Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Hook Horror: That’s Just a Dark Crystal Monster!

Y’all remember the Dark Crystal movies, right? At least the old one, with Jim Henson? Or that Netflix reboot that happened a few years ago? I can’t be the only one.

Anyways, here’s a D&D monster.

Lore: Hunting With the Family

Residing in the Underdark, a hook horror is an aggressive predator. In the caverns in which they reside, one can always hear their claws scratching and scraping the walls. Coincidentally, that is eerily similar to how they communicate, as they hit their exoskeleton rhythmically or let out clacking noises in a complex language. These sounds carry on for miles through the darkness of their domain.

Omnivorous, these creatures will ambush anything that wanders into their hunting grounds. They’ll use their claws to climb walls, whether to set up an ambush or to flee a deadly foe. Pack hunters by nature, they’ll work together to bring down the largest and most powerful foe. These packs, broken into familial clans, are ruled by the eldest female and her mate, who will be put in charge of hunting. At the center of their nests, in the most well-defended place, they keep their eggs.

It isn’t the deepest lore, but it isn’t totally empty. At minimum, it’s a bit of flavor to use to setup an encounter. With a little imagination, it can become a fairly interesting side quest. Maybe the party needs to brave a hook horror nest to steal the highly valued eggs? Or perhaps they need to aide a scholar who wants to decipher their language? It’s not much, but you can make it work!

Design: See What I Mean?

You cannot tell me this doesn’t look like something out of Dark Crystal. Unless you can. but I’ll stand by what I said, even if you do!

Why is it jacked? Dude’s been hittin’ the gym!

I love this design! It’s simple, yes; it’s a weird bird thing with claw arms. But it’s fun! And creepy, too! Imagine a whole pack of these things coming at you from a dark tunnel, clicking and scraping! That shit’s scary, dude!

This design checks off all my boxes. You know what it’s about at a single glance. It’s simple, yet creative and visually interesting. This is definitely the strongest aspect of this monster.

Because the stats sure ain’t doing anything for me.

Stats: Claws, and… That’s It

There is literally nothing to talk about here. It can swing its hook arms twice. No special abilities or spells to make it stand out. Just ‘hit it until it dies’.

But hey! With Echolocation and Keen Hearing, you can’t sneak up on it! I guess that’s something.

Placement

This was a surprisingly strong entry. The lore isn’t much, but it has potential. It’s design is surprisingly great and really fun! My only real problem is with the straight-forward and forgettable stats. Sorry, but monsters where you just hit it until it does don’t do much for me.

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

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Dragon Turtle
  4. Green Dragons
  5. Red Dragons
  6. Blue Dragons
  7. Black Dragons
  8. White Dragons
  9. Silver Dragons
  10. Couatl
  11. Behir
  12. Aboleth
  13. Sea Hag
  14. Bronze Dragons
  15. Brass Dragons
  16. Copper Dragons
  17. Gold Dragons
  18. Chuul
  19. Gibbering Mouther
  20. Chimera
  21. Death Knight
  22. Fomorian
  23. Bone Devil
  24. Dracolich
  25. Faerie Dragon
  26. Hobgoblins
  27. Night Hag
  28. Green Hag
  29. Ankheg
  30. Hook Horror <——————–
  31. Storm Giant
  32. Hill Giant
  33. Empyrean
  34. Efreeti
  35. Grimlock
  36. Dao
  37. Cloud Giant
  38. Drow (all four of ’em)
  39. Shadow Demon
  40. Marilith
  41. Drider
  42. Aarackockra
  43. Azer
  44. Demilich
  45. Spectator
  46. Marid
  47. Harpy
  48. Half-Dragon
  49. Cambion
  50. Fire Giant
  51. Animated Armor
  52. Banshee
  53. Basilisk
  54. Yochlol
  55. Bulette
  56. Cloaker
  57. Darkmantle
  58. Doppelganger
  59. Ghoul and Ghast
  60. Ettin
  61. Pit Fiend
  62. Erinyes
  63. Chain Devil
  64. Bearded Devil
  65. Barbed Devil
  66. Spined Devil
  67. Ice Devil
  68. Djinni
  69. Nalfeshnee
  70. Glabrezu
  71. Chasme
  72. Grell
  73. Barlgura
  74. Horned Devil
  75. Balor
  76. Shadow Dragon
  77. Vrock
  78. Dretch
  79. Gnolls (all three)
  80. Goristro
  81. Hezrou
  82. Manes
  83. Frost Giant
  84. Duergar
  85. Quasit
  86. Dryad
  87. Flumph
  88. Goblin
  89. Githyanki
  90. Planetar
  91. Imp
  92. Clay Golem
  93. Flameskull
  94. Displacer Beast
  95. Carrion Crawler
  96. Githzerai
  97. Grick
  98. Rug of Smothering
  99. Bugbear Chief
  100. Bugbear
  101. Flesh Golem
  102. Vine Blight
  103. Twig Blight
  104. Needle Blight
  105. Bullywug
  106. Hellhound
  107. Ettercap
  108. Gas Spore
  109. Cockatrice
  110. Lemure
  111. Homonculus
  112. Solar
  113. Deva
  114. Gorgon
  115. Hippogriff
  116. Griffon
  117. Cyclops
  118. Centaur
  119. Ghost
  120. Fire Elemental
  121. Water Elemental
  122. Air Elemental
  123. Stone Giant
  124. Deep Gnome
  125. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  126. Iron Golem
  127. Stone Golem
  128. Earth Elemental
  129. Galeb Duhr
  130. Helmed Horror
  131. Flying Sword
  132. Crawling Claw
  133. Violet Fungus
  134. Shrieker
  135. Gargoyle

3 thoughts on “Hook Horror: That’s Just a Dark Crystal Monster!”

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