Monday Monsters: Fire Giants & Hellhounds

The fire giants and hellhounds made by Printable Heroes are some of my favorite paper minis. Despite running a poll on Twitter to see what monster I should do next (Kobolds won by the way) I felt compelled to do these giant monsters first. They’re just so awesome and imposing.

Both the greatsword wielding fire giant soldier and the twin tower shield carrying fire giant juggernaut are definitely threats. One of the enemy types detailed in the Fate Adversary Toolkit, threats are opposing characters that the characters have to focus their attention on. Unlike hitters, threats can absorb a lot of damage and hang around longer than their glass cannon counterparts. Threats have big stress tracks, multiple consequence slots, and stunts that emphasize their durability.

For the fire giant juggernaut, that was relatively easy. The monster wields two giant tower shields like a bulldozer, so its stunts are all about pushing opponents around, being really hard to damage, and providing cover for allies. Characters are going to want to focus on the juggernaut and take it down quickly, because other enemies in the same zone are going to survive longer and become more of a nuisance.

Known for dragging chained captives back to their flaming fortresses, the fire giant soldier has a stunt that increases the opposition by +2 whenever someone tries to break free of their manacles. The monster still has to get the restraints onto a character with a create an advantage action, applying an appropriate aspect on the victim. I considered a stunt that increased the monster’s defense roll while it had a chained captive (representing the giant pushing the victim in the way of potential attackers), but decided against it. The fire giant juggernaut already had a stunt that increased its defense, and I didn’t want them to be too similar.

The giants are also huge with a weight of 4. Against a single character, a giant outweighs a hero by 4 to 1, allowing it to change two of its dice to [+] after rolling. Even when facing two characters at once, a giant weighs more than double the opposition. That’s a big advantage.

The hellhounds are just fair filler enemies. They’re meant to be grouped up in packs that the characters can wade through to feel awesome, but unlike the human bandits from last week, I did give the hellhounds a once per conflict stunt.


Fire Giant Soldier

High Concept: Huge Fire-Resistant Jötunn
Motivation: I Must Bring Captives to Muspelheim
Aspect: Ruthless Militaristic Brute
Aspect: Searing Heavy Plate Armor

Approaches:

  • Careful: Fair (+2)
  • Clever: Good (+3)
  • Flashy: Good (+3)
  • Forceful: Great (+4)
  • Quick: Fair (+2)
  • Sneaky: Average (+2)

Stunts:

  • Ensnaring Chains: Because the neck irons chained to my belt are made from fire giant-forged steel, whenever a character tries to break free of these manacles, such as when overcoming a Chained, Manacled, or Trapped aspect, the opposition increases by +2.
  • Giant Greatsword: Because I swing my huge blade in great sweeping arcs, before making a Forceful attack with my sword, I may reduce my roll by two shifts to attack everyone in my zone. (I make a single roll against everyone else in my zone.)

Weight: 4 (Huge)
Role: Enemy: Fair Threat
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Mild (2):

Fire Giant Juggernaut

High Concept: Huge Fire-Resistant Jötunn
Motivation: I Must Block the Path to Muspelheim
Aspect: Ruthless Militaristic Brute
Aspect: Searing Heavy Plate Armor and Shields

Approaches:

  • Careful: Good (+3)
  • Clever: Good (+3)
  • Flashy: Fair (+2)
  • Forceful: Great (+4)
  • Quick: Fair (+2)
  • Sneaky: Average (+2)

Stunts:

  • Living Bulldozer: Because I strike with tremendous force, when I succeed with a Forceful attack with my tower shields, I may push the defender into an adjacent zone. I may then follow the defender or stay in my zone.
  • Unassailable: Because I present no opening for my opponents’ weapons, I gain a boost when I Carefully defend against a melee attack with my tower shields. If I succeed with style, I may spend a Fate point to attach an On Fire! aspect with two free invokes on my attacker.
  • Wall of Steel: Because my flaming tower shields grant protection to those
    nearby, any allies in my zone suffer one less stress from physical attacks.

