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Friday, June 18, 2010

Monster Attributes

When I posted the one-roll dice map for NPC attributes, I also intended it for monsters, but with the understanding that attributes are abstract ratings rather than quantities, in the 3 to 18 range, with no attributes outside this range. This works because I treat the attributes as relative to a given scale: an average human has Strength 10 and an average gnome has Strength 10, but since the human is much larger, the gnome is at a disadvantage. The same applies to the other attributes -- an average animal has Intelligence 10, but this is on an animal scale, not a human scale.

So, I can use the one-roll attribute technique for monsters without modification for monster type -- except for one case: monsters with "adds" to their hit dice. This is "other thing" I wanted to do with the "adds" modifier, adding it to the primary attribute for each monster. Most predators have Strength for their primary attribute; most prey have Con for their primary. Tricksters and magic-using creatures use Int, creatures that steal (like monkeys) use Dex. Add the hp modifier to whatever is rolled for the primary attribute, with a maximum attribute of 18.

I would also set the minimum score for the primary attribute equal to 5 times the hp bonus, so a 4+1 HD ogre has a minimum Strength of 5, average 11, while an 11+3 HD fire giant has a minimum Strength of 15 -- and that's giant scale.

That's when I'm using HD figures from the books. I'll talk about the other option in a future post.

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