Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Dismal Depths, more monsters

Work continues. I took a break from mapping the second level to work ahead a bit on the Dismal Depths Beastiary, detailing the next grouping of monsters, hostile and benign (mostly hostile).

I've merged the Upper Levels 1-3 list with the new list, but will wait to update the PDF after I've had time to consider the entries at greater length, but I thought I'd share the new critters here since I haven't done much in the way of posting this week.

I haven't come up with a name for levels 4-6 yet. 1-3 is The Upper Levels, 7-9 The Lower Levels, 10 The Dark Domain. 4-6? Hrmph. Maybe The Middling Levels or some such.

Anyway, here's the list thus far. Note that a few of the entries in The Upper Levels should be grouped here, but I won't copy them here until I compile everything together after starting the level 4 maps. I'm also including the playable races as monster entries, along with Jackals which I left off in error from the original list.

Dismal Depths Beastiary, The Middling Levels 4-6

Alfar(Any): AC * Move * HD 1+1 to 6+1 Lonely, haughty fae race of weird hunters and enchanters. Pale, brooding and gaunt, their kind is given to nonsensical behavior. Can sense secret doors, possess immunity to sleep and charm, and are able to cast spells while wearing magic armor.

Blob(N): AC 8 Move 3 HD 5 Large masses of flesh-eating microorganisms, Blobs are able to seep through small cracks, and attack foes through envelopment, seeping and eating, treating all targets as AC 9. This bright pink member of the clean-up crew devours flesh at 2 dice per round, is immune to fire and only struck by magic weapons, those causing naught but their bonus in damage.

Bogbear(C): AC 5 Move 9 HD 3+1 Huge shaggy furred, jack-o-lantern headed night-spawned terrors. Immune to sleep and charm, their targets must save at the start of each round or be frozen with fear, unable to act and giving the Bogbear +2 to hit. Surprise others 3in6, only surprised 1in6.

Doende(Any): AC * Move * HD 1 to 6 Swarthy, fae race of bitter, forgotten ne’er do wells. Once proud and strong, Doende are known far and wide as burglars, robbers and scalawags. Adept at deactivating traps, sneaking and pilfering. Naturally lucky and poison resistant.

Drool(C): AC 4 Move 12 HD 5 Toothless twisted two-headed dog things. Somewhat smart, very cunning, able to understand Chaotic only. Ravenous eaters, caustic acid breath attack makes victims edible. Breathe acid 3 times/day in 20'x10' cone for 5 dice damage.

Dvergar(Any): AC * Move * HD 1+1 to 6+1 Subterranean, often deformed race of greedy, distrusted fae malcontents who live in caves and gorges. Excellent metal-workers who greatly prize gems. Can sense and avoid traps. Both resilient and tough, they sustain but ½ damage from large, clumsy foes.

Experiment-X(N): AC 4 Move 12/18 HD 6+1 Failed White Coat experiment. Gigantic bat-winged beetles with a pair of glowing eyes on stalks which emit purple cones of light. Fire up to 24 energy darts, max of 6 per round to 180', dealing 1 die damage, with +2, +1 or 0 missile range bonuses.

Floating Horror(C): AC 4 Move 6 HD 6+1 Bobbing loathsome squid beast with two great quartz eyes. Shrink-ray gaze attack (save vs stoning) range 60', their tentacle attacks also turn targets to solid glass (save vs stoning).

Great Python(N): AC 7 Move 9 HD 6+1 Huge constrictors with massive biting maws. After a natural hit of 12 or higher, the target has been constricted and will sustain 1 die per round while being crushed, unable to escape until the constrictor is vanquished. One target at a time may be held.

Hag(C): AC 8 Move 9 HD 4 Very old, cackling, wart covered witch-women. Hags brew potions in cauldrons and worship pagan lords. Man to Frog gaze attack (save vs stoning) range 60', and hidden poisonous barbed tail lashes out at those attempting to enter melee.

Hungry Growth(N): AC 8 Move 0 HD 4 Rapidly grows in rotting carrion, exploding in size in a matter of hours. Hungry Growth is non-mobile, but can grow to block entire halls. Immune to fire and cold, it attaches and spreads on metal, eating flesh at a rate of 2 dice per round.

Irkling(Any): AC * Move * HD 1 to 5 Small bog dwellers able to wear leather armor and cast both magical and clerical shaman spells. Irklings require a strong leader to be effective, as they are naturally cautious and reclusive. Able to defy odds but limited in advancement.

