D&D 5E Which common monsters/creature types do you exclude from your campaigns?


log in or register to remove this ad


Wow, neat! Do you have anyone for earth, water, or fire?

(The chinese five elements/phases were wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.)

Yeah, Gnomes are earth, Undines are water, Salamanders are fire, and Sylphs are air/wind/heaven. It's a hybrid elemental framework that uses the Neoplatonist three opposed pairs of essential qualities, sharp/dull, subtle/dense, and mobile/immobile.
 

Yeah, Gnomes are earth, Undines are water, Salamanders are fire, and Sylphs are air/wind/heaven. It's a hybrid elemental framework that uses the Neoplatonist three opposed pairs of essential qualities, sharp/dull, subtle/dense, and mobile/immobile.

Hm, interesting!!! Yeah, if you added the Eastern and Western elements you would get six--earth, water, fire, air, wood, metal. Which one is each pair? Theoretically you have up to 8 possible combos.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Typically for my purposes, whether a single creature or a creature type is chosen to be excluded from my campaign/world tends to depend on if I find said creature uninteresting from a world building and lore standpoint.

For example, I don’t find aberrations who’s only purpose is to be an evil overlord (Mindflayers, Beholders, Aboleth, Neogi, etc.) or who’s only purpose is to be mindless horrors controlled by an terrible eldritch abominations (Core and Star Spawn) all that interesting. It’s not that I can’t garner any inspiration for them, but it’s not how I typically use aberrations. My favorite aberrations are those who act as alien animals that can be dangerous and horrifying when pushed to aggression but are otherwise non-hostile like typical beasts, or sentient alien-like races. The aberrant sea creatures from Call of the Netherdeep are good examples of the former, and my D&D conversion of the Rachni from the Mass Effect series is an example of the later.
 

Hm, interesting!!! Yeah, if you added the Eastern and Western elements you would get six--earth, water, fire, air, wood, metal. Which one is each pair? Theoretically you have up to 8 possible combos.

91345-3ff41507368177383e0c3bd1f289029e.png


Each quality gets three elements. So, you get six triads:

Blunt - Air, Earth & Water
Sharp - Wood, Fire, & Metal
Subtle - Air, Wood, & Fire
Dense - Earth, Metal, & Water
Mobile - Air, Fire, & Water
Immobile - Wood, Earth, & Metal
 

pogre

Legend
For me, when I use D&D rules I have given into a kitchen sink philosophy along with the gonzo elements that go along with it. I embrace all of it!

If I want to run a game that has a more limited bestiary and is less "gonzo" I run Ars Magica or WFRP or even Runequest (yes, I know there are ducks!)

I totally understand folks do not have to run that kind of game just because they are using D&D rules - that is just the way I do it. It's what works for my mindset and my table.
 

Greg K

Legend
There are so many that I exclude. For starters, I exclude Dragonborn, many Gygaxian monsters (e.g. beholder, cloaker, drow, mimic, mind flayer, myconids,piercer), dinosaurs, and nearly anything originally from AD&D Fiend Folio.
 
Last edited:

Azuresun

Adventurer
Orcs. As people here demonstrate, say you use them as written and you risk getting dogpiled for being racist. But how else can you use them? The default seems to be the "noble savage" being oppressed by them mean old humans, which is a cliche in its own right at this point. Or the insipid and bland route where they're just green humans.

Drow. Much the same as above, just too much baggage on the one hand and utterly defanged nice-guy drow on the other.

No verbeeg (running RotF). Kind of specific, but frost giants are right there if we want giants, and I want giants to stay rare and impressive. Also, no chibi mind flayers.
 

JohnF

Explorer
No monster is ever off the table for me.

Now, half-orcs and half-elves are a different matter. I've never been a fan of some of their parentage implications.
 

Orcs. As people here demonstrate, say you use them as written and you risk getting dogpiled for being racist. But how else can you use them? The default seems to be the "noble savage" being oppressed by them mean old humans, which is a cliche in its own right at this point. Or the insipid and bland route where they're just green humans.

Drow. Much the same as above, just too much baggage on the one hand and utterly defanged nice-guy drow on the other.

No verbeeg (running RotF). Kind of specific, but frost giants are right there if we want giants, and I want giants to stay rare and impressive. Also, no chibi mind flayers.
Orcs or what not are fine as long as you don't randomly have exceptions making paradoxes of lore. No one has a problem with gnolls because they don't have threads tying back to humanity. If it's an unredeemable force of evil rather than a victim of some god's anger issues it's fine.
Eberron did a good job for the most parts with a focus on region/house over ancestry.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Monsters? While there's some I've yet to use in all these many years, I can't think of any I wouldn't chuck in if they happened to suit the situation.

