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  Dungeons & Dragons:

Celebrating 30+ Years of Stupid Monsters:  PART TWO.

Warning:  This Article is Very Geeky.  Also, it's rated 15.  (That's a strong PG-13 I suppose for the colonials reading this.)

So.  Here we are again.  If you didn't read the first article that  explains the name of the game we're about to play, check it out by clicking HERE.  To summarize, in case you're lazy and are afraid of hyperlinks (which raises the question of why you're on the internet), last year I threw together a collection of the dumbest "official" monsters I could find for the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons.  As someone who had never actually played D&D, this was pretty random.  What I found more random was just how many people found the damn thing.  When my inbox started to overflow with emails from basement dwellers adamant that their favorite monster was cool, that I was a moron and, most importantly, that I had missed a few important monsters....I figured I'd throw together a sequel.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find enough goofy monsters to make the common man's brain explode.  Foolish, foolish me.  Before we get into Round Two's roster, let me tell you just a little bit about what happened after people started to find the article.  (Oh, and say hello to the updated "flumph" on your left.  You might remember him from the last article as the patron saint of stupid creatures.)

So what happened?

I got kidnapped.  Some D&D gamers here in Berlin found my article, realized I was in their neck of the woods, and tricked me into playing the game I'd written a few thousand words lampooning.  The scary thing?  I play the damn thing every other week at the bare minimum now.  I got pulled into some gaming events and it was all over for me then.  So while the first article was written by someone (me) that had never played the damn thing, this time, this episode, a year later, comes from someone who has actually had to battle these things with his mentally challenged Half-Orc fighter.  :sigh:  My coolness may never recover.  Not that I was that cool in the first place.  Bah.  All I'm saying is, be careful what you make fun of...it might just come after you.   Of course, this doesn't mean I'm going to pull any punches when it comes to the amaaaaaazing things I have to show you.

Speaking of people coming after you, check out what Wizards of the Coast did for their April Fool's Day joke this year (2008, in case you're reading this in the future).   They changed their main page to highlight something familiar....it'll make sense if you read part one of this article.

Yes, 10 out of the 14 monsters listed were also in my article.  If it's a coincidence, it's a bizarre one...particularly considering all the different places those creatures come from.  Turns out, the Stupid Monsters piece I wrote got around a lot more than I thought it would.  I've been sitting in a shop and heard people talking about the Duckbunny.  You can google the words "Stupid Monsters" and the article is the first thing that comes up.  Crazy ego boost aside, how could I NOT write a sequel?

So, let's begin.  The criteria for a monster making this list is pretty simple:  It has to hurt my brain.  A lot of people suggested creatures for this and, well, certain things just aren't retarded enough.  Rust Monsters?  Big insects with propellers on their tails that eat metal?  They're weird, but not brain-stabbingly so.  If the monster doesn't make you wonder what kind of drugs the creator enjoyed on the job, then ethically I just can't bring it to your attention.  Oh and like last time, NONE of these monsters are April Fool's Day creatures.  Well, one of them is, but I only bring it up because one of the "joke" monsters is pretty much exactly the same as ANOTHER monster.  The problem with the idea of "joke" monsters in the normal books is that you can't tell when they want to be serious.  Giant spiders are given just as much screen time as demons that kill you by farting.  The D&D folks give us just as many statistics for magically animated panties as they do your average dragon.  On the topic of magically animated panties, let me introduce you to our first monster: 

Holy Christ, it actually says "Killer Pillow" right there.

I...I just don't know.  I shouldn't have started with this one.  First off, it's yet another animated cloth monster.  Secondly, and most importantly, it's a FREAKING PILLOW THAT KILLS YOU.  So, when this was proposed, did one of the design team of D&D say "You know Steve...I really like what you've got going with this Death Linen thing.  It taps into our players' fear of laundry so elegantly.  But, it needs something more.  How about making it into a magic pillow that eats people while they sleep!  That hasn't been done before has it?"

Oh, if only that were true.

