Weekly Beasties – Forest Giant

Weekly Beastie

bodleian douce 346 alteredForest Giants are vicious bandits and raiders from the edges of civilization. Able to pass in and out of the woods quickly and quietly, regions haunted by Forest Giants never quite enjoy peaceful times – the next raid could always be just around the corner. Thankfully, Forest Giants are rare compared to other kinds of giant, preferring the solitude of deep, trackless forests and only emerging to take what the lesser races have.

Infused with innate druidic magic, forest giants can speak with plants, teleport between trees, and call up the brambles of the woods to attack enemies. Their natural leafy coverings also allow them to blend in with the forest canopy – a natural consequence of their size. While their natural talents might earn them some respect from other giants, forest giants instead scorn giant society and prefer to go their own way – raiding or attacking their kin just as often as anyone else.

Forest Giants do not take slaves, mostly stealing or doing banditry to get things they can’t make themselves, like metal weapons and shiny, finished goods. Lazy to a fault, they much prefer to rob under threat violence or demand tribute than actually kill anything. After all, they’re smart enough to understand that dead humans aren’t going to have more things to steal next time they come around.

Though forest giants mostly act as isolated tribes, they are willing to cooperate with other forest dwellers – usually fey and fey-adjacent creatures like Lank Boars and Trumpeters of the Dark Woods, or perhaps the occasional exceptionally vicious pixie.

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Weekly Beasties- Jawless

Weekly Beastie

JawlessA gruesome guard often employed by necromancers to protect their lairs, the Jawless is a zombie that’s had its mouth removed. Unable to sate its undead appetite for the flesh of the living, what little mind it has left is driven mad by hunger. It will viciously attack any living creature who crosses its path. Even its creators must tread carefully in its presence, for its rotting brain can’t distinguish between friend and foe.

Weekly Beasties- Helpful Delver

Weekly Beastie

15210 Delver_AWhen civilized races first began constructing their dungeons, one of the first discovered creatures were the delvers. This intelligent race lives deep underground, burrowing through caves and bedrock to design elaborate lairs. While not especially antagonistic, many delvers came into conflict with surface races who encroached into their territory.

Most delvers dug deeper to maintain their solitude, but a few proved willing to engage with dwarves and surface races in trade. In exchange for food or protection, delvers agreed to help craft their dungeons. While initially skeptical, most races ultimately accepted these deals when they realized delvers could forge tunnels far quicker than their own craftsmen. A few even convinced delvers to breach the dungeons of rivals, allowing armies to quickly reach their enemies.

Despite their monstrous appearance, delvers are not mindless beasts and will respond in anger to anyone attempting to deceive them. At a minimum, surface dwellers who attempt to betray the delver’s favor can expect their expensive armor to be destroyed by acid, leaving them naked and defenseless underground.

Want a miniature of this beastie? Order the Underground Set from Arc Knight!

Weekly Beasties- Automaton

Weekly Beastie

AutomotonI’ve had a hankering do something sci-fi for awhile now and I finally decided to take the plunge. The Automaton is the result.

A cybernetic shock trooper, the Automaton is one of the last remaining artifacts of a now dead alien civilization from another dimension. Crossing into the fantasy world of D&D, it has a distinct advantage over any foe equipped with non-magical weaponry.

I have something bigger and better planned that I’ll be tying into the Automaton soon, so stay tuned!

Dark Bodak – Weekly Beastie

Weekly Beastie

8250 Bodak_ABodaks are a thankfully rare branch of the world’s known undead. Unlike skeletons and zombies, which are remnants of necrotic magic, bodaks are created by a direct intrusion of Chaotic Evil into the material world. They usually are a sign of that the boundaries separating dimensional planes have worn thin, and may eventually attract demons and other abyssal creatures if their presence is allowed to fester.

While not physically imposing compared to most warriors, bodaks pose a real danger to all races. Their greatest power is an ability to inflict their undead condition on other humanoids with a single glance, dooming that creature to a slow death. They cannot be reasoned or bargained with, seeking only to spread their contamination across the material plane.

