Thursday, December 23, 2021

Huckster for Weird North-West

Jim Parkin made this neat little post about running a Deadlands inspired weird west using his game Weird North

Doing something related with Into the Odd was an idea that I had before, but never actually got to it. And this is perfectly that. Only thing is missing for me: The Huckster, which always have been my favorite thing from Deadlands, so I whipped up a version to bolt on to that. 

A wandering gambler/sorcerer/spirit-speaker Archetype for Weird North West:


Life is a Game

Bonus Gear:

  • A deck of French-suited cards and a deck of Tarot cards

  • A book of games filled with occult lore

  • Small pistol (d6)

BASE Deal With the Devil: Save against corruption to automatically succeed on a non-corruption save.

Which is your game of choice?

  1. Five-card draw

  2. Texas hold'em

  3. Blackjack

  4. Darts

  5. Mahjong

  6. Cribbage

PRESTIGE Begin with one. Gain another when you recover a Treasure or win a huge bet.

  • Snake-oil Salesman: Simple folk always fall for your lies.

  • Sleight of Hand: You can quickly hide tiny objects in your body, and no one will notice or be able to find it.

  • A Card Up Your Sleeve: You never fully lose a bet, something always go slightly on your favor.

  • Whisperer of Secrets: Everytime you save against corruption, the referee tells you something useful that you didn't knew.

  • Speaker of Many Names: You can always feel the presence of a supernatural being.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Darkest Dungeon Gear Packages, and some thoughts on creativity

 Link at the end of the post if you're feeling anxious, I'm gonna ramble for a bit first.

Carrying the Flame by ADePietro

Darkest Dungeon is a really great game. I bought all of it's DLCs, sunk a couple hundred hours in it, the whole idea. For those unfamiliar with it, it's a roguelite dungeon crawler with cosmic horror elements set in a medieval fantasy world. The player is the heir of a distant property that was abandoned a while ago, and in hopes of cleansing the horrible creatures that dwell in the ruins, you hire all kinds of people that are despaired and broken enough to accept the job.

The gameplay loop is divided in two parts: First you form a band of heroes and delve into the dungeons to clear it of monsters and recover treasures. Then on the outside you manage your resources and your rooster of heroes, buying upgrades and gear.

Great, ain't? Also quite familiar. 

Naturally, after playing for a short while I was already considering that it was a great concept to be used for a TTRPG (Red Hook Games seems to agree). After playing the game more, I concluded there were two main ways to use the setting as an RPG:

  • First option is to focus on the human aspect of the characters, what goes on their minds while going on this hellish task, what brought them here. It's very story game-y, both Torchbearer and Heart: The City Beneath have a similar premise.
  • Second, and more interesting to me and the average reader of this blog, is to do some good old-school dungeon crawling, and just sprinkle some (more?) horror aspects in it. Best Left Buried comes awfully close to it, but it's not a game I'm particular fond of.

Choosing the second option, I ventured into the idea of writing a hack. I had a pletora of good systems to use as a base: Knave, Maze Rats, The Black Hack, and many others could execute the premise really well. Eventually I choose Into the Odd, because it maps some of the mechanics perfectly, and as you already know, it's my favorite RPG. I started tinkering with how I would execute the classes, how the stress mechanic would look like, if I was gonna incorporate the quirk subsystem... and then it died. 

In this amazing article by Skerples, while analyzing his failed project Space 1977, he claims that he could have finished the project and managed to sell it, but it would be a lie because it's flawed. When I first read that, I didn't understand the feeling at all. Why not publish something if it's interesting enough for people to buy it? Sure, it might not be perfect, but not everything needs to be a masterpiece, it's fine to be "good enough". Hell, most of the stuff we consume is just that.

Well, a year later and after reflecting for a couple weeks on why I left "Into the Darkest" to gather dust, I can say that I understand what Skerples was saying.

Official Red Hook Games art

The Lies You Tell Yourself

Well, I could write that hack, playtest  and refine it until it was good enough to see the light and publish it. I would even have made a series of funny blogposts about the whole process. People would clap me in the back and say "Good job Xenio! This is good, you translated the DD experience well" and will feel good about myself. Maybe it would draw enough attention that I could actually sell it, get art and a decent layout, make it my first actually published RPG work.

Well, that was what I told to my daydreaming self, but it's not necessarily true.

The hack would have been decent, and for sure will earn me some compliments. But being honest about it, it wouldn't really add anything of value to its inspirations. You would be better off playing your dungeon crawler of choice with just some light homebrew to fit the setting. I mentioned early that I don't like Best Left Buried, and while my own hack would fit my own tastes better, it would be mediocre at best, just like BLB. Is that what I wanted to make? A game that I didn't like?

Of course, that line didn't cross my head. But some part of me understood the truth, and pushed the idea away to some dusty corner of my mind. Only recently the release of Darkest Dungeon II made me revisit those notes, and then I came to the conclusion I write here now.

"Suffer not the lame horse, nor the broken man."

And then, what's left? 

Cairn came around and become my favorite interpretation of the ItO engine. It also inspired some great gear packages, demonstrating how much you can convey setting and tone with equipment. If had concluded that the best way to do DD was to simply use your favorite dungeon crawler game, so I grabbed my old ideas and made a gear loadouts of then. 

There's only two new things here: First, along with the itens each class has a single special ability, it's just something simple that cannot be destroyed or taken away, and helps convey things you can't do with an item.
Secondly, I added a simple house rule to handle stress, since it's paramount to the game. It's was downright copied from Meteor, AwkwardTurtle's mashup of Cairn and Mothership (that you should definitely check out, it's awesome).

AND FINALLY, the link: Into the Darkest

I'll probably run some games with it, I already have a friend interested. If you want monsters someone converted the whole games's bestiary to 5e, which you can easily convert with the advice found here and here.

Anyway, I hope you make some use of this whole thing. Thanks for reading, see you next time.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Alternative Chromatic Dragons

I believe most people agree that the way multiple types of dragons are portrayed in trad dungeon fantasy is a bit boring. Different colors, a different element and (slightly) different personality for each one, and that's it. It's not necessarily bad, it works well, but sure there's more that can be done with the concept.

So I had this idea kicking around my head for a little while: What if, the Red Dragon is the only one that exists in that traditional manner, and all other colors are different creatures that are referred to as dragons for being somewhat similar and also absurdly dangerous? 

Imagine, you're a average adventurer that always heard legends of the might beast that brings unparalleled destruction. You know the basics of it: It breathes fire, has scales, it's intelligent, extremely deadly and nigh unkillable.
Now that same humble adventurer is traversing through a deep forest, and it's ambushed by a massive scaled creature. It's clever and treacherous, spits a deadly poison, it dispatches multiple victims with ease, without barely being harmed. Now do you think that adventurer will carefully ponder about the nature of such creature?

Nope, Green Dragon.

The adventurer after seeing it's companions being devoured, manages to escape alive. Upon reaching the nearmost settlement, tells about the horrifying monster that slaughtered their party. The people are scared, and the story of The Green Dragon of the Forest spreads like wildfire. After a short while, it meets a similar story of a gargantuan beast from colder lands. In no time, you have a handful of "dragons" from different environments. 

And now it's too late, even if someone manages to study those beings, the rumours are so ingrained in the people's minds that it can be undone. These creatures will be forever known as dragons. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Maze Rats spells in Cairn

Hello adventurers! It's been a while since I've posted anything, but I come once again with stuff for Cairn. Like the average blogger, I am obsessed with a specific ruleset and will talk about it nonstop, feel free to judge me. 

So, I was flipping through Maze Rats for the 100th time, and as always I was thinking about how amazing of a ruleset it is. Quick, easy to pick up, highly customizable, etc. If you are reading this blog post I'm sure you are familiar with the game. When I got to the spell system, which is probably my favorite part of it, it suddenly hit me: This would be great on Cairn! So here we are, let's do it.

This is a thing of beauty.

This is supposed to work alongside Cairn's built-in magic system. Not as a substitute (But you do you). From now on, I'm gonna refer to it as Chaotic Magic, in opposition to Cairn's original Spellbook Magic. It can be implemented in two ways: 

  1. At character creation, if someone would roll on a spellbook, they can choose to instead be able to cast Chaotic Magic. 
  2. Something wild and magical happened to an adventurer? Now they are tainted with chaotic energies that can manifest in spells. It can even be the consequence of a failed casting of a spellbook.
Defined how one get's it, now on how it works:

  • Each morning after a night of rest, a PC who has chaotic magic can fill one empty inventory slot with a random spell. Roll it on Maze Rats' tables as normal. (You can also use this generator to make things quicker). No matter how many slots you have empty, you can only create one spell each day. 
  • The spell can be cast at any moment with one action, after it is used, the spell goes away and leaves the slot empty again. The spell can only be removed by being cast. 
  • The PC can attempt to hold on to the spell after casting it by making a WIL save. On a success, the spell stays prepared and the character gets one fatigue. On a failure, the player must roll on one of the spell failure tables, the one the warden deems more appropriate (or roll a d3 to define which one).
  • Spell effects are defined between the player and the warden as maze rats dictate. As per Cairn rules, they can be enhanced, given time and safety. 
  • A good baseline for effects that deal damage is around d8 damage if it's single target or d6 if it's blast damage.
  • Optional Rule: When preparing a spell in the morning, instead of rolling a brand new one, the player might choose to prepare a copy of a spell they already have prepared, or one they lost in the previous day. (I think players should be able to stick to spells they like, so here it goes.)

