Saturday, October 31, 2009

Monster: Skurkhi

Skurkhi (Goblin Mummy)
Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 2+4*
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 claws
1-4/1-4 + infect
No. Appearing: 1-2
Save As: C3
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: B
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 35

Eerily supple shamblers, skurkhi are the dessicated remains of the most fervent of goblin witchdoctors. Unlike a human mummy which is wrapped in linens, a skurkhi is stripped bare and left to dry in smoke and heat; only after the process begins is the body treated with mud laced with the spores of preservative fungi. A completed skurkhi is shrivelled flesh over bone, daubed with black stains and phosphorescent spores and wearing the charms and bone trophies gained during life. Despite their leathery flesh skurkhi are surprisingly quick compared to living goblins; like their living kin, they possess 90' infravision.

In combat a skurkhi attacks with its sharp bony claws, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage with each attack. If a save vs. death ray is failed the skurkhi has infected the victim with a life-draining sporal death-rot; 1 point of Strength and 1 point of Constitution is lost for twelve hours, with a 2-in-6 chance of the loss of another point of Strength six hours later. Victims completely drained of Strength or Constitution become zombies under the skurkhi's control.

A silver or magical weapon is required to harm a skurkhi. Half of all skurkhi are capable of casting a single first-level clerical spell per day.

Monster: Ki'da

Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 6+2**
Move: 150' (50') / 180' (60')
Attacks: 2 claws or 2 claws + 1 bite
1-6/1-6 or 1-8/1-8/1-10
No. Appearing: 1-4
Save As: F7
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: F
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 950

Lean yet muscular, a ki'da could almost pass as mortal; they look essentially human, with dark coppery flesh, white hair and eyes the colour of blue fire. A closer inspection, however, reveals the telling details: their hair flickers like flames, their ears resemble those of a great cat, and their hands bear ember-like talons -- and are often wreathed in scarlet flames. Short-tempered and territorial, ki'da desire to spread the infuence of fire and are often in direct conflict with the icy aeshna. they disdain keeping "lesser" elemental creatures as the aeshna do, considering it a sign of weakness. Ki'da dress in the dark-scaled leather of fire-resistant beasts and fabrics woven of miniscule links of black iron.

If not feeling pressed a ki'da attacks with fiery claws, inflicting 1-6 hit points of damage per strike. Greater threats prompt a ki'da to shift forms into a feline predator of crimson fires, lashing out with paws and fangs for 1-8 and 1-10 hit points of damage respectively.

In beastform a ki'da may only be harmed by spells and the magical pluses of enchanted weapons; in both shapes, a ki'da is immune to nonmagical weapons and to attacks based on fire and wind. A few ki'da cast spells as magic-users of half their Hit Dice.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Theme Week: Magitech

Starting on Saturday night, I do believe it's time for me to get down to work with another theme week!

This time around is magitech; enough clockworks, gears, magiscience and random things to attach to a PC's body to make a party happy -- or disturbed -- for at least a few adventures ;3 I'm aiming for both critters and items, but we'll see how that turns out ~

Monster: The Thousand Wings

The Thousand Wings
Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 2+2**
Move: fly 270' (90')
Attacks: 1
2-8 + special
No. Appearing: 1-4
Save As: F3
Morale: 8
Treasure Type: Special
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 45

Close cousins to the least spirits of air, the creatures known as the thousand wings predictably appear as fluttering, beating masses of translucent wings -- feathery avian wings, dark batlike wings, glittering insectile wings, even the scaled clawed wings of dragons and stranger beasts -- that are yet somehow hazy, as if one's eyes cannot quite focus on them. A capricious creature driven almost entirely by instinct, a thousand wings is concerned only with its quest for emotion and the desire to travel on the winds.

Though a thousand wings is insubstantial, the edges of its multitude of pinions are as keen as the wind. In combat a thousand wings seeks to engulf a target, inflicting 2-8 hit points of damage from the buffeting and the wing's sharp edges. However this damage is a side-effect of the creature's true attack -- once a target is engulfed, the thousand wings feeds on the victim's emotion and reason. If a save vs. spell is failed, the thousand wings siphons away 1-3 points of Wisdom; if a victim's Wisdom score is entirely depleted, their body dissolves and they are transmuted into a pulsing core of elemental force that becomes a thousand wings in 1-4 rounds.