Weight: 4 (Huge)
Role: Enemy: Fair Threat
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Mild (2):

Hellhound

High Concept: Medium Infernal Canine

Approaches:

  • Quick: Fair (+2)
  • Others: Mediocre (+0)

Stunts:

  • Flame Breath: Because I can exhale a cone of fire, I can Flashily attack opponents up to a zone away and can never become Unarmed. The first time in a scene I attack this way, I add +2 to the attack.

Weight: 1 (Medium)
Role: Enemy: Fair Filler
Stress: ▢ ▢


You can download the Fire Giants & Hellhounds as an A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF.

FireGiants_A4

The NPC illustrations are the free paper minis made by Paper Forge. The free versions are backless, but if you support the Patreon at just $1 a month you get minis with backs and B&W versions, and for $2 a month you get access to multiple color options. That’s well worth checking out.

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Monday Monsters: Fire Giants & Hellhounds

Monday Monsters: Human Bandits

Apart from the ghoul, ghast, and gray ooze, all of the Monday Monsters I’ve made so far have been large, solo creatures. While you can certainly include multiple big monsters in a scene, and should for climactic battles, sometimes you want to include hordes of enemies the player characters can wade through relatively easily to feel like badasses.

That’s where filler NPCs come in. Fillers are one of the new enemy types introduced in the Fate Adversary Toolkit along with threats, hitters, and bosses. Fillers have only a few aspects, a few skills, no stunts, and a fairly small number of stress boxes. They’re not meant to put up a fight, even in large groups. In fact, they’re called fillers because you can fill a scene with them and still not overwhelm the player characters.

As I haven’t done low-level mooks before, I was looking for a chance to make some, and the Bandits Pack of paper minis by Paper Forge seemed like a good opportunity to do so. I seriously considered giving these bandits a stunt (maybe a bonus to avoid being disarmed due to their two weapons), or making the bandit arbalester a hitter rather than a filler, but decided not to. Not every monster or NPC can be important enough to warrant the extra mechanics, as fun as they are to make.

 


Bandit Thug

High Concept: Desperate Human Rogue
Motivation: I Must Not Be Caught Again

Approaches:

  • Quick: Average (+1)
  • Others: Mediocre (+0)

Weight: 1 (Medium)
Role: Enemy: Average Filler
Stress:


Bandit Arbalester

High Concept: Wary Human Rogue
Motivation: I Must Eliminate Threats Quickly

Approaches:

  • Careful: Fair (+2)
  • Others: Mediocre (+0)

Weight: 1 (Medium)
Role: Enemy: Fair Filler
Stress: ▢ ▢


You can download the Bandits as an A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF.

Bandits_A4

The NPC illustrations are the free paper minis made by Paper Forge. The free versions are backless, but if you support the Patreon at just $1 a month you get minis with backs and B&W versions, and for $2 a month you get access to multiple color options. That’s well worth checking out.

Monday Monsters: Human Bandits

Monday Monsters: Cloaker

The final monster from the poll I ran on Twitter and Google Plus was the Cloaker. I wasn’t expecting the flying manta ray to be first (and was very surprised when that honor went to the Black Pudding), but I wasn’t expecting it to be last either.

The Cloaker is a pretty weird monster. A flying manta ray that looks like a leathery black cloak while at rest, hence it’s name. It’s probably one of those monsters created in the early days of Dungeons & Dragons where the DM was expected to take on a more antagonistic role. “There’s what appears to be a black cloak on the floor of this room.” the DM would say, rubbing their hands gleefully behind the DM’s screen as the PCs went to go pick it up. It feels like a “gotcha” monster, like the treasure chest mimicking Mimic, or the metal destroying Rust Monster.

Anyway, the main features of the Cloaker differ between the different editions of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. In some editions its sonic attack sickens people, in others it disorients them, and in others it causes fear. Sometimes it’s able to magically manipulate shadows, and other times it can create multiple illusions of itself. Things that stay the same though are its “cloaking ability” (sorry for the pun), and a tendency to suffocate characters with its wings.

