Saturday, July 16, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Gorillagator

Hello, and welcome to a new Frightful Fridays! I'm at a local convention this weekend, organizing and playing in Pathfinder Society games. As it turns out, it's been a while since I've unleashed a mashup monster on the blog, so this is a good time for it. I also get to point out how wizards are dumb with their owlbears and other hybrids they dump into an unsuspecting world.

I hope you like the combat machine that is the gorillagator. I'll be back next week with another monster. Thanks for reading!

This massive alligator has a mix of reptilian skin and gorilla fur. It features an elongated, toothy alligator snout, and muscular arms and legs belonging to a gorilla.
Gorillagator      CR 11
XP 12,800
CE Huge magical beast
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19
AC 25, touch 9, flat-footed 24 (+1 Dex, +16 natural, –2 size)
hp 147 (14d10+70)
Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +6
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., swim 30 ft.; sprint
Melee bite +19 (2d6+7/19–20 plus grab), 2 claws +20 (2d4+7 plus grab), tail slap +14 (1d6+3)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks blood rage, death roll, rend (2 claws, 2d4+10), terrifying scream
Str 25, Dex 13, Con 20, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 10
Base Atk +14; CMB +23 (+27 grapple); CMD 34 (38 vs. trip)
Feats Crippling CriticalAPG, Critical Focus, Dazzling Display, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Intimidating Prowess, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Climb +15, Intimidate +23, Perception +19, Swim +15; Racial Modifiers +16 Intimidate
Environment warm marshes
Organization solitary, pair, or rage (3–6)
Treasure incidental
Blood Rage (Ex) When a gorillagator takes damage in combat, on its next turn it can fly into a rage as a free action. It gains +2 Constitution and +2 Strength, and gains a +8 morale bonus on Will saves against mind-affecting spells and effects, but it takes a –2 penalty to its AC. The rage lasts as long as the battle or 1 minute, whichever is shorter. It cannot end its rage voluntarily.
Terrifying Scream (Ex) As a free action at the beginning of combat, a gorillagator can unleash a unsettlingly loud scream. Each flat-footed creature within 30 feet of the gorillagator must make a DC 19 Will save or become shaken for 1 minute. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +2 racial bonus.

Gorillagators resulted when a cabal of transmuters reasoned they could do better than the owlbear. In their hubris, they created a pair of fecund creatures fusing the torso of a gorilla to the body of an alligator. In the process, they added a component of insatiable anger, resulting in their creations turning on them, escaping, and producing offspring. The terrifying animal hybrids clear out their marshy homes, and then turn on each other when food runs out.

Gorillagators start combat by attempting to demoralize their opponents, with their awful screams and displays of might. The creatures are susceptible to mind control at this time. However, as soon as something injures them, they fly into a rage that makes it considerably more difficult to affect their minds. Gorillagators fight to the death.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Geleton

Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Frightful Fridays! Today's monster completes the triumvirate started with the bloodbag and continuing with the meatshield. As with the bloodbag, the idea for the geleton came from my nearly adult child. Now might be a good place to mention that I take requests for monsters (I do have a couple in the pipeline, but I'm happy to take more). Like the other two monsters, I hope I succeeded at taking a silly concept and turning it into a viably scary creature.

I also hope you can use the geleton in your games. I'll be back again on Friday with another critter. Thanks for reading!

They look delicious!

