So I'm going through my Treasures, Serpents & Ruins monster file this evening. For my own personal use, I'm free to use beholders, carrion crawlers, mind flayers, etc. But if I want to release this thing into the wild, especially if I'm hoping to make a bit of beer money from it (and no, I don't expect to make much if anything from it), I'd need to rename the WotC "product identity" monsters.
Plenty of other games have these monsters in them, they just need to rename them. But I'm wondering how close I could get to the actual names and not get a cease and desist letter.
For example, let's look at the beholder. Beholder is forbidden, but as far as I can tell, eye tyrant is not restricted. Observer is fine. I could easily go with either of those.
But one thing I noticed when looking through the OSE SRD the other day was that the renamed displacer beast, the warp beast, is nowhere near where I'd be looking for it. In the beholder's case, eye tyrant isn't too far away (although on the other side of the demons, devils, and dragons). If I wanted to keep the beholder in the B section, could I call it a "behold-orb"?
Similarly, the displacer beast was based on the coeurl, so I could use that, or warp beast or something like that, but could I get away with displacer cat? Or if that's too close, disruptor beast? Could I get away with a carrion creeper? Illithid isn't mentioned as IP, but I'm betting I couldn't use that, but how about Mind Slayer?
Yuan-ti can just be serpent men, that one doesn't bother me. Never been a huge fan of that monster anyway.