The thousand wings is harmed only by magical weapons and spells. If a thousand wings is killed it dissolved into mist, leaving behind a few iridescent folded pinions of solid air. These baubles may be worth 20-80gp each, or even more in the right circles.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Magic Item: Terror's Fury

Lost in darkness, body and mind both lost to corruption; in such a state, what is there left untouched?

Staring calmly into the void, Jie Chue saw at once;
and, carving those tainted parts of his self free, forged his final contemplation of the fallen state.

The last to fall to corruption is the spirit.

Terror's Fury: Possessing all the length of a typical two-handed sword, Terror's Fury is single-edged and slightly curved, with a curving sharpened spur at the root of the blade. The blade's blued surface is ragged with streaks of cinnabar like strikes of lightning; the quillions and pommel-nut are simple bronze, the grip wrapped in the hide of a tiger.

Terror's Fury is a two handed sword +2. With every successful attack the sword inflicts an additional 1-4 hit points of damage from its electrified edge and immediately forces a morale check with a -2 penalty or the victim flees in mindless fright. By sacrificing a point of Charisma and Constitution for a day, the bearer of Terror's Fury may invoke a deathfrenzy in another -- or in themselves -- causing all damage to be increased by half again and granting +3 to initiative and to-hit rolls, -2 penalty to Armour Class, and +2 to saves vs. paralyzation, poison or death. However, the subject of a deathfrenzy may not stop attacking until all viable targets, including allies, are off the field of battle or slaughtered. If the deathfrenzy is invoked on a subject that is not the bearer of Terror's Fury, the sword's bearer loses one hit point permanently.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Magic Item: Silken Deception

The darkness and the flesh are corruption's easy meat; the first is its birthing, the second feeds it.

But other facets called themselves to Jie Chue's mind as he swept bone-ashes from the forge. Little under heaven and in earth is content with flesh alone.

The answer came in a faint grey whisper as he beheld the shattered mourners --
The second influence was of the corruption of the mind.

Silken Deception: A slender sword and graceful, Silken Deception is a smaller weapon than its fellows though no less deadly. The blade is sharpened along both edges and its tip is reinforced for piercing; a delicate abstract pattern of blackened arabesques and webwork traces its way down the blade's rib. Though Silken Deception's quillions and pommel-nut are of unornamented, bluish steel, the grip is wrapped in braided grey silks that trail free of the hilt like hazy scarves.

Silken Deception is a short sword +2. With each successful strike, the blade taints the victim's mind with a drugged haze, causing a charm effect that lasts until the victim makes a successful saving throw, allowed once every two rounds. By sacrificing a point of Wisdom for a day, the bearer of Silken Deception may create a mindwraith that draws out the victim's psyche and turns it against them. This mindwraith is semi-tangible, has all the statistics and equipment of the victim and attacks mercilessly; it may only be harmed by the victim.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Magic Item: Withering Bite

Through meditation upon corruption, the smith had forged an edge of frozen darkness.

But on this unhallowed subject Jie Chue sought to discern a finer point; in what means could corruption's touch be brought to bear upon the world.

The answer came in a darkling flash as he beheld a shattered grave --
The first influence was of the corruption of the body.

Withering Bite: This single-edged, curved and deep-bellied weapon is mottled with a patchy pattern of corroded copper along both sides of the blade; though the sickly green causes the sword to look almost diseased, it has no effect on the weapon's integrity. The smooth brassy quillions curve forward like paired fangs and the pommel tapers to a simple cinnabar bulb, while the grip is wrapped tightly in an unidentifiable reptilian hide.

Withering Bite is a sword +2. With each successful attack, Withering Bite's corroded blade leaves silvers of flesh-eating vitriol in the wound, dissolving flesh, blood and bone at a rate of 2 hit points per round until the injury is treated by magic. By sacrificing a point of Strength for a day, the wielder of Withering Bite may inflict a bonemelt on a single target, causing the victim's bones to splinter into osseous clots and their Armour Class to immediately worsen by six as their movement rate is dropped to one-third.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Magic Item: Midnight's Claw

As the year turned and the skies grew dark, Jie Chue meditated on corruption.

A worthy subject, as he deemed it; one does not understand a thing without touching it at the core. Very well, so should it be. A month and a day did he consider this.

