D&D 5E Brainstorming: Getting Rid of the Monstrosity Creature Type

DND_Reborn

Legend
I'll just say "No, I wouldn't do it. Monstrosities are pretty clear to me. They aren't beasts or anything else."

Said my piece. Bowing out. Good luck in your discussions.
 

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Vaalingrade

Legend
One important reason to get rid of Monstrosity is to get rid of this weird vibe D&D often ends up promoting is that the D&D world is Earth with just a thin fantasy candy shell; that the fantasy part isn't that deep and can easily be discarded and discounted.

It's not just intentional magic mis-mash creatures who are 'monstrosities', it's any non-Earth animal because anything actual fantastical can't be 'natural' even in a world where magic itself is naturally occurring.
 


Yaarel

Mind Mage
I do think there is potential in still keeping the Monstrosity as a creature type, but it has to be better defined, rather than the place to put a creature that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Also, tempted to add a new creature type ... Kaiju. For the Tarrasque, Astral Dreadnought
I like that alot!

Kaiju is obviously a beast but is too big to be a natural Beast. Perhaps it can even have magical features.

Actually, I think kaiju represents well, most of the creatures that I found difficult to categorize.

Heh, one could easily argue that "Kaiju" is the same thing as "Monstrosity". But. The concept of kaiju makes it clearer which creatures actually are one and which arent.
 

Except IMO there needs to be a dividing line between real-world natural creatures (horses, elephants, robins, etc.) and fantastic natural creatures (gryphons, chimerae, direwolves, etc.)
Why? Why can't we have a fantasy world with hypothetical fantasy animals that nevertheless are 'plausible' in a sense that they roughly follow normal biological limitations? Why is an owlbear a monstrosity but a platypus is not? Also, dire wolves are literally real extinct animals.
 
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One important reason to get rid of Monstrosity is to get rid of this weird vibe D&D often ends up promoting is that the D&D world is Earth with just a thin fantasy candy shell; that the fantasy part isn't that deep and can easily be discarded and discounted.

It's not just intentional magic mis-mash creatures who are 'monstrosities', it's any non-Earth animal because anything actual fantastical can't be 'natural' even in a world where magic itself is naturally occurring.
Yep. There is no particular reason for a fictional world have the same fauna that our Earth, except ease of referencing. For my current world I intentionally altered the real animals a bit (many of which were prehistoric) and invented some new ones, to give it a feel of "this is not Earth." It is mostly just flavour, but flavour is important. The same reason than for hawing a world with multiple moons and suns etc.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Why? There isn't one between real-world natural creatures and their fantastical giant versions. 5e Owls and a Giant Owl that has its own language both count as beasts. And real-world creatures that used to exist (dinosaurs, mammoths) but are now extinct are also beasts.

That's also easily solved by not letting the Druid turn into the Monster Manual's versions of the monsters. People at WotC have indicated before that the PHB version of a Druid's Wild Shape will probably get the same treatment that summoning spells got in Tasha's. That problem will probably be solved in the 2024 PHB, so you wouldn't have to change the classifications to make druids balanced anymore.
Your druid solve is controversial, as some folks really prefer to turn into an existing creature in the game, as opposed to a mechanical statblock invented for the purpose of turning into something like an existing creature but not really cause of game balance. At least, I feel that way.

Of course, they did the same with familiars (for some reason) and people seem ok with that, so what do I know?
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
Yep. There is no particular reason for a fictional world have the same fauna that our Earth, except ease of referencing. For my current world I intentionally altered the real animals a bit (many of which were prehistoric) and invented some new ones, to give it a feel of "this is not Earth." It is mostly just flavour, but flavour is important. The same reason than for hawing a world with multiple moons and suns etc.
For one, ease of referencing is a real thing. So is categorizing creatures so you know what affects what. Of course, anyone can create or re-categorize to their heart's content in their own game. I just don't think the benefit outweighs the cost in this instance.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I do think there is potential in still keeping the Monstrosity as a creature type, but it has to be better defined, rather than the place to put a creature that doesn't fit elsewhere.

Also, tempted to add a new creature type ... Kaiju. For the Tarrasque, Astral Dreadnought
Now that is an idea I can get behind!
 

