Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Dragons

Did you know that there are dragons in Dungeons & Dragons? I know, I know, I was surprised as well. Not just a few dragons either. The world of Harry Potter has some dragons to deal with too.

They come in all shapes – from babies the size of a horse to elders thirty feet in length – and all sorts of colours. The ‘good’ dragons are all shiny colours, golds and silvers, whilst the ‘bad’ dudes are standard colours like red and blue. Not only does the colour inform their general behaviour and habits, but different breath weapons.

(I’ll never forget the first time a new player confidentially stated, pre-fight: “Don’t worry guys, I’ve got this. I’m resistant to fire damage!” only to watch in horror as the green dragon unleashed an intense cloud of poison on their fledgling character. Priceless.)

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Doxy

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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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Diricawl

It’s always nice to learn that the human race didn’t wipe out a species. It turns out, the Dodo is still alive. The species is actually a ‘Diricawl’, a magical bird that can teleport. So it’s not extinct, it just learned that humans are unsafe spaces and made themselves scarce. Good for them.

So for today’s converstion from Fantastic Beasts to Dungeons & Dragons, we have a lil’ fluffy bird that can teleport.

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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: Augurey

Beast number three is an easy one. The Augurey is essentially an emaciated, noisy vulture and there’s already monster stats for Vultures in the Monster Manual. It does have a couple of neat features though. Well, I say neat, it has some slightly impressive abilities that are worth adding to its stats.

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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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