Sanity Checking some Monster Damages

keterys

First Post
Hopefully folks can help me out a little bit. I've been taking a serious look at the Monster Manual monsters to try and figure out which monsters are... problematic. I've created a spreadsheet and put in expected damage for a monster over a fight and judged it against an ideal couple of surges spent per monster.

So, here's a first pass at identifying monsters whose damage is either too low or too high. I haven't tweaked the formula excessively to account for survivability or annoyance - that'll come later, but I do have a list of 12 low and 16 high damage monsters from levels 1-5 in the monster manual. So, long story still long, which of the following creatures do you feel are misplaced on this list?

LOW
Dire Rat
Gray Wolf
Human Bandit
Skeleton
Greenscale Hunter
Magma Claw
Phantom Warrior
Bugbear Warrior
Ettercap Webspinner
Greenscale Darter
Slaad Tadpole
Tangler Beetle

HIGH
Fire Beetle
Halfling Slinger
Stormclaw Scorpion
Elf Archer
Elf Scout
Needlefang Drake Swarm
Rat Swarm
Ochre Jelly
Hobgoblin Warcaster
Kruthik Adult
Specter
Blazing Skeleton
Boneshard Skeleton
Fire Bat
Orc Eye of Gruumsh
Vine Horror

In some cases, the problem is a little more obvious. The Slaad Tadpole is atrociously low damage, while the Needlefang Drake Swarm is intensely high. The Human Bandit and Ochre Jelly would be much smaller changes.
 
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Lancelot

Adventurer
Some random thoughts...

Rated as Low, but aren't actually Low:

  • Human Bandit: 1d8+1 + 1d6 sneak is decent for a 2nd level skirmisher. They'll likely have a flanker, and have an encounter ability that dazes a target even if they're acting individually. I've seen a group of these tear up a party pretty bad.
  • Gray Wolf: Generally fight in packs, which means PCs end up prone frequently (flanked = prone on a hit). That means subsequent attacks are +9 vs AC, 2d6+2 damage. If three wolves focus on a single PC, they could easily take 20-30 damage in a single round, from 2nd level skirmishers.
  • Magma Claw: On the margin, but I don't think 2d6+4 is too shabby for a 4th level brute. Especially as they have an alternate Reflex attack mode.

Not rated as High, but absolutely should be:

  • Deathjump Spider: Alongside the needlefangs, this is widely regarded as the most "out-of-line" low level creature. An At-Will attack that allows 6 squares of shift, 3d6+3 damage, slowed, and ongoing 5 damage. That's average 20+ damage per hit for a 4th level skirmisher, which is beating many 10th level brutes.
  • Wraith: As a player and a DM-of-players, I know that we'd all be happier to face specters than wraiths. Specters have a good (rechargeable) area attack, but at least you can kill them. Wraiths have the capability of dishing out high damage (+10 vs Reflex, 2d6+4 damage, vs flanked or unaware targets) and they have the triple whammy of Insubstantial-Weaken-Regeneration. Unless the party features strong divine characters, a low level group facing more than 1 wraith is in for a world of hurt.
Most of the creatures on your "Too High" list are certainly tough opponents, but I'd only hesitate to use the needlefangs (in addition to the two listed above).
 

keterys

First Post
Heh, it's a bit complex, but let's see...

PCs tend to have on the order of 20+5*lvl hp, give or take, so a basic stab is that a monster should do about 10+2.5*lvl (*2 elite, *5 solo, *.5 minion) over about 3 (4 elite, 5 solo) rounds of activity. With some heavy variation. The critters listed are ones that do less than 2/3 of that or more than 3/2 of that. Cause having a critter that does 9 damage the same level as one that does 51 seems off.

