Y is for Yugoloth #AtoZChallenge

Nycaloth and Mezzaloth by Wayne Reynolds

Nycaloth and Mezzaloth by Wayne Reynolds

The yugoloth is a category of monster, more specifically, a type of demon, that appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons adventure module by Wolfgang Baur and Gwendolyn Kestrel, Expedition to the Demonweb Pits. I ran this game (or was gamemaster, if you’re not familiar with gaming terminology) for my group a few years ago.

But that’s not really the point of this post. I know some of you following my A to Z posts about gaming don’t know a lot about roleplaying games, so I thought I’d explain a little about monsters. After all, one of the main points of gaming is to “kill monsters and take their stuff.” What are these monsters and why do we kill them?

“Monster” is a generic term for any opponent faced by the player characters. A monster could be a human bandit armed with a spiked club, or a big ugly stone giant ready to hurl rocks down on the unsuspecting adventurers. Monsters come singly or in groups, depending on the size of the adventuring party or the whims of the gamemaster. Some monsters even have magical powers that make them challenging for the adventurers to defeat (and for the gamemaster to play the part of).

And why kill them? 1) Because monsters have treasure. Sometimes it makes no sense (where would a giant frog carry 20 gold pieces? Yeah, yeah, he swallowed them, whatever), but each description of the monster in whatever game system you’re using (particularly Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder) includes how much treasure the monster carries. Player characters divide up the money, jewels, weaponry and other treasure to buy better armor and weaponry, pay off debts or finance castles.

2) Because monsters give you experience points. I talked about that in X is for XP.

I hope this has helped shed a little light on the subject of monsters. We have one more letter to go! Come back for that!

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X is for XP #AtoZChallenge

+rpg_think_of_the_experience_points_teddy_bear40672854Of course X stands for XP. That’s a little bit of cheating, since it’s really “experience points.” Experience points are the method in Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons (and other games, I’m sure) for increasing in skills and abilities. We get points for killing monsters, completing quests, and various “story awards,” depending on the gamemaster.

As players, we certainly don’t want our characters to remain static (just like in real life). As we adventure, fighting monsters, taking their stuff and negotiating with non-player characters, we learn and grow. I think most roleplaying games have some method for advancement.

If you’re interested in the origins of experience points, I found a useful video on who invented them. And more than you ever wanted to know about them can be found in this thread on Role-playing Games Stack Exchange. Another thread at RPG Stack Exchange refutes what is said in the video, saying that Chainmail had no XP system, that it began with the D&D “white box.”

Wherever it came from, experience points provide a way for the gamemaster to focus players’ attention on a particular quest, and allow characters to improve their skills so they can fight meaner and more über bad guys.

Do you feel you’ve gained a level from reading this post? Share in the comments below!

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Cool contest!


Sounds like a neat project!