View Full Version : DM Help Advice on Using Monsters

2014-02-25, 07:33 PM
Hi I'm running a campaign using a homebrew rules system.
The setting is kind of wacky. It is something of my own design, but is inspired by Wonderland. Basically, anything is possible there.
My only 2 PCs are a Kitsune Wizard and a Human Assassin, although the Human Assassin met his end after challenging a Wraith Lord to a duel.

Right now the Kitsune is in some underground caves stalking the villain and his minions. I have ideas for a couple of monsters, but I am unsure of how to use them in the campaign in a way that would be interesting and satisfying.

I am open to new monster ideas and how to use them in fun ways. The help would be much appreciated.

P.S. I am not afraid of cliches.

2014-02-25, 07:48 PM
use cheshire cat great way to screw with them

2014-02-25, 10:36 PM
Get yourself a set of illustrated playing or tarot cards (like these (http://www.fantasticmenagerie.com/), for instance), and use them as inspiration for assigning monsters to each of four 'suits' that make up the major factions in your world. Each would carry some sort of insignia identifying it as a club, diamond, heart or spade.

If you get a tarot deck, you could also use the Major Arcana as 'wild' (non-aligned) monsters, but I'd resist the temptation to identify them as cards - it'd break the theme.

2014-02-28, 12:46 PM
It'll be hard for me to give much concrete advice, since this is a homebrew system, but perhaps you will find inspiration with the old At-Will blog's worldbreaker (http://at-will.omnivangelist.net/features/worldbreakers/) idea? I don't know how well their specific idea works in play (in 4e or otherwise), but their basic goal is to prioritize "interesting" over "challenging" in designing monsters and encounters (in their case by having monsters that impact battlefield terrain/effects like video game bosses do, forcing player strategy to evolve mid-encounter). An interesting fight may intrigue players because their opponents are just brutally powerful warriors or casters, or it may catch their attention by having a unique puzzle thrown in, like Gabe over at Penny Arcade did with the elemental chaos (http://www.penny-arcade.com/news/post/2010/06/30/dd-in-the-elemental-chaos-part-2).

For your specific situation, maybe the players are fighting the baddies when a cave-in begins, and so they have to manage a run-and-gun scenario where they must simultaneously fight their enemies while fleeing alongside them? Maybe the "EAT ME"/"DRINK ME" bottle and cake from Alice in Wonderland make an appearance, and the giant-sized and miniaturized opponents can impact the battlefield situation but not each other directly (i.e. too small to actually hit, too large to actually hurt), requiring the players' teamwork across two vastly different fighting arenas (one reminiscent of Godzilla fighting King Kong (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Kong_vs._Godzilla) in a cramped closet, the other reminiscent of Honey I Shrunk the Kids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey,_I_Shrunk_the_Kids)).

...aaaaannndddd now I see you're asking about monster ideas, not encounter ideas. Oh well, I hope this helps anyways.

2014-02-28, 01:46 PM
Awakened construct for live playing cards. Awakened cat bard or sorcerer with Major Image for Cheshire Cat. Traps which don't always have bad effects (Enlarge/Reduce Person, Greater Invisibility, Polymorph, whatever), Wild magic and dead magic areas, loads of refluffed treants to different plants, possibly a tendriculous?

Welcome to Night Vale has some rather trippy ideas. Steal inspiration from there? C: