Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hydrospawn Leader

When hydrospawn warriors capture a strong human warrior alive, she will be brought to the hivemind for transformation.  The human is injected with spores, ooze and ichor and must save vs. death at -4 or fall into a coma.  The comatose human will be transformed over the course of a month into a hydrospawn leader.  Only a remove curse and a cure disease can restore the victim to her original form.

Like hydrospawn warriors, hydrospawn leaders are skeletal in appearance with no skin.  They surprise others 3 in 6,  can see in the dark, breathe underwater and they are excellent swimmers.

Hydrospawn leaders can use a "mind tangle" power upon one target within 12" each round.  Previous victims of the mind tangle are not released when a new target is attacked.  Multiple targets can be affected.   If the hydrospawn leader is killed, the effects of all its mind tangles go away in one round.  The target must save vs. illusion or suffer the effects of the power.  Roll on the table below:

Roll d6 
Effect of the Mind Tangle
The target cannot move and can only defend for 1d4 rounds
The target will drop what they are holding and wander around for 1d4 rounds
All hydrospawn are effectively invisible to the target for 1d4 rounds

In melee combat, the hydrospawn leader attacks with its two massive hook spines.  Each spine does 1d6+2 if it hits.  If both hit the same target, the target must save vs. illusion or suffer the effect of the "mind tangle" above.

Hydrospawn warriors fighting in the presence of a hydrospawn leader are +1 to hit and +1 to all saving throws.

Hydrospawn Leader 000M0
fungal humanoid
M = All affected by "mind tangles" get a new saving throw to cancel the effect
HD 4 AC 3[16] Atk 2 hook spines Move 9/Swim 15
Save 14 MOR 11 CL/XP 6/400 TT None
Special: water breathing, mind control
The hydrospawn hive mind is a giant tentacular creature that dwells in a subterranean cavern.  The hivemind needs water and biological matter to create its warriors (and other servant beasts).  As a result, the hivemind often sends its warriors on raids to hunt and kill/capture animals that can be brought back to the cavern for use in its fungal plans.  The hydrospawn leader is often "cultivated" when a mission is particularly difficult or strategy and tactics are important.  A hydrospawn leader will always have 2-8 hydrospawn warriors with her. 
Treasures: Hydrospawn leaders carry no treasure

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hydrospawn Warriors

A good friend came by yesterday and gifted me with the starter set to HeroScape.  I already have a copy, but I plan to give parts of it away to my grandson.  He'll be able to add the parts to the parts I've already given him PLUS the HeroScape Underdark set he got for his birthday last year.

Anyway, I was looking in the box and I found these beauties!  Marro Warriors!  I've re-imagined them below as "Hydrospawn Warriors" and I plan to put them in the MMMM. 


Hydrospawn are a race of fungus-based humanoid warriors.  They are skeletal in appearance and have no skin.  They serve a tyrannical hivemind that drives them to seek out fertilizer (usually humanoid beings) to feed the pod farm.

Hydrospawn are stealthy and able to surprise opponents 1-3 on a d6.  Hydrospawn can see in the dark and can breathe underwater.  They are excellent swimmers.

In melee combat, hydrospawn can fight with their claws or with any melee weapon.  They prefer to ambush at range, using their bio-powered "blorp" guns, which they fire at +2 to hit.  The guns are called this by other races because of the noise they make when fired.  The hydrospawn themselves have no word for their guns, thinking of them as mere extensions of themselves.  A blorp gun in the hands of a hydrospawn may be fired every round and will never run out of ammunition.

A target hit with a "blorper" suffers 1d6 damage and must save vs. concussive force (STR bonus applies) at +2 or suffer the random effects below:

D6 roll Effect
1 Target knocked down
2-3 Target knocked down and back 1"
4-5 Target knocked down and back 2"
6 Target knocked down and stunned for 1 round

"Blorp" guns can be taken as treasure and can be used by creatures that have the appropriate appendages.  Blorpers are bulky, somewhat heavy and their ammunition cannot be swapped from one gun to another.  No one has been able to figure out how to reload a blorp gun once its empty, only the hydrospawn have the ability to do that.  Captive hydrospawn will not refill a blorp gun even if threatened with death.  In all cases, blorp guns cease to function (whether they have charges left or not) within one week of being taken from their hydrospawn.  Roll 1d6 each day after the first.  If you roll a number greater than the number of days the blorp gun has been removed from its hydrospawn, the gun will function.

Hydrospawn warriors can also "split" once per day if they submerge all or part of their bodies (like a foot or hand) in water.  In one round,  in a "blurrrp" the hydrospawn will split in two.  This will happen at the end of the round and during that round the hydrospawn will not attack -- it will only defend itself.  The second hydrospawn will be uninjured even if the first hydrospawn has taken damage.  The second hydrospawn will not have a blorp gun.  The two resulting hydrospawn cannot further "split" for one month.  During this process, the hydrospawn will deposit an "egg" in the water.  The egg is a sphere, about 2" in circumference and dark green in color.  This egg will sink to the bottom of the water and in one week, a new hydrospawn warrior will be born.