The "Cushion Fungus" is another pillow-themed creature that puts you to sleep and digests your face while you snuggle against its soft velvet lining. 

If the sheer number of monsters that are made up of clothing is any indication, there are a lot of naked people walking around the D&D kingdom.  The Raiment is, of course, HAUNTED clothing that tries to murder people...  Because if D&D has taught me anything, it has taught me that my laundry is just waiting to stab me in the face whenever I let my guard down.

Say hello to the Worry Wart.  Happy?  Now say goodbye.

"Hey honey, where do you we keep our severed hands?"

I don't know why this image makes me as happy as it does.  Maybe it's the idea that there was an evil wizard who spent a whole afternoon stuffing a chest like it was a prank can of peanuts.

Pigs.  In.  Spaaaaaaaaace.

Hey Stepmommy....can I have a Pony for my birthday?

Sure Honey.  I have just the right one in mind.

:Stepmom wanders off, humming the "spider pig" theme song:

Jokes aside, that thing is just damn creepy, even if it is retarded.  Of course, combining anything with a spider makes it scary.  Check out this little combo:

Ah, the dreaded "Bird Spider".  Even that goofy thing is kinda creepy (yet retarded, as previously established) because all humans hate spiders.  While my arachnophobia might bias me a bit (see the very 1st article on the site), the D&D Design team know you fear anything with 8 legs, fangs, and far too many eyes.  To those of you with Dungeons & Dragons books on your shelf, just flip through it to see just how many spider or spider related things are in there.  There's no less than 80,000 spiders in various Monster Manuals.  It's kind of an overdone theme, but there's a reason for it.  Popular themes in D&D aren't always so...legit, as it were.  I'm still wondering why we have hundreds of varieties of skeletons, including skeletal hands, skeletal snakes, skeletal dogs, skeletons that explode, skeletons on fire, skeletal dragons, and, well, skeletal skeletons.  The list goes on, but I don't have to.

Now a lot of Monster Manuals have statistics for "normal" animals.  Usually it makes sense.  I can imagine being attacked by a lion or having to hunt wild geese at some point in my adventures.  But...

....why they made Manatees official monsters in D&D I'll never know.  It even makes less sense than this:

Ok, I lied.  That doesn't make much sense at all.  You have to like how they took a photo of a Koala and just threw fangs and claws on it.  Oddly enough, the murderous Zorbo are actually nicer than real-life Koalas. 

You know after trying to write something for this one for the 5th time, all I can say is....wow.  Just wow.

And, while we're on the topic of things that are embarrassing to be killed by, let me introduce you to the Warden Beast BUNNY.  Monty Python fans, eat your heart out.

"BUNNY SMASH PUNY HUMANS!"

I don't know what's worse:  A spider who crawls around with a skull on its head, or the fact that they thought it was a good enough idea to repeat it fifteen years later.

This brings up a good fun fact for this article.  Most of the monsters here are OLD and have very little to do with modern Dungeons & Dragons.  That's sort of true, but D&D has a habit of reviving terrible ideas with the intent of making them "cool,"  sort of like how James Bond is a violent psycho to appeal to modern sensibilities.  The only problem?  Sometimes it might be best to just let people forget about some of these.  The Skullrider isn't so bad, but check this out:

It's a rodent that burrows into your MIND.  (And is apparently exploding, if the above picture is any indication.)  So does the one below, which came out more than decade after the original got published.

The eye contact lets him get into your mind.

Fun fact continued:  If you're wondering which monsters were created in the recent past, color is a big clue.  If it's in color, chances are someone in the late 90's or early 2000's thought people would have fun rolling dice against it.  If it's in black and white and the art looks like someone doodled it in homeroom, then it's probably old.  I think I bring this up because a LOT of people thought all the monsters from the 1st article were really, really ancient.   Just be warned:  If it's in color, it's most likely less than a decade old.  

Excuse me, can you make change for an inter-dimensional scorpion?

