Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Mackled Malaclaw

When bird poops on you, it’s good luck. If a cat crosses your path, that’s bad luck. Rabbits bring good or bad luck depending on where you grew up.

Most animals are burdened by a superstition. Even lobsters. Apparently eating them at New Years is unfortunate. Being bitten by one, however, brings neither goods luck nor bad. Though I suppose if you are being bitten by a lobster you’re unlucky enough already.

In the Harry Potter universe, a bite from the lobster-like beast known as the Mackled Malaclaw, brings lots of bad luck. For an entire week.

Mackled Malaclaw

Luck is a powerful thing in Dungeons & Dragons. In a game where a +1 bonus on a sword can make your hero so much more effective, any negative modifier can be hugely impactful. One that last for 7 days could be devastating. Which is why ‘DM’s discretion is very shrewd way of enforcing this effect.

Depending on how foul you are as a DM, you could enforce this unluckiness on every roll. Alternatively, you could only add the penalty whenever the character is doing something innocuous, or very specifically when they are playing games or gambling as the book suggests.

Either way, rolling the dice discretely is the best bit of this. Both the afflicted hero and the party member try to leap of a tall roof, they both roll the same result on their check to land safely, but the bitten character inexplicably slips and lands face first on the cobblestone. Their attacks also keep missing even though they are definitely hitting the enemy’s armour class.

It helps to know your players on this one. If they aren’t going to find these unexplained failures fun, pulled back on how many times you use it. Having said that, if they don’t attempt to figure out what is doing this, and how to cure it, that is very much on them.

Thank Your For Reading

If you want all the Fantastic Beasts in your Dungeons & Dragons, you can find those that I have converted right 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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