Thursday, September 25, 2008

Now, when you least expect it, Tirapheg Week!

Fittingly enough given the non-sequential progress of tirapheg week, a being from beyond space and time! Statted up for Labyrinth Lord, with a dash of the epic pseudonatural template from 3rd Edition D&D. Previous installments of tirapheg week are here.


Alignment: Neutral
Move: 90' (30')
Armor Class: 6 (2)
Hit Dice: 13 (78 hp)
Attacks: 3 (or 6)
Damage: 3-6 each
Save: M-U 13 (+4 vs. Spells and Wands)
Hoard Class: XVII

Triskelion is a wizard-scientist of unknown origin. It travels the astral in a demi-planar orb several hundred feet in diameter, just large enough to contain its manse and laboratory. Though it is not exactly evil, its philosophy and ethos is utterly alien, and it values other life forms only as subjects for study. It collects all manner of creatures for examination, often suspending them in temporal stasis and creating clones as needed for dissection and magical experiment.

Although humanoid Triskelion's appearance is bizarre, with three heads, three arms, and three legs. Its heads are featureless, save for a ring of faceted eyes encircling the central head. Its arms are thin and double-jointed, ending in long, bony fingers; the two arms at the shoulders are fully mobile to the creature's front and rear alike. The outer legs end in rounded stumps, leaving Triskelion to balance on the three splayed toes of its central leg.

Strange though Triskelion's typical form may be, its true extra-dimensional form is far more terrible. When threatened its eyes shine with sickly light and its arms and fingers seem to bifurcate, splitting like bony branches. Its body seems to grow and shrink, stretching and receding into the distance or looming till it appears only inches away; this disorienting effect gives it an effective AC of 2. Worst of all, a huge circular maw gapes open in the creature's belly, revealing a black and starry void. On the round of its transformation, all those who gaze into this void must save against spells or be feebleminded.

Though Triskelion can attack with its bony claws up to 6 times per round in its true form, it casts spells as an 18th level magic-user so it is unlikely to melee unless hard pressed. Its spellbooks include several unique incantations, two of which are detailed below. In addition it can use ESP and comprehend languages at will and once per day an improved form of mirror image which creates from 2-8 images, each of which takes 8 hp of damage before being dispelled.

Crawling Wall
Level: 6
Duration: 12 turns
Range: 120'

This spell summons a wall of bubbling primal chaos into being, a writhing protoplasmic mass that takes a shape of the caster's choosing to a maximum of 1,000 cubic feet. The wall may not be conjured to appear in space already occupied by other objects, and it must initially rest on a solid surface. However it can be directed by the caster to move at a rate of 60' per round and to change its dimensions as needed as long as they do not exceed the maximum.

The wall will lash out at any creature within 10' of it -- including the caster -- doing 2-12 hp of damage. Each 10 cubic feet of the wall is equal to a gelatinous cube for the purposes of attacks against it (i.e. AC 8, 4 HD, immune to cold & lightning, ability to engulf foes).

Triphage Hex
Level: 8
Duration: Permanent
Range: 120'

Casting this spell sends three miniature black holes hurtling toward the target, sucking at flesh and soul alike. On a successful save the target takes 8d6 damage. On a failed save the victim is torn to pieces by the gravo-magical maelstrom, his or her remains scattered in the astral plane. There is a 1% chance per character level or HD that the victim's soul survives intact; otherwise it is sundered and lost forever.

MP3: Sun Ra, And Otherness (Compact Disc - Download [beware: emusic has the track names for this album mislabled])

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dire Shark Week: Luchadorodon Carcharias

Don't blame me. I don't pretend to be any great shakes as an artist. But when an idea like this gets stuck in my head, who else is going to draw it? It's crowded enough in here without shark luchadores doing back flips all up in my dome.

Luchadorodon Carcharias

At least this time I get to share the blame, since this was entirely inspired by gremlin curator Berin Kinsman. Not only is it Dire Shark Week at Uncle Bear, but he's recently commented on the lack of wrestlers in Encounter Critical. And thus El Sharko was born. He's not here to make friends, chum, and if you act fishy he'll school ya.

And hey, why shouldn't Encounter Critical have wrestlers? Let's take care of that right now. Never let it be said that I don't put the bomp in the bomp-shoo-bomp:

The Wrestler Subclass

Wrestler is the class of grapplers, heels, prettyboys, luchadores and hookers (the ones that aren't doxies, that is). They are specialized in unarmed fighting and working a crowd. They are the same as Warriors save the following differences:

They do not receive a bonus to ranged attacks, and cannot wear armor. The wrestler uses the standard melee attack bonus usually only to unarmed attacks, or for improvised weapons such as chairs, tables and heavy championship belts. They get a bonus to hit points equal to their level. They also get a bonus to their Saving Throws of double their level representing dodging ability and toughness. Finally they receive 5 percentile points per level to distribute among Crowd Manipulate, Great Feat, Lesser Feat, Mistaken ID, Restore Courage, Survival and Saving Throw.

