Giant claw vultures dwell only in regions where carrion is both large and plentiful, such as the primeval wildernesses where megafauna roam. They also flock to regions torn by war to feast on the dead. Giant claw vultures rarely wait for wounded creatures to finish dying before they feed, for these monstrous birds are much braver than most wild animals. Giant claw vultures have been seen swooping down on a heavily armored column of soldiers just to snatch up a few wounded stragglers from the end of the line. Due to their filthy eating habits and constant exposure to decaying flesh, giant claw vultures are harbingers of disease. Giant claw vultures are resistant to both disease and poison. These horrid monsters stand more than 13 feet tall, have a wingspan of over 30 feet, and weigh 500 to 600 pounds.
Giant Claw Vulture
Armor Class: 2 
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: Bite (2d6)
Special: Disease (10%)
Move: 6/15 (when flying)
Save: 10 (6 versus disease and poison)
Tropical jungle wildernesses, especially those close to coastal regions, conceal many threats, among them the dreaded salt sucker. Intelligent and manipulative, a salt sucker’s natural appearance is monstrous, with dark eyes, a lamprey-like mouth, downy fur, and powerful arms that end in three-fingered hands. These fingers are quite long and the gripping surfaces are covered with strong, sucker-shaped muscles.
A salt sucker is seldom seen in its natural appearance. These creatures possess telempathic abilities that enable them to instantly appear as any humanoid drawn from the emotional memories of its victims. Under cover of this illusory appearance, the salt sucker then causes paralysis with its gaze. At this time, its victim is helpless. The salt sucker uses its fingers to suck all of the salt from the victim, an act which kills the victim in 1d4 rounds. If forced to defend itself in melee, a salt sucker uses its powerful strike.
Armor Class: 6 
Hit Dice: 6
Attacks: Strike (1d6+1)
Special: Gaze causes paralysis, suck salt, telempathic illusion
The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the protector of my life: of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 26:1, Douay-Rheims)
Last Sunday, I wrote about using turn undead as a way of transforming the Cleric into a melee master against affected undead. This seems especially appropriate for Clerics who follow deities devoted to battle, undead smashing, et cetera. Not all Clerics, however, fit that mold, so this Sunday I want to turn my attention to Clerics who seek to encourage their allies in conflict with the soul-rending terrors of the undead. Such a Cleric’s player rolls 2d10 and refers to the table for turning the undead as normal, but the results of success differ as follows:
* If the number on the dice is equal to or greater than the number shown on the table, the Cleric’s allies gain for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to-hit” bonus when fighting affected undead. Those allies also gain a +1 saving throw bonus against special attacks from the affected undead.
* If the table indicates “T”, the Cleric’s allies gain for 3d6 rounds +1 bonuses both “to-hit” and to damage. The saving throw bonus increases to +2. Furthermore, any ally who fails or who has failed a saving throw against a special attack from the affected undead immediately gains a reroll on that saving throw with that +2 bonus.
* If the table indicates “D”, the Cleric’s allies gain for 3d6 rounds a +2 “to-hit” and +2 damage bonus against the affected undead. Furthermore, the allies become immune to the special attacks of the affected undead.
…I am glorified in the eyes of the Lord, and my God is made my strength. (Isaiah 49:5)
Certain Lawful Clerics do not “turn” undead monsters. Instead, these Clerics call for divine assistance in direct combat with the undead. Such a Cleric’s player rolls 2d10 and refers to the table for turning the undead as normal, but the results of success differ as follows:
* If the number on the dice is equal to or greater than the number shown on the table, the Cleric gains for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to-hit” bonus and a damage bonus equal to the half Cleric’s level (round up) when fighting affected undead.
* If the table indicates “T”, the Cleric gains for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to hit” bonus and a damage bonus equal to the Cleric’s level when fighting the affected undead. Furthermore, the Cleric makes one attack per level each round against the affected undead.
* If the table indicates “D”, the Cleric gains for 3d6 rounds a +1 “to hit” against the affected undead. Any hit automatically destroys the undead monster, reducing it to dust. Furthermore, the Cleric makes one attack per level each round against the affected undead.
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!