Monstrous Monday: Armored Arachnid, Gohma

I promised a boss monster last week, and I plan to deliver! That’s why I’m giving you guys the mother of arachnids, Gohma! That’s right, this little lady right here.

Queen-gohma-Ocarina-of-Time-by_sulamoon

Continue reading

Monstrous Monday: The Dodongo

And finally, we reach the dodongo! The big challenge with this one was to create a monster with a weak point: the dodongo’s tail. The inherent problem with this is that standard D&D doesn’t have facing rules. Therefore, “getting behind” the dodongo in order to attack it is superfluous. Instead, I decided to add a trait called “weak point,” allowing the player to bypass the dodongo’s damage resistance by suffering disadvantage on their attack roll. Simple, and appropriate.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not problematic. Continue reading

Monstrous Monday: Night of the Living Redead

This whole “Design Zelda Monsters” thing is proving to be an interesting experience. See, as similar as many video games and tabletop games are, there are still inherent differences in the way we treat tactics and tone within games. In a video game, tone is often established by visuals and sound. At the table, we have a very different view of the world. If we see it at all, it’s usually from a god’s-eye perspective. We invent a lot of what we see in our own minds. Similarly, tactics are often very different in a video game where you’re dealing with active, mobile characters rather than turn-based tactical movement.

Therefore, when designing a monster like the redead from Zelda, I had an interesting task ahead of me. I had to create a monster that functioned mechanically like the redead. But I also had to create something that felt like a redead. I wanted to give the players the creep-factor of simply seeing it standing in a tomb, unmoving. But I also wanted to establish the shock when it screams and freezes you in place, and the slow horror as it approaches. Continue reading

Monstrous “Monday”: Deku Baba

And, finally, Monstrous Monday is back! …On a Wednesday! I know I took a bit of an unplanned break for a couple weeks, and I apologize. I should really be holding myself to a better standard. But now I’m back, and I’m here to tell you about one of my favorite monsters in Legend of Zelda. The Deku Baba! Continue reading

Monstrous Monday: Spellcasters Without Spells

I’ve decided, recently, that all spellcaster NPCs and monsters I design, from now on, will no longer actually use spells. I have a rant planned on why that is, but suffice it to say for the moment that it’s much easier to design NPCs when you use customized abilities, rather than pre-packaged spells. Continue reading

Monstrous Mondays: The Muscular Puncher

I love Goblin Punch. Seriously, it’s one of my favorite RPG blogs out there. And of the many things that have been created on Goblin Punch, one of my favorites is the Muscular Puncher.

Essentially, it’s a system-neutral, wizard-based class that focuses on one thing. Can you guess what that one thing is?

That’s right. It’s punching.

HlKaC

I encourage you to read the flavor text of the muscular puncher, because it would be wrong of me to re-print it here. Suffice it to say that the muscular puncher presented here has been translated, mechanically, into 5th edition D&D, and turned into a CR 3 NPC. It’s got a lot of hit points, and deals a lot of damage. And if you encountered more than one of these guys, I can see things getting a little bit nuts VERY quickly. Continue reading

Monstrous Monday: The Great White Minotaur (And SITE UPDATE!)

Welcome back to Loot the Body! You may not be able to tell, but there have been some changes around here.

Before we get to our Monstrous Monday, because I did promise a new Monstrous Monday all those weeks ago, I have to discuss how the site is changing.

First of all, Monstrous Mondays themselves aren’t necessarily going to be weekly any longer. I realized before that keeping up 2-3 articles a week was simply something I wasn’t going to be able to maintain. At least, not right now. Work has slowed down, but it’s still retail, meaning that my hours are all over the place and I have no guaranteed writing time during the week.

Therefore, I’m going to make the following promises moving forward.

  1. I Will Present Some Kind of Content Every Week. Like I said, I can’t maintain 2-3 articles each week. I don’t get paid for this stuff (yet), and therefore can’t really justify the time required for that right now. However, I can guarantee that I’ll post SOMETHING every week. Maybe that’ll just be a Monstrous Monday, or a Treasure Type Z, or a Straight Out of Subvera. Or maybe it’ll actually be a long, detailed article. Regardless of what it is, I guarantee that I will post something.
  2. Monstrous Monday Might Not Be On Mondays. Due to the fact that I simply can’t maintain a consistent schedule, I can’t guarantee that Monstrous Mondays will always show up on Mondays. Also, if I’m being honest, I’m a well-known procrastinator (I wrote an English Term Paper three days before its due date) and I run my own D&D games on Sunday, so guaranteeing something for Mondays just isn’t in the cards. I’m still keeping the name, though, because I can’t stand to come up with something else.
  3. Diversified Content and New Types of Articles. While I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing: designing monsters, classes, and magic items; dissecting classes and Unearthed Arcanum, and writing long think-pieces on game design, I’m planning on diversifying my content in the following ways.
    1. DM’s Guild Reviews: The DM’s Guild and the new OGL have created a wealth of third-party content: classes, monsters, feats, adventures, and all manner of other documents. I’d like to write reviews for these, and will start doing so very soon.
    2. Straight Out of Subvera: Like every other DM with a blog, I’m designing my own homebrew world. It’s called Subvera, and I’m going to start publishing content from it on this blog. Unlike most other blogs that do the same however, I’m going to have a bit of fun with each article. I don’t want to spoil too much, but suffice it to say that I think it’s going to be a great creative exercise for me, and some really fun reading for you.
    3. RPG Rants: I fully admit that I’m stealing this one from the Angry GM. He writes a new Angry Rant every week. I’m not planning on doing that. It’s just that sometimes I need to talk about something without getting analytical and including pie charts and line graphs. Whether it’s about game design, gamers themselves, or my own personal discoveries and screw-ups, I can only hope that I can keep these rants entertaining and interesting.
  4. The DM’s Guild and the OGL. With the release of the SRD5 and the new OGL, as well as the establishment of the Dungeon Master’s Guild, I have had to rethink how I go about publishing my content. On one hand, things become much easier, legally, since I can now publish any and all content with the OGL attached and essentially be in the clear so long as I’m not re-printing information not found in the SRD5. However, this also means that I can actually begin publishing content…like, REALLY publishing content. On official sites. For money. Now, I haven’t gone over every bit of the DM’s Guild information (or the OGL) with a fine-toothed comb yet. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the future, I end up publishing much of my blog content through the DM’s Guild in pay-what-you-want PDFs. The big stuff, like my Ranger re-write (which will receive a new draft in the coming weeks), will very likely remain off the DM’s Guild. However, if I am able to do something like acquire a business license, I wouldn’t mind publishing those kinds of major projects myself.

And with all of that said, let’s get on with the actual Monstrous Monday! I present to you, the Great White Minotaur! Continue reading