Posts Tagged ‘ monsters ’

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.

Monk
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.

Rongykorong
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.

Ghoul

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 »

Fiends for The Black Hack

Monsters from the Fiend Folio for The Black Hack, an ebon slice of RPG genius.

Al-Mi’Raj

This large, yellow rabbit sports a unicorn-like horn. Adventurers may find al-mi’rajes in pastures and woodlands, or perhaps lairing in a small cave.

Hit Dice: 1
Notes: Horn (1d3). Highly nimble. Attacks suffer disadvantage to DEX tests to hit an al-mi’raj with ranged weapons.

Bloodworm

Found in shallow pools in underground caverns. Cannot swim, but instead wriggle along the bottom of their watery lairs. Reach lengths of nearly 20 feet, but slender and lithe.

Hit Dice: 6
Notes: Bite (1d8). CON test if bitten to avoid 1d8 points of damage from blood drain the moment after the attack.

Coffer Corpse

Emaciated, rotting flesh, eyes burning with hatred, fingernails grown into talons.

Hit Dice: 2
Notes: Claws (1d6). Ignores the first 6 points of damage (no other armor), but collapses as if destroyed if it takes at least 6 points of damage. The next moment, it springs back to unlife. Those who witness this attack must test versus WIS to avoid fleeing in panic.

Death Knight

Skeletal creature in ancient, decaying finery and plate armor.

Hit Dice: 9
Notes: Mighty attacks with weapons (3d6). Tests to see if magic is powerful enough to overcome a death knight’s defenses suffer a +2 penalty (in addition to applicable modifiers for a powerful opponent). Can cast Wall of Ice once per moment. Can Detect Magic and see invisible creatures. Can use Fireball and Power Word, Kill once per day each.

July 16th, 2016  in RPG No Comments »

Horrors for The Cthulhu Hack

One of the first things I do with a game system is write up monsters, villains, et cetera. Hereafter, I try my hand with a few horrors for The Cthulhu Hack.

Chthonian

An enormous squid-like monstrosity at least 20 feet long. Numerous grasping tentacles. Its worm-like body coated with slime. All around, an alien chanting that seems to come from the very air itself.

Hit Dice: 10
Notes: Tentacle (1d6 plus CON Save to avoid additional 1d6 from blood drain). Crush (1d4 nearby targets for 1d8; DEX Save avoids). Armor 5. Powerful telepathy. Regenerates 5 hit points per round until dead. Casts 1d6 spells. Multiple Chthonians working in concert can cause earthquakes.

Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath

An vast mass of writhing, ropy tentacles the color of night. Covered with puckered mouths that drool green goo. Lower tentacles end in ebon hooves upon which the monster walks. The stench of an open grave hangs thick in the air.

Hit Dice: 7
Notes: Tentacle (1d8 plus CON Save to avoid weakness causing a Disadvantage in STR Saves). Firearms do minimum damage. Casts 1d6 spells. Stealthy in forests.

Dimensional Shambler

“Shuffling toward him in the darkness was the gigantic, blasphemous form of a black thing not wholly ape and not wholly insect. Its hide hung loosely upon its frame, and its rugose, dead-eyed rudiment of a head swayed drunkenly from side to side. Its fore paws were extended, with talons spread wide, and its whole body was taut with murderous malignity despite its utter lack of facial expression. After the screams and the final coming of darkness it leaped, and in a moment had Jones pinned to the floor. There was no struggle, for the watcher had fainted.” (The Horror in the Museum by H. P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald)

Hit Dice: 4
Notes: 2 claws (1d4). Travel between planes (INT Save prevents being dragged along when applicable). Armor 3. Casts 1d3 spells.

Fire Vampire

“On the instant that the final guttural sound had left his lips, there began a sequence of events no human eye was ever destined to witness. For suddenly the darkness was gone, giving way to a fearsome amber glow; simultaneously the flute-like music ceased, and in its place rose cries of rage and terror. Then, instantaneously, there appeared thousands of tiny points of light—not only on and among the trees, but on the earth itself, on the lodge and the car standing before it. For still a further moment, we were rooted to the spot, and then it was borne in upon us that the myriad points of light were living entities of flame!” (The Dweller in Darkness by August Derleth)

Hit Dice: 1
Notes: Touch (1d6). Immune to material weapons. Suffers improvised damage from materials that smother flame.

July 14th, 2016  in RPG 1 Comment »