Showing posts with label Monstrous Mondays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monstrous Mondays. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2019

Monstrous Monday: Fiend Folio POD

More Old-School mail call from the weekend.  Two boxes from different printers for some Old School joy.


I will admit it, it's not a popular opinion, but I love the Fiend Folio.  I goes back to the time when I was just getting into AD&D and I equated everything British/English as being better than American. (In many ways I still think that!)

So imagine my delight when I saw that the Fiend Folio on DriveThruRPG was now offering a Print on Demand option.  So, of course, I had to get it.  It was soft cover only, but I thought it would work nicely next to my Games Workshop printing softcover Monster Manual.
I was not wrong.



Other than one is a hardcover and the other is a softcover it is very difficult to tell them apart.


Even the interiors compare well.



Compares well to the mini version out a few years back (I guess a "few" now means 20).

Around the same time I ordered this I found a mock-up of an "orange spine" version of the Fiend Folio made by R Nelson Bailey.

A little bit of Lulu legerdemain and I now have something from a parallel universe.


I didn't get the cover perfect, but that is fine really.




The interior of this one looks pretty good too.

My next project needs to be a Fiend Folio II.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Monstrous Monday: The Shattered Knights

I got a 3D printer for Christmas, but there is something seriously wrong with it.  I have not figured it out yet and might be calling their customer support today.  But until then here are some of the test paladins I have printed and what I am planning to do with them.


The Shattered Knights*

Armor Class: 2
Hit Dice: 9**
Move: 120' (40')
   Phasing: 240' (80')
Attacks: 2 weapon or special
Damage: 1d10 / 1d10  or Wisdom Drain

No. Appearing: 1d4 (1d6)
Save As: Fighter 9
Morale: 11 (12)
Treasure Type: None
Alignment: Chaotic

The Shattered Knights are fearsome undead of unknown origin.  Legends say that they had been a group of virtuous knights who had been sent to apprehend an evil wizard.  But, as legend tells it, the wizard's lair was a trap and the king who sent them knew they would die.  The wizard's tower was destroyed in a huge magical explosion just as the knights learned of their betrayal.
Now they are undead creatures caught between life and death forever.

They are semi-intangible and can only be hit by magic weapons.  Like all undead, the knights are immune to sleep, charm, and hold spells.  They can attack with the weapons they had in life and also a powerful touch attack that drains 1 point of Wisdom per touch (no save).  This must be done with their hand, not a weapon and it is the only attack they can make that round.

The knights are never fully in or out of normal reality so they may opt to make a phase movement instead of an attack.  They move at twice their normal speed and can move through solid objects. When in phase they cannot attack or be attacked by physical means.

The Knights are Turned by Cleric as if they were Spectres.  The knights are always accompanied by 1d4 wights.

If four or more knights are encountered then one will be the Knight Commander.



Knight Commander*

Armor Class: 1
Hit Dice: 10**
Move: 120' (40')
   Phasing: 240' (80')
Attacks: 2 weapon or special
Damage: 1d10+1 / 1d10+!  or Wisdom Drain

No. Appearing: 1 (1)
Save As: Fighter 10
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: None
Alignment: Chaotic

The Knight Commander is the leader of the Shattered Knights.  He has all the same attacks and powers as his knights.  When he is present with a group of knights their Moral increases to 12.

The Knight Commander is Turned by Cleric as if he were a Vampire.

Characters slain by a Shattered Knight or the Knight Commander will become wights under their command.


Sadly I fear more shattered knights may join their ranks before I figure this out.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Monstrous Monday: Bionic Bigfoot

The Kickstarter for the Dark Places & Demogorgons Cryptid Manual is doing well.

Justin Isaac is also a huge fan of DP&D and has been creating some great material for it on his blog Halls of the Nephilim. He just recently gave us another version of Bigfoot to go with the ones found in the Cryptid Manual; the BMX Bigfoot.  It's fun and really works well with DP&D to be honest.

He then challenged me to do my own and suggested I do the Bigfoot from the Six Million Dollar Man.  So I said yes in a heartbeat! I mean how could I not?

I grew up watching the 6M$M fairly religiously. So yeah I had to jump on this.

Bigfoot in the 6M$M was not just a Bigfoot, but he was also bionic! And an alien! And played by none other than Andre the Giant in the first Bigfoot episodes and then Ted "Lurch" Cassidy.  I mean really? Could anything be more 70s than this?

The Bionic Bigfoot would fit in perfectly into any DP&P game.  Bionic, alien, either with his memory intact or still erased he would make for a fun ally or enemy.

Bionic Bigfoot
Armor Class: 14
Hit Dice: 5+4
Move: On Foot - 18 (ignore rough terrain)
Actions: 2
Morale: 9
Terror: 12
HDE: 7

Attack Damage: Fist (d8), Slam (d8), Rock Throw (d6)

Special: Bionic creature, 20 STR, Toughness +4, Immune to Cold, can run x4 Move

Bonuses: +5 to Melee attacks, +5 to Melee damage, +8 to Spot (bionic eye), +6 to Listen, +8 to Stealth, +2 to Initiative, +4 to Track.

