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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: Best D&D original monsters out there?

    What the **** is this? Some kind of emaciated platypus? How the hell is this threatening? Oh wait, it isn't really native to out plain, ok makes sense, looking like that. Ah and it's completely invisible, again, looking like that it's probably for the best. I wonder how it attacks...

    By latching onto a victin without it knowing, and over some time slowly draining the victim of all thought until there's nothing left but a brainless husk. Oh...

    The Thought Eater is awesome.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Kuo-toa and Yuan-ti are as well, and they are not even slightly concealed immitations.

    With Thri-kreen,
    So the lesson here is that TSR and/or Wotco like to give existing things a silly hyphenated name and then copyright them.

    I hereby copyright the name "Qwax-Nagvor" for the holy one-horned magic horses of my campaign world, which are an original creation loosely inspired by the mythical unicorn. A forthcoming supplement will detail their anatomy and ecology as well as providing Qwax-Nagvor-centric adventure hooks.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: Best D&D original monsters out there?

    Nah, TSR did the hyphenation. WotC is all about the WikiWords.

    So call it a GoatFoot HornHorse, and you're good.

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    Default Re: Best D&D original monsters out there?

    I think you might be referring to the HornyHeadPony
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    I'm biased towards "robots" because I'm a huge Transformers fan, but I love Warforged in general. Not just the player race ones, though - I love the Titans, I love the Chargers, I love the Scorpions, I love when Raptors fly, I love the Warforged, and all their frames and types, boom de ya da, boom de ya da, boom de ya da, boom de ya da!

    Okay, I have no idea how that became a parody of a three-year-old ad campaign for Discovery, but it did. But a race that can live indefinitely, is genderless, and can come in all shapes and sizes from wiry little scouts to hulking bruisers is pretty much everything I'd want in a monster/character race. You could build a Cast of Snowflakes from Warforged alone - their variable sizes and body-frames, their components...
    Last edited by The LOBster; 2012-09-29 at 03:39 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by The LOBster View Post
    I love the Titans, I love the Chargers, I love the Scorpions, I love when Raptors fly, I love the Warforged, and all their frames and types, boom de ya da, boom de ya da, boom de ya da, boom de ya da!
    Well, I know what my next party led drunken chorus is going to be...
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by The LOBster View Post
    I'm biased towards "robots" because I'm a huge Transformers fan, but I love Warforged in general. Not just the player race ones, though - I love the Titans, I love the Chargers, I love the Scorpions, I love when Raptors fly, I love the Warforged, and all their frames and types, boom de ya da, boom de ya da, boom de ya da, boom de ya da!

    Okay, I have no idea how that became a parody of a three-year-old ad campaign for Discovery, but it did. But a race that can live indefinitely, is genderless, and can come in all shapes and sizes from wiry little scouts to hulking bruisers is pretty much everything I'd want in a monster/character race. You could build a Cast of Snowflakes from Warforged alone - their variable sizes and body-frames, their components...
    just a quick note: Warforged are a rip off of Artifacts Cycle Phyrexians from M:TG


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    Default Re: Best D&D original monsters out there?

    How original are the Tsochar in LoM?

    If they're not a direct port from somewhere else they get my vote. Just about the only thing in D&D that creeps me out, they are.
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    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    I'm going to back the Githyanki, Githzerai, and Illithids, largely because of the interactions between the three. It's genuinely interesting, they all feel genuinely fantastic where elves and such don't anymore, and it's actual competent fluff, which generally doesn't happen. There are also some constructs I like, particularly the Inevitables and the gigantic bronze serpent. The first set are likeable simply because the idea of inexorably following a purpose fits perfectly with machines, and the contrast between advanced machinery and the generally medieval setting creates a nice foil to their purpose of enforcing the proper order. The latter is a simpler case, where I like snakes, I like bronze, and I consider the merging of the two a good thing due to the aesthetic created.