This bones belonging to this strangely-colored skeleton bend at odd angles.
Geleton      CR 7
XP 3,200
CE Medium aberration
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 85 (10d8+40); fast healing 2
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +10
Defensive Abilities amorphous, dissolution, sticky body; DR 5/slashing; Immune acid
Speed 30 ft.
Melee slam +13 (2d6+9 plus 4d6 acid and 1d4 Con damage)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +12)
   3/day—wall of ectoplasmOA (DC 17)
Str 22, Dex 19, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 17, Cha 14
Base Atk +7; CMB +13 (+17 disarm); CMD 28 (30 vs. disarm)
Feats Combat Expertise, Deceitful, Greater Disarm, Improved Disarm, Stealthy
Skills Acrobatics +16, Bluff +16, Climb +10, Disguise +16, Escape Artist +21, Perception +16, Stealth +21
Languages Aklo, Common
SQ compression, duplicate
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or closet (3–8)
Dissolution (Ex) If a piercing or slashing weapon deals damage to a geleton, the weapon must succeed at a DC 19 Reflex save or take 4d6 points of acid damage. Weapons made of bone take no acid damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Duplicate (Ex) If a geleton reduces a creature to 0 Con, as a move action, it disgorges some of its liquid interior on the remaining skeleton (dealing 20 points of damage in the process). One round later, a new geleton arises, but it only has half the maximum hp.
Sticky Body (Ex) If a weapon strikes a geleton, it can attempt a disarm check as an immediate action. It gains the benefit of its feats when it attempts to disarm its opponent.

Geletons are tumescent bags of acidic ectoplasm taking the structure provided by skeletons that resist their acid. The acid makes bones pliable without destroying them, so they can easily contort themselves and squeeze into tight spaces. They “reproduce” by reducing victims to their skeletons and then imparting some of their essence to the new receptacles. Since this weakens them, they usually try to attack solitary victims. In the process of dissolving flesh, they render it into ectoplasm, which trails behind them and allows them to create walls of the material.

Geletons enjoy playing on superstitions and beliefs about the undead they mimic and act accordingly when targeted by positive energy. While they prefer to roam together and spawn more geletons, they also ally with necromancers and actual undead. In return for providing surprises against their allies’ opponents, they receive previously animated undead that are no longer viable.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Dire Pink Fairy Armadillo

Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Frightful Fridays! I'm taking a break from the creepy to bring you something cute this week. However, the dire pink fairy armadillo's cuteness is deceptive, because it's got sharp claws that will dig furrows in characters just as deep as those they create in the ground. Should a grasslands druid, ranger, hunter, or other animal-companioned character want one, they're available.

I hope you enjoy the dire pink fairy armadillo, and I'll see you next week with another monster. Thanks for reading!

This pink, armor-plated animal is low to the ground; its claws are definitely built for digging but look like they could inflict harm on flesh.
Dire Pink Fairy Armadillo      CR 3
XP 800
N Small animal
Init +7; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +6
AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+3 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 30 (4d8+12)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +2
Speed 30 ft., burrow 10 ft., swim 20 ft.; sand glide
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d6+3)
Str 17, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 18 (22 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Reactive Burrower
Skills Acrobatics +7, Perception +6, Stealth +11, Swim +11
Environment temperate and warm plains
Organization solitary, pair, or roll (3–8)
Treasure none

Dire pink fairy armadillos are gigantic cousin to pink fairy armadillos and considerably more aggressive. Also unlike their smaller cousins, they are more comfortable gathering in groups. A typical hunting tactic for a roll of armadillos is to leave one out as prey for a potential predator, while the others lie in wait just under the ground’s surface. When the unsuspecting creature draws close, the hiding armadillos leap out of their hiding spots and savage the victim with their claws.

Lone dire pink fairy armadillos take a more defensive approach to confrontation and rely on their burrowing ability to avoid predators. Since they virtually swim through loose earth, they leave little trace for pursuers. These armadillos usually wait until the last second to drive into the ground to confound predators.

Dire Pink Fairy Armadillo Companions
The fierceness possessed by dire pink fairy armadillos makes them good candidates for animal companions. Note that these armadillos have access to the Reactive Burrower feat when choosing a feat for them.

Starting Statistics: Size Small; Speed 30 ft., burrow 10 ft., swim 20 ft., sand glide; AC +2 natural armor; Attack 2 claws (1d4); Ability Scores: Str 15, Dex 16, Con 15, Int 2, Cha 13; Special Qualities low-light vision, scent.
4th Level Advancement: Size Medium; Speed 30 ft., burrow 20 ft., swim 20 ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack 2 claws (1d8); Ability Scores Str +4, Dex –2, Con +4.

