Creating NPCs & Monsters

Quick tip: use the WOIN Monster Creator to quickly create the baselines stats for a monster or NPC. Once you have the base stats, you can tweak them to suit. You will need to then add any exploits to make the critter unique, though this will output some suggestions you can use.


Monsters

Follow these steps to design a monster. However, these should only be viewed as guidelines. Monster design is exception-based, and you should feel free to deviate from these guidelines at any time.

  1. Select a size, sentience, and classification, plus an optional virtue.

    1. Assign physical attribute scores based on size.

    2. Assign mental attribute scores based on sentience.

  2. Assign skill ranks based on creature type according to guidelines.

  3. Add exploits for the creature type if appropriate.

  4. Add additional exploits. Ensure that the creature has at least one unique exploit.

  5. Calculate derived statistics.

Descriptor

A creature's descriptor includes its size, sentience, virtue, and any classifications (e.g. medium evil sentient beast).  Each of these is described below.

Note that abilities and traits derived from the descriptor are not specifically called out as exploits, but should be numerically incorporated into a monster's stat block where appropriate. However, GMs will need to be familiar standard descriptor abilities when using the monster. For example, it is not necessarily called out that an aquatic creature can breathe underwater; this information is derived from the aquatic classification in the descriptor and the underwater breathing ability that all aquatic creatures have. The same applies to the suites of abilities owned by undead, demons, and so on.


Size

The following table can be used as a guideline for size-based physical attributes, but monsters may vary greatly from this. There is no need to give larger creatures particularly low AGI attributes, as they are already penalized for DEFENSE.  Therefore, only give them lower than 4 AGI if you need them to be particularly clumsy.

Note that Tiny creatures include those up to the size of a housecat.  The 20 AGI score can be exceeded greatly for very small or fast creatures, including many flying insects, small birds, and the like.


Tiny

Small

Medium

Large

Enormous

Gigantic

Colossal

Titanic
Example Mouse, cat Dog Human Tiger, ogre Elephant, giant, tree
Whale, small dragon, building
Kaiju, large dragon, ship
Titan, kraken, skyscraper

STR

1 (1d6)

3 (2d6)

6 (3d6)

10 (4d6)

20 (5d6)

50 (9d6)

80 (8d6)

120+ (15d6)

AGI

20+ (5d6)

10 (4d6)

6 (3d6)

4 (2d6)

4 (1d6)

4 (1d6)

4 (1d6)

4+ (1d6)

END

1 (1d6)

3 (2d6)

6 (3d6)

10 (4d6)

25 (6d6)

60 (10d6)

100 (13d6)

200+ (19d6)

Size matters! Very large creatures have multiple actions available to them each round beyond the 2 typically available to player characters. These are used for tail swipes and other abilities which enable them to fight a group of enemies. Creatures with multiple actions still cannot move more than twice or repeat any other action more than twice in a round. Additionally, larger creatures have a longer reach with regular melee attacks.

Size

HEALTH

SOAK

SPEED

DEFENSE

Damage

Reach
CARRY

Actions**

Tiny

-

0

-1

+4

1d6

5'
1/4

2

Small

-

0

-1

+2

1d6

5'
1/2

2

Medium

-

0

0

+0

1d6

5'
-

2

Large

-

0

0

-4

2d6

5'
-

2

Enormous

x1.5

5

+1

-8

3d6

10'
-

3

Gigantic

x2

10

+2

-16

4d6

15'
x2

4

Colossal

x3

20

+4

-32

5d6

20'
x5

5

Titanic

x5

30

+4

-32

6d6

30'+
x10

6

This applies to MELEE and RANGED DEFENSE only. No DEFENSE score can ever be lower than 10.
**No action may be performed more than twice.

Actions. While large creatures have multiple actions available to them, particularly agile creatures may also have additional actions beyond the basic two actions. For every full 10 points of AGI beyond 10, grant a creature an additional action.  However, this is not added to additional actions for large size - if a creature qualifies for both (a large and agile creature) then use whichever of the two methods is better.  For example, an Enormous creature with AGI 30 would have 4 actions (3 for being Enormous, or 4 for 30 AGI, taking the better of the two).

