The last post in my series on the urban adventure setting covers new monsters to menace the heroes.
Even though Feuterre-Eau’air is supposed to be civilised territory, that has not stopped the urban setting from being infested with new and terrible breeds of lurking horrors.
These monsters are my conversions of enemies from the book Into the Cess and Citadel.
Enemy: Brick Tick
The Brick Tick is an animated brick with a series of spider-like legs protruding from its body that is spontaneously multiplying in Feuterre-Eau’air. It makes its home by burrowing into stone and brick walls, replacing missing bricks and slowly taking on the physical attributes of its “home wall.” From here it will attempt to ambush unsuspecting travellers by launching itself at their heads. It can’t actually eat the victims it kills in this matter and usually just impotently clings to the bodies until growing bored and crawling back into its home wall. Most insidious is its ability to multiply, for a Brick Tick that stays lodged in its home wall for too long will begin to animate the surrounding bricks into Brick Ticks as well.
|DX:||14||Will:||10||Move:||6 (Ground or Climbing)|
Pouncing Slam (20): On a hit, both target and attacker roll thrust-2 crushing damage (the Brick Tick gets +3 per die for the 7 yards of the super jump, so it rolls 1d cr). Can jump up to 7 yards. Often attacks the face (-5) to ignore open-faced helmet DR or the head (-7) for a x4 wounding modifier. Must roll Jumping afterward, failure means it ends its turn lying down in the same hex as the target. Whoever rolled the lower damage must make a DX roll or fall down, and fall automatically if the higher damage roll was at least twice as much. If the Brick Tick misses or dodges, it must run at least two hexes past the target if it has enough movement left – and if there’s something solid there, roll its damage against itself!
Traits: Striking ST 7 (Pouncing Slam); High Pain Threshold; Homogeneous; Horizontal; Cannot Learn; Unnatural; Doesn’t Breath; Doesn’t Sleep; Doesn’t Eat or Breath; Extra Legs (Four Legs); Immunity to Disease; Immunity to Poison; Indomitable; No Blood; No Fine Manipulators; No Neck; Pressure Support; Unfazeable; Unhealing (Total); Spider Climb (Move 6); Super Jump (7 yards); Dependency (Mana; Constantly); Limited Camouflage (Urban).
Skills: Jumping-16; Climbing-16; Stealth-14 (in urban areas); Camouflage-14 (only in urban areas).
Notes: Can be affected by relevant spells like Control Earth Elemental. Usually appears in clusters of 2d or walls of 4d. Destroyed Brick Ticks crumble into magically charged dust (negligible weight), worth $23 per destroyed Brick Tick to an elemental wizard.
Enemy: Cobblestone Crab
The Cobblestone Crab is a massive crustacean known for living within the streets of the city. With their carapace mimicking the cobblestones surrounding them, unsuspecting travellers are at risk of walking right into their terrifying claws. Voracious omnivores, there is nothing a hungry crab will not attempt to wrestle back into its lair.
|Dodge:||8||Parry:||10||DR:||7 (Hardened 1)|
Pincers (14): 1d+3 cutting. Reach C, 1. Any hit counts as a grapple, regardless of whether it penetrates DR. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part. It can strike with each of its pincers.
Traits: Limited Camouflage (Urban); Extra Attack 1; Extra Legs (Eight); No Neck; Peripheral Vision; Vibration Sense (Air); Wild Animal.
Skills: Brawling-14; Camouflage-12 (only in urban areas).
Class: Dire Animal.
Notes: Hardened 1 DR reduces Armour Divisor of attacks by 1. Cobblestone Crab meat is a delicacy, many restaurants pay top coin for fresh morsels – a properly harvested (roll Survival or Naturalist) crab yields 6d pounds of food (worth $40 per pound) and takes 1d hours to cut up and process.
Enemy: Dire Pigeons
The Dire Pigeon is a monstrous counterpart to its common cousin. Standing two heads taller than the average person, it is a predator and scavenger that plagues the streets and roofs of the city. Most are unable to properly bathe themselves and so pick up horrible odours as well as being infested with lice and parasites. Dire pigeons are voracious eaters. When unable to scavenge meals from the garbage, they will attack and eat anything smaller than themselves (including pets and children) before returning to their hidden roosts. Dire Pigeon roosts are hidden in the forgotten and abandoned places of the city and are marked by the trademark white droppings that paint the exterior sides of their homes. Folks are wary of abandoned towers and warehouses that bear these trademark alabaster stains. However, attacks can be avoided by distracting the birds with large quantities of bread and seed.
|DX:||10||Will:||10||Move:||15 (Air) or 3 (Ground)|
Pecking Beak (12): 1d+2 pi, Reach C,1. Often targets the face (-5) to avoid open-faced helmet DR. Disease-ridden, hurt enemies must roll HT (with penalty equal to injury) to resist disease.
