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D&D 5E 5e Updates: Mythic, Epic, and Hardcore Monsters

Stalker0

Legend
Interesting note on the Fire Elementals. It looks like nothing stops them from casting firestorm and fireball, including themselves in the area, and getting a lot of healing along with the damage they do. That may not be well represented in the CR
 

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dave2008

Legend
Interesting note on the Fire Elementals. It looks like nothing stops them from casting firestorm and fireball, including themselves in the area, and getting a lot of healing along with the damage they do. That may not be well represented in the CR
Yep, that didn't really cross my mind. I do remember a tickle in the back of my head when I was reading consume and thinking: "who would ever cast a fire at a fire elemental, way even have this trait?" I guess I should have thought about it more!

I think I will add a note about it not being an attack or effect created by the elemental.
 

dave2008

Legend
Hezrou Horde
Gargantuan swarm of large fiends, chaotic evil
1600449188022.png

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 1,085 (70d20 + 350)
Speed 40 ft.
1600449189124.png

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
19 (+4)17 (+3)20 (+5)5 (-3)12 (+1)13 (+1)
1600449190520.png

Saving Throws Str +12, Con +13, Wis +9
Skills Athletics +12, Perception +9
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning piercing and slashing that is nonmagical
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned; see Swarm Resistance
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages Abyssal, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 27 (105,000 XP)
1600449191753.png

Colossal. The horde's space is 40-feet by 40-feet.

Legendary Stench. Any creature that starts its turn inside or within 20 feet of the horde must succeed on a DC 21 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn. This effect ignores immunity to the poisoned condition on creatures with 25 hit dice or fewer; however, these creatures have advantage on the saving throw.

Magic Resistance. The horde has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects and any creature that makes a spell attack against the horde has disadvantage on the attack roll.

Swarm. The horde can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the horde can move through any opening large enough for a Large Hezrou. If the horde is reduced to 810 hit points or less change its space to 35-feet by 35-feet and it loses one use of its legendary actions. If the horde is reduced to 540 hit points or less change its size to 25-feet by 25-feet and it loses an additional use of its legendary actions. If the horde is reduced to 272 hit points or less, choose: 1) replace the horde with two hezrou in unoccupied spaces within the former area of the horde, or 2) reduce the size to Gargantuan and keep the current statistics, but remove the Swarm Resistance trait.

Swarm Reactions. The horde does not have reactions. Whenever a creature moves inside the space of the horde or out of the space of the horde, the horde makes one claw attack with advantage targeting the triggering creature.

Swarm Resistance. The horde has advantage on saving throws against being blinded, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, or stunned. Additionally, the horde can use its legendary actions to immediately end one condition or effect it is suffering per legendary action spent.

Swarm Tactics. The horde has advantage on attack rolls and saving throws against a creature if it is occupying the same space as the horde.

Swarm Vulnerabilities. The horde takes double damage from any attack that effects any area that is 15 feet by 15 feet or greater.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The horde makes two bite attacks and four claw attacks.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
The horde can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The horde regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Multiattack. The horde uses its multiattack action.
Move. The horde moves up to 10 feet.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Hezrou Horde
Challenge 27 (105,000 XP)

This is probably the first swarm that I think would live up to its CR (edit: ok probalby the vrock chaos squad too as I just saw that one), mainly because its nigh truly unkillable. I feel the party could literally throw the kitchen sink at this thing and barely dent it.... as almost everything they use would be halfed in damage (if not 1/4 because of the posioned condition). And a 16 AC, while still quite hittable for 20th level...is actually high enough that it might cause some misses on a 2 or 3 instead of just a 1....which over such a large amount of HP to chew through would actually matter.

I actually feel like this would turn into one of 3 things:

1) An unbeatable fight. If the party doesn't have the tools to fight this thing, they just cast something to slow this thing down and run like hell. If they can't run, they simply die, plinking against an invincible hoard. I'm all for that with such high CRs.
2) Throw 5 banishments at it (the first 4 are consumed by unstoppable and probably 1 spell the creature saved against). Swarm Resistance doesn't actually effect banishment, so the creature goes poof.
3) Use some autowin like mass fly (as it has no ranged attacks and no fly) or create a wall with a small opening (can only squeeze as a large creature can), or the 9th level invulnerability or something... and then prepare for the most boring fight of their lives, as they plink away at this thing with cantrips for an hour.

