Category Archives: Monsters

dT&T: The Voyage of the Panora

Wherein your humble scribe presents a group of noble warriors for Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls. Why? Because his long-awaited hardback from the agonizingly (if moderately understandably) oft-delayed Kickstarter arrived at long last yesterday. Pictures of the book provided for your enjoyment.

Erginius of Autoria’s lost classic, The Panoriad, tells the tale of Alkibiades of Pythos and the journey he undertook to recover the Lyre of Tiros for the glory of Pythos and to win the love of Queen Meliana. The charming and charmed Alkibiades – a brilliant historian and philosopher with a talent for preparing spanakopita so delicious that Hera herself declared it the finest outside of Mount Olympus – recruited a disparate band to join him on his quest. Lasthenes, captain of the Panora. Echephron the beast tamer. Isagoras the tale-teller. Thestor, famed bronzesmith of Xaneira. Philonikos the Giant. And, of course, all of the unnamed Panoranauts who perished as the quest continued.

Among the dangers faced by Alkibiades and his compatriots included the Nacippe – a legendary sea serpent, the Oedes – twin tigers of Tartarus, the Haleclyphes – an army of damned souls risen from the River Styx, and Belemeos, son of Hades.

The tragedy of The Panoriad, of course, is that its ending has been lost to time. Many scholars have their own theories, and many fragments and forgeries have been discovered over the centuries, but none have been accepted by the academic community as definitive.

The Panoranauts

Alkibiades of Pythos / Human / Warrior 3 / 5′ 9″ 160 lbs
STR 16 CON 6 DEX 9 SPD 7 INT 14 WIZ 12 LK 16 CHR 32*
Combat Adds +8 Wt Possible 1,600 WU
Talents Cooking (+3), History (+3), Philosophy (+3)
Mace (5d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Lasthenes / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 7″ 155 lbs
STR 14 CON 12 DEX 14 SPD 14 INT 6 WIZ 11 LK 9 CHR 11
Combat Adds +6 Wt Possible 1,400 WU
Talents Knot Tying (+3)
Medium Spear (4d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Echephron / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 10″ 180 lbs
STR 13 CON 6 DEX 10 SPD 12 INT 8 WIZ 16 LK 16 CHR 19*
Combat Adds +5 Wt Possible 1,300 WU
Talents Animal Handling (+3)
Broad Axe (5d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Isagoras / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 10″ 170 lbs
STR 13 CON 9 DEX 19* SPD 10 INT 13 WIZ 6 LK 9 CHR 9
Combat Adds +8 Wt Possible 1,300 WU
Talents Storytelling (+3)
Short Sword (3d6), Javelin (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Thestor of Xaneira / Human / Warrior 1 / 5′ 5″ 145 lbs
STR 13 CON 12 DEX 14 SPD 10 INT 12 WIZ 12 LK 8 CHR 7
Combat Adds +3 Wt Possible 1,300 WU
Talents Bronzesmith (+3)
Broad Axe (5d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

Philonikos / Human / Warrior 1 / 6′ 7″ 250 lbs
STR 14 CON 10 DEX 9 SPD 5 INT 7 WIZ 6 LK 11 CHR 10
Combat Adds +2 Wt Possible 1,400 WU
Talents Merchant (+3)
Medium Spear (4d6), Short Sword (3d6), Target Shield (4)

The Antagonists

Belemeos, Son of Hades
MR 150
Special Damage: 1/2 (double Spite); 5/Dem Bones (MR 50 Skeletons)
Special Abilities: Bone Armor (10)

Belemeos is a demigod, son of Hades and the mortal woman Polytio. He serves as a guardian of treasures that have been consigned to his father’s realm. He wears armor constructed of the bones of dead heroes and stands well over 9′ high.

The Haleclyphes
MR 120 (8 X15)
Special Damage: 1/1 (normal Spite); 4/Curse You (Level 12, Targets CON)
Special Abilities: Impervious to missile damage

Seeming at first like a dense, swirling fog, the individual spirits that comprise the Haleclyphes rise from the Styx to repel any who would cross without the express approval of Charon.

The Oedes
MR 90 (45 X2)
Special Damage: 1/3 (triple Spite);
Special Abilities: Tough Hide (8)

As black as the grave, the twin tigers of Tartarus stalk the shores of the Styx hungry for any living flesh they can devour.

