Although I run a primarily pre-4e game, I use all 4e monsters. I’ve made a few modifications to monsters and added a great many homebrew monsters plus the monsters I’ve converted myself from previous versions. For the most part, my monsters match the book but I have made a couple of modifications to how their Hit Points are calculated.

Overview

According to 4th edition rules (Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 184), hit points for monsters are determined as follows:

Minion1 hit point.
Artillery6 + Con + (Level * 6)
Lurker6 + Con + (Level * 6)
Controller8 + Con + (Level * 8)
Skirmisher8 + Con + (Level * 8)
Soldier8 + Con + (Level * 8)
Brute10 + Con + (Level * 10)

Hit points are then modified for Elite and Solo monsters (DMG, page 185):

Elite: “An Elite monster has hit points equal to twice the hit points of the standard monster, plus twice its Constitution score.”

Solo: “A solo [monster] has hit points equal to 8 times its level +1, plus its Constitution score. If the solo [monster] is level 10 or lower, multiply that result by 4 for its final hit points. If it is level 11 or higher, multiply that result by 5 for its final hit points.”

Math should never be described using English. It isn’t precise and leaves room for interpretation. a better definition would be:

Elite: Standard monster hit points * 2

Solo up to Level 10: (8 + Con + (Level * 8)) * 4

Solo above Level 10: (8 + Con + (Level * 8)) * 5

Changes

I’ve made a few changes here. I bumped Soldiers up from a base of 8 to a base of 10 and Brutes up from a base of 8 to a base of 12. Elites and Solos both had a base of 8. Instead I calculate them according to their role, which is often higher, and then multiply that by two for elites or by five for solos. That means that solos below level ten are now treated just like solos above level ten (i.e. — multiplied by five instead of four).

Minions

I have a real problem with minions having just one hit point. I understand what Wizards was trying to accomplish here but it just doesn’t work for me. Characters may be able to one-shot monsters from time to time but running through a field of monsters popping them like balloons offends my sensibilities.

In 4e MM1, the Minion status replaced the role (such as “Level 5 Minion”). In MM2, the Minion status was listed in addition to the role (such as “Level 5 Minion Brute”). I went back through MM1 and assigned roles to all of the minions. Then I calculated minion’s HP based on their role and divided the total by four. Minions with 25% hit points, compared to their non-minion counterparts, serve the same purpose for me without seeming so ridiculous.