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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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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Today, we have another bird that has a magic cry. The Augurey has a irritating call that tells you the weather is about to change. The Fwooper has a lovely call that makes you go loopy. What luck: D&D has rules for when creatures go mad.
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If you were running a table top adventure in the Potterverse, or a campaign inspired by that world, you would want to include as many of the Fantastic Beasts as possible. But do you really need to include the flobberworm?
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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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My daughter and wife were watching one of the Tinkerbell movies. I caught ten minutes of it, before declaring “well that isn’t Tinkerbell” (you know, in that way that only the most obnoxious people nit-pick movies). My wife looked at me puzzled (my daughter carried on enjoying the movie and ignoring her silly daddy) and I reminded her that in the original story Tinkerbell is not the super-happy, kind and caring friend she’s more recently portrayed as.
No, Tinkerbell is just awful. She’s vain and spiteful, she’s more than ready to shank anyone that crosses her, and if she considers you a rival she will gleefully put you in mortal danger. She’s a terrible creature.
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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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Dungeons & Dragons is high-adventure for a lot of the time. Tolkien-esque heroic tales full of might and magic. Sometimes though, D&D adventures stride out into the horror genre.
Playing horror-based D&D is rarely an intensely scary experience. It’s hard to jumpscare when you’re carefully describing the world. A player can only be as creeped out as their imagination will allow. Yet you can build some pretty unsettling, twisted moments. The campaign book Curse of Strahd is especially effective because it leans into camp-horror; a mixed of sinister and the comical that blends really well together.
The Fantastic Beast known as an Erkling immediately inspires a horrific encounter for any D&D game.
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This journey has its ups and downs.
From a dozen deadly dragons, to a Dugbog. From giant reptilian, fire-spitting monstrosities, to a small amphibian that looks like a log. It’s a bit of a drop off. Nevertheless, I said I would turn all the Fantastic Beasts into D&D monsters, and so I shall.
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Another easy one this week. A curtain-nibbling, beetle-winged pest of the Potterverse gets the D&D treatment. The Doxy isn’t going to challenge most RPG adventurers, but it’s a fun little nuisance. A Dungeon Master could have some fun telling characters that they see a fairy on a nearby tree, only to discover that it’s this angry blighter.
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