I have previously reported on how Monster Manual 3 brings a new monster design principle, with several adjustments to monster roles and an overall increase in damage. There was an important detail that was missing, though - the specific damage values under these new principles. This has been addressed in the latest round of rule updates, which introduce a new damage table for monsters and traps, replacing the one in page 185 of Dungeon Master’s Guide.
A nice thing about this new table is that it streamlines the process - instead of two tables with entries for low, medium and high damage each, there is just a single table with values for single-target damage and area damage. For brutes and limited attacks, you just add a 25% extra damage (or up to 50%, for certain limited attacks).
As for the actual numbers, they are much more streamlined - since the tables now have rows for each level, the increases in damage are much more smooth. In fact, I was able to determine the formula for average standard damage by simply looking at the table: it is now just about eight plus monster level. This is how it breaks down, for the different attacks. For a look at the old formulas, you can check this.
- Low (Area): 6 + 0.75*Level
- Medium: 8 + Level
- High (Brute/Limited): 10 +1.25*Level
- Very High (Limited): 12+1.5*Level
It doesn’t look like minion damage is affected, though I’ll try to check the damage for MM3 minions against the formulas from Dungeon Master’s Guide 2, and see if they fit.
So, now that we have these, we can tell how much the damage has really increased. Early reports from D&D editor Greg Bilsland pointed at an increase between 30% and 40%, but actual values deviate a bit from this, and vary with level:
As we can see from the table, the increase varies between 10 and 30% for heroic levels, 40-60% at paragon tier, and 60-70% at epic. We should be able to appreciate a difference at lower levels, but it is at paragon and beyond where the game experience will change the most. In future posts, I will analyze how this affects character survivability, and difficulty in general.