Jackal(N): AC 8 Move 15 HD 1 Swift hunting and early-warning guard dogs, these wild canines are often trained by Boglings and Misfits.

Juggernaut(N): AC 5 Move 6 HD 5 Motivated by unearthly force, these massive stone constructs roll on crude wheels, crushing anything in their path. Immune to magic and only damaged by blunt force, targets in their path must save vs poison or be smashed to a pulp. Movement is affected by inclines.

King Rat(N): AC 5 Move 12 HD 6 Bipedal genetically transformed albino rat-men who overthrew the White Coats and now command both their former masters and Lab Rats. Wield tranquilizer dart guns, bites inject berserk inducing saliva.

Leper-Con(C): AC 3 Move 6 HD 5+1 Diseased fae notable for their missing ears, digits and noses. Their attacks cause rotting wounds which cannot be healed naturally. Only struck by magic weapons, and even those hit and damage at one-half bonus. Fearful of fire as it causes double damage.

Living Statue(N): AC 5 Move 6 HD 6 Slow moving stone statues immune to magic. Physical attacks deal minimum damage. Reconstruct to full health even once destroyed at a rate of 1 hit per hour.

Moth-Man(N): AC 7 Move 9/15 HD 4 Blood-drinking winged monstrosities. Moth-Men have the power to mesmerize and hypnotize victims who view their intricate, colorful wing patterns. Save vs spell or entranced for 1d6 rounds. Those mesmerized for 6 rounds become mind slaves until master slain.

Nix(C): AC 7 Move 9 HD 2+2 A force of negative energy created by the dreams of Troldes, Nixes cannot exist above ground. Nixes are non-corporeal and only struck by magic weapons. Their chilling touch saps 1 constitution point for 8 turns, and any foe sapped of all constitution will cease to exist.

Odd-Bug(N): AC 2 Move 12 HD 5 Alien insectoids that seek out and devour, for inexplicable reasons, the arms and armor of mortals who dare the depths. Weapons striking them melt and turn to mercury, and their attacks cause the same effect upon armor. Magic items receive a saving throw of 16 adjusted by magic bonus.

One-Two(C): AC 6 Move 12 HD 6 Ceaseless pursuers and eaters of flesh, One-Twos attack relentlessly when faced by men. Large and menacing, One-Twos are hairy hulking humanoids with the head of a rhino. Their name is derived from their battle cries of “Want to kill! Want to eat! Want to die?”

Pod People(C): AC 7 Move 9 HD 5 Men infested with parasitic vegetation under control of the Great Alien Pod Mind. Thick, sinewy vaguely man-like beings covered in various leaves, vines and bark. Attacks cause save vs spell or fall asleep, entangled in vines, becoming a Pod Person in 6 rounds.

Psi-Clone(C): AC 5 Move 9 HD 4 Shape-shifters that scan brain waves and are able to assume the form of any humanoids they detect or have detected in the past, seeking to lure victims into ambushes. Immune to sleep and charm, and gain +4 on all saves vs magic. True form is an amorphous flesh mass.

Tenta-Bot(N): AC 5 Move 12 HD 6 Metal robot controlled by one dozen Lab Rats. Six 10' long tentacle arms, each attacking as HD 6 and possessing 1 maximum die of hits. Each arm must be slain separately to kill the robot. Lab Rats emerge once the robot slain to fight, escape or parley.

Toad-Man(C): AC 7 Move 6 HD 5 Massively obese race of dark dwelling humanoids. Toad-Men require slaves to perform their work, but are able to ferociously defend themselves for short periods when required to. They wield enormous mauls and battle axes, dealing 2 dice in damage.

Tomte(L-N): AC 2 Move 6/18 HD 4 Fae dungeon keepers, trap re-setters and members of the clean-up crew. Tomtes are just as likely to be helpful as they are to be harmful when encountered. Might extract from a pit, or might summon a clean-up monster. Can meld into and travel through stone.

Trolde(C): AC 4 Move 12 HD 6+3 Lumbering, shambling ancient creatures of the earth. Vaguely humanoid, but with misshapen, random features. Trolde women look like beautiful humans, with hidden cow tails. Troldes regenerate at 3 hits per round beginning three rounds after taking damage.

Watcher(C): AC 5 Move 9/15 HD 4 Squat flying monkey idols of stone, Watchers are only damaged by magic weapons or effects. They attack most everything they encounter using razor sharp talons on their “feet”. Semi-intelligent, Watchers still show great cunning in their hunting methods.

