Posts Tagged ‘monsters


looking for death in all the wrong places

Confession: I’ve spent a decent amount of time playing Dungeons & Dragons, but I’ve never fought a dragon.  Or a beholder.  Or  mind flayer.  Basically, if you look at a list of the fall-down-awesome D&D monsters, I don’t think I’ve ever encountered them.

if only that could be ME getting my brains devoured

Quiz time!  How many of these things have you encountered?  And, if you did, what happened?

  • Aboleth
  • Beholder
  • Berbalang
  • Black Pudding
  • Bulette
  • Demons (any – though my party met a Type V one time when I missed a session)
  • Devils (any)
  • Dragons
  • Drow
  • Githyanki
  • Kuo-Toa
  • Lich (though my party met one when I wasn’t around)
  • Mimic
  • Mind Flayer
  • Owlbear
  • Purple Worm
  • Rakshasa
  • Roper
  • Rust Monster
  • Salamander
  • Slaad
  • Umber Hulk
  • Xorn
  • Yellow Musk Creeper
  • Yuan-Ti

It’s a shameful, disgraceful list!  I’ve fought like a zillion freakin’ goblins, gnolls, stirges, and a gelatinous cube once or twice.   But I’ve never fought any of those.   Where the hell are the Mind Flayers?!

Part of the problem is that all these really great monsters are hiding out toward the end-game as juicy rewards to people who have put in the time, and I’ve never gotten past Level 7.  But dang it, Beholders are totally fucking beast!   Just throw one at us!  Make us run away!  Even if I get killed, I can die happy knowing that it was one of the greatest monsters in the history of RPG’s that killed me!  (Notice that a huge percentage of these things have crazy-ass ways to kill you, just like a James Bond villain is defined by his goofy weapon.)

I’m really hoping that, as Tavis’s campaign heads off into the Outer Planes and into the Underdark beneath Thracia, that we start encountering some of these guys.

Tavis, Eric –  hook a brother up with a grisly, trademark-related death!

And the rest of you – are these critters awesome to play against, or am I building them up too much by ogling the Monster Manual?  What were they like in play?


two new monsters

Spellbook Virus

Not so much a new monster as a hazard of the professional Magic-User, possibly some sort of specialized curse or adapted feeblemind spell.  Magic-Users who frequently copy scrolls to their tomes may suffer unanticipated consequences as the magical energies from different sources comingle and combine in unexpected fashion.  Also, spellbooks, being magical, routinely attempt to maintain themselves against bookworms and decay; occasionally these self-maintenance attempts go astray and cause massive difficulties.

In general, any spellbook remains free from viral or other mishaps for 6d6 months.  At the expiration of this “warranty period,” the spellbook falls prey to numerous hardware and magical software difficulties.  These mishaps may include but are not limited to:

  • Erasure of spell notes (be sure to back up your spell book to scrolls!)
  • Corruption of spell data (may trigger “wild surges” due to memorization errors)
  • Binding disintegration (may cause loss of pages due to physical binding deterioration, or loss of any familiars/bound spirits)
  • Vulnerability to astral predation (increases odds of wandering monsters, but mainly of the “outsider” type, possibly including clairvoyant surveillance of the owner and his or her use of the book)

These difficulties can be solved by using a back-up spellbook or scrolls, but Magic-Users with low Wisdom scores are unlikely to have taken such measures in the recent past.  They must make a Save vs. Dragon Breath or lose 1 level as if drained, reflecting the untimely and aggravating loss of knowledge and hard-fought experience.

Rubbery Sludge

Armor Class: 8

Hit Dice: 3

Move: 4″

Attacks: 1 per hour

Damage: 2d6 + Special

No. Appearing: 1d4

Save As: Fighter 8

Morale: 12

Treasure: Nil

Alignment: Neutral

The Rubbery Sludge, like the Grey Ooze and the Ochre Jelly, is a blob-like monster found on I-95 between New York City and Washington DC, and it is believed to be created when misfortune overtakes a cargo-drum of alchemists’ reagents along the roadside.  The stench is overpowering, but the Sludge itself is not immediately visible.  All horses, wagons, and foot traffic to pass through the Sludge must Save vs. Petrification or become stuck in place for 1d6 hours, attracing the usual gamut of wandering monsters.  (Owing to difficulties with leverage, those attempting to rescue others from the Sludge must also Save or become stuck themselves.  The Rubbery Sludge may be dissolved by acid but it will burn those stuck within as well.)  Those so stuck take 2d6 points of psychic damage, cursed with the knowledge that their comrades-in-arms are even then sojourning into the Caverns of Thracia to plunder the jewels that glitter in the darkness, gaining treasure and XP without you, the inconsiderate swine. Victims must also make a Save vs. Poison to avoid embarssing mishaps owing to a lack of sanitary facilities.

Past Adventures of the Mule

December 2019
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