D&D Player Mods Hundreds Of Monsters Into Playable Characters

Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons

Your bread-and-butter Dungeons & Dragons party won’t include a manticore, a gargoyle, a hyena or a sentient fungi, but maybe it should. One D&D player spent a year and a half converting every single creature in the D&D Monster Manual into playable characters, and now players can live out their dreams of being a great fire beetle who slays dragons.

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There are hundreds of monsters in D&D’s Monster Manual, many of which don’t really lend themselves to the Lord of the Rings-esque adventures that traditionally star humanoids. Most dungeon masters won’t let players stray too far from that model. It’s hard to wrap a plot around a rag-tag team of dire bats and oozes, and it’s hard to make sure a party’s stats are balanced when it contains both a faerie dragon and a mastiff.

Creator Tyler Kamstra’s new 283-page homebrew mod “Monstrous Races” offers ways for players to embody any of D&D’s monsters using stats, role-playing notes and everything else you’d expect to see listed next to the “Human” race in the D&D Player’s Handbook. To play a basilisk, for example, players can attempt to petrify a creature with their gaze as an action. This is helpful, since basilisks don’t have hands, rendering them incapable of holding a sword. To play a banshee, or an undead spirit of a female elf, Kamstra recommends that players covet beautiful objects and remain within five miles of anywhere the banshee lived while alive.

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This “Monstrous Races” mod is the sort of wonderful thing that, back in D&D days of yore, would exist as a titanic document in some far-flung basement, only to be enjoyed by a handful of players. We can at least thank the internet for giving us playable purple worms.

Senior reporter at Kotaku.

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DISCUSSION

invadingduck
InvadingDuck | Zachary D Long

This is good. Volo’s Guide to Monsters gave a few playable monster races, so in one of my games I have been playing as a fancy-boy Bugbear ranger named Baloo. He has a pet pteranodon named Pterry.

“Fuck it, why not?” is the best way to DM a game.