n.b. Welcome to Troglodyte Tuesday! This is a feature in which I present (or re-present) monsters I have created or adapted for use in my own 5E D&D campaigns, including lore, tips for running them and a stat block. Despite the name, this feature will present monsters other than troglodytes, though the first few weeks will be focusing on a variety of trogs I created in the last year.
When it came time to prep N1 – Against the Cult of the Reptile God in order to run it for my D&D5E group, after a 25-year gap since the last time I ran it for my The Oath Campaign back in college, I wanted to further develop the types of troglodytes the PCs would potentially face, in order to diversify the style of combats, create a deeper sense of a troglodyte society, and provide a challenge for a group of characters starting at 4th level and that would probably be 5th level when exploring the LOAF cult’s swamp lair. This prep would eventually become the basis for “Against the Cult of the LOAF,” the remix of that classic module that was published in HOW I RUN IT zine #1, #2, and #3.
You may be asking questions, like why did you shift this classic AD&D module for 1st to 3rd level character to a higher level for D&D 5E? Or, what the heck is a LOAF cult? Well, in order to get those answers you’re going to have to wait for if I ever get around to explaining that stuff in future posts or order some back issues of the HOW I RUN IT zine.
The question I am answering here today and in the rest of the #TroglodyteTuesday posts is what are some other kinds of troglodytes to make use of in this and other adventures in order to make trogs more interesting as a people to encounter and perhaps for player characters to vie against?
Today, I’ll be sharing the Troglodyte Juggernaut and each Tuesday after I’ll be sharing a different type of Troglodyte that first appeared in Against the Cult of the LOAF, and has since been revised based on my group’s play through of the remixed adventure.
I don’t recall how I came up with the idea of the Troglodyte Juggernaut, but the imagine of a hulking trog wandering through a maze of stone spires in a pit, and a clutch of eggs atop one of the spires.
This is often how I come up with encounters and monsters – with a picture in my mind. I imagined curious or greedy adventurers wanting to search for treasure in the pit. So, I designed area 33 of the LOAF cult swamp lair to be a troglodyte egg chamber guarded by just such a juggernaut, with other trogs hidden around the perimeter waiting to knock unsuspecting PCs down to where the monster could get them, and I decided the trog keep an egg-shaped platinum fertility symbol in with the eggs, and have braziers lit beneath the spire to keep the eggs warm (and the set-up visible to PCs).
And just like that, the scene was set for the battle – and when I ran it, it was amazing, with the party druid wildshaped into ape-form leaping from spire to spire to avoid the juggernaut, tossing eggs in its face to keep it distracted, while the rest of the party took on the troglodyte scouts and meatseekers on the periphery.
You can read about this encounter in HOW I RUN IT #3: Swamp Lair of the LOAF Cult.
It was not until way after this that I actually sat down to write the lore and description of the Troglodyte Juggernaut and its role in trog society. Below you will find descriptions of the creature, a full stat block, and a link to PDF version of these images.
Click here to download a PDF of the full description and stat block.