Dungeons & Dragons has an adorable monster that can make an adventurer's life miserable.
One of the best parts of Dungeons & Dragons is discovering a monster that has been part of the game's mythology for decades. For me, one such monster is the zorbo, a killer koala creature that has been around since 1982 but had stayed out of my peripheral until a recent readthrough of the 2017 adventure Tomb of Annihilation.
The zorbo is described as a ferocious omnivore similar in size and appearance to a koala. While koalas are often considered cute and sedantary, they're actually very territorial and aggressive. Basically, the zorbo is a koala that needs less sleep and prefers human flesh over eucalyptus leaves.
The zorbo's most remarkable feature is its ability to absorb the natural armor of its surroundings. A zorbo's skin magically takes on the magical strength of whatever its standing or climbing on. If it's on a tree, it takes on the natural armor of wood, it takes on the armor class of earth when standing on the ground, and it takes on the natural armor class of metal when its climbing on an adventurer trying to eat its face off.
The zorbo can also degrade an adventurer's armor, even if its magical. If the zorbo makes a successful attack, its victim has to make a Dexterity saving throw or take a permanent -1 penalty to their armor class. To add insult to injury, the zorbo's armor class also increases by +1 until the end of its next turn.1comments
While the zorbo doesn't pose much of a threat for adventurers (it has a Challenge Rating of 1/2), it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to see how a zorbo encounter could become a memorable one for a party. A zorbo is basically like a jungle rust monster that hides its evil armor degrading claws beneath a cute and furry demeanor. Tossing four or five zorbo at a party of low-level adventurers might be the perfect way to remind players that everything, even fluffy koala counterparts, can be evil in D&D.
If you want to talk about your favorite obscure D&D monster, be sure to find me on Twitter at @CHofferCBus or comment below!