Monday, July 23, 2018

Monsters into Magic Items, T-Z

I swear every time I look at these posts, a bunch of weird extra line breaks that weren't there before appear

 Tentacle Worm- aka off-brand carrion crawlers. They paralyze you then slowly eat you from the toes up.
Oil of Free Action- Cures paralysis, lets you ooze out of webs and nets and glide through sticky mud
component-  Tentacle worm slime
Spell-Hold Monster- Thrilling I know. Tentacle wands of paralysis, though.
component- A brush made of the withered tentacles of a tentacle worm
Item- Necklace of Stillness- Wearer can hold perfectly still- no eye movements, no apparent chest motion from breathing, etc etc. Grants a +10% bonus to Hide in Shadows.
component-Pearls passed through a tentacle worm's gut
Weapon-Braided Whip- Inflicts paralysis for 1d4 rounds on hits on failed saves, but no damage.

component-Tentacles braided into a whip while alive.

Potion of Tiger's Ferocity- As a potion of heroism
component- Tiger heart
Spell-Ambush-Grants the casters party the surprise round provided they all attack at the completion of the spell. Is silent to cast, but takes 5 minutes to cast. Level 2.
component-The black stripes of a tiger.
Item-Tigerskin Loincloth-Grants 18 STR, DEX, and CON if it is the only item you have on you.
component- Tiger hide, worn by an ogre for a year and a day.
Weapon- Spiked Hide Gauntlets- Wielder may split their damage dice into 2 attacks- ie, a 1d8 sword could be two 1d4 attacks. Unarmed, they may strike for 2 1d3 punch attacks
component-Tiger claws and teeth

Potion- of Plant Control
component-Leaf from an animated tree
Spell-Growth of/Charm/Speak With Plants
component-Treant bark for the scroll/spellbook covers
Item-Treant Heartwood
component- A coveted wand component. Wands made from treant heartwood only expend charges 50% of the time, and can be snapped once empty for a final charge.
Weapon-Spear of Seasons-Different effects based on what season it is
Summer-Can Haste user 1/day
Fall- Double damage when thrown
Winter- can cast Sleep 1/day
Spring- +5 reach, flexible and springy, can be used to polevault
component-branch taken during each season, then bound together

Potion- Of Healing- Injecting troll-blood into oneself can heal even the most dire wounds. It can also end up turning you into a troll if overused.
component-troll blood
component- A virgin troll- ie, one that has never had to regenerate any damage
Item-Everlasting Jerky
1 ration that never runs out. Save whenever you eat it though, or take 1d8 damage and vomit up a baby troll.
component- desiccated, live, troll.
Weapon-Trollbone Arrow- 5 +1 arrows that break after use. So long as one remains, it grows into 5 arrows in a day.
component-ritually splintered live troll shinbone, with a 5-bladed spike of cold iron splintering the bone just so.

Potion- of Vampirism- Allows you to steal health with your unarmed attacks, restoring HP, stat damage, and old age. Lasts until the next full moon. Chronic usage of this and/or healing over twice your HP like this might actually turn you into a vampire.
component-Unicorn blood, fresh
Spell-Challenge Curse-forces a curse to manifest as an ethereal duplicate of the one who cast it.
component- A sacred item crushed beneath a unicorn's hoof
Item-Unicorn Horn- Can grant extra saves v poison, curse, mutation, etc. Unicorns may allow holy maidens to saw off their horns, but if the horn is acquired by force, the horn itself will be direly cursed and constantly sought after by men and monsters alike. Bicorn horns do nothing but bring curses down upon their owner, and are sold by the wicked as unicorn horns.
component- A unicorn horn
Weapon-Unicorn Horn-Lance- A weapon of righteous vengeance, it is +1, but +3 against enemies that you have met before.
component-Unicorn horn taken from a unicorn that died by the hand of your enemy

Potion-Of Gaseous Form-Vampires disintegrated by sunlight leave little evil in their dust, making it a fairly safe ingredient.
component-vampire dust from a vampire burned by sunlight
Spell-Charm Person-Doesn't work on immortal people.
component-Vampires eye. Stealing their eyeballs doesn't kill them but it tends to make them want to kill you.
Item-Master's Dust- Undead sprinkled with this dust become permanently enslaved to the sprinkler.
component- Vampire dust done in by its own spawn.
Weapon-Immaculate Fang- As arrow-tip. Drains 1 energy level, then breaks.
component-Vampire fang that never tasted blood.

Potion-of  Sea's Growth- Grows you to huge size, lasts until you leave the sea
component-Whale milk
Spell-Raise/Lower Water
component- Whale fluke
Item-Horn of Blasting
component-Horn sounded by a whales blowhole
Weapon-Leviathan's Harpoon- A +5 spear that can only be thrown. It will stick into whatever it hits, and should there be so much as a spider-web of a line attached, that line will be unbreakable.
component-Whale penis bone and several Moby Dick references

Potion-Of False Death- Makes you seem totally dead. Save or lose a level if you move before a day is up after drinking
component-Blood from someone drained by a wight
Spell-Animate Dead
component-A wight, someone slain by a that wight, and a wightspawn from that wight
Item-Wight Mask-Undead perceive you as one of their own while worn. -1 level while worn.
component- Face of a Wight/wraith
Weapon-Burial Blade- Corpses stabbed by a burial blade will not rise as undead.
component- The cursed grave goods of the wight/wraith, forged into a sword

Wyvern- are dragons that didn't find enough treasure, basically.
Potion-of Treasure finding
component-The heart of a Wyvern
Spell-Create Treasure Map-Turns the skin of a slain creature into a treasure map leading to the greatest treasure they know of. Has 1 freebie use of the creatures own hide showing the way to the nearest dragon hoard.
component-The hide of a wyvern tanned over a fire in which its feeble treasure was melted down in
Item-False Tyrant's Venom- No effect save on creatures with less HD than the wielder. Save or die.
component- Wyvern venom, of course- good for doses=to HP/4
Weapon-Wyvern Sword-+0 Weapon that will grow stronger from slaying true dragons, gaining either +1 to hit or +1 to damage each slain dragon. Once a total of +4 is reached, it is as good as it gets.
component-The tail of a wyvern, cut off while the beast yet lived.