Always remember to vacuum under your bed...the dust bunnies might actually be alive.  I'm not kidding by the way...these things are described as evil dust bunnies.  :speechless: 

Imagine this without the wings.  Yes, it's a flying schlong.  The less I say about the flying phallus monsters the better.  I will point out that if you're into this kind of thing, there are a LOT of Japanese films you should check out.

 

Of all the monsters I missed last time, this was the most requested...and I can understand why.  It's a living stalactite that holds onto the ceiling only to fall on the first adventurer it sees.  Um....yeah.  If that weren't bad enough, say hello to the Bi-Nou.

"Bi-Nou" translates from the original Retarded to mean "living stalagmite that wants to eat you."  Instead of talking about this deadly duo of dumb, let me just flash a shot of Piercer Rectum at you.

Thank you, Dragon magazine.

I mentioned this last time, but I figured you needed to see the "evil hood that tries to suffocate you" for yourselves.  It does give me an easy Halloween costume for next year, though. 

"What are you, an Executioner?"

 "Nah, I'm a flying mollusk that's murdered my host body and is slowly feeding off its precious life fluid."

"Get the hell out of my house."

The scariest Pop-Up book in existence, or a magical paper monster that swallows you whole?  You make the call.

I never get sick of killer things that look like other things.  In this case, we're looking at a vampiric manpurse.  Those buttons are apparently its eyes and it can simulate "any leather texture." The Peltast survives by tricking you into carrying your books inside it and, while you walk to trigonometry, it slowly drains your blood.  Much like trigonometry.

While later incarnations of the Xaver would be less....phallic, the fact that they look like ambulatory pleasure devices is hard to shake from my mind.  Hell, they even talk about their "blunt bulbous tips" in the original description.  Creepy.

See?  Now it's a Sword Monster that eats other swords.  It's like the Highlander of D&D critters.  There can be only one!

We all know about the Mimic, the monster that pretends to be a treasure chest.  Now it's time to meet his extended family.  The "Greater Mimic", pictured above, is a monster that becomes a room.   Nothing says "I want to kill all my players" quite like a comfy sofa that turns out to be a tongue.  The Greater Mimic, as cool as it is, has NOTHING on the House Hunter Mimic.

Because it's a Mimic.

That's become a House.

Traveling on a snail-like foot, the House Hunter mimic sets up shop and waits for door to door salesmen to show up.  It's a lot like the movie Monster House.  The only difference is that these guys crap out children in the form of small man-eating sheds and outhouses.  Jesus Christ.  Dungeons & Dragons actually has officially included man-eating port-o-johns.  Nice.

But let's move on:

 

Sometimes it's all in a name. 

And sometimes that's ALL there is.  Hence the Slaymate and the Carrionette pictured above.  See, they're both plays on words, get it?  It's a playmate that slays you!  OMG Hahahahahahahahahahaahahkillme.

It's Bigfoot, covered in shag carpet, who attacks you by rubbing his feet on the ground to generate static cling.  I couldn't make this up if I tried.

Since we're deep into the realm of the unredeemable, let's bounce back and talk about the Gelatinous Cube again.  It's an acid cube of jello that giggles slowly towards you.  Why do I bring it up again?  Because of something I couldn't find a picture of.  Since I think it warrants it, I made my own:

In a book about various mounts (horses, hell horses, giant spiders, etc) I honest to God found rules for how someone rides a Gelatinous Cube into battle.  Apparently it involves some magical amulet that makes you immune to being digested, but for the love of God, just think of it:  Riding a Gelatinous Cube into Battle.  Jiggle onward, my faithful steed Comet!  To Battle!

So very special.

Look at the Vaporighu.  Can you guess how he attacks his enemies?  Look at his name.  Still can't figure it out?  Man, even Dora the Explorer thinks you're slow. "Can you find the bloated pig demon that farts unholy doom, boys and girls?  I knew you could!" 

Why?  Why farting?  Maybe it's belching.  At least they don't specify which.  Oh wait, sometimes they do.

