A Very Brief Review of the New Monster Builder

Cubicle monkey that I am, I only had about ten minutes to pounce on the new Monster Builder released today.  I have been looking forward to this because while the Character Builder had a rocky start – it clearly had a lot of potential even from Day One. I had hoped to see at least as much potential in the new Monster Builder. I didn’t expect anything as versatile as the classic Monster Builder – but I expected a reasonable amount of functionality. I thought I was being fair minded in my hopes for it by being neither overly optimistic or purely pessimistic.

Boy, was I ever overly optimistic.

I don’t have time to write much, but here’s the list I jotted down while perusing the new Monster Builder.

CONS

  • No export
  • No copy/paste
  • No filter by level
  • No ability to print multiple monsters all at once
  • No ability to create new monsters
  • No real customization of existing monsters
    • Change level, automatically recalculates numbers
    • Rename monster
    • Rename attack powers
  • Glitchy
    • Monster block randomly jumps back and forth in the center column, clipping off the right side of the block.

Pros

  • New monster stats (that the Compendium already has)
  • Import custom monsters from classic MB (not tested)
  • Monsters are saved online (yay?)
  • Some monsters have monster art! (actually great!)

That’s it. As I commented on Twitter, the new Monster Builder does not qualify for the term “builder”. It is a Monster Namer. It barely functions as a database of monsters, and the Compendium does a better job for searching and filtering the monster database and it doesn’t require Silverlight. I can rename attack powers with Wordpad, or with a pencil, any day.

From WotC_Trevor:

Over the next few months we will be adding features and content until we meet, and in some ways surpass, what the classic Monster Builder offered.

I hope so! Until sometime happens, there really is no reason right now to use the Monster Namer over the classic Monster Builder.

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One thought on “A Very Brief Review of the New Monster Builder

  1. Very concise review. You laid out all the complaints I read on community site yesterday about this and fleshed them out better.
    Just like my comments about the online character builder, I think the same applies to this tool. Ultimately, underneath, this is a database and they need to get that built and then make a really great interface. What is so hard abou t building a database for wotc or recognizing a need for one? To anyone that is in IT I would think this is obvious.

    Make a great, consistent database of monsters, if you have art, put it in there. If you have a backstory for their origin, put it in there. If you have possible plot hooks, put em in there. And then leave openings in the database to add it for the stuff you don’t have right now.

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