LOW
Dire Rat: Lvl 1 Brute - +4 Att, 5.5 avg damage, no special abilities (~6.6, 53%)
Gray Wolf: Lvl 2 Skirmisher - +7 Att, 5.5 avg damage, +3.5 againt prone (~10, 67%)
Human Bandit: Lvl 2 Skirmisher - +6 Att, 5.5, +3.5 CA (~9, 60%)
Skeleton: Lvl 3 Soldier - +10, 6.5 (11.7, 67%)
Greenscale Hunter: 4 Skirmisher - +9, 7.5 (11.25, 56%)
Magma Claw: 4 Brute - +7, 11 (13.2, 66%)
Phantom Warrior: 4 Soldier - +9 vs. Reflex, 6.5, easily obtains CA (12.35, 62%)
Bugbear Warrior: 5 Brute - +7, 12, 1/enc +3.5 dmg (14.35, 64%)
Ettercap Webspinner: 5 Controller - +10, 8.5, (12.75, 57%)
Greenscale Darter: 5 Lurker - +10, 1 dmg & +8Fort Ongoing 5, (13.6, 60%)
Slaad Tadpole: 5 Lurker - +10, 4.5 dmg (6.75, 30%)
Tangler Beetle: 5 Controller - +10, 9.5 dmg (14.25, 63%)

HIGH
Fire Beetle: 1 Brute - Blast3 (assumed 2 targets avg) R56 +4Ref, 10.5 or +5, 7 (21.7, 174%)
Halfling Slinger: 1 Artillery - R56 3 shots +4, 7.5 or +6, 7.5, and +3.5 with CA (26, 208%)
Stormclaw Scorpion: 1 Soldier - +8, 6.5 dmg & grab, auto 5 damage each round if grabbed does not escape, free attack +6Fort, 5.5 and ongoing 5 if does escape (25.5, 204%)
Elf Archer: 2 Artillery - +7, 9.5, free reactive attack, one attack reroll, can get +2 att, (22.8, 152%)
Elf Scout: 2 Skirmisher - +7, 8.5, one attack reroll, 1/enc 8.5 & 7.5 attack, +3.5 with CA (24.5, 163%)
Needlefang Drake Swarm: 2 Soldier - +8, 9.5, +5.5 on prone, minor +7F prone, aura of free basic att each round - assumed 4 attacks gained (51.5, 343%)
Rat Swarm: 2 Skirmisher - +6, 6.5 and ongoing 3, aura basic attacks x4 (29.9, 200%)
Ochre Jelly: 3 Elite Brute - +8, 8 and ongoing 5, at bloodied can split in two - some table variation on whether the action point duplicates at bloodied or not so split the difference (54.25, 155%)
Hobgoblin Warcaster: 3 Controller - R6 Blast 5 (3 targets) +7R, 13 (Miss 6.5), R456 +8/15, R56 +7F/11 (52.6, 300%)
Kruthik Adult: 4 Brute - R56 2 targets +7/8.5 and ongoing 5, otherwise +8/8.5, aura of auto 2 damage to enemies ending adjacent (2 hits) (30.4, 152%)
Specter: 4 Lurker - R56 Close burst 2 +7W/9, -2 defense aura, invis for CA, +7R/5.5 (33.65, 168%)
Blazing Skeleton: 5 Artillery - Aura 5 dmg at start (2 hits), +8R/9 & ongoing 5 (34.75, 154%)
Boneshard Skeleton: 5 Brute - Bloodied/Death Close burst 3 +8R/10, +9/5.5 & ongoing 5 (or 12.5) (57.55, 256%)
Fire Bat: 5 Skirmisher - +6R/7.5 and ongoing 5, 2 targets per round (36, 160%)
Orc Eye of Gruumsh: 5 Controller - 1/enc Area burst 1 +8R/10, doles out -4 AC buffing ally damage, self plus allies gain death strike, assumed buff on own attacks and 3 death strikes total, +10/7.5 (36.25, 161%)
Vine Horror: 1/enc Close burst 5 +10R ongoing 10, +8/8.5 (51.8, 230%)
 
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keterys

First Post
Some random thoughts...

