Help creating a monster

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warlock1971
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Help creating a monster

Postby warlock1971 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 8:52 pm

Hi There!

I need some help with a specific monster I am trying to create. I haven't seen anything similar to oozes/puddings in the two Monsters of Legend books and would appreciate any input.

So my creature is of the ooze variety. It spreads over the cave floor and appears golden-amber in colour, but smells like rotting flesh, as a result of its dissolved dietary requirements. It slowly grows over its life span and can get as big (area-wise) as required by the GM. Its surface, the area that characters would step on, is very sticky, slowly dissolving organic matter that gets stuck.

I have written it so that fire, magic and perhaps sharp weapons will damage it but I am stumped as to how to stat it?

Any suggestions?

In the adventure module I have written, it occupies a large part of a cave floor that, hopefully, my PCs will attempt to walk across. :twisted:
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby soltakss » Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:29 pm

You could give it a token SIZ, depending on its area, say 1D6 per square metre. Give it a CON and it has Hit Points, but all Hit Points in a single location. It could have POW, but no STR, DEX, INT or CHA.

Its Sticky Skin might be a Trait. In the olden days, I'd have given it a Glue effect, with STR equal to its POW, but I cannot remember how Glue works now, or even if it exists.

It might have natural armour, reflecting the toughness of the skin. It might also simply reform after a while, so might have 1 point Regeneration per round.

I'd give it a Move 1, as it might be able to ooze a bit.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby warlock1971 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 6:29 pm

Thanks Simon, that is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for! Really appreciate it.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Sat Jul 25, 2015 7:49 am

In many ways I'd threat it as an elemental in that size dictates some characteristics. That said, it is a lump of protoplasm, it is not going to have high DEX, INT, CHA (APP), POW or anything other than sheer animal resistance to anything that affects its body.

It's a tough, slow lump of animal protein.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby warlock1971 » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:13 pm

Lord High Munchkin wrote:In many ways I'd threat it as an elemental in that size dictates some characteristics. That said, it is a lump of protoplasm, it is not going to have high DEX, INT, CHA (APP), POW or anything other than sheer animal resistance to anything that affects its body.

It's a tough, slow lump of animal protein.
That causes one to stick to its body as it dissolves oneself ... slowly. :twisted:

Thanks for the input.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:46 am

I'd be tempted to give the ooze's adhesion ability a Potency equal to it's STR + SIZ. Whenever it attempts to grab a victim, roll for hit location as normal. The attack itself does no damage, but the victim must win an opposed roll between his or her Brawn and the strength of the ooze's adhesive to avoid becoming stuck. Use the rules for the Entangle combat manoeuvre on p133 of the rulebook to resolve the effects of being stuck. To make things interesting, every round that the victim remains stuck, hit locations in contact with the ooze suffers Acid damage as per p76 of the rulebook. You can determine how strong you want the acid to be based upon how deadly you want the encounter to be. Don't forget to also apply the acid damage to any armour or equipment worn on hit locations stuck to the ooze - the look on the face of players when their character's armour starts dissolving is always fun. Adventurers may need to use the Craft (Armourer) skill to repair the damage done by the ooze after the battle.

If the SIZ of the ooze is greater than the SIZ of its victim, you might want to allow it to engulf its prey - slowly suffocating them as it digests them alive. I'd allow the victim a chance to avoid this fate by making an opposed Brawn or Evade roll against the ooze's SIZ x 2. An engulfed character suffocates using the asphyxiation rules on p76-77 of the Legend rulebook and suffers Acid damage each round to all hit points simultaneously.

Any character who suffers acid damage to the head hit location will suffer 1d3 points of CHA damage that last until a critical success on a Healing roll or the use of healing magic removes the scarring.

Finally, consider making the ooze resistant to edged and pointed weapons. Although bludgeoning weapons inflict full damage, weapons that can perform the Bleed or Impale combat manoeuvres only inflict half normal damage.

How does this sound? Mean enough :)
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Lord High Munchkin » Sun Jul 26, 2015 4:21 am

Prime_Evil wrote:Finally, consider making the ooze resistant to edged and pointed weapons. Although bludgeoning weapons inflict full damage, weapons that can perform the Bleed or Impale combat manoeuvres only inflict half normal damage.
I'd actually go the other way... blunt weapons inflict less damage as the impact shock is dissipated, while blades open up and carve deeply into the rather undifferentiated flesh. Projectiles would similarly punch in deep but ultimately cause little damage to such a robust creature.

An alternate view.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:02 am

Lord High Munchkin wrote:
Prime_Evil wrote:Finally, consider making the ooze resistant to edged and pointed weapons. Although bludgeoning weapons inflict full damage, weapons that can perform the Bleed or Impale combat manoeuvres only inflict half normal damage.
I'd actually go the other way... blunt weapons inflict less damage as the impact shock is dissipated, while blades open up and carve deeply into the rather undifferentiated flesh. Projectiles would similarly punch in deep but ultimately cause little damage to such a robust creature.

