Questions tagged [monster-design]

For questions about designing adversarial monsters and NPCs for use in a game.

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Is there a way to take away an action in D&D 5e?

I'm trying to make a monster in D&D 5e and I can't find anything on taking away actions. I want to have a monster that can take away a player's action, but I can't find anything on it. I know I ...
Stick3141's user avatar
  • 139
3 votes
1 answer
633 views

Was this rule updated/changed in 3.5?

Savage Species, a 3.0 book, included a rule for when a template makes a monster with LA - playable. In cases when a template makes an otherwise unplayable creature into a viable character (such as ...
Elliot's user avatar
  • 2,670
4 votes
1 answer
233 views

Monkey Demon Boss Design

LATTER DAYS CAMPAIGN PLAYERS SHOULD SKIP THIS POST In my campaign, there is a demon trapped in an artifact and forced to grant wishes. Though generally I rule wishes by intent and not trickery, this ...
Scott Law's user avatar
  • 143
6 votes
1 answer
300 views

Monster stat block and magic weapons +1

Let's suppose I want to give to one monster a magic weapon +1 (for example a greatsword +1). How should I indicate it in the monster stat block? Should I write in the actions section something like ...
Leonardo's user avatar
  • 913
5 votes
1 answer
126 views

How strong is an on-hit dispel effect?

I am considering customising a monster that can make a dispel magic check (as the dispel magic spell in area use, but only affect the one it hits, CL=10) every time it hits someone. Normally at what ...
Terry Windwalker's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
649 views

Is there a standard way to add equipment to the monster stat block?

Let's suppose that I want to create a homebrew monster with some equipment, like magic items such as necklaces, potions, etc. My question is: is there a standard way to add equipment to the monster ...
Leonardo's user avatar
  • 913
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can I create a creature with a high Charisma score even if it can't speak?

I am planning to create a monster which should charm the players, but this creature doesn't talk (I am planning to create a gold golem, which should incentivize greed and lust). I wonder if high ...
Leonardo's user avatar
  • 913
2 votes
1 answer
191 views

Is this homebrew creature(s) balanced?

I was thinking this kind of question would be closed due to it would be "opinion-based", but turns out there're tons of similar questions exist (and answered) already. So I am going to give ...
Terry Windwalker's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
190 views

Recreating spherimorph monster (from FFX) in D&D [closed]

My favorite monster in Final Fantasy X is spherimorph: https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Spherimorph#Stats I would like to recreate a similar monster in D&D 5e. My starting idea is to give that ...
Leonardo's user avatar
  • 913
6 votes
2 answers
259 views

Does a creature with natural attacks need Improved Unarmed Strike to get Improved Grapple?

I am designing an encounter with a Giant Owl druid companion involved. I wanted the owl to get the Improved Grapple feat as part of the advancement for being a druid companion. The owl would in no way ...
Giorin's user avatar
  • 5,256
1 vote
0 answers
179 views

Making Golems out of New materials [closed]

For an upcoming Encounter, I want my group to to fight golems made out of paper. I've looked at a few Nearly 2d monsters, such as a Palimpsest, or a Rug of Smothering, bit I haven't found quite the ...
Xisnue's user avatar
  • 367
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

How do you calculate proficiency bonus for monsters?

I'm making monsters on Dnd beyond, and I always get the proficiency bonus wrong. I need to know how to calculate proficiency bonus for a challenge rating 8 monster.
Primalsavage of Treetribe's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
252 views

How does Screaming Skull work for a Skeleton Guard?

One of the optional abilities for monsters in the skeleton family is Screaming Skull, which says: The skeleton removes its skull and throws it, making a jaws attack with a range of 20 feet. I'd like ...
Red Orca's user avatar
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17 votes
9 answers
4k views

How to mechanically implement enemies with single vulnerable points? [closed]

I am a GM for both DnD 5e and Pathfinder 1e. I was thinking how some creatures in stories only die with a blow to a very specific spot and all hits anywhere else are completely nullified, and how ...
TurtleTail's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

How would resistance to non magical weapons change a creature's challenge rating?

Suppose we took a normal monster - say, perhaps, a lion (CR 1) - and gave it resistance to non-magical slashing, piercing, and blunt damage. How much would this affect the threat to a party? I'm ...
Izzy's user avatar
  • 1,728
7 votes
2 answers
867 views

How might I instantiate this NPC concept in a fun way within the systems of DnD 5e? (think Picture of Dorian Gray crossed with Dr Jekyll)

I have this concept for an NPC that I would like to throw into a world I am building for my friends. We are all novices to dungeons and dragons. The NPC is a Baron in a backwater village that sits in ...
Andrew Micallef's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

How can I design a boss that shifts between two dimensions to avoid attacks?

