, at best a flavour ability.

Frenzy: Call it hitting 4 targets. Secondary targets get 50% value, so 2.5 times the damage output. The ongoing damage is likely to be worth less -- reduce bite value to 42.5 to reflect overlapping bite ongoing damage.

Total: 106.25 damage credit on a full hit.

1.5 Bites, 2.5 Furies, 6 Frenzies in 8 rounds.
= 905, divide by 8 = 113.125 Damage credit per round on full hits.

As a level 30 solo brute: (7+2*L)*3.5 = 234.5 full-hit DPR to be a significant threat to level 30 players.

This monster's damage output is close to what a level 30 elite brute should be doing, by my reckoning.

Proposed fixes:
1> Boost mobility, to make kiting less viable. Base speed of 10, and the trample should be double movement speed.

2> Bite should slow opponents as part of the 15 damage, to make kiting even harder.

3> Tail Slap should be a free reaction to being attacked within reach (!)

4> Boost will to 37 (still abysmally low for a level 30 monster - L+7).

5> Boost earthbinding aura to 100 range.

This makes it a decent solo. Able to move 30 squares/turn via move+trample, reacting to attacks with tail slaps (knocking melee characters prone)... but with abysmal Reflex and Will, quite vunerable to certain kinds of attacks.

Note that the trample option is now quite viable -- if you take the OAs, the Tarrasque gets to Tail Slap you!

With 4 Tail Slaps/round, the damage potential of the Tarrasque is boosted to about 200 / round (counting secondary target damage at 50%), which is enough to threaten a level 30 party as a Brute.


The donuts speak to me!
Yeah, as is the Tarrasque is a subpar solo monster which sucks as it's often played up as a land based Leviathan. An eternally hungry monster that if it awakens can threaten the world. I like Yak's ideas. Those could definately give the poor thing a boost to actually make the players fear it. It's damage output is much much too low as it currently is.

Edit: And damnit, I like that first Dagon! Why couldn't they have a D&D4E sized version of him?


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I'd probably make the tail slap a reaction instead of a free action and boost the bite damage some, but good suggestions all the same.

And yes, that first Dagon figure is amazing.

(Angels will be up in the morning)


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I made the tail slap a free action so it could be used while trampling.

It does end up being too much of the tarrasque's damage output, however.

If we got rid of free tail slap, the tarrasque needs some other upgrade.


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Angels Ah, Angels. One of the biggest changes in 4th edition, what with the blank faces, frequently metallic wings, no real lower anatomy, and most of all, alignment-any.

The description says that Angels can have either Masculine or Feminine features, but I've yet to see an angel depiction in 4th edition that is even slightly feminine. Lets see what else we have...

Angels exist as expressions of the Astral Sea, sentient energy in humanoid form. This is actually pretty cool. Sentient energy formed of pure astral stuff? I can dig it.

Different types of Angels have different callings, they are literally manifestations of celestial vocations. This is a good concept in theory, even if in practice we end up mostly with Angels of battle, Angels of Fighting, Angels of Bravery in Battle, Angels of Killing Stuff Dead with Swords, Angels of Protection Through Superior Stabbery, Angels of Dispassionate Killing, Angels of Killing While Totally Mad About It, ect.

During the great war between the Gods and the Primordials, angels offered themselves as warriors to the gods that best encompassed their callings. Cool stuff, but note the caveat above. Presumably the Angels of serving Ioun are the "Angels of Stabbing People While Reading Books" or "Angels of Being Really Hardcore Librarians" or some such.

Today they continue to act as mercenary forces for anyone willing to meet their price--be it wealth, or power, or a cause worthy of their attention. Ok, this is stupid. Working for causes is quite cool, but power? Money is even worse. These are beings of pure sentient energy. What do they need cash for? Bling? Booze? Collectible Miniatures? Concert Tickets? "Be ye not afraid, mortals, for I have come here to ROCK."

Angels have a couple of distinctive features. All Angels have flight+hover, minor resistance to radiant damage, the ability to speak Supernal, and Angelic Presence -2 penalty to all attacks against the Angel unless bloodied. All Angels are immune to fear, because angels are fear.