If you read the description for the Sull (which is a carnivorous UFO), it's pretty explicit.  The Sull flies by burping, and can, when threatened, kill you with a murderous belch.  At least, I hope it's a belch.  They say "digestive process" so I WANT to believe they're talking about its stomach.  Oh, the joy of monsters and their bodily processes.  It does bring to mind one of the very few 4th edition monsters that could even possibly make it on the list.

The Corruption Corpse attacks people by throwing its "necrotic filth" at you.  I don't know if we're talking its own rotting internal organs or if it's more scatological than that, but I'd be remiss for not bringing it up.  You know, because crap-throwing zombies are the epitome of class.   (We'll talk more about 4th edition which came out this month, but rest assured that Wizards of the Coast might finally have put a stop to letting little Timmy design their monsters.)

Now it's time to talk about animals that want to be people (and vice versa).  While there are far too many Were-creatures out there (Assweres are still my favorite), I noticed a few we should look at more closely.  The idea of a WereTiger isn't new, but while going through all the books I found....well, I think you'll figure it out.

Ok.  So it's a WereTigress.  I can dig it.

 Dear Furries:  I don't get you at all.

Oh good.  I was hoping we'd get to see a WereTigress with 4 rows of breasts.  That was one of the few things I still needed to do before I died.  Thank You.

Why do WereBadgers make me want to watch Wind in the Willows? 

Hedgehog Folk, also known as Hurgeons....gah.  Maybe Sauron's right, and there are certain races that should be wiped off the face of the Earth.  Genocide is bad, unless it involves (fictional) hedgehog people.  Just so we're all on the same page.

Sweet Jesus.  This is the THIRD "evil squirrel" monster in Dungeons & Dragons.  The Kercpa are, funnily enough, the most historically accurate monster on this list.  You know, because it's a little known fact that Robin Hood was a small rodent who stole nuts from the rich.

Creatures made out of things are sort of a staple in D&D.  Even the latest issue has Fire Snakes which are snakes made out of fire.  We have Wax Golems which are, naturally, golems made out of wax.  Of course, not every such creature is created equal.

It's an Origami Golem.  Not a joke.  Golem.  Made of paper.  Folded up magically through secret origami techniques.

I love monsters with morality tales built in.  The "Living Hair" monster, for instance, teaches us that if we become too vain with our appearance our hair will fall out and strangle us.  With Hair.

As mind-numbing as the Brain Golem is (it has brains for FEET for the love of God), it doesn't completely convey the horror here.  You see, the Brain Golem is created by a race of creatures called Mind Flayers....lovecraftian horrors that EAT brains.  So what you're seeing is possibly the only golem made of FOOD.  It's like a bunch of PETA vegans creating a Celery Golem.  It makes about as much sense.

Ok, Let's look at the only April Fool's Monster to make the list:  The Plush Golem.

 

The reason we have the Plush Golem here is to compare him to the "Doll Golem", an actual Dungeons & Dragons monster.  See in the background there?  It's actually an official Teddy Bear Golem for D&D...a variant of the Doll Golem.  Sure, it's a lot creepier, but you have to be amused at how the most ridiculous Golem they could come up with for April Fool's ended up actually being a REAL D&D monster.  That's....special.

The Tarrasque is a Godzilla-sized monster in D&D.  Like Godzilla, it sleeps for long periods before awakening to bring destruction to the world around it.  I'm not sure why I'm bringing it up.  Oh wait, I know. Because it's GODZILLA IN DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS.  It's an awesome monster, but with every new edition of the game it keeps looking more and more like a certain other fictional creature.  From Japan.  The Tarrasque isn't inherently dumb, it's just....again, not something I expected to see in D&D.

To quote the song by MIKA:

Big Girl, you are beautiful.

Please don't eat me.

I was going to talk about Myconids, originally known as "Fungus Men" and how they appear in the Toho film, "Attack of the Mushroom People" years before Gary Gygax came up with D&D.  I was.  Instead, I found a even more...."special" mushroom species.  And these travel by expanding and contracting their "root balls".  Yep, monsters that squeeze their balls to move.  I love it when D&D gets scientific!

