D&D 5E Redesigning the Monster Block - What four things do you put first, right after the name?

What four things do you put first, right after the name, if you get to redesign the monster block?

  • Activity Cycle (Day, Night, etc...)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Alignment (for non-humanoids)

    Votes: 2 4.0%
  • Alignment (for all creatures)

    Votes: 9 18.0%
  • Armor Class

    Votes: 23 46.0%
  • Challenge Rating, Level, and/or XP value

    Votes: 29 58.0%
  • Creature Type (Aberation, Humanoid, etc...)

    Votes: 27 54.0%
  • Diet (Carnivore, Herbivore, etc..)

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Frequency (e.g. Common, Rare, etc...)

    Votes: 2 4.0%
  • Hit Dice and/or Hit Points

    Votes: 24 48.0%
  • Initiative Bonus

    Votes: 11 22.0%
  • Intelligence

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Movement Rate / Speed

    Votes: 11 22.0%
  • Number Appearing / Organization

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Percent chance being in lair

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Role (e.g. Brute, Striker, etc...)

    Votes: 17 34.0%
  • Senses (e.g. Perception bonus, darkvision, etc...)

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Size (Small, Large, etc...)

    Votes: 14 28.0%
  • Terrain (e.g Forest, Mountains, etc...)

    Votes: 5 10.0%
  • Other (Not just a variant of the above, please specify in the comments)

    Votes: 7 14.0%

Jeff Carlsen

As others have pointed out, the stat block has to serve two competing needs: combat and adventure design. Because combat always happens at the table, whereas adventure design happens before, I think the stat block has to be optimized for combat and put AC, HP, Speed, etc. at the top.

But, that doesn't mean we have to abandon making thing easier during adventure design. CR, number appearing, habitat, and the rest can still be grouped and designed in such a way that they're easy to scan. You could even go as far as to have a separate stat block for this.

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Mind Mage
Combat Data: Role, AC, Initiative, HP, Move, CR,
Creature Description:Size,Type, Saves, Skills, Intelligence,
Behaviour: Senses, terrain, activity cycle, diet

I dont need alignment and will make up number appearing myself. Group organisation I'd prefer to see in the write up alongside discussion of its behavior and special abilities
Useful organization.

I would include Role and Alignment as part of the Behavior section.


Yep. A Monster Manual entry and a "monster stat block" are two different things, and are used in different ways. So to answer the OP's question:

I think that a stat block in an adventure module should only have the info necessary to run the monster in combat: initiative, AC, hp, attacks, abilities, and saves. If the creature isn't intended to be part of combat (say, an NPC shopkeeper), simply a name and ability scores are all that are needed.

But the entry of the Monster Manual should have everything...an artist's rendition, an italicized description, history and lore, and everything else short of a completed character sheet.

I was meaning monster manual and should have been clearer in the text for the question.

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