My ongoing campaign has hit the third tier of play, with characters from 13th to 15th level. The published materials that I've seen top out at 15th level. I started out using materials from published adventures, but have been mostly generating my own stuff for the past year.

Are there good reference materials for high-CR monsters (over 15) other than the ones in the MM? And are there good reference materials for high-level play? With ~2 years since release of the PHB, I can't be alone in needing high-level materials for my group.

In response to questions:

  • There are 30 monsters in the MM with CR of 16 or greater. 16 of them are dragons. I know it's called Dungeons and Dragons, but some variety is nice.
  • The monster creation guidelines in the DMG are useful for creating my own high-CR monsters, and I've used them. I'm looking for additional examples of high-CR monsters to use as inspiration. With a sample set that's 53% dragons, I don't think I'm getting a lot of perspective on what's possible.
  • Creating high-level NPC characters is a bunch of work, especially for spellcasters. I'm willing to make that investment for characters that matter, but if I'm going to have an incidental encounter that I want to be challenging for this party, I either have to forego using humanoids or spend time on them.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a reason that might help us make an answer as to why the MM monsters above level 15 are not suitable? \$\endgroup\$ – Premier Bromanov Jun 24 '16 at 15:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the guidance in the DMG not enough for you to put together higher level packages? If not, can you explain why not in your question? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 24 '16 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you considered making equivalent level NPC "monsters" and/or using large mobs of lower level (CR 15 and under) monsters? Can that be part of a useful answer to this question? \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Jun 24 '16 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude It could be. Bear in mind that I'm asking for reference materials for what others have done. I'm aware of the tools, and am using them, so answers that tell me to do something that I'm already doing are not helpful. \$\endgroup\$ – kevin.matheny Jun 24 '16 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you are asking for recommendation on resources to help you, and not how to solve your problem specifically? We can't provide an answer if you're looking for recommendations on resources to use (that's off-topic here), but we can help you solve a specific problem if you re-word your question to ask for help solving your specific problem. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Jun 24 '16 at 21:11

If you don't want to fully stat out monsters, you can flub some of it. Find a few monsters with abilities you like, then add in the stats to bring them up to an appropriate challenge for your party. You can then "skin" them as anything you'd like. The DM's guide has rules for all of these things.

The quick way to make up spellcasters is to pick out a handful of their highest level spells, as it is not likely they will use others in a short encounter. You can reuse these NPCs by having them flee when hurt, or send in lower level NPCs to finish the PC's off (while going to recover from their wounds).

It is a very useful skill to pick up to be able to fake an encounter on the fly using the rules in the DMG.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I appreciate the input, but it doesn't answer my question. I'm looking for sources of inspiration for high-level encounters. I'm aware of the tools in the DMG, and I'm using them, as I said in my question. \$\endgroup\$ – kevin.matheny Jun 24 '16 at 20:44

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