In the darkest nights of winter, the smith returned to the forge and brought forth a blackened talon.

This, he mused upon; then gifted the blade to a wandering swordsman whose heart was blackened and whose way was lost.

Midnight's Claw: With blade and hilt forged of one solid length of pitch-black steel, Midnight's Claw is a massive and yet surprisingly maneuverable weapon. Simply ornamented, the sword's hilt is wrapped in white wolfskin, the pommel a heavy ring; down the blade runs a series of etchings that resemble a lacework of frost.

Midnight's Claw is a two-handed sword +2. With every successful strike, the blade freezes the victim's flesh, inflicting an additional 1-6 hit points of damage unless the victim makes a save vs. death ray; the wielder may choose instead to envelop the victim in darkness, rendering them permanently blind. By sacrificing a point of Constitution for a day, the wielder of Midnight's Claw may invoke a netherbolt of roiling, clinging black "lightning" that inflicts 3-18 hit points of damage -- healing the undead, and inflicting half again the damage to Lawful creatures -- and paralyzes for 2-7 rounds.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Odd Jobs: Rhen Giska

Rhen Giska
Magic-User 1

AC / Hit Points: 8 / 3
Alignment: Neutral

Str 9
Int 16
Wis 9
Dex 14
Con 8
Cha 10

Equipment: backpack (spellbook, iron rations, two small sacks, scrollcase with parchment, quills and ink), two flasks of oil, lantern, lantern staff, four daggers, heavy cloak

Money and Unusual Belongings: lesser fire sigil, slender blackened iron torc, 4 gold pieces, 13 silver pieces

Spells in Spellbook: detect magic, read magic

Notes: Rhen is a would-be sage and fascinated with physical enchantments in general and the manifestation of elemental sigils in particular; since acquiring the rough crystal flame, he's been drawn to find others. This in turn pulled Rhen away from his studies and into the adventuring life. He will attempt to conceal the thumb-sized sigil unless he trusts his fellow adventurers; if hired as a retainer, he will most certainly do so.

With his spells, however, Rhen had best rely on throwing daggers, lit oil and anything else he can manage until he scavenges up something better. His knowledge and cunning can also serve his party well -- and detect magic will help scour a suspicious or cluttered dungeon room for magic items (and traps).

At least until he dies or almost dies, Rhen will seem more insanely-curious thief than magic-user. This is bolstered by his preference for "normal" clothing instead of wizardly robes, though his all-enveloping cloak leaves him draped regardless.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Dozen Strange Little Critters

... and maybe a plant or fungus or two, also ;3

These little oddities are mainly for campaign flavour and/or humour. Find a colony in a dungeon, a few invade the party's camp at night, maybe the PCs are actually hired to go gather a certain number (in a suitably hazardous place, of course!) -- anything goes.

1. A mouse with fur of scorched black and bright scarlet. Attracted to sweet foods and alcohol -- and, if startled, bursts into flame.

2. Dense, semi-spherical fungi that bear an uncanny resemblance to tiny human skulls. Rumours whisper that an elixir to feign death can be made from them, but most people consider them cursed.

3. A breed of viper with completely transparent skin and muscle. Its internal organs are pearly and translucent, hard to see, but its skeleton is a dense cinnabar red.

4. Crawfish-like land crustaceans with pale, bluish-white shells and an icy disposition to match. they like to crawl into warm places, and they like to hang on with their pincer-sharp claws ...

5. An invasion of frogs. Chrome-skinned, black eyed, indestructible frogs. No matter what the party does to the little hoppers, they just don't die.

6. Delicate purplish-red violets that will softly press their flowers against skin and draw blood. No hit point damage and no pain, but a frightening bloody welt when the flower lifts away.

7. Opalescent, jelly-like slime mold. Spreads fast -- including over objects and sleeping adventurers -- and periodically sends up rafts of golden spore capsules. Contact numbs skin.

8. Sleek brown and white mottled rats with tool-using capability -- and a stench like troglodytes swimming in an open sewer. Occasionally, giant ones.

9. Teleporting, metal-chewing ferrets with fur of dark grey mixed with blue. The bane of dwarves everywhere, to say nothing of loot-hoarding adventurers.

10. Bright emerald green, two-foot-long earthworms that burrow through stone with the same ease as through earth. (Alternately, neon orange.)

