Posts Tagged ‘ monsters ’

The Bakemono of Kaosunoie

Are you familiar with the art of Domenico Neziti? If your answer is “No”, you owe it to yourself to check out his on-line portfolio. If Spes Magna Games had an art budget, I’d love to commission Domenico to do a cover and some interior art.

Domenico’s art has a definite voice that sets it apart. His character studies are evocative and stylized in a way that reminds me of Tony DiTerlizzi‘s Planescape work. Domenico’s monsters are usually scary, but some are adorable. His action pieces are dynamic and vivid.

Domenico has graciously permitted me to feature two of his pieces on site for this post. If you click on either piece, it will embiggen for greater clarity.

And now, some game content for Fate Accelerated Edition.

Sitting adjacent to a narrow, shallow canal that angles its way between barley fields, Kaosunoie appears as little more than a smallish, sturdy stone building. Its single entrance is blocked by nothing more than a silk curtain. Its small round windows hold nothing within their panes, presenting no real obstacle to sun, wind, or rain. The nearby well offers fresh, crisp water, and the dai-dōrō next to the winding path leading up to Kaosunoie hints that the structure is some sort of shrine.

Only the most aged locals remember a time when Kaosunoie was not there, and in the decades following the buildings mysterious appearance after a thickly fogged, windless night, everyone in the nearby farming village has made their peace with the strange structure. At the appointed times, they offer sacrifices of barley, rice, and braided hair, leaving these offerings around the dai-dōrō. In return, the bakemono that live within Kaosunoie avoid destructive mischief and even defend the village against threats.

Kaosunoie’s interior exists within two overlapping realities. In the mundane reality that the village also occupies, the building houses a single room with a dirt floor and unadorned walls. For those who, like the bakemono, can cross over into the spirit realm, Kaosunoie’s interior is a bewildering maze of corridors, ladders, chambers, and courtyards open to a starless, cloudless sky locked in eternal twilight. Dozens, maybe hundreds, of bakemono live in Kaosunoie, and the spaces harder to reach are home to more dangerous creatures, including at least one oni.

Stats for gangs of bakemono:

Bakemono Gang
Shapeshifter
Skilled (+2) at: Ganging up, pranks
Bad (-2) at: Staying focused, maintaining current form
Stress: [] [] [] (6 bakemono)

Stats for a bakemono character:

O-Tomiki
High Concept: Bakemono Shaman of the Void
Trouble: No Such Thing As Too Much Sake
Other Aspects: My Shapeshifting Powers Are Strong, Look! Over There!, I Can Smell Your Weakness

Approaches: Careful Mediocre (+0), Clever Average (+1), Flashy Fair (+2), Forceful Average (+1), Quick Good (+3), Sneaky Fair (+2)

Stunts
Like the Wind: Because my form is fluid, I gain a +2 to Quickly create an advantage or overcome an obstacle by changing my shape.

Refresh: 3

June 19th, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

Vodyanoi & Rusalki

From the waist up, a vodyanoy appears as a naked old man, but its frog-like face, tangled greenish hair, and covering of algae and muck over fish scales surely prevents anyone from mistaking this creature for human. What’s more, it has not hands but instead webbed paws, and in place of its legs extends a powerful fish’s tail. A vodyanoy’s eyes burn like red-hot coals.

When not swimming, it usually rides along its river on a half-sunken log, making loud splashes. When angered, a vodyanoy breaks dams, destroys water mills, and drowns both people and animals alike. Consequently, those who live along the banks of a vodyanoy’s river make sacrifices to appease the monster. Vodyanoi also drag down people to their underwater dwellings to serve as slaves.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

Attributes: Strength 4, Agility 0, Mind 1

Combat Abilities: 2 claws +1, damage d6-1; Defence 1; Protection d3-1 (scales); Lifeblood 10

Special: Vodyanoi breathe water as well as air. Against man-made structures, vodyanoi can exert enormous destructive power, comparable in many ways to the effects of a catapult.

For Dungeon World

Group, Hoarder, Intelligent
Claws (d8+2 damage, forceful)
6 HP
2 Armor
Close
Special Qualities: Amphibious
Instinct: To dominate its territory

* Destroy a man-made structure
* Drag victim to the bottom
* Swim silently and swiftly

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 4+1; AC 5 (14); Atks 2 claws (1d6); SV 13; Special breathe water, destroy man-made structure; MV 6 (Swim 12); AL C; CL/XP 5/240

The rusalka, an unquiet undead monster, was in life a young woman who either committed suicide by drowning due to an unhappy marriage or who was murdered by drowning, especially after becoming pregnant with an unwanted child. A rusalka must suffer its tortured existence in or near the body of water in which it both died and was reborn.

This undead creature is not invariably malevolent, for it may die in peace if its death is avenged. Nevertheless, a rusalka’s main activity is far from benign. It seduces by either by looks or by voice young men, who the monster then leads into the depths of its waterway. Therein, the rusalka entangles its victim with her long red hair and submerges, dragging the would-be lover to his death.

For Barbarians of Lemuria

Attributes: Strength 2, Agility 2, Mind 2

Combat Abilities: grappling hair +2, damage d3; Defence 2; Protection d4-1 (lacks any vulnerable organs); Lifeblood 10

Special: Rusalki appear as beautiful, red-haired maidens to mask their true, more horrific appearance. If engaged in seductive efforts against a male hero, the hero must attempt a Hard Mind action to avoid being charmed by the monster.

