Under your bed. In your closet. Is it better to out-monster the monster or to be quietly devoured? This tag covers questions relating to monstrous antagonists.

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22
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3answers
2k views

How can I play monsters and NPCs up to their potential?

In many cases discussions about balance in 3.5 will, inevitably, involve one side or another invoking an anecdote of the time they fought this monster, or a member of that class, and they didn't ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What updates should be done to older monsters to bring them in line with MM3 era monsters?

I know that to better balance paragon and epic level players against similar level monsters, WotC changed the math used for monsters for MM3, and I believe that they changed some of the types of ...
5
votes
3answers
406 views

Is there any good place on the internet that hosts monster playtests?

I've been a DM for a while for 3.5. I've run many NPC characters, however only a small fraction of monsters out of the books (comparatively). Also, I like to use templates liberally as well as advance ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Resisted energy types and immunity

I would like to know the distribution of energy resistances and immunities in 3.5 monsters, and especially the four basic types fire, cold, electricity and acid. It is often said that fire is most ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Standard monster tactics for 4E D&D combat

In a similar vein to a question on tactics sources, I'm interested in knowing what are common tactics for monsters to use. The DMB and the MV mention monster groups, which are very useful, but I want ...
22
votes
6answers
9k views

Is it possible to actually kill a Tarrasque?

I've seen a good bit of conflicting information on this creature. Is it possible to actually kill it? Permanently? Is the answer to this something that varies from edition to edition of D&D?
14
votes
1answer
455 views

Are there guidelines for creating & customising MM3-style monsters?

I've heard that Monster Manual 3 came with an improved design philosophy for monsters (particularly solos), and there are questions about updating pre-MM3 monsters for MM3. I want to create and ...
9
votes
2answers
770 views

How to update a monster using the D&D4 Monster Builder?

I'm new to Monster Builder (part of Adventure Tools) and I'm hoping there is a good way to update pre MM3 monsters to the latest standards (in the errata). As an example, I'm trying to update the ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I make combat more challenging without making it too frustrating?

My fellow DMs and I have come across a problem. It feels like the party has been doing a good job of dispatching our monsters with relative ease. We are not upset about this part, our party has done ...
11
votes
8answers
475 views

10-100 Troglodytes is too many!

I'm picking on troglodytes as an example. In MMI, the number of troglodytes appearing in their lair(cave system/dungeon) is 10-100. Troglodytes are a nice, not-too-tough, HD2 monster with some ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

When do Lair Actions occur?

The Monster Manual describes Lair Actions as occurring "On initiative count 20 (losing all ties)..." (p 11). What does "initiative count 20" mean? I can't find that phrase anywhere in the PHB or in ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

How to make monsters with class levels?

Say I was trying to make a 3rd level Harpy bard. Do I remove its seven hit dice, feats, BAB and skills etc and start from scratch? Or do I add the class levels on top of all that? How does level ...
5
votes
1answer
267 views

How does one calm, then tame a Natural Beast?

I read in this question that to tame a Natural Beast creature that one must first calm, then tame, then train. Also, that this is achieved through an "extended" challenge. Is this true? And, if so, ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Would flying monsters ever land during combat?

Spooney asked this question in one of his podcasts, and I've started wondering about it myself. In a D&D 4.0 encounter, why would an at least moderately intelligent creature (including, but not ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Are there rules for skinning animals and making leather armor with the hide?

Recently I was DMing a game, and my players ran into a giant lizard. After they defeated it, they asked if they could skin the lizard and make it into armor. I basically just made it up on the fly; ...
5
votes
1answer
395 views

How many iterative attacks does an epic creature with class levels get?

