February 1, 2016

Lovecraftian Monsters

Monsters
Comments from the Finger: Lovecraftian monsters are tricky. After all, anyone who gives you a stat block for a Great Old One is missing the point of lovecraftian horror. The monsters Lovecraft conceived can't be understood, reasoned with, or defeated. They are the definition of the unknown. So, no Great Old Ones here.
     These are monsters that a party might fight on their way to discovering clues about the Great Old Ones. They come from foreign worlds, or are tainted by their influence. Hopefully, these aberrations help fill out a Lovecraft session or two.


Neogi
Neogi are vicious, spiderlike scavengers, raiders, and slavers that sometimes disguise their predatory practices beneath a guise of mercantile dealings. They travel vast distances in their eerie, weightless ships.
     Slave Takers. The appearance of neogi vessels or caravans in a land is seldom taken as a good event. Neogi are great traders and merchants, but they are even greater raiders and despoilers. They trade if they must, but they prefer to fill their holds with treasure and slaves by simply taking what they want and leaving ruin in their wake.
     Neogi can psychically dominate other creatures, enslaving them to their will. On raids, neogi always take new slaves to add to their empire. With the constant replenishing of workers, the neogi have the means to fashion large fleets and dangerous weapons. Lands near neogi territory are always at risk of raids or even outright invasion.
     Strange Outsiders. The neogi are a great mystery to other races. They are strangers wherever they go. Their anatomy is alien. No one knows where they come from. They are foreign even in the Underdark.
     On other levels, the neogi are perfectly easy to understand. They are rapacious plunderers, greedy merchants, gleeful murderers, and slave hunters of the worst kind. They view everything, including their own lives, as something to be owned, and anything that can be owned is worth taking by any means
     Life Cycle. Neogi undergo three distinct stages in their lives: spawn, adult, and great old master. Spawn are small, hungry hunters, barely sentient. Adults are the most commonly encountered neogi—voracious, cruel, and brilliant monsters consumed with lust for gold and power. Great old masters are huge, bloated neogi approaching the end of their life spans, serving as living incubators for the next generation of neogi spawn.
Sidebar: Spelljamming Helms
As the neogi were originally from the Spelljammer campaign setting, their culture makes heavy reference to the flying ships that traverse between worlds in this setting, the spelljammer helms. With the help of these flying ships, the neogi spread their influence to every world, and across every world. Thus, trade and piracy are of chief importance to the neogi.
     If your setting does not have spelljammer helms or similar airships, you can still incorporate the neogi in your settings in a number of other ways. Perhaps the neogi are a strictly subterranean race, like the drow, and control a similar, or even rival, empire. Or perhaps the neogi launch their raids from the mountains and forests, establishing vast trade networks over land and sea. Whatever the implementation, the neogi are a powerful and formidable addition to any campaign world.

Neogi Spawn
Tiny aberration, lawful evil
Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 7 (2d4 + 2)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 35 ft.
STR 6 (-2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 13 (+1)
INT 12 (+1) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 12 (+1)
Saving Throws Dex +2
Skills Stealth +6
Condition Immunities charmed, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Undercommon
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
Magic Resistance. The neogi has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Spider Climb. The neogi can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Actions
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) piercing damage. and the target must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 4 (1d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Neogi Adult
Medium aberration, lawful evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 68 (8d10 + 24)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 35 ft.
STR 10 (+0) DEX 14 (+2) CON 17 (+3)
INT 12 (+1) WIS 11 (+1) CHA 12 (+1)
Saving Throws Dex +2
Skills Stealth +6
Condition Immunities charmed, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Undercommon
Challenge 3 (700 XP)
Magic Resistance. The neogi has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Spider Climb. The neogi can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
Actions
Multiattack. The neogi makes three attacks with its bite.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) piercing damage. and the target must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 4 (1d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Enslave (1/Day). The neogi targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed by the neogi until the neogi dies or until it is on a different plane of existence from the target. The charmed target is under the neogi's control and can't take reactions, and the neogi and the target can communicate telepathically with each other over any distance.
 Whenever the charmed target takes damage, the target can repeat the saving throw. On a success, the effect ends. No more than once every 24 hours, the target can also repeat the saving throw when it is at least 1 mile away from the neogi.

