My Favorite Monsters is a showcase of some of the beautiful artwork Turbine has provided so that we have interesting things to kill.
Before DDO I didn’t care much for gargoyles. I don’t dislike them, but then, what’s to like, really, in every CRPG and even in tabletop D&D they are the most predictable monsters ever.
|First edition AD&D gargoyle
The legs should be a dead giveaway
As you peer into the room, you see what appears to be several stone statues.
Do they look like gargoyles?
They appear to be stone statues.
do they have wings and horns?
They appear to be stone statues. There might be the odd wing or horn here and there.
Yet somehow, no matter what elaborate preparations the party makes, somehow, some way, the stupid stone statues always seem to get a surprise attack when they reveal themselves to be – Surprise! – gargoyles.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike gargoyles either, they are simply too unremarkable to generate much opinion one way or the other. They have no particular special attacks (except of course Surprise!). They are made of stone but that is not as effective a defense as one might suppose.
They are never bosses, never casters, never anything but a pack of melee minions placed only to provide a fight, generally by a DM too tired or unimaginitive to come up with something more interesting.
🙂 😀 🙂
According to Anne, there in fact is a gargoyle boss: some daelkyr or another so large that it is an entire mobile city yet somehow still a gargoyle. I’m not completely buying this, I would think that being a mobile city disqualifies one from remaining in Specie Gargoyle but then hey, what do I know?
We meet this Daelkyr in DDO update 10 – Orlassk the Lord of Stone. Doesn’t look very gargoyley to me.
🙂 😀 🙂
Most non-RPG players probably think of gargoyles either as grotesque rain gutters or as a Disney cartoon. Or both.
It would be easy to include a googled picture of Notre Dame here – a whole division of minion gargoyles are built into that gothic horror show – but like I said, too easy. So I went and took the picture myself.
|My kids were a little old for Disney by 1995; I missed out on the cartoon. Judging from the images, I am surprised that Disney put out a cartoon with such a dark tone. I am no longer surprised that Disney sexified all the female characters, in the ensuing decade we’ve all learned that Disney is able to make a ton of money convincing seven to twelve year old girls to dress/act/aspire to be drunken college girls gone wild.*
The Disney gargoyles live on in comic book and cosplay form. There must be some substance to it that escapes me. But then I doubt I’ve seen a single episode all the way through so am hardly in a place to judge.
Gargoyle Gone Wild!
🙂 😀 🙂
And then along came the DDO gargoyle, still predictable, still a minion. But wait, there’s more!
Look at the little guy. Note the way he just exhudes cheekiness. What a face. Whichever Turbine artist created the gargoyle should be proud, she/he has realized the monster in way I couldn’t have imagined: with personality!
There is even a boss gargoyle, of a sort. If one enters the Cerulean Hills wilderness area and wanders about a bit, one may find a gargoyle named Lotigath. Once you are done being smacked in the face by the anagram nature of creature’s name you may engage it in conversation, and eventually in battle. Except this gargoyle is different from other DDO monsters in one other important way: it is smart enough to surrender!
Smart and cheeky gargoyle!
Seeing the original D&D gargoyle rendered in such an interestingly expressive manner has caused me to completely rework the way I think about the monster. No longer a minion, gargoyles are now one of my favorite monsters.
DM: You see a group of what appear to be stone statues
Player: Do they seem unusually cheeky?
🙂 😀 🙂