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Monday, June 1, 2015

Reskinned Monsters

Back in April, I talked about the idea of reskinning mechanics. This was probably not a new concept to you, but I hope that I expanded your idea of its scope. It's not just about calling taking the stats of an Ogre and describing it to your players as a Cave Troll, though that it still a fine use of reskinning.

I love reskinning mechanics so much, that my current campaign is almost entirely reskinned stuff from the Dungeons & Dragons SRD. I'm having a lot of fun with these, and I thought that some of my monsters would be worth sharing as examples.

Reskinned Monsters

Kobold –> Bronze Salamander: The change here was incredibly minimal. The kobold became a kobold-sized reptilian humanoid with brass-colored scales and a nondamaging aura of heat.

Dire Rat –> Cloudcat: I changed the Dire Rat's Swim bonuses into Jump bonuses, and more importantly, I reskinned its disease to Static Accumulation: targets accumulate static electricity from the air and suffer Dex and Con damage. And now, instead of a filthy rat that every level 1 adventurer must deal with, I've got white-furred mountain lions with static electricity bouncing along their bodies.

Kobold Fighter –> Bronze Salamander Mage: I'd already reskinned the race, all I needed now was the class. I turned the longsword and chain shirt into spells (spirit slash and lesser warding), and I made its longbow into a sparkwand. The mechanics are all the same, the only difference is that the sparkwand doesn't have ammo, which I don't track anyway.

Human Zombie –> Rumbler:
 This is always much more dangerous than I remember it being at low levels, so I finally decided to use it that way. I reskinned it as a dwarf-sized rock monster. The DR still works; I just changed it from slashing to bludgeoning. And as a rock monster, it still makes sense that it only gets partial actions. Now I have a stout, heavy, tough rock beast suitable for inhabiting the mine full of very valuable brightsteel.

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