Monsters With Components

Recently I started replaying the game, Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s an incredible Playstation exclusive game that combines an original setting with really fun mechanics. One of the core combat mechanics is the idea that monsters have certain weak points that can be targeted. Targeting these weak points might cause increased damage, release an explosion, or drop extra items for you to pick up.

This system works really well in Horizon Zero Dawn, so I decided to explore what a similar mechanic would look like in 5th edition. In today’s update you’ll find the rules necessary to implement this system as well as an example creature, the fire-belching frog.

Monsters With Components

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One thought on “Monsters With Components

  1. This basically codifies something my players do all the time, making called shots. I do love the idea of it, and the complexity it brings into combat. Per rules written, monsters are as effective at full health as they are at 1 hit points, so adding components give your players small mid-fight goals to strive towards, which provides positive feedback in a way that you don’t really get without throwing multiple enemies at the party.

    With that being said, I think this idea is best spent on solo monsters. Having dozens of monsters this complex could be overwhelming for a party ill-prepared for it.

    Another thing that occurred to me was modular monsters, where you create a list of components that can then be applied to a series of “base” creatures for a customisable monster manual akin to the templates from 3rd edition. Just a thought for when/if you ever really run with that these monsters.


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