New Feat
Dire pink fairy armadillos can react to danger and dive into the ground to avoid being hit by a foe. Other creatures with a burrow speed can take the below feat.

Reactive Burrower
You can take to the safety of the earth when threatened by an attack.
Prerequisites: Burrow speed.
Benefit: As an immediate action, you can burrow 5 feet into the ground in response to an attack. You gain a +4 circumstance bonus to Armor Class when using this feat. Your burrow speed decreases by 5 feet during your turn. You must be aware of the attack to use this feat, and you cannot use this feat if you are denied your Dexterity bonus to Armor Class.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Meatshield

Hello and welcome to a bonus edition of Frightful Fridays! I can't really claim it's a bonus, though, since I've been pretty slack with the monsters lately. This monster is courtesy of Paris, who jokingly suggested it as the next monster after the bloodbag. I took it as a challenge, and here we are with a mobile mound of meat that can turn people into more mobile meat mounds.

I hope you enjoy this "companion" to the bloodbag. I'll still be back on Friday with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

The odor of meat getting ready to turn bad wafts from this collection of scraps somehow held together in a loose sphere; limbs made of meat jut from the mass to propel the creature forward.
Meatshield      CR 5
XP 1,600
NE Medium construct
Init +0; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0
AC 18, touch 10, flat-footed 18 (+8 natural)
hp 58 (7d10+20)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2
DR 5/—; Immune construct traits, magic
Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +10 (2d6+3)
Special Attacks create spawn, pulverize
Str 17, Dex 11, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 5
Base Atk +7; CMB +10; CMD 20 (can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +11
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or slaughterhouse (3–12)
Treasure none
Create Spawn (Su) A creature that dies from a meatshield’s red ache rises as a meatshield in 8 hours.
Immune to Magic (Ex) A meatshield is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.
  • Purify food and drink heals 10 hit points and increases a meatshield’s movement rates by 10 feet. A meatshield no longer inflicts red ache with its attacks.
  • Putrefy food and drink deals 10 hit points of damage to a meatshield and reduces its movement rates by 10 feet. All of its attacks inflict red ache.

Pulverize (Ex) If a meatshield hits the same target with both of its slam attacks, it deals an additional 1d4 Strength damage and afflicts its victim with red ache.
Red Ache Pulverize—injury; save Fort DC 15; onset 1d3 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d6 Str damage; cure 2 consecutive saves.

On the opposite end of the spectrum from the bloodbag, but no less ill-advised, meatshields resulted when a nascent necromancer attempted to raise undead creatures from an assemblage of meat scraps. She was successful to an extent and became the newly formed creatures’ first victim. The meatshields roamed the neighboring lands, instinctively aware that they needed to inflict their procreative disease on victims rather than outright slaughtering them. Those who hear victims describe an attack by a living mound of meat attribute the outrageous tales to fever brought on by the disease. Of course, very few people understand how victims transform into piles of meat when they succumb to the disease, and most run screaming when the piles coalesce and lurch into action.

While meatshields are constructs with nominal undead traits of creating spawn and inflicting disease, the secrets of making the creatures died with the original creator. No one has openly dared to recreate the experiment. However, those who can control meatshields use them as shock troops or as protection (as their namesake would imply).

Friday, June 24, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Bloodbag

Hello, and welcome to the return of Frightful Fridays! I'd claim that the previous entry haunted me too much, and it took me a while to recover, but it was actually real life that intervened. This week's monster is courtesy of my college-age child, who wanted a monster made entirely of blood that would run up to characters to hug them and then explode in a shower of blood. I either did a great or horrific job of parenting.

I hope you enjoy the bloodbag, and I should be back with a new monster next week. Thanks for reading!