MR 70
Special Damage: 1/1 (normal Spite); 6/Blasting Power (Level 7)
Special Abilities: Tough Hide (15)

Nacippe is a red-hued sea serpent that preys upon smaller vessels across the breadth of the Sea, breathing fire to destroy the ships and deliciously roast their crews.

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Mini Six: Stone Age Predators & Prey (Part 1)

Wherein your humble scribe presents a few beasties for stone age characters to hunt. Or be hunted by. Perhaps there will be more later.

Woolly Mammoth (Scale: +2D)
Big and hairy!
Might 6D Agility 1D+1 Wit 0D Charm 1D
Brawling 6D (Slam 3D, Trample 4D)
Dodge 4
Body Points: 38 Armor: 6

Woolly Rhinoceros (Scale: +2D)
Mean and hairy!
Might 5D Agility 1D+2 Wit 0D Charm 1D
Brawling 5D (Horn w/ Charge 3D, Trample 4D)
Dodge 5
Body Points: 35 Armor: 9

Sabertooth Tiger (Scale: 0D)
Long in the tooth
Might 4D Agility 4D+2 Wit 0D Charm 1D
Brawling 6D (Claws 2D, Bite 3D), Stealth 5D+2
Dodge 14, Block 18
Body Points: 32 Armor: 2

Giant Eagle (Scale: 0D)
Screeching death from above
Might 1D+2 Agility 3D+1 Wit 1D Charm 1D
Dodge 4D+1, Brawling 3D (Talons 2D+2, Bite 2D)
Dodge 13
Body Points:28 Armor: 0

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BotA, Etc. – Gladiators of Zhaartahl IV

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of characters and a terrible beast in Barbarians of the Aftermath/Barbarians of Lemuria/Etc. format. Because he wanted to, that’s why.

The Shade Ale was flowing freely in the gladiator’s quarters. The men drank toasts and oaths and dirty jokes, all in honor of the undefeated duo from the west.

“If we defeat the Lord Mayor’s prized Boorm Cat, we will be made free men!” Adran bellowed, laughing as the cobalt blue fluid sloshed over the rim of his mug. The others roared and pounded their tables in boisterous excitement. All except the small pale man at the giant’s side.

“If we slay the Lord Mayor’s prized Boorm Cat,” the little man whispered, “he’ll have us killed immediately. He thinks of that damned thing as his own flesh and blood.”

“Come now, Hanlan,” Adran answered quietly. “Did not the arena master himself tell us this welcome news?”

“He lied, Adran. I could read his… face,” the wiry Baltierran’s voice trailed off, well aware that other ears were likely to overhear their conversation. “We can’t fight tomorrow. We have to escape. Tonight.”

“Flee? From the greatest challenge a man could hope to face? Where else are we to fight a Boorm Cat? There are no more in the wilds. The damnable Vanth have seen to that.”

“That may be true. But it also may not. The Vanth aren’t generally known for their truthfulness. And wouldn’t it be better to live long enough to find out?”

“I suppose. I suppose,” responded the Kortman. “So what is the escape plan this time?”

“Just follow my lead, Adran. Unlike last time…”

In the far distance the bells of the grand clock tower tolled nine times, indicating that the city’s gates were closing. And signaling the time for the lights to be extinguished in the gladiators’ quarters. The Lord Mayor was especially insistent that the people’s entertainers be well rested before their turns in the arena.

Adran / Lifeblood 15 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 2 Mind 0 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Gladiator 2 Barbarian 1 Thief 1 Miner 0
Boons: Determined, Steely Gaze, Hard-To-Kill
Flaws: Savage, Honorable
Languages: Kortmanish
Equipment: Sword (d6+2), Very Light Armor (d3-1), Shield (1)

Hanlan / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5 /
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 2 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense 2
Careers: Thief 2 Scholar 1 Psychic 1 Gladiator 0
Boons: Carouser, Man About Town, Natural Thief
Flaws: Compulsive Gambler, Unlucky
Languages: Baltierreien, Kortmanish, Thoog, Vanth
Equipment: Sword (d6), PsiDagger (d3), Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Boorm Cat / Lifeblood 30
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 2 Mind 1
Combat Abilities: Defense 3 Protection d6
Attack with bite +5; 2d6 damage
Attack with 2 claws +3 per attack; d6+3 damage each
Attack with all 3 attacks at +1 each

Once the dominant predator of Zhaartahl IV, Boorm Cats have been hunted to near extinction by the alien PsiLords of Vanth. A few of these terrifying creatures likely remain in the wilds, but none have been seen in more than a decade. A handful of specimens remain in captivity, where they are often well-cared for and highly prized.

