If D&D Creature Types Were Dungeon Masters…

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Monster Hand

If you’re a fan of the Ghostlore Blog, you know that I love “This-As-That” style lists. You can check out some of these lists in my previous articles If D&D Classes Were High School Cliques… and The Top Twelve D&D Snacks By Class. For whatever reason, I rarely see this style of article focus on creature types. There are so many that I thought it’d be fun to explore what each one would be like as a dungeon master! Ready to dive in?

The Aberration DM

An aberration dungeon master has a sharp mind and a wild imagination. Like their alienesque counterparts, they take their players on an unexpected and out-of-this-world journey. They are also excellent multitaskers with a tentacle in every pie. The aberration DM has the hunger for knowledge of a mind flayer, the cockiness of a beholder, and the versatility of an aboleth.

Features of an Aberration DM include:
  • Loves to give visceral, horrifying, and/or gross descriptions while narrating.
  • 90% of their game is a dungeon crawl with clever puzzles and traps.
  • Really great at multitasking and giving their players memorable tabletop experiences.

The Beast DM

Beasts in Dungeons & Dragons are animals of the natural world. Likewise, a beast dungeon master likes to run their campaign as “naturally” as possible. They love a high-realism game that makes everyone at the table feel like they’ve really been thrown into the action! The Beast DM has the grandeur of a mammoth, the sharpness of a giant eagle, and the camaraderie of a wolf pack.

Features of a Beast DM include:
  • Loves to draw out travel sessions in the wilderness or on the road.
  • Is a true animal lover and always includes them as a focal point of their narratives.
  • Has a temper and can’t always keep their frustrations out of the game.

The Celestial DM

Kind and accepting, these are the defining traits of a celestial DM. They are easily the most lenient of all dungeon masters, allowing all kinds of rule-bending shenanigans at their table. A celestial dungeon master is all about inclusivity and loves to share their favorite game with others. The Celestial DM is as supportive as a planetar, communicative as a deva, and as rare as a unicorn.

Features of a Celestial DM include:
  • Goes too easy on the party with skill checks and combat encounters.
  • Develops a full, homebrew pantheon of deities and desperately hopes a player will choose to be a cleric or paladin.
  • Jumps headfirst into world building and has a fully fleshed out setting before session zero.

The Construct DM

Reliable and dedicated, you can always depend on a construct dungeon master to take their position seriously. In the same way a construct has been brought to life by an outside force, this DM is animated by their passion for the game. The Construct DM has the precision of a flying sword, is a little overwhelming like a rug of smothering, and is as steadfast as an iron golem.

Features of a Construct DM include:
  • Spends countless hours writing plot hooks and encounter scenarios.
  • Knows the Dungeon Master’s Guide like the back of their hand and follows it to the letter.
  • Can’t handle too much improv and has a tendency to railroad players.

The Dragon DM

A dragon dungeon master is a powerhouse behind the DM screen. They aren’t afraid to pull out all the stops for a high-risk, high-reward adventure. Like their ageless counterparts, this DM never shies away from investing their time in a campaign that spans many years. The Dragon DM is powerful like a red dragon, venomous like a wyvern, and fair like a silver dragon.

Features of a Dragon DM include:
  • Has thousands of dice in their collection, each perfect for different situations.
  • A big fan of the Dungeons & Dragons classics and loves running official modules.
  • Really into grand, complicated storylines and epic, long running campaigns.

The Elemental DM

Elementals hail from the full range of planes of existence in Dungeons & Dragons. An elemental DM is similar in that they love to lead their players through a story of interplanar travel. Their narrative style is as changeable as the elements, shifting between fiery combat, breezy travel, and fluid interaction. The Elemental DM is as mysterious as an invisible stalker, as snarky as a smoke mephit, and all about wish fulfillment like a genie.

Features of an Elemental DM include:
  • Homebrewing all of their monsters to have Pokemon style strengths and weaknesses.
  • Uses nature as an obstacle in the form of magma, flash floods, or lightning storms.
  • Will enable players to hop around various planes of existence like they’re stops on public transit.

The Fey DM

Fey are known as tricksters, but also fierce protectors of what they treasure. This is mirrored in the fey dungeon master. This DM won’t tolerate rudeness or slights at their table. They are likely to beguile players with an intriguing world and ensnare them with a complicated story. The Fey DM is as manipulative as a green hag, as quick as a blink dog, and as charming as a dryad.

