Mike Mearls said:The minotaur uses the default d10 Hit Die for size Large creatures. Having 10d10 Hit Dice plus its Constitution bonus puts it at 57 hit points (hit points per d10 Hit Die averages to 5.5). As you can see, the Constitution score has a much smaller effect on a monster’s overall hit points. Instead, a tough monster has more Hit Dice and therefore more hit points.
Ugh. Not only do we still have rolled hit points (taking the average for monsters), but they've made Con pretty much worthless now, at least as far as hp are concerned. It looks like you only add your Con bonus to hit points instead of your score, and you only add it once, no matter what level you are. This is very troubling, as it means 1st level PC hp are going to drop drastically, and I that was one of the things I was spot on in the last playtest.
I am at least glad that the monsters are using the same formula as characters to generate their hp, though. The monster hp in the last playtest seemed to be completely arbitrary, which bugged the hell out of me.
Mike Mearls said:Rage +5/5: This creature can choose to take disadvantage on a melee attack to gain +5 damage. If that attack misses but either die roll was 10 or higher, the attack is instead a glancing blow that deals 5 damage. The attack still counts as a miss for determining other special effects or abilities.
This ability is a complete mechanical mess. Disadvantage is a pretty extreme penalty for a +5 bonus to damage, but then they try to compensate by adding a hit-even-on-a-miss feature.
The more I see of the advantage/disadvantage mechanic, the less I like it. Were numerical bonuses/penalties really that bad? I think it's particularly problematic because it doesn't stack in any way. A raging minotaur gives itself disadvantage on its attacks in return for a boon, but then this in turn renders anything the player characters have that inflict disadvantage as a condition worthless against it. Thus, alot of PC abilities are rendered moot when fighting this creature, because they don't stack with the disadvantage that the creature already imposes upon itself.
Mike Mearls said:Keen Senses: This creature has a +5 bonus to all checks to detect hidden creatures, and the minimum of its d20 die roll on such checks is a 10.
I really hope this means that skills are going to grant a +5 bonus (instead of +3) now. I'll be pleased if that is the case.