Friday, 12 October 2018

Some More Monsters From The Library

I've been writing more monsters. Some of these monsters are quite weird, I often write whilst quite sleep-deprived, I hope they make sense to people less addled by sleeplessness. Monsters are mostly done now, though, the book near's completion.

Lost Souls
The soul of one who died within the library, not yet drawn into the library’s machinery and distilled into a phantom.
A lost soul knows what happens to the souls of the dead here. They seek to avoid capture by the grey librarians and to preserve their own independence and sanity. Talking with one can reveal a great deal about the inner workings of the library and the nature of the engines and calculations within.
Roll a d12 for who the Lost Soul once was.
1. A mortal librarian.
2. A lost child.
3. A nun.
4. A mad nobleman.
5. A professor of mathematics.
6. A master burglar.
7. A famed assassin.
8. A plague-stricken doctor.
9. An emotionally tormented artist.
10. A mortal census-taker.
11. A historian.
12. A genteel necromancer.
Hit Dice 4, HP 8, Armour as unarmoured humans, see below for attacks, save as fighter 4.
Souls are gaseous beings, immune to all physical damage save that caused by magical items. They can pass through permeable objects, and are unaffected by fire, poison, and so on.
Roll two d8s for what powers the lost soul has.
1. Move objects about like a poltergeist. Roll to hit at +4 for d6 damage if it throws them at people.
2. Cause wet inky writing to appear on things.
3. Alter the memories of those present in minor ways: a Save vs Magic resists and alerts the victim.
4. Cause something to catch fire for a few moments: a Save vs Breath might be needed to avoid fire, and  it does d6 damage.
5. Lock doors securely.
6. Make vermin appear: masses of flies, cockroaches or woodlice:  attacking, they do d6 damage.
7. Create gusts of wind.
8. Make objects collapse or fall apart. Roll to hit at +4 for d6 damage if used to attack.

Ink Elementals

An oozing, creeping mass of ink. By turns, black, deep blue, or iridescent. Formless and fluid. As big as a horse. It seems and drips. It leaves a sticky black residue behind it.
The semi-elemental nature of Ink is to spread and flow. Whilst its own form is transient and ever-shifting, the marks it leaves behind are indelible. It is the constantly-shifting force that leaves a permanent record.
Hit Dice 5, HP 30, Armour as unarmoured humans, engulf (+5, d10), save as fighter 5.
Immune to physical weapons. Set alight by fire (takes 1 less damage each subsequent round as it continues to burn), normal damage from cold, electricity and other elemental damage. Can take any shape, seep through gaps, creep up walls.
Anything it touches is permanently stained black.
Each round, can ‘spend’ d6 HP to produce an Inkblot, or absorb an Inkblot to heal d6 damage.

The residue created by Ink Elementals. Slithering black stains that trail behind the elemental, leaving a trail of black smudges. The size of a handprint.
Hit Dice 1, HP 1. Armour as unarmoured humans, engulf (+1, d10), save as fighter 7.
Immune to physical weapons, normal damage from fire, cold, electricity and other elemental damage. Can take any shape, seep through gaps, creep up walls.
Anything it touches is permanently stained black.
Can combine with up to 4 other inkblots to produce a new Ink Elemental.

A large skull with a single eye-socket, perhaps taken from a cyclops, perhaps from some beast such as an elephant or deformed whale. Bleached white, perfectly preserved. Hanging in the air as if from invisible threads.
Intelligent. Pompous, impressed only by its own cleverness. Uses big words, belittles the intellect of those in discussion with it, loudly proclaims its own genius in conversation or battle. Despite its arrogance, a mighty foe that projects beams of necrotic power from the cavities and crevices in its skull.
Hit Dice 11, HP 22 Armour as chain, d6 necromantic laser-beams (+11, d6), save as magic-user 11. Normal undead immunities & vulnerabilities. Levitates.
The skull-warden’s single eye-socket emits a gaze that supresses magic. All magic ceases functioning where it looks for as long as its gaze lingers.
Each round, it can use one each of any of the following rays instead of one of its laser-beams. (They roll to hit as normal).
· Levitation (subject is lifted 10 feet per round while in the ray).
· Expansion (subject doubles in size while in the ray).
· Contraction (subject halves in size while in the ray).
· Stasis (subject is held in place and cannot move from its current position while in the ray).
· Attraction (subject is pulled 10 feet closer to the skull-warden each round that they remain in the ray, and cannot escape or move back).
· Petrification (turned to stone for d6 rounds, save vs magic resists).

