The Giant Weasel is an interesting change of pace for the Monster Card series. This is the second of the “Monsters” in this series of cards that is basically a souped up version of a standard animal, but in giant form (see Giant Constrictor Snake).
The art on this card was by Jim Roslof. Roslof’s Weasel is a sleek elegant animal. Cute, but with a stern hint of intelligence that makes it appear dangerous. If you had any doubt about that, just peep the skull at his feet and the bone that the Weasel is holding. It means trouble.
Roslof passed away in 2011, when he died, a lot of his original art was auctioned off, and the original painting for this card went for over a thousand dollars.
It is a real treat to be able to track down the original version of the card. You can see how they trimmed the work to fit it on the card. Zooming in and cutting off part of its tail and foot. Fortunately they kept the skull intact, just to make sure we remember how menacing this fella is.
The stats for the Giant Weasel Card are inline with the stats in the 1st Edition Monster Manual. That book and its 2nd Edition do not have an illustration for their Giant Weasel entry, so this Roslof one is all we have to act as canon for what one should look like. Sadly in the 2nd Edition, the Giant Weasel gets demoted. It no longer has an entry, but the standard sized Weasel does. It is listed under “Mammals.”
My earliest memories of the Giant Weasel were as random encounters in the modules The Lost City (B4) and Temple of Death (X5). It was so memorable because in one of those encounters we lost a Magic User to these guys.
They are no joke. The blood drain power of the Giant Weasel makes them very dangerous, especially when they are in groups. That said, the high value of their pelts (1,000-6,000 gp) make them an animal that is worth fighting. Especially if you are one of the survivors of the encounter and happen to be halfling rogue who looks devastatingly fabulous wearing a giant weasel coat.
Random Giant Weasel Encounter
Legend tell of mad hermit halfling that lives in the grassy meadows near the slow-moving Red Sap River. These wild meadows would be ideal for the sheep of the town of Kurtingo, but any animals they try to graze there run away spooked or mysteriously disappear.
While stopping for a night at the local tavern, the mayor of the town begs the party to investigate. Even offering a reward.
The legends are true. A retired halfling warrior has made a home near the river bank and he is fanatical about his privacy. He has trained a boogle of weasels to drive off anyone foolish enough to interfere with his retirement plans. He prefers not to kill, but if the blood lust of his weasel companions is awakened, it is difficult for him to hold them back.