Tag Archives: monster

Free-Magic Elemental – Inspired by the Abhorsen Trilogy

Mogget, a Free-magic Elemental

Free-magic Elemental

Elemental, CN, 40’ Flying, 8 / 12 / 16 HD, AC 2 / 0 / -2, 1d8 / 2d6 / 3d8 + 1d6 to Magic Users, F8 / F12 / F16, Mo 10, xp 2560 / 3600 / 5100

A Free-magic Elemental is an agent of pure chaos and possess a mind of burning raw magic. They don’t care about concepts like good or evil; they delight mainly in the havoc caused by possessing a magic item and using its powers in interesting ways and the frustration instilled in magic-users when their magic goes haywire.

They hunger for magic items to feed upon and may ally with a mortal for a time if it’s promised a choice magic item in payment, though it may decide, when the job is done, that it was not enough (or that his other magic items look tasty too).

They hate sentient magic items and those who ally with them. Oddly enough, the reason for its enmity is that the elemental sees the wielder as a slave-master of its kind, though it sees the sentient item as a rival to be consumed, rather than released.

Free-magic elementals are capable of speech and they know Common, Auran, Ignan, and the Chaotic alignment language.

Elemental Resistances:

An Elemental is immune to Sleep effects, paralyzation, and critical hits (if your game uses them).

A Free-magic Elemental appears as a very bright, energetic fire or smoke with a thin, spindly, vaguely humanoid form. Its color is usually white, electric blue, or neon green. It is 1’ tall and 3” in diameter per HD it has.


Free-magic’s chaotic nature causes feedback when a magic-using character is struck. They take an extra 1d6 damage as a result. Generally, only those who use arcane magic are affected; divine magic-users like clerics and druids are not affected.

Free-magic Aura:

A Free-magic Elemental has a 40’ aura surrounding it that causes all magic to go awry. Whenever any spell is cast within this aura, the spellcaster must make a Save vs Spells or roll a d% as if a Rod of Wonder had been used to determine the spell’s effect. Those who Save against this effect are still subject to this effect on future spells.

The aura can be dispelled with a successful Dispel Magic, but the Free-magic Elemental can reassert this aura as a free-action on its next turn.

In general, this aura affects both arcane and divine spells, spells cast from scrolls, wands, and rods (though the Save is that of the item’s wielder), but not the personal or inherent effects of permanent magic items. For example, a Dancing Sword‘s dancing ability or a Rod’s transformation abilities would still function normally.

Possess Magic Item:

A Free-magic Elemental can enter any magic item (like an enchanted ring, suit of armor, a wand, or a sword, but not single-use items like scrolls or potions) and may animate it in a limited fashion if it has moving parts, depending on its form. A possessed item cannot move any unmoving parts, so a cloak could billow or crawl, a suit of armor could walk, or a sword swing if held by an appendage, but a ring or amulet would be immobile. Possessing an item takes an entire round.

Items held or worn by a creature receive a Saving Throw vs Spells to resist being possessed. This Save is based on the creature’s Save plus the item’s + bonus, if any (so a Longsword +2 would receive a +2 bonus to the Save). A loose magic item receives no Saving throw (unless it’s a sentient item).

When possessing an item, the Free-magic Elemental has an Ego score like a sentient magic item does and can influence (or hide from) anyone who picks up or wears the possessed item. Generally, the possessed item has an Ego score of 11 + half the elemental’s HD (or 15 / 17 / 19). The Free-magic Elemental cannot use its Free-magic aura or cause any direct damage to the wielder (setting off a Wand of Fireball’s effect at close range, for example, works fine).

A possessed item will, as a general rule, glow the same color as the Free-magic Elemental. This glow cannot be turned off by the Elemental. The smaller the item is, the brighter the glow. For example, the glow of a Maul of Titans would be barely noticeable in the dark, a suit of armor would be as bright as a candle, a ring would be almost too bright to look at (and likely quite hot). An Identify spell will determine that the glow is not a natural property of the item.

The Free-magic Elemental can leave the item any time, though it takes a full-round to do so, during which the Free-magic Elemental is vulnerable. It can also be forced out via an Exorcism or a targeted Dispel Magic. Forcing it out of an item stuns it for 1d4 rounds (cannot move or attack). Once a Free-magic Elemental has left an item, it cannot repossess it for 1 week; the item’s “magical matrix” is under too much flux to allow it.

