The Monster Prom PCs as a DnD Party
This is a Party Build I’ve been wanting to do for a while, but I’ve been putting off because as the Player Characters, they’re all effectively the same characters. They all get the same dialogue options, so in the first game, they weren’t really characters. The game was more about what deranged and downright horrible atrocities you’re willing to commit so that Damien will ask you commit arson with him, or to get Vera to step on you. However, since Monster Prom took off, the developers have fleshed out the PCs, and Monster Prom Reverse is scheduled to be one of the upcoming games where you plays as one of the Love Interests, now with the intent on pursuing the Playable Characters as your objects of desire. With the recent release of Monster Prom 3: Monster Roadtrip, I figured now was the time to try and tackle these characters. The new playtest rules for One DnD have recently revealed that the future of DnD will have 4 class categories, so while I’ll try to get one from each of the four, I’m also trying to stay close to their characters.
Oz is the physical embodiment of Fears and Phobias. According to his actual character lore, Oz is shy, lacks charisma, and has a passion for dorky and niche hobbies, like board games and comic books. He often fears that his peers will look down on him for his interests, and he often wishes he could be more bold and outgoing. While he’s shy and enjoys his alone time, Oz is described as an Ambivert. Among his friends, Oz is the most cautious. While he himself is reserved and anxious, he enjoys surrounding himself with loud and interesting people. Though he doesn’t like it when those around him take it too far, and he doesn’t enjoy being mean or hurting people. Oz has the best relationship with Vicky, due to her supportive and nurturing personality mixing well with his nervous and insecure nature. Brian’s chill is a comfort to Oz, as he knows that Brian is dependable, and consistent. Meanwhile, the daring Amira tends to clash with Oz due to their vast differences. However, their differences also gives them strengths where the other is weak. Oz is the voice of caution that Amira lacks, and Amira pushes Oz out of his comfort zone to try new things. In the Auditorium, Oz is cast in the role of a swashbuckling musketeer type, while in a canon photo of Oz playing DnD, he seems to be playing a Bard. In Monster Roadtrip, Oz’s sprite in the Dungeon is that of a Bard scared of a level 1 rat.
Oz’s race is difficult to define, he’s just the personification of fear and phobias. We’ll just label him as a Custom Lineage and pick up Shadow Touched for his free feat, teaching him Inflict Wounds and Invisibility. We’ll give him +2 CHA, +1 DEX for his stats, and Dark Vision.
None of the characters really have backgrounds per se, so we’ll just assign him two skills: Intimidation and Persuasion.
In terms of group dynamic, Oz seems to be the squishy support of the group. He’s the most nervous one and doesn’t like fights or confrontation. He clearly cares about his allies, enough that he’d fight to protect them, but he’s clearly afraid of getting hurt, suggesting he’d have a low hit die. Of the four party roles, I’d probably suggest he’s either an Expert Class, since they can serve the party outside of combat, or a Healer class, since supporting their friends is important.
COLLEGE OF WHISPERS
I know Bard seems counter intuitive for someone so shy as Oz, but it makes the most sense for his character. He supports his friends and encourages them, but doesn’t live for the spotlight. Not all bards have to love being the center of attention. And some people love singing and dancing, but hate performing for others. The main reason we want Bard though, is because Oz is the embodiment of Fear. And we want him to grab the spells he needs to terrify others. As a Bard, he gets any three skills. I’ll give him History, Perception, and Stealth. He also gets Skill Expertise, and we’ll put his Expertise into Intimidation, Stealth, Persuasion, and Perception.
OZ’S SPELL BOOK
C Mage Hand, Mind Sliver, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation
1 Dissonant Whispers, Inflict Wounds, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter
2 Invisibility, Mind Spike, Phantasmal Force
3 Antagonize (UA), Fear
4 Phantasmal Killer, Raulothim’s Psychic Lance
5 Dream, Mislead, Modify Memory
9 Psychic Scream
OZ’S MAGICAL SECRETS
10 Arms of Hadar, Hunger of Hadar
14 Summon Aberration, Synaptic Static
18 Maddening Darkness, Weird
Amira is the spunky Fire Djinn of the group. Not much is officially stated of her personality, but she seems to be a trailblazer with a bold streak. She doesn’t hesitate to push ahead and try new things. She also seems to be almost effortlessly popular with a lot of the other students, though considering the PCs all seem to be something of losers, it’s possible that she’s just putting on a cool and popular facade. The only thing we know for certain about Amira is that she seems to lack patience, and isn’t much of an artist. Her attempt to make a sculpture of Vera didn’t come out looking so hot. In the Auditorium, Amira’s outfit looks like some sort of dark witch, but it’s hard to discern past that. She could be a warlock, a voodoo witch doctor, an evil shaman, a witch, or just some sort of dark mage. It’s not entirely clear. She reuses this outfit in Monster Roadtrip as her Dungeon attire where she’s burned the entire top half of a skeleton to nothing and is preparing to do the same to another.
