Animal stats for 4e woohoo!

…and they’re in the strangest of places. Wizards’ August Preview post contains a little teaser for their upcoming Adventurer’s Vault, and one of the entries given (alongside the lovely brutal Executioner’s Axe – perfect for Dragonborn Fighters everywhere) is info about the Bag of Tricks. This is a useful little item lets the user pull out a creature who can then act on their command. There’s also this little snippet:

A conjured creature is a minion (MM 282). It has no healing surges and cannot be healed, and it cannot gain temporary hit points.

To my mind at least, this helps clarify whether Minions can gain temporary hit points or not. Nice to see they’ve fixed that one.

The important thing though is there’s a real, official “Tiny Animal” stat block, complete with a handful of critters listed. To whit:

Roll a d8 to determine which beast is produced and modify its statistics accordingly:
1: Bat; this creature also has a fly speed of 6.
2: Rat; this creature also has darkvision.
3: Cat; this creature also knocks the target prone on a hit.
4: Weasel; this creature does not provoke opportunity attacks for moving.
5: Snake; this creature also deals 2 poison damage on a hit.
6: Badger; this creature gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls.
7: Spider; this creature also has a climb speed of 6.
8: Scorpion; this creature deals ongoing 1 poison damage (save ends) on a hit.

Conjured Critter (Gray Bag) Level 8 Minion
Tiny natural beast
Initiative as conjurer Senses Perception +8; low-light vision
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion.
AC 18; Fortitude 17, Reflex 18, Will 16 Speed 6
M Bite or Claw (standard; at-will) +11 vs. AC; 4 damage.
Alignment Unaligned Languages

Str 6 (+2) Con 11 (+4) Int 2 (+0) Dex 12 (+5) Wis 9 (+3) Cha 6 (+2)

I’m not sure about the idea of a Cat knocking prone a target if they hit (Has that ever happened? Ever? Bloody big cat if it has!), but the rest looks good to me.

What’s great about having a decent Animal statblock (which should oh-so have been in the MM in the first place!) is it’s Templating opportunities. While this is less of an issue in 4e than it was in 3e, it’s great to have something official to base those warped and fantastical critters on.

For example:

Feyborn Badger Level 8 Elite Skirmisher
Tiny natural beast
Initiative +5 Senses Perception +8; low-light vision
HP 75; Bloodied 36
AC 20; Fortitude 18, Reflex 20, Will 18 Speed 6; Action Point 1
M Bite or Claw (standard; at-will) +12 vs. AC; 1d4+2 damage.
Alignment Unaligned Languages

Str 6 (+2) Con 11 (+4) Int 2 (+0) Dex 12 (+5) Wis 9 (+3) Cha 6 (+2)

Step through the Mists (move; encounter)  The feyborn creature teleports up to 3 squares.
M Undeniable Beauty (immediate interrupt, when feyborn creature is targeted by a melee attack; at will)
+10 vs. Will against the attacker; the attacker must target a different creature or end its attack.
R Lure of the Wild (standard; recharge  6)   ranged 10; level + 2 vs. Will. The target is pulled 5 squares and is dazed (save ends).

The work of moments. Way to go, Wizards’! :)

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