Boorm Cats stand 8′ tall at the shoulder and are generally 10′ to 15′ in length. They are covered with a thick coat of azure and ochre striped fur and have piercing blue eyes. Though their size, strength and speed make them deadly, it is their keen intellect that makes them truly dangerous. They are cunning hunters and exceptionally clever combatants. Worse still, Boorm Cats are known to possess a number of psychic powers, including the ability to cause a single target not to be able to perceive them.

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Chill/Cryptworld: L’Marais

Wherein, in honor of the upcoming release of Cryptworld, your humble narrator presents a trio of unlikely heroes (or likely victims) and the Thing that they will face. These gaming constructs were built using an old copy of Chill (and Chill Things) I happened to have handy, but they should work just fine with Cryptworld when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright…

The wind was howling on the bayou, and the window panes of Armand’s little shack rattled like dice in a cup. The lights flickered occasionally, and the foetor of the marsh hung just about the edges of the place.

“You know, dey say it nights like dis L’Marais come looking for blood…” Emil said after exhaling a long plume of smoke from his fancy little cigarette. “He come up out de swamp an’ rip a man limb from limb. Then he make they arm ‘n leg do the rest ah him dirty work for a year an’ a day.”

“Shut up, Emil. You’re just trying to spook my brother. And drop the lame-o coonass accent, too. It’s insulting,” replied Edie, fiddling with her new camera.

“Woman, do’n talk at your mari like that…”

“Seriously, Emil. Drop the accent.”

“Ok, ok. I’m just trying to have a little fun. There’s nothing to do out here!”

“We’re only here ’cause you went and killed that pawnbroker. We have to lay low, remember?”

“Yeah, yeah. He was reaching for his gun, so I had to shoot him, ok? And this bayou is the perfect place to dump a body.”

Armand shifted slightly in his armchair. He wished his sister had never married the little man. She used to be prettier, he thought. Before LaCroix had gotten his filthy hands on her.

“It’s ok, ma soeur, I had a dream last night…”

“Can it, Armand,” Emil hissed. “If I can’t tell my spook stories, then you don’t get to go on and on about your goddamned dreams. Yeah, yeah, I know you dreamt we’d win State back in high school, but that doesn’t mean you can see the future. Did you ever dream you’d get kicked out of the army? Did you ever dream you’d wind up living in a goddamned shack in the bayou? Did you ever dream…”

Armand stood up quickly at the sound of a heavy, thudding knock on the door. He knew what was on the other side. It was just like he dreamt it. And that meant the little man wouldn’t trouble his sister anymore.

“Who the hell can that be at this time of night?” Emil hissed. “If you called the cops on me, Armand, I swear to God…”

“It’s not the cops, Emil. Armand wouldn’t sell us out like that, would you, mon frère?”

“Of course not, ma soeur,” Armand answered as he walked towards the door. “But I do think it’s for you, Emil.”

The Characters

Emil LaCroix / 34 / 5′ 5″ 150 lbs
STR 56 DEX 58 AGL 48 WPR 50 PER 38 PCN 58 LUCK 54 STA 60 Unskilled Melee 52%
Lockpicking (S) 73%, Gambling (S) 71%, Filching (S) 73%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Edie LaCroix / 27 / 5′ 4″ 120 lbs
STR 52 DEX 58 AGL 54 WPR 50 PER 56 PCN 50 LUCK 62 STA 64 Unskilled Melee 55%
Modeling (S) 71%, Photography (S) 76%
Art: Sense Unknown 11%

Armand St. Cyr / 33 / 6′ 4″ 220 lbs
STR 66 DEX 60 AGL 58 WPR 64 PER 46 PCN 62 LUCK 32 STA 52 Unskilled Melee 63%
Boxing (S) 78%, Mechanics (M) 91%, Rifle/Shotgun (S) 75%
Art: Clairvoyant/Prescient Dream 54%, Sense Unknown 12%

The Thing

STR 75 DEX 50 AGL 50 WPR 60 PER 35 PCN 70 STA 100 EWS 120 FEAR 6 ATT 2 (3)/62%
Movement: L 180′ A N/A W 90′
Disciplines: Breath of Pestilence, Change Weather, Darken, Deadly Remains, Ghostly Lights, Swarm, Wave of Fog
IPs: 840

L’Marais (more properly, L’Homme des Marais, The Swamp Man) is a foul thing indeed. It resides in the bayous and swamps of rural Louisiana, where it waits to feed on the blood and bone of its victims. L’Marais is composed of both plant matter and human body parts – the remains of murder victims dumped in the swamp. It normally has two unarmed attacks in a round (grab & crush limbs) but if it succeeds with both against one target it gets an extra armed attack – its dreaded rend.