A Free-magic Elemental feeds on the magic items it possesses. For every week the item is possessed, it loses 5 charges (also lowering its maximum number of charges), one ‘per day’ use of an ability, a + bonus or similar power. The previous list is also the order of preference for which power the Elemental drains first. If the Elemental was damaged when it possessed the item, it heals 5 hp per magical power drained. Drained powers cannot be restored except through a Wish spell.

Once drained of all magical power, the Free-magic Elemental will leave the item immediately, as the item can no longer support it. The Elemental has the option to leave the item intact as a mundane item or destroy it (by melting, burning, shattering, etc). Only drained items can be destroyed in this way.


The Dead from the Abhorsen Trilogy

I’ve been reading the Abhorsen Trilogy (in a hardcover book with a gorgeous cover) by Garth Nix lately and it’s inspired me to try to stat out some of the undead and creatures presented in the books. Perhaps it was just a bit of serendipity, but this is a book I normally wouldn’t have encountered or read. When I was visiting my mother, she gave me this book that she’d bought at a garage sale. Normally, I’m very picky about the books I own and the Abhorsen Trilogy was obviously a Young-Adult novel and geared towards women, so while the promise of necromancy intrigued me, I didn’t expect much. I was pleasantly surprised.

Sabriel presents a world where a ‘modern’ WW1-era technology nation meets fantasy magic realm and describes how the two blend together at the border. Sabriel is the daughter of the Abhorsen, a blend of Lawful (called the Charter) mage / cleric and Chaos (called Free Magic) sorcerer / necromancer who is charged with putting the Dead to rest.

I really enjoyed the idea of the River of Death, a metaphysical plane where dead souls float along from Life through a series of nine Gates to their final resting place, but is thick with the Dead and Necromancers. These Free-Magic sorcerers and the Abhorsen wield seven enchanted bells that have influence over the spirits of the living and the Dead, but also seem to be semi-sentient and have personalities. Preventing a bell’s effect from backfiring if it’s allowed to ring on its own is half the skill of a Necromancer.

All in all, I loved the lore that the author skillfully presents to the reader without an exposition dump and a straight-forward adventure story that doesn’t hold back from descriptions of hideous Necromancy and human sacrifice. It’s one of the most original and detailed descriptions of Necromancy  and one that’s inspired my own setting of Ark.

Over the next week or so, I’ll post my take on the stats of some the creatures and undead. Below are the two most common undead creatures.

Continue reading

Fleshcraft Instrument and Chorus

These grotesque creatures were once people who let themselves be entranced by the dark beauty of The Bleeding Angel and The Temple of Sanguine Suffering.

Having not come from a wealthy family that might miss them nor shown any aptitude with clerical duties, these people were pressured to volunteer to become come a literal instrument of the Temple. When the Temple is threatened by those who don’t understand the glory of their work, these Instruments also become a weapon in its defense.

Their flesh may be in constant agony from the fine wires keeping their pale flesh taut and bound, but their spirit soars in other sensory planes and they feel an uncontrollable urge to sing of the terrible glories they’re witness to. Their voices, enhanced and tune by fine fleshcrafting, they are capable of volumes and pitches that would be impossible for an ordinary human.

Fleshcraft Instrument

N, 25′, AC 6, HD 4, 1 Attack, special, F4, Mo 11, xp 245

Song of Glory: The Instrument’s only attack is to sing a single note of terrible power. This is a sonic attack that occurs in a line 40′ long and 5′ wide, so it will hit anything along that line. Those affected must Save vs Breath Attack or take 1d4 damage and be deafened for 2 rounds. Each time a character takes damage from a Song of Glory over a 1 Turn period, the damage increases by +1d4, Those who Save only take half damage and avoid deafness. Fleshcraft Instruments are immune to the damage and effects causes by the Song of Glory of others of their kind.

Clerics and cultists who don’t believe in the power of The Bleeding Angel who fail their Save also lose a prepared divine spell, chosen at random, starting from their highest spell level.

This attack can only be performed once every 3 rounds.

Blind to the World: Fleshcraft Instruments have very weak vision. They Save at -2 to avoid effects that cause blindness and they can only perceive things visually that are 10′ away. Generally, they should be encountered with a handler who will point them in the direction he wishes the Song of Glory to go in.

