Using My Monsters

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Krampus - Large Fey (CR 15)

Ah Krampus. The internet loves him, and so do sites like this one. I have always resisted statting the happy little bugger up, as it gets done almost everywhere else at this time of year. However, as a father of four children, there are times when his ministrations would be welcome (I joke).

The next season of "Super Nanny" is going to be epic according to this publicity photo

So, although Krampus is a decidedly fiendish fellow, I decided that it actually made more sense for him to be Fey, as he hangs out with the likes of St Nick who is blatantly Fey (or angelic I guess). This also allows him to take children to his realm for moral realignment, without necessarily exposing them to the primal viciousness and evil of the daemonic dimensions.
Happy Yule Timmy. It's whippin' time!
For those that prefer Krampus to stuff kids into a sack, give him a special Bag of Holding that can hold up to five medium children at a time. 

Krampus hasn't really features in my games. There have always been dark entities that steal children, but this is usually for deeply sinister and nihilistic purposes. It seems likely however that he could be summoned with specific magics and bound to steal away specific naughty children, using ancient and unique spells of conjuration.

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Remmanon - Large Fiend (CR 12)

Not gonna' lie, 3.5's Monster Manual V was not the best I've ever seen, with more than a few "filler" monsters (Frostwind Virago, Garngrath and all the variants on well detailed humanoid races, I am looking at you). However, there were also some really cool horrors in there too, and this one - a devil that seeks to sow discord and confusion in the mortal world - is one of them.

I'm going to level with you, barbed wire and thorns was a terrible choice for this kind of weather...

Appearing as a floating, ram-horned humanoid, wrapped in writhing lengths of thorned vine and barbed wire, these things are not the most imposing daemons physically. However, their very presence causes bursts of temporary madness, and their touch summons the very fires of Hell.

So, happy Yule! Ho-Ho-HOLY WEAPON PLEASE!!!!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Thessalhydra - Huge Monstrosity (CR 20)

"It's the Thessalhydra, I'm telling you."
"It's not the Thessalhydra!"
"I'm telling you, it's the Thessalhydra."

- Stranger Things; Series 1, Episode 8

Ah, the Thessalhydra - one of my all time favorite beasts from the AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual II. A towering nightmare, that comes somewhere between T-Rex, a nest of snakes and a bath of acid, it used to terrorize my players back in the day almost constantly. 

Thessalhydrae would be expanded in 2nd Edition to be just one of a whole crew of "Thessal-" monsters, including such crazy hybrids as the Thessalgorgon and Thessaltrice. However, the best is the original, and here, for 5th Edition, are my stats for that original badass. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Lantern Weapon (Rare Weapon - Requires Attunement)

Lantern Weapon (Rare Weapon; Requires Attunement): Any type of weapon can bear this enchantment which forces those struck by it to make a D.C. 15 Dexterity saving throw or be wreathed in Faerie Fire for 1 minute (though they may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of their turns to end the effect early).

Monday, 21 November 2016

Umpleby - CR 4 (Large Monstrosity)

The 1st Edition Fiend Folio was infamous for the number of truly bizarre monsters it contained; products of British minds set free (we are not right). Amongst the curious menagerie was a strange, simple minded monster that simply followed adventurer's unlucky enough to encounter them; making a noise, accidentally blundering into ambushes, and generally causing chaos.

It was a weird "Bigfoot and the Hendersons" type thing; all hair and static, that charged up in its sleep.

That monster was the Umpleby.

"I just want a hug...but they all keep dying :("

So, here it is for 5e. I've done away with the sleep charging thing, to keep it simple, but have otherwise done my best to keep to the original version and its 2nd Edition incarnation.

Hope you like it!!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Abishai - Medium Fiend (CR 4-17)

Okay, so this is a big one, but I think, one a lot of you will enjoy. Abishai, in the core game, are devils from the first level of Hell, the domain of Tiamat. They are gargoylish things that come in five varieties - each corresponding to one type of chromatic dragon. And, like their reptilian counterparts, Abishai are of different strengths and have attacks that inflict elemental damage.

"Yeaaaaah! Second Edition Roooolz! I am Baatezu now!"

 I first saw these things in the 1st Edition AD&D Monster Manual II, when they were one of many new devils and demons brought into the game. I used them a lot, enjoying their ability to summon more of their kind, and to turn a seemingly easy battle into something more horrific.

