Thursday, March 14, 2019

005 Treefolk

From Ents to shambling mounds, you gotta love them tree-folk. (Actually, we didn't cover shambling mounds. In fact, we left a lot of meat on this bone and may have to revisit it later.)

Mentions

Ray's Downies

Based on baobab trees. Legend has it these trees stood so tall and proud that they made the gods angry. As a result the gods plucked them and planted them back in the earth upside down. Assuming that is true, my variant is the Downies.

These trees, cursed by the gods to grow upside down, strain toward the center of the earth. Often rotten inside, they form tunnels through which people may descend into the earth. (Or darker things ascend!) It is said that these trees are seeking vengeance against the gods. When they reach the molten lava that ever scholar knows is at the center of the earth, it will quickly burn through their hollow wooden skins and cover the earth in fire and ash.

Attacks (none), 40 HP, 3 Armor.
Instinct: to reach the center.
Moves: 
  • Disgorge a horde of demons
  • Attract the ire of the gods in the form of lightning - high winds - and other destructive weather
  • Curse anyone who sleeps under their skyward reaching roots

Brian's Bark Mastiff

Tags: group, huge, organized, weak against fire
Bite (1d8 damage, close), 12 HP, 3 armor

The Bark Mastiff resembles a tight grove of four trees whose canopies have grown together, with an enormous leafy head like that of a mastif. These gentle giants use a cloud of spores against attackers that causes a debilitating cough. A Bark Mastiff spends much of its life in one spot, and groups of them are often mistaken for  a forest

Instinct: to sleep
Moves:
  • Drop spores
  • Run away
  • Crush someone underfoot

Logan's Eagle-ent

The Birch Ogre of Half-Penny Forest
Solitary, Huge, Terrifying, Magical
Beak or Limbs (d12 damage)                                                        15 HP, 2 Armor
Close, Messy or Forceful
Special Qualities: Unstable Form

When the mad wizard Kitchikeeyu asked the Holy Empress Light-of-Twelve-Stars for some land for his tower, she offered him a secluded birch forest far from the Blessed City. As we all know, land freely given always comes to no good. Because she is wise, The Most Beloved Empress sold it to him for half a penny.
The twisted old sorcerer wasted no time making a mess of things! In one day, he summoned a strange, blue-stone fortress for himself and began his studies in transformation. All manner of creatures were warped and molested by his cruel magic. At last, thinking he’d gained enough learning, he transformed himself into a great eagle and launched himself from the tower wall. Nearly crashing to his death, Kitchikeeyu found flying quite difficult and careened around the forest flapping for all he was worth!
Finally, the desperate eagle was able to land in a birch tree. Too afraid to fly again, Kitchikeeyu decided to turn back into himself so he could climb down. Unfortunately, he knew nothing of how to return things to their proper forms! Instead, his unsavory magic pulled all the life forms at hand and, along with some flawed memory of his original shape, blended them all in together!
Now children! DO NOT GO into the Half-Penny Forest unless you want to come face to face with the mighty Birch Ogre!
It is tall and slender!
It is covered in pale and peeling bark!
It has the head of giant eagle!
It walks on two legs with feet covered in flailing roots!
It swings a multitude of powerful, whip-like branches, laying waste to anything it meets!
It has the predatory instincts of a raptor with the stomach the size of a tree!
Still…Somewhere deep within it, there is a penitent old man crying out for mercy. You can almost hear him now…
HELP ME!!!
Instinct: Gorge on food!
  • Bat someone into the branches of another tree
  • Temporarily shift into a form that is more human, eagle, or tree
  • Freeze them with a fearsome screech or a sorrowful cry
  • Hold someone to the ground with a foot that takes root


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Thursday, March 7, 2019

004 Kobolds!

004 Kobolds!


Mentions


The Sleestak from Land of the Lost

The Kobold of Germanic Folklore

Variants


Ray's Kobold-Chameleons or Kobeleons


Kobeleons are a variety of kobold adapted to the deep forest. They are excellent climbers and employ a prehensile tail in their maneuvers through the canopy. Their long sticky tongues allow them to reach and extract objects with incredible speed. It is very difficult for anything to escape their notice due to their sharp eyes that move independently of each other. On the other hand, it's almost impossible to see them when they are motionless because of their ability to blend in with their surroundings. They defend their territory with hit and run (or hit and hide) tactics, keeping to high perches and striking with blowguns and other basic missile weapons. 

