Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Monsters

I have settled on a format for my monster presentations in Heroes By Trade.  I did some digging to see what various DnD editions used in terms of organization and I am pretty pleased with my final design.  It is tricky to walk the line between so much information that the important things get lost and too little information to run the game properly.  Here are the entries for three monsters, the first two of which are examples of different monsters with similar overall Encounter Strenth (20 and 17) but with wildly different stats and tactics.  Will O The Wisps are outrageously fast and use long range attacks and high Dodge value to rarely get hit.  When they do end up getting hit they explode almost instantly.  Giant Crabs on the other hand are very tough, massively resistant to weapons, and are big slow thugs.  Both monsters have specific skills that they are particularly talented at that are noted at the bottom.  Of course no monster list would be complete without a Dragon!

Giant Crab
ES    20
Size  2
Reach  2
Speed  3
Dodge  16
Armour  5
KO  110
Double Claw:  +6 Hit, +12 Damage against two targets.

Clumsy Rush:  Move, then +6 Hit, +12 Damage.
Tough Shell:  Resistant to Physical damage.

Swimming:  Normal speed while under water.
Aspects and Skills
Str       Dex        Con       Int        Will      Pres
 10         4            4          1           4           1
Hiding:  9
Might:  18

Giant crabs are aggressive carnivores who rely on their incredible natural armour to keep them safe from enemies.  They are as tall as a human but very wide and tremendously strong with claws that are half a meter in length.  These claws have terrifying strength and can crush or smash nearly anything in the crab's way.  They generally move slowly but can move much more quickly in short bursts.  These creatures are happy to attack anything that moves and which appears to be a significant sized meal.  They usually stay on shore or under water and are remarkably skilled at camouflaging themselves despite their great size.

Will O The Wisp
ES    17
Size  1
Reach  -
Speed  10
Dodge  22
Armour  2
KO  20
Disrupt (R):  +12 Hit, +12 Lightning Damage and Confused for 1 round.

Seizure (R):  +10 Hit, Stunned for 1 round.

Vanish (R):  +10 Hit, +12 Lightning Damage and Will O The Wisp is invisible for 1 round.
Immunities:  Lightning.

Flying:  Speed 10 flight, can hover.

Construct:  Destroyed when KO.
Aspects and Skills
Str       Dex        Con       Int        Will      Pres
  1         12           4          8            4            4
Alertness:  13

Will O The Wisps are glowing balls of electricity somehow imbued with intelligence and purpose.  They are malevolent and destructive and seek to maximize the carnage and discord they sow wherever they go.  They can hover and are incredibly fast and as such they favour ambushes in terrain where their opponents will be unable to maneuver properly.  Will O The Wisps love hit and run tactics where they dash in and out of range using their speed and ability to be temporarily invisible to confuse their opponents.  Normally Will O The Wisps are solitary but sometimes they will cooperate to attack some particularly difficult foe.

ES    100
Size  5
Reach  3
Speed  6
Dodge  16
Armour  13
KO  250
Elemental Breath:  Blast 7. +14 Hit,
+20 Fire / Cold / Lightning damage.

Savage Bite:  +14 Hit, +30 Damage + Persistent.

Tail Swipe:  Blast 3.  +14 Hit, +20 Damage + knocked Prone.

Terrifying Roar:  All targets within 5 spaces of the dragon.  +14 Hit, Afraid for 2 rounds.
Flying:  Speed 20 while flying.

Elemental Resistance:  Resistant to Fire / Cold / Lightning damage.
Aspects and Skills
Str       Dex        Con       Int        Will       Pres
 24         2            6           8          10           9
Intimidate:  17
Magic Theory:  13

Dragons are one of the legendary threats in the world but are rarely seen as they generally live far from civilization.  They are incredibly intelligent and usually have knowledge of a great number of Rituals and other secrets.  They have four legs, a long tail, and huge wings that allow them to cover enormous distances at high speeds.  Because of their size dragons find it difficult to take off and require a decent and uninterrupted run to take to the skies.  They cannot fight effectively while flying and must land to engage their enemies. 

The most famous dragons breathe fire but there are other types that breath cold or lightning using their Elemental Breath.  Each dragon is Resistant to the damage type that their Elemental Breath deals.  Fire dragons are red, cold dragons are blue, and lightning dragons are yellow in colour. 

The stories tell that all dragons are unnaturally attracted to valuables, with yellow ones liking gold, blue ones liking silversteel, and red ones liking adamantium.  They often hoard treasure in their lairs and sit in total bliss, mesmerized by their finds.  Those that can kill them and take their hoards can expect to be well and truly rewarded for their efforts.


There are of course many monsters that are much simpler than the ones shown above.  Lots of the creatures I have designed are basically just thugs who bash people's faces and don't have a ton going on in terms of mechanics.  I think this is a good thing to have, particularly for the new GM who doesn't want to deal with a ton of weird rules and options.  Sometimes all you want is a bear or a zombie who can lay on some beats.

Brown Bear
ES    18
Size  2
Reach  1
Speed  7
Dodge  15
Armour  8
KO  100
Rend:  +7 Hit, +10 Damage + Persistent.

Charge:  Move, then +7 Hit, +10 Damage.
Aspects and Skills
Str         Dex        Con       Int        Will       Pres
  8           5             4          2            4            1

Bears are usually uninterested in humanoids and will avoid them in most cases.  They generally subsist on berries, grubs, or fish.  If a bear is particularly hungry, rabid, or protecting its cubs however it will attack and eat people.  Bears can run very quickly and climb trees so they are exceedingly difficult to escape from when they do decide to attack.

ES    2
Size  1
Reach  1
Speed  5
Dodge  14
Armour  3
KO  20
Teeth:  +4 Hit, +6 Damage.
Undead:  Immune to Afraid.  Falls to dust when KO.
Aspects and Skills
Str       Dex        Con       Int        Will      Pres
  4          3            4          2            2           0

Zombies are remains of the dead, animated using a Shadow Ritual to mindlessly serve their masters.  They obey the last orders given to them by their creator but unless kept under close supervision they will attack and kill any living creature they happen across.  Zombies cannot make use of weapons and simply claw or bite at opponents with sharp bony fingers and teeth.  Zombies only last 1 month and after that they crumble to dust.

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