Rated as Low, but aren't actually Low:

  • Human Bandit: 1d8+1 + 1d6 sneak is decent for a 2nd level skirmisher. They'll likely have a flanker, and have an encounter ability that dazes a target even if they're acting individually. I've seen a group of these tear up a party pretty bad.
  • Gray Wolf: Generally fight in packs, which means PCs end up prone frequently (flanked = prone on a hit). That means subsequent attacks are +9 vs AC, 2d6+2 damage. If three wolves focus on a single PC, they could easily take 20-30 damage in a single round, from 2nd level skirmishers.
  • Magma Claw: On the margin, but I don't think 2d6+4 is too shabby for a 4th level brute. Especially as they have an alternate Reflex attack mode.
Bandits aren't very accurate, especially their dazing attack. To counterbalance your party torn up by a group of them, last month my level 1 paladin took on 4 of them, with 4 minions to help lock in flank, starting the combat entirely surrounded by all 8 something like 20 squares from the rest of the party... and didn't need a heal. A 35% chance to land a daze against an enemy of its level just isn't that impressive. Even if sometimes it works out.

Wolves _require_ a prone target to do normal damage... but I'll admit I was surprised it turned up on closer examine and saw it was due to a rounding - they're on the exact boundary of what I cut, cause I did <=. Magma Claws do reasonable damage with low accuracy - but, yes, hits the exact margin of my criteria. Now... do you think they would be overpowered if wolves did more damage with a normal bite, but the same against a prone target, or magma claws if they had an extra +1 attack or +2 damage? Neither is particularly good at surviving, so a combat against several of them is likely to just be less threatening than against _many_ other creatures.

Not rated as High, but absolutely should be:

  • Deathjump Spider: Alongside the needlefangs, this is widely regarded as the most "out-of-line" low level creature. An At-Will attack that allows 6 squares of shift, 3d6+3 damage, slowed, and ongoing 5 damage. That's average 20+ damage per hit for a 4th level skirmisher, which is beating many 10th level brutes.
  • Wraith: As a player and a DM-of-players, I know that we'd all be happier to face specters than wraiths. Specters have a good (rechargeable) area attack, but at least you can kill them. Wraiths have the capability of dishing out high damage (+10 vs Reflex, 2d6+4 damage, vs flanked or unaware targets) and they have the triple whammy of Insubstantial-Weaken-Regeneration. Unless the party features strong divine characters, a low level group facing more than 1 wraith is in for a world of hurt.
Deathjumps have horrible accuracy, so their expected damage actually ends up in line for their level. Sometimes, they do _nothing_, sometimes they are crippling. So they're not going to show up generically for threat. If I modified them, I frankly wouldn't want to reduce their average damage - I'd definitely want to reduce their spike damage, while increasing their accuracy. Or just make DFA rechargeable. Or some combination - it's definitely not a good critter.

Wraith's damage is fine. Survivability is a _totally_ different issue. Regen, Insub, Weaken should _never_ go together. Frankly, I think wraiths would be stronger if they lost both regen _and_ weaken. But, yes, wraith might be the poster child for why I said I hadn't changed the formula yet for survivability or annoyance.

Most of the creatures on your "Too High" list are certainly tough opponents, but I'd only hesitate to use the needlefangs (in addition to the two listed above).
Not looking _just_ for totally broken ones, but ones that are far off from the majority.
 
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Lancelot

Adventurer
Fair points, although if the challenge is to find out which creatures are "problematic", I think swinginess is more of a concern (given 4e's design) than predictably lower-or-higher damage than creatures of comparative level.

Take the humble deathjump, versus (say) a specter - which is on the list of High damage creatures. I'm assuming this is solely for spectral barrage (recharge 5 / 6), because a 1d6+2 necrotic touch with no other effects shouldn't be scaring anyone from a 4th level enemy, even if it had +30 vs Reflex.

A low-level rogue steps into a room, unaware that enemies are lurking inside...

  • 3 specters get surprise with their +9 Stealth. One is close enough to use spectral barrage, while the other two charge for spectral touches. Assuming all three hit, the poor PC has taken 20 damage and is prone. If one of them crits, the PC takes another 3-5 damage. He's probably still on his feet.
  • 3 deathjumps get surprise with their +11 Stealth. All three attack with death from above. Assuming all three hit, the rogue is probably dead outright (reduced to negative bloodied with 45.5 damage, from max hp). If one of them crits, he's almost certainly dead. The deathjumps win initative, and do the same to the next PC in line, dropping him too. Suddenly, a TPK looms.
Creatures that can do predictable damage (even with much better hit chances) are better managed in the context of a fight. You can calculate how many rounds to go between healing, you can make judgements on optimal actions. But there's not much you can do if 4 wolves attack you, and the first one hits. You're suddenly facing a pile of damage from the other three, and you're in trouble.

