Monday, June 5, 2017

Missing Lynx

Giant animals in D&D go all the way back to Book II of OD&D as "Large Insects or Animals," a catch-all category that covered everything from giant ants to prehistoric animals and even Martian creatures like Apts or Banths.

The AD&D Monster Manual gives individual stats for a wide variety of giant animals. For the most part these are simply super-sized variants with no special abilities, though a handful of giant animals also have some measure of intelligence. Giant eagles and giant owls, for example, both made it into 3e as magical beasts. One such monster, though, never seemed to make it into 3e: the giant lynx. (The 3e MMII had a “swamplight lynx” which doesn’t much resemble the AD&D version.)

Making the giant lynx intelligent is curious; while intelligent giant eagles go straight to Tolkien and giant owls to folklore, it’s not clear what inspired the lynx. They do have a striking appearance, though—think for example of Bubastis, the genetically engineered giant lynx from Alan Moore’s Watchmen.

In any case, the retro-clones have been good enough to provide an open version of the giant lynx for 0e, which I have ported to both 3e and 5e.

The following text is Open Game Content:

Lynx, Giant

This large cat has a ruffed face, tufted ears, and strangely intelligent eyes.

Denizens of the Cold Wilderness. These large cats hide in trees waiting for prey, then leap to the attack.

Talking Beasts. Giant lynx are highly intelligent and can communicate with each other when coordinated action is needed.

Stealthy Hunters. As with the common lynx, giant lynx are well camouflaged, and if waiting in ambush they will surprise opponents


Giant Lynx CR 1

Usually N Medium magical beast

Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +1, Spot +1

Languages Sylvan


AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 11
(+4 Dex, +1 natural)

hp 13 (2d10+2 HD)

Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +1


Spd 40 ft.

Melee 2 claws +6 (1d2+2), bite +1 (1d4+1)

Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

Special Attacks improved grab, pounce, rake


During Combat Giant lynx are intelligent and aggressive foes, fighting in coordination.

Morale Giant lynx break off from combat if faced with obviously superior opponents.


Str 14, Dex 18, Con 13, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 11

Base Atk +2; Grp +4

Feats Weapon Finesse

Skills Balance +14, Climb +8, Hide +15, Jump +16, Move Silently +10, Search +7, Swim +8


Environment cold forests

Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–4)

Treasure none

Advancement 3–4 HD (Medium), 5–6 HD (Large)

Special Abilities

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a giant lynx must hit with with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can rake.

Pounce (Ex) If a giant lynx charges a foe, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.

Rake (Ex) Attack bonus +6 melee, damage 1d2+1.

Skills Giant lynx have a +8 racial bonus on Balance, Hide, and Jump checks and a +4 racial bonus on Climb, Move Silently, Search, and Swim checks.


Giant Lynx Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)

N Medium beast

Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; passive Perception 12

Languages Sylvan


Armor Class 15 (natural)

Hit Points 13 (3d8)


Speed 40 ft.

Multiattack. The giant lynx makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) slashing damage.


Str 13 (+1), Dex 16 (+3), Con 11, Int 12 (+1), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 11

Skills Stealth +5


Pounce. If the giant lynx moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the lynx can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.


The following text is the property of Wizards of the Coast, Inc. and is Copyright 2000 Wizards of the Coast, Inc (“Wizards”). All Rights Reserved.

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