11. Grey and black mussels that can leap from the water, open up and flutter away like small birds. The mussels will clamp onto any surface that impedes their flight.

12. Golden-coloured centipedes that periodically hibernate; curled up and legs tucked close, they look uncannily like sculpted gold finger-rings.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Magic Item: Dipteron's Panacea

Dipteron's Panacea: Much to the surprise of any who happen to open this palm-sized copper apple, its spongelike halves contain not an enchanted ointment or potion but instead a multitude of miniscule clockwork flies. Each tiny insect -- delicately crafted of golden filaments and ivory glass, with eye of tiny rubies -- is no more than a mote, the size of a grain of barley perhaps. And once the Panacea is opened the flies flit towards the closest living being and set to work.

The tiny flies are drawn towards the orifices of the body, preferring the nose, mouth and eyes. They do no damage but can be excessively irritating -- and disconcerting! -- to those not accustomed to their invasion. So long as the flies may freely access their host, said host is granted immunity to all disease and a second chance at all saving throws vs. poison. The flies may be active for up to four hours before they must return to their apple and "rest" for a day.

Scattered records indicate a similar concatenation of amber and ebony bees, which -- if permitted to crawl across and cling to their host, who occasionally would suffer a lancing from silver stings -- would absorb damage inflicted from fire, lightning and ice.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monster: Raintiger

Armour Class: 3
Hit Dice: 12***
Move: 180' (60')
Attacks: 2 claws + 1 bite
No. Appearing: 1-2
Save As: C12
Morale: 11
Treasure Type: F
Alignment: Lawful
XP Value: 3500

Prowling with equal ease through the planes of Water and the warm lands of the mortal world, the raintiger is lord of all it surveys and bends mortals and its own elemental kin equally to its will as it feels the situation requires. A sleekly massive creature some 20' from nose to rump, a raintiger resembles the flesh and blood beast at a casual glance; but beneath its silver-blue, teal-striped pelt lie bones of coral and muscles of currents, and its fangs and claws shine like pearl. The eyes of a raintiger are a brilliant, bottomless sea green.

In mundane combat a raintiger uses its claws and fangs, inflicting 1-10 hit points of damage with a claw and 2-16 hit points of damage with its bite. At will a raintiger may evoke a storm of any power with a 20 mile range; once a week the storm may be of hurricane force, but the primary use of this stormcall is to evoke a 6 Hit Die lightning bolt once every three rounds. Once a day a raintiger may beckon up to its Hit Dice in other elemental creatures of water, which serve the tiger to the best of their ability for a day or until it surrenders its command.

Raintigers are immune to water-based attacks, ice and lightning. They take only half-damage from magical weapons, and have a +2 bonus to their saving throws.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Monster: Heartbriar

Armour Class: 5
Hit Dice: 4*
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2
No. Appearing: 1-2
Save As: F4
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 125

Looking superficially like a crude -- or oddly baroque -- rosewood golem, a heartbriar is a creature of tangled, thorn-laced fibrous vines and chunks of flexible wood of a distinctly rose-rust colour. Roughly human in size and shape, a heartbriar is rooted in place during the cold seasons or in similar conditions inside a dungeon but otherwise roams freely in search of warm-blooded prey.

In combat a heartbriar attacks with its "fists" or with free-swinging coils of briar, inflicting 1-8 hit points of damage per strike. Each attack sinks thorned tendrils into the victim, draining 1-6 hit points via blood loss per round until the tendrils are severed or the victim is otherwise removed. The more blood absorbed, the deeper a tinge of bloody crimson colours the heartbriar.

If a human or similar sapient creature is killed by blood drain the heartbriar releases the corpse, its woody core taking on a more defined humanoid shape as the plant stiffens and roots itself. Within 1-4 hours the wood crumbles and flakes away and the briars wither, releasing a new-formed "briar-born" with no prior memory. The briar-born resembles a human with hair of rose-rust (rarely other shades) and deep green eyes tinged with blood red.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two Spells of Scribing

Fleeting Glyphs
Range: 0
Duration: Until triggered, or 1 day per level
Effect: Infuses missive with destructive energy

Casting this spell upon a message or other document of no more than a single sheet of paper or parchment in length infuses it with a hidden, self-devouring magical energy. Once the inscription on the message is read, the missive is promptly destroyed: dissolves to dust, rusts away, is immolated in golden flames, or whatever form the magic-user desires.

