5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

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5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:08 pm

Hello guys!

It's been a while since I've been active here. I used to post stuff I created for my website simultaneously with posts here, but frankly doing the formatting on them twice was getting tiresome. ^^;

But I have not been idle! I've been busy converting every Eberron monster I could find to 5e, and I've collected them in two documents, Threat Dispatch which covers all the monsters in the original 3.5 Eberron Campaign Setting book, and all monsters related to those monsters, and Xen'drik Advisory, which covers all the monsters I could find that have been attributed to Xen'drik (mostly from Secrets of Xen'drik and City of Stormreach).

I still make edits to these documents from time to time, but you can see the most current versions of them as I format them on the Homebrewery website.
Last edited by AvonRekaes on Sun May 20, 2018 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Sun May 20, 2018 7:53 am

Hey guys!

Quick update. I've moved on from using Homebrewery and started formatting my stuff to look more Eberrony! Now the latest versions of the Wayfinder Alamancs are hosted as pdfs of Google Docs.


Wayfinder's Almanac: Threat Dispatch

Wayfinder's Almanac: Xen'drik Advisory
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by tetrasodium » Mon May 21, 2018 5:21 am

AvonRekaes wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 7:53 am
Hey guys!

Quick update. I've moved on from using Homebrewery and started formatting my stuff to look more Eberrony! Now the latest versions of the Wayfinder Alamancs are hosted as pdfs of Google Docs.


Wayfinder's Almanac: Threat Dispatch

Wayfinder's Almanac: Xen'drik Advisory
Very nice, but I noticed a few omissions from the horrid beasts since you went with beast instead of monstrosity or something. Horrid brown bear & horrid cave/polar bear especially but a good chunk of the moon druid's arsenal is missing. There is a list of notable beast forms in this thread here. I know that not all of them were listed before, but neither did anything like moon druids. might as well include a good selection of cr1+ ones

edit: also I'd say that the horrid beasts should be monstrosities but include a sidebar/footnote or something saying that they require special gatekeeper training to create & become or something.... especially after @hellcowkeith's answer to this tweet.

With regards to the daelkyr creations, dragon348 had a bunch of new ones ranging from "different" to interesting & cool.

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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Mon May 21, 2018 5:55 pm

I only converted horrid beasts that were present in the original 3.5 ECS. The template is provided for you to make your own, IE those bears.

I ultimately decided to keep them as beasts, because the 3.5 template did not change their type to Magical Beast, but kept them Animal. So I decided to cleave closer to the original source than your suggestion.
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by tetrasodium » Tue May 22, 2018 2:59 am

AvonRekaes wrote:
Mon May 21, 2018 5:55 pm
I only converted horrid beasts that were present in the original 3.5 ECS. The template is provided for you to make your own, IE those bears.

I ultimately decided to keep them as beasts, because the 3.5 template did not change their type to Magical Beast, but kept them Animal. So I decided to cleave closer to the original source than your suggestion.
I took the time to start going over it. You ran into one of thesame problems I did before I took them in a wildly different each horrid critter is different. Druids no longer have animal companions, moon druids are a thing,
  • Rangers have animal companions though but they have a list they can pick from & grow like 3.5 druid animal companions.. As they are, all of the animal companions are much higher on the powerscale than anything rangers can pick & those rangers get regular improvements (revised ranger), or is limited to cr1/4 with very limited improvemet (phb beast master).
  • The end result is going to be unusable for a regular druid & worse than nearly any other option for a moon druid. A level 6 moon druid's fairly staple CR2polar/cave bear (same creature, mm234) would jump from ac12 42 hp & multiattack to 52 hit points, ac15, cr4 (thus usable at moon druid level 12), the same multiattack, insane looking 4d6+5 claw/2d8+5 bite attached to that multiattack. Those attacks turn to poo once you compare it to other cr4 beasts.
    elephant has ac12 76 hp, the ability to stomp as a bonus action if they move 20 ft & gore plus these attacks Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8 + 5) piercing damage. /Stomp. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one prone creature. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
    STEGOSAURUS has ac13 & 76 hp again Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 26 (6d6 + 5) piercing damage.
  • Just as with the two above, the cr bump makes any summon/conjure type spells to create one useless if you can even conjure one with any of those spell.
Yes, mechanically it's a good 1:1 conversion, but too many of the underlying systems tied to them being important have been changed for that kind of conversion without losing what made them interesting.

