Best of the Bestiary, D&D

Magmin: Walkin’ Talkin’ Boom Babies

Don’t ask me what that title was about, I don’t even know anymore.

You can probably guess what this little bastard is about. Unless you somehow can’t figure out what magmin is alluding to.

Lore: Frenzied Flaming Servants

Magmin are small fire spirits bound into physical forms by magic that only appear on the Material Plane when summoned. Only the control of their summoner keeps them from setting everything ablaze simply for the fun of it. They make ideal minions for creating chaos and destruction; a mob of them could burn a whole castle down within only a few minutes.

Although their flames are among the hottest one could find, their hard shells made from magma prevent them from immediately setting the world ablaze. However, that does little to contain their unpredictable natures. It could be argued that they aren’t malicious, as they are unaware of the effects their flames have on the Material World. Sometimes it will seek out areas of great heat while they’re fulfilling a task, such as a volcano, or maybe they’ll just set objects ablaze for the fun of it.

There’s not a whole lot you can do with this. Maybe you could do a mystery kind of story about a wizard who uses magmin to set towns ablaze. Or the players could try to turn the chaotic magma children against their master. But if you want to do anything more compelling or long-term, you’ll need to find another monster.

Design: Burning Child

Remember that scene in the Lost Children arc of Berserk? The one where Guts is being attacked by the flaming ghosts of children? Yeah, it’s kind of like that. Except not nearly as disturbing or sad. And it’s not like that at all.

If this kid asks you to play with him, don’t even bother saying no. Just run like hell and pray.

This is the best design we’ve discussed in a while. It’s creative, it’s unique, and it tells a bit of a story.

You can just feel the malice and insanity in this thing’s eyes, especially with that wicked grin. The fire oozing out of its hands and head give it a sinister air. Its whole body is sort of cracked or melting, like the energy contained within it is threatening to explode. And when it does, this little monster will be laughing the whole damn time.

On top of that, this is a really creative look. It isn’t just ‘child, but fire’. The artists clearly went to great strides to communicate the monster’s magma-based shell while still making it feel like a living, breathing thing. It isn’t as unique as some of the more cosmic-horror style monsters we’ve seen, but it’s still plenty unique.

Overall, I love this design. Definitely one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. I only hope the fight that goes along with it is worth while.

Stats: Baby’s First Fire Enemy

Yup. It’s a low-level enemy. But to be fair, it’s definitely one of the more interesting ones.

On the surface, this seems like an easy monster to kill. Its HP sits in the single digits and its AC is just barely into the double digits. However, its immunity to all non-magical melee damage may present a challenge to a low-level player. That, and its complete immunity to fire.

Oh, I’m sorry level one wizard, did you spec entirely into fire? Well that’s your problem, not mine.

Killing it also presents a bit of a problem: the bastard explodes when it dies. And for a monster with a challenge rating of 1/2, it does a fair bit of damage! Better hope you succeed that Dex save, or your level one character may very well be toast! Maybe more than one, if you’ve got multiple melee players in your party; that explosion has a radius of ten feet, so everything in that range is going boom.

It can also set itself ablaze. It doesn’t do any damage, but it does give off light. So… that helps, I guess.

In terms of attacks, this monster only has one: Touch. This does a fair bit of fire damage for a low level monster. Worse yet, there’s a chance that it will set the victim ablaze. Until they take an action to extinquish the flames, they’ll take an extra 3(1d6) fire damage at the end of each turn.

All of this combines to make for one of the more interesting encounters an early-game party can hope for. How do they hurt it if they don’t have magical weapons? How do they deal with the explosions upon death? How do they balance fighting with putting out the fires burning them alive? It’s a dangerous struggle that will force the players to get creative in their approach.

Or just run away like little sissy babies.

Placement

This was a surprisingly strong monster! The lore is pretty weak, sure. But the design is excellent, and the stats all make for one of the more interesting battles for an early-game party! This is a surprise winner!

With all that in mind, let’s put the Magmin 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. Lamia
  15. Bronze Dragons
  16. Brass Dragons
  17. Copper Dragons
  18. Gold Dragons
  19. Chuul
  20. Kuo-Toa
  21. Gibbering Mouther
  22. Kraken
  23. Intellect Devourer
  24. Chimera
  25. Death Knight
  26. Fomorian
  27. Bone Devil
  28. Dracolich
  29. Faerie Dragon
  30. Lich
  31. Magmin <————————
  32. Kobold
  33. Kenku
  34. Hobgoblins
  35. Night Hag
  36. Green Hag
  37. Ankheg
  38. Hook Horror
  39. Storm Giant
  40. Hill Giant
  41. Empyrean
  42. Efreeti
  43. Grimlock
  44. Dao
  45. Cloud Giant
  46. Drow (all four of ’em)
  47. Shadow Demon
  48. Marilith
  49. Drider
  50. Aarackockra
  51. Azer
  52. Demilich
  53. Spectator
  54. Hydra
  55. Marid
  56. Harpy
  57. Werejackal
  58. Half-Dragon
  59. Cambion
  60. Fire Giant
  61. Animated Armor
  62. Banshee
  63. Basilisk
  64. Yochlol
  65. Bulette
  66. Cloaker
  67. Darkmantle
  68. Doppelganger
  69. Ghoul and Ghast
  70. Ettin
  71. Pit Fiend
  72. Erinyes
  73. Chain Devil
  74. Bearded Devil
  75. Barbed Devil
  76. Spined Devil
  77. Ice Devil
  78. Djinni
  79. Nalfeshnee
  80. Glabrezu
  81. Chasme
  82. Grell
  83. Barlgura
  84. Horned Devil
  85. Balor
  86. Shadow Dragon
  87. Werebear
  88. Lizardfolk
  89. Vrock
  90. Dretch
  91. Gnolls (all three)
  92. Goristro
  93. Hezrou
  94. Manes
  95. Frost Giant
  96. Weretiger
  97. Werewolf
  98. Duergar
  99. Quasit
  100. Dryad
  101. Flumph
  102. Goblin
  103. Wereboar
  104. Wererat
  105. Githyanki
  106. Planetar
  107. Imp
  108. Clay Golem
  109. Flameskull
  110. Displacer Beast
  111. Carrion Crawler
  112. Githzerai
  113. Grick
  114. Invisible Stalker
  115. Rug of Smothering
  116. Bugbear Chief
  117. Bugbear
  118. Flesh Golem
  119. Vine Blight
  120. Twig Blight
  121. Needle Blight
  122. Bullywug
  123. Hellhound
  124. Ettercap
  125. Gas Spore
  126. Cockatrice
  127. Lemure
  128. Homonculus
  129. Solar
  130. Deva
  131. Gorgon
  132. Hippogriff
  133. Griffon
  134. Cyclops
  135. Centaur
  136. Ghost
  137. Fire Elemental
  138. Water Elemental
  139. Air Elemental
  140. Stone Giant
  141. Deep Gnome
  142. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  143. Iron Golem
  144. Stone Golem
  145. Earth Elemental
  146. Galeb Duhr
  147. Helmed Horror
  148. Flying Sword
  149. Crawling Claw
  150. Violet Fungus
  151. Shrieker
  152. Gargoyle

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