Monday, September 16, 2013

Thirty Days of D&D, Day 15 & 16: Favorite Undead & Aberration

The site of mega-geekery had an aptly timed article today on The 10 Most Memorable Dungeons & Dragons Monsters. In summary, their list was: Beholder, Displacer Beast, Mimic, Rust Monster, Gelatinous Cube, Owlbear, Lich, the Drow, Mind Flayer, and the Tarrasque. Check out the article for details.

It's a list of icons to be sure, in fact some are declared product identity of the D&D brand. Each has been established or popularized in the fantasy lexicon because of D&D or for some the D&D interpretation has become the preeminent incarnation over older, perhaps more 'correct', definitions.

Since I fell behind, we're doing a double creature feature today. There are so many choices for monsters, a favorite is only a favorite because one has to choose for the purposes of the blog activity. My cursory list includes:

Skeletons. Nothing represents death more than an old pile of bones, preferably with skull (pirates know where it's at). Nothing says undead more than those very bones animated into skeletons wielding old arms, articulated at each joint despite the lack of flesh and sinews. Skeletons are classical undead that fire the imagination since before D&D (cue Harryhausen's example in Jason and the Argonauts).

They're of that toughness where many beginning groups have encountered them. They may be the most ubiquitous undead. What ancient elaborate tomb worth it's grave goods doesn't have a few skeleton guardians. Skeletons serves as the motif for stronger and smarter variant such as giant skeletons, the mohrg, dracoliches, and the equally iconic lich.

Flumph. Aberrations are often some derivative of the Mythos creatures. Almost to the tentacle and eye-stalk they are inimical to existence itself. They're all doom and despair.

If not, then they're at the least some sort of true neutral beast acting on alien instincts, callous to the consequences of their actions and ignorant of their biological impingement upon our ecology.

The flumph, being generally magnanimous, are a breath of freshness, a spike of plurality amongst an infinite array of cosmic and extraterrestrial horrors.

I'm Lawful Good, fools, not lawful push-me-over.

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