Questions tagged [monster-design]

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

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7
votes
1answer
117 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
vote
0answers
70 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?
1
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0answers
40 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 (...
8
votes
1answer
138 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
62 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-...
8
votes
2answers
236 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 more from ...
3
votes
1answer
251 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
votes
1answer
93 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
votes
1answer
194 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, ...
-1
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2answers
150 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
votes
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
295 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
316 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
288 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
3answers
113 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
3k 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
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
331 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
940 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
votes
1answer
8k 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
votes
3answers
482 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 ...
16
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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
2k 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
360 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
683 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, ...
21
votes
8answers
8k 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
vote
1answer
1k 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
votes
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, ...
6
votes
2answers
345 views

Can Multiweapon Fighting feats be taken as fighter bonus feats or be received as ranger fighting style?

I am building a Marelith as a mastermind villain for my campaign. I was going to give her levels of fighter (or maybe ranger) in addition to her racial hit dice. The various Multiweapon Fighting ...
9
votes
1answer
374 views

Are there any official or tried and true methods to translating D&D 3.5e creatures to 5E?

I play 5E almost exclusively, now, and while I love the resources out there, I have many a miniature from other editions that is now stat-blockless. I've scoured the internet already, so I think I ...
5
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2answers
833 views

Creating monsters with guaranteed damage

The DMG has some really useful guidelines on creating monsters and assessing their challenge. But they seem to assume that all monster attacks will key off their attack stats or spells, and completely ...
4
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2answers
240 views

Monster can choose between an attack-preventing reaction or a 20hp attack - which is more significant when calculating CR?

I'm working on a reaction which allows a creature to raise its AC in response to being hit by an attack. This reaction will be effective against any single attack that is resolved against the creature'...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How does a monster giving disadvantage to hitting it affect its CR?

I'm working on a big creature with an AC of 22 and for flavour reasons, I'd like attacks against it to be made with disadvantage. Could you suggest how this would effect the creature's CR? I ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is this “Timberwolf” Balanced?

Based on the dire wolf an a twig blight, this creature is a essentially a large wolf-like construct made of wood, held together by arcane magic. Timberwolf Large Construct, unaligned ...
1
vote
1answer
282 views

Is there any creature like Warframe's desert skate in 5e?

WoTC has been known to use existing creatures and “skin” them for use as other creatures. (i.e. "DDAL06-02 The Redemption of Kelvan" contained a clockwork wyvern construct that had stats based on a ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Does Natural-Weapon damage scale with creature sizes?

I'm working on a simplified (I hope) system for building creatures. I already know that creature Hit-dice scale with size. Tiny: D4 Small: D6 Medium: D8 Large: D10 Huge: ...
15
votes
4answers
15k views

How do I decide how many hit dice a custom creature has?

I am planning to create some custom monsters for my games. I know how to determine a monster's average hit points, however I don't know how you determine the decomposition in hit dice. For example if ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

How does regeneration affect CR?

I'm building an ice elemental based on the iron golem. I want to give it an ability that regenerates 1d10 hp at the beginning of each of its turns as long as it is in a cold environment. I'm trying to ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

What is that thing?

Anyone know what this is and in which bestiary i can find it?
3
votes
2answers
422 views

When calculating CR of a monster, do you count Bludgeoning, Piercing and Slashing together?

So I'm attempting to create my own version of a Varakhut (it's veeeery loosely based on it) and I've come up against something. When factoring in damage resistances, I want to give it resistance to ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I convert a god from 3.5 to 5e?

I am currently a player in a d&d 5e campaign in which we are going to use a homebrew god prestige class. My DM is homebrewing most of the gods (with stats that PCs can fight) from scratch and I ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Reducing an elephant's power

I am planning an encounter for a story driven campaign. A 4 player second level party encounters an escaped war elephant, who is making a farmer's life miserable and wrecking his crops. A war elephant ...
13
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I organize absurd monster sheets?

A friend wants me to develop several CR 40+ monsters for Pathfinder, by chain-applying useful templates to high-CR monsters. This endeavour includes one CR 61 creature, which will be an advanced (as ...