Saturday, December 5, 2020

Build-A-Bear, err... Monster!

December? Where'd the year go? Anyway... 

Someone on Reddit OSR asked about crafting up a monster if you didn't have access to a bestiary or similar, or perhaps to homebrew up a monster. Of course, there is always the most excellent advice of "Everything is a Bear"
But I haven't tinkered for a long time, and figured I could make a "Monster Cookbook" pretty quickly. 

(two weeks later) 

For old edition-style critters, I've often leaned on Swords & Wizardry's Challenge Level model for modding critters, such as adding an ability or effect to a "stock" monster for appropriateness for a scenario. 

So I took that as inspiration for making up a quick and dirty point-buy system based on a theoretical Hit Die monster. 

Roughly, with 2 points per hit die, distribute points to various attributes of your generic monster template. I included five very basic templates that should encompass most types of foes (Humanoid, beast, "monster," ooze, undead, abyssal). And a shopping list of available attributes for the different types and how to cost them for making up a foe. 

This hasn't been exhaustively stress-tested, but it seems to work in many cases. Some critters seem underpowered, and some end up with a surplus of points. But it's a starting place for experimenting, and as in all things old-school, it's a guideline.
Click to download

Here are a few examples I ginned up: 

Type: Abyssal, 5HD (“Nightfall Demon”) 10 points total 
Buy 
1. +4 AC (4 pts) 
2. Multiple attack (2 x 1d4) (1pt) 
3. Extra damage (1 pt) 
4. Special movement (fly) (1pt) 
5. Weapon resistance (silver/magic req.) (1pt) 
6. Spell Effect (Fear) 1/day (1pt) 
7. Spell Effect (Darkness) 1/day (1pt) 
Generic Stat Block: AC 5/14, atk 2x(1d4+1), Movement: Fly; Special: Fire resistance, Immune to mundane weapons (silver or magic required), cast Fear and Darkness 1/day each 

Type: Monster, 12HD (“Dragon”) 24 points total 
Buy 
1. +7 AC (7 pts) 
2. Multiple attack (2 x 1d4) (claws) (1pt) 
3. Extra damage, multi attack (2 dice size) – 4 pts 
4. Additional single attack (1d6) (bite) (1pt) 
5. Extra damage, single attack (2.5 dice size) – 5 pts 
6. Special movement (fly) (1pt) 
7. Intelligent/language (1 pt) 
8. Spell Casting (2pt) 
9. Breath Weapon (6xd8) (2pt) 
Generic Stat Block: AC 2/17, atk 2 claw (1d8), 1 bite (1d10+1), Breath weapon, 3x/day, (6xd8); Movement: Fly; Special: Language use, 12 points of spell levels 

Humanoid, 5HD (“Snow ogre”) 10 points total 
Buy 
1. +4 AC (4 pts) 
2. Extra damage, single attack (2.5 dice size) – 5 pts 
3. Resistance (cold damage) – 1 pt 
Generic Stat Block: AC 5/14, atk 1d10+1, Special: Cold resistance

Beast, 4HD (“Of Course It's A Bear”) 8 points total 
Buy 
1. +3 AC (3 pts) 
2. Multiple attack (2 x 1d4) (claws) (1pt) 
3. Extra damage, multi attack (1 dice size) – 2 pts 
4. Additional single attack (1d6) (bite) (1pt) 
5. Special attack/continual damage (hug, 1d6/round) – 1 pt 
Generic Stat Block: AC 6/13, atk 2x(1d6),bite (1d6); hug damage (1d6) after successful dual hit

8 comments:

  1. Nice little system! I guess you could also randomize it: d6 for creature type, pick HD, then roll twice for low HD, thrice for mid-level, and four-six times for high HD creatures. Roll d14s, and if it's a blank, then that ability slot is wasted.

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    1. True, that's an option. And after all, there's nothing we like more than random generators!

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  2. This is great- take a look at Shuttered Room's monster generator if you haven't already!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks - I'll hunt it down - link?

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    2. Sorry, I meant to comment as a reply:

      https://shutteredroom.blogspot.com/2020/09/all-monsters-youll-ever-need.html

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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