With a number of abilities to choose from, I turned the ones that seemed most interesting into stunts. As usual, I tried to spread the stunts around with regards to the types of actions they modified and the approaches they used. I’ve found that I can suggest tactics and a certain play style for these monsters by referencing elements that aren’t actually included in the stunt. For example, the Engulf stunt grants the Cloaker a +2 bonus when it Forcefully attacks a character who has the Ensnared aspect attached to it. But the stunt doesn’t create the aspect; that’s something the GM has to do separately. The stunt encourages the GM to take a certain action with the monster, or to ensure certain things are true, to set up the stunt. I rather like that. It also means I don’t have to turn every notable thing about the monster into a stunt. I can suggest additional abilities by referencing them in the stunts I do include.

I made the Cloaker a Hitter; an enemy that has some trick or ability to dish out a lot of damage, but goes down quickly when the PCs are finally able to do damage in return. With the Engulf stunt, a Cloaker who’s wrapped itself around a PC’s head (represented by an aspect) will Forcefully attack at +4. The attack increases to +6 if it invokes the aspect on the roll. As the characters I made only have a lead approach of +3, the Cloaker is more than likely succeeding with style on an attack this way. With the Phantasm stunt, the monster will Cleverly defend at +5, or +7 if it invokes an aspect, meaning it’ll be really hard to deal with unless the characters find a way to get rid of the illusion aspects.


Cloaker

High Concept: Large Flying Manta-like Aberration
Motivation: I Must Eliminate Mortals from This Plane
Aspect: Xenophobic Subterranean Lurker
Aspect: Razor-Sharp Tail Spike

Approaches:

  • Careful: Average (+1)
  • Clever: Fair (+2)
  • Flashy: Good (+3)
  • Forceful: Great (+4)
  • Quick: Good (+3)
  • Sneaky: Fair (+2)

Stunts:

  • Phantasms: Because I can magically create mirror images of myself,  I get +2 to Cleverly defend against attacks while an aspect such as Mirror Images, Illusory Duplicates, or Dancing Images is present.
  • Engulf: Because my wings hold victims in place while I bite them, I get +2 to Forcefully attack someone whom I’ve trapped this way, represented by an aspect such as Ensnared, Suffocating!, or Wrapped Up.
  • Subsonic Moan: Because I can emit a nauseating moan, I can spend a Fate point to Sneakily create an advantage on every other character in my zone, giving an Unsettled aspect to each defender I succeed against.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Hitter
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):

You can download the Cloaker as an A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF.

Cloaker_A4

The monster illustration is the free paper mini made by Printable Heroes. The free versions are backless, but if you support the Patreon at just $1 a month you get minis with backs. For $2 a month you get access to “reskins”, and for $3 a month you get multiple color options. That’s a fantastic deal.

Monday Monsters: Cloaker

Monday Monsters: Juvenile Dragons

I ran a poll on Twitter and Google Plus several weeks ago asking which monsters people wanted to see for future Monday Monsters posts. The Purple Worm and Juvenile Blue Dragon tied for second place and as I already had it statted up, I posted the Purple Worm first. But to make it worth the wait, I did something extra for the dragons.

That’s right. Dragons. I did juvenile versions of all five of the chromatic dragons; blue black, white, green, and of course, red. This will have to be a short post for now as it’s very late and I need to go to bed, but I’ll be updating it with notes tomorrow.


Juvenile Blue Dragon

High Concept: Large Juvenile Storm Dragon
Motivation: I Must Punish All Intruders of My Domain
Aspect: Exceptionally Vain And Arrogant
Aspect: Electricity Resistant Armor Scales

Approaches:

  • Careful: Fair (+2)
  • Clever: Fair (+2)
  • Flashy: Great (+4)
  • Forceful: Good (+3)
  • Quick: Good (+3)
  • Sneaky: Average (+1)

Stunts:

  • Dominating Presence: Because I issue irresistible commands, I get +2 to Forcefully create an advantage representing mental domination, such as Compelled, Influenced, or Swayed.
  • Fly-By Attacks: Because I attack on the wing, whenever I succeed with style on a Quick attack, I may forgo the boost to move up to two zones.
  • Lightning Discharge: Because I spit lightning, I can attack targets up to two zones away and can never become Unarmed. By spending a Fate point, I can Flashily attack every other character in my zone.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Threat
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):

