CR 30 Critters

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
What are the highest CR 5E monsters and NPCs from official sources? Basically anything CR 27+.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
[Please excuse the quick aside, but I couldn't help but laugh at the use of the word "critter" when describing a potential CR 30 monster. In that regard, I think only the Miniature Giant Space Hamster might apply? LOL!]
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
The only official CR 30 monsters that I can recall are Tiamat and the terrasque.

Even archfiends like Demogorgon and Zariel only come in at CR 26.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
Tiamat and Tarrasque. If you count the Planeshift articles as official (or official enough), then there would be:
Etali, Primal Storm (really big spinosaurus)
Ghalta, Primal Hunger
Nezahal, Primal Tide
Tetzimoc, Primal Death (spikey)
Zacama, Primal Calamity (3-headed T-rex)
Zetalpa, Primal Dawn

I just skimmed through the monster section of the Eberron book (save the best for last), but I think one of the Overlords is in there, so maybe there is another, but I don't have the book in front of me.
 

dave2008

Legend
CR 27+ from official sources would be:
Rak Tulkhesh: CR 28 (ERftLW)
Sul Khatesh: CR 28 (ERftLW)
Tarrasque: CR 30 (MM)
Tiamat: CR 30 (RoT)

Everything else is CR 26 and below.
Yep that is it so far officially. A few more in the CR 26 range though.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Basically the mobs the other posters mentioned.

But it is all about how you play the monster as a DM, if it uses a lair, minion how intelligent it is in its tactics etc.
The CR itself can only give a very rough estimation.
While a (making this up now) stupid CR20 Tyrannosaurus might be just a bag of hitpoints with a very hard melee attack, a CR 20 Dragon should be a major challenge for a 4 PC level 20 party due to his superior intellect, even when encountered alone and outside his lair.
That is at least how i tend to play.
 

dave2008

Legend
Basically the mobs the other posters mentioned.

But it is all about how you play the monster as a DM, if it uses a lair, minion how intelligent it is in its tactics etc.
The CR itself can only give a very rough estimation.
While a (making this up now) stupid CR20 Tyrannosaurus might be just a bag of hitpoints with a very hard melee attack, a CR 20 Dragon should be a major challenge for a 4 PC level 20 party due to his superior intellect, even when encountered alone and outside his lair.
That is at least how i tend to play.
Yes that is true, but that is not why he is asking. He has a new book coming out Mythological Figures and Maleficent Monsters and I am guessing he is trying the gauge what CR the figures and monsters should be.
 

Coroc

Adventurer
Yes that is true, but that is not why he is asking. He has a new book coming out Mythological Figures and Maleficent Monsters and I am guessing he is trying the gauge what CR the figures and monsters should be.
Yea you are right I did not want to lecture @Morrus about the topic, he surely knows these things himself.

Still I think the CR thing in 5e is widely overrated and several CR classifications only apply for a certain party constellation and playstyle, that is for sure. For my group, consisting of Gen X people mostly they do not have the same playstyle that is e.g. portrayed by the pros at the South pax or whatever youtube videos.

I cannot explain it the easy way but I will try: E.g. if you watch those official sessions with chris perkins or so dm then its like : Oh the ravnica arena of bloody death and an npc is to be protected. Then the jim darkmagic guy casts his extradimensional hiding place above the arena and some one else or him uses a magical rope to secure the npc can enter it together with jim who then occasionaly blasts a magic missile from his hole into the ongoing fray. Dispel magic anybody (of the mobs)?
Or some other session taking place in some high up floating citadel, the number of acrobatic stunts requiring if at all a modest dexterity check, and sometimes did not even require a check if the dm found them particularly awesome.

It just is not happening that way at my table or in the round where I do play. I can be lucky enough if the DM gives me an opportunity to stealth. Lately we did have to climb a long rope ladder requiring us to make frequent acrobatics and constitution checks. I did complain about this to him, because I think one dex/str and one con check should be enough for such a task.

I hope I could point out what I intended to write, a mob with CR10 is trash for one group and nemesis of doom for another and it depends on so many factors that maybe CR is the wrong classification. You could as well write HD / caster / meat / heavy hitter / swarmer etc and it would be more helpful in selecting the right challenge.
 

NotAYakk

Adventurer
CR is just damage and HP budget. Most everything else is translated to that or ignored.

Any tendency to pretend otherwise is sort of defeated by the intellect devourer, a CR 2 creature that can insta-kill a modest level PC with surprise.
 

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