D&D 5E Let’s Read Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse.

Sulicius

Explorer
Even if the quickling wins initiative (not unlikely), if the wizard has mage armor and shield the quickling will have to burn all it's attacks to take her out, then the cleric hits the quickling with toll the dead whilst reviving the wizard with a healing word. The quickling can only take one more hit. It still loses.

If players are less skilled it's the DM's job to adjust the difficulty of encounters accordingly. No CR system can do it for them.
Like I said, the quickling should always run back behind cover, and with its speed being 4x that of the players, it should be able to stay ahead of them with ease.
All I am saying is that I want monsters to be of roughly similar strength in combat at the same CR, and the quickling clearly isn't. Just because you can imagine circumstances where quicklings die quickly doesn't mean anything.
 

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Like I said, the quickling should always run back behind cover, and with its speed being 4x that of the players, it should be able to stay ahead of them with ease.
What cover? Who said there was cover? And if there is cover why can't the players use it to force the quickling to come to them? They could shut themselves in a 10 square room and smack the quickling as it comes through the door.
All I am saying is that I want monsters to be of roughly similar strength in combat at the same CR, and the quickling clearly isn't. Just because you can imagine circumstances where quicklings die quickly doesn't mean anything.
There are always circumstances where X dies quickly and circumstances where X is challenging. CR can't do circumstances.

If CR is going to be used, it makes more sense for the DM to adjust it themselves taking circumstances into account.
 
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dave2008

Legend
That rather overestimates the benefit of blurred movement.
That may be, but it is the same benefit provided by nimble escape (which I also think is to large). I t hink +1 or 2 to effective AC is better, but the roadmap in the guidelines suggest +4.
Defensive CR is definitely 1/4. Base 1/8, +1 from AC. They would need to be AC 17 for +2 from AC.
The effective AC is 17 (base 16 +1 from evasion = 17) which gives 2 bumps of the CR so 1/2.
As for throwing daggers, how many can they carry? But kit them out with bows, put them outside, and they are basically invulnerable, at the same CR.
The guideline doesn't ask you how many daggers, though technically they only need 1. They don't have to throw them to earn the CR. That is why I agree with you that CR is only a starting point.
 


What cover? Who said there was cover? And if there is cover why can't the players use it to force the quickling to come to them? They could shut themselves in a 10 square room and smack the quickling as it comes through the door.

There are always circumstances where X dies quickly and circumstances where X is challenging. CR can't do circumstances.

If CR is going to be used, it makes more sense for the DM to adjust it themselves taking circumstances into account.
I would think the fact that there are always circumstances is a mark against the CR system, as it presumes there aren't.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I agree (though less about CR and more about encounter XP budget).

Yeah, I think we generally give too much weight to CR, which causes it to let us down. It's impossible for CR to be "accurate" against all parties and all circumstances. At best, it's a guideline that can be used to calculate your budget, which needs to be adjusted based on your party make-up and other encounter factors (terrain, surprise, etc).

CR works, it just doesn't work like we tend to think it does.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Actually that is not true. There is no guide for "Blurred Movement" with respect to CR because it came out after the DMG. The can't anticipate every new feature in the DMG monster making guidelines. However, that doesn't mean it has no effect on CR. I would imagine WotC factored it in and we can look to see if there are similar features in the DMG that we can use to figure our a good adjustment.
That's because the DMG is waaay too specific when it comes to what affects CR. Like, it uses Stench as a factor, but that's the only thing in there that has anything to do with poisoned. Merely inflicting the poisoned condition doesn't alter the CR at all, even if you can inflict it for long periods of time or it has a rider attached (like being paralyzed while poisoned).
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
A first level wizard is dead before they can cast it on average and only defeats a quickling if they have sleep prepared and if they know that is probably the weakness of the Quickling. So yeah, against an optimized metagamer, they are easy pickings if they win initiative.
Or the under-optimizer who just grabs classic spells. I have a friend who frequently uses sleep even against obviously higher-level foes because she really doesn't bother to look at what each spell does or compare them to other spells, and I always feel so bad when I have to tell her her spell has no effect.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Or the under-optimizer who just grabs classic spells. I have a friend who frequently uses sleep even against obviously higher-level foes because she really doesn't bother to look at what each spell does or compare them to other spells, and I always feel so bad when I have to tell her her spell has no effect.
I don't know why, in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-Two, people still insist on looking at Monsters assuming an optimized group of players, when WotC has said they assume play like your friends when they design.
 
