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)
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)|
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|
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|
|4||13||7||16||22||33||49||15||Scorching Ray 15|
|6||19||10||24||32||48||72||19||Fireball 6d6 (close)|
|10||31||16||39||52||78||117||26||Cone of Cold 6d8|
|18||55||28||69||92||138||208||41||Meteor Swarm 12d6|
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.
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.