Thursday, March 26, 2015

Azurthite Bestiary: Deodand

The deodand are a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of Subazurth. Its appetite is insatiable, and it prefers to feed on people above all else. It abhors the light, and as a consequence no deodand has ever been seen clearly--or at least no one has survived the encounter to give a full description.

It is the general consensus that their are three varieties of deodand: leprous, gleimous, and hirsute. A fourth type, the slithery or lubricous is mentioned in some texts, but its existence is disputed. Glabrous and rugose varieties are described in Hokum's A Compleat and Entirely Accurate Bestiary of Subazurth, but the contents of that work are often as dubious as its title.

This is what is known of appearance of deodands in general: They are roughly human in shape, but taller. Their eyes glow like smoldering coals in the darkness. They seem no more intelligent than beasts and use no tools.

Today, we'll consider the Hirsute Deodand.

large monstrosity, neutral evil
AC 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 157 (15d10+75)
Speed: 30 ft.
STR 18(+4) DEX 14(+2) CON 21(+5) INT 11(+0) WIS 16(+3) CHA 18(+4)
Saving Throws  Str +9 Con +10 Wis +8
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren't silvered
Damage Immunities poison
Senses Truesight 60 ft., passive Perception 13.

Magic Resistance. A hirsute deodand has an advantage against spells and other magical effect.
Stench. Within 5 feet, make a DC 13 save or be sick.
Sunlight Weakness. In anything brighter candlelight, deodand have a disadvantage to attack rolls, ability checks, and saving throws. Bright sunlight causes them to melt like film in a projector, losing i hit dice worth of hit points a round.

Multiattack. A hirsute deodand may make two claw attacks and one
Claw. +9 to hit. 10 ft. reach, 1 target. Hit: 12 (1d8+8) damage.
Bite. +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d6) damage.

Hirsute deodands are large, gangingly humanoids, their mass filled out by thick, course, foul-smelling hair. Their only vocalization is a phlegmatic growl or chortle. Only their malevolent red eyes are ever seen.

Deodands move silently and quickly for creatures so large, The favorite tactic of a hirsute deodand is to snatch folk from parties traveling through Subazurth--perhaps stragglers or merely the unaware--snuff their light source quickly, then carry them into the darkness to consume at their leisure. They consider eyes a delicacy. Their meeps of pleasure can sometimes be heard reverberating through dark and cavernous places. It might otherwise be a comical sound, but is chilling in context.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday Comics: Multiversal Spotlight: Earth-16

Concept: Earth of celebrity superhero scions
Pictured: (left to right) Batman (Damian Wayne), Alexis Luther, Superman (Chris Kent), The Flash (Wally West), Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner), Arrowette (Cissie King-Hawke), Bloodwynd, Sister Miracle.
Sources/Inspirations: The Multiversity: The Just #earthme #1, The Saga of the Super-Sons (originally presented in World's Finest); (Chris Kent) Superman: Last Son; (Damian Wayne) Batman: Son of the DemonBatman and Son.
Analogs: The world of the Super-Sons was identified as pre-Crisis Earth-154 in Infinite Crisis #6; Mark Gruenwald had previously referred to this world as Earth-E in A Primer on Reality in Comic Books (1977). Earth-16 in the post-52 multiverse was the world of the Young Justice tv series.
Comments: Imaginary tales going back to the fifties portrayed Superman and Batman having kids with Lois Lane and Kathy Kane, respectively, but the story of the trials and tribulations of these kids as adolescents/young adults only started being told when Bob Haney and Dick Dillin introduced the Super-Sons in World's Finest Comics vol 1 #154 (December 1965). Morrison expanded the concept here to include a whole new generation of super-powered offspring in a world where all the heroic battles had already been fought.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Villains' Memorial

Last night, our Land of Azurth game continued with our heroes assaulting the half-buried prison ship where the Burly Brothers and their gang are likely keeping the kidnapped ambassador from Lardafa the City of Beggars.. Usually, the heroes exploits are the subject of our recount, but today, I thought I'd focus on those that went down under their blades:

Four bully-boys: The names of these unfortunates are forgotten even by their emloyers. They were the newest and weakest members of the gang. Only chance lead them to be on guard duty at the time assault. None mourn their passing, especially not their two confederates that jumped overboard to escape a similar fate.

