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How do you handle using a different race for common Monsters?

Here's the scenario: I'd like to populate a Gith prison with a lot more Gith guards and whatnot, however the party is of a level where too many of a Githyanki Warrior would be very, very dangerous. Already it will hopefully be mostly a stealth mission, but I'd like to have them be able to have the potential for the entire compound to descend upon them and not immediately kill everyone.

So my thought was using some stats for normal NPC monsters like "Guard" and "Thug", but having them be Gith. However, it seems like most of the Gith have the addition of "Innate Spellcasting" with spells of "Jump, misty step, nondetection, tongues, plane shift, and telekinesis". Would you add those to the "Guard" statblock to make it a "Gith Guard"?

In a more general sense, how do you reskin Monsters for use in other environments/settings?
 

MarkB

Hero
The alternative to making generic guards more gith-y is to make gith more minion-y. Take the Gith Warrior stat block, halve its hit points, shave a couple of points off its attack bonus and AC, drop its damage die a step or two and you'll have a serviceable mook.
 

lowkey13

I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that.
Here's the scenario: I'd like to populate a Gith prison with a lot more Gith guards and whatnot, however the party is of a level where too many of a Githyanki Warrior would be very, very dangerous. Already it will hopefully be mostly a stealth mission, but I'd like to have them be able to have the potential for the entire compound to descend upon them and not immediately kill everyone.

So my thought was using some stats for normal NPC monsters like "Guard" and "Thug", but having them be Gith. However, it seems like most of the Gith have the addition of "Innate Spellcasting" with spells of "Jump, misty step, nondetection, tongues, plane shift, and telekinesis". Would you add those to the "Guard" statblock to make it a "Gith Guard"?

In a more general sense, how do you reskin Monsters for use in other environments/settings?
I'm going to push back on this idea a little (while also recommending what @MarkB wrote if you want to go that way).

Do you like gith? Because you don't want to inverse ninja law them.

If an entire compound of Gith descends on the party, then either the party will die or get captured (most likely). Personally, I would recommend re-thinking this, unless the party has some sort of "get out of jail free" card - an ability to escape if things go south via magic, for example.

I tend to not make tough and iconic monsters into mooks because I don't want to lessen the value of having them. Put another way- One Dalek is a challenge; a million daleks is just another forgettable Dr. Who season finale.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
I'm in general agreement with not mookifying the gith guards. That there is a threat of the jailers descending en masse is a problem for the players to consider and solve, not really for the DM to essentially solve for them ahead of time by weakening the threat.

As long as you make clear that these guys aren't pushovers by some hopefully evocative yet reasonably clear description, then it's a fair challenge in my view and the players will have to plan and set their expectations accordingly.

The only thing I might do is create some kind of "threat meter" mechanic that the players can see that ticks up or ticks down based on character actions. That way they can judge how effective or ineffective they are being as they conduct their business. Dead in Thay has something like this.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
This is what I’d do. Someone mentioned there’s a Gith PC race in MToF. I don’t have it, but I would use the racial traits from that and apply them to any NPC stat block.
I do this quite a lot. I just don't do it to turn things into mooks. To some extent I share the sentiment that iconic badasses should get a little more respectful treatment. :)
 

Hriston

Explorer
I do this quite a lot. I just don't do it to turn things into mooks. To some extent I share the sentiment that iconic badasses should get a little more respectful treatment. :)
I agree that in some cases it isn’t appropriate and that this may very well be one of those cases. I’d have to think about it. For example, I’d never make a bugbear commoner. The bugbear in the MM is the commoner!
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I modify monsters all the time, but it's almost always to increase threat level, not lower it. When I have done it, I've given some in-world explanation. If it really makes sense for the group to be fighting a dragon, it's been beaten up and is half dead or it's been shackled (with it's mouth chained shut) to limit what it can do.

In a case like this, I could justify it as the guards being "commoner" gith. The only gith people normally encounter are the best of the best, raiders that are significantly more dangerous than the typical guard. Normally the only gith people encounter are part of the special forces.

Or just use slave races like the others are saying.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
I'd go with what @Paul Farquhar and @S'mon have said: the Gith have hired/indentured/enslaved other lower level creatures to help with the guarding. Maybe start by focusing on lawful evil humanoids as your options: hobgoblins, kobolds, human cultists, duergar, or maybe even meazels (kind of a Dr. Seussified Gith-ish-looking creature in MTF).
 

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