D&D 5E I miss easily scaleable modifiable monsters!

zoroaster100

First Post
I miss having a big variety of different CRs for each monster, with not only different hp and AC but different variant abilities. I know I can create monsters myself but I need a greater variety. I have a player that has already memorized the stats for everything in the Monster Manual. I know I can reskin monsters but I can't wait for a Monster Manual 2, 3, 4 etc. so I can mix and match and replace monsters in adventures, use orc paladins, goblin wizards, legendary hydras, elite medusas, etc. right out of a book with no prep time. Even better I'd love a DM's Tool software where I can easily grab a monster from the Monster Manual and at the click of a button get a higher or lower CR version of it, or add a template to it and see its new CR.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Honestly, I like the fast and loose approach of 5E. Want a goblin wizard? Use the goblin boss profile and add a couple of levels of spellcasting ability. Or use the mage NPC and make it size small with 25' movement. Orc paladin could be the Eye of Gruumsh with plate mail and paladin spells swapped in for the cleric ones or the knight NPC with the aggressive trait and darkvision. Personally I find that once you have a feel for how 5E plays modifying a creature ad hoc takes less time than adding a formal template does (granted I have not used software gaming tools, but considering there is nothing for 5E yet that is a bit of a moot point).

Sure more monsters would be better than fewer and an NPC codex like Pathfinder has would be a nice resource but I prefer adjusting creatures according to my sense of what is needed for an encounter rather than the dictates of some preset template.
 

Ravenheart87

Explorer
The DMG has already guidelines for this. Tinkering with monster abilities is actually far easier, than creating one from scratch: remove or add whatever you want, then check the tables on 280-282 about how that changes CR.
 

koga305

First Post
The DMG has already guidelines for this. Tinkering with monster abilities is actually far easier, than creating one from scratch: remove or add whatever you want, then check the tables on 280-282 about how that changes CR.

Absolutely, these work fine with a bit of reading between the lines. If anyone is interested, I wrote a few articles on my blog that cover the subject - one on bumping the Hill Giant's CR and one on creating several 4E-style kobold varieties with special abilities.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I love how systems for generating consistent monsters inspire creativity and imagination, but honestly, regardless of edition, a monster in combat is basically: an AC, some hit points, a 'thac0' or attack bonus, some damage and a special ability or two. When you need a monster quick, it's an easy matter to just wing a monster and if you are off by a little bit, so what. Monster creation is flexible enough that you could end up with any result you wanted anyway way, so just go with what feels right.

It's worth using the system when you have the time, because typically the greater mastery you have over the system the easier you can wing it, but strict adherence to the system is not the prerequisite for a fun encounter.
 

jodyjohnson

Adventurer
The only reason I want new Monster Manuals is because I have an insatiable craving for new monster color art.

The rest is just numbers. No reason to change the abilities much for conversion unless I'd want to change them in the original anyway.
 

Eric V

Hero
I miss having a big variety of different CRs for each monster, with not only different hp and AC but different variant abilities. I know I can create monsters myself but I need a greater variety. I have a player that has already memorized the stats for everything in the Monster Manual. I know I can reskin monsters but I can't wait for a Monster Manual 2, 3, 4 etc. so I can mix and match and replace monsters in adventures, use orc paladins, goblin wizards, legendary hydras, elite medusas, etc. right out of a book with no prep time. Even better I'd love a DM's Tool software where I can easily grab a monster from the Monster Manual and at the click of a button get a higher or lower CR version of it, or add a template to it and see its new CR.

I hear you. It was great feature previously, especially when there were online tools to quicken the adjustments.

I wonder if we'll get a MM2.
 

Bupp

Adventurer
I love how systems for generating consistent monsters inspire creativity and imagination, but honestly, regardless of edition, a monster in combat is basically: an AC, some hit points, a 'thac0' or attack bonus, some damage and a special ability or two. When you need a monster quick, it's an easy matter to just wing a monster and if you are off by a little bit, so what. Monster creation is flexible enough that you could end up with any result you wanted anyway way, so just go with what feels right.

It's worth using the system when you have the time, because typically the greater mastery you have over the system the easier you can wing it, but strict adherence to the system is not the prerequisite for a fun encounter.

I've found it pretty easy to wing it with conversions for Age of Worms into 5e. After the game I write up what I ran. I feel that helps me learn the builds better and makes it even easier to wing it.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
For upgrading monsters I usually just throw some HD on it, add some bonus to the attack and damage, and AC. Probably isn't mechanically perfect but it works fine.
 

