Monster manual

The place for discussion of Cubicle 7 and Sophisticated Games' "Adventures in Middle-earth" OGL setting.
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Monster manual

Post by quincypostman » Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:24 am

Hey folks... just curious here. Which, if any, monsters from the 5e monster manual would you consider appropriate foe an AiME setting... and what tweaks would you use?

Now I don't own the mm, but in the times I've perused it, I've thought about adding the following:
Cockatrice: This could be a hatchling fell beast, and you could substitute paralysis for petrification with its special attack.
Giant animals: some of these could fit the setting.
Zombues, skeletons, ghasts, wraiths. I think they can fit as is.

It's a fairly small list, but admittedly I'm not very familiar with most monsters in it.

Not sure I'd use any, as I'm a big proponent of keeping the types of enemies down to the few in the LMG and the other supplements.


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Re: Monster manual

Post by Otaku-sempai » Fri Jan 05, 2018 6:45 am

I don't have a copy of the 5e Monster Manual, but I can access many of the critters through the DM's pdf and the SRD-OGL document. There are indeed a number of monsters and normal animals listed that would not feel out of place in Middle-earth. Some of the books for AiMe and even TOR show how others (like the Basilisk) could be tweeked. Some monsters like the Owlbear or Rust Monster are possibly just too closely associated with D&D to place in Middle-earth. D&D Orcs don't work as well unless we make them more Goblin-like. These represent what I think might work best; your list might be a bit different:

Bugbear. Treat as a large, aggressive type of Orc.
Cockatrice. Make it less bird-like. Look to the Basilisk/Sarnlug for possible changes.
Balor. Basically a Balrog. Other Demons and Devils might work for corrupted Ainur.
Dinosaur. Some prehistoric reptiles and saurians might work in the far South of Middle-earth (Far Harad).
Dragons. Look to existing Dragons in AiMe and TOR for modifications.
Dragon Turtle. Possible sea monster.
Dryad. Nature spirit or minor Ainu.
Elementals. Nature spirits.
Ettin. Becomes a variation on the Troll.
Genies. Treat as corrupted or unaligned Ainur.
Ghouls. Ghouls and Ghasts might be a bit iffy.
Giants. Frost Giants, Hill Giants, Stone Giants should be workable.
Goblins. Small Orcs.
Golems. Clay Golem might be viable. Your mileage may vary.
Hags. Corrupted/evil nature spirits or Ainur.
Hobgoblin. Medium Orc.
Hydra. Possibly a Dragon variant.
Kraken. Sea monster; possible version of the Watcher in the Water.
Lycanthropes. Either mortal Skin-changers like Beorn, or nature spirits or Ainur with physical animal forms.
Mummies. Treat as a form of Wight: corpses inhabited and animated by evil spirits. Found in Harad?
Oni. Limit to the East (lands of Rhûn).
Purple Worm. Treat as rare.
Shadow. Evil or corrupted spirit.
Skeletons. Easy to overuse; shambling dead are creepier with flesh attached.
Treant. Ent.
Troll. Middle-earth Trolls don't regenerate and many are turned to stone by sunlight. Appearances vary.
Vampires. In Middle-earth: giant, blood-sucking bats or to corrupted Ainur that can turn into giant bats or beautiful women.
Wights. Evil spirits sent by the Witch-king that possess corpses (often in burial mounds).
Will-­‐o’-­‐Wisp. Might represent the spirits found in the Dead Marshes.
Wraiths. The Nazgûl (Ringwraiths) or lesser undead of a similar nature that were once living beings.
Zombies. Animated dead bodies with little or no intelligence.

Most common creatures found in the modern world can probably be found somewhere in Middle-earth. I'll only look at some of the more unusual ones:

Awakened Tree (Huorn); Axe Beak (might be found in far South or distant East); Blood Hawk; Dire Wolf; Giant Bat; Giant Boar; Giant Centipede; Giant Crab; Giant Eagle; Giant Hyena; Giant Octopus; Giant Owl; Giant Scorpion; Giant Shark; Giant Spider; Giant Wolf Spider; Mammoth or Mastodon (Mûmakil/Oliphaunt); Swarm of Ravens (flock of Crebain); Winter Wolf (remove magical powers for a White Wolf); Worg (Warg).

I've done such things as taking lions (as solitary hunters rather than living in prides) and placed them in the Blue Mountains. And I've placed Irish Elk (as Great Elk) in Forochel. Woolly Mammoths walk my Northern Waste.
Last edited by Otaku-sempai on Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Far, far below the deepest delvings of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things. Even Sauron knows them not. They are older than he."

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Re: Monster manual

Post by BookBarbarian » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:08 pm

There was a thread about this a while back. Some one had posted a link to their work on tweaking monsters for middle earth. I'll see if I can dig it up.

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Re: Monster manual

Post by BookBarbarian » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:14 pm

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