Level: M2
Range: 50'
Duration: Permanent
Effect: Inscribes a subject with a magical mark

Casting this spell on a living or at least animate target "burns" a glyph of the magic-user's choice into the subject's self, to be revealed under specific conditions (detect magic, detect evil, certain types of illumination, a time of day ...). This glyph may be on the subject's person or may hover above their head, and cannot be seen by the subject. The soulbrand may be removed by the same methods that remove curses.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Shout-Out and Heads-Up

Tis the halfway-point for submissions for the Halloween One-Shot Adventure Contest over on Tankards and Broadswords. Get those creative juices flowing, everyone!

And yes, Badelaire, ye may expect my own submission this evening or within decent hours of it, once I locate the bloody file so I can send it ;3

A Handful of NPCs

A few possible hirelings, retainers, or just odd folks for your low-level PC party to deal with -- and just the basics, so as to make tailoring the details all the simpler ...

Name: Bay
Class (or lack thereof): Normal Man (porter)
Armour and Armour Class: none -- AC 9
Hit Points: 4
Weapon(s): reinforced carry-pole (treat as staff)
Belongings of Note: lock of curly hair tied with red ribbon; pouch of various herbs
Alignment: Neutral
Notes: Methodical, diligent, and a little nosy. Will try to defend weakened PCs, especially if PC is young (lost a child in the recent past). Will work for half-pay if hired for an expedition against goblins. +1 to hit and damage rolls.

Name: Sevar
Class (or lack thereof): F1
Armour and Armour Class: chain mail -- AC 5
Hit Points: 7
Weapon(s): dagger, sword, shortbow
Belongings of Note: silver signet ring, horse
Alignment: Neutral
Notes: Aloof. Brittle-tempered, but quickly appreciates good leadership. Youngest son of a minor (and prolific) noble, expensive to hire but can make good commendations later.

Name: Myrnn
Class (or lack thereof): Normal Man (porter and mule tender)
Armour and Armour Class: none -- AC 9
Hit Points: 5
Weapon(s): dagger, handaxe
Belongings of Note: serpentine sacrificial knife (concealed)
Alignment: Chaotic
Notes: Quiet, deferential, and exceptionally attentive to the needs of his charges. Secretly a member of a chaotic nature-cult and will attack a sleeping (or otherwise vulnerable) PC if the opportunity presents itself.

Name: Rinan
Class (or lack thereof): MU1 (acting as lantern boy)
Armour and Armour Class: none -- AC 9
Hit Points: 3
Weapon(s): dagger
Belongings of Note: lantern staff, concealed leather packet with folded spellbook pages (read magic, magic missile)
Alignment: Lawful
Notes: Curious, chatty, but secretive. Nervous, having fled master, and trying to conceal magical ability -- but may reveal himself if party is in dire straits.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monster: Verdant Jelly

Verdant Jelly
Armour Class: 8
Hit Dice: 2
Move: 90' (30') / none
Attacks: 1
No. Appearing: 1 (special)
Save As: F2
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 20

Seeping amoeboid masses of deep emerald green protoplasm tinted with gold, verdant jellies are the bane of dungeons and wilderness terrain alike. This reputation is less for any especial fearsomeness as for the jelly's unique metamorphosis -- once it has absorbed enough nutrients it transforms into a lush climbing or trailing vine, eventually studded with enticing mottled green "melons", all of which contain a tiny jelly-spawn.

In combat a verdant jelly strikes for 1-6 hit points of damage. The jelly also secretes a clinging, corrosive fluid that causes an additional 1-4 hit points of damage the following round as flesh dissolves and liquifies. Verdant jellies are immune to acid and cold, but take double damage from fire. A verdant jelly vine has no attacks, but bears 2-20 melons -- all of which can and will split to release a 1/2 Hit Dice jelly that otherwise attacks like the parent.

It is not advisable to attempt to consume a melon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Magic Item: The Scarlet Rose

The Scarlet Rose: A more delicately deceptive weapon than the Verdant Rose, the weapon often believed to be its twin, the Scarlet Rose nonetheless carries its own sting in its tail for those prideful enough to bear it.

