The Monster Generator

Basic Overview

The MG allows a GM to rapidly create an exotic cast of creatures for use with any RPG setting. There are several advantages to using the MG. Monsters made with the MG, unlike traditional RPG foes, will have an array of unpredictable attack and defense modes; players will never have encountered them before. Using the MG can lend an almost alien flavor to a campaign world. Also, this system allows GM’s to archive their favorite beasties with an easy-to-use “genetic” code. New creatures can be whipped up before each game. Favorites can be made a permanent part of the GM’s campaign flora and fauna file.

How to Use the Monster Generator

Roll a number (from 1-20) for each of the desired or appropriate tables below. These tables include the following:

Body This covers the basic body shape of the creature.
Skin Color markings, epidermis or outward appearance.
Head Type of head or minor head feature.
Locomotion The means by which the monster moves.
Appendages Limbs of various sorts.
Attacks Noteworthy attacks in addition to normal kicking and biting.
Defenses A listing of protective characteristics.
Intelligence and Social Order Creature IQ and grouping habits.
Weird Traits Timid GM’s may want to omit.

Tables of Characteristics
0I Body

01 Man—roughly anthropomorphic
02 Slug—large, medium or small as desired
03 Centaur—humanoid from the waist up, animal below
04 Quadruped, small—an animal like a cat, dog, weasel, wolf or rat
05 Birdlike—large, medium or small as desired
06 Serpentine—something like a snake, eel or worm
07 Ray—flat, like a manta ray; not necessarily aquatic
08 Fish—not necessarily aquatic
09 Plant—rooted or ambulatory
10 Man-animal—roughly anthropomorphic body, but animal-headed
11 Bug—spider, scorpion, wasp, mantis, moth, tick or crustacean
12 Blob—an amorphous mass of some organic material
13 Balloon—a sac, filled with gas or liquid
14 Squid (or octopus)—not necessarily aquatic
15 Man-snake—half humanoid, half serpent
16 Vine—free-roaming or rooted
17 Quadruped, large—an animal like a bear, horse, deer, goat, puma or bull
18 Man (Huge)—roughly anthropomorphic, but hulking
19 Snail—large, medium or small as desired
20 Starfish—not necessarily aquatic

02 Skin

01 Tough—normal appearance, but resistant to minor heat or damage
02 Smokey—constantly emits wispy vapors
03 Shadowy—skin absorbs light, wraith-like
04 Flesh—mostly flesh, patches of fur or hair
05 Scales—partially or fully scaled, resistant to attacks
06 Spots—partially or fully spotted, various color schemes
07 Fur—protection from cold
08 Bald—creature is hairless, fleshy
09 Sores—scabbed or oozing pus
10 Ridges—corrugated flesh or ridges of exposed bone
11 Spines—creature has partial or full coverage
12 Moldy—host to a thick, colorful skin fungus, or actually is a fungus
13 Carapace/shell—bone or chitin armor, highly resistant to damage
14 Loose folds—able to glide down from heights and/or enwrap victim
15 Ciliated—covered in wiggling cilia, long or short, thick or skinny
16 Bioluminescent—glows faintly or brightly, constantly or at will
17 Transparent—internal organs and half-digested foods are visible
18 Color shifting—chameleonic
19 Slimy—covered with a gel or mucus-like substance
20 Stripes—partially or fully, various color schemes

03 Head

01 Fangs—subtle or pronounced
02 Slitted eyes—resistance to glare and (perhaps) enhanced vision
03 Pointed ear—subtle (elfin) or pronounced (wolfish)
04 Flapped, large—ears covered like a hound dog or elephant
05 Large—ears are oversized
06 Single Eye—limited depth perception
07 Multifaceted—great peripheral vision
08 Multiple eyes—clustered (great depth perception) or scattered
09 Snout—enhanced sense of smell
10 Horns—one or multiple, useful for goring, head butts
11 Crest—a ridge, tuft, or plume
12 Eye stalks—can be extended/retracted at will (like a crab or slug)
13 Forked tongue—enhanced smell
14 Antlers—useful for goring
15 Bristles—partial (mane) or full body coverage, stubby or long
16 Antennae—allow for navigation in total darkness (radar)
17 Trunk—prehensile, enhanced olfactory capability, good for snorkeling
18 Headless—head features are absent or elsewhere (like chest or hands)
19 Tusks—boar-like, for goring
20 Tentacles—single or multiple, long or short, growing from lips, head, etc