DEFENSE. No DEFENSE score can ever be reduced below 10.

Heavy. Some creatures may be designated as heavy for their size. These creatures move at half SPEED, and cannot jump. This should be noted in the SPEED line, with the mofiied speeds already calculated:

SPEED 4; CLIMB 2; JUMP -; heavy

AGI
ACTIONS
1-19
2
20-29
3
30-39
4
40-49
5
50-59
6

Sentience

Sentience typically comes in the following categories.

  • Non-sentient. Non-sentient does not necessarily mean non-intelligent. Non-sentient creatures are immune to mental attacks.

  • Semi-sentient. These are dogs, wolves, bears, and other animal-level intelligent creatures.  Semi-sentient creatures have 1-2 (1d6) LOG (carnivores are usually more intelligent than herbivores), and may often have INT attributes as high as their AGI attributes. INT represents senses, perception, and animal cunning.  Note that creatures known for specific senses (such as owls) can also have extremely high skill ranks in those specific abilities. CHA tends to be 1 (for ugly critters) or 2 (for attractive critters). WIL will tend to be around average (4) unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.

  • Sentient. This includes most living sentient creatures with LOG attributes of 2 or more. Sentient creatures should be assigned mental attributes normally.

  • Super-sentient. Generally with LOG and INT attributes of 20 or more, these creatures are supra-geniuses far beyond even the greatest of humans. Super-sentient creatures automatically have the power of truesight, which enables them to see through illusions, invisibility, disguises, and to clearly see a creature's virtue. They can also see in the dark, and through obscuring effects like smoke, although not through cover. Additionally, super-sentient creatures can automatically speak and understand any language.

Sentience INT LOG
Semi-sentient 10+ 1-2
Sentient 3-19 3-19
Super-sentient 20+ 20+


Classification

Creatures can have multiple classifications (dragons are fey reptiles, for example). The qualities below are listed briefly, but see the rulebooks for longer explanations of creature types and qualities. The classification is found in the creature's descriptor, and the creature has all the indicated abilities associated with that classification unless otherwise noted. Where a classificaiton is a subset of another, the creature has the traits of both classifications.

