dnd 5e – Is there such a thing as a Magically Animated Coin Monster?

Looks like a reskin (from creature to construct) of a Swarm

This monster looks to be made of tiny constructs (tiny animated objects, like coins) rather than tiny beasts

As a DM I’d be able to come up with that monster by using a swarm from the MM as a guideline, and re-skinning it.

What is a swarm?

The basic form of a swarm is a whole bunch of tiny beasts who form (collectively) a monster.

{Swarms} form as a result of some sinister or unwholesome influence … even Druids can’t charm these swarms, and their aggressiveness is borderline unnatural. (MM p. 337)

Your DM seems to have made a variation by using tiny objects that are animated, rather than tiny beasts.
Beasts are creatures; constructs are creatures. (MM, p. 6)
Tiny beasts swarm => tiny constructs/object swarm via the re-skin (a fairly simple substitution).

A swarm example (Basic Rules, p. 154; also in MM, p. 338)

Swarm of Insects
Medium swarm of Tiny beasts, unaligned {reformatted for presentation}
Armor Class 12 (natural armor) / Hit Points 22 (5d8) / Speed 20
ft., climb 20 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA / 3 (−4) 13 (+1) 10 (+0) 1 (−5) 7 (−2) 1 (−5)
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses blindsight 10 ft., assive Perception 8
Languages —
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny insect. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.
Actions
Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the swarm’s space. Hit: 10 (4d4) piercing damage, or 5 (2d4) piercing damage if the swarm has half of its hit points or fewer.

Mix the above template with the creature type that is Construct rather than Beast: one example is a flying sword. (An object magically animated)

Flying Sword
Small construct, unaligned
Armor Class 17 (natural armor) Hit Points 17 (5d6) Speed 0 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 11 (+0) 1 (−5) 5 (−3) 1 (−5)
Saving Throws Dex +4 Damage
And so on {cut the rest for brevity} (Basic Rules, p. 108; MM p. 20)

The swarm of coins would look a lot like a swarm of insects, except that it would be made up of coins (tiny objects animated into a swarm).

The coins should do bludgeoning damage to be thematically consistent with something like the animate objects 5th level Wizard spell. The action line will look something like:

Actions
Hits. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the swarm’s space. Hit: 10 (4d4) bludgeoning damage, or 5 (2d4) bludgeoning damage if the swarm has half of its hit points or fewer.

There you go: a reverse engineering of the monster you encountered, based on re-skinning a swarm by using the Monster Manual. The vulnerability to fire looks like an artistic flourish.

dnd 5e – Can a monster with a flying speed lift a Grappled PC and then drop them?

By the plain reading of the rules a flying monster can grapple in this manner. Provided the conditions are met. Halved speed, size requirement, etc.

From page 74 of the 5e Basic Rules for Players

When you move, you can drag or carry the grappled creature with you,
but your speed is halved, unless the creature is two or more sizes
smaller than you.

The dropping of the character is handled by the rules of interacting an option on page 70 of the 5e Basic Rules for players. If you can pick up a dropped axe, releasing a character from a grappled to let him fall is certainly covered under a interaction.

The monster will not get an attack of opportunity. The fall of the character is a not a result of the character’s action, movement or reaction.

From page 74 of the 5e Basic Players rules.

You can avoid provoking an opportunity attack by taking the Disengage
action. You also don’t provoke an opportunity attack when you teleport
or when someone or something moves you without using your movement,
action, or reaction. For example, you don’t provoke an opportunity
attack if an explosion hurls you out of a foe’s reach or if gravity
causes you to fall past an enemy.

dnd 5e – How to balance a monster modification (zombie)?

Because it feels right to you and is thematic to your campaign, I would encourage you to stick by your ruling and keep the modified zombies. As a player, I find variant creatures fun, and ret-cons a little bit immersion-breaking.

Assuming all of your players have ready access to fire damage, that’s an effective halving of the zombies’ hit points. In the Creating a Monster section of Chapter 9, the DMG notes “Vulnerabilities don’t significantly affect a monster’s challenge rating, unless a monster has vulnerabilities to multiple damage types that are prevalent (…)” — and in my experience with customized monsters, when players know and are prepared for the vulnerability, that’s exactly the noted “unless”. So, in this case, the change would alter the effective CR, unless you do something to compensate.

