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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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