5e Hardcore: Monster Manual

dave2008

Hero
Do'h - well I actually missed what CR you made it, I just focused on answering your question.... Sorry. But yeah, I think it's good.
In general, I think you should aim for your creations to be within one or two of the the MM's CR for those monsters that are replacements and not variants of WotC monsters. One point of the hardcore monsters is to beef up the performance within the given CR, right?
Yes, that is my general thought as well.
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
Caliburn101, thank you for the comments; however, you have me a bit confused with your comment. A have a couple comments / questions:

1) There are no official rules for levels beyond 20. There are guidelines for play beyond 20, but not levels. So, I don't really know what a level 30 wizard is. There are of course at least (2) 3pp products, but I am not familiar enough with them to comment.
2) My concern isn't 20+, but 20th level and below. I don't really want T to be able to be defeated by the average 4 person lvl 20 group.
3) Why use meteor swarm? Is about the worst use of a high level spell. T is immune to fire and has resistance to bludgeoning, plus its magic resistance.
4) I did a quick check and a party of 20th level PCs consisting of a cleric and 3 fighters can do enough damage to kill T in about 6-7 rounds. The trick is staying alive that long. They would need some extreme equipment (I had the fighters with belts of storm giant strength, +3 plate, +3 shield, +3 greatsword), but that is what I think it should take for lvl 20 PCs to take on big T.
1) Read the epic advancement rules in the DMG.
2) 20th or below? I have just shown how 4 30th lvl damage-specialised wizards cannot kill the T. with the best (by far) damaging spell in the game...
3) Other spell will be less effective the way you have this monster statted - check them all out. If you don't agree - name the spell(s).
4) As a GM I would make mincemeat out of a party of that composition with this boss, frankly.
 

dave2008

Hero
1) Read the epic advancement rules in the DMG.
2) 20th or below? I have just shown how 4 30th lvl damage-specialised wizards cannot kill the T. with the best (by far) damaging spell in the game...
3) Other spell will be less effective the way you have this monster statted - check them all out. If you don't agree - name the spell(s).
4) As a GM I would make mincemeat out of a party of that composition with this boss, frankly.
Perhaps not intended, but your post seems oddly hostile. Anyway, here are my responses:

1) I have read the DMG and there are not rules for extra levels (perhaps you should re-read the DMG or my post again). There are rules for advancement beyond lvl 20, but it based on epic boons (with a variant to take a feat or ASI instead). In fact, the DMG states: "An epic boon is a special power available only to 20th level characters." They are specifically for 20th level characters, not 21 or higher. Also, you mentioned that your theoretical 30th level wizard had nine 9th level spell slots; however, the epic boons state: "Unless a boon says otherwise a character can't gain it more than once." And the boon of high magic does not specifically mentioned that it can be used more than once. So, by RAW there are no 30th level PCs, and a wizard cannot get nine (9) 9th level spell slots.

2) Yes 20th level, the official highest level of the game. Again, meteor swarm is the highest damage spell, but it is a poor choice against big T. (he is immune to fire and has resistance to bludgeoning). MS does a max of 35 avg. damage while a 9th lvl disintegrate does 106 avg. damage.

3) see my response to #2 above. Finger of Death would also do more damage, as would a 9th level lightning bolt.

4) I think anyone who plays big T. intelligently would be able to wipe out any 4 PC group. However, if a DM plays big T correctly IMO (as a beast with an intelligence of 4) it becomes much more interesting. The fighters have at least AC 26 and +20 to hit and a 152 DPR (76 with big T's resistances) for 4 rounds. If they can gain advantage it would make sense to take the -5 to hit for +10 damage to add another 80 (40) damage to the DPR. That is approx. 2,784 (1,392) hp damage over 4 rounds (not including any damage from the cleric). So, with 3 fighters so kitted and help from a good cleric to keep the up and buffed. It seems possible, though unlikely.

EDIT: +476 (238) DPR if we include critical hits and vorpal swords or just +98 (49) w/out vorpal sword

EDIT 2: AC 28 with ring of protection & defensive fighting style

EDIT 3: that is a grand total of 3,260 (1,630) damage over 4 rounds. So they need to hit about 60% of the time to make that work (in 4 rounds). With taking the -5 to hit (for +10 damage) these guys hit AC 25 about 50% of the time. So, if the cleric can keep these guys up, they just might be able to pull it off in 5 or 6. That would be some epic battle though!

