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D&D 5E Strength Drain

Eric V

Hero
Oddly enough, Strength Drain is missing from pp. 280-281 in the DMG for adjusting a monster's challenge rating.

I was hoping to recreate swordwraiths...anyone have an idea of how Strength Drain would affect a monster's CR? How would I reverse engineer that?

-E
 

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the Jester

Legend
I'd reverse engineer it by figuring out the shadow's CR from scratch and inferring from that how it affects CR.

My guess is that it's a minor consideration.
 


Paraxis

Explorer
Maybe just make your own thing up instead of strength drain, like

Weakened: while weakened you have disadvantage on attacks and ability score checks. You remain weakened until you are brought up to full hit points.

Then since it is basicly just poisoned value it the same as poison.

The only reason to make it not poison is to give it a different feel and let it circumvent poison resistance and immunity, but it is easier to get rid of then the poison condition for the most part.

I guess I never liked strength drain as it only effects one type of character the strength based warriors, dexterity rogues and archers still function at full effect, as do spellcasters. Things like poisoned or weakness that give disadvantage effect most everyone.
 

the Jester

Legend
At the risk of exposing ignorance...how do I do that? Part of the process is picking an expected CR...

I'd pick the shadow's actual CR as the expected value and go from there.

So let's see: Target CR of 1/2.

HP: 16... but they have tons of resistances and immunities, so effectively double it to 32. This makes defensive CR 1/8... roughly in line with their AC 12.

Offensively, DPR is 9. There's really nothing modifying this except, possibly, the strength drain. Offensive CR of 9 damage/round is 1- roughly in line with their attack bonus of +4.

This averages out to CR 1/2 with no additional modifiers. I'd say that Strength Drain is more or less inconsequential to CR. If the DPR was at the very high end of it's offensive CR value, it might push the offensive CR up by 1.
 




Joe Liker

First Post
If they had included it, it would probably be something like, "Increase the monster's effective per-round damage by an amount equal to the Strength drain" (or possibly double the Strength drain), which would not push the offensive CR above 1, leaving the overall average the same.

I would probably use double the Strength drain amount to calculate effective damage if I were making a new monster.
 

Joe Liker

First Post
Well, according to the DMG, life drain is a 'no modifier' ability, so I think strength drain is along the same lines.
Life Drain allows a saving throw; Strength Drain does not.

Life Drain does not hamper the victim's immediate ability to fight; it only hampers recovery.

Strength Drain is significantly worse.
 

the Jester

Legend
Life Drain allows a saving throw; Strength Drain does not.

Life Drain does not hamper the victim's immediate ability to fight; it only hampers recovery.

Strength Drain is significantly worse.

While that's true, life drain is a serious problem if the pcs have any further encounters before they can recover from it. That 'reduced maximum hps' thing is a BITCH.

I think it comes out as a wash, assuming that the pcs can't simply avoid further encounters before regaining their strength/maximum hps. But I say this having not yet used either shadows or any life-drainers in my game yet, except for a single one-off attack as part of a curse.
 

Eric V

Hero
Maybe just make your own thing up instead of strength drain, like

Weakened: while weakened you have disadvantage on attacks and ability score checks. You remain weakened until you are brought up to full hit points.

Then since it is basicly just poisoned value it the same as poison.

The only reason to make it not poison is to give it a different feel and let it circumvent poison resistance and immunity, but it is easier to get rid of then the poison condition for the most part.

I guess I never liked strength drain as it only effects one type of character the strength based warriors, dexterity rogues and archers still function at full effect, as do spellcasters. Things like poisoned or weakness that give disadvantage effect most everyone.

Of course, now I can't find what an ability that inflicts the poisoned condition does to CR...sigh. Closest thing looks like the Troglodyte's Stench ability.
 

the Jester

Legend
Of course, now I can't find what an ability that inflicts the poisoned condition does to CR...sigh. Closest thing looks like the Troglodyte's Stench ability.

It appears to be another 'no modifier' thing to me. Really, it seems as though anything that doesn't actually increase damage doesn't much affect offensive CR, with rare exceptions. I imagine part of that is the ease of removing these conditions/effects- usually, lesser restoration will cover it.
 

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