29 April 2011

Y is for Yeti!

A short one today. Lots of work up at the Uni as the semester winds down...more like free lunch for this starving professor! So, enjoy the yeti statted up for Swords and Wizardry Whitebox.


AC: 6 [13]                                   Special: Surprise, immune to cold, squeeze
HD: 4+4                                      Move: 15
Attacks: Claws (2)                       HDE/XP: 5/240

Arctic cousins of the lowland Sasquatch, the yeti is almost impossible to spot in the frozen North due to its stealth and natural camouflage. A character has a 5% chance of spotting the yeti for each level of experience above the 1st; thus, a 4th level character has a 15% chance of noticing the yeti before it attacks. If the yeti does manage to surprise the characters, they each must save or be paralyzed for 3 combat rounds as they meet its fearsome gaze. A paralyzed character is automatically struck by the claws and squeeze attack. If the yeti scores a natural 20 on either of its claw attack, it has managed to grapple with the character and automatically does an additional 2d6+4 damage.

28 April 2011

X is for Xenophobia and Xorn!

Well, I noticed that several other bloggers are using xenophobia today; however, there are only so many "x-words" and I had decided that this last night, so here we go!

As a historian, xenophobia has a special significance for me, although the phrase used in the literature is usually "the fear of the Other." All cultures exhibit this fear; "Humans destroy what they fear" is an old saying and frequently reused in literature and cinema such as X-Men. This is not merely confined to European cultures, either. For example, the name that each american Indian tribe used for itself translate as "the People." Other tribes were not really "People." This allowed for fighting between neighbors.

Part of the fear is instinctive; humans are actually fairly conservative creatures fearing change. Also, our minds work in loops that start with observation and move to contemplation. A decision is made and implemented. Confronted with something that was experienced previously (or at least similar to something known), this operation is practically instinctive. Faced with something odd or unique or radically different, fear and indecision set in as we try to cope with new input. The easiest solution is to destroy.

This explains propaganda in warfare. The enemy must appear "unhuman" to effectively convince the populace to kill. It taps into that fear of the other; confront with something different, it is easier, best, safest to kill it.

"What does this have to do with gaming?" you ask. Good question, and I don't really have an answer. I've wracked my brain looking for a connection, maybe something about how parties seem to slaughter orc children all the time or argue about whether it's a LG chore or not. But if one's brain is hardwired to work in this way (and remember that our instincts frequently short circuit and bypass our reason), is it even a moral issue?


AC: -2 [21]                                  Special: Surprise, immune to fire/cold
HD: 7+7                                      Move: 9
Attacks: Claws (3), bite                HDE/XP: 9/1100

Xorns are a race that is native to the Elemental Plane of Earth, but they occasionally travel to the deep places of the Prime Material Plane to search for the precious metals that they enjoy as snacks. A xorn is able to adjust its molecules and pass through solid stone as if it were air; it can also do this to attack by surprise (5-in-6) from underneath or out of a solid wall. Its claws do 1d6 damage, but its powerful bite does 4d6 damage! A xorn is also completely immune to fire- or cold-based attacks and takes no more than half damage from electrical attacks (if it saves against an electrical attack, the damage is 0). 

A xorn does have special weakness to some spells. Move earth stuns the xorn for 1 round, in addition to knocking it back 30 feet. Transform stone-flesh or transform rock-mud drops the xorn's AC to 8 for 1 round round and effectively stuns it (losing its next attack) since the xorn must readjust its molecules. A passwall spell causes 11-20 damage.

Fortunately for most adventurers, xorn are relatively peaceful. They will merely demand a "tribute" of precious metals (copper, silver, gold, etc.) from any groups they encounter and will then allow the party to pass on without incident. Note that they can smell precious metals from 20 feet away, so the party can't lie about what metals they have.

