log in or register to remove this ad

 

Blog (A5E) Level Up’s Monsters: Ecology

In another post, I talked about the updates we’re making to monster stat blocks in Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition. Today, I want to talk about the changes we’re making to the rest of the monster entry.

RPG bestiaries generally accompany a monster’s game statistics with an essay about the monster’s appearance, ecology, lore, and place in the world. We’re doing that too! I hope that most of our monster descriptions will include a twist, re-interpretation, or story seed that you haven’t seen before and that you’ll find useful. But our monster information isn’t limited to these (hopefully inspiring) essays.


To_Stake_a_Vampire_-_The_Chase_-_Alexandre_Xavier_page21 copy.jpg
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes


log in or register to remove this ad

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
I like it until
Instead of being weak to sunlight, the vampire surrounds itself with candles and torches, has luminescent sparkling skin, and is weak to total darkness.

mwahahaha
 

Faolyn

Hero
Looks good, but I'm not keen on the 'no quirk' bit. If I'm rolling on the quirk table its because I want a quirk. Having a 50% chance of being told 'no quirk' is just frustrating and a waste of my time. I rolled on the quirk table. Give me a quirk!
I agree. There's six quirks total. Just do it as a d6 roll. After all, pretty much nobody is going to say "here's a table that I have to roll on." Only people who want a different type of vampire but don't have a specific idea in mind are going to actually roll on it, instead of choosing from it or making up their own thing.
 

See the previous article for the stat block which includes the list of forms.

Ah, I stand corrected.

So, is there a particular reason not to include vampire variations from other folklore? Will they have their own separate monster entry?

I mean, a vampire with a quirk that he is actually weak to darkness is cute. But I personally would much rather see some of the really cool vampires that appear in other cultures.
 




Grantypants

Explorer
I love the tables, especially the behavior and tactics tables. My initial impression is that results from those tables are more likely to make it into play than lines from a monster's description essay. Every monster encountered in play is always going to have some kind of behavior or tactics, whether that comes from a table in this book or not. Compare that to monster lore that may or may not be relevant in a given campaign.

I hope to see the tables used to better differentiate monsters with similar roles. What might an orc be doing and how is that different from what a gnoll or a hobgoblin or a lizardfolk is doing? Sounds like the monster-specific tables might be perfect for this.
 

werecorpse

Adventurer
An extra vote for listing treasure available from monsters via harvesting.

A common reason D&D characters adventure is - kill monster; collect treasure. So if there is some X CR monsters should have Y treasure table then instead of an ankheg having some items of value like a silver mirror and a bag of gp according to this formula make harvesting its chitin, mandibles and acid have an intrinsic worth of say 1/2 or 1/3 the expected treasure value.

This doesn’t have to be for all monsters but preferably creatures that don’t otherwise collect loot and things like trolls, beholders, gorgons etc

A further extension of this (which goes beyond the extra monster info part) is information about what monster bits are commonly used to make magic items. So maybe ankheg chitin can be burned in forges to facilitate items of acid resistance being made?
 

Davies

Adventurer
I do like the idea of a vampire weak to total darkness though. As if there is something in the shadows that will devour their undead flesh if they are unlit.
Or the way that some vampires, descended (figuratively) from Lord Ruthven, are unharmed by the daylight but only heal in the light of the full moon.
 

An extra vote for listing treasure available from monsters via harvesting.

A common reason D&D characters adventure is - kill monster; collect treasure. So if there is some X CR monsters should have Y treasure table then instead of an ankheg having some items of value like a silver mirror and a bag of gp according to this formula make harvesting its chitin, mandibles and acid have an intrinsic worth of say 1/2 or 1/3 the expected treasure value.

This doesn’t have to be for all monsters but preferably creatures that don’t otherwise collect loot and things like trolls, beholders, gorgons etc

A further extension of this (which goes beyond the extra monster info part) is information about what monster bits are commonly used to make magic items. So maybe ankheg chitin can be burned in forges to facilitate items of acid resistance being made?
I vote for monster harvesting as well. It makes for a mini game that is an absolute blast for some players (me, probably others), while being completely ignorable to other players at the same table.
 







Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
What about Cockatrices, or Owlbears, etc etc
Welp, since many/most of those interesting names were created in the 15th century by a nun, and since (perhaps) Cockatrices and Owlbears weren't in her consciousness at this time; they are not recorded.

BUT - nothing is stopping you from creating your own and then sharing with the rest of the world (and hopefully here on ENWorld). I look forward to hearing about the steadfastnesses of Cockatrices and Peregrination of Owlbears... And my personal favorite, a ninepin of Beholders 🙃
 

Welp, since many/most of those interesting names were created in the 15th century by a nun, and since (perhaps) Cockatrices and Owlbears weren't in her consciousness at this time; they are not recorded.

BUT - nothing is stopping you from creating your own and then sharing with the rest of the world (and hopefully here on ENWorld). I look forward to hearing about the steadfastnesses of Cockatrices and Peregrination of Owlbears... And my personal favorite, a ninepin of Beholders 🙃
You see, I'm commenting on a post about an upcoming monsters book for D&D. While I am completely capable of doing the creation on my own, for my table and the 12 people who read my blog, that isn't the same as having canon naming as part of the book.

Listing them in the book also means that I don't have to look them up online during a session or during prep. This is the same reason why there are currently canon listings as to what terrains you will find mastiffs in. Most people know it, but having it in the book makes it easier.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
You see, I'm commenting on a post about an upcoming monsters book for D&D. While I am completely capable of doing the creation on my own, for my table and the 12 people who read my blog, that isn't the same as having canon naming as part of the book.

Listing them in the book also means that I don't have to look them up online during a session or during prep. This is the same reason why there are currently canon listings as to what terrains you will find mastiffs in. Most people know it, but having it in the book makes it easier.
Ah, totally missed the original context of your post.
Yes, it would be great to finally have "Cackle of Demons" (or whatever) become D&D (or at least EN Publishing) naming canon.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top