Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Castles & Crusades Monsters & Treasure Preview

Got my physical copy of Monsters & Treasures for Castles & Crusades. I backed their kickstarter earlier this year and got some of my rewards today. Got the gorgeous full-color monster/treasure book, plus five adventure modules, a few poster maps, and characters sheets. A few months ago I got the players handbook and the reward are still not done.....waiting on the Castle Keeper Guide and some more goodies. Overall it was great score.

Below are some pictures of the Monster & Treasure book plus the modules. I love full color monster books and the Trolls did a nice job.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lava Child

Dungeons & Dragons PathfinderThis creature is a stocky humanoid standing about 5 or 6 feet tall with sooty-black hair and green eyes. It wears crudely constructed hides of fur and leather. Its face has a curious, almost child-like appearance and seems to be imprinted with a permanent, non-changing smile. Its skin is pinkish-white.

Source: Tome of Horror Complete Sword & Wizardry. Originally from the AD&D 1e Fiend Folio.

     The reclusive Lava Children generally makes their homes in burnt out volcanoes located in warmer climates. Their only friends tend to be only fire-themed creatures like magmin and fire elementals. These deranged looking child-like humanoids make great occupants of underground cities lost in time. Lava tubes snake through the underground leading the way to a tribe of Lava Children lost for centuries among the ruins. 
     They also make great minions for a stronger force like a genie. The Lava Children also work great as a civilization on a tropical island. Maybe a tribe of primitive humans has resorted to idol worship of the Lava Children. Associating the island lone volcano and it's activity with the demeanor of the Lava Children. The human tribe could be kidnapping people and sacrificing them to the Lava Gods...
     The Lava Child signature ability is that metal objects has no effect on them. Lava Children simply ignore all metals from swords to armors. An encounter with a band of Lava Children can be a frustrating encounter for a melee heavy group.

Combat: The Lava Child has few interesting abilities. First any metal object that is used against a Lava Child simply passes through it. Also if a Lava Child attacks someone in metal armor it ignores that armor class bonus. They can also move through any solid metal surface as if they didn't exist. They are also immune to all earth spells. They are vulnerable to water and cold based spells. 

  • Lava Child: HD 4; AC 3 [16]Atk 2 claws (1d4) and bite (1d6)Move 12; Save 13; AL N;
    CL/XP 5/240; SpecialImmunity to earth magic, fire and metal, double damage from cold

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gray Jester

A gaunt figure clad in gray-hued jester's motley comes capering around the corner. Its feet move silently on the stones, and it grips a scepter with a doll's head atop it in one hand.

Source: Heroes of Horror (Dungeons & Dragons 3.5)

     Otherworldly fey drawn to humanoid emotion. The Gray Jester drains joy from those around it. Appearing as mimes, clowns, or jesters they feast on positive emotions such as laughter, joy, happiness, etc. The Gray Jester has the ability to cause laughter through it's fey magic while at the same time feeding upon those emotions.
     Once all sign of happiness is extinguished their victim become the Bleak Ones. They lose all self will and the capacity to feel positive emotions. The Bleak Ones become followers and soldiers for the Gray Jester.

Combat: The Gray Jester is a challenge rating of 4. It has damage reduction 10/cold iron and spell resistance 18. It has the ability to touch a subject with it's hand or scepter to cause laughter like Tasha's Hideous Laughter spell. If the subject is under the laughter spell or feel joy from another source the Gray Jester can feed upon those emotions. While feeding the victim takes 1d4 points of charisma drain. The Gray Jester can drain up to three victims at a time.
     Once a Gray Jester has drained it's victim or victims it is at it's weakest. It's damage reduction and spell resistance is reduced. Those victims whose charisma is drained to zero become Bleaks Ones. Emotionally devoid followers of the Gray Jester

Inspiration: Who doesn't want a demented clown tormenting the local village? I like the concept of the group entering a relatively abandoned village. A group of children are all that is left of the residents. They have been drained of their emotions and have become Bleak Ones. Their sole purpose is to lure victim to the Gray Jester tea party.
     You could also have the carnival come to town. The travelling freak show sole purpose to lure victims to the Gray Jester so can feast upon their raw emotions,

Lovecraftian Ghoul

This humanoid creature has long, sharp teeth, and canine features. 

