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

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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: Bone Fly Swarm

This is a very special Monstrous Monday. Not only was this monster idea provided by James Done, but he was actually its original designer! He passed the design along to me and allowed me to tweak and fiddle with the design myself to ensure that the numbers all lined up properly.

I did a little more than that. I streamlined some of the design of the monster, and reinforced some of the controller elements present.

He also runs an RPG-themed Youtube channel, if any of you fine folks are interested, called Minor Illusion, where he reviews different RPG products and companies. I encourage all of you to follow the link below and check him out. He has a lovely English accent and seems quite intelligent and informative.

Link: MINOR ILLUSION

So, without any more fanfare, I present James’ monster, the Bone Fly Swarm. Continue reading