## D&D Next Monster Math and Player Dmg/HP Math

One of the problems I’ve been having is I need more monsters to run things in D&D Next. I also have this burning desire to run some D&D Next players through a 4E adventure the Trollhaunt Warrens to see how it goes. So I’d like to convert on the fly.

If you look at Chris Perkins article www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4dmxp/20120705, he tells you the “Spine” of 4E. He also says that Monsters and Players output the same amount of damage in this article www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4... . With some variability provided from “feats” and “item” choices.

That’s a big deal. It lets you know how the game is meant to go.

In 4E the Essentials classes follow this spine extremely closely. You can tell they were made with the “Spine” very much in mind. Gamma World follows it even more clearly.

How many “hits” does a monster take to kill? That determines the whole feel of the game. I used that logic to try to pick apart D&D Next math.

All using the 1/28/13 Packet

Step 1 The D&D Next Spine: damage output

Players output (Level*2.5+10) average damage on hits (don't believe me, do the math in a spreadsheet, and don't forget the Fighter's Combat Surge, and treat every day as having around 12 rounds and surges grant an extra 6d6(3.5*6) X times a day, treat Rogues as getting Advantage 1/2 of the time, Monks are straightforward)

 Avg Player Damage Level (Lvl*2.5+10) 1 12.5 2 15 3 17.5 4 20 5 22.5 6 25 7 27.5 8 30 9 32.5 10 35 11 37.5 12 40 13 42.5 14 45 15 47.5 16 50 17 52.5 18 55 19 57.5 20 60

Step 2: Player Hit Points

Take the average between a Wizard and a Fighter, and players are expected to have (Level*7.5+10) Hit Points.

 Level Fighter HP Wizard HP Avg Player HP Level (18 CON) (10 CON) 1 14 6 10 2 24 11 18 3 34 16 25 4 44 21 33 5 54 26 40 6 64 31 48 7 74 36 55 8 84 41 63 9 94 46 70 10 104 51 78 11 114 56 85 12 124 61 93 13 134 66 100 14 144 71 108 15 154 76 115 16 164 81 123 17 174 86 130 18 184 91 138 19 194 96 145 20 204 101 153

Step 3: Monster Hit Points
Taking these 2 assumptions above, let's use them to back into the monster damage and hit points. Let's choose the type of game we want to play by choosing how many "Hits" it takes to kill something. "Hits to Kill" really defines how the game feels.

Let's say we want standard monsters to die in 2.5 hits. "2.5-hits to kill"
So simply multiply the player's avg damage by 2.5 and that's what a standard monster's Hit Points should be.

 Hit Points for Monsters 2.5-hit kills 0.75-hit kills 3-hit kills 4-hit kills 6-hit kills Level Standard Minion Brute Elite Solo 1 31 6 38 50 75 2 38 11 45 60 90 3 44 13 53 70 105 4 50 15 60 80 120 5 56 17 68 90 135 6 63 19 75 100 150 7 69 21 83 110 165 8 75 23 90 120 180 9 81 24 98 130 195 10 88 26 105 140 210 11 94 28 113 150 225 12 100 30 120 160 240 13 106 32 128 170 255 14 113 34 135 180 270 15 119 36 143 190 285 16 125 38 150 200 300 17 131 39 158 210 315 18 138 41 165 220 330 19 144 43 173 230 345 20 150 45 180 240 360

Note: 4E had level 1 monsters die at around 3 hits. That's an average of 2 Strikers killing in 2 hits and 3 non-strikers killing in 4 hits. In 4E Epic level monsters die in 5 hits (that's the Epic level GRIND).
Note: AD&D had monsters output from 33% to 50% of their HP in damage. Monsters and players were assumed to be of equal HP and Dmg. So reversing that; monsters died in 2 to 3 hits.

