Posts Tagged ‘ monsters ’

Chance Encounters…Almost

If you’re not in the same virtual places I’m in on G+ and Facebook, you likely missed the posting of two creatures excerpted from Chance Encounters, my soon-to-be-released collection of fantastic creatures for Swords & Wizardry. You can take a gander at the bloody bones demon here and then find the ioun bug here. Chance Encounters includes these two monsters along with 24 others, each gloriously illustrated by stock art from some pretty talented artists.

What I’d really like is for some gimlet-eyed folks to read through my almost-final draft of Chance Encounters in order to provide me with constructive criticism. The task offers a very small amount of fame as well as a free copy of Chance Encounters when it goes live for sale. If you’re interested, shoot an e-mail to mark at spesmagna dot com. I’m pushing to get Chance Encounters finished by about 25 September or so.

Speaking of finished products, I published for the excellent The Black Hack a collection of character classes entitled Clever Title Using Hack & Class. It’s selling really well for something I’ve written, perhaps because it’s currently on-sale for $0.50.

Indeed, everything I’ve published at DriveThruRPG is on-sale this month as I try to raise enough money to buy dice for a dozen or so students that will soon participate in Ludi Fabularum, the story-game club I’ve facilitated for the past few years at the school whereat I teach.

Last of all, if you’re still playing AD&D, here’s a link for a new monster, the shereriti, a horrid product of ghastly rituals to Lloth. Enjoy!

Slowly, Slowly, Progress

More work has been done on Chance Encounters, a growing collection of new monsters for Swords & Wizardry. Here’s another sample:

At first blush, zymotic ants appear to be a common variety of giant ant, but closer observation shows otherwise. Zymotic ants not only have powerful mandibles, but their abdomens sport sharp stingers. Worker zymotic ants “harvest” living creatures, overwhelming them by sheer numbers and dragging the unconscious and dead back to the hive’s incubation chambers. Therein, the toxic pathogens injected via stinger are cultivated, for these horrible insects feed primarily on the effluvia of illness. The unquestioned ruler of a zymotic ant hive is its huge queen. Bloated and slow, the queen commands the hive via telepathy. Once per day, her telepathic energies act as an Animate Dead spell, summoning 2d6 zombies. One in 20 of these undead monsters cause disease with their attacks.

Hit Dice: 2 (worker), 3 (soldier), or 10 (queen)
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Attack (Damage): Bite (1d6), sting (1d4 + disease)
Move: 18, 15, or 3
Save: 16, 14, or 5
Alignment: Neutrality
Challenge Level/XP: 3/60 (worker), 4/120 (soldier), or 12/2000 (queen)
Special: Cause disease, immune to disease and poison, queen abilities (Animate Dead and telepathy)

As you’ve seen if you’ve been paying attention, I’ve also been tooling about with new character classes for The Black Hack. I’m thinking of compiling them into a PDF, either for sale or for free (or both via DriveThruRPG’s pay-what-you-want option). One of the aspects of The Black Hack approach to character classes is how easy it is to make a class that fills a specific campaign niche. Say, for example, your campaign features downtrodden goblin anarchists who fight the power….

Goblin Bomb-Lobber
Starting HP: d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: Any and All
Attack Damage: 1d8 Bombs / 1d4 All Others

Special Features
A Goblin Bomb-Lobber makes his own bombs, producing several each day from available materials. He has a d4 Bomb Usage die. A bomb may be thrown to affect 1d4 Nearby creatures, each one taking damage from the explosion.

A Goblin Bomb-Lobber rolls with Advantage when working with explosives and chemicals, to include avoiding the effects of things that blow up.

Due to his revolutionary beliefs, a Goblin Bomb-Lobber rolls with Advantage when testing CHA during interactions with radicals, chaotic beings, et cetera. He suffers Disadvantage to the same sorts of tests when dealing with law-abiders.

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll twice for DEX and CHA.

Every odd numbered level, step up the Bomb die as well as the number of Nearby creatures a bomb may affect.

August 2nd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Something Like Progress

I recently finished my stab at a Bard class for Swords & Wizardy, one of several languishing projects I’ve hemmed and hawed about for too long. I’ve since dusted off Chance Encounters, a collection of monsters for the aforementioned game. Here’s a sample, including art by Butch Mappa.

Rarely, after a Chaotic Magic-User dies, especially if in life he sowed dissension through deceit and gossip, the mage’s evil takes new form as an undead sibilant corpse. The necromantic forces that animate a sibilant corpse also grant it frightening sorcerous power. Each day, a sibilant corpse may use its arcane whispers to bring into effect up to 14 levels of Magic-User spells, casting one spell this way per round. A sibilant corpse may cast Magic-User spells up to 3rd level with ease. Spells of 4th, 5th, and 6th level may be cast, but each such spell forces the sibilant corpse to make a saving throw. Failure not only means the spell is not successful, but also that the sibilant corpse takes 1 point of damage per level of the spell it attempted.

Hit Dice: 6
Armor Class: 8 [11]
Attack (Damage): Weapon (1d6)
Move: 12
Save: 11
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 9/1,100
Special: Arcane whisper, undead

I’ve also been tooling about with a few new games, one of which is The Black Hack. If you don’t own The Black Hack, you’re wrong. Isn’t there enough wrongness in the world? Yesterday, I typed up a Monk class for The Black Hack. I think it’s a good example of how the system takes what is arguably the most complicated AD&D character class and strips it down to a few basics that can still capture the flavor and function of the original.

Starting HP: d8 + 4
HP Per Level/Resting: 1d8
Weapons & Armor: Any and None
Attack Damage: 1d6 / 1d8 Unarmed or Improvising

Special Features
A Monk has a special Usage die: Ki Powers. At 1st level, a Monk has Ki Powers d4. Whenever a Monk makes a save, he may do so with advantage by rolling his Ki Powers die as well. The Ki Powers die resets every day.