Hug Attack: In combat, if he attacks with his fists and both hit, he will deliver a bone-crushing hug attack for an additional 2d6+4 hp damage.  A successful DEX check by the target will grant half-damage.

The Bionic Bigfoot is not a natural creature, but one created by an alien race as their protector.  The creature is unnaturally strong, even more so than other Bigfoot creatures due to it's bionics.  If the creature is discovered in it's normal state it will be intelligent and generally passive,  though it will lead anyone away from the aliens he protects.  If he is discovered in a damaged state (75% of the time) he will think and act like a normal sasquatch.




Monday, January 21, 2019

Monstrous Mondays: From Hell it Came! Tabonga the Tree Monster

Spent the weekend doing a combination of X1 Isle of Dread and I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City.  They finished up the city and then continued down the east coast of the island.


They got to the village Tanaroa where I essentially had them in my version of King Kong.  Save instead of a gargantuan ape I had them fight a gargantuan troll-like monster I alluded was Vaprak the Destroyer (which is just an aspect of Demogorgon in my games, and I have an LJN AD&D Troll toy to use for him) and the Blood Apes.


But the monster that I was most excited for was FINALLY getting to use something I have wanted to use for years; pretty much ever since I had a copy of Isle of Dread.  Tobonga the Tree Monster.

If have talked about Tabonga before. This stupid thing scared me so much as a little kid that to this very day I get gifts of tree monsters from my brothers and sisters on Halloween as gag gifts.

Well, this past weekend my sons' group the Treasure Hunters killed his demonic wooden ass.

Tabonga
The demonic monster known as a Tabonga is the cursed soul of a murder returned from the dead.  The first tabonga was buried within the trunk of a tree, believing that the spirit of the tree would prevent the murderer from coming back. However, the demonic influences on the tree caused it to return as a twisted mockery of both human and tree.  No longer fully human, plant or undead the monster is now demonically driven to commit more murders starting with the ones that condemned it to death.

Tabonga attack with two slam attacks.  It will attack until it's chosen victims are dead.  Usually, nothing but fire will prevent it from pursuing or attacking its victims.

Some tabonga have a unique kill. Some can only be killed by using the same knife, sword or axe that originally condemned them to death. Others may be killed normally via fire or radiant damage.



Tabonga
Basic/Expert Stats
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 11
Move: 45' (15')
Attacks: 2 blows
Damage: 2-12/2-12
No. Appearing: 0 (1)
Save As:  Fighter 11
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic

Special: Save vs. Paralysis or be affected as per a Cause Fear spell.
When not moving the tabonga is 90% indistinguishable from a tree.

Tabonga

D&D 5e Stats
Huge plant (demon), chaotic evil
  • Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 142 (13d12+60)
  • Speed 25 ft.
 STR         DEX       CON       INT         WIS         CHA     
23 (+6)     8 (-1)     21 (+5)     12 (+1)    16 (+3)     10 (+0) 
  • Vulnerabilities Fire, Radiant
  • Damage Resistance Bludgeoning, Piercing
  • Senses passive Perception 13
  • Languages Abyssal, Common
  • Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
  • False Appearance. While the tabonga remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal tree.
  • Fear. The tabonga can cause fear as per the spell. The Wisdom save DC is 14.

Actions


  • Multiattack. The tabonga makes two slam attacks.
  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (3d6 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Monstrous Monday: Melonheads for Dark Places & Demogorgons

One of my favorite games of 2018 is turning into one of my favorite games of 2019.

I have been given the pleasure of an advance copy of the newest book in the Dark Places & Demogorgons catalog, the Cryptid Manual.

It is not out yet, the Kickstarter begins on January 16, but it might be the best looking DP&D ever.

The book is digest sized, 90 pages and full of great illustrations.  The crew at Bloat Games really outdid themselves with this one.  The book reminds of a Chill or Conspiracy X monster book and that is a really good thing.

Expect a full review from me later this week. In fact expect a lot more DP&D goodness this week as I spend some more time with it and my Sunny Valley, OH setting.

Since today is Monster Monday. Let's find a Cryptid worthy of this book and something my Sunny Valley cast could encounter.

One of the features of the original series was the Monster of the Week episode.  This notion came from spirtual ancestor of both the show and this game, the X-Files. So going back to Mulder and Scully is never a bad plan.  For this episode, though I wanted something new, something we have not seen a lot of in the past AND something from Ohio.

Please allow me to introduce you to the Melonheads.
These creatures have been terrorizing people (reportedly) in Ohio, Michigan, and Connecticut since at least the 1960s.  Really they are kind of perfect for this.