  • AngelsAngels have the Good virtue and can automatically sense Evil to a distance of 5' per point of INT. They also have truesight. Angels are ancient and immortal and cannot be killed. Destroying an angel banishes it from that realm for 99 years.
  • Aquatic. The creature gains a SWIM speed equal to their regular SPEED. They can breathe underwater. Swimming is a natural movement mode for aquatic creatures.
  • Automaton.  Automatons are similar mechanoids, but they are powered by magic rather than technology, and include golems and similar fantasy creatures. Automatons are immune to mental attacks, and vulnerable (1d6) to electricity damage. They are usually immune to the Sick and Fatigued conditions.
  • Avian. The creature gains a FLY speed equal to their regular SPEED. Flying is a natural movement mode for avians.
  • Beasts. These are non-magical animals such as dogs, bears, and dinosaurs.
  • Changeling. A rare creature type, changelings are able to alter their shape and appearance.  The exact details of this varies.
  • Crystalline. Crystalline creatures are resistant to heat damage (SOAK 5 heat), but vulnerable (1d6) to sonic damage due to their brittle nature.  They are immune to the Bleeding condition.
  • Fey. Fey creatures can sense magic within 5' per point of INT. Fey creatures are highly magical and detect as such. Fey not native to the real world are vulnerable (1d6) to cold iron and tend to be highly magical.
  • Insectoids. Climbing is a natural movement mode for insectoids. The creature gains a CLIMB speed equal to its regular SPEED and does not need to make checks to climb. Such creatures can move on walls and ceilings normally.
  • Humanoids. Humanoids gain no special advantages. They are bipedal, mammalian creatures.
  • Gaseous. Gaseous creatures are immune to non energy-based physical attacks, and have SOAK 20 to energy-based attacks.
  • Goblinoids. These include goblins, orcs, and ogres. They have darksight. Goblinoids are a subset of humanoids, and usually have green skin.
  • Lycanthropes. Lycanthropes are victims of a curse that causes them to change into the form of a beast. They have the following qualities. Lycanthropes involuntarily transform during the full moon. This process takes one minute and destroys any clothing or armor the lycanthrope is wearing. Lycanthropes can voluntarily transform, but only at night. Lycanthropes are immune to all damage except that from silver weapons when in beast form. Lycanthropes pass on the curse when they reduce a victim to 0 HEALTH.
  • Mechanoids. Mechanoid creatures are immune to mental attacks, and vulnerable (1d6) to electricity damage and (2d6) to ion damage. Ion damage is specially designed to attack electronics and mechanoids. They are usually immune to the Sick and Fatigued conditions.
  • Plants. Plant creatures vulnerable (1d6) to fire, but have an additional 5 SOAK. They are usually immune to the Sick and Fatigued conditions. They ignore natural difficult terrain, unless it is fire or heat-based.
  • Reptiles. Reptiles are cold-blooded and are vulnerable (1d6) to cold damage. They usually have scales granting +5 natural SOAK.
  • Demons. Demons also have the following qualities. Demons include devils, fiends, daemons, succubi, and more. Demons are usually unique.
    • Demons have the Evil virtue and can automatically sense Good within 5' per point of INT. They also have truesight.
    • Demons are ancient and immortal and cannot be killed. Destroying a demon banishes it from that realm for 99 years.
    • Demons can possess a victim within 5' per point of WIL with a MAG mental attack by using all its actions for the turn.
    • Demons are immune to fire and heat damage.
    • Selling one's soul to a demon is an irreversible diabolical pact and gives the seller the Evil virtue. It merely requires clear, non-coerced agreement, either verbal or written.
    • Demons can cause seeming accidents which do their natural damage.  This is a LOG attack with a range of line-of-sight.
    • Demons are immune to weapons which do not do holy damage or which are not made of silver.
  • Spirits. Spritis have the following qualities.  Spirits include incorpreal entities like banshees, ghosts, poltergeists, and wraiths.
    • Spirits have the Evil virtue.
    • Spirits are incorporeal.  This makes them immune to physical weapons unless they do holy damage; they can pass through physical barriers
    • Spirits are unkillable; reducing them to 0 HEALTH simply disperses them for one day.  To be destroyed a spirit must be permanently banished.
    • Spirits have a chill aura (1d6 cold damage).
    • Spirits' natural damage is cold/necrotic damage. 
    • Spirits can freely fly, although many are locked into old habits and do not. 
    • Spirits have superior darksight and lifesense to a distance of 5' per point of INT.
    • Sprits are usually immune to any physical conditions.
  • Undead. Undead have the following qualities. Undead include corporeal animated corpses such as vampires, liches, mummies, skeletons, and zombies.
    • Undead have the Evil virtue.
    • Undead gain +5 SOAK due to a lack of vital organs.
    • Undead have superior darksight and lifesense to a distance of 5' per point of INT.
    • Undead are ageless, and continue forever uness destroyed.
    • Undead are Vulnerable (1d6) to holy damage.
    • Undead cannot heal, although some may have regenerative powers.
    • Undead are usually immune to the Sick, Bleeding, and Fatigued conditions..
  • Lycanthropes. Lycanthropes have the following qualities.
    • Lycanthropes are fey creatures, even if they weren't before they became lycanthropes.
    • Lycanthropes involuntarilty transform during the full moon. This process takes one minute and destroys any worn clothing or armor.
    • Lycanthropes can voluntarily transform, but only at night.
    • Lycanthropes are immune to all damage except that from silver weapons when in beast form.
    • Lycanthropes pass on the curse when they reduce a victim to 0 HEALTH.

Virtue

Creatures of a given Virtue are immune to damage of that virtue (e.g. Evil creatures are immune to Evil damage). These creatures can usually sense their opposing virtue automatically within a distance of 10' per point of INT. Creatures with a virtue detect as such.


