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5- Monsters

Monster Construction

A monster’s statistics, sometimes referred to as its stat block, provide the essential information that you need to run it. It’s constructed according to the this formula:

[Monster Name]

[Size] [type], [alignment]

Armor Class ##
Hit Points ## (Xdy)
Speed ## ft., swim ## ft.

[] [] [] [] [] []

Saving Throws ##
Proficiency Areas ##
Senses Telepathy
Number Encountered ()
Treasure Type


  • Trait. Description of trait.


  • Typical attack. Melee/Ranged/or Ranged Spell/Weapon Attack: +## to hit,; Hit: ## (Xdy +##).
  • Other action. Description of Action.


The creature gets to take legendary actions. There may be as few as one action listed or more, but usually a choice of three actions is presented.

  • Legendary Action. Description of action.
  • Legendary Action. Description of action.
  • Legendary Action. Description of action.


General description of monster.

Details of a Monster “Statblock”


The Size Categories table below shows how much space a creature of a particular size controls in combat.

Size Categories
Size Space Examples
Tiny 2½ by 2½ ft. Imp, sprite
Small 5 by 5 ft. Giant rat, goblin
Medium 5 by 5 ft. Orc, werewolf
Large 10 by 10 ft. Hippogriff, ogre
Huge 15 by 15 ft. Fire giant, treant
Gargantuan 20 by 20 ft. or larger Kraken, purple worm


Certain spells, magic items, class features, and other effects in the game interact in special ways with creatures of a particular type.

The game includes the following monster types, which have no rules of their own.

Aberrations are utterly alien beings.

Beasts are a natural part of the fantasy ecology.

Celestials are creatures native to the Upper Planes.

Constructs are made, not born.

Dragons are creatures of ancient origin and power.

Elementals are native to the elemental planes.

Fey are magical creatures closely tied to nature.

Fiends are wicked creatures native to the Lower Planes.

Giants tower over humans and their kind.

Humanoids are the main peoples of a fantasy world, both civilized and savage, including humans and a tremendous variety of other species.

Monstrosities are monsters in the strictest sense—frightening creatures that are not ordinary, not truly natural, and almost never benign.

Oozes are gelatinous beings, rarely with a fixed shape.

Plants in this context are vegetable creatures.

Undead are the once-living, brought to a horrifying state of undeath through necromancy or a curse.


A monster might have a parenthetical tag to provide additional categorization (for example humanoid (orc)). For instance, a demon slaying spear would work against any monster with the (demon) tag.


All monsters will be chaotic, neutral, or lawful.

Armor Class (AC)

By default, a monster’s AC is based on its Dex modifier and natural armor, if any. If a monster wears armor, or carries a shield, this is noted in parentheses after its AC.

Hit Points (HP)

A monster’s hit points are presented both as a die expression and as an average number. For example, a monster with 2d8 hit points has 9 hit points on average.

A monster’s size determines the die used to calculate its hit points, as shown in the Hit Dice by Size table below.

Hit Dice by Size
Monster Size Hit Die Average Hit Points per Die
Tiny d4 2 ½
Small d6 3 ½
Medium d8 4 ½
Large d10 5 ½
Huge d12 6 ½
Gargantuan d20 10 ½

A monster’s Con modifier also affects its hit points.


Some creatures have special movement modes.


The ability to move through sand, earth, mud, or ice.


The ability to move on vertical surfaces.


Monsters that can hover are hard to knock out of the air. Such a monster stops hovering when it dies.


The ability to move unimpeded through water.

Ability Scores

Every monster has six ability score modifiers.

Saving Throws

Most creatures don’t have special saving throw bonuses, in which case this section is absent. When shown, it is the sum of the relevant ability modifier and proficiency bonus (as shown below).

Proficiency Bonus

This is determined by Challenge Rating.

Challenge Proficiency Bonus
0 +2
8 +3
? +2
9 +4
¼ +2
10 +4
½ +2
11 +4
1 +2
12 +4
2 +2
13 +5
3 +2
14 +5
4 +2
15 +5
5 +3
16 +5
6 +3
17 +6
7 +3

Proficiency Areas

The Proficiency Areas entry is reserved for monsters that are proficient in special relevant areas.

It is the sum of a monster’s ability modifier and its proficiency bonus (from the Proficiency Bonus by Challenge Rating table). Other modifiers might apply.

Vulnerability, Resistance and Immunity

Some creatures have vulnerability, resistance, or immunity to certain types of damage and conditions.


The Senses entry notes any special senses the monster might have. Special senses are described below.


