Archive for August 8th, 2021

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The Tale of the Misappearing Cat

8 August, 2021

Black_Destroyer_Astounding_July_1939This will be an interesting article to write as I will never directly name the monster I am writing about -though I can describe it, it is panther-like with an extra pair of leg and tentacles that grow from it shoulders- I will not name it as it is part of Dungeons & Dragons brand identity, that list of things that cannot be used by anyone except Wizards of the Coast when writing about D&D.  (And, yes, I know I could mention it and it would be fair use but that would not be as much of a challenge and the obliqueness is appropriate to the monster in any case.)

It is perhaps ironic that our monster was based on the Coeurl from the A. E. Van Vogt short story Black Destroyer (the Dump Stat has an excellent deep dive on the creature) while its rivals, the blink dogs, are -to my knowledge- wholly Gygaxian creations and yet are not part of D&D’s product identity.

The monster is one of my favorites though one I have rarely used as a Dungeon Master.  Perhaps because it is so distinctive, you use it and the players know what they are facing.  Also, until now, I have never had a clear idea of how I would use one in play.  But there is much of the Coeurl that can be combined with our creature to make a more interesting one especially as I find the Fifth Edition write up rather . . . disappointing.  And to honor Van Vogt’s creation and early naming conventions from D&D, we will call this version, the Lrueoc.

Moving like a dangerous shadow the big cat appeared at the far end of the hallway, there was something wrong with its silhouette and how could it be there?  We had closed the door behind us, had we not?

Lrueoc (Black Destroyer)
Large monstrosity (from beyond), evil

Armor Class 15 Read the rest of this entry ?

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