D&D General The argentvorax and other variant monsters; what are your favorites?

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
So a little while ago I came across this old EN World thread...


And it got me thinking about variant monsters. While the "argentvorax" doesn't seem to have ever appeared anywhere that I can find (it was name-dropped in some old Living Greyhawk adventures, but was never given stats), there are a lot of twists on familiar monsters throughout the history of D&D. Things like scrags and merrow (marine trolls and ogres, respectively), the pyrolisk (a cockatrice that sets you on fire instead of turning you to stone), or the infamous neo-otyugh; what variations of classic monsters do you get a kick out of?
 

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Stormonu

Legend
Thessal monsters.

Hippogriff variant of griffins.

Hate: Ghasts - ghouls created specifically to deal with elf players. Though thouls (hobgoblin/ghoul mixes) are cool and a result of a typo, as I recall.

BTW, Argentvorax is one of those "why didn't I think of that!?!" variants - instead of Aurumvorax ("golden gorger"), this one would be silver-colored, and what variant abilities might it have (8 legs, instead of 6?)
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
Though thouls (hobgoblin/ghoul mixes) are cool and a result of a typo, as I recall.
Thouls are the best! A mix of troll/hobgoblin/ghoul that comes from a typo is just great.

I also like the nosferatu from BECMI (via the Gazeteers) - a vampire that drank blood instead of level draining (and so really couldn't use its bite as an attack - IIRC the bite attack was really weak). I liked that it felt more like a traditional vampire than the ones in the rulebooks.
 


Alzrius

The EN World kitten
BTW, Argentvorax is one of those "why didn't I think of that!?!" variants - instead of Aurumvorax ("golden gorger"), this one would be silver-colored, and what variant abilities might it have (8 legs, instead of 6?)
I agree, which in hindsight makes it seem odd that D&D has never had any sort of variant aurumvorax that I can find. If we can turn every metal imaginable into some kind of dragon, you think this little guy would get an alternative take somewhere.
 


Stormonu

Legend
I agree, which in hindsight makes it seem odd that D&D has never had any sort of variant aurumvorax that I can find. If we can turn every metal imaginable into some kind of dragon, you think this little guy would get an alternative take somewhere.
So, on that note, what would make good variants of the aurumvorax? My feeble guess:

  • Argentvorax ("silver gorger" - known for speed)
  • Ferrovorax ("iron gorger" - super tough)
  • Stannumvorax ("tin gorger" - wing flaps allowing it to fly/glide)
  • Cuprumvorax ("copper gorger" - unleashes a charge of lightning in its initial attacks)
 

So, on that note, what would make good variants of the aurumvorax? My feeble guess:

  • Argentvorax ("silver gorger" - known for speed)
  • Ferrovorax ("iron gorger" - super tough)
  • Stannumvorax ("tin gorger" - wing flaps allowing it to fly/glide)
  • Cuprumvorax ("copper gorger" - unleashes a charge of lightning in its initial attacks)
  • Plumbumvorax ("lead gorger" - can expel a ballistic pellet from its' rectum)

As for other variant creatures, I always had a soft spot for Minimals (half sized versions of regular animals).
 

JEB

Legend
I like pyrolisks, for some reason. Even used an update for a 5E game I ran (it was explicitly designed as an old-school dungeon crawl, so it seemed appropriate). Cryohydras and pyrohydras are also neat. And koalinths. Kopru are also arguably aquatic mind flayers...

4E wasn't my favorite edition, but did have tons and tons of fun variants, like the primordial naga or the rimefire griffon or the various basilisks and skeletons.
 


Thouls are the best! A mix of troll/hobgoblin/ghoul that comes from a typo is just great.

I also like the nosferatu from BECMI (via the Gazeteers) - a vampire that drank blood instead of level draining (and so really couldn't use its bite as an attack - IIRC the bite attack was really weak). I liked that it felt more like a traditional vampire than the ones in the rulebooks.
I think that same nosferatu vampire appeared in Ravenloft, specifically the third monstrous compendium
 

JEB

Legend
I think that same nosferatu vampire appeared in Ravenloft, specifically the third monstrous compendium
They're similar, and basically riffs on the same idea (a more authentic, blood-drinking vampire), but not identical. Mystara's version is more powerful, most notably (at least as it was updated in the Red Steel setting).
 

4E ended up having a surprising number of fomorian variants. Off the top of my head, there was a fomorian that commanded enslaved ghosts, a fomorian portal lord that had developed teleportation magic from studying the erratic portals of a fomorian king's fortress, and a skirmisher fomorian that could change sizes between Medium and Huge.

I'm also oddly fond of a new monster from Baldur's Gate 3 called the hellsboar. It's pretty much just a reskinned boar, but it has a cool design that makes me wish there was a mini for it.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
So, on that note, what would make good variants of the aurumvorax? My feeble guess:

  • Argentvorax ("silver gorger" - known for speed)
  • Ferrovorax ("iron gorger" - super tough)
  • Stannumvorax ("tin gorger" - wing flaps allowing it to fly/glide)
  • Cuprumvorax ("copper gorger" - unleashes a charge of lightning in its initial attacks)
My initial thoughts were more conservative, keeping it to common types of D&D coinage. I was imagining the argentvorax as basically being a lower-Hit Dice variant of the aurumvorax, the cuprumvorax as being a smaller, weaker version of the argentvorax, and the platinumvorax as being a bigger, meaner aurumvorax.
 

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