Back on track with the 30 Day D&D Challenge!
23. What is your Least Favorite Monster Overall?
My least favorite monster is the Tarasque.
This is a surprise because I am a huge fan of kaiju. I love Godzilla, Gamera, King Ghidorah, and all their kind. I am waiting in rapt anticipation for Pacific Rim to come out on DVD. I love nothing better than someone in a giant monster suit stomping through a model city.
I also love the historical aspects of monsters in D&D, including the Tarasque. The Tarasque of legend was a giant dragon-like monster that ravaged through France. It was the spawn of the biblical Leviathan and burned everything it touched. Sculptures and pictures show it with a turtle shell and beast-like face and the stories tell of catapult stones bouncing off its scales and how it slayed armies of knights that came against it.
Despite all that, I don’t like the D&D Tarasque. It’s a ridiculously powerful monster that is capable of slaughtering legions of high level adventurers with ease. This isn’t a monster designed to be fought by player characters, this is a monster meant to be avoided, or bound by relic-level artifacts, or meant to battle the gods themselves. Even then the Tarasque is powerful enough to require a party of deities to fight it. This brings up the question, what is its purpose?
In a world with the Tarasque all other beings are overshadowed. Dragons and lich lose their sting and the terrifying appeal of the demon lords vanishes. “Thank goodness it’s only Tiamat and not the Tarasque,” is not something I want to hear from my players.
If you are running a game for a party of aspiring demi-gods from the Immortals Basic D&D rules, then the Tarasque would be appropriate. But as a monster for AD&D it’s just too much of the wrong kind of menace.
However, if I had five PCs each with their own Apparatus of Kwalish, and they could all combine into one gigantic magical mecha, I might change my mind. “Form Blazing Vorpal Sword!”