04 Locomotion

01 Glide—can glide when dropping from heights
02 Marathon—can run for enormous distances without fatigue
03 Sprint—capable of short bursts of great speed
04 Jump—hopping (as a mode of travel) or single leap (for attacks)
05 Burrow—gofer-like means of travel
06 Teleport—line of sight, to several set locations, or anywhere at will
07 Swim—might also breathe water, resistant to pressures
08 Brachiate—must have canopy of tree limbs or overhead handholds
09 Summon mount—steed, avian or other, comes from distance or appears
10 Follow river—enter stream at one point, then (instantly?) exit at another
11 Gate—can teleport from like points (trees, monoliths, pools, coffee shops, etc)
12 Tumble—can either dry up and drift (tumbleweed), or roll end over end
13 Step multiply—each step doubles in distance (2′, 4′, 8′, and so on)
14 Water walk—can walk (or skim) across liquids at will
15 Land surf—rides a small wave of earth that temporarily liquefies
16 Fly—full flight capability, with or without wings
17 Spirit-like—can become ghostly and float along, through solid objects
18 Electrical—can travel along conducting materials or as a bolt of lightning
19 Host—enter an object or device, then emerge later at will
20 Host—enter another creature, emerge later (might not control creature)

05 Appendages

01 Retractable claws—allow for raking attacks and enhanced climbing
02 Tentacles—in addition to (or instead of) other limbs, many or few
03 Claws—allow for raking attacks and enhanced climbing
04 Multiple limbs—copies of limbs, spirit or flesh, perhaps differently sized
05 Pseudopods–prehensile amoeboid extensions, can be extended/retracted
06 Odd tongue—prehensile, stinging, forked, extra long, or other
07 Pistoning limbs—jab forward with great velocity (jaws, arms, tongue, etc)
08 Tail—prehensile, spiked, stinger-equipped, clubbed, swim-aiding, etc
09 Fins—enhanced swimming
10 Wings—bat, bird or insect, for full flight or wing-assisted leaps
11 Hoofed feet—good for running, strong legs for pulling
12 Webbed hands or feet—enhanced swimming
13 Plumes—colorful, perhaps retractable
14 Snake body—serpentine from the waist down
15 Exostosis—exposed bony spurs in various places, useful for slicing
16 Odd aura—faintly radiating nimbus, at will or uncontrollably
17 Large hands—oversized, strong
18 Parasites—creature is visibly infested with bug(s) or other thing(s)
19 Whiskers—long, fine hairs for navigation in darkness
20 Talons—hands and/or feet are actually falcon-like talons

06 Attacks

01 Mind assault—can cause fear, damage, intense pleasure or apathy
02 Organic projectile—explosive or ballistic seeds, flesh clumps, teeth
03 Acid—spat, squirted from orifice, oozed from skin or other
04 Lignify—can turn opponent into a tree, temporary or permanent
05 Conjure—can summon creature(s), random or always same type
06 Pyrotechnic—project, summon or breath flames (streams, shapes or balls)
07 Electricity—arcs of electrical energy, or summoned lightning from above
08 Gas—exhaled or sprayed from orifice, blinding, noxious, paralyzing or other
09 Venomous bite—fangs, external mandibles or tongue , poisons or paralyzes
10 Venomous claws/spines—poisons or paralyzes
11 Multiply—can quickly clone self
12 Thorns—projected or used in bodily contact attacks
13 Paralytic—by touch, beams or mental attack
14 Sonic shriek—harmful or stunning noise
15 Suggestion—spoken or mental projection
16 Constriction—crushing grip with limbs, tail or other appendage
17 Sleep—can stun or knock opponent unconscious by some means
18 Spirit leech—can drain life energy (by touch, gaze, proximity, etc)
19 Frosty breath—can exhale air at extremely low (damaging) temperatures
20 Shape shift foe—change enemy into alternate form, random or specific

07 Defenses

01 Undead Neutral—ignored by low IQ undead creatures
02 Invisibility—can disappear at will (fade, vanish with a puff, etc)
03 Blink—can vanish and reappear elsewhere (nearby, behind foe, etc)
04 Play dead—heartbeat/breathing indiscernible, ooze blood, very convincing
05 Climb—by defying gravity, excellent grip, sticky hands/feet, or other
06 Levitate—ascend and descend only, can drift with wind currents
07 Darkness—can reduce light in localized area
08 Gas cloud—blinding, obscuring, noxious, or other
09 Assume noncorporeal form—can become gaseous, intangible, etc
10 Visual displacement—image appears a short distance from actual location
11 Quills—projected or used in body contact attacks
12 Stench—causes opponents to flee or fight at reduced efficiency
13 Bury self—only in loose dirt or sand, or can sink into any substance
14 Lignify self—can become a tree
15 Remote/multiple forms—several bodies (extras are dormant until needed?)
16 Pocket dimension—can escape into tiny metaspace or personal realm
17 Translucency—nearly invisible (especially in forest or at night)
18 Armored—external plating or simply tough skin
19 Shocking skin—discharges electricity (only when attacked or harmed)
20 Menacing appearance—when threatened, puffs up, hisses, looks mean