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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Wed May 23, 2018 3:53 pm

Each horrid animal has had its CR recalculated as per the DMG and is absolutely on target for its adjusted CR. Honestly I have no idea what you're talking about, your critique doesn't make any sense to me. The applicability of this for druids or rangers doesn't concern me, this is to throw monsters at your players to kill. Can you summon or wild shape into beasts with templates applied to them? Sounds like a DM call. Your call seems like no. So just use them as combat encounter monsters. Case closed.
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by tetrasodium » Thu May 24, 2018 3:18 am

AvonRekaes wrote:
Wed May 23, 2018 3:53 pm
Each horrid animal has had its CR recalculated as per the DMG and is absolutely on target for its adjusted CR. Honestly I have no idea what you're talking about, your critique doesn't make any sense to me. The applicability of this for druids or rangers doesn't concern me, this is to throw monsters at your players to kill. Can you summon or wild shape into beasts with templates applied to them? Sounds like a DM call. Your call seems like no. So just use them as combat encounter monsters. Case closed.
Since you are asking about templates, I can only assume that you think the horrids beasts you described are reasonable because of how much other stuff thqat you've had to homebrew hiding the problems. The word template does not occur in the phb or dmg. There are four/i] templates in the monster manual and two of those apply to dragons (shadow dragon/dracolich) with a third being a half-dragon template. None of those change the cr. There are a whole bunch of cult descriptions that you can apply to demonic/diabolical cultists in MToF that add spells, abilities, andd ability scores & among those seventeen template-like things not one of them changes the cr. Here are those mm templates & one of the mtof templates for comparison purposes. You may have tried to use the guidance in the dmg273-282, & those might even be reasonable for the ones you carried over, but the process has more moving parts than 3.5 and is not a purely mechanical thing that can be applied via template as you suggest.


The monsters themselves are remarkably underwhelming exp balloons. If you are still mired in 3.5, I'd be happy to answer questions to help you understand what you are so underlain about to justify this statement of yours: "Each horrid animal has had its CR recalculated as per the DMG and is absolutely on target for its adjusted CR. Honestly I have no idea what you're talking about, your critique doesn't make any sense to me" Remember I pointed out the glaring omissions resulting in your decision to convert the 3,5 examples (many of which were staple for druids at the time) rather than beasts that are staples for 5e druids & rangers only to have you point out the template.

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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Thu May 24, 2018 3:27 am

You think I am an idiot that doesn't understand the edition of the game I have been homebrewing for for years. That I have no idea how the system or edition works. I am not, and I do. That's about as much as can be gained from further discussion here.

If you believe these monsters suck, don't use them. That is all.
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by tetrasodium » Thu May 24, 2018 3:38 am

AvonRekaes wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:27 am
You think I am an idiot that doesn't understand the edition of the game I have been homebrewing for for years. I am not. Thats about as much as can be gained from further discussion here.

No I think that you are homebrewing to make 3.5's eberron rather than a 5e version of eberron. Compare the 3.5 marut to the 5e marut, It's made to fill a niche & needed drastic changes to fill that niche. a straight adaptation of the original would be rather poor at filling that niche so it was recreated to fit the niche rather than given a new niche to fit the old abilities as closely as possible. Saying that a gm could use your templates monsters is fine and all, but they will be woefully inadequate for the CR in too many cases to make such a thing even worth considering. Yes you have some nice stuff and I won't deny that, but your horrid beasts are not among the rest of the nice pile. I don't know why your only response to that fact is to pound the fact that you tried to condense 9 pages of stuff from the dmg into a small template that looks nothing like any of the very few templates in 5e while dismissing it with "I have no idea what you're talking about"

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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Thu May 24, 2018 3:59 am

Because the template WORKS. It produces monsters that are on target for their CRs. You just don't believe it and seem to think I need help, which is very condescending.

