Afanc (D&D MMII)
General Information
Universe Dungeons & Dragons
Aliases Leedsia afanc (junior synonym)
Gawwar Samakat (Zakhara)
Classification Leedsichthys afanc
Species Type Pachycormiformes
Environment Shallow seas
Intelligence Semi-sapient
Biochemistry Carbon-based lifeform
Biological Information
Reproduction Sexual; status of birthing not known
Average Length 50'
Locomotion Powered swimming
Feeding Behavior Carnivorous
Prey Opportunistic
Predators Humans; few others
Distinctive Features Able to create whirlpools
Skin Color Gray to Blue-Gray
Lineage Information
Related Species Leedsichthys conviviumbrosia, Leedsichthys notocetes, Leedsichthys problematicus
Cultural Information
Alignment Neutral Evil
Personality Greedy predator
Organization Solitary
Sociocultral characteristics
Scientific Taxonomy
Domain Eukaryota
Kingdom Animalia
Subkingdom Eumetazoa
Infrakingdom Bilateria
Superphylum Deuterostomia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Infraphylum Gnathostomata
Superclass Osteichthyes
Class Actinopterygii
Order Pachycormiformes
Family Pachycormidae
Genus Leedsichthys
Species afanc (Somarinoa, 2016)
Other Information
Status Critically Endangered
Creator Gary Gygax
First Sighting 1983 (real life)
Last Sighting 2011 (real life)

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

Monster Manual descriptionsEdit

2nd EditionEdit

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.



Afancs are strategic creatures, and will rarely hunt for their own prey; instead, they prefer to be hunted themselves, giving them an ample opportunity for ambush. Usually found in shallow salt water, they will swim leisurely at the water's surface, waiting to be mistaken for a Whale; some more clever individuals can learn to speak and even sing the language of local Human tongues in order to coax potential victims towards it with its loud, gravelly voice. Once approached by vessels 30-60 feet in length, the Afanc will enclose upon it and rapidly circle the ship in an attempt to create a dangerous whirlpool effect. It will begin circling its target at its normal movement rate, at a distance of 100 feet. At this time, it is near the surface of the water, but the partial cover of the water gives opponents firing missiles a challenge (-2 penalty to attack rolls, in addition to any range modifiers). Those foolish enough to enter melee with the Afanc cause the creature to break off its attack on the ship and attempt to eat its attackers.

Creating a whirlpool takes time, even for a creature as large as the Afanc. It can take 1-8 minutes depending upon the individual's capabilities. With each minute, it will move faster, closing to within 40 feet of the vessel. Each succeeding minute will lead to the ship spinning faster and the afanc gaining depth, increasing the opponents’ challenge in landing missile attack (increased penalties by -2 per round, to a maximum penalty of -12). The massive fish will eventually reach its top speed (movement rate of 30), which, combined with an innate magical capacity will lead to the creation of the whirlpool that can draw a ship down at a steady rate, calculated by those who have encountered them to be roughly 10 feet per minute. As the attack is partially magical in nature however, dispel magic can be cast upon the Afanc to disrupt the whirlpool effect which will decrease the ship's sinking rate by half. Alternately, magic resistance can be applied to the ship itself for the same effect.

Afancs have an aversion towards vessels over 60ft in length and will generally remain unmolested, although they may still ram a ship of this size. On the other hand, vessels less than 30ft long (including both boats and rafts) will almost always be rammed by a hungry Afanc in an attempt to capsize it so that it may easily feed on its contents. The sheer force behind an Afanc's attack causes most hulls to be as helpless as thin wood. Once capsized, the Afanc will attempt to swallow any victim up to large in general size whole, while it will attack others with its flippers or a bite. The stomach acid in an Afanc's stomach will kill a Human within 6 minutes. They will be completely digested within 2 hours. However, swallowed victims have been known to cut themselves out of the creature, though they must work fast as its digestive fluids will weaken them more and more over time.


While they are a saltwater dwelling fish, female afancs will enter the mouths of large rivers in order to lay their eggs. These are laid in large quantities, as the defenseless objects are considered a delicacy among many creatures, including Humans. Upon hatching, Afanc fry will stick together for safety can be found in numbers. They will remain in rivers for some time, only leaving it for the sea upon reaching a general length of around 15 feet. By this age they still school together, although their numbers have dropped significantly. It is common to see anywhere between 3-18 such young afanc still swimming together. At this small size, at least six are required to create themselves a whirlpool.

Relation to HumansEdit

Afancs feed on passing Humans opportunistically, although they prefer to trick these sailors into trying to attack them first. Humans however are known to harvest their eggs from rivers, considering them to be a delicacy. They also use their scales and bones for various purposes, such as in weapon or decoration construction.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • 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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