Red-Eyes Man-Killer

fcdba280588a2e19611242b277c6cc3f

Straits of Anian already has the definitive take on cannibalism in RPGs. But I recently finished reading The Hunger, by Alma Katsu, and whipped up a little 5E-compatible something of my own.

Eating the flesh of one’s own kind is one of the oldest and strongest taboos. But, whether from perverse desire or extreme desperation, cannibalism occurs. Those that engage in this gruesome act run the risk of a terrible curse, an inexhaustible hunger that can only be satisfied by one thing…

The red-eyes man-killer was once a person, but their terrible craving has burned their self down to a cinder of violent, predatory desire. Whatever remains of their intellect and emotions is fixed on the hunt and the kill, though they may display vestiges of their former lives – tics and quirks that might give false hope to one who knew them previously.

But when you look into those red eyes, there’s only hunger looking back.


Red-Eyes Man-Killer
Medium Humanoid

Perception +4
Stealth +7
Survival +4
Has advantage on Perception and Survival checks concerning blood.

HP: 27 (5d10)
AC: 14 (tattered rags plus high dexterity)
Initiative +3
Speed 30 ft.

Knife attack +7 (1d4+2 piercing damage, throwing range 20 ft.)
Hatchet attack +7 (1d6+2 slashing damage, throwing range 20 ft.)
Bite attack +5 (1d4 piercing damage + 1 bleed damage per round)

Hamstring – If Red-Eyes Man-Killer deals maximum damage with a melee attack, the target’s speed drops to 0 until the start of its next turn.
Frenzy – If Red-Eyes Man-Killer hasn’t moved, it can make one knife attack and one hatchet attack.

Leaps and Bounds – As a bonus action, Red-Eyes Man-Killer drops to all fours and sprints. Until the beginning of its next turn, its speed increases to 60 feet and it gains advantage on Athletics and Acrobatics checks, but it cannot use its knife or hatchet attacks.

missedinhistory-podcasts-wp-content-uploads-sites-99-2015-10-gillesgarnier-p-660x357

Internet Detritus Monstrous Compendium

A baker’s dozen of dungeon denizens inspired by some random bullshit that drifted across my dashboard.

tumblr_lw0r3vt1p61qfknfxo1_250tumblr_lw0r3vt1p61qfknfxo2_250

tumblr_lw0r3vt1p61qfknfxo3_250tumblr_lw0r3vt1p61qfknfxo4_250

  1. Killer Bee: aggressive eusocial insect (AC 12, 1/2 HD, sting +1 (1d2 damage + Con save or paralyzed for 1d4 rounds), can summon another 1d4+1 killer bees as back-up)
  2. Cave Slime: colonial mold organism (AC 11, 3 HD, pseudopod +3 (1d6 damage), releases clouds of spores when struck (all adjacent creatures Con save or confused))
  3. Jason: masked lunatic (AC 14, 1 HD, machete +4 (1d6+3 damage), immune to charm and fear; at 0 HP, unless body is completely destroyed, Jason will revive in 1d4-1 rounds; noiseless – has advantage on Stealth checks; mask is cursed – whoever puts it on begins losing 1d4 Wisdom per hour, wearer becomes Jason at 0 Wis, mask can only be removed with remove curse before wearer loses all Wisdom)
  4. Blood Ball: weird disembodied eye (AC 12, 1/2 HD, any creature that meets its gaze must make Wis save or be hypnotized for 1d6 rounds; at 0 HP it bursts in a spray of gore (everyone in 10 ft. radius must make Con save or their eyes will fall out and become blood balls in 1d6 hours))
  5. Rock Face: minor elemental spirit (AC 18, 1 HD, extend stalactite/stalagmite +1 (1d6 damage, 10 ft. range), resistant to non-magic weapons)
  6. Blue Killer: azure-shelled scorpion with a lethal sting (AC 14, 1/2 HD, pincers +1 (1d3 damage) or sting +1 (Con save or die)
  7. Zombie: reanimated shambler (AC 13, 1 HD, ragged claws or rotting teeth +1 (1d4 damage + Con save or contract random disease (incubation period 1d6 hours))
  8. Metal Shark: aquatic automaton (AC 16, 1 HD, basically immobile on land but can still bite (+1, 1d6 damage) anything in reach; worth 1d3x100 silver pieces in parts and materials)
  9. Shark Lizard: sightless carnivore uses hearing and scent to hunt (AC 14, 3 HD, bite +3 (1d8 damage); blood frenzy – when it, or target, has less than half hp, deals double damage)
  10. Small Dragon: miniature drake with disproportionately large ego (AC 16, 3 HD, claw or bite +3 (1d6 damage) or spit corrosive drool (30 ft. rng, 1d4 acid damage + 1d4 acid damage per round until neutralized); can fly clumsily)
  11. Ghost: otherworldly apparition (AC 13, 1 HD, immune to non-magical weapons, uses psychokinesis to throw objects (20 ft. rng, 1d4 damage); appearance causes fear (Wis save to resist, only needs to succeed once))
  12. Big Hose: oversized, armor-plated annelid (AC 18, 1 HD, bite +1 (1d4 damage, can lunge up to 10 ft.), can burrow through solid rock)
  13. Orc: brutish humanoid (AC 13, 3 HD, crude hand weapon +3 (1d6 damage), can attack twice in a round if it hasn’t moved)