Juvenile Black Dragon

High Concept: Large Juvenile Swamp Dragon
Motivation: I Must Make My Enemies Suffer
Aspect: Exceptionally Cruel And Malicious
Aspect: Acid Resistant Armor Scales

Approaches:

  • Careful: Good (+3)
  • Clever: Good (+3)
  • Flashy: Average (+1)
  • Forceful: Fair (+2)
  • Quick: Fair (+2)
  • Sneaky: Great (+4)

Stunts:

  • Acid Breath: Because I spit acid, I can attack targets up to two zones away and can never become Unarmed. Whenever I succeed with style on a Careful attack, I may forgo the boost to give the defender a Corroded, Dissolved, or Melted aspect with a free invoke.
  • Ambush Hunter: Because I attack from ambush, I deal +2 stress on a tied or better Sneaky attack while benefiting from an aspect related to concealment (I won’t get a boost on a tied attack this way.)
  • Bushwhacker: Because I use terrain to hinder my foes, whenever I Cleverly create an advantage to ensnare or distract someone with the environment and succeed, I gain an extra invoke on that aspect.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Hitter
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):

Juvenile White Dragon

High Concept: Large Juvenile Snow Dragon
Motivation: I Must Follow My Animalistic Instincts
Aspect: Exceptionally Brutal And Savage
Aspect: Cold Resistant Armor Scales

Approaches:

  • Careful: Fair (+2)
  • Clever: Average (+1)
  • Flashy: Fair (+2)
  • Forceful: Good (+3)
  • Quick: Great (+4)
  • Sneaky: Good (+3)

Stunts:

  • Blizzard Lizard: Because I can exhale a blast of ice and snow, I can attack targets up to two zones away and can never become Unarmed. Whenever someone tries to move into or to pass through my zone, I can Forcefully oppose them with a +2 bonus.
  • Go For the Kill: Because I prefer to ends fights quickly, whenever I succeed with style on a Quick attack, I may forgo the boost to immediately attack the same target again. I can not attack more than twice in an exchange this way.
  • Ice Walk: Because my feet are covered in tiny hooks and spikes, I get +2 to Carefully overcome any obstacle that would hinder my movement. I also get +2 to Carefully oppose anyone attempting to create an advantage to create an aspect that would hinder my movement.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Hitter
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):

Juvenile Green Dragon

High Concept: Large Juvenile Forest Dragon
Motivation: I Must Toy With My Prey First
Aspect: Exceptionally Devious And Deceitful
Aspect: Poison Resistant Armor Scales

Approaches:

  • Careful: Good (+3)
  • Clever: Great (+4)
  • Flashy: Average (+1)
  • Forceful: Fair (+2)
  • Quick: Fair (+2)
  • Sneaky: Good (+3)

Stunts:

  • Arcane Lore: Because I know many spells, when I use magic to Cleverly defend against a spell and succeed with style, I can give the defender an Arcane Interference aspect with a free invoke instead of gaining a boost.
  • Forked Tongue: Because I lie like a cheap rug, after I Carefully create an advantage to discover a personal aspect on someone, I get +2 to Sneakily create an advantage related to deceiving or tricking that character until the end of the scene.
  • Poison Breath: Because I spit poison, I can attack targets up to two zones away and can never become Unarmed. By spending a Fate point, I can Sneakily create an advantage on every other character in my zone, giving a Poisoned aspect to each defender I succeed against.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Threat
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):

Juvenile Red Dragon

High Concept: Large Juvenile Fire Dragon
Motivation: I Must Dominate Through Physical Combat
Aspect: Exceptionally Violent And Bad-Tempered
Aspect: Fire Resistant Armor Scales

Approaches:

  • Careful: Average (+1)
  • Clever: Fair (+2)
  • Flashy: Good (+3)
  • Forceful: Great (+4)
  • Quick: Good (+3)
  • Sneaky: Fair (+2)

