Sunday, May 17, 2015
30 Days of D&D Day 17: Favorite Monster (Animal/Vermin)
Well, I can't say that I have a favorite "vermin" type when it comes to, well, anything. With animals in general, it's dogs, but most "normal" animals aren't in play very often when it comes to D&D. Horses, I suppose, and the occasional mule. So, I'm going to bend this one a little bit and pick my favorite Magical Beast, because that's kind of on the animal line.
My favorite magical beast is the Cockatrice.
We actually haven't dealt with them very often in games. There was one college game where a cockatrice turned several members of the party to stone (I can't remember if that happened to Brigid [I think it did, because I think I remember Kyre (sp?) procuring the "turn back from stone" elixir or whatever], or to a paladin named Leandra I was playing in another game at the time, for a friend who was running the adventure paths which started with the Sunless Citadel. There was a medusa in those, anyway, and most of the party turned to stone there....)
But I read The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangering, Jr. and there was a cockatrice in there (more or less symbolic of the devil, I daresay), and it was probably the first time in my life I'd heard of one, and I thought they were fascinating.
My witch Agatha ended up having one as her familiar. They're far too overpowered to start with a "real" cockatrice at 1st level (and indeed, in Pathfinder, they were never even on the improved familiar feat list, but this is again why it's important to talk to your DM), but I had a familiar which looked like one anyway, and then "became" one. Not like you bring their special abilities into play anyway; one of the last things you want is for your familiar to be in combat. It sucks when your familiar dies, and cost A LOT of money to get another one. But chickens are kind of alien critters anyway (birds in general are) so add a further sinister reptilian bent to it, and things get deliciously weird.