Source: Realms of Crawling Chaos (Labyrinth Lord)

Taking a look at a variant of the classic ghoul. The typical Dungeons & Dragons ghoul is an undead creature who craves flesh and bone. They have the ability to paralyze and if the victim is slain they become a ghoul within a short period of time. In comparison the Lovecraftian Ghoul has more of a canine look as opposed to the typical emaciated pale flesh ghoul.

Lovecraftian Ghoul is not undead and it's origins is clouded in mystery. They share a kinship with human and haunt nearby graveyards. Using these sites for nourishment as they feed on corpses. There are speculation that these creature are aliens from outer space. Maybe a crashed spaceship fallen from the sky with a crew of ravenous ghouls. They have slowly began to poach from human society. Spreading their infection one victim at a time...

Combat: The Lovecraftian Ghoul is different from your standard Ghoul in terms of combat qualities. The Lovecraftian Ghoul loses the ability to paralyze. Instead their bites become infectious. Their saliva contains an infectious disease and each hit point of damage increases your odds of infection. For each point of damage you take you have 2% cumulative chance to be infected and turn into a ghoul in 2d4 weeks. After combat has ended you add up the hit point damage and figure out the percentile roll.

If a character has become infected you begin a gradual change. Over the course of days and weeks you develop a hunger for raw flesh. As you get close to the end of the incubation period you are probably eating the goblin you just killed. You also begin to gradually develop canine features. The amusement of seeing the group fighter slowly turning into a ghoul creates a rather interesting dynamic.

Verdict: The Lovecraftian Ghoul is nice variation of the typical ghoul encounter. From a cleric failing to turn the ghoul to the danger of the infection. The role-playing opportunity if a party member becomes infected. The images of crashed spaceships, the slow spreading ghoul plague, wide-spread panic, etc. Adding some spice to your typical horror situation.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Death Dog

death dog
Death Dog
This creature appears to be a two-headed hound with rich black fur and yellow piercing eyes. Each head constantly drips a foul-smelling saliva

Source: Sword & Wizardry Tome of Horror Complete (Originally from the AD&D 1e Fiend Folio).
Also appears in Fiend Folio for 3e and Pathfinder Bestiary 4.

Packs of two headed dogs spreading rotting death throughout the amber deserts. These nocturnal hunters stalk barren wastelands looking for prey. First the pack attacks. Bites then turn into infections. The pack retreats and waits. The victim slowly dying as its flesh begins to rot. After their prey is dead the Death Dogs feast on their corpses.

Combat: The Death Dogs are Challenge Rating of 3 in Sword & Wizardry. They have two bite attacks that can infect it's opponent with rotting death. This disease is quite potent. If you fail a save you lose 1d6 points of constitution each day with -5 saving throw each subsequent save. In Sword & Wizardy with low attributes a couple of failed saving throws is almost sure death.

You can however be healed with powerful curative magic or finally make a saving throw. With complete bed rest you regain one point of constitution each week.

barren wastelandInspiration: Roving bands of vicious dogs can create a certain amount of dread. If the group is traveling through a barren terrain you can have the pack perform hit and run tactics. In the middle of the night a half dozen of these dogs attack. After a round or two they retreat. Maybe one or two PCs come down with rotting death. Each night you hear the howls of the Death Dogs as they wait patiently for it's prey to fall from illness.

You can also have the antidote be a mixtures of the Death Dog blood and some herbs. So now the group must track down the pack to slay one for the cure. Another possibility is the group stumble upon an entrench caravan. Half of the caravan is suffering from Rotting Death. They are in no position to continue unless a cure is found and the pack of Death Dogs are dealt with.

Advanced Bestiary for Pathfinder

I received my Advanced Bestiary for Pathfinder yesterday. I was a backer for the kickstarter and one my favorite things is getting a huge book of monsters in the mail. The Advanced Bestiary is the updated version of the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 version. This time around the book is in full color with gorgeous artwork that is on the level of Paizo or Wotc. The book is a hefty 310pages.

There are over 100 template. Any template that was used and updated by Paizo for their Bestiary were removed and new ones were slotted in. So if you enjoy tinkering with your run of the mill monsters this book is for you. You can create 100 plus different variants of a goblins. Can't wait to read through this book. Check out some of the pictures.