Immunities

In the creature types above, some immunities are suggested.  These are only suggestions, and can be ignored or added to at will by the GM.  The GM should regard this as an area where GM discretion is particularly advised. If the GM feels that a particular approach would not unduly affect a particular creature, then he or she should feel free to rule an immunity even if it is not specified. However, the GM should endeavour to be consistent in these rulings, especially in encounters with similar creatures.

Movement & SPEED

SPEED for each movement mode is calculated the same way as for PCs. SPEED alone denotes land movemement; other movement modes include FLY, CLIMB, SWIM, and more. Non-natural movement modes are half the regular SPEED (as for PCs) and require attribute checks; natural movement modes require no attribute checks, are at full SPEED, and are designated with a "+" symbol.  Flight speeds tend to be double ground speeds. If the creature can hover, this should be noted in parenthesis; otherwise it must maintain half its speed to stay aloft. Example SPEED entry:

SPEED 8; FLY 4; CLIMB+ 8 (hover); JUMP -

Skills

Assign skills based on the monster type. The monster equivalent of unarmed combat is simply called combat.

Remember that creatures can be naturally much better than humans at certain things, especially when it comes to senses, movement, and fighting. Don't be afraid to give them 10 or more ranks in something. If in doubt, compare them to an exceptional human (a professional athlete, for example), who would have 10 ranks or so. If the creature would be better than a trained athlete at a skill, then give it 10 or more ranks.

  • Carnivores should have high (10+) INT and 10+ ranks in combat. They are also likely to have ranks of 10+ in at least one sense, such has scent. Finally, carnivores will usually do an extra 1d6 damage than their size would indicate, due to claws, teeth, and other natural weaponry.
  • Most animals should have at least several ranks in running or another movement mode.
  • Some carnivores may have ranks in tactics (but not many); herbivores which tend to be prey will more likely have ranks in reactions.
  • Always give creatures a defensive skill of some kind (dodging or hardy are good choices).
  • Four-legged creatures gain +2 to their SPEED.
  • Four-legged herbivores often have ranks in carrying.
  • Flying creatures will tend to have higher INT and AGI scores than equivalent ground-based ones, but lower STR and END scores.

Skills checklist (pay attention to all of these): hardy, running/climbing/swimming, carrying, tactics/reactions, [defensive], combat.

Exploits

Exploits are more art than science; you can create exploits to cover any ability or trait that a monster might have.

A small selection of sample exploits particularly suitable to monsters can be found below. Feel free to use or modify these for use with a new monster, or to create your own.

Amorphic. The creature is morphic and possesses no vital organs. It is immune to exploits such as Deadly Strike or Achilles Heel which require striking precise locations.

Aura. The creature has an aura (see table, below, for size and damage). Those who begin their turn in or enter the aura take damage of a specified type (for example, fire/heat, cold/cryo) or are inflicted with a condition (such as Afraid).

Breath weapon. A breath weapon deals damage to all creatures and objects in a cone (see table, below). The damage type should be specified; common damage types are fire/heat, cold/cryo, poison, and electricity. 

Chitinous shell/exoskeleton/hide. The creature gains +5 or more SOAK above that granted by its size.

Disease. Those damaged by the creature are inflicted with a disease. The disease should be noted. Alternatively, the disease might be inflicted upon reducing a victim to 0 HEALTH (even if the victim recovers the HEALTH). Diseases do not take effect until the combat is over.

Dive [requires flight]. When making a melee attack, the creature can swoop down at a foe and make the melee attack before swooping up again.  This works like a Charge (cost 2d6, +1d6 damage), but carries the creature onwards afterwards. This attack knocks the target prone.

Grab. Many creatures can grab their opponents, often with claws or teeth, or sometimes with a ranged attack like a lasso or spider's web.  A creature struck by the grab attack is Restrained and remains so until escape. It cannot leave the attacking creature's square or use weapons larger than size small. An escape requires a melee attack against the grabbing creature and is an action which places the victim free from the grab in an adjacent square. It costs a creature an attack each round to maintain the grab, but it does not need to make any further checks. In some cases, an already grabbed creature automatically takes the attacker's natural damage at the beginning of the victim's turn. The crush might be in a creature's jaws, tentacles, or a hug, and may be blunt or piercing damage.

