One of the most fascinating (and dangerous) creatures that you may encounter on your journeys through space is the Autognome. This monster originally appeared in Monstrous Compendium 9, the second collection of Spelljammer monsters for 2nd Edition AD&D. Here is the 5e conversion that I will be using for my Spelljammer campaign.
Look, we could go on all day about using Dungeons & Dragons as a means to collaborative storytelling and how combat detracts from the “roleplaying experience.” Or, we could just admit that we play D&D so that we can murder fantastical monsters and loot their rapidly cooling bodies for treasure. Unfortunately, sometimes killing the same old giant spiders and baboons available in the Monster Manual gets a little stale. Players and DMs need a little spice in their encounters. Sure there are plenty of clever and original homebrew monsters on the internet (including some of mine), but occasionally I want a professional company to write up the stats for several hundred monsters, print them on paper along with illustrations, bind that paper together and mail it to my home in exchange for money. That’s why I bought Tome of Beasts from Kobold Press. Continue reading Tome of Beasts From Kobold Press Review
Living among the celestial bodies of known space are huge space-faring dragons. The largest of these creatures is the solar dragon. Solar dragons vary in coloration by age with wyrmlings being a fiery red, young dragons being orange, adult dragons being a brilliant yellow and ancient dragons glowing with a bluish white color. Solar dragons are evil and territorial attacking any vessel that they deem a threat to their territory. Continue reading Solar Dragons: Spelljammer 5e Conversion
Desert mythology is full of legendary creatures that can be adapted into a fantasy RPG setting. Two new entries for the desert bestiary come right out of these tales of the desert. The Nasnas comes from Arabian myths and is traditionally portrayed as a type of djinn. I have transformed into a demon for the desert bestiary. From Mesopotamian mythology comes the lammasu. This creature has previously been adapted for use in D&D, but was left out of 5e. Continue reading Desert Bestiary: Nasnas and Lammasu
Ages ago the struggle between the Plane of Air and the Plane of Earth spilled over into the Material Plane. The elemental armies of the two sides met in battle among the endless dunes of the desert. The ever-shifting sands may bear no scars from the hostilities, but the desert was changed none the less. Continue reading Desert Bestiary: Des’Qum, The Sand Warriors
In the language of the nomadic desert clans Jhalan Umeed translates as “false hope.” The creature earned this name by the manner in which it feeds on prey. When seen in full the Jhalan Umeed resembles a gargantuan flat skate 30ft long from head to tail. The underside of its head is distinguished by a 10 ft. wide concave depression where the mouth should be and four large proboscises that resemble desert palms. Few travelers witness the creature in full though. The Jhalan Umeed buries its long body upside down in the sand leaving only its proboscis and head depression exposed. Glands in the head excrete a powerful neurotoxin that fills the depression. To its unsuspecting prey the Jhalan Umeed appears to be a welcome oasis in the vast sea of desert. Targets that drink from the “pool” are paralyzed. Once the creature feels movement stop it uses one of its proboscis to grab the victim. Powerful muscles in the proboscis swallow the prey, crushing bones and armor, allowing the Jhalan Umeed to slowly drain the bodily fluids from the body. The Jhalan Umeed will have a body in 1d4-1 of its proboscises at any given time. Once the bodies are completely drained the creature expels the remains and buries them nearby. Continue reading Desert Bestiary Part 2: Jhalan Umeed
The visit from a camel spider last night inspired the idea of the Giant Camel Spider for a D&D monster, but it also got me thinking about several other new desert monsters that could be created. My brain exploded with ideas for adapting monsters from the 5e Monster Manual for challenging campaigns in a harsh, desert setting. First up, as promised, is the the Giant Camel Spider.