Tuesday, January 26, 2021

20 Monster Modifiers

If you want to spruce up some random monster encounters, roll on this table. Make sure to mention how these monsters look different or unique to those of their ilk. Add the word of the modifier to the front of the monster type. So if you roll a [6] for Trolls, they are now “Jeweled Trolls”.

Unless otherwise stated, the bonus is for every member of the pack of monsters encountered.

20 Monster Modifiers –
Roll d20
[1] Bewitched- Commanded by a powerful sorcerer or witch. They may carry symbols of the witch's power, like wicker men, or may have sticks or bones wrapped in their hair or fur. Scorched symbols around the lips or eyes to bind them to the sorcerer is also common.

Bewitched- The first time these monsters fail their morale check, they are stunned for one round as the witch's dark magic takes over their minds and behavior. Then, they continue fighting.

[2] Infested- These monsters are physical hosts for horrible little creatures. Flesh eating maggots, swarms of killer wasps, spider eggs bursting from every wound. They creatures outwardly showed signs of infestation, and may be suicidal or constantly scratch themselves. If these creatures are intelligent, they probably are willing hosts belonging to an evil cult.

Infested- Upon death, each monster releases 1d4 swarmers. These are 1 HD bugs with weak attacks and minor, if any, special abilities like buzzing flight that temporarily deafens or weak poison.

[3] Empowered- The monsters are magically charged, exemplars of their kind, blessed by the dark gods, or have drunk from the spring of life. They may have a glowing aura, or seem especially large and beautiful for whatever kind of thing they are.

Empowered- All monsters in this group have +1 HD, +1 chance to hit, and their spells are cast as though they are one level higher. They're no joke.

[4] Toxic- These creatures are halfway digested or fused with horrible corrosive acids which seeps from their clammy skin. They may be unformed alchemical creations, or summoned from a realm more toxic and spiritually lesser then this one.

Toxic- Immune to acid damage. Corrode your armor when they roll a 20 to hit and corrode your weapon if you roll a 1 on your attack to hit them.

[5] Cornered- They've been backed into a corner. Not necessarily literally- they may be starving, hiding from the law, infected with rabies; anything that makes a man or beast desperate.

Cornered- Add +1 to their morale score. They deal +2 damage on a hit. Use a HD one size smaller to roll their hit points.

[6] Jeweled- These creatures are studded with all sorts of jewels and gems. For intelligent creatures, they are heavily pierced and have gold or silver body paint. For unintelligent monsters, they have the jewels embedded or growing in their skin naturally.

Jeweled- These monsters get +2 to all saves and AC. Triple the result when they are looted.

[7] Draining- These monsters are in a lesser state of undead-hood, or are “holes” for energy. Perhaps they've been contaminated from energies or sucked dry of vital energies from beings beyond. If these creatures are undead, consider increasing their HD by one as they are bolstered by its dark power.

Draining- Immune to negative energy/death spells. Save or have a level drained if they roll max damage on a hit against your character. You can turn them, as though they were Undead of their HD.

[8] Holy- Someone or something has blessed these. Perhaps they are the servants of an arrogant godling, or blessed by an evil high priest. Evil creatures may be rewarded with power if they perform many evil sins, and good or neutral creatures may be rewarded for their role in perpetuating the Dharma and cycle of rebirth.

Holy- Increase maximum Hit Points by +3. One monster may heal another monster in its pack for 2d6 hit points, once per day. Which monster? The holiest one, of course.

[9] Illusionary- These monsters are either totally illusionary, or are living qualia. They give no outwardly signs of being illusions, other then how suddenly they appear when encountered.

Illusionary- They are fictional and can only be hurt by magic weapons.

If any character suspects and calls out that they are illusions- everyone can roll a save to disbelieve. Once disbelieved, they disappear from their sight and you see any wounds and spells they cast are just harming your party members in their minds (they act it out, but nothing is hurting them).

[10] Prehistoric- They look like cave men. Animals have larger fangs and tusks, shaggier coats, and unkempt natural savagery. Intelligent creatures fight with more primitive weapons and have sloped foreheads as though they are ancient, thawed ancestors to whatever kind of monster they are.

Prehistoric- They can shrug off the first mind effecting spell that hits them in combat. Also, they are incredibly physical adapt and can jump and run 50% higher and faster.

[11] Emblazoned- The monsters glow with an orange, proud fire. It does not burn, only tickle the skin with its warmth, and seems like a supernatural flame fed by their passion. Beyond this power, the monsters are proud and cleaner then others of their kind- well groomed and almost regal.

Emblazoned- Monsters get +1 morale and are resistant to fire and take half damage from fire. If they were already resistant, they are now immune. You cannot surprise them, but they cannot surprise you.

[12] Arcane- These monsters have a purple glow, and seem strangely tired to etheric energies and magical places and beings. They have glowing purple, blue, or green sigils on their clothes or skin that are shaped as various runes for spells and magic.