A monster with blindsight can perceive its surroundings without relying on sight, within a specific radius.


A monster with darkvision can see in dim light within the radius as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light, but can’t discern color in darkness.


A monster with tremorsense can detect and pinpoint the origin of vibrations within a specific radius, provided that the monster and the source of the vibrations are in contact with the same ground or substance. Tremorsense can’t detect flying or incorporeal creatures.


A monster with truesight can, out to a specific range, see in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect visual illusions and succeed on saves against them, perceive original forms of shapechangers or creatures transformed by magic and see into the Ethereal Plane within the same range.


Telepathy is a magical ability that lets monsters communicate mentally with another creature within a specified range. A shared language is not needed, but the recipient must understand at least one language.

A telepathic monster doesn’t need to see a contacted creature and can initiate and end the contact at any time without using an action. Contact is broken as soon as the recipient is no longer within range or if the telepathic monster contacts a different creature.


This is the number that the GM refers to when testing for morale. The GM will roll 2d6 according to the Morale Check rules in Book 4. Any monster that fails this check will attempt to flee or surrender.

Number Encountered (No. Enc.)

This is the typical number appearing together if encountered on a dungeon level equal to the hit dice of the monster. For example, if a 4 HD creature has a No. Enc. listing of 1d8, then, 1d8 of the creatures will be encountered when encountered on a 4th dungeon level.

The GM should lower the number if encountered on a higher level, and increase it on a lower level.

When a range is also given in parenthesis it represents the typical number in a lair or in a wilderness setting.


An appropriately prepared party of four adventurers should be able to defeat a monster of equal challenge rating to its level without any deaths.

Note, that this doesn’t mean that all encounters should necessarily be of an appropriate challenge rating for the party. It is included simply to give an idea of how strong the encounter is relative to the party and perhaps prevent an accidental total party kill.

Monsters that are significantly weaker than 1st-level characters have a challenge rating lower than 1.

Treasure Type

The type of treasure a creature will have.

Special Traits

Special traits are characteristics likely to be relevant in a combat encounter.

Innate Spellcasting

Unless noted otherwise, an innate spell of 1st level or higher is always cast at its lowest possible level and can’t be cast at a higher level. If a monster has a cantrip where its level matters and no level is given, use the monster’s challenge rating.

A monster’s innate spells can’t be swapped out with other spells. If a monster’s innate spells don’t require attack rolls, no attack bonus is given for them.


A monster with the Spellcasting special trait has a spellcaster level and spell slots. The spellcaster level is also used for any cantrips included in the feature.

The monster has a list of spells known or prepared from a specific class. A monster can cast a spell from its list at a higher level if it has the spell slot to do so.


When a monster takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or actions available to all creatures (see “Actions in Combat”).

Melee and Ranged Attacks

The most common actions a monster will take in combat are attacks.

Hit. Any damage dealt or other effects that occur as a result of an attack hitting a target. You have the option of taking average damage or rolling the damage.

Miss. If an attack has an effect that occurs on a miss, that information is presented after the “Miss:” notation.


A creature can’t use Multiattack for opportunity attacks, which must be a single melee attack.


Assume that a monster has 2d4 pieces of ammunition for a thrown weapon attack, and 2d10 pieces for a projectile weapon such as a bow or crossbow.


A monster that can do something special with its reaction, is listed here.

Limited Usage

Some special abilities have restrictions on the number of times they can be used.

X/Day. A monster must finish a long rest to regain expended uses.

Recharge X–Y. At the start of each of the monster’s turns, roll a d6. If the roll is one of the numbers in the recharge notation, the monster regains the use of the special ability; or when the monster finishes a short or long rest.

Recharge after a Rest. This means a monster can use a special ability once per rest.


A stat block rarely refers to equipment, other than armor or weapons used by a monster. You can equip monsters however you like. A battered suit of armor made for a monster is rarely usable by someone else.

Grapple Rules for Monsters

Many monsters have special attacks that allow them to quickly grapple prey. When a monster hits with such an attack, it doesn’t need to make an additional ability check to determine whether the grapple succeeds, unless the attack says otherwise.

Legendary Creatures

A legendary creature can take special actions outside its turn, and exert magical influence for miles around.

If a creature assumes the form of a legendary creature, such as through a spell, it doesn’t gain that form’s legendary actions, lair actions, or regional effects.

A legendary creature can take a certain number of special actions—called legendary actions—outside its turn. A creature regains its spent legendary actions at the start of its turn. It can’t use them while incapacitated or otherwise unable to take actions. If surprised, it can’t use them until after its first turn in the combat.