Scouring the Monster Manual for something your players haven’t had the pleasure of fighting? Grabbing monsters from our favorite movies and books can be a fun way of finding inspiration and it’s easy to “file off the serial numbers” of existing stat blocks, making something new from those old hat creatures.
Let’s take a look at a few awesome examples from all over modern cinema, from sci-fi, to monster horror, to animated films like Frozen.
The Xenomorphs from the Aliens franchise already haunt our nightmares, plus they’re basically a black dragon. Think about it: it’s amphibious, acid spraying, black, and vaguely dragon-ish. We’ve started with the stats for a Young Black Dragon and modified to make it a little more like what we see in the movies. Pretty simple for a creature that could be quite memorable to fight. Want to do a Xenomorph queen? Just mod an Adult Black Dragon. Easy peasy.
The massive ice creature that Elsa creates in Frozen has a name, and that’s Marshmallow. The monster was created by the ice queen in a fit of anger and seems to represent that hostility, attacking those who would disrupt her alone time in her castle. We’ve based these stats on a combination of Frost Giants and Golems in general, with a special power unique to Marshmallow.
Strangely haunting, deathly creatures from the Harry Potter series, thestrals are basically emaciated, black, pegasi. We took the Pegasus stats and reworked them up to a Challenge 5 creature, making them just as deadly as their reputation would imply, and the kind of mount you write home about. Seriously, this thing is perfect for a necromancer or vengeance paladin. Plus we threw in their strange invisibility to those who have not seen death and their unnerving love for blood.
The monster from the movie Cloverfield (affectionately called “Clover” by the crew) is 300 feet tall and scary, if for no other reason than we rarely get a good look at it. The ending scenes of the movie are perhaps a great example of just how terrifying a monster confrontation can be. Use this knowledge in your games. We’ve statted out a CR 20 monster with a long stride and quite a reach, capable of smashing and consuming the city as it sees fit.
The legions of foes swarming New York City at the end of The Avengers are a cybernetic hive-mind race known as the Chitauri. A Chitauran is strong, skillful at tactics (probably due to their hive mind), and possesses advanced technologies such as laser rifles and flying vehicles. They’ve also got backup, such as the much larger creatures that ferry them around New York while causing devastation. Here we’ve created CR 4 humanoids and given them all the hive mind tactics they need to go at it with your own fantasy heroes.
Let us know how you like these creatures in the comments below. Should we go ahead and dream up a few more?
Featured Image Credit: Alien: Isolation
Image Credits: Ryan Chaddock, MattDeMino on Deviantart, The Walt Disney Company, st3rn1 on Deviantart, Bad Robot Productions, Marvel Studios