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Level Up (A5E) Elite Monster Template

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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:
No the monsters are consecutive. So one fights and then dies and then the next one fight and then dies. Only one monster at a time. This conceptually what a mythic monster is.

What should I be designing for? 3 rounds or 6 rounds for an elite/mythic monster.
That decision is up to you. However, if you want the mythic monster to count as a "double" monster, I wouldn't balance it on a 3 rounds basis, or the damage would be too high and the combat will be swingy.
Besides, it wouldn't feel different from any normal monster, except that it hits way harder. Not fun, IMO


If the goal is to have an elite monster be effectively two normal monsters (simultaneously, not consecutively), then increasing DPR (or combat effectiveness) by 50% seems fair. After all, after half of the total HP in damage has been dealt to two normal monsters, one of them will have died and no longer contributes to the fight (assuming perfect focus fire). So while above 50% two normal monsters deal 200% damage, below 50% they will only deal 100% because only one is still left standing. Assuming roughly equal dpr throughout the fight (which is a bad assumption because players tend to value burst damage, but alas), half the fight would be 200% and the other half 100% of damage, leading to an average of 150% damage.

Now there are some differences, some have been mentioned already. Two monsters will be vulnerable to AoE, but they are simultaneously harder to lock down with control effects, as you need to disrupt twice the action economy. A normal party will rarely focus down one monster before dealing any damage to the other, leading to a longer period of 200% damage (as both monsters are still alive). Damage from two monsters tends to approach a more average DPR (two swings with 10 dmg or one swing of 20 damage), missing a single large attack is more swingy than missing one of two smaller attacks.

While I agree that having an elite deal 100% damage while not bloodied, increasing to 200% while bloodied makes for interesting gameplay (and leads to desired effectiveness), it does not always make sense from a narrative perspective. After all, heavily wounded creatures should be less effective in combat, not more. Pop culture trains us to think of heroic last stands, desperation moves, tapping into reserves, etc., and they are used that way for a reason, because it's awesome! But I think there is also something to be said for the opposite: At the start of battle the elite seems like a terribly strong opponent, perhaps too strong to defeat, hitting like a freight train or casting the most horrible magic. But as you grind the boss into submission, if becomes weaker and weaker, until it eventually succombs to your onslaught. So maybe start the elite at 200% DPR, and take it down to 100% when bloodied, the same way swarms typically work?

Following up on what should you design for (which of course is your decision!):
if the idea is that a Mythic monsters is 1 monster followed by another, you could use an old trick from some videogames and other TTRPG resources (Giffyglyyphs's monster maker) and have a monster fight that progresses in stages.
This switch in mindset accomplishes a couple of different things:
  • 1st, you can simply design 2 normal monsters and stitch them one after the other, or you make some changes but without even considering that it's a single monster
  • 2nd, you can signal players that the encounter is now different. For instance, a heavily armored monster could have high AC and defenses initially, but be somewhat sluggish, with few very powerful attacks. Once bloodied you could describe it as having a good chunk of its armor broken, so it gets rid of the tattered armor and it's now way faster and filled with bloodlust. Thus it could now have lower AC and defenses, but be faster, with more attacks per round, and different attacks that it didn't have before.

With this in mind, you can have Mythic monsters that take more than 2 stages, which could work for end of campaign BBEG epic fights.

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