How do I add more to 4d8+18?

Despite Wizards of the Coast not showing up on my doorstep with a giant novelty check and a offer to move to Renton, I’ve decided to complete what I set out to accomplish. And that was of course to publish two articles so mind numbingly boring that ICANN shuts down the internet. The first was “How do I add 25% to 4d8+18?”

But first, let me clarify something about the previous article. I picked a bad title. I should have stuck with “No, Pimp MY Orcus”, or Roleplaying with PORN STARS and monster damage charts”. But instead I picked the one dice roll that happened to be trivially easy to add 25% to. Did I pick 3d6+11? Noooooo. I had to pick the one that anyone half-awake would notice as an easy conversion. So my hat’s off to ya, me muckers, for paying attention.

I’ve included in my files below the 50% increase in damage for single target attacks. I won’t belabour how I arrived at my numbers because I used the same method as for 25%, and so it’s nothing surprising. What I did want to talk about is the Two-or-more-targets chart. I don’t like it – they broke it – so I went and fixed it.

The two-or-more-targets damage chart has a nice regular pattern to it. The average damage and critical damages go up twice, then they repeat twice. Two increasing, two the same. Two increasing, two the same. Damage is always going up. I’m a strong believer that regularity is good. But for some reason, at level 26, they decided to break that pattern and DROP the average damage and the crit damage. Scandalous I know! But my beef is that there’s no good reason for it – there’s no bad reason even – it just plain and simple looks like a mistake. So I fixed it.

Mama Orcus yelling at her minions

Then there’s the minions. I like minions – I think every encounter should have a few. Minion damage hasn’t been errata’d recently, but does show up in the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2 (page 133). And, of course, they’ve got their own special fine print: “Artillery minions deal 25% less damage on multitarget and melee attacks”. So I took the chart, added another column for Artillery -25% damages, and extended it down to level 35.

So I present to you, the three charts for your 4th Edition monster designing fun:

And just in case it wasn’t clear from the start – I hope that someone, somewhere does find these charts useful and time-saving. If not then – well – my family had a lot of fun dressing up my miniatures. Not a total wash in my book.

7 thoughts on “How do I add more to 4d8+18?

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  1. What has never been very clear among my game group is the “Level” column.

    Is that “level of the monster,” “level of the encounter,” or “level of the party”? In the errata, it says “character level,” which would mean level of the party member being attacked. Which makes monster damage pretty boring. Whether you’re fighting an orc or a warlock, the damage is the same.

    I see you made your tables go to 35– is that because you think “Level” refers to creature level?

    Inquiring minds want to know.


  2. Which level depends on what you are doing. If you are using the table to create monsters, traps or terrain hazards, I believe it’s the level of the thing you are creating. This is to give you a rough guideline of how much damage a creature or trap of that level might cause. You can play with the dice and the damage bonus as you see fit, maybe using larger dice (but a smaller bonus) for a big creature for instance. That’s the art part of it. You should also subtract some damage if you want to add conditions to the power.

    If your players are trying to do a move not covered by their normal power selections, you could use this as well. I’d suggest that they should use their melee basic or unarmed attack for some of those tricks, but if they want to create a terrain hazard on the fly (push a boulder down a mountain for instance), these numbers make sense. At that point, I think it’s up to the DM’s discretion as to what the level should be although it’s probably pretty close to the level of the player trying to do it.

    At least, that’s my understanding.


  3. It never occurred to me to look at the critical damage levels and use that to help specify the dice and modifier.

    @Stephanie: the level refers to the level of the monster. If the errata says the “character level”, it may be referring to the fact that the damage chart can also be used by the DM to come up with appropriate damage values for improvised attacks and effects dreamed up by the players.


  4. The errata says character’s level, immediately after saying the damage expressions are used for monsters, traps, and hazards. A a trap or hazard is never referred to as a character. So I’m thinking that, as written, the “Level” is the level of the character who is the target of the attack.

    I understand it doesn’t make sense. I’m saying “as written.” It doesn’t matter for most players, but I run organized play games– we don’t get to make house rules and all our players have been to RPG law school and passed their bar exams.


  5. @Stephanie: I remember noticing that – “Character Level” back when I first read it, and promptly forgot about it. Made no sense then, and makes no sense now. I mean – if a troll attacks a 1st level charactr it only does 1st level damage? But if it attacks a 30th level character it does 30th level damage? Huh? It has to be a mistake, and I treated it as such. P184-185 of the DMG (where this erratta applies) is concerned with Monsters. So Level refers to the Monsters level.

    But you’re kinda trapped. You have to play RAW. So I’m not sure what you do. If you use my interpretation to make a custom monster, then play that monster as RAW, is that enough of a separation to allow you some leeway? What if you want to make a new monster with a power that’s doesn’t exist yet – that can’t be RAW so what happens then?


  6. Again, this is organized play. It’s rare that one makes one’s own monsters– instead you use the adventures provided. It’s gotten better lately, and we’re allowed to update the monsters to be current. But this question really needs to be answered for LFR.

    So I will pose it to the LFR admins, because I agree that as written it makes no sense.


  7. Very handy charts – will definitely save me having to compute for brutes. I like that you included the average and crit damage, which is what I compute from myself. Nicely done!


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