I agree that reducing spikes is the way to go, although (for most creatures) I think that actually takes away from some of the fun. My players tend to respect wolves, simply because of the spike. The concern with needlefangs and deathjumps is that their spikes are just ludicrously large.

I guess my summary suggestion is that I'd take Max Damage as a more important weighting that Expected Damage. That applies even more so for bursts and blasts. Hitting four PCs for 2d6+2 damage is far less problematic than hitting one PC for 8d6+8 damge... and in fact may be less problematic than hitting one PC for 4d6+4 damage. A 28 point crit could knock 20% of the party's attack strength out of the combat, whereas 9 points of damage to everyone (with one of them being critted for, say, 14 points of damage) probably won't reduce anyone to 0 hp.

(by the way, thanks for doing this analysis - you've certainly drawn my attention to some of the outliers like greenscales and boneshards) :)
 

keterys

First Post
Fair points, although if the challenge is to find out which creatures are "problematic", I think swinginess is more of a concern (given 4e's design) than predictably lower-or-higher damage than creatures of comparative level.

I actually have a separate test I was doing for atwill or limited attacks that dealt too much potential damage, ignoring the average damage for 3 rounds that I was testing here... usually by comparing the amount of damage to whether it's all that possible to outright kill someone by either hitting them twice, critting them once, what have you. The deathjump does actually trigger that one for certain level ranges, though not quite as much of a red flag as the needlefang. I have to tune that one a bit, though, because the higher level data was just... odd.

I mean, if someone has 180 hp, what's actually too much damage? 60 is less than a healing power (surge+15) at that level, 90 or less ensures death does not occur unless it's via ongoing or hitting someone already down / coup de grace... very few creatures even remotely come close. So I hadn't enabled that check yet.

3 specters get surprise with their +9 Stealth. One is close enough to use spectral barrage, while the other two charge for spectral touches. Assuming all three hit, the poor PC has taken 20 damage and is prone. If one of them crits, the PC takes another 3-5 damage. He's probably still on his feet.
Or, the three specters invisibly and phasingly move up and spectral barrage the other 4 members of the party, taking 3 of them down. The defender still has some hp, though he's prone and might not get to act before they go again in the non-surprise round.

Though I suppose there'd be 5 of them if they're fighting a party of 5? That's even less pretty.

Assuming all three hit
They're at +8 against him, even including him being surprised, so more like 1.5 hit... but sure, the rogue has a 1/8 chance of dying outright say. Which is pretty darn mean and definitely undesirable.

If one of them crits, he's almost certainly dead.
Weirdly, if one of them crits, he's almost certainly alive, because then a 2nd hit would just drop him to dying and he'd have a couple rounds to get healed.

The deathjumps win initative, and do the same to the next PC in line, dropping him too.
1 in 64 chance now...

Suddenly, a TPK looms.
The way creatures tend to work is those that are unpredictable burst damage like the deathjumps tend to get _someone_ (singular) killed, but rarely TPK since everyone has to die for a TPK. You need the whole party overmatched for that to happen. Which is a lot more likely with needlefangs and hobgoblin warcasters than deathjumps.

Creatures that can do predictable damage (even with much better hit chances) are better managed in the context of a fight. You can calculate how many rounds to go between healing, you can make judgements on optimal actions. But there's not much you can do if 4 wolves attack you, and the first one hits. You're suddenly facing a pile of damage from the other three, and you're in trouble.
Wolves don't do a pile of damage when someone is prone. They do perfectly normal damage when someone is prone. When someone is not prone they do awful damage.

I agree that reducing spikes is the way to go, although (for most creatures) I think that actually takes away from some of the fun. My players tend to respect wolves, simply because of the spike. The concern with needlefangs and deathjumps is that their spikes are just ludicrously large.
Yep - people need the possibility of some spiking. At the moment I'm just looking at average damage, though.

