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4E DnD Arena DM Rules

When DMing in a campaign, you must scale your monsters' actions to their intelligence, to the players, and a host of other factors. In arena, you don't. Monsters can be used with the most ruthless efficiency that you can devise. Even monsters like zombies can go for flanks. No role-playing necessary (unless you wanna make zombie noises, which is fine). Alignment is unimportant too. You might have a group of Angels of Light for your encounter group. They will tear into the (good-aligned or not) PC's just as much as a group of cyclops would.
Anything within the scope of the game's rules is allowed, with a few exceptions. Notably the DM can't attack character who are dying (see the general rules for more on this).
The acting DM does have incentive to kill his former comrades in arms. Whenever a character is killed, the DM gains a reward based on that character's level. The DM gets 100 gold x CL and 150 experience x CL. This experience can be applied and divided among all his/her active characters. Plus there is a season award for "Most DM Kills", the benefit of which is pretty strong.

DM Tips

However, since most players have never DM'd it may be tough to manage multiple monsters all at once. This becomes particularly difficult since monsters go by a different set of rules. Here are some of the various rules that apply to DMs that you should look out for.
  • Monsters do have healing surges, but they can't use them like players, in fact they rarely come into play.
  • Some monsters have action points. Unlike players, monsters can use multiple action points during an encounter, but only one per round.
  • Some monsters regenerate, this occurs at the start of the turn if they have at least 1 hit point.
  • Some monsters have "recharge" powers, which either recharge after certain circumstances (usually "when bloodied") or sometimes they have little six-sided dice icons next to them. To recharge those, you roll a six-sided at the start of its turn. If you roll a value equal to one of the illustrated dice, that power immediately becomes available again. This is important since these are usually powerful powers.
  • Monsters use little symbols to determine if a power is melee, ranged, close, or area. Check the symbols at the front of a monster manual to find out which is which. If that symbol has a circle around it, it is a basic attack, meaning you can use it during an opportunity attack.
  • Monsters have a "role" listed in their stat block. They are either an artillery, brute, controller, lurker, skirmisher, or soldier. These give you a general idea how to use the monster. Artilllery and controllers should stay back, skirmishers should tactically skirt around the battle, soldiers and brutes go head to head on the front line. Lurkers use tricky moves to stay out of combat. Playing each appropriately is the start of a general battle strategy.