Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Thunderbird

When I first started creating these stat blocks, I did become concerned that I was seeing a lot of very mundane creatures in a list of supposedly ‘fantastic’ beasts. I just had to remind myself that further down the line, there were some very dangerous monsters, including a bird that could summon storms.

And here we are.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Tebo

When creating a monster for Dungeons & Dragons, there are some very simple ways you can make a very mundane creature interesting:

Number 1: you can make it undead. There’s a bear attacking me in the woods, pfft whatever. What? Zombie bear? Well… alright then, time to panic.

Number 2: you can give it the Misty Step spell. Nothing like a monster teleporting around the battlefield to put the wind up your adventurers.

Number 3: give them the power to turn invisible.

The Tebo chooses option number 3, making a big pig monster significantly more interesting.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Streeler

There’s a snail you can encounter in Dungeons & Dragons. It’s called a Flail Snail. It’s called that, because it has organic, spiky flails where it’s eye stalks should be. It definitely exists purely because ‘snail’ and ‘flail’ rhyme.

At least the snail from Fantastic Beasts is a significantly different monster. Not like the hippogriffs and griffins, where I was having to split hairs to make a monster that was distinctly different from what was there before. The Streeler is a very different kind of strange snail.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Sphinx

I’ve used riddles in my D&D adventures. I have, therefore, watched a group of intelligent people overthink a mind puzzle for much more time than you would expect, as I peruse the rest of the options from ‘riddles for kids‘, wondering if I could have been more generous.

I am pretty sure that most encounters with a sphinx would end in violence…

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Snidget

Footballs were made from pig bladder. Just consider that for a second. People in the medieval world butchered a pig, put the bladder to one side, and said to themselves “let’s stitch that up and fill it with air, I have a feeling we can have some fun with that later”.

It certainly puts the Snitch into perspective. Wizards had to invent a new enchanted ball because they were killing off too many of the tiny birds they were using in their flying broomstick game. It’s still really weird when you lay it out like that, but it shows you wizards and muggles are just as weird as one another.

Regardless, here’s a tiny Harry Potter-verse bird for your Dungeons & Dragons.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Snallygaster

It is important to note that the term ‘bulletproof’ does not mean ‘completely immunity to bullets’. Materials which are bulletproof resist the impact, yet too many bullets, or one very well placed shot, can find a way through.

I mention this, because when we go to make Snallgaster as a D&D critter, and we see the phrase “bulletproof hide”, we should know that we don’t have to get too silly with the armour class. Having said that, having a bulletproof body is only one of a few things that make the Snallygaster a very real threat.

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D&D Map: The Whitehart Manor

I made a map! After a big gap, I’ve written a new D&D adventure. This adventure needed a particular location; a vague outline or premade map would not suffice. So I took a chance and map my first ever battle map.

I’m quite happy with the results. So I thought I’d share it with you:

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Sea Serpent

Turning a Fantastic Beast into an actual beast in Dungeons & Dragons is something you have to be wary of. This is something I’ve dwelled on in the past. A ‘beast’ in D&D is commonly a ‘real world’ sort of animal, or adjacent to a very normal, vanilla animal. So most Fantastic Beasts don’t fit that category. Some are more ‘fey’-like, some more fiendish, some are ‘monstrosities’. Dragons are, well, ‘dragons’.

The reason you have to be careful is that there are spells, abilities and moves that allow ‘beasts’ to be used by the players. Magical versions can be summoned, weak beasts can be familiars, druids can morph into them.

The sea serpent is one such Fantastic Beast that fits the ‘beast’ category, but is a very big addition, and pretty strong with it. Nevertheless, I kind of like this option being added to the selection. The number of sea beasts in D&D is on the more limited side, and it’s so strong that it actually avoids most opportunities to be used by the adventurers.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Salamander

Once again, I find myself with a Fantastic Beast that has a monster of the same name in D&D. As I convert these monsters, I usually have to work out how different these creatures are. If they are very similar, I have to focus in on how I can make the new stat block unique enough.

The Fantastic Beast Salamander however, is very different from its counterpart. They are both fire-based creatures, but that is where the likeness falls away.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Runespoor

There are a few creatures with multiple heads in Dungeons & Dragons. The Ettin is a two headed giant. The Hydra usually starts with five heads and gets messier from there. Tiamat, an evil dragon goddess, also carries five heads.

The Runespoor is therefore not an impossible D&D monster, but the fact that the heads are so different requires some extra thought. The Ettin heads are often very different personalities but do not perform different functions that would effect their stats. The hydra heads all have a straightforward chomp. The Tiamat heads have unique breath weapons but, again, that’s where the complications end.

The Runespoor heads do very particular things, with a distinct personality. On top of that, Fantastic Beasts specifies that the creature often kills one of its own heads. This snake is an odd duck.

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