Stat Blocks Made Smaller
While reading through some of my older Forgotten Realms adventures recently, I marvelled at the stat blocks that were included, especially when compared to the 5th Edition versions. As a brief example, let’s compare the stat blocks for Lady Bronwyn from an old favourite of mine, Under Illefarn.
Lady Bronwyn Daggerford (BRAWN-win), about 28 years old, human female, AC 8; MV 12″; 5th level Magic-User; hp 15; AL CN; THAC0 18; #AT 1; D 3-6; S 10, I 17, W 11, D 13, C 15, Ch 14; ring protection +2, wand of lightning bolts (12 charges), dagger +2. Spells Known—First level: charm person*, detect magic, mending*, protection from evil*, read magic, sleep*, write. Second level: continual light, detect evil, invisibility*, knock, locate object, preserve, scare*. Third level: infravision, phantasmal force*, protection normal missiles, tongues, water breathing.
*—Spells she is likely to have ready at a moment’s notice
Lady Bronwyn Daggerford
Human Wizard 5, Medium humanoid, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 12 (15 with mage armor)
Hit Points 32 (5d6+10)
Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 10 (+0) 13 (+1) 15 (+2) 17 (+3) 11 (+0) 14 (+2)
Saving Throws Int +7, Wis +4
Skills Arcana +6, History +6
Languages any four languages
Spellcasting. Lady Bronwyn is a 5th-level spellcaster. Her spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks). Lady Brownyn has the following wizard spells prepared:
- Cantrips (at will): fire bolt, light, mage hand, prestidigitation
- 1st level (4 slots): detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield
- 2nd level (3 slots): misty step, suggestion
- 3rd level (2 slots): counterspell, fireball, fly
Dagger +2. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage.
Ring of protection, wand of lightning bolts (7 charges)
For the purposes of this article, I’ve not put anything thought into the spells that Lady Bronwyn has for the 5th Edition stat block, they are more to help with the visual element.
As you can see, the 5th Edition stat block takes up a lot of space in comparison with its 1st Edition cousin. This is fine if you have a lot of space available, but if you’re a little tight for space—for example while writing a One Page Dungeon—then something smaller would be useful. It’s actually very simple to compress 5th Edition stat blocks into something taking up less space but still retaining the ability to read it quickly.
Revised 5th Edition
Lady Bronwyn Daggerford (BRAWN-win), about 28 years old, human female, 5th level Wizard; AC 13 (16 with mage armor); hp 32; Spd 30 ft.; AL CN; #AT 1; To Hit +5; Dmg 1d4+2 (dagger +2); S 10 (+0), D 13 (+1), C 15 (+2), I 17 (+3), W 11 (+0), Ch 14 (+2); ring of protection, wand of lightning bolts (7 charges), dagger +2. Spells Known (DC 14, +6 to hit)—Cantrip (at will): fire bolt, light, mage hand, prestidigitation. 1st level (4 slots): detect magic, mage armor, magic missile, shield. 2nd level (3 slots): misty step, suggestion. 3rd level (2 slots): counterspell, fireball, fly
Coincidently, a friend on Twitter asked for examples just this week:
Anyone know of any good 5th ed One Page Dungeons? Looking many for an example of showing stats? I've plenty of OSR examples.
— Newt, next stop GPM's Winter Con Jan 11th 2020 (@Newtus) November 25, 2019
What do you think? Is it as reasonable as I’ve made out? Is there anything you would add or remove? What sort of things do you look for in a stat block? Let me know in the comments below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links” so if you make a purchase, I will receive some affiliate credit.