CR +1 (5e Guideline)

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This is a quick-but-effective way to increase almost any creature's CR by 1. It can be applied multiple times to increase a creature's CR multiple times.

This works best if the creature's CR is already at least 1/4. Increasing it one more step above this increases it to CR 1/2, and increasing it again increases it to CR 1.

Hit Points[edit]

Increase the creature's hit points by 15.

If increasing a monster's CR to be higher than 20, increase by 45 instead of 15.


The creature deals +6 damage once per round, assuming all attacks hit and all saving throws fail.

Divide the extra damage between all attacks a creature typically makes in a round. If the creature makes two attacks for example, each deals +3 damage. If the creature makes three attacks, each deals +2 damage.

If the creature relies on damage that hits multiple creatures, such as a breath attack, it gets +4 instead of the full +6.

If increasing a monster's CR to be higher than 20, increase by +18 instead of +6. You still divide +18 between all attacks in a round as normal.

CR +4[edit]

You can apply the preceding parts of the template to increase the creature's CR multiple times. If you increase the creature's CR by 4 or more, it also gains the following benefits for each time its CR increases by 4. If for example you increased the creature's CR by 8 for example, it would gain each of these benefits twice.

  • Increase AC by 1, unless increasing above CR 20.
  • Increase attack bonus of all attacks by 1.
  • Increase the DC of imposed saving throws by 1.
  • Increase all of its skill bonuses and save bonuses by 1.


This improves the monster's CR according to "Creating a Monster" (DMG page 273). This quick-and-dirty may result in a creature that is 1 level higher or lower than "true" CR.

CR is however an imperfect system that will not suit all circumstances perfectly, so as always it is best for a DM to use their best judgement and consider the party.

This method does not portray nuances of specific creatures. If a creature has more of a glass cannon role for example, it might make more sense to increase its damage by +9 and increase its hp only by 10.

In a world of infinite time it would always be best to cater more nuanced improvements specific to each creature and each level of CR, just as it would be to cater every monster to every party.


  • +15 hp per CR level
  • +6 dmg per CR level
  • +1 to AC, DC, saves, and skills for every 4 CR levels
(one vote)

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