I guess my summary suggestion is that I'd take Max Damage as a more important weighting that Expected Damage. That applies even more so for bursts and blasts. Hitting four PCs for 2d6+2 damage is far less problematic than hitting one PC for 8d6+8 damge... and in fact may be less problematic than hitting one PC for 4d6+4 damage. A 28 point crit could knock 20% of the party's attack strength out of the combat, whereas 9 points of damage to everyone (with one of them being critted for, say, 14 points of damage) probably won't reduce anyone to 0 hp.
You haven't played a module where your party started grouped up going somewhere, for whatever reason, and you fought 3-6 fire beetles, all who got to go before you did, have you? I have twice :) Healers tend to have limited abilities to heal a group, but are very very good at healing a single target. Both types of damage matter a lot.

This particular test is not what you're looking for, yes. I started off comparing expected damage of a critter over a combat so I could compare _resource expenditure_, simplified as surges spent per combat. I do have what you're looking for - max damages - but so far they seem to only be meaningful at low level. Granted, I've only given low level examples so far, but I'm still trying to make the spreadsheet cover all levels so I focused first on that.

I'll mess around with the max statistics soon, to see which others it brings up.

In truth, I actually expected more to find a lot of things that needed their damages bumped up. It's been my general feeling that too many monster manual monsters are just _not_ threatening.

(by the way, thanks for doing this analysis - you've certainly drawn my attention to some of the outliers like greenscales and boneshards) :)

No problem. Thank you very much for helping me improve it. I banged out the first 5 levels today. I don't know that I'll get more done over the weekend, but I'm looking forward to getting it as workable as possible so I can share the results.
 
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bganon

Explorer
Dire Rats do have a special ability - they infect whatever they bite with Filth Fever. That's a lost healing surge right there. Their accuracy is bad, but in three rounds they'll probably hit once, which means some player effectively lost at least 5 hp on top of the actual bite damage. I suspect this puts Dire Rats firmly out of the "Low" damage category.

I think some of the other critters in the "Low" category probably belong there, but they're there because of some other ability that could turn some lucky rolls into a very nasty fight. I think Gray Wolves and Humans Bandits are in this category... in packs they can typically keep at least one or two party members locked down with status effects for much of the fight; some lucky rolling and it becomes 3-4 party members. Having most of the players dazed can turn things very nasty.

I haven't had any problems with Elf Archers, but it looks like they barely made your cutoff anyway. They're classic artillery - dangerous at range, but easily neutralized by taking them to melee.

And, yeah, Needlefangs are crazy lethal. Your metric doesn't even give them full credit, since it's based off of damage and doesn't take into account that they're -also- quite difficult to kill. I sent two against a trio of level 3 players... xp-wise this should be quite an easy encounter. Instead it was a decisive TPK.
 

Markn

First Post
You didn't do this because of the CDG thread did you? ;)

A few things I will point out or would expect to see.

1. As you get to higher levels the feeling of creatures being less threatening is more common. My own experience tells me that level 1-3, there is enough threat and enough variety of creatures that fights are routinely threatening or perhaps more badly designed monsters raising the threat level. Levels 4-5 sees this drop slightly and as you get higher it only gets worse and worse meaning less and less threat. I am REALLY interested in your results for higher levels to see if this is correct.

2. Multiple creatures certainly create many variables making it difficult to quantify damage levels against PCs when multiple powers can get used. As you and Lancelot have discussed, certain situation make creatures more dangerous or a a walk in the part. To me, while they have their place in the game, there should be a footnote with the monster (or something) to explain to DMs (particularly new ones) that under certain circumstances, they are far more powerful or less powerful than first read. I know I would find it handy to know at a glance that creature X is really meant to be used/not used in ambushes or used/not used with minions to create more flanking opportunities. Future MM's would do well to include this info.

3. My gut feeling is that the designers have over valued effects. I've noticed that creatures that inflict effects have less damage. Again, my experience has shown that players can shake off effects pretty quickly and the low damage turns the creature into a non challenge. This will certainly depend on party size. With 6, its easier to shrug off effects as someone (a paladin for example) can specialize in removing them while conversely a 4 level party will find effects more daunting because no on is specialize in removing them.

