D&D General Playing as the monsters

Thoughts on playing D&D as a horror game but your the implacable monsters.
Goblins, orcs, bugbears, trolls, beholders, mind flayers, even dragons have horror stories about you.

You just will not give up. You just keep coming. You are the reason why they are so paranoid. You are the reason why their numbers are so low. And you are about to begin your hunt again.

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I ran this as a year-long campaign from levels 1 to 20: Monster Town

It's not quite what you are going for. This game was less about being a proper monstrous monster and was more of a satirical commentary on society, like how we're all monsters just playing at being civilized, deep stuff like that. The players didn't know that, though, so they had a great time.

Doug McCrae

That's default D&D if you remove alignment. Without that, the PCs look like the bad guys as they're invading the territory of the monsters, killing them and taking their stuff.


Playing monsters is a popular option with my group. That said, we tend to go more for the heroic monster archetype, wherein the monster is an adventurer like the rest. I tend to keep this in mind when worldbuilding (meaning that in the majority of places, while monsters might not be common, they aren't kill on sight provided they behave themselves).

A game where the heroes are the (true) monsters and the monsters are actually victims is an interesting concept. I'm not certain that there's enough to build an entire campaign around, but it'd make for at least a distinctive one shot.


Several years ago I created a two shot adventure series where the monsters are tired of being killed by roving bands of adventurers and the players play them as they would traditional PCs, only the script was reversed. Instead of good races fighting monster lairs, you were the monsters fighting human, dwarf,and elf areas, gaining in levels, until eventually leading an army to wipe out the the “good” invaders.


No flips for you!
"Humans are the monsters" isn't a new idea. Starship Troopers by Heinlein is probably one of the earliest examples.
A much more on point book predates it by a few years, I Am Legend. And, ST isn't at all about humans being the monsters, although I suppose you could squint at it and come up with that idea. That's a good deal of selective work, though, and not the theme the author intended. Maybe you're remembering Stranger in a Strange Land, which would be a bit more in theme?


We did this Sunday night. I'm running Lost Mine of Phandelver a second time (God that's a great adventure) and we were down a few players, so I had the people that were there to play goblins, hobgoblins, Redbrands, and the orcs of Wyvern Tor in three separate vignettes. They effing LOVED it and roleplayed everybody and gave them all names.

It also let me greatly deepen the story and flesh out NPCs (like Glasstaff) who would otherwise not get much attention.

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