Adventure Toolkit: Reskinning Part One.

One of the most time consuming parts of building an adventure for 3.x is using non-monsterous opponents. I can grab a monster straight out of the monster manual and run it off of a very short card. To do the same with a creature with class levels, I’ve got to build the damned thing, either from scratch or from a series of charts. Happily that is where one of the DM’s best tools comes in. Reskin creatures. You need a low level evil ranger? Look at the Ettercap. In Pathfinder, you get 3 attacks, poison, a web attack, and wild empathy that focuses on spiders. If you drop the third attack, it becomes a poisoned short sword and dagger melee focused ranger who also uses nets and raises giant spiders. It is probably wearing studded leather armor or leather +1 and carrying a 50 ft silk rope with grappling hook.

Give her Laughing touch, drop the DR and the tree dependency, and replace tree stride with a 1st level sorceror’s spell and a dryad becomes a reasonable 5th or 6th level elven fey pact sorcerer.

Make it medium and a Rhinoserous makes a decent 5th level raging barbarian. Add a single rage ability and you have a great sword weilding charge focused barbarian.

A medium sized manticore makes a great low mid level archery specialist if you ignore the flight.

Next time I’ll present a few fast templates that add a little more of the feeling of a class to a reskinned monster.

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