NaMoDesMo 16: Parmesan Golem

In the temple of hard cheeses, nearly every important site is guarded by a few of these most basic of cheese Golems. Among the hardest of cheeses, shards and hunks and whole wheels of Parmesan are bound in a rumbling aggregation by the fell magics of the Acolytes of the Hard Path. Though not the most powerful assailants, a Parmesan golem is huge and heavy, and the special enchantments that bind a chaotic jumble of cheeses together into a huge sock smelling mound also harden the individual pieces making them shockingly hard to damage. A Parmesan Golem smashes its opponents with massive wheels of cheese. Any attack that deals 1/8th of a Parmesan golem’s initial hp at once briefly disrupts the arcane bindings that hold them together. They briefly explode into a roaring cloud of blocks of cheese, damaging anyone nearby. Then they reform. A Parmesan golem fights to the death in fulfillment of their orders.

NaMoDesMo 15 Chue Falade Warrior

In the Temple of Soft Cheeses, corners are smooth, fungi of all sorts make a home, and nothing is quite what it appears. The Chue Falade Warriors are a prime example of this. They are alabaster humanoids, looking much like marble statues of humans of twisted visage. They form ordered ranks against intruders, armed with blade or axe, and they fight without fear. But, when a Chu Falade is bloodied, it collapses into a new form: A Chue Falade Ooze. When they collapse, their oder increases ten fold, acting as a burst attack that causes nausea. They then attack with their sticky pseudopods, trying to engulf and sufficate their victims. Chue Falade oozes can combine with eachother to form single large entities with the combined hitpoints of the combining oozes. They may not have more hp than the Warriors that spawned them do though.

NaMoDesMo 14 Myling

Yeah, I intend to finish this, even if it takes until next November to do so.
I think it was either Piers Anthony or Robert Asprin who said “I am not a fast writer. I am not a slow writer. I am a half-fast writer.” Alas I am not nearly fast enough to be a half fast writer.

Well on to the monstrous creatures.

Mylings are some of the darkest creatures of Mythic Sweden. They are the ghosts of children, usually infants, who were for one reason or another abandoned to their deaths in the wild. They haunt the lost and the secret places of the land, small testaments that the worst monsters are human.

When initially encountered, Mylings are similar to a will-o’-wisps, tiny globes of light that flit around the abandoned places of the world, and often that is the end of the encounter. But if a lone wanderer encounters a myling at night, the small ghost will chase the traveler, crashing through the underbrush and attacking the wanderer with a paralyzing touch. It does not kill the wanderer, instead, it attaches itself to the back of the traveler. It demands that they bring it to a graveyard where it can rest on consecrated ground. As the night goes on, the Myling grows heavier and heavier, and if the victim falls under the creature’s weight, it attacks in a rage, usually beating the poor victim to death. People slain by Mylings often rise again themselves as undead creatures, and a wood with a myling resident in it quickly becomes overrun by the undead. Laying one of these sad creatures to rest is likely to win the favor of the local Underjordiske.

The Room 110 problem.

A little while ago, I was flipping through my copy of the Temple of Elemental Evil, and a room caught my eye. It was a block of detailed read aloud text and a single sentence of information for the DM. It broke the standard pattern for a room description in the module, Read aloud text followed by a huge block of description of what is in the room and why, so I stopped and read it. “Nothing of any use or value remains here.” That is perhaps the shortest description Gygax ever wrote.
I am a little surprised that he didn’t stick a 6000gp tea set in the room, given their ubiquity in the module. It does illustrate one of the problems of naturalism, Gygaxian or otherwise. Gaming is a complicated action that takes place in a limited time frame. You don’t want to clutter that up your headspace, take up your play time, or risk your players becoming enraptured and obsessed with the mundane and pointless dressings of your scene. They will anyway, but let’s not encourage it. If there is nothing of use or interest, leave it out. Is a fight pointless? Get rid of it. Is a bit of cryptic text a red herring? The real clues will steer your players off in the wrong direction often enough. That table of random encounters? Trash. The room with nothing of any use or value? Don’t include it. Your gaming time is too short, your head is full of the things that are actually important, and your players are ready and willing to fixate on the single first mundane bit of description you toss their way. Keep your design simple, the better to improvise while running the game.

The Sisters of Stone

The Sisters of Stone are a small community of Medusa who live on Vostin’s Fang. They maintain cordial relations with Sanctuary, though they usually keep their distance from the bustle of the human city. They practice a strict asceticism, self control aimed at controlling their deadly power. They spend their time hunting the caverns of the Fang, honing their skills as hunter-warriors. They occasionally hire themselves out as mercenaries to the other communities of the Fang. While they do not use their supernatural powers in the service of other communities, they are still highly skilled archers and infiltration specialists.
One of the reasons they hire themselves out is to meet potential mates. All of the medusae of the fang are female, and they must find a humanoid male when they decide to mate. The medusae value brave and resourceful warriors as mates. Their offspring are inevitably female, and upon reaching puberty, they grow the snake hair and manifest the powers of a medusa. These children are raised to a degree of self control that is unmatched amongst even the dwarves, in order to mitigate the dangers of children given power well beyond their maturity. The community knows that they rely on the good will of the surrounding peoples for their survival, though they are powerful, they are always few in number, and a concerted effort from any large grouping of lesser mortals would be devastating for the attackers but it would destroy the Sisters of Stone in the end.