Solo monsters and the ho-hum single turn

Trampier-BugbearA while back Mike’s Mind posted an idea of giving solo monsters more actions. I like the idea.

I find that typically the solo fights end up a tad boring. The excitement winds down as it becomes a slugfest to get rid of that last sliver of HP. Sometimes a well prepared party with plenty of tactics can chew through one. It just doesn’t make for memorable fights.

Quite a few people have posted similar problems. Usually most fights tend to drag on, and it becomes more of a matter of endurance than an exciting fight of maneuvering and cool attacks. The general consensus seems to be reducing the HP, and beefing up the damage by 1/2 a level for most brute-like creatures a good way to keep fights shorter and still remain a bit dangerous.

However adding a few extra actions outside the typical single initiative turn is something that would definitely shake up a solo combat. Yet, I still think having a ton of full extra turns might be a little overkill. I decided to tinker with the concept a bit.

I break down solo monsters to having a regular turn, and a bonus turn. At the start of the combat you roll multiple initiatives for the creature, one for each type of turn the monster gets. A regular turn is just that. The creature gets a standard action, a move action, and a minor action. A bonus turn can be either 1 standard action, 1 move action and a minor action, or 2 minor actions.

Depending on the level range of the solo monster, it will have varying bonus turns. A heroic solo gets 1, a paragon monster gets 2, and an epic creature gets 3. These are tacked on in addition to the regular turn each solo monster gets.

In the end you get a creature that is a lot more mobile and can dish out a few more attacks per round. Don’t discount the extra mobility, as it can likely lead to extra opportunity attacks against the group. The maneuvering and positioning is a big part of 4E. I think allowing that big bad solo monster a few extra actions during the turn something that’ll add a little excitement to a fight.


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