Neogi Great Old Master
Large aberration, lawful evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 138 (12d12 + 60)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 35 ft.
STR 14 (+2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 21 (+5)
INT 12 (+1) WIS 11 (+1) CHA 12 (+1)
Saving Throws Dex +2
Skills Stealth +6
Condition Immunities charmed, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Undercommon
Challenge 6 (2300 XP)
Magic Resistance. The neogi has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Actions
Multiattack. The neogi makes three attacks with its bite.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 10 (1d8+6) piercing damage. and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, or is poisoned until the end of its next turn and takes 4 (1d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Enslave (2/Day). The neogi targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed by the neogi until the neogi dies or until it is on a different plane of existence from the target. The charmed target is under the neogi's control and can't take reactions, and the neogi and the target can communicate telepathically with each other over any distance.
 Whenever the charmed target takes damage, the target can repeat the saving throw. On a success, the effect ends. No more than once every 24 hours, the target can also repeat the saving throw when it is at least 1 mile away from the neogi.
Spawn (Recharge 5-6). The great old master ejects a neogi spawn in a space adjacent to it. This spawn is stunned until the end of the great old master's next turn. The spawn acts on its own turn immediately following the great old master.


Unspeakable
The unspeakables were once ordinary humaonids, tragically corrupted and misshapen by the Far Realm's influence.
     Embodiment of Corruption. The unspeakables are aberrations born of ordinary life, malformed and twisted due to the influence of the alien Far Realm. Near portals, the strange dimension of the Far Realm is diffused across space and interacts unpredictably with matter. Living things that come close to these portals or pass through them can be irrevocably changed, forever tainted by the corruption of the Far Realm. Each unspeakable is unique, distinguished by its own random mutations, though a few prominent types do generally emerge from the mutation process.
     Sundered Minds. Of the thousands of mutations that can grip an unspeakable, each and every one is afflicted with unassailable madness. To them, reality as we know it is static, and the signal is something distant, only leaking into reality through the portals. Just as their bodies are torn between the planes, so too are their minds.
     Intrusion of living things to a region near a portal is likely to enrage the unspeakables, as the ordered material of our universe causes them great pain. In consequence, the unspeakables unknowingly serve as guardians to the portals of the Far Realm, awakening and attacking all who come near.

Brute
Medium aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 66 (7d10 + 28)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 35 ft.
STR 16 (+3) DEX 13 (+1) CON 18 (+4)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 13 (+1)
Skills Athletics +7, Perception +7, Survival +7
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning
Damage Vulnerabilities psychic
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages understands Common but can't speak
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
All-Around Vision. The brute has advantage on initiative rolls.
Actions
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d8+3) slashing damage.

Stalker
Medium aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 66 (7d10 + 28)
Speed 20 ft., fly 35 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 16 (+3) CON 18 (+4)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 9 (-1)
Skills Acrobatics +7, Perception +5, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning
Damage Vulnerabilities psychic
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages understands Common but can't speak
Challenge 4 (1100 XP)
All-Around Vision. The stalker has advantage on initiative rolls.
Actions
Multiattack. The stalker makes two attacks with its claws.
Additional Limbs. When the stalker hits with its claw, it can immediately make another attack against the same target.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 17 (2d12+4) slashing damage.

Wretch
Medium aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 114 (12d10 + 48)
Speed 25 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 35 ft.
STR 18 (+4) DEX 16 (+3) CON 18 (+4)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 7 (-2)
Skills Perception +8, Stealth +9
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning
Damage Vulnerabilities psychic
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages understands Common but can't speak
Challenge 6 (2300 XP)
All-Around Vision. The wretch has advantage on initiative rolls.
Whipping Tendrils. Creatures that begin their turn adjacent to the wretch must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC 15) or take 3d6 bludgeoning damage.
Actions
Multiattack. The wretch makes three attacks with its claws.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 17 (2d12+4) slashing damage.
Poison Breath (Recharge 5-6). The wretch exhales poisonous gas in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 20 (3d12) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Ravager
Large aberration, chaotic evil
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 125 (10d12 + 60)
Speed 40 ft.
STR 22 (+6) DEX 16 (+3) CON 22 (+6)
INT 9 (-1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 7 (-2)
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning
Damage Vulnerabilities psychic
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages understands Common but can't speak
Challenge 9 (5000 XP)
All-Around Vision. The ravager has advantage on initiative rolls.
Hideous Appearance. Creatures that begin their turn adjacent to the ravager must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 16) or have disadvantage on melee attacks against it.
Actions
Multiattack. The ravager makes three attacks, two with its claws and one with its tentacles.
Additional Limbs. When the ravager hits with a melee attack, it can immediately make another attack against the same target.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 19 (2d12+6) slashing damage.
Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 15 ft., one creature. Hit: 14 (2d10+3) bludgeoning damage.

