CARCOSA: Hex 1109

I’m working on a sandbox for one of the Thaggasoth Peaks hexes.  Scale is 3 hexes = 1 mile.  Kinda tight, but I’m inspired by the wilderness map from Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun and that’s the scale used there.  Movement will be constrained — no mounts on the hill and mountain hexes, and foot movement will be much slower than standard and frequently interrupted to roll on random tables that result in encounters, accidents, or glimpses of local color.

Here’s the map so far —

Mountains dark and drear...

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Published in: on September 6, 2011 at 1:49 AM  Leave a Comment  

Spawn Gone Wild!

Spawn of Shub-Niggurath (AC9, MV 6[land] 9[fly], HD4, SA immobilizing vapors & acid spray, SD infra- and ultra-vision, AL C): a grey amoeboid with no external features but exceptional vision, it continuously wafts paralytic vapors that are effective at melee range and require a save vs. paralysis at -3 to withstand.

Now I lay me down to sleep…

This skulking fiend flaps down from starry skies to feed upon the helpless.  It typically selects small children, the infirm, or the disabled for victims.  It is a silent killer – the unfortunate is rapidly engulfed, the paralytic fumes ensuring that any struggle is stifled.  Powerful digestive acids dissolve the body within an hour and the spawn then makes its escape.  It has no standard attack (although its fumes are effective against melee attackers), but can spray a stream of digestive acid (2D damage) up to 30′ three times per day.

This beast’s ectoplasm can be distilled into several vials of a potent contact anesthetic, quite valuable if a sophisticated buyer can be found.

Published in: on June 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM  Leave a Comment  

Populating CARCOSA’s Bottomless Lochs

I’m working on a sandbox for the Bottomless Lochs area of CARCOSA and I’m finding that the Beyond the Black Gate Compendium 2010 is a huge help for inspiration.  Here is a random encounter I recently completed:

An aged White Crone (AC7, Move 15, HD4, SA: +2 to all damage, Chaotic), naked & filthy, stands beside the churning pool at the base of a 70′ waterfall.  She slowly tears pages from a sheaf of bound scrolls, crumpling each one before casting it into the swirling maelstrom.  If disturbed, she will turn slowly and request clothing and food in a piteous voice.  Anyone who assists her will be attacked – she has been possessed by some malevolent consciousness and fights to the death with demonic strength.

A bag at her feet holds the plucked heads of 3 Brown Men, one of which still wears a pair of plain silver earrings worth 25sp.  The sheaf of scrolls is a sorcerous workbook: 25% chance that the contents are obviously ruined, 50% a random invoking ritual can be recovered, and 25% a random invoking ritual can be recovered that appears intact but is in fact dangerously incomplete.

If slain, the crone’s body must be burned completely within 24 hours or the horrid entity will escape to seek a new host.

(bone optional)

I had rolled on the ‘Random Slum Encounters’ table from the Compendium to spur my creativity — a 29 gave me ‘An elderly woman sells handmade books of poetry.’  This and other tables within the Compendium are a tremendous resource.  I know that Al’s work is familiar to many and the Compendium’s virtues have been loudly celebrated, but in case you haven’t downloaded it yet… FUCKING DO IT!

Published in: on June 4, 2011 at 9:04 AM  Comments (2)  

Monster Workshop – Crew of the Zesty Molester

Death stalks foggy shores by night...

4d4+4 Salt Zombies – MV 120′ (40′); AC 8; HD 2+2; ATT 2x rending grasp 1d4+1/1d4+1 or by weapon; SV F2; AL CE; ML 12; AL NE; XP 90.

Wretched thralls to a watery curse, the unfathomably wicked Crew of the Zesty Molester only manifest within 33 miles of the wreck of their ancient raiding cog. These salty fiends prey upon wanderers along the shore, small boats at sea, and isolated coastal residences. Victims are swarmed from ambush, dragged into the water and drowned, the sodden corpses discarded to wash ashore. Any valuables are sequestered within their wrecked vessel.

Locals know that on moonless, foggy nights doors should be bolted, windows shuttered, watch fires lit – on portentous evenings just such, there is a base 1% chance that the Crew of the Zesty Molester arise from the depths in search of violence & plunder. Among its despicable pages, Shymander’s Nauticopia recounts details of a ritual that anyone may use to summon these salty fiends without fail. Darkness, proximity to the wreck of the Zesty Molester, and a captive female as sacrifice are the primary requirements – control of these undead buccaneers is not thusly guaranteed, but they will arrive predisposed to consider errands of grim mayhem.

Clerical turning has no effect upon these creatures. They have all typical undead invulnerabilities. Additionally, they receive a save vs. spells at +3 to withstand any magic or effect that targets undead, evil, or chaos. If magical fire is presented strongly, they will disperse for at least 24 hours. In any event, at first light of dawn they will slink back to the nautical nether-Hell whence they came.

Killing these monsters in combat or dispersing them only removes the threat temporarily – they will eventually re-materialize again to terrorize the living. Destroying them for good requires that the wreck of the Zesty Molester be raised and then consumed in a cleansing ceremonial bonfire.

Individual zombies carry nothing of value (unless intercepted skulking home with recent plunder). Their shipwreck contains accumulated booty of 1190cp, 5371sp, 2015gp, and mixed gems & jewelry worth 3902gp. The DM should include additional magical or unique treasures as befits the campaign.

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 11:53 PM  Comments (2)