These :dramatic pause: are the Campestri.  They're a species of "intelligent" mushrooms that bound around all day and like to sing.  Only...they sing poorly.  And that's what they're known for.  While most monster manuals will tell you about the creatures' combat style, habitat, and sometimes mating habits, the entry for the Campestri is very, very special.  The entry on them even points out that they're phenomenally stupid, but that's not why they're being spoken of here.  Let's have a look: 

Yes, we have a species of creature who revere "Mary had a little lamb" as their favorite work of art AND that dictate that the person running the game should sing back to the players in as annoying a fashion as they can muster.  Luckily, the author foresaw the inevitable end to any encounter with these bastards.  At the very end of the entry on these guys, they casually point out they taste like caviar.  Subtle.

Speaking of edible monsters, what happens when you cross a vegetable with a pygmy?

Well, you don't see that every day.  I particularly like the Moe from the 3 Stooges haircut Vegepygmies seem to adore.

If I ran into a flying, psychic Platypus, I think it wouldn't be too difficult to eat my thoughts.  Even worse, this guy reminds me of a certain Pokemon.  You know, because if there are two psychic duck-things, they have to be related right?  Right?  Everyone loves Pokemon, right, and knows what I'm talking about.  Guys?  Anyone?

Fine then. 

I still don't quite understand why Dungeons & Dragons has such a deep history with psychic things.  First edition had psychic monsters and powers...not something I usually relate with medieval fantasy (and hobbits).   Then again, the D&D folks are stupid good at combining things that have nothing in common with each other.  Like Psychic Powers and Daisies....which brings me to the udoroot.

Psychic Flowers, who kill you and use your body to causally fertilize their soil.  Nice.

We're reaching the end of the list, which means there's time for a few more monsters and a few observations that came about after flipping through hundreds of Dungeons & Dragons materials. 

This is a nice man who's being attacked by Rot Grubs.  Of course, it's his own damn fault.  You know why?  Because according to the book, Rot Grubs ONLY live in feces.  So to get infected, you have to stick your arm in poop.  Of all the things to do in a world without running water, I have to say he got what he deserved.  A monster who only lives in crap is pretty goofy...at least it's one of a kind.

Oh.  Right.  D&D Players will be happy to know that the "Serpent Kingdoms" campaign guide includes information on how to keep Dung Snakes as pets.  And yes, they are exactly what you think they are.  Joy of joys.

Ah, the Hollyphant.  Nothing says "The HOLY HELL IS THAT?" quite like a two foot tall flying elephant that's covered in fur.  While not the goofiest monster on the list, this particular monster has appeared in more Monster Manuals and Critter Guides than you can imagine.  Even if it is based on some sort of mythical thing...it's an elephant.  with wings.  covered in fur.  that's 2 feet tall.  I bet he tastes delicious. 
 

Bonus Monsters:  Last time, I mistakenly thought a D&D Supplement by Necromancer Games, The Tome of Horror, was an official D&D product.  It sort of was....only it wasn't.  It's kind of complicated.  All you need to know is that because I accidentally snagged two of their stupid monsters last time, here are two monsters from later editions of Tome of Horrors.  They're for Dungeons & Dragons, only they're not official.  Sort of.  The Geeks out there know the score and understand what I'm saying here.  Also the Wizard of the Coast lawyers understand it just as well.

Beware the dreaded Sheet Fungus.

It's an evil sheet of cloth AND it's a fungus.  That means it combines literally the most retarded aspects of, like a dozen stupid monsters.  The lesson?  If you can only fit one goofy monster in your game, go with the Sheet Fungus.  It has the highest amount of dumb per square inch.

This next one....I'm not going to touch it.

Mostly because I think the Stroke Lad will touch it for me.   Wow.  The Staff with the Knob on the end reminds me of a completely inappropriate Terry Pratchett song, but it's best to not go into that.  Not with a Stroke Lad around.  And to answer your question:  No, the Tome of Horrors did not include stats for a Peg Boy. 

