Monday, 10 November 2008

Random Monster Generation and the Feathered Monrer

Recently, I've knocked together a random generator program in Flash to help add some spice to the classic D&D game I'm currently running for a couple of friends. I designed it to be data driven and the data format itself to be extensible (think tables, sub-tables, looping and so forth - the program uses recursion [surprise!] so that any number of sub-tables can be traversed from any other ones, even allowing multiple rolls on the same table).

Anyway, I've added charts for things like creature deaths, misses, wandering monsters and so on all of which prove useful when you have to think on your feet. E.g. What is a miss? Oh it's an overhead swing that bounced off the opponent's helmet harmlessly! How did that goblin die? He was cleaved in two!

I generally have the players describe their attacks as it adds fun and a bit of drama to the game but this helps me with describing the enemy.

Another chart that I have put together is the random creature generator. I spent most of yesterday adding things to this (it now uses a lot of charts), testing and tweaking it - and I'm very pleased with the results. Here is the first monster I've had it generate, along with my descriptive text. Feel free to steal it and have it find its way into your own campaigns, I even put a suggestion for how it can be encountered in there...

Feathered Monrer (the Corridor Cleaner)

This small creature has no head and is covered in grey vulture feathers. Its two legs are also covered in a darker set of feathers but its four arms are actually completely featherless, revealing a jelly like fleshy substance, and terminate in bird like claws. The Monrer can use these four arms as either arms or legs, preferring to rear up on two legs in combat and travel on all six of its limbs when moving. It looks a little like a 4 foot long feathered centipede in shape, rearing up to 3 feet tall in combat.

It normally scavenges for food and is quick to steal carcasses from other denizens of the dungeon and is able to make a quick getaway. Its bones are extremely small and the jelly like substance that makes up its flesh is some kind of extreme fat that its body produces. Without a head, it appears to have no way to consume its food, but in fact it is able to consume food through its claws. Without eyes, it is blind but navigates using some form of internal echo location system and seems to key on the smell of blood, although how it does this is not known.

The feathered Monrer is one of the creations of Tarjan, the Mad God to clean up his catacombs of dead adventurers. Since then, they found their way into many dungeons throughout the realms. Suggested encounter - when a character falls in battle have up to six of these little critters run swiftly in and attempt to drag the body away into the darkness of the dungeon!

Attacks: 2 claws (d4, d4)
AC: 5
HD: <1 hp:1-4 (-1 damage from blunt weapons because of its jelly like flesh)
Size: S
Movement : Quick (125% of normal)
Morale: 7
Diet: Carnivore (Niche: Scavenger)
Alignment: Neutral
Number encountered: 1-6 (3d6)

Ah, the joy of random tables lol.


Tommi said...

Would you mind sharing the generator, or is it a trade secret of some sort, or mayhaps a commercial venture?

The Recursion King said...

Sure, I'll post it, no problem. Expect a blog post with it on soon!