More Weird Western monsters from other sources (Tome of Beasts)

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Yes, I’m shilling, but only because I love this book…

Yeah, a lot of monsters lie out there.  What do you wanna read about?  We got tons of dusty tomes we’ve accrued from the old world, some from the new world.  Of course, lots of folks here care very little about reading…

Author’s Note: Beyond a handful of homebrew reflavors of existing monsters, here’s a sampling of creatures from one of my favorite 3rd party books, Tome of Beasts.  I’m not sponsored by Kobold Press to do this, I just figure I’d continue my reflavoring posts by expanding to another book this time.

  • Accursed Defiler – Many tribes have committed horrible deeds in the history of this region, but few were more depraved and destructive. (Tome of Beasts, Page 12)
  • Angler Worm – Adaptive hunters in the scorching desert.  They’ve gained the ability to trap all sorts of prey, as their targets tend to be quicker and desperate themselves in a hostile waste environment. (Tome of Beasts, Page 22)
  • Bearfolk Shapeshifter – Bearfolk warriors who get deep in touch with the spirits are given a powerful boon, making their natural attacks fiercer and their forms more feral.  Tribe leaders, witch doctors and more tend to fear the shapeshifter warrior, as the rage of the bear is already challenging to control already.  (Werebear, large hybrid bear is default form while a specific humanoid is alternate, change alignment to True Neutral or Neutral Evil, Remove Damage Immunity and Curse of Lycanthropy, Grant Variant Grizzly Bearfolk’s Bear Rage (+3) and Reckless Attacker. Monster Manual, Page 208)
  • Bisonfolk – The tallest and proudest among the plains.  These bipedal bison don’t take kindly to being called buffalo, so watch out!  With hulking physique and a short temper, they’re happy to bowl anything over. (Minotaur, change alignment to chaotic neutral, replace Abyssal with Common and Sylvan, remove Labyrinth Recall, allow Gore to deal piercing or bludgeoning and call it Stampede Rush. – Monster Manual, Page 223)
  • Bone Crab – Creations of psychic beings of the new world.  These crustaceans harvest brains from the dead, later taking their skulls as a shell.  They’re known for inducing madness in those who mess with them or their hive mind.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 40)
  • Burrowling – These prairie dog-like humanoids live in clusters deep within the nearly prairie lands, where meager brush may exist.  They’re collectivist warren dwellers and experts of agriculture.  Some settlements have made allies with them, at least to take some of their well guarded secrets to survival. (Tome of Beasts, Page 49)
  • Cactid – The barely intelligent relatives of the needler.  While needlers can help others find nutrients, the cactid will drain it from whatever chunk of meat gets too close to it.  Not evil, they’re just slow and carnivorous plants. (Tome of Beasts, page 50)
  • Camazotz – This powerful demonic lord is responsible for bringing the bat-folk into this world, a world bound to reject them from the beginning.  He is also the father of vampires from the southern regions.  This fell entity is powerful in the ways of corruption as well as flames.  From his dark dominion, he bids his time as both his living children and the undead (such as the Skin Bat) push further into the regions above.  (Tome of Beasts, Pages 85 – 87)
  • Chelicerae – One of the many things brought upon this world, from the Otherworld, by angered shamans who wanted nothing more than to banish the outlanders who dared to tread on their sacred ground.  These creatures devour those connected to mystical talents, causing many of those same shamans to fall to the tyrannous beasts. (Tome of Beasts, Page 54)
  • Clockwork Hunters – Creations of some mad scientist looking for either extra security or perhaps extra muscle to wrangle extra guests.  These kidnappings could range from indulgence to outright slavery.  Some just send them into the wilds to hunt down and kill any organic life that the constructs come across.  For what reason?  Again, it depends on the creator.  While some inventors want the extra hands for survival, some are just insane. (Give humanoid clockworks firearms, hunter and watchman gain a 1d8 gun with 60ft./120ft. range, myrmidon gains 2d6 gun with 120ft./360ft. range, Tome of Beasts – Pages 62 – 65)
  • Corrupting Ooze – Run off from industrial cityscapes given life.  The resulting ooze is an abomination to behold, eroding and poisoning all it comes into contact with.  It is pollution given a consciousness, given no other purpose than to destroy all in its way.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 311)
