Wednesday, 8 May 2019

The Midnight Crawler


My second submission to Cavegirl's Harry Clarke Bestiary

While writing this monster I was reminded of this scene from David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. 
It's difficult to pull off a monster 'that's so scary you die' at the table. I make reference to the creature's distinct sounds, if you can bear to attempt guttural disjointed chortling you'll definitely succeed in making your players (if not yourself) uneasy. 



The Midnight Crawler

Armour class: As unarmoured

Hit dice: 2

Move: As human

Attacks: Terror (see special abilities), Laughter (see below) and scratch (1d4)

No. Appearing: 1 or gang 2d6

Morale: 8

Treasure: None

Alignment: Chaotic

Description: Midnight Crawlers were once long-forgotten lunatics and ragged half-men. Having undergone a demonical change, becoming an entity of death-dealing fear they now aspire to use their horrifying influence for their own ghastly amusements. Their only delight is their simpering malice which they can inflict on the unbeknownst innocent.
Many a household have been torn down in raving fits of wild screaming-death by the Midnight Crawlers. When a manor’s inhabitants have died of fright, simply from a glance through the window at soulless leer of a Midnight Crawler, it will squirm it’s way inside. There it will cavort lopsidedly - moaning in gibbering reverie; a wildly wheeling dance of brassy chortling and stuttering, gurgling giggles.
When the sun sets bar your door. Ignore the rasping breath and the sly tapping at your window pane for only the heartiest, bravest souls may endure the wracking pain of a Crawler’s terror.

Abilities: Anything that sees the creature will take d10 points of fear-damage directly to it’s HP. This fear-damage decreases by a die size each subsequent round an individual is exposed to the Crawlers, a victim becomes immune to this effect when the effect is reduced below d4 fear-damage. So terrifying are the Midnight Crawlers that if it does more damage than it’s victim’s HD, the victim can only inflict a maximum of 1 hp’s worth of damage to the Crawler regardless of the type of attack. Multiple Midnight Crawlers do no inflict multiple fear attacks, each Midnight Crawler adds +1 damage to that rounds fear-damage dice.
When everyone has succumbed to the Midnight Crawler it will enter the space and begin it’s ungainly, impish dance until interrupted. It’s laughter, when heard, deals 1d4 points of fear damage.


Wednesday, 10 April 2019

The Embonpoint Prince

My submission to Cavegirl's Harry Clarke Bestiary


Armour class: As unarmoured

Hit dice: 9

Move: Immobile (functionally)

Attacks: 1 chew (1d4), dissolve (see below)

No. Appearing: 1 (accompanied by 2d20 level 0 attendants) 

Morale: 5

Treasure: Feast of rich exotic foods and fine fortified wines all misted by a layer of
black spittle, immense hidden wealth.

Alignment: Chaotic

Description: When ignoble men of immense wealth succumb to impermissible
hedonism and occult greed they degenerate into a blackened mass of cloying
gunge - Embonpoint Princes. They greasily lounge in their oozing excess as their
domains decay and their cruelty grows, whiling away their unnatural lives supping
on fine wines, sickly-sweet meats and the frightfully thrilling taboo of human
flesh. Embonpoint Princes are pawed on by a host of wickedly obsequious and
emaciated attendants, deluded and desirous of their own transformation into an
Embonpoint Prince.

Special Abilities: When smelled Save vs Paralysis or become intoxicated by the
heavy hazy sweetness that sweats and beads from the Embonpoint Prince. When
enthralled by the excessive smell begin to stumble towards the Embonpoint
Prince rerolling the save only if someone attempts to wake you. When you come
into contact with the Prince become stuck into it’s black lardy slime as an ant
might be stuck in honey. As soon as you become trapped you wake from your
stupor. Each round Save vs Poison to avoid taking 1d6 points of damage until you
are freed or dissolved. The Prince may freely chew upon any victims it has
trapped dealing 1d4 damage. This effect lingers on after the death of the Prince.
An Embonpoint Prince’s attendants are acclimated to it’s stench and are not
subject to its effect.









Monday, 24 December 2018

The Dreamlander



The Dreamlander

Fleeing to the material plane from the imperious yoke of the cyclopean fortress-city of Kadath, the surreal beings of the Dreamlands are often found among adventuring parties, who are more permissive of the Dreamlander’s chimerical form and convoluted, remote intelligence.  

As a Racial-Class
HD: 8
Saving throws: As Magic-User
Attacks: As Cleric/Thief
Base XP: 1800
Details on progression below.

Generating a Dreamlander
A Dreamlander is formed from the base ichor of the trances, delusion, fears and dreams of the mortal world, they are composed of freakish amalgams of dream imagery threaded together in increasingly bizarre combinations.

The procedure to generate a Dreamlander is such; take 1 die of each type (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d00, d20) in a clenched fist.  Place your fist upright against a flat sheet of paper and release your grip so the dice fall into a small group.  Draw around where each die is positioned on the paper, noting both which die it is (d4, d8 etc) and the number your rolled. Consult against the tables below and record the different parts of Dreamlander, writing them onto your character sheet. Once this is done, you can begin to work out the appearance of the Dreamlander, what is the body shape? What way does the Dreamlander face? When you think you have a good grasp on your character’s appearance it is advised that you sketch them out. You will find some examples of this process in the PDF. When the character is complete think of the many opportunities and talents your new form allows (some examples are listed in the following tables in brackets).  