Stunts:

  • Deafening Bellow: Because my roar causes even the stoutest warrior to tremble in fear, I can spend a Fate point to Flashily create an advantage on every other character in my zone, giving a Terrified aspect to each defender I succeed against.
  • Fire Breath: Because I spew fire, I can attack targets up to two zones away and can never become Unarmed. Whenever I succeed with style on a Forceful attack, I may forgo the boost to give the defender or a nearby target an On Fire! aspect with a free invoke.
  • Massive Wings: Because I can knock foes aside with my powerful wings, when I Forcefully defend against a physical attack and succeed, I may push my attacker into an adjacent zone.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Threat
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):

You can download the juvenile chromatic dragons as a three-page A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF.

Juvenile_Dragons_A4

The monster illustration is the free paper mini made by Printable Heroes. The free versions are backless, but if you support the Patreon at just $1 a month you get minis with backs. For $2 a month you get access to “reskins”, and for $3 a month you get multiple color options. That’s a fantastic deal.

Monday Monsters: Juvenile Dragons

Monday Monsters: Purple Worm

I ran a poll on Twitter and Google Plus two weeks ago asking which monster people wanted to see for future Monday Monsters posts. The Purple Worm and Juvenile Blue Dragon tied for second place and as I have something special planned for the dragon, I decided to do the Purple Worm next. To be honest, I’d already statted up the massive creature before running the poll, but I made some changes to it over the weekend with stuff from the fantastic Fate Adversary Toolkit.

The Purple Worm has several notable features that I wanted to capture: its massive size, its tunneling ability, and its propensity to swallow opponents whole. I’m already using the Weight rules from War of Ashes: Fate of Agaptus, conveying its size was fairly easy. As this is Fate and everything can be treated as a character, even various parts of the same huge monster, I could have broken the worm into two smaller characters; a head and a tail. That would have allowed the two halves to operate independently, making separate attacks even, but I felt that would be too complicated. More NPCs on the board means more of a hassle for the GM, so I kept the worm as a single character.

The tunneling ability could have been handled a number of ways too. I like stunts that allow a character to create aspects at the beginning of a conflict as a way to set the scene. I feel these sorts of stunts are great for monsters that will most likely be encountered in their lair or in a place of the monster’s choosing. The worm could have had a stunt that created a Broken Ground, Unstable Terrain, or Miles of Tunnels aspect to represent it honeycombing the area with tunnels prior to the encounter. I feel that I’ve been overusing those sorts of stunts though, and so looked for something else. A stunt that granted a bonus to creating tunneling related aspects would have been appropriate too. But as the worm would most likely do that with the Forceful approach, which is Fantastic (+6), there would only be a very small chance of them failing. An “auto-succeed” dice roll like that seemed rather boring.

Ultimately I went with a stunt found in the Fate Adversary Toolkit and reflavored it. I imagine the worm burrowing so deep that they’re impossible to spot, attack, or affect in any way. Removing the character from the scene seemed the best way to represent that, as a Burrowed aspect could be overcome. Plus, if the characters can get out of the scene before the worm reemerges again, it’s a way for them to escape the monster. Moving to any zone and instantly attacking is pretty powerful, but the stunt costs two Fate points, (one to disappear and another to reappear) so it’s something I see happening only once or twice during an encounter.

Swallowing characters whole was the hardest ability to decide on. Again, there were multiple ways I could have done this. Both Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder versions of the worm give swallowed characters a chance to escape. Which is only fair, really. It’s no fun at all to have your character get one-shotted, even if it is by a giant worm. Giving swallowed characters an Engulfed aspet would have worked, and has the benefit of being simple. A stunt that granted a free attack against everyone with the Engulfed aspect at the end of the worm’s turn could represent the crushing and acid damage a character takes from being in the monster’s guts. I could also have made the inside of the worm a separate character, complete with aspects, approaches, and a separate stress track. But as I said with the tail, that means more for the GM to keep track of. Plus, I wanted to use some of the new stuff found in the Fate Adversary Toolkit.

