Creature Competition: MM2

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Hi folks,

It's been too long, so we've started up a new creature competition to help coincide with the MM2. From the Creature Competition page:


This May, Monster Manual 2 releases—featuring over 300 monsters, including the return of many favorites as well as many entirely new to the game. Inside the pages, you'll find plenty of paragon and epic tier monsters, metallic dragons, humanoids, beholders, demons, devils, undead, creatures of the Far Realm and Feywild—the list goes on!

As a player, you're sure to face many of these monsters in the game. But when these monsters go head-to-head against each other… who gets the XP?

As with our past creature competitions, we've invited sixteen monsters—this time from the MM2—into our online arena to see which one emerges on top. In a pure fighting competition, you might simply compare each monster's level to decide who wins. Instead, we're engaging in a "friendlier" competition—your votes alone will determine which monster is the overall favorite.

In each pairing, which creature do you choose to move on? We'll vote every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until the final voting takes place on May 22—the day before Worldwide D&D Game Day: Monster Manual 2.

The final four monsters will each feature in a wallpaper set. The ultimate winner will also be featured in a future Dragon or Dungeon Magazine article. So which monster would you like to see in a Creature Incarnations, an Ecology Of..., or perhaps star in their very own adventure? You decide!


... We've opened the polls a bit early for the first bracket: ankheg vs. hive queen ant.
I went with ankheg in this one, though I'm partial to hive-minded entries. (Brain slugs where art thou?!)

But I'm most excited to see the results of the iron golem vs. rust monster, two of my favorits MM2 entires!
Doesn't matter which one of those wins, since they're paired with Iron Golem and Rust Monster for the second round.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

Same deal, while hive minds are awesome. The ankheg has more uniqueness then just a ant queen. Plus! Come their body parts are used for armour, come on chitis armour.
I voted ankheg but I'm hoping Neogi takes home the gold. They're one of my favorite spelljammer races, and their comeback would be a good sign they plan on releasing a 4e spelljammer.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

RUST MONSTER~!
RUST MONSTER~!



RA RA RA!
God, I love the neogi from 2e and spelljammer, but they were ruined in 3e, just horrible, I refuse to even acknowledge the 3e neogi as valid, I pray they didn't ruin them again.
Ankheg. No contest.
Playing Scales of War

Rogue.jpg

Hive Queen Ant would definitely beat an Ankheg. I mean, she's the queen of an entire hive, while the Ankheg is just an Ankheg. Its like pitting an Elder Red Dragon against an Ancient White - they're going to end up pretty close, but the White's still going to win.

Also, I have the feeling it has to be a Formian (not Formorian) Queen, since a regular Ant Queen wouldn't make a very good monster.

Anyways, I'm hoping to see Remorhazz vs. Bullywug in the finals.
The ankheg will definatly beat the hive queen. It is the hive queen, not the whole hive. Sorry but 1 Vs 1, the ankheg hands down.
It's gonna be Rust monster/Giant in the finals, I'm calling it now. Old rusty has WAY too much ol' skool appeal not to get far, even as it faces strong competition from the Iron Golem in its first match. As for the giants, they're pretty iconic too, and their side of the bracket is kinda lacking in powerhouses, so they're likely to get far.

What does everyone think? Anyone up for placing the Adamantine Dragon somewhere?
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I chose Ankheg,

Loathsome insects with a taste for bipedal prey, ankhegs burst from hiding to seize the unwary. An ankheg moves with great stealth, but might be detected by the faint whiff of acid dripping from its twitching mandibles

They are so much like the Aliens from Alien with a change here and there... oh the awesomeness.... And so they will kick ant a**...
Ankheg.... easy choice.
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Yeah, though I too have a weakness for hive minds. Lets send them both on! ;)

