Posts Tagged ‘ AD&D ’

Ledpauks & Rojîyans

Ledpauks are monstrous spiders that are difficult to immediately distinguish from the more common web-building giant spider. In combat, however, the differences between giant spiders and ledpauks become evident, revealing why the later are the more dangerous monster. Ledpauks are immune to fire, even magical fire such as a fireball. The bite of a ledpauk is poisonous. A victim must save versus poison or be killed. Ledpauks spin their sticky webs horizontally or vertically so as to entrap any creature which touches them. The web is as tough and clinging as a web spell. Any creature with 18 or greater strength con break free in 1 melee round, a 17 strength requires 2 melee rounds, etc. Webs spun by ledpauks are are invulnerable to fire. Worse still, these webs grow instantaneously upon contact with fire. If a torch, flaming oil, or a fireball contacts the webs, they row 2,4, or 8 times their size as they “feed” on the heat.

Ledpauk
Frequency: Rare
No. Appearing: 1-4
Armor Class: 4
Move: 3″*12″
Hit Dice: 4+4
% in Lair: 70%
Treasure Type: C
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: 3-9
Special Attacks: See below
Special Defenses: Immune to fire
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Any evil
Size: L
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
Level/X.P. Value: V/320 + 5/hp

The link at the top of the next stat block takes you to another excellent illustration by Domenico Neziti.

Rojîyan
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: Claw (1d6)
Special: See below
Move: 15
Save: 15
HDE/XP: 6/400

Rojîyans are embodied spirits sent to punish sinners. Each rojîyan is attuned to a particular sort of sin, such as one of the seven deadly. A rojîyans can always detect such a sinner out to a range of 120 feet. These monsters are immune to all non-magical weapons. Against sinners to which they are attuned to punish, rojîyans drain 1 level per hit, and they take only one-half damage from the sinner’s attacks. Rojîyans are immune to sleep, charm, and hold effects.

April 3rd, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

The Flu Bug

I write this as someone who lost about 36 hour this week to what the doctors claim was the flu, but what I know was actually an invisibile monster.

The Flu Bug
Frequency: Uncommon
No. Appearing: 1 (see below)
Armor Class: 8
Move: 15″/30″
Hit Dice: 1
% in Lair: Nil
Treasure Type: Nil
No. of Attacks: 4
Damage/Attack: 0
Special Attacks: Disease
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: See below
Intelligence: Low
Alignment: Neutral
Size: S (about 1′ diameter)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
Level/X.P. Value: III/61 + 1/hp

The flu bug is a dreaded monster that appears seasonly in many parts of the world. It skulks about, usually airborne, relying on its natural invisibility and amorphous form to squeeze through small spaces in order to infiltrate buildings where people live and work. The worst part about the flu bug is that killing it might make it all the more dangerous.

Since flu bugs are normally invisibile, they gain the advantage of subtracting 4 from “to hit” dice rolls of all opponents unable to detect them. Flu bugs can attack while invisible. They do so striking with their frail-looking arms. These attacks inflict no damage, but the creature struck must make a saving throw versus poison with a -1 penalty per successful attack by the flu bug that round. Failure means the creature contracts a disease. Once a flu bug has infected a victim, the flu bug dies, having fulfilled its purpose. Flu bugs that die this way do not spawn (see below).

Flu bugs can be harmed by normal weapons, but they are immune to most magic. Spells that cure wounds or disease affect flu bugs. A cure wounds spell causes damage to a flu bug equal to the amount the spell would normally cure. A cure disease slays the flu bug immediately (no save), and prevents the flu bug from spawning. Otherwise, when a flu bug is killed, it spawns a number of new flu bugs equal to the original monster’s hit points unless the area in which the flu bug died, including everyone and everything it came into contact with, is thoroughly sanitized. These new flu bugs spawn in 1d4 hours, and gain 1 hit point per hour thereafter until they reach whatever their maximum hit points might be.

The disease caused by the flu bug is debilitating and potentially fatal. Each day for the 3-8 days, the victim suffers these effects:

* A cumulative 10% loss of hit points due to weakness and fatigue.
* The loss of 2 points from both Strength and Constitution due to joint pain, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.
* The loss of 1 point of Dexterity due to dizziness.
* Difficulty concentrating due to high fever, imposing a 10% cumulative chance of miscasting spells.

Total bed rest helps mitigate these effects, making it only 50% likely that each will occur each day of the illness. Victims are also highly contagious. Double the normal modifier for “exposure to carrier of communicable disease” (from +10% to +20%, as explained on page 13, Dungeon Masters Guide). A cure disease spell removes the disease from the victim, but does not remove the effects of the disease. Those fade at the same rate by which they accrued.

March 17th, 2017  in RPG No Comments »

Urticating Hairs!