To prove the point, lets apply the template to a random CR 1/4 beast in the MM. Lets just go with the first one, the Axe Beak. According to the template I wrote, any beast with a CR less than 1 is increased to CR 2.
Horrid Axe Beak
Large beast, neutral evil
--------------------------------------------------------------
Armor Class 14 (natural)
Hit Points 25 (3d10 + 9)
Speed 50 ft.
--------------------------------------------------------------
STR 14 (+2) DEX 12 (+1) CON 16 (+3)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 5 (-2)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Damage Immunities acid
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages -
Challenge ?????? (free xp??????)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ill-Tempered. Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks involving a horrid axe beak are always made with disadvantage.

ACTIONS
--------------------------------------------------------------
Multiattack. The horrid axe beak makes two beak attacks.

Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d8 + 2) slashing damage plus 3 (1d6) acid damage.
Now lets turn to the DMG and calculate this jerk's CR to see how badly written my template is.

Defensive Challenge Rating:
First lets evaluate if its HP needs to be adjusted to due high resistances. It only has one damage resistance, and no traits that let it absorb damage, attacks, or effects, so no. Its HP total of 25 put it at an initial Defensive CR of 1/8. It goes up one CR for every 2 full points it exceeds an AC of 13, so because it only exceeds it by 1 with an AC of 14 it's Defensive CR does not get an adjustment from the initial rating.

Total Defensive CR: 1/8.

Offensive Challenge Rating:
First evaluate its damage per round. This is calculated assuming all attacks hit and deal average damage. With two beak attacks per round, each doing an average of 14 damage, the total damage per round is 28. This puts it at an initial Offensive CR of 4. Adjust up or down for every two full points of difference in its attack bonus from CR 4's expected +5 attack. The horrid axe beak's attack of +4 is only 1 lower than the expected +5, so it does not get an adjustment from the initial rating.

Total Offensive CR: 4.

Take the average of Defensive CR and Offensive CR. That would be 2.0625, rounded to the nearest whole number, that's 2.

Final Challenge Rating is 2, rewarding players for defeating it with 450 XP.

Now what'd my template say again? To increase it's CR to 2? OH LOOK AT THAT. RIGHT ON TARGET SO PC EARN EXACTLY AS MUCH XP AS THIS THING IS WORTH.


Now don't insult my intelligence and skill again by suggesting I need help understanding 5e.
Last edited by AvonRekaes on Thu May 24, 2018 4:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Thu May 24, 2018 4:13 am

Want more proof? Lets make one of those bears. Lets go with a CR 1 this time to see how the template handles things that aren't less than CR 1. So, first bear I see that matches is the Brown Bear. According to the template I wrote, any beast with a CR 1 - 3 has its CR increased by 2. So a Horrid Brown Bear should be CR 3. Lets see how much my template is off the mark and is handing out free xp.
Horrid Brown Bear
Large beast, neutral evil
--------------------------------------------------------------
Armor Class 14 (natural)
Hit Points 42 (4d10 + 20)
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.
--------------------------------------------------------------
STR 19 (+4) DEX 10 (+0) CON 20 (+5)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 7 (-2)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Skills Perception +3
Damage Immunities acid
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages -
Challenge ?????? (free xp??????)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ill-Tempered. Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks involving a horrid bear are always made with disadvantage.

Keen Smell. The horrid bear has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

ACTIONS
--------------------------------------------------------------
Multiattack. The horrid bear makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) slashing damage plus 3 (1d6) acid damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (4d6 + 4) slashing damage.
Now lets look at the DMG again and see how badly I failed and homebrewing for 5e again!

Defensive Challenge Rating:
Like the axebeak, it has nothing that would adjust it's effective hp total for calculating its CR. Its HP total of 42 puts it at an initial Defensive CR of 1/4. Also like the axebeak, it only exceeds a CR1/4's expected AC by 1, so with an AC of 14 it's Defensive CR does not get an adjustment from the initial rating.

Total Defensive CR: 1/4.

Offensive Challenge Rating:
Although the base brown bear already had two attacks, doubling all the damage dice for it has increased the horrid brown bear's total damage per round to 31. This puts it at an initial Offensive CR of 5. The horrid brown bear's attack of +5 is only 1 lower than the expected +6 for CR 5, so it does not get an adjustment from the initial rating.

