Why can’t they leave my beloved monsters alone? The DM showed me a picture of the Ankheg we encountered yesterday, and I was taken aback. It was nothing like the monster of my memory. Here’s how they have changed…
And this is Pathfinder’s Ankheg. Art fail. Not terrifying, inelegant, unworthy. And this is the one I ran into last night. More proof that gaming was better in the old days!
Other monsters whom time has changed include…
The Owlbear. He was poorly drawn but more terrifying in the old days,
but much cooler as the art got better, at least as long as his body looked more bear than owl.
More owl than bear didn’t work as well.
Bugbears, were initially very stupid looking (a bear with a jack-o-lantern on its head).
Only Runequest was brave enough to run with that critter, which became the Jack-o-Bear.
D&D changed them in 1st edition so they were just pretty stupid looking.
As always, Trampier spruced them up
and then Otus put the final polish on them when he came back and painted them again for Hackmaster.
The later D&D versions are too much like generic Ogres
I’ve got to say that the one I like the best is by SuperGroverFanClub over on Deviantart. In my world, I describe one as, “A shadowy furry form, reminiscent of a bear two weeks dead. Its fur is black, matted, and greasy and the face is difficult to perceive except for a drooling mouthful of fangs and two yellow slits that might be its eyes.” I use them as traditional foes of the Shadowlords, another creature of Faerie.
The Slaad. No one ever did them very well, but the old ones were creepier. The new ones look more like Deep Ones. My favorite, by the way, is not a commercial picture. Check out this Death Slaad.
Oh and one more side note. While Runequest did steal the Bugbear, D&D stole the Dragonsnail
and turned it into the Flail snail.