You can get the book at

Advanced Bestiary on Paizo

Advanced Bestiary on Green Ronin

Sunday, November 16, 2014


This misshapen sphere of pale yellow-green fungus rolls with an unnerving speed, spewing clouds of foul spores as it advances.

Source: Pathfinder Bestiary 3

     The Ascomoid is a large ball of fungus with fearsome mobility. Rolling around in their dark damp caverns the Ascomoid is capable of trampling their prey. Once a victim is crushed to death their bodies become host to a colony of fungi. Over the course of 48 hours the body is covered in brown-green mold. Within a month a new Ascomoid is born.
     The tunnels of Ascomoid is littered with the bones of it's prey. If the cavern has enough moisture it can support the life of a deadly cluster of 2 to 8 of these creatures. Some underdark races lead their enemies to the tunnels systems of the Ascomoid. The slightest vibrations triggers their tremorsense and the corridors quickly become death traps.

Combat; The Ascomoid is a large plant and has a challenge rating of 5. The special attacks of the Ascomoid is the ability to trample an opponent. By using its trample ability it simply needs to roll over a creature who occupies a space. The enemy can take an attack of opportunity or attempt a reflex save for half damage. 
     The Ascomoid can also shoot a jet of deadly spores. The spores fill a 10ft radius spread. Those who fail a fortitude saving throw become nauseated. Also the cloud exposes them to poison that the spores carry. The inhaled poison damages one's strength over time. With one shot of spores it requires the PCs to make two fort saving throws. 

Verdict: I have actually used a Ascomoid before. I was running the Darkmoon Vale modules for 3.5 and created a side dungeon for the group to explore. While underground they had to cross a long bridge over a very deep chasm. As they were halfway across the bridge an Ascomoid came rolling along. The bridge was only 10ft wide. Panic ensued among the group with some PCs hanging from the side of the bridge before the encounter was over. Luckily no one died but it was a very fun encounter. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Brain In A Jar

Something gray and shriveled sloshes within a grimy glass canister. A disembodied brain afloat in alchemical preservatives.

Source: Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead

Cool Factor: A flying undead brain in a glass canister with the ability to control the living and the dead. The Brain in a Jar is great low level undead who can be the mastermind behind numerous crimes that have plagued the town. Various puppets being manipulated by this director. The Brain in a Jar is type of undead created by necromancers. It also not uncommon for those who created it to become it's own slave.

Combat: The Brain in a Jar prefers to control the situation rather then engage in combat. Most of it's abilities revolve around controlling. The Brain in a Jar is CR 4 undead opponent with the ability to fly and speak through telepathy.

-The Brain in a Jar has a few psionic abilities. It can manifest suggestion, telekinesis, and dominate person. It can also use a Mind Thrust ability that deals 2d10 points of damage on a failed will save.

-Madness: Anyone targeting a Brain in a Jar with mental spells or abilities get a backlash of madness causing 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.

-Rebuke Undead: The Brain in a Jar can turn or control undead up to it's HD.

Verdict: Besides having a great visual the Brain in Jar works well as a boss encounter. There are numerous plot hooks that can be based around this creature. A necromancer who attempted to create a Brain in Jar has become it's minion instead. Recently a thieves guild has decided to dig up the cemetery. Eventually all clues lead back to the head of the thieves guild who's strings are being pulled by the Brain in the Jar.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Guardian Scroll

This innocuous-looking scroll abruptly rises in the air, unraveling as it flies. It flits about with serpentine grace, baring its razor-sharp edges.

Source: Pathfinder Adventure Path 79: The Half-Dead City

Cool Factor: Guardian Scrolls are tiny construct that resemble your average scroll. They are used to protect lairs, libraries, temples, and sacred texts. Unsuspecting thieves that enter a room or disturb a bookcase must speak a password or the scroll animates. The Guardian Scroll then flies through the air slicing trespassers apart with it's fine edges or attempting to strangles those who's presence is not warranted. The average treasure hoard just became more dangerous. 

Combat: The Guardian Scroll is a CR 3 Tiny Construct.
-The Scroll has damage resistance to non-magical weapons. Also is immune to bludgeoning, crushing, and falling damage. It also has all the benefits of being a construct with the exception that it can be influence by mind-affecting abilities. 