This is probably best used as a plot device, even with a 20th level party...it would just be so boring to fight head on.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Vrock Chaos Squadron

Legendary Spores.
The swarm can make a spores attack twice on its turn and each legendary action turn before it needs to roll to recharge this action. Make a separate recharge roll on the swarms turn and one for each of its legendary action turns to recharge the ability independently for each turn.

This is a cool ability (would be neat to see on like a ultra dragon or something) ... but I feel like it generates so many rolls for such little damage... its really about the poisoned effect to me. For a nice high CR like this, I think you can get away with auto effect and something a bit more dangerous and ubiquitous, which will also save the DM and players a ton of roll headache.

Legendary Spores: Any creature that starts their turn within 15 feet of the swarm is infected by spores. You are poisoned and take 5 poison damage at the start of each of your turns, including the turn you were infected. This effect continues until you are splashed with holy water, or treated with a spell that removes the poisoned condition.

(if you want to be nice you could also just give it a minute duration...but I think your well within your rights to get nasty at these CRs)
 

dave2008

Legend
Hezrou Horde
Challenge 27 (105,000 XP)

This is probably the first swarm that I think would live up to its CR, mainly because its nigh truly unkillable. I feel the party could literally throw the kitchen sink at this thing and barely dent it.... as almost everything they use would be halfed in damage (if not 1/4 because of the posioned condition). And a 16 AC, while still quite hittable for 20th level...is actually high enough that it might cause some misses on a 2 or 3 instead of just a 1....which over such a large amount of HP to chew through would actually matter.

I actually feel like this would turn into one of 3 things:

1) An unbeatable fight. If the party doesn't have the tools to fight this thing, they just cast something to slow this thing down and run like hell. If they can't run, they simply die, plinking against an invincible hoard. I'm all for that with such high CRs.
2) Throw 5 banishments at it (the first 4 are consumed by unstoppable and probably 1 spell the creature saved against). Swarm Resistance doesn't actually effect banishment, so the creature goes poof.
3) Use some autowin like mass fly (as it has no ranged attacks and no fly) or create a wall with a small opening (can only squeeze as a large creature can), or the 9th level invulnerability or something... and then prepare for the most boring fight of their lives, as they plink away at this thing with cantrips for an hour.

This is probably best used as a plot device, even with a 20th level party...it would just be so boring to fight head on.
I was just thinking about this and one thing I haven't added that 4e swarms have is vulnerability to damage from AoE attacks. I think I should add that back in as it makes sense that AoE attacks would do more damage to a swarm. Not saying this will solve the problem, as I am not sure there is one, but it helps.

Regarding the Hezrou Horde (which is a WIP), I guess I don't see it as unkillable. Remember every time its looses a 1/4 of its HP, a legendary action goes away making it less dangerous each time. I am not sure where you're getting the 1/2 damage on everything (except spells and similar). My group is currently 15th level and consists of 4 fighters, a Rogue Scout (which we call a ranger), and Wizard. I feel the fighters alone can easy lop off more the 280 HP in the first round (every attack is virtually a guaranteed hit) and they don't have the extra attack or action surge you would get at 20th level. By my estimate, at that level (20th) they would have the horde down to the last stage in about 2 rounds, then it is mop up time.
 

dave2008

Legend
Vrock Chaos Squadron

Legendary Spores.
The swarm can make a spores attack twice on its turn and each legendary action turn before it needs to roll to recharge this action. Make a separate recharge roll on the swarms turn and one for each of its legendary action turns to recharge the ability independently for each turn.

This is a cool ability (would be neat to see on like a ultra dragon or something) ... but I feel like it generates so many rolls for such little damage... its really about the poisoned effect to me. For a nice high CR like this, I think you can get away with auto effect and something a bit more dangerous and ubiquitous, which will also save the DM and players a ton of roll headache.