This boss character, Omega, is inspired by Zhylaw, leader of the Necromongers, in the Riddick film series Tobi, Akatsuki member from the Naruto anime This boss, meant for a level 16 boss fight (...
BlueMoon93's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What are the mechanical effects of odd numbers for ability scores in monster stat blocks?

Whilst homebrewing some variations of existing monsters, I noticed something unusual: Some monsters have odd (i.e., not divisible by two) ability scores. Odd ability scores matter for player ...
TigersEye120's user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

How do you design monsters that ignore armor?

I'm trying to homebrew a nasty hornet swarm with some added attacks to make it more dangerous. One of the ideas that I had was to make the hornets crawl under the armor/clothes when attacking, thus ...
Coolcrab's user avatar
  • 438
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does a monster with multiple abilities recharging regain their use on a roll of 5-6?

From the MM, pg. 11 Recharge X-Y. The notation "Recharge X- Y" means a monster can use a special ability once and that the ability then has a random chance of recharging during each ...
Robert Pain VanZant's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can a monster cast a higher-level spell using a lower-level spell slot?

Is there a rule for monsters that allows a higher-level spell to be cast using a lower level? I ask because I came across the "Shadow Fey Enchantress" statblock in the third-party book Tome ...
svenema's user avatar
  • 2,359
11 votes
1 answer
820 views

How to balance enemies in BESM 4e?

I'm only somewhat experienced in DMing, and decided to run a game of Big Eyes Small Mouth 4th edition. I've started world building around the other characters, and during creation I found that one of ...
LaucianScout's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
866 views

Does Spell Resistance scale when advancing a monster?

I just advanced a Canoloth (MM 3, p. 200) as I wanted to use it against a level 14 party. It is originally CR 5, and I wanted to raise it to CR 8. So I added 4 HD (CR+2) and the elite array (CR+1). ...
Giorin's user avatar
  • 5,256
2 votes
0 answers
254 views

How to make mind flayer mind control better [closed]

I feel like the Mind Flayers ability to control minds (a once per day Dominate Monster) is almost universally thought of as underpowered, especially given the description of Mind Flayers. How could a ...
TheDragonOfFlame's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
245 views

What is the earliest example of a variant monster in a published D&D adventure?

In an answer to another question I made the point that using non-standard variants of published monsters has been common practice since the early days of D&D. This was based on my own experience, ...
ruffdove's user avatar
  • 6,139
2 votes
1 answer
236 views

Is this monster level appropriate?

It's been a while, but I decided to take one of my Pathfinder 1e Dungeons and transfer it into Pathfinder 2e. That being said, I could not find a Kyrana anywhere in the Pathfinder 2e Bestiary, so I ...
Areadbhair's user avatar
  • 3,216
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is this "Siren" creature balanced?

I just finished playing a 6th level 4 players session and the GM used this creature in a fight with us: https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Siren_(5e_Creature) Specifically it used the ability: Sing (5/day)...
Noozen's user avatar
  • 153
6 votes
2 answers
730 views

How to interpret "round up or down" in monster CR calculation

In the "Creating Quick Monster Stats" section of the DMG (p.274) we are given the procedure for determining the CR of a new DM-designed monster. Step 4 of that procedure (pp.274-275) tells ...
Kirt's user avatar
  • 51k
2 votes
2 answers
189 views

Does adding multiple skills when combining creatures cause balance issues?

I'm creating a Svirfneblin Evil Mage by combining the stat blocks for each Evil Mage and Svirfneblin. A Svirfneblin has the skills Investigation +3, Perception +2, Stealth +4. An Evil Mage has the ...
StuperUser's user avatar
  • 10.2k
4 votes
2 answers
309 views

Is a creature's Innate Spellcasting save DC affected by changing ability scores or adding Spellcasting features from another creature?

I'm creating a Svirfneblin Evil Mage by combining the stat blocks for each Evil Mage and Svirfneblin. A Svirfneblin's Innate Spellcasting Save DC is 11 and its INT is +1. An Evil Mage's Spellcasting ...
StuperUser's user avatar
  • 10.2k
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does the effectiveness of a harpy's song fluctuate based on its Charisma score?

In D&D 5e, the harpy has the Luring Song action option: Luring Song. The harpy sings a magical melody. Every humanoid and giant within 300 feet of the harpy that can hear the song must succeed on ...
Timm Jimm Grimm's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
247 views

How dangerous is this modified exhaustion compared to other harmful conditions?

In this question, I asked about the ramifications of monsters causing exhaustion: How dangerous is exhaustion? The answers concluded, that this would generally be very risky and dangerous. I therefore ...
Anagkai's user avatar
  • 16.5k
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the AC equivalent of mirror image?

It is suggested (by the DMG) to account for defensive options by assuming increased AC, e.g. +2 AC for magic resistance. I would like to give some of my monsters the spell mirror image as part of a ...
Anagkai's user avatar
  • 16.5k
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

How dangerous is exhaustion?

