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

dave2008

Legend
yeah 5e really really simplified flying rules, and all for the better. Those kind of complexities are just not needed in the system.

I think the idea that buffet is an attack that consumes movement is fine, but you don’t need to add in things like “move x feet” or “must land”, those types of flying motions were left behind in 5e.

on the sustained breath, for a vanilla dragon, on average the dragon will get 1.66 breaths in the first 3 rounds and still get all of its legendary actions (and there is a 9% chance it gets to breathe in all 3 rounds). So I think bumping it up to 2.33 breathes in 3 rounds should not break the bank, especially if we remove the risk of getting lots of breaths continuously and consume legendary actions. So how about this.

Sustained Breath (3 legendary actions, 1/rest): the dragons breath weapon is recharged. Once used, the dragon cannot recharge its breath weapon until it gets a short or long rest.

in theory the ideal way to use this is:

1) breathe
2) .33% chance to recharge.
3) use sustained breath and breathe
I will look at it, but I think I prefer my last revision. It is not a 5e norm, but I think I am ok with that. Unlike most of your suggestions, I just don't see yours as an improvement. My version may be non-standard, but it is clear, simple, follows the flavor and the math works. I am pretty sure your option fails on the math and it doesn't fit the flavor. I also don't like how the dragon can't use its breath weapon again until a Rest. Why would a dragon every do this?
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Ok throwing out a different paradigm idea. Right now the 5e dragon is defined by its strong multiattack, and assumes that the breath weapon is a "special add on" that gets used periodically to shake things up.

So what if instead of that, what if the breath weapon was assumed part of the core legendary action routine? Aka the dragon's weapon is not some special thing its got to build up to....its as easy for a dragon as breathing....a truly integrated part of how it fights.

With this model, we can assume the breath is used every round. Then perhaps we can add in some special 1/rest abilities that increase the breath or shake it up, for fun tactical options. We can have some of these special breath options consume more legendary actions, to ensure they add flexibility but not raw power that messes with the CR. This also has the advantage of consistency...you don't have to rely on the whim of a recharge role which can have a very large impact on a dragon fight (no recharge rolls = much weaker dragon. All recharge rolls hit = very deadly dragon).

Here's an example to show case it:

Multiattack: The dragon can use its frightful presence. It can then make either a bite or a tail attack. (so a weaker multiattack routine)

Legendary Actions (3/round)
Breath Weapon (2 legendary actions): The dragon releases a cone of XYZ.
Tail Swipe (1 legendary action): The dragon makes a tail attack.
Detect (1 legendary action): The dragon makes a perception check and XYZ.

Special Breath Options (vary per dragon type, age, etc etc).

Heighten Breath (1/rest): Opponents are at disadvantage to their saving throws against the dragon's breath weapon. The breath weapon requires 1 additional legendary action.

Divine Breath (1/rest): Half of the breath weapon damage is changed to radiant damage.

Breath of the Mind (1/rest): The dragon's breath weapon damage changes to psychic, and it uses an intelligence saving throw.

Empowered Breath (1/rest): The dragon may reroll any 1s on its breath weapon damage, and must take the new result. The breath weapon requires 1 additional legendary action.


With this dragon, you can allow for the breath to equal the offense damage of 2 claws and 2 tails every round (compared to the vanilla dragon) .... giving you a lot of design space to make it truly strong and fearful, and backed by consistency...without the whims of a d6 roll... for easy CR assessment and integration.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Doesn't Medium Armor be definition mean that you get Dex modifier to a max of +2 to your armor class?

"Medium Armor offers more Protection than Light Armor, but it also impairs Movement more. If you wear Medium Armor, you add your Dexterity modifier, to a maximum of +2, to the base number from your armor type to determine your Armor Class. "

I will add it if people feel it is needed, but it seems redundant to me.

The core armor tables list the ACs with the dex bonus....so as a player I would naturally assume any other Armor tables work the same way, so if an armor didn't list a dex bonus, I would assume it doesn't get one.
 

dave2008

Legend
The core armor tables list the ACs with the dex bonus....so as a player I would naturally assume any other Armor tables work the same way, so if an armor didn't list a dex bonus, I would assume it doesn't get one.
Well that shows you how rarely I look at the PHB! I've corrected the table.
 

dave2008

Legend
Ok throwing out a different paradigm idea. Right now the 5e dragon is defined by its strong multiattack, and assumes that the breath weapon is a "special add on" that gets used periodically to shake things up.