Hydrospawn Warrior 3 Hits
fungal humanoid

HD 2 AC 5[14] Atk 1 claws/melee weapon or "blorp" gun Move 9/Swim 15
Save 16 MOR 10 CL/XP 4/120 TT Special
Special: water breathing, "blorp" gun (see table), splitting ability (see above)
The hydrospawn hive mind is a giant tentacular creature that dwells in a subterranean cavern.  The hivemind needs water and biological matter to create its warriors (and other servant beasts).  As a result, the hivemind often sends its warriors on raids to hunt and kill/capture animals that can be brought back to the cavern for use in its fungal plans.  The hydrospawn warriors are the pawns in these plans.  Expendable troops that can be used in overwhelming numbers against its prey.  The hivemind has an organ that excretes the basic tube structure of the "blorp" gun.  Once its attached to the hydrospawn warrior, it becomes a fully functional blorper.  
Treasures (d6 - roll twice; once for gun, once for other item)
1 - "blorp" gun (2 shots left); dried fish wafers
2 - "blorp" gun (3 shots left); pretty shells on thong
3 - "blorp" gun (4 shots left); strange teeth on thong
4 - "blorp" gun (5 shots left); copper trinket (1d4x20 cp value)
5 - "blorp" gun (6 shots left); silver trinket (1d4x10 sp value)
6 - "blorp" gun (7 shots left); pearl or coral trinket (1d4+1x10 gp value)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Juggernaut Amphoron

I'm still playing with the stat-blocks and I'm still working to generate "Gygaxian Naturalism" and Treasures for the monsters.

Anyway, here's one that I've been working on.

Juggernaut Amphoron
The Juggernaut Amphoron is a harvester/processor the size of a semi-attached trailer truck, with a moving crane mounted on its back and two huge circular saws mounted on its articulated arms. If the Juggernaut’s crane hits an opponent, the victim is lifted up into the air over the Juggernaut’s processing hatch, and dropped automatically in the following round. If the crane hits, a saving throw is permitted to escape the its grasp unless the target is wearing metal armor, in which case no saving throw is allowed (the crane contains a backup magnet). Anyone dropped into the processing hatch is processed within 1d4 rounds into a small brick.
Juggernaut Amphoron 00000 UCPI0
U = Unstable - chance to "flicker" now 2 in 6
C = Crane Demagnetized - the crane magnets no longer work. Targets in metal armor are now allowed a saving throw
P = Processor Malfunction - 1 in 6 chance per round that the processor will cease functioning
I = Intangible - chance to be "solid" now only 1 in 6
HD 10 AC 2[17] Atk 2 whirling blades (2d6+2) or crane Move 9
Save 5 MOR A CL/XP 13/2300 TT
Special: magic resistance 25%, crane, chance of flickering
Gygaxian Naturalism goes here
Treasures (d6)
I'm creating a list of treasures for the monsters.  You'll roll a d6 and read off the list.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sorry about the delay...

Hi everyone,

I'm posting this to let everyone know that I haven't given up the idea of reworking this book.  :)

In fact, I've tinkered with a number of critters (I'll post a couple soon...)

I'm trying to get the formatting correct.  I'm working on the pre-generated treasure tables.

Several people have offered to help and I'm very grateful for their interest and their patience.  My work has just been insane lately, but Christmas break is coming up.  I hope to get on some kind of roll in the near future; cranking out a couple monsters for the blog each week and powering through the book.  I'd love to get it in the publishing pipeline in Q2 2011.

Anyway, thanks for staying tuned.  I'm certain that the book will be a good one and the intermission is almost over...

Thursday, October 7, 2010


By popular demand of Roger the GS, I present the fearsome gorbel!

This bizarre creature is a small orb with reddish skin. Atop its round body are six eyestalks, each ending in a sapphire-colored eye. Dangling beneath its body are two stubby legs that end in claws.

The gorbel is a strange creature that may be distantly related to beholders, but its general lack of magical abilities lends little weight to this belief. A gorbel is approximately 3 feet in diameter. Its reddish skin is a thin but tough and rubbery membrane. The spherical body of a gorbel is highly elastic and filled to near bursting with a lighter-than air flammable gas that smells of rotten eggs (sulfur). A gorbel eats, breathes, and excretes through an aperture best described as a mouth. This mouth is lined with a ring of sharp teeth that face inward to help it force food into its gullet.

Gorbels primarily attack with their claws, only resorting to biting after they have latched onto their prey. They attack as a 2 HD creature. A gorbel will attack and try to eat whatever it thinks is edible — generally including anything that moves that is smaller than the gorbel. Its strange metabolic processes instill it with an almost insatiable hunger.

If a gorbel hits a single target with both claws, it will grab and hold onto the target. Each round thereafter, it will automatically hit with its bite for 1d6 damage. Once a gorbel grabs a target it will not let go. Creatures with a gorbel hanging upon them recieve no AC bonus for dexterity. Two or more attached gorbels may interfere with the use of weapons or shield. Spellcasting is impossible when a gorbel is attached.