    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    just a quick note: Warforged are a rip off of Artifacts Cycle Phyrexians from M:TG
    Given that Magic The Gathering is WotC IP anyways, I don't see how "rip off" is at all a fair description. This is particularly the case as they are generally more developed and integrated into a setting that doesn't even draw from Magic The Gathering meaningfully in any other respect.
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    Well, I can't believe nobody has said it yet, given this is the oots forum, but I'll throw it out there: the lich.
    I'm sure there's precedent, but dnd has defined it and made it iconic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grundy View Post
    Well, I can't believe nobody has said it yet, given this is the oots forum, but I'll throw it out there: the lich.
    I'm sure there's precedent, but dnd has defined it and made it iconic.
    I'm not sure how much or how little it may have changed in translation, but I'm pretty sure the lich is from germanic lore.
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    Kelb, recently it looks like you're the Avatar of Reason in these forums, man.
    Quote Originally Posted by LTwerewolf View Post
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    I was always suspicious of the Warforged. When Eberron was in development, all the teasers and promotional articles made it out to be inspired by pulp adventure a la Indiana Jones and Tarzan set in a post-Great War period. Then the Iron Kingdoms started generating a lot of buzz with the release of their campaign setting books with their iconic magitech robots, the warjacks. Suddenly, the Eberron teaser article in Dragon magazine was "Eberron's going to have magic robots too!"

    After all the previous articles about lost jungle temples, Colt 1911s of magic missile, and carrying a passport to travel among the nations recovering from the continent spanning war, the warforged just seemed too much like "magic robots out of nowhere!" They did a good job integrating them into the setting, but I can't shake the feeling that they weren't conceived until late in production of the Eberron setting book.
    Last edited by Xuc Xac; 2012-09-30 at 01:49 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Warforged are an incredibly dumb idea that turned out to be amazingly great.

    I wouldn't use them anywhere but in an Eberron game, but there they feel perfectly in place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    I'm not sure how much or how little it may have changed in translation, but I'm pretty sure the lich is from germanic lore.
    The word most probably is. The current word for corpse in modern standard german is "Leiche". (But it's pronounced very differently than it looks to English speakers.)
    But the D&D monster is almost taken straight from a mythical sorcerer from Russia. Koschei the Deathless has been portrayed in images as an incredibly old man who looks almost like a walking skeleton, and he is some kind of sorcerer, and also immortal because he has a phylactery exactly as the D&D monster.

    Koschei was also described in Frazer's The Golden Bough, which is still one of the ultimate introductory works on mythology. And I think Gygax even included it in some "Further Reading" lists in the back of some of his D&D books.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-09-30 at 04:18 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #74
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    Default Re: Best D&D original monsters out there?

    The Swiss pronunciation of corpse is "liich", which is more or less pronounced "leech", with a Scottish "ch" as in "loch". Given how Swiss German missed a vowel shift, I'm assuming its the older German form, too.

    That said, I can't htink of any Germanic Liches, only Koschei.

    As for Warforged.. I'm currently using one in a game set in our world. His backstory was a bit changed around, but he started out as a bronze automaton descended from Talos of Greek mythology.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-09-30 at 05:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    I always thought Lich and Likho were connected, but I can't find anything in their wiki-pages about. Well, there's probably an etymological connection. Liches were also used round the 1900's in the more pulpy* literature.


    *I use pulpy here as a genre, not as an indicator for quility.
    Demiliches. Why'd it have to be demiliches?

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Celestial races are pretty cool. Sure, there are also angels (cool, yet not originally from D&D) but they are not the only celestial creatures. Since there are fiends of LE, NE and CE alignments, it makes sense that there are celestials of LG, NG and CG alignments. That way there's cosmic balance when all the extraplanar creatures fight themselves and are apparently too busy and/or tied to mount a large scale invasion to Material plane.

    Owlbears are fun too.
    I know what you're thinking. "Did he prepare six Explosive Runes this morning or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is the 3rd level spell Explosive Runes, the most powerful Abjuration in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    "Lich" is an old word for "corpse" or "body". It still survives in English in two forms:
    1. The lichgate of a cemetery, the gate where new arrivals are brought in.
    2. The word "like" meaning "form or kind" as in "I've never seen its like before."

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    just a quick note: Warforged are a rip off of Artifacts Cycle Phyrexians from M:TG
    They really don't resemble Phyrexians much at all other than being mechanical. Phyrexians are nightmarish fusions of metal and flesh which worship brutal efficiency as the ultimate form of perfection and want to convert all other life into themselves in painful and horrific ways. Warforged kinda fall short of that bar.