"He said I should 'get ahead'....geddit? A. Head? Yeah? No? Screw you guys"

Anyway, I was surprised when Volo's Guide to Monsters didn't contain these monsters, and decided to go and stat all five up. They are quite tough - and yes, the Blue and Red Abishai in particular are potent enemies for higher level groups to face. I hope you like!

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Myrlochar and Elder Myrlochar - Medium and Large Fiend (CR 2 and 7)

The 2nd Edition AD&D book, Drow of the Underdark was a godsend to a 17-year-old me, who was drunk on tales of a certain purple eyed Drow, was running numerous games that delved in the Underdark (based on the 2nd Edition Dungeoneers Survival Guide and the additional odds and ends out of the Bloodstone adventures), and who tried to squeeze the drow into every damn adventure he wrote. It cast a dismal glow over the secret world of the drow, and it became one of my favourite books.

"Soon Guen, an army of Chaotic Good misunderstood Drow will enter this world, and our kind will be hated for a new reason. Now, let's dance!"

Since then my game world, like me, has grown up a lot. The Drow became the Dwaer'Syth, and certain historical events were created to explain why, in the later games I ran, few if any worshiped Lolth, and why some had ties to - if not the trust of - some surface organisations and even realms.

However, at present, the PUG is set almost 5000 years before those games, back in a time when the first rebellious rumblings of uprising are only just starting to show amongst the Dwaer, and Lolth still pretty much runs things. This has given me a chance to dance down long forgotten paths (though they are currently allied to a breakaway settlements where Lolth is not worshiped, and are helping to uncover agents of the Loth'Vari; traditionalist Dwaer who want to overthrow the "rebels" and install the rule of their dark Goddess and her minions), and in the course of this, I am getting to convert a ton of old stuff to the newest edition.

The +4 Leotard of Protection; sexy and shielding...or something...

Myrlochar first (to my knowledge any way) appeared in the original Drow of the Underdark, and were spider shaped fiends that could be summoned easily by the servants of Lolth, to serve as guardians, soldiers or to oversee certain rites and rituals. They were also found in the 3.0 Monsters of Faerun, where they lost some of their nastier abilities.

So, it's an undead looking spider daemon...that's know what? I quit. Seeya

I have done two versions. The lower CR version is based on the 3.0 one. The Elder Myrlochar is based on the 2nd Edition version. Both are going to be seeing use in my games very, very soon.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Shemhazian - Gargantuan Fiend (CR 20)

Don't be fooled by its vaguely puppy dog like face, the Shemhazian, a daemon from the Pathfinder game is a certified abyssal badass that will seriously ruin your day if you are not careful. A vast, highly perceptive daemon, it is often used as a guardian by abyssal lords and is prized for it formidable powers and might.

Who's a good boy then? Whooooo's a good boy? You is! You is!
There are rituals that can summon and bind these daemons, and their names are prized secrets amongst many orders of magi. A Shemhazian is said to guard each entrance into the House of Presences in ancient Pentas Demonica, the City of Stained Stones, presenting a deadly threat to those that would seek to plunder its evil secrets, and there are stories of these creatures wandering the world post Sundering, seeking every being that currently, or who may one day, know their true names.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Dread Ram - CR 8 (Large Undead)

Another monster from the 3.0 Ghostwalk sourcebook, Dread Rams are large undead warbeasts, animated by high level necromancers. In my game, they are another of Jantherak's creations, used to smash through troop formations, and to offer cover to infantry as they moved towards enemy positions during the Guild Wars.

Chef's Tip: You do not want to touch the rack that comes from this lamb...

In later ages, they would serve as mounts for necromancers, and indeed, were hired out to those with the coin by certain enterprising groups with access to the rituals needed to create and control them. Dread Rams are a common sight amongst the Thornyr; raised by their shaman to serve as guardians, and large herds of these things are said to wander the Northern Devastation of 2nd Age Upper Malgoroth.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Death Hag - Medium Fey (CR 7)

Firstly, sorry for the break in updates. My fourth child was born on Friday so I've been, you know, kinda' busy (and I am consulting the chirurgeon about having my "orbs of life" decommissioned now, if you know what I mean). However, I do have time to post this little horror, which I believe (though I could be very wrong) originally appeared in the Eberron campaign world.