Yellow Mold
Potion-of Poison- Failing the save means you literally hack your lungs up and then bite them off. It's absolutely ghastly.
component-Boiled Yellow Mold
component-A mummified corpse that died of yellow mold, then was reinfested with another patch
Item- MEGA-SPICE-Yellow mold actually tastes kinda like wasabi/mustard/horseradish and is pretty tasty. The trick is killing it gently, so you get all the flavor and none of the coughing to death on spores. It sells for absurd amounts to royal chefs, though traditionally the seller must try some to assure its quality.
component- Yellow mold slain without the use of poison or fire. Starving it in sunlight-induced dormancy is a decent way to go.
Weapon-Yellowsteel-Yellowsteel weapons only glint with yellow light, and are highly toxic, inflicting 2 points of poison damage per +1 they have (but no normal bonus damage from magic)
component-Bucket of yellow mold to quench newforged weapons in.

Zombie- see skeleton, as products of spells that are neither very rare nor very hard to exploit, I don't think they're worth anything

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Monsters into Magic Items, Q-S

Rat, Giant and Otherwise
Potion of Rattiness- Causes your front teeth to grow, rodentlike. Not great for biting, but allows gnawing through things about as well as a dagger. You must gnaw on things to prevent your teeth from growing too much.
Component- Giant rat incisors
Spell-Cause Disease
Component- A plague rat, infected blood used to pen the spell
Item- Crown of the Rat King- Allows unlimited charming of rats, speaking to rats, and even transforming into a rat (giant or otherwise). Save vs contracting were-rat lycanthropy upon donning
Component-  A rat king, 13 rats with their tails tied or stuck together, but composed of wererats

Weapon-Rat Bastard Dagger- Always rolls a 1 for damage, except in sneak attacks and surprise rounds, where it always rolls a 4.
Component-Rat bones from a  rat slain by a rat.

Rhino-As boar, but with bigger max +'s

Rock Baboon-I wasn't gonna do this but I have mandrills in my current campaign as the 'intelligent but primitive low HD humanoid' enemy, so. Works for cavemen too.
Potion of Devolution- Turns the imbiber into a hairy version of themselves. They may reroll all their stats with cumulative -1 penalty per prior Potion of Devolution used.
Component- Monkey tail
Spell-Clairaudience, Clairvoyance, Magic Mouth (from blasphemous apes)
Silence, Darkness (from pious apes)
This is a see no/hear no/speak no evil joke, and probably in cave-painting spellbooks
Component-Ape ears, eyes, and lips, if no spellbook-equivalent is available
Item- Decanter of Endless Dung- One round may squeeze out a baseball sized lump of putrescent dung- Those stained by thrown poop will take a -1 to reaction rolls and encounter monsters at a higher rate until they clean themselves.
Component- Colon of a constipated ape

Weapon-Monolith Club- Those struck a blow and reduced below 5HP by this petrified bone save or gain sapient intelligence permanently, as will all their descendants.
Component-  Petrified ape bone

Rot Grub- I don't really like these monsters as-is, because they seem way better as ghastly parasites than just 'you tried to loot garbage and now you will die.' I'll make a post about parasite grubs.

Rust Monster
Potion-Oil Of Rustproofing- While it won't stop magical effects or Oozes, metal treated with this will never naturally rust or corrode.
Component- Rust Monster poop
Spell- Heat Metal- Deals 1 damage +1 per round, up to a max of the armor being granted by worn metal armor and one for held weapons. Also heats metal for noncombat purposes.
Component-Alchemically treated rust monster antennae
Item- Rusted Lockpicks- You may try to pick locks twice, though the second attempt, if successful, simply disintegrates the lock
Component- Claws from a rust monster that has stolen 1,250GP worth of goods

Weapon- Sword of Rust- This sword is a crumbling ruin of rust, and though it spreads its contagion to everything it touches(each hit degrading weapons and armor by 1 point and eating through metal at the rate of 1 inch per turn) it functions poorly, as a -1 sword.
Component- A sword plunged into the heart of a rust monster that survives the ordeal.

Potion- Of Fire/Cold Immunity
Component- Salamander Saliva

Spell-Wall of Fire/Cone of Cold
Component-The spine of one salamander variety treated with the breath  of its opposite
Item-Blue Flame- Behaves as fire, but burns cold and happily 'spreads' across water, freezing it. Wells up from an empty egg, equivalent to a flask of flaming oil per day. Can also be used to change fiery or icy spells or effects into instances of Blue Flame.
Component- Egg from the unnatural mingling of ice and fire salamanders

Weapon- Flame Tongue/Frost Brand- Flame Tongue may be ignited like a torch, and Frost Brand glows in below-freezing temperatures. They are always very hot or very cold respectively, and as such can quickly boil/freeze water, melt/ignite or chill/extinguish objects, etc etc. They deal the most favorable of elemental or physical damage if vulnerabilities come into play.
Component- Tongue of oldest currently living Salamander

Scorpion, Giant
Potion of Treachery- Acts as poisoned wine, save that whoever pours it is immune.
Component- Scorpion tail, severed in the surprise round
Spell- Water Walking
Component-Heart of a creature stung by a scorpion, but drowned before the venom could finish it off.
Item- Scorpion Shield- Grants its magical bonus as bonus to saves v poison. Defends its owner from attacks of betrayal if it is within 5' feet.
Component- A Scorpion bound in manacles and kept awake until it dies.
Weapon-Scorpion Whip- Inflicts 1 damage and a save or die poison, but on critical misses it strikes a friend, or yourself, for that is its nature.
Component-Tail of a great Scorpion fed from birth on the blood of someone slain by betrayal

Sea Serpent-BFRPG sea serpents are basically just pythons, stat and sizewise, that can inexplicably crush ships as well. I'd prefer them to be whale-sized, or even dungeon sized so you adventure inside them. Anyway, use Snake or Whale entries.

