Monstrous Races: want to play a Tarrasque Monk, or Unicorn Paladin?

Tyler Kamstra has done an amazing thing. Seriously. Amazing and absurd. It’s easily my favorite thing I’ve gotten from DMsGuild.

You know how everyone always wants to play a creature from the monster manual as their character race? Sure, we can all imagine a Minotaur barbarian, or a Kobold rogue, it’s definitely been done, with some builds better than others.

But what about all the other monsters in the Monster Manual?

As in… what about All the monsters in the Monster Manual?

Kamstra took two years and created character options for playing every single monster in the Monster Manual. I’ll say it again, it’s amazing and absurd. Here’s a statement from the introductory “How to Use This Document” section:

All of the Monster Manual monsters as D&D playable races“Many of the “races” (the term is used very loosely here) in this document are clearly absurd. In many campaigns, the idea of an animated object as a character makes no sense, but I’ve seen enough people wanting to play sentient items or animated objects that I’ve given up all hope of logic, internal consistency, or sanity. Instead, I’ve opted to present every possible option in hopes that someone somewhere will enjoy them, if only for the time it takes to read the racial traits for a rug of smothering.”

Perhaps the most amazing part is how he provided the logic and thought process behind each build plus guidelines for making your own using his Build Points system. It makes for a really fun read. For example, reading the description and design notes for creatures like the Piercer can be hilarious. You know, the Piercer, the creature that hangs from cave ceilings and falls on people? Yeah, you can try being a Piercer Rogue if you really want.

There are some assumptions involved. For example, all creatures are assumed to have a minimum level of intelligence. He leaves the reason how this particular version of the monster might have become intelligent up to the players and DM with the suggestion that magic like the Awaken Spell might be involved.

Many of the strongest monsters end up with vastly reduced abilities in order to balance everything, for example, most total immunities have been reduced to resistances and sizes have been reduced to medium. So that Tarrasque character you’ve been dying to play will be a big medium-sized creature with resistance to fire (rather than immunity) and reflective carapace triggers on 1 in 20 spell attacks rather than 1 in 6.

The important thing is that each creature still has the flavor of the original despite being balanced up or down to the level of regular Human, Elf, Dwarf, or Halfling. Of course, when I say ‘balanced’ I mean within reason. Obviously, the Gelatinous Cube Wizard probably isn’t going to work out that well…

On to the Absurd! In the next post, we’ll go ahead a build a Tarrasque Monk!

After that, I’m thinking a Unicorn Paladin for the Bronies out there, and maybe a party of mice as an homage to the old Rescue Rangers cartoon. My friend Dyer over at Basilisk Online Art suggested doing Land Before Time or even Brave Little Toaster themed games using this build system, which I also think is awesome. 🙂

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