Death Hags are fey imbued with the essence of death. In my games they tend to stick to their own warped realities, occasionally entering the physical plane to seek components, or to wreak a little havoc. Death Hags are often found in the employ of the Cold Lords of the Order of Ravens however, and from time to time, they have made attempts to carve a tiny empire of death in the realms of the living.

She's skin hurts...

One notable Death Hag, who lived in the early (Pre-Sundering) Third Age, was Bulobora. She became infamous after she teamed up with the "Sisters of the Swollen Tongue" (an order of "nuns" dedicated to Sarrax'Thag'Nestra, the God of Disease, Famine and Plagues), and brought several new sicknesses, brewed in her home realm, into the world. These foul plagues (known later as the "Three Tribulations of Bulobora") swept through the southern cities of Fey, especially the city of Jadasvere, with its infamous "Rotting Fields".

Ultimately, Bulobora fell foul of her mortal sponsors, who had worked to craft a disease that could even infect one such as her. Her death came, according to sources from the time (though studying the infected writings of those pestilential priestesses is a risky business), slowly, with her choking on her own liquefying lungs, and rupturing her own ribs as they too turned to slime, and were torn apart by her coughs.

Anyways, here are the stats.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Wyrd - Medium Undead (CR 6)

Basic D&D had some brilliant monsters, many of which would never make it into the "Advanced" version of the game. In truth, the Wyrd did make the jump, appearing in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium, probably because it is a really cool monster.

"I'm so cool, I give 0 degrees Kelvin frostbite...well, that's what my mum says anyway."
The official descriptions for these monsters say they are the corpses of elves (or aelwyn in my games), that have been reanimated by powerful undead spirits. In the canon, there are two versions, lesser and greater, the lesser not being able to paralyse with their attacks. I did away with this, and combined the two, to give a monster that is, I feel, a little more rounded. Of course, if you wanted to recreate this, you could make a version that only has one attack or the other, those throwing the Erubescent Orbs being the lesser, those throwing the Sickly Orbs, the greater. 

Anyway, have fun!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Unburied - Large Undead (CR 8)

Diablo III, is an awesome game, that features so many fantastic monsters that I could spend a solid week converting them all for D&D. However, the Unburied are one of my favourites, both because they kick serious ass, and because they remind me a little of the infamous Nightmare Amalgams conjured by my own game world's arch-necromancer, Jantherak "The Shade Binder" - albeit, a much smaller, much, much weaker version.

"Oh, oh, it's 'Gangam Style'. I love this one. Come on, dance with me..."
Click on the link above for the official lore on these things. In my games, they are either the deliberate creations of necromancers (I can see the Order of Ravens, as well as their splinter faction, the Ravensoul Cabal, making great use of these as guardians and tanks), or the produce of accumulating necrotic energy and mass graves. Indeed, I could see these things wandering in small packs in the infamous "Northern Devastation" of Second Age Upper Malgoroth, crushing anyone unlucky or foolish enough to encounter them. 

So, as they appear in the game, they are straight up melee opponents, which is fine, but for me, a bit boring. Hence, I have added the (slightly complex but worth it) Necrotic  Overflow ability, and a few other appropriate bits and pieces. I hope this is all good. 

Right, let's get SSSSSPOOOOOOKKKKKKYYYYYYY.....*ahem*

Friday, 7 October 2016

Carnivorous Web (Duleep) - Medium Monstrosity (CR 2)

"I said 'I want to surf the web', not thiiiiiiiis aaaaaaaaargh!"

It's a long running joke that you should trust nothing in D&D, and let's be honest, with Mimics, House Hunters, Xavers, Trappers, Lurkers, Piercers, Cloakers, Aballin, Lock Lurkers, and so many other beasts that appear to be harmless things just waiting to strike by surprise, its no wonder. The Carnivorous Web is another beastie that belongs to that club; a strange, fibrous thing that lurks in abandoned buildings and caverns, feeding on the local wildlife and / or passing adventurers.

Haunted houses of course always feature plenty of webs, often without spiders being present, and these monsters seem to fit in just right at this spooky time of year.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Vile Ritual - Summon Kastighur

"Magic can be manipulated, bound, shaped and unleashed in an almost infinite number of ways, and one of the most common is through the use of ritual. By their nature, rituals are slow, complex affairs, designed to call and shape potent energies far too wild or overwhelming for simple, rapid casting. Although many rituals are beneficial in nature, for many, they are synonymous with that most dangerous and wretched of arcane castings - the summoning of daemons."