Shadow- These things seem like undead, but they're not. I think they're actually fragmentary souls, the shadow-soul, and they don't actually turn people into shadows, they liberate shadows of people to rejoin their ranks.
Potion- Oil Of Etherealness- Sinking into ones own shadow, one becomes able to slip through objects and fight things like wraiths as though they were solid

Component- A shadow, driven into a bottle
Spell- Light-ye cannot have shadow without light, after all
Component-Nothing, but the spell must be penned atop an actual shadow.
Item-Inky Ingot-As a lump of iron, but it is made of shadow and so able to affect insubstantial things.
Component-  A shadow trapped on all sides by light, and so condensed to a singularity of darkness, an inky ingot
Weapon-Shadow Blade-Can strike at people's shadows to harm them. Counts as sneak attack the first time its used.
Component- One of the many uses of Inky Ingots

Potion of Blood Frenzy-Upon tasting the blood of an enemy, you fly into a berserk fury of +2 to hit and damage, but you cannot stop attacking till one of you is dead.
Component- Shark nose

Spell- Bloodscent- Follow the trail of someone whose blood you have, no matter if they fled by land, air, or sea.
Component- Blood from an animal devoured by sharks
Item- Sharkskin Leather-As magical leather. Inflicts 1 damage on melee opponents using natural weapons like fists and teeth due to the armor shredding their skin. This damage cannot reduce someone to under 1HP.
Component- Sharkskin taken from a shark that slew something with more HD than it.
Weapon- Sharktooth Club- Works fine underwater despite physics. Always floats, supporting weight up to the weight of the donor shark.
Component- Sharkteeth and driftwood

Shrieker- These border on magical items already, at least if there's smaller variants you can port around

Component-A whispered word into a shrieker, blown back out once it shrieks
Item- Horn of Blasting
Component- A shrieker that shrieked for a day and a night straight.

Weapon- Whistling Mace- Careful carving allows this mace to sound as if it's saying something when swung, with a few different noises depending on how exactly you swing it. Upon creating it, you can have it tuned to a single spells' incantations, allowing you to cast that spell and attack the same round.
Component-  Dried and shriveled shrieker of perfect size (if it has as much HP as you, it's of the perfect size)

Skeleton(and Zombie)-As is, these are just products of Animate Dead and shouldn't be worth anything, much like how 'goblins turned to ash from a fireball' wouldn't be worth anything.

Snake- Are dragons ascended snakes? Or are serpents the true form, and dragons a lesser corruption?

Potion- Snakebite- Drinking snake venom is harmless, though it will then collect in your teeth and allow you to make a bite attack as per the snake.
Component- Snake venom

Spell- Sticks to Snakes
Component-A perfectly straight snake
Item- Snake Rope-Rope that believes itself a snake. Can be hard to negotiate with, but quite handy.
Component- A rope that a snake mistook for another snake and tried to fight/mate/talk to before slinking off, embarrassed

Weapon- Ouroboros Chakram- A bladed ring-frisbee that can turn into a poisonous viper to bite whoever it hits, or a python to constrict them. Can only transform once per day per +
Component-  A snake that devoured itself

Potion-Of Spider Climb
Component-Spider "hair"
Spell- Web
Component-Intact spider web
Item- Ballooning Silk-A thread of silk that allows one to float along with the wind, and acts as a parachute if one falls.
Component- Silk gifted by a parental spider
Weapon-Silk Arrows- Trail nigh-invisible silk lines that are as strong as ropes.
Component-  Spinneret of a giant spider that fell to its death.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Monsters into Magic Items, M-P

Potion-Of Poison Manticores are not venomous, though they wish they were. They are however, so hateful that, properly treated, their spittle actually can hate people to death due to spit and spite being similarly spelled.
Component-Manticore spittle from a manticore so enraged it foamed at the mouth
Spell-Bestow Curse
Component- An entire week of the ranting tirades of a manticore
Item- Manticore Spikes-The functionality of an iron spike hammered into something, but delivered as a crossbow bolt!
Component-  tailspikes that killed something in a single blow
Weapon- Manticore Tail-Flail- Can fling spikes as daggers, and is loaded with 6. Good for harassing wizards. On critfails you accidentally fling a spike at a random target with a +0 to hit.
Component-A manticore tail, naturally. It must be cut from a live manticore though, or the muscles don't seize up right.

Medusa-I like my medusa to be privy to forbidden knowledge. 'Gold' is a fiat currency! The upper 1% monsters have 90% of all lair treasure! There are only <player number> souls in existence!
Potion-Medusa Blood-Medusa don't quite destroy life in typical fashion, nor do they create it in the usual way either. When dripped upon the earth, it will spawn monsters- offspring of the medusa.
Component- Menstrual blood from a married medusa.
Spell-Cause Blindness
Component-  A mirror broken by a medusa.
Item-Medusa Head- Petrifies those who see it, tries to bite people with snake heads. Will talk, a lot.
Component- A medusa head with Animate/Raise/Speak Dead cast upon it or nearby. Medusa are sorta immortal and need but the flimsiest excuse to stay alive.
Weapon- Snake Net- Entangles and turns to stone on a failed save, so long as it remains draped.
Component- Net braided from the snake-hair of a medusa.