Done. Simple as that, you have a nice way of bringing some fun wackiness to your magicky PCs. It also has more of the feel that is something that you character has and no one can take it from them, different from a spellbook that can be stolen and you no longer have magic. In compensation, is a bit more limited and dangerous. 

It goes without saying that it's usable in any game based on Into the Odd.

It also is a great way to generate relics. Roll up one spell, think of a thematically appropriate recharge and holding item and Voila, you made a really cool and unique relic. The potential is immense. 

Anyways, I hope you like it and use it in your games, and tell me what you think in the comments. See y'all next time!

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Classic Monsters for Cairn/ItO, Part 3 - Final

 I have run out of things to say in this introduction. So, monsters:

by David Sutherland

3 HP, 12 STR, 12 DEX, trident (d6)
  • Aquatic humanoids with black-green scales and deep black eyes, known in some places as "sea devils". Dwell in warm salt waters and raid coastal villages during the night.
  • Can breathe outside of water for up to 4 hours.
  • Command sharks to guard their lairs.

Salamander, Flame
8 HP, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, bite (d8)
  • 12' long lizard-like creatures with scales of bright orange, yellow and red. Native to the plane of fire, but also dwell near volcanoes. 
  • Immune to fire and heat.
  • Emmit an aura of heat, damaging any nearby creature for d6 damage.

5 HP, 12 DEX, 16 WIL, horns (d6) or pipes (save)
  • Magical humanoids with the legs and horns of a goat. Love to dance and drink. Found in deep forests.
  • Highly resistant to magic effects.
  • Pipes: Anyone who hears the music from a satyr's pipes must save WIL or fall asleep, be charmed or frightened. The Satyr chooses which effect when playing the pipes.

Scorpion, Giant
4 HP, 2 Armor, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 8 WIL, claws (d6+d6) or sting (d8)
  • Huge arachnids, the size of a horse, with pincers and poisonous stingers. Found in drylands and caverns. Highly aggressive, normally attack on sight.
  • Immobilizes its victims with the claws, and then attack with the sting.
  • Critical Damage: The sting's poison instantly kills the target.

3 HP, 8 STR, 14 WIL, touch (d6) 
  • Incorporeal monsters that look like living shadows.
  • Unharmed by mundane attacks.
  • Critical Damage: The shadow drains d4 STR from the victim, any creature killed this wat becomes a shadow.

Shambling Mound
9 HP, 15 STR, 8 DEX, 8 WIL, fists (d8+d8)
  • Plant monsters with the rough shape of a 9' tall humanoid made of slimy vegetation. Dwell in dark swamps and damp undergrounds.
  • Damage received from weapons is impaired.
  • Entagles its victims to suffocate them in the roots and tendrils of its body.

Shark, Great White
8 HP. 14 STR, 14 DEX, 6 WIL, bite (d10+d10)
  • 30' long aggressive fish of grey coloration. Dwell deep salt water, and sometimes attack smaller boats.
  • Can detect the smell of blood from great distances.
  • Once moves to attack, doesn't stop until death, succeding all morale rolls.

Snake, Giant Rattler
4 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d6)
  • 10' long snakes with brown and white scales and a rattle of hardened scales on the tip of their tail.
  • Can attack two targets in the same round, due to its great speed.
  • Critical Damage: The poison kills the target in 2d6 turns if not treated.

Snake, Pit Viper
3 HP, 12 DEX, bite (d4)
  • 5' long snakes with greyish scales, found in caves and other dark places.
  • Does not rely on vision, instead, senses its victims by their body heat.
  • Critical Damage: The poison kills the target in 2d4 turns if not treated.

Snake, Rock Python
5 HP, 14 STR, bite (d6)
  • 20' long, thick snakes with brown and yellow scales.
  • After a biting attack, attempts to constrict the victim with its body. The victim must save STR or be restrained, taking d8 damage every turn. 

Snake, Spitting Cobra
3 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d6) or acid spit (d4)
  • 3' long snake with grey and white scales. Prefer to attack from distance with their acidic spit.
  • Critical Damage: The poison kills the target in 2d8 turns if not treated.

Snake Person
6 HP, 1 Armor, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, bite (d6)
  • Creatures with the body, tail, and head of a giant snake and scaled humanoid torso and arms. Capture other humanoids to be eaten or enslaved by their cruel masters. Dwell in hot jungles.
  • Highly resistant to magic effects.
  • Supposedly can breed with humans, creating hybrids that have the appearance of humans with reptilian eyes and forked tongues.

12 HP, 12 STR, 15 WIL, claws (d6+d6) or roar (save)
  • Large monsters with bird wings, the body of a lion, and a human face. Collect puzzles, riddles, and obscure knowledge. May pose riddles to those they meet, attacking and consuming any who cannot give the correct answer.
  • Roar: Anyone who hears the sphinx's roar must save WIL or flee in fear.
  • Can innately cast Comprehend, Detect Magic, and Telekinesis. Once per day each.

Spider, Giant Aquatic
4 HP, 12 DEX, bite (d6)
  • 4’ long spiders that dwell in large bodies of freshwater. Build air-filled nests in aquatic vegetation.
  • Lurk just below the water's surface to surprise its victims.
  • Critical Damage: The poison paralyzes the victim (d8 DEX damage), the spider drags paralyzed victims to its lair to eat them.

Spider, Giant Aranea
3 HP, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, bite (d6), two random spellbooks
  • 6’ long, intelligent spiders of greenish-black coloration. Have an odd lump on the back, housing its large brain. Two front legs have digits, allowing an aranea to grasp tools. Dwell in web-filled lairs where they conduct magical research.
  • Scared of fire, avoid using spells of such effect.
  • Creatures caught in webs are entangled and unable to move. Breaking free requires an STR save.

Spider, Giant Black Widow
3 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d6)
  • 6’ long, black spiders with a red hourglass pattern on their abdomens. Dwell in web-filled lairs and sometimes prey on humans.
  • Creatures caught in webs are entangled and unable to move. Breaking free requires an STR save.
  • Critical Damage: The poison kills the target in 2d4 turns if not treated.

Spider, Giant Phase
5 HP, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, bite (d6)
  • 8’ long, black spiders that have the ability to become intangible. Dwell in web-filled lairs and sometimes prey on humans.
  • Can shift out of phase with surroundings, becoming intangible. Attack by briefly phasing back in.
  • Critical Damage: The poison kills the target in 2d6 turns if not treated.

4 HP, 1 Armor, 8 STR, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, adze (d6)
  • Short, thickset demihumans with long noses and gnarled, hairless, grey skin. Also known as deep gnomes. Dwell deep in the Underworld in labyrinthine lairs riddled with cunning secret passages and chambers.
  • Can see perfectly in the dark, but are blinded by bright light.
  • Love machinery, mining, and gems.

20 HP, 3 Armor, 20 STR, 8 DEX, 8 WIL, claws (d12+d12)
  • Legendary, gargantuan (50’ long) reptilian monstrosities with plated skin, dreaded throughout all lands. Spend most of their time sleeping in their underground lairs. Emerge periodically and ravage vast swaths of land, consuming all plants and animals in the path. Possibly the most feared monster of all.
  • Regenerates 1 HP every turn. A Tarrasque always regenerates, even if its body is reduced to pieces. The way of permanently killing it is unknown.
  • Critical Damage: The razor-sharp claws sever a part of the victim's body.

20 HP, 2 Armor, 18 STR, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, sword (d10+d10)
  • 20’ tall humanoids of radiant beauty and athletic build. Beneficent of character, but prone to megalomania. Natives of higher planes, but sometimes have strongholds in the mortal world.
  • Can become invisible and levitate at will. Know a large number of spells.
  • Frequently command storm giants as their guards.

8 HP, 1 Armor, 15 STR, 8 DEX, fists (d6+d6)
  • Giant humanoids made of tree bark and foliage. Dwell in forests. Are concerned only with protecting the plants of their home.
  • Hate fire, and attack anyone who wields it.
  • Surprise victims by standing still and passing for a normal tree.

4 HP, 1 Armor, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 12 WIL, trident (d6)
  • Aquatic humanoids with silvery skin, blue-green hair, and scaled legs ending in fins. Dwell in warm waters both in shallows and at great depths.
  • Frequently use seahorses and hippocamps as mounts.
  • Lair in beautiful castles sculpted from sea rocks and corals, guarded by other sea creatures.

4 HP, 12 DEX, claws (d6+d6)
  • Intelligent, reptilian humanoids with agile hands, long legs, short tails, and spiky combs on their heads and arms.
  • Can change color to match their surroundings. Lurk by rock walls and await victims.
  • Emits an oil with a nauseating stench from its pores.

