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

dave2008

Legend
Curious, you have made a CR34(?) version of Demogorgon in you Epic Monsters thread. Is the new mythic version CR28 because you estimate that's roughly the same power level? I'm pondering where to place the top tier Demon Lords myself, as I feel the official versions too weak. I was considering just adding 5 to all the CRs (so Demogotgon and Orcus CR31), but maybe CR28 mythic is a better fit? :unsure:
I have not made a "formal" decision on this. I made Demogorgon as a favor for a forum member in another thread. The poster wanted an artifact to weaken Demogorgon for their lvl 20 group and we all said Demogorgon is to weak as is. So I made mythic version that provided an improved (IMO) CR 28 Demogorgon in case that was really all he/she needed and applied the mythic trait to give it the power I feel is closer to what Demogorgon requires. So, to be clear I was not really comparing the mythic version to my previous Epic CR 34 version in terms of power. I just made a new one based on the what I thought the poster might need.

Personally I like the mythic template a lot and think it is a better fit than a CR 31 version. In fact. I am think of converting all of my epic monsters to this thread and mythic variants when it makes sense. Currently I am thinking something like this:

Demigods (and similar): CR 21 - 30
Lesser gods (and similar): CR 26-30 X 2 (Mythic 1)
Intermediate gods (and similar): CR 26-30 X 3 (Mythic 2)
Greater gods (and similar): CR 26-30 X 4 (Mythic 3)

This would keep everyone in the same bounded accuracy, but allow greater gods to be much tougher. However, it might be a little limiting and perhaps I need to allow for CRs above 30.
 

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dave2008

Legend
I have added the Primordial Tarrasque to the mythic monsters. I didn't like how the MM tarrasque was a whirling dervish with 5 attacks on its turn. So instead I revised the damage budget and gave it far fewer attacks, but massive damage on each attack and then added the mythic template of course.

PS - I will be taking a short break from this thread to finish up some other work. Then I will be back to post some new work I have waiting, converting stuff from the Epic and Hardcore updates, and getting to @DnD Warlord 's requests.
 

dave2008

Legend
I have added links to all of @Demetrios1453 giants in the Table of Contents. I think these are great examples of how standard monsters can be mode more interesting and challenging. I am really found when there is a bit of a class "template" applied over the standard monster. Anyway, this is what I am looking for in updated / upgrading standard (non "elite" or mythic) monsters for this thread.
 

dave2008

Legend
Phoenix Knight
Medium humanoid (half elf), chaotic neutral
1599051270362.png

Armor Class 17 (breastplate + shield)
Hit Points 78 (12d8 + 24)
Speed 30ft.
1599051271601.png

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
16 (+3)12 (+1)14 (+2)10 (+0)11 (+0)16 (+3)
1599051272873.png

Saving Throws Con +4, Wis+2
Skills Athletics +5, Intimidation +5, Persuasion +5
Senses passive perception 10
Languages Common, Elven, telepathy 60 ft.
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
1599051274761.png


Brave. The knight has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Blood of the Phoenix. The knights's weapon attacks are magical. When the knight hits with a melee weapon, the weapon deals an extra 1d6 fire damage (included in the attack)

Fiery Rebirth (Elite Trait, recharges after a short or long rest) If the knight is reduced to 0 hit points, it doesn’t die or fall unconscious. Instead, it burst into a 10-foot radius ball of fire, all conditions and effects it is suffering end for it, it regains 78 hit points, and all of its abilities recharge. All targets within the area of the fire must make a DC13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 7 (2d6)fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The knights's innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13; +5 to hit with attack spells). It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

At will: firebolt (see actions), mage hand (the hand is invisible), mind sliver
3/day each: jump, detect thoughts

Maneuvers (4 / Short Rest).
The knight’s maneuver ability is Strength (maneuver save DC 13). The knight can use one of the following maneuvers on one attack:
  • Command Attack. The knight can use a bonus action and one attack of an attack action to direct a companion to strike. The knight chooses a friendly creature that can see or hear the knight to use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding 4 (1d8) to the attack’s damage roll on a hit.
  • Cleave. If there is a target adjacent to the initial target and the attack roll to hit the original target would hit the second target, the second target takes 4 (1d8) slashing damage.
  • Trip. The attack causes an additional 4(1d8) slashing damage, and if the target is Large or smaller it must make a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The knight makes two melee attacks.

