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  #1  
Old 12-25-2019, 01:43 PM
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Your Favorite Iconic Monsters?

I wanted to start off a combat with a bang, so I recreated the old Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (PF link, though it's much older than that). They're weird, they're dumb, a lot of them aren't really ideal for use in combat unless the GM is specifically looking for something weird and dumb to fight.

But now I've been pointed at what the person called "That Damn Crab", found only way off in the WotC archive, and I'm realizing that there are a lot of monsters people have had love/hate relationships with (for instance, this off-site bashing of old-school monsters), and I kinda want to start converting them all to my favorite d20 ruleset, designed by 3e and 4e D&D authors and friends, potentially "4.5e" to some13th Age, whether I use them in my current game or not.

So where better to ask for favorite epic baddies (whether it was epic awesome or epic fail), than here? What are your favorite monsters? Links to stats much appreciated.

EDIT: Yes, I know I posted this on Christmas. If you celebrate, Merry Christmas. If you don't, you're probably looking at a lot of free time on your hands, so what better to do than laugh about monsters?

Last edited by Aethera; 12-25-2019 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:23 PM
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My personal favorite is the pulp science fiction deep cut, the coeurl! “It’s a lame displacer beast!” cry out the naysayers, but it is I who says nay! Because this thing is totally rad!

It’s a big alien jaguar, which is pretty cool already, but it’s also very intelligent (with a 15 Int, only the party wizard is smarter than it and if your party downgraded for a sorcerer, congrats, this thing is smarter than your party!), has telepathy so it can mysteriously hold cryptic cat conversations, but it can also unlock and open doors through its sonic manipulation! It doesn’t even fall into the silly “always evil” camp - it’s just this alien feline that’s chillin!

Using them as bizarre NPCs is the only way to do it, honestly. Or maybe the heroes need to hire a locksmith to break a lock for them, but the local town only has this dope cat that does the job for them!
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Old 12-25-2019, 02:26 PM
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Note to self: If Eli's PC has to die, attempt to do it with a coeurl...
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Old 12-25-2019, 04:50 PM
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They're not iconic, but they're definitely pretty weird/nutty (If any of my witcher players come sniffin' here, keep outta this spoiler, y'hear? )
 
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Old 12-26-2019, 12:28 PM
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Sounds like a hilarious addition when put near/beside "That Damn Crab"

I'm starting to think there's an Explosive Runes article in here somewhere. Better not tell Dirk.
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Old 01-03-2020, 02:55 PM
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I'd say my favorite is probably the common Gnoll. I've got a thing for hyenas. I find them incredibly cute. I use them rarely in my games, honestly, because I don't wanna see my little demon spawn die. :<

On the mechanics/experience side of things, the Intellect Devourer, the brain on frog-legs. In 5th edition, it's a measly CR2, but not nearly as tanky as an ogre and not nearly as well armored as an Orog. It doesn't hit like a truck - it's about the size of a cat. Their psychic powers, however, make them incredibly deadly.

The first time I used one of these, it was as a Mind Flayer's lap cat. The party's Paladin was left a brainless husk that day. It was a pretty memorable battle, because just about every party member messed up and almost died somehow.

The second time I used one of these was in a Time constraints killed it, unfortunately.short-lived Spelljammer campaign, five level five adventurers were on a barren world, in a barren castle, without another living soul around. The intellect devourer confronted the party alone, and they all ran back to the ship with the brain-on-frog-legs hopping after them. They vowed to never, ever return there. Fun!
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aethera View Post
Sounds like a hilarious addition when put near/beside "That Damn Crab"

I'm starting to think there's an Explosive Runes article in here somewhere. Better not tell Dirk.
too late
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:26 PM
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I gotta say, the old school first edition stuff was pretty odd...

A mimic: looks like a chest. Or a chair. Or a door. Or a lamp. But it kills you.
Gibbering Mouther: Looks like a mother-in-law, but it kills you.
Ear piercers/rot grubs: Just... ugh
Lurkers: The one that looked like a ceiling, and just dropped on you.
Piercers: ceilings for caves that kill you.
Trappers: Lurkers floor-like cousins
Rust Monster: back when having a sword was pretty good for 3rd level!

But for me, the most iconic is the Dragon. And ironically, despite the name of the game, I have almost never had a PC fight one.
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Old 01-05-2020, 05:52 AM
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Frankenstein's Monster. Not the film versions, the original version. Beautiful, intelligent, cold and sadistic. A thing to be feared, a cautionary tale not simply about the horrors of unchecked scientific progress, but the horrors of abandoning an intelligent being and leaving it to discover its emotions and ideas in a vacuum.

Frankenstein's Monster was not a monster because it was physically monstrous, it wasn't because it had glassy horrible eyes, it was because it learned how to be evil because it was never warned away from the horrors of the world. And in being left to its own devices, it became a new horror of the world.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin Dirk View Post
I gotta say, the old school first edition stuff was pretty odd...

A mimic: looks like a chest. Or a chair. Or a door. Or a lamp. But it kills you.
Gibbering Mouther: Looks like a mother-in-law, but it kills you.
Ear piercers/rot grubs: Just... ugh
Lurkers: The one that looked like a ceiling, and just dropped on you.
Piercers: ceilings for caves that kill you.
Trappers: Lurkers floor-like cousins
Rust Monster: back when having a sword was pretty good for 3rd level!

But for me, the most iconic is the Dragon. And ironically, despite the name of the game, I have almost never had a PC fight one.
I love the old school monsters, but for some reason I have an almost visceral reaction to actually putting them in a game. Maybe too much facepalming for my taste? Not really sure.

And yeah, I love dragons, but they don't make great enemies in most games unless they're too young to be a problem, imho.

Frankenstein was a great novel, good read for everyone.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:09 PM
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A lot old school monsters feel really out of place anywhere but in an old school death-trap dungeons (made by a wizard or something). It's really hard to wrap your head around them existing in the 'wild' like other monstrosities like a Chimera.

Like... what does a rust monster do with itself when there isn't a level 1 fighter with tasty armor and weapons nearby? Does it just wait for the next meal-delivery guy?

When it comes to dragons, I think they make great baddies, but they kind of dominate the spotlight.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:16 PM
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Anyone familiar with Japanese ukiyo-e art will know the Gashadokuro. The only problem? It's a product of multiple other spirit/yokai, and didn't exist until the 1970s.

I wrote an article about this recently and fell in love, because I was unaware of the deception. The famous image is from Kuniyoshi's depiction of a battle between a samurai and a necromancer from the Tale of the Heike, where she summons multiple skeletons to do battle with him. In Kuniyoshi's depiction it's simply a giant-ass skeleton, which is cool, but that's all it is. A Gashadokuro, by comparison, is said to be the bones of many different creatures combined into a giant skeleton like Kuniyoshi's (whose work never names the skeleton except that it was summoned by the necromancer). With the rise of youkai manga in the 60s and 70s, experts like Shigeru Mizuki, who wrote GeGeGe no Kitaro, made the Gashadokuro popular, with Kuniyoshi's image becoming the popular image.

So most people think it's this big-ass skeleton that wanders the night eating people's heads off and drinking their blood like Go-Gurt, when in reality it's nothing at all like that. And it's represented in Pathfinder!
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:06 PM
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An article? About a monster?

You don't say....

You wanna see it in Explosive Runes?

I can make it happen. I know people.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:45 PM
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I think you'd have to get permission, I've seen been paid for it and don't think I have rights to it. It hasn't been published yet but all the same.

Writing one, on the other hand...
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:47 PM
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Ah, you didn't retain your subsequent publishing rights?

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