Campaign TrailD&D 5eRaces

Playable Halloween Monster Races for D&D 5th Edition – Part 1

This week on the Campaign Trail I thought I could help out anyone looking to run a Halloween one-shot. Crawling an old mansion and throwing Halloween monsters can provide a great one-shot, but maybe letting your players be the monsters could be even more fun. Imagine a game where your players have to scare the teenagers out of the mansion, stop the villagers from storming the keep or get revenge on those that dare enter their tomb.

Take a peek at these homebrew Halloween themed racial builds for Vampire, Werewolf and Mummy… if you dare.

Vampire, Werewolf and Mummy | Scarecrow, Frankenstein and Swamp Monster

Let your players mix these with any class and background to create a their own unique monstrous player characters. These racial options are far from balanced. Their traits are more numerous and powerful than race options from the Player’s Handbook and they have weaknesses too, which is all very un-fifth-like design. That being said, they do a decent job on recreating monster abilities to provide as player options for a Halloween one-shot. I’d recommend staying away from lower levels as many of the weaknesses of these races will get a low level PC killed with one hit and the super charged racial traits will be exposed more at lower levels.

 

vampire2

Vampire

Vampires might be a little overused in movies and TV shows these day, but they are popular because they are awesome. With the ability to change shape into a cloud of mist or a bat, create spawn, spider climb and regenerate, it is good that they have some weaknesses. Vampire weaknesses such as running water, being forbidden to enter without invitation, wooden stakes and sunlight – can add interesting elements for your player to learn to cope with.

This vampire character begins as a vampire spawn and might even answer to a vampire lord or lady. Your character could be any humanoid race before they were changed into a vampire. Having human, elven or half-elven heritage is best thematically, but don’t let that stop you from creating a dwarven vampire.

Ability Score Increase. Charisma score increases by 2 and Dexterity score increases by 1.

Age. Vampires do not age.

Alignment. Lawful Evil

Size. Medium

Speed. 30 ft.

Damage Resistances. necrotic, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.

Superior Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Vampire Senses. You gain advantage on Wisdom (perception) checks to smell the presence of blood. This only applies to blood that is exposed to the open air, e.g. you can’t use this to detect a completely uninjured, hidden creature.

Born from Death. You have no need for air or sleep. You trance during the long rest, remaining semiconscious for 4 hours a day. You do not dream in this state; you are fully aware of your surrounding and notice approaching enemies and other events as normal. After resting in this way, you gain the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.

Spider Climb. You can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check. You can not use this ability again until you have completed a short rest.

Charm. As an action, you can target one creature you can see within 60 feet of you. If the target can see you, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC is 8 + your Charisma Modifier + your proficiency) against this magic or be charmed until the end of your next turn. The charmed target regards the vampire as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected and is a willing target for your bite attack. A target that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to your Charm for the next 24 hours.

Regeneration. You regain 1 hit point for each of your hit dice at the start of your turn, if you have at least 1 hit point and are not in running water or in sunlight. If you take radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of your turn.

Life Drain. To gain the benefits of a long rest, you must drink a sufficient amount of fresh blood prior to the long rest, about the amount equal to the 1/8 the volume contained within the average human adult.

Vampire Weaknesses. You have the following flaws

  • Forbiddance. You can’t enter a residence without an invitation from one of the occupants.
  • Harmed by Running Water. You take 20 acid damage when you end your turn in running water.
  • Stake to the Heart. You are destroyed if a piercing weapon made of wood is driven into your heart while you are incapacitated in your resting place.
  • Sunlight Hypersensitivity. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks when you are in sunlight. Any contact with sunlight will result in you taking 20 radiant damage when you start your turn in sunlight.

Unarmed Attacks. You have the following unarmed attacks that are based on Strength.

  • Claws. 1d4 slashing damage
  • Bite. 1d6 piercing damage and 1 hit point of necrotic damage for each character level to a willing or grappled creature. The target’s hit point maximum is reduced by the amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and you regain hit points equal to that amount. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point total maximum to 0.

Languages. Common or the languages you knew in life.

