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15 worst D&D monsters


D&D 3.5/d20/OGL

51 to 99 of 99 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

The bunny-on-a-stump is an icon. I have an oil painting of one hanging on my wall.

We have to remember, sometimes these creatures are inside jokes among designers. As designers pass on (and away), sometimes the context is forgotten by new generations.

This is why we need D&D Historians, and RPG Historians, in general.

===============

From "S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks", TSR Hobbies, Inc. (1981), pg. 15.

WOLF-IN-SHEEP'S-CLOTHING: When this encounter takes place roll as if on the wandering monster table, look unhappy, and then show the group >ILLUSTRATION #42<, "The Cute Little Bunnyoid on the Stump". Statistics of the creature are: AC 7 (eyestalks)/5 (body stump)/3 (root tentacles), Move 1", HD 9, hit points are: 15 (each eyestalk)/50 (body stump)/20 (each root tentacle) 1-3 attacks plus max, 1-4 hit points of damage plus 7-12 hit points from biting.

This predator comes from the same planet that the abundant rabbitoids seen all over the level come from. It has developed a fleshy growth atop its body which exactly duplicates one of these harmless herbivores, and it wiggles and displays to lure others of this kind – or creates which prey upon them – to it. …

===============

This is great. This creature has evolved in a very unique biological niche (like the Galapagos Islands.) Over the 1000’s of years, isolated on a large, enclosed spaceship, it has survived because it attracts food, the bunnyiods, by having an appendage that attracts bunnyiods.

This is another wonderful example of Gygaxian Naturalism. The world, as isolated as it is, can function all on its own, without PCs around. Awesome!!


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Uh-oh, boards are freaking out.

I remember my (and other's) reaction to it from approximately 1982, when we went on an expedition to the Barrier Peaks...

EDIT: Ah...phantom edits! It's going to take more than Gygaxian Naturalism to turn this sow's ear into a silk pursue.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

DoveArrow wrote:


I'm also wondering why something like the girallon didn't make the list. It's a giant gorilla with multiple arms. Who really gives a whoop?

The girallon is a blatant ripoff of the white apes of Barsoom from Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars books.

So a lot of people give a whoop, I guess. :)

I kind of like them, but they have not been served well by illustrators.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Tensor wrote:
Erik Mona wrote:
... and basically launched my freelance career on it 10 years ago with Armies of the Abyss.

.pdf ?

It was collected in Green Ronin's Book of Fiends, which I believe is available in PDF format.

--Erik


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

My favorite place for girallons to show up are in gladiatorial coliseums.

:D

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Here are a few more for consideration.

I'm basing my opinion primarily on whether or not I think these creatures would be successful in an ecosystem, but some of these are here just because I think they're dumb:

Gas Spore - from the same school of thought as the Wolf-in-Sheep's-Clothing but with a twist. This monster can only reproduce by rubbing up against your leg or exploding all over you so it disguises itself as something no creature in its right mind should approach (a beholder) and then expects things to want to come and kill it.

Hadozee - An intelligent glider-ape pirate sounds great on paper. What happened?

Lhosk (MM3 p.90) - It's a spider-monkey. Get it?

Abrian (FF p.12) - Being an evil, semi-intelligent ostrich with little T-Rex arms might fly on the material plane, but these things live in the Abyss where the only supernatural ability they have to defend themselves from legions of demons is a distressing cry for help.

Ixitxachitl - There are literally thousands of other types of creatures roaming a typical fantasy realm ocean scarier and more dangerous than an evil manta ray. Unless they breed like goblins or taste like a sponge dipped in sewage and seasoned with pubic hair I can't imagine this race surviving very long.

Steelwing (MM5 p.168) - Aside from the fact that this thing looks like it just soared off of a Journey album cover and has a name like two of the Silverhawks...actually, nevermind, this thing is bada55!

Tall Mouther - According to its description in Monsters of Faerun, this thing has no more to its form than several limbs and a big gorilla head and, judging from the illustration, most of its head is comprised of its enormous mouth. I don't think I want to know how it expels its waste.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Tensor wrote:

This is great. This creature has evolved in a very unique biological niche (like the Galapagos Islands.) Over the 1000’s of years, isolated on a large, enclosed spaceship, it has survived because it attracts food, the bunniods, by having an appendage that attracts bunniods.

This is another wonderful example of Gygaxian Naturalism. The world, as isolated as it is, can function all on its own, without PCs around. Awesome!!