Fleshcraft Chorus

When groups of four Fleshcraft instruments act together, they become even more powerful. Typically, they’ll be organized into a line or in a square formation and almost always accompanied by a handler. For these effects below to occur, at least 2 members of the 4 must be alive and standing within 5′ of each other.

Song of Ultimate Glory: Each Instrument sings a different note of a greater harmony. This attack is affects an area based on the Chorus’ formation. A line affects every square in a 20′ by 40′ area in front of them. A square affects a 60′ cone with a 40′ spread at its end (its origin is the center of the Chorus). This Song does 4d8 damage, causes deafness for 1 Turn, and non-believer Clerics are paralyzed for 2d4 rounds. Those affects may Save vs Breath Attack to take half damage and avoid the other affects.

As above, the Song cannot be used more than once every 3 rounds.

Harmonizing Deflection: On rounds where the Chorus is not using their Song, they are harmonizing, creating a shimmering zone of sound 5′ around themselves. Ranged attacks against any member of the Chorus are made as if they had AC 2. Also, the waves of sound make it difficult to push through the harmonizing barrier; essentially, it costs double to move through that area.

Dessicator – Undead Water Elemental

I converted this monster from the Complete Arcane book (3.5 edition rulebook), so I take absolutely no credit for the monster or the artwork, but I did enjoy converting it to Labyrinth Lord.

On a related note, it was originally used in The Drowned Fort – Level 2 map.

Dessicator by Jeremy Jarvis

Dessicator – Undead Water Elemental

NE, 30’ / swim 70’, AC 4, HD 6, 1d6+fatigue, F3, Mo 11, xp 1520

  • Darkvision 60’
  • Immune to mind affecting spells and other Undead immunities
  • +2 to Initiative
  • Desiccating breath: 15ft long and wide cone, can be used every 1d4 rnds, does 1 CON damage that heals 1 per 2 Turns
  • Fatiguing touch: Save vs Poison or be fatigued; -2 to hit and must rest 1 hour (6 Turns) to recover, doesn’t stack with itself.

The tiny creature is little taller than your boots. It’s limbs and body are hard, crusty, spindly things and a conical head that’s all toothless mouth. Tiny points of blue light on the side of its head hint at eyes. Its crusty skin is a mottled yellow and white and it twitches sharply when it moves, grinding white powder on the floor from its joints. It screeches shrilly just before it attacks.

Goblinoids of the Cursed Pit – Spawn of the Chasme

A Chasme Demon

Goblin of Chasme, CE, 30′, AC 4, HD 2+1, talon/talon, 1d4/1d4, F2, xp 110

Can only be surprised on a 1 and surprises enemies on a 1-4 on a d6.

Can climb on any surface a fly can at its normal movement rate.

Demonic Sight: Can see normally in magical darkness and has a 50% chance each round to spot an invisible creature.

Spell-like Ability: At will – Darkness (10′ radius, lasts 1 Turn)

The horribly malformed creature used to be a goblin. Its eyes are large multi-faceted lobes and its arms have been transformed into serrated talons. It twitches as it moves on insectile legs covered in thick, long hairs. Suddenly, darkness engulfs you and a tinny, gurgling laugh tickles your ears.

Hobgoblin of Chasme, CE, 40′ / Fly 20′, AC 5, HD 2+4, drinking sword, 1d8, F2, xp 85

Drinking Blade: The chitinous blade weilded by the hobgoblin is a parasitic creature. After every hit, half of the damage it dealt that round (rounded down) is applied as a bonus to damage on its next successful hit. If the hobgoblin should lose his blade, he loses the +4 hp listed above along with the +1 bonus to hit it gives him. The dropped blade or the blade of a dead hobgoblin makes an unearthly keening sound that will summon any Hobgoblin of Chasme within 100′

Sleep Drone: The hobgoblin can buzz and drone his wings as a free action. Those within 20′ that hear it must Save vs Wands or fall into a comatose sleep for 2d4 rounds. The victim cannot be awoken by any means until the Hobgoblin of Chasme stops using this ability. A creature that wakes up can be affected by it upon waking, but anyone that Saved against the effect is immune for the next day.

The creature is wearing crude leather armour appears to have once been a hobgoblin. His face is a mess of chitinous plates and thick black hairs erupt from numerous boils on his skin. On his back are a twitching pair of black-blue wings that resemble a fly’s. In one hand is a disgusting blade of twitching chitin that you suspect has an eye and in the other is a chitinous shield bearing a black fly emblem.

