On Magical Beasts (and Domesticity)

I’m not going to claim with a straight face that D&D doesn’t have enough magical beasts. It’s got them for days, covering the ABCs (Axebeaks, Basilisks and Cockatrices). But what’s interesting to me is that it doesn’t have your magical-treasure-magical beasts: a sparrow to help you get dressed for the ball, a goose that lays golden eggs, an oracular pig named Hen Wen.

Humans have a long history with animals, and myth is replete with animal companions to match. But the game isn’t, and I have no idea why. Easy to fix, though!

Auroch of Strength (uncommon, requires attunement)

This prehistoric bull (stats as giant boar) brings strength and power to its owner and multiplies their herds.

Firstly, a cow herd containing at least one auroch bull produces twice the normal number of fine cows.

Secondly, after the first calf of this sort is born, the owner of the bull gains attunement and while attuned, a strength and constitution score of 13 (+1) unless that score were already higher. Also, while attuned, gain an additional d12 hit die at the end of each long rest.

Eating the heart of an auroch confers ogre strength of 19(+4) for 1 hour.

Attunement is broken by removing the auroch from the herd for 24 hours.

Cat, Half-Noble (uncommon)

The fecund King of Toms has many byblows, who often get themselves into scrapes. Should the services of one be retained (statistics as panther with an intelligence of 10), it will bring wealth and good fortune to its owner. The next nine times its owner rolls a 1 on any die, they must reroll that die.

Cow, Leaping (very rare)

This sweet tempered kine is far more active than its bovine herdmates (statistics as giant goat but with a standing jump of 15 vertical/30 horizontal). She is generally frisky, like an oversized puppy.

The milk of a leaping cow functions as a potion of jump (must be milked 1/day, spoils 1 day). A cheese or butter made from this milk is notably tangy but otherwise nonmagical.

Finally, targeting the leaping cow with the fly spell allows the caster to transfer concentration to the cow.

Dog, Bad (uncommon, cursed, requires attunement)

This small-sized dog (statistics as jackal with a malign int 18) is manipulative, noisy, rude, ugly, and lazy. Its copious effluesence poisons those except its owner who smell it (10 feet of the dog or owner, or anywhere in their lair, DC 10 constitution save negates, repeated at the end of each round, and grants immunity for 24 hours). Its indolence spreads to its owner, whose speed is reduced by 10 feet. It will break things and blame its human.

The owner of a bad dog is generally under the delusion that it is a good dog (q.v.). Breaking this belief requires remove curse.

Dog, Good (common)

This small-sized dog (statistics as jackal) is friendly, helpful, polite, attractive, and diligent. It can ferry messages per the animal messenger spell at will. It can also assist in minor household chores (fetching, herding and carrying mostly). Finally, some vermin (bats, rats, ravens and wererats) are frightened of the dog when they enter or begin within 60 feet while it is barking. A DC 10 wisdom save negates, repeated at the end of each round, and grants immunity for 24 hours.

Fish, Babel- (uncommon)

This 1″ minnow lives in ear canals and learns languages very very quickly. After attempting a conversation for 1 minute, it enables its host to understand, but not speak, that language with that listener for 24 hours. The initial misunderstanding period must be repeated each day with each listener.

This is why most important meetings have at least 1 minute of unimportant time-wasting before they can get down to business.

Goose, Golden egg laying (rare)

This goose lays a 25gp golden egg every 1d4 days for as long as it lives. The weight of gestating eggs prevents the goose from flying, or even moving at other than a swift waddle.

Cooking and consuming the goose has the effect of a heroes feast on the celebrants.

Hawk, Seeking (rare)

This hawk can find any named creature, object or substance (as locate creature or locate object). Once this ability is used, the hawk must feed and rest for one day before it can be used again.

Hound, Faithful (common, requires attunement)

This hound is uncommonly intelligent and helpful (stats as a mastiff). It may be bonded as a familiar by feeding it. As a standard consequence of serving as a familiar it may no longer attack; note that it instead will defend or harry foes on behalf of its master.

The lifespan of a faithful hound is exactly that of its master.

Mouse, Companion (uncommon)

This friendly fellow likes to hang out in a pocket. When its owner is subject to a confusion or insanity effect which a per-round save can end, their pre-programmed behavior instead reads “spends their next action petting the mouse — at which point they automatically roll a 20 on their saving throw against the inflicting ability”.

Rooster, Illuminated (rare)

Undead and fiends within 60 feet of a golden rooster heralding the dawn take 10 radiant damage, DC 10 wisdom save for half. The rooster may be fooled into heralding the dawn, but it will require more and more elaborate pranks, and will do so no more than once per day in any case.

The rooster’s comb gives light as a candle.

Songbird, Golden (uncommon)

This bird is often kept caged; if free, it attempts to escape (tiny magical beast, fly 60, 1 hp, AC 12, str -4, dex +1). Once per day, it either sings with the effect of a calm emotions or enthrall spell of the cage-holder’s choice.

Squid Hat (rare)

This land-based cephalopod is happy on a humanoid head. Beyond inimitable style, its bearer understands the speech of aberrations and has resistance to psychic damage.

Owl, Tutelary (uncommon, requires attunement)

This small beast is drawn to the uneducated or the foolhardy and discourses on its many areas of expertise at them, especially while they are trying to fall asleep. It may select to  treat itself as its conversant’s familiar, per the find familiar spell (even if the conversant is not a spellcaster).

After spending one month in conversation with the owl, the conversant gains attunement. While attuned to the tutelary owl, the conversant has an intelligence and wisdom score (each) of 13 (+1), unless that score were already higher.

The owl itself is trained (+3) in one intelligence or wisdom based skill (other than perception) and speaks two languages.

Pig, Oracular (uncommon)

This pig can cast augury once per week without any material components and has an intelligence of 10 — it understands, but still cannot speak, at least one human language. It has free will, and therefore must be induced to augur; supplicatory apples are recommended.


About lackhand

I was born in 1984 and am still playing games, programming computers, and living in New York City. View all posts by lackhand

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