Monday, January 4, 2021

d66/d36 Monsters of the Dry Red & Ochre Hills

  1. Roll d6:
    1. Horntoads: Somewhere between toad and lizard; very patient; more than can be fed will gather to take you down, then sort it out between whoever’s left.
    2. Sailbacks: Dimetrodons, but about the size of dog (seem bigger, due to sail, tail and thickset). Strong jaws, slow-witted. Not very aggressive. Scavengers that can crunch up bone.
    3. Venomous Flying Frogs: Some Scientician will tell you that they’re toads, actually; glide on flaps of skin along their sides; everything about them exudes a paralytic venom. Favourite food is Sand Dwellers.
    4. Wretched Mi-Go: Something has ripped away their head-part and their intelligence. They cluster together without reason, bumbling about, setting up a hummadruz at movement within 10', light 30'. If you have means of interface, you can have them guide you to buried treasure and rare mineral deposits.
    5. Strangling Vines: Tumbles of dry looking creepers that snare passing prey; stronger and not as flammable as you’d think. Bulbous root wedged in a dark crevice, vines can regrow as long as this survives.
    6. Owl Bards: Look like child-sized burrowing owls (reskinned B/X halflings); can only fly in short hops; intelligent, can talk, like to pilfer; oral, poetic culture.
  2. Roll d6:
    1. The Owlbear (1): Reminiscent of a giant lion, but definitely an Owlbear; prodigious excavator and burrower; considers itself the apex predator.
    2. Constellation Mimics: Bioluminescent chameleonic gelatinous levitating vampires (drain cranial and spinal fluids, too); pretend to be patches of sky at night; envelop then extrude hollow fangs; rapidly liquefy on death; vulnerable to fire and sunlight. You decide if they’re blob monsters, humanoids or a type of undead.
    3. Grotesque Flying Heads: Out-and-about at night; quite chatty and gossipy when they don’t think anyone’s watching; they’ve got a shelf of their own in a cave/tomb somewhere, or on the mantlepiece of an abandoned cottage.
    4. Hungry Dead: They won’t try to eat you until they’ve bought, begged or stolen all of your supplies; might trail you for days, but won’t leave the hills; they don’t look that dead by daylight, but become more obviously so as the sun sets.
    5. Sand Dwellers: Enigmatic Mythos entities. Cave, rather than sand, dwellers (a misnomer); surprisingly pink and fleshy, because they have plenty of water in their lair. Will sacrifice you to the Hillbeast at certain times of the year, but otherwise not automatically hostile. Play mournful, discordant pipes.
    6. Hillbeast (1): Terrifying, writhing, gargantuan lump of hairy flesh; usually confined to a cavern temple, but goes wandering on certain nights of the year; Sand Dwellers worship or otherwise attend it.
  3. Roll d6:
    1. Hunting Cacti: Vibration sense; move by jumping and tumbling; drain blood with hollow spines; will retreat if you can break enough spines; vulnerable core protected by thick, tough flesh.
    2. Goblins: Brimmed hats, vizards and dark red robes to go out in the sun; share cave lairs with Spider and Fungoid allies; stake a claim on all Miniature Goats and Sheep.
    3. Spider Elves: Naked, halfling-sized, with bestial (the rare and common fauna of the Dry Red Hills) caricatures of human features. Cut things with tiny triangular pieces of flint or obsidian, but as fond of general mischief as fatal exsanguination. Can turn their feet backwards or to leave animal tracks.
    4. Grey Hags (1-3): Three squabbling immortal carnivorous sisters. Share an enchanted tooth, tongue and eye (symbolic or real). When they’re not scheming against each other, they’re making trouble recreationally. If you’re looking for a particular object, place or spell, they’ll be ones who know what, where and how. The price is always horrible.
    5. Sphinx Elves: Tawny, with black eyes and yellow hair, but otherwise much like their mountain cousins.
    6. Stone Scorpions: Smaller, redder and much less strong than their mountain cousins, but more aggressive, numerous and venomous.
  4. Roll d6:
    1. Flock of Sheep: Odds/evens, these are a double-sized flock of Miniature Sheep.
