Using My Monsters

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Gorgoth Handgonne (Grunta) - Martial Weapon (Firearm)

"At first we were somewhat complacent, having battled the greenskins across the world a number of times. We scoffed when our terrified guides told us of their alleged 'Grunta' weapons, and laughed harder when they suggested the dense beasts had learned to make their own crude version of blackpowder. 

"Our  laughter died, along with half our company a few days later, when we were cut down by an explosive rain of rock, bone, metal and tooth fragments, fired from the crude firearms they had made. 

"Our guides were right, and we had been too arrogant to listen. It was a lesson hard learned, and to this day, I will never take any contact with the Gorgoth or their kin lightly."

- From Cold and Frightened - A Questor's Tale by Jelten Vaarde. 

Like this, but more crudely forged, heavier and with more rust / blood / poop

Cost: 300 gp
Range: 50ft cone (shrapnel) or 100/400 (stone shot)
Damage: 3d10 piercing* / 1d8 Bludgeoning (see below)
Weight: 60lbs
Properties: Ammunition, Heavy, Two-Handed, Reload, Special
Special: Reloading the Handgonne requires an action.

There are two types of shot usually fired from these weapons;

*Shrapnel: This ammunition consists of splinters of metal, flint and other sharp debris. When fired, it explodes in a 50ft cone, and automatically hits all within. Creatures in the cone may halve the damage inflicted by making a successful Dexterity saving throw (D.C. = 8 + The shooters Dexterity Bonus. If they are proficient, their proficiency bonus is also added to the D.C.). Creatures between 31ft-50ft only take half damage, and have advantage on their Dexterity saving throws to halve this.

Stone Shot: A handful of stone spheres, which fly up to range, and target 1 creature. This requires an attack roll as normal.

The Handgonne can also be used as a melee weapon, in which case it inflicts 1d8 bludgeoning as base damage.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Earth Elemental Monolith - CR 28 (Gargantuan Elemental)

"In the closing years of the terrible wars between the Eschara and the Emendi, anything went, as each side began to realise that there would be no glorious victory or comfortable state afterwards. And so, in the days before an undocumented magical catastrophe forged what would later be called Zaepheri'Criz [Desert of Blades], their arch mages unleashed ancient beings of terrible power upon one another, hoping, despite the cost of calling them, that each might be the thing that finally brought them to some semblance of a victory..."

From "The Ancient Mage Wars" by an unknown Iradechian historian.

"Biggest bloody pile of rubble I ever had to put down. Would make a lovely feature in some bloody Aelwyn garden though. Probably."

Brundor Trullslayer, Vengeful Cleaving Axe of Thorduin.

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I'm pretty sure Elemental Monoliths first appeared in 2nd Edition AD&D's beautiful Al'Quadim setting, as a result of the Unleash Monolith spell (It exists in my 5e games, though as a ritual that requires the lending of  9th level spell slots, potent elemental magics and a bum load of residuum), and whilst bored, I decided to stat up the mostly commonly seen (in my experience) one of the four - the Earth Monolith. 

This thing is basically a living hillside, that wants to smash you and everything else to smithereens...and is entirely capable of doing so. If your GM uses one, you have probably really upset them...or made them very happy (if it's under your control). 

It was at this moment that Ser Belvegrath wished he'd taken up bloody carpentry like his father. Ah well *splat*

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Scare (Illusion Cantrip)

I needed this spell for a monster conversion I am doing, and was surprised not to find it anywhere. Anyway, here you go - an at-will, 1 round fear spell that you can spam again and again if you want!

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The illusion of me running at you clad only in my pants (UK version) is truly the vilest of all illusory terrors!

Illusion Cantrip

Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard

Casting Time: 1 Action
Range: 90 feet
Area of Effect: 1 Creature
Components: V, S, M (small piece of a corporeal undead)
Saving Throw: Yes
Duration: 1 round

This spell exactly duplicates the 3rd level spell Fear, except that it only affects a single target, and only remains active until the start of your next turn.

At Higher Levels: At 5th level, the range increases to 100ft. At 11th level it increases to 120 ft. At 17th level, the range increases to 150ft.

Aspirthane (Mage Throttler, Aether Scorch) - Rare Poison

Aspirthane (Mage Throttler, Aether Scorch) : This rare poison is illegal in many parts of the world - especially those ruled by mages. Indeed, the Unified Order consider it a capital offense to be found in possession of this substance, so baleful is it to those that weave magic.

The origins of Aspirthane are unclear. It is likely it was first formulated by the servants of Convulos'Soth'Khulzad, as so many potent, specialised poisons are. However, there are some that believe it may have been created in another plane, and the secrets of its creation brought back to Arbel'Verdaniss by some foolish soul.

In its purest form, Aspirthane is a thin, slightly silvery fluid that has no smell or taste. In liquid form it is quite volatile, and will readily burn if exposed to heat, rapidly blazing away with a vivid, pure green flame. However, when exposed to open air, it quickly evaporates, forming an invisible, odorless cloud of poison. A standard vial of this substance forms a cloud 60ft in diameter around it over the course of ten minutes, and it remains in place for 1 hour unless there are strong winds or currents present which can scatter it.