 

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Werewolf

Not the toughest of the lycanthropes, werewolves are a movie classic with titles including A Werewolf in London (1935), The Wolf Man (1941), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Teen Wolf (1985) and The Wolfman (2010). This member of the party should have a backstory that includes them being bitten and what happened the first time they transformed. This werewolf race homebrew assumes that the character has control of their curse and can change at will. For more ideas on using werewolves in your game, check out this article. Werewolves don’t have regeneration in the D&D fifth edition Monster Manual, so you might want to remove this trait. Excellent alternatives for providing werewolf character options include classes, prestige classes or feats.

Ability Score Increase. Strength score increases by 2 and Dexterity score increases by 1.

Age. Based on the race of your true form.

Alignment. Chaotic Evil

Size. Medium

Speed. 30 ft. (40 ft. in wolf form)

Damage Resistances. bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons that are not silvered.

Shapechanger. You can use a bonus action to polymorph into a wolf-humanoid hybrid or into a wolf, or back into your true form, which is humanoid. Your statistics are the same, other than AC, in each form. Any equipment you are wearing or carrying isn’t transformed. You revert to your true form if you are reduced to 0 hit points.

Keen Hearing and Smell. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or smell.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Bloodied Regeneration. You regain 1 hit point for each of your hit dice at the start of your turn, if you have at least 1 hit point and your current hit points are below half of your hit point maximum. If you take magical damage or damage from a silvered weapon, this trait doesn’t function at the start of your turn.

Natural Armor. You gain a +1 bonus to AC while in wolf or hybrid form (from natural armor).

Unarmed Attacks. You have the following unarmed attacks that are based on Strength.

  • Claws (only in wolf-hybrid form). 1d4 slashing damage.
  • Bite (only in wolf-hybrid or wolf form). 1d8 piercing damage. If target is a humanoid, it must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (DC is 8 + your Constitution Modifier + your proficiency) or be cursed with werewolf lycanthropy.

Languages. Common or the languages you knew before becoming cursed. You can not speak in wolf form.

 

mummy-lord

Mummy

A famous explorer has just returned from a far off desert land of pyramids with a boat full of treasure. People have started to disappear from the docks as a mummy has come to life looking to get revenge on those that disturbed their slumber. Created a player character using mummy as a monstrous race can be fun way to strike fear in your enemies, but beware of fire. Providing both Dreadful Glare and Blinding Dust as racial traits is pretty powerful stuff, but I think it lets the mummy keep up with the other two.

Ability Score Increase. Strength score increases by 2 and Constitution score increases by 1.

Age. A mummy is not alive.

Alignment. Lawful Evil

Size. Medium

Speed. 30 feet

Damage Resistances. necrotic, poison, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons.

Magic Resistance. You have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Rejuvenation. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but your heart is still intact, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a long rest.

Dreadful Glare. As an action, you can target one creature you can see within 60 feet of you. If the target can see you, it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw (DC is 8 + your Charisma Modifier + your proficiency) against your glare or become frightened until the end of your next turn. If the target fails the saving throw by 5 or more, it is also paralyzed for the same duration. A target that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to your Dreadful Glare for the next 24 hours.

Blinding Dust. As an action, you call blinding dust and sand to swirl magically around you. Any creature within 5 feet of you must succeed on a Constitution saving throw (DC is 8 + your Charisma Modifier + your proficiency) or be blinded until the end of your next turn. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

Mummy Weaknesses. You have the following flaws

  • Fire. You are vulnerable to fire damage. If you take fire damage, you have disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks until the end of your next turn.

Unarmed Attacks. You have the following unarmed attacks that are based on Strength.

  • Rotting Fist. 1d6 bludgeoning damage plus 1d6 necrotic damage.

Languages. Common or the languages your knew in life.

 

Vampire, Werewolf and Mummy | Scarecrow, Frankenstein and Swamp Monster

More Monsters?

Looking for more playable monsters? I’ll be providing racial builds for Swamp Monster, Frankenstein and Scarecrow character races next week.

Some other ideas for monster races are…

Ghost

The Adventure Time homebrew for 4th edition has ghost as a playable race. A ghost could have some abilities to create fear and go incorporeal.

The Invisible Man

Any race will work here for the base of the character. Then you just need to provide a potion, magic item or ability to allow the character to turn invisible.

Devil

The tiefling race will do the trick here to provide a playable devil. With horns, tail and infernal flame what more do you need?

Witch

Looking to play a witch? Just play a warlock or create your own homebrew race using the Green Hag as a base. Green hags look like your typical green skinned Halloween witch, so why not. Don’t forget the black cat and broom.

 

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