Failed Hybrids

Failed Hybrids were the old standby for Monster Manual contributors. The formula was simple: combine part of an animal with part of another animal to form a third, much stupider, animal. The authors thought that since ancient mythology combined animals the technique was fair game for them. They were wrong!

Zack: These people have never seen an owl or a bear.

Steve: Okay, so some art is bad. You can't condemn the whole owlbear just because of one bad picture.

Zack: It looks like Jim Henson's apostrophe.

Steve: The owlbear combines the ferociousness of a bear and the cunning of an owl.

Zack: Which of those two brings the love of subterranean labyrinths to the relationship?

Steve: Owls?

Zack: Barns and trees.

Steve: Bears?

Zack: Woods and caves.

Steve: A cave is like a subterranean labyrinth.

Zack: Not really, but I guess to be fair underground mazes are way more prevalent in the D&D ecosystem.

Steve: Exactly, dude. I know some owls that would love to fight in a maze, there just aren't any mazes.

Zack: You don't know any owls.

Steve: Alright, maybe not, but I'm like an expert on owlbears and this injustice will not stand.

Zack: Fine! You win! My apologies to the owlbear.

Steve: The owlbear accepts only the sweet apology of vengeance.

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About This Column

Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.

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