use pokemon for your exotic monsters

February 12th, 2014 by paul

The PCs travel to a distant continent, another planet, or a nightmare dimension. Where are you going to get an entire ecology of weird, exotic, never-before-seen D&D monsters?

pok1If you bookmark a list of pokemon, you have almost 1000 new mosters at your fingertips. Don't use the original 151 pokemon: everyone knows what Pikachu looks like, and maybe one of your players had a Game Boy back in the day and can rattle off a bunch from the first game. But not a lot of people are familiar with the hundreds of pokemon from the second through sixth generation. And even if they might recognize a name or a sprite, will they be able to place a description?

You don't have to know anything about pokemon. Just pick a critter and describe it.

"The water is alive with what look like scuttling, severed dragon heads. On closer inspection, you see that the 'heads' are actually the grossly disproportionate right claws of tiny crabs. The huge claws have fake eyes and very real jagged teeth."

pok2That's #693, Clawitzer.

"A huge metal bell floats in front of the dungeon door. Manic red eyes stare at you from the bell's face: between the eyes, a mouth jabbers and gnashes horrid teeth."

That's #437, Bronzong.

"A floating sword slices the air in front of you. Trailing from its pommel is a long silk cord and an elaborate sheath."

pok3#679, Honedge. Maybe not a great Pokemon but a good D&D monster.

Sure, there are plenty of duds: "You see a floating keyring." (#707, Klefki) "OK, this guy is like... a sumo wrestler with... a novelty foam hand?" #297, Hariyama) but the Monster Manual has some duds too: we ignore 'em.

If you examine them closely, Pokemon have a curiously unsettling quality. There's something about them that makes you feel like you've descended into a world of madness. Come to think of it, they might make a great population of savage flora and fauna for the Far Realm, competing with beholders and grell for mastery of that plane of horrors.

9 Responses to “use pokemon for your exotic monsters”

  1. Cody C. says:

    You could also still a lot of flavor elements from pokemon as well. For example, Yamask is a ghost pokemon from Gen V that carries a mask that resembles a human face. This mask is actually a representation of what its face looked like while it was alive and those who wear the mask can become possessed by the Yamask. You could easily steal that and add it to normal ghosts.

  2. 1d30 says:

    I think the duds from the Monster Manual are hilarious and should always be used! ;P

  3. Fattest Victory says:

    And when you run out of those: http://pokemon.alexonsager.net/

  4. Doc Schott says:

    (By way of warning, I’m kind of a rabid pokemonner..)
    There’s a lot of really screwed-up fluff in the Pokemon universe, and all the Ghost types are pretty much uniformly terrifying.
    I strongly recommend – http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/Pokemon – for a bit more, but here are some highlights.

    • Litwick is a candle that burns the souls of the people surrounding them. Chandelure has 5 gigantic flames, with the same fuel.
    In the game you meet a female Trainer with a moderately-leveled Lampent. When you beat her, she mentions that she feels faint all the time, and she’s been losing more often, but she’s happy just to be with her little Ghost…
    • Frillish and Jellicent just want to bring friends to their kingdom at the bottom of the sea. Too bad they don’t get that whole “breathing” thing. And their venom paralyzes the victims.
    • That sword? If you grab its hilt, the cords wrap around your arm and _suck out your freaking soul_, using your husk to wield the blade.
    • Banette is an abandoned toy resurrected by a vengeance-spirit that wants to “play” with its old owners.
    • Houndoom? The pain from its fire attacks is said to be eternal, since it’s Hellfire, and isn’t burning your flesh..

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