Tsochar
Parasitic infiltrators from a cold and distant world, the tsochari seek to steal the bodies of the wealthy and influential to further their nefarious goals.
     Wearers of Flesh. A tsochar resembles a tangled mess of knotted ropes or a ball of barbed wire. It has dozens of thin but strong tentacles, each studded with small, sharp, sicklelike claws. Its body is little more than a thickening and joining of its multiple limbs.
     A tsochar can bore its way into a helpless living creature’s body, slipping its ropy tendrils into the spaces between organs and muscles and disappearing into the victim's cavities. The tsochar can inhabit this host for years, parasitically feeding on the host's body and nervous system while manipulating it as a living puppet, even against its will. If the host provides too much resistance, the tsochar can bore out the host's nervous system, killing it and replacing the host entirely. This is often the tsochar's last effort, as the body without fail begins to wither and die shortly thereafter.
     Appetite for Power. The tsochari crave power in all its forms, but hold arcane might in especially high regard. They eagerly seek out humanoid wizards to replace so they can steal away our world's arcane secrets. In order to achieve this goal, a small number of tsochari might infiltrate a church, university, or even a nation, inhabiting as much of the leadership as possible to seize a faction to further their efforts. Complex, grand schemes are not outside the scope of tsochari ambition.
     The ultimate goals of the tsochari are mysterious. It seems that they seek some deep arcane magic, but its purpose is largely unknown.
     Invaders from Another World. The tsochari hail from a world distant in space, a cold and lightless place so remote that the sun is little more than a bright star in a black sky. Long ago, powerful arcanists built gates linking certain terrible ruins in the normal world with the horrible world of the tsochari. Through these ancient gates, the tsochari steal into the world to roam human lands and infiltrate human society
     The Nine-Tongued Worm. Tsochari revere a sinister Elder Evil, Mak Thuum Ngatha, the Nine-Tongued Worm, which represents infinite knowledge and the destruction of barriers. Unlike many of the terrible and powerful Great Old Ones that dwell in the mindless chaos of the Far Realm, Mak Thuum Ngatha is interested in the Material Plane. Tsochari pay the Nine-Tongued Worm homage, but it has few worshipers among other races; only a handful of alienists and cultists even know of its existence. No being outside the Far Realm can say what the Nine-Tongued Worm’s desires or goals might be, but they are certainly inimical to every living creature on the Material Plane.

Tsochar
Small aberration, lawful evil
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 44 (8d8 + 8)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 35 ft.
STR 15 (+2) DEX 15 (+2) CON 13 (+1)
INT 14 (+2) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 10 (+0)
Skills Deception +4, Perception +4, Stealth +6
Damage Resistances lightning, poison
Condition Immunities blinded, prone
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages understands Common, but can't speak, telepathy 60 ft.
Challenge 4 (1100 XP)
Grappler. The tsochar has advantage on attack rolls against any creature grappled by it.
Actions
Multiattack. The tsochar makes two attacks with its tentacles.
Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d10+2) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a Small or larger creature, it is grappled (escape DC 15).
Wear Flesh. The tsochar can attempt to bore its way into the body of a Small or larger humanoid that is incapacitated or has been grappled for three consecutive rounds by the tsochar. This process takes 1 minute of concentration during which the target is incapacitated. This creature becomes the tsochar's host. The tsochar can choose to Inhabit or Replace the host.
 While inside a host, the tsochar cannot be targeted by attacks or spells. When the host takes damage (other than the damage the tsochar inflicts on it), the tsochar takes half this damage.
Inhabit. The tsochar leaves its host alive and aware. The tsochar can take no actions while inhabiting a host other than those described here.
 At any time as an action, the tsochar can inflict indescribable agony to its host, dealing 1d8 to 5d8 damage and incapacitating the host for 1 round. Each week the tsochar inhabits the host, the host's Constitution score decreases by 1. If the host dies for any reason, the tsochar can choose to Replace the host or leave it.
Replace. The tsochar bores out the host's nervous system, killing it and animating the body as its puppet. The body is effectively dead, and begins to decay at the normal rate. After 1 month, the host in uninhabitable. The host's body has HP equal to half its HP maximum and it can't regain HP.
 The tsochar can control the host's body directly and can take any actions of the host of its turn. If the host had spell slots prepared, the tsochar can cast spells as the host, but can't regain spell slots.



