Monday, September 29, 2014

Manic Monsterdays! (nee Frightful Fridays!) Scaly-Foot Snail

Hello, and welcome to the official Frightful Friday entry! I hope the other five monsters held you over until today. This week's monster is courtesy of my friend Drejk, Wojciech Drejk Gruchała, and I thought this real-world creature had quite a bit of potential in a fantasy setting. So, it's kind of a scavenger that follows a rust monster around, eating leftover metal the rust monster might have missed, as well as adventurers who suddenly can't as effectively fight the snail thanks to said rust monster.

I hope to be back to my regular Friday posts this week, and I certainly hope you enjoy the scaly-foot snail. Thanks for reading!

You can read more about the snail here (maybe with some help from Google Translate)

This dark-shelled snail makes a scraping sound when it moves. Bits of metal protect its fleshy foot.
Scaly-Foot Snail CR 2
XP 600
N Small vermin
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 15 (+1 Dex, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +0
Immune acid, mind-affecting effects, rusting effects; Resist fire 5

Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee slam +4 (2d6+1 plus disease)

Str 13, Dex 12, Con 15, Int —, Wis 9, Cha 4
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 13 (can't be tripped)
Skills Climb +9, Perception +7, Stealth +1; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception, –4 Stealth

Environment any underground
Organization solitary, pair, or rout (3–12)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities
Disease (Ex) Tetanus: Slam—injury; save Fort DC 13; onset 1 day; frequency 1/day; effect 1d4 Dex damage and 50% of loss of speech for 24 hours; cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Scaly-foot snails are common dungeon inhabitants, but very few reports of them reach the outside world because they usually accompany rust monsters, who receive all the attention. The snails have a pseudo-symbiotic relationship with rust monsters, in which the snails clean up scraps of metal left behind by the aberrations. Since they eat flesh in addition to metal, they also attack creatures rendered defenseless by the lack of armor and weapons. These bits of metal incorporate into the snails, giving their typical weak spot—the fleshy part they extend from their shell for locomotion—as much protection as their shells. Due to the strange enzymes that allow them to incorporate metal, they also gain protection from the rust monster's rust attack. Unfortunately for the snails, the metal scrapes against most other surfaces, negating the creatures' chances to sneak up on prey. The pieces of rusted metal attract a host of anaerobic bacteria, thus providing scaly-foot snails with the ability to inflict tetanus on their victims.

Alternate versions of scaly-foot snails exist, particularly those that feast on exotic metals. For example, adamantine scaly-foot snails have DR 20/adamantine and can bypass DR and hardness as if they wielded adamantine weapons.


Monday, September 22, 2014

Frightful Fridays! (Manic Monsterdays) Siege Scorpion

Welcome to a laaate installment of Frightful Fridays! A siege scorpion is a not-so-mindless, yet still immune to mind-affecting effects, vermin-like creature, so their one-time masters had to train them somehow, but that knowledge has been lost to time. Most likely characters will encounter a scorpion as it lays siege to a castle or other fortification.


I hope you enjoy the siege scorpion, and I will be back in four days with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

This fun little monster can be found here.


This massive scorpion has a dark carapace with a dull metallic appearance. Its gigantic claws look like they could crush stone and its stinger could easily impale a person.
Siege Scorpion CR 17
XP 102,400
N Colossal magical beast
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +30

AC 32, touch 4, flat-footed 30 (+2 Dex, +28 natural, –8 size)
hp 287 (23d10+161)
Fort +20, Ref +15, Will +8
DR 20/adamantine; Immune acid, cold, fire, mind-affecting effects

Speed 60 ft., burrow 40 ft.
Melee 2 claws +27 (5d6+12 plus grab), sting +27 (4d8+12/19–20)
Ranged 4 stingers +21 (4d8+12/19–20)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 20 ft. (30 ft. with sting)
Special Attacks constrict (5d6+12), destructive weaponry, poison, sundering claws, volley of stingers

Str 34, Dex 15, Con 25, Int 4, Wis 12, Cha 5
Base Atk +23; CMB +43 (+47 grapple); CMD 55 (63 vs. trip)
Feats Bleeding Critical, Combat Reflexes, Crippling Critical, Critical Focus, Critical Mastery[B], Deadly Finish, Diehard, Endurance, Hammer the Gap, Improved Critical (sting), Opening Volley, Power Attack
Skills Climb +20, Perception +30; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception

Special Abilities
Destructive Weaponry (Ex) A siege scorpion's attacks bypass hardness as if they were adamantine weapons.
Poison (Ex) Sting—injury; save Fort DC 28; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; initial effect paralysis for 1d6 rounds; secondary effect 1d6 Str and 1d6 Con; cure 3 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Sundering Claws (Ex) If a siege scorpion deals constrict damage to an opponent, it gains an automatic sunder attack against the opponent's armor without incurring attacks of opportunity.
Volley of Stingers (Ex) A siege scorpion regrows lost stingers in rapid succession, allowing it to fire a total of four per round as part of a full attack. It cannot make a melee attack with it stinger during this attack. The scorpion has a +4 racial bonus on its ranged attacks with the stingers.

