View Full Version : Yora's Fantasy Safari - Hunting for exotic creatures in monster books

2013-12-01, 06:21 AM
I love monster manuals. I usually don't like splatbooks, but monster books are an exception. Since I very often homebrew the creatures for my campaigns myself, I even have monster books for games I never play, or I don't even know the rules of. Even my mother, who doesn't play any RPGs, loves my monster books, just for the pictures of the weird critters inside them.

But I have to admit, with many creatures I just take a quick peek at the picture and the first two sentences of description and them dismiss them as boring or simply minor variations of a common creature. Now the thread on underused monsters from D&D got me thinking and I couldn't really think of many creatures that are not well established mainstream, which I consider really cool.

So now, I am inviting everyone to join me on a safari through my piles of monster manuals, bestiaries, and creature collections, to search for rare and strange creatures that are much more interesting than most people know.

Here is a list of my monster library:
BECMI - Creature Catalogue
AD&D 1st Ed. - Monster Manual
AD&D 1st Ed. - Monster Manual II
AD&D 1st Ed. - Fiend Folio
AD&D 2nd Ed. - Monstrous Manual
AD&D 2nd Ed. - Monstrous Compendium Volume 1-3
AD&D 2nd Ed. - Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix II
AD&D 2nd Ed. - Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix I + II
AD&D 2nd Ed. - Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix I + II
D&D 3rd Ed. - Monster Manual I-V
D&D 3rd Ed. - Monsters of Faerūn
D&D 3rd Ed. - Fiend Folio
Pathfinder - Bestiary 1-3
Conan d20 - Bestiary of the Hyborean Age
Midnight - Minions of the Shadow
Ravenloft - Denizens of Darkness
MERP - Creatures of Middle Earth
I might even get a look at my brothers DSA books over christmas.

Any suggestions where I should start?

2013-12-01, 06:34 AM
I vote for Conan!

2013-12-01, 06:58 AM
"Creatures of the Dreamseed", for the d20 version of Engel.
While the d20 version was pretty lame (haven't read the original, but the d20 mechanics were lackluster and awkward even if the setting was cool), this is quite possibly the single best monster book you will ever find. More than 50% of the pages are fluff and in-character descriptions of encoutners with the creatures. Familiarity with the setting obviously makes it work better, but nothing I have read since the classic Lovecraft & co. stories portrays better monsters.
Their sheer alienness isamazing. The total lack of understanding of motives (if any), habits, origins, anything similar makes them excellent monsters.
Sure, they tend to be arthropodic rather than shapeless squamous masses, but the art and flavor text is worth the price of the book.
The mechanics can be adapted to standard D&D with little effort, if that's your wish.

2013-12-01, 08:07 AM
Conan sound like an excelent idea. That book is rather different from the common D&D monster manuals.

First Tour: Hyborea
Conan d20 - Bestiary of the Hybrian Age; 121 pages of monsters plus 31 pages of common animals.

The Aaryx is just a big crane with a sharp beak. Nothing to see here, move along.

Next we come to the Bestial Things of Yb. Feral descendants of the humans of the city Yb, who had been turned into animalistic monsters by demonic sorcery. Each one has unique animal features, but there really isn't anything special about them. Remind me of mongrelfolk from D&D.

Now we have a Black Fiend, which actually is somewhat interesting. A black fiend is a roughly human-shaped demon that can pass for a human at a distance and in the dark, but has horns, claws, fangs, and pointed ears, that clearly mark it as a monster. They prefer to stay in darkness and often wear dark cloaks and hoods to hide their demonic nature from casual observers. They are not particularly powerful, but very stealthy, which makes them good assassins, and also have a great talent for sorcery, and many are spellcasters who can be summoned to learn rare and exotic spells from them. I think it's the combination of being both an assassin and spellcasters, that makes the black fiend a bit more than just another demonic looking man.

