This week I’m going to talk about monsters a little and where I took a couple of twists and turns on them.
First, I want to talk about game mechanics. You already have a lot to handle as a GM so I wanted to make monsters as easy to run as possible. I played a lot of 3.x but vowed never to run it and the main reason was those crazy monster stat blocks.
If you remember back to the early posts, I mentioned that I was taking inspiration from Swords & Wizardry Light and Continual Light. These two games have some of the simplest monster stat blocks around. A monster’s HD not only determines HP but also attack bonus and Saving Throw. And it does it without having to reference a table. It also codifies the common monster special abilities so you don’t have to add an entire explanation to each monster plus you can combine similar effects into one special ability. I like that.
Second, I dropped many of the standard monsters from the core book. So I dropped orcs, goblins, trolls, giants, unicorns and bunch of others. Sure you can add them to your game but I really don’t think you need another set of stats for them. I did focus on monsters I felt had a more Sword & Sorcery vibe. Serpent folk, lizard men, giant snakes, giant spiders, and undead.
Every one knows about the connection between Robert E Howard, HP Lovecraft, and Clark Ashton Smith. So I decided to add some Mythos and Mythos inspired creatures. But they are monsters. Remember, this isn’t a game about cosmic horror or existential dread. This is about brave adventurers hacking their way through an indifferent world. It’s a bit cinematic. So while those monsters are there, they aren’t mind wrenching horrors but they still are things that can rip you limb from limb.
So here’s a Shoggoth.
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 2 Pseudopods (2d6)
Special: Regenerate, Damage Resistance, Engulf, Confusion Aura*
*Confusion Aura: Any character within 10 ft of the Shoggoth must succeed on a Saving Throw or come under the effects of the Confusion Spell.
And in case you are wondering, I am working on “Supplement 1” and that will contain optional rules for Insanity (plus a bunch of other cool stuff).