This pool of blood coalesces into a vaguely humanoid form; a thin membrane contains the fluid.
Bloodbag      CR 6
XP 2,400
NE Medium ooze
Init +2; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +0
AC 12, touch 12, flat-footed 10 (+2 Dex)
hp 85 (9d8+45)
Fort +8, Ref +5, Will +3
DR 5/slashing; Immune ooze traits; Resist fire 10
Weaknesses vulnerable to negative energy
Speed 20 ft.
Melee slam +12 (3d6+9 plus grab)
Special Attacks blood drain (1d2 Con), self-destruction
Str 23, Dex 14, Con 21, Int 5, Wis 10, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +12 (+16 grapple); CMD 24 (can't be tripped)
Skills Stealth +11
SQ camouflage, compression
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or blood bank (3–6)
Treasure none
Blood Drain (Ex) A bloodbag drains blood at the end of its turn if it grapples a foe, inflicting the listed Constitution damage. It also gains 5 temporary hit points as it incorporates the blood into its mass. These temporary hit points last for a maximum of 1 hour.
Camouflage (Ex) Since a bloodbag looks like a pool of blood what at rest, a DC 20 Perception check is required to notice it before it attacks for the first time. A creature with ranks in Heal can use that skill instead of Perception to notice the bloodbag.
Self-Destruction (Ex) As a standard action, a bloodbag can rupture its membrane and explosively release blood in a 10-foot radius. All creatures within range are afflicted with bloodbag hemorrhagia (which also affects undead creatures that drain blood) and must succeed at a DC 19 Reflex save or become blind for 1d4 rounds. The bloodbag is still alive after this self-destruction, albeit with half its current hp. To utterly destroy a discorporate bloodbag, it must take damage equal to its hp plus its current Con from area of effect spells or effects. Otherwise, the bloodbag returns 24 hours later fully healed.
Bloodbag Hemorrhagia Self-Destruction—contact; save Fort DC 19; onset 1 day; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Con damage, victim takes 1 point of bleed damage after taking damage from a piercing or slashing weapon; cure 2 consecutive saves.

The result of a misguided attempt to create a counter to blood-drinking undead by infecting them with a hemorrhagic disease, bloodbags proved ineffective at their intended objective. Instead, they compete with bloodsucking creatures in order to grow and reproduce. Bloodbags have a thin, coagulated membrane that protects them from all but the sharpest weapons. The membrane is porous enough to allow them to absorb blood from victims they have entangled in their mass.

In heavily trafficked areas, bloodbags remain near dead victims to add to the pretense as a pool of blood. They don’t take treasure, so they benefit from the curious or greedy who search the body for money or other items and pay little attention to the fact that the victims are nearly exsanguinated. Bloodbags self-destruct as a defense and reproduction mechanism, inflicting their attackers with a hemorrhagic disease, the bleeding from which typically spawns new bloodbags. If nothing is done about the blood droplets created by a self-destructed bloodbag, it reforms after a day to continue its hunt for blood.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Fun at North Texas RPG Con

Why oh why did it take me so long to make it to this con in my home state?

The first night I sat in on the first half of tournament game with Bill Barsh where I earned the sobriquet "Steak Salad Guy."

The first whole day I had a blast with a group furn by Kelly Rowe through Strahd's Castle (pictures below.)

This morning I misread the schedule and got here early (sleep? Who needs it?) and will be in Matt Finch's Mythrus Tower.

Got my Expert books signed by Stephen R. Marsh, talked with New Big Dragon and picked up a few things from him. Great booths -- especially have to give a shout-out to David Donohoo of Ettin Games. Don't drive through the Houston area without visiting the best gaming store in the area.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

NTRPG CON, Here I Come!

This is the year folks! It's finally happening!

After years of not getting to go, tomorrow, I will head back up to my home grounds of DFW and game until I drop. Hopefully, there also will be a decent amount of shopping, meeting people I've known only online or through podcasts, and making new gaming friends.

Here's what I'm registered for:

AD&D 2e - Kelly Rowe The House of Strahd

S&W - Matt Finch Mythrus Tower

OD&D - Tim Kask    Sneak Peek/Test # 2

SAT AM 6/4
Swords & Wizardry - Jillian Webb    ???