Amira’s race is the easiest of the four. She’s a Fire Genasi. She gets +2 CHA, +1 CON.
The Monster Prom PCs don’t really have backgrounds, so we’ll give her proficiency with Persuasion and Deception.
In terms of group dynamic, it’s clear that Amira is the one to lead the charge into peril, overflowing with charisma. She’s also the only one of the four proven to be able to perform small feats of fire magic. So of the party, she’s the one to be in the role of the party’s primary Mage. Since her spell list is pretty much just fire, you’ll absolutely want to grab Elemental Adept - Fire to keep enemies from resisting your fire damage.
DRACONIC BLOODLINE (RED)
I know that her bloodline comes from Efreetis and Elementals, but there’s not a printed sorcerer subclass that fits that mold. Pyromancy and Phoenix Sorcerer are both dead UA. Draconic Bloodline is the only one that can technically align with making her a better fire mage. Mostly because the 6th level feature adds her Charisma modifier to fire damage spells. As a Sorcerer, we’ll give Amira proficiency with Arcana and Intimidation.
C Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Fire Bolt, Green-Flame Blade, Light, Mending
1 Burning Hands, Chromatic Orb
2 Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray
3 Ashardalon’s Stride, Fireball
4 Fabricate, Fire Shield, Wall of Fire
5 Creation, Immolation
6 Investiture of Flame
7 Fire Storm
8 Incendiary Cloud
9 Meteor Swarm
Brian is a Zombie with a very “Go with the Flow” personality. He has no strong sense of ambition or drive, preferring to relax and veg out. His hobbies mainly include eating, sleeping, and smoking weed. But, occasionally, his intense side comes out when he’s playing sports or video games. He’s also described as being something of a foodie, and is noted as a ride-or-die friend. He sometimes creates fan work for the fandoms he’s in, but isn’t big on sharing this side of himself with others. Brian and Amira are surprisingly good friends, as her intensity often lights a fire under his butt, while his chill mindset gets her to stop and enjoy the moment. He appreciates that Oz is a bit more chill than most of their classmates, good for when the urge to do nothing rears its head. There’s no official stance on his dynamic with Vicky. In the Auditorium, Brian wears a dragon onesie as his costume. In Monster Roadtrip, when Brian goes to the Dungeon, he’s seen looting a treasure chest while ignoring an enemy skeleton. Due to holding the box in front of him, it’s hard to say for certain what his outfit is, but he seems to be some sort of Rogue or Ranger.
For his Race, we’ll label Brian as a Reborn Human, since that’s the closest a player character can get to playing as a Zombie in DnD. We’ll give him +2 DEX, +1 WIS
The Monster Prom PCs don’t really have backgrounds, so we’ll just make him proficient with Athletics and Acrobatics.
Brian’s known for his chill attitude, so he’s unlikely to raise a big fuss about taking charge or calling the shots. He’s cool just following other people’s lead. But, he will absolutely throw himself in the line of fire to protect those he cares about. He is a true ride-or-die that never abandons his comrades, which slots him into the role of party Tank. As such, you’ll want to be sure and grab the Tough feat for him so he can take more hits on the chin.
WAY OF LONG DEATH
Brian was by far the hardest of the four to assign a class to. I figured based on his size, athleticism, and ride-or-die mentality that Brian made the most sense as the Tank of the party. I landed on Monk almost arbitrarily, but I think it makes sense. Like Brian, Monks are rather Zen, valuing inner peace. They’re also not super complicated, only needing to keep track of their ki pionts in combat. They also regain ki points on a short rest, which encourages Brian to take frequent naps, letting him work a core character trait into a roleplaying necessity. Way of Long Death just made sense because he’s already Dead and it seemed to fit. As a Monk, we’ll give Brian proficiency in Insight and Stealth. However, I’m willing to admit that Monk is not a perfect fit. Firstly, for being in the Warrior group, his hit die is only a d8, same as a Bard and a Warlock. Secondly, Monks are the fastest class, and Brian is a Zombie. Lastly, Monk has been sorely neglected by WotC. While they’ve been hard at work trying to fix the Ranger, the Monk has not gotten the same amount of love, leaving it underdeveloped. As such, while Monk is a fine fit for Brian, I want to give him two build suggestions, just in case you’re like me, and you like Brian, but you don’t like Monk.