Though L’Marais is unquestionably evil and will gleefully pursue any human being, it is not without a sense of honor. It always strikes out against criminals and murderers first. Some say that a killer who speaks of L’Marais on the night of the new moon will draw its ire all too quickly.

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DCC Party: A Merda Job For Patrão Ferrão

Wherein your humble scribe presents a (probably doomed) party of Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG characters and the monsters that will most likely leaving nothing left but memories of the poor schlubs.

Smoke hung thickly in the humid air of the back office. It was always humid this time of year in Porto Alego. Maximiano Ferrão hated the humidity almost as much as he hated the city itself. But business was business and though he could generally trust Anacleto to keep things running properly, sometimes the patrão had to handle things personally. And since it had been a while since Maximiano had come down from his estate, today was one of those days.

“Is there any other business that needs my attention?” he asked of his tenente. “I’d like to be back up front before that fat macaco from the guard comes sniffing around for his payoff. I want to speak with him personally this time.”

“There’s just one thing, patrão,” Anacleto Alves rasped. “It seems we’ve got a bug problem at the… warehouse… on the east pier.”

“A bug problem, Anacleto? What do you mean a bug problem? Maximiano Ferrão’s goods are not known for their bugs.”

“These aren’t, ah, normal insects, patrão. They’re big. Really big. And they… well, it sounds like they talk.”

Merda! It’s that bruxo maldito again. Why haven’t the boys dealt with him yet? He’s bad for business, Cleto. Very bad for business.”

“The last group we sent to his condenável tower came back in a box, patrão. A very small box.”

Droga! I’m sick of this filho da puta! Get in touch with the sacerdotes over at the church and get them on this. Clearly we need a little bit of help dealing with this. If they don’t jump at the chance to crucify a bruxo tell them we’ll make a nice donation. They could use a new bell. The old one sounds so tired.”

“Consider it done, patrão. Consider it done.”

“Good, now let me get out of this maldito humidity…”

“Ah, about the warehouse, patrão?”

“Oh, that. Send that little bicha Tiago. I don’t like how he hangs around my daughter, so it won’t matter if he doesn’t come back. Give him a couple of âncoras and let him hire some thugs who aren’t part of the family. We can’t afford to lose any more leales right now.”

Claro, patrão.”

Tiago Duarte / Smuggler / Thief 1 / Lawful
STR 10 AGI 15 STA 7 PER 10 INT 13 LUK 9
Birth Augur: Guardian Angel (+0 Escape Traps)
HP 8 AC 11 CP 29 GP 3
Short Sword (1d6), Sling (1d4), 30 Stones, Waterproof Sack, Small Sack

Nash / Caravan Guard / Thief 1 / Neutral
STR 11 AGI 10 STA 10 PER 8 INT 12 LUK 17
Birth Augur: Four-Leafed Clover (+2 Find Secret Doors)
HP 6 AC 11 CP 26 GP 4
Short Sword (1d6), Dagger (1d4), Padded Armor, 1 yd Linen, 10′ Chain

Ponty / Jester / Warrior 1 / Chaotic
STR 14 AGI 13 STA 10 PER 14 INT 6 LUK 13
Birth Augur: Born Under The Loom (+1 Skill Checks)
HP 13 AC 13 CP 30 GP 3
Longsword (1d8), Leather Armor, Dart (1d4), Silk Clothes, Lantern

Leocádia Ferrão / Astrologer / Wizard 1 / Neutral
STR 5 AGI 12 STA 4 PER 11 INT 14 LUK 13
Birth Augur: Seventh Son (+1 Spell Checks)
HP 3 AC 10 CP 26 GP 17
Dagger, Spyglass, Large Sack
Spells: Color Spray (Gibbering Allies), Magic Shield (Demonic Voice), Ropework (Chain Casting), Sleep (Breath of Life), Ventriloquism (None)


Though they appear insectile, like 4′ tall humanoid locusts or grasshoppers, Hornhoppers are actually demonic creatures from the nether hells, summoned to this world by foul magic. They are covered in chitin marked with coruscating bands of colors and have thick, antler-like structures atop their heads.

