Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Random Monster Idea Generator

Random Monster Idea Generator
Written by M. A. Packer

Using These Tables

It’s quite simple, simply roll the dice mentioned in the description and record the result on a piece of paper.  After you have rolled on each table, examine the results together and combine them in as sensible or aesthetically pleasing a manner as you are able.  Then name it and give it stats appropriate to whatever RPG system you’re using.

Primary Template (d6)
These serve as a basic shape for the creature, but are far from serving as its final form.  When rolling on this table, use the outcome to start thinking about how the creature moves about, but refrain from deciding on its habitat or what terrain it is best suited to.  That will come soon after!

1- Upright Humanoid: not quite man, but a creature with a humanoid shape, such as two legs, two arms, and a head with two eyes, and a mouth.  Mind that this will not necessarily be a mammal.

2- Hunched Humanoid: somewhat of a transition between humanoid and beast, moving on two legs when it must, but falling on all fours when it absolutely must move quickly.

3- Quadrupedal Beast: basically, an animal, moving on all fours.  This has a variety of forms ranging from stout and slow to lithe and quick.

4- Slithering Beast: a creature with no limbs, such as a snake, slug or even a fish.  This creature moves its body to create locomotion and may utilize unexpected means of protecting itself.

5- Bipedal Beast: a creature that may have forelegs or wings, but these are usually smaller, giving way to long, powerful legs.  Think of an ostrich, raptor or a wyvern.

6- Xeno: an odd beast with a body that may be strange or difficult to discern, like a jelly fish, octopus or other cephalopod.  It may even have a totally alien form that doesn’t resemble any known creature.  When designing a xeno form, consider the arrangement of its limbs: does it have more than one head, no head, odd number of limbs, duplicates of limbs, tentacles, or perhaps new and strange limbs?

Secondary Quality (2d8)
Next we will look at a primary aspect of your creature.  Having generated its form, now let’s look at what type of animal it is.  Does it swim through water or fly through the air?  Or both?  This may be rolled twice for even more interesting results, but if you roll the same quality twice, you may have created a monster that has mastered its form!

2- Mechanical: unlike constructs, mechanical creatures may be from the future, a more advanced civilization, or possibly magical clockwork.  They are usually automatons built or war or labor, and some may be completely hollow or may have a smaller creature controlling it from the inside.  Example: clockwork men or robots.

3- Reptile: cold-blooded beasties like lizards, dinosaurs and dragons.  These creatures are found most especially in warmer climates, such as jungles and deserts, but some few may have magical qualities that allow them to live in frozen places.  Example: lizard folk and wyrms.

4- Amphibian: somewhere between a fish and a lizard, these creatures always exist near some kind of water source and prefer places that are dark and muddy.  Example: frogs and salamanders.

5- Undead: be they skeletal or zombies, undead come in many forms but are always made from creatures that have perished.  Example: liches and wights.

6- Elemental: monsters formed from raw elemental energy, such as fire and water.  These fiends usually come from other planes and may only be harmed with magical power.  Example: water and earth elementals.

7- Crustacean: underwater bugs, only stronger and more heavily armored.  These creatures have snapping pincers or impaling antennae, and some travel onto the beaches to scavenge for stupid adventurers.  Example: crabmen and giant lobsters.

8- Aquatic: fishes of every kind, which live in all kinds of water sources significant enough to sustain them.  Example: sharks and dolphins (if mammal is also rolled).

9- Spectral: not necessarily ghosts, these creatures may simply exist in a quasi-plane that loosely overlaps the physical plane, meaning they are harder to see and may only be damaged through magic or telepathy.  Example: ghosts and phantoms.

10- Insectoid: bugs, plain and simple.  These creatures usually have six limbs, a head with compound eyes, mandibles, and an abdomen.  Example: giant ants and burrowing beetles.

11- Arachnid: scarier and more dangerous than mere insects, these creatures almost always have lethal poisons.  Example: giant spiders and scorpion men.

12- Avian: feathered creatures, most especially birds of all kind.  These may move through water or air with some few preferring to run swiftly along the ground.  Example: harpies and rocs.

13- Mammal: a warm-blooded creature, may be a demi-human, may be an ape, feline, canine, bovine, dolphin, whale, or anything similar.  These creatures are typically smarter than the average beast and may even have human intelligence!  Example: orcs and goblins.