Mermaid- Though I'm personally fond of the Ningen which draw from japanese mermaids and add godlike seakings and deep-sea marauders, rather than the endless D&D repetition of 'girl monster = charm effect.' Really these should be called Sirens.
Potion-Stew of Eternal Youth- This is why sea-people are typically unfriendly-ranging murderous
Component-  mermaiden flesh(as opposed to mermatron flesh or mercrone flesh)
Spell- Waterbreathing
Component- Pearls from a merfolk's necklace
Item- Invader's Armor- As Leather +1, plus turns your legs into a fish tail when in water. There's a variant for merfolk allowing them to come on land, too.
Component- The scales of a merfolk, sewn onto leather armor.
Weapon- Pearl Trident- +1, +3 vs filthy land-dwellers. Can command aquatic creatures.
Component-It's easier to just loot one the sea people made, trust me. You ain't got the time or the skill to cultivate that many clams.

Potion Of Virility- Makes dong grow and fertility great. Old males concerned with producing heirs pay a lot for this stuff.
Component- Minotaur dick powdered or as jerky.
Component-The dreams of a minotaur 
Item-Minotaur's Shield- Slows your movement as nonmagical plate. +4AC and saves vs ranged attacks.
Component-A door from a minotaur's labyrinth that withstood a charging minotaur
Weapon- Minotaur Helm- As a +1 dagger you wield with your head. Penalties for 'dual wielding' still apply if you use it to get an extra attack.
Component- Minotaur horns

Potion-Embalming Fluid-Cures you of basically anything(except mummy rot), but also gives you mummy rot after 1d100 days of incubation.
Component- Rehydrated mummy juice.
Spell-Animate Dead
Component- Get a mummy to translate the foul runes on their sarcophagus, or learn their dead language yourself
Item-Mummy Bandages- Living creatures wearing them are treated as undead, and vice versa, for the purposes of magic. Doesn't actually change anything else beyond swapping arcane polarity.
Component- Really
Weapon- Accursed Mace-Wounds caused by it don't heal, and the wielder cannot heal damage until they've set aside the mace for a week.
Component-Pinch of mummy dust held inside the mace.

Nixie, Pixie, Whistling Dixie, any small fey critter, really
Potion-Of Diminution
Component- Shrinks you to 1/12th height.
Component- You need to get some of that high grade pixie dust, knowhatimsayin
Item- Daisy Chain of Honorary Elvishness- Racial modifiers as Elf while worn.
Component-  A flower chain woven willingly by the fey
Weapon- Giantbane- x3 damage against anything more than twice your height.
Component-A tiny weapon that slew a human

Ochre jelly- I always thought it was silly that torches and burning oil was supposed to damage 700 pounds of presumably chilly protoplasm. Whatever, maybe they're like 700 pounds of chilly lighter fluid. These aren't very interesting jellies- they split if you hit them with weapons or electricity and are supposed to kill them with fire, unless for some reason you have access to cold damage. But they don't do anything oozy, they just punch you.
Potion-Of Goo-Pour into liquid to turn it into a quivering but traversable mass of jelly.
Component- Dried ochre jelly
Spell-Lightning Bolt- Lightning forces them to split, leading me to believe Ochre Jellies have a high degree of latent electromagnetism
Component- A roll of copper wire tumbled in the depths of a Ochre jelly
Item-Ochre Phylacteries- Ochre-colored strips of cloth wrapped around your limbs and neck. Allows you to detatch and re-attach them and have them crawl around and stuff. Whenever you take 8+ damage in a single round, you have a limb fall off.
Component- 5 Phylacteries each dipped into a different part of an Ochre jelly divided into 5 parts from a single blow.
Weapon- Sanjiegun- A three-section staff of hollow iron cylinders that shift their weight due to the jelly within as they are spun. It ignores shield AC and gets +1d4-1d4 to hit and damage, randomly rolled each round it is used. You probably have to seek an Ancient Master to learn how to use this crazy thing, but once you do it gets +1d4 to hit and damage each round and ignores shields.
Component-An Ochre jelly split into 3 parts, then reformed, 3 times.

Giant Octopus
Potion of Arms- Grow an extra arm.
Component- Octopus brain
Spell- Tentacles- As Web, but with tentacles
Component-  Octopus ink used to pen the spell
Item-Sucker Gloves/Boots-Allows you to climb sheer surfaces with lots of squelching and popping noises. Climb as Thief of equivalent level, or allow Thieves to never fail climbing appropriate things.
Weapon- Living Tentacle- Grabs stuff, fights stuff, with 50/50 odds or either when you try to brandish it at something. Strikes as octopus, not as a weapon.
Component- Severed tentacle preserved with a healing spell.

Owlbear- Components work as giant bird bits and bear bits.

Ogre- These are, in my mind, sorta goblinoids and sorta giants, and sorta fey so see Bugbear and Giant and Nixie entries. But naturally they produce Gauntlets of Ogre Power as opposed to Girdles of Giant Strength.

Pegasus-really, these are treasure already, but ok
Potion-Of Sky Breathing- Allows breathing in thin mountain air, and other hypoxic environs.
Component- Steam from a pegasus nostril
Spell- Fly
Component-Pegasus feathers, each used as a quill to write a single word of the spell
Item-Horseshoes of Cloudwalking- Allows equines to tread across vapor.
Component-  Pegasus hooves
Weapon- Sky Lance-Suitable for charge attacks while mounted on flying steeds, or when flying yourself I suppose. x3 damage when charging with gravity.