Your druid solve is controversial, as some folks really prefer to turn into an existing creature in the game, as opposed to a mechanical statblock invented for the purpose of turning into something like an existing creature but not really cause of game balance. At least, I feel that way.
It's kinda tricky. I don't think it is important for the druid animal form to have the exact same stats than the MM version, animals are varied individuals too after all, but I feel it should mostly have the same features, traits etc. If you turn into giant snake, you should be able to constrict, if you turn into a venomous scorpion, you should have a poison sting, you should have the same senses than the MM version and so forth. It should basically feel and play like the same type of an animal, even if the numbers might be slightly different.

Of course, they did the same with familiars (for some reason) and people seem ok with that, so what do I know?
They did? AFAIK familiars use MM versions, which is actually weird as according to the fluff it is not even a real animal, just some spirit that takes a form of an animal. Yet somehow its mental stats change according to the form it takes...
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
It's kinda tricky. I don't think it is important for the druid animal form to have the exact same stats than the MM version, animals are varied individuals too after all, but I feel it should mostly have the same features, traits etc. If you turn into giant snake, you should be able to constrict, if you turn into a venomous scorpion, you should have a poison sting, you should have the same senses than the MM version and so forth. It should basically feel and play like the same type of an animal, even if the numbers might be slightly different.


They did? AFAIK familiars use MM versions, which is actually weird as according to the fluff it is not even a real animal, just some spirit that takes a form of an animal. Yet somehow its mental stats change according to the form it takes...
I'm talking about the fluff. They used to be a real animal.
 

For one, ease of referencing is a real thing. So is categorizing creatures so you know what affects what. Of course, anyone can create or re-categorize to their heart's content in their own game. I just don't think the benefit outweighs the cost in this instance.
But it is completely arbitrary. Giant scorpions and giant spiders are beasts, yet horse sized spiders and scorpions never were a thing. Dire wolf is a beast, yet very similar worg is a monstrosity. Worg is a bit smarter than a real canine, but a giant eagle as smart as a fighter, yet is a beast. But then again a roc, which is basically an even bigger eagle is a monstrosity. o_O

I don't necessarily mind the monstrosity category, I don't think basilisk for example is a normal animal, but the current logic of categorisation doesn't make much sense.
 
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Micah Sweet

Legend
But it is completely arbitrary. Giant scorpions and giant spiders are beasts, yet horse sized spiders and scorpions never were a thing. Dire wolf is a beast, yet very similar worg is a monstrosity. Worg is a bit smarter than a real canine, but a giant eagle as smart as a fighter, yet is a beast. But then again roc, which is basically an even bigger eagle is a monstrosity. o_O

I don't necessarily mind the monstrosity category, I don't think basilisk for example is a normal animal, but the current logic of categorisation doesn't make much sense.
I get that. They should have picked a side and made it less arbitrary. For example, I'm cool with real creatures, past or present, and those clearly closely derived from real creatures be classified as beasts. I think Level Up did that and, if they didn't, I will.

None of that says the classification of monstrosity shouldn't exist. They just should have done a better job with it. Hardly the only thing that falls into that category for me.
 




Yaarel

Mind Mage
Is there a consensus about certain creature types?

Here I list the creature by type. If you feel that a creature doesnt fit as well as the others in this type, call it out, and we an figure out exactly what it is.



Beast
(material origin, Intelligence 5 or lower, strictly nonmagical, able to actually or hypothetically exist in reallife)
Beast origin
(anthropomorphic animal, typically a Humanoid)

• Bulette
• Death Dog
• Grick
• Griffon
• Hippogriff
• Owlbear (nonmagical beast; but 4e Fey, and 1e experimental hybrid)
• Piercer
• Roper (relating to piercer; but in 4e is Aberration, warping rock)
• Worg

Kaiju (Monstrosity)
(beastlike, Intelligence 5 or lower, but unnatural because of impossible size or some magic, such as relating natural stone, earth, metal, crystal, ice, water, air, weather, fire, lightning, sunlight, or plants)

• Ankheg (insect size)
• Basilisk (stone magic)
• Behir (lightning magic)
• Carrion Crawler (insect size)
• Chimera (fire magic, Fiend origin)
• Cockatrice (stone magic)
• Gorgon (metal exoskeleton, stone magic)
• Hydra (extreme regeneration, Dragon origin)
• Mimic (shapechanging)
• Purple Worm (worm size)
• Remorhaz (fire magic, insect size)
• Roc (bird size)
• Rust Monster (metal magic)
• Tarrasque (size, possibly earth magic)
• Winter Wolf (ice magic)

Other creature types:

Aberration

(any native of the farrealm astral dominion, typically exhibiting an aura that inflicts in targets a malignant shapechanging and Evil psychological corruption; note creatures created by aberration magic are typically also Aberrations rather than having an Aberration origin)