The Dice and their functions:
Each die governs a particular body part or appendage while others apply effects to the Dreamlander in part or whole. Some die will help define the shape of the body and will be made of whatever substance you rolled on the body table. 

D4: governs size and helps define the shape of the body.
1
Halfling (3 foot)
2
Tall man (6 foot)
3
Man and a half (9 foot)
4
Two men (12 foot)

D6: governs legs
1
Legs of a wild animal
2
Thousands of spindly legs
3
Legs of a strongman (+1 to leaping)
4
Writhing serpentine tail
5
Formless stumps
6
Lithe women’s legs

D8: governs arms
1
Arms of a strongman (+1 to lifting rolls)
2
Shrivelled and saurian
3
Roiling and rippling clods of whatever the body is made out of (1d6 unarmed damage)
4
Smooth, dense tendrils
5
Scrawny with long, grasping fingers
6
Svelte feminine arms
7
Simpering chimp arms
8
Pinstripe tubes that coil and unfurl

D10: governs body type and material, defines shape of the body
1
Mass of damp shaggy fur
2
Alluring feminine litheness
3
Bubbling stew of blood and organs
4
Long tangle of flesh, like bundled rope
5
Pillowy, pliable flesh
6
Rippling muscles (+1 to strength)
7
Shivering, sharp, rigid quills ( does d4 damage)
8
Body of a wild animal
9
Feathered, vibrant fluffy plumage
10
Patterned shell, natural, metal or stone (AC bonus)

D00: The d00 applies an effect to another die it is touching (if it is touching multiple die, you choose which die it effects) and defines shape of the body.   
10
Wreathed in fire
20
Body part can fold inside of itself.
30
This part produces slime
40
This part retains its shape but is functionally liquid and occasionally bubbles
50
Body part is full of tiny animals rather than blood
60
There are deep, black holes in this body part that spew black smoke.
70
Sprouts vivid flowers as a survival mechanism
80
This part can be removed and disassembled.  
90
Doubles the body part it touches (doesn't apply to height)
00
Reroll and apply the effect to two die rather than one. If rolled again, apply to a third die and so on.

D12: Governs the head
1
Rotating solar vortex (produces light)
2
Big baby face
3
Brilliant red rose
4
Head of a wild animal or insect
5
Bleached grinning skull
6
Maw of massed teeth (can chew through wood or anything softer)
7
Bulbous grey amphibian with eyes like black saucers
8
2 glowing eyes in a mane of wild fur (grants infravision)
9
Purse-lipped beauty
10
Hirsute, rugged man
11
Face of the observer’s mother or father (you must pick if the Dreamlander has a mother’s face or a father’s face. (effects reaction rolls)
12
Reroll and add a long neck

D20: Governs an appendage or feature
1
Rubbery black wings (enable gliding)
2
Flitting insect wings (enables short bursts of hovering)
3
Large grinning mouth
4
Throbbing, spitting thing (spits a foul/acidic liquid, 10ft range - 1d4 damage)
5
Wild-eyed infant clings to the Dreamlander, it cannot be removed
6
Prehensile furred monkey tail
7
Large colour changing sail or fin.
8
Dangling human arm
9
Dangling human leg
10
A fused cage or a door into the Dreamlander
11
Big mouthing gills (breathe underwater)
12
Many blubbery, aerodynamic fins and flippers (bonus to swim rolls)
13
D4 floating eyes
14
Common inanimate object fused to the body
15
Dark billowing membrane (+1 to hiding at night)
16
Gigantic nose or nostril (eliminates smell in the immediate area)
17
Great sleepy eye
18
A clump of short sensitive feelers
19
Many jointed limb with a blood-sucking proboscis on the end.  
20
A featureless patch or flap on which ominous symbols, images, strange planets or writing sometimes appears. It is normally illegible but can display messages or prophecies from some other place.


Drawbacks
As the Dreamlander gains so much at first level they begin with a significant drawback.
All Dreamlanders are out of step with the magic of the material plane. The positive effects of spells are halved for them and the negative effects (including damage) are doubled.

Drawbacks d12
1
At 0 HP the Dreamlander becomes a mindless indestructible, raging storm of two-dimensional fractal ribbons. It will attempt to destroy everything in it’s proximity, animal,  
2
Fear of death (roll against the systems appropriate save or become intensely afraid until whatever is causing the fear is removed)
3
Fear of sadness
4
Fear of waking  
5
Infatuation of confusion (as fear)
6
Infatuation of disgust
7
Infatuation of anger
8
Allergic to cold-iron, all damage from cold-iron weapons is doubled.
9
Reduce Charisma by 6. The logic of the Dreamlander is so remote and alien, it’s wending inanities verge on repulsiveness.
10
When in the proximity of sleepers having nightmares the Dreamlander is sickened.
11
Take 1 HP of damage per death directly witnessed
12
Haunted by a shadowy figure who attempts to destroy and hinder the Dreamlander


Author comments:
The Dreamlander is meant to be a freakish, swiss-army knife character. I don’t know how playable they are or if they would serve better as an NPC class. I have never made a class before so please let me know if I have excluded anything or if it is all just terribly wrong.    

I am proud of the method of generation, I think I came up with it myself! I also think it has a lot of potential, the system can be used to generate many other monstrosities and could be quite easily hacked into something more comprehensive (you could use multiple d20’s of different colours for instance) although I do have another post in the works using the same system for a different outcome.