Elements of a Stat Block


This is what most people call this kind of creature. Some creatures have alternate names, regional names, or even specific titles, all of which are included in its lore.

Challenge Rating (CR)

A creature’s challenge rating (CR) tells you how great a threat the creature is. An appropriately equipped and well‑rested party of four adventurers should be able to defeat a creature with a CR equal to its level without suffering any deaths. For example, a party of four 3rd-level characters should find a creature with a CR of 3 to be a worthy challenge, but not a deadly one.

Creatures that are significantly weaker than 1st-level characters have a challenge rating lower than 1. Creatures with a challenge rating of 0 are insignificant except in large numbers. Some creatures present a greater challenge than even a typical 20th-level party can handle. These creatures have a CR of 21 or higher and are specifically designed to test player skill.

A creature’s CR is used to determine several aspects of the creature, such as the experience points (XP) it provides when defeated and its proficiency bonus (PB).

Experience Points (XP)

The number of experience points a creature is worth is based on its CR, as detailed in the Experience Points by Challenging Rating table. Typically, XP is awarded for defeating a creature, although the GM may also award XP for creatively avoiding or neutralizing the threat posed by the creature.

Experience Points by Challenge Rating

Proficiency Bonus (PB)

Like PCs, creatures have a proficiency bonus (PB) based on their CR, as detailed in the Proficiency Bonus by Challenging Rating table. The PB is used to calculate many of the statistics within a creature’s stat block, but the PB doesn’t actually appear in the stat block.

All statistics derived from a creature’s PB have the PB already included in the stat block. You don’t need to add the PB to any number in a creature’s stat block. You might need a creature’s PB for other things, however, such as when a creature casts a spell that requires an attack roll.

Proficiency Bonus by Challenge Rating


This is the relative size of the creature. A creature can be Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge, or Gargantuan. The Size Categories table shows how much space a creature of a particular size occupies on a battle map or grid.

Size Categories
Tiny2.5 x 2.5 ft.Imp, sprite
Small5 x 5 ft.Giant rat, goblin
Medium5 x 5 ft.Orc, werewolf
Large10 x 10 ft.Hippogriff, ogre
Huge15 x 15 ft.Fire giant, treant
Gargantuan20 x 20 ft. or largerKraken, purple worm


A creature’s type speaks to its fundamental nature. Certain spells, magic items, class features, and other effects interact in special ways with creatures of a particular type. For example, an arrow of dragon slaying deals extra damage to creatures of the Dragon type, such as red dragons, dragon turtles, and wyverns. Here is an overview of each of the creature types.

  • Aberrations are utterly alien beings.
  • Beasts are living creatures of the natural world.
  • Celestials dwell in higher realms outside of measurable or material reality.
  • Constructs are made, not born.
  • Dragons are large, reptilian creatures of ancient origin and tremendous power.
  • Elementals are creatures born of raw elemental forces.
  • Fey are magical creatures closely tied to the forces of nature.
  • Fiends dwell in lower realms outside of measurable or material reality.
  • Giants are enormous, powerful beings that tower over most creatures.
  • Humanoids are usually bipedal and often warm-blooded, including humans and a prodigious variety of other lineages.
  • Monstrosities are frightening, abnormal, unnatural creatures that are almost never benign.
  • Oozes are gelatinous predators typically without fixed forms.
  • Plants are vegetable creatures, not ordinary flora.
  • Undead are creatures that have previously died and been brought to a state of nightmarish undeath through necromantic magic, curses, or divine intervention.


Some creatures fall into categories that are a bit more specific than their creature types but not as game rule‑related as tags (though some categories are the same as some tags, such as demon or golem). This categorization denotes the creatures are more closely related to each other than they are to other creatures of their same creature type, but there aren’t many game rules that reference or rely on that category. However, categories can be helpful when determining which creatures are similar to each other, might be found together, or might work alongside each other. For example, bugbears, goblins, and hobgoblins are all part of the goblin family, regularly work together, and often inhabit the same areas. As such, they are listed as “Goblin, Creature Name” in this book.


Creatures may have various tags that further specify their creature type. If a creature has a tag, it is listed in the creature’s stat block in parentheses after size and type. Tags indicate creatures that can be targeted by specific spells, magic items, and other features available to PCs. For example, the moonbeam spell has special effects against creatures with the Shapechanger tag.

If a creature has a subtag, the creature is subject to effects related to both its tag and its subtag, though only the subtag is listed in its stat block. For example, a werewolf is both a Lycanthrope and a Shapechanger—though only Lycanthrope is listed in its stat block—and it is affected by spells, magic items, and other features that affect Shapechangers or Lycanthropes. The following are the most commonly used tags and their associated subtags:

Animal. A creature not of the Beast type but that shares enough characteristics with Beasts that it can be affected by spells, features, or other abilities that specifically target Beasts, such as the speak with animals spell.