Kopesh. Melee Weapon Attack. +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) slashing damage plus 3 (1d6) fire damage.

Fire bolt. Ranged spell Attack. +5 to hit, range 120ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d10) fire damage. A flammable object hit by this spell ignites if it isn’t being worn or carried.

Leadership (Recharges after a Short or Long Rest). For 1 minute, the knight can utter a special command or warning whenever a non hostile creature that it can see within 30 feet of it makes an attack roll or a saving throw. The creature can add a d4 to its roll provided it can hear and understand the knight. A creature can benefit from only one Leadership die at a time. This effect ends if the knight is incapacitated.

REACTIONS
Psychic Shield. When the knight or an ally within 20 feet of it is hit an attack, the knight creates a shield of psychic flame, reducing the damage of the attack by 6(1d6+3).

ELITE ACTIONS
Once the knight's elite trait is activated it can take an elite action, choosing from the options below, on its initiative count +10, or in place of one of its standard action on its turn.

Attack. The knight can make a Kopesh or Fire Bolt attack.
Psionic Attack (Recharge 5-6). The knight uses one of the psionic abilities:
  • Psychic Blast. The knight releases a psychic scream in a 20-foot radius. All creatures if its choice within the area must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw, taking 17 (5d6) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
  • Dominate. The knight selects one humanoid it can see within 15 feet of it. The creature must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed. While charmed this way, the knight controls the creature as if it was affected by the spell dominate person. At the end of each of the target's turns it can make another saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success.
---

The Phoenix Knight as an Elite Encounter
Fighting the phoenix knight is equivalent to taking on two CR 3 creatures in one encounter. Award a party 1,400 XP for defeating the phoenix knight.
 
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dave2008

Legend
Harpy Bird Caller
Medium monstrosity, chaotic evil
1599051270362.png

Armor Class 11 (16 w/ barksin)
Hit Points 45 (7d8 + 7)
Speed 20ft., fly 60 ft.
1599051271601.png


STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
12 (+1)13 (+1)12 (+1)7 (-2)11 (+0)15 (+2)
1599051272873.png

Saving Throws Dex +4, Wis+2, Cha +2
Skills Athletics +5, Intimidation +5, Persuasion +5
Senses passive perception 10
Languages Common
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
1599051274761.png


Defiant Screech (Elite Trait, recharges after a short or long rest) If the harpy is reduced to 0 hit points, it doesn’t die or fall unconscious. Instead, it makes a threaten screech and all conditions and effects it is suffering end for it, it regains 35 hit points, and all of its abilities recharge, and it used its Summon Hawks elite action.

Dive. If the harpy is flying and dives at least 30 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a melee weapon attack, the attack deals an extra 9 (2d8) damage to the target.

Flyby. The harpy doesn't provoke an opportunity attack when it flies out of an enemy's reach.

Innate Spellcasting. The harpy's innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 12; +4 to hit with attack spells). The harpy can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

At will: detect magic, druidcraft
2/day each: counter spell, entangle, hunter’s mark
1/day each: barkskin

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The harpy makes two attacks: one with its claws and one with its club.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d4 + 1) slashing damage. If the harpy hits the same target with two claw attacks on the same turn, it is also grappled.