Aspirthane is only poisonous to creatures and individuals that channel unnatural energy; namely spell caster's and those individuals or creatures that have any kind of innate supernatural ability or power. Those without any magical ability are entirely immune to its effects.

Those affected by this poison begin to feel its effects 1d10 rounds after first being exposed to it. They become somewhat drowsy and thick headed, and must make a D. C. 17 Constitution saving throw or fall unconscious. Such individuals remain unconscious until they are taken out of the area of the poison (they awaken 1d6 rounds later) . Each round that they begin unconscious due to the effects of this poison, and are still within its area, they must repeat the saving throw or die.
Those that make the initial save will know they are being poisoned, and may act normally. However, each round they begin within the cloud, they must repeat the saving throw or fall victim to the poison's effects.

The most infamous use of this poison was when it was used to murder thirty six high ranking mage's of the Unified Order in the year 1212. A renegade mage named Zerket had been arrested and was facing a show trial before being exposed to the Divorcement ritual, and then executed by burning. However, unbeknownst to his abusers, he had paid a member of staff to open a bottle of Aspirthane in the chamber before the trial - knowing full well that he, as a dangerous mage, would be shrouded in anti-magic (anti-magic deactivates this poison). His plan worked too, and he was able, with the help of a No Breath spell and allies in the city, to make good his escape.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Astral Searcher - CR 2 (Medium Undead)

"She insists it's not him." whispered the priest, casting a worried glance towards the mage, a well respected woman who, until recently, seemed perfectly sane. "She says he's 'wrong' somehow, that he didn't come back from his last metaphysical exercise".

Mother Yvara, Blessed of Namaea'Isaala listened gravely, her ancient features crinkled as she glared at the fourth occupant of the room - the mage's supposed husband - once the wizard Khodesh, now...not. She turned her rheumy eyes towards Jessia, Khodesh' wife, and sadly asked her to come to her side, leaving the grinning not-husband stood alone. 

Then she slowly approached the bearded shell that was once Khodesh, noting the slight look of panic that flashed across his face, and the sudden sweat that beaded his brow. 

"Khodesh? Would you be so good as to let me give you a blessing?"

"Um," he began, " Err...yes?"

Yvara smiled, before ,with a move so swift none - especially the thing in Khodesh' body - could have imagined her capable of it, bringing forth her holy symbol, forcefully pressing it to the wizard's brow, silvery words of divine power spilling from her, the air around them both suddenly gonging with argent, potent power. 

"In the name of the mother of mercy, unborn thing, I address thee, and command thee to depart this form! Begone nameless traveler! Return unto the void from which you were formed! Depart! I abjure three! Ithyrani Debesheckelah Shabbaethonai Namaea!"

Colourless fire seemed to suddenly envelop Khodesh' form, and from his mouth issued a thin, terrible wailing - a sound nothing of the physical plane could make. The air throbbed, seeming to thicken with unnatural power, and somewhere beyond the alien noises rising from the mage, the chapel's wards began to add their own strident song to the cacophony, warning of the presence of an extra dimensional being. 

"Away!" Screamed Yvara, her voice booming and potent, "Into the void I cast thee! Begone foul thing! BEGONE!"

A thunderclap. A blast of silver light and, with a scream so terrible Yvara's assistant fainted dead away, the thing within Khodesh fled, leaving his corpse just that - a lifeless mass of flesh, organs and bone. In an instant, Khodesh' corpse flopped heavily to the ground, the ancient priestess rushing to cradle his head before it was split on the stone pews of the chapel. Jessia also rushed to help, tears streaming down her cheeks, for now, with the entity gone, she could look at somehow returning her beloved husband's soul to his body; could somehow, bring him back.

Days later, and Yvara would summon her acolytes, to teach them of the foul Astral Searchers, how to recognise their presence, and how to remove them, though Brother Altor, the priest who had seen the ritual, was nowhere to be seen, having left the city the day before, in search of a life less fraught with terror...

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The Astral Searcher is another 1st Edition horror that appeared in 2nd Edition, and in unofficial 3.5 stuff too (the excellent Denizens of the Transitive Planes by Although I have gone with the idea of these entities, I confess, for my conversion, I basically came up with my own interpretation. 

As for how to get rid of a possessing entity, A Protection from Good and Evil spell can stop the initial possession if cast on the physical form of the projecting individual, and GM's may allow spells such as Dispel Good and Evilto work to cast out such entities. There is always the Exorcism spell from the Book of Lost Spells of course, which is a conversion of the earlier edition spell of the same name. 

Anyway, here are the stats. Enjoy!

"Astrally project" they said, "It's a lot safer than going physically" they said. Yeah, thanks a bunch.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Astral Dreadnought - CR 34 (Gargantuan Aberration)

I did not intend this beast to be this tough, I really didn't. I knew I wanted to convert it as a massive beast, large enough to serve as the foundation for a Githyanki stronghold or similar, or to be able to smash astral ships like an enraged whale, and so, made it physically formidable. I also wanted to keep the essence of its 2nd and 3.5 edition versions, so ensured it still has antimagic and the ability to shred those it grabs with both pincers. Oh, and it still cuts your Astral Cord, dooming you to dissolve into the essence of the plane...