27 April 2011

W is for "Woot!" and Water Weird


"Woot!" is the "Hoody hoo!" heard at my gaming tables. As both a player and a DM, I LOVE woot-moments. For us they usually occur whenever we pull off a great moment. You know the one. You have this elaborate, by-the-numbers "Dirty Dozen" scheme all planned out. It's not quite working. Every one is on the edge of their seats and then...it happens! The scheme is pulled off and everyone makes it out alive and richer than Croesus. And someone, sometimes everyone, lets out a raucous "WOOT!!!"

A perfect example of a "Woot" game: Father Jupiter Smiles On Us Pt. I

Or an example with my kids:  And Second Session
especially with the fight that begins at:

"Once again they slaughtered the little horrors. They opened the doors to go down the corridor and, at the next intersection, a goblin patrol!" 

It's these "woot" moments that make the game better than a computer game, even an MMO. It's that human element where everyone connects emotionally and in person at a real table, face-to-face. For me, this is gaming and this is why I continue gaming even after 30 years. Once again, I have to say, thank you, Gary, Dave, and Bob.

Water Weird

AC: 4 [15]                                   Special: 1 pt. from sharp, 1/2 or 0 from fire
HD: 3+3                                      Move: 12
Attacks: Drowning                       HDE/XP: 5/240

These is a strange lifeform from the Elemental Plane of Water that occasionally hides in fountains or pools; in general, they cannot be destroyed and loss of all hit points merely disrupts their forms and they re-form with full hit points in two rounds. Sharp weapons do a mere 1 point of damage; blunt weapons do full damage. Fire spells automatically do 1/2 damage or 0 if the water weird saves. A purify food and drink spell destroys it immediately. It attacks as a 6 HD creature and a struck target will be dragged into the water and begin to take drowning damage on the next round and every round thereafter (1d6/round). Water weirds have a 3-in-6 chance of successfully controlling a water elemental.

26 April 2011

V is for Victim and Volt

Victim. That's one thing that characters should never be. They're supposed to be heroes by God, not a meal for a rodent with nasty, sharp, pointy teeth!

Just saying....


AC: 3 [16]                                   Special: Immune to electricity
HD: 2+1                                      Move: 6
Attacks: Bite and tail                    HDE/XP: 3/60

A volt is a weird, floating, bug-like creature that latches onto the neck of its target (d6-1 damage). Once it hits, the volt is attached until either itself or the victim is dead; it will continue to do d6-1 damage per round automatically by sucking blood. Its tail has to roll to hit but gains a +4 to hit; if it does connect, it does 2d6 electrical damage. The volt is completely immune to all electrical attacks.

25 April 2011

U is for Uniformity and Umber Hulk

Uniformity. In the Dungeon Masters Guide (p. 7), Gary states, "Dictums are given for the sake of the game only, for if ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS is to survive and grow, it must have some degree of uniformity, a familiarity of method and procedure from campaign to campaign within the whole." In my opinion that's part of the problem with the OSR movement. Everybody seems to want to come out with their version ("vision") of the old rulesets. If  Labyrinth Lord  is adequate, what need is there for Swords and Wizardry, Complete, Whitebox or other?  If B/X Companion rounds off Moldvey, why even bother with  Dark Dungeons (yes, I know, DD is a BECMI emulator)? Or, ultimately, with so many copies of the original rules on Ebay or even pdfs (mostly pirated, admittedly) why even bother with "clones" at all?

This is not to disparage any of the "clones." It is clear that the authors all have an excellent grasp of the system and the material. But they're all slightly different and not ~exactly~ compatible. As Gary goes on to say on the same page, "ADVANCED D&D is more than a framework around which individual DMs construct their respective milieux, it is above all a set of boundaries for all of the 'worlds' devised by referees everywhere. These boundaries are broad and spacious, and there are numerous areas where they are so vague and amorphous as to make them nearly nonexistent, but they are there nonetheless."

I probably worry for nothing, but I am concerned that the movement will  subdivide into a group of mutually antagonist people. Feel free to prove me wrong.