For this reason, good and lawful evil heroes of the material plane formed a temporary alliance generations ago to purge the bodaks from existence. Their efforts appeared successful, but now bodak sightings are being reported once again. One benefit to the reduced infuence of Chaotic Evil is their legendary Death Gaze – a key ability in creating more bodaks – has been reduced in power. But unchecked, they still threaten all civilizations, and may require new heroes to stand against them once again.

Do you want a miniature of this Beastie? Well, this Annis artwork is provided by the folks at ArcKnight, who produce Flat Plastic Miniatures and other RPG supplements. You’ll get one if you order ArcKnight’s Undergound set!

Night Terror – Weekly Beastie

Weekly Beastie

2900 AnimateDream_A“Don’t worry, it’s just a bad dream!”

Sometimes that’s true. But when your planet happens to be in close proximity to the Astral Plane, your nightmares could be something else.

It’s common knowledge that sleeping creatures can experience loosely-remembered journeys into the Astral Plane. So if your drifting spirit encounters a hungry night terror, you’re likely to wake up in a horrible sweat as it rips into your astral form. Thankfully, short of causing you to fall out of bed in a panic, there’s little harm a night terror can inflict on dreamers.

The problem comes when direct portals to the Astral Plane – which spellcasters have been creating with great efficiency – causes night terrors to leak into the Material Plane. Now they can directly feed on dreamers, disrupting their rest and consuming psychic energy. While unlikely to kill an adventurer on their own, they can still make life incredibly difficult for a party travelling through dungeons without any rest.

But don’t worry, it’s just bad dreams.

Do you want a miniature of this Beastie? Well, this Annis artwork is provided by the folks at ArcKnight, who produce Flat Plastic Miniatures and other RPG supplements. You’ll get one if you order ArcKnight’s Ancient Evils set!

Weekly Beasties- Dire Wolverine

Weekly Beastie

Dire WolverineYour player party is wandering in the wild when, all the sudden, a beast bursts from the nearby woods and charges you. The PCs shoot it with arrows, but it keeps coming. They blast it with magic, but it keeps coming. Even as it’s upon them and they’re slashing and stabbing it with pikes, axes, and swords, it doesn’t stop. A fury of gnashing teeth and slashing claws, it mauls your cleric until, finally, its battered body collapses in death. When facing the Dire Wolverine, always expect the worst.

Weekly Beasties- Rockslide Drake

Weekly Beastie

Rockslide Drake CoverFantasy is no stranger to mountain settings and it’s not hard to say why. In addition to offering up amazing scenery, mountains are full of danger. Narrow pathways and high altitudes; it’s only a matter of time before someone takes a thousand tumble to the ground below.

The Rockslide Drake aims to make your player party’s mountainside ascent even more dangerous than it already is. Tooled to the task of pummeling PCs with falling rocks, it’s the beastie to throw into your game the next time your players find themselves marching up your Caradhras analog.

The inspiration and art for the Rockslide Drake from a 15th Century Book of Hours. It is part of the Public Domain Adventures series, all based on works in the public domain.

Black Annis – Weekly Beastie

Weekly Beastie

AnnisBlack Annis. In mythology, this name references everything from the mother of hags to one of the first supernatural monsters to walk the physical plane. But whatever truth may be to those legends, the present day reality is much simpler: There is more than one Black Annis.

When any creature with untapped spellcasting potential is reviled and cursed by the community, her magics can react by transforming her into the object of their fears. This process usually leaves the Annis looking like a wizened old crone, but with the strength and speed of a monstrous predator. This transformation pays no mind to the previous alignment of its victim – much to the surprise of angry mobs in pursuit when it occurs.

Sadly, it is often frightened commoners never aware of their spellcasting abilities who suffer the fate of a Black Annis. If the curse is removed, it is possible to rehabilitate a Black Annis back into society, but doing so is often no easy task since she will resist at every turn.

Do you want a miniature of this Beastie? Well, this Annis artwork is provided by the folks at ArcKnight, who produce Flat Plastic Miniatures and other RPG supplements. You’ll get one if you order ArcKnight’s Ancient Evils set!