6 HP, 1 Armor, 14 STR, 12 DEX, talons (d6+d6) or bite (d8)
  • Wicked, 8’ tall humanoids with rubbery bodies. Consume the flesh of other humanoids. Dwell underground, in the barren wilderness, and in the ruined homes of former victims.
  • Fire and acid damage received is enhanced, and stops a troll's regeneration. When attacked with either of those, the troll fails all morale checks.
  • Regeneration: 3 rounds after being damaged, start regaining 3hp per round, severed limbs are reattached. If killed, will regenerate and fight again in 2d6 rounds.

Turtle, Giant Sea
15 HP, 2 Armor, 15 STR, 6 DEX, 12 WIL, bite (d6+d6)
  • 20’ long, peaceful marine reptiles that drift in warm oceans, eating sea plants. Dangerous if threatened.
  • Tip over small boats that come into their territory.

Turtle, Giant Snapping 
10 HP, 14 STR, 8 DEX, bite (d8)
  • 10’ long, aggressive predatory turtles that lurk in the shallows of lakes and large rivers.
  • Hide motionless underwater to surprise its victims.
  • Can reach to bite further targets due to its long neck.

Tyrannosaurus Rex
20 HP, 1 Armor, 18 STR, 12 DEX, bite (d10+d10)
  • Massive, over 20’ tall, two-legged, predatory dinosaurs with huge jaws. Hunt human-sized or larger prey. Dwell in Lost World regions.
  • Always attack the largest, most threatening foe first.

4 HP, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, horn (d8)
  • Magical horses with a single longhorn. Unicorns are timid, but proud and wilful. Seen as divine beings by many.
  • Can teleport to a visible distance once a day.

9 HP, 1 Armor, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 16 WIL, bite (d10)
  • Charming, undead creatures that drink the blood of mortals. Act at night and sleep in a coffin during the day. Can shape change to the form of a giant bat.
  • Regeneration: A damaged vampire gains 3hp at the start of each round, as long as it is alive. If killed, becomes a cloud of gas and retreats to its coffin, reforming at the next nightfall. Can only be killed if exposed to sunlight or if the coffin is destroyed.
  • Critical Damage: The Vampire drains the victim's essence (d12 WIL damage). At 0 WIL, the victim is killed and becomes a vampire.

Warp Beast
6 HP, 14 DEX, 12 WILL, tentacles (d6+d6)
  • Large, black, six-legged monsters. Look similar to panthers with a tentacle growing from each front shoulder. Tentacles are ridged with razor-sharp edges.
  • Displace to a short distance to avoid attacks, impairing the damage received.
  • Highly resistant to magical effects.

Weasel, Giant
4 HP, 12 DEX, 12 WIL, bite (d6)
  • 9’ long, vicious, predatory mammals with rich fur of brown, gold, or white. Dwell in subterranean tunnels, hunting alone or in small groups.
  • After attacking, locks onto the victim and drains its blood for 1d8 automatic damage each round. Detaches only if the weasel or the victim dies.
  • Track by scent, preferring wounded victims.

Wolf, Dire
5 HP, 14 STR, 12 DEX, bite (d8)
  • Large, savage, semi-intelligent wolves. Dwell in caves, mountains, and forests.
  • Can be trained like dogs if captured young. Dire wolves are particularly difficult to train.
  • Sometimes are seem used as mounts by goblins.

Wolf, Normal
3 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d6)
  • Dwell primarily in wildlands, but occasionally lair in caves.
  • Can be trained like dogs if captured young.
  • When found in packs of at least 4, treat WIL as 15 for morale checks.

7 HP, 14 DEX, 11 WIL, bite (d8+d8) or poisonous sting (d6)
  • Winged, two-legged, dragon-like monsters with a long tail tipped with a venomous stinger. Dwell in any terrain, but favor cliffs and forests.
  • Critical Damage: The deadly poison inflicts d8 extra STR damage.

4 HP, 14 STR, 12 WIL, claws (d6+d6) or paralyzing gaze (save)
  • Large (8’ tall), shaggy ape-like monsters with vicious claws and a taste for human flesh. Dwell in isolated, icy regions.
  • Camouflage in the ice and snow to surprise its victims.
  • Gaze: surprised victims must save WIL or be paralyzed.

2 HP, 14 STR, 6 DEX, 3 WIL, weapon (d8)
  • Slow, mindless humanoid corpses, reanimated as guardians by powerful clerics or wizards.
  • Attack anything that comes nearby.
  • Immune to any mind affect effects

by Clyde Caldwell

Well, that was a lot. This covers (I hope) the "standard flavor" of classic fantasy monsters, offering if not what you need, enough basis to quickly hack what you need. Thanks to Chris and Yochai for the great games, and the people in the NSR discord for the help and feedback.

Hope y'all enjoy it. See you next time!

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Classic Monsters for Cairn/ItO, Part 2

 Welcome back for the second chapter of my conversion marathon!

One funny thing about this whole process is that I spent a couple of weeks writing the first part, and I read everything again before publishing, and in the day after I posted it I was already full of ideas of how to do some monsters better. I went and looked at some statblocks made by other people, read McDowall's post about conversion, and realized that I could be doing much more with my statblocks. As I was stewing the new ideas in my mind, I questioned myself: "But do I want to do much more?" My idea behind this thing is to make a collection of the more traditional foes you might find in a fantasy game. Something quick to pull up and throw at players, that offered a strong base of both mechanics and flavor, but open enough for anyone to change it on the fly to better suit its needs. You know, the just use bears mentality.

So I'll experiment a bit here and there while writing these statblocks, you'll probably notice some difference between the ones here and the ones in the first post. When I finish and compile everything in a single file (god help me), I'll probably have found a good middle ground between the two directions. Hopefully.

Anyway, here's the second batch of things for you to hit with your fighting stick:

Ape (Dave Trampier - AD&D Monster Manual, TSR, 1977.)

4 HP, 14 STR, fists (d6+d6)
  • Large, muscular apes that dwell in hot jungles. Peaceful and Shy.
  • Critical Damage: Rends the victim for 1d4 extra STR damage.

Green Slime
3 HP, 16 STR, 8 DEX, 6 WIL, acidic touch (d8+d8)
  • Large blobs of green slime that stick to walls and ceiling. Attack by dropping on top of their victims.
  • The acid corrodes both metal and wood along with the carrier, but cannot affect stone. Consumed flesh becomes more green slime. 
  • Immune to all damage except fire. Once stuck on a victim, can only be removed if burned away.

7 HP, 14 STR, 12 DEX, 9 WIL, beak (d8+d8) or claws (d6, blast)
  • Ravenous hybrid predators, with the head and wings of an eagle and the lower body of a lion.
  • Naturally prey on horses, attacking then on sight.
  • Captured young can be trained as mounts, however, their instinct to hunt horses cannot be controlled.

Hag, Black
8 HP, 12 STR, 15 WIL, talons (d8)
  • Hideous, 8' tall creatures that reassemble female humans of old age. Possess talons and teeth like iron and skin ranging from dark blue to black. 
  • Dwell in dead forests and swamps, crave eating human flesh.
  • Can cloak their true appearance with an illusory form, and can see through any illusion. 

Hag, Sea
3 HP, 12 STR, 14 WIL, knife (d6) or gaze (save)
  • Ghostly looking, green-skinned hags that dwell in seaweed forests and warm shallow waters. Crave eating human flesh.
  • Highly resistant to magic effects.
  • Hideous Gaze: Everyone facing the Hag must save WIL or drop to 0 HP.

4 HP, 8 STR, 14 DEX, 14 WIL, shortswords (d6+d6)
  • Small humanoids with hairy feet live in small settlements called shires.
  • Highly resistant to fear effects.
  • Each shire is led by a stronger halfling called shire-riff, who has access to better equipment.

5 HP, Armor 1, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 13 WIL, claws (d6+d6) or song (save)
  • Hideous monstrosities with the body of a giant eagle and a humanoid head.
  • Charming Song: Anyone who hears the song of a harpy must save WIL or be charmed, following the harpy and defending it from any threat. Killing the harpy breaks the charm.

Hawk, Giant
4 HP, 14 STR, 14 DEX, 8 WIL, talons or beak (d6)
  • Large birds of prey, the size of a big dog. Hunt animals of similar size, but might attack humans if hungry.
  • Surprise their victims by diving to attack from a great height.
  • Can carry away creatures up to their size.

Hawk, Normal
2 HP, 8 STR, 15 DEX, 8 WIL, talons or beak (d4)
  • Small birds of prey. Hunt small rodents and reptiles, only attack larger creatures if they appear vulnerable.
  • Surprise their victims by diving to attack from a great height.
  • Can be trained as hunting companions.

5 HP, 1 Armor, 12 STR, 14 DEX, bite (d6) or fire breath (d8)
  • Monstrous, intelligent dogs with the size of a pony. Dwell near volcanoes and sometimes accompany other fire-related creatures.
  • Immune to fire and heat. Can breathe fire, burning one target.
  • Don't rely on sight to find its foes, due to its keen sense of smell. 