- From Practical Arcane Theory for Students (Fifth Edition); UO Printing

Ok, so, if you click on the link below you will access a description of a vile ritual that allows characters (or enemies) to summon a single Kastighur daemon. It's not a nice ritual, and although on the grand scale of things, it's far from the nastiest thing I have put in my games, it does contain some ideas and imagery that some might find upsetting or triggering. 

D&D is meant to be fun, and it's important that everyone agrees to the tone of the game and its contents. If you think you might find reference to human sacrifice, daemonic summonings or the materials needed for such upsetting or offensive, don't click on the link below...

...However, If Not....

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Kastighur - Huge Fiend (CR 15)

The 3.5 Monster Manual IV held a couple of new daemons that kinda' flew under the radar really. One of these was the brutish Kastighur; a towering horror of heavy muscle, bearing a flat skulled head clad in thick, daemonic plate. Able to swat foes with its iron clad fists, or gut them with its long, straight horns, it's the perfect brute for a daemonic siege - or, as you will see in the next item - as an instrument of terror for a diabolic cult or similar.

"Ugh man! I trod in one. Sick dude. You can never get the stench off your hooves. Gross!"

These daemons can inflict Vile Damage by the way, though are in no way diminished if you change this to another damage type (maybe more bludgeoning, bane bludgeoning or necrotic?)

Monday, 3 October 2016

Vile Damage (5th Edition)

What follows are my 5e rules for Vile Damage, a type of damage originally outlined in the 3.0 Book of Vile Darkness. I have a post coming soon that will make some use of this, though be warned, it is something a little more "grimdark" that the usual stuff here. 
And so...


Vile damage represents harm so utterly abominable, so purely soaked with undiluted evil, that it simply cannot be healed naturally. In game terms, hit points or ability scores reduced by vile damage do not return over time, cannot be healed by spending hit dice, and can only be healed by magic within the area of an active Hallow spell, or if the healing is cast within 1 round of the target receiving a Lesser Restoration spell.

Desiccator - Small Undead (CR 1)

Time for another horror from Libris Mortis; the Desiccator - the sorrowful soul of a water elemental that has been slain through dehydration.

About the size of a toddler, these things score multiple points on the "Disturb-O-Meter" having no facial features other than their gaping, sucking mouth, being mottled and cracked like a bloating cadaver, and for being rather alien in their focus. 

Personally I like 'em. 

Where could such things be used? A few ideas that pop immediately into my mind include;

* They are servants of an evil Sha'ir who hates all things water and enjoys their pain and torment
* Lost souls wandering the halls of a once mighty Marid stronghold, drawn into a doldrum or other necrotic realm
* An unexpected bonus battle after a golem, supposedly animated by a living elemental is slain
* The familiar for a lich with a penchant for elemental servants

Stat time!

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Brain in a Jar - CR 4 (Tiny Undead)

It's heading towards Halloween, and that means spooooookiness and ghosty things. I've decided to focus over the next month therefore on more horrific material, including I hope, 5e conversions of a bunch of old undead, as well as a few new ones of my own devising. To kick things off, here is a beauty from Libris Mortis, a trope of both horror and sci-fi - a disembodied brain in a jar of strange fluids, that can strike at foes with its uncanny powers.

I'm a huge Lovecraft fan, so automatically find myself thinking about the poor souls in the brain cylinders in The Whisperer in Darkness, though I could also see these things being the failed attempts of an artificer or alchemist to achieve a form of immortality, a victim of an illithid attack that has somehow survived and been forced into their strange existence (likely on the look out for a new body), or even an unconventional phylactery for a defeated Lich, that has not been able to form a new body. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Dusk Widow - CR 1/2 (Small Beast)

"The Dismal was an eerily beautiful realm, where nature had taken quite a different path. Many of the lifeforms there were nightmarishly elegant things, who's forms were a strange poetry, described by the dim light and shifting shadows of that place. Others, like the Dusk Widows, were nightmare reflections of all that I hated in our world"

- From Journeys Through the Fey by Guido Jedezzo, Bard of the Vaedeci.