Rusty will certainly beat an iron golem. It will be a rust golem in no time, but it won't beat an ankheg either...
That is not dead which may eternal lie
My faves:
Rustmonster
Retriever
Bollywog
D&D 4E Herald and M:tG Rules Advisor I expect posters to follow the Code of Conduct, use Basic Etiquette, and avoid Poor Logic. If you don't follow these guidelines, I consider you to be disrespectful to everyone on these forums. If you respond to me without following these guidelines, I consider it a personal attack. I grew up in a bilingual household, which means I am familiar with the difficulties in adopting a different vocabulary and grammar. That doesn't bother me. Persistent use of bad capitalization, affirming the consequent, and flaming bother me a great deal.
Rule that I would change: 204.1b
204.1b Some effects change an object’s card type, supertype, or subtype but specify that the object retains a prior card type, supertype, or subtype. In such cases, all the object’s prior card types, supertypes, and subtypes are retained. This rule applies to effects that use the phrase “in addition to its types” or that state that something is “still a [card type].” Some effects state that an object becomes an “artifact creature”; these effects also allow the object to retain all of its prior card types and subtypes.
"Eight Edition Rules Update" We eventually decided not to change this template, because players are used to “becomes an artifact creature,” and like it much better.
Players were used to Combat on the Stack, but you got rid of that because it was unintuitive. The only phrase needed is "in addition to its types"; the others are misleading and unintuitive.
I'm going to base my vote off of my party's experiences with each of these monsters.

Ant Queen: "You used the random encounter table for this one, didn't you. Bad DM. But hey, free XP!"

Ankheg: "AAH IT BURNS! GET ME OUT GET ME OUT GET ME OUT! OH THE HUMANITY!"

Yeah, Ankheg's got my vote. (My very first player kill came from a 3.5 Ankheg. Poor little halfling...)
I don't know how i'm gonna decide between Neogi and Bullywugs. I favor aberrations but the bulllywugs were in the D&D cartoon. ARGH!
For the initial round my voting is going:
  • Ankheg: I love hive-minds, but Ankheg are more unique then giant ants, plus chitis armour is cool. They also can be reflavoured in a ton of ways with the way they behave *points to Alien comment*
  • Iron Golem: I know I will probably lose against the Rust Monster. But I love my constructs, plus plenty of neat mechanics can be done with it. Especially with the toxins; damage = toxins seeping out, death = toxic explosion, etc.
  • Either: I can't say got any strong luring for either of these.
  • Adamantine Dragon: As one of the new Dragon types, be nice to see more about it. What it can offer. Though I am still a little bit ehh, since Draconomicon will surely showcase more if it anyways.
  • Bebilith Demon:This was a hard choice. Since it be neat to learn more about what I am betting is a Abomination. But Demons are always cool, and Bebilith will probably have more differences to showcase. Also I like the art :P
  • Sphinx Mystery: A weretiger, is a weretiger. I am more interested in seeing how the classical creature like the Sphinx will be expanded upon, also how they will evolve it into different types.
  • Either: Can't say I like the appearance of either, but the "wrongness" idea for the Bullwugs is cool and could be taken with in neat directions. But Neogi seem quite intelligent and it is nice seeing culturally sophisticated non-humanoids.
  • Either: Giants are Giants, only ones I care much about are the ones in Dark Sun.
I don't think I like any of these monsters. So many of these are just for the sake of nostalgia. Who has actually ever used a Behir or a Remorrhaz? I would have added Ankheg, but someone already claimed they did. Bullywugs? They're just silly. They might as well have brought back the Catoblepas and other such nonsense.

I don't know, the only one that seemed at all interesting is the Retriever, but that won't win because it has no history and people don't know what it is. Maybe the Sphinx, but I don't think you could get more stereotypical than meeting a sphinx for riddles.

Maybe I'm crazy, but I'd like some more generic monsters so I can just have a list of appropriate stats and powers for things of various levels and let me adapt my own fluff to make it interesting. I'd really like to see more animals, and more ideas for different levels/roles of the various humanoids. Those are the most helpful to me.
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I know that it has been said, but ankhegs are the awesome. I played in a long running campaign where the party joined up in order to kill one that had been attacking a farming community. It almost killed all of us old second edition, 1st level adventurers... but man, the ankheg armor that I had made from its chitinous corpse was just filled with style. I hope we get a full write up on it for fourth edition as a special armor material.

It might be nostalgia, but I want to see the ankheg goes all the way to the finals.
Who has actually ever used a Behir or a Remorrhaz?

I use those guys all the time. A behir is a bue dragon with a bit more subtlety and a remorhaz is a massive arctic foe. In my 3rd edition, one of the recurring villains is a frost giant riding a remorhaz steed. Nw with MM2 I can bring that villain back (well, without refluffing other monsters)

They might as well have brought back the Catoblepas and other such nonsense.

