Feb 202011

My Favorite Monsters is a showcase of some of the beautiful artwork Turbine has provided so that we have interesting things to kill.

Creepy tiger dudeI love/hate the Rakshasa. Killer damage resistance, spells, lots of hit points, AND spell resistance on top of all that … a nasty combination.

But they have such an interesting look to them. A tiger-headed humanoid with backwards hands … what’s not to love?

Sometimes when I am fighting one it will appear to lean over and bite me, and then shake its head side-to-side as if trying to tear out a chunk of meat… creepy, but interesting.

Which really when you think about it, kind of sums up the whole monster.

Roger Zelazny had a completely different take on them in his classic Lord of Light. He had them as creatures of pure energy that were native to a planet colonized/conquered by humans.

But I digress.

Check out Theris’ Rakshasa Monster Minute for an interesting and well-written discussion of the actual Earth version of rakshasa mythology (and much more, it is an excellent article. Read it now!).

This is the version of the rakshasa from the original Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. Note the elegant smoking jacket and cravat: rakshasas may be evil but they are nattily attired.

That easy elegance shaped my mental picture of the monster to this day. Add in their vast arsenal of powers (they are shapeshifters too!) and they become most excellent bosses in PnP campaigns. How surprising to find them in DDO huddled in caves and ruins wearing tatty chainmail. ๐Ÿ™‚

On the plus side, even in DDO they are most often used as bosses or mini-bosses, or at least as the standout monster of the encounter group. And they look marvelous.

I’m still waiting for the smoking jacket though.

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ™‚

  2 Responses to “My Favorite Monsters: Rakshasa”

Comments (2)
  1. The first time I ever heard of a Rakshasa was in the ’70s TV series “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” (I loved that show). In the epsiode, it took the form of its victim’s “most trusted friend”. That always stuck with me and I used it as a premise in one of my PnP dungeons.

    And you’re right – DDO should break out a smoking jacket for them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. The smoking jacket picture reminds me of Cat from ‘Red Dwarf.’ “I look GOOOD!” ๐Ÿ™‚ There is an exotic mystery to rakshasa, and I subconsciously liken them to djinn and efreeti. This is why ADQ feels so cozy to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you think?

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