Found in the woods in and around Ohio these creatures appear as small emaciated children with giant bulbous heads.

One legend has it that a deranged doctor (Dr. Crowe) and his wife near Kirtland, OH took in some hydrocephalic children to care for. In truth, they did strange experiments on them.  Eventually, the children fought back killing the doctor and his wife and burning down the home.  They escaped into the woods where they still live to this day, terrorizing anyone that comes into their territory.

Melonheads
Armor Class: 10
Hit Dice: 2
Move: 12
Actions: 1
Morale: 4/8
Terror: 13
HDE: 2

Attack Damage: Claw (d4)
Special: Dark Vision, Hunt in Packs
Bonuses: +5 to Spot, +5 to Stealth, +2 to Listen

Pack Tactics: Melonheads are rarely encountered alone. When they are their Morale is 4. In a pack of 6 or more their moral jumps to 8.  They will attack en masse with three being able to attack a single victim at once.  Their attacks are not very effective, but with multiple creatures, they are sure to land a few.

Melonheads are not particularly strong or very bright.  They attack anything and everything that enters their territory.   Melonheads are only active at night.

Using typical 80s monster logic they mostly attack teenagers making out in the woods.

Sunny Valley, OH Episode: It's a Shame About Ray
(*Someone will appreciate that title)

The episode begins with a missing teenager, Ray. He had been out in the woods walking with his girlfriend Shanon last night. Before they got out of the woods though he was attacked by a group of Melonheads.  His girlfriend describes "creepy, dirty children with giant heads".  It is now up to our cast to find them.

The only way to stop them is to close up the mine they have been using as a home and hiding place.

Read more about these weirdos here:

Monday, January 7, 2019

First Game of 2019: The Second Campaign and Monster Monday

Got my first game of 2019 this past week.  Yes, I was still on vacation all last week but it is back to work today (Monday).

The Treasure Hunters are still exploring the Forbidden City and are about to uncover some of its secrets.  They have encountered the Yuan-ti and some degenerate Troglodytes.   They were also nearly taken out by a group of Tasloi hiding in the tree-tops.  If there was any doubt of 5e's deadliness these little Tasloi nearly took out the entire party of seven characters.

They have not run into the Blood Apes yet, so they don't have a full picture of the cult activity going on here yet.  There are also Mongrel Men to consider.




I have set my Forbidden City in the center of the Ilse of Dread.


Yeah, there are some issues with that sure. But both are by David Cook, and Tom Moldvay was involved with both (co-author on X1 and playtester on I1).  For me it is working out great.

Monstrous Monday

Whether I am ready for it or not it is Monday. That means a new monster.

I figure I might as well share another one created by my mom.
My mom?? Yes.  My dad gave me a love for bad movies, but my love for horror, sci-fi and all things weird comes from my mom.   She would tell us these horrific stories about murders, ghosts that killed, screaming monsters and more all when we were little kids. And we loved every minute of it.  We used to all jump into the car and drive as far away as Alton, IL (95 miles) to look for haunted houses or spooky cemeteries.

Here is one from her that fits with the above adventures.

Red Lizards

Living in the deepest parts of the rainforest the Red Lizard and a symbiotic life form of a giant lizard species and a moss-like fungus.  The lizard becomes red in color and the fungus appears as a green growth on the lizard's body.  They are unable to live without each other and the bonding occurs very early in life for the lizard.
The fungus on the lizard is highly voracious and will spread to anything it touches including ground, leaving a long trail of moss-like fungus behind it.  This trail usually dies in a few minutes unless it comes in contact with a living creature.
The lizard will attack any living creature for food which the reptile and fungus life-forms will share.
These creatures are often accompanied by Rust Monsters.  The rust monster is one of the very few creatures immune to the fungus and they will eat the metal left behind by fallen victims.

Special: The creature takes damage from full moonlight (or spells or items that cast moonlight).  Exposed to this light the creature takes 1d10 hit points of damage per round of exposure.

Basic-era Stats

Red Lizard
Armor Class: 2
HD: 6 (22hp)
Attacks: 2 claw (2d4), 1 bite (1d6), + fungus
THAC0: 15
Movement: 180’ (60’)
Save: Fighter 4
No. Appearing: 1d4 (1d4)
Morale: 7
Alignment Neutral
XP Value: 300

Fungus: On a successful bite attack the victim is infected with the red lizard's fungus (save vs. Poison to avoid). They take an additional 2d4 hit points of damage and a 1d4 for each hour after that until a Remove Curse spell is cast.

5th-Era Stats

Red Lizard
Large magical beast, unaligned
Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 33 (6d10)
Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.
STR 15 (+2)
DEX 12 (+1)
CON 13 (+1)
INT  2 (−4)
WIS 10 (+0)
CHA 5 (−3)
Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages —
Challenge 2 (450 XP)

Actions

Multiattack. The red lizard makes two claw attacks and one bite attack.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.
Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage.  If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be affected with the red lizard's fungus.  The creature takes an additional 2d4 hit points of damage and a 1d4 for each hour after that until a Remove Curse spell is cast.