-The Guardian Scroll's main attack is it's fine edges which deal damage as slashing and causes the opponent to bleed afterwards until cured or healed. 

-The Guardian Scroll can fly through the air and attempt to strangle you. With a successful attack and grab attempt the enemies entire head is covered in a airtight grip. The enemy can't speak, see, and must hold their breath as they are being suffocated. 

magic-A Variant of the Guardian Scroll is the magical version. By increases the challenge rating by 1 the scroll now has the ability to cast low level magic. It can cast two first level spells and one second level spells three times per day. Plus a one third level spell once per day. 

Verdict: The Guardian Scroll can alter an ordinary treasure hoard or library into something more deadly. The average party is not expecting to be attacked by a scroll. Another option would be that a lost treasure map is actually a Guardian Scroll. The group has to walk the line between subduing the scroll without actually destroying it. Once subdued they can use the map on the scroll. 

Has anyone used a Guardian Scroll or an animated scroll in your game? How did it work out? Always interested in hearing good monsters tales.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Tome of Horror IV
This bloated, corpulent man has a bald head, a maniacal look in his burning red eyes and a mouth full of pointed and crooked teeth.

Source: Dunes of Desolation (Pathfinder/Frog God Games)

Cool Factor: Eunuchs are known to be entrusted to protect or watch over a man's harem. Being a eunuch helps relieve the temptation of this important duty. In very rare instances during the process of becoming a eunuch things go wrong and a young boy is transformed into a Zibbine. The process is almost instantaneous. Within a few hours of the botched procedure the young boy turns into a full grown adult with corpulent features, yellow eyes, and crooked pointed teeth.

     This monstrous humanoid removes itself from society and lurks in subterranean lairs. There they plot revenge against those who were responsible for their current state and against men who flaunt their romantic escapades. The Zibbine are known to be excellent grapplers and have the ability to neuter their foes.

Combat: The Zibbine is a chaotic evil monstrous humanoid who specializes in unarmed combat and the ability to grapple its enemies. He's a CR 6 creature. The most signature ability of the Zibbine is detailed below.

-Neuter: The most interesting ability of the Zibbine is the ability to neuter its foes. When a Zibbine bites an enemy they must make a fort save or lose it's gender. The effect is temporary and only last 1d4 minutes. However if the creatures saving throw is a natural 1 the effect is permanent. Yep you just lost your manhood(or womanhood). Also the abrupt lost of gender is greatly disturbing and requires a will save. Failure leads to a -2 penalty to attack rolls, weapons damage, and saving throws for the duration of the transformation. The effect of the neuter ability are considered curse based and can be removed with spells that cure those conditions.

Verdict: I don't think I've ever encountered a creature with the ability to neuter a character. The role-playing implications are pretty priceless. Having your brave fighter losing his most prized possession even if only for a few minutes is rather entertaining. The Zibbine provides an interesting monster background that ties in nicely with a entertaining monster ability.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tooth Fairy

Pathfinder Bestiary 4

This gaunt fairy has tattered ears, black eyes, and a huge mouth filled with mismatched teeth. It carries an oversized pair of pliers.

Source: Pathfinder Bestiary 4

Cool Factor: When a willful child tooth or in some cases a whole child is buried in an area with a strong fey connection a Tooth Fairy is born. These fey are not your typical benevolent beings. Gangs of Tooth Fairies stalk humanoid settlements with their potent magic and their bloody pliers ready to extract teeth for their own delight.
     The Tooth Fairies use their abilities to lull you to sleep or maybe put you in a state of paralysis to collect their reward. A tooth to replace their own or maybe just something to decorate their dwelling. These evil mischievous fey are sure to create quite a commotion once they infest a community.

Combat: The Tooth Fairy has a robust array of special abilities to perform their mischief. However these diminutive fey are not strong combatants and work well in pairs or a gang. Having challenge rating of 1/4 the Tooth Fairy are more of a nuisance when encountered solitary.

-Ability to fly.

-If bitten you have chance to become paralyzed.

-Spell-Like Abilities: Able to cast mage hand and open/close at will. Once per day can cast invisibility and sleep. All work in conjunction with their ability to sneak around town and cause their mayhem on the down low.