  • Dirty Miner – Wandering hunting and trapping fey that look akin to the old miners of the “gold frenzy”.  In actuality, they are wandering spirits that took after these strange miners.  Despite this look, they’re rarely friendly to humanoids and despise any use of magic by said humanoids.  (Far Darrig – Tome of Beasts, Page 179)
  • Death Butterflies – Spawned by corrupted nature priests on coastal regions further out west.  They sought to have a creature of admirable beauty be turned into a savage beast of relentless carnage and hunger.  In swarms they travel, consuming flesh of nearly anything they touch at a rapid rate.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 71)
  • Desert Giant – Decked in the motifs and styles of their tribes, desert giants stride with swagger and confidence to their step as they storm the desert wastes with little care for whatever is in their way.  These overly proud people view the world as their treading ground, as least as long as that world is rich with golden color sand and a blazing sun.  Far from evil, they’re merely callous to life around them. (Tome of Beasts, Page 222)
  • Drowned Maiden – The bayou answer to the wind maiden.  These unfortunate souls found their end in the sickly swamps that line the southern parts of the region.  Hopelessly lost and confused, they attack out of grief and mania from their watery graves. (Tome of Beasts, Page 159)
  • Dullahan – While not the true headless horseman, these dark spirits are harbingers of death; especially upon forgotten battlefields and places of current conflicts.  During the great railway wars, dullahans sacked both sides of the track and claimed countless soldiers.  (grant “spine pistol”, which works like spine whip but deals 2d6 weapon damage instead of 2d10 and has a range of 80ft. – Tome of Beasts, Page 161)
  • Eonic Drifter – Dabbling too much in the Dream created temporary rifts in space and time, resulting in travelers from distant realms and timelines stumbling upon this realm.  With fantastic technologies and magics, they either seek to learn more or escape as soon as possible.  Their strange demeanor and horrific visage makes them a sore sight for travelers.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 177)
  • Erina – The hills and valleys up north sport these hedgehog looking creatures.  Despite many living in shires build into bumpy hillsides that resemble cozy farm villages, many remain scavengers and gatherers within various wandering tribes.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 178)
  • Fear Smith – Dark dream denizens that embody the stuff of nightmares.  They serve the Dream Lords in their conquest of minds that drift into dreaming.  However, many have taken to terrifying creatures in the living world, especially as the lines between dream and reality periodically falter.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 181)
  • Fellforged – Automatons made by mad scientists who dabble too much into life science for the sake of life beyond life.  In truth, they’re robotic constructs with a dead soul bound to it, acting as its brains.  These automatons are enraged by their fates, lashing out while occasionally trying in futility to escape.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 182)
  • Giant Ant – Among the impressive rocky hills just outside of flat sandy reaches are the ant hills that may as well be hills.  These are caused by giant ants that dwell in colonies just outside of the breaks between barren flat lands and rocky crags. (Tome of Beasts, Page 23)
  • Ghoul Emperor – The most deadly of the ghouls is the emperor, a denizen of a dark and gothic hellscape from the dreariest depths of the old world.  Quite simply, this being retained its sanity while gaining more magical power by any means necessary, amassing a following of ghouls along the way.  This dark lord tried to remain in the shadows while gaining more traction and power and eventually becoming one of the single most powerful undead in the world.  Overhearing the conflicts of the railway war, the emperor moved location in hopes and gathering an unstoppable army.  Its ghoul forces slowly emigrated to the region, bringing a new kind of hell to the already harsh lands.  Even worse, to the average eye, it’s just an eccentric looking noble clad in dated cloth of some faraway kingdom bound to conservative traditions.  Hiding in plain sight, it surveys future targets of conquest.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 218)
  • Ghoul Underlings – The henchman of this twisted and cruel dark lord.  They come in many shapes and sizes, capable of many feats of their own.  (give various NPCs immunities to poison damage/charmed, exhaustion, poisoned conditions, claw attacks if they didn’t have them already)