Bugbear of Chasme, CE, 30′, AC 2, HD 4, claw/claw, 1d6+bleed/1d6+bleed, F4, xp 250

The bugbear retains it’s ability to surprise enemies using stealth, doing so on a 1-3 on a d6.

Rending Talons: Every hit causes a deep, bleeding wound. These wounds cause 1 damage per round on the victim’s turn. Additional hits causing bleed damage stack with this ability.

Blood Vomit: A Bugbear of Chasme likes to drink blood when he’s able. Once per day, he can vomit forth this putrid and caustic spray in a 15′ cone in front of him. The spray deals 4d4 acid damage and causes victims to vomit in disgust for 1d4 rounds (move actions only). Victims made a Save vs Breath for half damage and a CON Save to avoid being sick. If a victim makes the Breath attack save, he automatically passes the save to avoid sickness.

The bloated beast is covered with interlocking black shells lubricated by foul-smelling pus. Only the thing’s ears betray that it was once a bugbear. Brown bile oozes from a mouth twisted into ever-moving mandibles and it uses the back of a hand that has twisted into a serrated claw to wipe its chin.

Goblinoids of the Cursed Pit – Spawn of the Pit Fiend

While most Cursed Pits make use of demonic energies, a few have made dire pacts with Fiends from the Nine Hells. In this case, these hellspawn are the result of bathing in a Pit powered by a mighty Pit Fiend.

The hobgoblins are the most militaristic and organized of the goblinoids, so they’re considered the most Lawful. It would be their Warlocks that signed the pact and so they appear the most like the terrible Pit Fiend.

In fact, as a result of their change and the fires of their brutality dimmed, their alignment has shifted towards Law, making them Neutral Evil.

Goblin of the Pit, NE, 30’, AC 4, HD 2+1, bow or dagger/ bite, 1d6 or 1d4 / 1d4 + poison, F2, Mo 8, xp 60

Weakness Poison: The spittle of a Pit Goblin is a vile poison that attacks muscle. If bitten or struck with a weapon coated with it, the victim must Save vs Poison or take 3 STR damage. Each additional application of poison does 1 more STR damage. The Pit Goblin’s weapon can be poisoned with a Move action. The Pit Goblin is immune to his own poison. The spittle is only poisonous for 1 Turn before becoming inert.

These goblin have reddish, partially scaled skin among festering and weeping sores. Even skinnier than most goblins you’ve seen and carrying a crude knife and buckler, they are very quick on feet that have warped into hooves. On their heads are short curved horns and when they screech a warcry you see that their canines are long fangs.

Hobgoblin of the Pit, NE, 30′ / 40′ Fly, AC 4, HD 3+2, weapon (whip), 1d8, F3, Mo 8, xp 135

Lash of Pain: The hobgoblin carries a long, barbed whip. Twice per day, they can make an attack with it to any enemy within 15′. If it hits, he channels his hate through it and into his victim. The victim must Save vs Spell or be wracked by torturous pain for 2d4 rounds. The victim takes a -4 penalty to hit and -2 to his DEX score.

Flight: His wings allow for limited flight, including hovering. However, they are fragile and unnatural. Any damage to them renders them useless. While in flight, the wings have AC 7 if targeted specifically. When not in use, the wings have AC 9.

The most noticeable thing is that this hobgoblin has a large pair of leathery red wings, the material nearly semi-transparent in their infancy, sprouting from gaping holes in his back. On his forehead sprout curling black horns above red eyes. Though wearing scraps of armour, much of his fur has fallen out to be replaced by dull red scales and weeping boils. In one hand he holds a whip covered in spurs and wooden shield splashed with blood.

Bugbear of the Pit, NE, 30’, AC 4, HD 4+2, bite/weapon, 1d6+disease / 1d8+1 (mace), F3, Mo 9, xp 365

Ambush: Bugbears of the Pit retain their ability to surprise opponents 1-3 times on a d6.

Foul bite: His jaws have expanded to become a maw of jagged, broken teeth and rot. This inhibits their ability to speak, but not entirely. They have felt compelled to eat rotten and disgusting food, which inevitably becomes stuck in their maw. Combined with the demonic influences within them, the victim of any bite must Save vs Poison at -2 or contract Devil Chills. The disease shows symptoms in 1d4 days and causes 1d4 STR damage every day if they fail another Save vs Poison. The victim suffers a -1 cumulative penalty to his Save for every missed Save to avoid taking damage. The victim suffocates and dies if their STR reaches zero.