Golem. A specific type of Construct that is almost always humanoid in shape, is typically crafted wholly out of a specific material, and has some magical connection to its creator. This connection might be that the golem was made from the remains of the creator’s loved one, made with some of the creator’s blood, made from an object with great sentimental significance to the creator, or made with some other object or material personal to the creator.

Outsider. A creature from another plane or realm not bound by laws of material or measurable reality. When an outsider is slain, its physical remains, other than any equipment it is wearing or carrying, disappear after 1 hour, and revives on its home plane. An outsider can be permanently destroyed only if it is slain on its home plane, or if a wish spell is cast after it is slain on the Material Plane. There are a wide range of Outsiders from a variety of planes and realms. Some of the most common Outsiders are Angels, Demons, and Devils, which are defined as the following:

  • Angel. A specific kind of Celestial Outsider bound in service to gods of good and order.
  • Demon. A specific type of Fiend Outsider bound to the forces of evil and chaos.
  • Devil. A specific type of Fiend Outsider bound in service to gods or fiendish lords of evil and order.

Shapechanger. A creature capable of changing form, such as a werewolf, doppelganger, or vampire. This tag applies only to creatures with the natural ability to change their shape. It doesn’t apply to creatures that use magic—whether or not that magic is innate to the creature—to change their shape, such as gold dragons.

  • Lycanthrope. A specific kind of Humanoid Shapechanger that changes its shape due to an animalistic curse called lycanthropy, allowing the creature to transform to and from a Beast form, its Humanoid form, and a hybrid of the two. The curse is typically passed by an attack from another Lycanthrope or by the creature having a Lycanthrope parent. Though all Lycanthropes are Shapechangers, not all Shapechangers are Lycanthropes.

Armor Class (AC)

Armor class (AC) represents the creature’s defenses. The higher the number, the more difficult the creature is to hit in combat. The kind of armor a creature uses (if any) or any special defenses a creature has (if any) are placed in parentheses after the AC value to help you alter the creature’s AC if the armor is removed or the special defense is negated.

The AC included in each stat block has been calculated using the following formula. Keep in mind that AC is calculated before proficiency bonus (PB) is added to the Ability Modifiers:

AC = 10 + DEX modifier + any additional bonuses (from equipment, natural armor, or special traits)

Hit Points (HP)

Hit points (HP) represent the health and vitality of the creature. The higher the number, the harder it is to kill or knock out the creature. Unlike PCs, creatures typically die or are destroyed when reduced to 0 HP.


A creature’s speed defines how far it can move during a single round of combat. If the creature has multiple ways to move (such as swimming or flying), those are also listed in this section.

All creatures have a walking speed, simply called speed. Creatures with no ground-based movement have a walking speed of 0 feet. Some creatures have one or more of the following additional ways to move.


A creature with a burrowing speed can move through sand, earth, mud, or ice. A creature can’t burrow through solid rock unless it has a trait that allows it to do so. A creature can’t drag a grappled creature along with it while burrowing, unless it has the ability to leave a tunnel when it burrows.


A creature with a climbing speed can move on vertical surfaces with no check required. The creature doesn’t need to spend extra movement to climb.


A creature with a flying speed can move by flying. Some creatures can hover, which makes them hard to knock out of the air. Such a creature stops hovering when it dies. If a creature can hover, the word “hover” appears in parentheses after its flying speed.


A creature with a swimming speed can move easily through liquid and doesn’t need to spend extra movement to swim.

Using Different Speeds

If a creature has more than one speed, such as a walking and  flying speed, it can switch back and forth between its speeds during its move. Whenever the creature switches, subtract the distance the creature has already moved from the new speed. The result determines how much farther the creature can move. If the result is 0 or less, the creature can’t use the new speed during the current move.

For example, if a creature has a speed of 30 and a flying speed of 60, the creature could fly 20 feet, then walk 10 feet, and then leap into the air to fly 30 feet more.


The Perception Value shows how observant the creature is, regardless of whether it’s actively observing its surroundings. This Perception Value is calculated using a creature’s Wisdom (WIS).

A PC attempting to hide from, sneak around, or stage a surprise attack against a creature must make a DEX (Stealth) check. If the result is equal to or higher than the creature’s Perception Value, the PC succeeds and remains undetected. If it is lower, the PC fails, and the creature detects the character. For example, a goblin has a Perception Value of 9. A PC’s DEX (Stealth) check result must be a 9 or better for the PC to successfully sneak past the goblin.

