Friday, 19 July 2019

"Funny Face" D&D Monsters

Have you ever had one of those sticker books which contains a load of blank faces and a random assortment of eyes, noses, mouths and the rest, allowing you to make your own "crazy" characters?

There is a kind of D&D equivalent. It works as follows.

First, you choose a list of monsters. It could be 6, 10, 20, the whole Monster Manual, whatever. For the sake of illustration, let's go with 6: black pudding,  blue dragon, derro, storm giant, harpy and basilisk.

Second, you break your monsters of choice up into their body shape (meaning a very basic physical description), their flavour characteristics (meaning a thumbnail sketch of their "personality" or behaviour), their special abilities (including magic), and their level or organization. Hence:

Third, you roll some dice accordingly - 4d6 in this case.

Let's use some examples. Here I am, 4d6 in my hand, ready to roll.

Monster One: 4, 2, 1, 6. So it is something that looks like a giant, is intelligent, manipulative and hierarchical, can spray acid and envelop opponents, and lives on its own or in a family. Here, I am imagining something which, while it resembles a giant, is actually something like a slime mold or gargantuan humanoid spore - an amorphous semi-solid colony-type entity which forms itself into a vast and sentient walking monstrosity oozing corrosive and noxious fumes and fluids.

Monster Two: 3, 2, 4, 2. So it is dwarf-like, intelligent, manipulative and hierarchical, can cast spells and control the weather, and is solitary or lives in family groups. This is perhaps something akin to the Icelandic huldufolk: a race of diminutive spirits who can manipulate the weather and their environment by channelling the magical energy imbuing the natural world - probably in a manner which strikes humans as capricious and cruel.

Monster Three: 4, 3, 6, 3. Another giant-thing, which is a mad, sadistic would-be conquerer, has a petrifying gaze, and forms an empire. All I can say to that is....nice! A race of giants who can turn their foes to stone with a mere glance, and who constantly attempt to use this power to bend entire continents to their will - an endeavour in which they would undoubtedly be successful were it not for their inevitable tendency to descend into hereditary insanity....


  1. Always fun to have a go with a random generator. You can get weirder with it, too. I would split the first column into both body shape (blob, quadruped, winged biped, etc.) and body style/texture (reptilian, insectoid, humanoid, etc.). It opens the door for more bizarre combos like monstrous men that walk on all fours (quadruped+humanoid), amorphous piles of feathers and beaks (blob+avian). Also, find one of those supplements full of magic items and mix their effects into the "special abilities" column. What about giant lizards that glow in the dark when orcs are nearby?

    1. Nice. And I like that last idea a lot - very good!

  2. What makes these 'funny'?

    None of the three creatures you generated seem even remotely humorous. They seem like...D&D monsters.

    1. They're not supposed to be funny. It's a way of coming up with new monsters.

    2. Funny Faces are a type of sticker divided into three segments (top, middle, bottom) which are put together to form a face, similar to how this system combines segments of monsters (size, body shape) to form a monster.

  3. My immediate thoughts turn to converting Appendix E into a random table. Though it might result in an unusually large amount of things that look like dinosaurs.