Monday, December 17, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: Undead Frost Giant

Just a few short days till the Winter Witch is out.  Here is another frozen fiend to throw at your players!  Again, the inspiration for this one should be obvious.
This is me, saving the best for last!

Giant, Frost, Undead
Hit Dice: 12
Armor Class: 2 [18]
Attack: 2 fist (2d8), weapon (3d8), frost breath (4d6),  Constitution Drain
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Undead; Energy Drain, Frost breath, Immune to cold
Movement: 12
Alignment: Chaotic
Number Encountered: 1d3
Challenge Level/XP: 14/2,600
The horrible undead frost giant appears much as a giant wight or draugr. Indeed they are the wights among the Frost Giants. Horrible as they are powerful, these giant creatures appear as frozen skeletons with bits of armor still frozen to their frames.
In their frozen existence they forget much about what they were so they tend to attack with fists or by whatever weapons they had when they died.  They do have two special attacks they can use. First is a breath weapon of cold air that can do 4d6 points of damage. That is the only attack they can perform that round and they can only do it every other round.  They also have a level draining attack that drains 1 level Constitution per a successful fist attack.  These creatures do not hurl rocks like their living counterparts.
These giants are usually found in great wastes and usually on the spot where they died. They typically do not have treasure save what they may have been carrying at the time of their death.
Undead Frost Giants are turned as Vampires (12 HD).
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Monday, December 10, 2018

Monstrous Monday: Frost Maiden

Woke up to freezing fog this morning.  That sounds totally made-up, but there is a thin sheet of ice everywhere.  Remind me again WHY I live in Chicago?

Today's little beastie is another one from the upcoming Winter Witch book.  It should feel familiar to any old-school gamer.

Frost Maiden
Hit Dice: 10
Armor Class: 3 [17]
Attack: Spell abilities or two fists (2d8x2) (giant size)
Saving Throw: 8
Special: Spell-like abilities, growth, immune to all cold.
Movement: 18 (can run without impediment over snow and ice)
Alignment: Chaotic
Number Encountered: 1
Challenge Level/XP: 12/2,000
Frost Maidens are related to both Frost Giants and Snow Elves.  It is believed that the first Frost Maiden was the offspring of a snow elf princess who was abducted by a Frost Giant Jarl.  The Princess was a powerful winter witch and she cursed her abductor and his family.  Now once every 100 or so births among frost giants will result in a frost maiden.  Due to the curse, the frost giants cannot abandon their frost maiden daughters and they usually rise to levels of importance and power.
These creatures stand some 5’ tall under normal conditions. Her skin is an unhealthy white or pale blue with white or platinum blonde hair. Their eyes are a piercing ice blue. They appear as a snow elf, but something is different about them.  They are unearthly beautiful with melodious voices and a coquettish smile. The often will appear wearing only the barest minimum to support modesty, but little else.  They are often barefoot.
Frost Maiden are all irredeemably evil. Their favorite game is to tease human males to point they are maddened with lust then they lead them to their deaths.  Usually in a blind canyon where they will bury them in an avalanche or trap them in a deep bit of ice.  They are also not above leading them into ambushes of winter wolves, worgs, or their frost giant brothers.   Some males they trick into acts of passion.  The resulting children are the same race as the father. Children of these unions have an additional +1 to saves against cold-based attacks.
The frost maiden can cast spells as a 7th level winter witch and can also once per day grow to three times her size (15’) to the size of a frost giant once per day.  She will revert to her normal size at sunrise.
Some sages say that the “snow elf princess” was actually the Snow Queen, the Faerie Lady of Ice and Snow and the “frost giant jarl” was no less a personage than Thrym, lord of the Frost Giants.  This is unconfirmed and both the Snow Queen and Thrym are loathe to discuss it. But it is known that many frost maidens serve the Snow Queen in her court.



I used this monster as a "side quest" after running G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl.  The ice maiden in question was the daughter of the Jarl.  My players were quite surprised when the "snow elf" they were chasing starting using spells and became a 15' frost giant.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: Blood Trees of Yule

Honestly. I couldn't resist.


Blood Trees of Yule
Hit Die: 3
AC: 8 [11]  (hardness)
Attack: 1 branch (1d6), blood drain 1d6 hp
Saving Throw: 14
Special: Cold resistance, fire vulnerability, Grab on natural 20 of 1d4 Con loss in blood
Move: 0 (see below)
Alignment: Chaotic
Number Encountered: 1d3 or 2d6
Challenge Level/XP: 4/120

The Winter Solstice, also known as Yuletide, is a time of rebirth amidst the surrounding chill of night, winter and death.   Witches of all traditions celebrate the return of the sun and rebirth of the Summer Lord who will reign until Midsummer.  People of all sorts stop and turn to each other and say "Well done. You made, half-way through the dark."