A naztharune rakshasa (MM3 136-7) has from its Hit Dice a Base Attack Bonus of +11, 8 levels of rogue granting a Base Attack Bonus of +6, and 6 levels of scout (CW 10-13) granting a Base Attack Bonus ...
4
votes
2answers
289 views

About monster definition and distinctions

I was having a discussion with some guy and I argued that I think D&D made distinctions between monsters and regular characters since earlier editions, and it even employed different mechanics. ...
3
votes
3answers
301 views

Advancing a monster with spell-like abilities

I am interested in advancing an Efreeti to 16 HD and thus making it huge. My question is about advancing a monster with spell-like abilities. Would the caster level - currently 12 - increase by ...
50
votes
26answers
6k views

What alternatives are there to replace orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins in low-level encounters?

In your average "generic D&D" campaign and setting, orcs, kobolds, and hobgoblins are frequently used to stock low level adventures and dungeons. These are usually nice for 1st/2nd level ...
33
votes
11answers
1k views

What are some dangerous non-fantasy creatures?

We're running a fantasy game where the adventurers frequently travel through the wilderness. Too many of the threatening encounters they have are with fantasy creatures (like goblins, orcs, etc.). ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Should I tell the players the exact stats of monsters they fight?

When the party encounters a solitary and strong monster, should the GM state the monster's HP and armor? Or are all the calculations made by the GM secretly and represented only in the fiction ("He ...
20
votes
4answers
36k views

Calculating and balancing challenge ratings

Are there standard rules for calculating CR of groups? For example, in my Pathfinder bestiary, a single Stirge is listed as CR 1/2, and a group of 2d4 (average 5) of them is listed as an average CR 4. ...
35
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is Survival not a class skill for animals?

Question in title. Seems odd that an animal isn't naturally inclined to get bonuses to Survival, which typically involves dealing with the wilds and it's associated difficulties (an animal's natural ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

What is the correct way to calculate the Knowledge DC to identify a creature?

Something that has always confused me about the Knowledge skill in D&D 3.5 is that identifying a monster with advancement is more difficult only because the HD increase. The DC of the knowledge ...
6
votes
3answers
358 views

Can a construct be undestroyed?

The type construct includes this trait: Not at risk of death from massive damage. Immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less. (MM 307) Besides the 9th-level Clr spell miracle ...
3
votes
5answers
268 views

How can I make a shapeshifter that takes human forms?

I want to make an NPC who can change into different human forms. The concept I'm forming is the character is committing a string of murders, and the PCs have additional problems tracking the killer ...
20
votes
2answers
2k views

Were Illithids inspired by Cthulhu?

Mind Flayers seem to look a whole lot like Cthulhu. Is there any relationship/inspiration between the two?
17
votes
4answers
363 views

What furniture does a beholder have in its personal quarters?

A beholder's lair is made up of several chambers and... The farthest chamber from the entrance is the beholder’s personal quarters, where the creature sleeps and studies any magic treasure it has ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Does Petrifying Gaze special ability still work posthumously in D&D 3.5/Pathfinder?

Meaning can a PC use the severed head of a medusa or basilisk as a weapon to petrify his opponents?
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Need help finding a mind-controlling parasite

I need help finding a creature to play as a player in D&D 3.5. The idea is that it inserts itself into the brains/head/control center of other creatures. I was not able to find any stats for such ...
8
votes
1answer
358 views

Help finding D&D coin look-alike monster

I recall reading about a monster in AD&D 2e that was a gold piece, but had a stinger that existed in another plane of existence. The extra-planar stinger made the monster very difficult to detect ...
8
votes
1answer
656 views

How can I convert monsters from D&D 3.5 to d20 Modern?

What sort of issues would I run into if I wanted to co-opt some D&D 3.5 creatures into a D20 Modern setting? I'm looking mostly at devils, demons and some of the astral creatures. Will such ...
7
votes
2answers
923 views

The effects of saving throws on mind reading

A number of creatures in D&D systems (specific editions may not be necessary here, but let's use 3/3.5/3.75 for simplicity) have the ability to use spell or spell-like effects such as Detect ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

How many hit dice do monster player characters have?

