Questions tagged [monster-design]

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

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9
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0answers
59 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 ...
4
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1answer
145 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). ...
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0answers
109 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 ...
3
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2answers
175 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, ...
2
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1answer
93 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 ...
5
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2answers
463 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)...
5
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2answers
204 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 ...
2
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2answers
168 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 ...
4
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2answers
97 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 ...
11
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4answers
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 ...
3
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1answer
150 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 ...
11
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2answers
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 ...
10
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3answers
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 ...
11
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3answers
774 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 ...
2
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0answers
170 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. ...
8
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1answer
157 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 ...
1
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0answers
72 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?
2
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0answers
42 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 (...
9
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1answer
153 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....
4
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0answers
70 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 discorvery : https://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/base-classes/alchemist/discoveries/paizo-alchemist-...
9
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2answers
284 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 ...
4
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1answer
310 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 ...
3
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1answer
94 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 ...
4
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1answer
240 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, ...
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2answers
163 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 ...
4
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1answer
92 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 ...
2
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0answers
464 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 ...
6
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2answers
350 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 ...
7
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2answers
345 views

Understanding CR calculations of these monsters from the Monster Manual

I've been working on a tool to help me design monsters, specifically doing CR calculations as described in the DMG. In order to test it, I've tried it out on some monsters in the Monster Manual, which ...
12
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1answer
2k views

How can I design a witch (or other enemy) that summons/controls lightning birds at sea to attack the party while hidden on a ship?

The PCs (3 of them, at 3rd level) are on a disabled, abandoned pirate ship at sea in a storm. I want them to have hard encounters that become somewhat predictable and that they can put a stop to, so ...
27
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9answers
5k views

How could I create a situation in which a PC has to make a saving throw or be forced to pet a dog?

Here is how this question came up to me : I have a dog (IRL), and it's so cute that I'm pretty crazy about it (I guess like most dog owners). My players, which are also my friends, know that. I ...
2
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3answers
128 views

Do intelligent items have Hit Dice?

I know that Intelligent Items are considered creatures for at least some purposes, but I have heard that they don't possess skills or feats from Hit Dice, on account of having no Hit Dice. Do the ...
13
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5answers
4k views

How can a Lich look like a human without magic?

This question is for 5e; I've posted a similar question for Pathfinder here. I'm designing a character for a campaign whose role is to be a recurring antagonist. When the characters first meet him, ...
12
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4answers
2k views

How could a Lich maintain the appearance of being alive without magic?

I'm designing a character for a campaign whose role is to be a recurring antagonist. When the players first meet him, I want him to seem undeniably human. The idea is that the party will "kill" him ...
3
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2answers
357 views

Is this Half-dragon Quaggoth boss monster balanced?

This is going to be an early boss for my upcoming campaign. I have 7 5th-level player characters, and this fight is meant to challenge them quite a bit. There will also be a few minions. The story is ...
25
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5answers
6k views

How would I stat a creature to be immune to everything but the Magic Missile spell? (just for fun)

My DM has, for the sake of adding some light-hearted fun to our campaign, introduced a magic chicken that has 1HP but can only die due to the magic missile spell. My question is, if we were to create ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Can the “Create a Monster” table be used to accurately change a creature's CR?

Related: How do I scale up a Monster for a big Party in D&D 5e? There have been a lot of questions about Mimics, so I'll use that, but this applies to any creature that doesn't match up with the ...
8
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1answer
10k views

Is the official Necromancer NPC’s CR calculation accurate?

I am planning to make a variation of the official Necromancer NPC statblock from Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and I wanted to make sure the challenge rating was correct based on the original. However, ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

How would strategic but non-damaging actions affect monster CR?

I'm in the middle of designing a dungeon with heavy fire and ice elemental themes influencing a lot of undead enemies. I'm relying on CR a lot to rough out encounters, as I don't have a super great ...
9
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3answers
681 views

Is there a quick and fair way to adjust stats for an upcast Conjured Elemental?

The 5th level spell Conjure Elemental spell states (PHB, p. 225, bold added): An elemental of challenge rating 5 or lower appropriate to the area you chose appears in an unoccupied space within 10 ...
17
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1answer
1k views

How does the ability to cast healing spells affect a monster's CR?

I've been making a few homebrew monsters for my current D&D 5e campaign, and I ran into a problem when I wanted to create a creature that used healing magic. There were general rules for offensive ...
10
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2answers
3k views

What creature of CR 5 or lower has the highest Constitution saving throw bonus?

What creature of CR 5 or lower has the highest Constitution saving throw bonus? I am currently DMing a campaign and have slowly been introducing higher and higher Con save creatures as zombies, as a ...
30
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4answers
6k views

Is there a meaningful difference between giving a monster multiattack and giving it multiple turns per round?

I'm creating a CR21 boss for my medium-level party of six players to fight. I know that action economy is a big disadvantage for a single enemy fighting an entire party, so I'm giving the boss the ...
13
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5answers
4k views

How to make a Nightcrawler-esque NPC villain for my players?

I am currently DMing a D&D 5e campaign for a party of 4, and I wanted a villain with a teleporting ability similar to Nightcrawler, from X-Men/Marvel Comics. I have run into an issue. The main ...
5
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3answers
446 views

How do I account for attack distribution when calculating CR?

When calculating a monster's CR, how do I account for whether the monster deals all its damage in one attack or via several attacks? Based on the DMG, it doesn't matter how the damage is distributed, ...
26
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4answers
4k views

How can I modify a wolf enemy to fit my campaign?

I'm trying to get into DMing and my buddy who always DMs for us offered to teach me. He wants me to create a 2 hour long adventure that he and I will run through with me as the DM. My problem is ...
8
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2answers
713 views

Monster Skill Ranks don’t match RAW?

I've had this problem for awhile now. When deconstructing monsters from the various Monster Manuals (to modify or add templates etc) their skill ranks do not add up properly. Am I missing something, ...
22
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8answers
9k views

How to increase a monster's CR without adjusting its flavour too much?

Background I have a player who has a level 8 Half Orc Paladin (STR 16, CON 18, CHA 14, Vengeance oath, Sentinel and Orcish Fury feats, no magic items) whose backstory involves running away from his ...
1
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1answer
2k views

Determining DCs for monster abilities

I am working on a homebrew monster and reading the Dungeon Master's Guide p. 278 states I can Use the Table. You can start with the monster's expected challenge rating and use the Monster ...
36
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8answers
4k views

Is it wrong to use monsters other than how they appear in the Monster Manual?

A one-shot I joined last week was tasked with fighting a bunch of tribal orcs. At one point the orcs drew longbows (with what was at least a +6 to hit as the DM was asking if 25 AC hits). At this, ...