Showing posts with label monsters. Show all posts
Showing posts with label monsters. Show all posts

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.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Monstrous Monday: The Umbral

Regardless of alignment or patron followed there is one philosophical belief that unites all witches. All witches believe in the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Witches, all witches, are born, live, die and are reborn anew.  The most horrible thing to a witch then is to come back as an undead creature. Forever removed from the cycle of life, death, and rebirth an undead witch is a pitiable creature like no other.

A witch returning as an undead creature is known as an Umbral.

Umbral**
No. Appearing: 1 (1)
Move: 90' (30')
  Flying: 180' (60')
Armor Class: 7 [12]
Hit Dice: 4d8+2 (20hp)
Attack: Wail of Lament
Damage: CHA drain
Save: Witch 4
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: nil
Alignment: Chaotic (some Neutral)
XP: 300 (450 xp if fully destroyed)

An Umbral is a witch that has died and come back to unlife. Typically this is due to some great sadness or sorrow that prevents her from moving on.  The umbral is incorporeal and can only be hit by +1 or better weapons. A weapon of cold iron blessed by a cleric can also be used.
The umbral is locked to the area of their death or some other significant area.  Sages once tell of a Umbral that haunted the grounds her coven stood even though she had been killed many miles away.
The only attack of the umbral is a wail of lament.  All within 120' (240') that hear it must make a save vs. Death or loose 1 point of Cha.  The trauma of such an attack leaves a noticeable mark on the on the physical and emotional well being of the victim.   The Charisma damage can be restored by any magic that restores lost levels.
An umbral that is "killed" returns on the next new moon.  To fully destroy an umbral her mortal remains must be burned. This is why, sages say, so many witches are burned. To prevent their umbrals from haunting them.

Scholars also mention a greater umbral creature, a Shade.
In the same tomes that describe these creatures also describe a ritual to return an undead to life.

The umbral is turned as a spectre.  A turned umbral returns in three days. Destroying an umbral, even by dispelling/disruption still requires the burning of it's mortal remains.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Blue Rose and the Palace of the Silver Princess

One of the biggest issues I have with Blue Rose is a lack of published adventures. I think if others could have seen the types of games that could have been played it might have done a little better.
One of Blue Rose's strengths though is it's True20 system. It means and adapting other game's adventures is fairly easy to do.

On such adventure that would be good to convert is the classic TSR Basic D&D Adventure Module B3 Palace of the Silver Princess.

I do want to use the "Green" cover and not the "Orange" one since the first is more about the rescue of the Princess and discovering what happened to everyone.

Some changes though will need to be made to make it more "Blue Rosey".  Here are my suggestions.
Change:
  • Princess Argenta to Queen Jaellin, early in her rule
  • Ellis the Strong to Captain John Cowan (and new character that I want to set up as the Queen's future lover/chosen/life-bond mate)
  • White Drakes can be kept, but change them a bit to be more like the "Skybolts" of Valdemar.
  • The Protectors (which were annoying) should be changed to a manifestation of the Golden Hart (because this IS a situation where the Hart is needed). 
  • Arik is a trapped Shadowfiend or even a lesser Exarch of Shadow. Not sure if he will be needed, though.
  • The Eye of Arik remains largely the same.  But instead of being found by dwarves it was found by Night People.  More on that.
  • Catharandamus is a Shadow aligned Adept.  Alha is a human Warrior werewolf.  They are both members of the Cult of the Crimson Eye (World of Aldea,p. 21).  They are in their late 20s but fully devoted to Shadow and the Lich King Jarek.
The plot is largely the same with some differences in the setup.

This takes place early in the Queen's rule, say only five years in instead of the ten from the core rules.  Why? I want a younger Queen that is still likely to be tested by her enemies.
Queen Jaelin avoids parties, official or otherwise.  But not tonight. Tonight is the Winter Solistice and the night of the great Yule Ball.  Captain John Cowan is the newly appointed Captain of the Sovereign's guard.  He had been a member of the White Drakes, a mercenary band that fought evil far to the north in the Ice Binder Mountains. He is charismatic, young and has the eye of many of the court's ladies and not to few a number of the gentlemen.  Captain Cowan only has eyes for the Queen.  She thinks he is loud, a braggart, way too promiscuous for her liking, and she is absolutely in love with him.  But to keep him "in his place" he has been named "The Lord of Misrule" over tonight's ball and he dressed in a gaudy outfit similar to that of a court jester.  The queen is dressed like a scullery maid as per the custom and she waits on her guests.  On the throne sits Aggie, a ten-yer old scullery maid. She was chosen, as all Sovereign's are by the Golden Hart.  Only this "Golden Hart" was Captain Cowan dressed in a ridiculous costume with "antlers" of an old tree branch. If the Queen was trying to take the Captain down a peg by making him act the fool, she has lost that gambit. She looks scared but happy as all the nobles bow to pay her homage.  Everyone is happy and making rather merry on this night of Yule.