Celestial (Supernal)
(any native of a supernal astral dominion; typically Good or at least non-Evil)

• Guardian Naga (Celestial, Humanoid, Beast Origin)
• Sphynx (Celestial, Humanoid, Beast origin)

Dragon
(a specific kind of Beast origin, always a snake blending other kinds of Beasts, such as eagle/bat or lion/wolf/fish, but of high Intelligence and capable of magic effects, ultimately relating to a primordial period during the creation of the material plane; arguably, snakes originate from dragons; note, a nonmagical dragonlike Beast is a "drake", or might be a dinosaur)
Dragon origin
(a creature descending from a Dragon, such as Humanoid dragonborn, or created by Dragon magic, such as Kaiju hydra)

Elemental
(any creature that is MADE OUT OF natural stone, earth, crystal, ice, water, air, weather, fire, lightning, sunlight, stars, planets, or plants)
Elemental origin
(any creature created by the magic of an elemental or immigrating from an elemental plane)

Ethereal
(any native of the ethereal plane spirit world)
Ethereal origin
(any creature created by ethereal magic or immigrating from the ethereal plane)

• Phase Spider (?) (Beast origin, Ethereal origin; might be a Kaiju if Intelligence 5, but has Intelligence 6)

Fey
(any native of the feywild spirit world)
Fey origin
(any creature created by fey magic or immigrating from the feywild)

• Centaur (Humanoid, Beast origin)
• Displacer Beast (Kaiju)

Fiend (Infernal)
(any native of an infernal astral dominions; typically Evil)
Fiend origin
(any creature that is typically Evil that was created by an astral dominion; note, sometimes a typically Good supernal dominion creates such an Evil creature)

• Spirit Naga (Fiend, Humanoid, Beast origin)

Giant
(specific kind of elemental, native to material plane, typically Humanoid, but sometimes shapechanging into a beastlike or other form)
Titan
(a subtype of Giant, typically relating to the astral dominions during the primordial period of the creation of the material plane)

• Kraken (Giant, Titan subtype, Fiend origin, Beast origin)
• Yeti (Humanoid, Beast origin, ice magic; Huge, arguably Giant)

Humanoid
(any creature of Intelligence 6 or higher, that is a unique individual within a group that has a culture, typically with humanlike bipedal body, but necessarily having hand-like means and an instinct to manipulate the environment)

• Doppleganger (Humanoid, Fey origin if relating to changeling)
• Drider (Humanoid, Fey origin, Fiend origin, Beast origin)
• Ettercap (Humanoid, Beast origin)
• Harpy (Humanoid, Fey origin, Fiend origin)
• Hook Horror (Humanoid, Beast origin)
• Lamia (Humanoid, possibly Fey or Fiend origin)
• Manticore (?) (thumbs, language, culture, Beast origin)
• Medusa (Humanoid, Fiend origin)
• Merrow (Humanoid, Beast origin, relating to merfolk)
• Minotaur (Humanoid, Beast origin, possibly Fiend origin)
• Umber Hulk (Humanoid, Beast origin, possibly Elemental origin)
• Yuan-ti (Humanoid, Beast origin, Fiend origin)

Material
(any native of the material plane, having a body made out of physical matter; Material is the default planar origin and is normally unmentioned and is assumed unless mentioning a different planar origin)

Shadow
(any native of the shadowfell spirit world; note, all undead are shadow, but many deathly shadow creatures have never known true life thus are not undead)
Shadow origin
(any creature created by the deathly shadow magic or immigrating from the shadowfell)

• Darkmantle (Shadow, Kaiju, darkness magic)
• Peryton (?) (Shadow origin, deathly magic reproduction; might be a Kaiju if Int 5 but is too intelligent 9)
 
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Synthil

Explorer
It could make sense in that group, but my core for the owlbear is the original magical experimentation angle, so they really have to be a miscellaneous for me.
What difference does that make? If the experimentation didn't give them some unnatural/magical abilities, they're still just beasts. Otherwise, Warforged, the Simic Hybrid and the Oblex would need to be classified as monstrosities too.
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
What difference does that make? If the experimentation didn't give them some unnatural/magical abilities, they're still just beasts. Otherwise, Warforged, the Simic Hybrid and the Oblex would need to be classified as monstrosities too.
It makes a difference to me and my story of D&D. When something falls into more than one category, you make a choice. Different people make different choices, and that's ok.
 

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