Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Imp & Pixie

In Dungeons & Dragons, size isn’t everything, but it is important.

Whether a creature is ‘tiny’, ‘large’ or ‘gargantuan’, size has a mechanical affect. A human-sized sword will usually to one die-worth of damage, whereas a giant is going to hit you with at least three dice loads of damage. Health depends on how many ‘hit dice’ a character has, but the size of a creature changes the dice you are rolling. A regular spider will have d4s, whilst a giant spider gets the eight-sided guys.

Size often informs the other stats a creature has. A small creature is likely to have a much lower Strength Score. There’s no defined rule in-game, but there’s a logic to it. A mouse, try as they might, is not going to win a tug-of-war against an elephant. Larger creatures are going to be naturally stronger because of their sheer mass.

All of these leads me to this point: building monster stats for the Imps and Pixies of the Potterverse required some careful thought.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Horned Serpent

Word of the day: ophidiophobia – fear of snakes

Arachnapobia is the one irrational fear we’ve all heard of, but lots of people are afraid of snakes. I suppose that’s down to the likelihood of each phobia popping up. In the UK, you are much more likely to meet an itty-bitty spider than you are to have any interaction with a snake.

I have one Dungeon & Dragons group that have never encountered a spider, monstrous or otherwise because of one friend’s intense phobia. And it’s a good rule to have – D&D has a some alarming arachnids with extra powers. Not content with ‘giant spiders’, the Monster Manual also includes stats for a ‘phase spider’. These monstrosities can shift in and out of the current plane of existence, reappearing wherever they feel like.

I mention this, because the Horned Serpent taps into the same mentality: take a creature people have a primal reaction to, and give it magical powers.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Horklump

When is a mushroom not a mushroom?

It looks like a mushroom, smells like a mushroom, lives it’s life in the way that a mushroom does. But uproot this super-rapid breeder and you’ll see tentacles, not roots. Oh yes, this mushroom is actually an animal that barely does anything. That’s cool I guess.

Doesn’t really do much for us in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, but hey, we’re making them all.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Hidebehind

I’ve made monsters from scratch. I’ve taken the existing D&D monster and given it a Fantastic Beasts tweak. This is the first time I’ve taken two homebrewed characters and smushed them together. But it makes sense for a Hidebehind. That’s pretty much how the species got started.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Griffin & Hippogriff

It’s a two-for-one today.

Neither of these beasts really needs their own blogpost. I could push and pull and statistics about, but they are mechanically very similar creatures. Moreover, these are another pair of beasts that already exist in the D&D Monster Manual, and there’s not enough in Fantastic Beasts to really cause either creature to stand out as particularly different to the original.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Graphorn

Now this is more like it.

The last few beasts I’ve given the D&D treatment to have been a little wimpy – pet ghouls, tiny glumbumbles and irritating gnomes – which are good for a low-level encounter or to add as a little curiosity. But I really wanted to get back to the beasts that are fantastically dangerous. Along comes the super-angry Graphorn, and I’m a happy gent.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Gnome

This is the oddest beasts I’ve tackled so far. There’s plenty of Fantastic Beasts and Dungeons & Dragons monsters that have the same name/origins. So far, they’ve been different enough to make the creation of their game stats interesting.

A Gnome is not a beast or monster in D&D though. No, a Gnome is a playable race, with their own history, culture and intelligence.

Suggesting that a D&D Gnome was a small pest that infests gardens, steals vegetables and occasionally bites ankles would be extremely racist.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Ghoul

This is another monster that shows up in D&D and the Potterverse. This time, the different is quite striking.

A fight with a pack of Dungeons & Dragons Ghouls can get nasty surprisingly quickly. A single claw swipe can cause paralysis, which makes every subsequent bite and scratch a Critical Hit. Visually, they are look like a powered up zombie, complete with bloated, blue skin and a glassy-eyed stare.

The Fantastic Beast ghoul is… sometimes kept as a pet?

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Demiguise

So on my trek through Fantastic Beasts, making them into D&D monsters, I missed one. Weirdly, the one I missed is a beast that can turn invisible and can avoid being captured because it can see the future.

But I finally caught them.

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