So what if instead of that, what if the breath weapon was assumed part of the core legendary action routine? Aka the dragon's weapon is not some special thing its got to build up to....its as easy for a dragon as breathing....a truly integrated part of how it fights.

With this model, we can assume the breath is used every round. Then perhaps we can add in some special 1/rest abilities that increase the breath or shake it up, for fun tactical options. We can have some of these special breath options consume more legendary actions, to ensure they add flexibility but not raw power that messes with the CR. This also has the advantage of consistency...you don't have to rely on the whim of a recharge role which can have a very large impact on a dragon fight (no recharge rolls = much weaker dragon. All recharge rolls hit = very deadly dragon).

Here's an example to show case it:

Multiattack: The dragon can use its frightful presence. It can then make either a bite or a tail attack. (so a weaker multiattack routine)

Legendary Actions (3/round)
Breath Weapon (2 legendary actions): The dragon releases a cone of XYZ.
Tail Swipe (1 legendary action): The dragon makes a tail attack.
Detect (1 legendary action): The dragon makes a perception check and XYZ.

Special Breath Options (vary per dragon type, age, etc etc).

Heighten Breath (1/rest): Opponents are at disadvantage to their saving throws against the dragon's breath weapon. The breath weapon requires 1 additional legendary action.

Divine Breath (1/rest): Half of the breath weapon damage is changed to radiant damage.

Breath of the Mind (1/rest): The dragon's breath weapon damage changes to psychic, and it uses an intelligence saving throw.

Empowered Breath (1/rest): The dragon may reroll any 1s on its breath weapon damage, and must take the new result. The breath weapon requires 1 additional legendary action.


With this dragon, you can allow for the breath to equal the offense damage of 2 claws and 2 tails every round (compared to the vanilla dragon) .... giving you a lot of design space to make it truly strong and fearful, and backed by consistency...without the whims of a d6 roll... for easy CR assessment and integration.
Before "publishing" the alternate powers I debated if I should include a lesser breath weapon attack in the alternate actions, or leave it for the individual stat blocks. I decided to leave it with the individual stat blocks. For example:

Vitriolic Spray. The dragon exhales acid in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in the cone must make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

I do like the Special Breath Options. I actually prefer them for the alternate actions. Thank you for the suggestions, I will have to incorporate some of these as I go forward. I think I am about ready to update the first dragons now and see what you think.
 

Hey dave! There's a whole pantheon of creatures that need stats: Elder Evils (Eldritch Titans). I understand a few have been done but there are plenty more!
Including the tantalizing Atropus (~CR 40, based on his aspect being Crr 16 and Orcus' aspect being CR 9).
 

Stalker0

Legend
Aboleth Lasher
Challenge
7 (4,350 XP)

My only note here, 5e really tries to avoid stat adjustments that are not "quasi-permanent" whenever possible. One idea would be to just give the creature the higher dex, but not in the Aquatic Area: If the aboleth is out of water, it has disadvantage on all dexterity checks and saving throws. That covers a lot of what you are looking for in a more "5e ish way". I would honestly expect to encounter an aboleth in water most of the time.
 

dave2008

Legend
Hey dave! There's a whole pantheon of creatures that need stats: Elder Evils (Eldritch Titans). I understand a few have been done but there are plenty more!
Including the tantalizing Atropus (~CR 40, based on his aspect being Crr 16 and Orcus' aspect being CR 9).
They are in the plans. buy to be honest Elder Evils aren't really a type. It is a generic description of many different types of monsters. So their will not be an "Elder Evil's Traits" section or anything like that. Some are monstrosities, some are Eldritch titans, some are dragons (I'm looking at you Leviathan). The fluff text would describe them as an elder evil, but there are not universal traits that tie them together.
 

dave2008

Legend
Hey dave! There's a whole pantheon of creatures that need stats: Elder Evils (Eldritch Titans). I understand a few have been done but there are plenty more!
Including the tantalizing Atropus (~CR 40, based on his aspect being Crr 16 and Orcus' aspect being CR 9).
Also, just so you know - there probably isn't a group of high level / hit dice / cr monsters in the history of D&D that I am not at least aware of, if not intimately familiar.
 