3 HP, 12 STR, 14 DEX, claws (d6+d6) or bite (d10)
  • Hybrid creatures with the head and front half of an eagle and the back half of a horse.
  • Can be trained to be used as mounts.
  • Hate pegasi, attacking then on sight.

8 HP, 1 Armor, 16 STR, 6 DEX, 8 WIL, bite (d8+d8)
  • Massive, thick-skinned animals that live in tropical waters. Herbivore, but aggressively territorial. 
  • Can hold their breath for long periods. Stay underwater and tip boats that come too close over.

4 HP, 2 Armor, 14 STR, 8 DEX, mace (d8)
  • Large and burly relatives of goblins. Dwell in underground fortresses, but frequently seek victims above ground.
  • Highly lawful and militarized culture, follow orders without question.
  • Trained to fight together, damage dealt is enhanced if an ally is also engaged with the same enemy.

9 HP, 1 Armor, 14 STR, 12 DEX, bite (d10, blast)
  • Draconian creatures with nine serpentine heads. Can attack a number of targets equal to the number of heads. 
  • Each time it takes damage to STR, loses one head. Severed heads regrow after one turn, recovering 1 HP for head regrown. 
  • Fire damage received is enhanced, and stops head regrowth for a turn.

Invisible Stalker
8 HP, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 15 WIL, blow (d6)
  • Highly intelligent creatures summoned from other planes of existence by powerful wizards to perform tasks for them.
  • Can track any target without error. Using their invisibility to remain undetected.
  • If killed, is sent back to their original plane.

Jellyfish, Giant
4 HP, 12 STR, tentacles (d10,blast)
  • Huge, transparent sea creatures with a gelatinous body. Dwell in warm waters.
  • Critical Damage: The tentacles are covered in a poison that paralyzes the victim. (d8 DEX damage)
  • Killed victims are absorbed into the body and digested in a few minutes.

Killer Bee
4 HP, 6 STR, 12 DEX, 8 WIL, sting (d4)
  • Giant bees that build hives underground. Hyper aggressive, attack anything that comes near.
  • Produce special honey that can heal d6 HP once per day if consumed.
  • Critical Damage: Leave their poisoned sting lodged in the target, inflicting d4 damage every round until removed. A killer bee dies soon after leaving its sting. 

4 HP, 8 STR, 13 DEX, dagger (d6)
  • Small canine humanoids with hairless, scaly, red-brown skin. Dwell deep underground.
  • Can see perfectly in the dark, but are harmed by sunlight.
  • Ambush their victims in dark caves and tunnels.

9 HP, 14 STR, 14 WIL, touch (d6)
  • Centaur-like monsters with the head and upper body of a woman and the lower body of a beast. Prey on humanoids, drinking their blood and eating their flesh.
  • Can disguise their true form with illusions, appearing as a human woman.
  • Critical Damage: The touch saps the victim's wisdom (d6 WIL damage). A victim who reaches 0 WIL this way mindlessly obeys the lamia's command.

11 HP, 1 Armor, 8 STR, 8 DEX, 18 WIL, dagger (d6)
  • Powerful wizards who refused death by turning themselves in soulless undead.
  • Able to cast virtually any spell
  • Critical Damage: Its touch paralyzes the victim (d8 DEX damage)

Lizard, Giant Draco
4 HP, 12 STR, 14 DEX, bite (d10)
  • 6' long carnivorous lizards with skin flaps between legs that allow gliding. Dwell mostly on the surface, but sometimes can be found underground.

Lizard, Giant Flame 
7 HP, 14 STR, 12 WIL, bite (d8+d8) or fire breath (d6+d6,blast)
  • 30' long grey and red lizards that are sometimes mistaken by dragons. Lair underground but hunt on the surface. Sleep most of the day.
  • Unharmed by flames and heat.
  • Their eggs can be sold for a high price.

Lizard, Giant Gecko
3 HP, 12 DEX, 12 WIL, bite (d8)
  • 5' long, carnivorous, nocturn lizards. Blue and Orange colored.
  • Climb on sheer surfaces and attack by dropping on victims.

Lizard, Giant Horned Chameleon
5 HP, 14 STR, 12 WIL, horn (d6) or tongue and bite (d6+d6)
  • 7' long lizards that camouflage by changing the color of their scales.
  • Use their camouflage to surprise victims.
  • Can attack further away targets by grabbing them with their elongated tongue. The victim must save STR or be pulled to the lizard's mouth and bitten.

Lizard, Giant Monitor 
8 HP, 16 STR, 12 WIL, claws (d6+d6) or bite (d8)
  • Gargantuan lizards with long teeth and claws. Dwell in warm climates.
  • Aggressive predators, surprise their victims by rushing at them and dragging them to their lair.
  • Critical Damage: The Victim is held into the mouth, automatically taking d6 damage in the following rounds.

Lizard, Giant Subterranean
6 HP, 15 STR, 12 WIL, bite (d6+d6)
  • 20' long, aggressive lizards that dwell only underground.
  • Can walk on walls and ceilings.
  • Clamps their mouth shut after biting a target, making it impossible to force open without killing the lizard.

Lizard Man
4 HP, 1 Armor, 14 STR, 12 DEX, 12 WIL, bone spear (d8)
  • Primitive, tribal, aquatic humanoids with reptilian heads and tails. Dwell in jungles nearby bodies of water.
  • Craft their armors and weapons from the bones of their prey.
  • Carnivorous, hunt other humanoids, whose flesh they regard as a delicacy.

4 HP, 12 STR, 12 WIL, spear (d6)
  • Nomadic humanoid fish with pale scales and large eyes. Found in warm waters, lair in underwater caves.
  • Keep giant eels as pets, using them both as lair guardians and sometimes as mounts.

Lycanthrope, Devil Swine
9 HP, 16 STR, 8 DEX, gore (d6+d6)
  • Corpulent humans who can change into massive swine. Lurk in isolated human settlements, hunting the people to eat their flesh.
  • Can only shape change at night, hunt in the dark, surprising victims.
  • Critical Damage: A human victim gets infected, becoming a lycanthrope of the same type after a couple of weeks.

Lycanthrope, Werebear
6 HP, 14 STR, 8 DEX, claws (d6+d6) or bite (d8)
  • Highly intelligent, even in bear form. Frequently dwell among normal bears.
  • Can be reasoned with, if approached peacefully. 
  • Critical Damage: A human victim gets infected, becoming a lycanthrope of the same type after a couple of weeks.

Lycanthrope, Wereboar
4 HP, 13 STR, 12 DEX, 8 WIL, tusks (d6+d6) 
  • Highly aggressive, even in human form. Fight until death.
  • While in human form, can enter in battle rage, enhancing all damage dealt and received. 
  • Critical Damage: A human victim gets infected, becoming a lycanthrope of the same type after a couple of weeks.

Lycanthrope, Wererat
3 HP, 8 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, bite (d4+d4) or weapon (d6)
  • Intelligent, humanoid rats that can change into normal humans. 
  • Can speak and wield weapons normally while in rat form.
  • Critical Damage: A human victim gets infected, becoming a lycanthrope of the same type after a couple of weeks.

Lycanthrope, Weretiger
5 HP, 12 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, claws (d6+d6) or bite (d8)
  • Behave like felines: Curious, but dangerous if cornered. Skilled trackers and swimmers.
  • Hunt by sneaking on their prey.
  • Critical Damage: A human victim gets infected, becoming a lycanthrope of the same type after a couple of weeks.

Lycanthrope, Werewolf
4 HP, 12 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, claws (d4+d4) or bite (d6)
  • Semi-intelligent, ferocious hunters.
  • Sometimes hunts in packs with regular wolves. 
  • Critical Damage: A human victim gets infected, becoming a lycanthrope of the same type after a couple of weeks.

6 HP, 15 DEX, 12 WIL, claws (d4+d4) or tail spike (d6)
  • Monstrosities with a human face, a lion body, bat wings, and a spiked tail. Dwell in mountainous regions.
  • Prey on humans, following them and attacking with the spikes when they see an opening.
  • Attack with their tails by throwing the spikes like darts. The spikes regrow after a few days.

6 HP, 1 Armor, 8 STR, 15 DEX, claws (d6+d6, blast)
  • Intelligent, 4-armed insectoid warriors who hunt and consume humanoids. Dwell in arid regions.
  • Can do huge leaps without needing any previous impulse.
  • Extremely skilled in dodging projectiles. Ranged damage received is impaired. 

Mantis, Giant
10 HP, 1 Armor, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, claws (d6+d6)
  • 12' long insects with clawed forelimbs and slicing mandibles. Dwell in warm forests and jungles.
  • Hunt any prey, using their green coloration to camouflage in the foliage. Will not attack obviously stronger foes.
  • Critical Damage: Locks the victim in their claws, and bites their head off.


15 HP, 18 STR, 6 DEX, tusks (d10)

  • Huge elephants with longer tusks. Found in icy regions.