They also almost always use swords, just cause angels are all about the stabby-stabby. Nearly all Angels are trained in intimidation, because see above.

In the first Monster Manual, All Angels are heroic to paragon level opponents. It wasn't until MM 2 that we got any Angels in even the low epic range.

Angel of Battle Angel Designation, Wheenie

I'll get right down to it. The Angel of Battle is the first example of a very common problem in the first Monster Manual, which I like to call "Mid-level Paragon Monster who hits like a little girl"

Awesome typo that gave this Angel double it's intended HP's aside, the Angel of Battle is a level 15 Skirmisher (Leader) whose primary attack does 1d10+5. As a point of reference, the Hobgoblin Soldier is a level 3 Soldier that does 1d10+4. Yeah.

Pansy-ass Swordmanship aside, this Angel does have a few interesting features. They can make one enemy grant combat advantage to everybody once per round as a free action after making an attack, and they have mobile melee attack that basically allows to use very effective hit and run tactics.

They also have a very nice encounter power in Storm of Blades which lets them do 6d8+7 damage in a close burst 3, but it shatters their wings and basically wrecks their mobility for the rest of the battle.

The lore entry for Angels of Battle indicates that they enjoy (gasp!) battle, and often take a leadership role, because the Astral Heavens know they aren't good for anything else but backseat driving and suicide attacks. They're also basically just the upgraded version of Angels of Valor.

The second lore entry is a neat little note that no God sends an Angel of Battle as a signal of negotiation. Angels of Battle showing always means that It's on even if they've got nothing to back it up.

Angel of Protection Angel Designation, Bodyguard

There's a note here about how Angels of Protection can be found guarding both people and places but honestly, they aren't good for anything except meatshielding so I can't imagine the temple protection portion of their resume is all that hot.

Unlike most angels who are only trained in stabbing people and threatening to stab people, Angels of Protection also have insight, because an easily bluffed bodyguard is a terrible bodyguard. "Astral Stalker Steve is totally not here to kill head priest and put his skull on Steve's trophy shelf. Astral Stalker Steve only here to deliver pizza."

The Angel of Protection is a level 14 Soldier. It's primary ability is to designate any target as it's Ward. This gives the ward a +2 bonus to AC and allows the Angel to absorb half the damage inflicted on the target. The Angel of Protection also radiates difficult terrain out to 5 squares when near their charge.

Other then that, they just have a basic Greatsword attack for 1d10+6 +5 Radiant, which is still better then the Angel of Battle.

Lets look at the lore entries. "An Angel of Protection never steps outside the role of guardian and caretaker"

Angel of Protection! Dude! I've got a hot date! Can't you just stay home for once?

I must always be at your side, master. Please wear a hat, it's cold outside. Also, you've not been eating your vegetables lately. No dessert until you finish all your squash!

I hate squash! And you can't come on my date!

It is my duty to protect you with my life, and so I must remain with you at all times.

Ok, ok, fine, I get it. But why does the painter have to come along too?

This is a special moment of your life. I wanted something to commemorate the occasion.

You don't understand anything! I hate you! Astral Stalker Stevina will never like me now!

/end scene

The Lore states that the Ward is normally chosen either by it's God or the one who summons the angel, who can only be separated from it's Ward by death.

The second lore entry suggests that while normally only a God or other powerful being can assign an Angel of Protection, sometimes a simple heartfelt prayer is enough to provide protection for a short time. (Cool hook, that) Just be warned that if your prayers are ever answered, you don't want to know what happens to the moron who tries twisting the Angels service to his own ends. If Ioun sends you an Angel of Protection, you'd better treat books with respect, dammit!

Angel of Valor Angel Designation, Redshirt

Angels of Battle are the crappy rank and file of angelkind, and are treated strictly as minions outside of the heroic tier. Pretty lousy minions at that. The level 21 minion only does 9 fire damage, and has nothing special to offer except flight and minor resistant to fire and radiant damage.