Dusk Widows are darkly shimmering arachnids native to fey dimensions such as the Feywild. They have a bulbous body and relatively small heads studded with eight shimmering eyes. Their slender fangs however are rather oversized and sickle shaped - all the better for slipping through the flesh of their victims.

These are something I created for the PUG, though whether they are friend or foe is yet to be revealed.

Everyone loves spiders!!!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Destrachan - Large Monstrosity (CR 5)

Eyeless and weird, Destrachans are, I believe, unknown to D&D before 3rd Edition (one of a couple of new monsters that were decidedly odd, found in the Monster Manual). I have often come close to using them, but so far, never quite got chance - though they are definitely in the near future for at least one of the groups I GM for.

Anywho, here are my 5th Edition stats for this quite deadly enemy. Enjoy!

It's like a snapdragon and a leech made sweet forbidden love and had a horrible baby.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Egarus (Void Mould) - A Horrible Thing from Planescape

Planescape is beloved for good reason. It introduced another amazing setting (actually building on the foundations laid before in products such as AD&D's Manual of the Planes) and introduced an amazing cast of new monsters, universes, magics and allies. 

It also introduced some truly deadly hazards, many of which were, in truth, too vicious to use in many settings. One of these was the Egarus fungus...

Egarus is, to put it simply, a fungus that cannot tolerate anything other than nothingness. Planescape cannon suggests it started as an Abyssal fungus that was carried into the Plane of Vacuum, that adapted to survive in that utterly inhospitable environment, and learned to sustain itself on nothingness, actually seeing any kind of "something" as a threat. Thus was the Egarus - an organism that just wants to return any non-void environment into a vacuum state - born.

I have no idea where (or even if) I would use this, but here is my 5e take on this horrible, horrible organism...and even a little bit about where it may possibly lurk in my game universe. 

*    *     *

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It's here already!!!!
EGARUS FUNGUS (Void Mould): Grows in clusters of 1d3 patches, each one occupying a roughly 5ft area. Whenever anything other than vacuum comes within 25ft of it, it begins to attack, affecting things in the following order, one per round, acting on Initiative count 20. If there are multiple possible targets in range, it attacks one at random, though always in the order outlined below;

1st: Energy: one source of light or energy, or one active spell, or magical / psionic effect within range ends.

2nd: Life: One living thing within the area must make a D.C. 18 Constitution saving throw or begin to suffer 55 (5d10) bane force damage at the start of each of their turns. Once they have begun to take damage, the target must receive either a Greater Restoration or a Wish spell, or the damage continues until they are destroyed. They are slain and destroyed when they reach 0 hit points, and can only be returned to life through the use of a Wish or similar.

3rd: Materials: Five cubic foot of material within range is disintegrated. Magical items may attempt a D.C. 18 Saving throw against Force damage to avoid this. When the Egarus disintegrates the ground on which they lie, they fall and continue to grow on the new surface.

Each time a single target (regardless of what it is) is consumed by the fungus, it spreads to an adjacent area, in effect, forming another 5ft patch of Egarus.

Disintegrate, finger of death, greater restoration, lightning bolt, power word kill, shocking grasp spells destroy a patch instantly, as does the application of any acid, alcohol, lightning attack, or even a large amount of water (at least 60 gallons). Hold monster or slow stop the egarus from attacking. The fungus is immune to cold, fire, physical attacks, and most spells other than those discussed above.

When anyone attacks the Egarus, it forces them to make a D.C. 18 Wisdom saving throw, failure indicating that they suffer 55 (10d10) bane force damage as teleports random areas of their body away.

Egarus are usually only encountered in void dimensions, such as the Plane of Vacuum or certain planes of imprisonment. However, there are unsubstantiated claims that Egarus may have been “accidentally” sealed in with the contents of several of the hidden Guild Vaults, and that when they are opened and returned to the physical plane, they will be full of nothing but boiling, black Egarus – and oblivion). Clearly, the opening of such infected vaults would be catastrophe capable of ending the world if it occurred.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Tsucora Quori - Medium Fiend (CR 7)

Another of the Quori, these dudes are not only hideously ugly, but can kill you with your own nightmares! In my games, they are the servants of Xix, God of Madness and Daccadex'Telesgoth, the God of Terror, often being used as assassins and guardians.

The lobster was definitely told me so