Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Demons Part 7: Goristro (Best of the Bestiary)

This is the single most terrifying mount in the history of fantasy!

Goristro demons are towering monsters, standing over twenty feet tall. When controlled by Demon Lords, they’re made into formidable living siege weapons, as well as pets. They have an almost supernatural cunning that allows them to navigate the most vexing of labyrinths, making them a terrifying hunter. More terrifying yet, they often bear a palanquin on their back, carrying smaller demons within. Very rarely does a Goristro attack alone.

Once again, this monster cannot stand alone for its own story. It can’t even star in a sidequest! But as a major boss fight in a demonic-themed campaign? This thing does the job and does it well!

Especially thanks to the stats. But we’ll get to that. First, we need to talk about…

Design: Minotaur Demonic Edition

The flavor text describes this as a minotaur. Well, I’m inclined to agree.

demon-goristro
That sure is a demon.

I don’t have anything to say about this thing. It isn’t especially creative or interesting. It doesn’t communicate the monster’s story, given that it doesn’t really have one. It’s just a big red threatening demon. Sure, it looks pretty cool. But it doesn’t have any of the aspects of a good design that I look for.

Cool. But generic. Moving on.

Combat: Impossible to Shake

This thing is not a monster for low-level parties to fight. This is a monster meant for the endgame when the party can fold reality between their fingers.

In terms of defenses, this thing is a literal walking tank! Its AC is super high, requiring some high modifiers and high rolls to beat, and an HP pool that will take a lot of time to whittle down to zero. It’s resistant to practically everything and completely immune to poison, making it even more difficult to do any major damage! This thing will take some serious time and power to bring down!

Which is difficult. Considering how much power this thing is packing.

If this monster charges you down, then brace for impact! Because its charge attack does a whopping 38(7d10) piercing damage as it pierces you with its horn. If you’re hit by that, you’re sent flying twenty feet away and knocked prone, leaving you vulnerable to one of his other attacks.

And god damn, does this thing have a fair few attacks behind it.

With Multiattack, this monster can attack three times per turn: twice with its fists and once with its hoof. Its fists do a decently high 20(3d8+7) damage, while its hoof does 23(3d10+7) and can knock you prone. On top of that, it can gore you with its horns or claws, which can deal 45(7d10+7) piercing damage. If you have a group of high-level players with lots of HP, this monster is the perfect fit for them, as it will likely knock them down to single-digits before they finally kill it.

If they kill it.

Fleeing from this monster, should the party deem it necessary, is also incredibly difficult. It has an elephantine memory, making it impossible for the Goristro to become lost. Not only that, but it is also a Siege monster, meaning it does extra damage to buildings and objects. That’s right, this mother-fucker will tear the fucking city down to get at you!

In terms of a fight, this monster is very straight-forward. Its abilities do little to encourage creativity on the part of the players. If you want to kill it, all you’ve got to do is hope you roll high enough to kill it quickly and have high enough HP to survive. It may be a challenging fight. But it is not an interesting one.

Conclusion

Honestly, I’m really disappointed with this thing. It doesn’t have any interesting lore or flavor text. The design is cool but unmemorable, uninteresting, and uncreative. While its stats make it intimidating, the battle attached to it is not creative or interesting.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Goristro on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Couatl
  4. Behir
  5. Aboleth
  6. Chuul
  7. Chimera
  8. Death Knight
  9. Ankheg
  10. Aarackockra
  11. Azer
  12. Demilich
  13. Spectator
  14. Cambion
  15. Animated Armor
  16. Banshee
  17. Basilisk
  18. Bulette
  19. Cloaker
  20. Darkmantle
  21. Glabrezu
  22. Chasme
  23. Barlgura
  24. Balor
  25. Dretch
  26. Goristro <——–
  27. Planetar
  28. Carrion Crawler
  29. Rug of Smothering
  30. Bugbear Chief
  31. Bugbear
  32. Vine Blight
  33. Twig Blight
  34. Needle Blight
  35. Bullywug
  36. Cockatrice
  37. Solar
  38. Deva
  39. Cyclops
  40. Centaur
  41. Flying Sword
  42. Crawling Claw

While its cool design does put it above the bottom entries on this list, it doesn’t have anything to put it any higher than it is. It is a fun monster, but far from interesting or memorable. It’s just another generic, mildly intimidating demon.

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