I have spent the weekend thinking about monsters. I have said many times before that I am a monster snob. I think Gelatinous Cubes and Black Puddings are better suited to nouveau cuisine than for battling player characters. I just cannot buy into them.
I think I put my finger on what it is that a monster needs to have for me to want to use them and it comes down to two factors.
Tucked away at the back of different versions of Creatures & Treasures are some interesting little add on chapters. In the first C&T that I owned it has the comversion stats for D&D and Runequest. In the RMC Creatures and Treasures it has guidelines for creating your own monsters.
I am a dab hand at D&D monster conversions as I convert from old FR modules to RM all the time but creating new monsters is not something I have ever done.
There are three immediate uses I can think of for new monsters but I only want to discuss one of them here and now.
Every GM must have a favourite monster. I have played under GMs that loved Orcs and another that loved dragons. In the later’s case in any ‘benefit of the doubt’ call chances are the GM would side with the dragon. With dragons I think that is fine, they are meant to be the top of every food chain and you should take fighting one very seriously and relying on Luck is not a good plan.
These are the two races/creatures I discussed last week as being both tied deeply into Drow culture. These two are in my opinion near perfect low level monsters to throw at beginer parties.
Why? Well if you look at their stats below they have a low OB, low-ish DB and not many hits. So they should in theory be easy to kill. When you are very low level with a poor OB yourself it is in many ways easier to kill a large creature than it is a man-sized one. If you are only doing A & B criticals then the chance of getting a killing blow is probably just 1% but Large criticals are open ended so you have a 5% chance of getting a takedown as any open-ended critical is enough to take out one of these guys.