Homebrewing tip Reskin Monsters.

Today my thoughts fall on Homebrew creature creation. Creating creatures is one of my favorite things in all of RPG gaming. In the land of rules lawyers and grognards who have digested volumes of monsters, it’s nice to keep them on their toes. We all know what a Minotaur is. We also know what to expect when we encounter one in the game. Yet with a subtle tweak, say a Rhino Warrior we can throw something entirely new at our players and keep them guessing as to what it is that they might be facing. 

Giving a monster a Reskin has several benefits over crafting a creature from scratch. Chiefly when we Reskin the creature instead of crafting it from scratch we save time. Time is a commodity that few Game Masters have. The other major benefit of the Reskin is for game balance.  Knowing that the monster is already balanced to a certain CR. Allows us to quickly craft a creature and move on to other portions of our game prep. 

Using the example above let’s take this simple Minotaur and reskin him into a Rhino Warrior. Giving us something new but with very little effort on the GM’s part. First, we pull out the Monster Manual and bookmark both the Minotaur and the Rhinosuars. Often you likely will not have a second creature’s stats on hand to assist you in your reskin. But in this case, it speeds up the creature creation process even more.

For reference, it is simple enough to look at the Rhino and Look at the Minotaurs 5E stats. We can see that The Rhinosaurase and the Minotaur have very much the same stats. I this instance I will pretty much port everything over from the minotaur to our new creation with the exception of Labyrinth Recall. In its place and to represent the Rhinos Thicker Hide and slightly larger size I will just up the AC a hair more.

lance66

Minotaur
Large monstrosity, chaotic evil

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 76 (9d10 + 27)
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 11 (+0) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 16 (+3) 9 (-1)

Skills Perception +7
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Abyssal
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Charge: If the minotaur moves at least 10 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 9 (2d8) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 10 feet away and knocked Prone.

Labyrinthine Recall: The minotaur can perfectly recall any path it has traveled.

Reckless: At the start of its turn, the minotaur can gain advantage on all melee weapon attack rolls it makes during that turn, but attack rolls against it have advantage until the start of its next turn.

Actions

Greataxe: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d12 + 4) slashing damage.

Gore: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage.

 

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Rhino Warrior
Large monstrosity, chaotic evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 76 (9d10 + 27)
Speed 40 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 11 (+0) 16 (+3) 6 (-2) 16 (+3) 9 (-1)

Skills Perception +7
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Abyssal
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Charge: If the minotaur moves at least 10 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 9 (2d8) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 10 feet away and knocked Prone.

Reckless: At the start of its turn, the minotaur can gain advantage on all melee weapon attack rolls it makes during that turn, but attack rolls against it have advantage until the start of its next turn.

Actions

Greataxe: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (2d12 + 4) slashing damage.

Gore: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage.

 

 

Homebrew Monster: Scorpion Moth Swarm

Earlier this year I asked my readers what you all wanted to see more of. The resounding answers were homebrew content and the return of creature features in my blogs. You asked and I am more than happy to oblige.

So I reached back into my bag of tricks from when I was working on the concept of my homebrew world. There I found an interesting note about the dangers of flying scorpions. I recalled running a game session where the players came across a swarm of what at fist looked like butterflies on a log. On closer inspection, they realized two things. The log was not a long but a decaying corpse. The second thing they realized was that the butterflies were not butterflies but flying scorpions feasting on the body!

So the first thing I wanted to do for the blog was to update the Scorpion Moth for 5E. Additionally, I am a fan of two frames of thought when it comes to creature creation. First If possible, I prefer to reskin creatures so as to ensure the monster I am crafting is balanced for the encounters I will be using them in. Second if possible I try to find creative ways that I can use a creation over the breath of several levels.

In this case, I was successfully able to not only reskin once creature but introduce several forms that the GM could implement them in play. I am pleased with the result and if you bring these to your table you should be able to fit them in a wide range of encounters CR’s.
I hope you enjoy the Scorpion Moth.

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A few years later I found this wonderful piece of art over at Deviant art so I clipped it and kept it around for future sessions.