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My Favorite (Arduin) Monsters

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The latest thing going on in the blog world seems to be listing your ten favorite D&D monsters. I'm going to be a bit different and list my 7 favorite monsters from the early Arduin Grimoires.

6.Phraints: Erect, metallic colored insect warriors that look like a cross between an ant and mantis, but only have two legs and two arms. They can leap up to 30 feet and do so in battle, tossing javelins at the high point of their leap AND when they land. They are cold, emotionless, and logical. Insectoid Vulcans, basically.

5. Krag Spyders: Motionless, these look like rocks, ranging in size from a pebble to a large boulder. They are extremely patient hunters who pounce on prey when they least expect it. Once not a rest they look something like combination of a giant spider and an large crab (but without pincers). Their poison turns those who fail a save to stone. Their saliva unstones a bite-sized portion which they eat.

4. Screaming Scarlet Itchies: Clouds of gnat-sized scarlet bugs that settle on their target an secrete a liquid that causes a bright red rash and an intolerable itch. Those affected at -3 to everything. Holy water or neutralize poison needed to neutralize.

3. Air Shark: An air-breathing shark that can swim through the air because of its hydrogen-filled bladders. they range from 3 to 24 hit dice, their bit starts at 1d8 for the small ones and reaches 8d10 for the largest. If killed by edged weapons they may explode in a fireball equal to their hit dice.

2. Doomguard: Magically animated black armor (from 1 to 24 hit dice). It can teleport at will (line of sight only) and is 100% immune to fire, lightning, fear, paralysis, confusion, and charm proof. Cold only does 1/2 damage but slows them. They have to be chopped to pieces to stop.

1. Hell Maidens and their Hell Horses: Hell Maidens (5 to 8 HD) are lovely warriors from the neck down, but their heads are skulls. Generally wear chainmail and use a shield, lance, and sword. While they are NOT undead, only silver or magic weapons harm them, they have all undead immunities as will as immunity to confusion and level drains. They ride Hell Horses. They screech and gibber in combat -- and collect the bodies of those they kill for food. Unlike their riders, Hell Horses are undead, skeleton horses with cat-like fangs and green flames for eyes. They have 5 to 10 HD. They have all undead immunities, only silver or magic weapons hit, and they hate dwarves, attacking them on sight unless successfully restrained by their rider.

Anonymous said...
February 25, 2009 at 5:51 PM  

Great list. It's great to see Air Sharks getting more love :D

jamused said...
February 25, 2009 at 7:49 PM  

I remember most of those fondly. (Not the Hell Maidens, for some reason.) To the list I'd add Deodanths (gotta respect a direct Vance swipe), Phandelions, Piranhakeets, and last but not least, Kill Kittens. My brother's girlfriend was one of those players who'd fall for them every time.

jamused said...
February 25, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

Oh! And Bubble Men! How could I forget how much my players hated seeing them bob down a corridor?

Randall said...
February 25, 2009 at 8:49 PM  

Kill Kittens only worked a couple of times with each of my groups. Then all kittens who looked injured were avoided. Bubble Men were magical constructs in my world, but people hated to see them coming all the same.

Robert Fisher said...
February 26, 2009 at 12:01 AM  

I never had the Arduin books. Thanks for posting this list. They’re all very inspirational.

Sham aka Dave said...
February 26, 2009 at 1:15 AM  

Great Idea! I've managed to avoid this meme until now, so I'll get involved since I love your idea.

For me, no Arduin listing of favorites is complete without:

Star Demons
Boogie Men
Black Lightning Elementals

You get the idea. Arduin was rock solid.

Randall said...
February 26, 2009 at 5:36 PM  


Star demons and Valpyrs are other favorites. I didn't put them on the list because I did not use them that often.

Arduin monsters were darn good, but a lot of the classes were really over the top powerful. A few could make the worst munichkin combination of 3.x classes seem relatively tame.

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