Donnerstag, 10. Juli 2014

Mire Man

In return for illustrating my brain sloth, I wrote up one of +Matthew Adams' wonderful creature designs and gave it some DCC stats, too.

Artwork by Matthew Adams

You might not believe it, but the mire man was once an elf. He still is, in a sense. A failed experiment of the elfin slime lords, a twisted hybrid of an elf and a slime. He has been an outcast for decades, dumped into the swampland surrounding the elfin slime lords' citadel, haunting the swamps and scaring away the few who dare to venture there. The mire man hates everything that has bones. His territory is marked by a countless number of strange sculptures made from the broken bones of creatures that crossed his path, from frogs to unwary travelers. He tolerates nothing but invertebrates. Worms and leeches are his only friends.

The mire man is immune to poison, charm, sleep, paralysis, stun, and polymorph. He ignores extra damage and effects from critical hits that normally damage limbs or bones. Piercing or slashing weapons only do half damage because his slime body just closes the cuts again. His limbs are extremely flexible and bendy, and can be stretched to a length of 10' each, although he usually keeps them from three to five foot long.

As a free action every three rounds, the mire man can try to call upon d20-8 leeches that automatically bite on to his foes that are standing in the mire. These start to drain blood at a rate of 1hp per round and leech. Characters can get rid of leeches by using an action to remove as many leeches from themselves as the result of an Agility check.

If the mire man is reduced to 0 hit points, his slime body explodes vigorously, splashing everybody inside of a 15' radius, requiring a DC 13 Fort save or doing 1d8 acid damage.

MIRE MAN: Init +2; Atk claw +4 melee (1d4 plus Fort DC 12 or paralyzed for 2 rounds) or bite +4 (2d4); AC 11; HD 6d10; MV 30’ in swamp only, otherwise 10'; Act 2d20; SP summon leeches (free d20-8 every 3 rounds), death splash (DC 13 Fort or 1d8 acid), stretching limbs, infravision, heightened senses, immunities: poison, charm, sleep, paralysis, stun, polymorph, critical hits on limbs and bones; SV Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2; AL C.

Artwork by Matthew Adams

Montag, 7. Juli 2014

Brain Sloths

+Matthew Adams was kind enough to supply a rad illustration for my brain sloths. 
He blogs at Rumble City.

Artwork by Matthew Adams

Brain sloths cling to cave or dungeon ceilings, drop down on hapless adventurers, pierce their skulls and attach to their brains with tentacle-thingies. Then they guide the bodies into their breeding chamber where they are filled with eggs by the enormous brain sloth queen.

BRAIN SLOTH: Init -1; Atk claws +1 melee (2d4); AC 8; HD 1d6+3; MV 10’; Act 1d20; SP climb sheer surfaces, hide on ceilings (DC 1d20+10 Intelligence check or be surprised), piercing drop (+5 attack when dropping on a head from above), brain control (after successful hit to the head, DC 20 Will save or total mind control), immune to mind control and sleep; SV Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +5; AL N.

BRAIN SLOTH QUEEN: Init +1; Atk claws +2 melee (2d6) or stinger +4 (1d8 + insert 1d4 eggs in torso, or in limbs if DC 15 Ref save is made); AC 10; HD 6d8; MV 10’; Act 2d20; SP immune to mind control and sleep; SV Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +5; AL N.

The brain sloth eggs can be removed with a cleric's lay on hands; they are a 3 dice condition.

Alternatively any character can make a DC 10 medical skill check (remember that only characters with appropriate occupations may use a d20, all untrained characters use a d10). A success means the eggs are removed and the patient takes 1d4 damage (only 1 damage on a natural 20). A failure means the eggs are removed, but the patient suffers 1d10 damage (only 1d6 damage if eggs are in a limb). A fumble results in 1d10 damage (1d6 in limb) and all but one egg removed.

After 12 hours inside of a body, the eggs will attach growing tentacles to the nervous system of their host and cause paralyzation. The gestation period is 2d4+8 days, after which the baby brain sloths burst out of the host's body.