  • With enough open ground for a clear run, it will charge its victims, enhancing damage.

  • Its tusks can be sold for high amounts of gold if removed whole.

4 HP, 12 DEX, 16 WIL, snake bites (d6) or gaze (save)
  • Deadly magical creatures that look like women with snakes in place of hair.
  • Gaze: Anyone who looks directly at the medusa's face must save WIL or be turned to stone. Averting eyes from the face prevents this effect, but impairs any damage dealt. 
  • Critical Damage: The snakes' poison paralyzes the victim (d6 DEX damage)

4 HP, 12 STR, 12 WIL, trident (d6)
  • Aquatic humanoids with fishtails instead of legs. Live in coastal waters, farming seaweed, and hunting fish.
  • Train other sea creatures to guard their homes.

9 HP, Armor 2, 13 STR, 12 WIL, bite (d6)
  • Monstrous shape-shifters that take on the form of inanimate objects made of wood and stone. Found only underground.
  • Remain motionless, generally in the form of chests or doors, attacking anything that touches it.
  • Anything that touches the mimic is stuck in the glue that it exudes. Released only if the mimic is killed.

Mind Lasher
8 HP, Armor 1, 8 STR, 12 DEX, 18 WIL, tentacle (d4), or mind blast (save)
  • Humanoid creatures with purple skin and an octopus-like head. Dwell deep underground, plotting to slave humanity. Feed on the brains of other humanoids.
  • Mind Blast: Emits a frequency that affects the brains of nearby creatures, all caught must save WIL or be paralyzed.
  • Critical Damage: The tentacle rips the victim's brain out of the skull, and the mind lasher eats it, gaining all of the victim's memories.

6 HP, Armor 1, 15 STR, 8 WIL, axe (d10) or horns (d6+d6)
  • Large, muscular humanoids with the head of a bull. Found in mazes and labyrinths. 
  • Attack other creatures on sight, pursuing until they are out of sight.

5 HP, 12 STR, 8 DEX, 8 WIL, touch (d10)
  • Undead humanoids wrapped in funerary bandages. Found in ruins of temples and tombs.
  • The first time anyone sees the mummy, it must save WIL or be paralyzed. The paralysis ends immediately if the mummy attacks or goes out of sight. 
  • Critical Damage: The mummy inflicts a disease that rots open wounds, making them impossible to heal normally. Can only be removed by magic.

6 HP, 2 Armor, 14 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, flaming hooves (d6+d6) or bite (d8)
  • Intelligent demonic horses with burning-red eyes, smoldering nostrils, and flaming hooves.
  • Breathe a thick cloud of smoke, impairing damage dealt by anyone in melee with the nightmare.
  • Sometimes are used as steeds by powerful undead creatures.

Octopus, Giant
8 HP, 14 STR, 8 WIL, tentacles (d4+d4, blast)
  • Large, eight-armed saltwater creatures. Dwell nearby coastal settlements.
  • Can attack up to 8 nearby creatures.
  • When threatened, spills a thick cloud of ink and jets away.

4 HP, Armor 1, 16 STR, 8 DEX, 8 WIL, club (d10)
  • 10' tall brute humanoids dressed in animal hides. Mostly dwell in caves.
  • Carry sacks full of gold and riches with them.

4 HP, Armor 1, 14 STR, 8 WIL, axe (d8)
  • Ugly humanoids with greyish skin, protuberant fangs, and powerful build. Animalistic and warmongering, hate other humanoids and delight in violence.
  • Can be convinced to join armies, under the promise of pillage.
  • Lair underground, sometimes along with ogres and trolls.

Owl Bear
5 HP, 15 STR, 12 WIL, bite (d8) or claws (d6+d6)
  • Huge, carnivorous bear-like creatures with the face of an owl. Found in deep dense forests.
  • Highly territorial, attack anything that comes to near.
  • Critical damage: Hug victims for d8 damage.

3 HP, 12 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL. hooves (d6+d6)
  • Intelligent winged horses, wilful and proud. Seen as symbols of beauty and nobility.
  • Can be trained to serve as mounts for lawful characters.

20 HP, 3 Armor. 12 STR, 16 DEX, 14 WIL, talons (d8+d8)
  • Giant eagle-like birds made of pure flames, found in isolated regions and only attack in self-defense. Considered holy by some cultures.
  • Unharmed by fire and heat. Emits an aura of fire that does d6 damage to anyone that comes nearby.
  • If killed, disappears into a small sphere of flames. After a round, it is reborn from its ashes and flees.

10 HP, 6 STR, 15 DEX, 12 WIL, dagger (d6)
  • Tiny humanoids with insectoid wings. Close relatives of fairies.
  • Naturally invisible, can reveal themselves if choose to.
  • Small wings only allow it to fly for short periods of time before needing to rest.

3 HP, 8 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, sting (d6)
  • Intelligent, small winged draconic creatures with a sting-tipped tail and reddish scales. Found in forests and caverns.
  • Capable of communicating telepathically with nearby creatures.
  • Critical Damage: The sting's poison leaves the victim in a comatose state for 1d6 days.

5 HP, 14 STR, 12 DEX, bite (d10+d10)
  • Massive winged reptiles that live in warm climates, hunting creatures on the ground by gliding on air currents.
  • Highly aggressive, often prey on humanoids.

Purple Worm
15 HP, 1 Armor, 18 STR, 7 WIL, bite (d8+d8) or poison sting (d8)
  • Gargantuan worms with bodies more than 100' long and 10' thick. Burrow in tunnels underground and surface to eat other creatures. Found in deserts and other drylands.
  • Victims bitten by the worm must save STR or be swallowed whole. Anything inside the worm receives 3d6 acid damage each round.
  • Critical Damage: The sting inflicts a highly lethal poison, dealing d8 extra STR damage.

7 HP, 12 DEX, 15 WIL, claws (d6+d6), 3 random spellbooks
  • Cunning spirits that take the fort of great humanoid cats. Feed on human flesh, deceiving their victims with illusions and then attacking.
  • Can read the mind of other creatures and then cloak their true form with an illusory form that the creature deems friendly.
  • A blessed weapon instantly kills a rakshasa.

11 HP, 1 Armor, 14 STR, 12 DEX, 8 WIL, bite (d8+d8)
  • Wormy-like creatures with multiple legs and eyes, long bodies, and strong, crushing maws. Dwell in frozen lands, sustained by their burning internal heat.
  • If their nests are found, eggs can be sold for high prices.
  • Critical Damage: The victim is swallowed whole, and instantly killed by the internal heat.

6 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 8 DEX, horn (d6+d6)
  • Huge, armored, herbivorous mammals. Highly territorial, dwell in warm climates.
  • With enough open ground for a clear run, it will charge its victims, enhancing damage.

Roc, Giant
30 HP, 18 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, claws (d6+d6, blast) or bite (d10+d10)
  • Gargantuan birds of prey that nest atop the highest peaks and attack anything that approaches their nests. Considered myths by most people.
  • Surprise victims by swooping down from above.
  • Can be domesticated if captured when young.

Rust Monster
5 HP, 12 DEX, 12 WIL, bite (d6) 
  • Armadillo-like creatures with long tails and two long antennae. Feed on rusted metal.
  • Any metal that touches the antennae instantly becomes rusted. Magical items are partially resistant to this effect.
  • Can smell metal at long distances.

Rust monster eyeing a tasty sword.  (Jeff Easley, from the Mentzer D&D Basic Rules Set: Players Manual, TSR, 1983.)

Well, that took a while. I lost a bit of momentum after some happenings (real life, I know, boring) but I'm back on track now. All the monsters can now also be found in the Cairn SRD (thanks Mr. Gal).

Anyway, I shall come back in a few days (hopefully in less time) with the third and final part. Until then, see ya!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Classic Monsters for Cairn/ItO, Part 1

Electric Bastionland - Deeper Into the Odd is my favorite RPG. Yes, the number 1. The rule system is super light and yet amazingly robust and complete. The setting is a beautiful mess of weirdness and curiosity, that while bringing a lot of content to the table, still leaves a lot of blank space for you to create. The Failed Careers is an amazing take on "Character Class". And to top it up, it comes with the best GM advice you gonna find out there. Chris McDowall created an amazing piece of art, and it goes without saying that you should check it out.

Did I mention it also has great art?

So when Yochai Gal adapted the ItO rules for fantasy in Cairn, of course the result was awesome. Knave-like spell system, easy to convert and run classic modules on the fly, just perfect.

One of my favorite things about it is how monsters are handled. Simple stats on a single line, paired with a few bulleted, evocative sentences to describe the creature. I started scrawling immediately.

So when I was planning to use Cairn to run B4 - The Lost City (my favorite module of the TSR), I thought: "Well, it would be cool if someone converted the classic D&D monsters to Cairn. Actually, I'm gonna do it myself!" So here we are. 

My initial plan was to write everything, put it on a PDF and upload it somewhere. But after a chunk of monsters I realized that it was waste to leave everything sitting in a document waiting for the rest to be ready. So I'm posting it in batches and I'll think about the PDF later. So, here goes the first part:

Edit: I forgot to clarify this: If the value of a certain ability is not written, it's 10.