But not all Yuletide is celebrations. There are reminders that death still walks the lands.  Such are the Blood Trees of Yule.  Created by a powerful but evil and jealous witch these trees lure revelers to their death.  Once a creature, medium-sized or smaller is within a foot of these trees they will lash out with a branch to impale the unsuspecting victim. Impalement happens on a critical roll of a natural 20. Once so impaled they pull the victim into their branches where they are drained of all blood, 1d4 Con points per round.  The victim can be freed only on a successful Save modified by Strength.

These trees possess a rudimentary intelligence. They cannot move but they can bend and sway as much as 5 feet from their stationary position. The redder the tree the more evil and dangerous they are.

Encountering one such tree is usually the sign of some nearby corruption, the use of dark magics.  Encountering three or more is the sign malign witchcraft.  Encountering up to a dozen is a sign of the darkest, most evil form of witchcraft known.  The foulness of such trees is eclipsed only by the foulness of the witch that created them.

--
Speaking of blood.

This happened over the weekend:


I have not always been a fan of Lamentation of the Flame Princess, but James Raggi does do good work and I AM a fan of Elizabeth Chaipradikul.  She did the fantastic WITCH Fated Souls and the forward to my Green Witch book.
The book in questions above is She Bleeds.

James mentions that the warehouse in question could have destroyed copies they paid for, so he is looking into it now.  But the destruction of a book, any book, is anathema to me.

So show Liz your support. Pick up a copy of one of her books.  I can only imagine how this must feel to her.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: The Almas

I am back from Thanksgiving break only to have the worst blizzard in two-three years hit the Mid-West.  My kids schools are closed and my office is even closed!  With all that snow outside it is a PERFECT day to do some more work on my Winter Witch book.

Today I want to feature a monster that has some significance to me.  The Almas is a cryptid that dates back at least to the 15th century.  I featured the almas as suspected antagonists, but later turned allies in the Ghosts of Albion adventure "Almasti". Here a tribe of Almas has come to London to stop the plans of the evil god Chernbog. 

For the Winter Witch I wanted something a little different, but close enough that it was obviously the same creature.

Almas
Hit Dice: 3 (4 for Shaman)
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Attacks: 2 fists (1d6) or by weapon type
Saving Throw: 13
Special: Fly, immune to cold, spells
Move: 12 / 24 fly
Alignment: Neutral
Number Encountered: 1d8
Challenge Level/XP: 6/400

Almas are the smaller, more intelligent cousins of the Yeti. Due to their smaller size, they do not have the yeti’s hug attack.  For every group of six almas, one will be a shaman who has the spellcasting ability of a 2nd level winter witch.  With the aid of the shaman, an Almas can fly on the boreal winds, but only after the sun has gone down.

They are immune to normal and magical cold.  Almas speak their own language and that of giants.

--

Working hard to get the Winter Witch to you in time for the holidays. 
Until then check out the Cyber Monday sales at DriveThruRPG. All my Swords & Wizardry witch books are on sale.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: Wind Wraith

Interestingly enough this monster came up while playing Pokémon GO with my wife and kids at Gen Con this past summer.  Also based on some other ideas I have had over the years.

Wind Wraith
Hit Die: 5
AC: 1 [18]
Attack: 1 touch (1d6 + con drain)
Movement: - (Fly 24)
Save: 12
Alignment: Chaotic
Challenge Level/XP 9/1,100
Special: drain 1 point of Constitution with hit, magic or silver weapon to hit, ignores non-magical AC.

Wind wraiths are the spirits of mortals that die in one of the elemental planes and become hopelessly lost and can't move over to the other side.  They return to the Mortal Plane to haunt others and steal their lifeforce (as represented by constitution points).
The successful touch of a wind wraith will cause 1d6 points of damage and drain 1 point of Constitution.  A saving throw is allowed to prevent this drain, but the damage is always taken.
More horribly the wind wraith ignores all but magical armor.  The foul creature's clawed hand will pass through the hardiest plate mail as it does through leather or cloth.  All are treated as having an AC of 9.
If the armor is magical then the magical enchantment can be added to the character's AC, but not the armor itself.  So +1 Plate mail would confer an AC of 8 while +3 leather armor would be treated as an AC of 6.
Wind Wraiths appear as they did in life from the torso up. Their lower halves fade into mist and vapor.  They typically haunt areas of strong magic in hopes to find a way to a permanent death.  They are also found in the elemental planes.
They can be turned as Spectres.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: Snow Golem

I want to do this on Friday but the day job had me really busy.

Last week we had our first real snow in Chicagoland this season.  I thought it might nice to share another new monster from my upcoming Winter Witch book. 

