Originally Posted by Grug16
Do monsters really need a damage boost? That part of the spectrum seems just fine. Do my players just have terrible builds?
I thought that halving HP all around would preserve most of the balance. Can someone explain in more detail?
Monsters need a damage boost.
The GOAL is that about 4 ordinary hits can kill a monster, and about 3 can kill a non-tank PC if nothing is done to stop it.
(This is why minions take one hit to kill, the goal is that it still takes 4 hits to eliminate the minions, just as 4 hits would eliminate the standard they replace).
This works fine at level 1, a typical PC has about 22 HP (12 from class, 10 from Con), a typical monster has about 29 HP, a typical non-striker PC does about 1d8+5 damage (9.5 on average), three hits MAY kill the monster, four hits probably WILL kill the monster. The monster does 1d8+4 damage or so, three hits with no healing kills.
Using the MM1 standards the monster's damage goes up by about 0.5 per level. At level 30 the monster averages 23 damage, the PC has about 184 HP (12+29*5 from class, 12 from con, 15 from toughness). It takes about 8 hits for the monster to take the PC down!
Nerf combat. The monsters, without taking any account of the massive ability of high level characters to avoid damage or impose conditions are only about 1/3rd as dangerous as they were at level 1. But it's even worse than that analysis would indicate! At level 1 the party had 2 healing words per encounter for healing resources, one healing word gave back 1-2 hits. At level 30? Three healing words (which scaled with level and are boosted by items), any number of utility powers (cure X wounds), and come back from the dead powers.
Without the errata a standard combat at level 1 is mildly threatening, the PCs will still win because they have more and better special powers and typically are more accurate. But at level 30 if the monsters concentrate fire, EVERY MONSTER CRITS, and they all used their best attacks, then one PC may be mildly inconvenienced.
Note that the change in damage and HP for MM3 wasn't really significant at low level, that level already worked and still works, it's the high level monsters that are hopelessly weak.