Like its supposed twin blade, the Scarlet rose is a slim and single-edged sword of exotic and presumably foreign design; the metal of its blade reflects light like moonlight off water, and on either side, close to the blade's root, is etched a single blood-red petal. Like Verdant Rose, the hand-guard is small, oval and golden. The Scarlet Rose's hilt is, however, wrapped in braids of white silk that bear small marks like tiny bloodstains, and the smooth simple finial that tips its pommel is golden.

The Scarlet Rose is a sword +1, +2 vs. black knights and creatures of darkness. The bearer of the Scarlet Rose is treated as if their Charisma were two points higher when negotiating with hirelings and other such followers, and once a day may pierce the future to determine the most suitable -- or at least, the least dangerous -- course of action. If the Scarlet Rose is stood point-down in the courtyard or flanking the gate of a keep or borderland fortress it will rouse the lord should danger threaten; but the blade loses all power for a year and a day following.

However, such influence comes at a price. The bearer of the Scarlet Rose seems indefininably touched by a hint of the same darkness the blade seeks to combat; in any given moment of tension, the Scarlet Rose's bearer may be compelled to secretively betray their fellows by some small action, or to lie despite their glowing reputation.

Monster: Guileu

Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2+3*
Move: 90' (30')
swim 120' (40')
climb 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 spit
Damage: 1-6 + poison
No. Appearing: 2-12
Save As: M3
Morale: 9
Treasure Type: L
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 35

Slow of motion and placid of nature, guileu are frog-shaped creatures of perfectly clear water; long-limbed like a tree frog, a guileu has eyes like transparent black pearls and, when, motionless, is betrayed only by the ripple of light on its "skin". Guileu are inoffensive creatures, preferring to gather bits of wisdom and pearls and occasionally lurk amongst mortal creatures to dispense healing in return for reverence.

Guileu do not like combat and avoid it whenever possible, preferring to negotiate or retreat from the field of battle. If violence appears to be inevitable, a guileu will climb the nearest vantage-point and spit toxic waters at its antagonists; this "bolt" has a range of 50' and inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage, plus and additional 2-8 hit points and 1 point of Constitution (regainable with a day of rest) if a save vs. poison is failed. A guileu may choose to concentrate all of its toxin for a day's span to make a single bolt that kills the victim outright if the save is failed, but may then create no further bolts for 24 hours. Due to their shimmering transparency, all to-hit rolls take a -4 penalty against a guileu.

Guileu may cure poisoning and disease at will, using the fluids of their own bodies. They take double damage from wind and fire, but no damage from water, earth or acid; submerged in a body of water, they regenerate 3 hit points per round.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A Few Bits of Hedge Magic

Tinker's Cloth: Whether an unassuming leather wipe-cloth or a handkerchief of mottled colours, this small cloth, when wiped or rubbed vigorously on an object, will mend small imperfections and breaks, smooth out scuffs, and generally enact minor repairs. The number of times a tinker's cloth will work is variable.

Undead Ward: A mixture of salt and powered roses, usually kept in small stoneware jars or packets of waxed parchment. When strewn across a threshold, the mixture will force any undead creature attempting to cross said threshold to make a save vs. spell or be unable to do so. The ward, unless renewed, holds for one night.

Moon Charm: Also called -- predictably -- a werecharm, this small object is most commonly a small ornament of silver or silvered copper containing a few small bits of preserved aconite and wormwood. If one wearing a moon charm contracts lycanthropy, there is a 40% chance that the curse will not take. The charm then tarnishes, its enchantment spent.

Soupstone: Despite being an almost-alarming blue-green and shimmering like a peacock's plume, when submerged in heated water a soupstone will be consumed and transforms the water into enough broth to sustain four individuals for a meal. The larger the soupstone, the greater the number of people -- or the stone may be fished out to be used again.

Alicorn Balm: Sometimes a thin syrupy liquid to be drunk, but more commonly an ointment whose pearled ivory colour does indeed suggest that which graces a unicorn's brow, alicorn balm will heal a single hit point per injury per application. The balm is stored in small wooden boxes lined with wax.