That is except for you lot.

Aggie may have had the luck of Selene, but you all are the newest members of the Sovereign’s Finest and that means guard duty.  Still the spiced wine is warm and one of the lesser nobles acting as a servant in the Inversion Festival brings you a cup each hour and is not unattractive.  Mostly your job all night has been to make sure guests that have partaken in too much of Athne's favor are seen safely to rooms.  Other guests that have taken, or about to partake, in the favors of Leonoth or Hiathas are also quietly and quickly ushered to rooms of their own.
After ushering one particularly amorous couple off with a many "yes, Season's greetings" and "have a blessed Yule", your small group sees the Golden Hart.  Not the Captain in his fools disguise, but the genuine Golden Hart. And it is rushing towards you at a terrible speed.

The last thing you hear before the screams and terrible explosion is the psychic voice of the Hart ordering you to get down.
That's the start.  The PCs (the poor guards) are given a psychic replay of the events just before.  A group of Night People approach the "Queen" (really Aggie, but they don't know about Inversion Festivals) and present her a gift; a huge ruby.  The girl goes to pick up and at that point Queen Jaelin knows what the ruby actually is. She yells for Aggie to not to touch it.  Captain Cowan rushes the throne, the nobles scream and then the castle explodes with red light.

The Hart ran to the PCs because they were the closest AND since the Hart sees into the future knew they were the ones that could make everything right.  You begin outside of the Castle (where you were thrown) and have to work your way back in.

The cultists Catharandamus and Alha were hiding below and are now using the Eye of Arik as a focal point to a new Shadow Gate for King Jarek.  Of course, the King will deny this in the future.

Why am I using the Golden Hart here?  Simple. I am totally trolling the people that don't like this game. Well...that and the fact that the Hart actually works here and does what it is supposed to do.  Also I hated the Protectors in the original B3 module.   Sorry but even when I was 11 and I bought this new I knew they were dumb.  The Hart is a much better choice.

I am cheating and using Night Folk as Orcs.  The the Night Folk that delivered the Eye of Arik were unknowing dupes.   The ones in the castle are shadow aligned and working with Catharandamus and Alha, brought in by them.

Candella and Duchess are still here. Still theives (Experts), and just because I can they are also caria daunen. They are Twilight aligned, but if they help the party then they will be rewarded by the Queen.

New Monsters
The wave of Shadow Magic turned the guests to stone, trapped the Queen and Captain, and knocked your party out of the castle.  It also is starting to gate in things from the Shadow Realms.

Decapus
Large 4th-level aberration
Initiative +2; Speed 5', Climb 25'
Defense 12 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +1 natural)
Attack +5 melee  (no damage, tentacle), +0 melee (+0 damage, bite);
Qualities: darkvision 60ft; Superior Hearing
Alignment: Twilight
Saves: Tough +3, Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +3
S: 0 D: +2 C: 0 I: -2 W: 0 Ch: -1
Skills: Climb +10, Escape Artist +13, Notice +5, Sneak +11, Swim +9.
Feats: Improved Grab
Arcana: Illusion; visual illusion 20ft. Radius, range 60ft.

Combat Special
Rend: 3 tentacle hits target is grappled next turn and suffers lethal damage from bite. Only one target can be attacked per round this way.
Multi-attack; 9 tentacle attacks, 3 per target.

My numbers might be way off, have to play this to be sure.

For this conversion, I also grabbed the Classic Modules Today conversion of B3 Palace of the Silver Princess.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monstrous Monday: 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendiums

So no new monster today.  Been pretty busy this last week or two.

But some things I am working are a couple of auction and Craigslist scores.




For all four binders, I think I have now paid something like $25.  They are not in great condition and there are a lot of duplicates.

Like so much of my D&D material, I lost my originals sometime in the 90s.  I have not picked these back up till now because 2nd Editon is the edition I am least likely to play anymore.

But I really couldn't pass these up and they are still compatible with 1st ed for the most part.

