Monster of the Week: Jack Frost

I only axed you for a smoke!

Films Synopsis:  Direct-to-video, 1997‘s Jack Frost is a horror comedy that somehow managed to be followed up by a sequel known as Revenge of the Mutant Killer. Thoroughly in the B-movie territory, both for comedic shlock kills, production quality and film direction, both films never-the-less deliver on some memorable and chilling kills. What’s even more, the first film features the silver screen debut of Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie fame.

As convicted serial killer Jack Frost is being transported to prison to be executed, his transport vehicle collides with a chemical truck. The explosion and subsequent seepage turns Jack into an all-powerful snowman, capable of hurling snowballs and icicles, turning into mist and generally being almost impossible to kill. The second movie gives Jack even more absurdly powerful abilities and ramps the kills up to an over-the-top zany wackiness.

But for our purposes, what does that mean for a D&D-stylized homicidal, abominable snowman? Let’s find out and get to converting Jack Frost. (And for those of you unwilling to sit through a b-movie horror flick, check out Dead Meat’s Kill Count for the first film, embedded at the end of this post for your viewing pleasure)

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Like many on-screen killers, Jack is a restless, arrogant and impatient villain. He enjoys taunting his prey, especially with horrible puns, juvenile humor and absurd deaths.  Given his powers and his world-class ego, he should be relatively fearless in combat, believing he is invulnerable. If things take a bad turn in a fight, Jack’s cowardly nature should come into play, causing him to flee. However, his hubris shouldn’t allow him to remain in the shadows for too long, bringing him back to attack the ones who hurt him most by surprise.

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Jack can be a perfect side-quest in a small, outlying village where the victims of his mortal crimes are being picked off, one-by-one. In fear, they may send out a request for heroes to slay this abominable snowman. 

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Jack has a LOT of movie abilities, some of which were exceptionally powerful, for example, causing snow to fall and the temperature to drop over a small tropical island. So presenting Jack as a beatable D&D monster was a bit of a challenge.

First, his ability to transform into water, mist and even a rolling boulder, has a similar trait in one monster in particular – a vampire. The shapechanger trait was a good basis for Jacks polymorphing effects, as was the monsters Regeneration and Misty Escape traits, all ported to the wintry villain.

Some of his other traits, including his stats, were mined from elementals, including the earth glide from the earth elemental. His vomit ability, with some modifications, came from the ochre jelly. I’ve always liked the whole splitting feature and giving Jack this ability was fun, although without limits, it may be a bit overpowered. Perhaps an update might need to give a maximum number of Junior Jacks able to be spawned. What do you think?

For his attacks, at first it seemed like individual snowballs, icicles etc would all need their own actions. However, his weather-controlling abilities just seemed a better fit with spells, so many of his movie abilites were ported as innate spells, even if they are severely downgraded.

Lastly, giving Jack a weakness, which in the movie is antifreeze, was a necessity – hence the antimagic susceptibility similar to animated objects. It does raise the issue of how to effectively destroy Jack, but like most of these monsters, I think that DMs can have some type of origin or final ending story to customize as they see fit.

But what do you think, is Jack too much of an abominable snowman? Or will your player’s freeze the former serial killer in his place? Download my rendition of Jack Frost in pdf format for your campaign and deliver them some truly horrific one-liners to ring in the new year.

And, if you want to get this and all the creatures to date in a single, indexed PDF as well as a handy-dandy Fantasy Ground version of these creatures, consider heading over to my Patreon and becoming a Patron!

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