On the Making of Monsters

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So you want to play Frankenstein, get your lightning on, maybe unleash a monstrosity on your players? We can help with this. In fact, we'd love to. Most monsters in Legend are made exactly the same way you would make a player character, unless they are Mooks. Simply follow the rules for making characters higher than level one, if needed, and the additional rules in this section:

  • GMs are allowed unlimited track substitutions.
  • GMs are allowed to assign whatever creature type they see fit to monsters.
  • GMs may pick the key offensive and defensive attributes of monsters as they see fit.
  • Monsters should not have consumables unless they are recurring villains or loot on legs.
  • Most monsters are Full Buy-In.

Building a Monster

As an example, let's make a dire wolf. First, we're going to use the Utter Brute track as our racial track. This gives us a great layout, and fits with the idea we're trying to convey mechanically. We don't even need to change the key modifiers. Next, we decide that we'd like to make this critter a 4th level character. We'll have a progression from one to twenty, so that if we need to adjust its power we can just bump it up or down a level later. Next, let's pick our other tracks. Dire wolves are pretty mundane in nature, so we'd like to avoid magical offensive abilities. This limits our access to some of the more interesting melee options. Let's use two barbarian tracks, Path of Destruction and Path of the Ancestors. We're going to go with Full Buy-In as well. For the final track, let's use Battle's Tempering.

Next, we have to figure out what our progression looks like. We definitely want the second ability from Utter Brute, so Utter Brute is our fast progression track. We also want the second ability from Battle's Tempering, to make our wolf more difficult to take down easily. So it turns out that we want to have Path of the Ancestors as our Full Buy-In track and Path of Destruction in our slow progression.

For added effectiveness, consider pairing your monsters up with allies that can take advantage of their strengths, and shore up their weaknesses.

Sample Dire Wolf

Dire Wolf
40 ft
Combat Maneuver DC 15
Fort +8 Ref +5 Will +4
Awareness 16
[Damage reduction] 2
Attack Action
Bite [Melee] (15 ft)

EL 4 Utter Brute Barbarian
Utter Brute/Path of the Ancestors/Path of Destruction/Battle's Tempering

Abilities: Str 16 Dex 12 Con 18 Int 10 Wis 14 Cha 10
Skills: Athletics +7, Intimidate +7, Larceny +5, Vigor +8
Social Defenses: Bluff 16, Diplomacy 14, Intimidate 14, Perception 14
Feats: Weaponized, Sinister Sinews, Meteor Crush
KOM: Constitution (+4) KDM: Strength +3 BAB: +4

Activated Abilities

Meteor CrushEX: As a standard action, the dire wolf may make a single melee attack against an opponent within 15 ft, even if that opponent is [Flying] and the wolf is not. This attack deals 2 extra damage.

If this attack hits a [Flying] opponent, that opponent takes 2 additional damage, stops [Flying], loses the Fly movement mode until the start of the wolf's next turn, and is knocked [Prone].

CleaveEX: As a swift action if the dire wolf hits an opponent with a melee attack it can make a cleave attack by applying that attack roll to another opponent within 15 ft. If the result hits that opponent, the wolf does normal melee damage to the second opponent as well.

Dive for CoverEX: Once per [Encounter] when the Dire Wolf makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an offensive action that would normally have a lesser effect on a successful save (such as a spell with a save of "Reflex half"), it instead ignores the effect entirely.

Hard to BreakEX: Once per [Encounter], if the Dire Wolf succeeds on a Fortitude or Will save against an effect that would have a reduced effect on a successful save, it suffers no effect.

Unforgiving IEX: The first time the Dire Wolf hits with an attack each [Round], it deals 4 points of [HP reduction].

Unforgiving IIEX: As the Dire Wolf dies, it can take a single standard action (though it is still [Dead] afterwards).

Passive Abilities

LineageEX: Any effect that would heal the dire wolf but does not originate from it heals it 4 extra points of damage.

Leading the ChargeEX: When using the Charge combat maneuver, the dire wolf ignores the normal -2 penalty to Armor Class.