So I have a lot of sorting and digging through my own material to see if I have any other pages.  I think I keep all the demons and devils from the Planescape sets, and I have all (or at least most) of the Mayfair Demons ones.  Not sure if I'll try to complete the collection, kinda like keeping them like this.

Who knows maybe one day I'll play some more 2e.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Street Faeries for Victorious/Castles & Crusades

I am going to spend some quality time with Victorious over the next week or so as I continue with my work on Castles & Crusades and then move into Victorian-era games.

I thought it might be good to bring back this little dollymop.
You can see other Street Fae here:
Ghosts of Albion and Rippers/Savage Worlds,
Victoriana 2nd Ed,
Victoria and
Swords & Wizardry.

Michael Thomas, Victorian Gothic Fairy
Street Faerie

NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-3
SIZE: Small
HD: 2 (d4)
MOVE: 20 ft.,
AC: 10
ATTACKS: Spark* (
SPECIAL: Spell–Like Abilities (glamour, blink),  Twilight Vision,  takes 2x damage from cold iron
SAVES: M
INT: Average
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
TYPE: Fey
TREASURE: 1


XP: 45+1

Sreet Faeries are fae that have chosen to live in the urban sprawl of large cities rather than the normal sylvan glades and woods that one typically associates with their kind.

A typical street faerie stands about 3' high, but can glamour themselves to be taller or shorter by 2' in either in direction.  They have peppered moth wings that they can hide when needed.  Many will live in cities and disguise themselves as children or young humans.

A Street faerie can also "Blink" as per a Blink Dog or a Dimension Door spell.

Their only attack is a Spark which is a spell-like attack (no save). They can cause a spark of electricity to shoot from their fingers causing 1d4 hp of damage.
A typical attack of a Street Fae will consist of a spark attack and then them blinking away.

Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Giants in the Mist

or fog as the case may be...

Since I am going to combine some Cloud Giant adventures and have a floating castle, I figure I should have at least one encounter with their land-dwelling cousins.  Fog giants first appeared (well for me anyway) in the 1st Edition Fiend Folio.

These creatures can be added to any giant-themed adventure.


D&D 5th Edition


Castles & Crusades

NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-6, 1-10*
SIZE: Large (16'-18')
HD: 14 (d12)
MOVE: 40 ft.,
AC: 24
ATTACKS: Weapons; Greatclub (5d6) or rock (3d8)
SPECIAL: Spell–Like Abilities,  Mist (Twilight) Vision, Scent
SAVES: P
INT: Average
ALIGNMENT: Neutral Good (50%) or Neutral Evil (50%)
TYPE: Giant
TREASURE: Horde
XP: 4750 + 12

*Any group of 10 Fog Giants will include a Cloud Giant noble.

From the 2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium.

Description
Cousins to the cloud giants, these large rock-hurlers are more intelligent and stealthy than portrayed in story or song. Fog giants are huge and husky, with tree-trunk sized legs, and over-developed arms muscled by constant throwing games and exercises. They have milk-white skin which aids their natural ability to blend into fog (80% chance). Their hair is silvery white and flowing, with ample hair on the arms, legs, and chest. They grow no facial hair whatsoever. They prefer to wear no armor, counting on their high natural Armor Class.  They love massive, ornate clubs made from bleached and polished wood or bone.

Habitat/Society
Fog giants are proud of their strength and fighting skills, often playing games when on hunting forays in an attempt to best one another. Their favorite such game is called “copsi” and consists of the giants pairing off to toss larger and larger boulders to their partners until one of the pairs misses its throw.

The fog giant families live in caves, canyons, or thickets, in the most inaccessible areas of marsh, swamp, forest, or coast. The men usually hunt in groups, ranging up to a dozen miles from their homes. The groups generally are formed of giants of similar alignment.

By tradition, a young giant may not mate until he has obtained at least one large ornament of silver. Usually, the young giant joins with several others in a quest to find one (or acquire enough treasure to buy one).

Fog giants do not often mix well with other creatures or races, although they can often be persuaded to perform services for a fee, or barter goods with groups of similar alignment. Fog giants will happily barter goods and services for refined silver.

Territorial disputes sometimes flare up between groups, especially in times of bad hunting. Friendly disputes can sometimes be resolved by a game of copsi or an arm-wrestling match. Fog giants fighting amongst themselves will generally throw rocks and fist-fight, rather than use swords.