Arcane- Monsters get an extra spell. It isn't per monster, just per group. Pick or roll a spell with a spell level equal to ½ of their HD or less. The spell is cast either from the strongest monster in the group on the first round of combat, or is a sort of passive effect that kicks up when combat begins.

[13] Concealed- These monsters are hidden, or part of an order dedicated to stealth, ambush, and assassination. Unintelligent monsters may be shadowy, partially made of mist, or maybe partially transparent to give them an inherent advantage to stealth.

Concealed- These monsters have a 3 in 6 to surprise, plus any surprise value they already had. Also give them +2 AC vs ranged attacks.

[14] Brutal- Covered in blood, claw marks, scars, pierced, and with bladed and jagged weapons or claws. These monsters look savage and incredibly violent. If they kill anyone, they will desecrate the corpse, even animals or animated-object style construct monsters.

Brutal- Monsters have a critical strike. On an attack roll of 20, they deal double damage. If you manage to escape from them, they will tear into themselves (1d4 damage) or kill one of their own members in a fit of rage.

[15] Vague- Their main form seems made of gray mist. They have a clear outline- the fur on the bears or armor of the orcs is clear to see, but their core body or form seems misty, theoretical, and not well defined.

Vague- Once per combat, the DM can make them do something out of character for this monster type's level of intelligence or tactics (such as wild animals attacking the wizards in the back first) OR can shift one monster's location or state to something else at the end of a round- ie; grappled monster is inexplicably free at the end of the round and up and fighting with no rolls made.

[16] Chilled- These monsters give off a mist from their ice-cold bodies. Their eyes are stained bright blue or pure white, and the air crackles with frost as they move. Animals and monsters with this effect always have pure white fur to show their arctic connection.

Chilled- Monsters have +1 AC and are resistant to ice, taking half damage. If they were already resistant, they are now immune. If they flee combat; chasing them will result in a magical wind deals 1d4 damage to all party members that follow.

[17] Gorgonic- These monsters have glowing snake eyes, and emit the energies of paralysis and petrification. They may be partially reptile or have snakes for hair, tails, or fur. If the creatures have normal human skin, make them covered in scales on patches. If the creature is already a reptile, then it is more subtle what their power is but they need the glowing snake eyes and maybe a toga.

Gorgonic- These creatures can sacrifice a round in combat to attempt to petrify a target. The target must be in the monster's line of sight, then the target gets a save to avoid. On a failed save, they are frozen in place for 1d3 rounds. Multiple creatures can use this ability at once- so if three monsters use it on you and you fail all three saves; petrified for 3d3 rounds. Each monster can use this power once per combat. Additionally; these creatures are resistant to poison and take half damage. If they were already resistant; they are now immune to poison.

[18] Mockery- These monsters don't look real. They're made of plush fabric upon close inspection, or taxidermy. They have button eyes and cotton stuffing.They are mockeries of the real monster. They may still have marks on their feet or behind the ear that show ownership of this specific “toy” monster. They are animated by supernatural energies. They are less aggressive and more childish then other monsters of their same type- this applies to both animal and intelligent monster mockeries, but the intelligent ones are more terrifying. Like they'll say a silly joke as they gut you.

Mockery- Monsters are immune to blunt or bashing damage. They are weak to fire, and take double damage from fire spells and attacks. No fall damage. You get +1 reaction checks against this monster. They can almost absorb you in their grip; monsters can grapple and characters get -2 to escape. After one turn of downtime, they can sow themselves back up and fully heal.

[19] Crystalline- The monsters are made of crystal. They mimic the shape of the normal types of monsters they are, but are made of smooth crystal skin and shimmer with the slightest bit of light. They don't breathe and appear as motionless statues until provoked.

Crystalline- Halve whatever Hit Point totals were rolled for each monster. Totally immune to sharp and piercing damage; only harmed by bludgeoning weapons. Elemental damage and spells deal the minimum possible damage they can roll. (ie; 3d6 damage fireball deals 3 damage.)

[20] Aberrant- These creatures reek of The Other. They don't move or vocalize as they should, as though they are alien intelligence inhabiting these bodies. Four legged animals may roll around on their backs at the same speed they could run with their legs, bipedal humanoids may do a handstand and attack with their legs which hold weapons as hands do, and so on. Utterly insane and nightmarish; these creatures are hard to face down directly.

Aberrant- On a successful hit, monsters deal one point of damage to the victim's Wisdom score, as if their sanity is being harmed. Also, when encountered your hirelings must make a morale check to avoid the urge to flee.


  1. Quite an interesting list, with equally interesting effects. An easy and approachable way to spice up encounters. Was the last entry inspired by Attack on Titan, I wonder?

    1. It actually wasn't directly when I was writing it up, but yeah, I think it rattled loose in the subconscious somewhere. Attack on Titan has some great inspo for stuff like that.

  2. Another great post, infested sounds pretty scary. I was looking over your Manse '18 rules and wondered if you have a newer update with all your work since then, include your healing system?