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

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.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Askafroa, The Ash Dryads

Halloween is over. The elections are done.  I have cleaned up all the garden plants and set the clocks back. When I drive home from work and the weatherman is saying the "s-word" on TV.

Time to get back to my oft-neglected Winter Witch book.
Thought I would start the ball rolling here (though I have been working on it for a while) with a creature that almost went into the Witch for Swords & Wizardry White Box.

"The Dryad" by Henry John Stock
Askafroa (Ash Dryad)
Hit Die: 4
AC: 5 [14] (natural armor)
Attack: 1 claw (long nails) (1d6)
Move: 12
Save: 13
Alignment: Neutral
CL/XP: 5/240
Special: Charm person (-2 save), use witch spells*

The Askafroa, also know as an Ash Wife, is the spirit of an ash tree much in the same way a Dryad is the spirit of an oak.  There is a rumor that these creatures were made by the gods themselves to protect the sacred ash trees.
Askafroa appear to be slightly smaller elvish humanoids.  Their dark hair is intertwined with ash leaves and twigs but otherwise, they seem to be mortal.   They are faerie and thus beautiful to behold, with long brown or black hair and piercing green eyes. Some though have been reported to grow hideous in countenance when their ash trees are threatened. This gives them their other name, Ash Hags.
Askafroa do not attack unless their ash trees are threatened, then they can attack with their wooden nails which act like claws.  They can also cast spells as a 4th level Winter Witch.  Askafroa are very liberal in what they determine is a threat.  Walking into their forest with an axe or even a torch might be considered a threat.
If a human or elf makes an appeasement and the proper sacrifices in front of an ash tree then the Askafroa can be made more friendly and even talkative to the human or elf.  Other races they do not trust or are unaware of.
Like her dryad cousins, the Askafroa is bound to an ash tree. If she strays too far from the tree (more than a day's walk) she will begin to weaken losing 1d6 hp per day.  If her tree is cut down or burned she will die.


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, 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, March 19, 2018

Weekend Gaming: On the Doorstep of the Forbidden City & Monster Monday

Worked in a couple of gaming sessions over the weekend.  Only about two hours each day, but the Treasure Hunters of the Second Campaign managed to sneak into the Forbidden City.  Here they had their first encounter with the evil Yuan-Ti.

Now for those of you that still belabor under the assumption that 5e is "easier" let me just say that Yuan-Ti under 5e are much deadlier and one Yuan-Ti Abomination and one Pure Blood nearly took out the entire party of seven. They are now hiding out and have no more potions of healing.



I have not even tricked out the Yuan-Ti at all.  These are by-the-book deadly.

This adventure will introduce a bunch of new monsters to my players.  If Order of Platinum Dragon/Come Endless Darkness game is about revisiting all the classics, this one is about the near classics.  So a lot Fiend Folio and Monster Manual II monsters.

I also considering having there be a lot more involvement by Demogorgon. To that end, I am going to re-import some of my ideas from the time I used Demogorgon for the WitchCraft RPG.

This will include the Blood Apes.

Blood Apes

One of the largest cults of Demogorgon is a cult of intelligent apes. They are often referred to as Blood Apes due to their habit of bathing in the blood of fallen enemies and comrades. These cultists actively worship Demogorgon as their god and attribute to him all spoils. The doctrines of the cult emphasize destruction and violence.  All blood apes are voracious carnivores and keep human or (where appropriate) chimpanzee slaves. It is even whispered among the human populations that some humans are kept in an attempt by Demogorgon's Hierophants to breed true a race that features the most terrible qualities of both ape and man. Others claim they have already succeeded.

Every tribe of blood apres will have a CR 5-6 tribal leader and a CR 6 blood ape, fiendish-pact warlock.
Stat block from Statblock5e.

Once they get out of the city then things will get REALLY dangerous.

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.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Kickstart Your Weekend: Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasures

This one is probably my fault.

So earlier this week I was organizing my notes and books for my "Secret Castles & Crusades" project (coming to you soon).  And I was working through all my monsters.  I have the hardcovers, but I also print out my PDFs to organize my material/thoughts and scribble notes on them.



Then back on Monday Troll Lords posted this.


I showed them my pictures of my binder, talked about how much I want every monster in one book and now here we are.


Ok, in truth they were planning on reprinting the book anyway, but now there is a three-ring binder option.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/castles-and-crusades-monsters-and-treasures?ref=creator_nav

If you are a fan of Castles & Crusades then this is a must buy!

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.


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!
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