Sunday, March 9, 2014

Spreadsheet Porn (All the basic OD&D Monsters broken down by useful information)





This is a spreadsheet (in ods and xls formats) of all the basic (ie pages 2 and 3 of Volume 2 of the little brown books) monsters for OD&D. No variants, etc. It does not contain the stats crucial to deploying the monster in plat (AC, Movement, Treasure, precise descriptions of special abilities), but is similar to what I use when I'm trying to figure out how to seed a location or encounter table.

The tables include the name of the monster, the no. appearing in the wilderness, the HD, the % in lair, as well as Allegiances, Types, Lairs, Behavior & Organization, and Abilities & Keywords.

The way I use this is to have a single sheet for the entire campaign and then break off separate sheets for areas and dungeons (Campaign → Region → Dungeon). This helps me curate things by locality but also make sure I'm not overusing something or ignoring something else.

Special abilities are represented here, but in an abstract manner, which, along with the lists of Behaviors, Types, Lairs you can scrape or sort the sheet for useful things, like, “Acid” or “Underground,” or “Swamps,” or “Militant” or “Very Aggressive” to suit your needs while planning out an adventure, dungeon, location, region, etc.

As with a lot of OD&D, anywhere I've not re-produced precisely what it says in the book, I've probably made some kind of interpretive call.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, all you need to do to seed and customize an area is copy and paste whatever you want from this sheet into a separate sheet and then do a series of search and replaces to revise to suit your needs (like, replacing "Unaligned" with "Neutral Good" or with "Servants of Baz" or "Acid" with "Gastric Juices" or "Melting Sand" or whatever you want).

Lairs are where the creature is likely to be found. I've extrapolated a bit here from the book, but nothing should be controversial.

Allegiances are analogous to Alignments but I usually add an extra column or two here to list any regional or important organizations with which the monster might be associated. (EX. If, in your campaign, “The Venerable Greens keep Basilisks,” is a thing, then you'd put “the Venerable Green” in the Basilisk Allegiance category). Note that for basic animals no alignment/allegiance is given. They're mundane animals and I always felt the inclusion of them in the “Neutral” category diluted the sense that there was a kind of war between Law and Chaos going on with a third group abstaining.

Types are the general type of creature. For example, I've grouped the jellies, oozes and the like under, “D&D Fungi.” These should all be self-explanatory.

Behavior & Organization describes the way these monsters are likely to behave when encountered and how they tend to be organized. “Familial” means they tend to function/domicile as a single family unit, “packs” hunt as a pack, tribes function as tribes (ie, with a single chief or king), civilized creatures tend to have rich and stratified social structures while “hierarchical” creatures are organized as something between “civilized” and “tribal” creatures. Intelligence is also described but treated as relative to the human range (“as human” means their intelligence varies as a human's while "Less Intelligent" indicates a mean intelligence less than that of humans and would likely cap out at around INT 8 with an average around 5).

Abilities & Keywords are things interesting about the creature or things the creature can do. Special Abilities are described here, but in a highly abstract manner (ie, you'll need to consult the book to get the precise rules, and I've included the reference to the appropriate page #).

Here it is in ods/open office and here it is in xls/excel.

(updates provided on a semi-regular basis as I find or am provided with corrections)
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.