Wednesday, 6 June 2012

One Page Humanoids

I wanted the monsters for the 52 Pages to be something unique - not specifically setting-bound; not the same old D&D bunch presented in retro-clone after retro-clone; not just punting the whole issue to the individual DM as in LOTFP.

So I'm presenting more of a monster creation kit. Keeping mind this is my "Basic D&D" for levels 1-3, so I'm leaving out any more than a few high-level monsters. Here's the first page: pretty much condensing and simplifying the approach I take in Varlets & Vermin. And extending it with "templates" ... which are very different from 3rd edition's, much more limited and oriented toward helping create unique and surprising worlds.


  1. I really like this A LOT, but did you leave "Avian" off the list?

  2. I used that as an example of how you can "roll your own" when it comes to templates. Probably should make that more clear though.

  3. I've had time to think, and here's why I think this is brilliant.
    It's easy to understand and use (Column A + Column B = Monster) but creates robust and varied results.

    Every time the Vorthosy story part of your brain thinks up a new concept for a type of humanoid (traditional examples: illithid, gith, warforged, drow, yuan-ti, sahaguin, yet another degenerate remainder of a master race in a lost ruined city) the 'class' listing (skulker, soldier etc.) does the rest of the work automatically statting out the minions and the bruisers and the masterminds and other various types that fill the stronghold.

    The different 'classes' also give a way to differentiate between two bands of humanoids.
    Frex: The Red-Handed-Banner Ogres are lawful, and fight as soldiers. The Pointed-Stick tribe are chaotic and fight as savages.

    I wasn't a big fan of the fourth edition, but the monster design system was something I thought had a lot of potential. And this reminds me of that. Pick an encounter type (skulker, soldier, etc.) and a story type (darkfolk, construct, feyfolk, etc.) and you're good to go; not just with fighting statistics, but two whole words to describe how the creature will act and react both in combat and socially

    Frex: He's a skulking darkfolk? Let's try intimidation or bribes.

    It's a construct soldier? Unless we can figure out his command word, we're in for a well-organized bruising.