Luring Song. The harpy sings a magical melody. Every humanoid and giant within 300 ft. of the harpy that can hear the song must succeed on a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed until the song ends. The harpy must take a bonus action on its subsequent turns to continue singing. It can stop singing at any time. The song ends if the harpy is incapacitated.
While charmed by the harpy, a target is incapacitated and ignores the songs of other harpies. If the charmed target is more than 5 ft. away from the harpy, the must move on its turn toward the harpy by the most direct route. It doesn't avoid opportunity attacks, but before moving into damaging terrain, such as lava or a pit, and whenever it takes damage from a source other than the harpy, a target can repeat the saving throw. A creature can also repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If a creature's saving throw is successful, the effect ends on it.
A target that successfully saves is immune to this harpy's song for the next 24 hours.

ELITE ACTIONS
Once the harpy's elite trait is activated it can take an elite action, choosing from the options below, on its initiative count +10, or in place of one of its standard action on its turn.

Wing Beats. The harpy beats its wings. Each creature within 10 ft. of the harpy must succeed on a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. The harpy can then fly up to half its flying speed.
Summon Hawks. The harpy summons 1d4 blood hawks that appear in unoccupied spaces within 30 feet of the knight at the end of the knight's next turn. The hawks act immediately after the knight and the knight can use a bonus action or reaction to give them simple commands. The hawks fill fight to the death or until dismissed by the knight with a bonus action.
Howl of the Harpy Recharge 5-6). The harpy screeches out a hateful song. All non-harpy’s within 60 feet of the harpy that can hear it, must make a DC 12 Charisma saving throw, taking 12 (5d4) psychic damage on a failure, or half as much damage on a success.

---

The Harpy Bird Caller as an Elite Encounter
Fighting the harpy bird caller is equivalent to taking on two CR 2 creatures in one encounter. Award a party 900 XP for defeating a harpy bird caller.
 
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MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
Can you clarify? I'm not 100% sure I am following what your suggesting.
Sorry I was trying to tap into the spirit of some of the wilder bloodied mechanisms from 4e. I was thinking Demogorgon could split into 2 1-headed monsters, each with half the hit points the whole monster would have gotten from the necrotic regeneration. My thought was that if you had 2 monsters, each with legendary actions, the action economy would be pretty similar to a party of 4 PC's (2 monsters with 1 action plus potentially 3 legendary/mythic actions=8, which is about the same if 4 PC used actions and reactions). At the end of an hour, the 2 monsters would merge back together.
 

dave2008

Legend
SO I have a few things I have used...I would love for @dave2008 to take a look and maybe rework... here is my first one, a named knight.

Astro The Dragon Knight Medium humanoid, lawful evil

Armor Class 20 (+1 Mithril Plate) Hit Points 480 (34d12+238) Speed 30 ft.

19 Str 13 Dex 24 Con

13 Int 17 Wis 21 Cha

Saving Throws
+7 Dex +9 Wis +11 Cha

Senses Passive Perception 15

Languages Common, Elven, Draconic

Challenge 15 (26,000xp)

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Astro fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

Empowered Strike. When Astro has temp hp he has advantage on attack rolls.

Ridding Mastery. When Astro is mounted he can use his reaction to make any attack that would target his mount target him instead.

Immortality. Astro has achieved immortality, so he does not age.

Mythic Encounter. When Astro first hits 240hp he can as no action gain 240temp hp, 2 legendary actions (see mystic actions) and he and if he is on his mount it gain resistance to all damage except psychic.

Actions

Multiattack. Astro Makes 2 Dragon Sword attacks or 1 Brash strike

Dragon Sword.(+3longsword) Melee Weapon Attack: +13 16(2d8+7) slashing damage

Brash Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: before making the attack Astro gains 9 temp hep, +13 16(2d8+7) slashing damage

Deadly Charge. (when mounted only; +2 lance) Melee Weapon Attack: +12 17(2d12+6) piercing damage plus +2 per 10ft his mount has moved this turn.