Purple Worm
Potion Of Purple Hunger- Allows the imbiber to digest and take nourishment from anything, even rocks, for 1 day per HD of the worm. Save each day, or require twice as much to eat the next day.
Component- Purple worm stomach acid
Component- The tunnel of a purple worm that dug in a closed loop.
Item- Adamant-Worms pick up fragments of adamantium in their slow devouring of stone, and incorporate the stuff into their teeth. Adamant is the hardest substance in creation, scratching all other things and in turn being unbreakable, and joining only to itself. An average worm has enough to form a sewing-needle.
Component- Teeth, boiled in acid of stronger and stronger varieties till only adamant remains.
Weapon- Crysknife/Vorpal Sword-These behemoths of the deep earth are rarely seen by men, and still more rarely slain by them. Crysknives are +3 daggers that must save or lose their enchantment each turn if ever more than 5' from their wielder, and Vorpal Swords are +5 blades that whack off heads on critical hits and likewise cannot persist without their owner. Like the worm, they are immensely powerful things, but they remain nameless and unknown to the world and sooner or later return to the earth to be forgotten.
Component-Stinger of a purple worm, enchanted, sharpened, and attuned to a wielder. 20HD specimens can produce vorpal blades, 12Hd ones produce crysknives.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Monster into Magic Items, H-L

Potion of Delusion- Curses one potion into a potion that merely deludes people into believing it functions, or any liquid- water that quenches the feeling of thirst but will not prevent dehydration, oil that will not burn, alcohol that only works via placebo effect, etc
Component-Harpy excrement
Spell- Charm Person
Component- A tender word whispered by a harpy
Item- Arrow of Amor- Those struck by this arrow must save or fall in love with the next being they could reproduce with(think hard about how centaurs came to be in your setting before using) that they notice, be it via sight, touch, sound, etc.
Component-  Tailfeathers from a broken-hearted harpy
Weapon- Stymphalian Dagger- A sharpened metallic feather that can be thrown like a dagger. These weapons ignore metal armor that matches the source- ie, feathers harvested from an iron-spike impaled harpy would ignore iron armor.
Component-  A harpy left impaled under a full moon will, live or dead, draw the metal into its feathers, the 10 largest being suitable for use as weapons.

Potion of Dog Breath- Allows wielder to breathe a gout of sulfurous flame, as a hellhound of equivalent level
Component-Hell Hound saliva, gargled by a blaspheming human
Spell-Dispel Evil- Hellhounds may be wicked, but they guard the entrance to the underworld(or the exit, depending on how you look at it) and their vocalizations terrify those who aren't where they're supposed to be, cosmologically speaking.
Component- The bark of a hellhound
Item- Collar of Disobedience- When attached to a dog, will grow the dog into a Hellhound of +1Hd size each week, while also checking morale with a -1 penalty per +1HD it has gained. Once morale fails, the beast will become feral and uncontrollable.
Component-  A collar of hellhound hide, with hellhound teeth forming inward-facing spikes
Weapon-Cerberus Flail- A mighty 3-headed flail, with no bonus to hit or damage, but striking with 3 separate attacks. Targets struck save vs Curse or be cursed for one week based on the number of heads that hit that round.
1+ Target can be tracked anywhere by the wielder of the flail
2+ Target cannot heal HP damage naturally
3+ If slain within a week, target's soul is locked in the darkest pits of hell and cannot be Raised save by storming hell or a Wish.
Component- The heads of 3 hellhound pack leaders

Potion-Hydra "Blood"- Can be drunk in the hopes of regenerating lost limbs, eyes, etc. Two saves must be made- if both are made, ones body regrows missing parts. If only one is made, ones body regrows TWO of each missing part. If neither are made, two extra parts are regrown per missing part, then the imbiber dies of poison.
Component-Cerebrospinal fluid from the original head, taken off last.
Spell- Magic Missile- The malice of each head of a hydra, carefully unleashed one by one as wizards grow in power.
Component- Hydra Brains, flattened out and used as a spellbook page.
Item-Hydra Armor-The scaly necks of hydras, refurbished as magical leather. Tends to look like you're wearing 5 baggy tubes unless you get a tailor to tighten it up. Once per day, it can heal its wielder of half the damage they have taken.
Component-  Minimum 5 hydra heads, each cleaved off in a single blow.
Weapon-Hydra Blood Arrows- Grow and multiply within the flesh of a target, shredding them from the inside out with cancerous teeth-growths. Save vs poison or die. Creatures immune to poison areonly immune if they'd also be immune to a bunch of teeth shredding their insides.
Component-  The teeth, dipped in the hydra's own blood.

Leech, Giant
Just pretend the slug is giant too

Potion Of Leeching- Actually a small leech applied to steal buff effects, then eaten to acquire them for oneself.
Component- Baby leeches that have yet to feed.
Spell- Leech Life- As Inflict Light Wounds, but it heals the caster an equivalent amount.
Component- A leech coiled around ones holy symbol. A forbidden miracle, smacking of leech-cults.
Item-Martyrous Leech- A specialized leech that feeds on blood only as a transmission vector for its true meals, which can be determined by the responsible wizard. Leeches that eat poison, or disease, or curses, or sin, or faith, or happiness, or whatever.
Component- A baby giant leech affected by various mutagens, curses, and so on to change its diet and stunt its growth.
Weapon- Bloodletter- A bladed mace, acceptable for use by clerics due to its nature. Those struck lose 1HP per round until their wounds are treated (tying some rags over them will do) and those reduced to 0 HP by the mace may make another save against any bloodborne ailments that afflict them.
Component- Leech teeth from a leech that fed upon other leeches