Some are monstrosities, some are Eldritch titans, some are dragons (I'm looking at you Leviathan). The fluff text would describe them as an elder evil, but there are not universal traits that tie them together.
"An immense sea monster"
That does not really sound like a dragon, more unique.
But I may be wrong.

Also, just so you know - there probably isn't a group of high level / hit dice / cr monsters in the history of D&D that I am not at least aware of, if not intimately familiar.
That's quite the claim!
I will start on Atropus.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Cheetah
Challenge
1/4 (50 XP)

So quick napkin math check on the CR and I am getting a CR 2, which is assuming that the creature is doing the claw + bite bonus action combo.... and considering that basically all of your PCs at this level or medium or small.... its effectively a DC 18 saving throw....very high for that CR range, so proning the PC should absolutely be expected.

If you made it where every party member had two cheetahs attack them (which at CR 1/4 is honestly still pretty low), I could see a TPK very quickly.

Also Feline Agility is a little confusing. Are you saying that the Dash Action provides 120 speed (instead of a normal dash of 40). Does that mean the cheetahs top speed is 40 move + 120 dash action + 120 bonus action dash = 280 feet?
 

Cheetah
Challenge
1/4 (50 XP)

So quick napkin math check on the CR and I am getting a CR 2, which is assuming that the creature is doing the claw + bite bonus action combo.... and considering that basically all of your PCs at this level or medium or small.... its effectively a DC 18 saving throw....very high for that CR range, so proning the PC should absolutely be expected.

If you made it where every party member had two cheetahs attack them (which at CR 1/4 is honestly still pretty low), I could see a TPK very quickly.

Also Feline Agility is a little confusing. Are you saying that the Dash Action provides 120 speed (instead of a normal dash of 40). Does that mean the cheetahs top speed is 40 move + 120 dash action + 120 bonus action dash = 280 feet?
In real life I would expect a cheetah to TPK normal people.
 

They are in the plans. buy to be honest Elder Evils aren't really a type. It is a generic description of many different types of monsters. So their will not be an "Elder Evil's Traits" section or anything like that. Some are monstrosities, some are Eldritch titans, some are dragons (I'm looking at you Leviathan). The fluff text would describe them as an elder evil, but there are not universal traits that tie them together.
"An immense sea monster"
That does not really sound like a dragon, more unique.
This is Leviathan. He does more resemble a sea serpent.
Screenshot_20-41-33.jpg
 

dave2008

Legend
"An immense sea monster"
That does not really sound like a dragon, more unique.
But I may be wrong.
When I say dragon I mean the monster type "Dragon." Just as a Wyvern, or drake, or dragon turtle, or linworm, are dragons without being "true dragons." From the 5e MM dragons entry:
1601588469891.png

And per the 3e Elder Evils:
1601588530077.png

Since sea serpents are typically associated with dragons, I think it makes sense to put in the Dragon Type (even if it was an aberration in 3e).
That's quite the claim!
I will start on Atropus.
Please do! The more help the better.
 

dave2008

Legend
Cheetah
Challenge
1/4 (50 XP)

So quick napkin math check on the CR and I am getting a CR 2, which is assuming that the creature is doing the claw + bite bonus action combo.... and considering that basically all of your PCs at this level or medium or small.... its effectively a DC 18 saving throw....very high for that CR range, so proning the PC should absolutely be expected.

If you made it where every party member had two cheetahs attack them (which at CR 1/4 is honestly still pretty low), I could see a TPK very quickly.

Also Feline Agility is a little confusing. Are you saying that the Dash Action provides 120 speed (instead of a normal dash of 40). Does that mean the cheetahs top speed is 40 move + 120 dash action + 120 bonus action dash = 280 feet?
I'll take a look, it has been a while since I made the cheetah. I remember it was originally CR 1/2, but I don't remember why I stepped it down.
 
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dave2008

Legend
In real life I would expect a cheetah to TPK normal people.
Maybe normal people, but to be honest cheetahs mostly hunt prey smaller than humans and wouldn't likely attack a human unless they had too. Cheetahs are not that big. I outweigh a large cheetah by about 60-70 lbs, and though I am not as athletic as I used to be, I like my chances if I have weapon of some type.
 


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