Little floating teeth, each perfectly preserved. They hang in the air in a roughly mouth-shaped pattern. They talk in unity, the ‘mouth’ they create changing shape to match their words.
Their intelligence is somewhere between a group of children and a flock of birds. They chatter endlessly, think everything is exciting.
If a skull-warden is present, then the tooth-wardens fawn over it like children over a favourite grandparent. Everything the skull-warden does is wise and interesting and brilliant.
Hit Dice 1, HP 1 Armour as chain, chomp (see below), save as magic-user 1. Normal undead immunities & vulnerabilities. Levitate.
All the tooth-wardens make a single attack representing their collective jaws biting. It rolls to hit at +X, and does exactly X damage, where X is the amount of tooth-wardens in the jaws.

Animate Spells
A spell that has broken free of its constraining spellbook and now roams the library as an independent entity. A data-cloud of disembodied text hanging in the air, paragraphs intersecting with one another at odd angles. Letters cast strange shadows from the emergent, occult-significant, shapes they form.
The spell’s personality, nature and goals will depend on which spell it actually is, as will its powers. It wants to see  itself cast and to see the effects of its magic repeated (IE an animated fireball  spell just likes to see things burn in general, while an animated charm person spell likes people to be friends with each other).
Roll up a completely random spell from whichever game you’re using. If there are multiple spell lists, randomly select one, and then roll up a spell of a random level from that list.
Where the stats below refer to ‘spell level’, roll a d8 to determine the spell’s level if the system you’re using (Wonders & Wickedness, for example) doesn’t use spell levels.
Hit Dice = spell level, HP = double spell level Armour as unarmourmed, cannot attack, save as magic-user level = spell level.
Can cast itself once a round at no cost, with perfect control over the results.
As a spell rather than a creature, immune to all damage from non-magical sources. Furthermore, physical magical damage (IE from magic weapons) only ever deals 1 damage at a time.
Immune to damage and negative effects from sources that match up to the spell’s type (IE an animate ‘fireball spell’ is immune to fire).
Whenever the spell’s own spell (or a related spell) is cast  nearby, that effect is controlled by the animate spell, not the spellcaster (IE if you try to cast any ’charm’ spell near an animate ’charm person’, that spell is controlled by the animate spell). Effectively you lose the spell and it gets to cast it instead.
A successful antimagic field, dispel magic, etc, neutralises the animated spell.
Any unfilled spell-slots in magicians are immediately filled by the animate spell’s own spell on encountering it. Likewise spellbooks immediately gain a copy of it for free.

Infernal Merchants
A visitor from Hell. The library contains souls, trapped and catalogued, and considering that souls form the main currency of Hell, this has resulted in a certain degree of financial interest from the devils.
The infernal merchant is here to trade souls. He might buy them or trade them for some service, or else be willing to sell souls from his stock if a good price is offered.
He will seem helpful. He isn’t. His three goals are to enrich himself, to entice mortals into damning themselves and to cause mortals to suffer. Everything he offers is a trap, his contracts carefully worded to screw the mortal signee. Small print is written on an atomic scale.
His prices are, when you think about them, very reasonable.
HD 8, HP 16, Armour as chain, Whip/claws/pitchfork/flensing knife (+8, d8 damage), saves as fighter of equal HD.
Halve damage not from holy, magical, or silver weapons. Double damage from holy sources. Immune to mind-control that doesn’t specifically target infernal beings.

Roll a d12 for its appearance. It is:
1. Angelic
2. A goat-human hybrid.
3. A bat-human hybrid.
4. A huge serpent.
5. Corpselike.
6. Perfectly human looking. other than tiny horns.
7. Perfectly human looking, with an evil goatee and moustache.
8. A serpent-human hybrid.
9. An empty robe that oozes smoke.
10. A mass of chains and locks in a humanoid form.
11. An innocent-looking human child, with a forked tongue.
12. A savage-looking humanoid with six arms.

