Monsters


 Dangerous creatures lurk in the untamed parts of the world. Some are cunning and cruel, others are ferocious, and still others actively seek to do evil.

FRIEND OR FOE?

While most monsters in this section are aggressive or evil, remember that combat isn’t the only option for PCs! Sometimes the monsters are willing to trade information or safe passage through an area for food, gold, or a magic item the PCs don’t need.

STAT BLOCKS

The following section describes how to properly read a monster’s description and use the monster during the game. This block of statistics (or “stat block” for short) is designed to give you all the tools you need to easily add the creature to your game. Each monster has a number called its Challenge Rating (CR) that tells you how difficult it is to defeat in combat. As a general rule, a group of four adventurers should be able to defeat a monster with a CR equal to the average character level of the adventurers without too much trouble. For example, four 1st-level PCs can usually handle a CR 1 monster. Higher CRs (or fewer PCs) mean a more difficult fight. If the CR is 3 or 4 higher than the average PC level, the monster will probably kill one or more PCs. If the monster’s CR is lower than the average PC level, the fight will be quite easy (which is okay sometimes!). For more information on designing appropriate combat encounters in an adventure, click here.

 1  READING A STAT BLOCK

The stat block begins with the monster’s name alignment and type.  Many monsters have evil alignments. Lawful evil (LE) monsters are organized and tyrannical. neutral evil (NE) monsters are selfish and without honor. Chaotic evil (CE) monsters are violent and unpredictable. Below that information is a short description of the general nature, personality, or goals of this kind of monster.

 2  The next section provides the monster’s initiative total, speed, Challenge Rating, XP Value, and hit points. If the monster has additional kinds of movement (like a climb or fly speed), they’re listed below in the Offense section. The next line lists the monster’s senses (like whether it has darkvision or low-light vision) and its Perception skill Total (so you can find it in a hurry). Darkvision a llows the monster to Monsters Dangerous creatures lurk in the untamed parts of the world. Some are cunning and cruel, others are ferocious, and still others actively seek to do evil. see in the dark, just like a dwarf. Low-light vision allows the monster to see twice as far in dim light, just like an elf. Scent allows the monster to automatically pinpoint the location of invisible creatures within 30 feet. All-around vision means enemies don’t get flanking bonuses (including flanking sneak attacks) against the monster.

 3  DEFENSE

This section has all of the monster’s defensive information, which you usually need when it’s the PCs’ turn to act. This includes its Armor Class, its saving throw bonuses, any special abilities that may take effect when a PC attacks it (like immunity to cold or taking less damage from certain kinds of weapons), and any unusual weaknesses. If an ability needs more explanation, it goes in the Special Abilities area of the stat block (part 7).

 4  OFFENSE

This section tells you what the monster can do on its turn, such as move, make an attack, or use a special ability. Some monsters have special types of movement. Burrow means a monster can move through dirt and earth (this does not create a tunnel that other creatures can use). Climb means it can climb without making a Climb check. Fly means it can move through the air. Swim means i t can swim without making a Swim check (also, the creature can breathe underwater or hold its breath a very long time). Next are the monster’s attacks. Many monsters fight using natural weapons, such as bite, claw, gore, slam (a punch o r other hard hit with a limb), or wing. Natural weapons threaten a critical on a natural 20 and deal ×2 damage on a critical hit. Other monsters use manufactured weapons like swords and bows. Monsters’ attacks—whether with natural weapons or manufactured weapons—work just like PCs’ attacks: roll 1d20, add the attack bonus for the attack, and compare the total to the target’s Armor Class to see if the attack hits.

Most monsters can only make one attack per round as a standardaction. Some can spend their move and standard action to make more than one attack that round (like 2 claw attacks, or a bite and a claw). Roll each attack and its damage separately. The monster doesn’t have to make all these attacks on the same creature. Some attacks add another effect, such as poison. Some monsters have other special attacks or can cast spells. These spells work just like spellcasting by PCs. If a spell is listed as “at will,” the monster can cast it over and over. If these abilities need more explanation, the additional information is included in the Special Abilities section.

 5  STATISTICS

A monster’s statistics include its Ability Modifiers and any important skill totals or feats the monster has. These work exactly like they do for PCs. Some monsters have a “—” for an Ability Mod; this means the monster automatically fails ability checks and skill checks using that Ability Mod.

 6  ITEMS

This section lists any equipment t he m onster i s wearing, carrying, or using. Many monsters also have treasure that they either carry or keep in their lairs. For information on assigning treasure.

 7  SPECIAL ABILITIES

If the monster has an ability that requires more information in order to use the monster during the game, it’s explained here. Sometimes it’s an attack, sometimes it’s a defense.
 


  ORC
 CHAOTIC EVIL
 HUMANOID
 Orcs are violent and aggressive, with the strongest ruling the rest through fear and brutality. They take what they want by force, and think nothing of slaughtering or enslaving entire villages.
  INITIATIVE +0
 SPEED 30 FT.
 CR 1/3
 XP 135
 HP 6
 SENSES DARKVISION 60 FT.
 PERCEPTION -1
  DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 10, flat-footed 13
FORT +3, REF +0, WILL –1
DEFENSIVE ABILITIES ferocity

  OFFENSE
MELEE (standard action) battleaxe +5 (1d8+4/×3)
MELEE (standard action) javelin +1 (1d6+3)

  STATISTICS
STR +3, DEX +0, CON +1, INT –2, WIS –1, CHA –2
SKILLS Perception –1

  ITEMS
EQUIPMENT studded leather armor, battleaxe, javelins (4)
TREASURE 1 Minor Random Treasure roll

  SPECIAL ABILITIES

MONSTER TYPESSS

ABERRATION
   A freakish monster with a strange body and mind.

ANIMAL
   A regular animal like a boar, snake, or wolf.

CONSTRUCT
   A nonliving thing animated by magic, like a statue.

DRAGON
   A reptilian creature with magic abilities.

HUMANOID
   A generally human-shaped creature.

MAGICAL BEAST

   An animal-like creature with strange abilities.

MONSTROUS HUMANOID
   A humanoid with monstrous or animalistic features.

OOZE
   An amorphous blob-monster that dissolves flesh.

OUTSIDER
   A creature from another dimension, like a hell hound.

UNDEAD
   A dead body or spirit animated by an evil power.

VERMIN
   A mindless creature like a centipede or spider.


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