Converting D&D Monsters To Gamma World, Part III


Last week, I started listing some starting points to look for D&D monsters that might work well in your Gamma World game. There are two last categories I’d like to explore, and then I have some general advice for D&D monsters in Gamma World that I will share.

Probably one of the very best searches you can do on the D&D compendium if you’re looking for Gamma World type monsters is “magical beast.” Oop, wait, we need to filter our results – not only because it returns 700ish monsters, including every kind of dragon – but because it doesn’t quite get at what a Gamma World monster is. So we’re going to filter our search by the keyword “aberrant.” This narrows our results to a manageable 125. The aberrant magical beasts of the D&D universe are truly the things of nightmares, and just the types of mosters (in every sense of the word) to threaten your Gamma World campaign. Aberrant Magical Beasts include the likes of:

  • Aboleth
  • Chuul
  • Grell
  • Destrachan
  • Dimensional Marauder
  • Gibbering Mouther
  • Intellect Devourer
  • Fell Taint
  • (and yes, the Beholder)

That being said, I would recommend using these monsters sparingly. They’re the type of thing that would pop out of a Gamma Rift. In fact, they did in Sooner Dead. They are truly weird, even for Gamma World, and having a flock of Grell passing overhead every 10 minutes might normalize the weirdness. Unless, of course, that’s the kind of campaign you want to run. (By the way, “aberrant” all by itself is a great search)

One final search that you can do will turn up “robots.” This one is kind of obvious – you’ll search words like “construct,” “animate,” and “immortal.” Different combinations will turn up different monsters, so try a few. Here are some examples:

  • Steel predator
  • Warforged
  • Arbalester & Ballista (great for a guardbot/gun turret)
  • Monodrone
  • Iron Defender (robotic guard dog!)
  • Lots of golems

So, if you’ve been really perceptive, you’ll have noticed something a little… wrong with my suggestions. Not that any of them are bad, but using the searches I’ve suggested, you will never turn up a Displacer Beast. And isn’t that where this little series started? A very broad “magical beast” search will turn it up, but you’ll see that it also falls into my “prohibited” fey category. What does this mean?

I’m sure you’ve guessed it: these searches are merely a starting point; there are a lot of great monsters that break my rules for searching. For example, in my current Gamma World campaign, I’m using Minotaurs. They’re a mafia type organization that runs the local town and is headed by the “Dairy Queen” (yeah, a female minotaur). This absolutely breaks my “no classical fantasy monsters” rule. But in thinking about all the humanoid animals in the setting, I think it fits really well. So I went with it.

You want to know the best way to find Gamma World monsters in the D&D setting? Flip through your monster manuals. Look at the pictures. They can speak more to what you want the feel of your campaign to be than any search ever could. (But still try searching!)

Your turn! Name one good monster from D&D that you think fits well in a Gamma World game.

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6 Responses to Converting D&D Monsters To Gamma World, Part III

  1. Matt says:

    Slimes, molds, fungus, and oozes. All of them. The make great toxic waste monsters (either things that fell into it and survived, or a collection of gunk that was so terrible it gained consciousness)

    • Benoit says:

      Agreed! Especially considering “Gelatinous” is a GW PC origin. There’s at least one “ooze” type montster in the published GW books that I can think of – Tar Horror.

  2. Tikiphantom says:

    The mind-flayer is great mutant race, to be used as dictator race.

  3. Speaking of using the arbalester and other animate monsters as robots, I recently used the magic crossbow turret trap from the Dungeon Master’s Guide as a defensive gun turret, like the one they set up in the movie Aliens.

    Also – yeah beholders!

  4. Gregory says:

    In the pages of the “Threats to the Nentir Vale”, I found a few really fun creatures that could easily become Threats to Gamma World. In the abbarrent category, I was drawn by the sheer weirdness of the Mooncalf. The fey Boggle also made me think of slimy mutants that could slip through the rifts brought about by the Big Mistake. Finally, a construct called a Cadaver Collector could easily be turned into a grizzly Trashbot programed to simultaneously guard and clean up the perimeter of a oft assaulted enclave.

    • Benoit says:

      Good recommendations, I especially like the Corpse Collector idea – that would make a great “malfunctioning trashbot” or as you suggested, a robot specialized for certain environments (battlefield cleanup, cleanup of a plague-ridden city, etc)

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