Shack Chat: What's your favorite DnD creature?

It doesn't matter if it's first or fifth edition, here's the Shacknews crew's favorite beasts and monsters from the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

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Earlier this week Baldur’s Gate 3 launched into its Early Access phase much to the delight of fantasy-RPG gaming fans everywhere. And we here at Shacknews are not immune to the hype. While not everyone in the crew is necessarily a tabletop role-player, we’ve all experienced at least one or two games in a similar realm. With that being said, we thought we’d do a bit of a creature feature this week and find out what DnD monsters are our staff’s number ones. And if you happen to have a favorite of your own, be sure to share it in the Chatty thread.

Question: What’s your favorite DnD creature?


The Mind Flayer - Ozzie Mejia, Senior Editor

Ooh! Look at this Cthulhu-looking dude. I'm a sucker for these kinds of tentacle monsters and I'm not even a hentai guy or anything. They're like a horrifying Borg, where if you get assimilated, you become a squid man. Resistance is futile. And that Baldur's Gate 3's first announcement trailer led with this guy is pretty neat.


The Gelatinous Cube - Donovan Erskine, Never Dungeoned or Dragoned

Gelatinous Cube

I’ve never played D&D, but I really want to. From what I’ve seen in watching others play, or in other forms of pop culture, is that the Gelatinous Cube is a force to be reckoned with. In a universe filled with terrifying and menacing monsters, I love that there is a literal cube that can pose just as much of a threat as a fire-breathing dragon.


A friggin’ Dragon - Blake Morse, Level 5 Half-Elf Wizard

A dnd dragon

I feel like maybe this one is a tidbit obvious. There are plenty of awesome creatures in the DnD world, but there’s only beast who appears in the game’s title. Dragons are huge and extremely difficult to kill. They spend most of their time sleeping and hoarding gold when they’re not roaming the countryside burninating villagers and what have you. It sounds like a pretty sweet life, even if you do have to deal with the occasional campaign party trying to kill you and take your heart or some other BS. I’m honestly not sure why everyone else didn’t go with dragons too.


Bone Devil - Chris Jarrard, What is this nerd crap?

Bone Devil

Assuming this is a safe space, I’m going to admit something that could ruin my credibility with hip internet types — I’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons and don’t really know anything about it. As I need to select my favorite creature as per this week’s discussion, I found a compendium of beasts from which to make my selection.

As I scrolled down through the list, my eyes stopped on the obvious choice: Bone Devil. Hell yeah, man. This is what they used to call me in high school. No, they didn’t.


Doppelganger - Sam Chandler, The Good Twin

Doppelganger

Doppelgangers are delightfully creepy. A creature that can morph into a humanoid that it has seen? What better way to infiltrate organizations and otherwise create a bit of chaos among the party.

Then there’s the fact it can read minds. Like, what? Not only can it look like someone in power, but it can understand the thoughts of someone it’s talking to. That’s a super powerful monster, to be sure. When reading thoughts, it gets an advantage over its target, which certainly makes it rather formidable.


Owlbear - Bill Lavoy, Faithful Cartographer

AN Owlbear

Look, I don’t know anything about D&D, so my answer comes from a Google search, but that’s all I needed. Owls and bears are cool on their own. In fact, bears are one of my favorite animals. The minute that I saw this creature, I was sold. The Owlbear is far and away my favorite creature in D&D, and I don’t even need to see the full roster to say that with confidence.


Owlbear - TJ Denzer, Newsbear

Another Owlbear pic

There are so many cool things in Dungeons & Dragons. So many dungeons… so many dragons… But the one creature that always springs up first in my mind when it comes to my favorites is the Owlbear. Quite simply half-owl and half-bear, these 8 to 12-foot-tall critters are chock-full of musclefluff and beaky bearhugs. And you’re probably in trouble if you end up on the wrong side of that bearhug situation because besides squeezing the life out of you, they can rapidly peck with their big owl face. So why the heck do I find them so endearing? Listen, I’m a fan of bears. I love them. I tune in every year to Fat Bear Week (incidentally last week), and despite knowing that they are hundreds of pounds of deadly muscle, claws, and teeth, I will not be told that I also can’t like and respect these snuggly-looking killing machines.

The same goes for the Owlbear with the sidenote that I’m also all about birds and their quirky habits. In the case of a lot of avians, the Owlbear included, they are fiercely loyal to one other that they care about as their companion. SO! The way I see it, a terrifying Owlbear COULD be a best friend. You’d just have to catch it early… and probably couldn’t have any other friends if you’re not a fan of friends being eaten by Owlbears. But… sometimes you just gotta make sacrifices in life if you really want something.


Mind Flayer - David L. Craddock, long reads editor

Mindflayer

The mind flayer--illithid to its friends--is one of the coolest-looking and coolest characters in terms of concept in D&D lore. With the body of a man and the head of an octopus, mind flayers seem right at home among eldritch horrors from the likes of H. P. Lovecraft. My favorite incarnation comes from Demon’s Souls, where the flayers guarding the Tower of Latria alert you to their presence by ringing handbells. Far from boosting my confidence, the jingle of those bells makes my hands break out in a cold sweat.


Giant Spiders - Greg Burke, Head of Video


There are a ton of monsters, minions and creatures in the D&D universe, but I have to go with the classic Giant Spiders. Spiders, whether the size of a nickel, or big like the size of a dinner plate look terrifying. They move slow, but can dart extremely fast. So there's nothing more terrifying than one that's the same size as you or even bigger. I think they make great enemies to face off against. They are gross, scary, and poinsious; a perfect combo.


