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Some monsters have a note saying that their CR is increased when in its Lair or Coven. Since the Proficiency bonus is directly tied to the CR/XP-rating, does this mean that it increase when in a Lair or Coven? If it does it would have effect, for example on spellcasting.

Example: The Green Hag (MM p.177). Its 'normal' CR is 3 (proficiency bonus +2), but when part of a coven is raised to CR 5 (proficiency bonus +3).

The Hag has Innate Spellcasting (Charisma) and a Charisma Modifier of +2. Her spell save DC is 8+2+2=12. When using CR 5, it would be 8+2+3=13.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that dndbeyond does have both the green hag and the coven-variant. Though I cannot access the second link to see what it actually changes \$\endgroup\$
    – Medix2
    Nov 28 '19 at 17:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Medix2 For what it is worth, the bonuses are the same in those two blocks, though this is could be an oversight from D&D Beyond. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Nov 28 '19 at 19:02
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I did a bit of research on this, and from what I can tell- the answer to both lairs and covens is no. Here's why.

First, a hag coven is when one of each kind of hag get together, and is gives them each an enhanced spell list, which they can use as 12th level spellcasters, but if any one falls, the others lose this power bonus. In this case, the CR increase is to show how much more powerful the hags will be together with that high of a spellcasting level. As this is an effect of the Hags power together, instead of a leveled-up hag, this does not increase their proficiency bonus, and this reasoning is backed up by the fact that each hag has a coven variant on dnd beyond, and if you look them, for example the afore mentioned green hag's both regular and coven forms, none of their stats have changed other than their spell list and CR.

Now, when we look at lair bonuses, it is because when a monster is in it's lair it has lair actions that make it harder to fight. Now this, like for the hags, is a higher CR to represent a harder fight, not necessarily a leveling-up of the monster, especially since in this case the monster isn't getting any stronger, it just has the home-field advantage if you will. Because of this, like for the hags coven, these CR increases do not increase proficiency bonus.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While I agree with this, I cant reconcile it with this Monster Manual line: A saving throw bonus is the sum of a monster's relevant ability modifier and its proficiency bonus, which is determined by the monster's challenge rating (as shown in the Proficiency Bonus by Cha llenge Rating table). \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Dec 4 '19 at 12:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for digging into it. A very plausible explanation. I think this is perhaps one of those "Rules As Intended" cases. \$\endgroup\$
    – svenema
    Dec 4 '19 at 18:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Of note, DnD Beyond doing something one way does not make it completely correct. For example, the site includes the Boomerang weapon despite the basic form of a boomerang not existing (there is a reason for this, but it's an example) \$\endgroup\$
    – Medix2
    Dec 5 '19 at 0:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I understand that. I had seen it in the comments on this question that the coven variants of the hags were on there, and I looked into them as part of what I looked at. In this case I was using it as a sort of back up as to the intent of the creators for my decision, and made sure it was not the only basis for it \$\endgroup\$
    – Smart_TJ
    Dec 5 '19 at 1:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BlueMoon93 When things don't reconcile, it probably means specific beats general. The CR boost a creature gets from its lair (and the coven effect) is very temporary and is not inherent to the creature itself, but to the increased threat it poses while in that specific situation, so it does not change other inherent traits. The fact that the MM gives no examples of changing proficiency bonuses for any of the many creatures that have CR-boosting lair abilities argues for this interpretation. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 31 at 14:25

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