Tuesday, April 17, 2012

DDG monster list

There been some chatter among some old school bloggers about the cool possibilities of a campaign world where the Fiend Folio is the primary monster book.  I still think that's a super-nifty concept.  As an alternative, what would a campaign's monster list look like if we focused on the non-unique monsters found scattered through the various pantheons in Deities & Demigods?  Here's the list:

Average Knight of Renown (Arthurian Heroes) - basically a fighter level 8-10 with social clout
Knight of Quality (Arthurian Heroes) - fighter 10-13 with clout
[By the way, my research for the Wessex campaign suggests that in AD 1140 England's population was maybe 2 to 3 million total (Wessex itself was probably less than a million.)  And there were maybe 2 or 3 thousand knights.  So these guys would comprise about 1 in 1,000 of the populace.]
The Pack of the Wild Hunt - 8 hit dice spooky dogs
Spirits of the Air (Chinese Mythos) - 11HD, 8' tall dudes with wings and tusked monkey heads, neutral in alignment
Byakhee (Cthulhu Mythos)
Cthuga's Flame Creatures (Cthulhu Mythos)
Deep Ones (Cthulhu Mythos)
Great Race of Yith (Cthulhu Mythos)
Mi-Go (Cthulhu Mythos)
Primordial One (Cthulhu Mythos) - a.k.a. Elder Thing
Shoggoth (Cthulhu Mythos)
[You haven't lived until you loosed a couple of Shoggoths on your PCs.]
Flame Snake (Egyptian Mythos) - Tiny 1 HD fire-breathing snakes that guard treasure and hate the gods
Minions of Set (Egyptian Mythos) - black-clad jerkwads who can turn into giant scorpions, snakes or bears
Air Maiden (Finnish Mythos) - basically Lawful Good winged valkyries with Princess Leia hair
Cyclops, Greater (Greek Mythos) - the good ones who make magical weapons and stuff
Cyclops, Lesser (Greek Mythos) - Gronks with rocks
Marut (Indian Mythos) - invisible wind spirits, pretty kick-ass too
Clakar (Melnibonean Mythos) - winged apes!  hot damn!
Dharzi Hunting Dog (Melnibonean Mythos) - bloodhounds with hawk heads
Dragons of Melnibone (Melnibonean Mythos) - brief write-up of how these beasts differ from standard D&D dragons
Elenoin (Melnibonean Mythos) - extraplanar naked berserker ladies with sharp teeth
Grahluk (Melnibonean Mythos) - extraplanar ape men who hate the Elenoin
Mist Giant (Melnibonean Mythos) - four armed weirdos made of mist
Myyrrhn (Melnibonean Mythos) - hawk people, like in Brian Blessed in Flash Gordon
Nihrain Horse (Melnibonean Mythos) - magic horses kinda like the ones they ride in Krull
Oonai (Melnibonean Mythos) - shapeshifters that turn into various monsters to kick your ass
Vampire Trees (Melnibonean Mythos) - pretty much what it says on the tin: trees that want your blood
Vulture Lion (Melnibonean Mythos) - cool-looking wingless griffon variant
Astral Wolf (Newhon Mythos) - ghosts of wolves who starved to death
Behemoth (Newhon Mythos) - killer whales with stumpy legs
Bird of Tyaa (Newhon Mythos) - extra smart ravens that will put poison on their claws
Devourer (Newhon Mythos) - alien wizards who will sell you useless junk
Ghoul, Newhon (Newhon Mythos) - cannibals with transparent flesh
Gods of Lankhmar (Newhon Mythos) - grumpy mummies who serve as the local gods of the city
Leviathan (Newhon Mythos) - basically a kraken or giant squid
Snow Serpent (Newhon Mythos) - white-furred snake
Salt Spider (Newhon Mythos) - giant spider that lurks in salt swamps, can spin webs and its strange feet allow it to walk on water, quicksand (quicksalt?), etc.
Water Cobra (Newhon Mythos) - poisonous aquatic snake with chameleon ability
Fossergrim (Norse Mythos) - sort of male dryads who are attached to waterfalls instead of trees
Valkyries (Norse Mythos) - like Bugs Bunny in that one opera cartoon

That's forty critters, which sounds to me like plenty with which to build a campaign world.  The knights suggest a standard pseudo-medieval feel but based on the number of the winged creatures on the list I'd want to make sure that cloud islands and/or floating cities figured prominently in the setting.

The DDG would also be a great place to get all your magic items from.  Open the book to a random page and there's bound to be a god with some sort of ridiculous item you can borrow.


  1. Melnibone has Brian Blessed hawkmen? I will have to read those Moorcock books after all!

  2. These monsters are even crazier than the Fiend Folio variety.

  3. Could there still be monsters in campaign world that are implied by the entries for example in FF Ogrillon kind of implies that there are orcs and ogres (Or long time ago there was before orc guys developed unhealthy interest for big cannibal women and ogre women started taking pig-faced dudes as their husbands because in case of divorce free bacon.) and Flind sort of suggest there would be gnolls to boss around etc. Would water cobra suggest that campaign world has non-aquatic cobras or are all the cobras of underwater types?

    1. Personally I like the challenge of explaining the ogrillon and the flind and such without the benefit of the standard monsters they ae associated with. But do as thou will shall be the whole of the DMG.

    2. It needs just some explaining, things get interesting though if preserving the consept, like for example Lizard King whose stich seems to be that of being a boss, maybe it is some sort of natural xvart overseer created by space wizards to keep them in line (and flinds are the lazy middle management). Ogrillon might be hybrid of some other creatures like say human and flind.

  4. Great list. There are also some non-standard variants in the Nehwon encounter tables (ice gnome, snow hydra, etc).

  5. You missed a couple:

    Thunder Bird (American Indian)
    Hecatoncheire (Greek)
    Kelmain (Melnibonean)

    1. I believe those are unique monsters, and Jeff said he pulled the non-unique critters for the list.

    2. "Historically", there were at least three hekatonkheires - three is technically non-unique.

    3. I knew someone was going to say that.

    4. Black Vulmea: All the ones I list are given "Frequency of Appearance" which is non-unique (except Thunder Bird, which I made a mistake with). Hecatoncheire is listed as "Very Rare", as is Kelmain. Kelmain are given a "No. Appearing" as "see below", and in the description there's the phrase "if 10,000 Kelmain troops appear", for instance.

  6. I've often pulled monsters from DDG - it's really underated as a source of cool critters.

  7. "The knights suggest a standard pseudo-medieval feel but based on the number of the winged creatures on the list I'd want to make sure that cloud islands and/or floating cities figured prominently in the setting."

    Suddenly I'm having flashbacks to the old arcade game "Joust".

  8. Anonymous9:29 PM

    It could also be a very mountainous sandbox where the human feudal society lives in the river valleys and travel to each other through high mountain passes. The mountains all around have various other creatures living on and in them, some friendly, some hostile.


  9. The Nehwon behemoth is one of my favorite monsters.

  10. Anonymous5:21 AM

    Knights + winged monsters = aerial cavalry battles = time to read up on those aerial combat rules! :)

  11. In my experience just about any decision to "only use monsters from/that..." is more interesting than the standard monsters, just because the standard monsters are so overused.