PC species? Very limited - the core seven from 1e and, barring some crazy dice rolls during char-gen, that's it.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No monster is ever off the table for me.

Now, half-orcs and half-elves are a different matter. I've never been a fan of some of their parentage implications.
You can just not use the implications, it's not like they're inherent.

But this is coming from a DM with a campaign feature two Orc/Elf Himbo Barbarians, so, grain of salt, I guess.
 


Exactly. As a result of this I've ended with basically THREE faux-Roman empires in my current high-level campaign which is set in like "future Taladas", with the Imperial League of Minotaurs as faux-Rome 1 "Fun Rome" (mostly gladiator-themed, with gladiator-lawyers and stuff - that's from the original take I note - they don't have slavery), The Thenolian Empire as "Evil Byzantium", so the Eastern Roman Empire, but with tons of necromancy (again, basic Taladas take except they have an army of undead giants in my campaign), and a faction I won't name in case my players Google it, but which is basically "Hobgoblin Rome", on the other side of the continent, and which is "Rome that really sucks" (so the closest to reality!).

EDIT - Literally just realized, right now as I was writing this, after running Taladas on and off for over 30 years, that the Thenolian undead stuff is what replaces slavery for them, and suddenly that makes a ton of sense.
The odd thing is that, as whitewashed as Rome is, Fantasy Romes never get why Rome worked and why it lasted a ludicrous amount of time and didn't just collapse after Cannae the way Hannibal expected. To get Rome right it has to be a lawful evil multicultural empire that manages to incorporate representatives of all the people conquered into its elites. And the Romans didn't collapse after Cannae because the elites in the rest of Italy considered themselves Roman Citizens and the middle class were also either Roman Citizens or people who could aspire to become Roman Citizens. (This, incidentally, is why the conservative Romans wrote so much about decadence). Rome itself was beseiged fifty years to the year after they stopped making their mercenaries Roman Citizens - and was sacked the next year. Also Rome had pretty absurd social mobility by the standards of the ancient world to the point there was an example of someone who was a captive in a Triumph as a baby who grew up to have one thrown in his honour. Rome assimilated.

Sorry, pet rant.
I'm really just wondering where we're going to draw the line when the game was founded on goofy crap. Not indicting you for your tastes, just wondering where we go from not gonzo typical cocaine wizard fair that is the game's bread and butter to gonzo.
I don't draw a line - there's a gradient. My last megadungeon was being taken over by beings from the far realm; the top of the megadungeon just had orcs and goblins - but by the sixth level the floors were non-Euclidean with shifting gravity. The sixth floor would have been ridiculously gonzo as a start to the dungeon and probably turned people off - but each floor was deliberately slightly more warped than the previous one to the point that it worked wonderfully.
 

To get Rome right it has to be a lawful evil multicultural empire that manages to incorporate representatives of all the people conquered into its elites.
What exactly do you mean here?

Because I can see two meanings, and I've heard both, and one is true, and one is a ridiculous whitewash of the other kind.

The true one (which I am guessing you mean) does not apply to Rome itself, not to the Senate, not to the leadership of the Western Roman Empire, but it does apply a lot as you get further and further and further from Rome, towards the edges of the empire. In those places, Rome does start having the locals be a significant part of things, local "kings" becomes rulers under the Romans, for example. Whether I'd call it genuinely "multicultural" beyond the first generation, I think is questionable, because Rome only respected or acknowledged one culture - Roman culture - it allowed other religions, but only if safely syncretized. Other cultures were barbarian nonsense to be got rid of ASAP.

(Well, and Greek and Near-Eastern cultures got some mild and inconsistent respect, but not, say, Gallic or Gothic cultures.)

Roman practiced extremely active and aggressive cultural genocide, particularly in Western Europe, and failure to acknowledge that ignores some of the very worst things Rome did. For example, there's no question that in both Gaul and Britain, the Romans did a very concerted and extremely intentional cultural genocide. Caesar writes about it, as do others like Tacitus. In Gaul you basically had 1/3rd of the population killed, 1/3rd enslaved and sent all over the empire, and the final third utterly beaten down, robbed, and forced into Roman ways, under Caesar. Caesar didn't get far with Britain, but Claudius did, and he certainly engaged in a careful cultural genocide, particularly focused on destroying the Druids and all associated elements of society. The Romans certainly thought this was pretty key. They also destroyed a lot of other elements of the way of life of the Britons, and replaced with Roman elements, which were not universally superior. For example, Roman farming techniques were drastically less efficient than those of the Britons. Yet the Romans, in their arrogance/hubris/imperial-ness (all replicated by the British Empire 1700+ years later of course) replaced them, because they assumed they knew better than these dumb barbarians.