-Death Throes: When killed the Tooth Fairy explodes in a cloud of sparkling white fairy dust. This causes a glittery substance to cling on adjacent foes. The substance has a horrible stench and causes sickness.

-Pliers: Each fey owns a pair of pliers that can be used to extract teeth. These bloody instruments function as +1 medium daggers. If destroyed it stuns the Tooth Fairy.

-Tricky Thief: The Tooth Fairy can perform two maneuvers with their pliers. One is to pinch an opponents fingers to cause dexterity damage. Another is to steal an opponents tooth. This causes charisma and bleed damage. If the tooth is not reattach within 10 minutes with a cure spell that tooth is lost. After 10 minutes best to find a caster with the regenerate spell if you care about preserving your full set of teeth.

Verdict: Tooth Fairies are a nice change of pace to low level encounters. An alternative to your typical goblin or kobold incursion. The thought of having a combat with a gang of Tooth Fairies can be quite amusing. The potential to put player characters to sleep or paralyze them in combat can be frightening. Then add in the ability to extract teeth for damage. It can turn your typical encounter into a rather dangerous affair. I'm looking forward to using them in the future.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tooth Beast


An ursine creature the size of a polar bear lumbers into view. Instead of fur, thousands of sharp teeth of various types and sizes stud its hide. Teeth of every kind cover its entire body, including its head, which has teeth for eyes. The raw flesh between the teeth is pink and has the moistness of gums. Despite its apparent blindness, the creature seems to sense the presence of prey, turning suddenly toward a creature that has passed and emitting a terrifying moan.

Source: Tome of Magic 3.5

Cool Factor: It is basically a giant bear with skin that has gum like consistency and teeth of various sizes clinging to it.It has no eyes and has a great sense of smell. This Tooth Beast is known to search the caverns of the Underdark for prey.
     The Tooth Beast is associated with the Vestige Dahlver-Nar, the tortured one. Vestiges are once powerful beings trapped between life and death. Dahlver-Nar is rumored to have been a Binder(kinda like magic user who makes pacts with powerful entities) who collected the teeth of other Vestiges. In the process he would rip his own teeth out and put another Vestiges tooth in it's place. By doing so he became a Vestige himself.

There is also a magic item called the Teeth of Dahlver-Nar which consist of the teeth of various other Vestiges. Each one grants different magical powers. The teeth are similar ioun stones. For example the tooth of the Vestige Paimon would grant you +4 enchancement bonus to dex. It does require you rip your teeth out to implant the item in your mouth.

Combat: The Tooth Beast has an interesting mix of mechanics behind it.

-The Tooth Beast is blind and uses blindsight to survey it's surrounding.

-It has the pounce and rake ability. Pounce in 3.X allows a creature to charge and get it's full complement of attacks off. In this case claw, claw, bite. Rake allows additional attacks when an enemy is grappled.

-The Tooth Beast has frightful moan. All within 30ft need to make a will save or be frightened for 1 round and shaken the round after. Once an opponent is under a fear effect the Tooth Beast has another ability called Sprint after Fear that allows it to increase it's movement speed to 60ft and charge for 120ft. The Tooth Beast initially only has a 10ft movement which is rather slow but once opponents are under any fear condition it gains battlefield mobility.

-It's Challenge Rating is 7.

Verdict: The Tooth Beast is interesting creature that can turn your standard cavern encounter into something unique. Maybe as the group is exploring the Underdark they notice dead bodies spread about. As they examine the bodies they find the lack of teeth quite disturbing. This leads to the creature causing this bodily thief.

Another option would be finding the teeth of the various Vestiges. Each of these otherwordly being carry unique powers. Maybe one of the Vault holding a powerful tooth it guarded by one of these beast. A whole campaign could be based around the Teeth of Dahlver-Nar.

Sunday, September 7, 2014



This blue-furred creature sports an elephantine trunk and a camel-like body. The air around it seems to shimmer with magical potential, and it gazes around with doe-like, intelligent eyes.

Source: Tome of Horror Complete (Sword & Wizardry)
Originally from Fiend Folio 1e. Has appeared in 2e, 3e, & PF.

