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.
If your characters have been around for years (such as the hypothetical 50th level characters in BriH’s adventure plans) then they have probably met and killed everything many times over. So how about something completely new?
Trying to find a monster in the book to challenge a party of high level characters is simply not possible. I have never played at 50th level but a small party of 30th level characters, I know from experience, can eat Balrogs for breakfast and have Nazgul for whipping boys. Been there and done that, if not quite literally. Four us us once fought three Dragons simultaneously on the slopes of Mount Erabor. The monsters in C&T simply do not cut it when it comes to VHL characters.
The easy option and the one I have seen most often is to resort to evil NPCs as the end of level boss. These scale well and are the only thing that can challenge a party. 12 50th level bad guys will be a real challenge for a normal party of 50th level characters. The problem is that I guess the end of level boss is always an evil magician or evil mentalist and at that level everyone has all the spell lists so where is the sense of excitement?
Toss in something new and all of a sudden the players do not know how to handle it. So my challenge to myself is to create some adventures around completely new monsters. I have one really cool idea already that is now on my to do list.
So who here has actually made their own monsters?
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One interesting idea from Pathfinder is to give monsters class levels and other abilities normally only seen in PCs. This can make them a whole lot more dangerous. (I haven’t created any monsters yet but I’m working on some for Pathfinder, and perhaps Hero Kids and Mutant Future, but the latter two haven’t got further than names so far. Illustrations are a big problem – i.e., expense).
One of the things on my ‘To Do’ list is to create some unique monsters to feature in the RM Fanzine. I just need the time to get good and fast at creating them.
As you say the art is always a sticking point but I am sure I can get around that. I may have to learn how to use photoshop.
I’m hoping that I can generate money through Patreon to offset the cost (once I get my campaign set up anyway). If the artwork can be paid for in advance through, basically, donations, that is a huge risk reduced.