Montag, 16. Juni 2014


Yessir, the god of following absurd orders, was originally written for the Expanded Petty Gods project by Gorgonmilk. There were a lot more chaotic godlings submitted at that time, so I tried to come up with a cool lawful petty god.

Name: Yessir
Symbol: A full visor helmet with a fist held to the temple
Alignment: Lawful
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: By armor, reduced by 5 (for descending AC)
Hit Points (Hit Dice): 72 hp (16 HD)
Attacks: 1, see below
Damage: By weapon, see below
Save: F20
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: VI
XP: 6,000

Yessir is the god of following absurd orders and a favorite among soldiers of many armies. Out of the ordinary for a lawful god, he is only revered in secret, as openly worshipping him is usually treated as a major offense and punished accordingly. His covert followers are legion in both senses of the word, but they are unorganized. All veneration is clandestine and only shared with true comrades-in-arms.

Privates pray to Yessir every time they are given an order that is, in their opinion, pointless, ineffective or futile. The high art of quick prayer to Yessir consists of uttering his name while in the presence of superiors who have given the order, then mumbling a quiet rebuttal, and following it with touching their temple with their fist as soon as they feel unobserved. The faithful believe that the better the rebuttal and the more pronounced the gesture, the more help Yessir will provide as they fulfill the absurd order. There are untold legends of soldiers on a suicide mission miraculously surviving only through the divine intervention of Yessir.

Yessir appears as a soldier in armor customary to the world where he manifests. His armor is always of the highest quality, well-kept, and donned perfectly. His face remains ever hidden behind a helmet with a full visor. He wears military insignia of the lowest rank.

If Yessir is directly involved in a battle, he never breaks battle formation and always fights on the front line. He wields any weapon that a low-ranking soldier might carry with brutal efficiency. He always rolls an additional damage die and any 1s rolled for damage become the highest possible result for the die instead.

He can command allies and enemies alike within earshot. Yessir’s orders are usually extremely absurd but not lethal on their own. He can give one order per round, but he can never try to command a single target more than once per battle. If the target fails a saving throw against spells, he has to comply with the order.

If a soldier requests help or protection while following an order from a superior, there is a chance that Yessir will assist him. Roll a d20 and apply the soldier’s Wisdom modifier. Additional bonuses may be given at the GM’s discretion, based on how dutifully the soldier has followed orders recently (any disobedience should be punished with negative modifiers), how well the quick prayer was performed, and how absurd the order was. Yessir’s support will vary depending on the roll, but a result of 20 or higher is required to gain his attention. His help can range from minor protection (e.g. a small AC bonus) to a manifestation of Yessir himself. Yessir will never aid a soldier to fulfill a reasonable order or if the soldier does not intend to fully execute the order. Yessir only answers prayers from members of the military or decorated veterans.

Donnerstag, 29. Mai 2014

Dworfen Kaosmobile

+Luka Rejec asked me to "stat up the noble steed" he drew for his Dworfs of Anarchy, so I did (for the DCC RPG):

Dworfen Kaosmobile: Init as driver; Atk hit and run +2+INT modifier of driver (1d6 per 10' distance of acceleration (up to 10d6), every damage die showing a 6 results in a broken bone and losing a point of Strength or Agility); AC 18 (every passenger receives +2 to AC); HD 3d8+14 (any magical fire attack that does at least 8 damage to the Kaosmobile will make it explode, doing 2d6+8 damage to every passenger); MV 100’ (turning takes 1 round); Act n/a; SP breachcruisin'; SV Fort +8, Ref as driver, Will n/a; AL C.

"The Dworfs shall ride once more into the breach. For Kaos and Light." - illustration by Luka Rejec

Check out Luka's blog Cauldrons & Clerics.

Montag, 19. Mai 2014

More Magic Shields

As requested by +Joel Priddy and inspired by +Courtney Campbell's On a Magical Shield, here are some more magic shields.