The Perception Value included in each stat block has been calculated using the following formula. Some creatures are naturally perceptive, which allows them to add their PB or even double their PB when calculating their Perception Value. In such cases, the Perception Value in the stat block already includes that bonus.

   Perception Value = 10 + WIS modifier


The Stealth Value shows how readily a creature evades notice—either to sneak around or stage a surprise attack. Stealth is calculated using a creature’s Dexterity (DEX).

A PC searching for unseen foes must make a WIS (Perception) check. If the result is equal to or higher than the creature’s Stealth score, the PC succeeds and detects signs of the creature. If it is lower, the PC fails, and the creature remains undetected. For example, a goblin has a Stealth Value of 14. A PC’s WIS (Perception) check result must be a 14 or better to detect the goblin when it is trying to hide from the PC.

The Stealth Value included in each stat block has been calculated using the following formula. Some creatures are naturally stealthy, which allows them to add their PB or even double their PB when calculating their Stealth Value. In such cases, the Stealth Value in the stat block already includes that bonus.

   Stealth Value = 10 + DEX modifier

Hiding. When a monster takes the Hide action, it doesn’t roll a DEX (Stealth) check. Instead, it uses the Stealth Value in its stat block.

Vulnerable, Resistant, and Immune

Some creatures are vulnerable, resistant, or immune to certain kinds of damage or conditions. Particular creatures are even vulnerable, resistant, or immune to damage from nonmagical attacks. A magical attack is an attack delivered by a spell, a magic item, or another magical source.

Multiple Protective Sources. Multiple instances of a creature being resistant or vulnerable to a type of damage count as only one instance. For example, if a creature has resistance to fire damage, such as a from its natural capabilities or the protection from energy spell, as well as resistance to nonmagical damage, such as from the gaseous form spell, the damage of a nonmagical fire is reduced by half against the creature, not reduced by three-quarters.

Conditions and Damage. Each creature has only one line for each of the following categories. This means that a creature resistant to cold damage and the grappled condition lists both cold and grappled in the Resistant line. In many cases, a creature being vulnerable, resistant, or immune to a condition or type of damage is due to its creature type, which is noted as the associated trait’s name in the appropriate category line and detailed in the traits section of the stat block. For example, the ettercap’s Monstrosity Resilience trait makes it resistant to exhaustion and the frightened condition. The ettercap’s Resistant line, therefore, lists Monstrosity Resilience.


If a creature is vulnerable to a type of damage and it takes damage of that type, the damage is doubled against the creature. For example, a creature vulnerable to fire damage takes double damage from a fireball spell or flaming oil.

A creature that is vulnerable to a condition has disadvantage on checks and saves made to avoid becoming affected by that condition or to end it.


If a creature is resistant to a type of damage and it takes damage of that type, the damage is halved (rounded down) against the creature.

A creature that is resistant to a condition has advantage on checks and saves made to avoid becoming affected by that condition or to end it.


If a creature is immune to a type of damage, it doesn’t take damage of that type or lose hit points when subjected to that type of damage. If a spell, class feature, or other effect deals damage of a type to which a creature is immune and has an extra effect, such as causing the charmed or frightened condition, the creature doesn’t take that damage, but it might still be subjected to that extra effect. For example, a creature immune to slashing damage would be immune to the slashing damage of a ghoul’s Claws, but it might still become paralyzed if it fails the Claws’ CON save.

A creature that is immune to a condition automatically succeeds on checks and saves to avoid the condition and otherwise can’t be affected by that condition.


Creatures primarily perceive the world by sight. This is called vision. Creatures usually have secondary senses of hearing, smell, and touch that also allow them to interact with the environment, but vision is considered the “standard” primary sense.

If a creature has no unusual sensory capacity, the Senses section is marked with “—” and denotes a creature can see as an average human.

If a creature has one of the following specialized senses that allows it to perceive in some way other than “standard” vision, it is noted in the Senses line, followed by a radius in feet that defines the sense’s maximum range.

Senses and Targeting. When a creature targets another with an attack, effect, or other feature, the creature must be able to see or sense the target with at least one of its listed senses, and the target can’t be behind total cover, unless that attack, effect, or feature states otherwise.


A creature with darkvision can see in nonmagical darkness. The creature can see in dim light within the radius as if it were bright light and can see in darkness as if it were dim light. A creature can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray. Many nocturnal creatures and creatures that live underground have this special sense.