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    I'm going to back the Githyanki, Githzerai, and Illithids, largely because of the interactions between the three. It's genuinely interesting, they all feel genuinely fantastic where elves and such don't anymore, and it's actual competent fluff, which generally doesn't happen.
    I agree that there's a definitely interesting dynamic there, though I don't think "elves and such" are played out at all. Personally I can't get past the name "Githyanki", though. It just sounds dumb to me. But I love the idea that they're a race of traumatized victims who've become abusers in turn, and like playing them up as coldly pragmatic villains to contrast with the more theatrical MFs - they won't torture or convert you, they'll just kill everything that moves, take everything of value and burn the rest to the ground to conceal all evidence they were involved. I'm not so fond of the whole faux-space thing Wotco does with the Astral Plane, so I'm not particulalry planning to have my Githi riding around in ships, though I may default to it for lack of a better idea. The most logical reason I can come up with is that it's a way for them to launch invasions from a mobile base so as not to lead anyone back to their city, essentially helping them maintain a cell structure to minimize potential consequences (I figure them to be extremely paranoid and cynical).

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    There are also some constructs I like, particularly the Inevitables....likeable simply because the idea of inexorably following a purpose fits perfectly with machines
    The inevitables always bothered me because they're styled as the iconic Lawful outsider-race and they're not outsiders. There are the Formians and Modrons as well, but the Inevitables are the ones that actually uphold Law as a virtue, instead of just being conquerors, so they feel like they should be a better fit for the role of "angels" and "demons" for the LN alignment, but it doesn't work because they're material beings rather than spiritual ones. I know it's kind of a hair-splitty way to look at it, but it just bugs me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I wouldn't use them anywhere but in an Eberron game, but there they feel perfectly in place.
    My setting has a great use for the Warforged that isn't at all like their purpose in Eberron. They start out more or less the same way, being designed as a weapon and then becoming sentient - but the reason they become sentient is very explicit and not at all how it happened in Eberron (I know this because Eberron doesn't assume the presence of the subsystem which is critical to their presence in my game).

    Quote Originally Posted by Raimun View Post
    Celestial races are pretty cool. Sure, there are also angels (cool, yet not originally from D&D) but they are not the only celestial creatures. Since there are fiends of LE, NE and CE alignments, it makes sense that there are celestials of LG, NG and CG alignments. That way there's cosmic balance when all the extraplanar creatures fight themselves and are apparently too busy and/or tied to mount a large scale invasion to Material plane.
    The thing that bugs me about the celestial races is that demons, devils, and angels are all classic mythic archetypes, and Yugoloths aren't that different from demons and devils...but on the celestial side, right next to actual angels, archons which often look like angels, and Asuras which look like angels with hawk feet, we have the Eladrins, who are sort of like Noble High Faerie Lords but aren't actually called faeries, and the Guardinals who are a bunch of random furries. The Eladrins barely begin to feel like they should fit the role of Incarnations of Chaotic Good, and as a force of Pure Good Untainted By Law or Chaos, the Guardinals leave me almost completely cold. To even make them begin to be interesting to me, I had to expand their fluff a lot to play up the idea that they're derived from shamanic animal fathers and play more into the mythological role of the animal than its actual nature, but at the end of the day it still doesn't really feel like they carry the same weight as a celestial force compared to angels. I kinda wish they'd had Angels, by that name alone, be the NG force and made the archons more abstract-seeming, perhaps resembling Kirby's New Gods or other 70s-comics human-esque omnipotent aliens, or else just had the Inevitables become Good and make them shinier so they could be cosmic beings of justice and righteousness.

    (Granted, if all this was done, I might well complain about that and wish it were more like the way it is now; it's always easier to find fault than to accomplish improvement.)

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Guardinals are a bit of a weakpoint, yes. I don't use them much. That said, they could go a bit into the biblical "random animal parts stuck together" angels.
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    They really don't resemble Phyrexians much at all other than being mechanical. Phyrexians are nightmarish fusions of metal and flesh which worship brutal efficiency as the ultimate form of perfection and want to convert all other life into themselves in painful and horrific ways. Warforged kinda fall short of that bar.
    the guy who wrote Eberron chose his own methods of screwing with people. i specified Artifacts Cycle because we only meet 6 phyrexians in the Brothers war. the 4 dragons, Myshra, and Geth. The WF are built in similar manner to them, minus the bodyhorror, keeping the souljar


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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    the guy who wrote Eberron chose his own methods of screwing with people. i specified Artifacts Cycle because we only meet 6 phyrexians in the Brothers war. the 4 dragons, Myshra, and Geth. The WF are built in similar manner to them, minus the bodyhorror, keeping the souljar
    I won't hold the misspelling of Mishra against you, but I think you mean Gix; Geth is from Mirrodin (and I liked him better before he was Phyrexian).

