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

dave2008

Legend
Related to this, will you be basing the power of for example Demogorgon, but really all th named baddies of D&D, on 3rd party supplements from DM's Guild, or on your own "epic" character plans, or on expanding the "official" WotC way (i.e. boons)? I know we discussed this before, but I can't actually remember what the outcome was (if any).

I think it will limit the appeal of your work, if you base it on 3rd party material from DM's Guild. The various supplements may differ in power level, and my guess is most people haven't purchased them anyway.

I've already made my preference clear in previous posts, so will refrain from polluting this thread again ;)
I haven't experienced a lot difference between the 3PP products on DMsGuild and epic boons. They are just different, not necessarily more or less powerful. I think one paradigm works for most of the ones I am familiar and with epic boons, with the exception of 2C Gaming's system, which is a bit of its own thing. So the paradigm I have set here is what I'm going with.

FYI, the big difference it the 3PP are more reliable, where as boons can be all over the place. I guess in a sense I am basing it off the boons in that I am not concerning myself with party level expectations, which are meaningless in a boon based system.

P.S.: I will get to the Blues tomorrow. (real life is overrated)
I've only made the adult blue so far. I am working on the adult white and then the adult black. Once I have those up I will go back to doing the rest of the blues.
 

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dave2008

Legend
What if you added +1 attack bonus every 1 CR, rather than every 2? That would make a big difference while still sticking close to the DMG.
The DMG is about +1 per 3 CR, this is already accelerated from that paradigm. I don't want to push it further. Your suggestion would not be "sticking close to the DMG" in my opinion. Which is fine, but not something I am interested in doing. I have another system for completely untouchable monsters and deities.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
So the paradigm I have set here is what I'm going with.

This is for the monsters. What paradigm do you use for the players, was my question. Do I understand you correctly that there really isn't a 'baseline'?
FYI, the big difference it the 3PP are more reliable, where as boons can be all over the place. I guess in a sense I am basing it off the boons in that I am not concerning myself with party level expectations, which are meaningless in a boon based system.
Doesn't CR become even more meaningless that it already is then? Then again. I guess that at those power levels each party is so unique, that the DM will have to measure their abilities vs a given stat block, no matter the CR.

(I'm still not 100% percent sure why the various baddies' CR has to deviate so much from WotC's "official" standard. Why not just make them mythic like your CR28 Demogorgon? But I guess I will know when my party gets higher lvl and start mopping the floor with high CR foes)
 

Stalker0

Legend
Doesn't CR become even more meaningless that it already is then? Then again. I guess that at those power levels each party is so unique, that the DM will have to measure their abilities vs a given stat block, no matter the CR.
Yep, I mean realistically once your in the 15+ range, any sort of a "baseline" goes out the window unless your playing Adventurer's league or something (and I wouldn't argue it if someone wanted to say even 12+ was like that). At this levels if your playing organically no party is going to look like any other, and not just stats....at that point most players are going to have something special, something outside the norm. A special power, unique magic item, more allies and contacts than you can shake a stick at, etc.

I think the best thing you can do is just help the DM understand what the monster is supposed to do, where he's strong, and where he's weak.. and then the DM can adapt to his party. I mean if your willing to DM those high levels I assume you know what your doing at that point. And heck if you mess up...parties have resurrection at that level they will be fine:)
 

dave2008

Legend
This is for the monsters. What paradigm do you use for the players, was my question. Do I understand you correctly that there really isn't a 'baseline'?

Doesn't CR become even more meaningless that it already is then? Then again. I guess that at those power levels each party is so unique, that the DM will have to measure their abilities vs a given stat block, no matter the CR.
Yes, at higher levels (20+) and especially with epic boons each party is unique and CR really has little to no meaning to the PCs. It is really a tool to measure monsters against each other.
 

dave2008

Legend
(I'm still not 100% percent sure why the various baddies' CR has to deviate so much from WotC's "official" standard. Why not just make them mythic like your CR28 Demogorgon? But I guess I will know when my party gets higher lvl and start mopping the floor with high CR foes)
The WotC CR's just don't work for post lvl 20 play. It is as simple as that. They need to higher or their is simply nothing to challenge a high level / epic boon party.
 



dave2008

Legend
I have completed drafts of the Adult White and Black dragons for review and comment. I would love to hear your thoughts:
I went with a "Brute" approach for the White and a "Lurker" approach for the black. Taking a bit of the 4e approach. I still need to balance some things with the black, but I thought I would get some feedback first.
 
