D&D General The Evolution of the Monster Stat Block

Quickleaf

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3.0 and 3.5 stat blocks were quite similar, with only some labeling changes and the addition of "Full Attack" and "Level Adjustment" entries.

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Late 3.5 though saw a rearrangement and reorganization, including the addition of special trait details added to the end.

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One of the fascinating things about the 3e stat blocks is how they became very good at solving problems that they created. This is not UNIQUE to 3e – it happens in other incarnations of D&D, esp. modern D&D – but since you provided the handy example, I'm running with it.

The Corrupture Ooze is a monster adapted to water environments – meaning it moves/breathes fine in water & you're at some form of a disadvantage if you face it in the water and you are not water adapted (can't recall the specific 3e rules). Due to the info density of the stat block, this information is repeated in multiple areas to make sure the GM doesn't miss it:
• (aquatic) tag
• Speed ...swim 20 ft
• SQ amphibious...
• Skills ...Swim +18
• Skills "In addition, it has +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard."

I recognize how the system encouraged spelling this stuff out, but good heavens that's a LOT of redundancy for conveying a pretty simple idea.
 
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I think B/X is probably closest to my ideal stat block, although it is a bit too combat-focused for my preferences. But I really strongly prefer if core stats can be written down inline or in small boxes (I think I would like 5e adventures dramatically better if all designers wrote down the stats like @Sacrosanct ).
If we include 3rd party products, the best stat blocks for D&D-like fantasy I have seen are contained in the upcoming Dolmenwood monster book:
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I think B/X is probably closest to my ideal stat block, although it is a bit too combat-focused for my preferences. But I really strongly prefer if core stats can be written down inline or in small boxes (I think I would like 5e adventures dramatically better if all designers wrote down the stats like @Sacrosanct ).
If we include 3rd party products, the best stat blocks for D&D-like fantasy I have seen are contained in the upcoming Dolmenwood monster book:
I'd just been thinking that the Dolmenwood blocks were a good compromise between old-style and modern stat blocks.
 

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