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    Default Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    It has been established that all non-minion creatures have one healing surge per tier, but "few monsters have powers that let them spend healing surges." That doesn't rule out the option to use second wind, however.

    That leads to a few questions. What circumstances make this a practical option for monsters? When there are no other options for a standard action, sure, but is it otherwise something to be reserved for a minimum hit point total or creatures using pack tactics?

    Are there times it shouldn't be used, such as for solo or elite monsters, or should it be considered a standard tactic in particular for the arsenal of those foes?

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    The answer is "Unless otherwise noted in the statistics block of a monster or a nonplayer character, this action is available only to player characters." PHB 1, page 291, right column, second paragraph under "Second Wind."
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    I'd use this really really rarely, mostly for NPCs or they occasional befriended monster.

    It makes combat drag. That and monster surges for solos should be equivalent to the striker's nova round, and taking that away from them is just sorta mean without a good reason.

    Our homerule, and I don't know where we got it from, is that monsters have two surges. That's for the PCs to let them spend though, or if combat breaks down and they get a short rest.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Huh. Well, that rule is getting thrown out. Seriously, why mention a feature a monster has but is never allowed to use? Funny that was omitted from the entry in the Essentials books.

    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Huh. Well, that rule is getting thrown out.
    Why throw out a rule that prevents combat from being dragged out even longer?

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Huh. Well, that rule is getting thrown out. Seriously, why mention a feature a monster has but is never allowed to use?
    Ever play 3e?

    I imagine they gave monsters surges because monsters do occasionally escape or surrender to PCs, so it is useful to know how much a monster can heal between fights. Once in a blue moon, that is.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    Why throw out a rule that prevents combat from being dragged out even longer?
    I think he means throw out the 'monsters have healing surges', not the 'monsters can't Second Wind'. The surges are irrelevant and useless without a way to spend them, so there's no point in having them mentioned at all.
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroNumerous View Post
    Why throw out a rule that prevents combat from being dragged out even longer?
    Blame all the healing options, including second wind, available to PCs for that. The problem isn't remembering this bit of advice from the 1st edition DMG: "Always give the monsters an even break!"

    Most creatures are two to three hits and dead, hit far more often than not. That was boring in 3rd edition, and still tedious in 4th. The fight should last long enough for players to become bored with taking the same action over and over, rather than trying to make use out of one or more terrain features and the skill challenge opportunities.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    All monsters have healing surges but most of them can't use them. If say your party of enraged satyrs was working with a unicorn, they could spend a healing surge through the unicorn's healing power. But a unicorn can only heal once per encounter, so yeah.

    It says this in the first few pages of MM.
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Katana_Geldar View Post
    It says this in the first few pages of MM.
    No, it says that they don't have access to healing powers. Second wind is covered in the PHB for some reason, probably related to PC favouritism.

    Kind of like the action point in that regard.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Rules Compendium, page 248, is rather clear on the matter.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    If you really wanna make your players hate you, take a Solo monster and give it Second Wind. Bonus points if you make it a swift action or free action. Additional bonus points if they happen to be wearing the cloak of the walking wounded that your group's tank wants...
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    If you really wanna make your players hate you, take a Solo monster and give it Second Wind. Bonus points if you make it a swift action or free action. Additional bonus points if they happen to be wearing the cloak of the walking wounded that your group's tank wants...
    Or you know, let them eat minions to spend a healing surge and then provide plenty of minions

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikau013 View Post
    Or you know, let them eat minions to spend a healing surge and then provide plenty of minions
    I like that as well. Is there an actual monster that has mechanics to do that? lol
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelRogue View Post
    Rules Compendium, page 248, is rather clear on the matter.
    If by clear you mean the only place where books that reprint page after page from one another... don't, then sure.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    At any rate, 4e seems to be moving away from any mechanic which could extend the duration of a fight. For instance, I believe dragons lost their fire resistance. Instead, they create some sort of fireburst when hit. The end result is a faster and grittier fight.

    Otherwise, yeah, imagine if Orcus could somehow tap into his 3 surges...