I totally agree with you here, and the WiSC is an icon. I just think the stump-bunny is less a monster for PCs to fight and more a cool looking piece of set dressing. It's like the Delver from MM. I can imagine my character standing in silent awe as the giant rock slug glides past dissolving the earth below it, but I can't think of a good reason to attack the thing unless I'm an evil, metagaming douche who just wants some XP.

Contributor

Here's one to add from 4e:

Fell Taint

>.<

... the name. Like a creepy old guy's discolored eye in a Poe story, the name, it vexes me. I mean, good Christ, how did that stinker of a name get through editing without being changed? *shudder*

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
KaeYoss wrote:


#14.The Gelatinous cube: Lay off the 'Cube, man! It's the perfect D&D monster. .

Yeah after all there is always a ten by ten room for Jello.

Also anyone get the impression the guy writing it just looked at a bunch of creatures pictures without reading up on how they work?


"Peryton. Vampiric flying reindeer vultures? WTF!"
Oh man, that was the first monster that I pulled out of the old 1st edition MM, and converted to 3.5. I think its great in an owlbear kind of way. In fact, I think the owlbear, peryton, and some other half/half monster are just begging to be the basis for an adventure.

See the wizard V's rant about why anyone would cross a owl with a "perfectly serviceable" creature like a bear from OoTS.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Also anyone get the impression the guy writing it just looked at a bunch of creatures pictures without reading up on how they work?

That's what I gathered. The Gelun (corpse on ice monster,) for example, is only actually encased in ice when the temperature gets too cold for it. In a hot environment, they just look like freeze-dried humanoid remains that chase after you trying to leech the heat from your body.


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Wonderful!

Edit: Hey, where'd that Gel. cube link go?


Here it is: > http://www.gelatinouscubefacts.com <

- Chuck Norris once defeated a gelatinous cube by pouring lighter fluid on his boots, striking a match, and then roundhouse kicking it back to Hades.

Edit: Look, a > Gelatinous Cube mini <


Azhagal wrote:
Interesting list, hmmmm.....I dont know if D&D ever had a Tatzelwurm, but if it was in any of the monster maunals, it secures a place on my list

Aren't there stats for a tatzelwurm in D0: Hollow's Last Hope?


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

Wolf, yes there are.
Tensor, I've thought about using Knox powder to create yummy gelatinous cubes...


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Tensor, I've thought about using Knox powder to create yummy gelatinous cubes...

Clear jello, with chocolate squares for treasure boxes, and Skittles for gems, sounds fun to make.

:-)

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

While you can't eat them, those clear plastic shells that come with dice sets make really good gelatinous cube minis. They're big enough to take up most of a 2x2 section of grid and there's enough room inside for it to glomp a standard sized miniature. With a little effort, you can even add small, dripping bubbles of glue to the sides for that sweating effect. (On a side note, they make really good flight bases too.)

Andoran

Azhagal wrote:

15 most retarded D&D monsters

I can agree with quite a few of these, though I would have expanded the list to 20

do you guys agree with the choices? if not what would you have put on it instead?

They totally just ripped off the articles by this guy, who is much funnier IMO and a much better artist.


It is easy to criticize, but hard to actually step up to the plate, and create.

(yes, a baseball metephor)

Andoran

Tensor wrote:

It is easy to criticize, but hard to actually step up to the place, and create.

What's funny about it is that the guy wasn't originally a D&D player, but he got an invite from some local gamers to see what it was all about, and now he's a regular gamer! Even going to GenCon. His sketches of the Dangerous Delves MM1 figs are really cool too!


Pathfinder Tales Subscriber

There's several folks out there who've posted about dumb monsters. The key to enjoying them is to first realizing that only YOU are (or, in this case, only I am) the real judge of what monster is great, lame, or just a little kooky in a lovable or niche-able way. Of course, it would be fun to have a massive poll on every monster, say, in the new bestiary once it is released. The whole community could vote them up or down a list. Wouldn't that be nifty?

Andoran

Fergie wrote:

"Peryton. Vampiric flying reindeer vultures? WTF!"

Oh man, that was the first monster that I pulled out of the old 1st edition MM, and converted to 3.5. I think its great in an owlbear kind of way. In fact, I think the owlbear, peryton, and some other half/half monster are just begging to be the basis for an adventure.

See the wizard V's rant about why anyone would cross a owl with a "perfectly serviceable" creature like a bear from OoTS.

Also, "The Ecology of the Peryton" was one of my favorite "Ecology" articles from the old 1e Dragon days. That and the Gulguthra (Otyugh) ecology. IIRC, Greenwood wrote both, set in FR before FR was a published campaign setting.

