GROGNARDIA: My Least Favorite Monsters beat me to it, but here’s a list of my 10 monsters that I never want to use or see in a campaign:
- Ear Seekers. Despite my abiding affection for things like the Rust Monster, Ear Seekers cross the line between challenging the player and punishing smart play. Even if the dungeon is stocked by a mad arch-mage intentionally seeking to thwart explorers, this kind of thing is just a reason not to play. Whether to risk listening at the door is not the kind of decision that a GM wants to emphasize.
- Drow. I tried to read R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt trilogy, I really did.
- Krenshar. A big cat that can peel the skin of its face back, so that… what? I’m not getting it, either in evolutionary or mad wizard design terms.
- Troglodytes. Why did cavemen become some wierd lizard creature? And why aren’t lizard men and reptilian kobolds enough?
- Tarentella. (a spider that has a bite that not only causes the victim to dance, but makes onlookers save vs. dancing) Even I have a limit to the pun-inspired game features I can take.
- Girallon. To be honest, I’ve never actually seen or heard of these used, but adding an extra pair of arms to a gorilla and calling it a new monster was not anybody’s finest day.
- Deathbringer. Now they’re not even trying.
- Gem Dragons. Scraped right past the bottom of the barrel there.
- Jermlaines. What purpose do these serve that kobolds don’t do better?
- Forest Sloth. So…it’s a sloth. With lightning fast reflexes, that can move along the ground or climb through the trees faster than a human can run. Why exactly is it a sloth, again? So that when the GM just says the name instead of describing what the characters see, they can get fooled for a moment into thinking they’re facing something slow?
My thanks to Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter, without whose Monster Manual II this list would have had to stop at number 5.