28 December 2012


Init +6
Melee Atk
 • paper cut +8 (0; poison)
AC 22
HD 1d4
MV 20
Act 1d20
SP poison, paper thin
Fort +0
Ref +4
Will +0

A paper spider is as deadly an assassination tool now as it was 1000 years ago. The means to create one is known to precious few, and closely guarded, it is said, by a single family, who create them for pay without concern for whom they may be used against.

Deceptively simple, they are literally made from paper, much thinner than parchment, and often left between the pages of books. There they can wait, perhaps for centuries, until the page they are resting on is turned to, whereupon they leap at the reader. They move with lightning quickness, almost-unerringly finding exposed skin, and by the tiniest of paper cuts they deliver the poison they were infused with upon their creation.

Most lose their enchantment and are again nothing more than mere paper, after they strike. Most—but not all...

Needless to say, more than one wizard has tried to eliminate his rivals through the use of paper spiders. They have also been left under dinner plates or goblets for nobles, and in rolled messages meant only for the eyes of leaders, from kings to ship captains to captains of the guard.

A few sample poisons that the paper spider is well suited for are:

• Bearbug saliva (Fort Save DC 12; partial paralysis on success, lasting 1d4 minutes; complete paralysis on failure, lasting 4d8 minutes. Partial paralysis can be in the lower extremities only [1-3] or in all extremities [4-5])

• Bearbug musk (Fort Save DC 16; 2d5 Stamina damage)

• Nalvaengur blood (Fort Save DC 18; 1d4 Agility damage for success, otherwise 1d6 Agility and 2d3 Intelligence damage)

• Bhlestic bile (Fort Save DC 13; coma; subsequent save each month or death; reversing the coma requires rare herbal tinctures)

26 December 2012


Init +0
Melee Atk
 • slash +5 (1d6-2; 2d7 gp)
 • claw +3 (grab)
AC 16
HD 1d8 + 1d4 + 2
MV 40
Act 1d20
SP treasure sense
Fort +4
Ref +2
Will +2

The auroc is a bird-like creature with a wing-span of nearly six feet, inhabiting caves, caverns and dungeons, subsisting off of veins of precious metals. The membranes of their wings sparkle in torch light like veils of glitter, greatly contrasting the dull grey of the rest of their bodies. They have powerful necks and backs and their beak features a dense, pick-shaped end, with which they chip away at rock and soil, in search of gold, silver and copper.

They can detect such metals, apparently by smell, through up to 40 feet of rock, and much further over open spaces. Men seeking valuables within ancient tombs may by attacked by aurocs if they are carrying coinage on their person. When an auroc attacks an individual, they do so by slashing quickly as they fly by, targeting the metals carried. Damage inflicted to the bearer is a secondary by-product, and such a strike may inflict no physical damage at all. It may take an initial pass for the auroc to damage whatever receptacle the metals are contained in, before it can actually get coins into it's gullet on subsequent fly-bys. It can swallow anything up to an apple-sized piece of metal, and it's digestive juices act quickly to corrode and breakdown the metal, making any retrieval an urgent and nearly impossible task.

An auroc will also be drawn to such things as silver daggers, or other similarly plated accouterments. It may try to grab at such larger pieces and wrest them from the weilder, flying off to nip pieces from the items to eat them, possibly making them completely useless, even if rescued.

They are skittish things, and if caught will frantically thrash about, attempting to fee themselves. They may well expend their life in the effort to get free.

Many a treasure seeker has been disappointed upon finding a long-lost dungeon, only to discover that aurocs have gotten there before them and have bored holes through all the walls and into all the rooms that formerly contained great treasures. One adventurer famously described an ancient labyrinth as having been "swiss-cheesed". The auroc has no interest in gems and precious stones, so such items may remain after aurocs have laid them bare -- if no one else has claimed them first.

18 December 2012

Where Have All The Monsters Gone...

You're not seeing this never-to-be-released, unfinished drawing...

...long grain pasta...

Oh, hey! I didn't see you there... I was just reflecting on how little I've added to this blog lately. Little, as in 'nothing'.

But that's not to say I haven't been busy. And not to say I didn't take a fall recently and break some ribs.

I'd like to say I didn't take a fall and break some ribs and bruise my right kidney and lose about a week solid to napping and pain medication. But I can't say that.

Where was I? Oh, yeah... nothing. Nothing, and being busy. I have been keeping up with the whole drawing thing, but most of it is stuff that's not here on the blog. But some of it is/will be appearing elsewhere, if you know where to look...

Like this, for instance: http://ravencrowking.blogspot.com/2012/12/the-thing-in-chimney.html. A fine and deadly, holiday-themed adventure for the DCC RPG, if ever there was one. And I don't think there was. One previously, I mean.

I know, I know -- at this point, you're pretty sure I'm still on the pain medication. Or something like it. But I'm not; I talk like this normally. Or else this is how I normally talk. Take your pick. I'm not going to be doing anymore mining for awhile, anyway...

So, yeah, The Thing in the Chimney -- cranked out those drawings Sunday. I'm glad the sugar plum fairy got used three times, because that was the one that worked out the best, I think. And I'd've drawn multiples of them, were there time for it. Multiples would've been good, because the design on that figure has more than a hint of Winsor McCay about it, and having multiple, identically looking figures prancing around illustrationally would've taken things beyond a 'hint' straight into legal-action territory (if not for the fact that McCay's work in question comes from over 100 years ago, that is. So no genuine worries there). Plus, there is -- in my own, non-medicated brain at least -- a hint of Jack Kirby to that fairy as well. Mostly in the torso/tunic... Who the devil would amalgamate McCay and Kirby?

I would.

But listen, I'm banking up monsters for the blog. I had hoped to do a sort of 12 Days of Monsters thing this month -- but my kidney decided to throw itself at a low cabinet instead, and took me with it. And I ask you, what have I ever done to it?

For today at least, the blog continues to feature no new monsters. But you can certainly expect something in your stocking a little later this month... Also, there will be new monsters up before the year is done!

Unless perhaps my spleen or gall bladder decide to take a page from my kidney's game plan...