One easy way to leave the appearance of fire vulnerability but keep the CR is to raise the monsters’ actual hit points. Once your players realize that fire is the key, you can be sure they’ll use fire whenever they can, which means the effective hit points are lower than the actual ones (as described in the DMG in “step 9” of Creating a Monster Stat Block). Exactly how much to adjust by is a judgment call. If the party is only sprinkling some fire into their attacks, going from, say, 22 to 33 might be right. If they’ve figured out some way to always attack with fire, go ahead and just double to 44. (This is still within the range of hit points for a CR ¼ creature.) If you want them to also be directly vulnerable to radiant damage, take that into account, of course.

Zombies’ hit points are already on the low end for their CR, because Undead Fortitude keeps them up and lurching. (This isn’t just presumption; from the Monster Features table, this is the equivalent of additional “effective hit points”.) So, another approach would be to beef up that feature — perhaps make the save DC just “damage taken” rather than “5 + damage taken”. But this is a less predictable than the raw HP approach, so I don’t suggest it without some playtesting and tweaking. If you also want this feature to also be shut down by fire damage, that’d be a significant additional weakening — I’d be inclined to just leave it as it is. (As an aside, there should be an in-game way for the players to learn about this bit of non-obvious lore — it takes holy fire to really make a difference.)

dnd 5e – What monster would be good for level 1 players?

dnd 5e – What monster would be good for level 1 players? – Role-playing Games Stack Exchange

dnd 5e – Does a monster with multiple abilities recharging regain their use on a roll of 5-6?

From the MM, pg. 11

Recharge X-Y. The notation “Recharge X- Y” means
a monster can use a special ability once and that the
ability then has a random chance of recharging during
each subsequent round of combat. 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. The ability also recharges
when the monster finishes a short or long rest.

I couldn’t find any creatures with multiple abilities which recharge, but I was working on creating a BBEG which has 3 different abilities that recharge. The question is, rather simply, should I roll a single d6 at the start of each of its turns, or should I roll (up to) 3d6, one for each “discharged” ability?

dnd 5e – Is it wrong to use monsters other than how they appear in the Monster Manual?

It’s not only not wrong, it’s encouraged in the DMG and the MM

The Dungeon Masters Guide (DMG; pp. 273-282) has a set of guidelines for making your own monsters. This is alluded to in the Monster Manual (MM; p. 6) in the green box entitled “Modifying Creatures.” Your problem with the longbow bearing orcs was their to hit bonus, not the fact that they were using long bows.

… fighting a bunch of tribal orcs. At one point the orcs drew longbows (with what was at least a +6 to hit as the DM was asking if 25 AC hits). At this, everyone at the table got upset as, according to them, “the monster manual orcs use javelins 30/120 and occasionally chuck spears 20/60; and have a +5 to hit but only with melee weapons.”

This looks like a CR adjustment issue. Per the DMG tools, +6 to attack (proficiency bonus + ability score) is what a CR 3 creature gets(+2 and +4), but the damage per round still points toward CR 1/2 (6-8). Normal orcs are CR 1/2. (DMG; Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating; p. 274).

The usual orc dexterity stat (12 Dex) provides a +1 bonus, not a +4 bonus(Dex 18-19). When added to the CR 1/2’s +2 proficiency bonus an orc gets +3 to attack bonus (total) with a long bow. The +6 to hit was a significant difference in chances to hit for the orcs. The DMG points to a CR of 1 since the attack bonus is more than 2 greater than the basic monster. That moves the orcs’ CR from 1/2 to 1: not due to the longbows, but due to to hit bonus.

A nice illustration of how to make a mod within the base CR is given here by Aguinaldo Silvestre

Use the DMG tools provided for encounters and customizing monsters

If the longbow bearing orcs were confronting a party of level 2 adventurers, and they were sporting a +6 to hit, the encounter might have been a bit over the party’s head.

From Encounter design (DMG p. 82) we get:

  1. 4 CR 1 orcs X 2 for size of monster party = 1600 XP (4 x 200 x 2).