The basic Angel of Valor is a level 8 soldier armed with blazing sword and dagger. They have resist 10 fire as well as radiant, and the ability to attack with both weapons as a standard action. (1d8+6/1d4+6) Yes, this means even the crappiest of Angels does more damage then the Angel of Battle outside of their admittedly nasty wing explosion.

They have an encounter power that does 1d8+4 lightning damage plus daze in a close burst one, and gain the ability to convert their melee attacks to fire damage vs reflex when bloodied. They're actually pretty cool and quite solid for a level 8 monster, even if they're soldiers with no real stickiness to speak of.

Angel of Vengeance Angel Designation, Ass-Kicker

Finally, we get to my favorite Angel entry in this book. The initial descriptions states that Angels of Vengeance are used to excessively murderize those who piss off a diety, as well as punishing disloyalty and even failure among the devout. This is the angel no one wants to meet, ever, in other words.

Lets see here. Level 19 Elite Brute. About 450 HPs. Immune to disease and fear and resist 15 to Cold, Fire, and Radiant.

Basic longsword attack from the Angel of Vengeance does 1d10+9 +1d8 fire+1d8 cold. Fire and Ice all wrapped up in one nasty package. They also get double attack as a standard action and have a very mean encounter power called Sign of Vengeance.

The Sign allows them to mark one target for the duration of the encounter and then teleport to the target from any distance as a move action. They have an additional Encounter power called Coldfire Pillar which is a free action close burst two for 1d8+9 cold and 1d8+9 fire upon being bloodied. The pillar also renders the angel immune to all damage until the start of it's next turn.

The Angel of Vengeance also gets an upgraded version of angelic presence that does 1d8 cold and 1d8 fire to anyone hitting him in melee, because he's just a stone cold badass of an angel.

In short, this angel is why turning against your God just because your powers can't be taken away is often a fatal mistake. A God might even send one to "test" someone who is danger of falling off the path, and lets just say the penalty for failing the test is a one way trip to the Shadowfell.

The higher lore entry indicates that high-ranking clergy can also summon Angels of Vengeance using a ritual, which I imagine adds an interesting new layer to church politics.
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This is a good concept in theory, even if in practice we end up mostly with Angels of battle, Angels of Fighting, Angels of Bravery in Battle, Angels of Killing Stuff Dead with Swords, Angels of Protection Through Superior Stabbery, Angels of Dispassionate Killing, Angels of Killing While Totally Mad About It, ect.

[ What do they need cash for? Bling? Drugs? Collectible Miniatures? Concert Tickets? "Be ye not afraid, mortals, for I have come here to ROCK..
All in favor of renaming all angels to the above names? Say Aye!

Also an Angel of Rock would be totally metal. \m/ O \m/ (And not just because of the wings)


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Storm of Blades is going to hit about 4 targets, so x2.5 multiplier.
34 base damage, *2.5 = 85 damage credit.
10.5 damage on the base attack, times 7 rounds is 107.5 total damage credit over 8 rounds, for an average of 13.4375.

My baseline is 5+1.5*L. A level 15 is then 27.5 -- this creature is at 50% of the target of "being able to threaten an even-level defender-HP, striker-AC target after 8 rounds".

To improve it, I'd add in a minor action (1/round) Blade Slice for another 1d8+5 damage. That gets us up to 22.9375. Up the sword attack to 2d8 makes this skirmisher deal enough damage to be a real threat.

12.75 from the encounter power (2 targets)
19.5 per round from the double-slice, times 7.
149.25 over 8 rounds, or 18.7 credit per round.

The vs reflex and fire damage is gravy.

As a level 8 soldier, their damage credit per round should be about 12. A non-soldier might have a damage credit around 17 -- basically, this Valor angel is probably too strong for a level 8 (and, as noted, it lacks stickiness).

Hmm. The -2 to attacks while non-bloodied is something I didn't factor in. That makes up a small tad for the Battle, and makes Valor even more gross.

(I hope you don't mind -- I am enjoying trying a quantitative approach next to the great qualitative review you are doing, so I can see if my quantitative appraoch is on crack or not!)
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