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?