Umber Hulk

AC: 2 [17]                                   Special: Confusion
HD: 8+8                                      Move: 6/1-6 (when burrowing)
Attacks: Claws, bite                   HDE/XP: 9/1100

Despite their lumbering, beetle-like appearance, Umber Hulks are actually an intelligent subterranean race that culls ankhegs, cave fishers, hook horrors, young purple worms, and the like for food. Their exoskeleton protects them better than plate armor and their large mandibles can cut through armor for 2d6 damage. Anyone who meets the gaze of the Umber Hulk must save or become confused for 2d6 melee rounds.

23 April 2011

T is for Tekumel and Two-Headed Troll

Ah, Tekumel. One of the earliest campaign worlds. And one of the most detailed. And also, one of the few that's not Tolkien- or European-derived. I must confess, I've only, in 30 years of gaming, only played in Tekumel once, using the old EPT rules. But I have devoured everything I can about this world.

Imagine a world where metal is a scarce item. So, all weapons, armor, etc., are made from chlen-hide. Imagine a beast like a giant buffalo that can be "sheared" periodically of its hide. There are no horses or other beasts of burden, and chlen are too slow to be used as such. Porters travel on a triple-tiered highway system.

The land is ruled by a strict caste system that is also part of a clan system. There are 12 gods each with a "cohort," a minor deity or demigod in its service. So, 24 immortals essentially. Half are gods of order, half are gods of chaos. They are not good or evil per se. There is merely correct and incorrect behavior.

This is an alien world, settled in the far future by humans after recovery from a nuclear war. The world, however, eventually feel through a wormhole into a pocket dimension, cut off from the rest of reality. Aliens allies and enemies were also trapped on the planet as well. And the native life is high inimical to human life. The climate is a very hot tropical, and further changed human society..

There have been 4 different "official" rulesets for Tekumel, none currently in print, plus a host of fan-created ones for GURPS, Hero, etc.

The best primer on Tekumel is at the offical site: http://www.tekumel.com I could ramble on forever, but check it out. It's worth your time.

Troll, Giant Two-Headed

AC: 4 [15]                                   Special: Regeneration
HD: 10                                        Move: 12
Attacks: Claws, bites                   HDE/XP: 12/2000

Some deranged wizard caused an unholy union between an ettin and a troll, resulted in these two-headed monstrosity that combines elements of the two. The two-Headed troll can attack up to four targets in a round: 2 separate claw attacks (1d6+1 each) and two bite attacks (2d6 each). They are only surprised on 1-in-6 chance and regenerate as trolls (q.v.) but only at a rate of 1 h.p. per round.

S is for Sandbox and Sandman

Note: This is the first of two posts for today, because I "fasted" from the Internetz for Good Friday.

Sandbox. The term gets thrown around a lot in the OSR, but what exactly is sandbox play? Well, simply put, sandbox play is less centered around modules and more about allowing the players to go and explore whatever they want to. This is not to say that the DM cannot prepare ahead of time, but he doesn't railroad the players into one adventure by starting with "Ok, you say show up at the entrance to the dungeon. What do you do?" Instead, the DM presents a series of hooks for the players to examine.

For example, in the classic T1 Village of Hommlett, the DM could place hooks like these (all taken or inspired from the ToEE video game):

1. One of the farmers has a daughter who has disappeared. He thinks she might be at a Deklo grove that's rumored to be the lair of some giant spiders.
2. Ostler has a problem. Furnok of Fyrd, a professional "treasure-hunter" has set up a gambling table and is fleecing the patrons for a lot of coin. No one has caught him cheating. Can the PCs help?
3. The local wainwraight's wife was travelleing to visit her sister in another town and is overdue in returning from her trip. Where could she be?

Etc., etc. 

Now this only helps in a single regional area. Suppose your players decide instead that they would rather leave Hommlett and head off for Greyhawk (the city)? Well, you're either going to have to adapt some hooks on the fly or be a really good improviser. Of course, maybe you have a file folder with adventure seeds and ideas in it for just such an emergency.  