Destructive engines of war used in ancient battles, siege scorpions were shelved when their masters no longer need them. The long-lived creatures, infused with barely sentient elemental spirits, bred in their forgotten underground hold. They recently escaped and dispersed to resume their tasks of leveling fortifications and dispatching defenders, but as masterless beasts. With no direction, and a dim recollection of their duty, the scorpions attack anything that looks remotely defensible. Fortunately, they spare poor villages without any obviously tall walls or forts.

The earth elemental infusion gives siege scorpions a nigh-impenetrable carapace and the capability to bypass all but the strongest materials. The fire elemental infusion grants siege scorpions a surprising grace for their size and bulk. Finally, the water elemental infusion allows them to rapidly regenerate lost stingers to fire a barrage at defenders. All three infusions provide immunity to the related energy types. The scorpions' ancient creators could never get an air elemental infusion to stick, but rumors hold that successful infusions allow their scorpions to charge their flung stingers with an explosive ball of energy when they strike a target.

Typical siege scorpions weigh 12 tons and live for 1,500 years.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Inspiration from things you drink

I ran across this as a single in the cold beer fridge at HEB.  The joint product of three breweries, it is really good.  Or more to the point, outstanding.  I recommend trying it even if you are not a big IPA fan, the way that the blackness of the malt really stands up to the hops.  It is the product of cooperation between three breweries, and apparently inspired by the metal band Vulgaari.

And when it comes to inspiration, I believe in getting inspiration anywhere and everywhere.  Whether you are a beer fan or not, the three-headed demon or devil on the label is worthy of some mythopoesis -- just look at the crazy mix of features!  So let's see what Mike and I can come up with.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

All in the cards

Tim Shorts over at Gothridge Manor has a short but interesting article up about using Tarot cards as game props.  And you know how I love cards!  Here, take a look.  Of particular interest is a link to an expansion he did some years back on the Deck of Many Things.

In the blog maintenance department, I've added a tag for Cards.  Take a look and see if you've missed any Rambles on gaming with cards.  Also, on the practical side, if you need boxes to store your cards in, try Hobby Lobby.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Delay Devil (no monster until Monday)

This week ended up being interesting and left me no time to work on a new monster for today (or even my fallback, tomorrow). However, I will have a monster out on Monday. Thanks for your patience and understanding.

In the meantime, I'll allow this bunny to sum up my feelings about this week.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

World Building with the Core Rulebooks

If you haven't seen this post by Rob Donoghue of The Walking Mind, then I highly recommend it: Inferred history of the world per the Monster Manual and a little from the Players Handbook.  This is the kind of exercise that I love for building the setting of a game, and that really inspires me to do the same.  This should be of interest to folks whether they are interested in the new edition of D&D or not, as reading game rule books for details or clues applicable to world building can be practiced across editions and games.  His schematization of the inferred history into those time periods he creates also indicates to me a kindred spirit.  Thanks, Rob!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Vampire Bunny

Welcome back to a new installment of Frightful Fridays! This week's entry is a fairly quick one thanks to some extra work with the day job and an attempt to get caught up on some freelance work. I didn't want to leave you without a monster for the week, but the super cellemental will have to wait, since that is going to be a gloriously high-CR beastie. In the meantime, I hope your PCs will soil their armors when confronted with a rabbit that latches onto somone's ankles (or calves) and just won't stop draining blood.
I hope you enjoy the vampire bunny, and I'll be back next week with another new monster. Thanks for reading!

This delightful bunny was found here.