Black Lotus is one of the famous plants of Hyborea known for the poison and drugs that can be made from its flowers. The plant itself is a large vine that has some rudimentary form of sentience that allows it to smack its victims with its flowers to poison them with its nectar. While a single dose of the raw nectar is not fatal, the plants are also surrounded by a cloud of pollen that compell creatures to walk up to the plant and fall asleep, where the continous exposure to the poison will surely kill them.
Something different for a monster, but really much more than a trap than an enemy to fight.

The Black Ones are demons that inhabit an island called "The Island of the Black Ones". They are large reptilian demons with roughly human build and some fish-like feature, that have large claws and fangs. Their only noticable trait are their small flutes, which they can play to control the minds of their victims. Odd.

On the first look, the Black Spawn of Jullah are just another type of large demon that look like large black apes with fur that seems to be permanently soaked in blood. As servants of the ape god, they can produce a roar that will summon large numbers of actual apes from the surrounding jungles to attack their enemies. An even weirder trait is their ability to use their own bodies as a kind of portal to hell, allowing tentacles and tendrils of some hellish abominations to burst through their bloody fur and grasp and bash at their enemies.
The black spawn looks like a generic evil ape, but I think figting one of these will actually get quite frightening to players when they suddenly find themselves swarmed by large apes from all directions and the tentacles burst from the beasts bodie. I think I want to use these ones in my campaign.

The Blooded Stones are just weird, but not in a good way. They are minor demons that look like large stone sculptures of human heads. They spend most of their time awaiting blood sacrifices from the sorcerer-priests who summoned them, but if they have to wait for too long, they start to slowly shuffle around to find a victim to crush to pulp by falling on them. Weird. :smallconfused:

A Bodiless Slimer is a demon made of almost insubstential slime that is also entirely invisible. They are very hard to detect and to injure and can also use a breath of flames in addition to their normal attack of grappling and choking their victims. Before a fight, they use a kind of subconscious telepathy to demoralize their enemies. These could make for interesting encouters, but the creature itself is rather bland.

A Brylukas is another demon that looks like a cross between a human and a bat. They are slightly smaller than humans but very difficult to injure and their claws cause wounds that continue to bleed for a long time after an attack. They are often summoned to hunt down and kill a specific target. The image looks quite cool, but again, nothing really special about them.

A Chakan is another evil ape. Better get used to them, because there will be a lot more in this book. They are not very powefful and are neither bright, nor have they any special abilities.

Well, except for the Black Spawn, this hasn't really been much fun so far. I've been flipping ahead, and there's still lots of cool critters in this book, but also really large numbers of totally boring oversized animals and evil apes. Given how many monster books I heave, I'll be skipping all the boring creatures and only mention those that I think might be interesting additions to some peoples games.

2013-12-01, 08:22 AM
Howard sure liked his monstrous apes and ape-men.

2013-12-01, 09:42 AM
I suppose seeing apes during a safari is kinda appropriate. It's been some time since I've read Howard's Conan stories. Some of these creatures seem familiar, like the Batman demon and the ape demons. The other's though, not so much.

2013-12-01, 10:05 AM
To be clear, the monsters we suggest have to be from one of the books in your collection?

In any case, some monsters from the Fiend Folio:

Personally I really like the Ulgurstasta from page 180. Why?:

Far too obscure for something so phenomenally awesome, the Ulgurstasta was created by the mad cleric-turned-demigod, Kyuss, for a simple and glorious purpose: to eat lots of people, digest all their soft tissues, and regurgitate their skeletons as minions. They are literally skeleton factories in the form of giant, undead maggots with dozens of eyes. Kyuss, you are a man after my own heart. As a bonus, Ulgurstasta absorb memories from prey and steadily increase their intellectual capacity, a characteristic unforseen by their creator and their sole motivation in hunting for fresh bodies. The more skeletons they make, the smarter they get. Also, the more skeletons they get. It's win/win!

