Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Wampus Cat

Finally, with just four beasts left in the book, I’ve finally hit a monster that has an ability that stumped me. Two words in the description had me scratching my head, trying to figure out how that could possible work on a mechanical level:

“Outruns arrows”

I googled how fast medieval arrows could travel. Opinions were varied, but 150 to 180 feet-per-second was a good average. A creature’s turn is six seconds. That would put the Wampus Cat’s base speed as ‘1080 ft.’. The fastest speed I’m aware of in any D&D monster stat block is 150 feet, and that’s rare. Most characters move at 30 feet around.

A monster that can move over 30 times faster that the average hero is problematic. I think I found a solution that sort-of works…

In the end, the Wampus Cat is still very fast, but the ridiculous burst of speed is temporary, and limited in its uses. The fact that the Wampus Cat ‘can’ walk on its hind legs gave me the idea. Instead of being a lion-Flash all the time, the Wampus Cat can raise up like a speeding motorbike and make a massive 1200 foot lunge.

It’s going too fast to attack, which prevents this monster from creating absurd combat scenarios that would be no fun for anyone who doesn’t have ranged weapons. However, it’s perfect for getting out of combat or sprinting after its prey.

There’s some good visual moments to be had here as well. The party see the Wampus Cat 1000 feet through the forest, with a 50 foot chasm between it and them, when suddenly there’s a burst of leaves and broken branches and the lion is amongst them swinging for their throats.

The fact that the Wampus Cat has magic eyes was so much easier to process. Innate spellcasting is an easy thing to add. Detect Thoughts and Charm person cover the abilities mentioned in the book, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to give a monster lion the ability to cast hold person. Being clawed and bitten whilst magically paralysed is a terrifying prospect.

Thank You For Reading

All the Fantastic Beasts have Dungeons & Dragon stat blocks, 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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