Legendary Spores: Any creature that starts their turn within 15 feet of the swarm is infected by spores. You are poisoned and take 5 poison damage at the start of each of your turns, including the turn you were infected. This effect continues until you are splashed with holy water, or treated with a spell that removes the poisoned condition.

(if you want to be nice you could also just give it a minute duration...but I think your well within your rights to get nasty at these CRs)
That is a definite improvement. These higher CR monster swarms need an additional pass to pick up little ease of play improvements like that. Thank you!
 

Stalker0

Legend
Btw if you want some new damage mechanics for any other high CR monsters, here are a couple I used in my high level 4e games that worked very well.

Immediate Damage: Effect does 10 damage. Immediately make a con save, on a failure, take another 10 damage. Continue this effect until the saving throw is passed.
(so it take ongoing damage and crams it into one series of rolls. The player keeps rolling until they pass, which determines the total amount of damage they take).

Escalating Damage: Effect does 10 damage. Immediately make a con save, on a failure, take 10 damage, and the damage base is increased by 5. Continue this effect until the saving throw is passed.

(for truly scary monsters I used this. So its the same as immediate damage except now the damage not only repeats, it grows with each failed save).
 

dave2008

Legend
Btw if you want some new damage mechanics for any other high CR monsters, here are a couple I used in my high level 4e games that worked very well.

Immediate Damage: Effect does 10 damage. Immediately make a con save, on a failure, take another 10 damage. Continue this effect until the saving throw is passed.
(so it take ongoing damage and crams it into one series of rolls. The player keeps rolling until they pass, which determines the total amount of damage they take).

Escalating Damage: Effect does 10 damage. Immediately make a con save, on a failure, take 10 damage, and the damage base is increased by 5. Continue this effect until the saving throw is passed.

(for truly scary monsters I used this. So its the same as immediate damage except now the damage not only repeats, it grows with each failed save).
Kinda of the inverse of the general save for half damage. You take damage, and save to prevent full or more damage. Interesting - thanks for sharing.
 

Stalker0

Legend
I am not sure where you're getting the 1/2 damage on everything (except spells and similar).

The swarm is resistant to all bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing... aka half damage from fighters. The fire, cold, lightning resistances means most blaster spells will also do half damage (eldritch blast to the rescue!). If the fighters get poisoned (which granted a 21 con save is not terrible for them), they would do half damage again from the poisoning (so 1/4 damage).

That said, your probably right that I am exaggerating on this thing. Even if its takes a full minute to kill, its not like it takes "forever".
 
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dave2008

Legend
The swarm is resistant to all bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing... aka half damage from fighters. If the fighters get poisoned (which granted a 21 con save is not terrible for them), they would do half damage again from the poisoning (so 1/4 damage).
Got it - I thought I was probably forgetting something! I'm moving a bit to fast me thinks. I really haven't been taking that into account when I work up the CRs. I will have to look at all the swarms again.

When I look at 4e swarms: they had half melee & ranged damage and vulnerability to area attacks. I only implemented half that (which is what is in the 5e MM). I get the resistance to BPS damage on swarms of tiny or small creatures, but maybe that should go away with larger creatures? So what do you think about these options for swarms / hordes of Medium and larger creatures:

  1. keep the resistance to BPS damage (current design)
  2. keep the resistance to BPS damage, but add vulnerability to areas of effect.
  3. drop BPS resistance and add vulnerability to areas of effect.
  4. drop BPS resistance and no other change
 

Stalker0

Legend
drop BPS resistance and add vulnerability to areas of effect.

I like this one myself, as I feel swarms are meant as a monster type for blasting casters to shine (I also think that certain dms often use swarms and mobs because its easier to run than a bunch of individual monsters....which means the area casters don't get as much of a chance to do their thing, unless the creature is vulnerable to area). And frankly, vulnerability is critically underused in 5e, so it would be good to see that come back in. Its also an interesting chance to give some normally crappy spells (like circle of death) and interesting chance to shine...as for these types of a swarms, while fire, cold, elect has resistance, necrotic does not.
 

dave2008

Legend
I like this one myself, as I feel swarms are meant as a monster type for blasting casters to shine (I also think that certain dms often use swarms and mobs because its easier to run than a bunch of individual monsters....which means the area casters don't get as much of a chance to do their thing, unless the creature is vulnerable to area). And frankly, vulnerability is critically underused in 5e, so it would be good to see that come back in. Its also an interesting chance to give some normally crappy spells (like circle of death) and interesting chance to shine...as for these types of a swarms, while fire, cold, elect has resistance, necrotic does not.
OK, I reviewed all of the swarms and some the CRs were quite a bit off. I have tweaked swarm resistance, add swarm vulnerabilities and all of the CRs have been updated (except the Hexrou horde, which didn't change).
 

