Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Owlbear

That's right, O is for owlbear. It's arguably one of D&D's most iconic (or at least unique) monsters, and I've never once used one in a campaign. Part of the reason I've never liked the owlbear is that I just didn't like the concept. The idea of randomly mismatched animals just didn't appeal to me. To be honest, they still don't. You might as well have a parakeet-lion or a bunny-crocodile.

And that idea, my friends, is what led me to write this post. No, I don't like owlbears - but maybe the idea of weird animal combos isn't entirely useless even if it is ridiculous. Perhaps there is a good combination out there that doesn't seem quite so goofy. I mean, after all, some of the cooler creatures out there (like the griffon) are essentially the same type of animal mishmash... so the idea can't be completely without merit. Click on the picture of the owlbear below for some ridiculous owlbear-like crossbreeds, and comment below if you manage to discover something particularly useful or funny!



This month, as a participant in the A-Z Blog Challenge, I'll be writing a post each day (except for Sundays) and letting the alphabet guide my content. Thematically, all of my April posts (at least those related to the blog challenge) will be monster related. Each day, I'll be challenging myself to create an encounter, NPC, location, etc. that features a monster I've never used before in a roleplaying game. Hopefully this will push me to include more variety in my current campaign, and who knows... maybe I'll find a few new favorites.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Nymph

I don't know why, but I have had on my mind quite often lately the idea of using traditionally "good" creatures as opponents in RPGs. A few days ago, I wrote up some plot hooks that might lead a group of heroes into conflict with a good monster. Today, with the nymph, I'll suggest a few nymph variants.

  • Too Hot to Touch - The elemental plane of fire holds more beauty than the allure of the flame itself. Nymphs from this plane are literally too hot to touch - dealing an extra 1d6 fire damage with any melee attack they make and inflicting 1d6 fire damage on any attacker who successfully strikes them in melee. Use this simple addition or apply an appropriate template, such as the fire element creature template from Manual of the Planes.
  • Demon Nymph - Thought to be the offspring of an elf and a succubus, this beautiful creature has a deadly allure. They are just as skilled in the art of seduction as their demonic parent, but can hide their true nature for a much longer period of time because of their elf heritage. Apply the fiendish or half-fiend template.
  • Widowed Nymph - This nymph spent many years at the side of a valiant paladin who stood for justice and purity. Together they quested to rid the world of a foul lich, but when he fell victim to the curse of vampirism and she was forced to slay him in his undead form, she turned away from the light. Now she spends her days bitterly wandering the countryside, taking out her pain on those whose relationships are still intact. Add levels of assassin, blackguard, or another villainous prestige class.


This month, as a participant in the A-Z Blog Challenge, I'll be writing a post each day (except for Sundays) and letting the alphabet guide my content. Thematically, all of my April posts (at least those related to the blog challenge) will be monster related. Each day, I'll be challenging myself to create an encounter, NPC, location, etc. that features a monster I've never used before in a roleplaying game. Hopefully this will push me to include more variety in my current campaign, and who knows... maybe I'll find a few new favorites.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M is for Medusa

Long before Wizards of the Coast started shying away from "save or die" effects, I was avoiding them like the plague. Mostly it was because I had so few players that a single "save or die" roll could spell disaster for my entire campaign rather than just one unlucky player. The medusa is one of those iconic creatures from mythology that just demands to be used sometime, though, right? Now that I'm running a campaign with more than just two or three players (currently seven if everyone showed up at the same time), those pesky save or die effects aren't necessarily campaign ending affairs - frustrating for one or two players, sure, but that's what Transmute Stone to Flesh spells are for!

One intriguing villain might be a medusa that has begun dabbling in enchantment magic to more easily lure victims into her traps. "Come. Look into my eyes," is just so much harder to resist when under the influence of a charm person spell! I already have a good idea of who the major villains will be in my current campaign... but perhaps one of them needs a snake-haired henchman. Hmmmm...



This month, as a participant in the A-Z Blog Challenge, I'll be writing a post each day (except for Sundays) and letting the alphabet guide my content. Thematically, all of my April posts (at least those related to the blog challenge) will be monster related. Each day, I'll be challenging myself to create an encounter, NPC, location, etc. that features a monster I've never used before in a roleplaying game. Hopefully this will push me to include more variety in my current campaign, and who knows... maybe I'll find a few new favorites.
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