Back to D&D Monsters, I did find one more goofy official creature...but it's kind of a stretch unless you stick with me.  As non-mainstream as people think Dungeons & Dragons is, it's had swells of popularity that make it hard to define it as a geek-only hobby.  We've had mainstream movies (that make your eyes bleed and a Wayans brother turn to dust) and even a "popular" Saturday Morning Cartoon show. 

Yep.  If this brings back memories for you, I'm so terribly sorry.  The cartoon was pretty much teenagers sucked into the world of D&D where they tried to return to Earth and do good while on the way home.  Each episode generally followed the same formula.   The Characters are retarded and inept, but strong in spirit.  This didn't let them do much, but it did let them get their asses saved by a powerful character in the last 60 seconds of the show.  I don't remember it being popular, but again, at the time it came out I was...what?  Four years old?  Maybe?

Most of the monsters on the show were straight out of the early Dungeons & Dragons books, and while the show generally focused on monsters from the A-list, there were a few "original" creatures that showed up. And by "original," I mean creatures that were a cross between the Carebears and Ewoks.  Yes, you read that right.

These are the Cloud Bears, a race of teddy bear warriors that need to be rescued by our young heroes.   Hippies, too, if their headbands and accessories are any indication.  Sure, they don't appear in any of the books, but does that mean they're not official?  I'm not so sure, but I want to say yes, considering what Wizards of the Coast put into publication just last year:

The "Dungeons & Dragons Animated Series Handbook" is literally a supplement that provides stats for the heroes and villains of a crappy 80's cartoon, thereby bringing the show into the world of D&D canon.  You might disagree, but I say check it out yourself before calling me on this.  Some care obviously went into making this.  You can get your own copy when you purchase the DVD set of the cartoon.  I would even say that this makes it worth getting the set alone...but evidence of stupid things might bring me more joy than you.  Full stats on the ten-year-old barbarian with the magic club as well as the goofy winged villain are just so unnecessary, they spin the dial all the way around and become something you need to have.  Oh, and remember to listen to the villain's voice:  It's Peter Cullen, better known to us nerds as Optimus Prime.  He also did the voice of Captain Crabnasty on "My Little Pony" but we'll all have to pretend I didn't know that.  And that I don't have two My Little Pony movies on my shelf at this very moment.  Yep.  Those aren't there at all.

:sigh:

By the by, in all my monstrous research, I still have a couple of favorites....favorites that walk the line between absurd and cool.  Which might be why we get so many random monsters...it's hit and miss what's awesome and what makes, well, brains burst.  This is another callback to something I wrote previously, but I think it's only fair to share considering the volume of crap we've talked about today and, like I said, cool and crappy converge sometimes.

Say hello to the Cadaver Collector. In case you can't tell by his name, he collects something. What, you ask?

Oh my. I don't know why the idea of a magical robot, covered with spikes, that wears other people's corpses like shish-kabobs makes me so incredibly happy. Maybe it's the fact that this thing only exists to parade around the bodies of your enemies, but I'm hoping there's more to it than that.
The other monster I want to share almost made it on the Stupid list. I was...torn.  The problem is that it swung the "retarded dial" all the way around so that the needle broke through and decided to stop on awesome. Well, that's not completely true, but I like it too much to put it next to the freaking laundry monster that put its panties on your face. This, my friends, is an Orcwort:

Killer tree? Check. Lots of teeth? Check. Insanely horrible long tongue? Check. A tree that produces giant purple fruit that walks around on its own and kidnaps people for the tree to eat? Che...wait, what? I love the idea of the Orcwort...it feels so original.  It's pretty much an evil Apple tree, if apples could sprout legs and murder people to make the tree happy.  That's almost retarded but somehow cool. You know, in a lame "Charles Barkley fighting Godzilla" kind of way.  But yeah, I don't know why I'm on the fence about ambulatory fruit that serves its carnivorous master, but that's just the way it is.

And there you have it.  We're not quite done yet, but that brings us to the end of me just rattling off stupid monsters.  From here on out, it's all gravy.  Or pudding.  But not Deadly Pudding.  That's a slime monster and not a delicious after-meal snack.  [insert end of far-too-long article here] While looking through all the materials so I could say I had "most likely gotten all the totally retarded monsters of D&D", a few weird things caught my eye.