Fog giants are fond of all sorts of cooked meats, particularly hoofed creatures such as horses, cows, deer, elk, and centaur. They often cook meat by building a large fire, then impaling chunks of meat on their swords and holding them over the open flame. Fog giants prefer fruits and sweets for dessert, and will also down large quantities of spirits if available to them. They do not distill their own spirits or liquors.

They also sometimes smoke fresh milkweed pods in wooden pipes, though the taste is too bitter for humans and demihumans to enjoy.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Woodwose for Castles & Crusades

A couple of things came together for me this week.  First off I have been going through all my Castles & Crusades material.  My son is getting ready for the game he runs with his group so I have been cleaning my game room, reorganizing my shelves and reading a lot of C&C.

I have been wanting to do something cool with C&C for a very long time.  So I am torn as to whether I am going to use it for my "Second Campaign" or "War of the Witch Queens".  I have a lot of good in-universe reasons to use this for the Second Campaign, but there is SO much of what is native to C&C that make me really want to use it for War of the Witch Queens.
In particular, books like the Haunted Highlands and Codex Celtarum are just full of ideas.

Today I wanted to update a monster I did a while back that was also recently updated on the newbiedm.com blog; the Woodwose.

You can see my version for Basic Era games here:
http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2015/03/woodwose-for-basic-era-games.html

Newbie DM's version, based on a 2nd Edition version I knew nothing about here:
https://newbiedm.com/2016/09/12/monster-conversion-woodwose/

Here is a new version for Castles & Crusades.

Note: this is different that the Woodwose class found in the Codex Celtarum.

Woodwose
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 5–30
SIZE: Small
HD: 2 (d4)
MOVE: 20 ft.,
AC: 13
ATTACKS: Weapon
SPECIAL: Spell–Like Abilities,  Twilight Vision,  takes 2x damage from cold iron
SAVES: M
INT: Average
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
TYPE: Fey
TREASURE: 1
XP: 45+1

The Woodwose, or "the Wild-Man of the Wood" is faerie creature related to the brownie and buckwan. These creatures typically look like small, old men completely covered in hair. Their hair can vary from brown, to light yellow to even green.  These creatures stand about 4' to 4 1/2' tall though some have been reported as small at 2' and others as tall 7' tall.   They have a language, a very early form of Sylvan, that they use among themselves but they can speak elven when talking to others.

As their name would suggest the woodwose are a wild, barely civilized race. Much of their time is spent in raiding the homes of other faerie creatures stealing food, treasures, and their women.  Woodwose that live close to human settlements have also been known to attack an outlying farm or prey on a lone traveler.   They are only brave in packs and rarely venture out of their burrows alone.  Despite their size a woodwose will attack any creature up to and including, ogre-sized, if they have the numbers.  Woodwose fear and avoid elves.

For every 6 woodwose encountered 1 will be a shaman capable of casting spells as a 2nd level druid.  For every 12 one of those 2 shamans will be 3rd level.  At 24 woodwose, a small community, there will be a shaman with the powers and spells as a 4th level druid.
In any case all woodwose are capable of casting the druid spell Shillelagh on their club once per day.  They are also capable of casting Pass Without a Trace at will as many times as they need.
Woodwose will be wary of adventurers unless they can outnumber them 2-3 to 1.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Wendigo Matron

A while back I featured a Wendigo as part of my A to Z.  Well, my son has been running some games on his own with a group of his friends and he has been using Wendigoes as well.  This monster is one of his original creations.

Section 15: "Wendigo Matron" Copyright 2016 Liam W. Brannan.

Wendigo by TheRutheLa
Wendigo Matron
Armor Class:  2 [17]
Hit Dice: 10d8+5* (50 hp)
No. of Attacks: 2 claws / 1 bite / breath weapon / spell use
Damage: 1d6 / 1d6 / 1d6+3 / 1d8+5 (cold)
Special: breath weapon, fear, low-light vision (240’), scent, immunity to cold
Movement: 90’/180' (fly)
No. Appearing: 1
Saves As: Witch 10
Morale: 9
Treasure: None
Alignment: Evil (Chaos)
XP: 3,000

A windigo matron is if anything, more evil than the common wendigo.  This creature is te defacto leader of a any band of wendigo and she has powers above and beyond the already formidable powers of these foul creatures.
In addition to the physical attacks, breath weapons, and fear of a normal wendigo, the wendigo matron can also use the following spell-like powers 3 times per day:

