Stirge

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Stirge
BSOLO Ghost of Lion Castle.jpg
Stirges, from the cover of Ghost of Lion Castle.
Characteristics
Type Magical beast
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Mythological origins Strix

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the stirge is a mosquito-like magical beast and a classic D&D monster.

Publication history[edit]

Originally presented as a more bird-like creature, the stirge may be derived from the Roman striga, a vampiric owl-like night bird.[citation needed]

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)[edit]

The stirge was introduced to the game in its first supplement, Greyhawk (1975).[1] It is described as a large, bird-like monster with a long proboscis which sucks blood from living creatures.

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

The stirge appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[2] where it is said to be found in dark, tangled forests or in subterranean lairs, and lays in wait for warm-blooded creatures.

The stirge was detailed in Dragon #83 (March 1984), in the "Ecology of the Stirge".[3]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the stirge, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977, 1981, 1983).[4][5][6] The stirge was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991),[7] the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994), and the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (1999).[8]

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

The stirge appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[9] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[10]

The stirge was again detailed in Dragon #239 (September 1997), in the "Ecology of the Stirge", which also introduced the desert stirge and the jungle stirge.[11]

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

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

The Tome and Blood supplement introduced the stirge familiar for use as a wizard's familiar.

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

The stirge appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003). The stirge familiar also appears in the revised Dungeon Master's Guide.

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

The stirge appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008).[13]

Description[edit]

Ecology[edit]

The stirge needs blood to survive. It finds victims, and then desperately latches onto them with its legs and pincers before finding a weak spot and driving its deadly proboscis in. It sucks out the blood, causing a long, painful death. If the victim dies before the Stirge's hunger is quenched, it detaches and finds a new victim. Though they grip onto their victims very excruciatingly, a good blow to one can detach it.

Typical physical characteristics[edit]

A stirge resembles a giant mosquito about the size of a housecat, being one foot long and half a foot wide and tall. It has a set of four leathery, bat-like wings with a span of two feet. It has a long, sharp proboscis, a short tail, barbed legs, and a row of short, curly hairs along the spine. Stirge coloration ranges from brown to rust-red, with the proboscis being pale pink.

Alignment[edit]

Stirges are neutral.

Society[edit]

Stirges typically organize into colonies of two to four creatures, flocks of five to eight, or "storms" of up to fourteen creatures.

Critical reception[edit]

The stirge was ranked tenth among the ten best low-level monsters by the authors of Dungeons & Dragons For Dummies. The authors consider the stirge "fun because they introduce the players to the power of some creatures to drain ability score points," commenting: "What's creepier than a giant mosquito that can suck a person dry? A whole flock of giant mosquitos, that's what."[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gygax, Gary and Robert Kuntz. Supplement I: Greyhawk (TSR, 1975)
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  3. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Ecology of the Stirge" Dragon #83 (TSR, 1984)
  4. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Tom Moldvay. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1981)
  6. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules (TSR, 1983)
  7. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  8. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (TSR, 1999)
  9. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  10. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994)
  11. ^ Richardson, Tim. "The Ecology of the Stirge" Dragon #239 (TSR, 1997)
  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. ^ Slavicsek, Bill; Baker, Rich; Grubb, Jeff (2006). Dungeons & Dragons For Dummies. For Dummies. p. 373. ISBN 978-0-7645-8459-6. Retrieved 2009-02-12. 

External links[edit]