I wasn't blogging yet when the 10 Favorite D&D Monsters meme went around. I keep trying to write one but I always end up with too many. Plus, really, I just love the classics. Especially compared to, like, Noisms and his Yak-men and people who actually like owlbears.
Basically, my favorites fit into these categories:
Things the Greeks thought up:
Minotaur, medusa, hydra, sphinx. Deep in the human mind is a maze and in the maze is a monster. It's a Greek monster. This probably has something to do with the invention of geometry and the Apollonian/Dionysian tension at the heart of all human endeavors. Or something. Maybe it's just me. Basically all I know is, if it refuses to die, turns you to stone, asks riddles, or is the product of an unholy union of man and beast I want to see it, then see it die.
The spooky magic kind with shrill voices that scare birds and eat babies and make terrible things happen to you if you tell lies or touch their weird magic tree.
Pretend you don't know what a snail is. Pretend you don't know what a flail is. Now look at the picture. God that's fucked.
Medieval demons, Lovecraftian demons, effete 19th century demons, succubi. Whatever. Your parents were right about this game.
Lich, Death Knight, Eye of Fear and Flame. It is dead, yet it knows something you don't. Or, worse: It is dead, therefore it knows something you don't.
Vampire halfling queens with pet vampire monkeys, for instance, or the Hollow Bride. Vampires are generally metaphors for the evils associated with The Old World and its ways. And D&D is all about the Old World and its ways. So fighting vampires cuts to the crux...no, bad pun...gets to the heart...no, worse pun...anyway vampires seem very close to the point of the whole thing.
Worst. Eye. Ever.
Image credits:Minotaur Adrian Smith, Beholder Tom Wham, Skeleton Harry Clarke, Flail Snail--Alan Hunter.