FEATURE:

Hordes of iconic monsters from Dungeons & Dragons have appeared in video games — Beholders, Mind Flayers, and even Tiamat, the five-headed queen of evil dragons, show up at one time or another. It’s time for some of the lesser-known beasts to shine — and learn more about the famous monsters as well.

D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast released Volo’s Guide to Monsters, its latest guidebook for the renown role-playing game, earlier this month. The tome collects a batch of monsters that reach back to D&D‘s earliest editions, including the long-missing fan favorite Froghemoth.

As I flipped through Volo’s pages, I started to realize how cool it would be to encounter a Froghemoth in a video game. Or a Morkoth — but those creatures have never made the leap from the page and into a PC or console game. So here’s a small collection of cool monsters from the book that have never graced D&D‘s digital counterparts but definitely should.

It may not have an eye ray that turns you into stone, but when you piece it with a sword and it's lightning blood fries you, it may petrify you in fear.   Imagine your adventuring party is skulking through a dungeon. Dark passages line the tunnel you're exploring. Suddenly, a host of tentacles flash out of the darkness, hurtling at you like the chains that Pinhead summons from hell. Then image a floating horror, its eye staring at your with hunger, as it emerges from the darkness ... and the mouths at the end of the tentacles start draining your blood.  The Deathkiss Beholder makes a great dungeon guardian for any evil mastermind you want to throw into your video game. You find yucky things in swamps. The catoblepas is no exception. This beastie looks like an unholy mix of a cow, a hippo and a dinosaur, and it's just as nasty as its warthog-like tusks suggest. Only this thing won't just gore you to death -- it's so repulsive, its very gaze is a killer. Hags are said to keep these monsters like cattle -- imagine needing to deal with a grandmother crone in a swamp that has information you need, but you must get through her herd of death-gazing cow-things first. These fiends are among the most feared -- and most favored -- servants of Orcus, the demonic prince of the undead. And they don't just kill -- once they've nearly killed their victims, they absorb them into their ribcages, trapping the poor unfortunates and feeding off them. A cool quest would be to safe a friend trapped by one of these ghastly foes. Another could be stopping it from spreading its influence as a group of Orcus cultists take over a town. These great beasts are from another world, and they certainly look the part. They'd make for great encounters in a swamp, but a better idea would be give it some Bullywug worshippers. The dumb froggish humanoids think it's a god, and they might start raiding a village to give it tribute -- and that's your quest hook. Gamers are the ultimate collectors, looking under every crevice and into every crack for loot. Well, so are the Morkoth, and nothing (besides some able adventurers) can stop them from lusting after it. Imagine the item you need to solve an ancient riddle lies in its treasure horde on an island it's called home -- and it's your party's job to get it. Make the lair underwater, too, giving us an encounter we've rarely seen in D&D video games.
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