Impale. An impaling attack is performed with a horn or similar natural weapon. The creature moves its speed in a straight line, and makes an attack. If successful, the target takes damage as normal and is considered Restrained, and takes natural damage at the start of each turn until escape.

Immunity. The creature is immune to a specific damage type.

Pack attack. Creatures with the pack attack exploit work together well. Any allies adjacent to the victim count as flanking, gaining the +1d6 bonus to attack. When 4 or more attackers with the pack attack exploit are adjacent to the victim, the victim gains the Fatigued condition.

Poison. Poison is usually a secondary effect of a bite or sting and can give the target various conditions (Poisoned, Sick, Fatigued, etc.) These attacks do the poison damage type in addition to their regular damage type, and the type of effect is noted in the attack.  Further detail is provided in the corresponding exploit entry for example:

Bite 4d6 (2d6 piercing/poison damage; paralysis)

Pounce. With a single leap, the attacker leaps upon its victim, bearing it to the ground and inflicting its regular natural damage. The target must be within the attacker's horizontal jump distance.

Regeneration. The creature regains 1d6 or more HEALTH at the start of each of its turns. If the creature is vulnerable to any type of damage, it cannot regenerate that damage.

Roar. Some creatures can unleash a roar so loud that its victims are stricken with fear.  A roar uses END as its attack, and attacks any creature within its aura (see table, below). Victims successfully attacked gain the Afraid condition.

Tail swipe. Some creatures have tail swipe attacks. These attacks affect all targets in a cone to the rear of the creature. The cone is half the size that a breath weapon would be for a creature of that size (with a minimum of 1 square). See the table below for size details. Damage is usually blunt damage unless the tail has edges or spikes.

Trample. With a trample attack, a creature can move directly through a target's square, attacking the target as it goes. This is a single action, and the attacker moves its full speed in a straight line. The attacker must be at least one size category larger than the target. If the attack misses, the attacker stops in its tracks. If it hits, the attacker continues moving, inflicts natural damage, and the target is knocked prone.

Many creatures have perception-based abilities beyond skills like hearing, scent, etc.

All-round sight. The creature is not affected by crossfire or flanking. Many multi-headed creatures have this ability.

Darksight. The creature can see in the dark to a distance of 10' per point of INT.

Superior darksight allows the creature to see in the dark normally to any distance. Some abilities, like a bat's sonar, vibrosense, or websense, can mimic darksight.

Lairsense. The creature is always aware of everything that happens within its lair.

Lifesense. The creature can sense and effectively see living creatures to a distance of 5' per point of INT even through darkness, cover, concealment, etc. Some abilities, such as bloodsense and mindsense, can mimic lifesense, although they detect blood and sentience, respectively.

Spellsense.  Some creatures, such as fey, can sense the presence of (but not the exact location of or type of) magic within 5' per point of INT. Superior spellsense determines the exact presence of magic within range.

Truesight. Truesight enables a creature to see through illusions, invisibility, disguises, and to clearly see a creature's virtue. They can also see in the dark, and through obscuring effects like smoke, although not through cover.

Size

Damage

Tail Swipe Cone

Breath Weapon Cone/Aura

Reach

Tiny

1d6

-

5'

5'

Small

1d6

5'

5'

5'

Medium

1d6

5'

5'

5'

Large

2d6

5'

10'

5'

Enormous

3d6

10'

20'

10'

Gigantic

4d6

20'

40'

15'

Colossal

5d6

30'

60'

20'

Titanic

6d6

60'

120'

30'

Called Shot Locations

Many tough creatures have a way to hurt or kill them. A wooden stake through the heart of a vampire, or the way a hydra's heads can be individually cut off, are good examples.  These features are described in the stat block. The entry should describe the called shot and its effects. Unless otherwise noted, a called shot costs -2d6 to make; a creature can only make one called shot per turn. Typically, a called shot requires that the attacker hit the target with an appropriate weapon and cause at least 25% of the creature's HEALTH in damage in one attack. An example is given below.

