Monsters (#1)

So, I’ve been on something of a boondoggle for the past couple weeks, rewriting Blood & Salt from the ground up. It’s slow-going, to be honest, but getting closer to completion every day. What’s more is, it’s really worth the effort – there’s so much more to this rewrite for players and GMs alike.

All the same, I took a break from the rewrite to work on some new content which will debut officially in the upcoming adventure, Lonesome Western States. Here are 10 (of 100 total) monsters that may be encountered during the brooding, icy march across the the dreary Western States. Between them, they present some core components of this polar world, from its delicate natural ecology to its rich spiritual habitat. As you dig in, consider putting this on in the background to set an ambiance of rock, snow, and sky.

1d10 Monsters of Glacia Table

  1. Shadowcat (T7; 6-9 HP, 2 PP; +3 reflex; +1 hide, +1 sneak) – despite its thick, shock-white fur, the shadowcat slinks invisibly in dusk and dawn alike. Typically found only on high, snow-capped mountains, shadowcats infrequently leave their alpine homes for reasons not yet understood. During this wandering, they are known to stalk villages in the night, slaughtering anything or anyone that crosses their silent path. The shadowcat has the following ability:
    • Evade – dodge a successful attack. Cost: 1 power point.
  2. Rolang (T10; 1-3 HP; +2 power– a grim and somber creature, the rolang is an animated human corpse, revivified by dark magic to serve its creator. The rolang’s skin is black and frostbitten, its body hard as stone and deceptively strong. Additionally, each rolang is missing its tongue, which is ritualistically removed during its creation. The rolang has the following ability:
    • Undead – when reduced to 0 hit points, make a standard save; if you succeed the save, gain 1 hit point.
  3. Howler (T4; 2-4 HP; +2 power– roughly half the size of a human, the howler is a primitive, ape-like beast covered in thick white fur. Protruding from its naked jowls are large fangs, punctuated by rows of dull, pointed teeth. Howlers are extremely territorial, ferociously strong, and exceedingly cruel, typically slaying their enemies and prey alike by tearing it limb from limb. The howler has the following ability:
    • Retaliation – when struck for the first time in combat, you may immediately make two melee attacks against the attacker, or the nearest opponent.
  4. Windigo (6 MP; +3 aspect– larger than a bull moose and silent as a revenant, the windigo is a cursed and fearsome spirit that takes the form of a tall, hair-covered humanoid crowned by jagged antlers and beset with glimmering red eyes. While hideous to behold, the windigo may not harm a physical entity using its own body, which is strictly immaterial. If encountered, the windigo will silently stalk its prey, until such a time when it can possess its target without being observed, using the body to carry out its evil will. The windigo has the following spell:
    • Possession – possess the physical body of a target, imprisoning its soul for the duration of the spell (target may make an aspect challenge to prevent); lasts for one hour. You may speak to the imprisoned soul telepathically while possessing its body. Cost: 3 magic points.
  5. Arrowhead hornet (T3; 1-2 HP) – black and large as a raven, the arrowhead hornet dwells in vast, underground burrows, typically in groups of 15-30. Within these expansive subterranean networks, the hornets produce a rare and highly-coveted honey-like substance that possesses powerful healing properties (restores 1d10 hit points per spoonful). Arrowhead hornets are extremely aggressive, and will attack any creature that enters – or sometimes even nears – their burrows. The arrowhead hornet has a 1-in-5 chance of envenoming its target on a successful attack (target is paralyzed for 1d5 rounds).
  6. Frost hag (T5; 10 HP, 5 MP; +2 intellect; level 1-2 caster) – a hunched and wizened horror, the frost hag hides her repugnant appearance beneath an illusion of beauty. She presents herself as a slender, youthful woman with thick black hair, fair white skin, and icy blue eyes in order to gain the trust of the unsuspecting. The frost hag has the following spells:
    • Disguise self – you significantly alter your appearance, including minor changes to your shape and size; lasts for one hour. This spell is purely an illusion, and may be exposed physical contact; intellect check versus caster’s spell save to recognize the illusion. Cost: 1 magic point.
    • Icy gaze – any entity that looks upon your face must succeed your spell save or be frozen with fear for 1d5 rounds. Cost: 1 magic point.
  7. Shape-shifter (T8; 10 HP, 4 PP; +1 aspect, +1 intellect, +1 reflex) – taking many forms, from intelligent humanoid to cunning fox, the shape-shifter is a creature of malice and deceit. No matter its appearance, however, its eyes remain unchanged: a deep, dull red. The shape-shifter will often approach travelers, presenting a friendly countenance in an attempt to gain something: food, spare coin, clothing, etc. If anything is given to it, it will target that individual for attack – often not immediately, but usually during the following night. The shape-shifter uses its unearthly howl ability to announce its presence just before the attack (this action does not cost any power points), at which time it takes its true form: a pale, long-limbed humanoid with red, glowing eyes and gnashing teeth. The shape-shifter has the following ability:
    • Unearthly howl – during your combat turn, you emit an unearthly, piercing howl; all creatures within earshot must aspect save 8 or become fearful, suffering a -2 attack penalty against you on their next combat turn. Cost:  2 power points.
  8. Crystal elemental (T3; 10-12 HP; +1 aspect) – Crystal elementals are silent, living edifices of white-to-purple crystals, and are roughly the size and shape of a humanoid. Like most elementals, the crystal elemental will avoid combat when possible, but will attack if being pursued or threatened, using its solid crystalline mass to bludgeon opponents. The crystal elemental has the following ability:
    • Elemental surge – when at or below half of its hit points, each point of damage the elemental suffers triggers a surge of elemental magic that affects entities within a 50 foot radius.
      • Elemental Surge Effects
        • Roll 1: Opponents are polymorphed for 1d10 hours
        • Roll 2-4: Opponents become dizzy, suffering -2 reflex and power for 1d5 rounds
        • Roll 5-6: All creatures within a 20 foot radius begin to levitate for 1d10 rounds
        • Roll 7-8: Disables magic use for 1d10 rounds
        • Roll 9: Elemental becomes invisible for 1d10 hours
        • Roll 10: Attacker becomes invisible for 1d5 hours
  9. Stormbird (T8; 16 HP, 3 MP; +2 intellect) – a creature of ancient legend, the stormbird soars high through moody skies, bringing the sound of distant thunder on its massive wings. Though the stormbird can sometimes be a portent of dangerous weather (1-in-5 chance), it is a neutral beast, disinterested in the affairs of the land-bound. All the same, its wrath is fearsome, should it be provoked. The stormbird has the following spell:
    • Summon storm – summons a storm that lasts for 1d10 hours and fills the sky with thick, sullen clouds that unleash torrential rain, booming thunder, and crackling lightning. The summoner may target entities within the storm with lightning (inflicts 1 damage), making as many attacks as there are opponents per combat turn. Cost: 3 magic points.
  10. Lycanthrope (When in beast-form: T9; 12 HP, 3 PP; +2 power, +2 reflex; +1 melee attack damage) – driven by an insatiable lust for blood and gore, the lycanthrope is an accursed male or female humanoid with the power to transform into a large, bipedal wolf. By day, the lycanthrope maintains its natural form, but by night, he or she may change at will into the bloodthirsty werewolf. The lycanthrope has the following abilities:
    • Animal form (werebeast) – take the form of a werebeast (wolf); requires 1 combat round for transformation, and that it be night. Cost: 1 power point.
    • Go for the throat – if an opponent misses a melee attack against you, immediately gain an attack against it. Cost: 1 power point.

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