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Under-utilized variants of common monsters 
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Master of the Kobold Raiders

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Post Under-utilized variants of common monsters
Another discussion got me thinking about ways to challenge players, and in some cases, confound their expectations. One easy way to do this that I think many CKs overlook is the variants of common monsters that can really jack up the power of the other side.

My favorites by far are the spell-casting versions of the ubiquitous orcs, kobolds and goblins. Careful spell selection can make these into serious powerhouses. I'm not talking about "classed" versions of monsters, but rather the various shamans and such described in M&T.

Darkness, Cause Fear and Silence can really upset a party's tactics!

What other variants are in the book but commonly forgotten about, that you've used to make things, um, more interesting for your PCs?

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Fri May 11, 2012 7:17 pm
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
There aren't too many other variants in M&T that I'm aware of. Out of book, though: zombie animals of various kinds. Those can be fun. :)


Sun May 13, 2012 2:47 am
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Battle Stag
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
I think variants of common monsters is an important aspect to some RPG campaigns. In my case, I have created and used many different versions of orcs and kobolds beyond the standard figher orc/kobold or shaman. I love to describe to players the different types of orcs that they encounter. You want them to feel that the visual differences equate to different, potentially scary types of orcs, in different campaigns or situations.

This is one reason I never minded having monster books that had multiple versions of the same type of creature (orcs, gnolls, etc.).

~O

~O

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Sun May 13, 2012 2:59 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
kreider204 wrote:
There aren't too many other variants in M&T that I'm aware of.


The best ones are the ones that players CAN'T read about in published material. 8-)

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Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:30 pm
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Hlobane Orc
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
I always allow humanoids to develop class skills. Why can't a goblin be a 1-4th level assassin? or wizard? or cleric?

I also like giving monsters the ability to ally with one another. Maybe a goblin tribe lives in the territory of an Ogre clan - the goblins pay tribute to the Ogres and in return they cooperate against common enemies (e.g. adventurers).

Maybe a vampire has an "understanding" with a human tribe (like Dracula's Gypsies) or a dragon with a clan of hill giants. Human "monsters" should always have allies. Sauruman had his orcs, Baba Yaga had her ogresses, Kitiara had her draconians...

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Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:07 pm
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Lore Drake
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
Arduin wrote:
The best ones are the ones that players CAN'T read about in published material. 8-)

If I ever get a group together I'm going to go full-out with the Airdhe setting. Meaning using only monsters from the; Monsters and Treasures of Airdhe and possibly some monsters from; The Crusader. Unless they have access to these books they'll run across monsters they are not used to.

I really like sand-box games and I also like how TLG does modules (Was never enamored with modules before.), but with the lack of time for any kind of intense preparation, I'll stand on my tried and true GMing by the seat of my pants. I'll use the modules as a base for the adventure but will not *railroad them to finish it. It'll always be there. So, it is kind of a hybrid between a module and freedom.

*Though it won't stop me from encouraging them to continue through npc's and the like. I just won't put impassable locations to impede their decisions.

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Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:15 am
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
Sir Ironside wrote:
Arduin wrote:
The best ones are the ones that players CAN'T read about in published material. 8-)

If I ever get a group together I'm going to go full-out with the Airdhe setting. Meaning using only monsters from the; Monsters and Treasures of Airdhe and possibly some monsters from; The Crusader. Unless they have access to these books they'll run across monsters they are not used to.

I really like sand-box games and I also like how TLG does modules (Was never enamored with modules before.), but with the lack of time for any kind of intense preparation, I'll stand on my tried and true GMing by the seat of my pants. I'll use the modules as a base for the adventure but will not *railroad them to finish it. It'll always be there. So, it is kind of a hybrid between a module and freedom.

*Though it won't stop me from encouraging them to continue through npc's and the like. I just won't put impassable locations to impede their decisions.


You and I use modules the same way.

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Sat Jun 02, 2012 2:59 pm
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
Arduin wrote:
kreider204 wrote:
There aren't too many other variants in M&T that I'm aware of.


The best ones are the ones that players CAN'T read about in published material. 8-)


+1 to that, good sir. :twisted:


Sun Jun 03, 2012 2:15 am
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Ulthal
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
Indeed. But the OP asked "What other variants are in the book but commonly forgotten about ... "


Mon Jun 04, 2012 1:03 am
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Unkbartig
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
NILBOGS!!!!


Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:24 pm
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Greater Lore Drake
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
kreider204 wrote:
Indeed. But the OP asked "What other variants are in the book but commonly forgotten about ... "


Yes but, I was addressing one of the stated purposes of why the OP wanted the info.

CKDad wrote:
Another discussion got me thinking about ways to challenge players, and in some cases, confound their expectations.

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Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:15 pm
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Master of the Kobold Raiders

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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
Thanks for picking up and continuing the discussion, folks. And while originally I was focused on the "in the book" variants, it's true that not a terribly lot of them exist.

But "confound their expectations" was indeed my motive, so the broadened discussion is fine!

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Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:32 pm
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Beer Giant Jarl
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
"Towers of Adventure" is pretty cool for this in that it has some varieties of various humanoids.

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Wed Jun 06, 2012 3:11 am
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Maukling
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Post Re: Under-utilized variants of common monsters
Andred of Albans wrote:
I always allow humanoids to develop class skills. Why can't a goblin be a 1-4th level assassin? or wizard? or cleric?


I do this a lot, too, but then my mind wonders to "what happens to the clan if only a select few have class levels?" The answer I come up with is that they will, eventually, lead the tribe. Either that, or I have to go about giving a very large number of the clan/tribe class levels. I push that thought out of my head, usually, though. Sometimes, I'll give a particular goblin or orc the ability of a 2nd or 3rd level class without otherwise adjusting anything else - a goblin would still be statted exactly the same way as in M&T...they just have the abilities of a 3rd level wizard, too! :D

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Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:14 pm
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