D30 Challenge Day 20: Yet another favorite subcategory of monster post!

Favorite Humanoid/Nautral/Fey creature. Now they’re just making stuff up! This is another tough one, folks. I’ve never given much thought to what my favorite humanoid is, natural isn’t even a real creature type, and I tend to use fey sparingly.

How about we discuss the Umpleby today:


I’ve never used this creature, but I’ve had some hilarious conversations about it and I don’t want to talk about hobgoblins or centaurs, so let’s take a look at this monster.

First of all, it’s another creature out of the original Fiend Folio, so of course it’s bat-shit crazy. Where to begin? Well, he’s an eight foot tall Bigfoot-looking creature, who weaves nets out of his own hair and stores static electricity that he can use to shock the hell out of anyone who wants to attack him. And everyone is going to want to attack him. But here’s the thing: Umpleby’s act kind of like giant children. Giant children who make lots of noise, will eat any food that you give them, and probably steal any shiny things that they can get their hands on. OK, so Umplebys act exactly like giant children I guess.

Umplebys are all about annoying your party, getting in the way, and acting pitiful and helpless when anyone threatens violence against them. They refuse to be left behind, refuse to be helpful in any way, and pretty much make themselves a nuisance. Using one of these things is like trying to provoke your party members to hit a kid; a kid that can probably knock your toughest fighter unconscious with one electrified hair net attack.

Furthermore, the description insinuates that the whole bumbling idiot routine is just an act, and that the umpleby isn’t really an idiot at all.

I'm just an umpleby, your ways frighten and confuse me.
I’m just an umpleby, your ways frighten and confuse me.

I’ve always thought it would be funny to have one of these guys attach himself to low-level party and innocently bully them and almost get them killed by monsters that an umpleby could easily take out if he would lift an electrified finger. And it might be funny – for a while.  It might also be fine to use one of these guys if your group is very casual and comical, but I think in most groups the shtick would get old in a hurry. In the end, I’ve always decided that this guy was better to have a good out of game laugh about instead of making him an in-game nuisance.


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