Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Ashwinder

Not everything in D&D – or Harry Potter, for that matter – is designed to kill the characters. There’s a creature called an Almiraj, which is basically a rabbit with a unicorn horn. There’s also this thing called a Flumph, a curious little floating aberration with the threat level of mouldy marshmallow. There’s also Awakened Shrubs… which are shrubs that are smart enough to talk… because sometimes you want your players to fight a dragon and sometimes you want them to have an awkward conversation with a bush.

The Ashwinder does not exist to be a danger to anything. It’s an ashy snake conjured magical flame that lives for an hour. The eggs however, that’s where things get interesting. After the Ashwinder lays eggs and dies, the eggs burst into flames, potentially burning down whatever is nearby.

Now, eggs don’t make for great combat encounters… but they would make great traps. Every good dungeon in Dungeons & Dragons contains traps, and a bunch of eggs that explode if they are not dealt with properly leads to some interesting scenarios.

So this week, I made the Ashwinder stats, but I also made the eggs into a trap.


If you happen to be using D&D to create a Harry Potter universe, these eggs make for an interesting problem to solve. In any other world, the characters might need to make checks to work out what these strange eggs are and how to disable them.

Most monsters in Fantastic Beasts are interesting without making a lot of sense. There’s not a lot to go on regarding the Ashwinder. I think its implied that the eggs burn their surroundings to cause more Ashwinders to appear, but its not stated. If you did rule it this way, these monster eggs could easily become a very big problem. I can imagine players failing to disarm the ‘trap’ running round a village of wood-and-thatch houses trying to chasing new Ashwinders through the shadows as multiple building erupt into flame.

Thank You For Reading

What do you think? Do these stats do the Ashwinder justice. Next week, I’ll be looking at the irritating, death signalling Augurey.

Author: Rufus Scott

I am a long term Gamer, a full-time History Teacher and a part-time geek. I enjoy writing about the positive aspects of gaming, especially when it comes to education. My posts are sometimes nostalgic, occasionally irrelevant, largely meant to provoke further discussion. I'll sometimes punctuate these whimsical ramblings with a random comment on gaming and/or teaching.

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