The Wormgods creations in general are pretty great (I don't know how you can go wrong with a common theme of "worms+undead").

The Century Worm (page 31) is basically a giant carnivorous penis filled with smaller carnivorous, parasitic penises. :smalleek:. Having one of these spawn incubate in a corpse is also one of the few ways in dnd to keep someone from being brought back to life by any means.

A Crawling Head (page 35) is a giant slithering head that rips off other heads and stories them in sacs on its skin.

Hullathoin (page 96) sadly just look like weird generic undead dragon things. Their abilities are great though. I'm surprised I don't see more monsters that spray pus.

2013-12-01, 10:16 AM
More like, suggest books you want me to examine. I probably have more than I'll ever get through in this thread. But you may also suggest monster books that I don't have yet, but you consider to be treasure hoards of unique and creative creatures.

2013-12-01, 08:12 PM
Pathfinder's Bestiary 4 came out just recently I think. I glanced through the PDF briefly, there was some pretty neat looking things in there I thought, as well as clockwork monsters.

Some of them are from other pathfinder books (the small player companion ones) but a nice compilation either way

2013-12-02, 09:12 AM
Let's continue our exploration of the hyborean wildlife:

The Foaming Blasphemy is a really weird creature. It's originally a human but got afflicted by a demonic curse that causes its body to constantly mutate and rearrange itself, growing new limbs and organs as others disappear. Worst of all, any creature hit by a foaming blasphemy suffers the same curse and has to have impressive willpower to keep its own form stable. When their willpower fails, the experience of the rapid mutations is so horrifying that it will drive them insane over a short time, and eventually turn them into another foaming blasphemy permanently, unless powerful magic can break the curse in time.

Oh look! A Forest-Devil. Another evil ape.

I didn't know the Frost Worm from D&D 3rd Edition was a Conan monster. But this one has pretty much the same appearance and special abilities and can't really be a coincidence.
A frost worm is a giant white eel-like worm that lives in mountains and arctic regions. Their cold breath freezes everything that comes near their mouths and weapons that hit them are at risk of becomming brittle and shatter. Their most unusual trait is their ability to exhale long and haunting sounds that have a hypnotic effect on any creatures that hear it. Any creature that is enthralled by the worms singing will simply walk up to it to be devoured.

The Gelid Abomination is described as a weird cross between an octopus and a frog, but I think that doesn't really quite explain how alien the illustration actually looks. In addition to their tantacles, which they use to draw their victims into their mouths, they also have the voices of human women or children, which are so unsettling that they make anyone who hears them extremely vulnerable to getting frightened and panicked.

Two words: Ghost Whale! A ghost whale is a massively large undead appearing like the skeleton of a whale, but is much more intelligent than either most animals or undead. They often come to the surface at night when the moon is out and ships always make a very large circle around them to avoid attracting their attention.

Lots of giant animals to be found in Hyborea. Which of course includes giant apes. And Grey Apes. And Guardian Apes of Jullah.

The Guardian Demon has no illustration, which is a shame. It's a large pile of bodies and body parts from insects, rats, bats, and humans that pretty much rolls along the ground. It's suprisingly stealthy and often stalks its targets until it gets a good opportunity to strike. When engulfing a target, the mouths and jaws of the guardian demon start to bite at the victim and drain his blood. Any dead body of humans and vermin the guardian demon comes about is simply added to the mass.

The Hydragon doesn't look particularly noteworthy at first glance. It's a very large bipedal dinosaur with almost humanoid arms and hands and the head of a giant snake. However, the hydragon is no natural creature but the creation of an ancient curse. Anyone who slays a hydragon, but does not do so in single combat, is threatened to become a hydragon himself. Even if the slayer escapes the curse, it lingers on the dead hydragons remains and can potentially affect the next person who touches them. The curse can not be broken, only be passed on to someone else.

