D&D Basic - NPC Gallery: Dwarf Priest

Back in the first edition AD&D player's handbook, only NPC dwarves were allowed to be clerics. The rules were relaxed later, making it one of the few spellcasting classes available to dwarves. As NPC they can come in every guise, ranging from benevolent healers to nefarious cultists, calling upon their deity for blessings and miracles, or to cause mayhem and destruction.



Inktober Monstrosities: Z for Zorbo

At long last we reach the letter Z, and in the search for forgotten and overlooked creatures we find the
zorbo - a strange koala-like creature that can absorb protective properties from its surroundings, as well as draining protective magical items.

The zorbo first appeared in the Monster Manual II for first edition AD&D, then later in the Monstrous Compendium Annual volume two...

... and that was it I thought, only to find out that it actually appeared in the Tomb of Annihilation adventure for fifth edition, which strictly speaking means it's disqualified for this list (the locathah appeared in Secrets of Saltmarsh AFTER it appeared here), so maybe it'll be replaced later... we'll have to see.





Inktober Monstrosities: Y for Yugoloth, Guardian

Guardian Daemons or Yugoloth are extra planar beings summoned to protect (or guard if you will) items or places. They come in three different sizes, tall, venti and grande... eh...that is... least, lesser and greater, sharing many traits, though unlike the greater, which always appears as a large, horned and winged bear, with eagle talons for feet and claws, the two lesser variants are not as defined in shape or size.

A bit of a cheat this one, since these monstrosities were originally called Guardian Daemons when they first appeared in the  Fiend Folio for first edition AD&D and the Monstrous compendium volume two, for second edition. Only when reappearing in the second edition Monstrous Manual., were they defined as yugoloth, but with so few good monsters on u I'll grasp at any straw.






Inktober Monstrosities: X for Xill

The xill are a race of cruel and strange, four armed, flame red alien creatures, native to the Ethereal Plane, that travel to the Material Plane to hunt for potential hosts for their eggs, usually in the form of adventurers. Sometimes they also hire out their expertise as mercenaries and men-at-arms, probably requiring double pay due to their extra set of arms.

In D&D the xill first appeared in the Fiend Folio for first edition AD&D and then in the Monstrous compendium, Fiend Folio appendix, for second edition. In third edition they got prime billing, appearing in the original Monster Manual.



Inktober Monstrosities: W for Wemic

Wemics for all intents and purposes lion centaurs. Lion-human hybrid creatures are abundant throughout ancient mythology like the sphinx and the shedu. While creatures similar to the wemic figure in both ancient Assyrian carvings and medieval heraldic devices, it has never really attained the same popularity in myth and fantasy as its equine cousin.

In D&D the wemic first appeared in a set of monster cards printed in 1982. It was then reprinted in the Monster Manual II for first edition AD&D the following year. For second edition it was first printed in the Monstrous compendium, Forgotten Realms appendix, and although it reappeared in the "generic" second edition Monstrous Manual , for the third edition it was printed in the Monsters of Faerun supplement.






Inktober Monstrosities: V for Vodyanoi

The vodyanoi is a creature from Slavic folklore, residing in rivers and lakes. It is usually described as a humanoid figure with a frog-like face, a long beard, greenish black mucky, scaly skin with webbed hands and feet and a fish tail. Largely a malevolent creature it is known to drown people, overturn boats and smash dams and water mills.

In D&D the vodyanoi has usually been described as the aquatic cousin of the umber hulk, sharing most of its stats, save for the umber hulk's gaze attacks. It first appeared in the Fiend Folio for first edition AD&D, then alongside the umber hulk in the Monstrous Manual for the second edition. An alternative take appeared in the 3rd edition source book Frostburn.


Inktober Monstrosities: U for Umpleby



The umpleby is a strange and obscure monster from the hazy past of D&D. They are described as an eight feet tall, 400 pounds mound of wild, straggly brown hair, with vaguely discernible mouth and eyes within the mass of fur, native to temperate forests. They possess no great intellectual power, but their massive fur soaks up static electricity at an alarming rate.

Usually passive, if encountered an umpebly most likely tag along with the party, neither hindering nor helping them, though it will it is susceptible to bribes of food, drink or its greatest love in life - sparkly gems. It will fight to defend itself or if anyone threatens to steal its hoard of glittering stones, usually found within its cavernous lair.

The umpleby originally appeared in the Fiend Folio for first edition AD&D, then in the Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix and the Monstrous Manual Annual 2 both for the second edition, only to sink into obscurity from there on. 



Inktober Monstrosities: T for Thoqqua

The thoqqua, or rockworm, is a worm-like creature from the elemental plane of earth and/or fire, and it is suspected to be the larva stage of some terrible elemental creature, though no-one knows exactly which. They are said to burrow into this realm of existence from the elemental planes, or the center of the earth itself, melting and devouring rock as it goes.

It originally appeared in the Fiend Folio for first edition AD&D, then in the Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix III for the second edition, and finally in the Monster Manual for third (and 3.5) edition.