Dausuul

Legend
I prefer not having a huge CR range for every monster. I do want some variation, of course. For a typical humanoid monster, I like to have four versions on hand: A grunt, an elite warrior, a caster or other "specialist," and a boss or chief. But the CRs ought to stay within a limited range. The boss might be 4-5 CR above the grunt, but not 10-12. A party that's fought orcs before should be able to look at a group of orcs and estimate, with tolerable accuracy, the danger in taking them on.

I am much more interested in having monsters with different abilities, instead of just bigger or lower numbers.
 


S

Sunseeker

Guest
You mentioned awaiting an MM 2,3,4, so I assume you're talking about 3rd? Because honestly I felt 3rd was one of the worst editions for 'easily scalable monsters'. Or just making monsters in general. The lists of feats, the lists of spells, the special abilities, creating one monster for the party to fight above 5th level was more complicated than creating a 5th level PC.
 


DaveDash

Explorer
I'm converting 3e content to 5e, and yes, 3e uses a lot of monsters with class levels and such. This is a huge hassle in 5e (adding classes to monsters), but fortunately it's pretty easy just to level a monster up using the DMG rules to a higher CR.

Adding more variety is a bit more of a pain, especially spell casting, but it can be done using the DMG. Some spells drastically effect CR more than others. I also find it pointless giving monsters large spell selections because combat doesn't last long enough for them to use them. It's easier just giving a CR8 Goblin Sorcerer a few spell like abilities instead.

If you don't care about accurate encounters then just wing it.
 

Paraxis

Explorer
4th edition was wonderful in scaling monsters, 3rd not so much. The best near D&D system for this is 13th Age's system.

mm3businessfront.gif

and

13thAgeMnstr.jpg

as examples of easy and quick monster making cheat sheets.

5th edition isn't worse than most games, I find it pretty easy to change up monsters but it is not as elegant, simple, or balanced as it should be IMO.
 

painted_klown

First Post
I have a player that has already memorized the stats for everything in the Monster Manual.
Did anybody else read that and think it was seriously amazing?!?! Wow! I only wish I had a memory like that.

Also, if you're unaware. Frog God Games has released a PDF file (with physical book coming soon) titled 5th Edition Foes, that is essentially a 5E MM/Fiend Folio. :cool:
 

Bupp

Adventurer
Giving monsters "class levels" is easy in 5e. The NPC section in the back of the MM (or the limited ones in the DM PDF) is quickly becoming my most used section of that book. Just pick the NPC that matches your power level you are looking for and add any monster abilities on top.
 

A week ago I would have talked about how easy it was with the chart of hp and damage.
Now I'm looking at converting Gardmore Abbey to 5e, and the beholder is the wrong level and almost no monsters are perfect, and I kinda miss being able to just add +/-1 to their defences and tweaking damage.

Especially since the MM doesn't line up with the expected numbers in the DMG in the slightest...

A quick formula for changing hp and damage would be nice. I'm sure someone could figure it out.
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
Honestly, I like the fast and loose approach of 5E. Want a goblin wizard? Use the goblin boss profile and add a couple of levels of spellcasting ability. Or use the mage NPC and make it size small with 25' movement. Orc paladin could be the Eye of Gruumsh with plate mail and paladin spells swapped in for the cleric ones or the knight NPC with the aggressive trait and darkvision. Personally I find that once you have a feel for how 5E plays modifying a creature ad hoc takes less time than adding a formal template does (granted I have not used software gaming tools, but considering there is nothing for 5E yet that is a bit of a moot point).

Sure more monsters would be better than fewer and an NPC codex like Pathfinder has would be a nice resource but I prefer adjusting creatures according to my sense of what is needed for an encounter rather than the dictates of some preset template.
I agree and prefer the fast and loose approach of 5e. I've only glanced at the DMG monster modifying tables. Looks a bit fiddly to me.

I just wing it, using the MM and CRs as a guide. No problems so far. It's easy to switch AC and damage and changing number of attacks or tagging cool effects on. For HP, I tend to look at what other CR equivalent monsters have (I always roll HP anyway, so there is always a degree of luck involved). For spellcasters I just add spellcaster levels straight on and choose some spells. The most fun for me are the "solos" - grabbing a creature and modifying it using the legendary actions/resistances/lair rules as a guide (I hate the label "legendary" and prefer to think of it as simply "elite/solo", but the rules are great and really allow a single creature to threaten a whole party).

I couldnt be happier with 5e monsters and monster creation.
:)
 

gribble

Explorer
The best approach for scaling difficulty in 5e seems to be adding or removing monsters from a group. With bounded accuracy, a large number of monsters is way tougher than a smaller number with slightly increased stats.

Of course that doesn't help with adding class levels and the like, but if all you're after is a higher level version of a monster with higher stats like 4e tended to offer, I've found it's better (and easier) to just add more opponents.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top