The Iron Shadows are one of my favorite creatures in general and from Conan in particular, but this book only has half a page of information on them, which is almost entirely creature stats, barely mentioning any of their awesomeness. There isn't even a picture.
The Iron Shadows are a race of ancient humanoids who stand taller than any humans currently alive and are powerfully muscled with skin the color of blackened iron. They tortured and killed the son of a god, and in turn they got cursed to become statues, only to become alive again when the light of the moon shines on their bodies. The rest of the time they appear to be statues made of solid iron. The ruins of their island home are avoided by any sailors of the region, but nobody really knows what exactly is haunting the island, since nobody who has seen the statues come to life survived to return to their ships. The iron shadows are cruel and evil and delight in slaughter, and everyone they find during a night in which the moon is shining is ripped to pieces by their bare hands.


And, you guessed it. Man-Ape, another evil ape.

The rightfully called Monstrosity from Hell is one of the most ancient and powerful types of demons. It's a gigantic mass of tentacles and tendrils of immense intellect and in addition to its ability to grab victims and swallow them in one go, they are also very powerful sorcerers and much to powerful to be summoned. They are also so alien to all life, that their touch afflicts any creatures with the curse that creates the foaming blasphemies.

Night Weirds or Nightgaunts were originally created by Lovecraft and I don't know if they ever appeared in any Conan stories, though it wouldn't suprise me very much. Night weirds appear like tall and gaunt humanoids with large bat wings and no faces. Not much is known about them, other than that they often abduct people and carry them away into the sky to be transformed into more night weirds. Though they don't really have any special abilities other than being good at grabbing people and carrying them away and their description doesn't really say anything else about them, I think they just look very cool and I'd really like to find a way to include them in my campaign.

http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2013/010/6/8/lovecraft_night_terrors__nightgaunts_by_ito_saith_ webb-d5r3sfg.png

Now the Riders of Ollam-Onga come as a suprise. Because they are pretty much the Nazgul. Seven riders dressed in black hoods riding demonic steeds, they have the ability to extinguish flames in their surroundings and track their prey even when riding at full speed. And their attacks also cause a paralyzing pain.
I've been doing some digging, and they appear in a story that was drafted in 1930, but only picked up and finished in 1966. Given that Lord of the Rings was published in 1954 it's entirely plausible that they were added to the story much later than the original draft. And I think it's rather unlikely that Tolkien would have known about some obscure notes from an american pulp writer.

This book also has Gorgons, Lamia, and Naga, which are really all the same thing.


Evil Ape Count: 9

2013-12-02, 09:51 AM
To be clear, the monsters we suggest have to be from one of the books in your collection?

In any case, some monsters from the Fiend Folio:

Personally I really like the Ulgurstasta from page 180. Why?:

Man, those are pretty brutal.

Oh! And yes, you do know me by a different name on this forum. :smallsmile:

Let's continue our exploration of the hyborean wildlife:

The Foaming Blasphemy

I didn't know the Frost Worm from D&D 3rd Edition was a Conan monster

It's entirely possible that these are the arcane origins of the D&D creatures. The first one is obviously a gibbering mouther, or whatever – the chaos mutant. What are they called? Whatever.

The second shows up in the AD&D 1e monster manual, but it certainly feels like a legacy monster.

2013-12-02, 09:57 AM
With Howard and Lovecraft, it's always pretty easy to determine which one came first. They both were dead for 40 years when D&D was first published.

And you're thinking of the Chaos Beast. Gibbering Mouthers are Shoggoths. :smallbiggrin:

(I just looked up the Chaos Beast (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/chaosBeast.htm), and the Corporeal Instability trait has been pretty much copy-pasted in the Conan game.)

2013-12-02, 10:13 AM
I've heard that the two were actually buddies, and put creatures and things from each others' stories into their works. Like, the snake people in Conan were made by Lovecraft or something like that.

Don't know much about Conan, so can't really say more, but that's probably why the Night Gaunts are in the book.