Total Offensive CR: 5.

Take the average of Defensive CR and Offensive CR. That would be 2.625, rounded to the nearest whole number, that's 3. (Yes, nearest, not down. Many monsters in the MM round up from a ".5" to the next highest, so ".625" isn't the biggest bump upward in the game by a long shot.)

Final Challenge Rating is 3, rewarding players for defeating it with 700 XP.

OH MY GOD WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT!? RIGHT ON TARGET! HOW IN THE WORLD COULD THAT HAPPEN WITH THIS BAD TEMPLATE THAT DOESN'T WORK WITH 5E?!

It's almost like I knew what I was doing. :roll:
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by tetrasodium » Thu May 24, 2018 8:22 pm

AvonRekaes wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 4:13 am

It's almost like I knew what I was doing. :roll:

Notquite as simple as you make it out to be. As I said before, too many of the underkling& related sysatens have been changed for a straight conversion of the template or the monsters like you would [url=https://media.wizards.com/2015/download ... ns_1.0.pdf]convert[/urk] a 3.5 monster to 5e without intervention. Your formula does indeed work fine for low power creatures, but 3.5 did not have anything like the moon druid & 5e druids do not have an animal companion any longer. There can be no doubt that the 3,5 horrid beasts were supposed to be used by druids given that thir section in ECS includes rules for doing so.

I brought up the fact that you had not converted staple beasts used by moon druids & you dismissed it by pointing to the template even though I uncluded a link to a guide that had a full list along with summaries of each form. As soon as moon druids get wildsgape at level 2 they can wildshape to cr1 then druidLevel/3 from level 6 on. Lets look at a couple of those things starting with the cave/polar bear I brought up... he's on mm 334.

The base stats are:
  • str:20 dex:10 Con:16 int2 Wis 13 Cha:7 - Wildshape keeps the druid's base stats for int/wis/cha, so only the first three stats are important there
  • HP42: (5d10+15)
  • AC12
  • Speed 40, swim 30
  • Perception +3
  • Passive Perception:13
  • CR2
  • Keen Smell: advantage on wisdom(perception) checks that rely on smell
  • Multiattack: Make 2 attacks, 1 claw one bite
  • Bite:+7 to hit, 1 target. Hit 9(1d8+5 piercing) damage
  • Claws:+7 to hit, 1 target. Hit 12(2d6+5 Slashing) damage
Your template would bump the ac to 15, hp to 52,& damage of those attacks to 13(4d8+5) & 33(4d6+5), CR4. With the original multiattack that results in 92 points of damage, enough to kill nearly anyone below 10ish in one round.

Using the table on dMG274, the AC is that of a cr5-7, the ho is barely that of a cr1/2by 2 points over the low end, the damage of 92 points/round is at the high end of the 87-92 damage output of a CR14 creature. Similar problems crop up when you start trying to apply that template to other staple creatures. The ill tempered is utterly meaningless because nobody needs to make animal handling checks like back in 3.5 & they certainly don't need to make them to control themselves in wildshape.

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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Thu May 24, 2018 9:01 pm

Sigh. Okay fine, lets apply the template to your polar/cave bear. Correctly. Then maybe I'll be convinced at how badly I was off the mark.
Horrid Cave Bear
Large beast, neutral evil
--------------------------------------------------------------
Armor Class 15 (natural)
Hit Points 52 (5d10 + 25)
Speed 40 ft., swim 30 ft.
--------------------------------------------------------------
STR 20 (+5) DEX 10 (+0) CON 20 (+5)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 7 (-2)
--------------------------------------------------------------
Skills Perception +3
Damage Immunities acid
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages -
Challenge too low for moon druids?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?!
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ill-Tempered. Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks involving a horrid bear are always made with disadvantage.

Keen Smell. The horrid bear has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

ACTIONS
--------------------------------------------------------------
Multiattack. The horrid bear makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) slashing damage plus 7 (2d6) acid damage.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (4d6 + 5) slashing damage.
That is my template correctly applied to the Polar bear, plus the Darkvision for the Cave bear variant. How you get to 90+ damage per round is beyond me. The one bite and one claw from the multiattack with your numbers doesn't even add up to 50, let alone 90+.

