So I'm attempting to create my own version of a Varakhut (it's veeeery loosely based on it) and I've come up against something.

When factoring in damage resistances, I want to give it resistance to bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from non-magical weapons. Does this count as one complete resistance, or 3 seperate resistances?


2 Answers 2


Multiple resistances only count once (by multiplying effective hit points)

If a monster has resistance or immunity to several damage types- especially bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons-and not all the characters in the party possess the means to counteract that resistance or immunity, you need to take these defenses into account when comparing your monster's hit points to its expected challenge rating. Using the Effective Hit Points Based on Resistances and Immunities table, apply the appropriate multiplier to the monster's hit points to determine its effective hit points for the purpose of gauging its final challenge rating. (DMG p. 277)

From the text above, giving the monster multiple resistances means they recommend that you multiply the effective HP by an amount determined by the expected CR of your monster.

So in other words, if you give your monster multiple resistances, you will multiply the effective HP of that monster based on the number in the table on p. 277 which requires you to estimate the CR of the monster you are creating. It doesn't seem to matter how many resistances you give it (as long as that number is greater than 1), the multiplier doesn't change for a given range of CRs for your monster.

This may seem a bit counter-intuitive given that you are trying to find the CR for your monster, but generally you should at least know the range you want the monster to be when you are creating it based upon the party level and composition etc. This result will then factor into the defensive and offensive challenge ratings for your monster which will determine its final CR as outlined in the rest of the "Creating Monsters" section of the DMG.

It is also worth noting that you need to take into consideration the party's ability to bypass these resistances when calculating the CR as mentioned also in the text excerpt above. For example, if your party has magic weapons, nonmagical BPS resistance means nothing.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "if you give your monster any resistances, you will multiply the effective HP of that monster" does not agree with the DMG. It says you should multiply the effective HP if the monster has resistance to several damage types, and particularly the nonmagical B-P-S combo, and the party isn't kitted out to just ignore that by dealing magical damage. If you gave the monster resistance to fire or just slashing or whatever, that isn't worth the +50%, and it also depends on the party's gear and abilities. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 29, 2017 at 16:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good catch. I have modified my response to reflect both of those things. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 29, 2017 at 16:36

Resistance here refers to the kind of damage a particular weapon inflicts on a successful attack. So, they would be separate resistances, and it's probably good for you as DM and for your players to see these declared separately. (Damage types are listed in Player's Handbook, p. 196)

However, in the Dungeon Master's Guide, P. 277, the example described treats multiple resistances just once when calculating Hit Points....

For example, a monster with an expected challenge rating of 6, 150 hit points, and resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons effectively has 225 hit points (using the 1.5 multiplier for resistances) for the purpose of gauging its final challenge rating.

...which would then affect the statistical inforation you have for your monster to calculate the final challenge rating:

Calculate the monster's defensive challenge rating and its offensive challenge rating, then take the average to get its final challenge rating.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't actually answer the question. The OP is asking how those resistances factor into CR, not how to describe them. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Nov 29, 2017 at 14:57

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