    2. Herd of Goats: Odds/evens, these are a double-sized flock of Miniature Goats.
    3. Monotaur (1): Massive, single-horned bull; dainty hooves, surprisingly agile; intelligent, but aggressive; stamp, trample, gore. Pick one other monster to be its local rival, or another Monotaur.
    4. Jackalhydra (1): Pony-sized jackal with exploding d3 heads on branching telescopic necks. Cut off a head and two grow back (max. 18). Gaze attack causes sleep. Intelligent and can talk – using the languages and voices of those it devours.
    5. Fink Harpies: Scrawny, long-legged, winged cats. So filthy and disease-ridden that their attacks are effectively venomous. Strong smell and repulsive habits. Scavengers, but will prey on the lost and the weak. Can sense and are utterly afraid of all types of undead.
    6. Sun Loungers: Lazy, glittering things that stretch out on hot rocks to soak up the rays. At a distance, when they’re not conscious of your presence, you can’t tell if they’re a predatory iguana or a beautiful potential lover. Lure predators using adaptive telepathic feedback. Can blaze images onto your retina so you think you’re under attack from all sides.
  5. Roll d6:
    1. Pool Goblins: Tied to shrinking seasonal pools, these larval Fossergrims are unlikely to mature. Will attempt to stow away in your backpacks and water bags in hope of reaching a more suitable pool.
    2. Urn Mummies: Dry, crumbly and stick-like, their gracious tombs long despoiled, these itinerant mummies carry their burial urns with them and use them as a vampire does a coffin-and-native-earth. Battered by the years and the elements, they have a cynical sense of humour and a desire to recount their great pre-mortem accomplishments.
    3. Dwarves/Trolls: Reskinned B/X Halflings with Stone Giant Strength. The main difference between the two types is that Trolls are nocturnal, and have tougher skin and bones (Stone Giant AC). Brightly and noisily dressed, so stealth ability is paramortal glamour.
    4. Cave Toads: Stone coloured, inside and out, but with iridescent, jewel-like eyes. Mama Toad's yawning maw is indistinguishable from a cave mouth; Mama Toad's hypnotic young sit on her tongue and exude an acid-resistant slime.
    5. Tomb Raiders: Adventurers looking for plunder. Unfriendly and don't like competition.
    6. Sere Ghouls: Jackal-fanged, with limbs like jerky, head and body wound about with dusty red cloth. Venomous spiked finger-sleeves and bronze sickle-swords. Lair on the cool, shady banks of secluded, welcoming pools. Cough blinding dust into your face to escape. 
  6. Roll d6:
    1. Old One Eye (1): A colossal, towering cloud on the horizon, resembling a bearded old man with hat, cloak, staff and vast, trailing beard. A break in the clouds is his missing eye. Sporadically benevolent, he can interact with creatures on your scale across many miles.
    2. Griffins: Cat-sized, feathered dinosaurs with outsize gutting claws - fore and hind. Can glide and make fluttering jumps. Known as agile scavengers. Not widely known as highly successful ambush predators, which is unfortunate for you.
    3. Carnivorous Horses: These sturdy-looking wild ponies seem attractively playful and guileless.
    4. Monster Hunters: Adventurers looking for trophies. Friendly but insist on competition.
    5. Dust Drake (1): Somewhere on the Venn of crocodile, hippopotamus and jackal, this brutish thing can direct a sonic lance causing rock and earth to crack and crumble. It can vibrate its scales to create a choking, blinding dust cloud (save vs. disease from shed scales and parasites). Enjoys a good wallow, preferring mud to clear water. Makes noises like a whale on starry nights, supposedly calling for a mate.
    6. Skeleton Army: 2d6 x 12 Skeletons, blackened by the years of sun and dust, and arranged in orderly units, armed with scimitars and shields. They will wait patiently for the Triumph of Death, but -if disturbed- animate one at a time, one per round, as long as one is still animate, going from slow and jerky to swift and deadly in 3 rounds. Until animated, they are unaffected by Turning.

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