Even though it’s not in the headlines often, Dungeons & Dragons is still immensely popular today. People all over the world sharpen their pencils, grab their pouches of strange dice and gather together to seek power, fortune and glory within the Dungeons & Dragons universe.
If all you know about D&D is the horrific movie starring Jeremy Irons, then you probably have a less than favorable opinion of the franchise. However, if you remember the days of stacks of books, character sheets and hitting the occasional perfect 20 with your character’s Vorpal Blade, then it’s likely you’ll remember some of these ridiculous Dungeons & Dragons monsters.
It’s pretty obvious that Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax (RIP) was really into The Lord of the Rings. In essence, the architecture and feel of the entire game is based on J.R. Tolkien’s fantastic realm. Here we have a boggle, which is the most obvious rip-off of Golem possible. However, boggles are a distinct race, not creatures transformed due to the one ring. A boggle has the ability to secrete an oil-slick like substance through their skin, but they are not particularly difficult to kill, nor are they particularly aggressive, unless you stumble into their lair.
2. Cat Lord
Neutral in alignment, Cat Lord, the ruler of all feline creatures, comes off as a pre-Thundercat. Incredibly powerful and difficult to hit due to his cat-like agility, Cat Lord isn’t concerned much with politics, wars, treasure or glory – unless his precious cats are impacted. He can take human or feline form, and if you’ve pissed him off, his enchanted teeth and claws will rip you to shreds.
Unlike many of these curated AD&D monsters, Cat Lord is a unique creature.
3. Executioner’s Hood
Seriously, that’s the name of the monster. It looks like a regular executioner’s hood, but it is mobile. Legend has it that the creature lies in wait and then jumps on a victim’s face, attempting to suffocate the poor soul. It’s difficult to get the thing off and it’s resistant to a bunch of magic spells, but if one of your companions pours some brandy on it, the executioner’s hood will eventually become intoxicated and cease its attack.
4. Gibbering Mouther
When you look through Dungeons & Drangons Monster Manual II, you immediately wonder how many hits of acid Gygax was on when he wrote this awesome stuff. The gibbering mouther has a bunch of abilities and it is terribly disgusting. It’s basically a gelatinous glob of mouths and eyes. It can cause confusion from all the mouths uttering gibberish. It can also unleash a pit bull type bite, where its jaws lock on to human flesh. Just like a zombie, the gibbering mouther can be killed easily with a strike to its brain. However, the brain is located somewhere in the middle of all that glop.
These poor creatures don’t really care about the greater world at large. They just want to exist. In a sense, they’re kind of like Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy: stitched together from a variety of different creatures. While they are not difficult to kill individually, they can be a problem when they attack in larger numbers. While not blessed with crazy powers, mongrelmen can camouflage into their surroundings and mimic virtually any type of sound. These scroungy little guys are also adept at picking pockets, so watch out next time you’re at the mongrel-mall.
From LSD to mushrooms. The myconid is a species of fungus people. Bipedal, they are basically human-like toadstools. Peaceful creatures, they don’t look to bother adventurers, but when pressed, can launch an assortment of spores and toxic skin secretions. One of their coolest abilities is to discharge spores that will reanimate any dead creature, causing it to fight to help myconid kind. They can also (shockingly) infect a target with hallucination-causing spores. If you want to cause harm to a myconid, you better be able to get close without succumbing to their potent defensive measures.
The prior Dungeons & Dragons monsters on this list have all been neutral in alignment, but this guy is predisposed to a bit of evil and maliciousness. The oblivax has the ability to swipe memories from its victims if they come within 60 feet of the creature. If it does steal your memories or one of your companion’s memories, be sure to have the afflicted person eat the oblivax after you’ve killed it to restore the stolen memories.
8. Stench Kow
What could be better? A really disgusting cow-like creature that inhabits the grazing lands of the Nine Hells. These creatures don’t look for fights, but they are highly resistant to many forms of damage and use their horrific stench as an offensive and defensive weapon. The smell of these foul things is so awful that characters have to make a successful saving throw (roll of the 20 sided die) to avoid feeling the effects of a poisonous cloud spell. If you encounter a herd of stench kows feeding on pestilence, just give them a wide berth. It’s likely your party has bigger things to worry about.
Like Cat Lord, the Tarrasque is a unique creature. This monster is one of the most powerful in the entire game. At 50 feet long, this beast of a monster destroys everything in sight. It’s basically the most powerful dinosaur from the Jurassic Park franchise gifted with magical powers. The Tarrasque is so fearsome, that weaker characters will be automatically frozen with fright if they lay eyes on it. If the Tarrasque is coming for your party, your Dungeon Master is being a bit of a dick.
This thing looks like it belongs on the album cover of a death metal band. It lives up to its appearance as it is a sadistic creature. In addition to a vicious and poisonous bite, the vargouille can let out a piercing scream that can paralyze enemies. The final attack is the kiss of a vargouille which turns the poor recipient into a vargouille.
If you see these bad boys coming for you, better get your party ready to fight.
The catoblepas possesses a bison’s body and the legs of a hippopotamus and the neck of a snake. It’s bloodshot eyes compliment it’s warthog face and it’s tail is reminiscent of a manticore’s. Catoblepas are aggressive and territorial, so they should be avoided when possible. However, if a confrontation cannot be avoided, make sure your party is armed with some good slashing weapons to sent the catoblepas back to its maker. – Credit to Arrenn Lavier
What other ridiculous Dungeons & Dragons creatures would you nominate? Let us know in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add them in.