Designer’s Notes: The Monstrous Monstroum

Being one of those who was in on the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game was a huge honor – the system itself is rather amazing and Sean Punch did a wonderful job streamlining GURPS into this lean, mean, gaming machine. When I was asked to contribute to Welcome to Dungeon Fantasy I knew what I wanted to do immediately: monsters. I began work as fast as I could and started pulling critters from my files (including one from my blog) and assembled them. Luckily, most were in the proper formatting and this let me tweak them and work on their stats more.

It took me about 30 hours to write, 30 hours to edit, 0 hours worth of research (it was from my head pretty much), and 50 hours of revision. There must have been another 2-3 hours or so of looking over the semi-final PDF as well.

Normally, I’d have leftovers, but I’ve always intended “The Monstrous Monstroum” to be the first in a series and the 30-40 monsters that didn’t make the cut are going to go into other potential supplements as I can fit them in. That said, I DID have some monster suffixes I had to leave out, here’s one of them.

Hivers are monsters that are mystically linked to one another via a magical “soul-link.” When hiver monsters are close together they gain a bonus to their IQ, Perception, and Will attributes and skill rolls. This bonus depends on the total number of creatures nearby and the density of the creatures in a hex. Increase IQ, Perception,and Will by (Total number of creatures in one hex / 10) x (Total number of hexes of creatures nearby / 10); round to the nearest whole number. Only count beings within the creature’s base Will/3 yards for this purpose. A maximum amount of three SM 0 creatures can fit per hex. For larger or smaller beings look up the inverse of the creature’s SM and add one on the Size/Speed Range Table (p. B550) in the size column and read over to the Linear Measurement column and use that as a multiplier (for SM +1 beings) or divisor (for SM -1 beings) for the number of beings that can fit in a single hex. For example, five SM-1 doomchildren can fit in a single hex. If there are 15 total (5 per hex) within 3 yards of one another they gain a +2 to IQ, Perception, and Will rolls.

They also gain one of the following abilities (see below):

1-2 – They can share offensive effects (treat as above). They can also channel maledictions, spells, psionics, and similiar abilities through one another meaning that they treat the origin point of the effect for the purposes of range and efficiency from the closest member f the hive.

3-4 – They can share beneficial supernatural effects amongst themselves as long as they are within base Will/3 yards. Divide the effectiveness of such effects by the bonus the beings receive to their IQ, Perception, and Will. Examples of such effects include healing spells, spells that increase attributes (e.g., Might), and so on. Innate or racial abilities are also shared in this way. Examples include Obscure, Mind Shield, Regeneration, and so on.

5 – They can share defensive effects (treat as above). This means that beings with innate DR can increase the overall DR of the entire hive!

6 – They can two such effects (reroll this if rolled again).

Finally, they gain Telesend, Mind Link (all members of hive), and Special Rapport (all members of hive).

Posted in Designer's Notes and tagged , , , , .


  1. I had someone work up an excel sheet that gave me totals of each monster type in all of DF and Pyramid. Then I used that list to create the monsters I wanted in the article. It was *very* intentional and I'm glad someone noticed.

Leave a Reply