Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Phoenix

A phoenix from the Potterverse feels like the perfect pet for those people that practice ‘one-upmanship’. Those sort of people that always have a more impressive anecdote locked and loaded as soon as your story is finished. Or those children that make up new rules for games on the fly so they don’t lose.

Your dog is very cute, but my bird can heal me when it cries. And its singing is magical. Aaand it’s super strong. Aaand

Dungeons & Dragons already has a phoenix. It’s a gigantic elemental, always on fire and (presumably) always angry. Just a mass of fiery feathers. Nothing like the little, Deus Ex Machina that is Fawkes. Though the Potterverse Phoenix lacks the scale of their counterpart, it has a colourful array of abilities to aid the adventuring wizards out there.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Nundu

Finally. We’ve made it to the monster that started me on this little project.

When I read the brief description of the nundu, my instant though was: “I want this in my Dungeons & Dragons”. I’m sure other people have got here before me, but I need to make this one myself.

It’s that one line that makes this monster so compelling:

…it has never yet been subdued by fewer than a hundred skilled wizards working together.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

One. Hundred. Skilled. Wizards. The nundu is supposed to be one of the most dangerous things in the wizarding world, and if we use D&D monster challenge ratings correctly, this monster is going to be top tier in both fantasy realms.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Nogtail

In my opinion, pigs are cute. You might agree.

However, pigs with spindly legs are not as cute. You are free to disagree.

Demon pigs with gangly legs that sneak into farms and curse the land are not cute at all. That’s not really up for debate.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Niffler

Have you ever wanted a Bag of Holding that is also a fluffy, kleptomaniacal duck-billed platypus?

You… you haven’t? Oh… I guess great minds don’t always think alike.

Well, either way, it exists. And now they can be in your D&D game. An adorable, beaky thief with an extradimensional space in their itty bitty tummy.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Murtlap

Never has the phrase ‘burying the lede’ been more relevant. I did think this was going to be another, simple, “looks like a normal animal but with a twist” Fantastic Beasts.

Blink and you’ll miss the part where fire shoots from your butt.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Moke

There are days where I wish I had the power of a Moke. To be able to shrink down to tiny version of myself to avoid people… that’s sounds incredibly useful.

Of course, people wanting to turn you into a shrinking purse is quite the downside.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Merpeople

I’m adamant: I making every Fantastic Beast into a Dungeons & Dragons creature. Even if the differences between what I make and what was already there are negligible…

Merfolk already exist in D&D. This isn’t the first time where D&D clashes with the Potterverse; they are both pulling from mythology after all. Yet, this might be the most minor alteration I’ve made to date. Whilst some monsters have differed slightly – altered powers, swapped body parts, etc. – the D&D ‘Merfolk’ and the FB ‘Merpeople’ have more than a lot in common.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Manticore

Every time I re-read the description of a Fantastic Beast and I see a phrase like ‘instant death’ I get nervous. Not because death is scary, but because a sudden demise in Dungeons & Dragons is a tricky thing.

There are ways to destroy a character in a single moment. A few spells end a life if they strip away all the hit points. Then there’s power word kill, a top-tier spell that puts your down instantly. Occasional adventures are set up as death traps, ‘meat-grinders’ that require the players to have a second character at the ready.

In a long term campaign, however, having a instant kill button can leave players feeling hard done by. All the hours of gaming, the levelling up, character development, just to be dropped with a single tail sting will definitely leave the people around the table wallowing in bemused disappointment.

So I’m playing fast-and-loose with instant death on this one. The Manticore I have created can kill you fast, and will ab-so-lute-ly murder your average NPC or 1st level characters in one hit, but I’ve decided to go with “instant death for anyone who is not a seasoned adventurer”.

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Fantastic Beasts and How to Slay Them: Mackled Malaclaw

When bird poops on you, it’s good luck. If a cat crosses your path, that’s bad luck. Rabbits bring good or bad luck depending on where you grew up.

Most animals are burdened by a superstition. Even lobsters. Apparently eating them at New Years is unfortunate. Being bitten by one, however, brings neither goods luck nor bad. Though I suppose if you are being bitten by a lobster you’re unlucky enough already.

In the Harry Potter universe, a bite from the lobster-like beast known as the Mackled Malaclaw, brings lots of bad luck. For an entire week.

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