Lion, The King of Beasts!
Potion- Of Animal Control- Animals obey out of confused feudal sentiment
Component-A lions mane.
Spell-Speak to Animals
Component- A lion's tufted tail, used as inkbrush
Item-Immaculate Pelt- As magic leather. The pelt is nigh-indestructible.
Component-The hide of a male lion, not one hair of which may be harmed.
Weapon- Lioness Glaive- Allows those who strike the same target as the wielder in a round to strike as though they were wielding magical items of equivalent pluses as the Glaive
Component-Pelvic bones of a lioness killed by her own pride

Potion of Darkvision
Component-Moonlight reflected from a lycanthrope's eye
Spell- Protection From Lycanthropes, 10'
Component- Lycanthrope hair used as brush.
Item-Skinshifters Cloak- Allows you turn into a non-lycanthropic beast.
Component-  The skull of a lycanthrope that has never killed an innocent
Weapon- Beast Claw-Each consecutive hit increases the damage die by 1 size. Starts at 1d4 damage. Damage resets after 10 minutes. Those wounded may contract lycanthropy, as may the wielder if the damage die of the claw reaches d20.
Component- Claws of a lycanthrope, torn from the beast while it still lived, under the full moon

Monday, July 2, 2018

A Quick Digression About D&D Undead

There's a lot of weird special-case undead you can dig up. I ain't complaining. But ignoring the glut of undead monsters that exist, I wanna look at some OG ones and what they imply.
  • Ghost- These are ridiculous. Seeing it sends half the party screaming in save-induced fear unless they're tall enough to ride the Spookycoaster (ie, high level) and if you do actually fight it, it can possess people or wither people to death via the aging tables. BFRPG simplified the withering to be con damage and the appearance of aging, which is honestly less cool, but dang.
  • Ghoul- 3 paralyzing attacks and attacking from surprise if they can manage it. Elves are immune to ghoul paralysis, which means they can get ripped apart the old fashioned way while all their buddies are down by packs of 2d12(AD&D) or 1d6 (BFRPG, though lairs still have 2d8). There's no 'cure paralysis' spell so, uh, screw you I guess. I've used ghouls some. They're bad news.
  • Mummy-Tough,immune to normal weapons and resistant to magic weapons, nasty heal-denying disease, fear aura (but paralyzing fear not run away fear). Again, yikes, though at least they're relatively easy to kill with fire.
  • Wight- Only magic weapons need apply, suck away your levels.
  • Wraith- As wight pretty much, but they also float through walls and fly.
  • Vampire- A hodgepodge of nasty abilities, mostly eclipsed by level drain in terms of what players fear. Also comes with weaknesses, at least.
  • Shadow-Not undead, psych
  • Zombie+Skeleton- The only undead that isn't a complete nightmare to fight. 
I think it's pretty clear- Undead were a special, specific category of 'monsters that will fuck you up permanently'  The weird outliers of this list aren't the ridiculous save-or-probably-die energy drainers, it's the Skeletons and Zombies who don't fit. Everything else is sentient. Everything else has a nasty effect.

And y'know, I think this is bad, because it conveys bad info to players by having the weakest undead be totally different from the 'real' undead.

"Careful," some session one NPC says to your new players, there's "Undead in them there crypts!" The players ignore the warning, rob some tombs, and either 2 things would happen
1- They fight some skeletons and zombies and learn that undead are slow, stupid, resistant to certain attack forms, but easily killed, all in all. Maybe the priest uses Turn Undead and gets a little moment to show off.
2- They get totally murdered by Ghouls or worse. Note that 1 naturally leads into 2, because fighting zombies and skeletons teaches you jack shit about the true face of the undead, perhaps the worst lesson being the false hope that turn undead will do diddly squat. Skeltals and Zombos aside, you need to be like 3 levels higher than any undead you're facing to have a hope in hell of Turning them.

Approach 1- Make the greater undead less horrifying.
  • Ghoul- Ghouls can do a Claw or Bite for 1d6 damage, OR a lick for 0 damage but a chance of paralysis.
  • Wight-- Wights can be chopped up by normal weapons, though they still drain levels. Maybe give a save vs level drain. Maybe change level drain for something else, like cursing or aging you. Personally I'm all for mechanics that scare the players, but level drain has a lot of annoying mechanical problems with it. BFRPG has negative levels as a sort of debuff that I think is a good compromise, but I'm getting distracted.
  • Mummy- As is- they are hard to kill, scare the hirelings, and do something nasty if they get you, BUT have a weakness-fire.
  • Wraith- As wights, but now regular weapons don't hurt 'em and they can do ethereal things. Maybe give them a possession attack, to warn about vampires and ghosts. Their weakness of becoming powerless in sunlight is harder to exploit but important to remember-BFRPG dropped that from the AD&D description which I think is a hella mistake. If you can't flee to the light of day, anyone who meets a 80 'flyspeed ethereal wraith with no magic weapon doesn't have a lot of options besides going 'well, if I kill myself before I get leveldrained, if I'm raised I'll be in better shape and won't turn into a wraith.'
  • Vampire- I got my own thing with vampires but ignoring all that, all the other undead do sort of culminate with this- they can charm(possess) you, you need magic weapons, and they can do permanent damage to your dood, but they have other weaknesses too. Vampires are great because while they'll murder you in a straight brawl, you can come up with plans to defeat them without it coming to that. Maybe.
  • Ghost- Honestly, this is a lot like a double-wraith with extra save vs spells style attacks. I'm not a fan. It seems like as the undead get nastier, the possibility of them talking also increases somewhat, so ghosts with unfinished business that can be bargained with (maybe like, possess me and we'll get vengeance on your killer) sounds good to me.
Oh, I forgot Spectres exist. Unlike Ghosts these really are just double wraiths, so whatever. Use 2 wraiths instead of a spectre.

