2012-12-20 Monsters

A while ago, I worked on Caverns of Slime for Fight On! #14. I recently made it available as a free PDF. (I should add a license to it: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike for the text!) Here are some of its monsters I wrote up.

This list also contains two instances of rituals. I describe them as follows: “Rituals are the ceremonies and prayers that take many minutes to perform, usually powered by demon lords and devils.” The first monster can be summoned by a ritual that player characters can be taught by “a winged pig man with four legs and wielding a blood falchion.” The last monster, on the other hand, performs a handful of rituals that player characters can learn through observation.

Bel, Slayer of Men, a summoned demon: HD 10; AC 2; Atk 1 flaming whip (no damage but on a hit it grants +4 on the hit with the sword in the same round and on a 20 it disarms the opponent), 1 flaming sword (3d6); MV 9; flaming aura deals an extra 1d6 to everybody nearby; immune to non-magic weapons; immune to fire); this may be the same ritual that the mage-wraith in the Warrens of the Troglodytes had learned

Merquishti, a giant intelligent spider hungry for meat – and conversation: HD 8; AC 4; Atk 1 bite (1d6); MV 15; when bitten, save vs. poison or fall comatose for 24h; can set up area web traps); it speaks the language of giant spiders, a dialect of subsurface elves and the common tongue of all demons; if asked about gold, the spider will know that a knight’s golden armor was carried down this way by devil worshipers a “very long time” ago; if asked about the destination, the spider will mention a city of evil half-spiders preying on the caverns and tunnels below; when the conversation ends, the spider considers capturing a party member by triggering a web trap (save vs. wands or be trapped in a web; the web prevents spellcasting; trapped victims need to deal 20 points of damage using a dagger or a similar small blade; free allies can aid trapped victims using larger blades

Earth Elementals surface, eager to take back any gems the party may have “stolen” from the deep earth: HD 6; AC 0; Atk 1 bite (2d6); MV 9; immune against fire and electricity; can melt into the surrounding rocks in one round

Nixies enjoying a bath, apparently ignorant of any males approaching: HD 3; AC 8; Atk 1 bite (1d6); charm man 3×/day, kiss of water breathing for charmed men at will

Stone Polyps are growing on the stone walls, immobile, with their arms limp and soft; as soon as a warm creature passes nearby, however, they activate: HD 6; AC 0; Atk 1 bite (2d6), 8 tentacles (save vs. petrification of fall unconscious and be dragged towards the mouth); MV 3

Shroom Lord is growing his own circle of psychotic colors: HD 15; AC 5; Atk 1 smash (2d6), 1 lick (poison); MV 9; licked victims must save vs. poison or be charmed

The shroom lord can be observed for days as it sings its telepathic praise to the Gibbering Fungus God. A very patient person interested in mushroom magic can learn the following rituals through simple observation:

  1. the care of magic mushrooms requires an appropriate dark and humid cave, spores, a rotting corpse and a lot of spit; when cared for, these will grow up to three feet in height within four days; the mushroom will keep for a single day only
  2. the summoning of the Gibbering Fungus God requires a deep hole in the ground and a fresh magic mushroom; partake of the mushroom and sing the psychic psalm of the greatest mycelian panopticon (learning it requires some form of ESP even though anybody may notice that psychic energies emanate from the shroom lord as it sings to its flock); the fungus god will materialize in the form of a huge toad head within half an hour; licking it will grant servants visions of the future; on a failed save vs. poison these visions are confusing and wrong, otherwise they act as powerful and lurid divination magic (the divination magic will only work for those people that ate of magic mushrooms grown with their own spit)
  3. the circle of psychotic colors requires a circle of at least six magic mushrooms; each mushroom must be sacrificed a small animal such as a cat; the animal corpse is absorbed by the magic mushroom and a few hours later these mushrooms can be activated with a touch—save vs. poison or roll a d6:
    1. close your eyes for just a second and fall asleep immediately
    2. chase an erotic fantasy and run away
    3. bad trip paralyzes you with fear
    4. drop weapons, bend over and barf
    5. close your eyes and enjoy the visions
    6. everybody else seems slow and stupid, take two actions

Another monster, related to the circle of psychotic colors: any enemies that fell asleep because of the spores will die over night and rise as a spore zombie.

Spore Zombie: HD 2; AC 8; Atk 1 bite (1d6); when smashed, anybody in melee must roll a d6 as described above



In a fight, I imagine the shroom lord to jump from mushroom to mushroom like a magic hare, grow to the size of a rhino, manifest swirling colors, huge eyes with spiral patterns, ethereal hands growing from his back and caressing you as he attempts to grab your head and stick his long tongue through your visor and lick your eyeballs. As he jumps and moves, he triggers at least one magic mushroom every round. Those who fight him in melee might trigger more. Perhaps two characters can fight him without triggering magic mushrooms? I imagine neutralize poison to prevent the magic mushroom effect.

In an adventure I imagine that befriending the shroom lord can help you navigate a tricky poisonous forest and he might arrange for myconid guards. He might also have planted his circle of mushrooms on top of a hoard of fairy gold, or a magic land barge, or a cyanogenic Titan Anemone that will poison and enchant the land for five miles in every direction if allowed to grow.

AlexSchroeder 2014-08-12 07:42 UTC

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