Sundrop: Not true amber, despite its appearance, nor from the sun, a sundrop nonetheless shares the sun's warmth. Once rubbed vigorously this palm-sized mass of golden resin warms rapidly and -- wrapped in a cloth, most likely -- may be tucked within clothing or bedclothes to stave off the cold. A sundrop retains its warming properties for two to eight hours.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Monster: Myrcuri

Armour Class: 3
Hit Dice: 2**
Move: 120' (40')
burrow 120' (40')
climb 90' (30')
Attacks: 1 bite or sting
Damage: 1-6 + dissolve or 1-6 + paralysis
No. Appearing: 6-24 (20-200)
Save As: F2
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: D
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 30

Shimmering and eerily iridescent, myrcuri -- or quicksilver ants -- measure some two to two and a half feet long. The chitin of a myrcuri resembles mirror-bright, almost liquid-looking silvery metal, and its eyes are faintly luminous white orbs; the creature looks almost translucent. Myrcuri are armed with both chewing and puncturing branches on their mandibles, and their abdomens sport a needlelike stinger. They are said to hoard metals to spin into filaments as fine and flexible as silk to line their warrens, and some few quicksilver ants "sacrifice" themselves as repletes for the storage of the colony's food.

In combat a myrcuri will either bite or sting. The bite of a quicksilver ant inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage and allows the ant the chance to inject its metallic, toxic bile; a failed save vs. poison indicates that the victim takes a further 1-3 hit points of damage per round for four rounds as the flesh first reddens and then begins to dissolve. Likewise the sting of a myrcuri inflicts 1-6 hit points of damage, paralyzing the victim for 2-8 turns if a save is failed. Paralyzed victims are often dragged away, receiving further stings as required to return to the nest.

For every six myrcuri there will be a soldier of 4 Hit Dice, capable of inflicting 1-10 hit points of damage with its bite. The colony is led by a queen of 6 Hit Dice; her bite and sting are useless but she may mesmerize opponents by shivering her iridescent -- if useless -- wings, charming victims into servitude or becoming the nest's next meal.

Myrcuri replete "honey" is a fine -- if sweetly musky -- source of sustenance, but one must be willing to ingest it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Monster: Cricipter

Inspired by notions of flying hamster aviaries at yon Tower of the Archmage, as noted by Trollsmyth:


Armour Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1 hit point
Move: 60' (20')
fly 120' (40')
burrow / climb 60' (20')
Attacks: 1
Damage: None (special; see below)
No. Appearing: 1-12 (3-30)
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 4
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 5

Cricipters are flying hamsters. Flying hamsters with plush golden coats (often with a faintly rainbow undertone) and white bellies, and wings supported on long fingers like a bat's though coated in featherlike fuzzy growths. Cricipters are more gregarious than normal hamsters, and flocks of them can quickly decimate small groves of nuts or fruit -- especially as they breed with nearly the rapidity of the mundane breed.

The bite of a cricipter is painful and distracting (-1 to all rolls for ten turns), but normally does no hit point damage. Strange strains crop up in the breed from time to time, however, some of which are a little more impressive; the DM may occasionally choose to roll on the following table or make up their own strain:

1. Rare coat colour (silvery, colourpoint, black -- ooh, sell this one!)
2. Razortooth (1 hit point damage bite)
3. Tough as nails (AC 6)
4. Breath weapon (breath weapon?! 1-3 hit points damage, type could be almost anything)
5. Intelligence
6. Magic resistant (+2-5 on saves vs. spells)
7. Musky (ewww ... -2 on all actions of humanoids in a 15' radius after cricipter is startled)
8. Magisensor (glows faintly in the presence of magic)

Monster: Living Blood

Living Blood
Armour Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4+3**
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1-8 + energy drain
No. Appearing: 1
Save As: F5
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: Nil
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 275

"Living blood" is a misnomer for this abomination of a creature; it is not a living thing. The less-common name of blood ooze is equally inaccurate, as it is no ooze. Rather, a living blood is an unnatural, undead mass of festering, writhing blood and congealed gore, a blight upon every living thing that may come across it.

In combat living blood attacks with waves of its own substance, seeking to immerse its victims in its own putrid mass. This attack inflicts 1-8 hit points of damage; on a 19 or 20 on the to-hit roll, the living blood has engulfed its victim and inflicts automatic damage every round. A living blood may not attack another target while engulfing. The initial attack of a living blood will cause the victim to lose one experience level due to energy drain.

Victims slain by energy drain or by the engulfing attack of the living blood dissolve into a putrid mass, returning as a living blood within twenty-four hours. Living blood are immune to non-magical weapons.