March 01, 2009

My Favourite Monsters

James Maliszewski, noisms, Chatty DM and half the rest of the D&D blogosphere have all posted their favourite ten D&D Monsters. So here's my list (limited to 3E and 4E core), in no particular order:


  • Berbalang (4E) - it eats dead bodies and absorbs their memories. There are approximately a hundred potential plot hooks in there. The Berbalang writeup in the 4E Monster Manual is what all the writeups should have been.
  • Bugbear (4E) - big goblins: Big, tough, still sneaky. 4E also has the Bugbear Strangler, which is one of the most hilarious monsters in the MM - it grabs a character and then uses her as a living shield while she's grabbed. I might cook up a nasty bugbear adventure in the future.
  • Centaur (3E) - possibly because they're such horrors in both my favourite roguelikes (Nethack and Crawl). But really, literal horsemen are cool. If you want them as drunken meanies and play 4E, you should take a peek at Satyrs.
  • Cockatrice - another roguelike reference. A rooster that turns you to stone. Hilariously, the only statted cockatrice in 4E lets you revert from the stoning effect with a successful save. I'm envisioning parties keeping a cockatrice in a bag for stoning themselves when things go bad (for the damage reduction granted by being made of stone).
  • Dinosaur (any) - no further comments.
  • Earth elemental (3E) - earth elementals in 3E get the Earth Glide ability which let them move freely through rock. If you can't come up with a long list of uses for that - both for a summoner and for themselves in a cool battle - you suck.
  • Ghoul (3E) - intelligent (Int 13), but still low enough level to have class levels added to them and become respectable foes throughout a campaign. That paralysis ability should work well with a rogue's Sneak Attack. Piratecat on EnWorld ran an entire arc of his campaign based around a ghoul civilization in the Underdark.
  • Mimic (3E) - there are petty screw-job monsters like ear seekers and trappers, and then there are mimics. I want to use a door mimic some time.
  • Oni (4E) - The Oni Night Haunter and Oni Mage killed the Ogre Mage and took its stuff. Both can disguise themselves as regular people, which should set them up as nasty monsters for a mystery adventure.
  • Wererat - I just have a thing for rat-people. (I like Skaven too.)
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