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How to Properly Design a Homebrew Final Boss

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  • Jason Goldenrod 5 months ago
    Hey there!
    I'm currently in the designing process of making a final boss for a campaign (about demons! woohoo!) and I was wondering about how to make it seem like a big threat but not so strong that it can wipe the entire party.
    Any suggestions? Like remaking a demon princes statblock or something? (making creatures that wipe parties is way too easy for me and it sucks haha)
    Thank you!
     -Jason

    Hey there! I'm currently in the designing process of making a final boss for a campaign (about demons! woohoo!) and I was wondering about how to make it seem like a big threat but not so strong that it can wipe the entire party. Any suggestions? Like remaking a demon princes statblock or something? (making creatures that wipe parties is way too easy for me and it sucks haha) Thank you! -Jason

  • AntDM 5 months ago
    Well, I'd say any Demon Prince that can't wipe out a party isn't worth their weight in salted souls, personally! What level are the party and how many of them? Is it 5e?

    Well, I'd say any Demon Prince that can't wipe out a party isn't worth their weight in salted souls, personally! What level are the party and how many of them? Is it 5e?

  • Jason Goldenrod 5 months ago
    well im currntly still in the planning phase of the campaign so my group hasn't started it yet.
    but since I like using 5e and 4e monsters (4e atropal, that is), then most likely a 5e, for recents sake.
    Only two players too, since one is new to DnD, so a pretty small group, albiet ill make them a high level throughout the course of the campaign.
    
    Thank you for offering to help! =)

    well im currntly still in the planning phase of the campaign so my group hasn't started it yet. but since I like using 5e and 4e monsters (4e atropal, that is), then most likely a 5e, for recents sake. Only two players too, since one is new to DnD, so a pretty small group, albiet ill make them a high level throughout the course of the campaign.

    Thank you for offering to help! =)

  • AntDM 5 months ago
    No problem. Can your players play more than one character at a time? My small group used to play 2 characters each some times. I won't go into specifics, but... bear in mind that for that type of endgame villain, they'll have lair actions and minions. At high levels your PCs will have a lot of actions per round, so minions will be essential to balance the action economy (if you want it to be balanced). Also, a high CR very intelligent villain will have an exit strategy and probably won't want to fight to destruction unless it has a good reason to do so or believes that they will undoubtedly win.  
    
    I can recommend the book, "The Monsters Know What They're Doing" (on Amazon as hardback or Kindle) to really get to grips with combat tactics and motivations for your monsters.
    
    A high level Evil Cleric/Wizard with Necromancy skills is always a classic and worthwhile opponent. Especially if they have the ear of their evil deity! Summonings, layers of Zombies to get through and maybe a Wraith or Wight acting as lieutenant. Without knowing the campaign it's not easy to choose a particular villain, but bear in mind if it's the endgame, they really should be capable and dangerous. Don't make it a walkover for your party!  ;)

    No problem. Can your players play more than one character at a time? My small group used to play 2 characters each some times. I won't go into specifics, but... bear in mind that for that type of endgame villain, they'll have lair actions and minions. At high levels your PCs will have a lot of actions per round, so minions will be essential to balance the action economy (if you want it to be balanced). Also, a high CR very intelligent villain will have an exit strategy and probably won't want to fight to destruction unless it has a good reason to do so or believes that they will undoubtedly win.

    I can recommend the book, "The Monsters Know What They're Doing" (on Amazon as hardback or Kindle) to really get to grips with combat tactics and motivations for your monsters.

    A high level Evil Cleric/Wizard with Necromancy skills is always a classic and worthwhile opponent. Especially if they have the ear of their evil deity! Summonings, layers of Zombies to get through and maybe a Wraith or Wight acting as lieutenant. Without knowing the campaign it's not easy to choose a particular villain, but bear in mind if it's the endgame, they really should be capable and dangerous. Don't make it a walkover for your party! ;)

  • Jason Goldenrod 5 months ago
    Eh since my group is basically just starting out, I was gonna leave it as only one character per person unless they *really*  know what their doing. What I had in mind for the boss was probably gonna be a something along the lines of one of the pre-existing demon princes, albiet remodeled into something more along the lines of what the boss is. You bring up a good point with the escape plan, though...
    
    Ive also never heard of "The Monsters Know What They're Doing" though. I'll look into it sometime =)
    
    Never heard of an Evil cleric before! Sound's threatening. I'll probably make that into a pre-ending boss, if possible.
    
    I'm pretty good at making campaigns no easy thing. My first campaign I ran at my school I ended up sending out minibosses, without any break. I've learned from that though!
    Thanks, man! I'll look into stuff. ^^

    Eh since my group is basically just starting out, I was gonna leave it as only one character per person unless they really know what their doing. What I had in mind for the boss was probably gonna be a something along the lines of one of the pre-existing demon princes, albiet remodeled into something more along the lines of what the boss is. You bring up a good point with the escape plan, though...

    Ive also never heard of "The Monsters Know What They're Doing" though. I'll look into it sometime =)

    Never heard of an Evil cleric before! Sound's threatening. I'll probably make that into a pre-ending boss, if possible.

    I'm pretty good at making campaigns no easy thing. My first campaign I ran at my school I ended up sending out minibosses, without any break. I've learned from that though! Thanks, man! I'll look into stuff. ^^

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