UNDEAD PATRON (PACT OF THE BLADE)
I did not land on Warlock just because Brian likes sleeping and Warlocks constantly stop to take short rests, though that’s certainly a bonus. Rather, I chose Warlock because it gives Brian a lot of what Monk was giving him, like the d8 hit die, and the option to be a front-liner through the blade pact. I chose Undead for much the same reason I chose Long Death for Monk. However, due to his Go-with-the-Flow nature, Brian is a natural ride-along for his love interest, to the point where you could just make his Patron the person he’s dating.
Obviously, if you choose Warlock, make your racial stats +2 CHA, +1 CON or STR. As a Warlock, we’ll give Brian skills in Persuasion and Intimidation. For the spell list below, I’m using the Undead Patron, but if you want to go the route of Brian gaining powers from his lover, feel free to change up his spell list however you see fit. For anyone who didn’t make the list, they don’t have an obvious counterpart for a DnD Patron, so I left them off. Dealer’s choice on that one.
C Chill Touch, Eldritch Blast, Mage Hand, Toll the Dead
1 Armor of Agathys, False Life, Hex
2 Darkness, Cloud of Daggers, Shadow Blade
3 Animate Dead*, Spirit Shroud, Summon Undead, Vampiric Touch
4 Blight, Death Ward, Spirit of Death (UA)
5 Antilife Shell, Enervation, Negative Energy Flood
6 Create Undead
7 Finger of Death
8 Dominate Monster
9 Blade of Disaster
BRIAN’S ELDRITCH INVOCATIONS
2 Agonizing Blast
2 Armor of Shadows
5 Thirsting Blade
7 Relentless Hex
9 Undying Servitude
12 Life Drinker
15 Lance of Lethargy
17 Maddening Hex
Vicky is the bubbly and sweet Frankenstein’s Monster of the group. She has a hunger for learning and knowledge, is an overachiever, and is fascinated with all things electronic, mechanical, and cute. The only friendship that’s been expanded upon is her friendship with Oz, though I doubt she’d have too much of an issue with Amira or Brian. Though, her being an energetic overachiever might put her in slight conflict with the lazy and unambitious demeanor of Brian. In the Auditorium, she dons the costume of a knight in shining armor. Like Amira, she reuses her Auditorium costume in Monster Roadtrip if you stop at the Dungeon, though she’s swapped out her sword for a two-handed giant mace.
Like Brian, Vicky is a reanimated corpse, and therefore is a Reborn Human. We’ll give her +2 WIS, +1 CON.
Again, we don’t really have backgrounds, so we’ll just base her skills on Frankenstein. Nature is probably the skill for Science, and bringing a corpse to life requires understanding the gross, squishy parts of life, so we’ll give her Medicine as her other skill.
In terms of Party Composition, Vicky is the voice of reason. She’s the defacto team leader, and the mom friend who takes care of everyone else. As such, we can guess that either her Wisdom or her Intelligence will be her best stat.
I know this probably seems redundant, given that the Undead Warlock version of Brian is a necromancer, but I think this is fitting for Vicky. Cleric is one of the best support classes in the game, and feels true to Vicky. She’s known for being reasonable and level-headed, a clear sign of a wise leader. Brian breathes life into those who have already passed, Vicky keeps the living from dying until she dismisses them. For her Cleric skills, we’ll give her Insight to know when her friends need a hug, and Persuasion so that she can convince the #1 prince of Hell that it’s a good idea to replace someone’s organs with live possums.
VICKY’S SPELL RECOMMENDATIONS
1 Bane False Life
2 Gentle Repose, Ray of Enfeeblement
3 Revivify, Vampiric Touch
4 Blight, Death Ward
5 Antilife Shell, Raise Dead
C Guidance, Resistance, Sacred Flame, Spare the Dying, Thaumaturgy, Toll the Dead
1 Bless, Cure Wounds, Inflict Wounds, Sanctuary
2 Hold Person, Spiritual Weapon, Warding Bond
3 Aura of Vitality, Mass Healing Word, Remove Curse, Speak with Dead, Spirit Guardians, Spirit Shroud
4 Aura of Life, Guardian of Faith
5 Flame Strike, Mass Cure Wounds
6 Harm, Heal, Sunbeam
7 Regenerate, Resurrection
9 Mass Heal
I’m rather pleased with how evenly split this party came out. Oz is the Expert, Amira is the Mage, Brian is the Tank, and Vicky is the Healer. They feel well-balanced. They each have a role to play without stepping too hard on each other’s toes. Even if both Vicky and Brian end up being necromancers, they still stand out from one another without egregious overlaps in their spells. They’re still bringing different things to the table. If this post does well, I’ll cover the Original Six Love Interests next, then move on to the Supplementary Love Interests, and then maaaaaybe I’ll cover the Secret Unlocks Love Interests if they’re interesting enough to get made. And if I can actually unlock those secret event routes for myself.