Tanuki Tales
2013-12-02, 10:31 AM
Subscribing. Monster Manuals have always been my favorite part of any tabletop rpg. :smallbiggrin:

2013-12-02, 11:01 AM
There's not a lot more interesting monsters left in the Bestiary of the Hyborean Age. Any suggestions which book I should open next?

2013-12-02, 11:12 AM
First edition Fiend Folio.

2013-12-02, 11:29 AM
I've heard that the two were actually buddies, and put creatures and things from each others' stories into their works. Like, the snake people in Conan were made by Lovecraft or something like that.

That's sort of a way to describe it...

H. P. Lovecraft is basically the originator of the modern horror and fantasy genres. (The influence of e.g. Lord Dunsany is pretty thin by now.) Throughout his life, he not only wrote prolifically (yet was poorly published, at least under his own name), but also corresponded with many authors, including Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. These authors (not just the three) inserted references to each others' works in their writing, creating the "Cthulhu Mythos," a body of interlinked horror or horror-flavored literature. R. E. Howard's stories are obviously in his own style, but they contain very strong similarities with Lovecraft's: the undercurrent of obscure horror, the obsession with devolution (the aforementioned apes and man-apes, which both Howard and Lovecraft portray as objects of primal terror).

Both Lovecraft and Howard were actually very obscure until maybe the 1970s, 1980s; there were many authors who read them and wrote in their genres, but Howard's own works were actually marginalized: they were largely published re-written by e.g. L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, who also wrote original Conan stories (which have often been called pastiches; not exactly flattering, but a fairly accurate description of their mangling of Howard's material). There are many other authors who have published Conan stories, including Robert Jordan (of The Wheel of Time fame).

The games based on H. P. Lovecraft's and R. E. Howard's work both use a very expanded canon, most visible in the creatures included in them: many of the most iconic Call of Cthulhu monsters, like dimensional shamblers, aren't Lovecraft's creations; and even having read every last Howard Conan story, I don't recognize many (or most) of the creatures posted here so far.

2013-12-02, 11:47 AM
and even having read every last Howard Conan story, I don't recognize many (or most) of the creatures posted here so far.[/SPOILER]

It's been a while since I've read Howard but couldn't many of those monsters also come from his other work? After all, Bran Mak Morn and Solomon Kane (and Kull?) also met some nasties in their time, and those could easily have been adapted to the game. Not to mention Howards other works that didn't have a recurring hero.

2013-12-02, 11:52 AM
It's been a while since I've read Howard but couldn't many of those monsters also come from his other work? After all, Bran Mak Morn and Solomon Kane (and Kull?) also met some nasties in their time, and those could easily have been adapted to the game. Not to mention Howards other works that didn't have a recurring hero.

I think it's more likely they're from non-Howard Conan canon than from non-Conan material, given it's a bestiary for a Conan RPG. But it is possible, yeah. Marvel's Conan comics (The Savage Sword beats The Barbarian, just so we're clear :smallcool: ) made a habit of re-writing non-Conan stories into Conan-stories, for instance.

2013-12-02, 12:54 PM
I doubt that you play much Exalted, but The Books of Sorcery, volumes IV & V, The Roll of Glorious Divinity I and The Roll of Glorious Divinity II provide some very awesome gods, demons, elementals, and (rules for) ghosts.

2013-12-02, 02:58 PM
Funny thing is- I actually went to look for that Conan book because I thought it might be cool to look at what's being described and I can't find any site that even mentions it.

2013-12-02, 03:17 PM
Maybe because I made a typo. But even then I get several thousands of hits on google.

2013-12-02, 05:05 PM
The Planescape books are always fun, if maybe not to your tastes, which are rather more low-magic, from what I remember. Maybe don't start with the Appendix 1, though, it contains a lot of the outsiders already familiar from the normal monster manual, if with some setting-specific description.

2013-12-02, 11:06 PM
Funny thing is- I actually went to look for that Conan book because I thought it might be cool to look at what's being described and I can't find any site that even mentions it.

