Wednesday 22 June 2016

Dungeon Dogs and Monster Manual Revisions

I have played with re writing monster manual before but I think by approaching broad classes of animals in groups like this I will be able to keep simple and create new variants on the fly. Animals and increasingly weird versions can fill most dungeons. My last attempt had too much information but I did play with broad classes.

This current approach is simpler and easier to create new monsters. Also I want to encourage notion that re-skinning animals with a few new powers creates plenty of odd monsters for new breeds, local variations and one off mutants. I was in the beginning writing as d10 variants of major monsters but expanded it into new skills and powers. Many of these can be recycled. The standard monster powers ought to be described on own in front of monster section. Looking at how many monsters have asphyxiation rules or micro system for powers it is a bit sad and relic of when books didn’t have set rules. Mutant Epoch game with variations of monsters is genius.

Will do broad classes like herd beast, cats, Bears (plus badgers and wolverines) reptiles, arthropods, fish, amphibians, slimes, fungi & mould, gastropods & worms, possibly even humanoids like this.

Then I can tackle more magic and hybrid stuff later. Interesting looking at BX things and ADnD things and I often find I miss the DND version of salamanders and devil swine. Also difference in things like giant ants adnd they are 3’ long in BX they are 6’ and hoard gold nuggets. Id like to do my harpies ugly and diseased while my sirens at least half sexy. Chaos mermaids need to be a thing in my setting. Classic kelpie for me not evil pond slime like in FF. Stymphalian birds should have been a DnD standard day one. lots more Lycans like the game RUS featured: badgers, horses, ravens and others. Swanmays should go under lycans. Were snakes and mammoths and crocodiles and weirder things are cool too.

Gammaworld was awesome for stating up every monster which RQ did a long time ago which was handy. But for my oldschool minimal stat approach wont do it.

Im happy to ad lib things like Morale
Terrified lost puppy 3
Herbivore herd 4
Peasant farmers 5
Youth gang 6
Kobold pack out scrounging 7
Goblins defending territory 8
Hobgoblins guarding dungeon gate 9
Orc veteran troops under boss command 10
Fanatic cultists defending holy idol 11
Beserkers 12

Animals or volenteers will generally check morale if hurt by a third
Profesional soldiers or hungry carnivore check at half
Losing a leader, being out numbered, reduced to quarter get checks and perhaps penalties

I did like old bx dnd used asterisks with name to indicate how many pluses needed to hit which should have used in later editions - instantly readable without digging through text.

I assume animal intelligence unless mentioned as human range
Size isnt to hard to work out.

I think more monsters should be unique especially climactic fight ones so this should help that process. Some creatures should have only one small colony and others should be one offs. The more unique the more interesting the origin and the extra thrill of killing a rare thing or a whole species. Well rich murder hobo wanabees do care.

I still hate seeing a whole page on dolphins. How many of you have ever battled dolphins in your games. More than once? They are going with whales and sharks under fish just like they were most of human history. Seriously dolphins got more airtime than other dnd monsters? Yes there were all those oldschool modules like “Death Dolphins of The Crystal Chamber” and “Forbidden Grotto of the Dolphin Masters” or “Secret Blowhole of the Devil’s Dolphins”. Seriously why no Chaos dolphins, blood dolphins, hell dolphins? Not even flying telikinetic ones with psi crystal implants that shoot prismatic ray beams. Versus beholders man! This is a serious emission and we need more dolphin monsters. Dolphin men down the docks deal vice to sailors and click and whistle lewd comments in their secret language. Some dolphins have bred into deep one clans too.…. yeah i hate dnd dolphins as a waste of paper - they are 2HD fish.

So here is the first in this format. Monsters in groups with lists of skills and magic abilities. I have apes ready and others noted up and old manuals ready to reference. Am doing a thing on dungeon decor for Xor and wee folk of the woods.