Snow Golem
Hit Dice: 5 (22 hp)
AC: 7 [12]
Attack: 1 body slam (1d8 plus 1d6 cold)
Move: 12 / 24 over ice
Save: 11
Alignment: Neutral
CL/XP: 8/800
Special: Breath weapon, cold, immunity to cold, immunity to magic, double damage from fire

Snow Golems are amongst the simplest of golems that can be made by a witch.  The material to make them, snow, is easily available to them and easily molded into a humanoid shape.  All that is required in the casting of the spell is some magical fetish to focus the energy.  This can be nearly anything, but it is often a hat or a scarf.
Once animated the golem can perform routine duties can be ordered in a dozen words or less. Such orders would include "let no one pass but me." or "guard this treasure and let no one take it."
Snow golems are susceptible to weather conditions.  If the temperature rises above 32 degrees their movement is halved and their attacks are at half damage.

Snow Golem, Awakened
Among the awakened golems (Flesh, Clay, and Druthers) snow golems seem the least likely to have an awakened form, but because they are so easy to make young witches will often put more of their own energy or their own life force into their golems and they will spontaneously awaken.
The golems are often Lawful in alignment and have a child-like nature to them.  This is particularly true for snow golems brought to life by young, but very powerful Winter Witches.

These golems are also created at special times of the year.  If snow falls on Samhain then those snows can be used.  These awakened snow golems often have the spirit of the recently departed, but they usually can't recall their previous life.  These golems are typically Chaotic in nature.
Awakened snow golems constructed on or near Yule or the Winter Solstice are among the most powerful (HD 10, hp 40, move 18/36).

Regardless of type snow golems rarely live out a season and the magics holding them together will give out on the Spring Equinox.  There are some protections against this, and even an awakened snow golem can come back again someday.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: Scarecrow for Dark Places & Demogorgons

"Rain on the Scarecrow.  Blood on the plow.
Blood on the scarecrow. Blood on the plow" 

- John Mellencamp, Scarecrow



Is there anything more ubiquitous to the midwest than the cornfield?  How about that lone scarecrow in that field.  Standing silent vigil throughout the summer and into the fall.  Are you sure he is not watching you?

Scarecrow
Scarecrows are basic guardians similar to golems, but not nearly as powerful. Like typical scarecrows, their bodies are made of straw and cloth. The stumble about their assigned area poorly and attack most anything that wanders through it. Some Scarecrows are bound to a post. A Scarecrow can use their paralyzing gaze to imprison any trespassers (save vs. Courage, fail means victim remains rooted to the spot).
Scarecrows are assigned to protect a particular area. They never leave the area, even when chasing an intruder. They will attack anything, humanoid or animal-like in appearance that walks into its territory unless otherwise instructed by their creator.
A scarecrow is immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, and similar effects. They are not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain or death from massive damage.
Fire Vulnerability: Because of their straw bodies, Scarecrows are extremely vulnerable to attacks from fire. They take triple damage from all fire attacks.

Armor Class: 10
Hit Dice: 3 + 1
Move: 12
Attacks: 1
Attack Damage: Slam 1d4+4 or Slap 1d4+1
Special:  Paralyzing Gaze.  Courage roll required if victim meets the gaze of a Scarecrow. They can't move for one moment.
Bonuses: +1 to hit, +4 to hide in corn or soy fields.
Terror: 8
HDE: 4

Monday, April 2, 2018

Monstrous Mondays: AI Generated Monsters

Over the weekend I was reading about scientist Janelle Shane feeding a bunch of 2nd Ed Monsters into a neural network...the results are, well... here Dr. Shane to tell us her results.


Personally, I think these are great!

My faves are "Owlborn", "Spectral Slug" and "Vampire Bear".

But my heart goes out to, "Durp Snake" and I am dying to know what the hell a "Spectral Woof Greepy" is.

She is doing more. She has some Google forms you can add your own information too.






Monday, March 26, 2018

Monday Mail Call: Monsters of Mayhem #1

It's Monday of my Spring Break.  I am getting a lot done over here but wanted to take a break and show off what came in the mail today.


+Mark Taormino's Monsters of Mayhem #1

While I have had the PDF for a little bit now I was waiting on this print version to sing its praises.   First off if you loved his adventures then you will low this monster book.

36 pages and 48 new monsters, each one more deadly than the last and just tons of fun.

You won't find these monsters in the Fiend Folio or Monster Manuals, nor even in the pages of Dragon.  But you will find them all here.

I have been waiting for a good reason to use a Demonica Gigantica against my players now for a while.



According to the book this is a small one.


Now how about 5e conversion Mark?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Monster Monday: Eretica

Been a while since I have done one of these.  Here is a rare type of vampire that was a witch in her former life. For Basic-Era games.


