I’ve started a new project based on William T. Cox’s whimsically delightful Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, originally published in 1910.
Here’s an excerpt:
The gumberoo (Megalogaster repercussus) lives in foggy regions, especially near wooded ocean coasts in northern climes. Fortunately, gumberoos seem to be rare, but this might because this beast prefers “to remain in hiding most of the time in the base of enormous, burned-out cedar trees, from where it sallies forth occasionally on frightful marauding expeditions.” A gumberoo is always hungry and attempts to devour anything that appears to be food. “A whole horse may be eaten at one sitting, distending the gumberoo out of all proportions, but failing to appease its hunger or cause it the slightest discomfort.” A gumberoo resembles a coal-black, almost hairless bear. Its skin is “smooth, tough, and shiny and bears not even a wrinkle.” In fact, a gumberoo’s hide has amazing elastic properties. “Its elastic hide hurls back with equal ease the charging elk and the wrathy hornet.” Fire, however, proves to be a particular effective weapon against a gumberoo, but care must be taken, for these beasts tend to explode when burned.
HD 4+1; AC 2 (17); Atks 2 claws (1d4), bite (1d6+1); SV 13; Special elastic hide, fire vulnerability; MV 9; AL C; CL/XP 5/240
Elastic Hide: Any attack from a physical source, such as a sword or an arrow or a claw, may bounce off the gumberoo’s elastic hide without inflicting any damage. A gumberoo is permitted a saving throw against these attacks. Success means it takes no damage. If the gumberoo’s saving throw die roll equals 18-20, the attack rebounds to inflict normal damage to the attacker.
Fire Vulnerability: Any time a gumberoo is attacked with fire from any source, it must make a saving throw. Failure means the gumberoo explodes, inflicting 4d6 points of damage to creatures in a 10-foot radius. On the plus side, the gumberoo dies.