Friday, February 20, 2009

Top 10 Favorite TSR Monsters

This topic has been posted by both Scott on World of Thool and by James at Grognardia, and noisms at Monsters and Manuals. Being unoriginal, I thought I'd join in on the fun. You might note my general love for the Fiend Folio....

The Grell
It's a freakin' flying brain with tentacles below it and a giant parrot beak. Simultaneously grotesque and ridiculous, the illustration on page 47 of the Fiend Folio of a desperate fighter in its grip capture the terror of the concept for me.

Githyanki and Githzerai
The backstory of escaped slaves turned inhuman and turned on each other is compelling. The combination of their near-humanness and their alienness is compelling, as are their extraplanar weirdness and magical gonzo nature.

Demonic subterranean fish-men? Sure, the Sahuagin had a similar, definitely scary schtick. But somehing about the froggy weirdness of these guys gave them a Lovecraftian feeling not far from the Deep Ones.

The creepiest undead anywhere. Head and guts detached from the body and flying around sucking blood? Yeah. That's some disgusting horror stuff right there.

Six-legged rats with giant choppers? Yeah. I think that these bad boys are going to be the standard rats of Athanor.

Blood-sucking bat-bug-birds. How can you go wrong. These will likely be the bats of Athanor.

Four-armed apes were my favorite 3rd edition brutes. Make them white, and they are pure Burroughsian Martian White Apes. These are going to fill a similar role on Athanor, too.

Lovecraftian fish-monsters with mental powers and the ability to turn your skin into goo? If that doesn't strike you as creepy, I'm not sure what will.

Sadistic, xenophobic, cannibalistic subterranean midget slavers led by evil scholars in a plot to destroy surface life seems pretty much the definition of freaky danger in the dungeon depths.

Honorable mentions: carrion crawler, sahuagin, ankheg, slithering tracker, mind flayer, slaadi, yuan-ti.