Hornhoppers are motivated by hunger and will generally attack the least-armored (i.e., easiest to take a bite out of) individual in a party first. In addition to their bites, they occasionally wield small curved daggers and are capable of a dangerous impaling jump attack with their antlers. Hornhoppers devour flesh, bone, sinew, hair, and anything else organic that is part of a kill, leaving nothing behind.

Hornhopper: Init +3; Atk bite +3 melee (dmg 1d3) or jump/antlers +1 (dmg 1d7) or dagger +0 melee (dmg 1d4); AC 13; HD 2d12; MV 20′ walk or wall-crawl, jump 30′; Act 2d20; SP Ravenous (cannot “recover the body” of any party members left behind as long as one or more Hornhoppers survive); SV Fort +1, Ref +4, Will -3; AL C.

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BoL-lywood: Prince Rajinder’s Adventures II

Speaking of the late, great Ray Harryhausem, everyone remembers the time that he did the jaw-dropping animation of the four-armed (and four-breasted!) elephant-headed Rakshasi, Bulusu Sunita Kal, in the classic Bollywood fantasy flick Prince Rajinder’s Adventures II, right? No? Well, that makes since, given that it never happened and there was never such a movie. But since we already play pretend all the time, let’s do a little meta-pretending and act like there was such a movie and we all remember it, ok?

So… the climactic showdown scene, which happens after brave, handsome Rajinder has done a little song & dance routine about how he will live forever in the love of the beautiful Princess Kathindra (even if he dies while rescuing her from the wicked sorcerer Bontu Bhavsar) while fighting off a dozen or so thuggee cultists armed with aruval swords and throwing chakrams, features the prince fighting a desperate battle against the aforementioned Bulusu Sunita Kal and her four massive tulwars, which she wields both offensively and defensively.

Just before he enters this battle, Rajinder manages to shatter the iron bonds that hold Kathindra helplessly to the evil magician’s altar by throwing one of the cultists’ chakrams (using multiple ricochets and delivering huge sprays of sparks, of course). This frees her to face Bontu Bhavsar and keep him from interfering with Rajinder’s desperate struggle against the demon.

And who can forget the absolutely amazing comedy relief portions of this scene, which are delivered by Rajinder’s loyal friend, the Monkey Prince Candraprabhava, and his acrobatic antics displayed while keeping the rest of the Thuggee foot soldiers occupied?

After the battle is won (and of course you knew it would be), there are, like, four more song & dance numbers, most of which aren’t worth remembering. Except the one where Candraprabhava interrupts his comedic romancing (chasing, really) of the princess’ sisters, attendants, and every other female on screen other than Kathindra, to urinate on the head of Bontu Bhavsar, who for some reason is being held in a dungeon cell directly beneath the main room of the palace (thus being tortured by hearing the celebration song – along with suffering the “monkey shower” – through the iron grate that is just above his head and out of his reach). One can only imagine the trouble he would have caused if only they had made a third installment.

Prince Rajinder / Lifeblood 11 / Hero Points 6
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 0 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 2 Ranged 2 Defense 1
Careers: Noble 2 Warrior 1 Bard 1 Thief 1
Boons: Attractive, Marked by the Gods
Flaws: Arrogant
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Magic Scimitar “Gururatna” (d6+1), +1 to hit; Bow (d6); Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Princess Kathindra / Lifeblood 9 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 12
Attributes: Strength -1 Agility 2 Mind 1 Appeal 3
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense 3
Careers: Noble 2 Sorcerer 1 Bard 1 Dancer 1
Boons: Attractive, Power of the Void
Flaws: City Dweller
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Bichawa Dagger (d3)

Candraprabhava / Lifeblood 12 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 3 Mind 0 Appeal 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 2 Melee 1 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Noble 1 Thief 1 Tumbler 3 Scholar 0
Boons: Keen Eyesight, Keen Hearing, Keen Scent
Flaws: Lecherous, Country Bumpkin
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Gada Mace (d6); Fist (d2); Kick (d3); Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Bontu Bhavsar / Lifeblood 11 / Villain Points 5 / Arcane Power 13
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 4 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 1 Ranged 2 Defense 3
Careers: Sorcerer 3 Assassin 1 Scholar 1 Torturer 1
Boons: Magic of the Sorcerer Kings, Magic Resistance
Flaws: Poor Eyesight, Untrustworthy
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Madu Dagger (d3) X2

