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I have an idea of the kind of monster I want my party to face in their next big encounter, but I don't have enough free time to go through the beastiary to find an existing creature that fits the idea I have in my head. I'd like to use an existing creature, or at least use one as a template, rather than invent all the stats myself.

My concern is that this would be a question that might have multiple answers that may be too subjective. I do believe I can phrase the question to invite specific answers, but I want to check that it's OK to try before I post it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, it's certainly on topic - the question would be whether it's too broad. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Oct 22 '16 at 5:58
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It's on topic, we do "identification" questions, but it runs the risk of being:

  1. Closed as too broad - especially if you just want a chassis to build it off, how will it not be "take any of these Large bipedal rock-themed monsters and add a gem-breath attack" or whatever. If you required an exact match it would avoid this but it also might not get answered.

  2. Downvoted as "does not show research effort." "I don't have time to look in the Bestiary myself" doesn't inspire confidence - this is a community of expert gamers volunteering their time to help others, not to do your "homework" for you when you don't want to be bothered. Spending time to do a meta post and then a real post here instead of using that effort to go and leaf through the Bestiary seems in poor taste and questionable judgement to myself at least.

There are ways to narrow a search down (monster DB on d20pfsrd for example), you might be better served by asking a 'teach me how to fish' question about "how can I narrow down to the kind of monster I want out of all 5 Bestiaries..." (Assuming Pathfinder. If you're talking about 5e or something with one monster book, see answer 2 above.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, that helps. Regarding point 2, everyone has different constraints on their time. Some of us dedicate all our spare time to this hobby, while some of us do not. Others don't have much spare time at all. I appreciate the due diligence warning. \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Oct 22 '16 at 21:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ My point is you've potentially used 2 posts worth of spare time on asking others to look for you, instead of using that same spare time to look for yourself, which might draw "RTM" downvotes. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 25 '16 at 21:18

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