Let's not even start on Carthage, which people still cheer about, or think was funny, which was a very literal genocide, and cultural genocide. The Romans were not, in general, interested in anyone else's culture except the Greeks, or occasionally someone in the Near East (and such flirtations were often fleeting).

The other meaning, which isn't true, but I've seen people claim, presumably because they don't really understand what's going on, is that because there was some social mobility, which like, you are being a bit silly about frankly - what you describe was the wild exception, not the rule - people start thinking stuff like that there are Goth-Romans in the way there might be German-Americans. I'm not sure you're saying this, but to be clear, that's not true. A minority of Roman Senators and similar elites were eventually of non-Roman heritage, but if you went on about it, that was a black mark on you. That was not respected. Showing significant sympathy or in some cases any sympathy with conquered peoples was not really okay, outside of the odd situation. Indeed, the only times I can think of someone getting away with it cleanly they weren't related to those people (like there were some Romans who objected to Caesar's treatment of the Gauls who were, after all, Rome's allies even as he murdered and enslaved them by the tens of thousands - but they weren't Gaul-Romans saying this).

Rome assimilated.
Only in the sense the Borg assimilate.

Hell, less so because they don't really reliably add "technological distinctiveness" to their own. They tended to blithely assume their own tech is superior.

Britain and Gaul are superb examples of that. You become a cultural Roman, or you're unacceptable and have to be "dealt with". Indeed, for many Gauls, that wasn't good enough. Caesar put them to the sword or enslaved them despite them being Roman allies or "culturally Roman" in most/many regards. You really had to join the Borg collective here, and preferably become a Roman citizen. It's certainly true that many, many people, especially as I said on the outer parts of the Empire did indeed become Romans, but they had to. There's this romantic idea that people were happily signing up for the wine/baths/food etc., but whilst that was the carrot, the stick of being slaughtered, raped, enslaved was ever-presented and frequently used. Sometimes for no reason at all.

What Rome demonstrably did not do was genuinely bring cultures within the Empire unless they couldn't entirely be overpowered. Rather it deleted and replaced cultures where it could. Some it did faster and more thoroughly than others, but the goal was always full Romanization, not hybridization. On the edges of empire, that goal often failed (though I would say it perhaps did not fail in Southern Britain and Gaul), and with the Greeks it got pretty complicated, especially once Christianity got into the mix.

I'd contrast this with, for example, the Persians. The Persians did, in fact, assimilate entire cultures, and just say "Yo, whatever, we're the new boss, just like your old boss, pay your taxes here! Send us X troops when we ask!". I also think even the British Empire, much later on, tended to assimilate and cross-pollinate more than Rome did, certainly when Rome was at its height, but that is, I admit, a far more arguable contrast than the Persian Empire.

Also this is all kind of irrelevant, because it's based on the assumption that you want to do Rome "right", and frankly, why would you want to do that unless you were running a game about historical Rome?

Apologies if I'm just on a rant myself and you don't even disagree with any of this and I've just assumed you do lol! But the focus of my studies was Roman Britain and to some extent Gaul and I'm not buying any ideas about the Romans picking up local ideas or the like here (they did a little in the Near East and a lot in Greece, as noted). The Romans made a distinction, I think, between barbarians like my ancestors and smarty pants cultures they might learn from like the Greeks.
 
Last edited:


DrunkonDuty

he/him
I struggle to think of anything I wouldn't include.

I mean, in my early days in the hobby I was cheerfully populating dungeons with everything from the MM (and later FF and MM2.) Even up to and including large dragons in rooms they cannot possibly leave.

Just thought of a general type I wouldn't use, the gotchya monsters. Earseekers, disenchanters, rust monsters... Okay, I might still use a rust monster for laughs. Not for the actual destroying a players much loved magic item but so we can laugh at the big fighter running in terror from what is basically an oversized cockroach.

Anything Cthulu-eque would be re-branded to simply be demons.
 


Scottius

Explorer
I've never used and likely never will use the Tarasque in a game. A lot of monsters and PC races I use or don't use vary with the campaign I'm planning. I generally don't allow Drow, Tiefling, or Dragonborn in a lot of my games because I don't like the assumed flavor they imply. I like my extraplanar ongoings mysterious and distant as opposed to having beings descended from fiends rubbing shoulders with the hoi polloi.

I will use dragons sometimes but not frequently and never wyrmlings. The thought of having my players slaughtering dragon children never appealed to me.

I do enjoy gonzo but as someone else mentioned earlier in the thread I don't go in for twee.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top