Monday’s Monster Mash is a weekly series where monsters are selected from the three Monster Manuals and put together as an encounter group. A situation is discussed where these monsters would have been together and how their powers or status effects work together against the players.
This particular Monday's Monster Mash, and the next few, will be a little different than normal. Today's was written by Alex Melchor for the January Contest: Monster Mash Mania. He won the contest and a copy of the Dungeon Tiles Master Set - The City.
Kri'kill was an exceptional kobold. At first glance he was just like any other member of his diminutive species: good with mechanics, bad in the courage department, and green. The latter will be important later.
However, what made Kri'kill stand out was that he was suicidally curious. He would remain behind as the rest of his clutchmates panicked before the advance of adventurers, just to see what made adventurers tick. He would also intentionally lure big prey into his traps for sheer scientific curiosity, then set them free... from a safe distance, of course. He was curious, not stupid.
It was during one of these technological field tests that he found his best friend, Blob. The dire blackscale lizardfolk was not very smart, and fell into one of Kri'kill's traps because he was following a bright green frog across the swamp. He liked the color green. You can see where this is going.
Kri'kill was surprised that his clever trap, designed for human-sized prey, was capable of holding the gigantic lizardfolk, so he came much too close to examine how it was holding out, ignoring the greater reptilian's reach.
"Green, pretty!" Blob crooned and snatched the unsuspecting kobold from the groud, poking him lovingly. Kri'kill panicked as per the norm of his species, but after confirming the futility of his efforts, he tried diplomacy.
"Eh, greetings, fellow scaled being..." He tried, the words in Draconic chortling out of his snout.
"Ah, yes... let's see... If you set me down, I can set you free, how does that sound?"
"Not quite the answer I was hoping for..."
It took the kobold the good part of an hour to talk the lizardfolk to put him back on the ground. Kri'kill was good on his promise and freed his unwitting captive, but the lizardfolk just sat to look at him, mesmerized by his greenness.
And thus Kri'kill came upon his greatest invention. Blob watched him work, puzzled -but not too much- by the occasional measurements Kri'kill took of him.
A couple of days later, Blob was sporting a snappy backpack/harness, and Kri'kill had earned himself a battle mount. It was no ordinary harness, no. True to Kri'kill's wit, it had a net launcher attachment and a crossbow mount.
He didn't return to his clutch; instead, he took... or rode... Blob into hobgoblin lands, hiring out as a trapmaster sentry and hunter of pesky adventurers.
And he (they?) had remarkable success. While Kri'kill lost some mobility by being strapped to Blob's back, he made up with actual resistance. Adventurers were pretty much inclined to take Blob out first, which gave him plenty of time to maneuver them into one of the many traps he set up in advance.
Blob's simple tactics of pushing people around with a mace or knock them down with his tail worked wonderfully with Kri'kill's strategy: adventurers would be pushed into hidden beartraps, or knocked prone at just the right place for Kri'kill to activate spring-loaded spikes shooting from that patch of ground.
Their tactics were straightforward but extremely infuriating for adventurers who wanted to close in, only to find their way impeded by yet another trap, or pushed and lured into more, and more traps. Ranged combatants were only safe for a little while before Blob closed in with his great stride, and couldn't escape by virtue of Kri'kill's nets.
The odd couple enjoyed a good working relationship, the gold they gained serving for Kri'kill to improve his craft and buy bright-colored toys for Blob.
Not much later, tavern tales warned eager adventurers that, should they see a great black-scaled lizardfolk with a string of bright plush toys hanging from his neck and a cackling kobold riding on his back, the best idea was to run the other way.
(Kri'kill - Hobbler Trap Savant; Draconomicon 1. Blob - Blackscale Bruiser; MM1)