Wind Walk
Fly
Invisibility 
Shape change

A common tactic of a wendigo matron is to shape change into a normal human woman and lead victims to the lairs of the wendigo. She will often pose as a rescued victim, or as a someone seeking vengeance against the wendigo that killed her "family".   There may be truth in both guises as the wendigo may in fact, have been her family.
The wendigo matron is also different in her origin.  While humans can become wendigo when confronted with the prospect of starvation and freezing to death, a wendigo matron chooses to become what she now is.
It is believed that there is a dark ritual where prospective wendigo matron cuts out her own heart with a flint dagger.  What is known that a wendigo matron can not be truly destroyed till she is reduced to 0 hp and her heart is burned.  Otherwise, she will rise again when the next snowfall occurs.
Like the lich and his phylactery, the wendigo matron keeps her heart in a safe place.


Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Stranger Things

If you play D&D or ever played it and read this blog chances are really good that you have already heard of (or have watched) Netflix's Stranger Things.


It is the biggest hit of the summer and made huge stars not just of the great young cast, but also D&D. In fact it is being credited with helping D&D sales.

Beyond all that it is just great story telling and a fantastic tale.

Plus it has a cool monster.

The Monster, called "Demogorgon" after our favorite two-headed demon prince, is a true monster.  It is hard to see, hunts and kills people and can smell blood anywhere.  I am not going to spoil it if you have not seen it, but sufice to say it is a great monster.

Great enough in fact for AD&D.  Here it is, with some artistic liberties taken.

The Monster
AKA: The Demogorgon
Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1 (believed unique)
Size: Large 7" (L)
Armor Class: 5 [14]1
Movement
 Basic: 180' (60')
 Advanced: 18"/27"
 3e: 45ft
Hit Dice: 8d8+4 (40 hp)
% in Lair: 50% (hunting at night, hiding in the Border Ethereal)
Treasure Type: None
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite)
Damage: 1d6+4/1d6+4/1d6
Special Attacks: Scream (as fear spell)
Special Defenses: Ethereal Projection; Immune to all gaze attacks, blindness; regeneration
Save As: Witch 102
Magic Resistance: none
Morale: 103
Alignment: Chaotic evil (animal)
Level/XP: 8/4,250 + 12/hp

STR: 19 INT: 10 WIS: 8 DEX: 16 CON: 20  CHA: 6

1 Descending and [Ascending] Armor classes are given.
2 This is used for Basic games, and S&W. Also for monsters that I think need to save a little differently than others.
3 Morale is "Basic" Morale and based on a 1-12 scale. Multiply by 1.6667 for 1-20 scale.

The Monster, known by locals as "the Demogorgon" is not a demon, or even related to demons.  It is a native of the Border Ethereal known as "the Upside-Down" and really not much more than an animal.  It is a rather terrifying animal with hunting abilities similar to that of a shark.  It has no eyes, it's entire head opens up to a large mouth, it can smell and even taste blood on the air like a snake or shark would.

The Monster is a nocturnal hunter, not because of fear of light, but it is when it has advantage over it's prey.  It seeks out it's prey, large warm blooded creatures, and drags it back to it's lair in the Border Ethereal.  There it can feed at it's leisure.

The Monster can heal itself at the rate of 2 hp per round.


Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Baby Bestiary Vol. 1

Baby Bestiary Handbook Vol 1

A while back I posted support for the Baby Bestiary vol 1 and 2.  Volume 1 is now up for the Best Interior Art and Best monster/adversary ENnies and it is no surprise.  The book is absolutely gorgeous.

+Andreas Walters has put together a fantastic book that is part monster manual, part field guide, part ecology book and a huge part art book.

The book is a densely packed 81 full-color pages.  Easily one of the best-looking books to be nominated for an ENnie.   Each monster description comes with details on what the young of each monster is called (a baby Hippocampus is known as a "fry" for example), how hard it is to train the young and other vital facts such as danger and intelligence levels.

The book would make for a great coffee table book really and I hope there is a nice leatherbound option in the future collecting both volumes.
Of course, the obvious choice here is the older gamer that has kids that LOVE monster books.
I have forgotten how many times I have had to go on rescue missions to my kids rooms to find my D&D books.  I still have a Pathfinder book that I can't account for in fact!  For younger kids a "baby monster" game, ala Pokemon, gotta catch them all, would be fantastic.
Since there is little to no "crunch" in this book it is compatible with a wide variety of games.  Play your favorite game, use this book as your guide and go monster hunting with your kids.

