FrequencyOne of the biggest headaches (literally) for me in 5e is the monster stat block. For some unknown reason, it isn’t possible to simply inform a user that there is a breath weapon. Instead, it must also be accompanied by every single bit of data about the breath weapon, as well as every other possible attack that monster is capable of. I am no longer allowed to get a handle on a monster at a glance. I am required to read all the details, because…stat block. It is visually muddy and crosses wires in my brain.
% in Lair
No. of Attacks
Therefore, if I am going to stay sane while DMing a 5e game I need a stat block I can understand at a glance. To that end (and inspired by the 1ed MM stat block) I would like to propose the following:
Hit Dice (with an average hp total in parenthesis)For all non-combat rolls, I use the Ave. Bonus (and can adjust that up or down depending upon how I want the monster to run). For all combat rolls, I use the Attack Bonus. If I need to understand a special ability, I can look in the description or just make it up as I go along (which I’d probably do anyway).
Ave. Bonus (the average of all the ability score bonuses/penalties)
Attack Bonus (the total of the Proficiency Bonus, Str bonus and any special bonuses)
Advantages (including any listed skills)
Disadvantages (including any listed weaknesses)
Special Abilities (with no elaboration)
As an example, here is the 5e Goblin as represented by my old-fangled stat block:
GoblinThis makes sense to me. I can riff of this info in seconds and I know how to run a group of goblins without having to give myself a headache.
Hit Dice: 2d6 (7)
Armor Class: 15
Ave. Bonus: 0
Attack Bonus: +4
Advantages : Stealth
Special Abilities: Nimble Escape
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Goblins usually wear leather armor and carry a shield. They are armed with scimitars and short bows. When using their Nimble Escape ability they can use a bonus action to either disengage or hide. Goblins are used to living underground and have dark vision 60ft.