Monday, November 26, 2012

Aethyric Eel

Aethyric Eel
No. Enc.: 2d4
Alignment: Any Evil
Movement: 120' (Passwall at will)
Armor Class: 6*
Hit Dice: 2+2
Attacks: 2
Damage: 1d6 or Special
Save: F3
Morale: 4 (gains +1 every successful attack)

Special: On a successful attack, Aethyric Eels can cause CHAR damage, forcing the victim to make a Save or suffer the loss of 1 point of CHAR. Those victims who have been previously struck receive a cumulative -1 penalty to the next Save attempt. Victims reduced to 0 CHAR in this manner have their faces removed, leaving behind only their mouth in an otherwise featureless non-face. Survivors regain CHAR at a rate of 1 point per full day of rest, but their face, if removed, is permanently lost. There are rumors of spells and/or entities that might be able to give one a new face, rebuild the old one, or otherwise help restore the victim to a semblance of normality. Dopplegangers are believed to know how to stitch together new faces for those willing to trust them...and if you can meet their price...

*Aethyric Eels automatically subtract 1 from all damage caused by non-magical weapons used against them.

Sinuous, gelatinous denizens of the near aethyrial, these creatures squiggle and wriggle through the weird geometries and tumbled existential debris in search of faces to devour. Blind and faceless in their own right, the Aethyric Eels navigate by virtue of a form of ESP that seems to let them sense the presence of dreamers and spell-casters in particular. They are inordinately fond of taking away the faces of spell-casters, somnambulists, sleepwalkers, and the like. So much so that they will often forgo attacking easier prey in order to latch onto their preferred victims.

The supple quasi-material skins of Aethyric Eels can be preserved by immersing them within pink brine or vinegar. Skins preserved in pink brine can be converted into incredibly soft gloves that can enable the wearer to reach past walls or barriers. The skins kept in vinegar are better suited to making armor that affords the wearer an additional bonus against aethyric and similar (Immaterial) attacks, spells and effects. Both sorts of  items require experienced master craftsfolk to produce; the kind of experts and adepts one would expect to find among Dobble-Kin, certain reclusive bands of Simulacra or 'gangers...

12 comments:

  1. Your creature posts are often amazing, and they seem to getting better too, in the presentation for sure. Another beastie that's wonderfully bizarre and oddly feasible. As ever, the ideas you spin off it are very inspiring.

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    1. Thanks. I'm always experimenting with the presentation/format. There are a lot of options to try out still.

      The early games I played in, back in the Seventies, emphasized a sort of 'make the most of your resources' style or approach. Creatures were more than just weaponized treasure dispensers. Sometimes the treasure was the monster itself. Or what could be done with the monster, like making armor from dragon-hide.

      A lot of my favorite monsters are built to open things up or to present possible options/new directions to examine or explore. Monsters change things. Monsters can be disruptive. Often their real influence isn't appreciated or understood until long after the thing is dead. That's a theme you'll see all through our stuff.

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  2. Nice little Whoovian reference at the end.

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    1. Really? That's unintentional, if it is there. These critters are coming out of the Oneiric/somnambulist layers of stuff surrounding Wermspittle. I would have thought it was closer to C.S. Lewis than Who, but okay...the Doctor is cool too...

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  3. My apologies. I thought you were dropping a reference to this http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Ganger but I should know by now that your source material typically precedes this. :)



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    1. Dobble-Kin...Simulacra...'gangers. There's a definite doppleganger theme going there and 'gangers was playing off of both gang bangers and dopplegangers. There are face-swapping gangs, they don't just mug people but give identity theft a nasty revision...so I can see where the connection was made on your end, but I'm digging around in fairy tales and such-like. It's nice to see that there is a Whoovian connection though. I like the folkloric version of these things and how they can be reinterpreted along different avenues.

      Thanks for the link. I don't get to watch Doctor Who very often, not having cable. I'm definitely going to have to catch-up on all of these episodes that I've missed since the Tom Baker days, though I did see a rather intriguing couple of fan-produced excerpty-things about the Tardis-in-humanoid-form and River Song/Mrs.Doctor that were quite good. Maybe I can get a few seasons-worth on DVD from the library for over the holidays.

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  4. Another great monster. I love the name too. Looks strange (in a good way) on the printed page.

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    1. Thanks Trey. Some of the names just fall into place...like this one. My usual test is to try and say the name in my best Shatner-voice. If I can say it without cracking up too badly, then maybe it'll work...

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  5. Yes, I haven't run first or second edition in a couple of decades, but creature descriptions like these ones really make me want to do so! I just love the details in the yellow paragraph and the final paragraph. Please don't take my face!

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    1. The stats and/or rules aren't really all that important. Once you have some idea of what the monster is like, what it does, how it behaves, then you can adapt it to whatever system without a whole lot of fuss or bother. Each monster is like the gritty, grotty tip of an ice-berg...they open the way for whatever else is wriggling around back there in the shadows that hasn't quite made itself known just yet. In a way, they are a lot like tickets to a fun house ride. Each one leads to others, in turn those lead to still others and so on...

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