Displacer beast

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Displacer beast
Displacer Beast.JPG
Characteristics
Alignment Lawful Evil
Type Magical beast
Publication history
First appearance Supplement I - Greyhawk (1975)
Based on the Coeurl

A displacer beast is a fictional creature from the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.

Publication history[edit]

The displacer beast was inspired by the coeurl, a feline-like creature from the 1939 science fiction story "Black Destroyer" by A. E. van Vogt,[1] later incorporated into the novel The Voyage of the Space Beagle (1950).

The displacer beast has been included in every edition of the Monster Manual, from the very first one in 1977 to the latest in 2008.

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)[edit]

The displacer beast was introduced to the game in its first supplement, Greyhawk (1975).[2] It is described as a puma-like creature with six legs and two tentacles growing from its shoulders.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

The displacer beast appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), where it is described as a vaguely puma-like beast that always appears to be three feet away from its actual position.[3]

The displacer beast was detailed in Dragon #109 (May 1986), in the "Ecology of the Displacer Beast".[4]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the displacer beast, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977),[5] and Expert Set (1981 & 1983),[6][7] and was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991),[8] the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994), and the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (1999).[9]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

The displacer beast appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[10] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[11]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

The displacer beast appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[12]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)[edit]

The displacer beast appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003), which also described the displacer beast pack lord.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)[edit]

The displacer beast appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), including the displacer beast packlord.[13]

Licensing[edit]

The displacer beast is considered a "Product Identity" by Wizards of the Coast and as such is not released under its Open Game License.[14]

Ecology[edit]

In the Dungeons & Dragons game, displacer beasts are fierce and vicious, and hate all other creatures. These sentient, magical cats often kill purely for pleasure, though they never fight among themselves. This beast uses a magical displacement ability, a form of illusion which causes it to appear to be a few feet away from where it actually is. This makes the creature hard to hit, while it attacks with its long tentacles. The displacer beast is the natural enemy of the blink dog. The hide of a displacer beast has many useful magical properties, making it highly sought after by wizards and alchemists. Many thieves use the eyes of a displacer beast as good luck charms, believing that they will protect the bearer from detection.

Environment[edit]

In the game, displacer beasts primarily live in temperate hills or mountains.[15]

Typical physical characteristics[edit]

A displacer beast is considered to be a "magical beast". In the game, it resembles a black puma with a pair of powerful black tentacles sprouting from its shoulders, and two to four additional forelimbs. They are colored blue-black, like a dark panther. The tentacles are tipped with horny edges which can inflict terrible wounds and resemble the club-shaped catching tentacles of a squid.

Alignment[edit]

In the first edition AD&D Monster Manual, the displacer beast is listed as "neutral" in alignment.[3] Displacer beasts are described as "Lawful Evil" in most editions[citation needed] of Dungeons and Dragons. In 4th Edition, which lacks that alignment, they're described as "Unaligned."

Displacer beasts in Eberron[edit]

In the Eberron campaign setting, the displacer beast is the heraldic beast of the dragonmarked House Thuranni.

D&D Miniatures[edit]

  • D&D Miniatures: Harbinger set #41 (2003)
  • D&D Miniatures: War of the Dragon Queen set #29 (2006) (Displacer Beast Pack Lord)
  • D&D Miniatures: Unhallowed set #37 (2007) (Displacer Beast Manhunter)

References[edit]

  1. ^ DRAGON Monster Ecologies. Paizo Publishing. 2007. 
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary and Robert Kuntz. Supplement I: Greyhawk (TSR, 1975)
  3. ^ a b Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  4. ^ Mickelson, Bill. "Ecology of the Displacer Beast." Dragon Magazine #109 (TSR, 1986)
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
  6. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Dave Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set (TSR, 1981)
  7. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules (TSR, 1983)
  8. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  9. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (TSR, 1999)
  10. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  11. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994)
  12. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  13. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  14. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". D20srd.org. Retrieved 2007-02-23. 
  15. ^ Monster Manual: Core Rulebook III v.3.5. Wizards of the Coast. July 2003. p. 66. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.