Draxia RPG: Monsters
Hello again, today we have another Draxia RPG post. The topic for today is what makes a monster. I feel it is important that a monster feels right, both thematically and mechanically. For this reason, when I started to make my monsters I broke them down into groups. Currently I have three groups, humanoid, beast, and undead. I have plans to expand these groups to include constructs, elementals, and more.
The way a monster is created in the Draxia RPG is very similar to the way a character is made. I have made a handful of pre-generated monsters, but it is easy to make your own unique ones, or modify my existing monsters. A monster is assigned a set amount of XP just like a player character. With that XP you can have the monster improve core attributes, skills, or special abilities. What is unique about monster creation is that each type of monster has its own special ability tree they spend XP in. The monster ability trees help to keep the monsters thematic. This means an undead monster will consistently feel like an undead, and a beast will feel like a beast.
The undead ability tree is designed to create a wide variety of corrupted creatures. In the Draxian universe, any creature exposed to sufficient corrupted mana begins to turn into an undead. Some of the common traits of the corrupted is high levels of damage reduction and innate magical tendencies. Using this system, it is possible to create the stereotypical monsters such as zombies and vampires. However, because of the system’s flexibility, you can easily add new and unique abilities to an existing monster. For example, you could take a zombie, give it some additional XP, and it could have the ability to temporarily become ethereal.
Another subgroup of monster are the humanoids. A humanoid monster will tend to have equipment, and usually a higher level of intelligence. Many humanoids will also have the use of mana abilities, so always be wary. The humanoid ability tree has a focus on weapon proficiency and spell casting. A thousand years ago most humanoids, such as orcs and ogres, had nearly been driven to extinction. After the humans’ great fall from power, the other races slowly began to grow again. There is very little love between humans and their humanoid counterparts.
The final subgroup of monster are the beasts. Beasts tend to have a lot of HP, and the ability to attack with claws, teeth, and any other natural weapon they have. Beasts come in many forms, from flying bats to rampaging bears. The beast ability tree is designed to allow for the creation of a wide variety of animals. Some high XP beasts may even gain sentience, allowing them to cast spells.
The main goal of these subgroup ability trees was to allow for a flexible method of customization, while still maintaining game balance. With a little creativity it is possible to create a close facsimile to most mythical monsters. I like to think of the Draxia RPG monster section as a toolbox for people to create their own fiendishly dangerous monsters. Eventually I will provide a more comprehensive Draxia monster manual, but for now have fun creating your own.