Friday, September 16, 2011

12 Steps to creating your own monster

Creating your own monsters in D&D can be a fun way to creating flavor for your game that is unique to it. The process I use for making a brand new creature is called templating.

I love the move tremors, lets say that you wanted a monster like the tremors monster for you game. Now you have two options. One see if there is a monster like it Two make your own. There actually is a monster very similar to the tremors creatures called the purple worm, but for the sake of this article lets assume there isn't.

More after the bump

Basic Stat Block with no details filled in

1. Determine what level you want to make this monster. Lets say that your characters are level 9 and you want this guy to be challenging so lets make him level 10.

2. What kind of monster is he? There are many different types of monster, Controllers, Skirmishers, Brutes, Soldiers, Artillery, Lurkers, Solo, and Elite. Tremor Beasts are huge worms that devour humans alive so I think we can eliminate artillery and controllers right away. I don't want to make this monster solo or elite though conceivably you could. Skirmishers are generally fast and small that doesn't really define the tremor beast. Soldiers are more in your face combatants nor really a good choice for this monster. So our choices left are brute and lurker. You could make arguments for either of these choices. Brutes are tough with low defenses and high damage. I think swallowing people whole counts as high damage. Lurkers use stealth to surprise their foes and gain an advantage. That pretty much the definition of popping up under someone and eating them. Even though you could make an argument for either Im going to set this guy up as a brute.

3. So we have our Level and Type now we need to determine what kind of creature he is. Im going to choose Natural Beast because I think they are just naturally occurring animals in my world. Also Im going to make him Large.

4. OK so the next step is determining his initiative this is all about how fast you think the creature moves very slow creatures like zombies should be in the 1-5 range normal 6-8 fast 9-11 very fast 12+. I think they are relativity fast so Ill give him a rating of 9.

5. next is special senses Tremor beasts are blind and can feel vibrations. so Perception 5 Tremor-sense 10

6. Delete the aura on this guy they don't give off any special auras

7. Hit points and bloodied for this look at other brute level 10 monsters for an Idea of how many HP he should have. Another level 10 brute the blade spider has 120 hit points so from 100-130 would be reasonable lets give him 110 hit points that makes his bloodied value (which is just half max) 55
8. Next is the defenses, as a brute his defenses should be low to compensate for his increased hit points and damage. Most level 10 brutes have 18-21 in their defenses so lets make his AC:21 Fortitude 20 Reflex 18 Will 18

9. Saving throws and action points can get tossed out he doesnt need either of those

10. Speed, tremor beasts are slow on land but fast underground so lets give him 2; 6 (tunneling)

11. Ok so the last thing we need to do is make some powers for him. lets give him an at will that grabs opponents first so lets call it devour. Devour is a physical attack so it needs to be versus AC. for the damage look at other brutes of the same level to get an idea for how much is appropriate.

12. then give the monster some encounter and daily abilities and your done. Congratulations you made your own monster.


  1. Thanks for sharing buddy. Yet again there's another interesting and informative post from yourself :)

  2. hahahaha!! I used to love coming up with crazy monsters to fight!

  3. Oh man, I haven't done d&d in such a long time, this might just had revived d&d for me :)

  4. this stuff is kind of complicated.

  5. @Max Power
    It is but luckily the monster manual has hundreds of pre-made ones for you to use so this method is only if you want to make something special.