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I won't hold the misspelling of Mishra against you, but I think you mean Gix; Geth is from Mirrodin (and I liked him better before he was Phyrexian).
    been a while since i read the book. ya, both Gix and Geth were better pre-phyrexian, Mishra is a crappy character, but then The Brothers War was written pretty well as a book from the perspective of Urza


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    When it comes to Warforged outside of Eberron, I try and justify them to DMs by saying "They're an ancient race created by a long-dead empire, and now have their own monastic societies." For some reason, having WF being meditative old guys just works for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    But the D&D monster is almost taken straight from a mythical sorcerer from Russia. Koschei the Deathless has been portrayed in images as an incredibly old man who looks almost like a walking skeleton, and he is some kind of sorcerer, and also immortal because he has a phylactery exactly as the D&D monster.

    Koschei was also described in Frazer's The Golden Bough, which is still one of the ultimate introductory works on mythology. And I think Gygax even included it in some "Further Reading" lists in the back of some of his D&D books.
    Koschei was also the inspiration for the Demon Lord Kostechtk... Kostiktok... Koosalagoopagoop... The Demon Lord who's a Frost Giant with a bigass club.
    Last edited by The LOBster; 2012-09-30 at 10:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by toapat View Post
    been a while since i read the book. ya, both Gix and Geth were better pre-phyrexian, Mishra is a crappy character, but then The Brothers War was written pretty well as a book from the perspective of Urza
    I don't know that we ever saw a pre-Phyrexian Gith. Maybe he hadn't been modified yet, but he was one of those monks who worshipped the artifacts and had started installing them in his own body hadn't he? I don't remember there having been a time when Phyrexia didn't have its hooks in him. Geth by contrast started out as a purely selfish warlord, long before Phyrexia displayed its presence on Mirrodin (ie before they retconned it as having been present all along).

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    Quote Originally Posted by willpell View Post
    I don't know that we ever saw a pre-Phyrexian Gith. Maybe he hadn't been modified yet, but he was one of those monks who worshipped the artifacts and had started installing them in his own body hadn't he? I don't remember there having been a time when Phyrexia didn't have its hooks in him. Geth by contrast started out as a purely selfish warlord, long before Phyrexia displayed its presence on Mirrodin (ie before they retconned it as having been present all along).
    Gix was Yawgmoth's greatest enemy in The Thran. His role is sort of an evil opposite of the one that Green Arrow played in JLU


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    Ah, news to me. Haven't read The Thran; might eventually, but Yawgmoth's Rise to Villain-Suedom doesn't strike me as a terribly compelling premise for a novel, plus I find it hard to care about characters who are mostly dust on the winds of history relative to the main continuity. This attitude may shift with time but right now my reading list is a long way from Magic anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Warforged are an incredibly dumb idea that turned out to be amazingly great.

    I wouldn't use them anywhere but in an Eberron game, but there they feel perfectly in place.

    The word most probably is. The current word for corpse in modern standard german is "Leiche". (But it's pronounced very differently than it looks to English speakers.)
    But the D&D monster is almost taken straight from a mythical sorcerer from Russia. Koschei the Deathless has been portrayed in images as an incredibly old man who looks almost like a walking skeleton, and he is some kind of sorcerer, and also immortal because he has a phylactery exactly as the D&D monster.

    Koschei was also described in Frazer's The Golden Bough, which is still one of the ultimate introductory works on mythology. And I think Gygax even included it in some "Further Reading" lists in the back of some of his D&D books.
    Bah. Even as I typed germanic I was thinking "or was it from a slavic culture?"

    Oh well, I figured somebody'd correct me if I was wrong, and they did.
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    Tiny Note: Ettercap is a variation of Edderkop, the Danish word for spider.
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    Default Re: Best D&D original monsters out there?

    I had understood that "ettercap" was another word for "redcap", ie the bloodthirsty little faeries who dye their cap red with the blood of their victims. I assumed that the spidery version in D&D was the result of confusion with Tolkien's "Attercop".

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: Best D&D original monsters out there?

    Well, Wiktionary gives me this:
    From Middle English coppe, from Old English *coppe, as in ātorcoppe (“spider”, literally “venom head”), from Old English copp (“top, summit, head”), from Proto-Germanic *kuppaz (“vault, round vessel, head”), from Proto-Indo-European *gū- (“to bend, curve”). Cognate with Middle Dutch koppe, kobbe (“spider”). More at cobweb.
    So, cop, a spider. Atter apparently means "pus" or "poison".
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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