  • Gnarljak – The creations of trappers, slavers and far more.  These constructs are simple, built to either ensnare whatever gets close or to tear off entire limbs.  Only some of the cruelest mages, artificers and tinkerers build these things. (Tome of Beasts, Page 229)
  • Highway Fey – Spirits that came to the region alongside other types of crooked and corrupt bandits and outlaws.  These spirits have a similar mindset.  Thieves and slavers, the cruel creatures seek to make a horrid fortune much like the raiders and scum among the mortal world. (Aridni – Tome of Beasts, Page 26)
  • Library Automaton – The companions of devious collectors and reclusive scholars.  More often than not, they’re an indicator that the library’s curator is into rather eccentric pursuits.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 273)
  • Mahoru – The locals of the frigid northlands tell tales of a beast that is akin both predators of the land and see, merged into a frightening spirit hybrid.  With maws of teeth and powerful fins, these powerful hunters are bound to take anyone on thin ice into chilling depths before ripping them apart. (Tome of Beasts, 281)
  • Nuwisha Mad Dasher – These nuwisha warriors focus on quick barrage of attacks, sabotaging their enemies before going back on the run.  Their confusion tackles are meant to catch foes off guard.  (Gnoll Havoc Runner, change gnoll subtype and language to lupine, change alignment to chaotic neutral – Tome of Beasts, Page 230)
  • Pombero – From the lands well south of the desert settlements, live these mischievous and shadowy little tricksters.  They revel in trespassing where they don’t belong and looting random objects.  They take to the darkness and await any prying eyes to leave the area.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 313)
  • Putrid Haunt – Swamp zombies, born of the muck from swamps as well as twisted magics practiced by equally twisted priests.  These undead await in the solid swampy ooze before striking.  Many will dwell near the shacks that their masters reside in.  Covered in moss and mud, they often blend into their environment.  Even worse, leeches pile into these dead beings, creating a strange relationship with the undead horror. (Tome of Beasts, Page 315)
  • Rift Swine – Dream-touched horrors.  They were corrupted in a field that went coterminous with the plane for mere moments, turning the land into a chaotic realm far too alien for any being to fully comprehend.  These creatures are equally disgusting and confusing.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 326)
  • Sandmen – Guardians and travelers of the dreamscape.  More often than not, they lure others into their realm.  Their motivations for having mortals travel with them is questionable and hard to understand, however they are eager to have material plane beings learn the truths of this alternate realm.  Some even push into the spiritual otherworld as well. (change type to fey, Tome of Beasts, Page 333)
  • Sap Demon – The result of loggers and lumberjacks carving too far into a forest.  The result is an ooze made of sap and driven to avenge the forest it lost.  The creatures are unrelenting, despising anything crafted from wood and anyone from any civilization.  Defenders of nature exploit them in their own pursuits.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 334)
  • Saloon Drake – These old world pests found their way into the bars and brothels of the wild and weird west.  Here, they often mooch on the booze and cause panic among the drinkers and gamblers that try to stay the day into night.  While not an intentional problem, they often lead to trouble.  (Alehouse Drake – Tome of Beasts, Page 148)
  • Shadow Beast – Void stuff given life, shaped into a vaguely humanoid form.  These beings were likely sylvan and spiritual creatures at one point, transformed after being ripped apart by the void’s strange energies.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 345)
  • Smokestack Drake – Found more out east, where industrializing cities are far more common.  These drakes were born of the pollution that came with big innovations.  They’re a bit more wry than many of their cousins and crueler too. (Ash Drake – Tome of Beasts, Page 149)
  • Steam Golem – The prototypes for the Locomotomatons, these constructs are steam-driven machine-like creatures mostly created to help maintain areas too dangerous or tiring for humanoids.  However, its boiler proved to be too much of a hassle, as the more advanced creation proved to be superior as well.