Death Dog-Steve Tyminski, Contributing Editor

Death Dog

What is my favorite Dungeons and Dragons creature? I think I’ll have to pick the Death Dog as my favorite. It’s a two-headed dog that looks like a wolf; how cool is that? If I don’t want to mess around with one of the heads, I’ll move onto the other. It also acts similarly to a real canine by wanting to eat meat as well as its spit being something you don’t want to get in contact with. Having two heads allows for multi-attacks and that’s always a good thing, if it's on your side.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    October 9, 2020 1:30 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Chat: What's your favorite DnD creature?

    • reply
      October 9, 2020 2:21 PM

      Tarrasque

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        October 9, 2020 4:41 PM

        Oh that's a good choice. You know of the Modron, then.

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      October 9, 2020 2:30 PM

      Bag of Devouring

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      October 9, 2020 2:30 PM

      Just a small point but I think it should be D&D in an article title.

      And the answer quite obviously is the flumph

      Change my mind

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      October 9, 2020 3:56 PM

      Mimic

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        October 9, 2020 7:45 PM

        There are so many right answers. I got halfway through 400 pages when I realized it was always Gelatinous Cube for me. Drow is close second. The fact its a playable character is amazing. I may have made the game harder than I should have for the first run around but playing a rogue drow doesnt suck. The dialogue and NPCs have exceeded expectations.

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      October 9, 2020 4:43 PM

      Hands down, the opposing races of Githyanki, Githzerai, and Illithid.

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      October 9, 2020 4:44 PM

      Sewer rats. I can't get off until I've spent 10 hours killing sewer rats to hit level 2.

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      October 9, 2020 4:45 PM

      The dreaded gazebo!

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      October 9, 2020 5:46 PM

      I’m a huge fan of the remorhaz. It’s such a cool creature. Threw one at my party recently and it was one of the most memorable encounters we’ve ever had.

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      October 9, 2020 5:50 PM

      the Gorath

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        October 9, 2020 7:01 PM

        It's not that dangerous, I hear it hurts itself more than anything else.

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      October 9, 2020 6:16 PM

      Always been Beholder

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      October 9, 2020 6:58 PM

      Rakasha, just look at this suave mf

      http://chattypics.com/files/Rakshasa1e_mp74sdftr3.jpg

      sophisticated, comfortable, in command. also a tiger. the party doesn't even want to fight this guy, they want to BE this guy.

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      October 9, 2020 6:59 PM

      Probably the Illithid/Mind Flayer

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        October 10, 2020 12:31 AM

        another good one. I think Tarrasque, Mind Flayer and Beholder are my top 3

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      October 9, 2020 7:06 PM

      I'm all about the Hag.

      There are just so many things you can do with a good hag. Including having a "good" hag.

      If the players don't know they are a hag, they can be so very useful. They can lean into players need to strike a bargain, they can be the person who "identifies" magical items for the party, they can be the quest giver who uses the party to eliminate their enemies. When the nature of the hag is eventually revealed it opens up a whole set of quandaries for the party to decide. Is destroying her worth losing the benefits she brings? How much has the party TOLD this Hag, and who has she told? Can they even take her on?

      I've inserted a hag into just about every game I've played and so far no one has figured it out yet. Love me a good hag.

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        October 9, 2020 7:29 PM

        Shapeshifted dragons are good for this, too. So are a whole host of psychic things that can control minds.

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      October 9, 2020 7:26 PM

      modrons

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      October 9, 2020 7:33 PM

      Do you need to check the Monster manual before arriving and dispensing your important edict? Me too. HERE: https://online.anyflip.com/duex/ixpz/mobile/index.html#p=1

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      October 9, 2020 8:23 PM

      Gelatinous Cube

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      October 9, 2020 9:18 PM

      Who abbreviates Dungeons and Dragons and DnD? It's D&D.Good lord.

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        October 9, 2020 9:19 PM

        Also, what whistletits just said. haha

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      October 9, 2020 9:33 PM

      Succubus. Duh.

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      October 9, 2020 9:37 PM

      Mind Flayer

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      October 9, 2020 10:14 PM

      Shambling Mound

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      October 10, 2020 12:33 AM

      Beholder, baby!

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      October 10, 2020 2:11 AM

      Flumph.

      But seriously beholder.

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      October 10, 2020 3:00 AM

      ALTHOUGH. The correct answer is actually the Black Reaver from Iron Crown Enterprises Rolemaster.

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        October 10, 2020 3:10 AM

        "There is nothing short of a deity more dangerous than a Black Reaver."
        "The Black Reaver is the result of a possession and subsequent combination of a Major Undead (Lich, Vampire, etc) or Greater Lycanthrope with an Ordainer or other Demon Beyond The Pale. They are always given a purpose, most often the guarding of a particular object or door, or the killing of some individual. They are not wanton, but they will do what is necessary and will remove any obstacles very quickly. They are always armed with a large hooked battle axe (Eog +30) and dressed in black plate armor (+25) and cape. Their helmets sport glistening horns for decoration and two bright red eyes glow from within. They are capable of flight or underwater movement at a constant rate of 120' / round *(10 sec rounds). They need nothing for life support (i.e. air, food, etc), do not age, become bored, or tired. They will not stop without fulfilling their objective. There is no easy way to kill one. They usually do not move faster than their base rate. Why hurry?"

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      October 10, 2020 6:26 AM

      Always been partial to the Flumph.

      Illithid very close 2nd.

      And I prefer Duergar to standard mountain dwarves.

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