High level cleric and druid (Jeff Easley, D&D Master Players’ Book, TSR, 1985)


4 HP, 1 Armor, 14 WIL, mace (d6), Holy Symbol (Ward once per day)

  • Holy men in a quest for their deity.

  • Normally travel in groups of 4+.


7 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 8 WIL, bite (d8)

  • Huge insectoids with multiple legs and shiny black eyes.

  • Stay burrowed just beneath the surfaces to ambush creatures walking above.

  • Squirts acid on distant enemies for d10 damage.

Ape, White

5 HP, 14 STR, claws (d6+d6)

  • Albino gorillas with nocturnal habits.

  • Defend their territory with threats and then violence.

  • Throw rocks at enemies for d6 damage.


4 HP, 14 DEX, dagger(d6)

  • Thieves who will value money over anything.

  • Use disguises, stealth, and trickery to surprise victims.


7 HP, 3 Armor, 6 STR, 12 DEX,  14 WIL, ghostly touch(d8)

  • Incorporeal feminine spirits that lingered after death and haunt the living.

  • Unharmed by cold, heat, or the elements.

  • Critical damage: Their wailing freezes the victim’s soul (d8 WIL damage)


6 HP, 12 STR, 13 DEX, bite (d10)

  • Long, magical, serpentine lizards that dwell in caverns.

  • Anyone who looks directly at them starts to get petrified.

  • Critical damage: the victim gets petrified (d8+d8 DEX damage).

Bat, Vampire

3 HP,  8 STR, bite (d8)

  • Big, flying mammals with nocturnal habits that nest in caves.

  • Unaffected by darkness or blinding effects, blinded by magical silence or constant loud noises.

  • Recover 1d4 HP after biting a victim that has blood.

Bear, Black

5 HP, 14 STR, claws (d6)

  • 6’ tall bears who eat mostly berries and roots.

  • Only attack if cornered or to protect their young.

  • Sometimes raids camps for food.

Bear, Cave

8 HP, 17 STR, claws (d10)

  • Ferocious 15’ tall carnivorous bears who live in caves.

  • Have poor eyesight, but track using smell. Follow tracks of blood.

  • Critical damage: Hug victims for d8 damage.

Bear, Grizzly

6 HP, 15 STR, claws (d8)

  • Aggressive, 9’ tall reddish-brown furred bears who live in mountains. Prefer to eat meat.

  • Frequently are found sleeping.

Bear, Polar

7 HP, 16 STR, claws (d8)

  • 11’ tall white-furred bears who live in cold regions, eat mostly fish.

  • Excellent at swimming.

  • Can move effortlessly through snow and ice.

Beetle, Fire

2 HP, 4 STR, 12 DEX, 6 WIL, bite(d4)

  • 3’ long beetles commonly found underground.

  • Emits light through glands located in the abdomens and above the eyes,

Beetle, Tiger

3 HP, 6 STR, 12 DEX, 6 WIL, bite (d6)

  • 4’ long striped beetles with strong mandibles.

  • Eats other smaller creatures but sometimes hunts humans.


4 HP, 1 armor, 14 STR, battleaxe (d10, bulky)

  • Tribal fighters who fight recklessly, never taking prisoners.

  • Can enter in battle rage, enhancing all damage dealt and received. 

Black Pudding

10 HP, 5 DEX, devouring touch (d8)

  • Huge, brainless blobs of black jelly driven by unstoppable hunger. 

  • Can only be harmed by flames.

  • Can move in walls and ceilings and squeeze through small holes.

Blink Dog

3 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d6)

  • Intelligent, fey-like dogs that live in packs.

  • Teleport away in a blink after attacking.



3 HP, 12 STR, 6 WIL, tusks (d6)

  • Omnivorous wild boars that dwell primarily in forests.

  • Not naturally aggressive, but can be dangerous if disturbed.


4 HP, 1 armor, shortsword (d6) or short bow (d6)

  • Outlaws and mercenaries who raid settlements and ambush travelers.

  • Travel in large groups of at least one detachment. 

  • For each detachment of regular brigands, there’s one leader who has chainmail (2 armor) and a longsword(d8).


4 HP, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, scimitar (d6)

  • Outlaw sailors who raid coastal settlements and board other ships.

  • Travel in large ship crews, only fighting in clear advantage, generally numerical.


4 HP, 1 Armor, 14 DEX, club (d8, bulky)

  • Large, hairy, goblinoid-like creatures.

  • Use stealth to surprise and attack their victims.


3 HP, 15 STR, bite (d6)

  • Beasts of burden native to drylands.

  • Might go weeks without water after being properly sated.

  • Moves through sand and broken ground without difficulty.

Cat, Lion

5 HP, 12 STR, 12 DEX, bite (d10)

  • Hunts in groups called pride. Live in savannahs or other similar drylands.

  • Carnivorous. Prefer to eat bovines but might hunt even humans.

  • Always chase prey that flees.

Cat, Panther

4 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d8)

  • Dark furred cats that live on forests and plains.

  • Hunts medium or small-sized animals, using their high speed in their favor.

Cat, Sabre-Toothed Tiger

8 HP, STR 15, bite (d10)

  • Huge, aggressive cats with foot-long fangs.

  • Extremely rare, generally found in regions untouched by civilization.

Cat, Tiger 

6 HP, 14 STR, 14 DEX, bite (d8)

  • Large, with striped fur. Live in woodlands and colder regions.

  • Hunt alone, using their coloration to camouflage and surprise their victims.


7 HP, 13 STR, tail(d8)

  • Monstrous creatures with a long, bony tail, a bloated body, short and stumpy legs, a long neck, and a boar-like head. Dwell in swamps.

  • Critical damage: the tail renders the victim stunned (d8 DEX damage). 

Cave Locust

2 HP, 6 STR, 12 DEX, bite (d4)

  • Giant, herbivorous crickets that dwell in caves. Easily blend into stone due to their natural coloration.

  • Emmit loud shrieks when threatened, possibly alerting other nearby creatures.

  • Immune to most types of poison.


4 HP, 1 Armor, 12 STR, 12 DEX, 13 WIL, spear or short bow (d6)

  • Creatures with the lower body and legs of a horse and the upper body and head of a human.

  • Live in small tribes hidden amidst dense forests with labyrinthic paths.

Centipede, Giant

1 HP, 6 STR, 6 WIL, bite (d4)

  • 1’ long centipedes that live in damp, underground places.

  • Critical damage: their deadly poison hinders the target incapacitated for up to 10 days (save STR once a day to recover).


9 HP, 14 STR, bite (d6+d6+d6, blast)

  • Three-headed flying monstrosities, hybrid of lion, goat, and dragon.

  • The draconic head breaths fire in a cone for d10 damage.


5 HP, 8 STR, 12 DEX, beak (d6)

  • Small, hybrid creatures resembling chickens with reptilian features.

  • Critical damage: the victim gets petrified (d8+d8 DEX damage).


9 HP, 15 WIL, bite (d6)

  • Long, feathered serpents with colorful wings. Live in hot jungles and are considered divine by native people.

  • Highly intelligent and magical, are capable of speaking multiple languages. 

  • Shapechanger: may take the form of beasts and humanoids.

Crab, Giant

3 HP, 3 Armor, 11 STR, 4 DEX, pincers (d8)

  • Huge crustaceans that live in coastal areas and mindlessly attack anything that comes near.

  • Their heavy carapace makes them notably sturdy but slow and unable to swim.

Crocodile, Giant

15 HP, 1 Armor, 17 STR, 8 DEX, bite (d10+d10)

  • 50’ long, extremely rare reptiles found on unexplored fluvial regions.

  • Attracted to the scent of blood or movement in the water.

  • Can easily destroy smaller ships with their crushing bite.

Crocodile, Large

6 HP, 1 Armor, 14 STR, 8 DEX, bite (d8)

  • 20’ long, may attack small boats and canoes.

  • Attracted to the scent of blood or heavy movement in the water.

  • Swim silently just under the surface to ambush victims.


13 HP, 18 STR, 8 DEX, 6 WIL, club (d10)

  • Giant humanoids with a single large eye centered on the face. Dwell in caves and herd small animals.

  • Slow-witted, can easily be fooled by other intelligent beings.

Deep Ones

4 HP, 11 STR, 8 DEX, 12 WIL, dagger (d6)

  • Amphibious, fish-headed humanoids with webbed fingers. Live in deep seas and are able to see in the darkness.

  • Highly resistant to magical effects.

  • Occasionally surface to trade with coastal settlements, frequently requesting union between one of them and a human.

Demon Knight

10 HP, 3 Armor, 16 STR, 8 DEX, 12 WIL, longsword (d8), Unholy Symbol (Hatred when bathed in blood)

  • Once holy warriors who fell to the temptation of dark powers that they now serve in undeath. Rides nightmarish steeds into battle.

  • Lesser undead creatures mindlessly follow their command.