A creature with keensense can precisely perceive its surroundings using some other sense than vision. Creatures without vision, such as morlocks and gelatinous cubes, typically have this special sense, as do creatures with echolocation or other extraordinary sense, such as bats and true dragons.

If a creature has no other form of sensing, it has a parenthetical note to this effect, indicating that the radius of its keensense defines the maximum range of its perception.


A creature with tremorsense can detect and pinpoint the source of vibrations if it and the source are in contact with the same ground or similar solid substance. Tremorsense can’t be used to detect flying creatures or creatures with the Incorporeal Movement trait. A creature with tremorsense is considered to have line of sight to any creature in contact with the same ground as it, although obstacles between the creature and its target can still provide the target with cover. Many burrowing creatures, such as ankhegs and purple worms, have this special sense.


A creature with truesight can see clearly in normal and magical darkness, see invisible creatures and objects, automatically detect and succeed on saves against visual illusions, and perceive the original form of a shapechanger or creature that is transformed by magic. Furthermore, the creature can see into the Ethereal Plane within range. Powerful or exceptionally magical creatures, such as balors and solars, have this special sense.


The languages that a creature can speak are listed in alphabetical order. If a creature can understand a language but can’t speak it, that is noted on this line. A “—” indicates that a creature neither speaks nor understands any language. Most languages are specific to a particular heritage or culture; a few are based on faith, commerce, or traveler’s tongues.


Telepathy is a magical ability that allows a creature to mentally communicate with another creature within a specified range. A telepathic creature can start or end a telepathic conversation at will, without using an action, like talking. A telepathic creature doesn’t need to see a contacted creature to communicate, it only needs to be in range.

A telepathic creature can communicate with a creature that doesn’t have telepathy. The contacted creature doesn’t need to share a language with the telepathic creature to communicate, but it must understand at least one language. The contacted creature can receive and respond to telepathic messages, but it can’t start or end telepathic communication.

Contact breaks if two creatures are no longer within range of each other or if the telepathic creature contacts a different creature. While a telepathic creature is incapacitated, it can’t start telepathy, and any contact ends.

A creature in an antimagic field or in any location where magic doesn’t function can’t send or receive telepathic messages.

Ability Modifiers

Every creature has six ability modifiers: Strength (STR), Dexterity (DEX), Constitution (CON), Intelligence (INT), Wisdom (WIS), and Charisma (CHA). These modifiers are used to determine pre-calculated elements of a stat block, such as attack and damage. More importantly, the GM uses them whenever a creature must make:

  • A save. The GM rolls a d20 and adds the relevant ability modifier.
  • An ability check. The GM rolls a d20 and adds whichever ability modifier is most relevant.

If a creature is particularly good at checks and saves involving a certain ability, the creature’s proficiency bonus (PB) has already been added into the ability modifiers presented in the stat block. You don’t need to add PB to any number in a stat block—it is already included.


Traits are a creature’s special characteristics that are likely to be relevant in combat. These are often passive features the creature has, such as the ability to breathe underwater or increased Stealth in particular types of terrain. In a stat block, traits appear after a creature’s ability modifiers but before any actions.

Is It Magical or Not? Creatures have a variety of magical and nonmagical traits and other features. If a trait or feature is described as working like a spell, then it is considered magical and doesn’t function inside an area where magic doesn’t function, such as the area of the antimagic field spell. If a trait or feature doesn’t name a spell or if that trait or feature’s text states it isn’t magical, then it can function normally regardless of if magic functions in an area. For example, the storm giant’s Influence Weather trait and the lich’s Levitate bonus action are both described as working like specific spells and are therefore magical.


When a creature takes its action, it can choose from the options in the Actions section of its stat block or use one of the actions available to all creatures, such as the Dash or Hide action.

Melee and Ranged Attacks

The most common actions that a creature takes in combat are melee and ranged attacks. These can be spell attacks or weapon attacks, where the “weapon” might be a manufactured item or a natural weapon, such as a claw or tail spike.

Creature vs. Target. The target of a melee or ranged attack is usually either one creature or one target. The difference is that a “target” can be a creature, object, or structure. This designator on an attack reflects the creature’s natural inclination, but it doesn’t mean a tyrannosaurus rex can’t or won’t bite at a door to get to a creature it can smell on the other side. This designator helps reflect that a creature like a tyrannosaurus rex isn’t likely to strategically attack pillars of a building to make the building collapse on its prey or to otherwise attack an object or structure in a way that isn’t directly related to reaching its prey.

Hit. Any damage dealt and other effects that occur when an attack hits a target are described after the “Hit:” notation.

