1
\$\begingroup\$

I am working on a homebrew monster and reading the Dungeon Master's Guide p. 278 states I can

Use the Table. You can start with the monster's expected challenge rating and use the Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating table to determine an appropriate save DC for any effect that requires a target to make a saving throw.

Calculate the DCs. Alternatively, you can calculate a monster's save DCs as follows: 8 + the monster's proficiency bonus + the monster's relevant ability modifier. You choose the ability that best applies. For example, if the effect is a poison, the relevant ability is probably the monster's Constitution. If the effect is similar to that of a spell, the relevant ability might be the monster's Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma.

Don't worry if the save DCs aren't matching up with the expected challenge rating for the monster. Other factors can affect a monster's challenge rating, as shown in later steps, and you can always adjust the sa - DCs later on.

So let's say I have a monster CR 17 with a 30 con score, and I believe the con score should be used for the ability. Calculating the save the DC would give me 8+6(proficiency)+10(con)=DC24. Alternatively I can simply use the table which gives a DC of 19.

Do I just get to pick whichever one best suits my monster??

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

Yes, you can choose as you like.

The advice given on how to create new monsters in the DMG is a set of guidelines to help you get in the right ballpark, not hard-and-fast rules about how all creatures must work. You can choose whatever values you want based on how challenging you're trying to make the creature.

Most of the time (but not always) in the published material, the DCs for abilities are derived using the 8 + Proficiency + Relevant Modifier formula, so for consistency's sake sticking to that formula is neatest. I think the DC values as given on the Challenge Rating table are mainly intended for putting things together very quickly so they're roughly acceptable, and they look like values you'd get if you were creating a creature with a reasonably good, but not exceptional, relevant ability score modifier. In your specific case, you're making a monster with a truly exceptional ability score, so it's not surprising that it looks very different to the quick approximation guideline.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It might be pointing out that this is indeed a case of an exceptional ability score mod. There is no other published CR 17 monster with a mod of 30. Closest is 27 and most are well below that. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 26 '18 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @carcer so I can just assign any DC I think is appropriate? \$\endgroup\$ – Critical Crafting Sep 26 '18 at 17:37
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Might also help to reference this directly "Don’t worry if the save DCs aren’t matching up with the expected challenge rating for the monster. Other factors can affect a monster’s challenge rating, as shown in later steps, and you can always adjust the save DCs later on." Basically the DM can do whether they want, even after going through the process. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 26 '18 at 17:42

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.