EDIT 4: Not RAW, but since its size is 60x60 I would probably rule that all rays from prismatic spray would hit big T. That makes it a very effective spell since big T is potentially taking 105 damage and is restrained and blinded.

In fact, finding a way to blind big T is possibly enough to turn the fight as it severely limits its ability to hit the fighters and increases the odds of them hitting, making GWM much more effective. I think I may need to give it a type of blindness resistance! Maybe a nictitating membrane for advantage against effects that blind.

EDIT 5: If they all take a potion of speed, we get: AC 30 and +262 (131) damage over 4 rounds for a grand total of 3,522 (1,761) damage. Assuming advantage (big T is blinded or some other source) gives approx. +3 to hit bonus that gives our fighters a 65% hit rate more than the 57% rate they now need to finish him off in 4 rounds. If the cleric can spend all its time buffing and healing, they have a pretty good chance now. An no epic boons needed.

EDIT 6: It takes Big T about 2 rounds to take down one of these fighters (if it is not blinded and no crits). So the cleric just needs to keep all 3 fighters up for 3-4 rounds (no easy task) and they should have it. This makes think big T is a little weaker than I had hoped, but you do need a pretty crazy build to take it down.
 
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Caliburn101

Explorer
Perhaps not intended, but your post seems oddly hostile. Anyway, here are my responses:

1) I have read the DMG and there are not rules for extra levels (perhaps you should re-read the DMG or my post again). There are rules for advancement beyond lvl 20, but it based on epic boons (with a variant to take a feat or ASI instead). In fact, the DMG states: "An epic boon is a special power available only to 20th level characters." They are specifically for 20th level characters, not 21 or higher. Also, you mentioned that your theoretical 30th level wizard had nine 9th level spell slots; however, the epic boons state: "Unless a boon says otherwise a character can't gain it more than once." And the boon of high magic does not specifically mentioned that it can be used more than once. So, by RAW there are no 30th level PCs, and a wizard cannot get nine (9) 9th level spell slots.

2) Yes 20th level, the official highest level of the game. Again, meteor swarm is the highest damage spell, but it is a poor choice against big T. (he is immune to fire and has resistance to bludgeoning). MS does a max of 35 avg. damage while a 9th lvl disintegrate does 106 avg. damage.
1) OK then - the wizards die even faster - check.

2) Disintegrate is a RAY - and you don't want to go using rays on Big T.....

3) So what? They run out of effective spell slots a VERY long time before Big T. has so much as a scratch on the paintwork!!


Also - you have the three Fighters at +20 to hit...

+6 for Prof. +5 for Str, +3 for artefact weapon... where does the other +6 come from?

You have in this one case created a white-room challenge that needs precisely the party you describe to have a vague chance against it - every other choice is worse, and offensive spellcasters are absolutely useless in this fight - completely, utterly ineffectual.

There is no point making a challenge no campaign will ever use I would say. Big T. needs seriously toning down if it is to be anything but a curio in the otherwise really very good line-up of monsters you have created.

I would use most of the monsters here, and they would be interesting and challenging additions to my game. Big T. would never get a showing, unless I wanted simply to end the gameworld in a deus ex machina way.
 

dave2008

Hero
1) OK then - the wizards die even faster - check.

2) Disintegrate is a RAY - and you don't want to go using rays on Big T.....
There is nothing special about rays with this big T., perhaps your thinking about the WotC version?

3) So what? They run out of effective spell slots a VERY long time before Big T. has so much as a scratch on the paintwork!!
Agreed, spell casters are not the best option for this monster. As intended. Although, non-damaging spells can be very effective.

Also - you have the three Fighters at +20 to hit...

