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Afanc
Afanc D&D
An Afanc as they appear in Monster Manual II.
Naming
Binomen Unknown, though possibly related to †Leedsichthys
Morphology
Body type Fish-like
Average length 50'
Intelligence
Sapience Non-sapient
Aggressivity Very high
Ecology
Habitat Shallow Seas
Diet Carnivore
Locomotion Powered Swimming
Subspecies Gawwar Samakat
Related species Afanc
Status Critically endangered
(listed in-game as "very rare")
Behind the Scenes
Universe Dungeons & Dragons
Created by Gary Gygax


Afancs are whale-sized bony fish capable of causing whirlpools.

Monster Manual descriptions

2nd Edition

The afanc is dreaded because of its ability to swim rapidly and cause a whirlpool. An afanc is generally found in shallow salt water, where it will be swimming leisurely, and it is then usually mistaken for a whale of some sort. When they attack by bite or by striking with its 2 flippers, the creature usually attacks surface prey by swimming rapidly around it in closing circles, starting 100 feet out and closing at 20 feet per round to 40 feet. From its usual 15" rate, the circling afanc propels itself at ever-faster speed, until a rate of as much as 30" or more is attained. This swimming creates a whirlpool of size and power sufficient to draw down a ship of small to small-medium size (up to 60 feet in length). Ships will be dragged to the bottom at the rate of 10 feet per round. It will avoid larger ships. As it takes some 5-8 rounds for circling afanc to create the whirlpool, and because the monster must be at the surface to do so, concerted attack by spells and/or heavy missile fire might drive the creature off. Creatures dragged down are subject to attack as the afanc is 10% likely to submerge and try either some other mode of attack or seek easier prey. Of course, rafts, boats, and similar small craft (30 feet or less in length) are typically rushed, knocked so as to capsize, and the passengers consumed by the greedy beast.

An Afanc appears similar to a cross between a whale and a great fish. The body is whale-like, but the head is more fish-like, and the tail is vertical. Its color is gray to blue-gray. These creatures are fishes, although they breathe both air and water.

Behind the scenes

  • Given its description as a bony fish the size of a whale, this iteration of the Afanc may be inspired by the Leedsichthys, an extinct genus of fish known for their whale-like size that makes them the largest known type of bony fish to have ever existed on Earth.
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