Features of a Fey DM include:
  • Loves to play tricks on their players to keep them on their toes.
  • Never retcons anything in game. If it happened, it happened.
  • Begrudgingly accepts that their group wants to play D&D even though they’d rather run a new indie TTRPG they’re excited about.

The Fiend DM

Nobody plays the BBEG quite as well as a fiend dungeon master. They are experts at crafting perfect villains and evil plots for the party to foil. This DM’s greatest strength is an excellent understanding of people and motivations. The Fiend DM is as enthralling as a succubus, as mighty as a balor, and as charismatic as a horned devil.

Features of a Fiend DM include:
  • Feels nothing while killing a player’s character.
  • Has an excellent poker face that players cannot read.
  • Is great at DMing complicated social events like parties, festivals, or masquerades.

The Giant DM

A giant dungeon master, as their name suggests, likes to go big or go home. There is no room for nuance or subtlety at this table! They often skip over what they had planned for a session by mistake in their haste to reach plot points they find more interesting. The Giant DM has the impatience of an ogre, the endurance of a frost giant, and the resilience of a troll.

Features of a Giant DM include:
  • Puts their heart, soul, and full effort into their campaign.
  • Will accidentally cause a total party kill by not correctly balancing a combat encounter.
  • Uses the same voice for all NPCs.

The Humanoid DM

Just like their creature counterparts, humanoid dungeon master enjoys the social aspect of tabletop gaming more than anything else. They are just as happy playing a one shot as they are a long campaign. This DM loves murder mysteries, urban settings, and combat encounters you can avoid though conversation! The Humanoid DM is cunning like a drow, as crafty as a goblin, and delights in mayhem like a bugbear.

Features of a Humanoid DM include:
  • Loves roleplay and insists on staying in character.
  • Will steer their player’s party towards a shopping session in a village just to give themselves a break.
  • Spends a ton of time creating memorable NPCs.

The Monstrosity DM

Monstrosity dungeon masters pull inspiration from myths when planning out their sessions. After all, classic monsters are classics for a reason! They love remixing common tropes and tired stories to create something new, fresh and exciting. The Monstrosity DM is as unpredictable as a gynosphinx, as feral as an owlbear, and as legendary as medusa.

Features of a Monstrosity DM include:
  • Is a master of improv and can play off anyone at the table.
  • Never plans out anything, playing completely on the fly.
  • Is uncommonly knowledgeable about the myths of ancient civilizations around the world.

The Ooze DM

An ooze dungeon master is hard to pin down. They love chaos, but don’t bend the rules of the game. Instead, they find a legal way around the rules that the table never expects. This DM is great at pushing player characters to their limits and forcing them to come up with creative solutions. The Ooze DM is as efficient as a gelatinous cube, as merciless as a black pudding, and as slippery as an ochre jelly.

Features of an Ooze DM include:
  • Really good at adapting the game and making quick, improvisational decisions.
  • Heavily pulls from (or downright steals) ideas from their favorite shows, movies, or books.
  • Doesn’t hide behind the DM screen and rolls their dice out in the open.

The Plant DM

At first glance, a plant dungeon master might seem like they are simply taking on the role because no one else wanted to run the game. However, this DM should never be underestimated. Masters of the long game, they’ll lull you into a false sense of security…  and then strike! The Plant DM flies under the radar like a shambling mound, makes sudden decisions like a shrieker, and holds many secrets like a treant.

Features of a Plant DM include:
  • Loves a good, well-placed, unexpected trap.
  • Dominates space with more tabletop accessories than all the players combined.
  • Has perfectly curated Spotify playlists for any situation the players might encounter.

The Undead DM

Much to no one’s surprise, this dungeon master has a penchant for horror themes and spooky vibes. The tropes of horror movies always creep into their games, regardless of theme or setting. An undead DM loves to throw wave after wave of low level monsters at a party. The Undead DM is as brilliant as a vampire, persistent as a zombie, and has an arsenal of tricks up their sleeve like a lich.

Features of an Undead DM include:
  • Has an extensive collection of miniatures they’ll likely never have cause to use in game.
  • Will deep dive into a character’s backstory or an early session in the campaign and dredge up a forgotten plot point.
  • Starts planning their Halloween session in August.

Which creature inspired dungeon master do you relate to the most? Until next time, stay creepy and happy gaming.

Dan
Dan

Dan is a creator, game enthusiast, former goth, designer, nerd, blogger, and meme historian. He has always loved creating experiences through art, writing, design, and collaborative storytelling. His career is in the creative industry, specifically focusing on graphic design, marketing, and user experience.

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