The Monster Mash (or Guess what Book Gregory Got for Christmas)

I know I am late to this party, but I just got this great book four days ago.  Now, my first idea was to write up a glowing review of why this is a really strong monster manual, but there are enough of those already out there.  So, I’ve decided to write about monsters that may play a defining role in my Pellham campaign, how the 5E Monster Manual will help or hinder use of those monsters, and My Plan on their use in my games.

Fomorians: In myth and legend Fomorians are among the great foes of the Tuatha de Dannan.  I’ve not used them much at all in my games, because earlier editions of D&D presented them as weak, deformed giants, not as foes worthy of rivalling gods.  This all changed with 4E and at last here were foes worthy of heroes!  Since I am running a Celtic-style game in my Pellham campaign, Fomorians seem like natural choices for opponents.  While I am thrilled that many of monsters in 5E have returned to previous versions of themselves, I am saddened by the Fomorians demotion to lesser giants.  My Plan: Ignore the 5E version of Fomorians and use my 5E conversions of 4E Fomorians.

Hags and Dryads: I’ve used dryads for years as oracles and sharers of knowledge.  Hags have played similar roles in my games, but in more sinister ways and often as villains meant to fought and destroyed.  While hags often come in my games in packs of three, dryads only recently gained that particular feature.  When my wife and I took a trip a few years back, we saw three trees grown together at the edge of a small river.  Looking at those trees I saw a set of dryad sisters and immediately placed them in Rhillmoran.  5E gives me strong descriptions of dryads and hags and cool rules for hag covens.  My Plan: Introduce my PCs to Kirke, Medea, and Trakiya of the Coven Tree, expand on the stories of Oak, Ash, and Thorn, and place a couple of hag covens around to cause trouble.

Blights: Never used blights in any of my games, but they are going to appear in days to come.  My Plan: Integrate blights into N2: The Forest Oracle.

Shambling Mounds: I’ve used shambling mounds as the big bosses in more than one swamp or garden-gone-bad.  The 5E version contains enough information to run a solid encounter or three.  My Plan: Enter the Fens and face the terrors within.

Looks like plants are the big monsters in this campaign.  What monsters are likely to show up in your games?

Game On!

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7 thoughts on “The Monster Mash (or Guess what Book Gregory Got for Christmas)

  1. Goblins and trolls – but my goblins are varied like Tolkien’s, and my trolls have more in common with his (or classic ogres) than with the various D&D versions. Classically in my game the main villains are “other people” and that is likely to remain the standard. The players know things are bad when they start running into monster-like monsters (chimera, dragons, shoggoths, etc.)

    I also tend to use a fair number of undead – and have been inspired by some old pulpy artwork to consider the verisimilitude of skeletons. They might start seeing lots of those. I also like demons, but in my setting these are corrupted elementals and other creatures, not the standard D&D version either.

    I had also been known to use a “classic monster” as a foundation for a long series of adventures. I had a low level game that revolved around hunting a werewolf once, and a mid-level game that focused on destroying a very powerful vampire before The Powers That Be came in and destroyed the city it was hiding in as part of scorched earth policy. (It was basically a Lifeforce-the-movie-style vamp).

    D.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm… I don’t think I’ve ever actually played WH Fantasy, but I read enough White Dwarf to get the vibe I expect. In general I went for either a more Gothic or a “classic AD&D” interpretation of things. That said, I always enjoy pulling really odd monsters and undead from mythology and using them also.

        Like my common vampires are far more Nosferatu-like, with different vulnerabilities based on old vampire lore. My werewolves are pretty standard, but I have stone-swimming Norse wights as well. I’m actually having fun digesting the new MM versions of the undead. The Lair and Legendary actions rules really glam things up in a new and exciting way.

        D.

        Liked by 1 person

        • When I mentioned Hammer, I was thinking more along the lines of Hammer films, but the monster of War Hammer are pretty harsh and gnarly in their own right, too. White Dwarf was a much under rated magazine. I’m sorry it has gone over to a miniatures game format. I miss the really odd take they spun on things.

          Liked by 1 person

          • LOL! When you are talking old Hammer films… Well, there are the Legendary Seven Golden Vampire of Khitain, Captain Kronus and his hunchbacked companion Professor Hieronymus Grost are very well known as vampire hunters, the name “Karnstein” is dreaded by the parents of nubile young women in many parts of my game world, the Circus of Night travels across the land, and the Duke De Richleau is a well-known and respected member of the Church of the Lords of Light.

            How is that?

            D.

            Liked by 1 person

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