Lets see how it actually goes as per the DMG.

Defensive Challenge Rating:
Nothing it has affects its effective HP total for CR calculation so it's initial DCR is 1/2. Its 15 AC bumps this initial rating up to 1.

Total Defensive CR: 1.

Offensive Challenge Rating:
If you actually read my template, you'd see that no where does it allow the bear to make any more attacks than the non-horrid version, because the non-horrid version already has a multiattack. Also I have no idea what you're talking about with your 33 claw damage. What actually happens is it deals 14 slashing + 7 acid for a bite, plus one claw swipe of 19 slashing damage, for a total damage per round of 40. Initial OCR is 6, which is not increased or decreased by it's attack bonus of +7

Total Offensive CR: 6.

The average of 1 and 6 is 3.5, rounded to the nearest whole number 4.

Well holy shit, once again, right on target.

This monster is CR 4. This would be true if I just invented it wholecloth without a template. It would be true if its type was fiend, or aberration, or celestial. A 12th level moondruid wildshaping into it isn't going to break anything, because they can wildshape into ANY CR 4 beast, and this one is accurately slotted exactly within the confines of CR 4 as if it was custom designed to be CR 4.
Last edited by AvonRekaes on Fri May 25, 2018 1:05 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: 5E Eberron Bestiaries: The Wayfinder's Almanac Series

Post by AvonRekaes » Thu May 24, 2018 9:12 pm

Actually, I am also seeing that you are evaluating CR incorrectly. You do not look up the creature's AC first. Read the paragraph juuuuuust to the right of that table that says "Defensive Challenge Rating.", right in bold and italics. THAT is how you calculate a creature's defensive CR. The steps, if you don't want to go and read it are:

1. Find the creature's hit points on the table.
2. Compare the creature's AC to the AC of the same row that you found it's HP on.
3. For every two whole points the creature's AC is different from that row's expected AC, adjust the row you are on up or down by 1.
4. Whatever row you finally land on, THAT is the defensive rating of the monster.

You can't just jump to the AC row and the HP row and judge them separately.

For example, an AC 15 is not crazy for low level creatures to have. Look at the Guard. It's CR 1/8 with 16 AC. What matters MORE is the amount of hit points a monster has, because even with a high AC something is eventually going to roll high enough to hit you and if you don't have the hit points to soak it you are gone. So FIRST you look at hit points, and then you derive it's full defensive capabilities from there.

After you find a creature's total defensive capabilities, then you look at it's offensive ones. Again, you do not just look up total attack and total damage separately. There is another lovely little paragraph that starts with "Offensive Challenge Rating.", also in bold and italics. That will teach you how to find your monster's offensive capabilities. But since it seems like you need the help, let me lay it out for you step by step as well.

1. Find your creature's total damage per round. This is calculated using the average damage of each attack a creature is capable of making. And since you need some help with that claw calculation, let me go through what the average for its claw attack is. 4d6+5 is not 33. It is 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 5 (those 3.5s are each one of the claw's four d6s, in case I lost you.). The total of all of that is 19 (two .5s add up to a 1, btw). If you are having trouble with the math, use a calculator.
2. Compare the creature's most frequently used attack bonus to the attack bonus of the same row you found it's damage/round on.
3. For every two whole points the creature's most frequently used attack bonus is different from that row's expected attack bonus, adjust the row you are on up or down by 1.
4. Whatever row you finally land on, THAT is the offensive rating of the monster.

Damage output is far more important than attack bonus. You don't simply find the attack bonus and average damage separately and average them, or evaluated them separately. Or whatever it is you were doing. This is because all monsters are eventually going to hit PCs sometimes. What matters more is how tough it is for PCs to soak the amount of damage a creature does deal. So damage per round is given much more weight when calculating a monster's offensive capabilities.

This isn't my opinion. This is how monster creation works in 5th edition. This is fact. You should probably learn it if you are making monsters of your own.
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