Inspired by a Facebook post by Joe Pizzirusso in the 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons group, here comes two special abilities for more scientifically accurate giant spiders. If you want more information about the discovery of a new species of tarantula, check out this NatGeo article. Also, this is not the first time I’ve visited monstrous arachnids. Check out these older posts:

* The Spiders from Mars, monstrous foes for Fate Accelerated Edition.
* Plague of Spiders, a terrifying Third Magnitude spell for Barbarians of Lemuria.
* The Pholcids of Orgimchak, magical spiders for Swords & Wizardry.
* Day 17: My Animal/Vermin for assorted spider facts.

But enough of that. Giant spiders stalk hereafter.

Everyone knows that giant spiders are web builders who construct their webs “horizontally or vertically so as to entrap any creature which touches the web.” Of course, a giant spider’s bite packs a poisonous punch. “A victim must save versus poison or be killed.” All of this is explained on page 90 of the Monster Manual. Go ahead and check. While you’re at it, look at the glorious full page illustration on page 91. See those bristles and hairs on the giant spider fixing to pounce on the unsuspecting adventurers?

Those are urticating hairs, which aren’t really hairs. Instead, they’re bristles covered with microbarbs, and they’re a defensive adaptation. When bothered or angered, a giant spider shakes and scrapes its legs together and across is abdomen. This kicks up a cloud of urticating hairs in a 1/2″ or 1″ radius around the spider (50% chance of either). The cloud lasts for one to three rounds, depending on air conditions (shorter duration in wind or rain, for example).

Creatures other than giant spiders caught in a cloud of urticating hairs must save versus paralyzation. Failure means the creature has inhaled some of the hairs while other hairs have embedded themselves in the creature’s eyes and skin. This is not a good thing as it renders the victim blind and in pain for 1d4+1 turns. The pain part is simulated by suffering 2d4 points of damage per turn unless the victim remains very still.

Rarely, a giant spider’s urticating hairs grow sturdier and sharper. The saving throw against these sorts of urticating hairs is made with a -2 penalty, and the victim suffers the aforesaid effects for 1d6+1 turns. What’s more, a combatant who attacks such a giant spider with a weapon no longer than 2 feet must make a saving throw versus paralyzation if the combatant’s attack roll fails. An attacker who fails this saving throw is jabbed by 1d8 urticating hairs. Each hair inflicts 1 point of damage.

If you add either or both of these abilities to a standard giant spider, adjust the spider’s XP value accordingly. Here’re my recommendations:

Standard Giant Spider Level/XP Value: V/315+5/hp
With Urticating Hair Cloud: +75 XP
With Sturdier Urticating Hairs: +40 XP

July 2nd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Even More Monsters

Today offers three more monsters, one each for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Mutant Future, and Swords & Wizardry, respectively. Enjoy!

Dringwr

Not all halflings are “hard-working, orderly, and peaceful citizens”. A few embrace lives of sloth, disorder, and violence. These aberrations seldom last long in the typically lawful and good villages of their fellow halflings. Exile or even execution for their crimes are the most common consequences. Very rarely, such a wicked halfling returns from the grave as a dringwr, a terrible undead monster that loves nothing except for inflicting pain and causing sorrow. Of course, a dringwr prefers to prey on halflings, but its spiteful nature delights in harming any living creature that it can. A dringwr can summon and control dogs, calling 3-18 such animals to arrive in 2-12 melee rounds. It also moves with great stealth, surprising other creatures 4 times in 6. A dringwr cannot be harmed by normal weapons, and it makes all saving throws as if it had 6 Hit Dice. In combat, it attacks with its talons and fangs.

Of grayish-green complexion, a dringwr tends toward rust-red or black hair coloration. Its eyes are solid white. It dresses in drab trousers and coat, and often uses a hooded cloak to hide its obvious undead appearance. Short, ragged fangs line its gums, and its fingernails and toenails hook like talons. A dringwr speaks whatever languages it knew in life.

Dringwr: Freq very rare; # App. 1-6; AC 5; Move 9″; HD 2; % in Lair 35%; Treasure B; # Atk 3; Dmg/Atk 1-3/1-3/1-4; SA summon/control dogs, surprise others 4 in 6; SD +1 or better weapon to hit, save as 6-HD monster; MR standard; Int Very; AL CE; Size S; Psi nil; Lvl/XP III/52 +2/hp.

Demodex

Eight-legged with a flat tail, growing to the length of a man’s arm, fleshy with a rippled and leathery back, its blunt head featuring antennae and multiple small black eyes, the horrid demodex attacks with its spiked, oval mandibles. This mutant monster feeds on skin and sebum, the oily or waxy matter secreted to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair of mammals.

