Somewhere in the world lies the lost valley of Tlactoztlan. The strange natives of this hidden place practice human sacrifice, pray to bizarre gods, adorn themselves with brightly-colored feathers, and – it is rumored – live in cities made of gold. Only the bravest and luckiest adventurers find their way to Tlactoztlan!
Deep within the jungles of Tlactoztlan there are giant red and black centipedes, some measuring well over 4 feet long. These horrifying predators possess a deadly, necrotizing poison which continues to harm those it has afflicted for days after they have been bitten.
Xotlatocazatl, as they are called in Tlacuatl, live primarily on the floor of the jungle, nesting under stones and dead wood, as well as inside logs. They do occasionally climb high into the canopy in search of prey, and sometimes drop form branches to ambush unwary travelers.
Anyone bitten by a Xotlatocazatl must make a Tough Strength-based task check when the adrenaline of combat has cleared his or her system. Failure indicates that d3 of damage is dealt from the poison. Success results in only a single point of damage. Twenty-four hours later a new Strength-based task check, which will either be Tough (if the initial check failed) or Hard (if the initial check succeeded). Failure of this check again results in d3 damage, while success yields a single point of damage. This cycle continues every twenty-four hours, with the task check becoming progressively easier after a successful check (up to Moderate difficulty) or remaining at the difficulty level of the last successful check. Once a character has succeeded in four successive task checks the poison ceases to be damaging.
Damage done by Xotlatocazatl poison cannot be healed by any normal means until the poison has been purged from the victim’s system.
Attack with Bite +2; d3 + poison
Protection: d2-1 (chitinous hide)
What’s with all the Aztec-sounding stuff, man?
Don’t get me wrong — I dig it. I dig it a lot. But what inspired you to use it?
You know, Doc, I can’t rightly say what got me on this Aztec jag at the moment. I mean, it’s definitely 3 parts “Red Nails” and 2 parts D&D and 1 part growing up not all that far from Mexico – but that’s about all I’ve got.
Somewhere in the past couple of years I put together a handful of scribbled notes for something Aztec-y for Swords & Wizardry, but I lost a bit of my love for that particular system over the summer. I considered Labyrinth Lord again, but I needed to mix things up a bit and not stay married to that particular system (which got heavy use for the Sumerian stuff). Barbarians of Lemuria just seemed like the game that needed (and suited) this stuff the most.
That said, it would be pretty easy to backport Tlactoztlan to one of the retroclones (or the source material) or to make use of my BoL-to-BRP conversion guide to go in that direction. Of course, one could easily drag this stuff into just about any system, really. That’s actually one of the things I like about BoL – it’s not actually a Judges Guild-style universal system, but it’s pretty damn close.
Oh, and as far as the actual Nahuatl-based names for things, well, I’m just a sucker for the way names can imply a setting all on their own. And I enjoy doing a little linguistic tourism every now and then, so it seemed right.
Necrotic venom, man . . . naaasty. There’s a Mexican Pit-Viper (Cantil) whose poison does essentially the same thing. Leaves divots of dead flesh that has to be debreded. Yuck. Couple this with a general fear of crawling, mutli-legged creatures and you’ve got a monster PC’s will dread!
Ah, necrosis. Living in Texas I have the perpetual fear that one day I’ll be bitten by a brown recluse and get to deal with this kind of thing. That snake sounds downright awful, too!
Yeah, I was gunning for a serious, serious nasty with this one. Glad to know it worked 🙂
Most born and bred Texans understand that you don’t go sticking your hands or feet into any dark places without heavy gloves or a cursory examination.
There are a few folks who never learn. I heard about one ladies husband leaving his smelly work boots out at night and then putting them on in the morning only to find a Recluse had taken up residence.
The kicker (if you’ll pardon the pun) is that after the ordeal of having large necrotic sores on his feet, the idiot did it again months later. Some folks never learn, but I’m guessing he was from up north, so we should cut him some slack… LOL
As a native Texan and a borderline arachnophobe I don’t go sticking nothing into dark places without heavy gloves, a cursory examination, and a judicious application of fire.
Man, that’s a story. If dealing with that once isn’t enough for your to learn, I don’t think being from up north can excuse the lack of higher functioning… 🙂
There’s only one way to stick your limbs into a dark place like that – lead with a frag grenade…