My question here concerns the following closed question about homebrewing a monster for D&D 5E.

help in adapting a monster from a short story to 5E

My understanding of the reasons for closure

It seem that the question was originally not very clear, but the OP clarified what properties and what CR they are looking for.

The second problem was that the question asked for general advice on homebrewing the monster which is inherently very broad. The relevant task includes multiple subtasks, each of which could be their own question: a) finding a starting point in published material, b) modifying a published monster or creating new stats borrowing from published monsters, and c) final balancing.
I edited the question to narrow it down to a).

Why I think the question is valuable

Homebrew of very specific content is prone to not being useful to many people. I think that the present case, even though specific, might be interesting to other people (myself included). This is because the monster asked about is from a story in the universe of the game. This is, IMHO very different from homebrewing a very specific monsters that a person has invented themselves or a monster from popular media unrelated to the specific game (in this case D&D).

Second, it seems that users from the site could give relevant answers to the question in its current form. I could, but so do others, apparently, as stated in the comment section of the question.

Third, it seems that the original complaints concerning the question are no longer valid. The OP edited it to provide relevant details to the question. I edited the question to narrow it down to the first relevant step, so that the OP could use potential answers to work on the task and potentially post a follow up question if necessary.

What are the options to try to get this question reopened?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ A detail to understand the run of events: closed questions are sent through a review queue when edited to help reopen-voters see it. That is however rate limited, so it was sent through review before the last two edits. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil Mod
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 10:24

3 Answers 3


Perhaps the OP could reform the question into "what existing monsters are most similar to this thing"

We already have a number of questions like this:

The question is currently a lot more of a "help build this" than "point out similar things I could build with". There's a pretty large jump between having answers list creatures one could use and having the answers actually use those creatures. This question seems to ask the latter and would, at least to me, do better and be more structured and less wildly open-ended if it asked the former.

Keep in mind that such a request is easier the more details are given (or if there are very few details and merely a rough concept). I think the question actually gives quite a few good details as is, so I'm just saying this as something worth remembering.


I do not think so

We typically don't allow homebrew this for me.

While we can review homebrew, we really don't support idea generation. And asking us to homebrew something is the equivalent of an idea generation. Those types of questions do much better in a forum or chat or somewhere else.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But that would be part b) from my definition, wouldn't it? The question currently aims at a). The question is asked in the context of Homebrew but asking for monsters from the sourcebook with most of x,y,z properties could happen in a different context. The amount of monsters from the sourcebooks is limited and if the properties are narrowly defined (which they seem to be) then the question would be reasonably scoped, I think. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 13:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Anagkai even then, it seems kinda opinion based to say which one seems like that monster. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 13:17

I don't think this is really a homebrewing question at this point

If we're talking about the most recent edit, which asks about what published monster best matches the one from the novel, then it's not really a homebrewing question.

If it's a monster ID question then the content could be a lot more focused-- we really need mechanical details and not fluff, and ideally some guidance about what details are most important to match. For example, the monster having Disguise Self doesn't seem very important, since it could be added as a spell-like ability to any stat block without affecting CR.

Other details seem fluffy and likely won't translate to an existing monster well at all:

Rather than drain an single human dry, it seems to absorb a little bit of energy each from individuals in a large crowd

This sounds to me like a plot element-- this is how the creature survives and avoids detection as it feeds. If it's fluff, then it's not clear to me that this should have any mechanical representation at all; Life Drain doesn't work that way. If it's not fluff, then we're stuck deciding between finding something as close as possible (such as Life Drain), accepting that it might be possible that no published monster can have such a trait, or homebrew something with no particular criteria for doing so.

tl;dr: This may be a monster ID question, in which case it would benefit from additional edits which focus it in that direction. If this is the case, then the question is not ready to be reopened until such edits occur. It is not clear to me if this suits the intent of the asker.

Homebrewing provides tons of options, and the question isn't specific enough for one to be clearly better than another.

It's nice that the question has provided some details, including the target CR range. Unfortunately, these details are not enough to indicate what a "good" answer would be, or what would make one answer meeting the question's criteria better than another:

I would suggest a CR of at least 10, possibly closer to 15.

This is a broad range. There are enormous differences between a CR 10 creature and a CR 15, and there are a huge number of traits which can be changed to nudge the CR up or down. How could a potential answerer decide what CR to use? If someone homebrews this monster to a target CR of 14, is that better than one that has a target CR of 15? How about 13?

If one monster might offer a decent template that covers 75% of what the asker wants, and another offers 90% but would need some stat adjustments to fall into the right CR range, which is better? If we're going to be open to adjusting at least some stats, how many are available to be changed before it's "too much mechanical rebalancing"? If we settle on some number of changeable stats (say, 2), how can we judge between adjusting CR by increasing AC or HP versus adding or removing a resistance when the CR outcome is the same?

In the act of preforming what appear to be temple services, this being preformed magic that healed two people badly wounded and weakened by the attack of a vampire, though no specific divine spells as you would find in the Player's Handbook were mentioned by name.

Near the end of the story it also used a form of mind-influencing magic to ensure any humans in its 'flock' would not enter its temple quarters and possibly discover its true nature.

Finally, the monster in question seems to 'feed' on the energy (yes, I know you're going to complain how vague that sounds but it's as specific as I know how to say it) of its human followers in the act of preforming temple services. Rather than drain an single human dry, it seems to absorb a little bit of energy each from individuals in a large crowd, also it appears capable of feeding on a living being's energy without having to reach out and physically touch its victim (again, as specific as I know how to say it).

This is essentially all fluff. That's fine, but if something has no game-mechanical purpose then it's not relevant to the homebrewing process being asked about. And it again introduces lots of possibilities that we can't really judge between. If it is important to the asker that these traits do get some mechanical representation, we don't have enough information about what the traits are supposed to do or how they're supposed to work.

tl;dr: As a homebrewing question, it is underspecified. There is too little detail and too few clear goals and constraints for the question to fit the SE format. Additionally, it requires a lot of work on answerers' parts to offer up complete solutions so that the asker can choose one that "feels right" to them.

Either way, I think that the question is currently closed appropriately. Of course it could be reopened if enough elements of it changed, but that's always true. The operative questions are if those changes still get to what the asker wants, and if those changes are actually applied to the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ From your answer I understand that it would be useful - to get the question on course - to leave any notion of balancing and CR out? When a list with relevant properties is provided then to find monsters that have these properties, the quality of any answer can be gauged by the number of relevant monsters and the number of properties these have. \$\endgroup\$
    – Anagkai
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Anagkai Yes, if the question is about finding monsters that fit a set of traits (ideally defined in terms meaningful to the game) then an answer can be judged on how well the monster (or monsters) it presents fit those criteria. Balancing and CR seem unrelated to that. There are still some issues with how stack-able such a question might be, but trying to ask both the ID and the homebrew questions at once is definitely worse (from an SE perspective), while also making it hard to specify either question in a way that makes it answerable. \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 20:09

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