View Full Version : 4E Animals/Monsters vs. Magic Items

Duos Greanleef
2009-11-16, 01:37 PM
I have an interesting, albeit fairly common, character concept.
My party is about to begin an Eberron campaign. So as I was deciding what to play, I stumbled across the Vadalis Griffonmaster Paragon Path. I really like this path and am excited to play it, but my party needed a defender. I'm a hybrid fighter/ranger. I needed a good backstory to go with it. Here's what I've got:

In the Last War, I was in training to become a Griffonmaster, then the war ended. I didn't work strictly with griffons though; I handled all sorts of beasts. And I was good at it.
Without an outright need for griffonmasters any longer, I decided to turn my eyes to fortune. I intend to find a place to set up a new Vadalis ranch. I'll be adventuring with my party to raise money and to scout a good place to open my ranch. I have no particular taste for magic items aside from sale value, but that won't do me much good at 1/5 value.
Here's where my main question comes into play:
I've compared lots of things in the MM1, PHB1, AV1, and ECG. Monsters of a certain level cost the same as magic items of equal level. Would they make good alternatives if a character wanted to, say, be a beastmaster and control lots of monsters.
My thoughts on the subject.
On one hand, I know that my overall stats will be lower because I won't have any magic items.
On the other hand, I'll have more actions because of more monsters.
On the backside of the last hand, if I'm not super efficient with the handling of my various characters, and beasts, the entire table could be terribly bogged down.
Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Questions?
Thanks in advance, Playground!

Kurald Galain
2009-11-16, 02:44 PM
On the other hand, I'll have more actions because of more monsters.
I'm afraid that you won't. Either you attack in your turn, or one of your monsters does, not both. Beastmaster ranger is not an exception to that, and neither is Vedalis Griffonmaster. Druid summons are, to some extent.

Simply put, you're not supposed to be able to play a "zookeeper" in 4E because it would be unbalanced to control much more figures than your teammates.

Aron Times
2009-11-16, 05:25 PM
The DMG2 has rules for companion characters, and with a little work, they can be used for animal companions. Basically, companion characters get their own set of actions, independent of the PCs, but in return, their XP value is deducted from the XP earned in each encounter.

Is this what you were looking for?

Duos Greanleef
2009-11-16, 11:12 PM
That is what I was looking for.
Thank you very much.