Andoran

Of course, at least half of the monsters from the 1e Fiend Folio could fit in the top 15...


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
There's several folks out there who've posted about dumb monsters. The key to enjoying them is to first realizing that only YOU are (or, in this case, only I am) the real judge of what monster is great, lame, or just a little kooky in a lovable or niche-able way.

Who better than me to judge?

I can't remember who asked about male harlies but Ed Greenwood wrote two good articles about harpies back in a Dragon Magazine from the 1980s. Each gave a different explanation for how they reproduce.

P.S. The Imorph should have made the list. It is a blob of protoplasm that gradually takes on the appearance of its enemy but has no other special abilites. It just looks like you as you fight it.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I agree with quite a few of the monsters on this list, although I'm not familiar with some of them (4E monsters?).

The three that I do not agree with are:

Gelantious Cube - yeah it seems pretty ridiculus, but if you know how to use it, it can be very effective. For example - if you combine it with a spell effect such as hypnotic pattern, there's a decent chance of it catching one mezmerized PC.

The Demi-lich - What, are you kidding me? Those things kick ass! And the reason they just sit on top of heaps of treasure is because the animating spirit is too busy hanging out in other planes and breaking the laws of physics.

The Grell - Yeah, they may look a little weird, but I think it's a safe bet to say that if the author of the article actually ran into one in real life, he'd pee his pants.

Otherwise - good list, and I'm sure there are more monsters everyone could think of.


Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
There's several folks out there who've posted about dumb monsters. The key to enjoying them is to first realizing that only YOU are (or, in this case, only I am) the real judge of what monster is great, lame, or just a little kooky in a lovable or niche-able way. Of course, it would be fun to have a massive poll on every monster, say, in the new bestiary once it is released. The whole community could vote them up or down a list. Wouldn't that be nifty?

you have such awesome ideas, it would be really fun having a monster poll in the next bestiary release, I can see my party completely disregarding our campaign to rate the coolness and...droolness? of each creature.


Azhagal wrote:
you have such awesome ideas, it would be really fun having a monster poll in the next bestiary release, I can see my party completely disregarding our campaign to rate the coolness and...droolness? of each creature.

Extinction by acclaimation.

Andoran

Fake Healer wrote:
Peryton. Vampiric flying reindeer vultures? WTF!

Aw, man... I f~*$ing love those things!


I guess old DnD monsters must really upset some people.
>HERE< is another list.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Please direct your attention here for some rather funny critiques of RPG artwork. The Fiend Folio reviews (especially the carbuncle) are among the best.

Andoran RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I have to second that emotion on the senmurv. Turribul monster.

May I also add taint elementals from HoH. I cannot read about those without thinking about the other meaning of "taint."

Qadira

Posting Blitz!


Some of the ones on the list I would sort of agree with but the demilich and atropal are NASTY bastards even if the art might not be overly impressive, gelatinous cubes are classic, I actually LIKE the senmurv, digester, hippocampus, anguillian and brain-in-a-jar. Honestly I probably would have added the roper, gibbering mouther, frost worm, (MM2) fiendwurm, (FF) century worm and tunnel terror to the mix (giant worm monsters are just not my cup of tea)


The gelatinous cube is a great, kitschy D&D staple. I admit my use and run-ins with them have been rare, but I think they're fine, if not fitting for the tone of every single sort of D&D campaign.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I love the Gelatinous Cube, even more so since I got a G.C. mini in a booster pack. I've been waiting for a campaign to use that sucker in.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Erik Mona wrote:
Executioner's hood

i always thought the executioner's hood was kinda cool...

Andoran

Charlie Bell wrote:

I have to second that emotion on the senmurv. Turribul monster.

May I also add taint elementals from HoH. I cannot read about those without thinking about the other meaning of "taint."

It could use a re-naming, but the monster itself is great fun. I used it in place of the Ebon Aspects in my Age of Worms campaign, and it put the FEAR into my players, big-time.

Paizo Employee Developer

That senmurv annoys me. It is a great example of how someone can take a folkloric creature and mess it up, all the while getting the art order terribly wrong.

Shadow Lodge

#15 and the Senmurv were hilarious!