Demodexes are aggressive and voracious. They use their remarkable olfactory abilities to detect and track mammals, which are their preferred prey given the demodex’s unusual diet. A demodex’s attacks can cause an allergic infection in mammals. Such a victim has a 2% cumulative chance per point of damage suffered from a demodex to develop such an infection. Treat allergic infection as a disease with the following statistics: save modifier -1; infection duration 1d12 days; affected stats DEX -2, CHA -1 (if visible); damage/day 1d4.

Demodex: # Enc. 2d4; AL N; MV 120′ (40′); AC 6; HD 2; Atks 5 (4 claws, bite); Dmg 1d4/1d4/1d4/1d4/1d6; SV L1; Morale 7; Hoard None; XP 38; Mutations Allergic Infection, Increased Smell.

Skacina

Skacinas are brutish humanoids with a thick, wrinkled hide. A peaked, heavy plate of bone tops a skacina’s heavy skull, which is supported by powerful neck and shoulder muscles. These creatures live in rugged hills and mountains, and make their lairs in natural caves or abandoned structures built by others. Skacinas practice only the crudest of crafts, making simple tools from hide, bone, wood, and stone. While they are not particularly intelligent, skacinas are territorial and prone to violence.

For some reason, skacinas are immune to petrification. Some sages conclude that these monsters have a distant origin on the Elemental Plane of Earth. This theory seems to gain support due to the fact that skacinas often kill captured trespassers by crushing them beneath large rocks or by burying the captives alive.

Skacina: HD 3; AC 6 [13]; Atk 1 head butt (1d4) and weapon (1d6); Move 12; Save 14; AL C; CL/XP 3/60; Special: immune to petrification.

June 15th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

The Skull of Good King Vaclav

Good King Vaclav was the son of Stanislaus I, the penultimate king of Hemiboa. His grandfather, Boris I of Hemiboa, was converted to the Via Lucis by Saints Cyril and Methodius. Vaclav’s mother, Dragoríma, was the daughter of a pagan tribal chief, but she was baptized into her husband’s faith at the time of her marriage. Vaclav’s paternal grandmother, Dulmila of Hemiboa, oversaw his education, Vaclav excelled as a scholar and at an early age was sent to the college at Weisblud.

When Vaclav was thirteen, Stanislaus, who had become king just a few years before, died and Dulima became regent, a move which enraged Dragoríma so much that she arranged to have Dulima murdered by assassins. Reportedly, these killers strangled Dulima with her veil. After this, Dragoríma assumed the role of regent, and immediately initiated measures against the Via Lucis. When Vaclav came of age, he wrested control of the government from his mother and countermanded the persecution of the Via Lucis. Vaclav had Dragoríma exiled, and then went on to put down a major rebellion led by Duke Mouřik, one of his wicked mother’s paramours.

Eleven years into Vaclav’s reign, a group of nobles allied with Vaclav’s younger brother, Boreslav, plotted to kill Vaclav. Boreslav invited Vaclav to the celebrate a holy day with a feast. Three of Boreslav’s lackeys attacked Vaclav during dinner, stabbing the young king several times before Boreslav ran Vaclav through with a lance. The kingdom fell into civil war shortly after Vaclav’s murder. Even now, Hemiboa remains fractured and unstable.

Vaclav was widely hailed as a martyr saint almost immediately after his death. Although Boreslav tried to dispose of the body in the wilderness, followers loyal to Vaclav retrieved the corpse and hurried into a Weisblud, which has since become the center of Vaclav’s cult. Vaclav’s skull ranks chief among the saint’s relics. For decades, it was kept under guard in Weisblud’s cathedral, but just a few years ago thieves stole it. Vaclav’s skull remains missing to this day.

All manner of stories surround the lost relic. Some claim descendants of Boreslav paid to have the skull taken, and that these evil scions use the relic in profane rituals. Other tales say the thieves were killed crossing into the Recondite Frontier and that the skull was lost in a rain-swollen river. In and around Weisblud, the most common legend holds that the skull vanished when the thieves left the city with it. Angels took the skull up into the mountains above Weisblud, hiding it in a cave. When a time of great evil befalls the city, Vaclav himself will descend from Heaven, take up his skull, and lead an army of the righteous dead to reunify Hemiboa and place a rightful heir on the throne.

In the hands of a faithful cleric of the Via Lucis, the Skull of Good King Vaclav acts as a bronze horn of Valhalla. Evil characters who so much as touch the skull lose 1 full experience level, dropping to the lowest possible number of experience points to hold the level. If the evil character is a cleric, he must also atone in an appropriate manner; until then, he cannot cast cleric spells higher than 1st level. The Skull is rumored to have other powers as well, which may be chosen from Artifacts and Relics Powers/Effects Tables (see pages 162-164, Dungeon Masters Guide). The Skull of Good King Vaclav reportedly has these powers/effects: Minor Benign Powers x2, Major Benign Powers x1, Minor Malevolent Effects x2, Major Malevolent Effects x1, and Prime Powers x1.

April 26th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »