The Legendary Elephant in the Room

Legendary Elephant (CR 14). Size: Huge; AC 18; HP 260; Speed 40 ft.; Gore +8 (20 piercing), Stomp +8 (32 Bludgeoning); Trampling Charge: If it moves 20 feet and hits with Gore, DC 18 Str save or knocked prone. If prone, free Stomp as bonus action. Frightening Trumpet: Action. All within 60 ft. make DC 18 Wis save or become frightened for 1 minute. Save at end of turn to negate. Success makes immune for 24 hours.; Legendary: 3 actions. Gore (1), Charge (2): Move 20 feet and Gore.

Okay, now that THAT joke is out of the way…

Let’s talk about legendary creatures, shall we? Continue reading “The Legendary Elephant in the Room”

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Messing With Monster Design 2: Instant Monsters

Last time I talked about monster design, it was to discuss variable features in monster design. If you missed that, then I encourage you to read it. This week, I’m going to talk about taking the next step in lazy monster design: Instant Monsters! Just add creativity! Continue reading “Messing With Monster Design 2: Instant Monsters”

Messing With Monster Design: Variable Features

I’ve been playing a lot of the Cypher System, lately. Specifically, I was running a Star Wars game using Cypher. It’s a surprisingly-versatile system that can cover basically any and all thematic bases when running a game. To be sure, it won’t replace D&D, Call of Cthulhu, or World of Darkness, but it’s most definitely flexible enough to play games using any of those settings.

My favorite part of the system is the simple versatility of the challenge/NPC/monster design system. Popping open the core rulebook itself to the “NPCs/Enemies” section might deceive you into thinking that creature design is very complex. Each monster, despite essentially being a simple bucket of target numbers, tends to take up a full page. Each ability is listed in detail, and there seems to be a conspicuous amount of design work built into each monster or NPC. Continue reading “Messing With Monster Design: Variable Features”

Monstrous Monday: The Thunderbird

I think that you guys, by now, have probably figured out that I’m a huge fan of mythology. I love the ancient stories of heroes, gods and monsters from across the world, and constantly inject these ideas into my campaigns.

This includes Native American myth, which so often reveres nature and animals, turning them into beasts of incredible power and significance. One of those—which just so happens to be one of my favorite mythological beasts, is the thunderbird. Whether we’re talking about Shadow chasing thunderbirds in American Gods, or the ancient tales of thunderbirds dropping lightning-snakes onto the ground below, the thunderbird is a fascinating myth. Continue reading “Monstrous Monday: The Thunderbird”

D&DE: Dungeons and Darwinian Evolution

This week was rather hectic, between scheduling issues at work and a nasty power outage. Therefore, I didn’t get to edit this article as thoroughly as I would have liked. If it comes off choppy, I apologize. 

I’m going to present you with a monster. I want you to tell me what’s special about this monster? What makes it different?

Ready? Here it is.

Tropical Sahuagin

Now, what’s special about it? Get it in your mind, write it down, say it out loud, whatever. If you’re in the future, then store the thoughts in your psychometric PAN cloud. Now tell me. What’s special about it? What’s different?

That’s right! Octopus Telepathy, Underwater Camouflage, and a poisonous bite. You get a cookie.

Now, can you tell me why?

You only knew that because of the title of this article. Cheater. I hope you choke on that cookie. Continue reading “D&DE: Dungeons and Darwinian Evolution”

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