Stun Jelly...
Gorbel...
Fiend Folio monsters are full of fail.
Past critters from White Dwarf
The Manta: A flying mushroom with a whippy stalk/tail. Plus instructions on how to make a figue for one.
The Rover: A sphere inspired by The Prisoner
The Gluey: A sticky mummy
Sqounk: A 3' high vole, which doesn't attack. For the love of Jebus!
Stinwicodetch: A hairy frog humanoid.
Stair Stalker: Quote "An emerald-hued shaggy humanoid obsessed with staircases."
Lapidan: Deadly animated rope monster.
Iron Pig; Pretty lives up to its name.
Gurgoth: An evil elephant with a trident for a tail.
Goom: A sticky ochre jelly.
The Dahdi: Like a mummy but reversed!
Slime Beast: Looks like that really special Dwarven Fighter that you spent hours painting for today's session but wasn't quite dry so you put it in the oven...
Melodemon: A snake with a croc's head which sings nasty spells.
Sqarrg: Rubbish golems...
Micemen: Related to Brownies and Elves. Unloved I guess by the angry look on their faces.
The Four Horsemen of The Apocolypse: Including Ky the Supra-Lich!
Wyrmlet: Looks like a coin with arms and legs...and a face!
Psitan: Basic human with extreme hydrocephalis for his awesome psionic powers.
Psi-Mule: Psi ass more like.
Wohk: A four armed cyclops. "wohk is that!" is the only way I can see this name working.

Andoran

Adam Daigle wrote:
That senmurv annoys me. It is a great example of how someone can take a folkloric creature and mess it up, all the while getting the art order terribly wrong.

You fixed it for Pathfinder, if I remember correctly. That one was much better.

Paizo Employee Developer

The Eldritch Mr. Shiny wrote:
Adam Daigle wrote:
That senmurv annoys me. It is a great example of how someone can take a folkloric creature and mess it up, all the while getting the art order terribly wrong.
You fixed it for Pathfinder, if I remember correctly. That one was much better.

I did! Scott Gable also did a cool version on the KQ website as one of the Monday Monsters.


Tensor wrote:

Here it is: > http://www.gelatinouscubefacts.com <

- Chuck Norris once defeated a gelatinous cube by pouring lighter fluid on his boots, striking a match, and then roundhouse kicking it back to Hades.

Edit: Look, a > Gelatinous Cube mini <

Hey, one of the first minis I ever made out of clear casting resin was a gelatinous cube! It was cool! Of course I HATE gelatinous cubes and will probably never put one in a campaign, but it's a pretty cool mini!


Tensor wrote:
This is another wonderful example of Gygaxian Naturalism. The world, as isolated as it is, can function all on its own, without PCs around. Awesome!!

.

funny because we were just speaking about > Gygaxian Naturalism <

.


If memory serves, the Roving Mauler is based off the Buer, the demon of Natural and Moral Philosophy, feature in one of the medieval grimoires about demons (maybe the Clavicula Salomonica, but I can't remember the actual book). So while silly-looking, at least it has some background.

The Gelatinous Cube is too classic to be laughed at!

Kneel Beetle. Agreed.

The Semurv looks odd, but I think there are more absurd things around in the game.

The Demi-Lich is awesome, in my opinion.

So is the Brain in a Jar, though it does seem a bit out of place in D&D, and better home in Spirit of the Century.

The Digester isn't too charismatic, but sort of seems like a reasonable creature.

Moon Rats are retarded, aye.

Ash Rats, hmm, well, they can be nasty. But not overly interesting.

I find the Grell to be a cool aberration for when you need violent brains.

The Atropal is cool in a very disgusting way.

The Hippocampus has some good background in real-world myths, and I can imagine some nice applications that wouldn't seem silly.

Porcupine Cactus... ehh... never been a fan of static plant monsters. Going with "slightly retarded" on this one.

Anguillians seem nasty. I agree on the pointlessness of the stick, though.

The Gellum is pretty cool in concept, if perhaps a bit contrieved.

Shadow Lodge

Klaus van der Kroft wrote:
If memory serves, the Roving Mauler is based off the Buer, the demon of Natural and Moral Philosophy, feature in one of the medieval grimoires about demons (maybe the Clavicula Salomonica, but I can't remember the actual book). So while silly-looking, at least it has some background.

Ars Goetia. Specifically, the Mauler is from the 3.5 Tome of Magic, which introduced the Binder class - predecessor to PF's Occultist, who drew power from Goetia demons and other entities, called Vestiges in-game. Buer was one of said Vestiges, and the Maulers were somehow connected to her, as were most of the other monsters in that section of the book.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Moved thread.


The writer clearly based most of his assumptions on the picture alone without a concept of magic protection and/or projectiles and/or modes of movement.

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