In a previous post, I wrote my Love Letter to 13th Age Monsters. I stand by everything I said there, but I want to take it a step further – really go to the next level, if you will pardon the cliche.
I am a very improvisational game master. I write maybe a dozen sentences tops about a game session before we sit down to play and even that’s being generous. This is not even a paragraph, mind you, just sentences. It’s enough to know where to start, but leaves plenty of room to follow whatever happens to come up in the moment. No adventure survives contact with the players, so why write much in advance?
One of the few remaining tasks that requires prep work is monster design. I enjoy 13th Age monster design, but I got to thinking, “could I make monsters on the fly? If I just sat down at the table with some kind of short reference tool, could I design a monster literally as it fights?” Turns out the answer is “yes.”
The last several games I’ve run now, I have not prepped all my monsters. I’ve done maybe two or three in advance for special occasions, but everything else I’ve made up as needed. I then took my document, made it look all purdy and now, for your benefit and amusement, here it is! Do you necessarily need to use it to improv monsters? Of course not. You could just as easily use it to prepare monsters in advance of a session as well. I think it fits both needs admirably. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Special thanks to Derek Weller of iheartprintandplay.blogspot.com for graciously allowing me to use his art for this product!