Dogman Monster Design: Leader of the Pack


I got reverse-coached the other day! Last week I asked the group for ideas on Dogmen monsters that I’m currently designing.

Dogmen in Basilica are like gnolls in D&D. Part man, part hound.

And my core monster design process goes something like this:

  1. Give them a fun name
  2. Figure out how I want them to affect roleplay
  3. Figure out their combat role
  4. Give them at least three interesting actions
  5. List out key skills
  6. Turn them into a faction

For my Dogmen, though, I was stuck on #4. I had just turned the last page on Dragonlance Chronicles #1, and wanted to channel the draconian angle: several monster sub-types, each with interesting gameplay via different action sets.

But I was stuck on my sub-types, which in my lingo are sub-factions, because these critters are sentient.

@ExileInParadise gave me the winning idea:

Group them by their behavior.

For example, one group has heightened senses. Bloodhounds.

One group is especially muscular and strong. Pit bulls.

A third group is very fast with strong jaws. Greyhounds.

I also have leadership groups (German Shepherds), and shamans (Siberian Huskies).

Thanks Exile!

With these broad themes now figured out, my other steps have become unlocked.

For example, the Vedení Dogmen (German Shepherd leader types):

Roleplay: Smart, Speak 3 Languages (Dogman, Empire, Collossai), Courageous, Steady in the Heat of Battle.

Combat Role: Controller (Strategic, Tactical, Troop Control).

Actions:

  • Bark of Authority: Improve Morale and Discipline (Roleplay).
  • Insightful Tactics: Pack Strategy and Tactics (Combat).
  • Captain Kirk’s Gut: Strong Intuition (Puzzle).

Key Skills: Decipher Claw Marks (Read/Write), Intimidate, Negotiate, Predict Enemy Moves, Decipher the CombatScape, Leadership.

If you’ve done any computer programming before, you probably recognize my meta process here.

  1. Figure out my requirements.
  2. Write the pseudocode.
  3. Write code.

The above are my requirements and pseudocode for this monster’s design. Next step for me is to translate the Vedení Dogmen into WOIN RPG stats. Something I look forward to sinking my teeth into.

Note: There’s another critical step I also take. Something important I do to make my monsters special. Wizards of Adventure, I’ve shared this exclusive tip with you here, using Dogmen as an example. It’s a good one.

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