Questions tagged [monster-design]

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

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22
votes
8answers
10k 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
3k 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 ...
38
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8answers
5k 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, ...
7
votes
2answers
405 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
504 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
1k 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
245 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
3k 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 Armor Class 14 (...
26
votes
13answers
19k views

How to create a villain for level 1 players

I want to build a cool devil overlord as a villain for a group of three level 1 PCs. How would I go about making a villain who's more powerful than them without going overboard? Should I be scared to ...
1
vote
1answer
304 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
2k 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: ...
16
votes
5answers
21k 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
223 views

What is that thing?

Anyone know what this is and in which bestiary i can find it?
3
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2answers
533 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 ...
17
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2answers
4k 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
votes
1answer
248 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
votes
2answers
1k 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
332 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
253 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
17k views

Are there guidelines for creating a lower-level Legendary Creature?

A recent Wizard’s article, Unearthed Arcana: Encounter Building, states: If you want to use a single monster, you’re typically best off using a legendary monster, all of which are specifically ...
4
votes
1answer
549 views

How much would Sanctuary affect a monster's CR?

I'm currently designing a Cleric "monster" according to the guidelines in the DMG. So far, the stats are falling short of my expectations, so I've decided that the cleric casts sanctuary on itself ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the best way to modify existing creatures to make new ones?

I've been looking everywhere and just cannot find a way to create new animals. Yes I know the DM guide has a section on giving monsters powers and CR and stats but there is no statistic guideline for ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

How would a Kobold's challenge rating be affected if I gave it a cantrip and a resistance?

I want to create a version of a Kobold that has the Ray of Frost cantrip, as well as resistance to cold damage. How would this affect the challenge rating of the monster? A normal kobold is CR 1/8. ...
2
votes
1answer
489 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 ...

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