Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Winged Horse

I was recently looking at a friends Lego Harry Potter set when I observed the Lego Thestral and thought: “Have I missed a monster? I’m half a dozen Fantastic Beasts from completely D&D-ifying the whole book, but I don’t remember seeing the Thestral in it.”

The reason turned out to be that Thestral are a type of Winged Horse, and are mentioned in a single half-sentence. Which is an odd way round in my opinion; in a world of griffons and hippogriffs and dragons and pixies, choosing to define a creatures by the fact that they can fly and not by its ability to be invisible to anyone who has not had a specific trauma is more than slightly odd.

What this does also mean, as I round on the penultimate entry in Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, that I actually need to create three different stat Blocks for the Winged Horse.

Winged Horse

The Abraxan just read like a fairly mundane winged horse (and yes I know how that sounds) until I realised that this horse isn’t meant to be simply larger-than-the-average, but absolutely huge. The Aethonan was the easy to build; I just needed to super charge its movement speed. In the end, the Thestral was easiest of all, only needing one sentence to makes sense of its specific invisibility trick.

On reflection, that Thestral ability really doesn’t impact very hard on a D&D character. Most players create backstories with death and tragedy in them, and low level characters are especially susceptible to sudden death. Therefore, most of the characters will spot the Thestral from the beginning.

As for the other two winged horses, if the party goes after these creatures to tame them, you either have a blindingly fast and flying horse, or a steed so large that the entire party can ride it.

This of course applies to the NPCs and villains as well: A giant riding a scaled up warhorse or a powerful mage keeping their distance on a pegasus travelling at lightning speed are just two options I would recommend.

Thank You For Reading

All the other Fantastic Beasts are D&D monsters. Find them 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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