D&D: Blink Dog Aren’t Man’s Best Friend But They Should Be: Monster Spotlight
Intelligent, protective, and naturally good-aligned, Blink Dogs are for some reason not every adventurer’s ideal pet, but why not?!
Blink Dogs are just about what you would expect; dogs that can cast something similar to the blink spell on command leaving them with a 75% chance of showing up behind an opponent before making an attack. But where I think Blink Dogs go from “pretty cool D&D monster” to “very cool creature with a lot of potential” is the fact that they are just about as intelligent as an average human with a complex language and a lawful good standard alignment. Blink Dogs are one of those creatures who you should try to befriend over fighting and then try and convince your DM to let them be your new best friend forever.
Second Edition lumps Bling Dogs in with a bunch of other canines such as War Dogs, Wild Dogs, Death Dogs, and Moon Dogs. And while some of those are just varying degrees of large and dangerous normal run of the mill dogs, others are interesting D&D style monsters with abilities or magic. Due to their high intelligence, Blink Dogs have a tendency to live and hunt in packs and implement organized and strategic attacks. Given the opportunity, they will teleport to attack an enemy from the rear 75% of the time. In general, Blink Dogs avoid places where humans live, preferring to inhabit open plains and when seriously threatened the whole pack will blink away in retreat and not return.
Blink Dogs are, apparently, omnivores, eating meat and plant matter in equal quantities. They also have a tendency to drive off evil humanoid creatures who enter their territory even though they don’t enter human territories of their own accord. Interestingly, it’s specified that they drive off “evil” humanoids but not anything about good or neutral individuals. However Blink Dog pups are popular animals to steal from their packs and to keep as pets or train as guard dogs so they have a tendency to be fiercely protective of their young. In 3E they can cast Dimension Door in addition to Blink as a free action.
Fifth Edition made what I think is an interesting choice and put the Blink Dog way in the back of the Monster Manual with all of the regular animals. Bat, Bear, Blink Dog, Badger, and Boar; which of these things is not like the other? In addition to their intelligence, they are very perceptive animals and have advantage on Wisdom or perception checks that are related to hearing or smell. They are natural enemies to displacer beasts and will attack them on sight and can naturally understand Sylvan though they can’t speak it themselves.
Have you encountered a Blink Dog in your own D&D campaign? Were they a potential friend to your party or a monster to defeat? Would you keep and raise a Blink Puppy if given the chance and what would your Blink Pup’s name be? Let us know in the comments!