I have the 2nd edition Dungeon Master Guide 1995 printing and the 2nd edition Monstrous Manual Book (not binder) 1994 printing. I can't find the a table with monster level like 1st edition had. Is it buried in these books somewhere? If so where? If not, what book or supplement has them?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that "monster level" in AD&D 1e has nothing to do with character level, but rather is about the (average) dungeon level number they'd be found on. As such I've removed the [character-level] tag. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 13, 2015 at 18:40

3 Answers 3


The first edition Monster Manuals don't have a "table with monster level" - you are probably thinking of the random encounter tables from the 1e DMG Appendix C. Similarly, the random encounter tables are not found in the monster books themselves in 2e. In 2e, the DMG (Chapter 11) teaches you how to create random encounter tables rather than, frankly bizarrely, having one that applies anywhere, anytime - this replaces the stock tables in the 1e DMG.

Now. in the 2e Monstrous Manual they do have leveled Monster Summoning tables, which are similar. But none of those tables, 1e or 2e, included every monster - if you are looking for general power you have HD and eyeballing special abilities, that's it. Strict balance of encounters is not part of the 1e/2e playstyle. And you create your own random tables given what you want to populate that region/dungeon with.


I always go by "Hit Dice". For example, a skeleton has a "Hit Die" of 1. Meaning it's a 1st level creature.

I also determine this for their health. In the book it references anything that just says hit dice (and not specifying health points) you use a d8 for their health. So if I wanted to roll for a 3 h.d. creature, I can have a max health of 24. I use my rule with this game and use a d10. Makes it a little tougher on my players. Of course if it says "H.D. 3 + 4" that means 3 hit dice and add 4 points.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. We like objective answers here - "I did X" isn't really an answer for what you're supposed to do. It's good backing for an answer that has some kind of rules backing, but you may want to add that. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Jul 2, 2017 at 1:18

I know there's a table in a monster compendium that provides random monsters based on terrain. Then as mention I have used hit dice as general challenge rating for what the party can fight, and adjust according to your groups skill level.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site! Please take the tour when you get the chance. Can you clarify your answer by being more explicit about the location of the table mentioned in the question, or stating directly that it does not exist if you believe it doesn't? You can update your answer by clicking the edit button at the lower left of it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 2:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please do update to add a reference to which compendium, and where the table is. “I know there's a thing for this somewhere” isn't very useful advice, and we can't verify how useful the table is for the question's purposes or that it really exists. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 14:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Which of these Monstrous Compendium volumes are you referring to? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 22, 2018 at 17:08

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