In any case, this is a really fun book and I am really looking forward to Volume 2.

Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

---
I am up for an Ennie this year for Best Blog!
Please click on the link and vote "1" under "The Other Side".


Monday, June 20, 2016

Midsummer Monstrous Monday: Fire Nymph

Today is the first day of summer, also known as Midsummer.

I know I was planning to do a review today, but a few things conspired against me. Work is really busy, plus today is midsummer and the RPG Blog Carnival this month is about faeries and the faerie realm. Also, my game over the weekend dealt with the disappearance of a character. This character's backstory is tied to today's monster.

Back in the early d20 days the Tome of Horrors hit the shelves and it had a number of old monsters updated for the then 3.0 d20 system and a few new ones as well.  The Fire Nymph was one of those new ones, but also struck me as something that should have been created earlier. Nymphs are fae creatures that also have elemental properties. Plus we have water nymphs, tree nymphs, air nymphs, earth nymphs, fire seemed to be the only one missing.

Since then the Tome of Horrors has been updated, converted to Pathfinder (and here) and to Swords & Wizardry.

What we don't have yet is a 5th edition version.

Fire Nymph

This creature appears as a very attractive and beautiful female with long, flowing fiery-red hair. Her eyes are pale blue and her skin is lightly colored with a cinnamon hint to it.

A fire nymph is a very beautiful creature that dwells on the Plane of Fire. It is akin to the nymph and dryad, though its origins obviously lie elsewhere. Fire nymphs rarely visit the Material Plane, though mages are known to request their company on occasion. A fire nymph is most easily summoned on Midsummers' Eve where they can walk about and interact with mortals and other fey. A fire nymph usually wears translucent robes of white or ash.

Summoning a fire nymph is relatively easy, but not without dangers.  The nymphs' passionate nature causes her to move from one emotional extreme to the next very quickly. When a fire nymph is angry her hair will burst into flames.

Also due to their passionate nature there are many gifted pyromancers that claim to be the offspring of a wizard and a fire nymph.

Fire Nyphs are also known as Pyroeads in some arcane circles.
--
Still working on creating 5e monsters.

Happy Midsummer!

Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beasties, Birthdays and Bloodstones

Yesterday was my birthday!  Yeah!
But I forgot to get a Monstrous Monday post made. Boo!

I am planning to review "Beasties" the latest monster book from Thomas Denmark. So I'll save that for next week.  Afterall...it's not "Monstrous Tuesday".

In the meantime I was very, very happy to see that two of the four Bloodstone modules are now out.

H2 The Mines of Bloodstone and H4 The Throne of Bloodstone

I talked about these a few months back and it is great to see them in PDF form.  While I have the modules, I might grab these anyway so I can print them out and write on them.

It will be a lot of fun.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Memento Mori

It's Memorial Monstrous Monday so I thought this might be a good choice for today.

Memento Mori
No. Enc.: 1-2
Alignment: NA
Movement: NA
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1d4 (1 hit point)
Attacks: 1 (fear)
Damage: as per fear spell
Save: F0
Morale: NA
Hoard Class: nil
XP: 10

Memento Mori are the spectral remains of a violent death. When someone dies a particularly violent death they can leave behind a fragment of their psychic energy as a memento mori.  They appear as thin, ghostly shapes acting out the moment of their death over and over again.  Rarely will they interact with the living.

Upon seeing a memento mori creatures and characters at or below 3 hit die/levels act as if a fear spell was cast on them. Observers above 4 HD and at or below 6 are allowed a saving throw vs.Petrify to avoid the effects.  Creatures about 7 HD are not affected.

A cleric who can dispel undead of 1 HD can put a memento mori to rest.  Also, a memento mori can be put to rest via an atonement, banishment, exorcise or wish spell.

Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!


Monday, May 23, 2016

Monstrous Mondays: Street Faerie

For today I want to post something I was working on over the weekend for a possible Swords & Wizardry game I have coming up.

Plus I thought it also might be nice to revisit a classic monster. Well...one of my classics.
You can see other Street Fae here and here.