Maybe because I made a typo. But even then I get several thousands of hits on google.

Yeah, it's the Hyborian Age, not the Hyborean. (And not the Hyperborean, either; Hyperborea is just a realm in the north of the Hyborian world.)

And I just realized I don't have the Bestiary, myself! I think it might just compile the monsters from the various other books and adventures, though.

2013-12-03, 10:00 AM
a night gaunt was in people of the black circle i believe although Conan never met it.

2013-12-04, 12:13 PM
The third and last part of exploring the Bestiary of the Hyborian Age:

Starved Ones are basically zombies or ghouls who are constantly decaying at a relative rapid rate, losing 10% of their hit points every day. They regain their full strength and can regenerate decayed or lost body parts by eating the matching parts and organs of a dead creature. However, the newly regrowing organ will have the appearance of the organ that was consumed, not the form of the originally lost parts.
There's some potential here, but I think how scary they will actually be depends a lot on the GMs imagination for what kinds of corpses the starved ones are feeding.

Tentacle Spawn are rather weak demons but tend to appear in large numbers. They are not actually individual creatures but rather just the ends of tentacles of much more massive and horrible beings from beyond this world, which often come grasping through portals much to small to allow the passage of the abominations entire body. I think they are making a great addition to encounters with evil sorcerers and the like and are more part of a dangerous environment than actual enemies themselves. Still, treating them as individual creatures would probably make a good job to make them appear as real threats.
The Black Spawn of Jullah (see part 1) serve as conduits to the realms of otherworldly horrors and can let tentacle spawn burst from their bodies.

A Wind Ghost is a type of air elemental that has no own physical shape, but can manifest in the form of dust and small debris picked up by the wind and forming into a large, roughly shaped face. They attack by picking up small objects in the wind and throwing them at their oponents. They can also cause very strong winds around them to throw any enemy around.

The Yaggites are one of the really unique types of creatures found in the world of Conan. Yaggites are humanoid creatures of tall stature and with green skin, but their most striking trait are their heads that have a very close resamblance to elephants. Their homeworld of Yag was destroyed by their own kings and the survivors spread throughout the universe. Yaggites are highly magical creatures and powerful sorcerers. Originally the Yaggites also had wings, which allowed them to travel through space, but something about Earth caused their wings to disappear and any who came to visit this world ended up trapped, unable to return to the stars.

Yothga is one of my favorite creatures from any Conan stories. It is a plant originally from the planet Yag, which was brought to Earth by Yaggites, probably by accident. Yothga grows to a massive size, its roots reaching impossibly deep into the ground, and it is said they are reaching down all the way into hell. While it is not a sentient creature, it preys on living creatures by poisoning them with its leafy tendrils. The poison is clouding the minds of any creatures and once the minds of its prey are completely gone, yothgas large red flowers drink the souls from its victims mouths. This process can take weeks or months, depending on the victims strength. If yothga can not feed on a regular basis, it becomes dormant and can no longer use it's tendrils to grab new victims. It's leaves are still poisonous though, and any creature that touches them for too long will fall unconscious and allow the plant to feed to regain its strength.


Someone mentioned doing the original Fiend Folio next. I briefly flipped through it again, and there's just a massive number of beasties that are very worthy of being mentioned and described. That book alone might provide material for weeks. Unless another book sees a greater amount of request for the next entry, I am going to go with Fiend Folio next.

2013-12-04, 01:23 PM
Whichever version of the BECMI Creature Catalog you have (the differences are slight) I think you will loads of interesting and wonderful stuff in there.

2013-12-04, 01:24 PM
I think it's the old version. But I did some digging around, and it seems that the only new monsters in the new version are some dinosaurs, which I wouldn't examine anyway.

Lord Torath
2013-12-04, 04:47 PM
I rather like the Neh Thalggu (or brain collector) from the Creature Catalog (first appeared in X2 - Castle Amber).

