What is your favorite monster for an encounter? I don't mean what is your favorite encounter, but what is your favorite monster or type of encounter that PCs run into over the course of their adventuring days?
For me, I have a tie between two games.
In D&D I love kobolds.
I love Kobolds because they let the GM be very creative, and they can be fun encounters for the players or a nightmare.depending on how things are going for them. Kobolds can pull you into labyrinths of traps where every step can be dangerous. or can have you fighting swarms of bad guys where every swing of the sword lets you feel like Sauron from the first Lord of the Rings movie.
You almost never know what you're going to get with kobolds and I love that.
The other encounter I love is peasants turned bandits in L5R.
I love this because it is one of the fastest ways to show players in an L5R game that they're not in western fantasy anymore. The peasants have become bandits. Why? because they're starving. They've taken up arms. They've killed tax collectors. They've taken food for themselves, and they'll do it again. But ultimately, the crime is that they are hungry and so they took the food armed soldiers took from them back.
There are ways to navigate this problem in L5R so the peasants don't take the full wrath for their crimes - after all, if the peasants are hungry the lord has also messed up - but navigating that can be tricky. And it makes a great introduction for new players.
What about you? What are your favorite encounter monsters and why?