SAT PM 6/4
Empire of the Petal Throne - Dr. Victor Raymond The Jakallan Underworld  

I hope to see you there!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Deciphering Dyson

I can't imagine there are any readers of my blog who are unfamiliar with Dyson's Dodecahedron. It's a must-read RPG blog -- and his lovely maps have gone isomorphic, which I simply adore as the most helpful kind of dungeon maps.

Recently as I was looking over one of Dyson's maps, I found a spot I couldn't rightly interpret, nor helpfully explain to Dyson my perception in the comments to get clarity. So I made some pictures to hopefully get across my problem to enable him to fix my understanding.

The map is found at the top of this post: Return to Durahn's Tomb. At the top of the stairs to the overlook above the elevated niche to the entry room is where my interpretation problem begins.

In the detail shot below, as I look at the right angle niche above the half-square dais or platform, the stairs appear to lead to an undifferentiated space. I can imagine that the red lines I've added below would differentiate the space, but they'd represent a sheer drop from the stairs which I doubt Dyson intended.

In the detail shot below, I have added a landing for the stairs in green lines that turn into a gallery above a lower overlook, but getting those two spaces to make sense together is also not exactly obvious.

Funny enough, if I flip the entire image (below) the problem with that intermediary space disappears entirely and the area becomes an octagon, and the only things that then would need fixing are the sarcophagi and the main entrance.

So, I look forward to Dyson's explanation, and I appreciate the time he spends sharing his labors with us foremost, but also in helping me get clarity.

If you have never supported Dyson's work before, now is as good a time as any. If you're looking for a one-time purchase, I've enjoyed his Dyson's Delves II, but you could also contribute to his Patreon account to keep these works coming and released into the wild.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Frightful Fridays! The Worst Monster Ever

Hello and welcome to another Frightful Fridays! This is one I've had on the back burner for a couple of months, but I couldn't bring myself to finish it. When I first experienced this horrific sight, I temporarily lost my arachnophobia and coulrophobia. Worse, this is something I witnessed along with several million people.

I hope you survive beholding this horrific monster. I'll be back next week with something more down-to-earth, like a giant polyp that shoots polyps that release spores infested with flesh-eating paramecia. Thanks for reading!

For fear of summoning Elder Gods because I included the image, here is a link to the disturbing video.

A fusion of monkey, baby, and puppy dances jerkily instead of walking. It jabbers its own name as its obscene pink tongue probes for exposed flesh.
Puppymonkeybaby      CR 4
XP 1,200
CE Small aberration
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1
AC 17, touch 15, flat-footed 13 (+4 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 37 (5d8+15)
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +1
Defensive Abilities dancing dodge; Immune mind-affecting effects; SR 15
Speed 30 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee bite +8 (1d4), tongue +3 touch (befuddling lick)
Special Attacks babble, bewildering dance
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, or “dear <insert deity name>, why?” (3–12)
Treasure incidental (potions of dubious quality)
Str 10, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 3, Wis 5, Cha 17
Base Atk +3; CMB +2; CMD 16
Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +8, Climb +8, Escape Artist +8, Perception +1, Perform (dance) +9
SQ confusion grace
Babble (Su) A puppymonkeybaby repeats its name continuously, battering its opponents’ mental defenses with its inanities. A creature within 60 feet of the puppymonkeybaby must succeed at a DC 15 Will save to avoid taking a –4 penalty on further Will saves against the puppymonkeybaby’s abilities. Regardless of the result, a creature cannot be affected by the same puppymonkeybaby’s babble for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting, sonic effect; the save DC is Charisma-based.
Befuddling Lick (Su) If a puppymonkeybaby succeeds at a touch attack with its tongue, the target creature must succeed at a DC 15 Will save or become confused for 1d6+1 rounds. This is a mind-affecting effect, and the save DC is Charisma-based.
Bewildering Dance (Su) A puppymonkeybaby can perplex opponents by performing a twitching dance. All creatures within 30 feet that can see the puppymonkeybaby when it uses its bewildering dance must succeed on a DC 15 Will save or be fascinated for 2d6 rounds. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
   Once per day, a puppymonkeybaby can make a Perform (dance) check to set the save DC for this ability. The puppymonkeybaby must accept the result of the Perform check even if its lower than the normal save DC.
Confusion Grace (Su) If a puppymonkeybaby attacks a confused creature, the creature will not attack the puppymonkeybaby in return. Likewise, if a confused creature gets "attack nearest creature" as a result on its confusion roll, the creature ignores the puppymonkeybaby.
Dancing Dodge (Ex) As an immediate action on a successful attack against it, if a puppymonkeybaby is not flat-footed or immobilized, it can make a Perform (dance) check to replace its AC against that attack. The puppymonkeybaby must accept the result, even if it is worse that its current AC. The resulting AC still suffers any penalties incurred by the puppymonkeybaby against its AC.