2013-12-06, 11:59 AM
Still watching this thread. The FF sounds like a good enough choice to me.

Man, those are pretty brutal.

I know right? I can't fathom how the artist managed to get away with putting this:


into a DnD book.

Oh! And yes, you do know me by a different name on this forum. :smallsmile:

Ah so you're Starry Notions on rpg.net?

2013-12-13, 01:20 PM
Today, we're getting to a classic. And when it comes to D&D, probably the classic!

Second Tour: Fiend Folio
AD&D 1st Edition - Fiend Folio; 89 pages of monsters.


The Apparition is a ghost in almost all respects, but unlike most undead, it doesn't actually have to ability to cause any form of bodily harm to other creatures. However, its frightening appearance and telepathic abilities can make its victim think that they are strangled and about to suffocate. This will usually cause the affected creature to flee in panic, but those weak of heart might actually die from the sheer terror.

Astral Searchers are psychic shadows or imprints of strong humanoid emotions experienced on the Astral Plane. Usually the creation of an astral searcher is unnoticed by anyone nearby. After some time, they take a nebulous and somewhat humanoid shape and while they are not really sentient they start searching for a body to take over. They will wander the astral plane until they either come upon a visiting humanoid traveler, which is very unlikely, or find natural connection to another plane through which they can pass. Once there, it will attempt to possess the first available host creature and if it is victorious it will permanently replace its personalty and gain true sentience.
It's a kind of interesting idea that could make for good setups to a mystery adventure, but since the process is irreversible and the astral searcher has no recollection of how it came to be in this particular body, I am not sure what I would do with it.


The Berbalang is a winged humanoid similar to a gaunt gargoyle, and unless I am mistaken based on a creature from Indonesian myth, so it is kind of a classic creature of fantasy. Berbalangs spend most of their existence in hybernation, sending their spirit to other worlds through an astral projection. During the full moon, however, its spirit will roam the countryside near its hidden lair to feed on human flesh. The spirit is identical to the actual creature in virtually every way. But if the spirit body is destroyed, the real creature could die as well, so it will flee when injured and attempt to return to its body. This is the opportunity to follow it back to its lair and kill its real body.


On the first glance, the Blindheim looks like one of those classic stupid monsters of old D&D. It's a large, semi-humanoid frog that can project itense beams of light from its eyes. While the appearance is rediculous, the creatures stats are actually quite interesting. It's a subterranean creature that lives in an environment where creatures need very effective eyesight to see anything at all and surface creature will have their eyes adjusted to darkness. By being able to generate very bright light, all creatures but those who are sightless will be blinded and unable to fight effectively. It's a creature with a natural flashbang ability, which I think is pretty cool and an interesting example of fantasy evolution.


Blood Hawks are a good example of a very basic creature that still can make for very unusual and interesting encounters. They are basically large hawks or small eagles with no special abilities, but unlike regular birds of prey they hunt in swarms. And have a taste for human flesh. A single one can cause quite nasty injuries to humans, but a dozen of them don't have much trouble to actually kill them. Since they look rather unassuming, I think they could make great enemies for a whole short adventure, in which the PCs have to watch the skies all the time and might even end up besieged in abandoned cottages by a whole swarm of them.
I am starting a new campaign in two weeks, and I think I'll be using them on my players. Might be fun to have them show up once every three or four sessions, sometimes attacking, sometimes not. :smallamused:


Bloodworms are not really that interesting. They are large brown and green worms that hide at the bottom of underground lakes and rivers and stay hidden until they can sneak up on prey. But instead of attacking normally, a hit by a blood worm means that it bites its jaws firmly into its victim and then deals damage automatically each round until they are removed. Trying to get those things off an ally while he is basically eaten alive from the inside, all while fighting waist deep in water could make for very intense and memorable encounters, even if mechanically there isn't anything extraordinary going on.