  2. With normal orc to hit CR remains 1/2: we’d have 800 XP (4 x 100 x
    2).

  3. A deadly encounter for four level 2 PC’s is 800 XP, so it should
    have been tough but doable.

  4. The 1600 is deadly and more for that level 2 party.

  5. For a party of 4 3rd-level adventurers, the Deadly encounter budget
    is 1600 XP.

    Make whatever monsters you want to, and modify existing monsters as suits your taste …

    One rule overrides all others: the DM is the final authority on how the rules work in play (XGtE, p. 5)(thanks to @SeraphsWrath for the note).

… but check your modifications against the monster creation / customization material in the DMG. This will give you an idea of how much challenge a custom monster will offer to your players. It’s not an exact measure, but it should get you in the ballpark.

As Trish suggested, playtest it.

Experience

In my brother’s campaign, our party of 5 ran into 8 orcs armed with the usual great axes and also with long bows. (Three snipers in the trees!) We were mixed levels, 2 and 3. That was a tough fight, but we were not at extreme range
(less than 100′ to start) and they closed distance in a hurry (aggressive) as the fight progressed. We found that the great axes were a much more serious problem than the long bows — but the orcs were not +6 to hit with bows.


@Crovaxon made a useful suggestion in a comment on using ability checks to complement monster customization.

If the players know the lore of the world you play in and/or know the
monster manual itself, they might come into the game with certain
expectations. But modifying the monster is still fine and a fun way to
encounter new stuff! Just inform your players beforehand that you
might modify the enemies they will encounter. Keep in mind what the
Monster Manual gives you in terms of lore for the creatures you
modify. If your modifications touch upon these, encourage your players
to make Knowledge Rolls and incorporate your mods into your answer.

pathfinder 1e – Whirlwind/Vortex Monster Ability Questions

pathfinder 1e – Whirlwind/Vortex Monster Ability Questions – Role-playing Games Stack Exchange

dnd 5e – Do skill bonuses in monster stat blocks include every modifier?

Skill bonuses are already baked into the stat blocks.

From the intro to the Monster Manual:

The Skills entry is reserved for monsters that are proficient in one or more skills. For example, a monster that is very perceptive and stealthy might have bonuses to Wisdom (Perception) and Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

A skill bonus is the sum of a monster’s relevant ability modifier and its proficiency bonus, which is determined by the monster’s challenge rating (as shown in the Proficiency Bonus by Challenge Rating table). Other modifiers might apply. For instance, a monster might have a larger-than-expected bonus (usually double its proficiency bonus) to account for its heightened expertise.

If the monster has proficiency in a particular skill, the total bonus to that check will be printed on the stat block. If it does not have proficiency, you just add the relevant ability modifier to the d20 result.

adnd 2e – 2nd Monster Manual PDF

I put the Monster Manual from Lomin.de into PDF version.
There is quite a bit of work to fix links and such. It’s a pretty massive work (5k pages) but is decently bookmarked at this point. I’ve lost allot of steam, and wonder if there’s someone else that would like to put some time/effort/resources into making it ever more pretty.

https://web.archive.org/web/20180818101532/http://lomion.de/cmm/_contents.php

Finally What’s a good way to distribute such a thing?

Thanks.

dnd 5e – Can a creature under Dominate Monster choose to willingly fail the saving throw against Calm Emotions if the caster is viewed as an enemy?

It depends on what the caster is doing.

I think the answer to this is in what dominate monster actually does. Nothing in dominate says the target views its former allies as enemies; only that it obeys instructions.

Let’s look at the specific effects of dominate monster:

The target is charmed by the caster. A charmed creature can’t attack the charmer, and the charmer gets advantage on social rolls, but that’s all. It doesn’t have any impact on the target’s opinion of his allies.

The caster can issue commands that the target will attempt to obey, such as “attack that creature”. But obeying the instruction doesn’t mean they consider their allies to be enemies. The dominate effect is forcing them to do the task as instructed, but they’re not necessarily going to do anything hostile other than what they were generally commanded to do.

And finally, the caster can use an action to take total control of the target. Let’s look closer at that one.

You can use your action to take total and precise control of the target. Until the end of your next turn, the creature takes only the actions you choose, and doesn’t do anything that you don’t allow it to do.

So here is the first place where I see anything that would stop the target from willingly failing a save; the target “doesn’t do anything that you don’t allow it to do”, so that would potentially include choosing to fail a save, where that’s an option, or being a willing target of a spell.

So it looks to me like the victim of a dominate spell could intentionally fail the save on calm emotions, but only as long as the caster isn’t assuming direct control.

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