Puzzles. Puzzles! PUZZLES!!!?!
This one's a long one so I'm putting it under a read more after the first one.
I've compiled five examples of puzzles/environmental obstacles that I use in my dungeons that I haven't seen used elsewhere.
Immovable Rod ladder
This puzzle fits better at lower levels since higher level abilities/spells can easily circumvent the set-up.
What it looks like:
Your players enter a room with high, cathedral-esque ceilings that is empty except for a dais in the center and an exit carved high up into the far wall. The exit has no stairs or means of reaching it and how high it is placed in the wall can increase or decrease the difficulty of this puzzle.
On the dais in the center of the room is a small iron rod with a button/lever on one end. Hidden somewhere in the room is an identical rod (my preference is for under the dais, but hidden compartments in the wall would work too).
Allow your players to enter the room and look around to their hearts content. The first step would be for them to identify the rod on the dais. Choose your favored method of identification. RAW requires an identify spell or taking a short rest while holding the item. For "famous" magical items I'll usually allow a Knowledge (Arcana) roll and I'm always open to good ol' experimentation.
What they have is an Immovable Rod
This is an item that, when it's switch/button is toggled on, becomes fixed in place and can only be moved slightly with a DC 30 strength check or by applying 8000 lbs of pressure.
For some classes having this one rod would be enough to get them to the elevated exit with some creative thinking. If the door is low enough a mage hand spell could lift the rod with a rope attached, flip the switch (I'd allow mage hand to do this because the activation is simple and mechanical unlike activating other magical items), and allow characters to climb up with an athletics check. Likewise a familiar with hands or dexterous enough appendages could do the same. A druid would also be able to wild shape into a spider to reach the door. These are just a few of the direct examples and I'm a fan of puzzles with multiple solutions.
Now the hidden second rod would be for parties who either don't have classes who can perform these actions or don't have those actions as part of their skill set. For those scenarios a sufficient perception/investigation roll combo could reveal the hiding spot, with a Strength ability check for uncovering it.
Once they have the second rod they can be used to create a sort of ladder, activating/deactivating them as the player climbs through thin air to reach their destination.
Once your players solve the puzzle you just need to figure out what to do with the rods. One immovable rod, in a creative player's hands can be a lot of trouble for a DM while two can be sort of game breaking. I'd recommend treating them as temporary items that either turn to ash or become inert when removed from the room/upon completion of the dungeon, but if you want to give them one of the rods as a reward its a very fun piece of equipment as a player.
When to use:
This is better served in an early game. Once players have easier access to flying speeds or gear that might make it easier for them to scale the wall this puzzle becomes mostly useless. Additionally this puzzle will be more difficult for a party that is lacking a druid or a wizard.
What it looks like:
Over the course of a dungeon have your players encounter spheres of crystal, large enough to fit in the palm of your hand. They can choose to take them or leave them, it's entirely up to them, but at the end of the dungeon is a massive door with sphere-shaped sockets set into it. Seems obvious, no? There's more to this than first appearances.
Short answer is that your party needs to funnel magic, burning a single spell slot, into each of the spheres they find before placing them in the sockets.
How many spheres they need is up to the DM and how much of a resource drain you want this to be. I stick with four using the old Avatar style elements motif. This also lets me add color coded clues for the sphere's locations and purpose.
First step for your party is identifying the sphere and figuring out that it absorbs magic. I recommend an arcana check somewhere between 10 and 13 DC which yields a hint like this:
"You recognize the stone as a type of amber, but one that was cultivated in a Wizard's laboratory specifically to trap etheric energy. The stone feels light, hollow, and empty."
Once they figure out that they need to fill the spheres with one of their spells the next step is to have them place the spheres in the correct slots on the door before it will open.
When to use:
This puzzle, of course, requires a party with spellcasting abilities, preferably from more than one party member.
In my opinion the best puzzles will have an element of resource management to them, so that the party has to figure out how to proceed without draining all their resources. To avoid shenanigans with short/long rests this puzzle works better in a dungeon that includes some sense of urgency, i.e. the party is chasing a person of interest or attempting to stop some sort of ritual and the door is barring their way. If this isn't enough to deter them from attempting multiple rests and you don't want to make this easy, throw in a threat of ambush and have them find out that the crystals will only remain charged for around 4 hours before the magic disipates.
