I love monsters. Cracked, not so much.

Okay, so. Found this recently: 15 Retarded Dungeons and Dragons Monsters.

And I thought I’d have a  look at it. Because I have a few issues with it.

First issue is the use of the term “retarded;” That’s just not a word I think needs to be used as a synonym for “dumb.”

Because D&D has some extremely dumb monsters. Even 3rd Edition did. Might have a look at some of those losers myself, someday.  For now, this thing.

15) Roving Mauler: An unfortunate beast from Tome of Magic. That book had its fair share of dumb, dumb, DUMB monsters (some of which I might return to), and the Roving Mauler… Isn’t actually the worst of them. No, that would be the Tooth Beast… In fact, it doesn’t really deserve a spot on this list. See, there’s a few entries on this list wherein I found myself saying “Does this guy know ANYTHING about mythology?” Apparently not, for if he did, he’d know that this thing is meant to be a representation of Buer, who is indeed a lion’s head with a wheel of feet surrounding it. I admit, typing that out, it does sound a bit silly, but mythology is, at times, silly. We’ll get back to that.

14) Gelatinous Cube: … Okay, I’ll give him this one. The Cube has been in D&D for decades now, and while he misrepresents how dangerous one is- if it manages to slide over you, it simply absorbs you and then begins to eat you- it’s a stupid creature. Amorphous life exists. It does not take the form of a cube. No creature takes the form of a cube. I will never use a Cube in my games, because I’ll accept a world where floating collections of eyestalks with no visible genitals or sphincters exist, but not one where, opposed to how any life evolves, a perfectly square ooze exists…

13) Knell Beatle: … Okay. I’ll give him this one…

12) Senmurv:  Seriously. How hard is  it to look things up on Wikipedia? I admit, the tropical bird feathers are a tad ridiculous, but this is more a result of shoddy art than the creature itself being dumb. This article over-analyzes art, and seems to care very little for the creatures themselves. Case in point…

11) Demilich. Has this guy even played D&D?  To sum up briefly: A Lich is a wizard who, in his desire for power and knowledge, has abandoned his mortality to become an undead monster. Think Skeletor, only minus the lisp and actually threatening. A Demilich is one who has existed for such a long time that it, in turn, abandons most of its body, leaving only its skull behind while its spirit walks the infinite planes in search of even more foul and forbidden lore. Anyone foolish enough to rouse the skull from its torpor will quickly discover that its spellcasting abilities are intact, and it can devour souls now as well. Far from “waiting for a party of heroes to smack it out of the air like a piñata,” this thing was, is, and likely always will be, one of the meanest, nastiest forms of “TPK-in-a-can” that exists in D&D.

10) Brain in a Jar: Again, another example of this guy either not reading the entry for the creature, or simply refusing to care, the Brain in a Jar is unlikely to be alone, and has a selection of psionic abilities to keep enemies at bay. Yes, you could probably just kick it over… If you can get close enough.

9) Digester: I’m not even going to try to defend this loser…

8) Moon Rats: What, you don’t think Moon Rats are awesome? It’s a rat that plots to overthrow civilization. I’m also pretty sure they don’t completely lose their intelligence in the day. Even if they do, they’re probably smart enough to work around this weakness. And they’re not really distinguishable from normal rats. Paranoia Fuel, man…

7) Ash Rats: Pretty sure I  don’t have the book these things are in, but they are not on fire, they are made of fire. Makes it a very different ball game, I’m afraid.

 6) Grell: I’m sorry. These things are fucking scary. Creepy as hell and more than capable of tearing a grown man apart, yes, D&D overdoes the whole “floating” thing, but you know. It’s magic. They don’t have to explain it…

5) Atropal: Again, this guy doesn’t seem to have played a lot of D&D. Or any RPG for that matter. An Atropal is a nascent godling, killed before it could even truly be born. It is not a mortal fetus (as an undead fetus would be unsettling, but probably harmless) but rather, the stillborn remains of a god. Even dead gods in D&D still have some kind of power. An undead god? It’s the kind of thing that keeps people awake at night…

4) Hippocampus: Intelligent sea creatures use them as underwater mounts. I admit the horse head is nonsensical, but someone might have been thinking of a Kelpie…

3) Porcupine Cactus: There are actual plants in our world that undergo reproduction by exploding. It’s not as stupid as it sounds. Though, I admit, this thing should have been a hazard, not a creature…

2) Anguillian: Yeah. I have no idea why these things use spears either… Otherwise, I think they’re pretty intimidating and I have no idea why they’re so high up on this list. Why, it’s almost like he looked through art and just picked the strangest-looking things he could find, and then made snarky, out of context commentary about them. My word, what could ever give me that impression?

1) Gelun: Oh. Right. I admit the concept is a bit bizarre, and yeah, while frozen, a Gelun is utterly helpless. That’s kind of the point. They’re meant to be pathetic. Creatures that once had a destiny elsewhere, who now cannot live in environments lower than a hundred degrees farenheit. They have some formidable powers, and are dangerous in groups, but for the most part, are just kind of sad. Not every monster is going to be as threatening as a Pit Fiend, or as intimidating as a dragon. Some are just going to be pitiful.

Overall… Yeah, it has some losers on it, but it didn’t even begin to scratch the surface of even MM1. I mean, the Ethereal Filcher? The Destrichan? No mention at all of the Bulette? I’d say I expect better from Cracked, but I really don’t.

I need to look into this topic myself someday soon.

 

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