Monday, February 25, 2013

Fiends from the Folio: FF Rejects

Can you believe how long it's been since I've done a "Fiends from the Folio" post? It's been since September since I've converted any monsters from that venerable tome -- my personal benchmark for monster awesomeness -- so I figured that what with this being Monster Monday, it's time for more FF-style monstrosities. But wait! I've been spending far too much time lately reading old issues of White Dwarf (and by old, I mean old). It dawned on me that it might be much more interesting to convert some of the monsters from the Fiend Factory column that never quite made it to the Folio. And so, I give you some of the stranger monsters that Don Turnbull decided were too weird even for the Fiend Folio.

Stinwichodech

Black blots upon reality warped by the most fiendish influences of Chaos itself, stinwhichodechs eke out a sparse existence in improbable places where only the most desperate beings without recourse to home or succor might dwell. In badlands, barrens, salt flats and frozen wastes, stinwichodechs are universally reviled by all other creatures who live there, even other servants of Chaos. Eight feet tall humanoids of stooped posture and covered in thick, close-cropped hair, they possess bug-eyed, frog-like heads sporting long, nearly prehensile tongues. Pitiable creatures to look upon, and barely possessed of enough intellect to survive, some consider it a kindness to slay these warped monstrosities, and indeed, those who slay them appear to be smiled upon by all the gods, even those of Chaos.

Stinwichodech

Init +1; Atk claw melee +2 (1d4 each) and tongue melee reach +4 (1d4 + 1d6 Luck damage); AC 13; HD 3d8 (13 hp); MV 20'; Act 3d20 (2 claws, 1 tongue); SP Luck damage (from tongue), Luck bounty (see below); Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +0; AL C.

The long, weaponized tongue of the stinwichodech unhinges its victims from reality with each slash, not merely doing 1d4 points of physical damage, but also 1d6 points of Luck damage. This Luck damage heals normally, but so long as it persists, the victim is reviled by any common folk who behold him; he appears to them to be more than a little "off" (due to his fragmentation from the universe) and acquires a -2d* penalty to Personality-based skill checks when dealing with superstitious people. Any and all of this Luck damage is repaired upon killing a stinwichodech. Further, the slayer (and only the slayer, not everyone who contributed to the kill) receives a bounty from the gods in the form of a permanent +1 to his Luck score, though he may only benefit from this bonus once per month.

Okay, I'll admit it. I didn't just convert this guy. I completely rewrote him. Originally, the stinwichodech's tongue attack, when it initially hit, added 1d6 to a random ability score, but its next hit did 1d6 damage to that same ability score. Apparently, back in the day, this led to people rotating front liners to gain the bonus to a random score while whittling these guys away. That just didn't sound like fun to me. It seemed like more fun if they stay a threat throughout the combat (and not just on round 2), but also that there's some reward for defeating them.

*Reduce the die type on these rolls by two steps. From a d20 to a d14, for example, or a d10 to a d7. 

Stair Stalker

There are strange monsters abroad in the world. There are monsters with heads not unlike giant nuts that haunt kitchen pantries in search of the puddings for which they crave. There are monsters who live only between the hours 3 and 5 in the afternoon, summoned forth from the ether and dimensions beyond man's reckoning by the aroma of steeping tea, floating like jellyfish in the air above teapots, stinging the carriers of tea services and the eaters of scones with poisonous tentacles unless anachronistic nursery rhymes are recited backwards. There are stranger monsters than even these and then there is the stair stalker.

This bizarre humanoid covered in shaggy green hair seems to spend the entirety of its life cycle only on staircases. Some suspect that staircases themselves call to these insane creatures across an unimaginable gulf of time and space and that they work great magics to come to bring these creatures across boundaries separating realities so that the staircases might always have someone to tread up and down their lonely steps. Others claim that, despite the stair stalker's clearly physical existence and ability to die, it is the ultimate reward for the souls of some degenerate race of stair-worshipers from some unknown, less-sophisticated dimension that has yet to discover how to get to the second story of a house. Still others claim that the stair stalker is the remnant of some poor wizard or elf whose delves into the arcane arts have left him irrevocably corrupted and mindless. Regardless, the stair stalker lives purely to ascend and descend stairs, never attacking except in self-defense, if someone tries to stop in its incessant ascent or descent, or if someone tries to push past it, say on a particularly narrow set of steps.

Stair Stalker

Init +0; Atk shaggy claw +2 melee (1d6); AC 19 (hair of steel!); HD 3d8+1 (14); MV 25'; Act 2d20 (claws); Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +1; AL N.