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Questions tagged [monster-design]

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

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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
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2answers
303 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 ...
7
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1answer
380 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
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1answer
135 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
181 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 ...
12
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1answer
228 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
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4answers
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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
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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
265 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
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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 ...
7
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2answers
595 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, ...
19
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8answers
5k 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
274 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 ...
35
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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, ...
6
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2answers
184 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
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1answer
315 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
547 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
226 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
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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
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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 ...
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1answer
240 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
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1answer
797 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: ...
14
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4answers
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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
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1answer
868 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
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1answer
208 views

What is that thing?

Anyone know what this is and in which bestiary i can find it?
3
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2answers
272 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
834 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
1k 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
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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 ...
17
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2answers
3k views

How should I handle REALLY big creatures in combat?

In Pathfinder, most creatures take up no more than 30' square. However, this size doesn't really do justice to a number of larger creatures, should I want to model them. Being, frankly, exceedingly ...
3
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1answer
223 views

How can I justify the existence of this combination dragon?

I'd like to have in my campaign a unique dragon that combines the abilities of a black dragon and a red dragon (Monster Manual 70–2 and 75–7, respectively) with those of a beast dragon (Dragon #321 50–...
13
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2answers
979 views

How is monster balancing supposed to be done?

I GMed my first game the other night and, while we had fun once I got the hang of what I was doing, we found the combat difficult to get our heads around. Let me set the scene: A wild "5 giant ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

What happens when a creature with two gaze attacks focuses its gaze?

How does having two gaze attacks work? I'm guessing that creatures must make saving throws against the effects separately, but if the creature focuses its gaze, must the creature pick a gaze or do ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Is there a feat that can change ability damage dealt by a creature's special attacks to ability drain?

Recently, to my dismay, I discovered that my longstanding understanding of the Dire Weasel's Blood Drain ability was incorrect. As Blood Drain deals Constitution damage, the weasel does not gain ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Do the HP multipliers for resistance and immunity when computing EHP stack?

DMG p. 277 provides a table and some instructions for the computation of effective hit points based on resistances and immunities when computing the defensive Challenge Rating of a monster, or ...
2
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1answer
379 views

How do you determine static statistics of creatures?

I am writing stat blocks for creatures in a D&D module that I am working on with a friend. I am the designer, not the DM and I need to determine static stats for some creatures. Exempli gratia, a ...