One of the new things in that book are countdowns, a way to track elapsing time and increase tension. I think it works wonderfully here, as the longer a character stays in the worm’s esophagus, the farther down they get pushed until plop! They’re dropped into it’s stomach. To really reinforce that swallowed characters are in a different location than those outside the worm, I made the worm’s esophagus a separate zone, complete with its own aspects. (I read that indigestible items like metal and gems are often found in the guts of Purple Worms, and thought that would be fun to include. Plus, the character has to deal with the contracting muscles of the esophagus itself.) My gut (See what I did there?) said to make the countdown only three boxes, but I was feeling generous.

Looking at it now, a separate zone with an individual countdown for each swallowed character isn’t any simpler than breaking the worm into two, or even three, separate characters. But I’m pretty happy with how this came out. Make no mistake, this thing is a beast. It’s lead approach is three steps higher than the fantasy characters I’m making. Coupled with its weight of 8, it will almost always succeed with style on any of its forceful attacks. This thing is meant to be a serious challenge, and smart characters will probably run rather than try to fight it.


Purple Worm

High Concept: Gargantuan Magical Worm
Motivation: I Must Consume Massive Amounts
Aspect: Nearly Blind Tunneling Terror
Aspect: Massive Tooth-Filled Maw
Aspect: Inch-Thick Purple Armor Plates

Approaches:

  • Careful: Mediocre (+0)
  • Clever: Mediocre (+0)
  • Flashy: Mediocre (+0)
  • Forceful: Fantastic (+6)
  • Quick: Average (+1)
  • Sneaky: Fair (+2)

Stunts:

  • Belly of the Beast: Because I swallow creatures whole, when I succeed with style on a Forceful attack against a single creature that weighs less then me, I may forgo the boost to move the defender to the Worm Guts zone (see Notes).
  • It’s an Ambush!: Because I ambush my prey from beneath, I can spend a Fate point to burrow into the ground, vanishing from the scene. Then, at the end of any later turn, I can spend another Fate point to reappear anywhere in the scene and immediately attack.
  • Venomous Stinger: Because my tail is tipped with an envenomed spike, when I succeed with style on a Sneaky attack, I may forgo the boost to give the defender a Poisoned aspect with a free invoke.

Weight: 8 (Gargantuan)
Role: Enemy: Great Threat
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):

Notes:

The Worm Guts zone is a separate zone representing the gullet of the massive worm. The only way for someone to move into this zone is by being swallowed by the beast, either as a result of the Belly of the Beast stunt or by willingly jumping into the creature’s mouth. This zone has Hunks of Unrefined Ore, Littered with Precious Gemstones, and Grinding Muscular Contractions aspects. When someone enters the Worm Guts zone, start the following countdown for that character:

DIGESTED!
Obstacle:
Opposition: Great (+4) Esophageal Muscles
Countdown: ▢ ▢ ▢ ▢
Trigger: An exchange elapses with someone in the Worm Guts zone.
Outcome: The character is dumped into the roiling pool of acid that is the worm’s stomach.


You can download the Purple Worm as a two-page A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF.

The monster illustration is the free paper mini made by Printable Heroes. The free versions are backless, but if you support the Patreon at just $1 a month you get minis with backs. For $2 a month you get access to “reskins”, and for $3 a month you get multiple color options. That’s a fantastic deal.

Monday Monsters: Purple Worm

Saturday Surprise: Boss Ooze

This past week’s Monday Monster was a Black Pudding. As I mentioned in that post, the Fate Adversary Toolkit had recently been released, and I wanted to make some monsters to fit the four new categories of enemies described in that book: fillers, hitters, threats, and bosses. So in addition to the Black Pudding (a threat) I made two more ooze-themed monsters, a Gelatinous Cube (a hitter) and a Gray Ooze (a filler), and put all three slimes on a two-page PDF (which you can grab here: A4-sized version / letter-sized version). But what about the fourth type of enemy, a boss?