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    At any rate, 4e seems to be moving away from any mechanic which could extend the duration of a fight. For instance, I believe dragons lost their fire resistance. Instead, they create some sort of fireburst when hit. The end result is a faster and grittier fight.

    Otherwise, yeah, imagine if Orcus could somehow tap into his 3 surges...
    Wow really?


    I need to get my hands on essentials I guess, just to see what they changed :/
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Monsters/NPCs having surges is about the last drop of verosimilitude 4e tried to pull. 'Sure, you can use your powers to heal the young man'
    If not for this, the players' healing powers would only work on the players.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    If by clear you mean the only place where books that reprint page after page from one another... don't, then sure.
    I only referenced RC because it's my go-to reference (it's the only Essentials product I own, actually). It is stated equally clear in the PHB, page 291.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    Wow really?

    I need to get my hands on essentials I guess, just to see what they changed :/
    Here's the red dragon excerpt.

    http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.a.../4ex/20101025b

    My bad, it still has fire resistance. It lost its frightful presence (because stun is bad?!?) and is much harder to disable.

    Must have confused this with some designer babble on enworld (there was one thread suggesting that fire elementals lose their fire resistance).

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    Huh. Well, that rule is getting thrown out. Seriously, why mention a feature a monster has but is never allowed to use? Funny that was omitted from the entry in the Essentials books.

    Thanks.
    Here's the thing: monsters CAN use their healing surges. Most of them cannot use Second Wind, but they can still use healing surges outside of combat. So really, the healing surges are there in case the players retreat from combat, heal up, then come back. It lets the monsters also spend a healing surge to sort of keep up in that regards, in case the players employ a tactic that allows them to beat the monsters down, retreat, then come back and finish them off with full resources again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    Otherwise, yeah, imagine if Orcus could somehow tap into his 3 surges...
    There'd be no difference; he would still die in one round before he gets to act.
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Runestar View Post
    Here's the red dragon excerpt.

    http://www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.a.../4ex/20101025b

    My bad, it still has fire resistance. It lost its frightful presence (because stun is bad?!?) and is much harder to disable.
    I think that the general idea of frightful presence was to let the dragon get an extra round in before stunlock. By letting it get rid of its lockdown conditions, and giving it that secondary small turn, it has the extra attacks and mobility.

    Also, I highly recommend things similar to the red dragon's extra bite attack (a secondary turn where the monster can only do one of one or two actions) is a good way to boost elites and solos that you custom make.


    Quote Originally Posted by Seerow View Post
    I like that as well. Is there an actual monster that has mechanics to do that? lol
    I know that in the DMG2 there's a theme ability you can give that lets a monster munch minions to gain temp hp equal to something times the minions level.
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    The Gnoll Fleshgorger can deal damage to allies to heal itself as a minor action, which tends to translate to "eat minions for HP."
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Talyn View Post
    The Gnoll Fleshgorger can deal damage to allies to heal itself as a minor action, which tends to translate to "eat minions for HP."
    Except biting another Fleshgorger is a better idea. They deal 5 to heal 10, two fleshgorgers can have a constant supply of 5 new HP.

    Also make an elite monster using 1 of the PC leaders, when you use an Healing/Inspiring/Majestic Word to fix up all the brutes damage just watch the player's faces.
    Last edited by Cuaqchi; 2010-12-06 at 08:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    One healing surge isn't going to help a monster facing a heroic tier party that has healed up and renewed encounter powers. Sure, the monster also recovers encounter powers, but that loses out in a war of attrition against a party.

    I'm not saying every monster should use second wind, given the option. I am saying the option should be there, and that players are ill served by counting on monsters to die more quickly and recover less.

    A steady diet of quick fights misses out on so much. A skill challenge that can make a fight easier will be ignored unless the fight will "drag" -- or the challenge is required to have any hope of winning, which is a no-no for good reasons. Likewise, it gives people time to appreciate terrain options.

    Why call a monster a skirmisher if it's only good for a three round battle?

