Gaston – Greatest Disney BBEG?

No one crits like Gaston, no one hits like Gaston, no one falls to their death in a pit like Gaston.

When trying to weigh up the Disney villains, deciding which one would make the best Big Bad in your Roleplaying Game, we will come across a lot of humans. Amongst the liches and dragons, non-magic, unpowered people are vying for a top spot for leader board. It will take something extraordinary for these people to outshine the spellcasters and monsters.

Last week, the villain from Atlantis came close to beating Jafar. A brute in combat and superb henchmen had him scoring high.

Gaston is one of my favourite Disney villains, but we’ll have to see if he come can flex and smirk enough to earn a top spot.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Yeti

We made it. All the way to the end of the book, two years later. 98 Fantastic Beasts turned into D&D monsters.

Some have been unique, weird and wonderful monsters that were a challenge to convert, some were a new version of a pre-existing critter, sometimes less impressive because the description in the book lacks the outlandish abilities in the original’s stats. It’s a slight downer, that the last beast falls into the latter category, but the result is, I think, a different brute of a yeti from what Dungeons & Dragons already has.

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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.

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Comment Quest – Part 1

Fancy a new adventure? What about a ‘choose your own adventure‘, where what happens next is decided by the comments section? This is Comment Quest.

You see a Goblin

PART 1 – You See a Goblin

It has only been a few months since you left home to seek fame and fortune as an adventurer. To slay monsters, rescue villagers, to become a true hero praised and respected everywhere you go. To see what this strange and mysterious world has in store for the intrepid traveller.

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Have you ever felt something was made just for you?

When I saw the Transformers: Rise of the Beasts trailer, I was excited. If you have only seen one or two (or all five) of the Bay movies, you would be forgiven for not sharing in my enthusiasm. On the other hand, if you’ve seen Bumblebee, you should be very hopeful. In my opinion.

This is not a mini-blog to gush about that movie though. I could. The first five minute action sequence shames the first five movies all on its own with its awesomeness. I’m not here to do that though. I’m here to point out a really specific moment.

When the very first Transformers movie was announced, I had a very VERY specific hope:

I wanted to see a Transformer perform a handbrake turn into a transforming, flying punch like the intro of the original cartoon. (Like I say, very specific)

Six movies later, it happened:

Beautiful reality

I went back and watched this scene multiple times, with childhood glee. It just has to be deliberate. Someone working on this show was such a massive fan of the cartoon, that they wanted to same thing as I did. I can’t believe for a moment that this choreography is a coincidence.

I also had a very selfish thought: This was clearly made just for me.

That’s how little moments like this feel. A very specific want from a movie, song, game, play… and that need is met. A lot about Bumblebee did this for the child in me.

How about you? Was something made just for you? In part or completely tailored to your demands and desires? Too perfect to be an accident?

As always, thank you for reading.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Werewolf

I’m not a fan of the Harry Potter werewolf. It’s far from the hottest of takes, but I’ve always had a particular expectation of what a werewolf should look like. American Werewolf in London, great look for a more wolf-like monster . Underworld, I didn’t like beefy muscle boys. My personal favourite werewolf movie will always be Dog Soldiers, which in my opinion has the best looking version.

Dog Soldiers (practical effects) Vs. Harry Potter (CGI)

The spindly, fleshy, CGI thing in Prisoner of Azkaban barely registered on my good-bad spectrum of werewolves. It’s definitely a monstrous thing, but it just isn’t lycan enough for my liking.

The lore of the Fantastic Beast werewolf does, however, do something I appreciate: it goes for the old-school ‘transforms only on a full moon’ version of the curse. If D&D, the werewolf has to change on a full moon, but they can also turn ‘shapechange’ whenever they feel like it. As curses go, most players would actually quite like to be bitten by a lycanthrope. The extra strengths and abilities quickly stifle the negative aspects of the curse.

So this monster conversion means that I can actually create a ‘true’ werewolf for your D&D game.

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