Thuggee Cultists (Rabble) / Lifeblood 3 / Hero Points 0
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 1 Mind -1 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl -1 Melee 1 Ranged 1 Defense -1
Careers: Assassin 0
Languages: Hindi
Equipment: Aruval Sword (d6-1); Chakram (d3); Light Armor (d6-2)

Bulusu Sunita Kal / Lifeblood 20
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 3 Mind 0
Combat Abilities: Defense 2 Protection d3 (+1 for each sword not used to attack)
Attack with one Tulwar, +2; d6
Attack with two Tulwars, +0; d6 each
Attack with three Tulwars, -2; d6 each
Attack with four Tulwars, -4; d6 each

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Nogoloth: The Singer From Beyond

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of NPCs and a demon for BoL. These were written with his Nogoloth Lovecraftian/dark fantasy setting in mind, but could easily be used with any BoL fantasy setting. The demon was assembled using the demon rules posted on the BoL boards way back in the day.

“Why have you summoned us?” the creature’s three mouths spoke-sang in unison, its voices harmonizing in a perfect minor triad.

“I call you forth in the name of Zog-Thaloth! The Red King! The Pipes of Wisdom! The Song that Dwells in the Copper Halls of Ullaq!” Sharuthua responded, her tones rising and falling in the prescribed melody of the ritual as Naqugol beat the ceremonial drum in time with the lesser priestesses’ orgiastic dancing.

“You sing well… for having only one voice,” the demon mused. “But the rite is not complete until you reach the highest note, fleshling.”

“Your presence here is at my will! Your power serves my own! Your service shall be rewarded in blood! So I sing in the name of Zog-Thaaaaaaal-oooooooth!” the priestess concluded the summoning song, ascending the scale of Ullaq fully, her lungs afire with the raw power of the final note, so high and piercing that the cavern came alive with a host of Kral bats, their slumber broken by a tone unfamiliar even to their keen ears.

“Well done, savage bonesack. Well done indeed,” chuckled the being from beyond this world. “Phu’ghaq’ug approves of your performance and will gladly serve your will in humility and good faith. Tell us now your wishes, and do please provide us with something to soothe our throats. Travel from our far home is so… drying.”

Sharuthua / Lifeblood 8 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 14
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 1 Appeal 2
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 1 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Priestess 2, Sorcerer 2, Warrior 0, Farmer 0
Boons: Magic of the Sorcerer Kings, Power of the Void
Flaws: Delicate, Poor Recovery
Languages: Nogolothian, Low Speech, Star Tongue of the Elds
Equipment: Dagger (d3), Staff (d6-1)

Naqugol / Lifeblood 14 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 10
Attributes: Strength 2 Agility 1 Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Warrior 2, Priest 1, Hunter 1, Sorcerer 0
Boons: Quick Recovery, Hard to Kill
Flaws: Country Bumpkin
Languages: Nogolothian
Equipment: Spear (d6), Light Armor (d6-2)

Phu’ghaq’ug (Greater Demon) / Lifeblood 30
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 1 Mind 4 Appeal 4
Combat Abilities: Brawl 4 Melee 2 Ranged 2 Defense 4
Demonic Powers: Speech, Sorcery (AP 20), Appeal, Telepathy
Attacks: +3 w/ strike (d6) or as weapon
Protection: 1d3 (iron-like hide)

Phu’ghaq’ug, called The Singer from Beyond, is a demon capable of living in – manipulating the arcane energies of – Nogoloth. Its normal appearance when summoned is of an attractive human man – typically in exceptionally fine clothing – with an effete affect. What marks Phu’ghaq’ug as otherworldly is the extra length of its otherwise human-like head, which accommodates the creature’s two additional mouths. Each mouth speaks with the same voice in a different register (bass, baritone, and tenor). The mouths typically speak in unison, though it is possible for them to communicate independently. Phu’ghaq’ug prefers not to do this, however, because it is deeply in love with the sound of its own voices

Phu’ghaq’ug is typically sought out by savage tribes and primitive sorcerers to serve as a weapon against the more civilized cultures. Whether its powers are employed in defense or aggression it cares not, so long as its taste for human blood is slaked.

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The Clockwork Turtle of Askerion

Wherein your humble scribe presents three Barbarians of Lemuria characters and a monster he put together on a whim, for use in his own (highly-derivative) Kaalmuria setting.

The Zaaric enchantress lay nearly lifeless on the deck, her skin sickly green from the rolling of the ship upon the churning waters. The captain and his first mate discussed their situation, speaking in a language their were fairly confident the witchwoman did not comprehend.

“She’s already paid us half, and we’ve been at sea for three weeks with nothing else to show for it,” the Kellman said in his heavily accented Geiric. “I say we dump her over the side and sail on.”

“Are you mad?” asked the great northern barbarian. “I’ll not have my ship haunted by the ghost of a witch who was murdered at sea.”

“You don’t understand how much trouble this one is, Lorm. You don’t speak her language. She’s constantly going on about how she’ll sail to the ends of the earth to find this Askerion fellow. She’s not going to give up, and thus we’re going to be stuck with her for a very long time. Her contract is ironclad. The ship is hers until we find whatever it is she’s looking for. Or until she dissolves the contract. Or dies.”

“You’re the one who didn’t catch that particular hook, Olbraigh. This is your fault, not mine. And it’s my ship, and it will not be haunted by a witch’s soul!”

Sandris / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5 / Arcane Power 12
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 1 Mind 2 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 0 Ranged 2 Defense 2
Careers: Sorcerer 2 Scholar 2 Artificer 0 Merchant 0
Boons: Learned (Flora & Fauna), Sling Master
Flaws: Landlubber
Languages: Zaaric, Kellic, Lirian, Thaxian
Equipment: Zaaric Mace (d6), Zaaric Sling (d6-2)

Lorm / Lifeblood 13 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 0 Mind 0 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 1 Melee 3 Ranged 0 Defense 0
Careers: Barbarian 1 Pirate 3 Thief 0 Soldier 0
Boons: Spear Fighter, Thick Skin
Flaws: Distrust of Sorcery
Languages: Geiric
Equipment: Geirbjornhaller Great Spear (d6+2), Axe (d6), Very Light Armor (d3-1)

Olbraigh / Lifeblood 11 / Hero Points 6
Attributes: Strength 1 Agility 2 Mind 1 Appeal 0
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 2 Ranged 0 Defense 2
Careers: Thief 2 Pirate 2 Scholar 0 Physician 0
Boons: Carouser, Marked by the Gods
Flaws: Poor Eyesight
Languages: Kellic, Zaaric, Geiric
Equipment: Kellic Broadsword (d6), Light Armor (d6-2), Shield (+1)

The Clockwork Turtle of Askerion / Lifeblood 40
Attributes: Strength 5 Agility -1 Mind -2
Combat Abilities: Defense -1 Protection 1d6+2
Attack with Bite +1; 2d6

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And The Trolls Shall Be Born Again…

Wherein your humble scribe mentions a Kickstarer and presents a couple of characters and a monster for T&T 7.5.

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard about the Kickstarter for the new Deluxe Tunnels & Tolls. If not, click that link and learn all you could ever want to know about this project. There’s also more information available in this press release on the official dT&T blog.

It turns out that all of my dreams and plans for using any version of T&T last year fell through spectacularly (if by “fell through” I mean “I didn’t do jack to make them happen”), and I don’t imagine I’m going to do much with any version of T&T this year, either. But I am backing the Kickstarter because, well, I like T&T and enjoy the concept of seeing it live on – especially with the hand of Liz Danforth being involved once again.

So, being in a Trollish frame of mind at the moment, I thought I’d throw out a couple of T&T 7.5 characters and a monster for them to face off against. Go nuts with these if you have any inclination to do so. Otherwise, move along quietly and I promise to return this blog to its now expected, if still somewhat saddening, silence*.

Xal Balaq / Rogue / Elf / 2
STR 8 CON 5 DEX 14 SPD 18
INT 21 WIZ 8 LK 20 CHR 28

Height 6′ 4″ Weight 151 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +15

Talents Roguery (+4)
Languages Elvish, Common, Dwarven, Hobb, Orc, Troll, and so on…
Spells Knock Knock

Cutlass (3+3), Kukri (2+5), Cuirboille (7)

Vorzt / Warrior / Human / 1
STR 16 CON 12 DEX 14 SPD 9
INT 7 WIZ 9 LK 11 CHR 13

Height 5′ 11″ Weight 170 lbs.

