Building an Enemy

Building an Enemy #

In general, when creating an enemy from scratch, consult Enemy Stats by Level and pick out a statline according to level.

Level and Type #

An enemy’s level and type (single-strength, mook, etc) indicate how much of a threat they are and how much of the encounter budget they take up. Here are some considerations for changing the level/type of an existing enemy:

  • To change the level of a relatively standard enemy, just use the appropriate line from the chart.
  • To increase the level of less standard enemies, for each level, increase their attack bonus and all defenses and multiply HP and damage by about 1.25.
  • To decrease the level of less standard enemies, for each level, decrease their attack bonus and all defenses and multiply HP and damage by about 0.8.
  • To turn a single-strength enemy into a mook, multiply its damage by 1.2 and then divide its HP and damage by the number of mooks in the group.
  • To turn a single-strength enemy into a double-strength or triple-strength enemy, multiply HP and damage by 2 or 3 respectively (or vice versa).

Initiative #

Initiative typically ranges from Fast to Slow, with a few exceptional cases. Select this based on how quick on the uptake the enemy is supposed to be.

Attacks and Damage #

Attack Bonus is typically Level + 5. You typically don’t increase or decrease this for attacks, but for attacks that aren’t the enemy’s forte (like melee attacks for a caster or archer), feel free to reduce the damage to the damage for a level down. You might also increase this or add Advantage for specific attacks that are conditional to set up or have other restrictions. It’s encouraged to split double-strength enemies into two or more attacks and split triple-strength enemies into three or more attacks.

Defenses and HP #

The listed default defenses for a monster (typically 16 + Level AC, 14 + Level better defense, or 12 + Level lesser defense) put AC at the highest amount, and either MD better and PD worse or vice versa. Here are a few ways you can alter this:

  • You should probably not increase AC higher than the listed amount, or increase PD or MD higher than the listed AC.
  • You can even out MD and PD to be AC - 3. This provides no specific weak point but indicates that both are a bit susceptible to non-standard attacks.
  • You can increase the better defense by 1 and the lesser defense by 2, but reduce HP by 20%. This might be more appropriate for an enemy that’s hard to pin down but fragile.
  • You can reduce AC by 1 and increase the lesser defense by 1. This might be appropriate for a caster or similar.
  • You can reduce all defenses by 1 and increases HP by 25%.
  • You can reduce HP by 20% and introduce a defensive ability like Resist Weapon X+ (or a specific element, depending).

Other Abilities #

Typically, a given monster will have 1-3 abilities in Adventurer Tier, 2-4 abilities in Champion Tier, and 3-6 abilities in Epic Tier. These are usually things like:

  • Add a condition or ongoing weapon damage on a Natural 13+ or Natural Even Hit
  • Change some of their damage to ongoing (usually at a 3:2 rate for normal to ongoing)
  • Miss damage
  • Abilities that trigger on stagger
  • Abilities that are in effect while not staggered
  • Escalator, Flight, Large
  • A secondary, more situational attack
  • A more powerful but limited attack
  • A triggered attack

More of these typically push an enemy to the high end of their difficulty range for their level, and may necessitate an effective increase to their level. In these cases, it might be appropriate to add something like a Weakness or decrease defenses to compensate.

In general, you should avoid abilities that make it too hard to kill an enemy unless there’s something the characters can do to avoid that defense. If your enemy’s defensive abilities are significant in that way, consider reducing their HP by 20% or defenses by 1.

Enemy Stats by Level #

Enemy Level Attack Bonus HP/Damage, Single-Strength HP/Damage, Double-Strength HP/Damage, Triple-Strength HP/Damage, Mook AC Better Defense Lesser Defense
0 +5 22/3 44/6 66/9 7/1, 3 mooks 15 13 12
1 +6 22/3 44/6 66/9 10/2, 3 mooks 15 13 12
2 +7 22/3 44/6 66/9 12/3, 3 mooks 15 13 12
3 +8 22/3 44/6 66/9 15/4, 3 mooks 15 13 12
4 +9 22/3 44/6 66/9 18/5, 3 mooks 15 13 12
5 +10 22/3 44/6 66/9 18/5, 4 mooks 15 13 12
6 +11 22/3 44/6 66/9 23/7, 4 mooks 15 13 12
7 +12 22/3 44/6 66/9 30/9, 4 mooks 15 13 12
8 +13 22/3 44/6 66/9 30/9, 5 mooks 15 13 12
9 +14 22/3 44/6 66/9 38/11, 5 mooks 15 13 12
10 +15 22/3 44/6 66/9 46/13, 5 mooks 15 13 12
11 +16 22/3 44/6 66/9 48/13, 6 mooks 15 13 12
12 +17 22/3 44/6 66/9 60/17, 6 mooks 15 13 12