The catoblepas is a mythological monster. I hope they do bring it back.
I think the Ant Queen will win this fight. She's an ant queen which means she's got the numbers.
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IMO

1) Hive queen ant > ankheg (-); rust monster > iron golem; remorhaz > behir (so close, this one); heroslayer hydra > adamantine dragon (-); retriever > bebilith (-); sphinx mystery > weretiger; bullywug > neogi (another very close one) (-); stone giant > frost giant

I expect the (-) will go the other way though. The rust monster I'm pretty sure will take this round, the remaining ones could go either way. Because of that making round 2 picks and so on is a bit premature (and even if those possibilities come up, I expect most of them will bear out differently as well), but just in case:

2) rust monster > hive queen; remorhaz > heroslayer; retriever > sphinx mystery; stone giant > bullywug

3) remorhaz > rust monster; stone giant > retriever

4) remorhaz > stone giant

If I was to put money on the outcome, I'd go for the rust monster and either one of the giants in the finals (I like stone better, but that's a coin toss).
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I use those guys all the time. A behir is a bue dragon with a bit more subtlety and a remorhaz is a massive arctic foe. In my 3rd edition, one of the recurring villains is a frost giant riding a remorhaz steed. Nw with MM2 I can bring that villain back (well, without refluffing other monsters)

I guess I'm just always shocked that people run D&D "by the book," i.e. in settings with incredible magical monsters every thirty feet or so. I mean, like you said, the Behir is a subtle blue dragon. What is gained by using it over a blue dragon and playing it differently? I don't know, I'm just not into the monster of the week thing, and I'm surprised others are

The catoblepas is a mythological monster. I hope they do bring it back.

Its just a bizarre Greek take on a Wildebeest. It can't look up because it's head is too heavy? It breathes poison because it eats poison plants? That's a compelling monster? The mythological Catoblepas was pretty stupid and had very little in common with the D&D version. So yeah, you can want it back, that's fine, I'm clearly wrong about people using the pointlessly bizarre monsters, but don't claim you want it back because its mythological.
Heroes Don't Need Special Gear to Be Heroic - A guide to removing magic item dependency and smoothing out advancement. Reinventing the Workday: A Shift Towards Encounter-Based Resources - A guide to abandoning daily resources
Well, well, well... this is an interesting competition. To start off, let's address the Ankheg vs Queen Ant.

Simply put, as per many public TV documentaries on hive life, I would (and have) vote for the Ankheg. The hive queens are generally bloated baby-making machines, whereas I've had too many PCs on the business sides of ankhegs not to know better...

I am interested in seeing A) how the iron golem vs rust monster round goes, and B) what happens if the rust monster takes it.

Thanks!
I picked the hive queen. Of course that's because I love the Giant Ant mounts in the Adventure's Vault. I just imagine my players staring at them saying "what do we feed these things?"
Ankheg-- whoo! Can't see my AD&D Monster Manual at the moment, but wasn't it the first entry in that book?
I guess I'm just always shocked that people run D&D "by the book," i.e. in settings with incredible magical monsters every thirty feet or so. I mean, like you said, the Behir is a subtle blue dragon. What is gained by using it over a blue dragon and playing it differently?

The differing abilities that behirs have that blue dragons lack. Specifically, the behir had a neat ability where it could coil around a victim before electrocuting it. Sort of an blue dragon-anaconda mix.

Its just a bizarre Greek take on a Wildebeest.

So what? The lamia was originally a bizarre Roman take on the hyena. The behemoth was a bizarre Babylonian take on the hippopotamus. Lots of mythological creatures are bizarre cultural takes on exotic animals.

It can't look up because it's head is too heavy? It breathes poison because it eats poison plants? That's a compelling monster?

It's a fun monster for some campaigns. Specifically the challenge of ensuring that it kept its heavy head faced down so it didn't petrify you. Why are you harshing on my catoblepas?

So yeah, you can want it back, that's fine, I'm clearly wrong about people using the pointlessly bizarre monsters, but don't claim you want it back because its mythological.

I can claim it for whatever reason I want to claim it. I like that it's mythological and it was fun. Don't go judging other people for running games you can't wrap your head around.
I'm going with Ankheg. I have some... history with those guys. Gah. Not that it'll matter, since the winner's going up against a massively iconic monster next round.