It is rumored that a green dragon controls much of the uncharted forest and the kobeleons are her servants.


  • Snap up an object with a quick tongue
  • Hide in plain sight
  • Strike from a high perch
  • Look in two different directions at once

Logan's Kobold Champions


The Exalted Knights of Kor-Moleg
Small, Group, Organized, Intelligent, Magical
Flaming Short Sword (d10+2 damage)                                                    6 HP, 3 Armor
Close, Burning
Special Qualities: Spell Resistant Armor (direct magical effects do half damage), Tunneling

The elite fighting force of The Kobold Capital City of Kor-Moleg are known as the Exalted Knights and considerable resources and efforts go into outfitting and maintaining them. Each wears armor that is warded against magical attacks. Each has bonded with a Dire Badger mount and their gear fits together in a way that allows the rider to maintain a seat while tunneling. Lastly, each knight wields a flaming short sword that may continue to do damage if the wound is not doused or smothered.
The knights themselves are committed warriors with years of intense training. Several of them are adept in the arcane arts and will cast battle magic if allowed the time.
Instinct: Defend the realm!
  • Surprise them with a simple spell
  • Crash in or out of a prepared tunnel
  • Use a sword to catch something on fire

Armored Kobold Dire Badger
Group, Terrifying
Claws and Teeth (d8 damage)                                                      8 HP, 3 Armor
Close, Messy
Special Qualities: Spell Resistant Armor (direct magical effects do half damage), Tunneling

The Armored Dire Badgers of Kor-Moleg serve as mounts for a Powerful kobold fighting force. They are the epitome of harnessed rage!  
Instinct: Shred the enemies of my rider!
  • Send them scrambling back with a snarl
  • Crash in or out of a prepared tunnel
  •  Tear away armor
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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

003 Bugbears!

Mentions

Variants

Ray's Bigfoot Bugbears

This evolved species of bugbear is even taller and harrier than it's progenitors. Surprisingly, given the odious habits of standard bugbears, the Bigfeet are evolved in mind as well as in body. They are quite intelligent and use violence only as a last resort. Harried by so-called civilized people who can't see the difference between the Bigfeet and their low-brow cousins, they have retreated into seldom-travelled corners of The Wild. Most live alone, wandering a well-defined territory, but once a year, on the longest night, they gather together for a night of revelry in which they descend into their more savage natures. Having spent this energy, they go their separate ways in the morning and don't like to talk about what happened with each other, let alone outsiders. Some are killed at these revelries. But also there are unions that bear fruit.

Solitary, large, intelligent

Instinct: to be left alone and repress their savage nature
Move: know every leaf and stone of their territory, read the stars, lose control of their temper.

Fists (d8+5, close, reach, forceful), 10 HP, 1 Armor

Logan's Old John Broken Teeth

Group, Organized, Intelligent, Terrifying

Dagger (d8 damage) 6 HP, 3 Armor
Hand, Close

Special Qualities: Expandable Jaw

They call him Old John Broken Teeth and he’s killed many a lonely traveler along the narrow forest road to Hillbrook. The few survivors who claim to have seen him say he’s taller than a rearing horse but his body is thin and covered in dark, greasy fur. They claim his mouth can open wider than your shoulders and it’s full of jagged teeth.
What they don’t know is that John is just one of several large predators that hunt in a pack but rarely reveal more than one of them at a time. Their usual tactic is to frighten their prey by leaping out at them and then slipping back into the woods to allow for partners to do the same. When the victim is worn out, they close in and make the kill.