  • Their evil aura frightens anyone who comes into nearby range.


10 HP, 1 armor, 15 DEX, fists(d8)

  • Tall, cloudy humanoids from the plane of air. Highly intelligent, use invisibility and illusions to trick other beings.

  • May transform into a whirlwind, sweeping everything on its path.

  • Capable of granting wishes, the result always is distorted based on the wording of the wish. 

Dog, Hunting

2 HP, 12 DEX, bite (d6)

  • Bulky, domestic-only breeds with a ferocious nature.

  • Track by scent. Once started, very

difficult to put off the trail.

  • Only attack at their owner’s command.

Dog, War

3 HP, 1 Armor, 12 STR, bite (d8)

  • Large breeds selected by their bulk and strength.

  • Not scared by noise or battle.

Dog, Wild

3 HP, 12 DEX, bite (d6)

  • Wild dogs that roam in forests in large packs.

  • While in packs of at least 4 dogs, morale checks are made with advantage.

Dragon, Black

11 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 16 DEX, 14 WIL, bite (d10+d10)

  • Cruel, amphibious dragons who dwell in swamps and marshes.

  • Attack by separating their victims and killing them one by one.

  • Breathes acid in a long line for d10 damage to all caught, corroding wood and cloth. 

Dragon, Blue

13 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 17 WIL, bite (d10+d10)

  • Proud dragons that dwell in deserts and other drylands.

  • Extremely vain, often take victims as slaves to adore them.

  • Breathes lightning in a long line for d10 damage to all caught. 

Dragon, Brass

11 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 19 WIL, bite (d8+d8)

  • Charismatic, good-aligned dragons who hide their hoards in dunes of sand.

  • Highly value conversations, frequently shapechanges into humanoids to interact with adventurers.

  • Breathes gas in a cone, targets affected fall asleep or flee in fear.

Dragon, Bronze

13 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 14 DEX, 14 WIL, bite (d8+d8)

  • Coastal dwelling, good dragons who eat mostly fish and aquatic plants.

  • Shapechange into small beasts to watch nearby wildlife and passing ships.

  • Breathes lightning on a line for d10 damage or repulsion gas in a cone, pushing victims away. 

Dragon, Copper

12 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 14 DEX, 18 WIL, bite (d8+d8)

  • Good aligned dragons that dwell in dry, rocky regions.

  • Appreciate jokes and riddles, frequently prank passing travelers.

  • Breathes acid in a cone for d10 damage or slowing gas, halving the movement of all affected.

Dragon, Gold

15 HP, 3 Armor, 18 STR, 13 DEX, 16 WIL, bite (d10+d10)

  • Majestic, reserved dragons with dark golden scales. Can be found anywhere, but nest atop mountains, feeding of jewels and other minerals.

  • Master shapechangers, can take the form of any humanoid or animal.

  • Breath fire in a massive cone for d10 damage to all caught.

Dragon, Green

12 HP, 2 Armor, 15 STR, 18 WIL, bite (d8+d8)

  • Treacherous, scheming forest-dwelling amphibious dragons.  

  • Highly cunning, value the victims they tricked and their power of influence more than any hoard of gold.

  • Breathes a thick cloud of poisonous gas for d10 damage to all caught.

Dragon. Red

15 HP, 3 Armor, 18 STR, 12 DEX, 16 WIL, bite (d10+d10)

  • Gargantuan, proud, greedy, and cruel. Guarding their massive hoards atop the highest mountains, these are the most dangerous dragons of existence.

  • Arrogant and tyrannical, act on impulse when angered, frequently wiping out civilizations as a show of power.

  • Breathes fire in a cone for d12 damage to all caught in the flames. 

Dragon, Silver

13 HP, 3 Armor, 16 STR, 14 WIL, bite (d8+d8)

  • Noble and selfless dragons, with shining scales rescinding of a knight's armor. Dwell at the top of cold mountains.

  • Frequently deals with humans, going through great efforts to help those in need.

  • Breathe a line of cold dealing d10 damage and potentially paralyzing those caught.

Dragon, White

11 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, bite (d8+d8)

  • Ferocious, primal dragons that dwell in cold regions. Hunt dangerous prey and keep their bodies as trophies.

  • Effortlessly crosses snow and ice.

  • Breathes freezing cold for d10 Damage to all in the blast, freezing any liquids and creating an icy surface.

Dragon Turtle

30 HP, 3 Armor, 20 STR, 6 DEX, bite (d10+d10)

  • Gargantuan sea monsters with the shell of a turtle and draconic features. Lurk in deep oceans and can be mistaken for a small island when on the surface.

  • Attack ships, sinking them to add any treasure to their massive underwater hoards.

  • Breathes large clouds of steam, clogging visions and damaging all inside for d8 damage.


6 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d6)

  • Hybrid monstrosities resulting from the transformation ritual of the servants of the drow spider deity. Have the 8 legs of a giant spider and the upper body and head of the drow. 

  • Hunt on underworld caverns, eating the blood of paralyzed victims. Frequently accompanied by giant spiders.

  • Critical Damage: The poison paralyzes the victim’s body (d6 DEX damage).

Diver Ant

3 HP, 12 DEX, bite (d6)

  • Giant, omnivorous black ants that build their colonies deep underground.

  • When hungry, they will consume anything in their path.

  • Once in melee combat, it will not stop attacking its victim until dead.


4 HP, 8 STR, 14 DEX, 12 WIL, shortsword (d6), a Spellbook (choose one: Web, Spider Climb, or Night Sphere)

  • Elvish humanoids of dark skin and hair of silver and white. Live deep in the underworld and feverishly worship strange deities.

  • Can see perfectly in the dark, but are blinded by bright light.

  • Wander in groups, frequently accompanied by giant spiders.


4 HP, 14 WIL, unarmed (d4)

  • Shy, peaceful tree spirits whose manifest in a beautiful female form.

  • Spiritually bound with a tree, may disappear by joining with the tree again. Can’t go too far away from it and dies if the tree dies.

  • Charm strangers that come near. Charmed creatures mindlessly walk into the tree, disappearing forever if not rescued quickly.


4 HP, 1 Armor, 14 STR, 8 WIL, Warhammer (d10, bulky)

  • Scrawny dwarven creatures with grey skin and ugly visages. Dwell in underworld strongholds and are known for their avarice.

  • Can see perfectly in the dark, but are blinded by bright light.

  • Surprise victims using their ability to turn invisible for a short time.


4 HP, 2 Armor, 14 STR, hammer (d8)

  • Short and bulky, bearded humanoids who dwell in mountains and underground.

  • Can see perfectly in low-light and partially in darkness.

  • Highly resistant to poison and disease.


10 HP, 15 STR, 14 WIL, flaming sword (d10, bulky)

  • Highly intelligent beings from the elemental plane of fire. Manifest as huge men with terrifying faces and an aura of heat and smoke.

  • May transform into a pillar or wall of flames, burning everything it touches.

  • Might be summoned by powerful magic and ordered to complete tasks, but will subvert commands while following them to the letter.

Elemental, Air

16 HP, 11 STR, 15 DEX, 8 WIL, wind blow (d8)

  • Huge, living vortexes of whirling air. 

  • Sweep away lighter creatures with their strong winds.

  • Harm aerial creatures by disrupting their flight.

Elemental, Earth

12 HP, 3 Armor, 16 STR, 8 DEX, fist (d10)

  • Huge humanoid beings made of earth and stone.

  • Create small earth tremors with their natural strength.

  • Can meld into the earth and move through it as if swimming. 

Elemental, Fire

16 HP, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, blow (d8)

  • Living columns of pure flame that burn everything in their path.

  • Highly vulnerable to being touched by water or rain.

  • Can scatter their flames, freely changing its form.

Elemental, Water

12 HP, 2 armor, 15 STR, blow (d8)

  • Huge waves of flowing water.

  • Must stay near a body of water. 

  • Envelop victims inside their forms to drown then.


9 HP, 16 STR, 6 DEX, tusks (d8)

  • Large tusked animals that dwell near hot forests. Found both alone and in herds.

  • With enough open ground for a clear run, it will charge its victims, enhancing damage.

  • Its tusks can be sold for high amounts of gold if removed whole.


4 HP, 1 Armor, 8 STR, 14 DEX, 14 WIL, shortswords (d6+d6) or longbow (d8), a Spellbook (choose one: Charm or Detect Magic)

  • Slender, long-lived, fey humanoids with pointed ears. Live in harmony with nature, adapting to it instead of conquering.

  • Highly resistant to charming and mind-controlling effects.


10 HP, 16 STR, 6 WIL, club (d10)

  • Two-headed giant kin of low intelligence and aggressive behavior. Lay underground and only act in darkness.

  • One head it’s always vigilant, preventing being surprised.

Eye of Terror

12 HP, 12 STR, 8 DEX, 16 WIL, bite (d8+d8)

  • Floating spheres with a large maw, one big central eye, and several small eyes on stalks scattered through the body. Scheming and greedy, lair deep underground.

  • Cancels any magic effect in a nearby range facing its central eye.

