Meet the Syrlōps

Matt Jackson over at Lapsus Calumni is running a monster-making contest focusing on the fellow in the picture to the right. The best entry receives a March to June subscription to Monsters By Email. Since I love contests and monsters, how could I pass this one up?

Hit Dice: 6+6
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Attacks: 2 fists (1d6), 1 tail (1d8+2)
Saving Throw: 11
Special: Half-damage from blunt and piercing weapons, magical chords
Move: 12
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 8/800

A syrlōps (plural syrlōpes) is a bizarre mixture of humanoid and plant. It stands taller and broader than even the largest human, although it tends to lurch about in a near crouch, moving sometimes on all fours. Its body is covered with a conglomeration of bark, knotted roots, leaves, hair-like moss, and corded muscles. This tough composite of tissues is particularly resistant to weapons that pierce or crush (such as arrows and maces). In combat, a syrlōps fights with punishing blows from its powerful fists and tail.

The most outstanding feature of a syrlōps’s body are the twin rows of tube-like structures that grow from its hunched shoulders down its back. After a prodigious inhalation, a syrlōps can force air through these structures to create musical tones over a range of three octaves and in an impressive array of combinations, producing harmonies to rival those a woodwind virtuoso. What’s more, once per round at will, a syrlōps can pipe magical chords to produce any of the following effects: charm monster, fear, sleep, or speak with plants.

Syrlōpes dwell only in the most primeval of forests and jungles. They are private, territorial creatures who resent intruders, except for non-evil fey creatures, whom the syrlōpes count as allies. Syrlōpes live in well-camouflaged villages in areas that provide exposure to sunlight and access to fresh water. Nixies, pixies, and sprites often dwell in or near these villages, helping protect the dwellings from marauders and trespassers. Syrlōpes have male and female genders, and they marry and raise offspring, which are hatched from large, nut-like pods. Both male and female syrlōpes nurse the young with a sap exuded by their root-like fingers. Weaned syrlōpes feed on sunlight, water, and a variety of roots, tubers, and flowers. Syrlōpes live for centuries, and they speak the language of the fey. They may also communicate with each other over great distances by means of songs loudly played.

March 11th, 2013  in RPG No Comments »

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