Well, even as I was writing up the other three monsters I already had an idea for the “boss ooze” monster. I just knew I wouldn’t have it done in time for Monday’s post. So I decided to save it for a special Saturday post. And now I present: Jubilaxus!

tumblr_o5yxx2s0uz1twabyxo1_1280Or more accurately, Jubilaxus, the Myxogastric Lich. This character was inspired by the Lich Ichor paper mini created by Printable Heroes. I absolutely love that mini. How could you not like a puddle of green, translucent goo containing a half-dissolved skeleton wielding an evil-looking magical staff? It’s fantastic. The mini is a “reskin” of the Black Pudding and is only available to Tier 2 Patreon backers. (Which is why there’s no illustration on the character sheet.) If you want the character as a mini, go back their Patreon.

Jubilaxus is meant to be a tough foe. They’ve got the same five aspects the fantasy adventurers do, three stress boxes, the full complement of consequences, and four stunts. The Fate Adversary Toolkit notes that boss enemies are meant to be able to both deal and take a good amount of damage, and suggests putting their lead approach two steps higher than the PCs. As I’m intending Jubilaxus to be used with the fantasy adventurer characters I post here, that means their lead approach is a respectable Superb (+5).

Jubilaxus’ stunts were fun to come up with. Autophagia and Endogenesis are variations of boss stunts found in the Fate Adversary Toolkit, but flavored to fit the slime theme. As both of these stunts cost a Fate point to use, and one is a “once per session”, I don’t feel that four stunts is too many. Corrosive Counterspells emphasises Jubilaxus’ necromancer abilities, something I thought was important as Autophagia and Endogenesis are about them being an ooze. Meticulous Planning was suggested to me on Twitter by Mike Olsen, the lead developer & writer of the Atomic Robo RPG. I asked for ideas about how an NPC with a high Careful approach would make use of it. That lead to a great discussion about how the six approaches differ from one another, and how to make them feel distinct at the table. When I said I was looking for a Careful-themed stunt, Mike pointed out that Dr. Dinosaur from Atomic Robo had a stunt representing their reptilian cunning. I used that as inspiration for Jubilaxus’ stunt.

If you know something about Dungeons & Dragons lore, you can probably guess where part of Jubilaxus’ name comes from. I also liked the sound of the name “Abraxus” for a lich and so mashed those two together. “Myxogastric” comes from “myxogastria“, a grouping of slime molds. I wanted something kind of gross as a title, like mucus, but without going that gross. Slime molds are unicellular amoeboid organisms that have a disturbing (to me, anyway) ability to congregate and act as a single, mobile organism when food is scarce. I thought that fit nicely with the ooze-themed stunts, and turned it into an adjective.

I’ll aim to do these Saturday Surprise posts once or twice a month. I’d eventually like to start releasing short scenarios. Nothing too fancy. Just a boss NPC and some mooks, a few scenes, some zone maps, and a reason for the characters to get involved. I’ll have to work up to those though. In the meantime, enjoy Jubilaxus!


Jubilaxus, the Myxogastric Lich

High Concept: Large Undead Ooze Hybrid
Motivation: I Must Absorb All Magical Knowledge
Aspect: Highly Caustic Necrotic Slime
Aspect: Multiple Lifetimes Worth of Fell Secrets
Aspect: The Dread Staff of Gol Amoroth

Approaches:

  • Careful: Superb (+5)
  • Clever: Great (+4)
  • Flashy: Great (+4)
  • Forceful: Good (+3)
  • Quick: Fair (+2)
  • Sneaky: Good (+3)

Stunts:

  • Autophagia: Because I can consume my progeny to heal myself, if I am
    attacked and there is a jelly, ooze, or slime filler enemy in my zone, I can
    spend a Fate point to absorb it. The filler enemy gets taken out, and I
    suffer no damage.
  • Endogenesis: Because I can disgorge smaller slimes from within my bulk,
    once per session I can pay a Fate point to bring one Gelatinous Stalker,
    two Bone Puddings, or five Necrotic Oozes into the scene. (See below.)
  • Corrosive Counterspells: Because I infuse my counterspells with necrotic
    energy, whenever I Flashily defend against a magical attack and succeed
    with style, I can give the attacker a Weakened, Withered, or Corrupted
    aspect with a free invoke instead of gaining a boost.
  • Meticulous Planning: Because I have planned for every possibility, at the
    start of any scene where I am present, as a free action before anyone
    else acts, I may attempt to Carefully create an advantage to create the
    Everything Is Proceeding According to My Designs situation aspect.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Good Boss
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Moderate (4):
  • Severe (6):

