The demilich statblock on Monster Manual page 48 says:

Hit Points 80 (32d4)

but outside of the statblock, the demilich's description on the next page says:

Undead Nature. A demilich doesn't require air, food, drink, or sleep. So great is the demilich's will to survive that it always has the maximum number of hit points for its Hit Dice, instead of average hit points.

Old printings of the MM said its hit points were "80 (20d4)"; this seems like it was correct assuming maximum HP, but the 2018 MM errata changed it to the current 80 (32d4).

However, if you give them the maximum number on their hit dice as of the 2018 errata, it sums up to 128 hit points. So should the Demilich actually have 128 HP listed in their statblock? Or was the change in errata an error?

How much max HP should the Demilich actually have?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, /r/dndnext noticed this (apparent) error shortly after the errata to the demilich's hit dice. I tried asking Crawford about it during some of the Dragon+/Sage Advice streams on the D&D Twitch channel for the next month or two, but my questions never got read aloud during their Q&A segments... \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 4 '20 at 8:17

The designers likely wanted 80 Hit Points

Because they were consistent in saying the Demilich has 80 Hit Points and they didn't contradict the Undead Nature trait in the errata it seems likely that the change to Demilich hit dice was a mistake and that they intended for the Demilich to have 80 Hit Points.

That being said the DM can freely adjust the Hit Points of a monster if they so choose. The DM is actively encouraged to modify such aspects as appropriate so in terms of rules there is no "should" when it comes to monster HP except in terms of matching CR to the players.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well the DM being the creator of the universe is common knowledge, but ''How much HP should a Demilich have as intended by the designers''? (or the correct rule) is pretty much the question. The answer helps and is fine +1. \$\endgroup\$ – Maxime Cuillerier May 4 '20 at 7:00

The updated numbers seem to be consistent in the sense that the average for 32d4 is 80 points (2.5 per die). (2.5 x 32 = 80)

EDIT: I also checked a random MM page, and Cambion: HP = 82 (11d8 + 33), which is again consistent with this interpretation as the average for 11d8 + 33 is 82.5 HP.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think this answers the question; the inconsistency isn't that the Demilich has 80 average by this calculation, it's that the demilich has a monster property that states it should use the maximum possible hit points for its hit dice, not the average value. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcosa May 4 '20 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, good point. I would bet the shortcut (80) to be correct then since the original pre-erratum numbers were at least internally consistent. \$\endgroup\$ – user12304836 May 4 '20 at 18:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yup, that's the interpretation I was leaning toward as well, though this really is not an easy question to answer definitively. It seems like a mistake in the errata so we might not know for sure until it gets... re-errata'd. \$\endgroup\$ – Carcosa May 4 '20 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Engineer: I assume the answer was downvoted because it doesn't address the entire reason the question's being asked (the trait Carcosa's comment mentions) - as the author of the answer acknowledged themselves after Carcosa pointed it out. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 5 '20 at 0:30

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