Monday, 9 June 2014

Some Dota Monsters for LotFP and other D&Dalikes

Arnold K told me to do this when I mentioned it on his blog linked right there on his name.
Here are some monsters I based on Dota 2 hero mechanics because I played way too much of that when I was in Australia and I think it made Katie hate me.
They are in LotFP format which means they are eminently transferrable to the edition of your choice.
It assumes, mostly, that these are unique one-off creatures who will ruin your day.

The trouble with monsters like this is that you need some way of showing what they're capable of before they do it. A lot of the initial learning when you're getting into Dota is all about knowing which hero does what and who you should be scared of because you'll be facing them a lot.
D&D's different because if there aren't any clues as to what the creature does then it's a bit of a shitty gotcha when they get you.
Look at Meepo, how are you supposed to know what Meepo does just by looking at him? At least Lina looks squishy and firey and Tide looks like a fucking unit.

Anyway here they are, generally thematically similar but also distinct! If you play dota you might be able to guess which is inspired by which, how exciting!


AC 18 (15 vs smashy weapons), HD 16 (but strikes as a 6HD creature), MV 30’, alternates between 1 melee shell clamp attack doing 2d6 damage and a tentacle flail attack detailed below, ML 12.

Tentacle flail attack hits all in melee range – 1d6 damage (save vs breath for half), affected enemies deal half damage for 2 rounds.
1/day can release all its anchor-tentacles, throwing all in a 100’ radius 10x10’ into the air.

Lives by the shore and near rock pools. A big ol’ clam but immobile since it’s anchored to the rocks below by a thick mass of ropey tentacles spreading beneath the sand. The dunes seem weirdly rippled outwards from it which is a clue, and if you dig into the sand you'll see those selfsame thick ropey anchors. Tough as balls, and it flails at you with smaller tentacles if you get close which get in the way and splash salty water in your eyes and make you do shit all damage. If threatened it can release all its anchor-tentacles in one big surge, throwing everyone up into the air and leaving it free to plod around at its 30’-per-turn movement rate gobbling up people’s squashed corpses.
On top of that it can close its shell completely making it immune to piercing and missile weapons.
Why are you even getting close to this arsehole? Behind its translucent flesh is a giant pearl worth 10000sp.

Scum Golem

AC 13, HD 8, MV 90’, one smash attack for d6 damage or one of several scum based attacks detailed below, ML 9

Scum sucker attack draws scummy gunk into its arms, the current making those in melee range fall over and get sucked closer, then attacks the next round for triple damage.
2/day can throw a wall of scum 20’ high and 80’ long in a straight line, those caught by wall take d6 damage and must make a save vs paralyze or be stuck on and in it. The wall collapses after 1d4 rounds.
1/day can cover itself in volatile crusty scum bubbles and detonate them, hitting everyone in a 50’ radius for 2d6 damage (save vs breath for half). Those hit find themselves covered in similar, smaller scum bubbles which detonate next round hitting everyone in a 30’ radius for 1d6 damage (save vs breath for half).

The scum golem lives in a dungeon level where the ground everywhere is covered with ankle-deep gluggy gunk.
Crusty and explosive scum bubbles which pulse and glow faintly are a fairly common trap on the level, which is why it’s not so bullshit when the Scum Golem uses them as its big attack.
The scum golem’s usual technique is to slam a wall down to trap people in a dead end or small passage then shloop in after them and make use of its several stunning attacks. If it can get amongst you and your hirelings with its scum bubble echo attack so much the better.

Damnit, work scanner

AC 16, HD 7, MV 120’ and can blink a further 30’ at will, 2 punch attacks doing 1d6 damage each and burning spells as detailed below, ML12

Chaotic spellcasters hit by a punch attack lose a random prepared spell as though it was cast and take damage equal to the spell’s level.
The rebalancer can teleport short distances in the blink of an eye.
Its eyes constantly Detect Evil and it completely ignores non-chaotic beings.

The rebalancer is an angel bound into armour of cold iron whose sole and unending task is to destroy all Chaotic beings, or at least that’s one theory.
If the rebalancer is defeated it collapses into pieces. If these pieces are left together it will reconstitute itself at dawn, but it will not do this if its pieces are kept apart. It holds no grudges and will simply head to the nearest chaotic being to destroy it then go for the next over and over until the world is purged.
Needless to say Chaotic beings wish to destroy the Rebalancer whenever it surfaces, and Lawful beings quest to bring the pieces together should it ever be destroyed. 

The Fisherman

AC 18 (legs) 12 (body), HD 6, MV 90’, flurry of 3 savage pecks dealing 1d10 damage each or fishhook attack range as arrow dealing 1d6 damage and dragging you right up close into pecking range, ML 8

The fisherman is a stork-headed being twice the height of a man who stalks rivers and waterways. It generally eats fish and eels but enjoys supplementing its diet with human meat. Whether it enjoys the irony of fishing for fishermen or is simply a horrible bird creature with a fishing rod and armoured legs is unknown.
It fishes you into the river where you can’t reach anything but its legs and pecks your eyes out. It’s pretty chill though and usually won’t pursue if you run away, preferring to stay in the water.
It prefers to fish in the late evening and local fisherman have plenty of stories of hiding from Ol’ Storky.