Mythic Actions
If Astro’s mythic trait is active, he can use 2 actions inbetween each of his turns and use the following traits:

Attack. Astro can make 1 Dragon Sword attack
Second Wind. Astro can heal himself or his mount 2d12hp
Cone of Fire. Astro can breathe out a 20ft cone of fire, all creatures in the cone take 5d10 fire damage, and can make a Dex save DC 18 for half damage
Wyvern Flight (Costs 2 Actions). If Astro is mounted on his wyvern he can have it move up to 40ft.
Surge the Heroes (Costs 2 Actions). Astro grants all of his allies within 20ft of him 3d10 temp hp and advantage on there next attack.







Wyvern mount

Large dragon, unaligned
Armor Class 16 (Barding) Hit Points 120 (13d10+39) Speed 20 ft., fly 80 ft.

Skills Perception +4
Senses Darkvision 60 Ft., passive Perception 14
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Actions



Multiattack. The wyvern makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its stinger. While flying, it can use its claws in place of one other attack.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 13(2d6+6) piercing damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit:15 (2d8+6) slashing damage.

Stinger. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 13(2d6+6) piercing damage plus (7d6)poison damage. The target must make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw, taking the poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
I have several issues with this one, but I will try to make it so that it feels correct to me and then you can let me know your thoughts.
 

dave2008

Legend
Dragon Knight
Medium humanoid, lawful evil
1599093888148.png

Armor Class 22 (+2 plate armor + shield)
Hit Points 230 (20d8 + 140)
Speed 30ft.
1599093886982.png

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
19 (+4)13 (+1)24 (+7)13 (+1)17 (+3)21 (+5)
1599093886018.png

Saving Throws Str +9, Dex +6 Wis +8, Cha +10
Skills Athletics +5, Intimidation +5, Perception +8
Senses passive perception 18
Languages Common, Elven, Draconic
Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)
1599093884429.png


Deadly Charge. While mounted on its wyvern, if it flies at least 20 feet straight toward a target and the the knight hits the target with a lance attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 26 (4d12) piercing damage.

Dueling. When the knight is wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapon, it gains a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon (included in the attack).

Immortality (Elite Trait, recharges after a short or long rest) If the dragon knight is reduced to 0 hit points, it doesn’t die or fall unconscious. Instead, all conditions and effects it is suffering end for it, it regains 200 hit points, and all of its abilities recharge.

Indomitable (3/Day). The dragon knight can reroll a saving throw it has failed. If so, I it must use the second roll.

Magic Weapons. The knight wields the dragon sword, a +3 longsword that deals an additional 2d6 fire damage on a hit, included in the attack. Additionally, when mounted on its wyvern it wields +2 lance.

Maneuvers (6 / Short Rest). The knight’s maneuver ability is Strength (maneuver save DC 13). The knight can use one of the following maneuvers on one attack:
  • Command Attack. The knight can use a bonus action and one attack of an attack action to direct a companion to strike. The knight chooses a friendly creature that can see or hear the knight to use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding 6 (1d12) to the attack’s damage roll on a hit.
  • Cleave. If there is a target adjacent to the initial target and the attack roll to hit the original target would hit the second target, the second target takes 6 (1d12) slashing damage.
  • Maneuvering Attack. The attack causes an additional 6 (1d12) slashing damage, and the knight chooses one friendly creature that can see or hear it. That creature can use its reaction to move half its speed without provoking opportunity attacks from the original target of the attack.
  • Trip. The attack causes an additional 6 (1d12) slashing damage, and if the target is Large or smaller it must make a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Rally. The knight chooses one friendly creature that can see or hear it, and shouts a command to bolster its resolve. The creature gains 11 hit points.

Ridding Mastery. While the dragon knight is mounted, it can use a reaction to make any attack that would target its mount target the itself instead.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). The dragon knight can use a bonus action to regain 23 (1d10 + 18) hit points.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
Dragon knight makes three dragon sword attacks.

Dragon Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit. 13 (1d8+9) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) fire damage.

Lance. Melee Weapon Attack. +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit. 12 (1d12 +6) piercing damage.