+6 for Prof. +5 for Str, +3 for artefact weapon... where does the other +6 come from?
+9 from belt of giant strength +3 weapon + 6 proficiency average +2 from bless = +20

You have in this one case created a white-room challenge that needs precisely the party you describe to have a vague chance against it - every other choice is worse, and offensive spellcasters are absolutely useless in this fight - completely, utterly ineffectual.
Your 4 spellcaster group is no different. Regardless, I am not the best optimizer so I am confident that there are other even better options. But I think you are missing the point. Big T is not supposed to be able to be taken out by a party of 4 at 20th level. It should be an impossible challenge. Unfortunately if you are able to blind big T, I think this fight becomes a lot easier than I anticipated. I think if you think a bit more oustide the box of pure damage spells there is definitely a path to defeat this big T (which I am frankly not happy with).

In fact I think the paladin might be a better option than a fighter because smite damage isn't reduced and you can have more buff / healing options. So, I think you could probably increase your odds with a paladin in there. Actually I think that there are several better combinations than what I came up with.

There is no point making a challenge no campaign will ever use I would say. Big T. needs seriously toning down if it is to be anything but a curio in the otherwise really very good line-up of monsters you have created.
I disagree. The main point for me is that I enjoy making the monsters. In addition it is to provide an upper end that is nearly, if not completely, impossible to defeat. It is to look at and think what the F**k do we have to do to defeat that! Heck, I have a whole thread on epic monsters and 90% of those will make this big T look like a chump! Finally, the higher CR monsters are really for epic characters (using epic boons and/or one of the epic character options on the DMsGuild).

I would use most of the monsters here, and they would be interesting and challenging additions to my game. Big T. would never get a showing, unless I wanted simply to end the gameworld in a deus ex machina way.
That sounds perfect!

EDIT: I just checked and paladin's do similar damage, but not quite as much. They would probably need an extra round all things being equal. However the extra healing they provide might allow them to do just that.

Also, 4 wizards all using disintegrate do similar damage. They obviously are more squishy, so they would need to use different tactics and equipment but it appears workable.

Point is, there appears to be several methods to build a group that could, in theory, take down this version of T. It would be difficult, you would need extreme equipment, and you probably need some luck. But I think that is what is called for in an end of game epic foe like the big T.

EDIT 2: Ugh. I just checked and 4 wizards equipped to maximize spell save DC and using staffs of power are a death trap for this big T. They whittle it down with disintegrate and retributive strike to finish it off. Force damage is its Achilles heal.

So at least some combination of: fighter, cleric, wizard, and paladin (all properly equipped) can by RAW theoretically take down this T. That isn't nearly as edge case as you surmised. I might have to check and see if a rogue can help and then we have the 4 major classes.
 
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CapnZapp

Hero
1) I have read the DMG and there are not rules for extra levels (perhaps you should re-read the DMG or my post again). There are rules for advancement beyond lvl 20, but it based on epic boons (with a variant to take a feat or ASI instead). In fact, the DMG states: "An epic boon is a special power available only to 20th level characters." They are specifically for 20th level characters, not 21 or higher.
The reason it's written that way is because the game only officially supports 20 levels.

Using epic boons to offer epic progress (beyond the rules in the PHB) seems like a perfectly normal thing to do.
 

dave2008

Hero
I have added the Agathinon and Light angels to the Celestials section. That is it for Angels for now, on to Ankhegs next!
 

dave2008

Hero
The reason it's written that way is because the game only officially supports 20 levels.

Using epic boons to offer epic progress (beyond the rules in the PHB) seems like a perfectly normal thing to do.
Yes, I agree. I didn't intend to suggest otherwise.

My point was [MENTION=6802178]Caliburn101[/MENTION] was claiming "30th level" wizards, and officially those do not exist. You can extend a character beyond 20th level, but it is not by adding actual "levels."
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
All three fighters have girdles of storm giant strength...

Good lord - what campaign is this supposed to be IN?

The point stands. This is a whiteroom monster and no actual campaign would warrants it's use UNLESS as a world ending monster, or in the extreme corner case that from low level the party knew it was coming, had somehow divined or researched all of it's abilities and dedicated their careers to being the ones to kill it.

Every other entry here is usable in any campaign as a challenge to whatever party of heroes exist. Big T. does not.

If it is a world-ending monster a GM needs - it's good to go. If not, then it is a curio in the line-up never to be used unless there is some other way to permanently trap it that exists in the game as a unique artefact or something similar - a kind of 'you cannot kill this so you have to get very creative' sort of way.