4. I've found that monsters who are good at their role are generally terrible at something else. Artillery are a prime example of this. If you get up close and the monster can't get away, it becomes a cake walk. From a design perspective this is good because it rewards smart tactics. Is it fun for the monsters damage to be that LOW and the fight to become that much easier, I'm not so sure.
 

Markn

First Post
PCs tend to have on the order of 20+5*lvl hp, give or take, so a basic stab is that a monster should do about 10+2.5*lvl (*2 elite, *5 solo, *.5 minion) over about 3 (4 elite, 5 solo) rounds of activity. With some heavy variation. The critters listed are ones that do less than 2/3 of that or more than 3/2 of that. Cause having a critter that does 9 damage the same level as one that does 51 seems off.QUOTE]

Just so I'm clear on what you are saying - Is your premise that a monster should do about 1/2 PC hps in damage over 3 rounds (with adjustments for elites, solos and minions?

Edit - With basic stabs that is...
 

Markn

First Post
I mean, if someone has 180 hp, what's actually too much damage? 60 is less than a healing power (surge+15) at that level, 90 or less ensures death does not occur unless it's via ongoing or hitting someone already down / coup de grace... very few creatures even remotely come close. So I hadn't enabled that check yet.

I think this sentence has real merit but my guess (and i could be wrong) is that you will find that most monsters will do proper damage to the classes that are scraping the bottom in terms of HPs/level, which then puts the high HP classess way out of wack.

Again, I think the variable is the number of monsters. If 5 hit the tank, its fine, if 5 hit the wizard, splat. Either way, its not fun in 4e to gang up on 1 player. Its far more fun to split damage up but I think therein lies the issue. Split damage is a resource waster and is low threat.

One other things is, I would assume most DM's that use same multiple creature types that act on the same initiative point still treat them as seperate initiatives. That is, if 3 deathjump spiders all go on init point 20 and the first two knock down the PC, the 3rd isn't necessarily forced to attack the downed PC. It can decide at that point. Playing this way keeps the death threat level low, while the other way inflates that level quite a bit and means that dice play a much larger role in character deaths. I only point this out due to Lancelot's deathjump example and your rebuttal that based on a crit the PC is more likely to live, which by the way, I completely agree with you on.
 

OakwoodDM

First Post
Dire Rats do have a special ability - they infect whatever they bite with Filth Fever. That's a lost healing surge right there. Their accuracy is bad, but in three rounds they'll probably hit once, which means some player effectively lost at least 5 hp on top of the actual bite damage. I suspect this puts Dire Rats firmly out of the "Low" damage category.

There is a big caveat on this. The player has to fail a save at the end of combat to contract Filth Fever, so there's only a 45% chance of that lost surge.
 

keterys

First Post
I hadn't factored in the filth fever for the dire rat... if I do, at its best (ie, if I give every bite a chance to infect even though they might all be on the same person and ignore that filth fever doesn't stack across multiple encounters) that would up it to 9.98 80%... that's still not that good, but would slide it out of consideration.

I will admit that filth fever is very unlikely to feel threatening to the party, so I do suspect I should downgrade it some.
 

keterys

First Post
Just so I'm clear on what you are saying - Is your premise that a monster should do about 1/2 PC hps in damage over 3 rounds (with adjustments for elites, solos and minions?

Well, 2 surges worth of damage before considering what healing or mitigation (shield, temp, etc) abilities the party has. At a certain point, you need a certain level of threat or there's just no reason to have the fight. As it is, if you had a party of 4 face a group of 4 monsters that triggered LOW, you would not be surprised if a party might not have to expend any healing triggers whatsoever to win the combat (no chance of anyone dropping), that it's possible that no one would even get bloodied depending on how the damage was spread or mitigated (battlerager, bard, or barbarian temp hp).

Edit - With basic stabs that is...
Well, using every single ability they had that seemed to affect damage. I probably should give a stronger weighting to dazing someone, in terms of improving the damage output of other monsters, but that's so very fuzzy.