Tangent 1:  What the hell was up with the 1st edition of Dungeons & Dragons?

No, no, no.  I'm not going to bitch about something which had its creative sensibilities stuck in the same decade that gave us...um....well, I'm sure there was something annoying about the 1970's that I could reference, but well, beyond disco and really good acid, I'm drawing a blank.  Wait, there you go.  Let's not talk about how disco and LSD influenced certain creative choices.  Let's not talk about how the 1st edition of D&D had hobbits in it.  Instead, let me point out one weird thing:

Ok.  They're tiger-men.  Not a problem.  But read the text:  "Known first in India...."  Wait.  What?  In most of the fantasy role-playing games I've seen, they usually try to separate the "real" world with the fictional hobbit-filled realm at hand.   Some games it works for....Vampire the Masquerade, for instance, was a game that supposed vampires were everywhere, hiding from the eyes of us normal folks.  And it worked.  But knowing that 1st edition D&D had real world locations in it, I'm unnerved just a little to have to confront all sorts of questions.  Can my Barbarian be from Canada?  Do the Orks invade from medieval France and do they have an alliance with the Belgian Lizardmen?  The line between historically accurate settings and the world of elves and spell books has wavered a bit in the history of Dungeons & Dragons, and, well, I had to bring it up. 

Tangent 2:  Dragon Magazine. 

The biggest part of this article's research involved me leafing through over 300 issues of the official Dungeons & Dragons magazine, Dragon.  I found a lot of stuff that, while not terrible monster related, I need to share.  You know, because how often do I have the chance to point this stuff out in context? 

The issues of Dragon paint a kind of scary picture of how things have changed since the late 1970's.  It tells us exactly what kind of person was into gaming and the fantasy genre at the time.   Which, sometimes, creeps me the hell out.  Take the magazine cover below for instance...besides some serious niche fetishists, I can't find too many people who would want to role-play what I'm seeing on it.  Judge for yourself.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  The people who thought THIS was cool are some of the same people who designed the game you love so much.

Of course, the artwork in Dragon magazine is worth note.  Usually it's pretty good.  I've mentioned this image before, but for posterity, enjoy it one more time outside of a blog:

Lesson #1:  Do not blast the Ghost in his Ghost-Junk.  You don't like groin injuries and neither do they, particularly when you're pointing your wand at their ghostly tenderbits.

Lesson #2:  If you have a magic crotch that can awaken dead bodies and bring forth their spirit, always remember to zip up your fly.

Creepiest.   Gencon advertisement.   Ever.

I think the New Age Jewelry ads in old Dragon issues are hilarious.  Of course, this is a Franklin Mint product, a company that was infamous in the 1980's for marketing everything and anything in jewelry form.  Oh, and fun fact:  While flipping through issue after issue of Dragon magazine, this was the first photo of a woman I could recall in 150+ issues.  See?  Facts are fun.

See the "dazzling detail," stay for the gigolo and his enchanted chest hair.

"Honey, could you stop having an orgasm while a dwarf gropes you and lift me out of here?"

While I know just saying the phrase "uses for a portable hole" will make me think of the most horribly perverse things, I would bet money the artist had the same thing in mind.  There's just a little too much groping, groaning, and orgasmic eye closing  going on there for it to be a coincidence.

...not to be confused with the type of Geisha that are prostitutes.  Still, why did they italicize "subtle skills?"  It just seems to imply something else.  The article on the Geisha class explicitly states that these are the "other kind" of Geisha and no, they're not prostitutes.  Nope, no prostitutes here.  (Oh, and no, not all Geisha are prostitutes.  But the article does admit talk about yujo & korobi Geisha, at least addressing why that's the first thing you thought of when they started talking about a character class designed to entertain men.)

Now that sex is on the menu (Geisha aren't prostitutes), let's jump way back to Issue number 4 of Dragon Magazine....

Thank Christ Goblins have internal genitalia.

