Monsters come in a variety of basic types and categories, of which essentially divide them from each other. Each category of monsters generally share some specific traits and or qualities which either sets them apart or distinguishes them from other types.
When creating monsters for use in Philsys RPs, feel free to use these archetypes to aid your creation. If you think there is anything that should be added to or changed on this list, please let someone know. This is open to change and suggestions.
Humans, orks, elves, goblins, dragonhalves, and various other sentient humanoids fall into this category. Mortals have limited lifespans and are residents of the material plane. Any mortal creature projects some sort of aura onto the astral plane, of which is unique to the creature and cannot be duplicated, even by magical means. Some mortals have innate magical resistances or immunities.
Beasts qualify as any non-humanoid living creature, such as horses, bears, giant frogs, giant insects, etc. Beasts typically display only basic levels of intelligence, and primarily act on instinct as opposed to displaying higher cognitive ability. However, they share the same general physical and astral characteristics as mortals.
Magical creatures often exist in an animalistic or otherwise inhuman form, akin to beasts, but unlike the latter, possess magical abilities in addition to, often, greater cognitive abilities than normal. Examples of such creatures include dragons, chimeras, beholders, etc. Magical creatures have no specific universal qualities, except that they radiate stronger auras than typical mortals or beasts and almost always have some sort of supernatural or magical abilities. Individual spell-like abilities vary based on the creature, and are typical to the type, though not necessarily unique to it. Some such creatures are capable of taking upon a humanoid form, speaking in various languages, and possessing elemental affinities and weaknesses.
Ethereals are creatures which exist SOLELY on the astral plane, or one of any other number of planes other than the material one. Some ethereal creatures cross boundaries into the other creature types--ethereal creatures from the death planes are usually referred to as "intangible undead." Ethereals cannot be harmed by normal, non-magic weapons and typically cannot manipulate things on the material plane physically, but may do so through magic. Ethereals can pass freely through solid material barriers. Ethereals CAN be harmed by magical spells, unless the magical spells are physical in nature (such as conjuring arrows or similar effects). Ethereals are usually immune to sleep, poison, paralysis, blinding, and muting effects. Astral drain has TWICE the effect on creatures native to the astral plane.
Elementals are creatures which embody the essence of a single element, be it death, life, fire, water, earth, air, lightning, whatever. Elementals are sometimes ethereal and sometimes physical, but always project an aura onto at LEAST the plane of their origin (i.e., fire plane for fire elementals, etc). Elementals NEVER project an aura onto their plane of opposition.
Elementals absorb and gain hit points from attacks based on their native element, but recieve twice as much damage from attacks of the opposing element. The following basic elements exist. Opposing elements are indicated by a < > symbol.
Fire < > Water/Ice
Lightning/Air < > Earth
Life/Holy < > Death/Shadow
Other elements may EXIST, but are more complex than the basic elemental forces. Elementals are immune to things such as sleep, poison, astral drain, berserk effects, paralysis, and the like. They are immune to blindness, as they do not need eyes to see, and have perfect "eyesight" in dark or low light conditions, so they suffer no penalty from such.
Elementals are ranked within their element by age and power, and the resulting status places them into three categories: lesser elementals, elementals in general, and high elementals.
It is generally agreed upon that the Elemental Lords were created along with Gaera itself, and that they and their respective aspects of nature are heavily dependent on one another. The Elemental Lords created elementals as aspects of themselves, and invested them with some measure of their own power. By that logic, a fire elemental is more than thinking fire. A fire elemental is a minor aspect of Freneth.
The lowest elementals are the least powerful. Many are not even as powerful as the average human. They are often younger than others of their species, or have voluntarily elected not to advance in power, or cannot become more powerful due to some personal limitation.
Middle of the heirarchy are the "normal" elementals. These tend to be somewhat more powerful than a human, but not always and never significantly so.
High elementals have either survived long enough to grow in power or have been given special favor by those above them. In addition to the abilities of all elementals, a high elemental can attempt to resist a summoning spell cast by a less-powerful mage. They also have the ability to shape-shift into creatures strongly aligned with their element. For example, a fire elemental could take the shape of a fire dragon.