This iron shield has a protrusion with a coiled wire around it. When activated by pressing a button on the handle, it creates a humming sound. Any attack with a metal weapon that misses to hit by one or two points results in the weapon clinging to the shield, requiring a complete action and successful strength check to free the weapon. Any attack on a fighter that is holding onto a weapon currently clinging to Magnetus receives a +1 to hit.

Ith-Narmant's Shadowshield Glove

When not in use, it looks like a pitch-black glove that does not reflect any light. When activated by clenching one's empty hand, a disk of magic shadow forms instantly at the back of the hand, protecting the wearer like a normal shield.

The shadowshield provides an additional +2 AC against attacks with any fire or light-based weapons as well as a +2 bonus on saving throws versus any fire or light-based magic or effect. The saving throw bonus also applies while the glove is just worn without the shield being active.

This glove is a given as a reward for extraordinary services to priests and champions of Ith-Narmant, the master of shadows, chill and solanaceae. Prolonged use by others might result in the visit of Ith-Narmant's agents.

Displacer Shield

A round shield covered in the dark blue pelt of a magical beast. The wielder of the shield appears to be one foot away from their actual location. In addition to the AC bonus of a normal shield, the displacement effect gives any attacker a -1 on their attack rolls.

Any other action that involves the need to know the location of the shield's wielder, like a cleric's healing touch or chucking a weapon to the displaced fighter, also either requires a successful perception roll at -1 or incurs a -1 on the roll for the action, as applicable.

Double Displacer Shield

As displacer shield, but combining pelts from two magical beasts, displacing the wielder two feet and resulting in -2 on all applicable rolls.


Not a shield per se, this symbiotic magical bug can be implanted in the back of one's hand or forearm. In its dormant state, it looks like a big grey wart. When the host loses hit points, the wart quickly grows into a buckler sized shell and sprouts up to 4 chitinous tentacles that actively deflect further attacks.

The AC bonus is equal to the lost hit points, up to a maximum of +4. Each attack that does not hit the host reduces this AC bonus by 1. Further hit point loss increases it again (up to +4). Any healing of hit points also reduces the bonus AC.

The arm hosting a paineater bug cannot be used to wield a weapon or sword. Extracting the bug is only possible by cutting it out of the flesh, resulting in 4 damage.

Donnerstag, 8. Mai 2014


Sometimes called Batbane Women or simply Bat Women, some claim that these chimeras are the offspring of a single woman or group of women that were once human, but struck by a terrible curse for an evil deed they committed. Others suspect that they are the unfortunate results of forbidden experiments with devilish wizardry.

Batbane Women look like a hideous crossbreed of a human female and a bat. Most of their once human features are hidden under monstrous deformities. Leathery batwings stretch from the legs to their elongated arms, with hands and feet ending in long claws. Their mouths are full of sharp teeth and their ears are big and pointy. They are partially covered in a silky black fur, but have patches of bare skin. The hairless spots differ in size and position from one Batbane to the next, with the exposed skin often showing a sickly and pale appearance. Their faces are usually but not always hairless.

The Batbanes are capable of flying for short periods of time, and prefer to attack their prey with dives from above. They can use the claws on their feet to grab and carry away their victims, if those are not much heavier than themselves. Due to their ability to produce and perceive ultrasonic sounds, they can maneuver in absolute darkness and are almost impossible to surprise. Their instincts and behavior are very feral and although they can subsist purely on drinking blood, they tend to also rip apart and eat some of the flesh of their prey in the process of feeding. They get their main sustenance from wild animals, but prefer the more potent humanoid blood when the opportunity presents itself. They eschew the sun, sleep through the day in dark places and only come out to hunt at night.

The curse of the Bat Women is lifted during two nights per year, on the summer and winter solstice. In these nights, their bodies and minds transform back to their human origins, and they are driven to seek the companionship of other human beings. Though still feral in nature, they regain some intelligence and a rudimentary ability to speak. Some Batbanes even grow attached to certain individuals they meet during these nights and try to revisit them again at a later solstice. Usually, their new friends are totally oblivious to the Batbane's true nature. Although a Batbane in human form is generally in a friendly and social mood, they can still get very dangerous if they feel threatened. In very rare cases, when pushed too far, they may even transform back to their inhuman form before the night is over, with dire consequences for anyone nearby.

