[RPG] Can a PC be any monster from the MM


I was looking through the 3.5 Monster Manual, and started noticing something. Some monsters had a 'This monster as a character' section, apparently telling the players how to adjust their stats to become said monster. I was blown away. Then I realized that all monster stats were treated as if they were actual characters, including the base attack bonuses, feats, and even level adjustments for starting as that monster (if my understanding is correct). As if the writers of the book wanted you to be able to play as almost anything shown in the MM, even when there isn't an actual 'This monster as acharacter' section.

Is my understanding of the writer's intent correct? And if yes, how can you complete the starting stats of monsters who don't have their own 'This monster as a character' section (that is, finding starting ability bonuses, recommended class, and so on.)?

Best Answer

That's Not The Intention

The intention of monsters having a block of stats like characters do is so a DM has stats to use when they look up the monster. If I want to put a Bodak into play, I don't want to have to create stats for it every single time. That's what those stats are for - they greatly speed up DM preparation (and improv if things suddenly change mid session and we need monsters we hadn't planned for).

Those monster stats could be changed, if I for example advance the monster using the rules to do that. But they serve as a good base.

The ones you're intended to be able to play as a PC have the "Monster as Character" section.


Spells like Polymorph let you become most of the monsters. Masters of Many Form can Wild Shape into almost anything. Shapechange lets you change into all kinds of things. etc, etc.

On top of that, you could just ask your DM and say "Can I play as this cool monster?" Your DM can make anything happen, no matter how wacky.

Will they? Quite possibly not, as some monsters can be really hard to integrate into a campaign when other people are playing Dwarves. But it's not outside of what a DM can do if they want to.

A friend of mine and I Once came up with a character concept for a two-headed Ogre. We'd each play a head. We had different character sheets, and even different classes. Each turn, we'd decide what we wanted to do. If they didn't match, we'd flip a coin to determine which head gets to act.

Totally not within the core rules, as written. Totally awesome if your DM & table are cool with it. :)

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