Why Is This Monster Here?

Grumpy Wizard

Why is this monster here?

This is an important question. It is an obvious question for a designer or referee to ask.

I frequently find deeper concepts hiding behind the obvious. Let’s take a look.

There are many possible answers.


Because that is what came up on the random dungeon generation table.

Because I need a monster between 2HD and 5 HD to place on this level of the dungeon.

Logic/Verisimilitude/Coherent Setting

Because this is a crypt and you find undead monsters in crypts.

Because this monster is a minion doing an errand for the demon that has a lair in the 9th level of this dungeon.


Because this beat in “my story” requires that the players are captured and all of their gear taken from them so that they can progress to the next plot point.

Game Mechanisms:

Because first level characters need 2000 experience points each…

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