A discussion of trick monsters
|WOTC's new Owlbear, lovely plummage, same bloody beak|
Occasionally one hears table-top RPG players discuss trick monsters, usually with a bit of disdain or annoyance. Things like Nilbogs (with their reverse everything mechanic) and the various monsters that conceal themselves as treasure or harmless dungeon dressing (mimics, trappers, lurkers above) are classic examples of ‘stupid’ or ‘silly’ trick monsters and get a share of disgust and annoyance. Yet the trick monster is the mainstay of computer RPGs these days (especially the more action oriented ones) and can be a great deal of fun. Basically a trick monster is an adversary that the players must think up a special way of defeating beyond simply squaring their avatar’s shoulders and having some luck with the dice and this provides the basis for a fun encounter.