It's been a long couple of weeks. I'm finally back into form after returning from a great trip to the UK for Game Day. Fanboy 3 was a fantastic store, London's an awesome town, and the countryside in England is amazing. All in all, an amazing trip.
Wotc_Huscarl (aka Steve Winter) just posted a blog about owlbears and other hybrid animals, and he mentions there that there's an ongoing debate on our team about hybrid monsters and how cool (or not) they are. Before he could out me as the owlbear hater, I did it myself. That's right, I hate owlbears. And apparently I'm the only one.
To be perfectly honest, I don't hold disdain only for the owlbear, but for all hybrid monsters. I can't stand 'em*. Any of 'em. Why's that? Because I think they're lazy. I just don't think it's all that tough to take two monsters, cut them in half, and Dr. Frankenstein them back together in different combos. It's just not very imaginative, in my opinion. I'll be the first to admit that I wished I could like owlbears and other hybrids. God knows I'd get a lot less crap around the office from all the owlbear lovers.
But you know the worst part about the owlbear? It's not even built from two scary monsters. Sure, a bear is scary. If I saw a bear in real life, I'd run, or play dead, or climb a tree. Or get eaten. I mean, they're big, 1,000-pound (give or take) killing machines. But not owls. Nooooo. Sure, they're predators, but not of people. (Although the folks in this story might beg to differ.) All you get with an owlbear is a bear that now lacks teeth, can spin its head around, and barfs up owlbear pellets (okay, that part might actually be kind of cool).
At least owlbears aren't the worst of the hybrid lot. They worse ones are those composed of two non-predator, puffcake animals. I might as well build a hybrid from my Boston terrier. Yeah, that would be scary.
Yeah, there's a monster that will lick you to death.
The worst of the worst are the human-animal hybrids. Bullywugs? Yuck. Ibixians? Even worse. What are they gonna do? Eat your recycling?
*I make an exception for mythological hybrids. Chimeras kick ass, as does a medusa. But they have the weight of history and loads of great mythology surrounding them, so they get a pass. Maybe if the owlbear is around in another 2,000 years, I'll give it a second look. Maybe.