An alternate view.
Fair enough. The important thing is that the effectiveness of some of the party's weapons should be reduced when fighting an ooze. It makes up for the fact that all of the monster's hit points are in a single hit location and that the creature doesn't have much armour...
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby warlock1971 » Sun Jul 26, 2015 5:48 am

This is what I'm talking about ... I love the engulfing trait, as I can imagine the horror on the PCs' faces.

Another idea I want to develop is the stench aspect from the rotting corpses, mixing with the creature's acidic digestive juices. Debilitating effects from nausea are always frustrating to players.

Thanks for the comments.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Jul 26, 2015 7:32 am

I'd like to see a selection of traditional dungeon hazards that don't necessarily involve combat, but which can be dropped into an adventure to make life challenging for the PCs. One of the issues with running dungeon adventures with Legend / RQ 6 is that the combat system is so deadly - half of the party will end up maimed or dead by the third room. The solution is to make the adventure more about exploration than combat, and this requires a range of non-combat hazards to keep things interesting. Traps can help a bit, but it would be great to have a range of different options to fill this niche. Legend is a skill-based game rather than a class-based game, so you really want a range of different skill challenges - in particular, you want to reward those players who have dropped points into skills that only occasionally get a chance to shine.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby soltakss » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:01 am

warlock1971 wrote:Another idea I want to develop is the stench aspect from the rotting corpses, mixing with the creature's acidic digestive juices. Debilitating effects from nausea are always frustrating to players.
Give it a Foul Stench trait that requires the Adventurers make a Resilience roll or become incapacitated for 1D3 rounds, while they vomit, or pass out if they fumble.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby soltakss » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:07 am

Prime_Evil wrote:I'd like to see a selection of traditional dungeon hazards that don't necessarily involve combat, but which can be dropped into an adventure to make life challenging for the PCs. One of the issues with running dungeon adventures with Legend / RQ 6 is that the combat system is so deadly - half of the party will end up maimed or dead by the third room. The solution is to make the adventure more about exploration than combat, and this requires a range of non-combat hazards to keep things interesting. Traps can help a bit, but it would be great to have a range of different options to fill this niche. Legend is a skill-based game rather than a class-based game, so you really want a range of different skill challenges - in particular, you want to reward those players who have dropped points into skills that only occasionally get a chance to shine.
That can be difficult with physical encounters/obstacles. You could have a cliff to climb or crevasse to cross (Athletics), listening out for where a stream is (Perception), swimming to a different room (Swim), mending some apparatus to get to the other side of a wide chasm (Mechanisms) and so on, but you soon run out of different challenges and start repeating yourself.

With encounters, you could get to use more skills, but many Adventurers will simply treat the denizens as hostile and attack immediately. After all, the Adventurers have just come, uninvited and heavily armed, into the denizen's house/village, so might justifiably expect to be attacked.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby soltakss » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:16 am

Lord High Munchkin wrote:
Prime_Evil wrote:Finally, consider making the ooze resistant to edged and pointed weapons. Although bludgeoning weapons inflict full damage, weapons that can perform the Bleed or Impale combat manoeuvres only inflict half normal damage.
I'd actually go the other way... blunt weapons inflict less damage as the impact shock is dissipated, while blades open up and carve deeply into the rather undifferentiated flesh. Projectiles would similarly punch in deep but ultimately cause little damage to such a robust creature.

An alternate view.
You could give it a trait that makes it take minimum damage from all but fire-based attacks, so edged and blunt weapons do a bit of damage, but not a lot, due to the reasons quoted.
Prime_Evil wrote:I'd be tempted to give the ooze's adhesion ability a Potency equal to it's STR + SIZ. Whenever it attempts to grab a victim, roll for hit location as normal. The attack itself does no damage, but the victim must win an opposed roll between his or her Brawn and the strength of the ooze's adhesive to avoid becoming stuck. Use the rules for the Entangle combat manoeuvre on p133 of the rulebook to resolve the effects of being stuck.
I like those mechanics, nice and simple and fits with Legend.
Prime_Evil wrote:To make things interesting, every round that the victim remains stuck, hit locations in contact with the ooze suffers Acid damage as per p76 of the rulebook. You can determine how strong you want the acid to be based upon how deadly you want the encounter to be. Don't forget to also apply the acid damage to any armour or equipment worn on hit locations stuck to the ooze - the look on the face of players when their character's armour starts dissolving is always fun. Adventurers may need to use the Craft (Armourer) skill to repair the damage done by the ooze after the battle.
Although, as a GM, I love acid damage and always encourage it use, here this just makes it a sticky gorp.