My votes for this round: Ankheg, Iron Golem (doubt he'll win though), Remorraz, Retriever, Sphinx, Dragon, Bullywug, Stone Giant. A lot of these will be close, but there's going to be some curb stomping in the second round.

And I'm gonna throw this out there: anyone who can beat the Rust Monster will take the whole thing.
Rhymes with Bruce
And I'm gonna throw this out there: anyone who can beat the Rust Monster will take the whole thing.

Just curious...

Why do people actually like the Rust Monster?
Heroes Don't Need Special Gear to Be Heroic - A guide to removing magic item dependency and smoothing out advancement. Reinventing the Workday: A Shift Towards Encounter-Based Resources - A guide to abandoning daily resources
Just curious...

Why do people actually like the Rust Monster?

Because I'm just so lovable! <3
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
He is pretty darn adorable. It's got a lot of nostalgia value -- it's one of those monsters that exists only in D&D. In that sense, it's an iconic emblem of D&D, like the mind flayer, brain mole, intellect devourer, or beholder. And like those creatures, it's combines a goofy alien look with a fairly nasty ability.
Simply put, as per many public TV documentaries on hive life, I would (and have) vote for the Ankheg. The hive queens are generally bloated baby-making machines, whereas I've had too many PCs on the business sides of ankhegs not to know better...

That's all fine and dandy for real life, but in D&D the ankheg is just a loner with animal level intellegence while the ant queen is likely to be the leader of a hivemind and manifesting psionic powers like a 20th level psion :D
Why do people actually like the Rust Monster?

It's a love/hate thing, I guess. Many players fear the very definite possibility of losing cherished equipment to a rust monster more than the more remote possibility of getting killed by say, a dragon, since they're usually confident odds are they're going to win the encounter. They're also unique to D&D and they're suited to what I consider to be the most-played levels. Those qualities alone qualify them to get some extra love from the designers, if you ask me. Dragons are majestic and impressive and whatnot, but most people I know who bought the 3E Draconomicon rarely used it. It was more like a coffee table book. Fortunately several contenders are in moderate level ranges.
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Can't wait fo rthe next round..... This is quite fun.
Playing Scales of War

Rogue.jpg

I voted ankheg but I'm hoping Neogi takes home the gold. They're one of my favorite spelljammer races, and their comeback would be a good sign they plan on releasing a 4e spelljammer.

NEOGI!
I go with the Retriever taking the gold. The Retriever has been around a long time and has been feared for a long time. A Retriever with those eye rays was something I ran from many times in my many years of D&D. "GO RETRIEVER"!!!!


I hope they bring back more underdark creatures such as the Derro and Duergar.
"Boo, Retriver! Retriver sucks!"
"Boooooooo!"

"Yay! GO RUSTMONSTER! WHOOOOOOOOO!"
"RUSTMONSTER!"
"RUSTMONSTER!"
"Have my abberations, Rustmonster!"

*All the above are true testimonials, and NOT me.
EVERY DAY IS HORRIBLE POST DAY ON THE D&D FORUMS. Everything makes me ANGRY (ESPECIALLY you, reader)
I've never heard of the Retriever before. Does it actually have some kind of history? I liked it the best, mostly because it seemed new.
Heroes Don't Need Special Gear to Be Heroic - A guide to removing magic item dependency and smoothing out advancement. Reinventing the Workday: A Shift Towards Encounter-Based Resources - A guide to abandoning daily resources
I've never heard of the Retriever before. Does it actually have some kind of history? I liked it the best, mostly because it seemed new.

Retrievers were demonic constructs that Demon Lords and such sent out to "retrieve" someone dead or alive. My DM made us fear those things a long time ago. They had eye beams that could burn someone with fire or turn them to stone. They were essentially the Terminator of the Abyss.
Gooooooo Rusty! Rusty! Rusty! Rusty!

That Iron Golem is gonna be a Rust Golem in short order, and then Rusty shall eat heartily. >D

*cheers for Rusty*

How can you not love those fluffy antennae and the adorable 'I'm so cute' look on its face it had in the 3.x Monster Manual?

Rusty!
It's spelled Corellon Larethian, not Correlon, Correllon, Correlllon, Corellion, Correlian or any other way of getting it wrong. I'm a total grognard and I still play 4E.