Nort and the Gorch Brothers: Three more seasoned bravos, the Gorchs were brothers, and though not twins, the Burly Brothers and their lieutenants never bothered to learn to tell them apart. They would answer to either name. Nort and Moq were either the Gorchs' half-brothers or their cousins. They had even less personality, though Nort had on rare occasions displayed a fine singing voice. Moq escaped the assault, stealing the party's boat and disappearing into the night as his cousin (or half-brother) fell under the spells of the warlock, Kairon.

 Skawl: The Burly Brothers' scar-faced lieutenant. He was said to have gotten his scar in a duel. He only spoke of the incident rarely and even then obliquely. The truth was, he remember very little of it owing to an excess of various intoxicants on the night it occurred.

Grool: The resident cook on the Hurly Burly. Grool could hardly be called a culinary genius, but he liked his work, so much so that none would have dared take it from him even if they had wanted to. If his fellow cutthroats were put off their appetites by his numerous sores and unhealthy complexion, they never let it show. Grool wielded his cleaver with a deft and fearsome hand, but he was in the end, unable to stand against multiple assailants. The fish head stew he had made for supper was his culinary epitath.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Strange Stars Update

Work proceeds on the Strange Stars gamebooks. John Till has finished the draft of the Fate implementation and I am in the process of editing. It's going slower than I would like due to work related stuff that won't abate until the end of April. Still, Lester is already working on the layout with what I have gotten through, and (despite my initial plans not to) I have comissioned a few pieces of new art, including a piece from "Reno" Maniquis  who did the piece that's on the cover of Strange Trails over on the sidebar.

Stay tuned.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Our Gang

I don't talk a lot about the social aspect of the game here, tending to focus more on ideas or inspirations, but my gaming group has been down a couple of players the past couple of sessions and not just due to difficult schedules (which happens to us sometimes). One of my players--one of my friends, Jim--was diagnosed with colon cancer and has been undergoing chemo. We hope we've worked out a way for him to join us this time via the internet, at least. We'll see.

My present group is pretty new in its current configuration. Andrea is the newest and brings some fresh enthusiasm. Though new to rpgs in general, she has jumped in with both feet. She plays in our group and in a weekly game with another group. Her character is a sort of fussy dwarf cleric, often appalled by the moral failings of the world.

Eric and Bob have gamed with me off and on since we were residents. Bob always plays fighters with a flexible morality and a strong appreciation for gold. In real life, Bob works like crazy and still trains for things like mud-runs and zombie obstacle courses. Eric sometimes tries to play evil or amoral characters, but his inherent goodness always stymies him. He can't even be evil in pretend. He has a fondness for magic-user types.

Tug I know from the comic book store in town where he used to work, but he has since moved on to better things. Tug sort of reminds me of Jake the Dog on Adventure Time! when he's all joie de vivre. He plays a frogling thief named Waylon who strums a banjo.

Gina is a GM in her own right (I've played before in her Boot Hill game) and the author of a Western Romance novel, first serialized on her blog. She's also Jim's wife. When she played a hoodoo woman in our last game,she brought a bag of props with her--including a chickens foot and a crystal ball. This time she's a badass elf ranger--no props, unfortunately.

And Jim, well, it's likely Weird Adventures wouldn't have happened without him, since he did the layout. He writes a comics blog. Despite having a wife who is a gamer, he hadn't really played a lot until I dragged him into it. He's often plays it very cautious and and calculated. He'd do well with a killer DM, but in my games, his over caution just winds up bringing a bit of amusement. As a former local rock star in his youth, it's fitting he plays the bard.

I have to confess, I'm never been a big fan of games, in general. I don't really play video/computer games. Board games are something I like only rarely. I like rpgs, though. In part, it's due to the creativity involved, but without the people I sit at the table with, it would only be writing--and that wouldn't be the same at all.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Return to Azurth

This weekend the group is getting back together (hopefully the whole gang) for another Land of Azurth session for the first time in a couple of sessions. The PCs will likely invade the partially submerged lair of the Baleful Burly Brothers and their murderous gang.

To get back in the mindset of that world, I updated my Dictionary of Azurth. Check it out for entries on  Troglopolis, Apiaria, and Noom.