Approach 2- Make the lesser undead MORE horrifying
Zombies- Give them spawn creation and a gross special attack related to how they died. Drowned corpses vomit down your nose to drown you. Flaming zombies spread fire. Zombies slain in battle wield weapons unsheathed from their guts. Zombies dead of plague spread it, old zombies that died peacefully add 1 year of age if they touch you. Zombies so hideous they cause fear. Zombies glowing with runes that cause Paralysis.

Skeletons- Introduce intelligence and speed. Skeletons archers are a thing because trying to return fire doesn't work. Skeletons trigger traps on you. Skeletons can outrun you because they're so light on their feet. Skeletons use their ribcages to store giant poison vermin. Skeletons kill you with bone-puns everyone has heard already.

These approaches make the undead more of a  proper learning curve and less of a learning curve with a pit trap on the 3rd step that drops you off a learning cliff. Also makes zombies and skeletons more interesting so you don't have to be all 'aha u thot this was a skeleton but it's a Huecuva'

Monsters into Magic Items, E-G

 I think these ideas range wildly between 'fantastic and evocative' 'porridge-bland' and 'probably overpowered' but you know what, I'm ok with the inconsistent mixture. I don't want reading this to cause 'weirdness fatigue' and I don't want it to be generic stuff a table of corporate suits could have come up with, so I hope a mixture makes people both want to mine this for ideas and come up with their own.
Eagle, Giant
Potion- Of Flight
Component Giant Eagle Egg Yolk
Spell- Feather Fall/Levitate
Component- The wings of an eagle, taken midflight, their feathers used as quills and blood as ink
Item-Eagle Eye Hood- When active, you see (and target) things as though you were 100 feet closer. If it's already within 100 feet, you can't see it.
Component-Every feather from a giant-eagles head.
Weapon- Talon Spear- You take 0 damage from falling, provided you fall onto a target spear-first. They take all the falling damage you would've taken in addition to spear damage.
Component-Eagle claw from an eagle that died from falling damage

Elemental- Elementals are simultaneously very supernatural and very generic.
Potion Of Thirst Quenching- Serves as 1 gallon of water, because that's what it is.
Spell-Air Resonance Tongue- Ventriloquism, but as a skill, not a spell
Component- Air
Item- Stone of Weight- Holds open doors, holds down pressure plates, sinks snitches to the bottom of brooklyn bay, etc, etc
Component- A rock
Weapon-Club of Flaming- Provides light and damage as torch, for duration as torch.

Elephant-In fantasyland, it's not poaching endangered species! On the other hand, you might be murdering intelligent creatures with souls.
Potion Of Memory- Recalls details of past experiences with perfect, Sherlock Holmesian clarity.
Component-Elephant Brain
Component- An Elephant trunk that once lifted an elephant
Item-Wastebasket- Things kept in the elephants foot have any radiation, malign auras, acid, petrifying beams, etc, contained by the leathery hide. It is essentially indestructible and impenetrable from the inside.
Component-Elephant's foot that crushed something deadly, like a scorpion or cursed potion
Weapon- Ivory Lance- When Charging, add an extra x1 damage modifier for every facing turn you can fit into the charge, and finally have a reason to care about the Maneuverability rules
Component-Elephant Tusk carved into a lance while still attached to a live elephant.

Frog, Giant
Potion- Of Amphibity- Water breathing for air breathers and air breathing for water breathers.
Component-Gills of a frog. If any nerds tell you frogs don't have gills, agree with them because it's your goal as GM to ensure they have fun, and if they have more fun having realistic giant frogs and no potions of Amphibity that's their choice and you should respect it.
Spell- Top Hop- Allows you to hop to the top of something. Level 1- 30 height. Level 4- 240 height. Level 6- No limit to height.
Component- A frog must tell you the myth of Ronya, a folk hero rabbit who hopped over the moon and won several log-hopping competitions, among other things.
Item-Frog Suit- As slimy leather armor. Monsters have a hard time grappling the slimy outfit, and it is a mostly watertight seal for protecting you from various liquid menaces.

Dungeon Meshi is pretty much the Monster Menu-All Manga and I recommend it even to people who think they don't like manga
Component-Frog skins. They'll dry out in a few days.
Weapon- Frog-Tongue Whip- Extends, sticks, retracts. 15' reach Deals only 1 point of damage but hauls the lighter of wielder or target towards the heavier.
Component-Tongue of a frog fed glue

Potion- Holy Water Also functions as a Bless spell if you drink it.
Component-Water that's run off/through a gargoyle as it perched on a church.
Component-Moss from a gargoyles' back.
Item- Gargoyle Armor- The petrous hide of a gargoyle can be affixed to chainmail to create stone-and metal armor with encumbrance as unmagical plate. Creatures of 3 or less HD and people without magical weapons treat the wearer as AC20, while 4HD creatures and magic-weapon wielding foes treat the wearer as being clad in chainmail. It's also hella spiky and damages things that grapple you, and is treated as the more advantageous of stone or metal when it comes to oozes trying to eat it.
Component-The hide of a gargoyle. As gargoyles are made of stone, figuring out what's the hide and what's 'flesh' is pretty tricky.
Weapon- Gargoyle Head Mace- Exactly what it sounds like. 2handed and heavy, it offers redemption to the wicked and salvation for the damned. The wielder may Turn undead as a cleric of 1 level lower, and supernaturally wicked beings that fail morale (first time only) save vs spell or have a change of heart and surrender, seeking either death or absolution.
Component-Head of a gargoyle that turned itself in for execution for its misdeeds.