One level above the high elementals are the Elemental Crystals. There is only one for each basic element, and they are located _______________________. Each is an elemental that has given up its freedom of movement in favor of a deeper connection to the Elemental Lord who is its patron. Elemental Crystals are significantly more powerful than most mortals, and they are always more powerful than their subordinate elementals.
While there is always tension between elementals of directly-opposed elements, it is often necessary for them to overcome this in favor of a healthy balance in nature. If one becomes more or less powerful to a significant degree, all of the others suffer.
Elementals can be created in a few different ways. The first is at the behest of a deity or, more commonly, an Elemental Lord. The second is sexual reproduction. Between elementals of the same "species," this functions as one would expect.
Crossbreeding between elemental species (such as air and wind elementals breeding) is possible, though it is strongly frowned upon within the species themselves. The resulting offspring are not viable except within their specific subspecies or the species of one of their parents.
There is one exception. Fire elementals and water elementals cannot breed. The general result-- steam-- is not a successful lifeform.
For example. If an air elemental and a water elemental were to create offspring, their child may end up being, for example, a storm elemental with some aspects of both. This storm elemental could only breed with water, air, or other storm elementals. As a result, elemental beings beyond the basic few elements are relatively rare due to a staggeringly low birthrate.
There is one other way for new elementals to be created, and it is quite rare. Just as celestials and their respective deities will sometimes choose to invest mortals with power, the Elemental Lords and their direct subordinates can do the same for a mortal with a particularly marked connection to their element. These chosen few take on aspects of their element and, given time and a chance to hone their powers, eventually may become full elementals themselves. These new elementals are bound by contract or oath to be summoned and potentially commanded as a normal elemental would. A PC is not a beautiful and unique snowfl-- ice elemental.
Elementals tend to be absorbed back into their element when they die or are destroyed. Fire elementals return to their native element of fire, being absorbed into the plane of fire and becoming one with their element. In one sense this dissolves their individual identity, but on the other it offers a great sense of oneness and belonging for many. It could be comparable to achieving a true union with a god, basking in their glory and existing only within it. Essentially, it's nice.
Undead are creatures that were once alive, but are no longer so. They are instead the remains of mortals or beasts, animated by death magic. Undead creatures include zombies, skeletons, as well as reanimated creatures such as undead chimeras or beholders. As they lack properly functioning anatomies, most undead are immune to sleep, paralysis, and poisoning, and typically do not need to eat or sleep. Holy or life based offensive spells will deal twice as much damage to undead, and some holy/life based healing spells will harm undead instead of healing them. Non-holy/life based healing spells will heal undead normally. Shadow or death based magic will not harm undead whatsoever unless it has a physical element to it.
See the main article on undead.
Golems, animated statues or other artifacts, and other such creatures are considered constructs. Constructs are animated and powered by magical spells of a variety of natures. Constructs often have no need to eat, sleep, and often lack the anatomies necessary to be affected by poisons, paralysis, and mind-affecting spells. As such, an attempt to strike at a construct's "vitals" is also often futile. Some built of particularly hard materials and/or of an immense size are impossible to neutralize through a standard force of arms, and would require the force of either magic or siege weaponry to destroy.
Celestials are creatures such as cherubim, seraphim, and other types of angels. These creatures are holy based and project strong auras onto the holy plane. They may take material forms if they so desire, but do not need to do so. Celestials are generally highly intelligent, and are totally immune to holy based spells. Conversely, they are particularly vulnerable to the opposite wavelength of this energy type, commonly known as negative energy, often manipulated through shadow magic. Celestials do not need to sleep or consume food or water, and most can assume at least one physical form, which is most often humanoid in nature.
Demons are the opposite of celestials, and exist in a variety of forms. Demons may take humanoid forms, but some opt to take more bestial forms instead. Demons are highly resistant to shadow based spells and may negate or absorb them entirely, but usually are vulnerable to holy spells. Demons are like celestials in that many of them do not need to eat or sleep.
Oozes are slimelike creatures which live only for the purpose of eating, and hunt anything within their area, attacking aggressively in hopes of securing their next meal. Most oozes have no real physical shape or form, and are thusly immune to paralysis. Oozes are unintelligent creatures, and are immune to mental or charm effects, and their body shape makes them immune to sleep, poisons, and disease as well. Since oozes have no eyes, they are capable of seeing and sensing without them, and they are capable of detecting prey within 20 yards solely by scent and vibration.