08 Intelligence and Social Order

01 Non-intelligent, loner—seeks food, avoids pain, seeks/avoids light
02 Non-intelligent, group-minded—seeks food, avoids pain, seeks/avoids light
03 Dumb, loner—incapable of strategy
04 Dumb, paired—incapable of strategy
05 Dumb, group—incapable of strategy
06 Animal, loner—cat level, instinctively tricky
07 Animal, paired—sheep dog-like tactics
08 Animal, group—dog-like tactics
09 Clever, loner—near human level thought, capable of simple planning
10 Clever, paired—near human level thought, capable of simple planning
11 Clever, group—near human level thought, capable of simple planning
12 Human level, loner—can plan and execute complex strategies
13 Human level, paired—can plan and execute complex strategies
14 Human level, group—can plan and execute complex strategies
15 Genius, loner—dazzling feats of logic and intuition
16 Genius, paired—dazzling feats of logic and intuition
17 Genius, group—dazzling feats of logic and intuition
18 Borrowed, loner—psychically utilizes the intellect of foe or nearby sentient
19 Borrowed, paired—psychically utilizes the intellect of foe or nearby sentient
20 Borrowed, group—psychically utilizes the intellect of foe or nearby sentient

09 Weird Traits

01 Death change—fades, liquefies, petrifies, reverts or explodes upon death
02 Animate shadow—creature’s shadow becomes its agent
03 Commune with dead—can speak with dead, summon ghosts
04 Gigantically proportioned
05 Telepathic—one or two way communication
06 Multi-headed—multiple sentient heads
07 Secondary form—assume a single alternate body/shape
08 Shape shift—alter body to any shape desired
09 Undead—monster is undead (zombie or ghoul-like)
10 Grow/Shrink—get larger or smaller at will (either or both)
11 Iron shift, active—skin becomes flexible metal, half mobility
12 Iron shift, inactive—creates protective metal shell, immobile
13 Amorphous shift—become a fluid blob at will
14 Spirit shift—become wraithlike at will, perhaps controls undead
15 Luminescent eyes—glowing, allows for night vision, easily spotted
16 Skeletal—flesh/organs nonexistent or hidden within bone frame
17 Poison flesh—flesh is toxic if consumed
18 Body switch—can swap bodies with opponent, temporary or permanent
19 Animated inorganic—active statue, machine or toy
20 Mental control—can command small creature(s), one type or multiple

Some Basic Guidelines

Have fun: Use your imagination to interpret the generator’s results. Create creatures you will enjoy using. Name your new creation and make it yours.

Work your new creatures into your world: For instance, if it can “teleport to set locations” perhaps it is part of a bizarre cult, has undergone a magical ritualistic transformation and can teleport to the cult’s four scared temples, shrines or obelisks. From this sort of thinking, depth of play will arise; perhaps the players in your game can undergo the ritual and forever after use the teleport capability mentioned above.

Mix and match features: If a creature is amoeboid plus it has constricting attack, then it might be using its amoeboid body itself to apply the constricting attack

Discard unworkables: Some combinations may be too clumsy to use. However, don’t discard a seemingly unworkable creature too quickly; sometimes those provide the greatest interest.

Common sense placement: If the creature oozes liquid or has a mucus covered epidermis, do not drop it in the desert unless you have a good explanation for how it arrived.

Can be used to create exotic familiars.

Example Creatures

Listed below are three examples. In each case, traits were generated with the MG tables, then expanded upon. Each creature was given a name and its characteristics were listed in archived format.

Example I: Shimmer Cat

Table Results: (17) quadruped, large; (7) fur; (8) multiple eyes; (2) marathon; (16) odd aura; (1) mind assault; (18) armored; (9) clever, loner; (5) telepathic

Detailed Explanation: Resembling a mountain lion with dark blue fur and two sets of menacing yellow eyes, the shimmer cat is so named because of the unsettling indigo nimbus which faintly radiates from its body. A creature imported from the Plane of Shadow, it has incredible stamina and is capable of traveling for great distances on foot. Upon nearing an intended victim, the shimmer cat will usually employ stealth, stalking its prey for the thrill of the hunt. The cat will often taunt its victim with demoralizing telepathic images before attacking (with its mental assault ability). Defensively, the shimmer cat relies on its unusually tough skin.

