Yesterday I released a new random monster generator on my website Here Be Taverns. The generator spawns OGL-compatible monsters for 5th edition D&D which I pulled from three sources:
Altogether this amounts to "1000" (actually 1086) monsters with ready-made statblocks for you to discover.
Now here's the fun part: the generator also spawns system-agnostic monsters. These ones can turn out... weird. I think they are great inspiration!
So for today's issue of Novus Bestiary, I am going to use 5 generated monsters as writing prompts and present them to you.
Let me know if they make it into any of your own stories... 📖
They are bred in a land of seaglass. The crystalline structures they train in teach them to be ever-wary of their own reflections. Examining every minute detail of their motion, from every possible angle, carves them into perfect fighters. They train every day under stark conditions.
At night, they sleep alone. Without any camaraderie they dwell instead on their own reflections. Often they mutter to themselves, speaking as much as reviewing the motions over, and over, and over again.
When they turn 13 they submit to The Whelming. It is important that 13 die at the ceremony. There they receive their birthright and finally become whole. The coral horn penetrates their foreheads and fuses to the bone and seaglass underneath. With the power of the horn they no longer fear death. The horn remembers their form and returns it to them in the event of any cut, any scrape, any loss of limb.
Some say that those who go near the assassins from the land of seaglass start to shrink from the sunlight. No one knows the reason, but some priests claim that victims catch a glimpse of the bright shine of their homeland mirrors, and the shine burns their eyes. From that point on they avoid bright lights.
There is one way to defeat them. Strangely the assassins are not aware of their own weakness. Too much time in the crystal world has made them invincible against blades but brittle against the roots of the deep earth. Connection with pieces of sturdy wood can shatter their limbs and slow their regenerative process.
The Soul Iguana has eyes like deep emerald pools. Woe to those who gaze into them! For those eyes have watched stubbornly for aeons. The steadfast gaze of the iguana pierces through the fabric of the world. It watches the games and communes with spirits we cannot see.
But the Iguana has stared too long. It only ever sees the spirits, sometimes speaking. But it can never touch them – never truly join them. The land around it starts to perish from its sorrow. The sorrow runs so deep that the iguana's gaze has begun to corrupt the bones of the earth. Metals rot under its sad, farseeing eyes.
Those who wander near it develop a fear of darkness. They feel so very lonely when the sun sets. Vulnerable in the dark.
Ceremony of the Fire Breathing Goat
In the small island village of Lansbay, there is a weird festival at the start of spring. All the villagers gather round a vast pen that has been purpose built. Its posts are 12 feet high and made of iron - a rarity in those parts. The sun sets and massive torches are lit. A villager who has been selected as the "shaman" leads a black goat into the pen. Another villager, the "shepherd", waits in the center.
As the moon waxes bright, the shepherd starts to dance with the goat while the shaman sings. Under the bright light of the moon, the goat transforms. It grows larger, its eyes burn red, and it huffs and it puffs. Finally the song and dance reaches a fever pitch and the goat goes berserk. It breathes fire all over the shepherd, roasting them alive.
Everyone cheers as it devours the shepherd's burnt corpse. They know that their flocks will breed well this year.
Sir Jondreth of the Clay
Game Masters always debate whether this monster counts as a monster or a trap.
The party enters some room in a dungeon and the GM describes a fetish crafted of wood and taupe-colored feathers. It is usually sitting in some obvious alcove but it can be anywhere really. Some GMs prefer to "hide" it, as a way to punish those players who always spend way too long searching every crevice of a room that they have already obviously cleared.
As soon as anyone touches the feathery artifact, they hear a voice in their heads. It is Sir Jondreth, a famed knight of the old dynasty. Jondreth tells the story of his fall. The details change but the main arc of the story always remains the same. Love of the realm turned to zeal. Zeal turned to questionable acts in the name of duty. Questionable acts turned to moral obligation.
Anyways, the story is just a distraction.
While they commune with the spirit, the party doesn't notice the bits of clay crumbling out from the cracks in the stone and assembling itself. Eventually someone notices and alerts the party. By then its too late and they are facing a Death Knight made from clay.
Sir Jondreth's clay golem form isn't strong enough to do any serious damage, but he can only be hurt with magic items so he's a bit of a pain to deal with. At the very least he produces a cool story and sharply reminds the players to not linger and touch every strange feathery statue they find in dungeons.
Drugd the Chain Morlock
This nasty little oaf calls himself "Drugd". The bandit captain Blake Laroque, leader the Crimson Gang (formerly known as the Scarlet Gang), found him alone in the mountains somewhere. He surprised the gang while they slept. Everyone woke up to screaming and found the crazy bastard chewing off the ear of their cook Devin.
Blake thought it was hilarious. He decided to adopt Drugd and took to calling Devin "Deafen". Deafen hates his new name but the rest of the gang all just go along with whatever pleases Blake, so Deafen it is.
If you ever run into this gang, there is no chance you will miss Drugd. Blake has him decked out in some funky coloured plate mail he likely stole from a dead man. Drugd is attached to Blake's wrist by a thick chain.
Blake likes to stand back while his gang does the dirty work, releasing Drugd from his chain near the end of the fight so he can rush in and start eating injured people.
P.S. I drew inspiration and some content from Maze Rats by Ben Milton to create this generator. It's a wonderful game I highly recommend buying!