 

You can download Jubilaxus, the Myxogastric Lich as an A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF. As the special oozes created by the Engenesis stunt are modified versions of the Gelatinous Cube, Black Pudding, and Gray Ooze, you might want to grab the two-page A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF of them too.

 

Undead-Ooze-Boss_A4

As I mentioned above, the Lich Ichor illustration is the paper mini made by Printable Heroes. The free versions  of the minis are backless, but if you support the Patreon at just $1 a month you get minis with backs. For $2 a month you get access to “reskins” (like the Lich Ichor), and for $3 a month you get multiple color options. That’s a fantastic deal.

Saturday Surprise: Boss Ooze

FAE Fantasy: Updates

I hadn’t intended to make a Friday post. For the time being, Monday is monsters, Wednesday is adventurers, and every other Saturday (or so) is going to be something special. But I’ve made some changes to the character sheets, so I thought an update was in order.

First up: the Hardy Human Knight from Wednesday. I got some very good feedback on the character over on the Fate Accelerated Fantasy Google Plus site. Markus Wagner suggested that having to spend a Fate point and limiting the effect to once a session was too steep a cost for the “reduce a consequence” stunt. After some discussion I agreed and came up with an alternative; a second mild consequence slot.

In Fate Accelerated Edition, stress clears at the end of each scene. Stress represents exhaustion, scrapes and bruises, and other minor things that go away after a few minutes of rest. Consequences are more lasting effects. Mild consequence (those that mitigate 2-shifts of stress) clear up at the end of the scene, provided the character has had a chance to rest. Moderate consequences (those that mitigate 4-shifts of stress) clear up at the end of the next session, as long as it makes sense in the story. Severe consequences (those that mitigate 6-shifts of stress) clear up at the end of a scenario, again provided it makes sense in the story.

When a character takes a hit, the player can mark a single stress box and any number of consequence to absorb the stress. So, a character who takes a 4-shift hit could mark their 2-shift stress box and take a mild consequence to avoid being taken out. Both of those will clear up at the end of the scene, but they wouldn’t have many stress boxes left. Or they could take a moderate consequence instead. That will take longer to go away, but all three of their stress boxes are clear. A character with two mild consequences who takes a 4-shift hit could mark both mild consequences, still has all their stress boxes clear, and will clear both consequences (and any stress taken) at the end of the scene. Having a second mild consequence is obviously very useful.

The downside of consequences is that they are aspects, and like all other aspects, they can be compelled by the GM and invoked by other characters. When a player marks a consequence for their character, whomever landed the attack gets a free invoke on that consequence, just as if they’d made a new aspect. Because, in a sense, they have. So while having more consequence slots means you can absorb more stress, it also means you’ll have more aspects for your opponents to take advantage of.

But Fate points flowing around the table as players create, invoke, and compel aspects is a big part of the Fate game. So rather than a “fancy” stunt, I’m fine with giving the Hardy Human Knight a second mild consequence slot as one of her stunts. The character sheet has been updated, and all the old links should point to the correct place. But just in case, here are the links to the A4-sized PDF and the letter-sized PDF again.

Hardy_Human_Knight_A4-(1)

Next, I’ve updated all the previous character and monster sheets so that aspects are shown in dark blue text. I like how that makes them quick to identify when looking at the sheets. All the original links on the original blog  posts and on the collected list page should have updated.

As I said, I doubt that Friday posts will be a common occurrence. Two posts per week, plus one or two special Saturday posts is keeping me busy enough already. I’ll reserve Fridays for updates and corrections, which will hopefully be few and far between.

FAE Fantasy: Updates