This month sees the release of Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale—and within its pages, the peryton. Described as blending the body and wings of a bird of prey with the head of a stag (and the shadow of a man), the bizarre peryton has haunted the game since the 1st Edition Monster Manual.
And we feel there’s no better mascot for the following competition than this returning hybrid!
A recent In the Works column discussed hybrid creatures that have appeared in the game—from true classics (the owlbear) to the infamous (the duckbunny). As the column stated:
As hybrids, their monstrosity comes from their being a combination of creatures. And the game is flush with them. Which makes sense, after all. The game pulls from a variety of sources, including myths and legends that themselves extensively used hybrids.
Greek mythology brought us quite a few creatures (half human, half animal) that crossed into the game: medusas, minotaurs, centaurs -- plus D&D's own driders and scarrows.
Lycanthropes took the concept of half human and half animal creatures to create transformative werecreatures (or in the case of the jackalwere, creatureweres).
And then we have the chimeras, which incorporate any number of hybrid elements, including the mythical chimera itself, the hippogriff, manticore -- and on, to the game's displacer beast (part panther, part octopus), stirge (part bat, part mosquito), and intellect devourer (part brain coral, part pug).
Which brings us to our next Creature Competition. We ran our very first competition back in 2005, with sixteen creatures—nominated by R&D and other WotC staff—going head-to-head. The following year featured a set of creatures nominated by you, the players.
That’s a process we’d very much like to return to for this year’s Creature Competition. The theme is hybrids, and we’ve opened the nomination process to you, via our Promotions page. Just submit your hybrid creature and up to 250 words of its description.
We’ll then judge your nominations, and select sixteen hybrids to populate the next Creature Competition. As always, you’ll vote for each pairing in the competition to determine which creature advances to the next round. The final winner will then be statted up (with art) for a future Dungeon article—and also added to the D&D Monster Builder and Compendium tools.
As a further bonus, the person who nominated the winning creature will receive both a copy of Monster Vault: Threats to the Nentir Vale, as well as a copy of the latest Dungeon Tiles set: Witchlight Fens.
Remember, the theme this year is hybrids. What new hybrid will you nominate? A straight-up chimera, like the owlbear, which mixes two or more creatures together? Something part human/part monster or animal, like the minotaur? Something transformative, like the werewolf?
We look forward to your creations!