Some whisper that if a benevolent soul could unravel the original cause for their curse and redeem it, all of them would be saved from their fate, and could live free from the curse or at least die in peace.

DCC RPG stats:

Batbane: Init +2; Atk claws +1 melee (1d4); AC 12; HD 1d8; MV 30’ or fly 30’; Act 1d20; SP pick up opponents after a successful flying attack (avoid with DC 11 Fort save) and drop them from 10' (1d6 damage), never surprised; SV Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +1; AL N.

Dienstag, 29. April 2014

Ith-Narmant's Lantern

This black metal lantern was crafted by the artificer warlocks of Ith-Narmant, the master of shadows, chill, and solanaceae. It has a black leather hood made from humanoid skin, is always cold to the touch and never exudes heat even while burning. It shines an eerie, dim, unnatural bluish light in a radius of 50 feet.

The special oil used in Ith-Narmant's Lantern will burn for up to 4 hours or 24 turns and can only be made with an elaborate ritual, a sacrifice and the blessing of a cleric of Ith-Narmant. If utilizing this oil as a thrown weapon, it will inflict 1d8 cold heat damage on a successful hit and 1d4 cold heat damage on the following two rounds (this can only be prevented with resistance to both magical fire and magical cold).

Animals will never freely enter or stay in the light of Ith-Narmant's Lantern. Characters and monsters of non-chaotic alignment must make a saving throw against magic to enter or stay in the lantern's light. If they fail, they can still enter or stay inside the illuminated area, but will feel very uncomfortable, get -2 on all rolls and try to escape the light after a certain number of rounds (Wisdom score determines the maximum number of rounds for characters, double hit dice does the same for monsters). They cannot try to re-enter the light before one turn has passed.

Ith-Narmant's Lantern can be lit and used by any class. It grants the shadow tunnel ability to everyone in its light. Shadow tunneling allows entering a shadow and emerging from another shadow. Both shadows have to be cast by the blue rays of the lantern, so only shadows from objects or living things that are inside the light radius of the lantern qualify. The destination shadow has to be chosen at the time of entering. If this shadow does not qualify anymore when trying to emerge from it, the traveller is lost in the shadow realm (see table result 6). The complete shadow tunneling takes three rounds: one for entering, one for travelling, and one for emerging.

Shadow tunneling actually means travelling through the shadow realm of Ith-Narmant, and comes not without dangers. Every time when shadow tunneling, make an unmodified d20 roll. On a 1, there are complications (see table).

Shadow Tunneling Complications (1d6):

  1. Receive a demonsign of Ith-Narmant. This can take many forms, but most commonly results in a pitch black mark on the skin that does not reflect any light. These signs are recognized by demon hunters and inquisitors. 
  2. You lose a valuable item in the shadow realm.
  3. A Shadow emerges along with the traveller (see S&W Complete, page 112).
  4. Lose your own shadow for 1d6 days. During this time, you cannot regain lost hp.
  5. You are chilled to the bone and temporarily lose 1d6 Strength. If this brings your Strength to 0, you die and are transformed into a Shadow (see S&W Complete, page 112). Your lost Strength returns after 9 turns. If you die before that happens, you are also transformed into a Shadow.
  6. If you do not yet have a demonsign, you receive one and emerge normally. Otherwise, if you are already marked with a demonsign of Ith-Narmant, you do not emerge from, but are instead lost in the shadow realm of Ith-Narmant. Your friends might try to come and rescue you, if they are brave or foolish enough.

Originally written for the magic item contest over at Tenkar's Tavern, for use with Swords & Wizardry Complete - but of course you can easily use it with any other fantasy RPG. If you're using it with the DCC RPG, I'd suggest to roll on the corruption tables when a character receives a demonsign; and you'll find a Shadow monster on page 425 of the rulebook.

You can find a bit more information about Ith-Narmant in Crawl!#7, along with another of his magic items, the Shadowsword of Ith-Narmant, including DCC RPG stats.