Stalker0

Legend
Reactive. The squadron can use four reaction per round, but only 1 per turn. Refer to Swarm.

Swarm Resistance. The squadron has advantage on saving throws against being paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, or stunned. Additionally, on a failed saving throw, the squadron loses one use of its legendary actions for the duration of the effect instead of suffering the condition.

The Swarm Resistance update is a neat idea. Do you also want unstoppable in there as well, or was that an oversight? I would also adjust the language just a little bit, as right now people could interpret the removal of legendary action is only for the conditions you mentioned, and not other conditions.

Reactive...I am assuming you are trying to give the swarm extra OAs, so that it can make OAs on multiple people leaving the swarm? If that's the case, you can probably make this a little simpler, no need to count the numbers and track that....its designed that if you leave the swarm, your going to pay. Since your shrinking the area of the swarm as it weakens, we don't have to track reaction loses as that is already handled in the area shrinking mechanic. Try this idea on for size.

Viscous: The Vrock swarm does not have reactions. Whenever a creature leaves the swarm area, the swarm makes a beak attack (with advantage).
 

dave2008

Legend
The Swarm Resistance update is a neat idea. Do you also want unstoppable in there as well, or was that an oversight? I would also adjust the language just a little bit, as right now people could interpret the removal of legendary action is only for the conditions you mentioned, and not other conditions.

Reactive...I am assuming you are trying to give the swarm extra OAs, so that it can make OAs on multiple people leaving the swarm? If that's the case, you can probably make this a little simpler, no need to count the numbers and track that....its designed that if you leave the swarm, your going to pay. Since your shrinking the area of the swarm as it weakens, we don't have to track reaction loses as that is already handled in the area shrinking mechanic. Try this idea on for size.

Viscous: The Vrock swarm does not have reactions. Whenever a creature leaves the swarm area, the swarm makes a beak attack (with advantage).
:mad: I wanted to be done with swarms, but these ideas are to good not implement - thanks I guess:p
 

dave2008

Legend
The Swarm Resistance update is a neat idea. Do you also want unstoppable in there as well, or was that an oversight? I would also adjust the language just a little bit, as right now people could interpret the removal of legendary action is only for the conditions you mentioned, and not other conditions.

Reactive...I am assuming you are trying to give the swarm extra OAs, so that it can make OAs on multiple people leaving the swarm? If that's the case, you can probably make this a little simpler, no need to count the numbers and track that....its designed that if you leave the swarm, your going to pay. Since your shrinking the area of the swarm as it weakens, we don't have to track reaction loses as that is already handled in the area shrinking mechanic. Try this idea on for size.

Viscous: The Vrock swarm does not have reactions. Whenever a creature leaves the swarm area, the swarm makes a beak attack (with advantage).
Ok, I made some changes to swarm resistance and add swarm reactions. I think the changes make everything simpler?
 


Stalker0

Legend
Ok, I made some changes to swarm resistance and add swarm reactions. I think the changes make everything simpler?

Yeah the changes are good. hehe just ooooooooone more thing. The way its written, Swarm Resistance cannot stop effects that prevent you from doing actions (or like banishment, anything at all). So I would add the word immediately in there, to drive him that this ability can be used for those things.
 

dave2008

Legend
Yeah the changes are good. hehe just ooooooooone more thing. The way its written, Swarm Resistance cannot stop effects that prevent you from doing actions (or like banishment, anything at all). So I would add the word immediately in there, to drive him that this ability can be used for those things.
Your killing me! And...updated. Now I have a beautiful swarm template and no desire to make any swarms for a long time! ;)
 


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