Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Grindylow

If there’s one clear distinction between the Potterverse and the real world, it’s the absence of health and safety. Yes I know, there are some other minor differences but the main contrast is the clear lack of any safeguarding of anyone’s rights to keep all their limbs.

So of course, the lake around Hogwards is filled with monsters. And of course, they send the youngest students across those waters every year. Neither are there any signs, notices or barriers preventing people from taking a dip.

Not just any beasts, mind you. Grindylow aren’t animals at all. They are demons. Not the most volatile demons ever imagined, and merfolk can tame them, but still. There are demons in the Great Lake and everyone involved in running the school seems fine with that.

For a D&D setting, these demons could be a lot of creepy fun.


There’s a weird detail that came up getting these beasts ready for D&D. Normally, when something has the ability to grapple, getting out of that grapple depends on the strength of the creature. But Fantastic Beasts emphasises how easily Grindylow fingers can snap.

Skipping how its possible for brittle fingers to form a tight grip on someone, it does create a unique underwater situation for your D&D players. These are not the first aquatic mythological creatures to kill by dragging their victims down into the depths, but the ease with which someone can escape is significant.

In D&D, being ‘grappled’ only reduces your speed to nothing. You can still fight and interact with things around you like you normally would. Escaping a grapple requires a check, so people normally just carry on attacking the thing holding them.

Now, a learned character will know that breaking free is easy. Your less knowledgeable will most likely thrash and strike out. A fairly normal response in a scary situation. Fighting underwater has all sorts of penalties, and whilst your thrashing the Grindlyow is free to keep on grappling, dragging them down further and further into the depths.

It’s an unnerving scenario, that makes a lot of dramatic sense. The character that composes itself will get away with ease, whilst the ones that panic will tumble down and down, with long bony fingers clutching ever-tighter. Grindylow aren’t the toughest demons, so the adventurers will probably survive. But they will sure be spooked.

Thank You For Reading

The rest of the Fantastic Beasts I’ve converted can be found here!

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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