White Coat(C): AC 9 Move 12 HD 4 Crazed, twitching men in white lab coats who perform their Lab Rat masters' bidding. Mutated mind slaves of their former experiments, White Coats are now ape-like super-humans. They often employ burning oil and acid grenades, and deal +1 damage in melee.

Wirry-Cow(C): AC 6 Move 9/18 HD 5 Feather covered and winged, Wirry-Cows are non-intelligent tainted fae of the underworld, and may never venture into the daylight. They attack with taloned hands, each hit upon mortals turning the target into a scarecrow, save vs stoning to avoid.

Wolf-Worm(N): AC 5 Move 12 HD 5 Foul White Coat experiment, a vile, shaggy cross of wolf and centipede, mutated to giant proportions. Fully 10' long, these non-intelligent monsters know no fear and fight to the death. On a natural roll of 12 or more they deal +3 damage.
The entries are slightly longer as a group than the 1-3 HD collection, but given the special attacks and defenses of these higher level monsters I feel I've still managed to maintain an economy of words. Further consideration might allow me to distill the descriptions down even further.

Now, back to my desk for more megadungeon design.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


K. Forest said...

Love me some bogbears. (Also, I'm swiping your moth-man stats.)

Sham aka Dave said...

Many of the entries here follow the theme established in Upper Levels, replicating existing D&D monsters. Moth-Men are pure homebrew and pretty cool, if I must say so myself!

I'm surprised I was able to distill my (by comparison) huge Bogbears that appeared in FO! 3 to two lines.

Here are some of the "transmutations" of the existing Volume 2 or Greyhawk monsters:

Nix = Shadow
Trolde = Troll (duh)
Experiment-X = Manticore
Tenta-Bot = Hydra
One-Two = Minotaur
Floating Horror = Basilisk
Hag = Medusa
Wirry-Cow = Cockatrice
Watcher = Gargoyle
Wolf-Worm = Owl Bear
Drool = Hell Hound
Odd-Bug = Rust Monster
Leper-Con = Mummy
Psi-Clones = Dopplegangers

I hope that doesn't detract from the list! I still spent a great deal of creativity (perhaps even more than straight homebrew) writing up these Middling Level entries.

K. Forest said...

"I hope that doesn't detract from the list!"

Not at all. Re-casting old monsters with new descriptions is good way to scare the hell out of complacent dungeoneers.

Mike D. said...

Great stuff as usual. Thanks for sharing.

Jeff Rients said...

Mothman! Aiee!

Brunomac said...

For a second there, I thought I was reading an old Dave Hargrave monster list.

Not a bad batch of monsters.

Are Mothmen themselves hypnotized by flame? And maybe extra damage from fire?

Sham aka Dave said...

Brunomac: That's entirely up to the referee. I had intended on giving them some strange attraction to flame, but never sorted it out and was running long on text for them already.

Glad you like the stuff. Some of it is very Arduinesque.

Amityville Mike said...

I haven't come up with a name for levels 4-6 yet.

If you find the fabled "List of Great Names for Dungeons", please let me know. I've been looking for that thing for months now! ;)

Sham aka Dave said...

Mike: Will do. I thought you had settled on something for "Ol' Nameless"? Just be thankful we have the time and energy to fret over minutiae like the names of our beloved dungeons. Of course I stole The Dismal Depths from a Eric Holmes blurb somewhere. I found it suitably evocative and generic enough for the "little" project that's keeping me busy.

Matthew said...

This list is so awesome that I want to have your babies. :)

Sham aka Dave said...

Matthew: I'm at a loss for words...glad you like it! I've been hung up a bit with the project as I'm somewhat stuck on a few of the Level 7-10 monster entries. The complete bestiary will clock in at over 100 beasts when it's done.

I have big plans for The Dismal Depths so I am trying to avoid the time sink side projects that doom so many of my ideas, and just focus on the essentials.

Matthew Slepin said...

Well, I look forward to the whole thing. I took your post and made you a handy little double-columned pdf with a good old font(if I have one criticism, it's that yuor pdf is single-columned. That's just cosmically wrong.) What I love about these things is the way they epitomize the OD&D: simple stats, evocative as hell description.

Sham aka Dave said...

Matt: That's a good point, actually. I should have the complete bestiary done soon if I could just stop adding monster ideas (I just wrote down a few more before checking email). Once it's done I'll play around with the file and see if I like double columned more. It probably should be formatted that way, in retrospect.