Shimmer Cat, Archived Format: 17, 7, 8, 2, 16, 1, 18, 9, 5

Example II: Borzai

Table Results: (1) man; (18) color shifting; (14) antlers; (15) land surf; (4) multiple limbs; (18) spirit leech; (19) shocking skin; (14) human level, group minded; (1) death change—explodes upon death

Detailed Explanation: Borzai are malicious, four-armed humanoids with black antlers and skin that constantly shifts in color. Its touch drains the life energy of their opponents, and when struck borzai sometimes unconsciously discharge electricity into the attacker. They are exclusively nocturnal and move about in groups by surfing on a wave of temporarily liquefied earth. Borzai explode upon death.

Borzai, Archived Format: 1, 18, 14, 15, 4, 18, 19, 14, 1

Example III: Color Creeper

Table Results: (14) octopus; (8) bald; (2) slitted eyes; (3) sprint; (3) claws; (8) gas; (1) color change; (8) animal, group minded; (17) poison flesh

Detailed Explanation: Visually, this monster resembles a land-based octopus with large, slitted eyes. It lives in woodland areas, hunting in packs of up to 30 or so creatures. Using its color changing ability to remain unseen, it slithers into close proximity to its prey. When close, the color creeper sprints forward, hissing, attacking with the claws arranged along its eight tentacles, and releasing clouds of blinding, noxious gas.

Color Creeper Archived Format: (14, 8, 2, 3, 3, 8, 1, 8, 17)

Final Note

The Monster Generator should be fun. Experiment with it; use it as a creative catalyst. But don’t think of it as the final word—if you don’t like something about a creature generated with the MG, change it.

14 thoughts on “The Monster Generator

  1. Hi there I found this while searching for help with creating creatures and was wondering if I could have your permission to make and share a small flash file which will allow a user to click a button to randomise it all or randomise certain aspects of the creature?

  2. This will help alot. I am trying to develop a rpg game and have a list of monsters. I got levels and such, but I couldn’t decide on appearance or powers. This helps. Thank you

  3. The tunnel stalker
    This is a humanoid creature with a bulbous fleshy animal head of any kind it lives alone and emerges from tunnel walls to attack with its retractable claws and night vision,it is very hard to fight because it appears to be somewhere else while it is fighting you.

  4. I will use this for a Star Wars d20 game to create semi-random fauna on the random planets the players explore. This is well constructed too.

  5. I am entering a contest to win scholarships and such at school and the theme is monsters. I honestly got the best traits for a monster: a huge, fleshy man with exposed bones that travels through portals. It doesn’t sound like much, but I will try to make the best of it!

  6. 1.Body; 6ft in length, snake/man 2. Skin; ridges- corrugated flesh or ridges of exposed bone. 3. Head; bristles – mane. 4. Locomotion; floats through objects like a ghost (not walls, can’t fly above 10ft). 5 appendages; none. 6. Attacks; can turn opponent into a tree. 7. Defense; can climb using the friction of it’s skin. 8. Intelligence; dumb- can’t strategize. 9. Special; can control small creatures with it’s mind.

  7. I was planning on using this for a Call of Cthulhu (horror) game I am running and I managed to roll an insect-shaped monster made of flesh. I really do love this generator and will be making frequent use of it.

  8. This is a really cool generator, especially for an upcoming author (like me) that has a beautiful, brand-new world created, but no creatures to inhabit it. I will definitely be using this frequently

  9. Burrowing Starfish

    They lay near shallows swallowing plankton and when attacked rapidly duplicate and turn into a brown sand like powder that reforms three minutes later. When multiple clones in their dirt form over lap when they reform they go into a Mash Form. Most Burrowing Starfish have a long tail that keeps them in the ground and have a very fleshy skin that has some clumps of hair, all should fear Mash Forms as they are large and have many clawed tails.

  10. Hellvine

    Hellvine are reddish in color and long with leaves shaped like flames all over. They have extendable eye stalks that come from the front, which is non distinguishable. They are able to turn their leaves into flames and shoot them out, they can turn invisible ate certain temperatures, and when in true danger turn into a blob of lava which will eventually solidify into stone killing the vine.

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