Step 4: Monster Damage
Simply choose how many hits you want players to go down after. Let's choose that a monster can kill the average player in "2.5-Hits to kill" (Remember players have healing, that's their advantage) Note: a lot of this uses 4E logic

 Damage for Monsters 2.5-hit kills 5-hit kills 2-hit kills 1.5-hit kills 1-hit kills 0.66-hit kills Dmg Multi-target 0.75 Level Standard Minion Elite Elite Brute Solo Brute Solo (Spell/Breath etc) 1 4 2 5 7 10 15 9 Burning Hands 3d6 2 7 4 9 12 18 27 11 3 10 5 13 17 25 38 13 4 13 7 16 22 33 49 15 Scorching Ray 15 5 16 8 20 27 40 61 17 6 19 10 24 32 48 72 19 Fireball 6d6 (close) 7 22 11 28 37 55 83 21 8 25 13 31 42 63 95 23 9 28 14 35 47 70 106 24 10 31 16 39 52 78 117 26 Cone of Cold 6d8 11 34 17 43 57 85 129 28 12 37 19 46 62 93 140 30 13 40 20 50 67 100 152 32 14 43 22 54 72 108 163 34 15 46 23 58 77 115 174 36 16 49 25 61 82 123 186 38 17 52 26 65 87 130 197 39 18 55 28 69 92 138 208 41 Meteor Swarm 12d6 19 58 29 73 97 145 220 43 20 61 31 76 102 153 231 45

Note: hey look at that, the damage for a standard monster looks exactly the same as the players damage output at levels above 10. At lower levels the players do way more damage than monsters, in an unfair way. I think they'll fix that in the next packet. The Multi-target damage from spells seems to match the spells straight from the Spell-list.

XP Values of monsters: Get from the "Tough" column on p.12 of DM's Guidelines booklet.
Back in the older editions, from an article by Frank Mentzer "Plan it By the Numbers" an average encounter was around 50% of the party's strength. A Tough encounter is 100% of the party's strength. So if our monsters are considered to be on par100% with a player in damage and HP, they use the "Tough" column of XP.
It seems to me Elites are treated as X2 Experience from an Tough monster, and Solos are treated as X5.

Things you have to estimate yourself.
AC: it goes from 8 to 18
To-Hit Bonus: it goes from 3 to 10
Saving Throw DC's: they go from 8 to 16
I think you could do a very good job estimating if you kept the Brute/Soldier/Artillery/Elite thing in mind and by feel.

Conclusion:
Comparing this to the Bestiary, it actually seems to match up pretty closely.

I think you could use these guidelines to create your own monsters and have the game feel exactly how you wanted, simply by choosing how many hits you want a monster to go down in, and how strong you want the monster to hit the players.

I came to the conclusion that there are only 2 Solos in the entire Bestiary, the Gelatinous Cube (which is lvl 5 but counts as a lvl 1 Solo) and the Spirit Naga (lvl 10 Solo)

All the other important monsters seem to be Elites. I think they stepped away from Solos, and are trying to see if Elites several levels higher than a party can serve as a Solo.

Also, I think if a monster has a special ability, like a Medusa Petrification Gaze, or a Mind Flayer Brain Bore, they treat the monster as several levels higher than it is.

For monsters in 3.5 edition, simply take “Challenge Rating” and add 4 to it to find the equivalent D&D Next level, or use it as a “Solo” and keep the Challenge Rating as its level.

Xeviat-DM
Joined Jan 2002
1730 Posts
Interesting math. I'm not sure I like "2.5 hits" as the time to down an opponent; it made fights go too quickly. Then again, we ran 3rd level, where the Fighter and Barbarian did way too much damage (and the Rogue did too little damage, on account of not picking up Stealth or a way to generate Advantage).
Poe's Law is alive and well. Emerikol is right*
2.5 hits is the target I picked.

If you made monsters go down in 2.5 hits, a level 1 monster would need 31 HP.

Right now the low level Bestiary monsters have fewer hit points than that. They all go down in around 1 hit.

I think the designers need to reduce the amount of damage level 1 players output. Problem is how do you do that and give out a Martial Dice at level 1?