I think that death by asphyxiation is far better for this creature than being burned by acid. I see it as taking weeks to digest a body.
Prime_Evil wrote:If the SIZ of the ooze is greater than the SIZ of its victim, you might want to allow it to engulf its prey - slowly suffocating them as it digests them alive. I'd allow the victim a chance to avoid this fate by making an opposed Brawn or Evade roll against the ooze's SIZ x 2. An engulfed character suffocates using the asphyxiation rules on p76-77 of the Legend rulebook and suffers Acid damage each round to all hit points simultaneously.
I like the engulfing ability, that would make a nice trait. If it is big enough, it could engulf multiple creatures. Maybe it could move up one location-worth per round, so legs one round, abdomen the next, then chest, then head.

If stuck, the Evade should have a penalty, so Brawn might be better, after all you are trying to scrub it from your body, rather than leaping away.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:15 am

soltakss wrote:That can be difficult with physical encounters/obstacles. You could have a cliff to climb or crevasse to cross (Athletics), listening out for where a stream is (Perception), swimming to a different room (Swim), mending some apparatus to get to the other side of a wide chasm (Mechanisms) and so on, but you soon run out of different challenges and start repeating yourself.
That's why we need some clear guidelines to help us to come up with a broad range of suitable challenges. You can use almost any skill in a dungeon situation with a bit of imagination. For example, what about using Evaluate to recognize the true value of a silver plate so badly tarnished it looks like mere pewter? Insight to work out which goblin is the leader of a group? Influence to open negotiations with a group of suspicious dungeon denizens?
soltakss wrote:With encounters, you could get to use more skills, but many Adventurers will simply treat the denizens as hostile and attack immediately. After all, the Adventurers have just come, uninvited and heavily armed, into the denizen's house/village, so might justifiably expect to be attacked.
If you look at early dungeon designs, something between 30 - 50% of all rooms are abandoned or otherwise empty. This is one reason why early D&D was fixated on "spores, molds, and fungi" (to quote Ghostbusters). These could be placed in an otherwise empty room to spice things up without introducing a combat encounter. Unfortunately dungeon design these days seems to be more about cramming as many potential combat encouters into the environment that in evoking the sense of mystery associated with exploring an underworld environment.

Interestingly, if you look at classic RQ products those dungeons that follow the classic paradigm (such as the one in the Apple Lane scenario pack) work well, while those that are excessively combat-heavy (e.g. Snakepipe Hollow) don't work as well in play. Also RQ (and by extension Legend) work best when the underworld environment contains opportunities for dynamic social interaction with the inhabitants - that's the lesson of Trollpak :)
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby The Wolf » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:36 am

I was always fond of throwing in things like a black pudding hanging inconspicuously over a doorway in the dark.

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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby warlock1971 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:55 am

Prime_Evil wrote:I'd like to see a selection of traditional dungeon hazards that don't necessarily involve combat, but which can be dropped into an adventure to make life challenging for the PCs. One of the issues with running dungeon adventures with Legend / RQ 6 is that the combat system is so deadly - half of the party will end up maimed or dead by the third room. The solution is to make the adventure more about exploration than combat, and this requires a range of non-combat hazards to keep things interesting. Traps can help a bit, but it would be great to have a range of different options to fill this niche. Legend is a skill-based game rather than a class-based game, so you really want a range of different skill challenges - in particular, you want to reward those players who have dropped points into skills that only occasionally get a chance to shine.
Yes agree, traps are a great device to get your players thinking too ...
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:21 pm

warlock1971 wrote:Yes agree, traps are a great device to get your players thinking too ...
True. But there is a tendency resolve traps with a couple of quick skill rolls rather than using them as an opportunity for creative play.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Olaus Petrus » Tue Jul 28, 2015 10:51 am

Lord High Munchkin wrote:In many ways I'd threat it as an elemental in that size dictates some characteristics. That said, it is a lump of protoplasm, it is not going to have high DEX, INT, CHA (APP), POW or anything other than sheer animal resistance to anything that affects its body.

It's a tough, slow lump of animal protein.
Elementals and especially Undine (it's description says that it's body is composed of a formless mass of liquid) were the first thing which came also to my mind when I was thinking what kind of stats and attacks a slime monster should have.

Quickest way to create such a monster would be using Undine as a template (stats are in both MRQII rule book and Arcania of Legend: Elementalism) and make the necessary modifications, like making it acidic. As this monster seems to be just a pool of acidic slime it probably should have shorter movement than what an Undine has, maybe even 0 if it's something which just expands over a very long time.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby Prime_Evil » Wed Jul 29, 2015 6:10 am

If we ever get a Monsters of Legend III, it would be great to cover some of the classic dungeon monsters.
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Re: Help creating a monster

Postby warlock1971 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:05 am

Prime_Evil wrote:If we ever get a Monsters of Legend III, it would be great to cover some of the classic dungeon monsters.
I like what Chris Tooley did for Magic World, over on the BRP forums.

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