Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Displacer Beast: Hentai Panther Murder Machine (Best of the Bestiary)

Ah, the Displacer Beast. I can never take this guy seriously anymore! Not because he isn’t badass! But because my latest party had been dragging one behind their cart for a long time. They couldn’t even come up with a name for it or remember to feed it! It only survived by my grace as a DM!

It escaped them, don’t worry. They set it out to fight some dire wolves and it bounced. It’s now living a fruitful life murdering travelers in the forest.

When you first look at the Displacer Beast, it might just seem like an especially dangerous predator. Oh look, it’s a panther with extra legs and tentacle tails! How cool! But when you dig deeper, you’ll find some interesting lore! It’s a surprisingly intriguing creature, though you still can’t do much with it!

Now, let’s get started! This is the Displacer Beast!

Lore: Beast of the Fey

So much history for what boils down to ‘magic murder pet’.

Displacer Beasts used to roam the twilight lands of the Feywild, until they were captured and domesticated by the Unseelie Court. Warriors of the court would breed them to reinforce their predatory nature and use them to hunt unicorns, pegasi, and other such creatures. However, the intelligence of the beasts quickly proved too much for their masters; after some time, they managed to escape. After they did so, the court used blink dogs to hunt them down, inadvertently turning the two into natural enemies.

Killing isn’t a necessity to this creature; rather, it’s a pleasure. They’ll toy with their prey until they kill it, after which they’ll drag it back to their den and feast. They’ll either hunt alone or in prides; their tactics will change depending on that. Often times, they’ll be kept as pets by intelligent creatures of an evil nature, only if it appears beneficial.

You can’t do anything especially interesting with this monster. It can’t be the main villain, either for a main quest or a side story. You can use it as an interesting setpiece for some cool stuff. But it’s more of an accessory to those moments than the star.

But hey. At least he looks cool.

Design: Why are they called tentacles?

Why not something like ‘tendril’? Or ‘whip’? Why did you make it sound like a weird sea creature? That’s a ramble more for the stats section, but my point still stands! For god’s sake, they don’t even look like tentacles!

Monster_Manual_5e_-_Displacer_Beast_-_p81
I always forget that it has so many legs.

This design isn’t exactly the most creative. Oh, cool! You put weird tentacle things and extra legs onto a panther! Bet you had to put your imagination cap on for that one! Try not to hurt yourself by thinking so hard!

Also, you can’t glean anything about the story from it. One look at this thing and you might think it’s a freaky magic panther or something! It doesn’t look like a fey monster that’s been bred into the ultimate killer! Nor does it look like a caster of illusions (we’ll get to that). It just looks like an animal with extra limbs!

The most effective thing about the design is the tentacles (still don’t like calling them that). These immediately draw the eyes and, given the weird spike growth things, are clearly dangerous. Unfortunately, that’s about it.

Cool? Oh, fuck yeah. Interesting? Not really.

Stats: The Trickiest Cat

This thing isn’t exactly the most intimidating monster. It has a fairly low AC and a near triple-digit HP, so killing it shouldn’t be that hard. Its primary method of attack does a lot of damage, especially if it hits twice, but they don’t impose any interesting challenge on the player. Sounds like a boring monster, right?

Wrong! This thing has two special abilities that make it far trickier and more interesting to fight!

The first is Avoidance. This one isn’t all that interesting. Basically, if it’s dodging a spell that would do half-damage on a successful saving throw, it takes no damage. Annoying for spellcasters? Yup. But not all that intriguing.

The Displacement ability, on the other hand? Game changer!

With this ability, the Displacer Beast projects an illusion of itself near its actual location. Basically, it turns invisible and stands next to a projection of itself. Not only is that super fucking cool, but it also gives all players disadvantage on attack rolls until it gets hit! Annoying? Oh, hell yeah! But it helps it stand out! Plus, it makes for a cool surprise for first-time players!

All in all, this guy is decent. The Displacement ability is amazing, but that’s about it. Aside from that, it’s just a big, powerful monster that’ll try to eat your players.

Which will then, in my case, become enslaved by your players.

Placement

Personal bias aside, this monster is pretty underwhelming. The lore is interesting, but you can’t do much with it. The design is weak, much like the stats. You can have fun with this monster! But it won’t stand out nearly as well as certain others.

With all that in mind, let’s put the Displacer Beast 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. Bone Devil
  10. Ankheg
  11. Shadow Demon
  12. Marilith
  13. Aarackockra
  14. Azer
  15. Demilich
  16. Spectator
  17. Cambion
  18. Animated Armor
  19. Banshee
  20. Basilisk
  21. Yochlol
  22. Bulette
  23. Cloaker
  24. Darkmantle
  25. Pit Fiend
  26. Erinyes
  27. Chain Devil
  28. Bearded Devil
  29. Barbed Devil
  30. Spined Devil
  31. Ice Devil
  32. Nalfeshnee
  33. Glabrezu
  34. Chasme
  35. Barlgura
  36. Horned Devil
  37. Balor
  38. Vrock
  39. Dretch
  40. Goristro
  41. Hezrou
  42. Manes
  43. Quasit
  44. Planetar
  45. Imp
  46. Displacer Beast <———
  47. Carrion Crawler
  48. Rug of Smothering
  49. Bugbear Chief
  50. Bugbear
  51. Vine Blight
  52. Twig Blight
  53. Needle Blight
  54. Bullywug
  55. Cockatrice
  56. Lemure
  57. Solar
  58. Deva
  59. Cyclops
  60. Centaur
  61. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  62. Flying Sword
  63. Crawling Claw

Personal bias considered, that placement physically hurts me. But not nearly as much as the dreadful reality that I’m one monster away from being trapped in Dragon-Hell for the next… year.

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