Changelog: 2/1/16: Tsochari: Challenge rating fixed on PDF
All monsters given ability scores in html

17 comments:

  1. Aw, you went with the 4e interpretation of Great Old Masters where they're still fully sapient. I always thought the version where they're incredibly senile and have been pumped full of spawn against their will is more illustrative of the overall neogi mindset.

    Also, is it intentional that none of the HTML statblocks include ability scores?

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    1. I'll read into the Neogi Great Old Masters a little more in depth. I used the 3.5 Lords of Madness Supplement for reference on this one, but I might have lost something in translation.

      And missing the ability scores is me being sloppy. I'll fix that tonight

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  2. Is it intentional that the tsochar is a Challenge Rating of 0?

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    1. No, that was me messing up the Stat Block. They're challenge 4, as it says in the html. I'll fix that sometime tonight

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  3. I have a whole bunch of stuff for my own Spelljammer setting (Dubbed Starjammer), so if y'all are interested i can start work on that as the next big "Update" pack

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    1. Sorry for being late. I'd appreciate it!

      Also, any plans on modern update? Something akin to Urban Fantasy, possibly utilizing the Modern Magic UA?

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    2. Not yet. Modern rules might be in the works eventually, but we have some other plans before we dig into them. Weird West is probably going to be the next big rules thing we do, which will be a useful bridge to Modern.

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    3. No worries, I'm still glad you're up to it!

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  4. I have a whole bunch of stuff for my own Spelljammer setting (Dubbed Starjammer), so if y'all are interested i can start work on that as the next big "Update" pack

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  5. Little surprised that the unspeakables don't have any mental resistances for something with such a warped mind, I was expecting resistance to psychic damage, or at least dark devotion like cultists

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    1. I actually considered that, but went the other way on this one. The Unspeakables' minds are their Achilles Heels. Since they were once ordinary creatures, the immense damage to their minds has given them fragile psyches and a vulnerability to psychic damage. They're very different than cultists, who are willing participants to all this madness, and thus I thought a different approach was necessary.

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  6. I love how this came out on my birthday. I feel like I need to run a Lovecraftian one-shot now. The Tsochar would be interesting to spring on the players.

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    1. The tsochari are my absolute favorite monster. Murder mystery + body snatching parasite makes for an awesome session. (If you page back to the Worldbuilding in the Background article, I dig into a session that later has a fun tsochari surprise)

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  7. Oh damn, the tsochar?! One of my favorites has returned! Maybe I can sneak them into a future campaign...

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    1. They're one of my favorites too. I gave 'em some extra love while writing them, so hopefully they play extra well too!

      Happy gaming!

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  8. These are absolutely phenomenal - the classic Lords of Madness monsters are very much appreciated, and the Unspeakable will get a lot of mileage as generic "horrible monstrosity" stats.

    How would you guys feel about drawing up statblocks for true Mythos Entities, out of the Lovecraft cannon? You're absolutely right about the great old ones being Too Big For Stats, but stuff like Mi-Go, Deep Ones (although DnD vanilla probably has enough murderous fishpeople), Men of Leng, Shantaks, and possibly Dark Young of Shub Niggurath. Hounds of Tindalos in particular seem like a great monster to hang a suitably Cosmic Horror adventure around.

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    1. I've thought about it, and it totally might come later. I have a to-do list in brief that I'd like to knock out for this Lovecraft Update, and these types of monsters, along with some classic D&D psionic monsters (like the Brain in a Jar) are on the list for the update to follow it.

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