Dungeon Dogs
(Canines, Wolves, Foxes, Jackals, Hyena)

Hyenas probably closer to cats than dogs but they fit in fine here

Ratter or lap dog AC+2 HDd4 ATT bite d3 MOV 12” Very alert -1 Surprise
Farm dog +2 AC+2 HDd6 ATT bite d4 MOV 12” usually trained as shepherd or guard
Hunting dog AC+3 HD1 ATT bite d6 MOV15” often trained tracker
War dog AC+3 HD2+2 bite d8 MOV 12” trained for guards and fighting, can wear +d4 armour

Fox or Jackal AC+2 HDd4 ATT bite d3 MOV 15” experts at avoiding pursuit and tracking
Wild Dog AC+3 HD1 ATT bite d4+1 MOV 15” include dingo, coyote, cape dogs, dhole
Wolf AC+3 HD2d+2 ATT bite d6+1 MOV 18”
Hyena AC+3 HD3 Att bite 2d4 MOV 12” Cowardly scavengers
Dire Wolf AC+4 HD3+3 ATT bite 2d4 MOV 18”, can be ridden as a pony
Warg AC+4 HD4+4 ATT bite 2d4 MOV 18” Intelligence 1in6 speak, can be ridden as a pony
Hyenadon AC+3 HD5 ATT bite 3d4 Move 12” brave vs smaller creatures
Anrewsarchus AC+4 HD8-12 ATT bite 6d4 Move 12" 1-2ton hyena like predator

Giant Fox AC+4 HD2 ATT bite d6 MOV 15” Intelligence, can talk, stand bipedal and wear clothes
Death Dog AC+3 HD2+2 ATT bite per head d10x2 MOV 12” two heads, diseased bite, knock attack
Hoar Fox AC+4 HD2 ATT bite d6 MOV 15” frost breath 2d6 3” range hits as no armour, immune to cold
Blink Dog AC+5 HD4  ATT bit MOV12" Blink, Intelligent beings of good from upper worlds
Hell Hound AC+6 HD4-7 ATT bite d10 MOV 12” fire breath d6/HD 1” range, detect invisible 6”, Intelligence

Winter Wolf AC+5 HD6 ATT bite 2d6 MOV 18” frost breath 6d4 1” range, line effect, immune to cold, winter cam, Intelligence, vulnerable to heat
Devil Dog AC+4 HD6 ATT Bite 2d4 MOV 12” Critical doubles damage and causes bleeding 1/r, 30” 3 turns a day,
Howl causes fear in 3HD or less beings, Winter cam, Intelligence
Cooshie AC+5 HD3+3 ATT bite d6+4 MOV 15” Knock attack, sprint 21”, forest cam,
Yeth Hound AC+10 HD3+3 ATT bite 2d8 MOV 15” Airwalk, howl causes fear, can be ridden as a pony
10% magic resistance, silver causes 1pt damage magic weapons only hurt with + damage
Cerebus Spawn AC +8 HD8 ATT bite per head d10x3 Can be hit only by magic or silver, Intelligence
Random extra skill and power per head is common, descendant of great underworld guard

Skills for dogs
Most dogs know one skill or several for the older members or leaders +1d3
Intelligent ones know one per HD and extra d4 for leaders or well trained ones
Packs will play different rolls in group depending on skills especially in hunt

d20 Common Dog Skills
1 Guard - sit alert and bark if senses intruder, not distracted by treats or rabbits
2 Herd - can herd farm animals where directed
3 Track - can track by scent
4 Hunter - can sneak quietly and follow directions to startle prey towards hunter
5 Alert - seldom surprised -1 Surprise dice
6 Ratter - expert at finding and catching vermin
7 Knock - of a critical or roll 4 better than required to hit victim saves or falls prone
8 Hold - if bites can hold on, if instructed will hold prisoner by limb or throat
9 Husbandry - will look after offspring better and might look after other animals babies
10 Howl - lets all dog like beings know how strong and important dog is for a mile
11 Stealth - is as silent as a thief
12 Listen - is able to hear distant and minute sounds
13 Sprint +6” in straight line for i round per turn in a line
14 Cam - can hide in one specific terrain like winter, desert, forest, grass, night, cave
15 Fetch - can get familiar objects or people or animals
16 Play dead - can pretend to be dead
17 Chase - expert and chasing or evading pursuit
18 Rescue - will drag wounded to safety or protect them
19 Ferocious - +1 hit and damage and +1HP per dice
20 Intimidate - can scare creatures with less HD with growls

