Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Erumpent

Should it charge, the results are usually catastrophic.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

In Dungeons & Dragons, there are a few circumstances where a player’s character dies out right. Taking an enormous amount of damage in one go for example. There are some spells and effects that state: ‘if you go to 0 hit points, you are dead now’. The vast majority of the time, characters have a chance to fight for their lives, but every now and then something comes along and stomps the player’s creation into the dirt.

An effect that causes the target to explode is therefore in the realms of possibility, but one that needs to be handled cautiously. Telling a player that they are knocked out by a charging, bulbous rhino-monster is one thing; suddenly revealing that they have been impaled on its huge horn and blown into meaty chunks is another…

You could just rule that the Erumpent doesn’t have this ability, but that would defeat the purpose of accurately converting Fantastic Beasts into D&D monsters. So the horn causes detonations, and the damage is rough, but there is a chance that the target could survive… if they are tough enough.


The Erumpent is currently one of the toughest beasts I’ve converted. It would give the Basilisk a run for its money, and I think that makes sense. You can death-stare this magic rhino all you like, but an explosion-juice-filled spike is going to do awful things to a big, snake body.

I think it’s really important to remember that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them emphasises that these creatures only attack when provoked. A level 1 character that antagonise these big beasts is going to immediately regret it, and they should know that they have no one to blame but themselves.

It’s quite rare in D&D to have a creature that is resistance to all physical attacks, especially if they are made with magical weapons. Fantastic Beasts doesn’t explicitly say that the hide is extra tough, but given that the hide “repels most charms and curses”, and that regular rhinos are hardy creatures, it makes sense (and adds to an encounter) to have the Erumpent be especially well armoured.

Thank You For Reading.

Like what you see, here’s the other Fantastic Beasts I have converted!

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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