  • The eyestalks cast one of those spells each round randomly: (1-Charm, 2-Phobia, 3-Telekinesis, 4-Sleep, 5-Shuffle, 6-Vision)

Fish, Giant Catfish

8 HP, 14 STR, bite (d8+d8)

  • Pale, 15’ long fish that lurk in the mud at the bottom of lakes and rivers.

  •  Attack creatures that swim above their hiding spot.

Fish, Giant Electric Eel

2 HP, 12 DEX, bite (d6)

  • 9’ long eels that live in warm, clear water. 

  • Able to emit an electric shock, damaging all in the nearby water for d10.

Fish, Giant Pike

4 HP, 14 DEX, bite (d6+d6)

  • 10’ long, aggressive hunting fish. Dwell in deep lakes. 

  • Use their great speed to surprise victims.

Fish, Giant Piranha

3 HP, 12 DEX, bite (d8)

  • 5’ long piranhas with colorful scales. Live in rivers and attack anything in the water.

  • Dwell in large groups and overwhelm victims by swarming them.

  • Once it smells blood, it will not stop attacking.

Fish, Giant Rockfish

5 HP, 1 Armor, 12 STR, spine (d6)

  • Spiny fish with rock-like scales. Live in saltwater. Normally passive, but attacks if disturbed.

  • Camouflages in rocks and coral formations.

  • Critical damage: The spines release a highly lethal poison (d4 extra STR damage).

Fish, Giant Sturgeon

10 HP, 2 Armor. 14 STR

  • Huge, 30’ long, aggressive armored fish.

  • Swallow its victims whole if able.

Fish, Giant Swordfish

3 HP, 12 DEX, sword (d8)

  • Long saltwater fish with a bone sword on the snout. Mostly peaceful.

  • The bone sword might be used as a longsword(d8) if removed whole.

Flail Snail

4 HP, 2 Armor, 14 STR, 6 DEX, tentacles (d8+d8)

  • Giant snails with heavy, club-like tentacles and a colorful shell. Dwell underground.

  • Its colorful shell can deflect magic, possibly annulling it or reflecting it to its caster.


6 HP, 14 STR, 8 DEX, 12 WIL, claws (d6+d6)

  • Magical creatures that look like monstrous, horned, winged statues. 

  • Guard places by standing still to pass like inanimate statues and attacking anything that comes near.

  • Cannot be charmed and put to sleep.

Gelatinous Cube

6 HP, 16 STR, 8 DEX, 4 WIL, touch (d8)

  • Large cubes of transparent jelly, dwell in dungeons absorbing items and living creatures. 

  • May go undetected due to being transparent.

  • Critical damage: Its touch paralyzes victims (d6 DEX damage).


4 HP, 12 STR, WIL 6, claws (d6+d6)

  • Grotesque, humanoid undead that craves eating flesh. Found in packs of Ghouls.

  • Exhale a strong stench, nauseating nearby living creatures.

  • Critical damage: Paralyzes victims (d6 DEX damage). After paralyzing a victim, it moves to another target.


10 HP, 3 Armor, 14 WIL, draining touch (d6)

  • Incorporeal spirits of the restless dead.

  • Can possess victims that fail a WIL save, taking control of their bodies.

  • Critical damage: Drains the victim’s life force (d6 extra STR damage).


3 HP, 6 WIL, claws (d6)

  • Grotesque, mindless, humanoid undead that craves the flesh of the living. Frequently found in large groups.

  • Critical damage: Paralyzes victims (d6 DEX damage). After paralyzing a victim, it moves to another target.

Giant, Cloud

12 HP, 1 Armor, 19 STR, 12 DEX, 18 WIL, morningstar(d8+d8)

  • 20’ tall humanoids with hair and skin in tones of grey and white. House in castles built atop the highest mountains or floating in cloud banks.

  • Cannot be surprised due to its keen sight and smell senses.

  • Can envelop itself in a wind aura, impairing missile attacks.

Giant, Fire

11 HP, 3 Armor, 17 STR, 8 DEX, greatsword (d10+d10)

  • 16’ tall humanoids with red hair and charcoal skin. Wear heavy armor made of brass, bronze or copper. Dwell in fortresses built near volcanoes.

  • Masters of craft and war, know how to forge the finest weaponry.

  • Immune to fire and heat.

Giant, Frost

10 HP, 2 Armor, 18 STR, 12 WIL, greataxe (d8+d8)

  • 18’ tall humanoids with blue-ish skin and pale hair. Wear furs and iron armor.

  • Unharmed by cold and ice.

  • Excellent trackers, hunt accompanied by dire wolves.

Giant, Hill

8 HP, 15 STR, 6 WIL, great club (d8+d8)

  • 12’ tall, hairy and brutish humanoids. Dwell in hills and plains. 

  • Low intelligence, relies only on its ferocity. 

  • Frequently attack settlements for food.

Giant, Stone

9 HP, 2 Armor, 16 STR, 14 DEX, stone club (d8+d8)

  • 14’ tall slender humanoids with stone-like gray skin. Dwell in caverns or build primitive homes of stone in valleys.

  • Attack victims by throwing rocks at them from far away.

  • Can easily camouflage into stone.

Giant, Storm

15 HP, 2 Armor, 20 STR, 14 DEX, 18 WIL, greatsword (d10+d10)

  • 22’ tall humanoids with bronze-hued skin and light-colored hair. Live in mountain peaks and deep waters.

  • Unharmed by lightning, can summon storms at their will.

  • Can summon lightning bolts to attack nearby enemies for d12 damage.


4 HP, 1 Armor, 12 STR, 8 WIL, spear or short bow (d6)

  • Monstrous humanoid hyenas of low intelligence. Legend says they were created in a wizard’s experiments.

  • Attack in large packs, intimidating its victims with numbers.

  • Critical damage: the gnoll enters in a rampage after tasting blood, making another attack immediately.


4 HP, 8 STR, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, crossbow (d8, bulky)

  • Short humanoids with long noses and pointed ears. Live underground or deep in forests.

  • Highly intelligent tinkers. Can easily be convinced by the promise of something valuable or uncommon.

  • Can see well in the darkness or low light.


4 HP, 8 STR, 12 DEX, 8 WIL, dagger or short bow (d6)

  • Small, grotesque humanoids with skin in earthly tones of green, brown, and grey.

  • Avoid combat, only attacking when in advantage, using hit-and-run tactics.

  • Sometimes are found using dire wolves as mounts.

Golem, Amber

10 HP, 3 Armor, 16 STR, 12 DEX, 14 WIL, claws (d8)

  • Artificial constructs made in the shape of giant felines. Created by wizards in a slow and complex process.

  • Track without error, able to see invisible creatures nearby.

  • Immune to mundane attacks, gas, and mind-controlling effects.

Golem, Bone

8 HP, 2 Armor, 15 STR, 8 WIL, arms (d8, blast)

  • 6’ tall humanoid constructs made of human bone. Have 4 arms spread around their torso.

  • Immune to mundane attacks, fire, cold, and electricity.

Golem, Bronze

20 HP, 3 Armor, 20 STR, 8 DEX, 11 WIL, fists (d10+d10)

  • Towering constructs made of pure bronze. Reassemble fire giants, and emanate strong heat.

  • Immune to mundane attacks and fire.

  • When it suffers slashing or piercing damage to its STR, spurts a burning liquid, damaging the attacker for 2d6.

Golem, Clay

11 HP, 2 Armor, 15 STR, 7 DEX, 8 WIL, fists (d8)

  • 8’ tall humanoid statues made of baked clay and animated by dark magics. 

  • Immune to mundane attacks and fire. Resistant to weapon damage that is not bludgeoning. 

  • Critical Damage: Inflicts a curse on the victim, STR cannot be healed until the curse is lifted.

Golem, Flesh

9 HP, 1 Armor, 15 STR, 8 DEX, 8 WIL, fists (d8)

  • 7’ tall humanoid abominations made of flesh stitched together. 

  • Immune to mundane attacks, fire, and cold.

  • Absorb electricity damage received, healing HP by the same amount instead.

Golem, Iron

18 HP, 3 Armor, 18 STR, 8 WIL, sword (d10+d10)

  • 12’ humanoid statues forged with fire and magic. Wield massive swords of iron. 

  • Immune to mundane attacks, electricity, and cold.

  • Absorb electricity damage, healing HP by the same amount instead.

  • Absorb electricity damage received, healing HP by the same amount instead.

Golem, Stone

14 HP, 3 Armor, 17 STR, 8 DEX, fists (d10)

  • 10’ tall animated statues carved from pure stone.

  • Immune to mundane attacks, fire, cold, and electricity.

  • Emits a magic aura that slows the movement of nearby creatures. 

Stone Golem (David Sutherland, AD&D Monster Manual by Gary Gygax, TSR, 1977)

I think I'm going to make it 3 or 4 parts, but who knows. Also is important to say that I'm using OSE as reference, because probably looking at 1e PDFs this much would make my eyes bleed.

Enjoy it, and until next time!