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Gygaxian Monsters

Just for fun, I thought I'd write up a list of monsters that as far as I can tell were created by Gygax and not borrowed from another source. Using this criteria, rust monsters are in (inspired by a cheap plastic toy) but the gorgon is out (the bull form appears in a late Medieval bestiary).

Aerial Servant [AD&D MM Gygax]
Ankheg, The [The Dragon # 5 Gygax]
Beholder [Greyhawk Terry Kuntz]
Black (or Gray) Pudding [OD&D Gygax & Arneson]
Bllink Dog [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Brain Mole [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Bugbear (the pumpkin-headed one)
Bulette [The Dragon # 1 Gygax]
Carrion Crawler [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Cerebral Parasite [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Chromatic Dragon [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Displacer Beast [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz; inspired by A.E. van Gogt's the coeurl in Voyage of the Space Beagle]
Dragonne [AD&D MM Gygax]
Drow [AD&D MM Gygax]
Ear Seeker [AD&D MM Gygax]
Fungi, Violet [AD&D MM Gygax]
Gas Spore [AD&D MM Gygax]
Gelatinous Cube [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Ghast [AD&D MM Gygax]
Gnoll [OD&D Name from Lord Dunsany; Hyena description added in AD&D MM]
Gray Ooze [OD&D Gygax & Arneson]
Green Slime [OD&D Gygax & Arneson]
Intellect Devourer [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Invisible Stalker [OD&D Gygax & Arneson]
Kuo-Toa
Lammasu [Based on mythical lamassu]
Leucrotta [From Pliny's Natural History]
Lich [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Lurker Above, The [The Strategic Review # 3 Gygax]
Mimic [AD&D MM Gygax]
Mind Flayer [The Strategic Review # 1 Gygax]
Neo-Otyugh [AD&D MM Gygax]
Ochre Jelly [OD&D Gygax & Arneson]
Ogre Mage [Greyhawk "more properly Japanese Ogres"]
Otyugh [AD&D MM Gygax]
Owlbear [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Phase Spider [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Piercer, The [The Strategic Review # 3 Gygax]
Pseudo-Dragon [AD&D MM Gygax]
Purple Worm [OD&D Gygax & Arneson]
Quasit [AD&D MM Gygax]
Remorhaz, The [The Dragon # 2 Gygax]
Roper [The Stategic Review # 2 Gygax]
Rot Grub [AD&D MM Gygax]
Rust Monster [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Sahuagin [Blackmoor Arneson]
Shambling Mound, The [The Strategic Review # 3 Gygax]
Shrieker, The [The Strategic Review # 3 Gygax]
Slithering Tracker, The [The Strategic Review # 5 Gygax]
Stirge [possibly derived from the Roman owl-like nightbird striga]
Su-Monster [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Thought Eater [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Thoul [OD&D Gygax & Arneson undocumented 7HD]
Trapper, The [The Strategic Review # 5 Gygax]
Troglodyte [AD&D MM Gygax]
Troll (Gygax version) [Poul Anderson actually]
Type I Demon [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Type II Demon [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Type III Demon [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Type IV Demon [Eldritch Wizardry Gygax & Blume]
Umber Hulk [Greyhawk Gygax & Kuntz]
Xorn [AD&D MM Gygax]
Yellow Mold [OD&D Gygax & Arneson]
 
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palleomortis

First Post
Troglodyte?, really? Hmm, thought that was a common old school beast, didn't realize it had roots there, cool.

But now, how many did J.R. Tolkin invent?!? :D

(D&D was inspired and provocted by LOTR, wasn't it?)
 

Glyfair

First Post
Lammasu is from the Mesopotamian mythos.

Shambling Mound is a pretty direct copy of Marvel comics Man Thing, even down to the nose in the original Monster Manual picture (although it's somewhat more like the Swamp Thing & the Heap, because it lacks to "whoever knows fear burns at its touch" of the Man Thing)..

Ogre Mages are the japanese Oni under another name.
 
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kenobi65

First Post
palleomortis said:
Troglodyte?, really? Hmm, thought that was a common old school beast, didn't realize it had roots there, cool.

The term is old; the D&D expression of the monster may be novel.

palleomortis said:
(D&D was inspired and provocted by LOTR, wasn't it?)

In part, but only in part (and many, including EGG himself, have argued that it wasn't a major inspiration). The magic system owes to Jack Vance and L. Sprague de Camp, and the influences of other authors such as Robert E. Howard, Fritz Lieber, Michael Moorcock, and Poul Anderson, among *many* others, can also be seen.

There's a bibliography in the back of the 1E DMG that lists these authors, among others, as "inspirational reading".
 


Abraxas

Explorer
Black Pudding = The Blob (1958 movie monster)
Ghast - may be derived from creatures in H.P. Lovecraft's "Dreamlands" - got this from wikipedia, am going to look up the reference when I get home to my lovecraft collection
 

T. Foster

First Post
Beholder -- invented by Terry Kuntz
Black Pudding -- invented by Dave Arneson (inspired by The Blob)
Sahuagin -- invented by Steve Marsh
 



Huw

First Post
Griffith Dragonlake said:
Sumerian mythology, along with the shedu and Tiamat (in name if not form).

Griffith Dragonlake said:
Leucrotta
African mythology. Basically a hyena.

