Recently, Campaign Mastery recieved a comment to one of our blogs informing us of an online monster/NPC generator available at Dingle Games. While the comment was not approved as it was unrelated to the post in question, we felt the product itself was worth a look: http://www.dinglesgames.com/tools/MonsterGenerator/dnd35/
I decided to test it out by constructing a creature that I need for my next Shards Of Divinity session, a Leonine. As with most such creatures, I decided to base the characteristics on an existing creature; looking over the choices on offer, I chose a Gnoll because its characteristics and behaviour most closely matched what I wanted for the new race. I had already decided that this species inherantly came with 4 levels of Barbarian, and had enhanced Str, Dex, Con, and Char. I was also of the opinion that just as lions are larger than most cats, so a lion-related humanoid would be large in size than an ordinary man. Finally, I wanted to play around with the number of class levels of Fighter that this particular (typical) specimen would have until I had the mix right.
The Monster Generator let me achieve all that. I started with 4 levels of fighter, but increased that to 6 after looking at the results. I was able to select from amongst the different feats on offer to suit, and to equip the creature with a +1 scimitar. I was also able to play around with the degree of enhancement I was going to include in the base characteristics for the race until I achieved a pack hunter design that I was happy with.
This is the text version of what the program output for me:
Gnoll (Large Humanoid)
Fighter level 6 (skill points 6) Knight
Barbarian level 4 (skill points 12) Scout
Hit die: 2d8+6d10+4d12+36(104hp)
AC: 19 + Hide + Shield, heavy steel
AC flat footed :15
AC Touch: 13
Base Attack/Grapple: 11/21
Attack: +18 (++1/++1) Scimitar 1d8+9
or +14 Shortbow 1d8
Full attack: +18/13/8 (++1/++1) Scimitar 1d8+9
+10 Dagger, punching 1d6+3
or +14/9/4 Shortbow 1d8(range 70)
Rage +4 con +4 Str +2 +2 will save -2 AC per day 2
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60,
Fast movement Land Movement raised by 10
Illiteracy Cannot Read/Write
Trap Sense Reflex save and AC when dealing with traps bonus 1
Uncanny Dodge Retains Dex bonus if flat footed
Saves: Fort +15, Ref +7, Will +3
Abitities: Str 22, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 11, Chr 14
Skills: Climb 3, Handle Animal 4, Hide -3, Intimidate 4, Jump 3, Listen 2, Ride 6, Spot 3, Survival 2, Swim -3,
Feats: Blind-fight, Improved Critical, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse, Armour prof heavy, Armour prof light, Armour prof medium, Improved Overrun, Martial Weap Prof, Power Attack, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Tower Shield Proficiency, Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization,
This still isn’t perfect for my needs; I will have to modify the design to accommodate the house rules in use within that particular campaign. Nevertheless, a few seconds’ of playing around saved me at least an hour’s work.
How does the tool compare with a product such as Redblade 3.5? That lets me create new races, incorporate new feats and new skills, equip the creature with more variety of magic items, and output a far more substantial result, including descriptions and comments. I have Redblade; do I really need Dingle Game’s monster generator?
The answer is that the two compliment each other. Experimentation is quicker and easier using the Dingle Games generator because you can see the results all in one place, and the result is something that I could use in a pinch with minimal tweaking. In terms of deciding WHAT to feed into Redblade, the Dingle Generator was superb.
Redblade is perhaps better once the details and specifics of what the race is going to be like are nailed down, because I can retain permanently any campaign customisation that I take the time to enter into its system.
What’s more, the author of the online generator promises more refinements and add-ons to come. That makes it an extremely valuable resource to any GM, and one worth knowing about.