Some creatures are just angry. Most real world animals will defend themselves, or hunt and kill to survive, but there are those critters that wake up violent. Hippos, honey badgers, fire ants, they go out of their way to attack anything nearby, sometimes without apparent provocation. There’s something in their makeup that makes them mad.
The Redcap in D&D, and the Red Cap in Fantastic Beasts, are this kind of creature. Both versions are vicious to an extreme degree. The former grow from bloodstains in the Fey Realm, whilst the latter consciously choose to live in holes in old battlefields. There’s no rhyme or reason for it, the Red Cap is a bloody, barbaric beast.
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If you want to move something in Dungeons & Dragons, there’s rules for it. Whether you want to grab and shove someone around, shift heavy objects to and for, carry too much in your pack, the game has you covered. There are various magical means for moving things, though their are weight limits on these abilities. The point is, everything can be moved, one way or another.
Even the ‘Immovable Rod’ can be moved. It takes 4 tonnes of pressure to do so, but you can shift it, even if the names suggests otherwise.
I mention this, to emphasis how powerful the Ramora is. To simply ‘anchor’ a massive ship out at see, or steer that ship to safety, requires some serious physical or magical force.
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Even amongst the weirdest of fantastical creatures, five legs is an oddity. Some animals are technically ‘pentapedal’ if you count the tail, and if you search for “five legged monsters” online, you get a lot of reference to a dad joke about the monster’s pants. There’s probably a very specific, mythological beast I’m missing that prevents the Quintaped from being completely unique, but it’s setup is definitely more bonkers than the average.
Not to mention that the Quintaped were once a Scottish clan that were cursed into monstrous forms and then killed those that cursed them and refuse to be turned back to normal out of spite. They weren’t angry about being cursed. They started angry and when they were warped, they owned it.
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I go back and forth on whether or not I want a pet. I like visiting people who own pets. It’s not that I don’t want the commitment, it’s just that I’m not sure what kind of pet I would like. I think I’m more of a dog person, my wife prefers cats, my daughter would probably be happier with something smaller…
What I am sure of, is that I would not want a Puffskein as a pet. I get that wizards may want a magical critter as their companion, but a ball of fluff with an impossibly long, searching tongue can politely stay out of my house.
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Another mini post today. Today we have a little, bipedal, goat-thing that protects wild horses. If your D&D game needs every Fantastic Beast in it, or you’re running a quest where the heroes have to wrangle horses, this is the critter for you. Otherwise… it’s kind of cute, I suppose?
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There’s a creature in D&D called the ‘Intellect Devourer’. It’s essentially a big brain on legs. In terms of challenge levels, the Intellect Devourer is fairly flimsy on it’s own. Yet it also has an ability that causes permadeath.
The intellect devourer initiates an Intelligence contest with an incapacitated humanoid within 5 feet of it. If it wins the contest, the intellect devourer magically consumes the target’s brain, teleports into the target’s skull, and takes control of the target’s body.
Usually when you’re knocked out in battle, you get to roll to avoid death, and if you fail, a healer might bring you back. The lowly Devourer eats your brain before any of that happens.
The Pogrebin has the same energy. A small critter that could easily be dispatched, but with a potentially character-ending ability. All it needs is a little time.
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Some days it’s a majestic phoenix… some days it’s a fish with legs…
A fish that is mildly dangerous to snails and swimming costumes and not much else. A fish whose legs are its main mode of transportation and its greatest weakness. A fish that people would rather tie up and send down the river than catch and eat. It’s not quite flobberworm territory, but it’s bobbing pathetically alongside that line.
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A phoenix from the Potterverse feels like the perfect pet for those people that practice ‘one-upmanship’. Those sort of people that always have a more impressive anecdote locked and loaded as soon as your story is finished. Or those children that make up new rules for games on the fly so they don’t lose.
Your dog is very cute, but my bird can heal me when it cries. And its singing is magical. Aaand it’s super strong. Aaand…
Dungeons & Dragons already has a phoenix. It’s a gigantic elemental, always on fire and (presumably) always angry. Just a mass of fiery feathers. Nothing like the little, Deus Ex Machina that is Fawkes. Though the Potterverse Phoenix lacks the scale of their counterpart, it has a colourful array of abilities to aid the adventuring wizards out there.
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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.
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Finally. We’ve made it to the monster that started me on this little project.
When I read the brief description of the nundu, my instant though was: “I want this in my Dungeons & Dragons”. I’m sure other people have got here before me, but I need to make this one myself.
It’s that one line that makes this monster so compelling:
…it has never yet been subdued by fewer than a hundred skilled wizards working together. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
One. Hundred. Skilled. Wizards. The nundu is supposed to be one of the most dangerous things in the wizarding world, and if we use D&D monster challenge ratings correctly, this monster is going to be top tier in both fantasy realms.
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