Random Item Drop

An assortment of unusual items that first appeared on my tumblr


SOUL SPIKE

tumblr_inline_o8x6eo05ol1ryclbu_500

If this cold-iron dagger is stabbed into a surface upon which a living creature casts it shadow, that creature will be rooted to the spot from which it casts the shadow. It can take any action except leave its current location, even by magical means, until Soul Spike no longer pierces its shadow.

Additionally, the wielder of Soul Spike suffers no penalties when using it to attack spectral or incorporeal entities and any damage it inflicts cannot be regenerated while the being remains intangible.

 

 

 

 


WITCH’S JAWBONE

img_9435sm

A character making a successful history/lore/arcana/Intelligence check will know that after a practitioner of black magic was executed, iron nails were pounded into the sorcerer’s jaw to prevent the corpse from resurrecting.

When worn as a talisman, the jawbone provides the wearer with some protection against harmful magic. Each witch’s jawbone has 2d4+1 nails hammered into it. Whenever the wearer is targeted by a spell, the jawbone will absorb it instead. A number of nails equal to the level of spell absorbed with crumble to dust. Once all of the nails are gone, the jawbone is useless.

Should the wearer be targeted by a spell of a higher level than the number of nails in the jawbone, the jawbone is destroyed and the spell affects the wearer as normal.


COAT OF GOOD FORTUNE

b341073a5399e00fb4e79fa461d2a18e

A character making a successful history/lore/Intelligence check can identify when and where the coins were minted (for the sake of simplicity, you can assume that all the coins are of the same type).

This strange article of clothing provides the same protection as chain mail armor. Also, a wearer gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws and a +1 bonus to NPC reaction rolls.

A character could also pull coins off the shirt and try to spend them; because of their great age, the coins’ value will vary from place to place and person to person. An antique dealer in a cosmopolitan city might consider them priceless artifacts, but they might not be worth the metal their made from to the proprietor of some far-flung roadside inn.

There is a 1% cumulative chance per coin taken from the coat that all of the coins will fall off the backing and all the benefits the garment granted will be irreparably lost.

Deviant Artists and High-Impact Bible Study (Actual Play)

Last night, I played a one-shot Black Hack game at No Land Beyond, a gaming joint in Baltimore. Justin Sirois, local author and game maker ran four of us through a few scenarios based on his campaign module Beneath.

img_20190131_220000

My dirtbag thief, Nimbleshanks

The party consisted of:

  • Ethan Solheim, a cleric (played by Dan)
  • Morg, a conjurer (played by Ash)
  • Nimbleshanks, a thief (Me)
  • and Oleg, another conjurer, and his familar Fenris the Wolf (played by Brian)

So, the story begins in the town of Crag Lee, which has become known as a hub of creativity and innovation, but has recently experienced a rash of disappearances – people just head into the forest north of town and never come back. Those that remain have started blacking out mirrors and windows.

One of these missing persons was the owner of a local mine and associate of Baron Lennox. Lennox hired the party to go after his business partner and hopefully find her so the mine can be reopened.

The adventurers leave immediately, in the middle of the night. On their way out of town they pass a bonfire into which townspeople are chucking all manner of mirrors and reflective surfaces. Strange things are afoot in Crag Lee.

