Monster of the Week: Karl Ruprect Kroenen

What horrible Will could keep such a creature as this alive?

Films Synopsis: Staring the one and only Ron Perlman as demonic beast-turned superhero Guillermo Del Toro’s 2004 comic book adaptation of Dark Horse’s Hellboy blended a host of genres, including horror, sci-fi and straight-up action.

In a world where supernatural monsters prowl unseen, the BPRD, a secretive government agency designed to hunt down these paranormal threats, takes on a powerful warlock modeled after real-life mystic Grigori Rasputin. To combat this bad guy, the agency puts together a team of regular old humans in suits alongside their very own monsters: a demon with an invincible hand known as Hellboy, an aquatic fish man called Abe and a woman with pyrokinesis (the ability to make fire with her mind).

It’s a visually stunning, comedic affair that has healthy doses of Lovecraftian monsters and perfect minions to bring to the gaming table. One in particular, a clockwork zombie-like soldier (portrayed by Czech actor Ladislav Beran )is a formidable adversary to round out this month’s constructs – so let’s get to it!

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If you see something that looks like it needs improving, re-balancing, editing or formatting, please leave a comment or shoot me an email ! I want these designs to be the best they can be!

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Kroenen is a master assassin with skilled swordsmanship and a deadly aim. Outside of his martial skills he is a superb engineer and surgeon. He does not fight any opponent without using the environment to his advantage. If that means lying in wait to ambush a foe, climbing walls to get behind them or using cover to avoid a barrage of fire or magic he will do what it takes to take down a foe. In game terms, Kroenen should use all of the mental might your DM experience has to bear on a given encounter with players. If Kroenen does have a weakness, its arrogance. He may delay a final killing blow for a crucial round or two to demonstrate his prowess, but this arrogance should only manifest around opponents Kroenen view as formidable. A fighter who has show themselves to be inept should swiftly fall before Kroenen’s swords while a barbarian would probably command a measure of respect from the Commander.

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Kronen should make an excellent minion to a high tier campaign, working for a necromancer or an in-world Antiquity society that is trying to open a portal to the Far Realms. He can easily fit into most campaigns as an assassin for a nefarious organization, serving as a bodyguard to a high-level opponent, or as a side monster boss to delay or harass a party in the middle of their plans.

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Kroenen started out as an assassin – with some additions from other classes (Monk) and other monsters (hobgoblin). Overall, he felt like a fairly high tier opponent (CR 10+) and his build reflects this.

His saving throws, skills and resistances are extensions of the Rogue/assassin with some modifications (piercing/slashing and poison) based on his movie persona. I also added his Spider Climb trait based on his ability to climb walls so effectively in the film.

Though not a rogue trait, his deflect missile reaction (from monks) was too awesome NOT to include, and I thought uncanny dodge would add too much to his faux-resistances (bumping him up in CR) so instead added the Parry reaction from hobogoblin warlords. Lastly, his awesome psych-out in the film, where he goes limp to get carted back to Hellboy’s lair is the inspiration for the Feign Death ability (pulled from the spell text with the same name).

But what do you think are Kroenen’s double-sworded attacks to deadly for even a high-level party? Or will this bag of sand crumble beneath their assault and be sent back to his master in ash? Download my rendition of a Kroenen in pdf format for your campaign and assassinate your parties hopes for a better tomorrow

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!

BONUS: Get More Kroenen!

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