As I turn each Fantastic Beast into a D&D monster, I keep bumping into differences between the brief description in the book and the extra pizzazz of the movie version.
The movie version of the Occamy has just one small/massive difference from the original description…
A creature that can change it’s size to ‘fit the available space’ is a whole mechanical conundrum in terms of creating a monster stat block.
As with the Niffler, I have kept the beast true to what is written in the book and included the movie additions as variant rules. As you can see, this left us with a very lengthy description of its ability, but there’s good reason for this.
The size of a creature changes a multitude. Most importantly, it impacts the size of the hit dice (big things are usually hardier) and the size of the damage dice from its attacks (bigger claws hit harder). This could mean that this creature has a varying challenge rating depending on how big it is, which makes determining how it should be included in combat tricky.
Instead, what we have here is (I hope) a cleverly calculated adjustment for the occamy’s ability to change whilst keeping its challenge rating at CR1. By adjusting its armour, number of attacks and abilities, the occamy is a very different type of challenge as its shrinks and grows, but never breaks the level of challenge.
That’s not to say that the occamy isn’t potentially lethal as it grows. The average damage of the bite will floor almost every level 1 character, and a big hit could make a level 3 character regret their life choices. However, the beast is more cumbersome at that size, slower to strike, easier to attack. On the flip side, the tiny occamy will barely leave a mark, but its high AC and ability to nip in and out of combat will leave the characters lacerated and panicking. And the occamy will only be this size in a small space, so the chances are that the whole party won’t be able to strike it.
Imagine the party’s scout desperately trying to back out of a side room as the a tiny blue bullet nips and slashes at them from its hiding space. The adventurer stumbles out to safety, re-joining the party in a grander chamber. They have lost sight of the creature, and as they all prepare to bombard the smaller room, they slowly turn to the ceiling above, where the now-colossal occamy looms over them all.
I hadn’t considered a size-changing creature before, besides the Enlarge/Reduce spell, and that spell only changes the creature by one size . The occamy had me consider a whole new rule set for how size changing would work, and I’m definitely going to look at how this could be applied to other D&D monsters.
Oh, and yes, this occamy has legs. Again, the movie went another way, but the artwork of the book is where I go to first. Legs from the book and weird size changing stuff from the movie. I think that’s a compromise?
Thank You For Reading
The other Fantastic Beast monster stat blocks can be found right here!