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dave2008

Legend
I would think the fact that there are always circumstances is a mark against the CR system, as it presumes there aren't.
Circumstances apply to encounters not CR. They should be discussed in the encounter building guidelines and not part of CR. CR is a monster's "level," but monster or PC level doesn't tell you about circumstances, and shouldn't IMO, and I don't believe that is how it is intended to be used.
 

Thommy H-H

Explorer
On Dragons being over powered for their CR. The Gem Dragons properly match up, so I can see the other Dragons being fixed come the new core.
I figured out that the MM dragon CRs work out if their breath weapons only hit one target (as opposed to two, which is the default assumption for the DPR calculation for area effects). I think it's likely that they statted up the dragons really early on because, you know, it's in the game's name, and also Kobold Press needed them to get the Tyranny of Dragons adventures out ahead of the core books, and therefore hadn't nailed down the maths yet. The dragons in Fizban's do indeed have the right CR for their damage though, and this leads to weird situations like Greatwyrms having less dangerous breath weapons than their Ancient equivalents!

I made some 'rebalanced' statblocks for the MM dragons, and the rule of thumb is that their breath weapon's average damage (per target) is the same as the DPR from their other attacks (not counting Legendary Actions), plus a little bit of hit point tweaking for the older categories IIRC.

But yeah, the conclusion to draw from all this (if any) is that CR is an estimate. It already assumes the monster is going to be used optimally, cheerfully burns through all its resources in one fight, and conveniently dies after three rounds. You have to understand the system's limits and what they're for before you start hacking it. In the case of the quickling, it is CR 3 by the numbers, but they probably knocked it down because there are a lot of situations in which a competently-played party can kill it almost instantly. It's the reverse of the ogre, which is technically CR 1, but its DPR is too much for a level 1 party to handle so it's bumped up to CR 2.
 

I don't know why, in the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand and Twenty-Two, people still insist on looking at Monsters assuming an optimized group of players, when WotC has said they assume play like your friends when they design.
My friends are an optimized group of players. Who's to say other people's friends aren't as well?
 

Circumstances apply to encounters not CR. They should be discussed in the encounter building guidelines and not part of CR. CR is a monster's "level," but monster or PC level doesn't tell you about circumstances, and shouldn't IMO, and I don't believe that is how it is intended to be used.
I just think CR should either be removed, or heavily downplayed in the text (kinda like alignment is now). It's taken far too seriously by the game.
 

dave2008

Legend
I just think CR should either be removed, or heavily downplayed in the text (kinda like alignment is now). It's taken far too seriously by the game.
IDK, the encounter guidelines are based on XP, both per encounter and per day. That, to my eye, is the emphasis in the books. Maybe since I come from the pre-CR days I just don't see CR as big deal by default.
 
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Then congratulations, they are good at D&D. The game is tuned to non-optimuzers so they aren't punished, which rewards optimizers. The arms race is over.
A little snippy there. I'm just saying they really should be clear in the books what their expectations are. If the game as written is intended for a low to moderate level of optimization, they should make that clear in the game, not in comments on social media and interviews.
 

IDK, the encounter guidelines are based on XP, both per encounter and per day. That, to my eye, is the emphasis in the books. Maybe since I come from the pre-CR days I just don't see CR as bog deal by default.
Fair enough. I don't really use it at all. But enough people seem irritated by it that if it isn't a big deal it may be giving off the wrong impression.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
A little snippy there. I'm just saying they really should be clear in the books what their expectations are. If the game as written is intended for a low to moderate level of optimization, they should make that clear in the game, not in comments on social media and interviews.
I mean, the CR system honestly makes that pretty clear. They reward skilled play by not trying to punish or fight people optimizing: if you optimize, you do better. But the assumption is that people are not optimized: based on the D&D Beyond info we have, most people playing really aren't optimizing in the slightest, so it makes sense to use what people are actually doing as the baseline.
 

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