Cool Factor: Well it's a blue skinned camel with an elephant truck? I guess that is cool. It does drain all your magic items. Now that is cool. That great big trunk is great for sniffing out that magic stuff. Here is a few encounter ideas
-A dwarf comes to town seeking a treasure horde. Only problem is he doesn't exactly know its location. He suggest the group find and tame a Disenchanter. With the help of the beast he can pinpoint what he seeks.
-A town has a herd of Disenchanters. They feed them magic items. They have a great distrust of the arcane and have used this herd to keep adventurers at bay.

Combat: The main offensive ability of the Disenchanter is to drain away magic from items. It tends to target the most powerful one. Although if it is concealed it will randomly target items on the individual. If a magic item is hit by the Disenchanter you get a saving throw. If failed the magic is drained from the item and it become normal.
     On the positive side if all your magic items are concealed or if it targets a specific item it get -6 to attack. The Disenchanter also requires a +1 weapon to be harmed.

Verdict: There is quite a bit you can do with a Disenchanter. They have a nice unique ability that can add some flavor to an encounter or a session. Also if you have given your group too much treasure and need to scale back a bit an encounter with Disenchanter might just do the trick.

Note: There is an ecology article on the Disenchanter in Paizo's Misfit Monsters Redeemed. It is a Pathfinder product but 95% of the material is fluff.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ioun Beholder


An Ioun Behelder appears as a floating crystalline orb circled by multi-hued ioun stones that trace orbit around the central sphere.

Source: Creature Collection II: Dark Menagerie 3.0

Cool Factor: The iconic ioun stone meets the Beholder. A pretty interesting combination. The Ioun Beholder is essentially a crystal ball with eight ioun stones floating around it. If the Ioun Beholder is encountered without eight ioun stones it remains dormant and acts like a crystal hypnosis ball with the ability to make a suggestion. This mental suggestion forces the players characters on a quest. A quest to find more ioun stones and to activate the beholder.

Imagine delving into a dungeon to find a crystal ball on an altar. It is dormant. Then it invades your mind and makes a suggestion. Find me ioun Stones. I need eight of them to be activated. Right there is an campaign. You have your players character searching the world for ioun stones to activate the Beholder while enchanted.

Combat: In the 3.X system the Ioun Beholder is an intelligent construct. Once it has acquire all eight Ioun Stone it is a fully active creature. It uses the ioun stones as secondary eyes similar to a typical Beholder eyestalk.

-Its a CR7 creature in D&D 3.0 with relatively low Hit Points but a very high AC.

-The floating stones create an rainbow pattern. It mimics the arcane spell. Able to fascinate creatures who view it.

-Eye Rays: Similar to the Beholder Eyestalks. Each of the eight ioun stones can create a ray. The ray has up to 16 different variations. It can do ability damage, blindness, fast heal, absorb spells, etc. A very versatile ability.

Verdict: I have never used the Ioun Beholder. I love the concept behind it. It tends to dwell inside ancient ruins of civilization that have long vanished. An intelligent crystal ball pulling the strings. Maybe sending out minions to search the world for ioun stones. You can have the group encounter goblins raiding a wizard academy. Once questioned they reveal that some being of crystal has clouded their minds with dreams of floating stones.

The whole mastermind angle works well for the Ioun Beholder. It can be a background threat for a few levels while the group tries to piece together clues. Once all the clues are assembled it leads to buried vault in the dark corner of the world. A very cool creature indeed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bloodman 3.0


Living masses of blood, broken bone and shattered organs. They appear as vaguely humanoid masses of crimson liquid with rudimentary limbs and heads that are little more than round extrusions with gaping holes where their eyes and mouths should be. 

Source: Creature Collection II: Dark Menagerie 3.0

Cool Factor: A humanoid creature made of blood. That alone is cool enough for me. It does have some pretty good mechanic behind it that makes it more interesting. The Bloodman is a medium sized aberration with the ability to assume a liquid form, duplicate itself, absorb hit points, and has some unique weapon immunities. They generally form colonies of 4 to 8. They have very low intelligence and make for a good random encounter or dungeon denizen.

Combat: The Bloodman is a CR 5 creature with relatively low hit points(avg 22 hps) and armor class(AC 16). It makes up for them with some interesting special abilities which I detail below.