Gelatinous Cube
Potion-Cubic Dust- Treated liquids have their molecular structure altered so that their resting shape is a cube, rather than container-conforming liquid. Snorting it is a bad idea.
Component-Powdered Gelatinous Cube
Spell- Hold Monster
Component- Imprisoned GC, held in a perfect cube container.
Item-Gelatinous Dice-Use with gloves. Always rolls a certain result due to the cube preferring a certain orientation. People squeezing it too hard will break the seal of paint and possibly get paralyzed. Feed it bugs to keep it healthy.
Component-Gelatinous cube, shrunken via vinegar and painted with inorganic paint.
Weapon- Diamond Hammer-A translucent cube set at the end of a haft. Is nigh indestructible but curiously will only transfer force into organic substances and would ricochet harmlessly off of the fragilest glass. Some people cap one end with wood so it can be used as a mallet, but it doesn't look nearly as cool then.
Component-petrified gelatinous cube.

Potion- Cannibal Stew- Roll for the ghoul's stats, maybe increase your own. This Post
isn't exactly how the dangers of cannibalism work, but should give you an idea of how forbidden and sketchy it is. Also it's a good post. Read that post. Do it.
Component-Bicep, Hand, Liver, Brain, Heart, Face, boiled into stew. Works with human parts too.
Spell-Hold Person
Component-A live ghoul that paralyzed itself. Don't ask me how.
Item- Ghoul Venom-Smear on bloodletting weapons to cause a Save vs Paralysis. Accidentally poison yourself on critical fails. Needs to be re-applied after every hit.
Component-Living human flesh coated in ghoul saliva- that's what activates the curse in the stuff.
Weapon- Ghul Claws- Clawed gauntlets that work well for climbing and digging, and if used to slay a venomous being, they take on that venom for 1 day per HD it had. There's a famed eastern assassin said to use these.
Component- Ghouls that wield weapons are rare, but you gotta find one and reforge its weapons, with absolutely no cleaning them off first.

Potion- Of Grease. As mundane grease, but cold and spooky.
Component- Ectoplasm. Ghosts drip the stuff everywhere so even level 1 nobodies can collect this.
Spell- Magic Jar-Ghosts are the granddaddies (or, culturally speaking, probably grandmammies because [18 Page Research paper Redacted]) of possession so naturally that's where this comes from
Component- haunted jewel from the ghost or ghost possessed.
Item-Bottled Ghost- Learn sweet abilities possibly multiclassing or something.
Component-Ghost in a Bottle. You have to have solved its unfinished business and befriended it, basically.
Weapon- Sword of Exorcism- So if you wanna use this, you gotta be a ghostbuster
Component-A magic sword which has only ever destroyed ghosts can be made so that's all it does.

Potion Of The Big Bully Bluff-As potion of Giant Control, but can only control giants smaller than the giant the potion was collected from.
Component-Whey from cheese curds squeezed by a giant.
Spell-Growth Of Animals
Component-Lasso woven from giant hair.
Item- Girdle of Giant Strength
Component-Ring of skin stripped from a live giant. Power fades if the giant dies. Thighs or upper arms are usually the right size.
Weapon- Giant's Pebble- When thrown or slung from a sling, this pebble grows to boulder-size and only shrinks once a single being lifts it above their head. Deals 3d6 damage.
Component- Pebble that slew a giant.

Goblin (see Bugbear in previous post)

Golem- Golems ARE magic items. But if you chop one to bits, you can salvage the parts. Typically the secrets of golem creation can be puzzled out yourself from the spellbook of the responsible wizard and the golem itself.
1- Golem Armor- Remove the head, walk around inside the golem like you've got powered armor, using the statblock of a golem though with a vulnerability to normal damage due to your exposed head. It still has chances of going berserk.
2- Golem Armor II- Dismantle the golem into more standard plates and enjoy armor that can be given instructions like 'walk south' that it will follow even if the wearer is dead.
3-Rock 'em Sock 'em Golem Fists- As magic weapons that can also serve as magic shields.
4-Golem Boots- Speed becomes very slow, but nothing can knock you prone or move you via grappling.

Gray Ooze
Potion-Grey Acid-(Formerly Alkahest) Long debunked from its position as universal solvent by alchemists, Grey Acid is a snot-like substance remaining from burnt grey oozes that retains its powerful corrosive properties, inflicting 2d8 damage and melting organic substances, and metal, though not stone. It is valued heavily by thieves, as no lock can withstand it.
Component-Boiled Grey Ooze
Component-Gray Ooze that ate itself, used as ink.
Item-Greyprint- A vast grey tapestry, a lobotomized ooze. It functions as a 3-d printer fueled by metal.
Component- An ooze flattened as thin as paper, then dried.
Weapon-Grey Bullet- Slag prssed into a sling-bullet that retains some ooze acid. Will destroy 1d6 points of AC per hit.
Component-metal equivalent to a suit of plate mail dissolved and re-collected.

Green Slime
Potion-Green Death-Green slime in glass vial painted black, it is a potent bioweapon banned by all who know of it.
Component-Green Slime, typically harvested in indirect sunlight to prevent it dying or from the collector from dying.
Spell-n/a, but green slime that ate wizards retains memorized spells within its squamous mass and they can be retrieved if the slime is burnt and the charcoal used as ink
Item- Sludge Vampire- This is a monster, not an item, but whatever. If you wanna make one for some godforsaken reason, this is how.
Component-Vampire devoured by green slime
Weapon- Green-Night Dagger-A knife of dead and calcified green slime, with some yet living inside the blade. Only active in pitch blackness, but hits as green slime.
Component-'dead' green slime, sharpened into a knife.