Twelve seeds for creature creation. Number after name in parentheses is relative power, 1-10, with 10 most powerful. 1 = orc, 10 = efreet. Entries are for any system, but B/X D&D conversion provided here as example: HD is number in parentheses. AC = (10-HD). Morale = (2+HD). One attack, damage (HD/4)d6. Save as Fighter level (HD/2). Other statistics from DM judgement. Always round up. ANATALO (5): Faceless girl. Anesthetic touch melts anything. BERZERKER REDOLENCE (4): Distinct odor with cat-like intelligence. EPHIALODAEMON (7): 6' tall mantis with head of human infant. Voice like a castrato. KHOROCLOUD (6): Bioluminescent roach swarm that's a single intelligence. MERVIA (10): Sapient song. PHASIC REFUGEES (1): Friendly, deaf children with overlarge tarantula, legs and all, replacing head. PLASTIC PHANTOM (3): Undead spirit, possesses vending machine toys to create body. RIGALADAEMON (9): Priest's garb. Toaster for head. Electrocutes victims, flays corpses, makes charred skin sculptures. RUSTLOVER (2): Trainable goo, doglike intelligence. Consumes rust, excretes steel, repairs items. TOMBSAUR (8): Carrion-eating cross between giant opilione and prehistoric herbivore. URANIUM GOLEM (5): Emits ultraviolet light. No atom will split if killed without magic. WISPGLASS SHRIEKER (1): Flower-shaped robot made of lighter-than-air glass. Curses blasphemously when disturbed.
The title is a parody of André Brenton’s “Soluble Fish.” Oneperson described this as “a Borgesian random encounter table.?” I was thinking more Breton than Jorge Luis Borges when I wrote it, but it’s probably closer to the latter. It’s the right general idea in any case.
On the gaming end of things, firstly, I was inspired by early Judges Guild supplements. Second, use of the word “opilione” is a one-word homage to Gary Gygax’s prose style. That’s not sarcasm; Gygax really expanded my vocabulary when I was a kid. Finally, I tried to capture Dave Arneson’s wry humor and the way he spiced his fantasy with science fiction.
That’s a lot of inspiration for 200 words. Frankly, I’ll be happy if one of these monsters shows up in someone’s game. I’m curious how other people will flesh them out. I hope anyone who makes use of these posts their creations online where I can see them!
What a great set of weird and unique monsters! A good tool for GMs who want to add a little bit of strangeness to their game. Could fit into most settings, would be best in horror. I love the new monsters that aren’t just “another flavor of dragon” or “mammal crosses with reptile/insect”. - Jacqueline Bryk