Blunt weapons do no damage to gorbel, but slashing or piercing weapons will cause it to instantly burst and explode, killing the gorbel and dealing 1d6 damage to everyone within 5' (save for half).

Gorbel Special (see above)

HD 2 (see above) AC 3[16] Atk 2 claws (1d4 each) or 1 bite (1d6) Move 12
Save 16 MOR 7 CL/XP 4/120 Horde Class:
Special: never surprised; grab attack; explodes
Gorbel reproduce through the use of spores. When a gorbel explodes, it sends thousands of spores into the area. These spores will settle in nooks and crannies in the dungeon walls. The slightest amount of moisture (even damp air) will cause them to germinate and grow. In 1d6 weeks, small baseball-sized gorbel will emerge to prey on insects and vermin. Within a month, they will grow to full size. Gorbel are sometimes cultivated and herded by clever humanoids like kobolds and goblins who use them as a trap/warning device.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Ankhegs are huge insects, 10 to 20ft long, resembling grasshoppers with vicious mandibles. They burrow through the ground, often in farmlands as well as in caverns. Once per day, an ankheg can squirt digestive acids for 5d6 points of damage (save for half), but this is a defense not used in normal hunting.
Damage Tracks:
HD 4 00MAM
HD 5 000MA M
HD 6 0000M AM
HD 7 00000 MAM
HD 8 00000 0MAM
giant insect
A = Spit Acid - 5d6 damage (save for half) 1/day
M = Check Morale at -2 penalty
HD 3 to 8 AC 2[17] underside 4[15] Atk 1 bite (3d6) Move 12 (burrow 6)

HD 3 Save 14
HD 4 Save 13
HD 5 Save 12
HD 6 Save 11
HD 7 Save 9
HD 8 Save 8
HD 3 4/120XP
HD 4 5/240XP
HD 5 6/400XP
HD 6 7/600XP
HD 7 8/800XP
HD 8 9/1100XP
Hoard Class:
Special: Spits acid 5d6 (1/day, save for half)
If an ankheg nest is found, there is a 50% chance that a female will be present in the nest (one HD less than the male; 3 HD minimum). If a female is present, there is a variable chance, by season, that a clutch of eggs (or babies) will be present. If the young are threatened, both the male and female ankhegs will fight ferociously. They will attack twice per round with their terrible bite at +2 to hit. They will never check morale when defending their young. Ankheg eggs and babies are of some interest to wizards and alchemists. They will typically pay 50 to 300 gp each if in viable condition.
Fall 0% eggs 10% 1d3 babies (1 HD, 1d6 bite, no acid)
Winter 0% eggs 5% 1d3 babies (1 HD, 1d6 bite, no acid)
Spring 50% 2d4 eggs 0% babies
Summer (eggs or babies only; never both at the same time; roll for babies first) 30% 2d4 eggs 30% 1d6 babies (1 HD, 1d6 bite, no acid)

ABCD Monster rules

Instead of tracking the hit points of monsters, I prefer tracking "hits".  I usually draw one zero or circle for every HD of the creature.  I might add a few if the creature is particularly tough or I might subtract one or two if the creature is particularly weak.  I call this a "damage track".

Consider the humble Ankheg -- 3 to 8 HD.

I would draw, perhaps "0000" for a 3 HD beast and maybe "00000 0000" for an 8 HD monster.  I envision Ankhegs as being a bit tougher than your average bear.

So, what's a "hit"?  Well, that depends.

If you use d6 for monster HD, then I'd call every 5 points of damage "a hit".  1 point of damage is nothing and anything between 2 and 4 is "half a hit".

If you use d8 for monster HD, then I'd call every 7 points of damage "a hit".  1 point of damage is nothing and anything between 2 and 5 is "half a hit".

If you use d10 for monster HD, then I'd call every 9 points of damage "a hit".  1 point of damage is nothing and anything between 2 and 8 is "half a hit".

If you were to just "add up" all hit points alloted within the "hits", these are some tough monsters.  It all tends to work out in practice though, because some of the monsters "hits" will be depleted by two "half hits" that are pretty low.

When a monster takes a "hit", you put an X through the circle.  "Half hits" mark the circle with a slash.  Two slashes make a full hit, or an X.  Easy peasy.

Now here's where things get a bit more interesting.

What if you could build some "tactics" or "actions" into the "damage track"?

The Ankheg has the ability to spit acid.  It doesn't like to do it unless it has to.  I think it would probably only do it if it was seriously harmed.

Let's change one of the zeroes to an "A" for Acid.  Now, when the creature takes a "hit" or "half hit" on the letter "A" that reminds us to utilize that ability later in the battle.

I believe that the Ankheg isn't a mindless killing machine.  I think it would rather get away than fight to the death.  I decide to put an "M" in for Morale in place of one of the zeroes.  That reminds me to take a morale check (perhaps at a penalty) when the monster gets to be about half dead.

The damage tracks are now "0MAM" for a 3 HD beast and maybe "00000 0MAM" for an 8 HD.

The opportunities are endless.