The stoop-shouldered brute has knobby gray-red skin and much off his natural fur has fallen out in clumps where weeping sores have burst. Strangely, his drooling jaws are huge, nearly splitting his cheeks, and filled with broken teeth and exposed bone. His raspy breath is especially foul. He carries a simple iron mace and a wooden shield splattered with black spittle.

Goblinoids of the Cursed Pit – Spawn of the Hezrou

Bugbear by Christopher Burdett

The Cursed Pits are the creation of foul goblinoid Warlocks. Due to their chaotic nature, most goblinoids who fall to worship of the power of the Lower Planes prefer Demons over Devils or the Undead. The Pits are pools of caustic ooze, glowing with fel magics and are powered by the caged and focused malevolent power of an enslaved Demon, Devil, or Undead spirit which are, in turn, empowered by the powerful magic of constant ritual sacrifice of other sentient races into the Pit. Needless to say, only the most powerful Warlocks, leaders of goblinoid armies, can hope to trick one of these deadly entities into service or make a deal with their master to force one onto the Material Plane.

The promise of ‘The Change’ calls tribes of followers of all the goblinoid races to the banner of a Warlock able to create a Cursed Pit. From Goblin slave-labour to Hobgoblin soldiers to Bugbear shock-troopers, even a few Ogres or Trolls; all those dedicated to evil and seeing the goblinoid races in supremacy heed the call to undergo The Change.

The Change, naturally, is quite hazardous to a goblin’s health. Many who are doused with the stinking ooze of the Pit do not recover from the burns, the infected boils, the agony, and horrific changes wrought by the demonic energies flowing through their bodies and die. Those that live find that they have taken on some aspects of the creature lurking beneath the slime. Their pain and suffering are turned to malevolent hate and they seek to inflict that pain onto others before the heat of the Pit burns out of their veins.

Spawn of the Hezrou

First, I’ll cover the three types of goblinoids created as a result of bathing in a Pit powered by a toad-like Hezrou demon. Keep in mind that these creatures are not demons and share none of the drawbacks or immunities of them, just some aspects. Generally, The Changed will gain a HD and some natural armour, along with a special ability.

Goblin of Hezrou, CE, 20’, AC 4, HD 2, 1d6+1, F2, Mo 8, xp 47

Acidic Touch: As a move action, once per day, he may spit in his hands, coating them with a clear acid. On a successful hit, the victim takes 1 acid damage every round until the wound is washed with water or vinegar. The acid remains for 4 rounds, but it used up on a single hit.

The horned goblin has a bloated gut that nearly touches the floor. It’s covered in weeping boils and sores. It grins abnormally wide and dribbles a foul-smelling goo into its clawed hand, which sizzles on the floor where it drips.

Hobgoblin of Hezrou, CE, 30’, AC 5, HD 2+3, 1d8+1, F2, Mo 10, xp 50

Acidic Weapon: They can spit on their maces once per round as a move action. Deals 1 extra point of acid damage if it hits. The damage only lasts that round and doesn’t cause damage the next turn.

The horned hobgoblin is a bloated, but muscular, hulk. His skin is covered in weeping sores and splits where muscle was stronger than flesh, and his eyes are a bloody red. His barely-fitting armour is covered in gore and he carries a crude black mace and a steel shield. Black and green ichor drips from his fanged mouth. 

Bugbear of Hezrou, CE, 30′, AC 3, HD 4+1, 1d8+2 (heavy mace), F4, Mo 11, xp 400

Hulking Darkness: The Bugbear is so infused with demonic energies that his fur has fallen out, his torso expanded, and his skin transformed into solid darkness, shrouding his exact location. Ranged attacks against him are at -4 to hit.

Fearful Strike: Once per day, when he strikes an opponent with less than 6 HD, they must Save vs Spell or be under the effect of a Scare spell (lasts 3d4 rounds, victim won’t initiate combat, but will fight back at -1 to hit and -1 to Saves). This effect is not wasted if it misses.

This bloated bugbear is nearly as large as an ogre and through a veil of inky shadow you spy bony plates and horns that have erupted through his furless skin. Black drool leaks from his cruel mouth and bloodthirsty madness is in glowing red eyes. He carries a huge iron mace.