  • Stuhac – A fiendish thing that loves to take the form of a wandering old traveler.  These creatures love to blend into caravans and frontier wagons, in hopes of consuming or corrupting those who drop their guard when the time is right.  One even managed to kill a whole cavalry unit and took their guns.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 370)
  • Swamp Creature – These shambling mounds serve as guardians for the marshy regions typically south of the desert lands.  However, they doesn’t stop them from reaching the weird west, should a need arise. (Shambling Mound – Monster Manual, Page 270)
  • Thicket Folk/They Glide among the Thickets/Deer Centaur – One of many translations of the name given by a local tribe in the more eastern reaching thick forests and glades.  These creatures are akin to centaurs, but with more inspiration from deer rather than horses.  They are far more energetic and expressive, having ties to various fey and other spirit-folk. (Alseid – Tome of Beasts, Page 15)
  • Thunder Ox – Massive oxen, often accompanying the mightiest of giants.  Like their masters, these mighty oxen are usually indifferent to other forms of life.  In fact, they might prove friendly if tamed by the right people.  However, their foes contend with thunderous bellowing and earth shaking stomps.  (Ychen Bannog – Tome of Beasts, Page 413)
  • Wolf Spirit – Conjured souls brought back to this plane by evil lupines.  These angry and hungry souls seek to devour any beings unlike them.  They are driven by a hatred of all living creatures not related to wolves or the lupine, having wandered in endless ethereal voids for countless eons. (Tomb of Beasts, Page 377)
  • Vapor Lynx – Intelligent cat spirits that can wield powers of smoke.  They travel through mists, hunting those who get too far lost.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 398)
  • Vampiric Mist – The mists of old cliff sides, canyons and desert oasis can provide the perfect cover for the fleeing mist of a vampire.  When they fail to get to their body in time, sometimes their essence goes mad while hiding in desert cover.  This sentient mist is stuck feasting upon mortals while remaining a cloud.  It’s likely their old bodies are long since gone.  Many try to look for damper and foggier parts of the west, to better blend in. (Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, Page 246)
  • Vile Barber – Dark spirits sent to punish barbers, doctors and those who wield the blade in the name of helping others.  Or in this case, those who abuse their position and bring misfortune to others.  These woeful spirits ensure that those unjust souls are rightfully given a gruesome and ironic end.  At least, that’s how they should operate.  Some just enjoy the thrill of the kill.  Even worse, some try to take up the spot they’ve left vacant and do a far worse job at it, disguising themselves as their previous victim. (give ability to disguise as a victim it had previously killed, Tome of Beasts, Page 401)
  • Vine Lord – Fierce plant warriors dedicated to preserving any green life wherever it may be.  They only care for flora, viewing fauna as mere fodder for the advancement of plant life.  In fact, they’ve been known to control animal hosts to do their bidding.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 402)
  • Void Dragon – These dragons hail from the realms of dream, sometimes breaking through the thresholds and being unleashed upon the material world.  They are as cosmic as the starry skies above, unleashing unfathomable chaos through the very void that birthed them.  Like with other horrors, they were usually summoned by deranged cultists or enraged shamans, usually for the ritual to go horribly wrong.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 141)
  • Wampus Cat – A living legend of the frontier folk.  They say that it’s the offspring of a tribe exile and a big cat, while others say it’s the result of an audacious soul who dared to insult a shaman too far.  No matter the case, it’s ruthless creature that takes its existence out on anything that shoots it a glance.  Worse yet, the yowling horror has a grudge against anything holy.  Priests, druids and other holy figures are always singled out.  (Tome of Beasts, Page 405)
  • Zombie, Animal – The living dead don’t just shamble on two legs.  Tons of undead used to be the wildlife that wanders around.  Corrupted grey runners, crazy necromancers and dark spirits have a habit of bringing all sorts of varmints back!  (Apply Zombie Immunities and Undead Fortitude to Animals – Monster Manual, Page 317 – 341/Volo’s Guide to Monsters – Pages 207 – 208)

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