Adventure Points 0
Combat Adds +7

Talents Gambling (Luck +4)
Languages Common

War Hammer (5+1), Throwing Axe (3+2), Scale Mail (16), Kite Shield (12)

Plague Troll

Monster Rating: 60
Combat Dice: 7d6+30
Special Damage: 1/3 – Plague Trolls fight with a terrifying ferocity, doing 3 points of Spite damage per 6 rolled in combat; 6/Plague Infection – In rare cases, Plague Trolls can communicate their disease to non-trolls. Those who become infected suffer an immediate loss of 1/2 of their remaining CON. Plague victims take an additional 2 CON damage each hour (unless an L3SR on CON is made) until they expire. Natural healing does not replenish any CON lost to the disease. Only a casting of Healing Feeling will cure the Troll Plague.
Special Abilities: Plague Trolls are desiccated and lack significant meat on their bones – thus cutting, slashing and stabbing weapons are less effective against them. Treat Plague Trolls as having 4 points worth of armor against these types of weapons. Unlike healthy trolls, Plague Trolls do not regenerate damage – their regenerative properties are too busy keeping them alive to heal them of any damage within the timeframe of a combat.

Plague Trolls are trolls that have contracted a hideous wasting disease yet refuse to die. They look like regular trolls that have shriveled and shrunken away to nearly skeletal creatures. They are quite mad and easily enraged – the disease has accelerated their metabolisms, making them far quicker than healthy trolls – and are known to actively seek death.

*For those who care, I’m still not feeling the mad drive to create RPG stuff, though I am back on track with running my Dungeon Crawl Classics game. And the big Call of Cthulhu game I was in most of the past year and a half is starting back up shortly. And it looks like I’ll be joining up with what should be a long-term BRP fantasy game in the near future, too. So I’m gaming, just not writing.

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Pulp BoL Bestiary: The Blood Tiger Of Boruna Kal

Wherein your humble scribe presents a couple of pulpy characters and a deadly foe done up in Barbarians of Lemuria/Dicey Tales style.

“So tell me why we’re here again, Doc,” O’Meara shouted over the roar of the rain that beat heavily on the thick vegetation just outside of the small outcropping that sheltered the doctor and his retinue.

“My patient, Abigail Plume, suffers from an advanced case of Jakarta Plague,” Doctor Shaw replied. “Her father, the newspaper baron Arthur Prescott Plume, has funded this expedition because my research has uncovered evidence that there is a variety of Neomarica gracilis that grows only here on Boruna Kal that contains a compound that I might be able to use to save Miss…”

“Did you see that?” O’Meara asked abruptly, taking the pipe from his mouth and squinting into the deluge. The other crewmen of the Joan de Geneville could tell their first mate was clearly agitated.

“See what?” replied the physician, annoyed by the interruption of his exposition.

“Out there. In the jungle. Something… big… just streaked by us.”

“Nonsense. The largest native fauna on Boruna Kal is a relative of Tamandua tetradactyla, which typically only measures two to three feet in len…”

A deafening roar cut off Shaw’s nascent lecture, as an enormous cat-like beast burst through the tree line, its coat a deep crimson lined with black and a malign intelligence reflected in its amber eyes. Before O’Meara could level his rifle the tiger was upon them, a blurred mass of claws and fangs. Its first strike knocked the sailor back into the stone wall, the lit pipe dropping into the damp leaves.

Chris O’Meara / Lifeblood 13 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 1 Mind 1 Appeal -1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 3 Melee 0 Ranged 0 Defense 1
Careers: Sailor 2, Mechanic 1, Soldier 1, Merchant 0
Boons: Born Sailor, Fist-Fighter
Flaws: Superstitious
Languages: English, Italian, Spanish, Irish Gaelic
Equipment: M1 Garand (D6+2)

Dr. Ryan Shawn, MD / Lifeblood 10 / Hero Points 5
Attributes: Strength 0 Agility 0 Mind 3 Appeal 1
Combat Abilities: Brawl 0 Melee 0 Ranged 1 Defense 3
Careers: Physician 3, Researcher 1, Socialite 0, Academic 0
Boons: Great Wealth, Well-Dressed, Natural Leader
Flaws: City Boy, Vain
Languages: English, Latin, French, German, Greek, Italian
Equipment: .32 Revolver (D6-1)

The Blood Tiger Of Boruna Kal / Lifeblood 25
Attributes: Strength 3 Agility 3 Mind 0
Combat Abilities: Defense 3 Protection 2 (tough hide)
Attack with bite +4; d6+3
Attack with 2 claws, +3 each; d6+1
(Attack with all three attacks at +2 each)

The Blood Tiger of Boruna Kal is tremendously large, twice again the size of the largest (non-extinct) big cat known to man. The Blood Tiger is a fearless combatant and is known to swim long distances, visiting different islands in the South Pacific in search of prey. The animal is profoundly averse to fire and will flee from any blaze larger than a torch or small campfire.

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