As part of his action, a Monk may make a number of additional Unarmed/Improvised attacks equal to half his level (drop fractions).

Leveling Up
Roll to see if attributes increase. Roll twice for DEX and WIS.

Every odd numbered level, step up the Ki Powers die.

July 24th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

July X-Mas and Rongykorongs

Before we get to our new monster, please take note of X-mas in July at Spes Magna Games. Clicking the link in the previous sentence reveals the possible presents under the X-mas tree. And now for that new monster.

Rongykorongs cross into the Material World from planes of chaos and madness, realms that exist beyond the Pale, the bizarre barrier that squirms at the limits of the known universes. Rolling, thrashing masses of ropy tentacles roughly the size of a man, rongykorongs have bodies composed of nonterrene materials that almost certainly defy analysis by senses limited to a mere handful of dimensions. Thus, rongykorongs suffer minimum damage from all nonmagical effects. They are immune to cold and poison. Always hungry, rongykorongs attack with a strong bite and up to five flailing tentacles covered with writhing barbs. The barbs exude a powerful paralytic toxin that lasts for 2d6 minutes with a failed saving throw. While paralyzed, the victim experiences horrifying visions of the rongykorong’s native environs. A rongykorong’s senses of hearing, sight, and smell ignore mundane barriers.

Hit Dice: 3+1
Armor Class: 6 [13]
Attacks: Bite (1d6), 1d6-1 tentacles (1d3 + paralysis)
Saving Throw: 14
Special: 50% magic resistance, nonterrene composition, paralysis
Move: 18
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 7/600

July 23rd, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Lean and Athirst!

More horrors for The Cthulhu Hack.

Flying Polyp

According to these scraps of information, the basis of the fear was a horrible elder race of half-polypous, utterly alien entities which had come through space from immeasurably distant universes and had dominated the earth and three other solar planets about six hundred million years ago. They were only partly material—as we understand matter—and their type of consciousness and media of perception differed wholly from those of terrestrial organisms. For example, their senses did not include that of sight; their mental world being a strange, non-visual pattern of impressions. They were, however, sufficiently material to use implements of normal matter when in cosmic areas containing it; and they required housing—albeit of a peculiar kind. Though their senses could penetrate all material barriers, their substance could not; and certain forms of electrical energy could wholly destroy them. They had the power of aërial motion despite the absence of wings or any other visible means of levitation. … Such was the fixed mood of horror that the very aspect of the creatures was left unmentioned—at no time was I able to gain a clear hint of what they looked like. There were veiled suggestions of a monstrous plasticity, and of temporary lapses of visibility, while other fragmentary whispers referred to their control and military use of great winds. Singular whistling noises, and colossal footprints made up of five circular toe-marks, seemed also to be associated with them. (The Shadow Out of Time by H. P. Lovecraft)

Hit Dice: 8
Notes: Tentacle (1d10). Windblast (1d6+1 Nearby targets must make DEX Saves to avoid 2d8 points of damage). Sucking wind (1d6+1 Distant target must make STR Saves to avoid being pulled one range category closer). Armor 4, plus invisibility. Takes minimum damage from physical weapons. Casts 1d6-1 spells.

Formless Spawn of Tsathogghua

At any rate, when the men of K’n-yan went down into N’kai’s black abyss with their great atom-power searchlights they found living things—living things that oozed along stone channels and worshipped onyx and basalt images of Tsathoggua. But they were not toads like Tsathoggua himself. Far worse—they were amorphous lumps of viscous black slime that took temporary shapes for various purposes. The explorers of K’n-yan did not pause for detailed observations, and those who escaped alive sealed the passage leading from red-litten Yoth down into the gulfs of nether horror. Then all the images of Tsathoggua in the land of K’n-yan were dissolved into the ether by disintegrating rays, and the cult was abolished forever. (The Mound by H. P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop)

Hit Dice: 4
Notes: 1d3 whips (2d4), or bite (1d4 plus engulf), or tentacle (1d10). Engulf (STR Save at Disadvantage to claw free; otherwise take points of damage equal to the number of Moments engulfed). Immune physical weapons, including magical weapons. Can be harmed by spells, fire, chemicals, et cetera. Casts 1d4-1 spells.


Rubbery flesh encrusted with earth and mold, hooved, wolf-like features, clawed fingers. Speaks in gibbers and meeps.

Hit Dice: 3
Notes: 2 claws (1d4) and a bite (1d6). Firearms do only half damage.

Hound of Tindalos

“They are lean and athirst!” he shrieked. “The Hounds of Tindalos!”

“Chalmers, shall I phone for a physician”

“A physician cannot help me now They are horrors of the soul, and yet”—he hid his face in his hands and groaned—”they are real, Frank. I saw them for a ghastly moment. For a moment I stood on the other side. I stood on the pale gray shores beyond time and space. In an awful light that was not light, in a silence that shrieked, I saw them.

“All the evil in the universe was concentrated in their lean, hungry bodies. Or had they bodies? I saw them only for a moment; I cannot be certain. But I heard them breathe. Indescribably for a moment I felt their breath upon my face. They turned toward me and I fled screaming. In a single moment I fled screaming through time. I fled down quintillions of years.” (The Hounds of Tindalos by Frank Belknap Long)

Hit Dice: 5
Notes: Paw (2d4 plus CON Save to avoid 2d4 damage from poison), or tongue (WIS Save to avoid losing 1d3 points of WIS). Armor 2, plus regenerates 4 hit points per Moment unless dead. Can fly, travel through time, and materialize through any corner. Cannot be harmed by non-magical weapons. 1d4 spells.

July 19th, 2016  in RPG 1 Comment »