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D&D 5E Your Personal Favorite "Old School" Monsters

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
We've been playing through Tales From the Yawning Portal (which I argue remains THE best adventure book WOTC have published, particularly for online play). Right now we're playing through Dead In Thay, which is all-new to me despite being a conversion of an older adventure (like everything in the book).

Dead in Thay has a LOT of good, old fashioned traditional monsters. We've see some of each of these: Shambling Mound, Otyugh, Gibbering Mouther, Barhest, Hook Horror, Cockatrice, Displacer Beast, Behir, Owlbear, Ochre Jelly, Choker, Gray Ooze, Black Pudding, Dragon Turtle, Merrow, Naga, Sahugin, Golem, Giant, Efreeti, Helmed Horror, Yuan-ti, and on and on of classic 1e-style monsters. It's a blast!

So I was curious to ask others here: What is your favorite "old school" type monster? Something which would have been found in the 1e AD&D Monster Manual or Fiend Folio. Something which, perhaps, isn't seen as often these days in 5e games?
 

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First, agree that tales is a fantastic book.

mad to classic monsters....I think the manticore and trolls are cool. For some reason I like the ropers as well.

though trolls are not that uncommon in 5e...
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I go really old school. Skeletons, mummies, vampires, werewolves. After that? Honestly I stick with a lot of the old classics including orcs, goblins. Every once in a while throw in some "what were they smoking" monsters like otyughs, ropers, transparent jello gelatinous cubes.
 


The mindflayers. Always loved them. A good boss for low to mid levels characters. A deadly threat at high level when you face a colony or a good number of them with their slaves.

The good old ghouls and wights are also among my favorites.
 

nevin

Adventurer
We've been playing through Tales From the Yawning Portal (which I argue remains THE best adventure book WOTC have published, particularly for online play). Right now we're playing through Dead In Thay, which is all-new to me despite being a conversion of an older adventure (like everything in the book).

Dead in Thay has a LOT of good, old fashioned traditional monsters. We've see some of each of these: Shambling Mound, Otyugh, Gibbering Mouther, Barhest, Hook Horror, Cockatrice, Displacer Beast, Behir, Owlbear, Ochre Jelly, Choker, Gray Ooze, Black Pudding, Dragon Turtle, Merrow, Naga, Sahugin, Golem, Giant, Efreeti, Helmed Horror, Yuan-ti, and on and on of classic 1e-style monsters. It's a blast!

So I was curious to ask others here: What is your favorite "old school" type monster? Something which would have been found in the 1e AD&D Monster Manual or Fiend Folio. Something which, perhaps, isn't seen as often these days in 5e games?
I used to use psuedo undead sometimes. Look like real undead but are living creatures. I think they were in fiend folio. I remember running a mid level party out of a castle with fake vampire mage with potions of polymorph. When he turned into a bat and flew up into the tower they broke and ran, griped at me for two game sessions about throwing a vampire at a 5th level party. They were so aggravated two levels later when they figured it out.

Also read the descriptions and really sell them like it's something new. Most players forget details. I once gave detailed imagery of a group of orcs attacking. When I finished describing the 6 to 7 foot tall orcs as per monster manual my party ran from the "Ogres" . I had to leave the room to keep from laughing.
 

nevin

Adventurer
The mindflayers. Always loved them. A good boss for low to mid levels characters. A deadly threat at high level when you face a colony or a good number of them with their slaves.

The good old ghouls and wights are also among my favorites.
Yeah it just makes me sad that dark vision replaced infravision. I loved catching characters with infra vision in a cavern full if undead who radiated no body heat. Fun times.
 

Aaron L

Hero
Gibbering Mouthers are awesome mini-Shoggoths.

I also love Hobgoblins, even if they aren't at all rarely seen, and their special animosity with Elves is a great point of interest; as per the 1E MM they will actually break and attack Elves in preference for any other enemy because of their great hatred for them, even if it means disregarding some tactical considerations. (Orcs had that note as well... it was part of that whole Evil Spirits in Flesh vs Good Spirits in Flesh thing.) Hobgoblins have always been especially fearsome, elite enemies in our group's games.

I also love the Limbo Frogs of Chaos... er, Slaadi. So randomly bizarre that they just scream D&D.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
I think my favorite monsters in the game are dragons. From the mighty fire-breathers to the lowly drakes and wyverns, I put dragons in just about every adventure I can. Nothing feels quite as heroic, nothing is more iconic, than slaying a dragon and saving the town.

I also use a lot of oozes and undead, especially the ones that circumvent the two most abused stats in the game (AC and Dex). My favorites are grey oozes, banshees, gelatinous cubes, black puddings, bodaks, and mummy lords.
 


Aaron L

Hero
Also read the descriptions and really sell them like it's something new. Most players forget details. I once gave detailed imagery of a group of orcs attacking. When I finished describing the 6 to 7 foot tall orcs as per monster manual my party ran from the "Ogres" . I had to leave the room to keep from laughing.

That's actually a retcon I really dislike. Orcs were originally Lawful Evil and the same size as Elves, and Half-Orcs were the same size as Half-Elves (just look at the the height/weight charts in the 1E DMG and the size comparison illustration in the 1E PHB) not at all the gigantic hulking Chaotic Evil brutes they became in 3rd Edition. (The Orcs in the Mines of Moria as portrayed in the Fellowship of the Ring movie were just right.) They received a bonus to Strength because they were tough and wiry, not because they were great big.

Unfortunately some people saw that bonus to Strength and lazily assumed "that must mean they're supposed to be huge!" And it has unfortunately stuck ever since. I think the Elf-sized but savage and strong Orc is much more interesting, much less blatant and stereotypical.

It's same problem as with The Hulk, going from normal man-height but bulky to a humongous monstrosity over the decades.
 


ART!

Hero
I'm not sure if this 100% qualifies, but I do love me some wyverns. It's a good bet that any D&D game I run will have wyverns in it at some point.

I think I just like the word "wyvern", and I'm pretty sure I first heard of them from playing D&D all those years ago...
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
Not really old skewl, but I love the Kaorti as beings from the far realm.....

crazy derro are a favorite. roper. berbalang. the gith. grell. hook horror.
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Otyughs are awesome sauce, I love having them stomping around sewers and burrowing under old trash heaps.
(I also used a giant aquatic Otyugh who was being worshipped as a god (the villagers would throw sarcrifices into his sea cave) as a villain in one adventurer.)

I also really like Umberhulks and get confused when I dont see them.

Of course Shambling Mounds just havent been the same since Alan Moore made them elemental champions of The Green
 




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