The dread kraken, Ith’qa’lool’pon, decided the best way to defeat the two-legged land dwellers that vexed it was to create innocuous spies that its enemies would accept in their midst. The infiltrators would telepathically gather information about enemy strength, plans, and other vital intel, and they would transmit that information to the dread kraken. Ith’qa’lool’pon set his aboleth fleshcrafters to the task, so the devious creatures tore images of beloved creature from the minds of humanoids they had been torturing. The result was the puppymonkeybaby. Pleased with the abominable amalgams, the dread kraken set them loose.

The creatures were not successful at their intended task, since they could not actually read humanoid minds. However, they created such incomprehension and dismay among people, that several locations they infested fell to rioting as a result of their baffling natures. With resistance softened as a result of infighting, the dread kraken could send its shock troops to finish off what the puppymonkeybabies started. Areas that managed to drive off the creatures learned to shoot one on sight if it reappeared.

Fortunately, for the world at large, the formula for creating puppymonkeybabies self-immolated (yes, even underwater) after the aboleths created the first batch. Unfortunately, through some depraved process, puppymonkeybabies bred true and continue to assault people with their nonsensicality.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Katakirauwa

Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Frightful Fridays!, after much too long of a break. Theodric the Obscure received some wonderful news (which I won't share, because I am protecting his obscurity), so I'm celebrating evil pig? Sure, why not?

I hope you enjoy this week's monster, and I hope to be back next week with something else. Thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading!

This pig is missing its left ear and its eyes glow red. Adding to its eerie appearance, it casts no shadow.
Katakirauwa      CR 5
XP 1,600
CE Small magical beast
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14
AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 57 (6d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +4
Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +11 (1d6+6)
Special Attacks create, soul-draining charge
Str 19, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 5, Wis 14, Cha 9
Base Atk +6; CMB +9 (+11 bull rush); CMD 23 (25 vs. bull rush, 27 vs. trip)
Feats Dodge, Improved Bull Rush, Mobility, Power Attack, Spring Attack
Skills Acrobatics +10 (+14 to jump), Perception +14, Stealth +11; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Environment temperate forests and plains
Organization solitary, pair, or sounder (3–6)
Treasure none
Create Spawn (Su) If a humanoid creature dies as a result of a katakirauwa’s soul-draining charge, the slain creature rises as a zombie 2d4 rounds later. The katakirauwa has no control over the zombie, but it does not attack the katakirauwa.
Soul-Draining Charge (Su) If a katakirauwa succeeds at a bull rush attack during a charge, it passes through its opponent’s legs, dealing 1d4 Cha damage. If the katakirauwa scores a natural 20 on its CMB roll, it instead deals 1d4 Cha drain. A creature reduced to 0 Charisma dies as a result.

Frightful stories tell of one or more unnatural pigs running rampant through a large population center, and, merely by charging between the legs of their victims, destroying their souls and leaving shambling husks in their wake. These creatures are difficult to bring down for the average townsfolk who also have to deal with friends and family turning into zombies. While katakirauwa are not highly intelligent, they are clever enough to attack at night when their lack of shadows will not give them away. Katakirauwa also make an initial attack in an outlying area to create a small pack of zombies they then lure to a settlement, allowing them to prey on people in the chaos.