Thanks for breaking this down. I have been really struggling with my monsters being way too easy. Looking forward to applying these guidelines to my next session.
Xeviat-DM
Joined Jan 2002
1730 Posts
Simple; don't give out a martial die at 1st level. Since they're going over to weapon dice at some point, let weapon dice be tradeable for maneuvers and let people trade off their base weapon die (leaving only ability modifier).

Damage at the early levels needs to be scaled back a lot.
Poe's Law is alive and well. Emerikol is right*
hirou
Joined Dec 1969
Thank you very much, this is incredibly helpful
surf13
Joined Dec 1969
Interesting! You might also want to take a peek at my own thread Monster math, tweaking, analysis, etc... Oh and don't miss the last few posts...

Want to understand D&D 5e monsters?  ♦  @surfarcher  ♦  +Surf Archer  ♦  /u/surfarcher

Here's what Pathfinder does for monsters. Table below is straight from the PRD. I am not sure if players and monsters are expected to have the same HP and Damage output.

The percentage and hits-to-kill are assuming a monster is attacking itself. If players and monsters were the same, everything would be easy.

 CR Hit Points Armor Class High Attack Low Attack Average Damage Primary Ability DC Secondary Ability DC Good Save Poor Save Level (if D&D Next) % of HP % of HP # of Hits-to-kill # of Hits-to-kill High Low High Low High Low 1/2 10 11 1 4 3 11 8 3 2 40% 30% 2.5 3.3 1 15 12 2 1 7 5 12 9 4 1 3-5 47% 33% 2.1 3.0 2 20 14 4 3 10 7 13 9 5 1 6 50% 35% 2.0 2.9 3 30 15 6 4 13 9 14 10 6 2 7 43% 30% 2.3 3.3 4 40 17 8 6 16 12 15 10 7 3 8 40% 30% 2.5 3.3 5 55 18 10 7 20 15 15 11 8 4 9 36% 27% 2.8 3.7 6 70 19 12 8 25 18 16 11 9 5 10 36% 26% 2.8 3.9 7 85 20 13 10 30 22 17 12 10 6 11 35% 26% 2.8 3.9 8 100 21 15 11 35 26 18 12 11 7 12 35% 26% 2.9 3.8 9 115 23 17 12 40 30 18 13 12 8 13 35% 26% 2.9 3.8 10 130 24 18 13 45 33 19 13 13 9 14 35% 25% 2.9 3.9 11 145 25 19 14 50 37 20 14 14 10 15 34% 26% 2.9 3.9 12 160 27 21 15 55 41 21 15 15 11 16 34% 26% 2.9 3.9 13 180 28 22 16 60 45 21 15 16 12 17 33% 25% 3.0 4.0 14 200 29 23 17 65 48 22 16 17 12 18 33% 24% 3.1 4.2 15 220 30 24 18 70 52 23 16 18 13 19 32% 24% 3.1 4.2 16 240 31 26 19 80 60 24 17 19 14 20 33% 25% 3.0 4.0 17 270 32 27 20 90 67 24 18 20 15 21 33% 25% 3.0 4.0 18 300 33 28 21 100 75 25 18 20 16 22 33% 25% 3.0 4.0 19 330 34 29 22 110 82 26 19 21 16 23 33% 25% 3.0 4.0 20 370 36 30 23 120 90 27 20 22 17 24 32% 24% 3.1 4.1

Note: There is a built in increase in hit-to-kill as you level-up. at low levels things die in 2.5 hits and it slopes upward to 3 hits at CR20.
surf13
Joined Dec 1969
Hhhmmm... The tables in your first post suggest there's only 5 or 6 types opf monster at each level. Shouldn't that mean a maximum of six distinct XP values for any given level in the Bestiary? There's more like eleven.

Want to understand D&D 5e monsters?  ♦  @surfarcher  ♦  +Surf Archer  ♦  /u/surfarcher