Monster Construction: Please, please WotC - give us some help here!

There's a few of us digging around monster stats. Like here and here and elsewhere... Sure it's kinda fun...

But why are we bothering?

Simple...

  1. We want to understand how monsters work...

  2. ...so we can build some for our own playtests!


The need is obvious (for example running I6 Ravenloft there's no Strahd and no Banshee in the playtest Bestiary and nothing remotely usable in their place).


Given how forthright WotC has been in the playtest packets I'm quite surprised that there's been no basic info on monster construction.  I'm not talking the War & Peace of monster development or the development team posting their final-and-set-in-stone monster math.


But just, say, two or three small tables detailing AC, HP and average damage output for the different levels/types of monster. That'd be incredibly helpful, regardless of how provisional and mutable it is.


So I thought maybe I'd see if others share my interest in seeing some basic helpful info on monster building. I don't care if it's in a playtest packet or a "snapshot" in a blog article. But some kind of pointers would be massively helpful.


So... Am I the only one who'd like to see this?!?

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

I'd definitely like to see this. That way, we can find out why even puny monsters like rats and kobolds get such massive to-hit bonuses. ;)
I'd definitely like to see this. That way, we can find out why even puny monsters like rats and kobolds get such massive to-hit bonuses. ;)

I would like to see this as well; but they probably want to try to have their own monster building right before they give a breakdown for playtesters to do it.

I would guess they'll eventually address the relationship between size category and Armor Class (Possibly why those puny monsters get the massive to-hit bonuses).

Are other people still experiencing that encounters are too easy based on the method layed out for building them in the DM's Guidelines? I'm thinking AC should often be increased for a lot of these Monsters. Maybe it's just my playtest group. But I have been building what the book indicates should be tough encounters and my group is often walking over them. I even tried making a tough encounter with 6 Monsters (upping the Monster count) to attempt to make it more difficult but it was still too easy. The most balanced encountered that I've had that followed the guidelines was with Giants, Hill Giants specifically.

Are other people experiencing this still? I know there was discussion of Monsters being too easy in early iterations of the playtest packet.
Hi!

This really is more of a topic for Playtest Packet Discussion so I'm going to move it there.

Thanks,

Monica
I'd definitely like to see this. That way, we can find out why even puny monsters like rats and kobolds get such massive to-hit bonuses. ;)

I would like to see this as well; but they probably want to try to have their own monster building right before they give a breakdown for playtesters to do it.

I would guess they'll eventually address the relationship between size category and Armor Class (Possibly why those puny monsters get the massive to-hit bonuses).

Are other people still experiencing that encounters are too easy based on the method layed out for building them in the DM's Guidelines? I'm thinking AC should often be increased for a lot of these Monsters. Maybe it's just my playtest group. But I have been building what the book indicates should be tough encounters and my group is often walking over them. I even tried making a tough encounter with 6 Monsters (upping the Monster count) to attempt to make it more difficult but it was still too easy. The most balanced encountered that I've had that followed the guidelines was with Giants, Hill Giants specifically.

Are other people experiencing this still? I know there was discussion of Monsters being too easy in early iterations of the playtest packet.

Not really Grindeland. My party is still having problems when the opponents outnumber them. I'm actually experiencing the opposite—that they can't live without Cure Minor Wounds, and it's looking like every battle is dance of the dead!

Hi!

This really is more of a topic for Playtest Packet Discussion so I'm going to move it there.

Thanks,

Monica


No worries and thanks Monica.

FWIW I created it in the DMs section because I thought it was more for DMs interest. Dedicated DMs are a minority so it's likely to sink pretty quickly to the bottom of the heap in the general hubub of Playtest Packet Discussion. But it's all good. At least this is out there for the community to consider :D

And thanks to everyone who's shared their thoughts so far!

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

Anyone else care to voice an opinion?

Seems unlikely Wizards will go out of their way for four folks in favor...

Too bad these forums don't support a vote system like others. It owuld have given the lurkers a chance to contribute without actually posting LOL

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

I would love to see this dissected.  I'm always interested in the nuts and bolts of the system.
I think you are basing this upon the thesis that there is such a thing as monster math out there and what we see in the bestiary is not just "lets try these numbers generated with a d6". Bitternes aside, yes it would be lovely with some DM support in many areas, focus seems to be on making the classes more interesting rather than the game it self these days. Im hopeful that in the podcast right before this packet they mentioned a DMG draft with loads of sandbox tweaking options, this could hopefully include some monster making guidelines....or even better monster conversion from other editions.
 At the moment I use 3.5 monsters with half natural armor and no BAB added to their attacks, seems to work quite well...cr is pure guesswork though so the old trick of low initial numbers with reinforcements as required is recommended.