The Booka are helpful house spirits that make their homes in the chimneys of houses and only come out when nobody is watching to perform some simple chores like sweeping the stairs. If they are ever observed, they will leave the house and never return. Not a very interesting creature, but they are one of the very few fantasy creatures that seems to be based directly on a German fairy tale, so I want to mention them here.
More interesting, and completely unrelated to the source story, is the fact that they hate evil humanoids and tend to cause mischief around them rather than being helpful. This might make them actually useful to include in a game as a kind of invisible ally to the PCs.


While the concept is very simple, I couldn't really go through this book without mentioning the Bullywugs. Like kobolds, they seem to have become hugely popular because of their underdog status and dorkiness. Bullywugs are small humanoid frogs who live in small tribes in the swamps and jungles. Since they are pathetically weak, they only pose a threat to adventurers in large groups. Which is how they are usually encountered.


Bunyips are based on stories from Australien natives about a large predator that haunts the rivers near the coasts and has a terrifying howl that can be heard for many miles. The creature in this book is a very large and ferocious seal with shaggy fur. It will flip over boats and use its roar to scatter any nearby creatures and then attack the smallest of them by biting of a limb and then disappearing again.


The Carbuncle is just all out weird, but complex enough to have a multitude of uses in adventure. It appears like a small armadillo with a strikingly colored carapace and a large ruby growing on its forhead. When the carbuncle is killed or the ruby forcefully removed, it will crumble to worthless dust, but the carbuncle can chose to give up the gem voluntarily and it will grow back over the following months. They also seem to have a kind of lack of a sense of self preservation and will simply die when captured, making it impossible to force them to give up the ruby. Carbuncles are quite intelligent and can communicate with humanoids, and it can offer its ruby as payment in return for favors.
In addition carbuncles also have the ability to communicate through telepathy, read emotions, and predict the future. However, they are also kind of evil and delight in using their powers to cause strife and violent conflict, that can often lead to deaths.

2013-12-13, 04:05 PM
Great to see this thread continue.
Are you sure the booka is German? It sounds a lot like the pooka (phuca, puck), which is Irish and has similar variants in other Celtic fairy tales.

2013-12-13, 04:57 PM
Might just be a case of paralell evolution. The German Heinzelmann, a kind of small gnome or kobold, works exactly like that, even if hte name is probably from the Pooka.

2013-12-13, 05:46 PM
That Bunyip picture is surprisingly creepy.

2013-12-13, 07:33 PM
Might just be a case of paralell evolution. The German Heinzelmann, a kind of small gnome or kobold, works exactly like that, even if hte name is probably from the Pooka.

It was the name I was talking about. In Norway we have the 'nisse' which is basically the same. In England it's a brownie. In Sweden it's the 'tomte'.

2013-12-23, 04:29 AM

The astral traveler thing could actually be useful because of it's nature as 'someone else's resonance'. Imagine a king or something that was once an adventurer and retired, but made it to the astral. Decades later, the king is under magical attack – and no one knows why.

Turns out his emotions made it to the elemental plane of fire and found an ifrit, and made enemies with a powerful wizard. This wizard keeps trying to firsts cry and fry, and then mundanely assault, the ifrit, and fails. Over and over. It takes a while for anyone to figure out that for some reason, any distant magics targeted at the ifrit affect the king, along with any scries or similar. The wizard simply thought he was viewing a screen or some other defense, because contact other plane and similar said yes, he had the correct target every time he scried.

2013-12-23, 07:56 AM
Re: Bookas: and in Finnish, they're called 'tonttu' (from the Swedish 'tomte') or 'haltia'. Basically, they are all house elves. It's a very common fairy creature. The funny thing is, these creatures served partially as Tolkien's inspiration for Hobbits, who are also included.

Re: bloodhawks and bunyips: yes... Fear the revenge of the mundane creatures. Couldn't help but think of Hitchcock's Birds in case of the former.