In my last look at my monster manual’s statistics, I analyzed the number of enemies and monsters that I defeated. This week, I want to look at the opposite result, the number of defeats I have suffered at the hands (or claws or teeth or tails, etc..) of enemies that my characters have encountered during their dungeon dives and explorations. Using the data I pulled down from my monster manual last week, I saw that I have been defeated 458 times by those monsters that are currently represented in the monster manual. Taking a look at the data by monster type, it appears that I have suffered the most defeats at the hands of player races (97 defeats) and humanoids (89 defeats; Table 1 and Figure 1). The other top three monster types that caused me some problems were undead, aberrations, and monstrous humanoids. I wasn’t entirely surprised by this. These trends are being driven by the frequency with which I encounter these enemy types. The majority of quests are composed with enemies from the player race type or humanoid types. This is also seen when you look at the number of enemies I have slain from my previous analysis.
Table 1. Total number of defeats suffered by monster type.
Figure 1. Proportion of the total number of defeats by monster type.
One thing I tried to do to help take into account this discrepancy in just the encounter rates between monster types was to develop a kill ratio statistic. Basically I took a look at the number of enemies I defeated and the number of times they defeated me. So basically my kill ratio is simply calculated by the following: (number of enemies killed) / (number of defeats suffered). The theory behind this statistic is that the higher the kill ratio the easier the enemy is to kill. A lower kill ratio suggests that my characters have had a harder time in fighting these enemy types.
Another way to look at this is to calculate the opposite statistic which I will call my death rate. My death rate is the calculated by the following: (number of character deaths) / (number of monster defeats). This statistic works in the opposite fashion as the kill ratio. In this case, the higher the statistic the more dangerous the monster has been to my characters.
Taking a look at the kill ratio and death rate statistics across enemy types I see that the most deadly monsters for my characters where aberrations and outsiders. The top five most difficult monster types for me were aberrations, outsiders, player races, elementals, and monstrous humanoids. Taking a look at the opposite spectrum, the monsters that were the easiest were animal and vermin (excluding dragons and magical beasts who I haven’t suffered a defeat against yet). These trends are more like I would be expecting when it comes into looking how touch monsters are against my characters. Aberrations include monsters such as beholders and mind flayers which are far more difficult that the typical player race and this shows that quite well. You will be able to see this more here shortly when I look at the specific monster races. My trends are exhibited in Tables and Figures 2 and 3.
Table 2. Kill ratio (Enemy kills / character defeats) by monster type.
Table 3. Death rate (Character defeats / enemy kills) by monster type.
Figure 2. Kill ratio by monster type from the monster manual.
Figure 3. Death rate by monster type from the monster manual.
Looking at the trends of my defeats by monster manual volume, the Prologue and Volume 1 accounted for the majority of my character deaths. Again, this is primarily driven more by the sheer number of encounter rates my characters have with these monsters that are in those volumes. Monster races in the Prologue include humans and skeletons which were in the top three monster races that accounted for my character deaths (see below). Volume 1 includes hobgoblins and troglodytes which were in the top five monster races responsible for my defeats. However, when you look at the trends from the kill ratio and from my death rate, the monsters in Volumes III and IV were definitely most dangerous. Monsters in these volumes include beholders, hezerous, efreetis, and mind flayers. All of those monsters are found at mid to higher levels and they can definitely be extremely dangerous encounters. Tables and Figures 4-6 highlight these trends.
Table 4. Total number of defeats by monster manual volume.
Table 5. Kill ratio statistic by monster manual volume.
Table 6. Death rate statistic by monster manual volume.
Figure 4. Total number of defeats suffered by monsters broken down by monster manual volume.
Figure 5. Kill ratio by monster manual volume.
Figure 6. Death rate by monster manual volume.