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Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
For the White, there should be a size limit for being proned/pushed like the tail. Otherwise, like it! Though, it doesn't seem as "brutish" as its 4e role (and earlier) would indicate.

For the Black, there should be a size limit for being proned/pushed like the tail. The Black must be in melee to remove resistance to acid. That's quite an disadvantage. But somehow, I don't get a black dragon vibe. Aren't they lurkers?
 

dave2008

Legend
For the White, there should be a size limit for being proned/pushed like the tail. Otherwise, like it! Though, it doesn't seem as "brutish" as its 4e role (and earlier) would indicate.
It is harder to do true "Brutes" in 5e. It has as much HP as a green dragon (which is CR 16 vs CR 14 for the white) and I gave it the "Brutal" trait which gives it more melee damage. I could give it fewer saving throws to bump its HP if you feel that is more in theme. Similarly I could give it a to hit penalty to increase its damage. That feels brutish to me, should I give that a try?

EDIT: I guess I changed something at some point. It has more HP than the black, but less than the green.
For the Black, there should be a size limit for being proned/pushed like the tail. The Black must be in melee to remove resistance to acid. That's quite an disadvantage. But somehow, I don't get a black dragon vibe. Aren't they lurkers?
I'm still working on it. I gave it the ability to hide and disengage as a bonus action, legendary action movement without OA, and the gloom LA. So it has lots of ways to avoid damage and get advantage on attacks. Technically too many as its CR (because of the hide and disengage traits) should be 2 higher! The thought was with all the ways it can avoid damage and hide it can get into melee to remove the acid resistance. FYI, originally I had an "Acid Gob" ranged attack that removed resistance, but I wanted this guy to be different. Maybe the "Gloom" attack can remove resistance?

What do you think I can do to make it more of a Lurker?
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
I could give it fewer saving throws to bump its HP
What do you mean? Save proficiency does not affect CR (afaik) - though perhaps it should.
Similarly I could give it a to hit penalty to increase its damage. That feels brutish to me, should I give that a try?
that could work. Risk being, it can't hit anything.
What do you think I can do to make it more of a Lurker?
Still pondering this. Can't put my finger on it. It just didn't feel lurkery to me, more skirmish. In 4E a lurker typically had a build up, to a particulary damaging attack. (not much help, sorry)
 

dave2008

Legend
What do you mean? Save proficiency does not affect CR (afaik) - though perhaps it should.
Yes the do, per the DMG:

A monster with three or more saving throw bonuses has a significant defensive advantage, so its effective AC (not its actual AC) should be raised when determining its challenge rating. If it has three or four bonuses, increase its effective AC by 2. If it has five or more bonuses, increase its effective AC by 4.

that could work. Risk being, it can't hit anything.
Yep. I haven't look at yet to see how big of an effect, but it would be -2 to hit, +x damage
Still pondering this. Can't put my finger on it. It just didn't feel lurkery to me, more skirmish. In 4E a lurker typically had a build up, to a particulary damaging attack. (not much help, sorry)
I know, but when I reviewed the 4e black I didn't quite see that (more hide and seek), but maybe I didn't look closely enough. I will think about it to.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
Yes the do, per the DMG:

A monster with three or more saving throw bonuses has a significant defensive advantage, so its effective AC (not its actual AC) should be raised when determining its challenge rating. If it has three or four bonuses, increase its effective AC by 2. If it has five or more bonuses, increase its effective AC by 4.
Do'h!!
Can't believe I've missed that for five years! And missed it again just now when I checked 😵
 

Black Dragon, Adult
Huge dragon, chaotic evil
View attachment 127393
Armor Class 20 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 250 (20d12 + 120)
Speed 50 ft., climb 40 ft., fly 130 ft., swim 50 ft.
View attachment 127392
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
21 (+5)20 (+5)22 (+6)15 (+2)14 (+2)17 (+3)
View attachment 127391
Saving Throws Dex +10, Con +11, Wis +7, Cha +8
Skills Acrobatics +10, Athletics +10, Perception +12, Stealth +10
Damage Resistances poison
Damage Immunities acid
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive perception 22
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP)
View attachment 127390
Acidic Blood. If the dragon as 125 hit points or less and a creature hits the dragon with a melee attack while within 5 feet of the dragon, the attacker takes 7 (2d6) acid damage.

Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.