Michael Thomas, Victorian Gothic Fairy
Street Faerie
Armor Class: 9 [10]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: Spark* (1d4)
Special: Blink, Glamour
Move: 12
HDE/XP: 3/60

Sreet Faeries are fae that have chosen to live in the urban sprawl of large cities rather than the normal sylvan glades and woods that one typically associates with their kind.
A typical street faerie stands about 3' high, but can glamour themselves to be taller or shorter by 2' in either in direction.  They have peppered moth wings that they can hide when needed.  Many will live in cities and disguise themselves as children or young humans.
A Street faerie can also "Blink" as per a Blink Dog or a Dimension Door spell.
Their only attack is a Spark which is a spell like attack (no save). They can cause a spark of electricity to shoot from their fingers causing 1d4 hp of damage.
A typical attack of a Street Fae will consist of a spark attack and then them blinking away.

Don't forget to include the hashtag #MonsterMonday on Twitter or #MonsterMonday on Google+ when you post your own monsters!


Monday, May 9, 2016

The Return of Monstrous Mondays: The Cailleach Bheur

For a while now I have been contemplating returning to an old feature here, Monstrous Mondays.
A few other bloggers I met in the A to Z Challenge also do it, tailored to their respective audiences.  The last one I did was just over a year ago (Yog, Monster from Space) but I never kept going.

Natasha Duncan-Drake
Part Time Monster
MindweaverRPG
Dispatches from Kickassistan,

For this blog, I would feature monsters that would likely appear in my games. I would likely focus on OSR stats.  Also, I am likely to release them all as "Open" via the OGl.  Art is excluded from that of course.  Wish to join me?  Let me know each Monday and post with the hashtag #MonsterMonday (Twitter) or #MonsterMonday on Google+.

So let's get going!

I think for my "OSR" stated monsters I am going to start using the format/stat block I used for some of the vampires I did last year.

The following text is considered Open for use under the OGL.

The Cailleach Bheur as a human witch
The Cailleach Bheur by Andrew Paciorek
used with permission
The Cailleach Bheur
AKA: The Blue Hag, The Crow of Winter
Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1 (believed unique)
Size: Large 8" (L)
Armor Class: 2 [17]1
Movement
 Basic: 120' (40')
 Advanced: 12"/18"
 3e: 30ft
Hit Dice: 10d8+5 (50 hp)
% in Lair: 50% (roaming countryside in winter, dormant in summer)
Treasure Type: None
Attacks: 3 (claw/claw/bite) + cold, fear
Damage: 1d6+4/1d6+4/1d4
Special Attacks: Cold 6d6 (breath), once per day. Cause Fear once per day.
Special Defenses: Immune to cold based attacks
Save As: Witch 102
Magic Resistance: 25%
Morale: 103
Alignment: Chaotic evil
Level/XP: 10/5,530 + 15/hp

STR: 19 INT: 10 WIS: 17 DEX: 16 CON: 204  CHA: 75

1 Descending and [Ascending] Armor classes are given.
2 This is used for Basic games, and S&W. Also for monsters that I think need to save a little differently than others.
3 Morale is "Basic" Morale and based on a 1-12 scale. Multiply by 1.6667 for 1-20 scale.
4 Have not decided yet if I want to use 3.x style undead Constitutions or not. (15) Reflects what their Con would be if I do use it.  I might just put a number in () like I do for Ghosts of Albion.
5 monster witches can use an "absolute value" for Charisma.  So a really bad CHA is just as good as a really good one.

Known as the Crow of Winter, The Cailleach Bheur is a very deadly hag. She appears only after Samhain/All Hallow’s Eve and stays till Beltane eve. While as evil as other hags, Cailleach Bheur is more interested in eating sheep and deer than children. In Ireland and Scotland, she is the personification of Winter. During the summer months, Cailleach Bheur turns to stone and is indistinguishable from the other standing stones of the area.

The Cailleach Bheur was cursed into her existence back in a time before writing came to Scotland. One tale, disturbing as it sounds, describes the Cailleach as the ancient Protector of Alba, maybe even a faerie queen or goddess.

In her previous life, the Cailleach Bheur was a lone protector of animals (a Ranger) and a follower of the Great Goddess. One night he fell asleep by a well. The well overflowed with the thaw and she nearly drown. She invoked powerful magics to move the water away, but in the process created Loch Awe (in Scotland) and drowning several villagers and cattle. As repentance, she is to walk the snowy earth till she can feel the mid-summer sun on her face, something that can’t ever happen since she is cursed to be stone from Beltane to Samhain.

The Cailleach Bheur still protects her lands as she did before, ignoring humans unless they tread on her domain, then she kills them with glee by freezing them solid. She blames humans for her current state.

The Cailleach Bheur is believed to be at least 400 years old.

