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A gorgon (from the Greek world "gorgos", or "dreadful") is a female mythical creature of various descriptions. The original gorgons were a trio of sisters, Stheno, Euryale, and Medusa, who had snakes for hair, scales, and brass claws. Medusa is the most famous of the three, but the gorgon species lives on in the bestiaries of role-playing games.

Dungeons & Dragons[edit]

In Dungeons & Dragons (and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game) gorgons are not snake-like at all. Instead, they are depicted as massive bull-like creatures covered in metal scales and plates (though they are fleshy underneath). Gorgons are also capable of turning people to stone, but unlike classical gorgons, they do so with their breath rather than their gaze. This probably came about because they used the name of Medusa to cover the entire snake-woman gorgon species, and they then took the Gorgon name and mixed it with more obscure bovine monstrosities, most likely the Catoblepas and/or the Colchis bulls -a pair of fire-breathing bulls made partially of bronze forged by the smith god Hephaestus- to create a race of scaly bull-monsters with petrifying breath attacks (although the catoblepas itself is also in the Monstrous Manual, but without the abilities it gave to the gorgon).

Gorgons have been with D&D since the beginning. They received a more thorough Ecology write up in Dragon Magazine #97. Gorgons stand six feet tall at the shoulder, and are eight feet long. They are said to be always angry, all the time. Like other bovine, they are herd animals. Unlike other bovine, they are omnivorous and will frequently take carrion or live prey in addition to grazing vegetation. Gorgons are said to be far too ornery to ever be tamable, and despite their assholish nature they aren't intelligent enough to register morality. Gorgons are neutral, like a force of nature. They don't care what they fuck up, but wherever they are they must fuck shit up. This could lead to some rage-worthy situations where your resident That Guy, paladin of Stupid Good refuses to engage them when they don't ping on his evildar while they mercilessly proceed to turn the whole party into a statue garden.

Other Gorgons[edit]