However, let's say you've prepared 5 or 6 hooks in detail and the players still want to go to Greyhawk. But it's been a long week at work and you're not on your A-game. You can run something prepared, but improvise? Not today, no way. There's nothing wrong with stepping out of the game for a second and telling your players something along the lines of, "Guys, I really don't have anything set up for Greyhawk today. I'm not trying to railroad y'all, but could you try to do something in Hommlett tonight. If, after tonight, you still want to head off for the City, I can get something for you for next week." I think most players would be like, "Hey, no problem. Let's rescue that farmer's teenage daughter. Maybe she's cute!" ;)

Another good idea in sandbox play is to allow the players to assist you in creating the world; this takes some of the burden off of your shoulders. Let's say a player wants to play a barbarian, but you haven't really given much thought to what the barbarians are like in your world. I mean, you know where they're from and you know their culture is similar to that of the Frost, Ice, and Snow Barbarians of Greyhawk (ref., Unearthed Arcana, p. 20).

Ok, so you let the player create the bare outlines of what his tribe or clan is like, why he left his homeland, etc. Maybe his tribe was wiped out by slavers when he was a child and he was raised in captivity and trained to be a gladiator. Or something like that.

Or, back to Hommlett, maybe the player's are trying to get in to see Burne and Rufus and are rebuffed by the guards who don't want their masters disturbed. One of the players pipes up with "Hey, I'm a fighter, right? And even a 1st level fighter is considered a 'vet,' right? Maybe I know one of the door guards from a campaign or something...." Don't let this one get out of hand, but it can enhance the game and help the player out. Plus, it can make the world seem alive. For those who find it implausible, I ran into someone from high school when I was in the Army on the other side of the world. I didn't even know she had joined the Army! Later when I was out of the Army I ran into a guy I served with, who was California, not Texas, in my hometown. He was going to a local college. So, it is possible. :)

So, that's a few thoughts to keep in mind when working up a sandbox campaign. 


AC: 3 [16]                                   Special: Sleep
HD: 4                                          Move: 9
Attacks: Touch                            HDE/XP: 5/240

Weird, extraplanar creatures that are made out of flowing sand granules, sandmen have some unknowable purpose in the world; they do attack humans on sight, however. A creature of any level that comes within 20 feet of a sandman must save or fall asleep. If the sandman touches someone, they need to save again (using a weapon against one does not count as a touch).

But not this guy...

or this one.

21 April 2011

R is for Rust Monster

Note: Tomorrow is Good Friday, so I'll be off the Net tomorrow. I'll post 2 blogs (S & T) on Saturday.

Rust Monster

AC: 2 [17]                                   Special: Corrodes metal
HD: 2                                          Move: 18
Attacks: 2 Antennae                    HDE/XP: 2/30

Rust monsters are strange creatures that like to eat metal. They generally cannot cause damage to living beings. They have 2 long, whip-like antennae that atack independent of one another. Any ferrous metal (incl. iron, steel, adamantium, mithril, etc.) that they touch (normal to hit roll) automatically rusts and corrodes it making it useless.  Magical items have a percentage based on its "plus" to avoid being corrode. A +3 Vorpal Sword has a 30% of not being affected. If an item has two plses, use the higher of the two (i.e a Sword +1, +3 vs. giants). 

20 April 2011

Q is for Queen and Quaggoth

Queen. No, not Queen Yolanda of Celene or the Queen of Hearts or even Queen Elizabeth of England, but these guys.

For whatever reason, Queen was the gamer band. At least in Longview, Texas. It's not just the Highlander soundtrack/"It's a Kind of Magic" album. Take "One Vision" from the "Iron Eagle" soundtrack. Ever since I started playing Rifts when it came out, it just feels like an anthem for the Coalition States. 

Some of my best brainstorming for gaming and creating adventures comes from times when I'm listening to Queen. Of course, I also get similar vibes off of Nightwish, Blind Guardian, and Hammerfall.