Staff of Winter: Possibly a remnant of her former life the Cailleach Bheur carries a magical staff. The Staff of Winter is made up of holly and gorse branches intertwined to form a 7’ long staff of solid wood. It acts as a magical focus tool providing the Cailleach Bheur +2 magic to all magic related rolls, attacks, saves and checks.

Anyone in possession of this staff can command Cailleach Bheur to leave the area by holding the staff and saying “Bì falbh buitseach!” (begone (get out) witch!). Both Cailleach Bheur and her staff will disappear after the command is uttered. This would require research into Cailleach Bheur specifically or local lore.

Section 15: "The Cailleach Bheur". Copyright 2016 Timothy S. Brannan.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Kickstart Your Weekend: Andreas Walters' Monster Babies

If you remember a while back there was this great Kickstarter for the Baby Bestiary.
It was fun and I liked the concept.  Plus the art was amazing.

Well +Andreas Walters is back and now Baby Bestiary 2 is being Kickstarted.



https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/metalweavedesigns/baby-bestiary-volume-2-and-vol-1-reprint

If you missed out on Vol 1. you now have another chance to get it.



I think it looks great.  Plus it has my good friend +Elizabeth Chaipraditkul of Angry Hamster Publishing doing some monster write-ups.

They just got going and are already doing good.  Please check them out!

Monday, September 28, 2015

What Is Your Holy Grail Item?

As gamers I think there is a little bit of a collector in us all as well.
After all we all came into this hobby at different points so different things were "rare" or "must have" to us at different times.

Well I finally picked up one of those items I have been searching for for a while.
The AD&D 1st Ed Monster Cards.


I know these have been on eBay many times.   BUT these were still in their shrink wrap.


Yes I opened them.  I am still much more of a gamer than a collector.

Each one of these is a little work of art, it would be a shame to not enjoy them.

This collection was always one of my "Holy Grail" items.  Not because of it's significance to the game or even my own games, but because of the rarity.

I would pass by these little decks in the bookstores back in the 80s and think to myself "oh I'll get those next time."  then there wasn't a "next time" (lessoned learned there kiddies).

For the longest time I never could find these.  Plus I wanted to get a complete set of all four and I wanted to make sure they were in good shape.

Well these came along and I couldn't say no. Not after all this time.

What is your "must have" item? What have you been searching for to complete your collection?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Kickstart Your Weekend: C&C Classic Monsters

I love Castles & Crusades. I love monster books.  This is like the Milky Way Dark of sweet spots for me.


https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/castles-and-crusades-classic-monsters/

I am not sure how this one escaped my notice. There is only a little more than a week left.

I reviewed the 1st printing a while back and really enjoyed it. If this one makes it to a full color version it will be a treat.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Dimetrodon for Ubiquity

Ubiquity Month continues!

We were at the Field Museum of Natural History this weekend.   One of my favorite museums in the world.  I love the dinosaur exhibit. Got to see Sue and Lucy, two of my favorite girls in anthropology.  I also got to see the creature I loved as a kid.  The Dimetrodon.  Often confused as a dinosaur these creatures are much, much older.    The also do not appear in the Ubiquity books that I have seen.

So here is my hand at making a monster.



Dimetrodon
Follower 2
Archetype: Prehistoric Synapsid
Motivation: Survival

Style: 0 Health: 9-10

Primary Attributes
Body: 6 Charisma: 0
Dexterity: 5 Intelligence: 0
Strength: 5 Willpower: 3

Secondary Attributes
Size: 0-1
Initiative: 5
Move: 10
Perception: 3
Defense: 10
Stun: 6

Skills Base Levels Rating (Average)
Brawl 5 3 8 (4)
Stealth 5 3 8 (4)
Survival 0 5 5 (2+)

Talents
Skill Aptitude (+2 Survival rating)

Resources
None

Flaw
Bestial (Cannot communicate or use tools)

Weapons Rating Size Attack (Average)
Bite 0 L 0 8 L (4) L
Claw 2 L 0 10 L (5) L

Ready to attack your players!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Monster Manual released on PDF

WotC has released the 1st Edition Monster Manual on PDF for the price of $9.99.


Looks like that is up from $9.95 when it was originally released. Damn inflation!

The Monster Manual was the first RPG I ever read. The one that started this whole crazy business for me.  I judge every RPG I pick up against how the Monster Manual made me feel.  Does it ignite that fire of excitement and creativity? Will I spend hours and hours reading the pages?
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