-Steal Blood/Duplicate: Bloodman attacks are touched based. Each successful attack absorbs 1d4+1 hit points into the Bloodman. After absorbing 22 hits points the Bloodman can duplicate another 5HD creature within 1d4 rounds. If you are using a colony of them, then collectively they can sacrifice those absorbed hit points to create another of their kind.

-Liquid Form: The Bloodman can assume a liquid state. It retains all it's immunities and defenses but it allow them to double movement speed.

-Weapon Immunities/Vulnerability: They are immune to non-magical slashing & piercing damage, but take normal damage from bludgeoning weapons. If you have a magical slashing/piercing weapon the damage that is done is equal to it's enchancement bonus. A +1 longsword would do one points of damage, a +2 longsword would do 2 points of damage, etc. I haven't seen any creature that has damage reduction in that fashion and find it an interesting mechanic.

Verdict: I have used a Bloodman before in a Pathfinder game. The group was searching through the sewers and came upon crimson liquid floating in the sewer waters. Once it assume it's humanoid form the group was puzzled. They didn't have blunt weapons and were perplexed by his ability to deflect massive amounts of damage from their swords & arrows. It's touch attacks was hitting but it died before it could duplicate itself.
     The group was around 3rd level and having them face one was challenging for them. If the group was a bit higher I might have thrown a colony at them. Would have given more of a chance to use the duplicate ability. I highly recommend using the Bloodmen if you are want to throw something different in your group path.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Nilbog S&W

sword & wizardry

This creature resembles a small humanoid with a flat face, broad nose, pointed ears, wide mouth, and small, sharp fangs. It walks upright, but its arms hang down almost to its knees.

Source: Tome of Horrors Complete S&W

Tome of Horror Complete Pathfinder

Fiend Folio 1E

So I just hit this goblin five times with my longsword and not a scratch? What the hell?

Cool Factor: A Nilbog is a Goblin spelled backwards. A Nilbog is a goblin who is suffering from a disease that causes Nilbogism. This disease appears only to affect goblins who reside around areas that have strained the space-time continuum. So they look like goblin, they smell like a goblin, so what makes them so special? Normal damage actually heals them. Making them quite a foe for a non-cleric party.

Combat: Nilbog is a low level challenge with moderate hit points, saving throws, and Armor Class. It does have two distinct features. First up is the aura of Spatio-temporal reversal. This aura constantly emanates an aura of confusion in a 20ft radius. Within this radius the PCs must save or be confused. Which can play havoc on the party. A very potent ability.

The other signature ability of the Nilbog is it's damage reversal. Normal damage is actually reversed. The damage heals the Nilbog and it gains extra hit points as temporary hit points but no more then double it's normal amount. The only way a Nilbog can be damaged is through curative magic. A cure light wounds spell or a potion of healing is the bane of this creature.

Nilbog: HD 1d6; AC 4 [15]; Atk 1 mace (1d6) or javelin (1d4); Move 9; Save 18; AL C;
CL/XP 1/15; Special: Spatio-temporal reversal, damage reversal

Verdict: The Nilbog is an interesting creature that turns your typically Goblin into a very difficult encounter. Having no ability to cause curative damage can be a major problem for a group of adventurers. Since the Nilbog looks exactly like a Goblin you can sprinkle one or two in a horde of Goblins. Some of them go down quick but for some reason that one Goblin is taking a beating but keeps on going.

The Nilbog has a lot of potential. A tribe of Goblins might have tampered with ancient magic that transforms them into Nilbogs. Another possibility is the leader of the Goblin tribe is 5HD Nilbog. A mini-boss that puzzles the group.

Fighting a Nilbog can really make the Cleric in your party shine. It also waste resources from other party members. Throwing your potions of healing to damage Nilbog can be very costly. It makes this relatively minor challenge a resource drain even for mid level parties. In the end I like Nilbog for it's ability to throw a monkey wrench into encounter design.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Coffer Corpse Pathfinder


This creature appears as a desiccated humanoid shrouded in rotting, tattered funerary clothes. Its hands end in sharpened claws with slightly elongated fingernails.

Source: Tome of Horrors Complete Pathfinder

Tome of Horror Complete Sword & Wizardry

Fiend Folio 1E

Classic Monsters: Castles & Crusades

Monster Compendium Annual 3: 2e

Cool Factor: Hey, I thought I just killed it? A zombie that attempts to strangle the victims throats and deceive you by pretending to die. The Coffer Corpse likes to play dead. When this undead takes damage he fakes his death and on its next turn rises from the dead. At that point you are saving or running like a scared child.

