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Felines Beyond Wemics [12 January 07] Grading some of the other cat-creatures in D&D.

Of course, cat-centaurs are just one of the cat-kin present in Dungeons and Dragons. There are cat-eagles, cat-fish, several kinds of cat-people, and more. Here's a list of cattish D&D monsters, with my personal comments and letter grades.

Chimera - This mish-mosh of parts is nothing to brag about, at least from a feline perspective. The dragon head (and wings) totally dominates, and the goat head at least has the whole satanic thing going for it. Poor unimpressive lion head doesn't even get a roar. - Grade: F

Dragonne - But speaking of roars, now we're talking! The dragonne is a much more impressive lion-dragon. - Grade: B+

Griffon - The lion-eagle is a fantasy archetype, combining two symbolically potent animals. Whether you spell it "griffon," "griffin," or "gryphon," it's no wonder the creature is a favorite of heraldry, architecture, and literature. Plus, griffons are simply nifty. - Grade: A

Lamia - This wemic wanna-be gets points for trying and for being a liontaur's evil twin sibling. If lamia wore goatees, they'd merit an A. - Grade: B

Lammasu - This creature seems to be basically a winged lion with the face of a human. No, not the head of a human, just a face. Lame-asu! - Grade: D

Leonal - Google hits on Griffon: 3,810,000. Rakshasa: 230,000. Wemic: 86,200. Leonal: 19,000. Sorry, these humanoid lions are just about too obscure to matter. At least they can pounce and roar. - Grade: C-

Manticore - It's the spike-hurling tail that makes these creatures fearsome. No roar, no pounce, but it is a classic. - Grade: C

Rakshasa - These no-neck humanoids with tiger heads were always scary foes, if stupid-looking. But in earlier editions of Dungeons and Dragons, you knew that they could be slain with a blessed crossbow bolt. In the newest edition, that Achille's Heel is gone. - Grade: D

Sea Cat - Half fish, half lion, the Sea Cat is very like a lion, from its Int 2 to its organization in prides. - Grade: A-

Sphinx - The lion-bodied, human-headed creature out of Ancient Egypt is neat, but it can't gain top marks until the rules include a 50-foot tall version. - Grade: B

Weretiger - This lycanthropic feline gives fans a way to grow fur and fangs, but it is such a hassle! Three sets of stats, possible alignment change, checks to control your shape ... bleck! - Grade: C

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