I’m starting a new D&D5 campaign. One of my players loves foxes, so I would like to provide them as an option for wild shape and animal companions, along with a giant variant.
Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have an official monster entry for foxes, and none of the similar animals (badger, cat, hyena, jackal, mastiff) are quite similar enough to just file off the name and keep the stats. They aren’t great burrowers like badgers or climbers like cats, and they aren’t pack hunters like dogs. Jackals are the closest match; red foxes are about the same size, and they have the same keen hearing, smell, and intelligence. However, foxes are much lighter than other canids, and they rely on stealth and ambush rather than pack hunting. Notably, they can leap from hiding high into the air and far away, taking prey by surprise up to 15 feet away.
Therefore, I’ll need to make a custom fox write-up. However, D&D5 is new enough that I don’t have a good feel yet for writing my own monsters, plus creating a monster for druids and rangers is a different from creating new monsters that you fight, as they spend a lot more time in the spotlight, so I want to do it right.
How should I approach this problem of creating new critters for my players? Is there already a fox writeup out there I can use? If not, what should I watch out for when doing it myself?