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)
112.5
215
317.5
420
522.5
625
727.5
830
932.5
1035
1137.5
1240
1342.5
1445
1547.5
1650
1752.5
1855
1957.5
2060



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.








































































































































LevelFighter HPWizard HPAvg Player HP
Level(18 CON)(10 CON)
114610
2241118
3341625
4442133
5542640
6643148
7743655
8844163
9944670
101045178
111145685
121246193
1313466100
1414471108
1515476115
1616481123
1717486130
1818491138
1919496145
20204101153


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 kills0.75-hit kills3-hit kills4-hit kills6-hit kills
LevelStandardMinionBruteEliteSolo
1316385075
23811456090
344135370105
450156080120
556176890135
6631975100150
7692183110165
8752390120180
9812498130195
108826105140210
119428113150225
1210030120160240
1310632128170255
1411334135180270
1511936143190285
1612538150200300
1713139158210315
1813841165220330
1914443173230345
2015045180240360


 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 kills5-hit kills2-hit kills1.5-hit kills1-hit kills0.66-hit killsDmg Multi-target 0.75
LevelStandardMinionEliteElite BruteSoloBrute Solo(Spell/Breath etc)
1425710159Burning Hands 3d6
274912182711
31051317253813
41371622334915Scorching Ray 15
51682027406117
619102432487219Fireball 6d6 (close)
722112837558321
825133142639523
9281435477010624
10311639527811726Cone of Cold 6d8
11341743578512928
12371946629314030
134020506710015232
144322547210816334
154623587711517436
164925618212318638
175226658713019739
185528699213820841Meteor Swarm 12d6
195829739714522043
2061317610215323145

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.



 
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.
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*
Thank you very much, this is incredibly helpful
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.






































































































































































































































































































































































































































































CRHit PointsArmor ClassHigh AttackLow AttackAverage DamagePrimary Ability DCSecondary Ability DCGood SavePoor SaveLevel (if D&D Next)% of HP% of HP# of Hits-to-kill# of Hits-to-kill
HighLowHighLowHighLow
1/210111431183240%30%2.53.3
115122175129413-547%33%2.13.0
220144310713951650%35%2.02.9
3301564139141062743%30%2.33.3
44017861612151073840%30%2.53.3
555181072015151184936%27%2.83.7
6701912825181611951036%26%2.83.9
785201310302217121061135%26%2.83.9
8100211511352618121171235%26%2.93.8
9115231712403018131281335%26%2.93.8
10130241813453319131391435%25%2.93.9
111452519145037201414101534%26%2.93.9
121602721155541211515111634%26%2.93.9
131802822166045211516121733%25%3.04.0
142002923176548221617121833%24%3.14.2
152203024187052231618131932%24%3.14.2
162403126198060241719142033%25%3.04.0
172703227209067241820152133%25%3.04.0
1830033282110075251820162233%25%3.04.0
1933034292211082261921162333%25%3.04.0
2037036302312090272022172432%24%3.14.1


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.
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