In which case, I'd put that in the description for the GM to get a sense of how it is best used. 5th Edition is very magic-centric and this is too anti-magic to work for a normal campaign.
 

dave2008

Hero
All three fighters have girdles of storm giant strength...

Good lord - what campaign is this supposed to be IN?
It is not. That is what I have been saying. It is supposed to be an impossible fight for all but the most insane group.

The point stands. This is a whiteroom monster and no actual campaign would warrants it's use UNLESS as a world ending monster, or in the extreme corner case that from low level the party knew it was coming, had somehow divined or researched all of it's abilities and dedicated their careers to being the ones to kill it.
There is nothing wrong with a good white room! Yes that is exactly what I am going for - so maybe I hit the nail on the head!

Every other entry here is usable in any campaign as a challenge to whatever party of heroes exist. Big T. does not.
That is the design intent. Thank you for noticing!

If it is a world-ending monster a GM needs - it's good to go. If not, then it is a curio in the line-up never to be used unless there is some other way to permanently trap it that exists in the game as a unique artefact or something similar - a kind of 'you cannot kill this so you have to get very creative' sort of way.

In which case, I'd put that in the description for the GM to get a sense of how it is best used. 5th Edition is very magic-centric and this is too anti-magic to work for a normal campaign.
Yes, if these were to be published the write would need to include some ideas how to use (or not use) this beast. It is not for the faint of heart!
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Never underestimate the power of high level groups...players think of the most insane ways to beat monsters.
Case in point. I see nothing that would stop a party from casting plane shift on the Tarrasque to the Elemental Plane of Water (its even relatively easy as far as things that hit the creature go). The Tarrasque has a swim speed but no water breathing. And....drowns....THE END.

A 20th level wizard could cast invulnerability, and then have 3 slots to try and plane shift the Tarrasque. Immune to damage, could still cast the spell if it got swallowed...sure its not a guaranteed plan but that is only 1 20th level character, let alone a party of them.

And that was just 5 minutes of thinking, god knows what a team of people spending some time on this would come up with.
 
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dave2008

Hero
I have added the Ankheg Queen, Soldier, Drone, and Broodling. Together with the MM Ankheg this makes a nice little hive of Ankhegs.
 

dave2008

Hero
Case in point. I see nothing that would stop a party from casting plane shift on the Tarrasque to the Elemental Plane of Water (its even relatively easy as far as things that hit the creature go).
Not a bad idea, but you do have to succeed on a melee attack spell (not easy w/ AC 25) and big T gets a save at +9 w/ advantage. Of course if it succeeds on the save, there is a 25% chance the caster is banished!

I think most casters want to avoid melee, but using invulnerability would give you a chance (there is still a 25% chance you will be banished each time you fail to banish big T.) Of course I don't allow that spell as I think it is OP, but it is a good idea for those that allow it.
 

dave2008

Hero
I have added the Astral Abomination (aka the Astral Dreadnought) to the Monstrosities section. It is a CR 21 elite. I started with the 5e version and then added back in some classic abilities and traits from older versions (rend & frighten presence).
 

dave2008

Hero
I have added a little party of Azers to the humanoid section: Azer Commander (CR 5), Azer Warrior (CR 2), Azer Archer (CR 2), Azer Assassin (CR 1), Azer Mage (CR 2), and Azer Priest (CR 2)

That is it for the "A"s for now. I am also going to take a little break on this thread to do some work on my Epic Character's thread. I should be back in a couple of weeks (if not sooner).
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
I was reading over the Green Dragon's, and had a few notes:

1) The young dragon's speed is actually less than the base book, was that intentional?

2) I like the dominating prescence to remove resistance, but not immunity to charm. I think immunities are very special things, and the whole point is for a party member to sit back and relax while his friends are sweating bullets at the effect they have to do. That's a key moment of specialness for players, and not something I think should be taken away.

3) I would increase the level of poison spray. For example for the Viscount, at max level the spray does 26 damage, compared to the regular attack routine that's peanuts. Even at max level its basically a ribbon ability.

4) Poisonous Wounds and Unstoppable are AWESOME!

5) Should luring glare be a charm effect?

6) How long does the poisoned condition on the breath weapon last?
 

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