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: Armored Arachnid, Gohma”

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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: The Dodongo”

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: Night of the Living Redead”

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”: Deku Baba”

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 Monday: Spellcasters Without Spells”

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 Mondays: The Muscular Puncher”

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 “Monstrous Monday: Bone Fly Swarm”

Monstrous Monday: Grippli Zen Monks

This Monday’s monster idea belongs to Charles Oberg, who gave me the idea of the grippli zen monk. However, rather than just creating one monk, I decided to create two. One minion monk that you can use as a horde enemy (or horde ally, considering they’re neutral good), and one big boss enemy as the grandmaster of the monastery.

shaolin_frog_by_d_mac-d5qwqmw
Shaolin Frog by dmac

This is the first that I’ve seen of Gripplis in D&D 5e, though please be sure to point any others out to me in the comments. I designed them after tree frogs. Assumedly, they would be encountered in the jungle, so they have a bonus to Stealth checks, as well as a climb speed and a bonus to jumping and climbing. They are also poisonous, much like the poison dart frog and many of its brethren, and therefore deal poison damage with their unarmed strikes.

I also gave them a nice tongue attack to deal poison damage at a range. I picture them hiding in trees and leaping down on foes after poisoning them with their tongue lash, slapping foes with open hands to deliver poisonous strikes. Fun times. Continue reading “Monstrous Monday: Grippli Zen Monks”

Monstrous Monday: The Hyperborean Owlbear

QUICK UPDATE: The Monster Archive on my Downloads page has been updated to include all November monsters.

And welcome to the first unofficial Monstrous Monday of December. I’m starting early, because I’m incredibly excited to bring you guys some cool stuff. This month, in honor of the Christmas season (or Hanukkah, Ramadan, Festivus, whatevs) I’ve decided to give something back! Every Monstrous Monday this month is going to be a reader-submitted monster. Unfortunately, however, I’ve only got 5 Monstrous Mondays, so I can’t get to all of them. Therefore, I’m going with what I consider, through my completely scientific decision-making process (holding pieces of paper with the monster’s names on them in front of my dog and seeing which one he chooses), entries that are either interesting, evocative, or hilarious.

This first week, we’ll be tackling another owlbear. In fact, it’s another snowy owlbear. Now, for those of you who read my article on Dungeons and Darwinian Evolution, you’ll remember that I already designed a polar owlbear. So why am I designing another one? Because Neil Klopsch suggested something a little different. Not a polar owlbear, but a Hyperborean owlbear. What the hell is that? Follow me, and I’ll show you. Continue reading “Monstrous Monday: The Hyperborean Owlbear”

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