Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Monstrous Quiz

While recently playing through the Ghost Tower of Inverness, the brave adventurers turned a corner in the long abandoned dungeon and encountered (rolls on the wandering monster chart)…a leucrotta! Yes, the feared leucrotta. Bane of adventurers and haunter of nightmares.  It’s description is…well, I actually don’t know. I am going to be honest for a moment, I’ve never heard of a leucrotta. In all of my many years of playing D&D I have somehow managed to not come across this creature of legend. And if I had it has left absolutely zero impression on me.  I had to look it up in the Monster Manual to learn that it is the strange cross breed of two otherwise very normal creatures.  It got me thinking about all of the bizarre monsters out there that are nothing other than the physical qualities of several others merged into one very awkward beast.  It strikes me as a very Gygaxian concept, just sort of fill up the pages of the Monster Manual by coming up with a weird name and mashing animals together.  What else is out there? Is the leucrotta the king of the haphazardly assembled jungle?

I should also note that some of these creatures may actually stem from mythology and I’m just not familiar to them, but as the author of the original Monster Manual I am attributing Gary Gygax with their existence. 

I decided to put together this quiz of strange monsters from the lore of D&D. Lets see how you do.

1) This chaotic evil creature has the head and antlers of a deer atop the body of a giant eagle. And for some reason it seems to cast the shadow of a human as opposed to that of an eagle mixed with a deer. It also requires the heart of another creature to reproduce, which must make sex very awkward. 

2) What do you get when you mix a monkey, camel, lion and eagle? Some sort of awkward desert dwelling, friendly creature that is known for it’s practical jokes and good natured teasing! And who could ever forget it’s gaze power, called sun sparkles.

Check out my boney ridges.
3) This creature combines the body of a stag, a lion’s tail and the fearsome head of a giant badger! Rather than teeth it has “jagged boney ridges”. (I’m no dentist, but I’m pretty sure that’s sort of what teeth are anyway.) They are also able to imitate the voice of a man with uncanny skill despite living a miserable solitary life far away from the world of man. 

4) Oh, those mad wizards! Always getting mixed up in secret magical experiments that create creatures like this mix of a snapping turtle and armadillo infused with demons’ ichor.  I wonder if the wizard’s intention was to create a constantly hungry, fearless creature that loves to eat Halflings, or if that was just something that sort of happened?
Demon Ichor makes me want to climb trees!

5) This aquatic animal possesses the head and torso of a horse and the lower half of a fish. All of it’s limbs end in fins and it’s body is covered in scales.  It is also super lame and speaks a language that no one cares to learn. 

So what are these great creatures that fit easily into any campaign?
1)    Peryton
2)    Opinicus
3)    Leucrotta
4)    Bulette
5)    Hippocampus

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