AC: 6 [13]                                    Special: Immune to Poison
HD: 1+2                                       Move: 4
Attacks: Claws or weapon             HDE/XP: 1/15

Quaggoth are a large (7'+) degenerate race that are covered in white, shaggy fur. If they are armed when encountered, the weapons will be either two-handed swords or battle axes. If they are not armed, their claws strike  for 1d6 damage (count both claws as a single attack). Quaggoth are totally immune to poison. 

19 April 2011

P is for Pedantic and Phycomid

Pedants. We all occasionally have to deal with them, especially in this hobby. Just go browse an OSR forum and you'll find plenty of them, all itching to show off their "733t DnD skillz, boy." There are two types and both are bad.

First, the more annoying of the two is the player pedant. This is the chap who has memorized all of the pre-1985 OD&D, D&D, and AD&D rule books, down to footnotes and obscure references. I'm not sure which is more annoying: the type of player pedant who is a rule lawyer looking for the best angle for his character (and his alone, never the party) or the one who bogs down the game disputing with the DM just because he knows more than the DM. This is definitely not a face you want to see looking at you from the other side of the screen.

For the DM, beware of this creature. He can make the game a living Hell and make the players start to leave in droves. The true pedant will do it by slowing the game to a crawl as he disputes, for 30 minutes, a ruling on one segment of the combat. And I'm not talking about an attack that would kill his player. No, I'm talking about a 1 hp hit by a party NPC on a goblin. He'll do this just because "I'm right!" and he wants to prove his superior knowledge of all things Gygaxian. Sadly, this is the type that also has zero social skills, and the only solution is to eject him from the game.

The rules lawyer, on the other hand, can usually be redeemed. He just wants to win the game. Squash him as needed and prove your superior rulesmanship and he'll give you grudging respect, sort of like Brian in KoDT. Many of these types actually have quick minds and good imagination. With the proper training, they usually make good DMs.

The referee pedant, on the other suffers from a different malady. This is the type who loves to drag out combat and make it more "realistic" (i.e., deadly) for the party. Miniatures, detailed sets, speed factor, weapon vs. AC adjustments...the whole shebang. Or he could be the type that has a full page of flavor text FOR EACH ROOM IN THE DUNGEON. The danger for the PCs with this type of DM is to for the characters to survive the battle and for the player to avoid falling asleep. Hmmm, maybe that's his gameplan: to make the players so sleepy that they are unable to think tactically....

The best advice for this guy is to tone it the Hell down. Don't neglect to mention the ogre standing in the middle of the room, but don't tell the players (in excruciating detail!) about the fine detail of the bas relief in the room, inch by bloody inch.

With today's monster, we get back to one of the more deadly and alien types.


AC: 5 [14]                                         Special: Immune to mental attacks, fire resistant

HD: 4                                                Move: 4

Attacks: Infection                               HDE/XP: 7/120

This creauture is believed by many sages to have an otherworldly, or even extraplanar, origin. It appears as a disgusting blob and pile of rotting matter covered in capped fungi and exuding a milky substance that allows it to creep along at a slow pace. A phycomid is immune to all mental attacks (sleep, charm, etc.) and gains a +4 to save vs. fire-based attacks. To attack, it extends a tube-like appendage and launches a globule of a highly alkaline fluid at up to 2 different target with a range of 12 feet. This spittle only causes 1d6 damage; however, if the victim fails a save, he takes an additional 1d6+2 damage and begins to sprout mushroom-like growth at the infected area. This growth (and damage) will occur in 1d6+2 rounds; the growths will begin to spread across the victim's body and will kill him in another 1d6+2 rounds unless a cure disease spell is cast. If the victim is killed, he becomes a new phycomid.

18 April 2011

O is for Ogrillon


AC: 6 [13]                                          Special: None.