Magical Abilities
Typically roll one ability per head and possibly more
If rolled twice same result gain conditional effects

d20 Magic Abilities and Mutations for Dogs
1 Aquatic - moves through swamps and water without loss of speed, webbed toes and waterproof
Second roll means dog can breath water
2 Extra Head - additional bite attack
3 Extra Legs - +50% to basic speed
4 Intelligence - as smart as a human, if already smart then casts spells as a caster with a Lv per HD
5 Climb - can climb trees, cliffs or buildings as well as a goat
6 Horned - has extra d6 attack in melee
7 Night vision - 60” can also burrow at 3” in earth but dislike sunlight and bright light -1 to hit under it
8 Blink - can make short teleports in combat can port away after attack
9 Displacement - actually 2 foot away from position, first missile misses, +2AC
10 Baleful eye - often a cyclops, victim saves or -2 on attack and saving throws for a turn
11 Fearsome howl - all but others in pack save vs fear 6” once per turn
12 Breath - can make one breath per turn ith 1” range mostly inflicts 1d6/2HD and can save to take half damage d6 1=fire 2=poison 3=acid (d4/hd+1 next d4 rounds) 4=Stinking Ichor (musk) 5=Web (STR save) 6=cold
13 Tail - tail makes extra attack d6 1=Scorpion d4 dam+poison 2=Snake d4 dam+poison 3=Lamprey if hits will suck d4 per round automatic 4=Whip d4 damage and can entangle or grab items on critical 5=Prehensile like monkey and can hold a weapon 6=burns like a torch d4, will start fires and make light
14 Healing lick cures a d4 HP can only receive one lick per day at most from any dogs
15 Wings - mostly bat for evil or feathers or insect +12” speed flying in straight line 3” is minimum speed
16 Air Walk - can run through air or even sit floating to keep a look out, slower than wings but can hover
17 Undead - abilities of all undead and be skeleton 1/2 edged weapon damage or zombie 1/2 vs blunt
18 Jaws d6 1=Huge teeth or beak bump dice up to next higher one 2=burning +d6 3=disease 4=Acid take 1 hp damage for next d6 rounds 5=Lockjaw one bites locks on even after death STR save to break out for a combat action -1 per dog hanging on to hit or save
19 Extra limbs - has 2 (or 4 with second roll) d6 1=Tentacles make grappling attack each 2=Snakes d4+poison each 3=Lampreys on a hit will attach and suck a d4 blood per round 4=Pincers d6 nip or each can grapple and hold on 5=Paralyzing stingers save or held for a turn 6=d6 toothed tendrils
20 Armoured Hide - dinosaur like frilled head and hard skin +2 AC
21 Beserk - When enraged +2 hit and damaged can fight to death up to 10 HP never fails morale
22 Mountable - can carry a rider like a small pony and typically has a small armed humanoid companion
23 Invisibility - can turn invisible as per the spell, on second roll is always invisible
23 Regenerates as a troll 1hp per round unless damaged with fire or acid
24 Gaseous Form - can turn into vapor for a turn a day and uses to ambush or flee
25 Immunity to normal weapons - requires magic or silver to hit
extra rolls require extra plus and silver does half damage
26 Immunity to magic - base 10% or ignore 1st level spells
27 Phaze - +4AC and can walk through walls by becoming ethereal, 1 turn per HD per day
requires magic to harm when phazed but become solid when they attack
28 Tongue - huge slobbering tongue with range of 1” can be used for extra grappling attack
29 Shadow - undead being of darkness, also drains a point STR with each bite like a shadow touch
also requires +1 magic weapons to harm, silent and can hide in darkness
30 Negative Touch - is undead like a wight requiring silver or magical weapon to hit and drains a energy level per hit and can only tolerate sunlight for a turn a day or takes 1 hp damage per round


  1. Replies
    1. thank you was on my paper version and now you can have - phase displacer blink dogs with three heads possible on my list

      Blink Dog AC+5 HD4 ATT bite d6 MOV12" Blink, Intelligent beings of good from upper worlds


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