14- Plant: a mobile botanical opponent that feeds on the sun’s energy and makes use of razor sharp leaves, toxic thorns or strangling vines.  Example: ents and swamp things.

15- Fungi: like plants, only very toxic.  Fungal enemies release spores that cause intoxication, hallucination or merely death and decay.  Example: myconids and fungal men.

16- Construct: a creature formed from raw materials, such as wood or clay and magically enchanted to move about.  These may also be enchanted items, like furniture or once dead flesh.  Example: golems and animated objects.

Tertiary Qualities (d12)
These are qualities that determine what kinds of extra abilities a creature may have.  From magical powers to regeneration, these are useful in providing variations among even the simplest monsters.  As with secondary qualities, these may be rolled twice to further develop your creature.

1- Normal: nothing to see here, just a plain old ordinary monster that relies on its speed, cunning or brute strength, though it may excel at these qualities above other creatures of the wilderness.

2- Very Quick: this monster is able to move at unnatural speeds.  This also means it is harder to hit, having superb reflexes and possibly a lighter frame.

3- Heavily Armored: though likely slower than most creatures, this one will take a lot of brute force to bring down, either because of the amount of natural armor it has or simply because it has vast endurance.

4- Multiple: this means the monster moves in huge packs, is able to conjure more of its own kind, or it might even divide and turn into more monsters.

5- Psychic: mind over matter, this creature has psionic powers allowing for supernatural attacks that cause physical or mental harm.  Even more sinister, this creature might be able to take control of your mind and force you to attack your own comrades!

6- Arcane: this creature can use magical abilities with a wide possible range of effects.

7- Parasitic: like a vampire and a mosquito, this creature can drain the life energy of other creatures, through touch or through a bite, and use the stolen essence to restore its own energies.

8- Berserk: this creature hits really hard, either because it is incredibly strong or because it has anger issues that cause it to fly into a devastating rage.

9- Regenerating: it doesn’t matter how you cut it, it just grows back.  This creature can be brought down, but over time may come back to its fulness.  In order to defeat it, something in its body must be destroyed or it might just need to be exposed to something that prevents it from growing back.

10- Hazardous: you just can’t touch this one, either because it is extremely hot, covered in spikes, toxic, or it might have a venomous bite.  In any case, keep your distance!

11- Phasing: ability to teleport or simply blink in and out of existence at will.  This is a tricky and dangerous creature because it will require good timing and keen senses to know when to strike, or when it will strike.

12- Accursed: like hazardous, this creature has the ability to weaken you through touch.  It may also have the power to alter your ability to fight it, either by producing darkness, placing hexes on you with dark magic, or draining your resolve through terror and negative energy.

Size Categories (d6)
This determines how big the creature is, which can also help determine how powerful you want to make it.  When picking difficulties, consider where the party is in your adventure and how long you want to wait before springing the creature on them.  Just remember to consider that size does not have to mean ultimate power.  For example, a small creature need not be a throwaway monster when it can use cunning or powerful magic to deceive and entrap the party.  Likewise, a big, slow monster could make for an excellent hunting trophy, but it doesn’t need to be a destroyer of the earth.

1- Tiny: these are little creatures, anywhere from the size of a squirrel to that of a small dog.  Though not as strong on their own, it could be lethal in large numbers.  Beware the flood!

2- Small: not quite man-sized, these creatures stand just under the height of a normal human, such as a dwarf or halfling.

3- Medium: man-sized, give or take a few inches.  These creatures are probably the most common, but may possess uncommon might.

4- Large: bigger than a human, but perhaps not as smart.  These could be ogres or really big cattle.

5- Giant: much bigger than a human and quite scary.  Simply seeing one could send a chill down your spine and make you seek shelter.

6- Enormous: truly rare and terrifying beyond measure.  These creatures stand out in the world and will require more than a few choppy swords to bring down.

And now, for those who doubt my power, here are two creations I threw together in a matter of seconds when two viewers tried to "break" the system by coming up with the most absurd combinations they could:

First, a spectral, quasi-humanoid spider thingy...
 Second, a large, scary, bipedal plant thingy...


  1. Mammals are going to be very rare

    1. How does this look?

  2. Given the statistical probabilities, Spectral is the most common result on the secondary qualities, and Mammals would be just as rare as Crustaceans. I don't object to the charts, but I would reorder the lists.

    1. In fact, I did:

  3. Ah I see, forgot about the weird statistical curve when adding two of more dice

  4. Easy to do when your cranking out good material like this! Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas!