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    Default Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    Here are some creature subtypes I think might be useful. Only creatures from the core SRD are listed. Actually using these subtypes will require assigning them as appropriate to creatures from any other sources the DM might use.

    Acid: digester, dragon (black), dragon (green), dragon (copper), mephit ( ooze) , mephit (water), ooze (black pudding), ooze (gelatinous cube), ooze (gray), ooze (ochre jelly)

    Darkness: nightshade, shadow, shadow mastiff

    Electricity: arrowhawk, dragon (blue), dragon (bronze), giant (storm), shocker lizard

    Light: archon (lantern), ghaele, ravid

    Sonic: destrachan, lillend, yrthak

    Ant-like: formian, swarm (hellwasp), giant ant, giant bee, giant wasp

    Beetle-like: rust monster, giant beetle

    Bear-like: dire bear, lycanthrope (werebear), owlbear, bear

    Camel-like: camel

    Cat-like: chimera, hellcats, dire lion, dire tiger, dragonne, griffon, krenshar, lamia, lammasu, leonal, lycanthrope (weretiger), manticore, rakshasa, sea cat, sphinx (andro), sphinx (crio), sphinx (gyno), sphinx (hieraco), cat, cheetah, leopard, lion, tiger

    Centipede-like: ankheg, swarm (centipede), monstrous centipede

    Chicken-like: achaierai, cockatrice,

    Cow-like: chimera, gorgon, lycanthrope (minotaur, satyr, sphinx (crio), bison

    Dinosaur-like: digester, dinosaur (deinonychus ), dinosaur (elasmosaurus ), dinosaur (megaraptor ), dinosaur (triceratops ), dinosaur (tyrannosaurus )

    Dog-like: barghest, blink dog, dire wolf, hell hound, lycanthrope (werewolf), shadow mastiff, winter wolf, worg, yeth hound, dog,, wolf

    Elephant-like: elephant

    Fish-like: aboleth, bulette, cloaker, dire shark, locathah, merfolk, sahuagin, tritons, manta ray, shark

    Frog-like: toad

    Hawk-like: arrowhawk, eagle (giant), griffon, harpy, hippogriff, owl ( giant), owlbear, roc, sphinx (hieraco), eagle, hawk, owl

    Horse-like: centaur, hippogriff, pegasus, unicorn, donkey, horse, mule, pony, rhinoceros

    Hyena-like: gnoll, hyena

    Crocodile-like: crocodile

    Lizard-like: basilisk, kobold, lillend, lizardfolk, shocker lizard, troglodyte, yrthak, lizard, lizard (monitor),


    Snake-like: behir, couatl, demon (marilith), hydra, lillend, medusa, naga (dark), naga (guardian), naga (spirit), naga (water), salamanders, snake


    Turtle-like: dragon turtle, tojanida

    Locust-like: spider eater, stirge, swarm (locust), giant praying mantis

    Monkey-like: dire ape, girallon, ape, baboon, monkey

    Mouse-like: dire bat, dire rat, howler, lycanthrope (wererat), swarm (bat), swarm (rat), bat, rat

    Octopus-like: darkmantle, kraken, roper, octopus, squid

    Pig-like: dire boar, lycanthrope (wereboar), lycanthrope (dire wereboar), boar

    Raven-like: avoral, raven

    Scorpion-like: monstrous scorpion

    Spider-like: aranea, demon (bebilith), demon (retriever), drider, ettercap, phase spider, swarm (spider), monstrous spider

    Weasel-like: dire badger, dire weasel, dire wolverine, badger, weasel, wolverine,

    Whale-like: porpoise, whale

    Worm-like: frost worm, purple worm, remorhaz, thoqqua

    CHANGE LOG
    1/25/2014 Added nightshade to darkness subtype list (Thank you Vadskye.)
    1/25/2014 Split deer subtype into camel, cow, and pig subtypes (Thank you Vadskye.)
    1/25/2014 Dropped trumpet archon from sonic subtype list (Thank you Vadskye.)
    1/27/2014 Added ‘-like’ to the ‘animal’ subtype names (Thank you Vadskye, RedWarlock.)
    1/27/2014 Split up many of the subtypes (Thank you Baron Korm, Vadskye, RedWarlock.)
    1/27/2014 Moved yrthak from electricity to sonic (Thank you Dracomortis.)
    1/27/2014 Added dates to change log (Oops.)
    Last edited by ideasmith; 2014-01-27 at 09:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    Useful, how? What do these subtypes do, besides categorize monsters? How do spells that interact with subtypes apply here?

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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    I'm a sucker for proper categorization schemes, and I love this in general. Some more ideas:

    Darkness should include Nightshades.

    Categories should be defined broadly enough that there are more than one or two creatures per category. So "Elephant" is almost certainly not a good subtype.

    Does every creature need a subtype? I think the answer is no. Forcing each creature to have a subtype would be too limiting; there are some pretty odd creatures out there, and the common connections between creatures may be too broad or scientific ("Mammal") to be very useful. So elephants can probably just be devoid of a subtype.

    I'd rename "monkey" to "ape". A monkey is a specific kind of ape, I believe.

    I don't understand the "Deer" subtype at all.

    Just because a creature has a particular ability doesn't mean it deserves a subtype. Trumpet archons definitely don't seem [Sonic] to me. In order to be useful for spells and abilities, subtypes should be reserved for things which share a strong thematic connection.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    Useful, how? What do these subtypes do, besides categorize monsters? How do spells that interact with subtypes apply here?
    Good categories enable other homebrew that requires categories that make sense. We couldn't have ranger favored enemies without creature types. This just takes that a step farther. Perhaps all damaging [Light] spells could have stronger effects on [Darkness] creatures. Or maybe [Dog] creatures take a penalty on saves against [Sonic] spells.

    These categorizations are a little too animal-focused to be really useful for creating interesting mechanics, but it's a step in the right direction.

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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    The purpose of a Subtype is to add game mechanics to the game.

    For example: some Subtypes give an indication of where a creature is from such as Air and Water Subtypes, or indicates a set of traits such as any of the Humanoid Subtypes.

    What do these Subtypes actually do?

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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    Useful, how? What do these subtypes do, besides categorize monsters?
    Once the subtypes are in place, it becomes possible to make feats/spells/classes/etc. that interact with them. For example, the Nyambe feat 'Elephant Warrior' gives various bonuses with respect to "elephants". Whether it applies to war elephants, celestial elephants, half-dragon elephants, woolly mammoths, hollyphants, and/or behemeths is a judgment call for the DM. An already-existing 'elephant' subtype would have allowed greater clarity.

    Quote Originally Posted by AuraTwilight View Post
    How do spells that interact with subtypes apply here?
    For the spells in the core SRD, applying the spells as worded works fine. This should usually be the same with spells from other sources.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    I'm a sucker for proper categorization schemes, and I love this in general. Some more ideas:
    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Darkness should include Nightshades.
    So it should. Good catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Categories should be defined broadly enough that there are more than one or two creatures per category. So "Elephant" is almost certainly not a good subtype.
    Elephants are iconic enough to attract feats and such about them, which makes clarification about which creatures these apply to useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Does every creature need a subtype? I think the answer is no. Forcing each creature to have a subtype would be too limiting; there are some pretty odd creatures out there, and the common connections between creatures may be too broad or scientific ("Mammal") to be very useful. So elephants can probably just be devoid of a subtype.
    Not every creatures needs a subtype and there are a number of creatures my additions still leave without subtype.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    I'd rename "monkey" to "ape". A monkey is a specific kind of ape, I believe.
    Even if you use the widest sense of the word 'ape' and the narrowest sense of the word 'monkey', one would still have to stretch the word 'specific' to count that as true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    I don't understand the "Deer" subtype at all.
    I did get over-broad there. Will split up. (I should probably consider splitting up some of the other subtypes.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Just because a creature has a particular ability doesn't mean it deserves a subtype. Trumpet archons definitely don't seem [Sonic] to me. In order to be useful for spells and abilities, subtypes should be reserved for things which share a strong thematic connection.
    While there is a thematic connection between trumpet archons and sound, whether it counts as 'strong' is indeed arguable. I have dropped them, at least for now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    The purpose of a Subtype is to add game mechanics to the game.

    For example: some Subtypes give an indication of where a creature is from such as Air and Water Subtypes, or indicates a set of traits such as any of the Humanoid Subtypes.

    What do these Subtypes actually do?

    Debby
    To the extent that a humanoid subtype "indicates a set of traits", so do these. More importantly, they can be used in creating feats, spells, classes and other homebrew.
    Last edited by ideasmith; 2014-01-25 at 09:33 AM.
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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by ideasmith View Post
    To the extent that a humanoid subtype "indicates a set of traits", so do these. More importantly, they can be used in creating feats, spells, classes and other homebrew.
    Humanoid is a type rather than a subtype which changes the basic chemistry of the whole monster.

    Some subtypes are currently useless except for reference, for example Earth, which only says most Earth creatures have a burrow speed, but doesn't bestow one.

    However, I don't think any subtype should apply to only a few monsters. Bug could be worthwhile but Camel just points to camels. Any reference could just say "camel or dire camel" instead of "creature with the camel subtype".

    Then again, even Bug is narrowing the frame of Vermin down unnecessarily, making abilities using it have less general use than those which reference Vermin, which are uncommon enough monsters as it is past level 5. Bug also happens to be the largest category, so just think about how weak abilities referencing the other subtypes would be.

    It might be easier to have a grasp on the balance if some example feats/spells were posted. Just think, in order of usefulness, Charm Monster -> Charm Person -> Charm Bug -> Charm Camel.

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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by ideasmith View Post
    Even if you use the widest sense of the word 'ape' and the narrowest sense of the word 'monkey', one would still have to stretch the word 'specific' to count that as true.
    Turns out I'm bad at biology. After a little more research, it looks like "Monkey" and "Ape" are simply different categories of creature? Still means that Apes shouldn't be [Monkey] subtype.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    However, I don't think any subtype should apply to only a few monsters. Bug could be worthwhile but Camel just points to camels. Any reference could just say "camel or dire camel" instead of "creature with the camel subtype".
    Agreed. Same with Elephant.

    Then again, even Bug is narrowing the frame of Vermin down unnecessarily, making abilities using it have less general use than those which reference Vermin, which are uncommon enough monsters as it is past level 5. Bug also happens to be the largest category, so just think about how weak abilities referencing the other subtypes would be.

    It might be easier to have a grasp on the balance if some example feats/spells were posted. Just think, in order of usefulness, Charm Monster -> Charm Person -> Charm Bug -> Charm Camel.
    In my mind, "Charm Bug" would never exist; you shouldn't have abilities which only function on specific subtypes. You're right that it's way too narrow. However, there's a perfect precedent for how these subtypes should be used in spells like Horrid Wilting and Sunbeam. They have a certain effect on any kind of creature, and stronger effects on specific categories of creatures. Perhaps Web would gain "Bug creatures take a -5 penalty to saving throws against this spell, and Spider creatures are immune to this spell."
    Last edited by Vadskye; 2014-01-26 at 05:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Turns out I'm bad at biology. After a little more research, it looks like "Monkey" and "Ape" are simply different categories of creature? Still means that Apes shouldn't be [Monkey] subtype.
    You're thinking of 'Primate'. Supergroup of both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Agreed. Same with Elephant.

    Then again, even Bug is narrowing the frame of Vermin down unnecessarily, making abilities using it have less general use than those which reference Vermin, which are uncommon enough monsters as it is past level 5. Bug also happens to be the largest category, so just think about how weak abilities referencing the other subtypes would be.
    Some of the groups feel overly broad, personally, if we're trying to keep things useful. (I wouldn't say bear as a group includes the weasels. The Mustelids (weasels) are a type unto themselves.) Same for bird, fish, etc, but they lack common-term divisions.

    Elephant doesn't make sense in the MM alone, but taking into account the mammoths, mastodons, grizzly mastodons, thaskorr (MHB), loxo (SS), etc from other books, it makes perfect sense.

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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    The yrthak should be a (Sonic) creature rather than an (Electricity) creature, shouldn't it?
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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    To the extent that a humanoid subtype "indicates a set of traits", so do these.
    Not yet they don't.

    More importantly, they can be used in creating feats, spells, classes and other homebrew.
    While I can appreciate feats that only certain creatures can take, it belies their usefulness most of the time. For spellcasting, it's even worse if a spell only can be used in one encounter. Most spellcasters have a limited number of spells that they can know. and this just takes away from something that would be far more utilitarian. This is not to say that it shouldn't be done, only that you have to appreciate that it's limited in scope.

    I think you need to broaden your creature categories to some extent. For example: Deer and deer-like creatures, including but not limited to deer, dire deer, hybsil (from Player's Guide to Faerun and see web update for 3.5 stats for it), Ceryneian Hind (homebrew from here: http://www.worldsofimagination.co.uk...ian%20Hind.htm) and possibly others.

    Elephant: Should include mammoth.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2014-01-27 at 05:16 AM.
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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    There's one thing that I can think of right now that should probably be a subtype: Spirit, as per the Spirit Shaman from Complete Divine. Darkness isn't a bad one either, I'm reasonably sure there's already rules that interact with darkness based monsters.
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    Default Re: Creature Subtypes [3.5]

    EDIT: Have revised OP based on advice form this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    Humanoid is a type rather than a subtype which changes the basic chemistry of the whole monster.
    I am not sure what the point of this sentence is. (It occurs to me that you might have confused references to humanoid subtypes (such as 'Dwarf; and 'Elf') with the humanoid type, but that's just speculation.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    Some subtypes are currently useless except for reference, for example Earth, which only says most Earth creatures have a burrow speed, but doesn't bestow one.
    What you call "useless except for reference", I call 'useful for reference'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    However, I don't think any subtype should apply to only a few monsters. Bug could be worthwhile but Camel just points to camels. Any reference could just say "camel or dire camel" instead of "creature with the camel subtype".
    What about war camels, ghost camels, half-fiend camels, llamas, and disenchanters? And the other camel-like creatures found in books and pdfs I don't own? The Camel subtype in fact refers to more than a few monsters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    Then again, even Bug is narrowing the frame of Vermin down unnecessarily, making abilities using it have less general use than those which reference Vermin, which are uncommon enough monsters as it is past level 5. Bug also happens to be the largest category, so just think about how weak abilities referencing the other subtypes would be.
    Since the Bug subtype is probably a bit larger than the Vermin type, I don't think 'narrowing the frame of' is all that accurate. More importantly, if variety of creatures affected were the only factor in ability strength, dominate person would be lower level than charm monster.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    It might be easier to have a grasp on the balance if some example feats/spells were posted. Just think, in order of usefulness, Charm Monster -> Charm Person -> Charm Bug -> Charm Camel.
    If charm affected mindless creatures, the order would be iffy. For Charm Bug, making it bypass the can't-charm-mindless would make it appropriate in power for first level. Making Charm Camel a first level spell would require stronger measures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    Turns out I'm bad at biology. After a little more research, it looks like "Monkey" and "Ape" are simply different categories of creature? Still means that Apes shouldn't be [Monkey] subtype.
    I'm not seeing any call for affects that effect apes and monkeys differently. It looks like naming the 'animal' subtypes after a representative creature isn't going to work. Will have to come up with a new naming scheme.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vadskye View Post
    In my mind, "Charm Bug" would never exist; you shouldn't have abilities which only function on specific subtypes. You're right that it's way too narrow. However, there's a perfect precedent for how these subtypes should be used in spells like Horrid Wilting and Sunbeam. They have a certain effect on any kind of creature, and stronger effects on specific categories of creatures. Perhaps Web would gain "Bug creatures take a -5 penalty to saving throws against this spell, and Spider creatures are immune to this spell."
    This would require splitting up the Bug subtype so that spiders weren't part of it. Which seems like a good idea anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    You're thinking of 'Primate'. Supergroup of both.
    Thank you. This statement jogged a memory or something loose, and I realized I can just add 'like' to subtype names.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    Some of the groups feel overly broad, personally, if we're trying to keep things useful. (I wouldn't say bear as a group includes the weasels. The Mustelids (weasels) are a type unto themselves.) Same for bird, fish, etc, but they lack common-term divisions.
    My own thoughts were already headed this way, though I'm inclined to keep the fish together (but separate out the amphibians into their own subtype).

    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    Elephant doesn't make sense in the MM alone, but taking into account the mammoths, mastodons, grizzly mastodons, thaskorr (MHB), loxo (SS), etc from other books, it makes perfect sense.
    This is a different list than I listed from my books, which shows why I only listed those in the core SRD, despite this making work for the DM. I can safely assume that anyone using these has different books/pdfs than I do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dracomortis View Post
    The yrthak should be a (Sonic) creature rather than an (Electricity) creature, shouldn't it?
    So it should. Good catch. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Not yet they don't.
    Any evidence for that claim?

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    While I can appreciate feats that only certain creatures can take, it belies their usefulness most of the time. For spellcasting, it's even worse if a spell only can be used in one encounter. Most spellcasters have a limited number of spells that they can know. and this just takes away from something that would be far more utilitarian. This is not to say that it shouldn't be done, only that you have to appreciate that it's limited in scope.

    I think you need to broaden your creature categories to some extent. For example: Deer and deer-like creatures, including but not limited to deer, dire deer, hybsil (from Player's Guide to Faerun and see web update for 3.5 stats for it), Ceryneian Hind (homebrew from here: http://www.worldsofimagination.co.uk...ian%20Hind.htm) and possibly others.
    The OP already instructs the DM to broaden the categories on just such a manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Elephant: Should include mammoth.
    My listing woolly mammoth as an appropriate elephant subtype was not intended to exclude other mammoths from such. The monster entry I have for mammoths specifies woolly mammoth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    This site might be a useful (hah!) source for additional subtypes:

    http://www.helsinki.fi/~mhaaramo/

    eg...

    Vermin (mollusc)
    Vermin (arachnid)
    Vermin (insect)
    This looks similar to sources I already have, but I appreciate the thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    There's one thing that I can think of right now that should probably be a subtype: Spirit, as per the Spirit Shaman from Complete Divine.
    I prefer defining a spirit as any creature which currently has the extraplanar subtype and/or the incorporeal subtype.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Darkness isn't a bad one either, I'm reasonably sure there's already rules that interact with darkness based monsters.
    It is nice of you to say so.
    Last edited by ideasmith; 2014-01-27 at 12:11 PM.
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