Ammunition. A creature carries enough ammunition to make its ranged attacks. A creature generally has 2d4 pieces of ammunition for a thrown weapon attack, and 2d10 pieces of ammunition for a projectile weapon, such as a bow or crossbow.

Spell Attacks and Antimagic. A creature in an antimagic field or in any location where magic doesn’t function can’t cast spells or make spell attacks. Similarly, targets in an antimagic field are immune to the damage and effects of spell attacks and spells from outside of the field.


A creature that can make multiple attacks on its turn has the Multiattack action. A creature can’t use Multiattack when making an opportunity attack, which must be a single melee attack.


A creature with the Spellcasting action can cast spells through innate magical talent. Unless noted otherwise, a spell of 1st circle or higher is always cast at its lowest possible circle and can’t be cast at a higher circle. If a creature has a cantrip where its spellcaster level matters and no level is given, use the creature’s challenge rating.

A creature doesn’t adhere to the tenets, restrictions, or requirements of specific spellcasting classes, sources of magic, or similar spellcasting structures found among player characters, as a creature’s spellcasting is unique to the creature. A creature’s spells can’t be swapped out with other spells.

Spell Save DCs and Spells with Attacks

The Spellcasting action always lists the creature’s spellcasting ability and the spell save DC for its spells. When a spell listed in this action requires an attack roll, use the creature’s spellcasting ability modifier + the creature’s PB to determine the creature’s total attack bonus.

Spell Components

The Spellcasting action always notes if the creature doesn’t need to use a particular type of spell component, such as material components. If no exception is listed in the creature’s Spellcasting action, the creature must provide all necessary components to cast the spell. For the purposes of casting a spell, a creature needs free use of at least one limb to produce gestures for somatic components rather than specifically free use of one hand.

Bonus Actions

If a creature can do something special with its bonus action, that information is contained here. If a creature has no special bonus action, this section is absent.


If a creature can do something special with its reaction, that information is contained here. If a creature has no special reaction, this section is absent.

Limited Usage

Some traits or actions have restrictions on the number of times they can be used. Common examples:

X/Day. This means a special ability can be used a limited number of times in a day, where “X” is a number (often 1 or 3). The creature must finish a long rest to regain expended uses. For example, “1/Day” means a special ability can be used once and then the creature must finish a long rest to use it again.

Recharge X–Y. This means a creature can use a special ability once. Afterward, the ability has a random chance of recharging during each round of combat. “X” and “Y” are values on a d6 (often 5 and 6). At the start of each of the creature’s turns, roll a d6. If the result is in the range of numbers in the recharge notation, the creature regains the use of the special ability. The ability also recharges when the creature finishes a short or long rest. For example, “Recharge 5–6” means a creature can use the special ability once. Then, at the start of the creature’s turn, it regains the use of that ability if it rolls a 5 or 6 on a d6.

Recharge after a Short or Long Rest. This means that a creature can use a special ability once and then must finish a short or long rest to use it again.

Situational. This covers a lot of territory where an ability can be used only after a certain requirement is met. This information always appears in parentheses. For example, Vicious Bound (44 HP or Fewer) means a creature can’t use the Vicious Bound action unless it has 44 hit points (HP) or fewer remaining.


A stat block rarely refers to equipment, other than a creature’s armor or weapons. A creature that customarily wears clothes, such as a Humanoid, is assumed to be dressed appropriately.

If a spellcasting creature needs material components to cast its spells, assume that it has what it needs to cast the spells in its stat block.

Legendary Creatures

A legendary creature can do things that ordinary creatures can’t. It can take special actions outside its turn, and it might exert magical influence for miles around. If a creature assumes the form of a legendary creature, such as through a spell, it doesn’t gain that form’s legendary actions, lair actions, or regional effects.

Legendary Actions

A legendary creature can take a certain number of special actions—called legendary actions—outside its turn. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. A creature regains its spent legendary actions at the start of its turn. It doesn’t have to use them, and it can’t use them while incapacitated or otherwise unable to take actions. If surprised, it can’t use them until after its first turn in the combat.


A legendary creature might have a section describing its lair and the special effects it can create while there, either by act of will or simply by being present. Such a section applies only to a legendary creature that spends a great deal of time in its lair.

Lair Actions

If a legendary creature has lair actions, it can use them to harness the ambient magic in its lair. On initiative count 20 (losing all initiative ties), it can use one of its lair action options. It can’t do so while incapacitated or otherwise unable to take actions. If surprised, it can’t use one until after its first turn in the combat.

Regional Effects

The mere presence of a legendary creature can have strange and wondrous effects on its environment, as noted in this section. Regional effects end abruptly or dissipate over time when the legendary creature dies.

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