Roll a d12 to determines a special ability the devil possesses.
1. Can turn any object or being to solid gold by touching it, at will.
2. Can transform into a cloud of flies.
3. Can transform into a harmless-looking animal.
4. Can mimic the appearance of the viewer’s loved-ones.
5. Touch drains memory (d12 damage to intelligence).
6. Can teleport short distances in a puff of smoke.
7. Can sculpt flesh like soft wax (2d6 damage when used to mutilate).
8. Can locate the soul of a specified individual unerringly.
9. Immune to fire.
10. Casts charm person when it shakes your hand.
11. Casts suggestion at will, but requires the victim to answer a direct question to do so.
12. Can resurrect the dead. No need for an intact body. The dead come back… altered.

The devil can grant each mortal a single wish. It requires payment to do so. Perhaps their soul upon death. Perhaps the murder and delivery of somebody else’s soul. Perhaps some seemingly innocuous task. Unless you’re incredibly precise with your wording, the wish will be perverted and made evil. You’ll get precisely what you asked for, but you’ll wish you hadn’t.
It is evil. It is smarter than the PCs.

Escaped Fictions
Once, these beings were mere characters in a story-book, but now they’ve clawed their way out into the fractally-dense information-cloud of the library. They’re not really real, but its hard to tell because they’re so convincing.
They subconsciously crave reality. To warp the real world around their narrative so that they are part of the everyday order of things. Reality obliges. Where they pass, things alter to fit the fiction they have emerged from. You’re playing by their rules, now.
Roll a d12 to determine who you meet:
1. Don Quixote, who tilted at windmills.
2. Frankenstein’s Monster, who was built from corpses.
3. Grendel, a monstrous inhabitant of the wilderness who hates noise and celebration, one arm torn clean off.
4. Doctor Faustus, an occultist regretting selling his soul.
5. Count Dracula, the monstrous vampire.
6. Lady Macbeth, ambitious and murderous, and of much-degraded sanity.
7. The Ghost of Christmas Future, who delivers dire warnings to the mean-spirited.
8. Bluebeard, a dashingly handsome murderer of his many wives.
9. Sir Lancelot, brilliant knight and enthusiastic adulterer.
10. Robin Hood, a charitable bandit and excellent shot.
11. Puck, the mischievous fairy sprite.
12. Jack the Giant-slayer, young and reckless but cunning.
5 HD, 15 HP,  Armour as that worn by the character, as weapon carried by the character (+5, d8) or else unarmed (+0, d4), saves as Thief 5.
Have any vulnerabilities, quirks, powers or immunities appropriate to their character.
Attacks or other actions against them that do not fit the setting or ‘narrative style’ of the work they are from fail automatically.  (For example, guns simply don’t exist to Sir Lancelot, and he cannot be harmed by them).
Reality shifts to accommodate the character, and behaves like the setting they’re from, not ‘real’ reality. Actions intended to fit the character’s setting and narrative automatically succeed.
 In practice, this means that you should alter the tone and feel of your game while an escaped fiction is around. Some examples include:
¨ Blood doesn’t get spilled around characters written for children. Tone down any descriptions of gore or violence.
¨ Conversely, for characters from more bloody and brutal tales, ratchet the violence all the way up.
¨ Horror characters come with appropriately gothic lighting and effects.
¨ Technology reverts to that of the time-period of the character’s setting. Items from later in history (such as guns and clockwork, perhaps) simply cease to function.
¨ In extreme examples, the PCs may be able to hear the non-diegetic soundtrack (trumpet fanfares for Lancelot, or low, tense strings for Lady Macbeth for example).

