The Question

I've been fiddling with the Epic Dragon statblocks recently, as they're given on the SRD, and I've found something that bugs me: some of the calculations are inconsistent, and some of them are just wrong.

While the saves conform to the Epic advancement rules after 20HD, the BAB doesn't, instead just continuing to increase at +1 per HD - and then, when calculating attack bonuses, the result is a few points lower than it should be considering the given base attack and Str score. At first I thought they might have just made a mistake listing the base attack and then properly calculated the attack bonuses with the Epic rules, but when I ran the numbers it turned out that it was even lower than the given value when calculated that way.

Did I miss something, or have they just fudged it? Should I recalculate the saves without Epic progression to make it match? Should I recalculate the attack bonuses with?

The Maths

Prismatic Dragon (Young): 33HD, Str 37, BAB as given: +33, Attack bonus as given: +42.

  • Calculations with numbers as given:

    Str bonus is (37-10)/2 = 13.5, rounds down to 13
    Attack bonus should be 33 + 13 = +46

  • Calculations corrected for Epic BAB progression:

    At level 33, Epic BAB is an additional +7 for a total of +27 Str bonus is +13; attack bonus should then be 27 + 13 = +40

  • Final Numbers:

    • Attack bonus as given: +42
    • Attack bonus as it should be with given numbers: +46
    • Attack bonus when corrected for Epic BAB in accordance with use of Epic save rules: +40

Ideas I have as to why this is and how it should actually be working: 0


1 Answer 1


Remember to account for the size modifier. A Young prismatic dragon is gargantuan, so it gets a -4 penalty to attack rolls.

I don't know much about epic progression, but I would guess that it only applies to leveled characters and not to monsters. These dragons appear to be using the standard progression of one BAB per hit die. There are nonepic monsters, for example the Great Wyrm black dragon, which have one BAB per hit die even past 20 hit dice; presumably epic monsters can do the same.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That would explain it. Forgot about size penalty to attack modifier. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 20:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ The epic progression only applies to BAB given by class levels, not to racial HD. I can't remember who told me but it was on this site. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zachiel
    Commented Oct 31, 2015 at 14:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Zachiel You are correct. Racial Hit Dice are not effected by linear character class progression. Since dragons have 'good' BAB - a 40 Hit Dice dragon would have a BAB of +40. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ruut
    Commented Nov 1, 2015 at 15:34

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