I love role-playing. There’s something about traveling to fantastical worlds and meeting equally fantastic people and creatures that is very appealing! Boggsimus recently asked me what my top 5 favorite monsters in role-playing games were. So, I figured I’d answer his question with an article: My Top 5 Favorite Monsters!
Vampires are easily in the Top 5 counts. They are one of the most visible and well known of the monsters from games, movies, books, and T.V. shows. In 5th Edition, they are very dangerous. They are easily seen from the adventure path or campaign module “Curse of Strahd”, in 5th editions version of the old school “Ravenloft” story and lore. Their actions, ideas, and missions are sometimes not exactly evil. Most of them are brought to this evil due to their need to feed and corruptive new nature of vampirism.
In this new 5th edition they are fun to play. For the DM, it’s difficult to roleplay them due to their intelligence and cunning. Some are simple peasants that are considered spawns of vampires. But the older ones… much more terrifying. If played out correctly, other players will have a challenging time
truly killing one if they do not do their research on such creatures. Always remember the line between character knowledge and player knowledge. They are also a great side story that could lead back to almost any arc in your campaign. They are easily modified to better fit your game and level.
Goblins are indeed the most fun to play and fight…and the most annoying to fight again if played correctly. Goblins are thought of the weakest and most easily killed. Yet a party of 4 or even 8 going against a war band of these little critters is sad news for any player. Even when the goblins have stopped at a village for food and rest, a goblin war party can easily infiltrate during the night with their natural stealth scores and overtake the village. Any Goblin campaign will equal to fun with them behaving as evil and logical. The Goblins in Pathfinder can use Medium size firearms, and any class can fit in with a War party if done correctly, and if the DM/GM approves of course. When you’re a Goblin as a DM or player, remember goblins are annoying to chase and hit, which is their strength. While the players get annoyed, your goblin is running away with a bag of random broken trinkets and shiny.
I know, right? These made it to my list because of a few things. My main reason would have to be – they are never used in games. These guys or gals, whatever, are very easy to use in most settings. They feel compelled to be overlords over anyone and anything from birth. They have a strong Charismatic nature. They also can be found in the Nine Hells, the Abyss, the Material plane, etc. These guys are fun to have around and are very useful to fill in a story. Granted, you could always use the Incubus or Succubus that are best used to trap players and give them trust issues with any of your NPCs. But the thing with
Cambions is they can also fit into lore and story.
A few examples: let’s say a Warlock in the family tree gave birth but she is a virgin, did her Fiend patron give her a child due to her loyalty? Or for her mistakes? This continues to be a problem with any family member after her as every few generations a Cambion is born and is hunted by both agents of fiends and the good orders. Another example, the party is hired by a council of magi to investigate a faraway city that has gone quiet. Maybe a Cambion has finally started his or her path to become an overlord. Or if a player wished to be one from their own curse in the family tree or magic gone wrong, they begin changing, their alignment is switching slowly, and the party needs to find a way to save their friend before the turn is complete. “Born to be Bad” is the Cambion.
Almost anyone of my players knows eventually there is a Dragon in the game. Dragons are both majestic and terrifying. They can be Intelligent, or Feral, Mighty or Hidden, Evil or Good or in between. They are both fun to play and to fight. They have many different breeds, alignments, etc. In most lore, they are among the first created out of Order and Chaos. Some have been to other planes and became even more frightful due to their changes from being there so long. They can be hidden away and hard to find, or they can be right beside you in a humanoid form. Dragons are in my top 5 for their versatility, might, magic, and lore. And let’s be honest it is “Dungeons & Dragons”. It’s in the name-use them. The day my party finds out what this NPC really is, is the day they will always remember.
#1. GELATINOUS CUBE
THIS is by far my favorite! Why? Let me tell you a story about eight players having a time of their lives in a dungeon crawl, being level 15 and filed with magic items, spells, strength, etc. Nothing prepared them for when the Paladin of the party walked into a wall that was transparent and immediately engulfed by the creature the Gelatinous Cube, In the end, I had four players engulfed and stuck till spell slots were finally given out to kill it. Level 15 players and the cube is a challenge level of 2. These are fun at any level to remind players there is nothing more thrilling then running and going limbo in a square space that slowly eats away at them, and they can’t move. True, in 5th edition they can make checks to get out, but for level 15s I take that away because, well it’s too funny. I did nothing to this monster, no higher CR, no extra hit points, nothing. It was straight from the monster manual, and it was the best hour of game play that day. Granted, the battle did not take that long, but the players could do nothing but laugh both in the game and out. This is what the game is all about – fun with your friends to create a story to tell for ages
This has been Coffee and Dice at Boggsimus Games; I’m Joshua Graham I will see
you at the gaming table!