A wrestler's greatest ability is his or her Finisher skill. This is a special attack percentile for the wrestler's signature move, such as a spinning back fist, pile driver, leaping flip kick and so on. (The wrestler character should create a unique name for each Finisher move.) If successful the Finisher attack scores double damage, but if it misses the wrestler loses his or her next attack. Finisher chances are 30% at first level and increase by 5% per level thereafter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ice Monsters of Vanth: EC meets Supra-Inframan

Every now and then, while flipping channels at random, browsing used CDs or plowing through my absurdly long Netflix queue, I'll stumble across a pop culture epiphany. The first time I heard Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" was one. Another was when I finally caught on to Arrested Development during its final season. Moments that make me stop and wonder, "Where has this been all my life?"

Spider Style
This happened most recently when I discovered the Shaw Brothers' movie Supra-Inframan a few months ago. As a Hong Kong riff on Ultraman it's hardly an original concept, but it has a vivd imagination all its own.
Princess Dragon Mom in her badass crown Motorcycle chases! Skeleton warriors! Super science vs. alien magic! Witchy women in metal cone bras! A whip-cracking villainess called Princess Dragon
Mom! Fire-breathing laser-shooting Rubbersuit-monster kung fu fight scenes! It was like watching the uncounted happy hours of my youth spent watching monster movies and chop sockey flicks smashed into a single ninety minute ball of awesome.

I'm sure the main monsters from Super Inframan would fit in well with a lot of gonzo SF or science fantasy games -- Gamma World or Mutant Future, an especially wacky Rifts campaign, maybe even Robotech? But I knew from the moment I saw the movie I'd have to stat them up for the land of Vanth. It's only fitting -- I had the same kind of epiphany for Encounter Critical.

After the cut, Ice Monsters come out!

Plant Monster

Monster# ATTATT %
DamHPSaveEdible$ Value
Fire Dragon254%2-812-4828%76%188
Iron Armorbots377%1-6/2-7/
Long-Hair Devil173%
Mutant Drill266%
Plant Monster245%2-8
Spider Demon486%1-622-6048%27%210

Appearance & Special Powers:

Fire Dragon: A tall humanoid in dragonhide armor and horned crown, Fire Dragon attacks with kung fu and breathes fire (every other round, D 2-20, range 30'). He also can use true Invisibility with 97% chances. His armor is equal to Elf Silver Chain but provides a 100% Saving Throw against fire and heat.
Iron Armorbots: A pair of black iron robodroids, each has a tall beaked helm and a spiked morning star in place of one fist. The fist and helm can be shot forth on a long chain up to 30 feet with 55% ranged attack chances and retracted the next round. The fist strikes as a standard morning star. The helm does D 1-10 and can clamp around an arm or leg on a to hit roll of 36% or less (sneak ATT). They melt when destroyed.
Long-Hair Devil: A cackling shaggy creature with long red horns and the face of its last victim staring from its wide open fanged mouth. It is a weak melee fighter (D 1-4/1-4) but shoots double laser beams from its horns for D 2-16. It explodes if immersed in boiling water.
Mutant Drill: A lumpy rock creature with a drill hand and a wrench-like claw. It burrows at its full movement rate.
Plant Monster: One of the most versatile ice demons, Plant Monster is a twisted mutant with vines growing from its head and in place of arms. It can plant itself in the ground and grow into an enormous vine with 100-400 hp and up to eight attacks for D 2-20 each. If it takes 50 hp damage in one round it will be forced to its human sized form. In this form it attacks only twice but can teletransport itself and spit flaming acid (D 5-30, once per day).
Spider Demon: A orange-red spider with three jeweled green eyes. It attacks with a whirlwind of kung fu strikes, and can spit web grenades which capture one enemy in a spherical web. Every three rounds it can also breathe flaming webs for D 2-16. Once per day it can grow into a giant form with 100-400 hp which attacks for D 6-36; large amounts of electrical damage will force Spider Demon back to its normal size.
Witch-Eye: An attractive female with platform boots and long clawed fingers. She has the powers of a level 5 Psi-Witch (ESP & LEA 14). Her Double Secret Eyes, one in the palm of each hand, give her +10% to mentally Command others. If forced into melee she strikes with an electro-stilleto (as dagger + D 1-8 spark)

SEE ALSO: Princess Dragon Mom summons the Ice Monsters (and some goobers giggle along)!
SEE ALSO: The entire movie is up on Youtube -- undubbed, with fake subtitles in Spanish -- starting here.