My table doesn’t mess around with scarecrows. Not anymore. Not since… the incident. Of course, it wasn’t just the trauma of an ignominious character death (follow by an even more ignominious reincarnation) that triggered our paranoia. That honor goes to the horror of artwork related. Laurel, being an enormous chicken, now gets twitchy whenever we drive past cornfields.

These sorts of things happen to every group. The dice go wrong. The monster nearly causes a TPK. The GM’s description triggers some kind of IRL phobia. Suddenly, something as innocuous as an ochre jelly becomes the bane of your party’s existence.

“Wait… It’s an ooze!? What color is it? Please tell me it isn’t Dijon flavored this time!”

If you happen to be a GM in these situations, you’ll want to take special notes. Your players have attached special significance to this monster, and will now lose their shit every time it appears. Mimics are the poster children for I’m-never-getting-got-again paranoia, but I find that it tends to vary between groups. All the contents of the living room can traumatize players in exactly the same way.

Shock and surprise aren’t strictly necessary though. For example, thanks to one memorable encounter with a very lucky goblin, my megadungeon party firmly believes that monsters with exactly 1 hp left are extra dangerous. This makes the deathwatch spell a constant source of amusement for yours truly.

And so, in the spirit of Ellen Ripley, what is the one monster that you dread to face? Why do you fear it so much? And upon reflection, is that fear warranted? Tell us all about your most hated nuke-it-from-orbit nemeses down in the comments!


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