Bloodhunter beast

Passive: AC 12, MV 90’, HD 4, 1 claw attack for 1d6 damage, ML 4
Hunting: AC 15, MV 240’, HD 4 (but strikes as an 8 HD creature), 2 claw attacks for 1d6 damage each and 1 bite attack for 1d8 damage, ML 10

Ordinarily cowardly, if it scents blood (ie. A creature below half health) it goes into hunting mode, gains preternatural strength and agility and can track in a 200’ radius even through walls.
1/day it can let out a focused sonic call which sets your joints all twisty, making you lose 1HP per 10’ moved for d6 rounds.
It can take a round to eat a corpse. Roll that corpse’s hit dice and the Bloodhunter beast gains that much hp.

The Bloodhunter Beast looks like a big, bipedal star-nosed mole although it has little burrowing ability. If it scents blood will stop at nothing to kill the creature and guzzle on their innards.
It is an equal opportunity blood drinker and goes for the bloodied up creature with the lowest HP.


AC 15, MV 90’ (hover), HD 4, copies and recasts spells, ML 12.

The Spelltaker is a hovering alchemical golem shaped like a pot with arms and usually hangs around with a bunch of low level enemies. It activates when a spellcaster begins casting.

It copies the last spell cast in its vicinity then uses it over and over. It has the ability to tell friend from foe but due to its limited cognitive power it only uses the spells in the same way they were cast.
Cure Light Wounds on an ally leads to the Spelltaker healing its allies over and over, and using magic missile to hit a bunch of enemies makes the Spelltaker use magic missile to hit the PCs over and over.
It can be exploited, healing the Spelltaker means it keeps casting heal spells on you, and fireballing your allies means it’ll keep on fireballing its own allies until they’re dead.


AC 14, MV 90’, HD 5, frenzied worm(s) for 1d6 damage each or turn ground nearby to wormy sludge, ML 9.

Each time the Wormbear attacks the same creature another worm emerges from its body granting it an extra attack next round. If the Wormbear doesn’t attack or switches targets the wormfrenzy abates and the combo resets.
The Wormbear can instead send its worms burrowing into the ground, softening the earth nearby and making everyone in melee range stumble and fall (save vs paralyze to move at half speed instead). This doesn’t break the Wormbear’s combo.

The Wormbear is not so much a bear as a mass of arm-thick worms in a bear’s skin. They have long ago eaten away the flesh and bone within, save for the bear’s confused and ravaged brain in which they lay their eggs. The worms can infest any creature but bears are the most common due to their large size and scavenging carnivorous nature.
A human infested by worms is known as a Worm That Walks. Since the brain is left mostly intact the worms know everything the person did, potentially including how to cast spells.


AC 13 (front) 17 (rear), MV 90’, HD 4, two claw attacks for 1d4 damage each and one lashing tongue attack for d6 damage, ML 7

Any attack against the Hiveback’s rear, hit or miss, releases a cloud of bees dealing 1d6 damage (save vs breath for half) to everyone in a 10’ radius.

The hiveback is a strange bipedal creature living in a symbiotic relationship with the beehive growing on and into its back. It keeps the bees safe and travels to nectar-rich flower fields in exchange for protection and feeding on the bees with its long sticky tongue.
If threatened it attempts to keep its back between it and the most threatening enemy whilst focusing on the weakest. Any attacks against the hive cause the bees defend their home and host in swirling clouds of stingers.

 Temporal Shifter

AC 14, MV 150’, HD 3, 2 jittery claw attacks for 1d4 damage each, ML 8

Each successful attack the Temporal Shifter makes on a target creates an identical 1HP clone with the same rule and randomises the original Shifter’s position amongst them. Each clone lasts for 1 minute (10 rounds) before the timeline catches on and rejects it.

The Temporal Shifter is a clock-faced and jittery hexapod which jumps and jerks around as though constantly juddering on an old VCR.
Its attacks shift it briefly into neighbouring timelines and bring shadows of itself through into our world. Each shadow can pull in more shadows until the Shifter overwhelms its enemies in waves of its paradox selves.
It prefers to attack the weak first, building up a small army and making it difficult to find and kill the original. If possible it will create a bunch of clones then run off and hide while they do its dirty work.


Level 4 Wizard wearing the Gamblewizard’s Collar, wielding a wand and a dagger.

The Gamblewizard wears an arcane collar of brass and glass which projects a field which messes with all spells cast in the vicinity. Any time a spell would be cast instead roll 4d6. Any that come up a 5+ mean the spell is cast on the target(s) originally specified. It could cast no times, it could cast four times! Who knows? Not the Gamblewizard! Ding ding ding!
He has a Wand of Magic Missile (10 charges) for maximum gamblespam.


AC 12, MV 120’, HD 2 (same starting HP for all), 1 rusty shortsword attack for 1d6 or a net attack acting as a mancatcher, ML 9.

There are 5 Clonedoodles and they are all identical blue furry goblin creatures with big fuzzy mohawks.
Each can teleport to any other Clonedoodle once per round at any time, even during someone else’s go or in response to an attack. When they teleport they manifest a swirling glassy black cloud of shattered spacetime, dealing 1d6 damage (save vs breath for half) to anyone in melee range of their origin and destination.
If one dies, they all die.

They have rusty shortswords but are not averse to picking up something better. If one of them picks up something they all suddenly have that something.
Their usual technique is to throw their weighted nets at someone then have four run in and stick them until the enemy is dead. If anything goes wrong they all pop to safety then try again.
Against multiple people they pop back and forth to support each other and overcome their foes with their razor-sharp teleport shards.
If fighting a ranged enemy they run en masse and pop out of the way of missiles.
If a foe has armour one of them jumps on and the rest pop in to slice them up from the inside.
If one of their number gets badly hurt it will run away as a teleport destination for the others.

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