Katakirauwa spontaneously generate piglet versions of themselves after they destroy four souls, but their increased numbers generally reduce their overall threat. Uncooperative creatures among themselves, an overly large group of katakirauwa falls into disarray as individuals attack each other to prevent them from stealing souls.

Powerful undead creatures often “raise” a katakirauwa and use it to soften up resistance and to bolster its ranks of undead minions.

Monday, March 28, 2016

It's going to be Legen...wait for it...

DARY. As in Legendary Games.

Now I might be a wee bit prejudiced. Staff blogger Mike Welham is coauthor of the last volume. Sometime guest blogger and all-the-time friend-of-the-blog Paris Crenshaw is the lead designer and author.  But it would be wrong to blame me for having awesome friends, and even more wrong to deny yourself based on wrong.

And what would you be denying yourself? A stellar adventure perfect for introducing young players to fantasy tabletop role-playing. This adventure will be available in both a Pathfinder Beginner version and a D&D 5e version.

Give a listen to the Tome Show episode that interviews Paris and Jason Nelson about the adventure (this portion starts about 45 minutes into the program, if you want to skip the Tolkien stuff for now). Then head over to Kickstarter to find a level of support that will give you want you want for your game. Based on my relationship of many years with Paris (and Mike) and my previous dealings with Legendary Games, I feel confident in recommending this KS without reservation. Also note the unique flavor you will be getting in this adventure, which is more colonial fantasy than it is medieval fantasy. (I wish this was reflected more in some of the illustrations that I've seen so far, but when I find an RPG product in which I can't find something to criticize, I'll let you know.) Both Pathfinder's Beginners game and 5e a great rules sets to use to introduce new and young gamers, and well-written, appropriate pre-written adventures for those of us who do so hit the spot. Hats off to all involved, and to Legendary Games for stepping in and taking over Paris' labor of love that I have had the pleasure of seeing go from its inception years ago to this.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

More Free Monsters (with a small catch)

The top six monsters in this year's Here Be Monsters contest have been revealed. The links are below. I've also included a link for the voting booth. Please consider voting for your favorite among the six finalists.

Protean, Anomiak
Enabler Devil
Hellfire Gorger
Headless Devil
Hellforge Slag


I had a tremendous time judging all the monsters, and it was great to see all the creativity on display!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Great Deal on Creature Compendium

If you don't know my hometown pal Richard LeBlanc of New Big Dragon, let me help you with that right now. For me, he is the undisputed king of the d30 and also one of a handful of people that make their own products that are not only professional, but pleasurable to look at.
(Let me be clear: his PRODUCTS.) ;-)

If you love monsters and Old School D&D, he has a great deal going on right now on OBS sites: ONE crispy electronic dollar for his Creature Compendium. Grab it and enjoy just reading about new monsters or even better surprising your players.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Flensing Treant

Hello, and welcome back to another edition of Frightful Fridays! For once, the monster is actually out on a Friday (albeit a week late). I spent last weekend selecting my favorite monsters for this year's Here Be Monster's contest, and I'm looking forward to the reveal. We had a great selection of monsters to choose from.

This week's monster has been rooting around in my brain (sorry!) for a while, and I finally decided on the abilities to make this a fearsome monster. I occasionally return to the theme of nature turning on civilization (but not in a "The Happening" way), and a killer plant with an axe to grind against those who ravage nature is perfect for that theme.

I hope you like the flensing treant, and I'll be back hopefully tomorrow with the creepiest monster I've ever worked on. Thanks for reading!