Eretica*

Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 7** (M)
Move: 120' (40')
 Flying: 180' (60')
Attacks: 1 touch or special
Damage: ld10 + double Con drain or special
No. Appearing: 1d3 (1d6)
Save As: W7
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: F
Intelligence: 12
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 1,750
Monster Type: Undead, Enchanted (Very Rare)

Vampires are among the most feared of the undead.  Eretica are witches that have returned from the dead as a horrible vampire.  Believed to be the followers of Hecate the eretica are also created when witches denounce the predominant religion of the area and are cursed by a local cleric.
The eretica can appear as attractive young women, but their true form is that of an ancient hag in rags.

Abilities: All eretica are unaffected by sleep, charm, and hold spells, and can only be hit with magical weapons. An eretica may take the form of a human, a dire wolf, a giant bat, or as a mote of moonlight at will. Each change takes 1 round.

Whatever its form, an eretica regenerates 3 hit points per round, starting as soon as it is damaged. Like the vampire, if the eretica is reduced to 0 hit points it does not regenerate, but becomes moonlight and flees to its coffin.

In dire wolf or giant bat form, the eretica's move, attacks, and damage are those of the animal.
The eretica's AC, Hit Dice, morale, and saving throws remain unchanged. In moonlight form, an eretica cannot attack but can fly at the speed given above and is immune to all weapon attacks.

In human form, an eretica can attack by gaze or touch or can summon other creatures. The touch of an eretica inflicts a double energy drain (removing 2 points of Constitution) in addition to damage. The creature's gaze can charm. Any victim who meets the gaze may make a saving throw vs. spells to avoid the charm, but with a - 2 penalty to the roll. To the charmed victim the eretica appears to be a beautiful young woman. To others she is still a monstrous hag.

The eretica may summon any one of the following creatures, which will come to its aid if they are within 300 feet (300 yards outdoors):

Rats 6-60 Giant rats 4-16
Bats 8-80 Giant bats 3-18
Wolves 3-18 Dire wolves 2-8

Any character slain by an eretica will return from death in three days, as a wraith under the control of the eretica who slayed them.   Only witches killed by an eretica can become eretica in death this way.

Since eretica were witches in life they still can cast witch spells.  They are treated as 7th level witches, but they do not have any Occult Powers.

Weaknesses of the eretica: The eretica shares the same weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the vampire. A eretica cannot come within 10 feet of a strongly presented holy symbol, although it can move to attack from another direction. The odor of garlic repels an eretica; the creature must make a successful saving throw vs. poison or stay at least 10 feet away from the garlic during that round.

The eretica cannot cross running water, either on foot or flying, except at bridges or while in their coffins. During the day, an eretica usually rests in its coffin; failure to do so results in the loss of 2d6 hit points per day. These hit points are not regenerated until the eretica has rested in its coffin for a full day. An eretica casts no reflection and avoids mirrors.

The only way to truly destroy an eretica is burn the body at the stake or to stake her in the heart with a stake of aspen.

The eretica are Turned as Vampires.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Rosaleen Norton: The Witch of Kings Cross at a 100

Rosaleen Norton would have been 100 years old today.

She was an occultist, artist, nude model, bi-sexual, and self-proclaimed witch all in a time when women barely had the same civil rights as men.

I first discovered her art back, like many things with me and witches, in the 70s at my local public library.
I am not sure what book it was.  I was convinced that she had done a lot of drugs to get these images onto canvas, but I certainly underestimated her.

Recently I had read a bio about her, not a very long one, and how she seemed to have been born to create the life she really wanted. She had numerous obstacles thrown at her, but none of those kept her from being who she was.
You have to respect that.

Even if you do not know her name it is likely you know her art.  She had painted a number of images over the years including one of my favorite pictures of Lilith (below). 

She had even been charged with obscenity in Austrailia.





Does this remind anyone of Orcus?

You can find out more about her here:
http://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/history/the-witch-of-kings-cross.aspx

Fohat
One of Rosaleen Norton's most controversial images was that of a demon she called Fohat.  Representing male sexual power the demon has a goat's head, a man's upper body and a snake for a phallus.  Describing this work, she stated that "The goat is the symbol of energy and creativity: the serpent of elemental force and eternity."  Needless to say, it got her into some trouble.

In the writings of Theosophy Fohat is a force of male sexual potency. Norton obviously knew this background.  The question for us though is Fohat a unique demon or a species?  He is likely an incubus, but given the proper name, I am going with "the Lord of Incubi". 

Here is for use with my Swords & Wizardry Warlock book.