For Dungeon World

Devious, Group, Intelligent
Entangling hair (d4 damage)
10 HP
0 Armor
Close, Reach
Special Qualities: Undead
Instinct: To kill young men

* Appear beautiful
* Ensare in its entangling hair
* Inflame the passions

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 8; AC 3 (16); Atks Entangling hair (1d3 then constrict); SV 8; Special appear human, charm male, constrict (1d6), undead; MV 9 (Swim 9); AL C; CL/XP 11/1,700

June 3rd, 2015  in RPG 2 Comments »

Bosch-Inspired Monsters

Yndspeers appear as a bizarre avian-like humanoid roughly the size of a dwarf. A yndspeer is devoid of feathers except for a crest on its head and a tuft growing downward from its abdomen. Rather than wings, a yndspeer has stubby arms and hands. Males also sport wickedly sharp, upward curving barbs on their legs half way between the knee and ankle. These creatures cannot fly, but move rapidly along with a herky-jerky gait. Despite their somewhat comical appears, yndspeers are mischievous and cruel.

HD 1+1; AC 7 (12); Atks barbed spear (1d6); SV 18; Special spears lodge in victim (save negates); MV 12; AL C; CL/XP 2/30

The lyuwvis — a bizarre hybrid of frog, lion, and fish — hunts coastal marshlands. In the water, it swims sluggishly; on land, it hops about on its legs or else scoots through muck and mud on its belly. What the lyuwvis lacks in grace, it makes up for in strength and tenacity. This monster grows to the size of a large hound, and its powerful jaws inflict terrible wounds. The lyuwvis spits a noxious mixture of mud, saliva, and mucous before it attacks. Those struck by this foul substance find their reflexes impeded (as a Slow spell; save negates).

HD 3+2; AC 5 (14); Atks bite (1d6+2); SV 14; Special noxious spit; MV 6 (Swim 6); AL N; CL/XP 4/120

May 31st, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

Jasper’s Starfish Dragon

In my last post, I imagined Jasper, son of Laryssa and John Payne, as the superheroic Crayola Kid. I also explained that Jasper needs ear surgery to help improve his hearing. At the time of this writing, the Payne family has raised $2,050 of $4,300 needed for Jasper’s medical bills. Check out the Paynes’ GoFundMe page. I’m planning on another donation by Spes Magna Games at the end of this month once my March sales receipts are deposited to my PayPal account. I’m also hoping that the little bit of exposure my posts bring might inspire others who can to be generous.

Of course, I need something gaming related for this post, and so this time I’ve statted up Jasper’s starfish dragon (click on the pic to embiggen the image).

The Starfish Dragon

Deep beneath the waves of the vast sea lurks the starfish dragon. The size of a galleon, supernaturally strong and invulnerable to all but the most powerful weapons, it seldom surfaces except to protect its territory against hostile interlopers. When the starfish dragon attacks, it stirs up massive waves and then tears the hull open from underneath. It usually then descends back to its depths, leaving the sailors to the mercy of the elements.

For Dungeon World

Intelligent, Magical, Hoarder, Huge, Solitary
Tentacles (b[2d10]+5 damage, +2 piercing)
20 HP
4 Armor
Forceful, Messy, Reach
Special Qualities: Aquatic, know the deeps, nigh-invulnerable scales
Instinct: To terrorize the weak
* Crush with tentacles
* Exhale unquenchable fire
* Toss massive waves

For Swords & Wizardry

HD 10; AC 1 (18); Atks 3 tentacles (1d8), 1 bite (3d6); SV 5; Special +1 or better weapon to hit, 35% magic resistance, breathe cone of fire (10d8 with save for half damage), control ocean waters; MV 6 (Swim 21); AL N; CL/XP 14/2,600

March 22nd, 2015  in RPG No Comments »

The Terror of Toys

So, I started reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s Roverandom last night. I’ve long maintained that all good children’s stories must have an element of fear, darkness, et cetera, in them. Tolkien obviously agreed. Rover, after being turned into a toy, complains that he wants to run and bark and play. Other toys chide Rover, telling him to be quiet because the more a toy gets played with, the quicker it wears out, breaks, gets discarded and so forth.

In other words, the very thing that a toy is made for is the thing which a toy dreads.

Excellently dark.

Of course, I could not help but think of the fantasy game implications of Tolkien’s tale. In short:

1. Toys are sentient, capable of communication, and are motile. We don’t know they’re sentient because we can’t hear them talk or see them move. Toys can’t move when they’re watched, and even when not watched most move very slowly, especially if they aren’t appropriately articulated. A block of wood carved into the shape of a horse can perhaps wobble a little bit and fall over, but that’s about it.

2. Toys don’t like being played with. They want to be left alone, kept in mint condition on display on a shelf out of reach of children’s fingers.

3. Toys fear death at the hands of children. They also fear being discarded or lost, which likely leaves them at the mercy of the elements, nibbling rodents, and so forth.

Thus, the life of a toy tends to be limited and full of dread. Toys are created by thoughtless craftsmen to endure torture and eventual destruction, all to amuse children who are oblivious to the terror they inflict.

Quite understandably, many toys become quite bitter, even hateful, especially of children. Rarely, one of these toys entreats whatever powers might listen for aid, and Cro† infrequently decides to intervene. In his mercy and his cruelty, he grants the toy magical powers, almost always including the ability cast Animate Object, but in such a way that it can affect dozens of toys at the same time. Individually, few of these animated toys pose much of a threat, but acting in concert against a terrified child alone in his playroom….

†Cro, the God of Truth, Chaos, and Opposites. Cro always speaks the truth. Cro always lies. Cro stands firm against what is evil. Cro revels in evil, his hands stained with innocent blood. Cro is all things, and all things are Cro.

February 4th, 2015  in RPG 1 Comment »