HD: 2                                                Move: 12
Attacks: Fists.                                   HDE/XP: 2/30

An orgrillon is the result of an orc-ogre coupling. They are most assuredly not all that bright, but their great strength allows them to attack with both fists in one round with +2 to hit and 1d6+1 damage each!

16 April 2011

N is for Necrophidius


AC: 2 [17]                          Special: Paralysation, immune to poison, sleep & charm
HD: 2                                 Move: 9
Attacks: Bite                      HDE/XP: 3/60

The necrophidius appears as the animated skeleton of a fanged humanoid head with a snake's body. It is immune to the usual range of mind-affecting magics. If the necrophidius achieves surprise (a 3-in-6 chance), it begins its Dance of Death. All surprised individuals must save are be affected as if held; each individual will remain so until attacked. Note that the necrophidius is not an undead creature but is instead a magically-created golem.

15 April 2011

M is for Mist Giant

Mist Giant

AC: -6 [25]                                      Special: +2 Weapon to hit
HD: 12                                            Move: 9
Attacks: Fists                                 HDE/XP: 14/

Mist giants are strange worm-like creatures that inhabit swamps. They slither on their weird, almost formless bodies and hide in the fog (5-in-6 chance to surprise in such conditions). They attack with all 4 arms, punching for 3d6 damage each.

14 April 2011

L is for Lizard King

Another long day. I had to run to Dallas with my priest and then a rosary service at the funeral home for a parishioner who died. Tomorrow I'll be serving as an acolyte at the funeral mass, but tomorrow morning I might actually be able to get a full blog done. Today, it's just a S&WWB monster entry. Enjoy!

Lizard King

AC: 3 [16]                                     Special: Skewering
HD: 8                                            Move: 12/15 (when swimming)
Attacks: Trident                             HDE/XP: 9/1100

The Lizard King is a giant, more intelligent specimen of his kind. He lords it over several local tribes of lizard men, banding them together and requiring that they bring him human sacrifices from the surrounding lands. The Lizard King is armed with a magical trident that does 3d6+2 damage. If, however, he makes his to hit roll by 5 or more, the weapon will hit for double damage with a minimum of 15 points damage.

13 April 2011

K is for Knighthood

Ok, another short one today. I've been swamped this week so far and it's only getting worse. ~sigh~

I find that there are plenty out there in the OSR who do not like Unearthed Arcana. I find that attitude amusing. UA was edited by Gary and, in many ways, is a preview of what a Gygaxian "2E" might have looked like. However, because it does not fit into some pre-conceived notion of what "real" AD&D is, it has to go.

I invoke the magic word "Balderdash!" There is nothing wrong with it. And one of the two classes that (incorrectly) generates a considerable amount of ire is the Cavalier.

The argument generally goes that the cavalier is unnecessary because a single-classed fighter is a better choice and that one can simply roleplay a fighter as a cavalier. The problem with this argument is that the PHB already had an assassin class. Isn't assassin merely a job description for a thief or fighter? (That's the same argument used for why it was removed in "2E" and was a prestige class in 3.0/3.5.)

The assassin establishes the fact that sometimes, for various reasons, a specialized class is necessary. The counter-argument is that the cavalier "gives too much" to the player. The cavalier is "overpowered." Funny. I thought that the fighter was a better fighter, especially with specialization. There are limits placed on the cavalier. Alignment is restricted; if he becomes neutral or evil in morality, then the cavalier loses the ability to operate at negative hit points. Evil cavaliers are also hunted.

The next argument is that DMs and players usually ignore all the class restrictions on alignment, behavior, etc. I have to say, "So?" If the end-user misuses the product, does that mean the design is flawed? Of course not!

The thing to reminder is that a mere fighter is not a knight. A knight is a chivalrous warrior. That is more than just being an honorable fighter and a good Joe. There is a certain attitude and skill that is involved in the concept. And the most important, the one that really sets the knight apart from other warriors is the horse.

First and foremost, the knight is a horse warrior, trained practically from birth to fight from horseback and to espouse the Chivalric Code of Honor. Combat is Glory. Defense of any Charge until Death. Courage and Enterprise in Obedience. The Knight is chained to a demanding lifestyle. He's not just a "good fighter dude." The horse is a big part of it. Lancelot was dishonored when he had to ride in a wagon because he had no horse. Horses were ransomed just like the knights themselves. Norman knights on the First Crusade dropped their armor in the heat, but never their horses.

Of course there is more to than the horse. Without his code a knight is just a brigand on a horse. Sort of like this guy:

That code is what keeps his force in check. He is a superb warrior but his might is chained to oaths of obedience and loyalty, oaths taken before the altar of a Good (although not necessarily a Lawful) deity. That is why evil cavaliers are hunted down relentlessly; it is not because they are evil, but instead because they are Oathbreakers who are now unchecked.

Maybe I make too much of this. Maybe I have too romantic a spirit. Naw... ;)

12 April 2011

J is for Justice, Judge, and Jabberwocky!

Ah, the Dungeon Master. The old saying, "Justice is blind" cannot apply to one's role as a judge. Oh, plenty of people throw out phrases like, "Let the dice fall where they may" and others like that that, but sometimes the story must take precedence. Does this mean that there is no chance of death when I DM? Far from it. But sometimes, sometimes, it is necessary not to be hard ass. Like, when the fate of the world hinges on one die roll. Like Count Rugen and Inigo Montoya.

I mean, by the book, Inigo should be dead. What does the DM do? This is the culmination of a life quest.

Ah, I'm a little disjointed today. Woke up with a migraine and I'm still hurting; but I think you get my point.

And now, today's monster is dedicated to my daughter Katherine. Her one-act play from UIL this year was "Alice in Wonderland." Therefore, I present you with the Jabberwock!


Lewis Carroll

(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.
And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
  He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

EDIT: Tim Brannan also did the Jabberwock today, statted up for the Victorian Ghosts RPG instead. You can find his blog, The Other Sidehere.


AC: 2 [17]                                      Special: Blinding gaze, confusion aura
HD: 8                                              Move: 4/12 (when flying)
Attacks: Claws/bite                       HDE/XP: 10/1400

The Jabberwock is huge, ungainly beast that constantly burbles out a stream of nonsense that affects all foes within 30 feet as if by a confusion spell. If anyone is foolish enough to look the jabberwock in the eye, its eyes of flame blind the adventurer for 2d6 rounds. If the jabberwock hits a target with both of its claw attacks (1d6+1 each), it will immediately follow up with his bite attack (2d6). The jabberwock's chief weakness, due to its long neck, is to vorpal blades, which will decapitate the jabberwock on a result of 18, 19, or 20.

Vorpal Blade
Vorpal blades are extremely rare magic weapons that confer a +3 bonus to hit and damage. On a natural 20 of the die, however, the vorpal blade decapitates its target. Note also that vorpal blades are inevitably two-handed swords, thus causing its wielder to forego the use of a shield.

11 April 2011

I is for Iron Cobra

Monday. It's been a long day lecturing on WW2, so no profound thoughts today. However, I do have another treat for S&WWB ready.

Iron Cobra

AC: 0 [19]                                       Special: Immune to Sleep, Charm, Web; Poison
HD: 1                                              Move: 12
Attacks: Bite                                   HDE/XP: 4/140

An iron cobra is a magical snake crafted by a mage to serve as a guardian for its tower. While relatively weak at first glance, that same constructed nature makes it fairly resilient. First, it is AC 0. Second, as a mindless being, it is immune to sleep and charm spells. Third, it can blend into shadows and can attack with surprise with a 5-in-6 chance. Fourth, its fangs are connected to a reservoir of poison; the victim must save at -2 or die. However, its reservoir can only carry three doses of poison; some mages replace the poison with sleep-inducing drugs instead (normal save). Fifth, it is immune to the effects of web. Lastly, it saves as a 12th level Magic-User.