My Dad's Monster Manual w/James Introcaso
Crit Academy is joined by the fantastic James Introcaso. James is an award-winning tabletop game designer. He has worked with tabletop games-related to companies including Wizards of the Coast, Roll20, and Kobold Press on games such as Dungeons and Dragons, Burn Bryte, and books such as Waterdeep: Dragon Heist, Eberron: Rising from the Last War, and Explorer's Guide to Wildemount.
Today we talk about one of his most recent projects, My Dad's Monster Manual by James Introcaso. This fabulous collection of monsters a straight from the imagination of his dad's mind. From the time James was a kid, his father created original stories using his toys. Now as a professional game designer, he asked his dad to look at just the art from the Monster Manual. From every picture, he asked him how he thought this creature behaved, its history, and its name. Compiling this information and rewrote the Monster Manual according to his dad's lore.
Join us as he shares his journey from project inception o completion of these 80 new monster statblocks and lore based on original D&D creatures inspired by the art of the Monster Manual and Lucian's imagination.
Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.
Survivor of Purgatory
You are the son/daughter of one of the wealthiest aristocrats in your land. You spend much of your time in debauchery. The nature of your parents leaves you wanting for nothing. During a sailing outing with a parent and a love interest (the sibling of your betrothed) on one of your family’s large boats, a storm hits sinking the ship. You, your parent and a single shipmate manage to make it to a lifeboat. Everyone else is lost. During the time drifting you see you learn from your parent the secret to your wealth. Extortion and blackmail. Your parent shares with you their regret and asks you to take up the mantle to save your land. Without enough water and food for the three of you. Your parent tells you to survive and undo the wrong they have caused. Then takes the life of the shipmate and their own life. Leaving you to drift for days alone.
You finally drift to a strange island. Learning to survive without the money you once possessed. You meet a mentor who is also stranded on the island that teaches you everything you need to know to survive and fight. It is then revealed to you that the island is the home to a powerful evil pirate/bandit/cultist group. They capture and torture you and kill your mentor. With your training, you’re able to escape, fight and hide from them until the day a wandering ship passes by. You manage to contact it and are rescued. Now you seek to return home and bring justice to those who have poisoned your land.
Origin Statblock: Vrock
Lost Features: speech/telepathy, beak, and talons, spores. Becomes a beast with an INT of 3.
The creature becomes Huge, gains (hover) and has a speed of 15 ft.
Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 15 feet., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 14). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained. The Inkglider has 8 tentacles, each of which can grapple one target.
Fling. Up to two Medium or smaller objects held or creatures grappled by the inkglider are thrown 40 feet in a random direction and knocked prone. If a thrown target strikes a solid surface, the target takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.
Ink Spore Cloud (Recharge 6). A 15-foot-radius cloud of toxic black spores extends out from the Inkglider. The spores spread around corners. The area lasts for up to one minute or until strong wind disperses it, ending the effect. Its area is heavily obscured. Each creature in that area or starts its turn in the area must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned. While poisoned this way, a target takes 5 (1d10) poison damage at the start of each of its turns. A target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. Emptying a vial of holy water on the target also ends the effect on it.
Encounter: Brought to you by James Introcaso
“This hard but tasty fruit-filled biscuit enhances your recuperative powers and increases your strength and stamina for a short while after consumption.”
Wondrous item, uncommon
This delectable magic-infused, fruit-filled bread is found in a small leaf wrapping. There is enough bread for one use. When you spend 1 minute eating the biscuit, you gain advantage on both Strength and Constitution. Additionally, you gain 2d6 temporary hit points. These effects last for up to 1 hour. Spells such as dispel magic or similar effects will end the magical effect.
Dungeon Master Tip:
Combat with monsters can sometimes fall to just numbers and abilities they can do. When running lots of monsters it's easy to forget to give them a bit of personality during a battle. Creating simple victory charts for monsters is a great way to really let their personality shine through.
These little critters are often cowardly and prefer to flee from much stronger enemies when they have the chance. That’s why when they manage to get the drop on a foe, they are prone to outbursts of glory and excitement.
1 No Effect.
The kobold is caught by surprise, giggling delivers a quick insult or prayer and with a sly smile, quickly turns to a new foe, in hopes it repeats its success.
2 Take their stuff!
The kobold wishes to celebrate their achievement by snatching a trophy from the dying foe. On its next turn it picks up an item of value, dances around in celebration, and then runs off to hide its treasure.
3 Victory Speech!
The kobold stands atop its fallen victim's body and spends the next round delivering a victory speech. All allies that can hear it gain temporary hit points equal to the adventurers level + its Charisma modifier.
4 Whoa...that's...never happened before…
The kobold is in complete shock at the technique that it made up actually worked. It’s stunned until the start of its next turn, shocked by its own success.
5 Suckers, all of them!
The kobold believes the adventurers are weak and easily fooled. It drops its weapon and runs away in mock fear. It returns in 1d4-1 rounds using its sling from cover
6 FEAR ME!!!
The kobold believes itself to be an unstoppable juggernaut. Its face grimaced, body breathing heavily, it shouts at the adventurers that they cannot defeat it.
A boiling strength rages inside.. It gains the barbarian rage(PHB) and whenever it makes an attack roll or a saving throw, it can roll a d4 and add the number rolled to the attack roll or saving throw.
Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick
Arcane Teachings: Polyblast
Polymorph is a pretty strong and handy 4th level spell that allows you to transform a creature into another creature for an hour. And Disintegrate is a 6th level spell that pretty much lets you destroy anything so long as its hit points drop to 0 after taking 10d6+40 force damage. Using these two as a combo makes for a devastating combination. If an enemy target manages to fail both the saving throws for Polymorph turning it into a weak creature with less than 46 hit points and for Disintegrate then it's a guaranteed kill. Powerful enemies can be changed into less harmful forms such as a cat and then turned into a pile of dust with nearly no hope of coming back.
A masked menace terrifies the region. The adventurers stumble into her scheme: the kidnapping of a famous performer known as Devon Artis. Their mission is to deliver a ransom and collect Devon.
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