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: Fire Crab

In the quest to convert Fantastic Beasts into Dungeons & Dragons monsters, there’s been some highs and lows. This week… it’s a crab that shoots fire from it’s butt…

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Erumpent

Should it charge, the results are usually catastrophic.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

In Dungeons & Dragons, there are a few circumstances where a player’s character dies out right. Taking an enormous amount of damage in one go for example. There are some spells and effects that state: ‘if you go to 0 hit points, you are dead now’. The vast majority of the time, characters have a chance to fight for their lives, but every now and then something comes along and stomps the player’s creation into the dirt.

An effect that causes the target to explode is therefore in the realms of possibility, but one that needs to be handled cautiously. Telling a player that they are knocked out by a charging, bulbous rhino-monster is one thing; suddenly revealing that they have been impaled on its huge horn and blown into meaty chunks is another…

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Centaur

An easy one this week. Centaurs are another beastie that exists in the Potterverse and Dungeons & Dragons. You could definitely create a Potter-fied D&D game and use the standard Centaur monster stats as written.

If you want something more authentic – or maybe a centaur that’s slightly more interesting – well, I’ve got a modified version for you.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Bundimun

If there’s one type of monster that I’ve barely used in D&D, it’s the ‘Oozes’. Living, wriggling puddles of acidic goop that seep into the walls of dungeons and tombs. The ‘Gelatinous Cube’ is the most infamous of the Ooze-kind. One has a cameo in Disney’s Beyond.

They are some fun applications, but they are never the masterminds (or even side characters) of a evil plan or scheme. They make good fodder for adventure, but I’ve never built a campaign around them. It would be a pretty short campaign.

The Bundimun from Fantastic Beasts is definitely an ooze. Acid texture, amorphous body. It likes to chew through houses and get really problematic when it teams up with its mates.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Bowtruckle

A bonus post for this week. I was planning to convert one Fantastic Beast into a D&D monster every week, but the Bowtruckle was an easy construction. A cute creature that has a great deal of charm in the movies, but its essentially a magical stick insect with slightly sharped claws:

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Billywig

At first I thought the Billywig was going to take two minutes to turn into a D&D monster. It certainly looks weird – essentially a chubby mosquito with helicopter wings on the top of its head – but I thought it would just be a simple stat block for a tiny insect.

Then I had a proper read of what that sting does:

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Basilisk

This one’s a tricky monster. For one thing, the Basilisk appears in D&D already. In that case, it’s a many-legged, angry-looking reptile. Imagine a blue Komodo Dragon with extra legs and spikes and the ability to turn those that look their way to stone.

The second issue is that the Fantastic Beasts Basilisk is a tough little gigantic monster. Harry Potter obviously has the ultimate plot armour when he goes up against the big snake in the basement, but oh boy, was he stupidly lucky. A stare that kills instantly, venom that kills in minutes, and scales that reflect spells…

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Ashwinder

Not everything in D&D – or Harry Potter, for that matter – is designed to kill the characters. There’s a creature called an Almiraj, which is basically a rabbit with a unicorn horn. There’s also this thing called a Flumph, a curious little floating aberration with the threat level of mouldy marshmallow. There’s also Awakened Shrubs… which are shrubs that are smart enough to talk… because sometimes you want your players to fight a dragon and sometimes you want them to have an awkward conversation with a bush.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Acromantula

Before going back into lockdown, I noticed that many young students were reading Harry Potter for the first time. It’s no surprise of course, but it was lovely to see a wave of new readers discovering the series. I seem to find myself revisiting the series too – I’m currently listening to Potterverse, and I often catch parts of the audiobooks my wife is re-listening to.

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