Let's say we have party of humans and a minotaur(cr 4). Everybody is level 10, so according to Pathfinder's monsters as races rules minotaur should have 8th (let's say barbarian) level.And the ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Do Druid animal companions go up in size with HD and gain size-based stat increases?

I have an animal companion which has just gained its 5th HD. On page 291 of Monster Manual 1, the Improving Monsters section says that an increase in Size also changes stats. Do animal companions ...
13
votes
8answers
516 views

How do I use the same type of creature as characters level up without using more of them?

Is there a good formula/strategy for making monsters harder as characters level up without just throwing more of them? My kids, for example, love Kobolds but I just don't want combats of 30 of them.
12
votes
11answers
3k views

How do you make a vampire cleric stay dead?

In our current D&D 3.5 campaign we have made enemies with powerful drow vampire clerics. They have an annoying habit of resurrecting as their god is one who brings people back from the dead to ...
10
votes
11answers
1k views

How can I tailor an encounter so that a low level, mostly mundane party can defeat a wasp swarm?

I'm GM'ing a game with a large, mostly mundane party where all PCs at level 2. The party is made up of a good aligned cleric (i.e. no damage spells), wizard, druid (with wolf animal companion), monk, ...
8
votes
1answer
201 views

Under What Circumstances Do Additional Creatures Add to EL?

Question The Dungeon Master's Guide explains that DMs Do not award XP for creatures that enemies summon or otherwise add to their forces with magic powers. An enemy’s ability to summon or add ...
6
votes
2answers
806 views

Are Half-Elves immune to the paralyzing property of a Ghoul's Claw action?

The Ghoul's Claw attack in the Monster Manual (p.148) has the rider of forcing a save or paralyzing a creature if the target: ... is a creature other than an elf or undead ... My question is ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

D&D 5th Edition Modify Multiple Monster XP Encounter

I'm a new DM and finding it a bit difficult to challenge my group that wants the glorious battles style of game play. When I asked them what they wanted from the campaign, the consensus was that they ...
6
votes
2answers
625 views

How do vampire (monsters) take sunlight damage?

This isn't a question about the vampire class - it's about vampire monsters, e.g. Master Vampire or Elder Vampire Spawn. In both of those monsters, it says they are damaged by direct sunlight: ...
5
votes
2answers
204 views

How would one alter the stats on animated armor to reflect a wooden statue instead?

I want to hit my (low-level) players with an animated ship's figurehead. I was toying with stats for the Sea Hag, but an animated suit of armor might work better. I'm thinking the damage resistances ...
5
votes
1answer
376 views

Can player characters identify monsters?

In D&D 5e, I can't find a skill check for identifying monsters. (Other than Arcana for planar monsters). Can PCs identify monsters, and if so, what skill should they use? (Or is it just a Wis/Int ...
5
votes
1answer
379 views

Can any creature be tamed?

In my game, my PCs are always trying to tame a creature or monster with their Nature skill. Can any and all creatures/monsters be tamed and controlled/kept by using Nature or any other skill?
5
votes
2answers
868 views

What monster tokens are these?

Here is a snap shot of some monsters that I found while being bored today. I couldn't identify what the monsters were (sort of). the monster on the top left marked (3) turns out to be a "Vampire ...
4
votes
3answers
424 views

How long would it take to raise a Wyvern?

In the monster manual, it states that if you get it as a hatchling, you can raise a wyvern much easier but how long would that take? It doesn't state how old they can live and how long it takes an egg ...
1
vote
2answers
176 views

Help me buff out an Efreeti

Continuing the advancement of the efreeti in this question, I try to figure out the gains of an efreeti advanced to 16 HD. After advancing it and achieving the huge size as indicated by its new HD, I ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Is there a complete list detailing all Magical Beasts and Outsiders native to the Outer Planes?

I am looking to write a guide on the interaction between the Planar Shepherd and the various Outer Planes, but for this I am looking for an overview of all Magical Beasts and Outsiders native to said ...