james_p_davis (james_p_davis) wrote,
james_p_davis
james_p_davis

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Monsters!

To expand upon my answer in the latest Author Roundtable (found here: http://community.wizards.com/wotc_vetanda/blog/2010/02/12/fr_authors_speak:_monstrous_affection ), I have given in to the pleas for a recount from all the other monsters in every Monster Manual I own. So I decided upon a top ten, all with a combination of features I enjoy in the game and in fiction...and maybe even a couple to appear sometime soon, hmmm...

10-- The Wraith: all purpose, need a creepy, incorporeal, freaky undead to make the unsuspecting players realize they have no special weapons capable of touching a ghost? Done. Add a few class levels and weapons and you might even make a PC cry :)

9-- Mimic: wanna' have the PC's view every object they encounter in the game as a possible new scar? Done. Not to mention the long-running jokes about how a random PC got attacked by a (insert embarrassing item here)...

8-- Kraken: 'cause I like puttin' on the dramatic Lawrence Olivier voice and announcing "Release the kraken!" And, honestly, who doesn't? Well, I guess my players don't enjoy it when I do that...

7-- Mindflayer: representin' the Lovecraftian crowd are my favorite cephalopod-faced beasties. Eating brains, talking in your head, and keeping goblinoids as pets (and snacks). Decent base creature for any spell casting class, therefore making them extra-scary brain-melting fireball-slingers. Super-fun for the evil DM.

6-- Dracolich: Need I explain? It's a skeletal dragon! With spells! It's one of the most heavy-metal monsters in the game and it rawks.

5-- Death Knight: And perhaps you might need a heavy-metal warrior to complement your heavy-metal dracolich? Done. A lich-like template for the warrior classes, made ever so much more cool by Lord Soth of Dragonlance and Ravenloft fame.

4-- Star Spawn: one of my favorite of the new 4E monsters. Malevolent representations of the slumbering old gods among the stars. So many ideas for these guys. Evil cults. Villains who think they're gods. Rampaging little deities ripe for madness and sacrifice. The list goes on. (Dibs! Dibs!)

3-- Demons, Devils, and Angels: a category of beings that needs no explanation. From slightly more challenging random encounters to constantly reappearing campaign villains, these guys fit the bill. My favorite, getting tired of slinging pit fiends at higher level characters and swapping them out for fallen angels. (mwahaha...)

2-- Avolakia: a large worm-insect-squid-spider-combo than can look like almost any humanoid, whose favorite food is corporeal undead, and who, therefore, is usually surrounded by various undead under its command. This was a strong contender for my number one spot. Pure creepy, disgusting, intelligent, magic-using monster. Love. It. :)

1-- Night Hag: and of course my number one choice. It all started with a few movies, LEGEND, PUMPKINHEAD, and CLASH OF THE TITANS. Meg Mucklebones in the swamp, the Old Lady what has powers and lives up in the hills, and the Stygian Witches. Spooky, selfish, mystic, and mysterious ladies that display proudly all the creepiest aspects of mortal aging, like living mirrors reflecting youth's exaggerated fear of the rolling years and the slow, stalking presence of time...

...and the utter horror of Bugs Bunny's struggle for survival against the persistent Witch Hazel (shudders)...

And that, after much consideration is my top ten. The beasties that my gaming group knows to fear, because when these guys show up the PC's know I will fight to keep them alive for as long as possible, mwahaha! And if one of my fav monsters survives an encounter, escaping all attempts at pursuit, the group knows they'll encounter it again and again and again...

...being a bloodthirsty DM makes me feel all warm inside.

Best,
--James
Tags: authors, forgotten realms, monsters
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