Souped-Up Monsters

Posted: 10 September 2011 in Rules

Compared to most fantasy RPGs, Savage Worlds has a limited number of monster types.

My guess is that this is because games like D&D apply the Sorting Algorithm of Evil; as PCs level up, their goblinoid opponents likewise have to scale up from goblins to orcs to bugbears and so on. D&D 3e gave intelligent monsters levels to compensate for this, and D&D 4e has different variants of the same monster for this reason.

It’s easy to apply trappings to monsters – use the same stats with a different description – but it’s also easy to buff monsters while you do so, much along the same lines I mentioned in the One Page Bestiary. You can:

  • Increase all the creature’s die types by one – this gives +1 Toughness as well each time you do it.
  • Make them Wild Cards.
  • Increase their Size and/or Armour.
  • Apply other weirdness to taste.

For example, a mummies might be Wild Card zombies, with a Weakness to fire. The ancient dust stirred up in combat with them causes an airborne, long-term, minorly debilitating disease as per SW Deluxe p. 87. The zombies themselves might be Soldiers with the Undead monstrous ability applied, if I’m playing away from home.

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