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D&D General D&D monsters that have been changed the most over time


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Voadam

Legend
See as someone into biology/zoology, the external ears and doglike noses were much more "un-reptilian" than laying eggs or having scales was reptilian. There are mammals that lay eggs, and many reptiles that don't, and mammals with scale-like structures, but there are no reptiles with that sort of external ear (or anything even close AFAIK), and no reptiles with mammal-style noses. Nor have there ever been, that we're aware of. At best kobolds were some 50/50 mixture of characteristics.

The monotremes lay eggs but that is only the platypus and the echidnas. None of them are scaled. A very small subset of mammals.

There is the pangolin, which has fingernail type scales, but that is also a tiny subset of mammals and they do not lay eggs or have horns.

No dog has scales or lays eggs.

The vast majority of reptiles both have scales and lay eggs. There are viviparous reptiles who give live birth (boas, water snakes, about half of skinks, and the viviparous lizard among others) but egg laying is very common.

When I saw the B/X and AD&D 1e pictures and descriptions of kobolds horned lizard people comes to mind easily, adding on a few dog features. I can see someone thinking pangolin people could work too if you add on dog noses and egg laying and horns. Or dog people at base adding on horns and scales and eggs to that base.


1625581262283.png


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I would say their first art and descriptions are definitely a mix of disparate dog and reptile aspects and I feel it is an effective mix for a D&D monster people.

I did not care for the pug dog people original 2e art for kobolds at all in the Monstrous Compendium I.

1625582928753.png

The later 2e Monstrous Manual art was OK, though it adds hair and I can't really make out any scales and seems more rat person than dog person.

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The 3e kobold seems to take the di'Terlizzi thin spindly one and make them more explicitly reptilian and changes the color from rust to more green (which I always pictured the 1e MM black and white kobold images as being despite the description as rust color).
1625583263690.png
 

When I saw the B/X and AD&D 1e pictures and descriptions of kobolds horned lizard people comes to mind easily, adding on a few dog features. I can see someone thinking pangolin people could work too if you add on dog noses and egg laying and horns. Or dog people at base adding on horns and scales and eggs to that base.
I think we can both agree that Kobolds were weird little things that read as some sort of being with mammalian and reptilian features. 3E coming down firmly on the side of reptilian then rapidly moving to draconic was a big change but for the best for kobolds in the sense of giving them a clear identity and making them ever-more-popular to the point where a kobold PC is kind of a routine thing to see these days (in general, obviously not in every group).
 

Since this thread has been surprisingly kobold heavy, I thought I'd point out that Pathfinder 1E basically used the D&D 3E kobold design before shifting to a much design with a much larger head in Pathfinder 2E:

51-tp0DAuzL.jpg

Red_Kobold.jpg
 





dave2008

Legend
Dragons. The answer is always dragons. Let's look at the red dragon as an example (on the dragons with fewer changes):

1e: 9-11 HD/ claw,claw,bite attack or breathweapon/ immune to fire / 48' long / 8 age categories
1625664380280.png


2e: up to 23 HD / claw,claw,bite attack or breathweapon & 6 new attack options / immune to fire / up to 354' long / 12 age categories
1625664251223.png


3e: up to 40 HD + 400 / claw,claw,bite attack or breathweapon + 4 additional attack options / immune to fire / up to 120' long / 12 age categories
1625664613234.png


4e: up to 1,390 HP / 2 claws or 1 bite or breathweapon / resistant to fire / up to 88' long / 5 age categories
1625664986321.png


5e: up to 1,390 HP / 2 claws and a bite or breathweapon + wing and tail attacks (legendary) / immune to fire / up to 45-50' long +/- / 4 age categories
1625665733812.png
 
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Valmiras

Explorer
Dragons. The answer is always dragons. Let's look at the red dragon as an example (on the dragons with fewer changes):

1e: 9-11 HD/ claw,claw,bite attack or breathweapon/ immune to fire / 48' long / 8 age categories
View attachment 139986

2e: up to 23 HD / claw,claw,bite attack or breathweapon & 6 new attack options / immune to fire / up to 354' long / 12 age categories
View attachment 139985

3e: up to 40 HD + 400 / claw,claw,bite attack or breathweapon + 4 additional attack options / immune to fire / up to 120' long / 12 age categories
View attachment 139987

5e: up to 1,390 HP / 2 claws or 1 bite or breathweapon / resistant to fire / up to 88' long / 5 age categories
View attachment 139988

5e: up to 1,390 HP / 2 claws and a bite or breathweapon + wing and tail attacks (legendary) / immune to fire / up to 45-50' long +/- / 4 age categories
View attachment 139989

Is that 4th one 4E, rather than 5E as listed? (since there are 2 5e)
 



Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Where is the bul-pup picture from?
DMDave!
PS you should quote or tag @Steampunkette so they know you are asking them. Otherwise they may never know.
Thanks, Dave!
 




Voadam

Legend
One more early kobold picture from 1e Deities and Demigods

1625688523860.png

"Kurtulmak appears as a giant kobold (5 1/2' tall) with scales of steel and a tail with a poisonous stinger"

Face is a bit more monkey like than dog like, particularly with the tail. Strong scales again in 1e.

The wyvern-like tail is a nice tie in to the later 3e dragon article when he gets associated with evil dragons.
 
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