OK, so that little kitten turned out to be a horror show. This little bunny looks friendly, though, and it needs someone to hold it and pet it.
Vampire Bunny CR 7
XP 3,200
CE Tiny undead
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +14

AC 20, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+6 Dex, +2 natural, +2 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40); fast healing 3
Fort +7, Ref +11, Will +9
DR 5/silver; Immune undead traits; Resist cold 10, electricity 10

Speed 40 ft.
Melee bite +15 (2d6+6)
Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks attach, blood drain, create spawn, incisive bite
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +14)
Constantundetectable alignment (DC 16)
At willdominate animal (DC 17), gaseous form
3/daycharm person (DC 15)

Str 5, Dex 22, Con, Int 7, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +7; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 18 (22 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Run, Skill Focus (Acrobatics), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +22 (+26 when jumping), Disguise +4 (Disguise to appear as a typical rabbit), Perception +14, Stealth +18; Racial Modifiers +16 Disguise to appear as a typical rabbit
Languages Common (can't speak)

Environment any terrestrial
Organization solitary, pair, or warren (1 vampire bunny plus 1–4 enslaved spawn)
Treasure none

Special Abilities
Attach (Ex) A vampire bunny has a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks.
Create Spawn (Ex) A vampire bunny can only create spawn from other rabbits it has killed with its blood drain. The victim rises from death as a vampire bunny in 1d4 days. This undead rabbit is under the command of the vampire bunny that created it, and remains enslaved until its master's destruction. A vampire bunny may have no more enslaved spawn than its Charisma modifier; any spawn it creates that would exceed this limit become free-willed undead. A vampire bunny may free an enslaved spawn in order to enslave a new spawn, but once freed, it cannot be enslaved again.
Incisive Bite (Ex) A vampire bunny adds its Dexterity modifier to its damage rolls rather than its Strength modifier.

Occasionally, when a vampire recalls its former life, it remembers its fondness toward a pet it owned when it was a flesh and blood creature. While the vampire does not actually experience that feeling of fondness, the warped nostalgia drives it to create an undead mockery of its pet. Oddly, rabbits seem to be the only animals that spawn into vampires, while other animals merely die when subjected to the vampire's blood drain. Like many rabbits, these vampire rabbits escape their masters and wreak havoc on the surrounding land. Only instead of destroying crops, these rabbits destroy livestock and turn animals against their masters. Vampire bunnies can also spread their vampirism to other rabbits, with the potential to create a nightmarish situation in regions overrun by rabbits.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Frightful Fridays! Kerberogryph

Hello and welcome to a new Frightful Fridays! on an actual Friday! This week's monster comes from the image archive and is one that my friend Patrick pointed out to me. There was a little discussion about what this could be, a griffon-hydra mix, a cerberic creature, etc., and I decided to go with all the above, and throw in the idea that this is a mythic creature. The image just screams mythic to me, and I am happy to have this be the first mythic creature to grace Frightful Fridays. I made sure to include all the mythic rules necessary to run this creature in your game, since not everyone has Paizo's Mythic Adventures.
I hope you enjoy the kerberogryph, and I'll be back next week with a new monster. As always, thanks for reading!

You can find the image for this mythic beastie here.


This three-headed silver-feathered griffon scrutinizes its surroundings carefully, each head looking in a different direction for signs for intruders.
Kerberogryph CR 9/MR 4
XP 6,400
NG Large magical beast (mythic)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +17

AC 24, touch 12, flat-footed 21 (+3 Dex, +12 natural, 1 size)
hp 124 (8d10+80); fast healing 6
Fort +11, Ref +9, Will +6; second save
Defensive Abilities block attacks, poisonous blood (wyvern poison); DR 5/epic

Speed 30 ft., fly 80 ft. (good)
Melee 3 bites +14 (1d8+6) and 2 talons +13 (1d6+6)
Space 10 ft., Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with bites)
Special Attacks breath weapon (30-ft. cone, 8d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 19 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), horrific rend, mythic power (4/day, surge +1d8), pounce, rake (2 claws +13, 1d4+6), rend (2 bites, 1d8+9)

Str 23, Dex 17, Con 20, Int 7, Wis 18, Cha 12
Base Atk +8; CMB +15; CMD 28 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes[M], Intimidating Prowess[M], Skill Focus (Perception), Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Acrobatics +13, Fly +10, Intimidate +14, Perception +17; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics, +8 Intimidate, +4 Perception
Languages telepathy 1000 ft. (with employer only)
SQ hydra traits, regenerate head