ELITE ACTIONS

Once the knight's elite trait is activated it can take an elite action, choosing from the options below, on its initiative count +10, or in place of one of its standard action on its turn.

Attack. The dragon knight can make a dragon sword attack.
Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon knight exhales a 30 ft. cone of fire. All creatures in the cone must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 27 (5d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
Wyvern Flight. If the dragon knight is mounted on its wyvern, the knight can command it to fly up to 40 feet.

---

The Dragon Knight as an Elite Encounter
Fighting the dragon knight is equivalent to taking on two CR 13 creatures in one encounter. Award a party 20,000 XP for defeating the dragon knight.
 
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dave2008

Legend
Dave, do you have a monster template?
For mythic monsters? I think I did make one, but I have just been copying the monsters I have posted on this thread all ready to serve as a template. I do have some templates for adding PC class abilities, but they are not as good as Ii had hoped (and to modify more than I intended when I actually used them for this thread). Anyway, those are available in the resources section: 5e Hardcore Templates
 


DnD Warlord

Adventurer
Dragon Knight
Medium humanoid, lawful evil
View attachment 125462
Armor Class 22 (+2 plate armor + shield)
Hit Points 230 (20d8 + 140)
Speed 30ft.
View attachment 125461
STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
19 (+4)13 (+1)24 (+7)13 (+1)17 (+3)21 (+5)
View attachment 125460
Saving Throws Str +9, Dex +6 Wis +8, Cha +10
Skills Athletics +5, Intimidation +5, Perception +8
Senses passive perception 18
Languages Common, Elven, Draconic
Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)
View attachment 125459

Deadly Charge. While mounted on its wyvern, if it flies at least 20 feet straight toward a target and the the knight hits the target with a lance attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 26 (4d12) piercing damage.

Dueling. When the knight is wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other weapon, it gains a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon (included in the attack).

Immortality (Elite Trait, recharges after a short or long rest) If the dragon knight is reduced to 0 hit points, it doesn’t die or fall unconscious. Instead, all conditions and effects it is suffering end for it, it regains 200 hit points, and all of its abilities recharge.

Indomitable (3/Day). The dragon knight can reroll a saving throw it has failed. If so, I it must use the second roll.

Magic Weapons. The knight wields the dragon sword, a +3 longsword that deals an additional 2d6 fire damage on a hit, included in the attack. Additionally, when mounted on its wyvern it wields +2 lance.

Maneuvers (6 / Short Rest). The knight’s maneuver ability is Strength (maneuver save DC 13). The knight can use one of the following maneuvers on one attack:
  • Command Attack. The knight can use a bonus action and one attack of an attack action to direct a companion to strike. The knight chooses a friendly creature that can see or hear the knight to use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding 6 (1d12) to the attack’s damage roll on a hit.
  • Cleave. If there is a target adjacent to the initial target and the attack roll to hit the original target would hit the second target, the second target takes 6 (1d12) slashing damage.
  • Maneuvering Attack. The attack causes an additional 6 (1d12) slashing damage, and the knight chooses one friendly creature that can see or hear it. That creature can use its reaction to move half its speed without provoking opportunity attacks from the original target of the attack.
  • Trip. The attack causes an additional 6 (1d12) slashing damage, and if the target is Large or smaller it must make a DC 13 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Rally. The knight chooses one friendly creature that can see or hear it, and shouts a command to bolster its resolve. The creature gains 11 hit points.

Ridding Mastery. While the dragon knight is mounted, it can use a reaction to make any attack that would target its mount target the itself instead.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). The dragon knight can use a bonus action to regain 23 (1d10 + 18) hit points.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
Dragon knight makes three dragon sword attacks.

Dragon Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit. 13 (1d8+9) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) fire damage.

Lance. Melee Weapon Attack. +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit. 12 (1d12 +6) piercing damage.