Griffith Dragonlake said:
Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter. I found this interesting site. Here's the relevant blurb:
It is unclear if Remora is another Ice Worm, older and deceased, or if it is the same Ice Worm, they seemed slightly different.
On the cover, the Ice Worm is painted as breathing fire. In the issue nothing let think that the Worm could do this, I suppose it is an error, and that the Worm emitted only extreme cold, not warm or fire. In the original novel by Carter and De Camp, the Ice Worm is described: "Its boneless form was covered with the silken nap of thick white fur. Its mouth was merely a jawless, circular opening, now puckered and closed. Above the mouth, the two luminous orbs gleamed out of a smooth, rounded, featureless eel-like head.".

Griffith Dragonlake said:
Greek mythology, but in a very different form. The Greek ones were a lot bigger.

Possibly Gygaxian:
Chimera (winged version)
Dragons (colour coded)
Manticore (winged version)
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Displacer beasts were inspired by the coeurl in Voyage of the Space Beagle, by A. E. Van Vogt.

Mind flayers were inspired by the cover illustraton of The Burrowers Beneath, by Brian Lumley.

Kuo-toa were inspired by the Deep Ones of H.P. Lovecraft. Likewise, ghasts appear in Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath as degenerate human-like monsters that war sporadically with the ghouls.

Lord Dunsany wrote of "gnoles", which had little to do physically with the modern gnoll, but is almost certainly where the name came from.

Demiurge out.
 

pawsplay

First Post
Bugbear (the pumpkin-headed one) - Hm, is this the origin of of jack-o-bears or vice versa?

Pseudo-Dragon - seriously? Pick a fantasy poster of your choice

Quasit - a renamed Quisling, from a word derived from an infamous name
 

The Green Adam

First Post
Griffith Dragonlake said:
Bugbear (the pumpkin-headed one)

Bugbear was a general term for a goblin or bogie in various parts of England. At one point it was used to describe big, hairy goblins not unlike the germanic Trolls.


Griffith Dragonlake said:
Displacer Beast

This one is very curious. While it definitely has SF roots, Asian mythology, specifically Chinese and Japanese, does depict a Creature that looks remarkably similar to the original MM drawing of the Displacer Beast. One the cover of the first Dirty Pair novel, the Sci-Fi/Spy adventure duo's pet Mughi appears to be a Displacer Beast, unlike his TV incarnation are a dark purple, cat-like bear. Whether this is a nod to folklore or Von Vogt I couldn't say.


Griffith Dragonlake said:

Fan of Asian mythology that I am I must assume the Dragonne was inspired by the 'Foo Dogs' or 'Foo Lions', gargoyle-like statues that guarded palaces and temples throughout Asia. The creature shown often resembled a combination of a dragon, a lion and a dog.

Griffith Dragonlake said:

As mentioned the Gnoll probably came from the Gnole or a variation of troll described in Norweigan and Finish mythology as 'wolf-like'.

Just a few off the top of my head. Need rest or coffee for more.

AD
 

Tonguez

Legend
Ankheg
Beholder
Black Pudding
Bllink Dog
Bugbear (the pumpkin-headed one)

Bulette
Displacer Beast
Dragonne
Drow
Gelatinous Cube
Ghast
Gnoll

Gray Ooze
Green Slime
Kuo-Toa
Lammasu
Leucrotta

Lurker Above
Mimic
Mind Flayer
Neo-Otyugh
Ochre Jelly
Ogre Mage
Otyugh
Owlbear
Pseudo-Dragon
Purple Worm

Quasit
Remorhaz

Roper
Rust Monster
Sahuagin
Shambling Mound
Shrieker
Stirge
Trapper
Troglodyte
Troll [Gygax version]
Umber Hulk
Xorn
Yellow Mold
 


Arcturion

First Post
The Green Adam said:
Dragonne

Fan of Asian mythology that I am I must assume the Dragonne was inspired by the 'Foo Dogs' or 'Foo Lions', gargoyle-like statues that guarded palaces and temples throughout Asia. The creature shown often resembled a combination of a dragon, a lion and a dog.


Shi shi lion dogs, to be exact. They're all over the place here on Okinawa, and almost always encountered in pairs (one male, one female). A peculiar combination of lion, dragon, and dog, which is strange considering that lions are not native to Japan nor Okinawa. Definitely an influence of Chinese and Korean mythologies mixing with Japanese as Okinawa/Ryukyu Island(s) was an independent sovereign up until fairly recently, and served as a focal point of trade between all three countries and more besides (Thailand, etc.).

I actually haven't thought of shi shi as being dragonne before but now that I think more about it, it does make some sense (minus the wings and adding in a more dog-like tail). For some reason the desert climates favored by dragonne brought to mind some sort of Arabian or ancient Babylonian/Mesopotamian/Sumerian vibe to me. Must be a subconscious thing as I selected a dragonne as a cohort/mount for a DMPC, heh.
 

The Green Adam said:
Fan of Asian mythology that I am I must assume the Dragonne was inspired by the 'Foo Dogs' or 'Foo Lions', gargoyle-like statues that guarded palaces and temples throughout Asia. The creature shown often resembled a combination of a dragon, a lion and a dog.
Except that Foo Creatures appear in the Monster Manual II.
 

GlassEye said:
Except that Snorri Sturlasson's description had nothing about Svartalfr having some characteristics of black widow spiders, e.g. females larger and more powerful than males and worshipping a black widow spider-goddess. Or shooting hand crossbows for that matter. In addition, many scholars maintain that Svartalfr were just another name for the Dvergr.
 


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