D30 Day 17: Favorite Animal/Vermin

I feel like this category is a little on the weak side. I don’t know if I have a favorite animal/vermin, I just tend to sprinkle in whatever may be appropriate. I’m pretty sure I’ve never made a dungeon of any appreciable size where there wasn’t a possibility of encountering rats or dire rats, but I don’t know if that makes rats my favorite vermin. I like rot grubs too, but again I don’t know if I’d consider them a favorite. Maybe.

Probably not though. As fond as I am of maggots that burrow to your heart with horrifying speed, I think I’m going to cheat today and talk about stirges instead. Technically, stirges are classified as “magical beasts,” but isn’t beast just another word for animal? Also, I suppose their origin might be magical in nature, but there isn’t anything particularly magical about the stirge. So to me they are kinda like an animal that fills a similar niche to vermin, which really makes them fit in to both of today’s categories, right? Whatever. Their isn’t a day that is devoted to “magical beasts” so today is stirge day.

One reason I like them is one of the same reasons that I like carrion crawlers; they make for excellent indigenous monsters. I mean, they almost seem like something that could exist in the real world: some bloodsucking bat/mosquito hybrid that would make you think twice about poking around in abandoned attics or mysterious caves. Individually, these guys don’t seem that tough, but a swarm of them is enough to give even relatively high level parties cause for concern. Plus, you can get a lot of descriptive mileage out of these beasties, talking about giant proboscis and engorged blood sacs. Your party’s mage will find these descriptions fascinating, listening intently as two or three of these things latch onto him and he starts to feel light headed.

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