1 HD “Cosmic” Monsters – Riffing on Arnold K
Category: World Building and Concept Design
Arnold K wrote a post last year about 1 HD Cosmic Monsters that I liked at the time, but never came up with anything to do with it. However, for a session last week, I needed just such a thing while the PCs were in a rotting fungal forest, and decided to revisit the idea.
According to Arnold, these things needed three key components (read his post for more details):
- 1 – Weird Biology
- “…highly unnatural … without being hard to conceptualize…”
- 2 – Weird Mechanics
- “…mechanics should reflect how unnatural they are…players would have a moment where they realize how this thing fights…”
- 3 – Threatening
Here are the two I came up with. Mine are not cosmic per se, but they’re thematically in that vein.
A puddle of tar, not unlike Armus, that clings vertically to cliffsides. If life is sensed within a foot of it, a sphere bulges out from the center, wobbling and bobbing in the direction of the life, attempting to touch the unsuspecting creature.
HD 1; AC as leather; Move stationary most of the time, otherwise very slowly to find a new hunting ground
Sludged – On a successful hit, the sludge sticks to the creature and attempts to hold it in place with a STR of 18. Every round it is attached, it does cumulative 1hp damage (1hp 1st round, 2hp 2nd round, etc). Sharp slashing weapons that hit its AC immediately sever the connection but do no damage. On successful hits, blunt bashing weapons do full regular damage and piercing poking weapons do 1 point damage, but neither of these attacks can sever the connection. While attached, the victim will defend the sludge sloth with its life, standing in the way of anyone attacking the creature.
The sludge sloth disengages and attempts retreat if exposed to fire or extreme heat.
Found on the shaded side of rotting, fallen trees. The bulk of the body is about a foot in diameter, roughly circular fungal cap, with six pointed stalks positioned around the body with radial symmetry. From the top are eight three-foot feelers that glow with bioluminescence. It has no eyes.
The things leg-stalks bend and it leaps, reaching for the closest lifeform with its feelers.
HD 1; AC as chain; Move as a small jumping animal, like a small monkey
The myxopod can attack with three of its feelers each round. A successful hit does 1hp to the victim, who must roll a Constitution/Paralysis save. On success, nothing happens. On failure, the feeler separates from the myxopod and attaches itself to the victim, continuing to attack the victim each round while the myxopod does the same. Each time a feeler breaks off the myxopod and attaches itself to the victim, the myxopod may use a new feeler, so that it is always attacking with three feelers (until it has run out of all eight).
Successful slashing attacks against the myxopod sever as many feelers as the hp damage (so 4hp slashing against the myxopod severs four feelers). This may be attempted by allies against feelers attached to victims, but near misses/fumbles may hit the character instead.