CALLED SHOT. A hydra starts with 7 heads. A called shot with a slashing weapon can remove a single head.  The number of actions a hydra has available is equal to its number of heads; it may use its bite attack as many times as it has heads, although no more than three attacks can be directed at any given target in one turn. The hydra's high perception score is based on its many heads; each time a head is removed, its perception check is reduced by 1d6.
CALLED SHOT. A zombie can continue to take damage indefinitely. The only way to stop a zombie is to make a Called Shot to the heaad, which kills it instantly.

Basic Magic & Psionics

A GM can choose to use the full PC spellcasting rules, which are more complex (see Advanced Magic & Psionics, below); however, the monster can also have specific magical powers. Devise individual themed magical or psionic abilities for the monster to use and list them as exploits. Magical effects typically (but not always) take 2 actions to use, while psionic powers usually only take 1 action. For example:

Confusion (2).  Ashima-Shimtu can whisper magical words of confusion and lies, making a MAG mental attack against a creature within 30'. If successful, the target gains the Confused condition.

These are magical abilities, but they are not actually spells in the strict rules sense. If the monster is to use spells in the way that a PC does, see Advanced Magic & Psionics, below.

Advanced Magic & Psionics

PCs use magic and psionic points to create a daily budget. Monsters are not used all day (in game time) in this fashion; because they are only used for short periods of time, they do not need a daily budget in terms of magic or psionic points. Spells and psionic powers effectively operate for free for monsters, although a single spell's total MP is still limited by the creature's MAG attribute.

Record the monster's MAG or PSI attribute as normal. Also include magical skills in the creature's skill list.

Determine Maximum Dice Pool

Grade is a tool for use with PCs (and NPCs who use the PC creation rules).  For monsters, the important value is its maximum dice pool. Simply identify the largest dice pool in the monster's finished stat block; that is its maximum dice pool. You can use a lower maximum dice pool to constrain a creature if necessary. This value is simply used to establish an approximate suitable grade range for encounters. 

When identifying the largest dice pool in a stat block, remember that the DEFENSE scores are also dice pools. Divide DEFENSE scores by 4 (round up) to establish their dice pool size. Thus a creature with 24 MELEE DEFENSE has a dice pool of 6d6 based on that DEFENSE score (assuming that's its largest dice pool). if you choose to give the monster a lower MDP than that, the DEFENSEs should be constrained by the size of the MDP (4 x MDP).

Max Dice Pool
Grade Range
1d6
1
2d6
2
3d6
3
4d6
4
5d6
5
6d6
6-7
7d6
8-10
8d6
11-14
9d6
15-19
10d6
20-25
11d6
26-32
12d6
33-40
13d6
41-49
14d6
50-59
15d6
60-70
16d6
71-82
17d6
83-95
18d6
96-109
19d6
110-124
20d6
125-140

Simple Scaling  

Existing creatures can be quickly scaled on the fly by adjusting their maximum dice pool up or down. If a creature is scaled down, none of its dice pools can exceed the new lower dice pool.  Scaling provides the following adjustments for each dice pool difference.  Scaling adjusts the final dice pools rather than the core attributes and skills. 

  • +/- 4 to all DEFENSEs
  • +/- 4 HEALTH
  • +/-1d6 to all dice pools

Creatures can also optionally be increased or decreased in size when scaling; this is not commonly applied to humanoid species. This grants it (per size category change):

  • +/- 4 to all DEFENSEs (larger is a penalty, smaller is a bonus)
  • +/-2 SOAK (larger is a bonus, smaller is a penalty; minimum 0)
  • +/-8 HEALTH (larger is a bonus, smaller is a penalty; minimum 10)

Scaled creatures can be referred to in shorthand in the format Creature Name (+/-xd6; size). Note that scaling a creature in this way does not distinguish between changes due to attributes, skills, or equipment.  If this information is specifically needed, the GM will need to adjudicate based on the creature itself and what it's key traits are. A creature known for size and strength will likely gain the bonus from improved attributes, while a more highly trained operative might gain it from higher skills or equipment.

For example, an Exterminator commander is an Exterminator (+2d6; large). If there is no size change, it does not need a notation.