Patrolling Apparitions
A spiritual monstrosity, dozens of souls stripped down to their barest essential nature and fused into an amalgamated weapon. Like the spiritual equivalent of weaponizing nuclear waste.
It’s barely more than a presence. A shimmer in the air, a mirage. Out of the corner of your eye, an impression of humanoid silhouettes, screaming faces, grasping hands. The smell of dust and rusty water.
It should not be. Every conscious being knows that what has been done is degenerate, instinctively finds the presence horrifying. They loathe and fear it.
The librarians use these beings to track down thieves and spies. They don’t seem to mind their presence at all.
Hit Dice 3, HP 9, Armour as unarmoured humans, Chill Miasma (save vs paralysis to avoid, d8 damage), save as fighter 3.
Apparitions are gaseous beings, immune to all physical damage save that caused by magical items. They can pass through permeable objects, and are unaffected by fire, poison, and so on.
Merely being in an apparition’s presence is painful. Each round, take 1 automatic damage.
Attacking it (in melee, at range, with spells, or in any other way) likewise forces you to concentrate on it, dealing another 1 automatic damage.
Any damage dealt by the apparition also permanently reduces your lowest stat by that much.
If anybody is killed by damage by the apparition, their soul is ripped from their body, twisted and mutilated by the apparition, and becomes a shade (See P. XX) under its total control.
If anybody is reduced to 0 in an attribute by the apparition, their soul is syphoned out by the apparition and consumed. It is gone forever, that person can never be recovered or resurrected. As a final insult, the apparition heals all damage when they consume a soul in this way.

Black Ooze
Like the green slime found infesting less genteel dungeons. Black ooze is a simple life-form that grows in unattended nooks and crannies. It feeds on mental energy. Touching it allows it to digest your brainwaves, causing it to grow rapidly as it absorbs and incorporates your mind. It oozes like an amoeba. It creeps under floorboards and behind wallpaper.  It’s hungry.
Hit Dice d8, Hit Points = Hit Dice, Armour as unarmoured. Mental Digestion (see below)saves as Fighter = Hit Dice.
As an ooze, takes a maximum of 1 damage from any slashing or piercing attack. Mindless. Can climb up walls, squeeze through gaps, etc.
Mental Digestion gets a bonus to hit equal to the ooze’s current hit-dice (IE a 5HD ooze gets +5 to hit). Every time you touch it, it gets to make a free Mental Digestion attack against you (rolling to hit as normal).
It deals d6 damage to the victim’s intelligence score, plus the victim’s current Intelligence modifier. (IE an Int 8 victim takes d6-1 intelligence damage, because they have a –1 intelligence modifier). The ooze then gains as many hit dice as the damage dealt.

Conceptual Wells
An intellectual absence, cosmic censorship. A space that cannot be perceived or conceptualized. Like a psychological black hole.
It cannot be perceived directly. Describe it in the negatives; for example ‘there isn’t something horrible in the room’ or ‘nothing has rolled a 6 for its initiative’ or ‘the thing that is not in front of you attacks’ or ‘nothing is definitely responsible for your comrade’s death’. The players might catch on eventually, it’s just a matter of how badly it will have mutilated their PCs.
The PCs can target it using the same language. ‘I’m going to shoot nothing’ or ‘I’m not fleeing from anything’. Likewise they can get details about it by asking negative questions, such as ‘where isn’t there anything?’ or ‘what does nothing here look like?’
(If it matters, the conceptual well doesn’t look like a helpless child of around four years old. It isn’t young and innocent, and it isn’t curious about its surroundings and playful. It isn’t basically helpless as soon as the PCs actually attack it, and it doesn’t die pitifully.)
It will get confusing. Good. This is an accurate simulation of what it’s like encountering something you can’t perceive and which directly assaults your ability to comprehend the external world.
Hit Dice 1, Hit Points 1, Armour as unarmoured, Erase Concepts (save vs magic to resist, see below), saves as magic user 1.
Each round, for each PC that fails their save, the conceptual well drains their ability to comprehend some idea or concept. Roll a d10 for what they forget:
1. That People Can Die
2. Money & Its Value
3. That Violence Exists
4. What Fire Is
5. That Other People Have Feelings Too
6. Gravity & That Things Fall
7. That People Can Lie
8. Where New People Come From (IE Babies etc)
9. What Families Are
10. That Social Inequality Exists
Acting in any way that suggests the PC is, in fact aware of an erased concept deals d20 damage to them unless they immediately retcon the action when prompted.


  1. As someone else who is sleep deprived, They seem pretty cool to me. Nice mix of cute, creepy*, and just plain interesting.

    Go Lost Souls! Save yourselves from getting compressed into Phantoms!

    *It's entirely possible that the Patrolling Apparitions may contribute to further sleep deprivation.

  2. Whenever I start getting conceited about my own creativity and accomplishments, I somehow stumble into a post like this, which always serves to take me down a peg. The raw creativity and brilliant vision on display here, it is astonishing!

  3. I like this. It's like a hardcore Pagemaster