Name of the article that goes with this picture (nipples removed for puritan sensibilities) is "D&D Options:  Orgies, Inc."  The article isn't that bad, mostly addressing what happens when the characters have too much gold in their pockets to carry around and how to get them to spend their money without getting more experience.  The actually orgy rules are only a small part of the piece but THERE ARE OFFICIAL ORGY RULES FOR DUNGEONS & DRAGONS.  They're first edition, but hey, that's worth knowing the next time geek trivia time rolls around.  Oh, and to be fair, I think they just included that picture and put the word "orgies" in the title to make is saucy.  Immoral or not, enjoy the complete orgies rules for 1st Edition D&D:

That?  That's something special.  Let's end this article and call it a night.

In conclusion, let's get something straight:  I like Dungeons & Dragons.  I play it every now and then....and have a blast with the new friends the pastime has brought me.  Hell, I even run my own game from time to time. So yeah, I'm a fan.    But all these monsters?  They're not in the new game.  Well, some are or will be, but for once I think the designers moved in the right direction.  Take the Lamia for instance:

"An attractive woman with the lower half of a beast."  Ok.  Even that's a rather specific take on a rather vague Greek Mythos...I wonder what the 4th edition people did to spice it up?  Color art was the answer in previous versions but, well, you and I know that just doesn't cut it.  So how'd they do in the new Monster Manual?

Hot, Horrible, and in Color.  Life is good.

I have no problems admitting most of the monsters in the latest version of Dungeons & Dragons are badass.  The new Lamia is a great example because, well, look at it.  The same general theme is there....but they actually made it dynamic. The Dungeons & Dragons of today is a very different animal than what it was.  Of course, so far they've only released one book of monsters, and this article pulls from no less than 3 dozen sources.  Not that all the old monsters were terrible.  I mean, ultimately, I had to do some serious digging to find these little chunks of nightmarish crap.  No really.  It took longer than you'd think it would.   As much as I make fun of the people who came up with these monsters, how much would it suck to be the guy who spent a couple of days hunting them all down?   Never again.  Well, at least I hope.  My brain can take only so much stupid and after a week of faded Monster Manuals filled with suck, I'm done.  Hope you enjoyed the ride and let's all pray we don't meet up for this again a few years down the road.  Then again, I'd actually pay to see how they make man-eating outhouses cool.  I'm betting you would too. 

Which, come to think about it, might be exactly why these dumb things keep showing up.

-Jared

"a little sad that the suck has come to an end and now it's time to say goodbye"

   

Thanks:  Jared would like to thank both "Jerm" and "Bill" for scanning in images from both the Psionics Handbook, a bunch of campaign modules, and far too many 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendiums.  Just when I thought I was done, these two guys almost doubled the list of stupid monsters.  Special thanks to everyone who told me to check out specific monsters as well.  Over the past year I might have forgotten your name, but thank you all the same..  Oh and thank you Wizards of the Coast, for having a sense of humor and for somehow getting me addicted to a game with hobbits, psychic platypi, and duckbunnies.  Not to mention hot women made up mostly of beetles. 

Oh and yes:  On the forums of the geekiest nature, you might see me as OhGodtheRats.  That's less an invitation to stalk me forum-wise and more a signal flare to the people who might already know me.  :waves:  Hi John.

 

TAKE ME HOME!

TAKE ME TO MORE ARTICLES!

 

Copyright 2008 Jared von Hindman or maybe just Jared Hindman.  It depends.  Any images used that are not Jared's are used via Fair Use review purposes and belong to their respective owners....who are nice people that don't want to sue me.  All images are obviously from D&D Monster Manuals, including First, Second, Third, Third and a half editions, not to mention Fiend Folio, Monsters of Darksun, The Spelljammer Monster Manual, and a couple of others that I've probably forgotten to mention. In fact, there were far too many sources to be specific.  But trust me, these belong to the D&D People.   And again:  Hasbro who owns Wizards of the Coast who owns TSR who owns Dungeons and Dragons:  Please don't hate me.  And by Hate, I mean sue.

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