Inktober Monstrosities: R for Rock Reptile

You'd think finding a good monster for the letter R would be easy, it being the fourth most frequently used consonant in the alphabet, but as it turns out there were actually few good candidates on R. The final choice actually fell on this critter, the Rock Reptile, which again you'd be forgiven if you've never heard about. It only appeared in the Monster Manual II for first edition AD&D, and then a third party monster book for third edition (Sword & Sorcery - Tome of Horrors from Necromancer Games), and that's it.

They are described as horse sized lizards, living underground, with lumpy, warty hide and chameleon like powers.


Inktober Monstrosities: Q for Quasielemental (Lightning)

Q was an especially difficult letter to find a monster for, so the solution became the Lightning Quasielemental, and even that by stretching it a bit. Quasielementals are composite or near elementals that don't fit snugly into the classical distinction of the four base elements.

The lightning quasielemental first appeared as the only quasielemental in the Monster Manual II for first edition AD&D, and then again, this time along with the whole family in the third Monstrous Compendium for the Planescape setting for second edition.

For those interested, the whole family of quasielementals are divided into positive and negative , and include the ash, dust, salt, vacuum, lightning, mineral, radiance and steam elementals.



Inktober Monstrosities: P for Penanggalan

This lovely lady is a penanggalan, a type of female vampire from Malaysian mythology. At night these women (on they can only be women apparently) can detach their head and innards from their body, and fly around in search of prey, preferably other young women. After a night of hunting they return to their headless body, but their entrails are so engorged that they have to be soak them in vinegar for about an hour before they can fit within the cavity of the body.

The penanggalan first appeared in the (you guessed it...) Fiend Folio, then again in the second edition Fiend Folio Monstrous Compendium supplement. Then for third edition, because of its far eastern origins, it appeared in the Oriental Adventures source book.

The whole mechanics of the penanggalan is long winded mess, covering a whole page and a half in the original Fiend Folio and two full pages for the second edition version. Converting it to fifth edition was quite the task, and the end result is one large, convoluted and long winded stat block...


Inktober Monstrosities: O for Osquip

The osquip is described as a large, hairless, dog sized rodent, that looks something like a massive hairless mole rat with six legs and teeth the size of shovel blades. Most specimens have six feet, but they have been known to have as many as eight or even ten feet in some cases.

Like so many of the weird monstrosities covered in this little alphabet, the osquip first appeared in the Fiend Folio. It was later featured in the second edition Monstrous Compendium (vol. 2) and Monstrous Manual. It made a brief appearance in third edition in the sourcebook Races of Faerun (not as a playable race), until disappearing into obscurity.



Inktober Monstrosities: N for Norker

Another old obscurity, the norker is a small goblinoid, said to be a distant cousin of the hobgoblin. They have thick hide, though its form and nature varies a bit depending on which source you look at. Regardless, this thick hide means the norker will eschew armor.

They first appeared in the Fiend Folio for first edition AD&D, then in the Greyhawk appendix of the Monstrous Compendium for the second edition, missing third edition altogether, and being reinvented as a race with deep ties to the elemental plane of earth for the fourth edition.




Inktober Monstrosities: M for Moon Dog

In real life, a moon dog is a rare bright spot on the halo of the moon, caused by the refraction of moonlight by ice crystals in clouds.

In D&D they are strange, benevolent dog, with dark shaggy fur, opposable thumbs on their forepaws, and the ability to travel on either two or four. Kind and intelligent, these dogs are truly any good man's best friend.

They first appeared in the Monster Manual II for first edition AD&D, then later in various releases for later editions.



Inktober Monstrosities: L for Locathah

The Locathah is a real classic of D&D beast. It first appeared in the original D&D supplement Blackmoor all the way back in 1975, then later in the first edition Monster Manual, the Monstrous compendium (volum 2) and Monstrous Manual for second edition and the Monster Manual for third edition, and then, despite its prominent placement in the first three versions, all but disappeared.

Described as a race of  aquatic humanoids, that live in nomadic, civilized societies, roaming shallow warm waters, hunting and gathering food.

Quite why they suddenly went into obscurity is unclear, but it is probable they were just competing for an already over crowed niche of aquatic fish-like humanoids, competing with other, more "exciting" races, such as the sahuagina and the kuo toa.

Still, the Locathah is the creature that most closely resembles the iconic Gill Man, best known as the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and given a new renaissance in Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water.




Inktober Monstrosities: K for Kappa

The Kappa is a strange being from Japanese folklore. A type of spirit, demon, or imp they inhabit lakes and rivers. They are about the size of a child, roughly human in appearance, with scaly  greenish skin, webbed and clawed hands and feet and a turtle shell on its back. They are said to be fond of cucumbers and sumo wrestling, as well as looking up women's kimonos.

The most peculiar trait of the Kappa is the indentation at the top of their skull. This is filled with water from the body of water where the Kappa resides, and should it ever be emptied or dried out, the kappa will loose its power, and might even die.

The kappa first appeared in the Oriental Adventures book, and then later in the Kara-Tur Monstrous Compendium for second edition, and the newer Oriental Adventures for 3rd edition.