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Monsters Disguised as Cute Things

Fauchard1520

Explorer
Have you ever been fooled by an evil thing disguised as a cute thing? The classic wolf-in-sheep's-clothing is the go-to example, but GMs seem to love mixing it up. I've seen dragons disguised as house cats and demons as halfling schoolgirls. In consequence, I have learned to never trust the "harmless and adorable" denizens of D&D.

So how about it? What cute critters have you been blindsided by?

Comic for illustrative purposes.
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
Well, back in the day, our group did fall for the wolf in sheep's clothing monster. Yes, the monster actually named that. First time we ever saw a monster like that, so we while cautious, we didn't fully understand what it was and it didn't go well. Funny enough, that adventure (Expedition to Barrier Peaks) had another "cute" monster that was devastating: AURUMVORAX. Those things were TOUGH.




To your overall point though, the big lesson for us where cute=deadly was more with plants. If it was a pretty flower, chances are it wanted to suck your blood or put you to sleep while its roots dissolved your flesh or something. Every time.
 
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For my regular group, I've never managed to pull it off. They've watched Monty Python's Holy Grail with me far too many times to actually trust a cute creature. I did manage to get a player to roll around in a pile of goldbugs (creature that mimics a gold coin), but that's it.

Best scenario was one I wrote, but didn't run. A friend wanted to test some WWII RPG, but wanted to field test it with a D&D dungeon. I wrote one out for him where the party gets teleported inexplicably (because a one shot story didn't matter), and while it had 3 exits, he steered the party in the direction of the one he liked best. The final room was filled with dozen of cute fuzzy kittens... that would transform into sabre-toothed tigers if interacted with (including the inevitable cry of "KITTIES!" from the party's crazy cat lady). If they'd just walked past, they would have survived... instead it ended with a TPK.
 

TarionzCousin

Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
I've never seen players as terrified as my entire group was by a "completely innocent looking/harmless" eight year old girl loose in the lower levels of a dungeon.
 

R_Chance

Explorer
This topic is giving me flashbacks to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". "That rabbits dynamite" to quote King Arthur. Then comes the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch :)
 

They've watched Monty Python's Holy Grail with me far too many times to actually trust a cute creature.
My group is just the same. I've taken to putting in actual cute things, just to frighten them.


True story: In last week's game the party came across a black cat lying in front of a cosy fire, the McGuffin around it's neck. What was the first thing the wizard did? "I try speaking to it in Abyssal".
 
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I dislike it when a DM disguises a monster without giving the players a chance to discover its true identity. A DM can withhold as much information as he wants, and as a result the players can be kept really clueless. This will only lead to two possible outcomes:
  1. The monster always gets a surprise round in combat
  2. Player characters trust nothing, and will just start murderhoboing everything, and stab strangers at the first opportunity

I find neither very appealing for my game.

If I want to trick my players, I make sure that they first commit a little sin. For example, there appears to be some gold on the floor. If greed takes over and they pick it up (usually in a rush before another player does it), then they get ambushed. I still get a surprise round for my NPCs, but now the players are bickering among themselves instead of with me. A much more appealing outcome.
 

In my experience players are already paranoid of everything before they even start. Probably because they have seen MP&HG. There is no point in giving out clues - if it moves it's a threat, if it doesn't move, it's a mimic.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Do Halfling Warlocks count? Halfling Assassins? Oooooh! Look as his fuzzy little feet, He's so cu ... URK?GLUGGPFFFT

Players are generally paranoid though, for sure. Generally with good reason though. The cats and little dungeon girls are the fruits of devious and sadistic minds who enjoy playing with the PCs heads. I like it a lot.
 

Bitbrain

Black Lives Matter
Not quite "monster disguised as something cute", but I threw a Froghemoth at my players last session.

It started with the Mul Bard laughing at the image of an elephant-sized frog with octopus tentacles, announcing that he could never take such a ridiculous creature seriously as a threat, and then switched to him screaming "OH, HOLY ****! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" when the monster knocked him down to half hit points.

After the combat encounter ended, he got up and shook my hand, declared that never in a million years would he have thought he would ever be fooled by "that Killer Rabbit scene from Monty Python" in real life.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
I moved the mimic from the chest to one of suit of armour in the room. I stole the idea from one my fellow dms who had mimic-x hybrids in his world. Note I don't play in his world.
 

Voadam

Adventurer
As a player I've been tricked by a town of house hunters, house-sized 20 or 30 HD mimics from 2e. "Did the whole block just move a little closer to us?". Not very cute but I was tricked.

The cutest thing I can recall encountering was Beauty and the Beast animated china in a Disney Princess themed campaign. I was not fooled and smashed them when they attacked, but I did get lots of crap later when we realized they were normal people under a curse and it turned out I had slaughtered a bunch of innocent servants. Particularly the old teapot lady.
 


Fauchard1520

Explorer
I dislike it when a DM disguises a monster without giving the players a chance to discover its true identity. A DM can withhold as much information as he wants, and as a result the players can be kept really clueless. This will only lead to two possible outcomes:
  1. The monster always gets a surprise round in combat
  2. Player characters trust nothing, and will just start murderhoboing everything, and stab strangers at the first opportunity

I find neither very appealing for my game.

If I want to trick my players, I make sure that they first commit a little sin. For example, there appears to be some gold on the floor. If greed takes over and they pick it up (usually in a rush before another player does it), then they get ambushed. I still get a surprise round for my NPCs, but now the players are bickering among themselves instead of with me. A much more appealing outcome.
It's all about the foreshadowing. Last session in was doppelgangers. My players knew that shapeshifters were about, and so they were suspicious when an old lady lying atop the corpse pile claimed that she was a victim in need of medical attention.

"I heal her leg."

*mediocre heal check*

"The bone pops right back into place easily at your touch."

"Too easily...?"

"Roll 'em!"

I'll be honest: I let the player have one here. The doppelganger beat the PC's insight check fair and square, but I gave the players the info anyway. If you stay frosty and question your surroundings, you ought to be rewarded for it.
 

alienux

Explorer
Not exactly a "cute" creature, but a couple of years ago I was teaching my then 11 year old son to DM using Death House, and after defeating several pretty nasty enemies and surviving, my character was then beat to death by an animated broom.
 

Quartz

Adventurer
As a player I've been tricked by a town of house hunters, house-sized 20 or 30 HD mimics from 2e. "Did the whole block just move a little closer to us?". Not very cute but I was tricked.
That was an adventure in Dungeon magazine wasn't it?
 

Nebulous

Legend
I've never seen players as terrified as my entire group was by a "completely innocent looking/harmless" eight year old girl loose in the lower levels of a dungeon.
Yeah, I did that, two little kids holding hands and wandering around the sewers, it scared the crap out of the PCs. Good thing too, they were polymorphed demons of some kind.
 



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