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Are Barools wrongly classified as CR4?

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  • Are Barools wrongly classified as CR4?

    Was this just a typo? All their stats match CR 1 or CR2 at most if you look in the "Making New Enemies" section (13 stamina?). Comparing them to Cocoronites from MoM, which are similar winged foes, the Cocoronites are equal or better across the board (5 *times* as much stamina, better prof, better attack, more damage, etc) and they're only CR3. They both fly, they both have battle frenzy, etc. Really, Barools look like a weaker version of Cocoronites and should be CR2, not CR4. My player's level 3 party (mixed cats and dogs) would just lob a single fireball into a flock of them and move on without even stopping to wash or shake.

    Obviously I can just treat them as such in my campaign, but if it's just a mistake it should go on the errata list.

    Meanwhile, I think I'll bump up the Barool stamina and stick my players in the middle of a territorial dispute between the two groups


  • #2
    Cannot find Barools in my Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau PDFs on quick search. Where they are?

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    • #3
      Pugmire, page 182.

      I agree that the Barool stats don't quite line up with a CR 4 as they describe. But I've also noticed that several monsters don't fall in line with those guidelines - and that there's discrepancies between Pugmire and Mau. For example, Bone Bugs (pug 183) and Bone Burrs (MoM 194) have exactly the same stats, but are CR 0 and 1 respectively; and their Make a Monster charts have different Defense ratings. It looks like there might be some mechanical differences among Player Characters between the two games that change their monsters' CR somewhat. I suspect that if published stats don't like up with the "make your own" guidelines, it might possibly be due to alterations from play testing (which happened in the Monster Manual 5E as well).

      I do know that Stamina points are not a good indication of CR. Due to the variance due to size and constitution bonus, you can absolutely have a CR 3 with five times as much Stamina as a CR 4, such as if they were gargantuan and tiny.
      But, the Stamina points for a Barool definitely do not line up with a CR 4. With it's Con of +3, it should have a minimum of 28 (if it's tiny sized).

      My conceivable explanations for why it's CR 4 are it's Ability scores (which total to 69 - as a CR 4 should have), and the facts that it lives in the woods, has darkvision, and ignores attacks of opportunity as it flies; those add up to a monster that can travel from full or partial cover, attack twice, and move back into cover in a single action. Perhaps what was designed to be a CR 2 nuisance became devastating with proper tactics in an early playtest.

      that's all just speculation, though.
      In the end, I agree with your assessment - alter their stats, or use them as a lower CR challenge. Or consider them an "easy" CR 4 fight, and try using ruthless tactics to see if they can still challenge the party.

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