Environment any terrestrial
Organization solitary
Treasure twice standard

Special Abilities
Block Attacks (Ex) Once per round, when a kerberogryph is hit by a melee or ranged attack, it can attempt a melee attack using its highest attack bonus. If this result exceed the result from the attack against it, the creature is unaffected by the attack, as if the attack had missed.
Fast Healing (Ex) A kerberogryph's fast healing ability is equal to twice its current number of heads (minimum fast healing 6). This fast healing applies only to damage inflicted on the creature's body.
Horrific Rend (Ex) If a kerberogryph hits an opponent with three or more bite attacks, it deals double damage with its rend.
When a kerberogryph performs a horrific rend, it may expend 1 use of mythic power as a free action to demoralize foes with a +8 circumstance bonus on its Intimidate check, and it is treated as if it possessed the Shatter Defenses feat.
Hydra Traits (Ex) A kerberogryph can be killed by severing all of its heads or slaying its body. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever a head affects the body, including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage. To sever a head, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting a head. A head is considered a separate weapon with hardness 0 and hit points equal to the kerberogryph's HD. To sever a head, an opponent must inflict enough damage to reduce the head's hit points to 0 or less. Severing a head deals damage to the kerberogryph's body equal to the kerberogryph's current HD. A kerberogryph can't attack with a severed head, but takes no other penalties.
Mythic Combat Reflexes (Ex) A kerberogryph can make any number of additional attacks of opportunity per round. As a swift action, a kerberogryph can expend one use of mythic power to, until the start of its next turn, make attacks of opportunity against foes it has already made attacks of opportunity against this round if they provoke attacks of opportunity from it by moving.
Mythic Intimidating Prowess (Ex) A kerberogryph gains a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks against non-mythic creatures, or +2 against mythic creatures.
Mythic Power (Su) A kerberogryph can draw upon a wellspring of power to accomplish amazing deeds and cheat fate. Each day, it can expend a number of uses of mythic power equal to its mythic rank. The creature has the surge ability and can use this mythic power to activate it.
Poisonous Blood (Ex) Any creature that confirms a critical hit against the kerberogryph with a piercing or slashing melee weapon without reach is sprayed with poison.
Regenerate Head (Ex) When a kerberogryph's head is destroyed, two heads regrow in 1d4 rounds. A kerberogryph cannot have more than twice its original number of heads at any one time. To prevent new heads from growing, at least 10 points of acid or fire damage must be dealt to the stump (a touch attack to hit) before they appear. Acid or fire damage from area attacks can affect stumps and the body simultaneously. A kerberogryph doesn't die from losing its heads until all are cut off and the stumps seared by acid or fire.
If a kerberogryph reaches its maximum number of heads (6 for the typical creature), its maneuverability while flying drops to average.
Second Save (Ex) Whenever a kerberogryph fails a saving throw against an effect with a duration greater than 1 round, it can keep trying to shake of the effect. At the start of its turn, if it's still affected, it can attempt the save one more time as a free action. If this save succeeds, the effect affects the creature as if it had succeeded at its initial saving throw. If the affect already allows another saving throw on a later turn to break the effect (hold monster, gltterdust, etc.), this ability is in addition to the extra saving throw from the effect.
Surge (Su) A kerberogryph can call upon its mythic power to overcome difficult challenges. It can expend one use of mythic power to increase any d20 roll it just made by rolling 1d8 and adding it to the result. Using this ability is an immediate action taken after the original roll is made and the results are revealed.

A kerberogryph is an extremely rare terrestrial creature that combines the traits of a griffon and a hydra, with some draconic traits thrown in for good measure. It serves as a guardian for those powerful enough to perform a ritual, known only to select mages, to call it for that purpose. The summoner who calls a kerberogryph does not gain control of it, but instead must negotiate for its service. A kerberogryph accepts no less than 100 gp, 10 pounds of fresh raw meat, or some combination of the two, per day of service. Once the employer and the kerberogryph have agreed to terms, the creature remains in its assigned location for the duration of its contract. A guardian kerberogryph relishes battle, and since most employers who obtain a kerberogryph's services expect trouble, the creature does not typically spend this time in boredom.

During a kerberogryph's "downtime," it likes to prowl the territory surrounding its lair in search of food. It prefers livestock, particularly horses, but it will eat any animal. During these hunts, it eschews the use of its breath weapon, since it prefers raw meat to cooked flesh.

At least three kerberogryphs exist, one for each alignment along the good-evil axis. They stay neutral with respect to law and chaos, and this reflects in their adherence to a contract while serving as guardians counterbalanced by their sense of freedom when released from duty. A good kerberogryph has silver or gold feathers, a neutral kerberogryph has blue or gray feathers, and an evil kerberogryph has red or black feathers. The kerberogryph summoning ritual calls a kerberogryph with an alignment appropriate to the one performing the ritual.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Suits for Decks of Many Things

 Lately, I have been thinking about how the Deck of Many Things would play into mythopoesis of the game world and not play and mechanics only.  You can see one result of my thoughts here.