ELITE ACTIONS

Once the knight's elite trait is activated it can take an elite action, choosing from the options below, on its initiative count +10, or in place of one of its standard action on its turn.

Attack. The dragon knight can make a dragon sword attack.
Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon knight exhales a 30 ft. cone of fire. All creatures in the cone must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 27 (5d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.
Wyvern Flight. If the dragon knight is mounted on its wyvern, the knight can command it to fly up to 40 feet.

---

The Dragon Knight as an Elite Encounter
Fighting the dragon knight is equivalent to taking on two CR 13 creatures in one encounter. Award a party 20,000 XP for defeating the dragon knight.
Where I do like a lot of what you did there. This monster in my game was really a beast with gaining advantage when every he had temps, having a single attack that granted him temps, or a double attack that did not... and his elite/mythic trait giving himself temps equal to half his ho when he first hit half ho (and resist to all non psychic damage) means that he would single attack most rounds until he hit half hp.... then double attack with advantage until he ran out of those temps... then go back to single attacking when temps ran out. Your version lacks the “OMG we have to get those temps down before he kills us” feature that made the middle of the fight so deadly...

also his immortality being notageing was a big sell for the character. Although I do like the fighter idea with manuvers and fighting style.
 

dave2008

Legend
Where I do like a lot of what you did there. This monster in my game was really a beast with gaining advantage when every he had temps, having a single attack that granted him temps, or a double attack that did not... and his elite/mythic trait giving himself temps equal to half his ho when he first hit half ho (and resist to all non psychic damage) means that he would single attack most rounds until he hit half hp.... then double attack with advantage until he ran out of those temps... then go back to single attacking when temps ran out. Your version lacks the “OMG we have to get those temps down before he kills us” feature that made the middle of the fight so deadly...
I see what your saying and their might be a more streamlined way to put that back in. I had a hard time understanding what you were going for in the initial post. Also, this could be a "typical" dragon knight and maybe Astro is a bit different.

The issue I had with Astro's design was the huge HP (which was calculated incorrectly FYI - for an NPC / monster anyway) and the weak attacks. I significantly buffed its attacks and reduced its HP. From my perspective the initial design would have been quite the slog, but it appears that was not the case.

also his immortality being notageing was a big sell for the character. Although I do like the fighter idea with manuvers and fighting style.
He would still be immortal (doesn't age), but I would put it in the descriptive text like angels:

1599136934627.png


There are lots of creatures in D&D that do not age and you don't have that listed in their stat blocks. That was the reason I removed it.

PS A lot of your designs seem to have 4e-isms (which is not a bad place to start), just wandering if you were porting some of your ideas from 4e.
 
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DnD Warlord

Adventurer
I see what your saying and their might be a more streamlined way to put that back in. I had a hard time understanding what you were going for in the initial post. A;lso, this could also be a "typical" dragon knight and maybe Astro is a bit different.

The issue I had with Astro's design was the huge HP (which was calculated incorrectly FYI - for an NPC / monster anyway) and the weak attacks. I significantly buffed its attacks and reduced its HP. From my perspective the initial design would have been quite the slog, but it appears that was not the case.

He would still be immortal (doesn't age), but I would put it in the descriptive text like angels:

View attachment 125477

There are lots of creatures in D&D that do not age and you don't have that listed in their stat blocks. That was the reason I removed it.

PS A lot of your designs seem to have 4e-isms (which is not a bad place to start), just wandering if you were porting some of your ideas from 4e.
Not all of them are ports from 4e but yes 4e was a major inspiration for them. In the case of the dragon knight he has been only a reaccuring frenemy in 5e.
And yeah I play with HP a lot. I normally give monsters max 1st HD like PCs have and sometimes give them slightly over average for the other levels...

Edit: part of that comes from (and why in general I put defense over offense) the fact that I have 2 players who always optimize damage out put and it is rare for ANY player to optimize hp or AC... so to challenge MY players I front load hp even on kobolds
 


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