Angry red “eyes” glow from this twisted tree’s trunk, which also bleeds a black sap; its leaves rustle without wind, and its roots twitch.
Flensing Treant      CR 14
XP 38,400
NE Huge plant
Init –2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +32
AC 30, touch 6, flat-footed 30 (–2 Dex, +24 natural, –2 size)
hp 210 (20d8+120)
Fort +18, Ref +4, Will +11
Defensive Abilities poison sap; DR 15/cold iron and slashing; Immune plant traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to fire
Speed 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +22 (3d6+8/19-20 plus tearing bark), 4 tentacles +17 (1d6+4 plus grab)
Ranged 2 leaves +15 (2d6+8 plus bleed)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (20 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks bleed (1d6), constrict (1d6+8), flensing leaves, trample (3d6+12, DC 28)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 20th; concentration +24)
   At will—entangle (DC 15)
   1/day—plant growth, wall of thorns
Str 27, Dex 6, Con 23, Int 16, Wis 21, Cha 18
Base Atk +15; CMB +25 (+27 bull rush and sunder, +29 grapple); CMD 33 (35 vs. bull rush and sunder, can't be tripped)
Feats Alertness, Awesome Blow, Critical Focus, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Sundering StrikeAPG, Weapon Focus (slam), Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Intimidate +24, Knowledge (nature) +22, Perception +32, Sense Motive +29, Stealth –3 (+17 Stealth in forests), Survival +22
Languages Common, Sylvan, Treant; treespeech
SQ animate trees, double damage against objects, of the forest
Environment any forest
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure double
Animate Trees (Sp) A flensing treant can animate any trees within 360 feet at will, controlling up to four trees at a time. It takes 1 full round for a tree to uproot itself, after which it moves at a speed of 10 feet and fights as a flensing treant (although it has only one slam attack and lacks the treant's special abilities), gaining the flensing treant's vulnerability to fire. If the treant that animated it terminates the animation, moves out of range, or is incapacitated, the tree immediately takes root wherever it is and returns to its normal state.
Double Damage against Objects (Ex) A flensing treant or animated tree that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage.
Flensing Leaves (Ex) Once every 1d4 rounds, a flensing treant can release of cloud of razor-sharp leaves that deal 4d6 points of slashing damage to creatures in a 30-foot radius (DC 26 Reflex half). A creature failing its Reflex save also takes 2d6 points of bleed damage.
A flensing treant’s thrown leaves have a 60-foot range increment, and the treant gains a +4 racial bonus on its attack rolls with the leaves.
Of the Forest (Su) When in a forest, a flensing treant cannot be caught flat-footed, and it always knows the location of invisible creatures. It still suffers the miss chance against creatures with concealment.
Poison Sap (Ex) If a creature adjacent to a flensing treant damages it with a slashing weapon, the treant sprays the creature with poisonous sap. Additionally, when the treant is caught in the area of an effect that deals fire damage, it aerosolizes its poison, affecting all creatures in a 30-foot radius.
Flensing treant poison—contact; save Fort DC 26; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 2d4 Dex; cure 2 consecutive saves.
Tearing Bark (Ex) If a flensing treant confirms a critical hit with its slam attack, it inflicts 1d4 points of Strength bleed.
Treespeech (Su) A flensing treant has the ability to converse with plants as if subject to a continual speak with plants spell, and most plants greet it with an attitude of friendly or helpful.

In darker groves bordering on unseelie fey realms or in forests ravaged by civilization, flensing treants sprout and thrive. Whether the treants made a deal with dark fey for their terrifying powers or they came into them through their own righteous anger, these creatures have the same suite of abilities. Their roots take on a life of their own, allowing them to grasp opponents and squeeze the life out of them. Their leaves harden and take on a razor edge, allowing them to fertilize their forests with the blood of their foes. Their black sap fills enemy pores and hardens, minimizing the chance for escape.

Flensing treants usually lurk in their forest homes, providing a false sense of security for those living near a forest claimed by the treants. When prey eventually refuses to come to them, they raise a coterie of trees and bring the fight to civilization they so hate. On rare occasions, when vengeance births a flensing treant, it reverts to a normal treant when its desire for revenge has been sated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

One more day to get your monsters in!

The submission deadline for Here Be Monsters 2 closes tomorrow at 5 PM EST. We've received a number of entries so far, but there is plenty of room for some excellent Hell-themed (or Hell-antagonizing) monsters!