Demon [Pathfinder, Monster Manual]
Honestly Zak S. put so much thought into this and his random demon generation chart is spot on! There is a part of me that doesn’t like standardizations of Demons, but I understand the need for them. One of my favorite demons is the Succubus. I like the fact that it has machinations and is able to manipulate those around her.
Devil [Pathfinder, Monster Manual]
Again I really can’t put it any better than Zak S. already has.
Devourer [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]
When I first saw the picture for this creature in the MM, I immediately thought of the Ghost of Christmas Future in Scrooged (excellent movie by the way).
I like the description offered in the Pathfinder Bestiary, but I’m not sure why the creature needs to be 10 feet tall. Just because something is tall doesn’t make it necessarily frightening; often times tall things boarder on comical.
It is labeled as undead (and I plan to do something with all undead in a separate post) but if I were to keep it as a separate entity the only thing I would really change is Devour Soul ability. I’m not a fan of “poof you failed a save now die!” with enemies (except under certain circumstances). I’d rather it be a Constitution based save, and failure means target takes 1d6+1 con damage. When the targets Con is reduced to zero the body disintegrates and the target’s face is seen in the stomach of the Devourer. I think that this would be great to describe as people are fighting. The person starts looking peaky, sweaty, hallowed cheeks, etc and then they crumble to the ground. Kinda like Donovan at the end of The Last Crusade.
I like the CC and MM version on having Spell-like abilities that feed off the trapped soul. Very cool and morbid.
Dire Animal [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]
When organizing this project I decided to go the MM route and lump all Dire Animals together.
Part of me debates back and forth on WHAT a dire animal is exactly. All of the books state it is a natural, just larger and more aggressive version of its lesser brethren. All the books state (roughly) that the lesser kin is not short tempered or dangerous.. Yeah.. Get in between a female bear and her cubs or try to pet a moose and we’ll see how not short tempered those animals are.
I start thinking what makes these creatures so much bigger and pissed off? What if they are infused with the essence of nature? What if Mother Nature, Gaia, or whatever blessed, created, or whatever route you want to go these creatures to be natural guardians of her realm? I wouldn’t make them Fey because there are enough of those and it diminishes what a Dire creature is. What if the killing of a Dire creature is a serious crime? Does that make you an outlaw to a Druidic circle? Are you being hunted for your crime? Keeping the creature “natural” is jake with me, but I personally want a further explanation as to why these bad ass beasties are more “primordial.”
Doppelganger [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]
I think the Doppelganger has been way too “humanized” (well truthfully so have many of the monsters in the various books). CC comes to closest to how I have always viewed Doppelgangers. When I think of this bitch I see The Thing. A creature of totally alien comprehension and understanding that infiltrates civilized dwellings for whatever reason. Does it want fame, fortune, power, love, etc? It’s possible, but no one is sure.
You could go The Thing route and have the creature pretty much invulnerable to everything but fire and acid (and magic in general maybe). When you are attacked the Doppelganger drains either HP or Constitution, when you reach zero of either, you are fully absorbed into the creature and it can now change into you (or any earlier forms for that matter).
When absorbed the Doppelganger gains all the creature’s memories, abilities, etc. This makes the Doppelganger dangerous to pretty much every other entity out there.
Dragons [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]
Again Zak S. kicks ass with his spiel about dragons-
And then there is this piece of awesome (again- thanks to Zak for putting this link on his blog).
Drider [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual] with attachments of the Drow
I love the Drider. I think this beastie is cool visually and its has an interesting story to tell… that is until you read the description and all you get is “they are the exiled failed priestesses of Lolth..” Wait, what? I thought Lolth was a spider goddess? Isn’t this the exact opposite of what you think would be considered good for a race that worships a spider goddess?
We see a different take on this in 4e where the Drow worship and revere Driders.
So here we go- Part of my idea here has been altered after reading some inspiration from Disorientated Ranger-
Long ago the Elves lost their gift of immortality after angering their gods with their audacious behavior. A cult was formed by the gifted sorceress Lolth who, so obsessed with her youthful beauty, began delving into lost and forbidden arcane knowledge in an attempt regain her immortality. Eventually she and her followers were exiled to the wastes and underdark of the world. It was in the twisted reaches of darkness that Lolth plotted and schemed and experimented until she was successful. Her immortality was assured, but the cost was high. So twisted and mutilated was her soul, and that of her followers, it manifested outwardly, darkening their skin to that of pitch and whitened their hair the color of sun-bleached bones.
When a Drow babe reaches one year it is fed a mixture of spider venom and herbs that consumes and mutilates its soul, corrupting it and making it a follower of Lolth. Through these alchemical and magical experiments the Drow have extended their life span, but only true immortality is obtained by those who swear undying loyalty to Lolth and can survive the Rite of the Spider.
In an ancient Rite Lolth herself created, Drow who prove themselves worthy undergo a terrifying and painful magical transformation that merges their bodies with that of a gigantic spider. These beasts, called Driders, are so rare and awe-inspiring to Drow they are worshipped as demigods.
Driders are horrible creatures that care little for those that worship them and even less for outsiders. Possibly due to the strange rites, transformation, or something else that is unknown a Driders consciousness, while resembling their former self, is alien and makes little sense to those who serve it. However questioning a Drider is not tolerated or conductive to a long life.