Instinct: Take an easy victim

Climb with great speed
Wound a leg with a deep scratch
Attack from all sides

Thursday, February 14, 2019

002 Trolls!

Mentions

Variants

Logan's entry: The Troll’s Lovely Daughter

She appears when time is short and the traveler is eager to move on. At first sight she looks like an old woman lying in a ditch. Upon closer inspection, her nose is inhumanly large, she has a mouth full of sharp, finger-length teeth, and a tail like a cow’s can be seen pinned under one leg.
The frightful creature will wail and cry, telling the adventurer that she’s fallen ill and her mother is looking for her. The hero will hear the voice of a woman in the distance fussing over her lovely daughter who is missing. The troll in the ditch will ask for the sap of seven trees that are scattered throughout the woods. The first character to commit to helping her will be rewarded with one reroll per session for which they need to describe how the elements shift to help them.

Instinct: Test the compassion of those in a hurry
  • Fill their minds with the desperate call of a parent
  • Confuse the path
  • Influence a companion animal

Ray's Hook-Nosed Sand Troll

Today their realm is a terrifying desert of harsh winds and sliding dunes, but once it was a lush, dense forest. The elves dwelled in it, and as happens with places they dwell in, the trees began to awake. But nearly two centuries ago the desert to the south began encroaching on the forest. Why did the climate change? Did it have anything to do with the rise of The Bone Lord? Who knows. 

The trolls of the forest remained, walking among the ghosts of trees that can no longer be seen by anyone but themselves. They are tall and thin with whipcord muscles and splayed feet. They have lost their voices and speak only with slow, weaving gestures of their long arms and spidery hands. Humans call them the sand stalkers because they gather around interlopers to drive them out. The elves call them the Guardians. Either way, interlopers disturb the ruminations of these strange creatures, disrupting their connection to the spirit world by simply interjecting a focal point of reality. The trolls always want to drive out other intelligent species not indigenous to the area – by force if necessary.

(Cannot regenerate unless recently hydrated by a freak rainstorm or an oasis. Not particularly susceptible to fire because of their dense tissues.)

Group, mute

Instinct: to tend the forest
  • Cover large distances quickly in any weather
  • See things of the spirit
  • Relentlessly stalk interlopers
  • Communicate without a voice
Claw (d8+3, close, reach, forceful), 14 HP, 1 Armor



Thursday, January 31, 2019

001 Rat Folk!

The Monster Brothers monster podcast is a collaboration between Logan Howard and Ray Otus. 

Mentions

Variants

Ray's Blood Rats

Blood Rats live in colonies ruled by a queen, who mercilessly guards her position against rival females. While all individuals are vampiric, the queen can transform the blood of victims into a wildly intoxicating drug with her catalytic saliva. This triggers an insane orgy that is part feeding frenzy and part breeding ritual. Typical workers are pale creatures, with veins visible through their skin. They wear no clothes, but sometimes have bags slung over a should and they will wear tinted goggles if going into lighted areas.

Tags: horde, small, devious, organized, intelligent, burrowing. 

Instinct: to bring captives to the queen for a blood orgy

Moves: 
  • Play dead (low metabolic rate)
  • Shrug off disease & poison (resistant to cancer, oxygen dep.)
  • Spread disease, intentionally or otherwise
  • Dig their way out
Stats: Fangs or digging claws (d6, hand, 2 piercing, vampiric bite), Armor 0, HP 5. 
On a successful bite, the victim is drained of some blood and gets the Shaky (DEX) and Sick (CON) disabilities. Lasts until you rest and eat/drink.

Logan's King of the Cheapside

The King of Cheapside is a three-headed were-rat who is tall enough to loom menacingly over most humans. From the back alleys of the dirtiest neighborhoods to the Queen’s own inner circle, the lord of lopsided deals pulls the strings. He doesn't let enemies engage him directly, relying on his rat-ogre bodyguards for protection. If he does have to fight, he's very skilled with his rapier and will fight dirty as opportunities allow. He wears a mail shirt under his doublet and always carries vials of noxious gas in case he needs to escape.

Tags: Solitary, Stealthy, Intelligent, Hoarder

Instinct: Rise ever higher while remaining just out of reach of justice

Moves:
  • Disarm them with a swipe of his tale
  • Smash open a vial that makes the party expel the contents of their stomachs and swipe at their burning eyes
  • Create a diversion, attack, and cast an insult all at once 
Stats: Rapier (b[2d10+2] damage, 2 piercing, close), 12 HP, 4 armor