Level Up (A5E) Elite Monster Template

dave2008

Legend
Why do you find it against the spirit of the elite monster?
If it has to be two monsters into one, and has the same actions, reactions and bonus actions, one would need to double the damage. However doing that would certainly result in a monster with too high damage output for the given CR rating, but a +50% boost should be a significant but still manageable increase
No, it is designed to last 2x as long. So it does 2x the damage by lasting 2x as long. If you increase the DPR, it is doing more than 2x the damage - thus it should be worth more than 2x the XP, but it is not.

Now, I am 100% with upping damage to compensate for less than a 2x increase in HP
 

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dave2008

Legend
-a way to increase its effectiveness by about 50% from the baseline for its Challenge Rating. This is the piece that is not fully a template, since we do that in multiple ways in Monstrous Menagerie. One of the most common we use is to wait until it's bloodied and then double its damage output in some way, but there are many other ways to accomplish something similar (which is why it's more of an art than science so far).

One reason I like the monster becoming more damaging when it is bloodied is because it changes and heightens the battle instead of keeping it a static slog. But you could decide that for a specific monster, you want it to deal 50% damage throughout, or more damage in the first half of the battle, or keep its damage constant and increase its defenses halfway through, etc.
Why? Then shouldn't it be worth more then 2x the XP if it is doing more than 2x damage?

Look, I am all for making monsters stronger, but this is supposed to be the 5e that has the math correct, and upping the DPR messes that up. It is like the O5e fireball all over again.
 

No, it is designed to last 2x as long. So it does 2x the damage by lasting 2x as long. If you increase the DPR, it is doing more than 2x the damage - thus it should be worth more than 2x the XP, but it is not.

Now, I am 100% with upping damage to compensate for less than a 2x increase in HP
I see what you mean. I think there are two different philosophies: you either balance against the total output, or you try to keep a balance on a "per round" basis.

If you balance against the total output you could have a monster that deals very high damage for a round only (for likely TPKs), or very low damage for many rounds (for relatively boring encounters).

The "per round" balance is a bit trickier, but also considers that bursts of damage are impactful. Since the amount of healing one can receive is always on a "per round" basis (healing requires actions on the PC side), if you keep the damage the same as before, due to healing it will have a less significant impact.

To have a "strict" comparison, one should have an elite with 2x the HP that strikes 2x as hard, and once bloodied reverts to a normal monster. This would be equivalent to having 2 identical monsters and focusing all damage on one until it's taken out.
 

dave2008

Legend
To have a "strict" comparison, one should have an elite with 2x the HP that strikes 2x as hard, and once bloodied reverts to a normal monster. This would be equivalent to having 2 identical monsters and focusing all damage on one until it's taken out.
Wait, I think I may have been wrong about this all the time? Maybe @duneguy can clarify it for me. All the time I was think 2x damage messed up the math, but I made the little chart below (using the DMG for simplicity) and it seems you should multiple everything x2.


Standard CR 10 Monster2 Standard CR 10 MonstersElite CR 10 Monster (x2 all)
210 HP420 HP (simultaneous) 420 HP
65 DPR130 DPR130 DPR
70HP/round (@ 3 rounds)140 HP/round (@ 3 rounds)140 HP/round (at 3 rounds)
195 damage @ 3 rounds390 damage @ 3 rounds390 damage @ 3 rounds

Crap, do I need to go back and upgrade all of my elite/mythic monsters. That can't be correct. So let me think about this again. Technically of Mythic Monsters (which elite monsters are based on), it should be effectively 1 monster after another, so over 6 rounds. Let's try this again.

Standard CR 10 Monster2 Standard CR 10 MonstersElite CR 10 Monster (x2 all)
210 HP2 @ 210 HP (consecutive)420 HP
65 DPR65 DPR130 DPR
70HP/round (@ 3 rounds)70 HP/round (@ 6 rounds)70 HP/round (at 6 rounds)
195 damage @ 3 rounds390 damage @ 6 rounds780 damage @ 6 rounds
round 4 = deadround 4 & 7 = dead round 7 = dead

OK, that clarifies things. Doubling the damage makes it a significantly more deadly fight than two standard monsters consecutively.

However, I am still confused. What should I be designing for? 3 rounds or 6 rounds for an elite/mythic monster. And why are two monsters consecutively so different from two monsters simultaneously? I will like I am missing something, but it is too early in the morning for me to wrap my head around it. I will come back to this later.
 

And why are two monsters consecutively so different from two monsters simultaneously?
Because burst damage is worse than damage spread over time (and over different PCs). Doing as much damage instantly can knock a combatant down, making it's DPR contribution 0 until it's conscious again

Furthermore consider this hypothetical scenario: a normal monster deals 30 DPS, and a cleric can heal up to 30HP/round. If there are two monsters, who hit for a total of 60 damage, the cleric can only heal 30, so the unlucky PC is down 30HP. An elite with 2x the HP but normal damage would only inflict 30 damage, which would be completely mitigated by the healing.

There's an important point with this, though: increasing damage should be done very carefully. I find 5e's combat very swingy, mostly because monsters' damage is too high IMO and a crit can knock a PC out very easily. Doubling damage on top of that could mean that the elite may one-shot a PC every round.

This is also why 5e works decently if you have several monsters, but the solo monsters are typically either underwhelming or overpowered.
 

dave2008

Legend
I find 5e's combat very swingy, mostly because monsters' damage is too high IMO and a crit can knock a PC out very easily.
This is only true at low levels. I mean look a high CR dragon*: claw damage 28 (A5e) or 17 (O5e). A crit ( 46 and 26 damage respectively) isn't going to knock out any 20th level PC.

*Ancient Red (CR 26 A5e or CR 24 O5e).

EDIT: Of course in O5e that CR 24 dragon is a challenge for a lvl 15 PCs (4 of them), but even then, no real threat of dropping to 0 from 1 hit.
 

That's because high CR monsters typically have several attacks while low CR monsters only one.
If you stick to the rules and cram all damage in a single attack you'll see that the problem persists
 

dave2008

Legend
That's because high CR monsters typically have several attacks while low CR monsters only one.
If you stick to the rules and cram all damage in a single attack you'll see that the problem persists
Yes I agree, but almost no-one does that. I have done it with a few monsters though! :p

The thing is high level PCs can take it. They have many ways to get up and back in the game.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Standard CR 10 Monster2 Standard CR 10 MonstersElite CR 10 Monster (x2 all)
210 HP2 @ 210 HP (consecutive)420 HP
65 DPR65 DPR130 DPR
70HP/round (@ 3 rounds)70 HP/round (@ 6 rounds)70 HP/round (at 6 rounds)
195 damage @ 3 rounds390 damage @ 6 rounds780 damage @ 6 rounds
round 4 = deadround 4 & 7 = deadround 7 = dead
The middle chart doesn't make sense to me. If your assuming both monsters attack, but one dies on round 4 and the other on round 7 (and I assume they don't get to go on that round), then:

Total DPR = 3 * 65 (monster 1) + 6 * 65 = 585 damage over 6 rounds.

Further, this assumes 0 area damage from a 10th level party....which I think is a terrible assumption. I mean even fighter types in A5e have some area maneuvers and things.
 

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