Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekly 4e Homebrew: Lightning Monolith

Every Sunday, I'll have a completely homebrewed Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition element that you can use in your games. I do take requests so you can either post a comment here, email me at with the subject "Homebrew Request", or send me a tweet on Twitter (@brannonhutchins) with the hashtag #weekly4e.

INSPIRATION! It comes at the strangest of times. For me, it usually happens on the toilet. Hey, don't judge. The bathroom provides little distractions and allows my mind to wander.

As I was saying, I was inspired to create something akin to a mech. This later evolved to the single-minded animate that you will see today. I give you, the LIGHTNING MONOLITH.

Lightning Monolith
A single eye opens along the side of the monolith, setting loose a concentrated bolt of lightning at its enemies.

The Lightning Monolith is roughly 20 feet high in a tapered cylinder, almost a cone, with four legs for mobility. The peak of the cylinder is topped with half an orb, used for collecting lightning from storms and magical attacks. A single "eye" on one side of the cylinder acts as its weapon, opening and closing to release the power held within.

Designer Notes: What's this? Something original? Heaven help us!
I imagined these mechanical monstrosities as the rear artillery of an invading army. Imagine: early in the adventuring party's career, a strange lightning storm attracts their attention. They discover a single monolith half buried in the ground absorbing the lightning. It awakens when they disturb it and attacks, acting as a Solo encounter.

Eventually, as the PCs level up, they will see the monoliths grow in number at alarming rates until BAM, it's time for some hard core Helm's Deep action.

And yes, the image used is an interpretation of a tripod from War of the Worlds. I was trying to put something together that closer resembled the monolith, but I wasn't happy with anything that I managed to draw. Artists truly are their own worst critics.

The Lightning Monolith was designed using Power2ool for Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition by Wizards of the Coast.

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