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    One healing surge isn't going to help a monster facing a heroic tier party that has healed up and renewed encounter powers. Sure, the monster also recovers encounter powers, but that loses out in a war of attrition against a party.
    Of course it helps. Do the PCs have the advantage? Yes, but the monsters at least regain some hit points. That helps.

    I'm not saying every monster should use second wind, given the option. I am saying the option should be there, and that players are ill served by counting on monsters to die more quickly and recover less.
    Some monsters already have Second Wind. Unfortunately, (as far as I can remember), those are all Elites and Solos with a lot of hit points, so all it does is really make the combat drag.

    Why call a monster a skirmisher if it's only good for a three round battle?
    And, really, this is the problem with giving Second Wind to a non-elite or solo. It doesn't make a difference. Can the second wind (even including +2 defenses) make the monster survive more than one round longer than if he had not used the second wind? Otherwise, all you have done is made the combat go longer with no advantage to the monsters.

    Let me try giving an example. Say your monster has 1 more hit until he dies and you have 5 players. He has an option: attack or use second wind. If, when he uses second wind, he does not survive 6 attacks then his use of second wind accomplished nothing but to make the combat longer. If he survives 7 or more attacks, then he's net gained for him and his team.

    On average, does a normal monster take less than 25% hit point loss from all of team PC's attacks in a round? No, therefore letting a normal monster use second wind in combat is a really bad idea. All you succeed in doing is making the fight last longer while having the PC's use less resources (they take less attacks due to the monsters taking 1 less swing at them).
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Second Wind works in some occasions for monsters. Take the Bulette for example.

    With it's ability to burrow underground and make emerging attacks it can spend a round underground to heal up then punch back into the fray.

    It also works for tank monsters, brutes and the like, which have backup from weaker monsters.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sipex View Post
    Second Wind works in some occasions for monsters. Take the Bulette for example.

    With it's ability to burrow underground and make emerging attacks it can spend a round underground to heal up then punch back into the fray.

    It also works for tank monsters, brutes and the like, which have backup from weaker monsters.
    Eh, not quite. Since if it has other friends, the PCs will just focus-fire on them and take one down. If it has no other friends, the PCs will ready an action for when he appears, so he really actually loses (since Second Wind +2 defense ends at the start of his next turn).

    As for tank monsters, team monster still loses due to the reason I outlined above. It doesn't matter that he survives for two extra attacks, since all that's managed to happen is to cause less damage to the players, thereby saving them resources at the expense of making the combat last longer.
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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Well, my bulette encounter was two bulettes so I was actually able to alternate it. One burrowed to heal while the other attacked as normal. When it took enough damage they switched.

    That said, against well co-ordinated PCs, monsters don't usually stand a chance anyways.

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    Default Re: Monsters Using Second Wind (4e)

    Quote Originally Posted by Shatteredtower View Post
    I'm not saying every monster should use second wind, given the option. I am saying the option should be there, and that players are ill served by counting on monsters to die more quickly and recover less.
    You are of course free to run your game however you want, but a word to the wise: don't be surprised if your players become rather irate with you. (Read: that's an understatement.)

    Monsters don't normally get to use their surges in combat because they have a lot more hps than PCs have. The game is intentionally designed this way. So personally if I had a DM who gave monsters Second Wind, I'd say "If monsters can use my PC power, I can use monster hps right?"

    Your experience is that combat is too short; but this is not a universal experience. Every 4e combat I've had has been at least a bit too long for my taste; to the point where I often use monsters recklessly, have them run away after becoming bloodied or outright shave hps from their stat blocks.

    So at the very least, you should talk to your players about this. Find out what they think of combat length. And if they also think it's too short, I suggest adding hps rather than Second Wind.

    And to answer your 'why call it a skirmisher if it only lasts x rounds?' Well, why call it a controller if it can't really control PCs? (Most of them can only hinder PCs.) Why call it a spell book if you can't write new spells in it? Why call them hit points if they don't always represent hits? Because it's just a name. I'm not sure why you think skirmishers should last longer than other monsters, but don't sweat it because it's just a label.

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