John Marshall
▶ Stars Without Number
2017-12-24T23:25:33.523Z

So, I've been monkeying around with the SWN Revised Xenobestiary for the last couple of hours. I wanted to see how quickly I could come up with some 'interesting' alien critters, using automation as much as possible.

I already had all the monster stats from B/X D&D in a spreadsheet file, so I decided to start by reskinning those. I deleted some of the more complicated ones (e.g. lycanthropes that had stats for 2 different states). I flipped their Armor Classes to ascending values by subtracting each monster’s AC from 20. I modified their movement rate per round by multiplying by 0.3 and rounding to the closest 5-meter rate (totally arbitrary results - some really slow and fast moving things). I changed their names at random by generating a list of examples that seemed consistent (based on my judgment) from lists generated by http://www.fantasynamegenerators.com/monster-names.php#.WkAvVd-nGUk and http://www.seventhsanctum.com/generate.php?Genname=monstername (hit refresh, cut and paste, delete the silly ones, repeat until there are > 200).

I used a separate spreadsheet to randomly select qualities from the values from the 'Styling the Beast' tables [e.g. =INDEX($A:$A,RANDBETWEEN(2,COUNTA($A:$A)),1) repeated for each value], and then manually fixed the attack type and damage columns where they really seemed off. I was getting lazy, so I just ballparked the Skill bonus and Saves based on the table on p.200 of the rules (my determinations could really use some more nuance).

Each beast has randomly selected options for all possible traits, whether they are appropriate, or not. So, they can be used or ignored, where appropriate.

Obviously, some of the beasts are under- or over-powered, and some are just plain weird. There are almost 200 on the linked sheet so hopefully, someone can get some use out of something there...

Happy Holidays.

Josh Peters
2017-12-24T23:25:33.523Z

Dude, this is amazing. Thank you!

Mitchel Pigsley
2017-12-24T23:25:33.523Z

Incredible! Thanks for this!

Alistair Langsford
2017-12-24T23:25:33.523Z

Thanks for explaining the how of this. Makes this a far more useful resource, and as an interesting list its a great resource to start with. Not really skilled with the spreadsheet, so good to what sort of things can be done with it for gaming.

John Marshall
2017-12-24T23:25:33.523Z

Glad you find it useful. I continued to tinker with it. This time, I wrote something in Python. I'm not a programmer, so its really clunkily done. the code is at https://github.com/rootoftwo/swn2e_beastgen

There are a sample 100 beasts in the linked document.

I couldn't work out how to make the Saves work, so it is (16-hit dice). As I said, clunky.


docs.google.com - SWN 100 Random Beasts

Tore Nielsen
2017-12-24T23:25:33.523Z

This is great! Thank you.