Taking the analysis to a more detailed level, I also looked at the number of defeats my characters have suffered by monster race. Just looking at the total number of defeats, humans accounted for more of my character deaths than any other race. Others that made the top 1o include beholders, skeletons, hobgoblins, troglodytes, gargoyles, mephits, trolls, minotaurs, ice flensors, and hezrou (Table 7 and Figure 7). The monsters that accounted for the least number of defeats (excluding those who I haven’t suffered a defeat with) include dwarves, oozes, earth elementals, bearded devils, mind flayers, bats, scorrow, mummies, abishai, iron defenders, quori, iron golem, and liches (Table 8 and Figure 8). I also noted that a number of monster races haven’t killed any of my characters (at least not since they have been in the monster manual) and these include rats, ghouls, dragons, and air elementals (Table 9).
Table 7. Total number of defeats suffered by monster race (top races).
Table 8. Total number of defeats suffered by monster race (bottom races).
Table 9. List of monsters that I have not suffered a defeat from currently.
Figure 7. Total number of defeats by monster race (top races).
Figure 8. Total number of defeats by monster race (bottom races).
I was curious about the “true” deadliness of those monsters that accounted for more of my character deaths and those that accounted for the minimal number of deaths so I looked at their respective kill ratios and death rate statistics. Looking at these statistics, beholders, hezrou, and ice flensers were the most deadly monsters for my characters from those who were in my top ten of total of character defeats. Looking at the opposite end of the spectrum, liches, mind flayers, and iron golems were the most deadly for those monster races who accounted for the least number of total defeats for my characters. So, although humans accounted for more of my deaths across my characters than any other race, when looking at an encounter by encounter statistic, they weren’t nearly as deadly as monsters such as beholders (Tables 10-11 and Figures 9-12).
Table 10. Kill ratio and death rate for the monsters that accounted for the majority of defeats.
Table 11. Kill ration and death rate for the monsters that accounted for the least number of defeats.
Figure 9. Kill ratio for the monsters that accounted for the majority of defeats.
Figure 10. Kill ratio for the monsters that accounted for the least number of defeats.
Figure 11. Death rate for the monsters that accounted form the majority of defeats.
Figure 12. Death rate for the monsters that accounted for the least number of defeats.
Taking a look across all of the monster races, not limiting my analysis to just those that accounted for the majority of my character deaths or the least number of character deaths, according to my kill ratio and death rate statistics the top ten most dangerous monsters for me were: beholders, hezrou, ice flensers, efreeties, liches, mind flayers, iron golems, quori, raksashas, fire elementals, and gargoyles (Table 12 and Figures 13-14). If you notice from my previous analysis, a number of these monsters actually accounted for a small number of my character deaths (liches, mind flayers, iron golems, etc.). However, the kill ratio and death rate statistic shows that when I do come across these monsters, I have a higher probability of suffering a defeat, meaning that these enemies are much more dangerous than the others. Seeing beholders headlining this list shouldn’t be surprising. Especially with quests such as Invaders!, Delirium, Acute Delirium, and Terminal Delirium were beholders are a staple of the enemies and extremely hard at level. And we can’t forget about those beholders in Ghost of Perdition and Sane Asylum.
Table 12. Death rate and kill ratio for the top ten deadliest monsters to my characters.
Figure 13. Kill ratio for the top ten deadliest monsters by race for my characters.
Figure 14. Death rate for the top ten deadliest monsters by race for my characters.
Perhaps what is the most surprising about this analysis is that dragons don’t show up as being one of the most difficult critters for my characters. In reality, this does make sense. Dragons were included in the sixth volume of the monster manual. Since its release, I have only dealt with two dragon types: the spectral dragon Auraxylion from the Extraplanar Palace and psuedo dragons from the Storm Horns. I can assure you, that although I haven’t been defeated by these particular dragons, a number of my characters have been reduced to dragon food a number of times while facing off against Velah, the dragons in the Tor, the black dragons in Mired in Kobolds, and the green dragon in Don’t Drink the Water. I’m sure in time, when I reanalyze these numbers, that dragons will be higher up in this list.
I’ll be curious to see how this analysis changes when new volumes of the monster manuals are released and when I encounter more of the higher level and higher credit rated monsters. Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting those monsters!!