Combat: The Coffer Corpse is a CR 3 undead with low AC and standard hps. It does have Damage Resistance Magic and Bludgeoning. The Coffer Corpse attempts to grab the victim by the throat. With a successful grab attack you can't speak or cast spells with verbal components. The highlight of this Undead is the ability to fake it's own death. When the Coffer Corpse is struck for 6 or more points of damage(whether it bypass DR or not) it slumps to the floor.

On it's next turn the Coffer Corpse rises from it's apparant death. You are allowed to make a Sense Motive roll prior to see through the ruse. Once risen everyone viewing this horrific sight must make a Will Save or flee.

Verdict: I'm a big fan of interesting creatures. I like Coffer Corpse since it's a nice variant of a zombie. The strangle flavor to the creature is quite cool. Also the signature ability to feign death and drop a fear bomb on the group is rather interesting. It's a creature I will be using in the future.

Cat, Feral Undead Sword & Wizardry


Feral Undead Cats.............Zombie Cat Apocalypse.........

Source: Sword & Wizardry Monstrosities

Cool Factor: Getting bored with your typical zombie or skeleton? Try an undead feral cat instead. This low challenge rating creature is ideal for 1st level encounters. Don't just throw one at the about a whole colony of undead cats with the mysterious Cat Lady living in a rundown shack in the middle of the woods. Maybe the Cat Lady is a witch. Maybe the Cat Lady has been kidnapping kittens around the village and the group must investigate.

Combat: The Feral Undead Cat does not pack a big punch. Two attack doing 1hp damage each. Low AC, poor saving throws, and only 1d4 hps. Its major ability is that can paralyze you for 1d6 turns! It does require you to be scratch three times before you need to make a saving throw. After the third scratch any additional attack by any cat will cause paralyze. So a gang of cats can be quite tough.

Feral Undead CatHD 1d4hp; AC 8 [11]Atk 2 claws (1hp); Move 12; Save18; AL N; CL/XP B/10; Special: Paralyzing scratch (after first 3 hits)

Verdict: A nice break from zombies & skeletons. Also a good alternative to a ghoul. Plus the Feral Undead Cat inspires a lot of cool ideas for a 1st level party. Invasion, cat kidnapping, old crazy witches, ghoul pack with undead cats, etc.

Haven't used the Undead Feral Cat yet. Although I'm scratching at the opportunity....

Penumbral Golem 3.5

shadow dungeons & dragons

This unnatural creature seems to be made from stuff of shadow itself, a murky humanoid torso fading into a swirling mass of darkness.

Source: Creature Collection III: Savage Bestiary

Cool Factor: This CR 9 Incorporeal Golem(intelligent too) can drain strength, change forms, immune to most magic, and can attack you from the shadow. Most Penumbral Golems appear as children or woman. They make excellent Assassins since they can disguise themselves as objects such as cloaks, wands, etc. Although the form is always black. Which will give most adventuring parties a second thought about touching it.

Combat: The Penumbral Golem has the ability to extend its limbs through shadows. All foes within 30ft who are next to a shadow(including your own) can be attacked by this shadowy creature. The limbs are touch attacks that do strength damage for 1d8. Hide your wizards. On top of that all creatures reduced to 0 strength die.
     The Golem can also assume an alternate form. It can disguise itself as a black curtain or random bag on the floor. The unsuspecting party passing through the haunted mansion with some jet black curtains could be in for a treat. This Golem is also immune to most magic. Although a Daylight spell can slow them down for 1d4 rounds. A Searing Light spell can make them flee for 1d4. Both of the spells are automatic and no saving throw.

Verdict: I have used a Penumbral Golem in a Pathfinder Rappan Athuk Campaign I ran. It was a deadly encounter that ended the life of a character who was playing a Witch. The Witch had very low strength score and can whacked by a shadow tendril. The Golem is rather tough for CR 9. It enjoys the benefits of being a golem plus having Incorporeal subtype. Both of them are rather potent and in combination can be deadly.
     A very cool monsters...........use with caution.

How any of you ever used the Penumbral Golem in your game? What are your thoughts?