I actually had the pleasure of play-testing this one with a group. They found it to be a bit too easy so I've upped the difficulty a bit.
What it looks like:
The party comes across a flooded passageway that they must swim through. I recommend making this 10-feet wide/tall by about 30-feet long. This would mean a character without a swim speed can clear the channel in two rounds because swimming halves their movement speed, while a swim speed character can usually clear it in one. Either way, very low chance of drowning.
Along the floor of the passage is a thick bed of kelp. Roll for a DC 10 perception check and if any of your players pass it they see glints of metal and gold through the kelp bed.
If you're feeling generous tell them they spot decomposing remains too.
Be prepared to keep track of time on this one because a big aspect is how long your players are spending underwater.
This is another opportunity cost for your players because as soon as they get close enough to investigate the promise of loot they find out the kelp bed has a persistent Entangle enchantment on it. Getting near enough to the passage floor results in the kelp grasping the player and requiring a Strength saving throw to break free. This difficulty should reflect the level of your players.
If a party doesn't think the loot is worth trying for then this one kinda fizzles. The "puzzle" aspect of this comes from them trying to figure out how to get the shinies without getting drowned.
I reward creative thinking for this one because theres a lot of room for interpretation but some of the ideas I like are below:
A bard, druid, or ranger can cast speak with plants as this spell specifically counters the Entangle spell.
Any spell that can freeze something solid or reduce speed can make the kelp easier to avoid.
Mage hand to pick up all the loot and bring it to the players (I'd rule that a familiar would also be grabbed by the kelp, though)
Shape water to either restrain the kelp or pull the loot up with a strong current
Just straight hacking at it with weapons though I'd make your players roll a Dexterity saving throw after each swing to represent them avoiding the kelp at the same time.
When to use:
This one is a lot of fun when flexing yours and your player's creativity so it's most rewarding with a group that thinks outside the box. Just remember to brush up on the rules for holding your breath because the threat of drowning is what makes this more of a puzzle and less a random encounter.
Lava Drop Loot Haul
What it looks like:
Like I said, I think good puzzles are meant to exhaust your players, make them use some of their resources, and make sure they don't reach whatever big bad you have planned feeling fresh as a daisy.
As another opportunity cost puzzle this one is a simple setup. Your players enter a room with a pool of magma taking up a large portion of the room. Above the magma, suspended by a net, is a tantalizing collection of goodies. Maybe it was put there by some goblins trying to protect their stash, maybe the big bad is trying to get them to do something stupid. Either way your party has to decide if they want to spend the time, energy, and resources to retrieve the goods
Not much going on here, you just have to decide how your players are going to get the loot down. I would recommend placing the net high enough that cantrips can't reach it and making your players have to spend some damn spell slots. Some possible solutions I've come up with are:
The fly spell
The spider climb spell
The find familiar spell (pact of chain warlock will have the easiest time here)
The telekinetic feat (if you have the ceiling low enough)
A druid wild shaping into a giant spider
Some combination of daring/stupid antics involving athletics checks, dumb luck, and the potential for some burn treatment
Again, points for originality, so try to say yes to your players as much as possible.
When to use:
Honestly this is just meant as a way to wear your party down as an alternative to combat. Your party's spells and abilities are resources and you should be creatively convincing them to be used for things other than 🌟murder✨. How valuable or useful you want the loot to be should play into your campaign type and your party's level.
Puzzle Door (shameless Skyward Sword Steal)
What it looks like:
Well it looks like another door puzzle....I never claimed to be creative.
Your party comes up to a door with a complex locking mechanism. However it looks like a vital piece of the mechanism is damaged or missing. Without it the door will not open.
Your party has to decide how they want to repair/replace this mechanism. With an Artificer in the party this one will make them feel ultra useful, but there's several other potential solutions for players if they're using other classes:
Use a perception roll to spot any junk or bits and pieces around the room that could be used to make a replacement, followed by an Intelligence check to try and figure out how to use it.
Shape water cantrip to create an ice copy of the piece.
Mending cantrip to repair any damage
Prestidigitation to create a copy of the missing piece, followed by a Dexterity roll to see if they're quick enough to use it before it disappears
When to use:
This one is fun for breaking up some monotony and to keep your party from progressing through a dungeon too fast. It's nonspecific enough that it can fit in all kinds of settings and I like keeping the outline for this one generic because, with a little tweaking, this one can potentially be recycled between dungeons. Just try not to reuse it too often, or you'll be accused of working for Capcom.
That's the long and short of it. I haven't been DMing for too terribly long so please let me know if you see any blatant/glaring errors.
If anyone thinks of ways to refine these or make them more devious I always love feedback.