Fohat
Hit Dice: 13
Armor Class: -1 [20]
Attacks: 2 claws (1d6+3) or 1 weapon (1d10+3)
Saving Throw: 3
Special: Magic resistance (35%), immune to fire, Lilim Abilities, dual forms, Wisdom  drain, blood drain, magical abilities, +2 magic weapons to hit, charming voice
Move: 12
Alignment: Chaos
Challenge Level/XP: 24/5,300

Fohat is the Lord of Incubi. They revere him, not due to his ability in combat, but by the number of warlocks he has at his command.  There are others though that do challenge his title, but none that are willing to go to war over it.
Fohat appears as a lare man with a goat's head, a man's upper body and the lower portion of a goat. His phallus is a large snake.
While evil, Fohat is the epitome of a "Lover, not a fighter" and he would rather charm his way out of a situation than fight his way out.  His voice acts as if hee had a constant Charm Person spell cast and anyone listening to it must save vs. Charm at a -3 or be unable to physically attack him.  Even races immune to charming magic can be affected.
His numerous offspring are all Tieflings of a demonic sort.

Fohat is difficult to classify. He shows all the same abilities of one of the Lilim races, but also appears to be part of the Shedim race of demons.  He is old, but none (so far) have postulated that he is an Eodemon.

Pacts with Fohat
Fohat takes on young warlocks willingly.  Some even say enthusiastically.  While he prefers female warlocks, he will take on the odd male warlock with high charisma.  The initiate must summon Fohat into a circle. Typically other warlocks of Fohat will summon him with the initiate warlock placed in the circle.  The pact is sealed with an act of sexual intercourse with the demon.  Warlocks and Witches may form a Grand Coven dedicated to Fohat and they are expected to partake in a Bacchanal on every new moon.
The pact with Fohat is a demonic pact and has all the features of a demonic pact as described on page 7.  Additionally, Fohat's warlocks may impose a -2 penalty to anyone attempting to make a saving throw against their charm spells.   Warlocks of the Lord of Incubi may also cast the "Bewitch" spells normally available only to witches.




Monday, September 11, 2017

Monstrous Monday: Imp of the Perverse

"We have a task before us which must be speedily performed. We know that it will be ruinous to make delay. The most important crisis of our life calls, trumpet-tongued, for immediate energy and action. ... It must, it shall be undertaken to-day, and yet we put it off until to-morrow, and why? There is no answer, except that we feel perverse, using the word with no comprehension of the principle. ... The clock strikes, and is the knell of our welfare. At the same time, it is the chanticleer-note to the ghost that has so long overawed us. It flies—disappears—we are free. The old energy returns. We will labor now. Alas, it is too late!"
- Edgar Allen Poe, The Imp of the Perverse

The Imp of the Perverse is a small invisible imp that can be summoned much as any other demon to cause someone harm.    The imp is small, no larger than a rodent really, and invisible to all but those with the ability to See*.
(*Eldritch sight, detect magic, detect curse, detect invisible, or other such magical sights.)

Imp of the Perverse
Basic-era stats
No. Enc.: 1 (1)
Alignment: Chaos (Chaotic Evil)
Movement:  120'(40')
    Fly: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 9 [10]
Hit Dice: 1+1
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d4
Special: Invisible, Suggestion of Harm, only hit my magic weapons
Save: W1
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: None
XP: 50

The Imp of the Perverse is a small demonic creature that can be summoned and attached to another victim. Once done so the Imp will sit on the victim's shoulder while holding onto their ear. The imp will then whisper in the victim's ear convincing it to harm themself.

The victim must first make a saving throw (vs. Spells, see below). If this save is made the imp does not latch on and is free to roam about to find another victim (those victims will then need to save) until it tries and fails three (3) victims or the magic-user that summoned it returns it.

If the victim fails to save the imp is latched on and becomes completely invisible.  No amount of detection on the part of the victim will reveal it attached. Others might.  The imp can only be removed with a Remove Curse, Exorcism or a properly worded Holy Word or Banishment spell.

Until then the victim makes a saving throw every day to see it they do something to harm themself. A failed save means that something occurs that seems natural that will cause them harm.

On the first failed save they will take 1d6 total damage. On each failed save after that they will take an additional 1d6 hp of damage; so 2d6, 3d6 and so on until the victim is dead or the imp removed.
Once an imp has been removed or it's victim is dead will it become visible once again and can be attacked.

Summon and Bind Imp of the Perverse
Level: Cleric 3**, Wizard 3, Witch /Warlock 3  (**evil/chaotic clerics only)
Duration: 24 hours
Range: Special
By means of this spell, the caster can summon an Imp of the Perverse from the Demon Realms to latch onto a victim.  The victim must be known to the casters and some item of the victim must be present when the summoning and binding are complete. The familiarity of the victim is helpful to the caster to prevent the victim from saving against the attack.

Familiarity Save Bonus/Penalty
Unknown +3 bonus to saves
Known by name +2 bonus
Know each other (can identify each other) +1 bonus
Know well -1 penalty
Know intimately -2 penalty
Same blood or kin -3 penalty

Material Components: The caster needs a personal item from the victim: clothes, a bit of hair, fingernail, drop of blood, and the like.  A bit of copper wire and loadstone.  The items are tied to the loadstone with the copper wire.


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