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D&D 5E (+)Converting Pre-5e Monsters to 5e?

Azzy

KMF DM
Hello, World! I'm seeking a bit of advice for converting monsters from earlier editons to 5e. There are older monsters that I'd love to bring back to my table, and having converted a few, I've been left with a few questions about bring them up to 5e's design paradigm:

(Original) TSR-Era Monsters: Due to 5e's hit die/hit point/damage bloat, a strait conversion of old hit dice to new creates monsters that are weaker than they should be for an equivalet level of challenge. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to increase the HD to old creature to make them fit the hp bloat of 5e?

3.x-Era Monsters: These monsters seem to have a similar problem with hp (especially low-level monsters). Also, the ability scores of 3.x monsters seem to be higher than what 5e tends to use.

4e-Era Monsters: I never so much as played 4e, so I really don't know how to compare 4e stats to 5e in a informed fashion.

Any help on these issues would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Blue Orange

Adventurer
From what I can tell, the hit dice were pretty similar 1/2e to 3e, and the hit points were pretty similar 3e to 5e, the difference being that when they started giving tougher monsters Con scores and thus HP bonuses in 3e they all gained a bunch of extra HP which 5e then retrofitted to HD in some cases.

So if you can figure out some sort of relationship between average HD and average CON in 3e you'd have your answer. Anyone got a big spreadsheet of the 3e monsters?
 


Quickleaf

Legend
Hello, World! I'm seeking a bit of advice for converting monsters from earlier editons to 5e. There are older monsters that I'd love to bring back to my table, and having converted a few, I've been left with a few questions about bring them up to 5e's design paradigm:

(Original) TSR-Era Monsters: Due to 5e's hit die/hit point/damage bloat, a strait conversion of old hit dice to new creates monsters that are weaker than they should be for an equivalet level of challenge. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to increase the HD to old creature to make them fit the hp bloat of 5e?

3.x-Era Monsters: These monsters seem to have a similar problem with hp (especially low-level monsters). Also, the ability scores of 3.x monsters seem to be higher than what 5e tends to use.

4e-Era Monsters: I never so much as played 4e, so I really don't know how to compare 4e stats to 5e in a informed fashion.

Any help on these issues would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
There are great guides out there, but having converted hundreds of monsters for my game, I feel comfortable saying a good deal of it is (a) comparing to what's there with a good dose of common sense (i.e. this gargoyle-esque creature is tougher than a normal gargoyle but not as tough as a nabassu), and (b) creative sorcery.

Thus, while I have loose guidelines in the back of my mind and will refer to them as needed, I pretty much approach each monster as an entirely unique case. And I keep in mind the level/power of the PCs I intend the monster to be presented for.

You can see my detailed conversion process for an AD&D dune stalker and a AD&D/3e maelephant over here: D&D 5E - The Shadow in the Flame: A Workshop on Designing Dungeons, Monsters, and a Villain
 

Larnievc

Explorer
From what I can tell, the hit dice were pretty similar 1/2e to 3e, and the hit points were pretty similar 3e to 5e, the difference being that when they started giving tougher monsters Con scores and thus HP bonuses in 3e they all gained a bunch of extra HP which 5e then retrofitted to HD in some cases.

So if you can figure out some sort of relationship between average HD and average CON in 3e you'd have your answer. Anyone got a big spreadsheet of the 3e monsters?
You could do worse than use this:

 

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