The result of a tryst between a Cocadaemon from the original Doom and Lobster Boy is free in the Astral Plane and looking for fun!

Anyway, as always with monsters over CR 30, I have used my own table of expanded stats to calculate its final stats.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Ash Wraith - CR 4 (Medium Undead)

"We began burning the bodies at first, so they couldn't be raised into the West's service again. We thought we had solved one problem, but, of course, we were wrong. The bastards found a way to stoke the souls from their ashes, and to imbue their mortal remnants into service. This is how we first came to battle the ash wraiths"

- From the personal journal of Ajott Drespal, mage of the Southern Guild.

Ash Wraiths are undead that animate the ashes that remain after their corpses have been destroyed by fire. They are whirling, gusting things of stinging dust and hate, that take on transient, shrouded forms. When they manifest, all flames within twenty paces go out instantly, and a deathly cold charges the air. Sounds seem suddenly muffled, and a sense of dread and hatred radiates from the horror as it rises.

These are something I made up. I am not sorry.

Bonfire night was significantly less fun when the left over energies from Halloween got involved

Monday, 15 August 2016

Balmspine Squirrel - CR 0 (Tiny Beast)

Not all monsters have to be vicious do they? This is something I actually dreamed about, and thought might make a cool focus for an adventure. Maybe a friend or ally of the party has been poisoned by a rare and "incurable" venom, and finding one of these is the only way to save their life? Maybe one of these things escaped from a temple dedicated to the deity of healing (or even - duh, duh duh twist, the deity of poisons), and they want it back?

I dunno'. It's a squirrel...with tiny tooth like spines along its back that secrete anti-toxins...Do what you want with it.

Pictured "Not vicious"

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Crystalion - Large Elemental (CR 15)

So, waaaaay back in the early 1990's, when 2nd Edition AD&D was our game, I devised an epic adventure that saw the group venture into the deadly realms of the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals. Now, for those of you that aren't familiar with that vicious dimension, it's a plane that forms where the Positive Material Plane and the Elemental Plane of Earth meet - a realm of super energised earth that blossoms into crystals harder than adamantium and sharper than a vorpal blade.

Before they even started, they had to work out simple things like "How are we even going to breathe? There's no air there", and "How are we going to avoid being sliced into kibbles by the elemental blades of crystal", and "How do we avoid being murdered by the minions of that realm?"

The reasons they were undertaking this journey were twofold.

Firstly, I had just got Dragon #174, which contained some brutal Quasi-Elemental monsters, a ton of new Ioune Stones and rules about hunting for them, and my players were itching to get their hands on some new, potent magic. Secondly, one of the characters was in the process of forging a legendary blade, and wanted to bathe it in the essence of one of that realms potent monsters.

Through painstaking and expensive research, the group learned of a construct that wandered the radiance bathed edge-realms called....*sigh*....I was 17 when I wrote this ok? The *gag* Rainbow *retch* Golem, and they decided that this potent being was perfect for tempering the blade.

We had fun - massive fun - and it proved to be one damn tough adventure, that saw hardened veterans fall before Energy Pods, Trilling Crysmals and all kinds of other weird things. Eventually they located the delve of know, My Little Pony Golem, and entered, glad to be no longer accumulating temporary hit points from their proximity to the Positive Plane (If you don't know, back then you gained cumulative temporary hit points every round you were exposed to the life infusing rays of that plane. Unfortunately, if you accumulated as many temporary hit points as your maximum hit points, you reached energetic potential and BOOOOM! Exploded).

Image Copyright Wizards of the Coast
Look how happy they are!

After some further horrible experiences, the characters came to a prismatic altar of blazing crystal, upon which stood the object of their hunt, flanked by two magnificent felines, carved it seemed from the very essence of the plane. Each beast had a mane of spun diamond thread, faceted eyes that blazed with radiant power, and claws of sharpened dense elemental crystal.

The final battle began, and everyone focused on the golem, destroying it in less than a round (ouch). However, the guardians - Crystalions - were among them, and that's when the real battle began.

Yep, the BBEG was a damp squib. The "minions" almost killed everyone.

I won't bore you with the details of their escape, or the casualties when they opened an Ioune Stone geode back in the Prime which unleashed a blast of deadly energy. However, Crystalions are cemented in by players minds, and now, they can be cemented in your players mind / nightmares too.

Image From:
Turns out there are not any cool crystal lion images on Google.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Thrax - Medium Undead (CR 4)

Dark Sun has more than a few awesome monsters in it, and the Thrax is actually one of the less cool ones in my opinion. However, I can see a place for these in any desert based adventure, and so, thought I would convert them, drawing more on their 4th Edition incarnation (as "water vampires") than their 2nd Edition incarnation. You can of course ignore the undead traits (all the immunities), and keep it as a living humanoid if you want to keep them closer to the original source.

Note: This image is not blurry because of its low's errr...using its Roiling Shadows power...