-----Building and Re-skinning Custom Monsters
--Building to Re-skin Basics-Part 1
Re-skining Monsters. A commonly used technique used by many DMs and also commonly written about by many Bloggers. So what can I bring to this rather crowded table? Well, most of those Bloggers talk about the re-skinning of published monsters. I'm going to write about making your own custom monsters so they are easy to re-skin in several ways.
So, how can we do this? Well I have a few techniques for making monsters that are easier to re-skin. I call these techniques "Energy Substitution", "Race Swapping" and the "Random Monster Power Tables". Today I am writing about "Energy Substitution".
Energy Substitution is based on a simple idea: Changing the damage type/s of the monster's powers and resistances. Turn a Fire Elemental into a Cold Elemental...or a Lightning Elemental or a, um, Poison Elemental?! This is a very basic thing you can do and it can easily make sense for many monsters. However, we are making Custom Monsters that we can use this technique on.
So, how about a sample of this concept to discuss before we go further...
Kaos Demon Level 17 Minion Artillery
Medium elemental humanoid (demon) XP 400
HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion
AC 29; Fortitude 29; Reflex 30; Will 28
Speed 6, fly 6 Hover
Resist 15 fire
When created, the Kaos Demon has a Random Damage Type affinity. The Kaos Demon has Resist 15 to that type and all damage it deals is of the type it has an Affinity for. This Kaos Demon has Fire Affinity.
m Kaos Strike (fire) • At-Will
Attack: +24 vs. AC
Hit: 15 Fire Damage.
r Kaos Shot (fire) • At-Will
Attack: Range 20 (1 creature in range); +22 vs. Reflex
Hit: 20 Fire Damage.
Skills Athletics +18, Endurance +17, Intimidate +17
Str 21 (+13) Dex 24 (+15) Wis 18 (+12)
Con 18 (+12) Int 18 (+12) Cha 18 (+12)
Alignment chaotic evil Languages Abyssal, Giant, Common
© 2010 Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All rights reserved. This formatted statistics block has been generated using the D&D Adventure Tools.
So, we have what appears at first to be a Fire Monster. But WAIT! Check the "Pure Kaos" trait. This is just a sample of what this monster can be. This monster can be easily re-skinned by changing its Damage type Affinity. So we just swap out "Fire" for "Cold" or "Lightning" or even "Psychic" or what ever damage type you want. Easy as Pie. This Technique is most effective on monsters that have either a unified energy type(Elementals for example) or a variety of powers that have different energy types(Casters and similar).
But what do you do with the "Warrior" types? I'll discuss techniques for use with those next time.