In the northern woods, the party meet Hannah, a mercenary who’s looking for her missing brother Cameron. Introductions are made, and while Hannah and the adventurers discuss what she knows about the situation, movement is heard from the south. Everyone looks and sees… this guy has set up an easel and has been sketching the group the whole time. Before anyone can ask him what the hell he’s doing, two more dudes reveal themselves; like the first the guy, they’re dressed in paint-smudged smocks, but instead of brushes or charcoal, they’re holding spiked clubs. PLAY THE FIGHT RIFF!

img_20190131_194345

Morg attempts to dispatch the dude with the easels using the spell “black vomit,” but is only partially successful – instead of blasting the artiste, the Morg’s vomit just dribbles into a puddle on the ground. The intended target attempts to thwack Morg with the folded-up easel and critically fails – the easel flies out of his grip and lands several yards away. Ethan rushes over to stand on top of the easel and recites a prayer to bless his companions. Oleg sics Fenris on the two goons, but the wolf is an unable to land a blow on either. Both goons rush Ethan, who manages to fend off their clubs with his shield. This leaves them vulnerable to Nimbleshanks, who backstabs the bejeezus out of one them.

At this point, two more goons emerge from the woods to tussle with Hannah. Morg sort of judo throws the artist into the puddle of black vomit, which begins dissolving him. Ethan whiffs with his mace, and both he and Nimbleshanks take clubs to their respective domes. Oleg zaps one of the newly arrived goons with a magic missile, which allows Hannah to escape and take out one of her attackers with a crossbow bolt that explodes into a tangle of thorny vines. Nimbleshanks knocks down the goon he didn’t gank with a leg sweep and handsprings away.

Much to Ethan’s dismay (he’s a cleric after all), Morg reanimates the goon Hannah just killed and orders him to attack his former compatriot. The zombie slays him, and Ethan finished off the remaining goon with a mace through the face.

To Ethan’s continued dismay, the reanimation spell lasts for a hour, so the zombie hangs out and chats with Morg. Turns out, the zombie was formerly George Kilroy, leader of a gang of renegade artists that turned to crime. Zombie George gives Morg his sketchbook, which is full of well-rendered depictions of violence and depravity. Everyone else chills out for the rest of the night to recuperate from the fight. The scene ends with Morg carrying out Zombie George’s last wish to be “turned into art” and impales it to the easel.

Bright and early the next morning, Hannah leads the party further north to a staircase leading down. The group takes the stairs down,

down,

down.

After 20 stories downwards, the stairs open into a hallway carved out of salt-encrusted stone. The hall terminates at a dead end with mirrors affixed to eastern and western walls. Hannah does something to the western mirror, causing it dissipate into a doorway through which everyone hustles through.

On the other side, the party finds themselves in a large chamber full of pews and and sparsely populated bookshelves. In a far corner, a robed figure sits in an armchair facing another mirror. Hannah points out a ledger laying open on a lectern – “Cameron” is written on one of the pages, in his hand, indicating that he had been this way. The person in the robe becomes aware of the group and greets them; Hannah identifies them as Michael, who ran the bookshop in Crag Lee.

Michael requests that everyone lay down their weapons, saying that they won’t be needed in paradise. Everyone is naturally reluctant to disarm. Michael insists and begins summoning waves of larger-than-normal sized frogs. PLAY THE FIGHT RIFF!

img_20190131_204049

Fenris quickly gobbles up a brace of frogs, but they turn out to be super-poisonous and he dies. Hannah is swarmed by amphibians, but Ethan beats back the frogs that leap at him. Morg uses magic to draw blood out of Fenris’ corpse and form it into projectiles that absolutely wreck Michael, who collides with the mirror he had been gazing into at the start of the scene. The mirror cracks and all the frogs turn their attention to Michael, who has begun rubbing his hands over the broken glass as if he could smooth it out again. The frogs attack him; one even manages to crawl into his mouth and Michael starts suffocating.

Hannah, now free of the frogs herself, implores the rest of the group to protect Michael – she’s convinced that he has information on her brother’s whereabouts. Nimbleshanks tip-toes through the frogs and whack’s Michael in the back of the head with a Bible that he had in his inventory for some reason. The frog flies out of Michael’s mouth and Michael himself is knocked unconscious. The rest of the frogs, thinking Michael is dead, retreat back through the mirror.

All in all, it was a fun way to spend three hours. This was my first time playing with the Black Hack rule set and I dig the loose, improvisational nature.

img_20190131_220312