That said, I've been going over the material, and it needs some tweaking. Dinosaurs are great, as in when I was a kid I planned to be a paleontologist, but always feel a little out of place in a fantasy world. My answer is to make 'em more alien, more draconic, more insectoid, more MONSTROUS. I want these to be terrifying (potentially terrifying), weird things, unknown quantities, like encountering dinosaurs for the first time would be, but I also want them to be kinda familiar.
This is basically a photo/concept dump for my own benefit, lets be honest, but I do plan on inserting some usable content. Mostly quickly reskinning MM creatures, and quick notes, but hey
You know those weird early sketches of dinosaurs, from when they didn't really know what they were dealing with? I love those.
First thing they encounter, I'm hoping it's a gaggle of these sad lumpy things, huddling on a beach. They kinda remind me of the lobstrosities from Dark Tower, but they probably eat those, actually. Stat the lobstrosities as giant crabs, and the hylabosaurus as a slower, clumsier giant lizard of some kind, with a weaker bite attack and some claws.
Here's a slightly more regal looking specimen.
Ok now lookit this thing:
buuuut... maybe they're just different postures? Anyway the spike on the nose should be exaggerated so it can be an effective attack.
Stats as a giant boar, but with better AC, and a bite instead of a gore. They hunt in ones or twos, and are scavengers as much as predators- they don't want to fight anything bigger than them, or groups that outnumber them (they normally hunt in ones or twos), but they'll follow the party and scavenge off anything THEY kill, and opportunistically move in if they end up wounded or split up.
Not much to say here, except if you're playing a fantasy game and you're NOT using brontosaurs instead of the 'real' creatures they were composites of, you're making a huge mistake. Maybe give them some sort of reality-bending, half-real kinda ability, to reflect that origin??
Scientists figured out that for this guy to scoot on his belly, he'd make a giant trench. But dragons can fly in this, so I dunno. Or maybe it actually does scoot in a trench? Kinda interesting to have a monster/encounter that's basically on rails. They players probably don't need to fight these, but just getting PAST ginormous creatures and their mud-trench moats would be a situation in itself.
Basically people got the neck and the tail mixed up on these, so just take the plesiosaur from the monster manual and double the reach for it's bite attack.
It's a stegosaurus, obviously. Didn't you know they walk on their hind legs?
My favourite way of making 'new' monsters. Luckily I haven't introduced these yet in-game, so they're still undefined in the lore. I'm thinking, gargoyles, trolls, and bulettes are all dinosaurs in this, as well as maybe some weirder ones. Remhoraz?
Medium monstrosity, neutral
Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 52 (7d8+21)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
STR 15 (+2) DEX 13 (+1) CON 16 (+3) INT 4 (-3) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 7 (-2)
Senses Blindsight 60 Ft., passive Perception 14
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Camouflage: While the gargulasaur remains motionless, Wisdom (Perception) checks made to discern it's location have disadvantage.
Pounce. If the gargoyle moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 10 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the garguladon can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.
Stone form. When motionless, the gargulasaur has resistance to fire, lightning, cold, and against Bludgeoning, Piercing, And Slashing (Adamantine). It gets advantage on saving throws against being pushed, thrown, shoved, etc.
Multiattack. The gargulasaur makes two attacks, one with its bite and one with its claws.
Bite + 4, 6 damage (1d8+2)
Claws + 4, 5 damage (1d6+2)
Stone Block. The gargulasaur* gains the benefits of its Stone Form until it's next turn. It's speed drops to 10, and it can't fly on it's next turn (if it's flying it falls at half speed, and can right itself at the end of its turn)
Tail whip. The gargulasaur makes a special attack with its tail against a creature that tries to grapple it, or that moves to flank it. Melee weapon attack, +4 to hit, 5 damage (1d6+2) and the target is stunned until the beginning of their next turn.
Large monstrosity, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 15 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 84 (8d10+40)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 13 (+1) CON 20 (+5)
INT 5 (-3) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 7 (-2)
Skills Perception +5
Senses Darkvision 60 Ft., passive Perception 12
Languages understands olman and carsek but can't speak
Fast healing: If the troglasaur is under half it's max HP, it regains 15 hit points at the start of its turn.
Large monstrosity, neutral
Armor Class 15 (natural armour)
Hit Points 76 (9d10+27)
Speed 15 ft., fly 60 ft. (hover)
STR 16 (+3) DEX 16 (+3) CON 16 (+3)
INT 12 (+1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 8 (-1)
Damage Resistance: Acid
Damage Immunities: Poison
Condition Immunities: Prone
Senses Darkvision 60 Ft., passive Perception 12
TraitsLife Drain: Creatures that end their turns grappled by the wraithform take 21 (4d8 + 3) necrotic damage. The target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the damage taken. This reduction lasts until the target finishes a Long Rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
Sunlight Sensitivity: While in sunlight, the wraith has disadvantage on Attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Flyby: The wraithform doesn't provoke Opportunity Attacks when it flies out of an enemy's reach.