Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Mightiest Monsters: Rules Cyclopedia

I like the Rules Cyclopedia a lot, but parts of it can be pretty weird to players used to AD&D. The skill system and weapon mastery rules are decent rules, but they don't feel like core D&D mechanics to me. And the monster list varies a lot from the MM. Behold! The baddest dudes in the RC:

Elemental (1-80 HD)
Gargantua (25-51 HD, but see below)
Dinosaur (1-40 HD)
Roc (6-36 HD)
Whales (6-36 HD)
Dragon Turtle (30 HD)
Nightshade (17-30 HD)
Dragon (6-22 HD)
Horde (3-21 HD)
Archon (20 HD)
Drolem (20 HD)
Giant (8-20 HD)
Golem (2+2 to 20 HD)
Beholder, Undead (20 HD)
Hag, Black (11-20 HD)
Efreeti (10-20 HD)
Greater Phoenix (18 HD)
Spirit (14-18 HD)
Aerial Servant (16 HD)
Mek (11-16 HD)
Giant Crocodile (15 HD)
Djinni, Greater (15 HD)
Purple Worm (15 HD)
Elephant (9-15 HD)
Hsiao (Guardian Owl) (4-15 HD)
Athach (14 HD)
Haunt (12-14 HD)
Cyclops (13 HD)
Frost Salamander (12 HD)
Sphinx (12 HD)
Phantom (10-12 HD)
Plasm (6-12 HD)
Hydra (5-12 HD)
Hydrax (5-12 HD)
Actaeon (Elk Centaur) (11 HD)
Beholder (11 HD)
Nuckalavee (11 HD)
Giant Sturgeon (10+2 HD)
Black Pudding (10 HD)
Great Boar (10 HD)
Giant Manta Ray (10 HD)
Revener (10 HD)
Spider, Planar (5-10 HD)
Grab Grass (1 HD per 5' square)

Grab Grass, like the Holmes version of Yellow Mold and the Fiend Folio Enveloper, is another monster with no theoretical upper limit. The hit dice range listed for Gargantua actually refers to sample creatures. The Gargantua is actually a pre-3e example of a template, though the terminology was not yet in use. IIRC any creature can be made into a Gargantua, which results in 8 times normal hit dice, with any bonus hit points turning into additional hit dice. So a Gargantua Giant Sturgeon would be (10 x 8) + 2 = 82 Hit Dice. I guess that means the biggest RC creature (aside from from a prairie full of Grab Grass) would actually be a Gargantua Elemental of largest size, weighing in at a whopping 640 Hit Dice!