It is built on a lot of assumptions - for example, if you have 5 normal monsters and kill 1 each round through focus fire, then they might get off 5 attacks the first round, 4 the second, 3, 2, 1 for a total of 15 attacks... which averages out to 3. Of course, some critters are just going to get priority attacking over others (why, hello, goblin hexer) and others are just going to cheat that amount of time (why, hello, wraith). But that's okay, cause you need to account for what happens if something is not focus fired. Some fights the creatures use their daze/immobilize/stun abilities over their damage ones, but that can wash out between lost player damage and lost monster damage frankly.

Once I've got this output spreadsheet going reasonably I intend to make an input one to measure creatures that are excessively easy or hard to kill. So, wraiths that have in theory (and more actuality than I care to think about) infinite hp can go on there. Some creatures who have defenses way too low will show up too. I actually figured at some point in this I'd adjust the factor for things like artillery and lurkers that are a bit more fragile, giving them more leeway to do higher damage (and more stringent on low damage) as a result.

I wanted to do this mostly so I could have somewhere to sanity check my own stuff so I could tool around more comfortably with the monster builder, and because I'm thinking of redoing the monster manual (or possibly just its most broken parts) for fun.
 


keterys

First Post
Heh, I fooled around with it a little bit - I think I did four or so high epic ones. Some are just hard - like the Pit Fiend. Storm Gorgon did plenty of damage. Efreet Karadjin did too little _unless_ it can get at people easy to hit. It also had a single action max burst of like 200 damage (requires 2 crits back to back, mind you, but its crits are immense damage and it gets immediate action attacks) Lich Vestige way too little. I forget how the sorrowsworn were...

I actually think I'm going to adjust my formula to assume not fighting against level appropriate, but fighting a couple lower though... it's pretty common to throw monsters of n+3 at a party, for example, so the fact that the efreet only has like a 10-15% chance to hit level appropriate is too swingy if it's used against folks a few levels lower (where it could might double in effectiveness).

But, like I said earlier, I didn't expect to do too much until after the weekend. Running D&D, trying out a new computer game, _and_ my anniversary. Busy weekend.
 

Benimoto

First Post
the fact that the efreet only has like a 10-15% chance to hit level appropriate...

Very interesting thread. But, I seem to remember an official update for the Efreet that corrected its to-hit number by about 9-10 points. The updates also increase a few brutes' damage by a die or two. Did you include that in your numbers?
 

keterys

First Post
Very interesting thread. But, I seem to remember an official update for the Efreet that corrected its to-hit number by about 9-10 points. The updates also increase a few brutes' damage by a die or two. Did you include that in your numbers?

In general, I've been using the DDI Compendium, which is _usually_ up to date. In that example, the compendium entry is wrong (there are actually several cases where the entry is just flat out wrong, in the first ~120 monsters I've looked at) - it completely lacked a to-hit line, so I looked in the monster manual. I'll track down that errata, or see if the monster builder is more correct - I was doing this on a laptop during commute (just doing a mass-open to all tabs of a level's worth of monsters at a time) and I don't/can't have monster builder installed on it.

If its attack bonus _is_ in range for a soldier of its level (ie, like 8 more), it will likely do too much damage, though possibly not enough to trigger a warning flag. If I assume no fire resist, almost certainly though. It'll likely last 5 rounds at epic (instead of 3 on the heroics) and its ongoing fire damage is just mean. OTOH, assume fire resist 15 and it's tame. Not sure on the best approach there... I think assume no resist, but make a special column for 5*lvl resist so I can see creatures that are completely nerfed by resist (like the Pit Fiend)
 
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keterys

First Post
If anyone is holding their breath - please don't. I'm going to completely redo the spreadsheet before I do anything further. My thinking is to gradually increase the number of expected rounds, factor in crits, check not just at level, but at level -2 and level +5 (the range of use suggested for a creature) which should bring to light somethings like the deathjump, as well as institute the checks for excessive damage. I don't intend to have this done anytime remotely soon, I just wanted the initial feedback so I could shape how I was doing this.

Thanks once again to everyone who responded and helped.

P.S. Storm Gorgons and Efreet Karadjin can do _serious_ damage unless folks have resistance gear. Sorrowsworn Deathlords and Reapers are fairly anemic in comparison, even without resistance gear.
 

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