I'm interested in adding exhaustion effects to monsters. I might homebrew changes to the exhaustion mechanic, but for now, I'm interested in assessing how dangerous it is if monsters can cause RAW ...
Anagkai's user avatar
  • 16.5k
14 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the impact of banishment on CR?

Disclaimer: I know that monster balance is never exact and I don't expect it to be, I'm looking for rough guidelines like they are given in the DMG for many traits. I like to flavor up my monsters ...
Anagkai's user avatar
  • 16.5k
2 votes
0 answers
200 views

help in adapting a monster from a short story to 5E [closed]

This is the 'Big Bad' of the short story Undefiled, written by James M. Ward for the collection Tales of Ravenloft. From what I've inquired the creature was created by Ward specifically for the story. ...
king of panes's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does adding the Damage Absorption trait to a not-immune creature change its CR?

The DMG has a "Monster Features" table (p. 280), containing traits that can be added onto monsters for customization purposes. One of the traits with no effect on CR listed is Damage Absorption (it ...
Gael L's user avatar
  • 28.7k
1 vote
0 answers
76 views

How do save-or-die effects modify CR in 5e? [duplicate]

I have a homebrew monster with an ability that can drop a target to 0 hp if they fail a saving throw. How should this alter its CR?
Ettina Kitten's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
83 views

How do crossbred dragons inherit movement, MR, and special defenses?

1990's Draconomicon has some guidelines for crossbred dragons that seem useful for 3.5/5e. From what I can tell, though, rules for land/flight/(swim) speeds, magic resistance, and elemental immunity (...
47948201's user avatar
  • 3,943
9 votes
1 answer
469 views

How would Undead Fortitude and Regeneration work in tandem?

I've created a custom undead for a campaign I'm running called a dread zombie. The idea is for it to have a bit of a "you've got to be kidding me" factor with how resilient the seemingly weak enemy is....
The SupahSnail's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
261 views

Pentex African Killer Bees!

Welcome to Pentex Labs! We have everything to destroy nature: Banes, Vampires, Reality Warpers! Now, my boss wants to weaponize Bees. He wants them to be super deadly, he wants them to destroy cacao -...
Trish's user avatar
  • 43.1k
4 votes
1 answer
196 views

What are the best templates to give oozes a better to-hit?

Pretty self-explanatory. Try to keep it under CR 5 tough. It is for bottled oozes, as per the alchemist discovery.
anonyme's user avatar
  • 421
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

How is the damage required to regurgitate a creature calculated?

As an addition to my previous question "How is CON save DC determined for the Behir?" there is another figure that I'm curious as to how it is determined. If the behir takes 30 damage or ...
A Random Guy's user avatar
  • 1,394
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How is CON save DC determined for the Behir?

I am homebrewing a monster that has incorporates the Swallow mechanic used by the Behir (MM, pg. 25). My monster is not at the same CR and I need to adjust its statistics accordingly, but there is one ...
A Random Guy's user avatar
  • 1,394
3 votes
1 answer
189 views

How to create a class-level-defined monster

I would like to create some small groups of kobolds for my players to tackle with. The idea is to have some "standard" kobolds copied directly from the Bestiary 1, but to also have some "special" ones ...
Pantheos Max's user avatar
  • 1,379
4 votes
1 answer
631 views

What is the CR of one half of an Ochre Jelly?

Suppose I want my party to fight an ochre jelly, but they're low level, so it would be too hard a fight for them. What I could give them is a smaller ochre jelly: the original jelly got split somehow, ...
Aetol's user avatar
  • 201
-1 votes
3 answers
291 views

When running animated water as a creature, how can I get stats quickly?

A subquestion of How does animated water work? When a player conjures a creature formed of animated water, for example a small horse, I find it works best to model that animated water as a CR0 ...
Please stop being evil's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
120 views

How does Spell-Eating compare to Energy Drain?

I'd like to replace the standard Energy Drain effect on a few CR3 Wights with the following Spell-Eater effect: Spell-Eater On a successful Melee attack, the target must make a Will save against ...
Kyyshak's user avatar
  • 2,921
2 votes
0 answers
1k views

Designing a stat block for a 5e Hieracosphinx [closed]

The Hieracosphinx is a lesser Sphinx that does not have an official stat block for 5e, as via Christopher Perkins' Twitter. However, I would like to use this monster in a desert setting with Level 6 ...
John Doe's user avatar
  • 2,054
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is there a guide on how to create a monster as a solo combat challenge for a PC?

I have read all about how to create an encounter or "boss" monster for a group of PCs to defeat based on challenge rating, but I have not seen any guidance on how to create/modify a monster to make it ...
Menagroth's user avatar
  • 535