Wing Buffet (12): 1d+2 cr, Reach C,1.
Stench of Garbage (HT to resist): Anyone smelling the monster within 5 yards must protect their sense of smell or roll HT to resist nausea for (margin of loss) minutes. Critical failure means (25-HT) seconds of retching.
Traits: Wild Animal; Gluttony (9); Flight; No Manipulators; Sharp Beak.
Skills: Aerobatics-12; Brawling-12; Urban Survival-12.
Class: Dire Animal.
Notes: Flocks of Dire Pigeons typically number N+2 to Nx2. More lethal examples of Dire Pigeons have better Brawling skill, higher HP, Combat Reflexes, and target the eyes (-9) for pecking. There have been successful attempts to domesticate these monsters and train them as flying mounts. One particularly enterprising merchant has even started a “legitimate” delivery company using the birds to deliver packages and parcels across the city and beyond. A captured Dire Pigeon tamed for airborne transport is worth $4000 and is illegal.
Enemy: Waking Wall
These cruel and ancient creatures have stalked the darkest parts of the city since the beginning. The Waking Wall appears as a disembodied mouth that glides along the broken walls and cavern floors of the Undercity. A stealthy and cunning predator, it ambushes unaware victims and disappears as soon as it has had its fill. Despite their cruelty, they are not simple monsters. Capable of speech in many modern and archaic languages, they are deviously intelligent with stores of secret and profane information.
|DX:||10||Will:||12||Move:||6 (see notes)|
Serrated Bite (15): 2d-1 cut, Reach C. Any hit counts as a grapple, regardless of whether it penetrates DR. Treat as a weapon (Striker), not as a body part. Once grappled, the monster may Swallow Whole and Chew (see below).
Swallow Whole and Chew: Once grappled, the victim is pinned if of lower SM than the monster, or partly stuck in the mouth and grappled if of equal or greater SM. The victim can break free by winning a Quick Contest of ST (allowed only every 10 seconds if pinned); the monster has +10 to ST if pinning or +5 if grappling. Every turn, roll a Quick Contest between the monster’s effective ST 22 vs. the higher of the victim’s ST or HT. Damage is equal to the monster’s margin of victory.
Traits: Universal Digestion (Organic only); No Manipulators; Silence 3; Constriction Attack; Homogenous; No Blood; Language (Elder Tongue); Language (Ancient); Sadism (12); Callous; Sharp Teeth; Limited Camouflage (Urban).
Skills: Camouflage-17 (20 when not moving); Stealth-17 (20 when not moving); Brawling-15; Hidden Lore (any)-15; Wrestling-15.
Class: Elder Thing.
Notes: Truly evil. Willing to negotiate, will divulge secrets in exchange for 1d meals of fresh meat. Move 1 when chewing on the victim, can drop the victim as a free action to increase Move. Effective ST 22 due to high Wrestling skill. Only Moves along walls or any flat surface as long as they are physically connected. Spellcasting variants exist, with Power Investiture (Elder) and spells at 15. Waking Walls may have all sorts of esoteric knowledge skills and Languages not noted above.
Rightfully feared, the Leipodap leaves behind only the desiccated skin and bones of its victims, earning them the nickname “Skinner Moths,” and a reverence typically only afforded to serial killers. Standing 8 feet tall with a 10 feet wingspan, this giant moth roams the deep and sunless back alleys searching for prey. Its mottled ragged wings mimic the pattern of ruined brick and crumbling mortar, providing camouflage as it waits against building facades to ambush its next meal. They are solitary creatures, only congregating during the mating season, a dangerous and mysterious event as few survive long enough to document the behavior. The scales on the back of the Leipodap’s wings are almost holographic, allowing for subtle shifting of muted colors to assist with blending into the environment. However, their undersides are another story altogether: hundreds of dizzying colors that shift and blend with the subtlest changes in light and movement. When beaten quickly it overwhelms the visual synapses of sentient creatures, causing them to go comatose for a brief period of time. Just long enough for the Leipodap to begin digesting and drinking the victims’ insides.
Serrated Claws (15): 1d-1 cut, Reach C,1. Can attack twice per turn.
Prismatic Wings (resist with Will): Requires a Concentration manoeuvre. Anyone within eyesight of the monster must roll Will to resist, failure means the victim is mentally stunned, critical failure means the victim suffers daze.
Traits: Extra Attack 1; Chameleon 6; Flight; Wild Animal.
Skills: Camouflage-14 (20 when not moving); Brawling-15.
Class: Dire Animal.
Notes: Unable to negotiate. If not encountered solo, groups are N in number, or Nx3 for a whole colony.
