A few weeks ago I purchased Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen videogame by Capcom. I haven’t had much time to play the game as yet, but what I have played makes me think its the best interpretation of D&D on console I have come across. One of the most impressive facets of the game is the design of some of the boss monsters.
The first video released for Dragon’s Dogma was a battle with the Chimera monster (a fantasy staple you could say). What was interesting about the design of this boss was how the individual parts of the monster not only acted independently, but also could be taken out independently.
The above image is the Dragon's Dogma Chimera. The Gorechimera is a variant (much tougher) all black Chimera with additional powers.
This seemed a much more interesting design than the current Monster Manual 1 version of the Chimera (a Level 15 Elite Brute). Each ‘segment’ of the monster could have its own unique role (Controller for the Serpentine Segment, Artillery for the Goat Segment and Brute for the Leonine Segment). Of course this being Eternity Publishing, I would always prefer an epic version – readily provided in the game with the dangerous Gorechimera.
So that inspired me to create a Chimera based on those principals. To take the design a stage further I envisioned that defeating certain segments of the boss in a particular order may change up its attacks…which, sometime later glancing around the Chimera/Gorechimera details on the Dragon’s Dogma wiki page is exactly how its designed in the game.
Another feature of the boss monster’s in Dragon’s Dogma is that you can climb onto them to deal damage to specific weak points. This was something I already have in the Vampire Bestiary with certain bosses, so its worth maintaining here.
Choosing the monster’s level, I decided upon 21st. With the Lion acting as solo monster base, the goat head and snake heads as elite additions. It may have worked as three Elite sections but I think that would be a bit flimsy at epic level and in the game itself the Lion seems to have three times the health of either the goat and snake sections (for the Chimera at least – I am not yet far enough into the game to have encountered the Gorechimera). The order you destroy the various parts impacts how tough the monster is. To protect it against area effect spells, I gave it a variety of resistances.
Incidentally, there is a monster from Hindu mythology called the Navagunjara that might show up in the Vampire Bestiary: Temple of Death which is vaguely Chimera-like and this might serve as a test bed for some of its mechanics.
Hope you enjoy.