Dissolve. When an area is subject to the dragon’s Acid Breath it is covered in pool of acid for 1 minute. Objects in the area take 5 (1d10) acid damage each round on initiative count 20 (loosing ties) and creatures that pass through or end their turn in the area take 5 (1d10) acid damage.

Dragon Magic (4/Day).* The dragon uses its innate magic, requiring no components, to create the following spell-like effects (spell save DC 16 +8 to hit with attacks) as if they are 3rd level spells: chill touch, melf's acid arrow, vampiric touch

Dragon Scales.
The dragon has resistance to all damage from an attack or effect that originates 150 feet or more from the dragon.

Dragon Traits.* The dragon can use the following Dragon Tactics: dive, multi-claw, snatch, strafing, tail sweep, wing buffet

Keen Senses. The dragon has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks.

Magic Weapons. The dragon’s weapon attacks are considered uncommon magical weapons.

Swamp Glide. While in a swamp, marsh, or similar environment, the dragon ignores difficult terrain caused by mud, plants, and organic debris and it can use a bonus action to take the Disengage or Hide actions on its turn.

Unstoppable (3/Short Rest). At any time, requiring no action, the dragon can take 30 hit points of damage and immediately end all conditions or effects it is suffering. After taking the damage, the dragon cannot take reactions until the start of its next turn.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: two with is claws and one with its bite. The dragon can substitute a tail or tail sting attack for a bite or two claw attacks.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 5) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) acid damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d6 + 5) slashing damage and, if the dragon wishes, the target must make a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone or pushed 10 feet, the dragon's choice.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be stunned until the end of the dragon’s next turn.

Tail Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d6 + 5) piercing damage plus 7 (2d6) poison damage and target must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw or loose all resistance to acid damage for 1 hour

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon's choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon's Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Acid Breath (1/Rest). The dragon exhales acid in a 100-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in the line must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed saving throw the target takes 55 (10d10) acid damage and at that start of each of the target's turns it takes an additional 5 (1d10) acid damage. On a successful save, the target takes half as much damage and does not take any continuing damage. The target, or an ally within 5 feet of it, can use an action to make a DC 15 Intelligence (Nature) check to neutralize the poison, ending the continuing damage on a success. Additionally, any magic or active spell of 3rd level or lower crossed by the line ends.

Recharge. The dragon recharges its breath weapon and it can use it on its next turn.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
The dragon 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. If the dragon has unspent legendary actions at the end of the round, it may spend and immediately use its remaining legendary actions. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The dragon heightens its senses, it makes a Wisdom (Perception) check and gains advantage on its next attack.
Slippery Move. The dragon can move half its walking or swimming speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
Tail Sting (Cost 2 Actions). The dragon makes a Tail Sting attack.
Gloom (Costs 3 Actions). The dragon creates a 20-foot radius area of magical darkness centered on a point the dragon can see within 300 feet of it. The area of darkness blocks line of sight and creature with darkvision can't see through or in this area. Sources of nonmagical or magic light of 3rd level or lower cannot illuminate the area and are extinguished if they overlap with the area of darkness. The dragon is immune to the effects of the darkness and has advantage on its attacks against targets in the area of darkness.

The dragon can use a bonus action on its turn to move the area of darkness up to 20 feet in a direction of its choice.
Acidic blood: I think you should double the damage when it reaches, I dunno, 50?
All the attacks have the same attack bonus, maybe you could change it up for variety?
 

dave2008

Legend
Do'h!!
Can't believe I've missed that for five years! And missed it again just now when I checked 😵
I missed it to. I didn't figure it in any of my old hardcore or epic updates. I don't think it comes into play to most of this thread so far, but I will need to check some of the earlier entries.
 

dave2008

Legend
Acidic blood: I think you should double the damage when it reaches, I dunno, 50?
Possibly, but it seems like more to track for not a lot of benefit to me.
All the attacks have the same attack bonus, maybe you could change it up for variety?
Well most attacks use the same stat. You typically get differences with the saves though (some str based, some con based, and some cha based). I also prefer them to have the same bonus as it is easier to DM. There is little benefit, IMO, to have a +9 in one attack and +10 on another just for variety sake. I am not opposed to doing it, but I just base it on the stats.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
I missed it to. I didn't figure it in any of my old hardcore or epic updates. I don't think it comes into play to most of this thread so far, but I will need to check some of the earlier entries.
Really, str, int and cha saves should count for less. From the top of my head, I can't think of any instance where they are relevant.
 


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