Roughly the size of fully grown alligators, Grimbenders are a species of predatory salamanders that sport a powerful bite, hooked teeth, and a bioluminescent anglerfish-like lure. Capable of prowling the tunnels on foot or swimming through thick sewage with ease, they make their hunting grounds and spawning areas in every corner of the Undercity. Predominantly ambush predators, Grimebenders use the element of surprise to take down larger or more dangerous prey. Hiding in the muck and waiting for days on end, they will pick high-traffic areas to hunt in, boasting an incredible memory and sense of direction. They avoid direct conflict unless desperate, choosing to snare their prey with their “lamp” lure and pull them away from their allies, leading to horrifying stories told by delvers of friends being dragged away, screaming, into the dark.
|DX:||13||Will:||10||Move:||4 (Water 8)|
Bite (13): 4d-1 cutting + follow-up grapple. Reach 2.
Grapple: Anyone bitten is grappled (as two-handed grapple for breaking free). After grappling it can bite each turn without an attack roll, or attempt a Quick Contest of ST to pull its victim underwater.
Tail Whip (13): 4d+4 crushing. Reach C-3 (rear), C-2 (either side), or C (front).
Traits: Amphibious; Cold-Blooded (50º); Combat Reflexes; Extra Attack 1 (bite and whip); Limited Camouflage (Sewer); Nictitating Membrane 2; Quadruped; Vibration Sense (Water); Wild Animal; Absolute Direction; Photographic Memory.
Skills: Camouflage-15 (Only in urban sewers); Stealth-15 (Only in urban sewers); Swimming-16.
Class: Dire Animal.
Notes: The lamp on the monster’s angler burns with as much light as a lantern, which can be harvested (requires a Survival or Surgery roll) and fashioned into a lantern that runs on blood (1 HP lets it be lit for an hour each) rather than oil (same weight as a mundane lantern, worth double the value as one). Unable to negotiate, but may be tricked or lured by meat. Eyes and vitals only DR 2; usually only underwater foes can target vitals.
A massive construct inhabited by a spirit takes on the facade of a broken and chipped statue. Only a thin sensual mouth remains on its face, belying the circlet of arms that sprout from behind it. Shaped like a holy deity and embossed with gilt and gems, the Numenwicht lusts for the devotion and religious fervor it once inspired. Those who it cannot subjugate with its lording voice it seeks to vanquish with its godly arsenal. The Numenwicht is older than many of the tunnels and halls of the Undercity; where it came from and who gave it life is unknown. While scholars have debated its connection with the many strange artifacts found throughout the Undercity, without the ability to interpret the language of the Numenwicht, there is little hope in understanding its fervent quest for worship.
Lodestone Weapons (13): Maul (3d+8 crushing, Reach 1, 2, 3*) or executioner’s sword (3d+6 cutting, reach 1, 2, 3) or great axe (3d+6 cut, Reach 1, 2, 3*) or great flail (3d+6 cr, Reach 1, 2, 3*, -4 to parry, knives and fencing weapons cannot parry. -2 to block). Immune to magic. Can attack up to 4 times per turn.
Stone Fist (12): 2d-1 crushing. Treat as weapon, not as body part. Reach C, 1, 2. Can attack up to 4 times per turn.
Traits: Unhealing (Partial, healed by Making spells); Unnatural; Doesn’t Breathe; Doesn’t Eat or Drink; Doesn’t Sleep; High Pain Threshold; Homogeneous; Immunity to Disease; Immunity to Poison; Indomitable; No Blood; Pressure Support; Selfish (12); Immunity to Mind-Control Magic; Flight (Hovering); No Legs (Aerial); Berserk (Goes into battle rage if mind-control magic is attempted on it); Language (Ancient); Extra Arms (Six Arms); Extra Attack 4; Fanaticism (Religious); Obsession (Worship) (12); Power Investiture (Holy) 3; Energy Reserve (Holy) 14.
Skills: Brawling-12; Theology-10; Religious Ritual-10; Two-Handed Axe/Mace-13; TwoHanded Sword-13.
Spells: Command-15; Charm-15; Loyalty-15; Weaken Will-15; Compel Truth-15; Continual Light-15; Truthsayer-15; Sunlight-15; Repair-15; Protection From Evil-15.
Class: Divine Servitor/Construct.
Notes: Can be provoked, tricked or swayed with Religious Ritual or Theology skills to take advantage of its pretenses of godliness. Affected by Pentagram, Banish and other spirit-related spells. The ancient weapons and blades of the Numenwicht are composed of finely crafted magnetic stone (treat as meteoric iron). Leaves behind a valuable gilded and gem-studded giant statue remnant if Banished or destroyed, worth $103200 and weighing 1980 lbs.