Monster Templates

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Monster Templates

Postby Seethyr » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:15 am

In 3e and 3.5 it seemed as if monster templates were all the rage. Virtually every type of undead creature, half this-or-thats, even bizarre amalgamations like tauric creatures (which I don’t like, imo every tauric race should be individually worked out). What happened? Why can’t I make a mummy girallon as easily as back in the 3e days?

One problem I do detect is adjusting CR. Depending on the base creature, it is almost impossible to make general statements like, “yeah, the half-gibbering mouther goes up 1 step in CR.” You really have to readjust individually based on the rules in the DMG.

Has there ever been any explanation?
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Re: Monster Templates

Postby Big Mac » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:12 pm

Can you compare the 3e templates to the 5e monsters to get any sort of idea of how this might work?
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Re: Monster Templates

Postby Seethyr » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:39 pm

Big Mac wrote:Can you compare the 3e templates to the 5e monsters to get any sort of idea of how this might work?


I’m honestly at a loss. Templates, along with their general additions to an already made creature, just don’t seem to mesh well with calculating CRs. It’s the only real problem I’ve seen so far though to be honest. That’s why I’m surprised there aren’t more.
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Re: Monster Templates

Postby timemrick » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:22 am

I think part of that lack of templates comes from the fact that stat blocks are a lot simpler in 5e, so it's easier to tweak a monster's stats into something else without needing elaborate rules.

For a very simple example, one of the tables in the yuan-ti section of Volo's Guide to Monsters has a footnote explaining that the mummy entry represents undead malisons or purebloods, which use normal mummy stats.

For a more complex example, one of the adventures in Tales from the Yawning Portal includes ogre skeletons. The text says to use ogre stats, but give them the undead type and resistance to a couple types of damage. The text doesn't mention any change to the Challenge rating, but elsewhere in the book, monsters with more extensive changes to the base stat block (like bosses with class abilities) do list an increased CR.
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Re: Monster Templates

Postby Big Mac » Fri Jan 05, 2018 11:25 pm

timemrick wrote:I think part of that lack of templates comes from the fact that stat blocks are a lot simpler in 5e, so it's easier to tweak a monster's stats into something else without needing elaborate rules.

For a very simple example, one of the tables in the yuan-ti section of Volo's Guide to Monsters has a footnote explaining that the mummy entry represents undead malisons or purebloods, which use normal mummy stats.

For a more complex example, one of the adventures in Tales from the Yawning Portal includes ogre skeletons. The text says to use ogre stats, but give them the undead type and resistance to a couple types of damage. The text doesn't mention any change to the Challenge rating, but elsewhere in the book, monsters with more extensive changes to the base stat block (like bosses with class abilities) do list an increased CR.


It sounds to me that there is a gap in the market for a netbook of monster tweaks.
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Re: Monster Templates

Postby timemrick » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:57 am

Big Mac wrote:It sounds to me that there is a gap in the market for a netbook of monster tweaks.

Agreed! I'd be curious to see what a book of templates and tweaks would look like, given how rules-light 5E is compared to 3E or 4E. (Something equivslent to Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary would be MUCH shorter than the v.3.5 and Pathfinder versions!)
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Re: Monster Templates

Postby Tim Baker » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:32 am

This PDF received positive reviews and may address the need that you describe: http://www.dmsguild.com/product/171138/ ... -Templates.
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