Category Archives: Monsters

White Box Wednesday: Price of Rebirth

I dug into the depths and pulled this little gem from the nether hells. Let’s make death a little more interesting.

The Price of Rebirth is a cool little supplement by Stellagama Publishing. I know they are most famous for products using Cepheus/Traveler rules but they got other stuff. The subtitle pretty much says it all: Expanded Injury, Resurrection, and Lichdom Rules.

Each of these three factors revolve around Saving Throws and special effects based around the margin of success or failure. By the rules, when a character reaches 0 HP then they are dead. In this case, make a Save and maybe you’re dead. The results can end up being anything from you’re so dead that you can’t even be raised to popping back up with 1 HP. And in between, there’s all sorts of lasting injuries.

So you’re dead? Well, raise you might not be easy. This is another Saving Throw based effect. Maybe the gods just say, “Nope.” or something gores wrong with the ritual and there’s some lasting effect on the character.

And in that rare instance that somebody wants to become a Lich or the DM wants an NPC to do it. There’s a whole set of rules for doing that.

This is a handy little set of rules to add into your White Box game. Heck, you could add to other games too with little or no conversion. All in all. I now I’m adding it to may DM tool box.

You can pick up The Price of Rebirth on DrivethruRPG. Remember, one of the objects of the game is not to die.

Deathbringer: Magic & Monsters. Oh My!

I make it no secret that I’m a fan of the simple Deathbringer rules. They are simple without being too rules lite. They are pretty much compatible with any edition’s adventures. And it’s really easy to hack. One thing that I find is a feature is that there’s no spell list nor any monsters. Why? Well, why add the same old monsters and magic again? Really. Just use the version you want.

There’s tons of books of monsters and spells and since I’m an old-school kind of guy I figure I should dig around a pick a few that are off the beaten path.

Shadowdark/Cursed Scroll Zine: The core book will be released soon but I’ve got my hands on the beta rules, the quick start, and Cursed Scroll. Sure there’s the usual spells but there’s also a few that take a bit of grim dark turn. The spell descriptions are to the point. No extra blah. And it uses zoned combat and a roll-to-cast system. This is what I’m using in my current campaign.

Black Libram of Naratus: While this one is designed for Castles & Crusades, it’s not hard to convert. And yes there is a warning that these aren’t meant for player characters since they are pretty evil but then making a few available could an interesting and corrupting touch.

Realms of Crawling Chaos: You want some Lovecraftian monsters and spells. Well here you go.

Teratic Tome and Lusus Naturae: Both by Rafael Chandler. If you want weird, gory, and completely out there and usual not safe for work and some adults. Then take a look. Really, there’s some crazy, dark stuff in there.

Check out the Dark Arts series by Kai Putz. You get a bit of everything monsters, magic items, and spells. And all dirt cheap.

Yeah, I know I didn’t include probably someone’s favorite. And just maybe right now, I’m getting in the mood for a weird, grim dark type of campaign. But more about that later.

Unpleasant dreams!

White Box Wednesday: Monsters & Converting Them

A reader reached out to me and ask how converted monsters for White Box. We had a brief conversation over IM and I thought that it would make a pretty good post.

Sure there are a ton of old-school monster books out there. And many are pretty danged awesome. But in general, most are designed for BX and later. Remember, variable damage and multiple monster attacks didn’t come around until Greyhawk: Supplement 1.

Most of the conversion is pretty simple. Armor Class, Saves, and Attack Bonus remain the same. For Hit Points, roll d6’s rather than d8’s. However, damage and number of attacks is where it takes just a bit of gut instinct.

I really don’t make much of an effort to mathematically convert things like this. It’s more important that the monster has the same feel. Normally for White Box, I like to keep to one attack per round. Mainly for speed of play. If multiple attacks are a key feature or the most noteworthy thing about a monster, then I’ll do multiple attacks but divide the creature’s Attack Bonus as evenly as possible.

As for damage, well that’ s a bit of instinct too. As a rule of thumb, I equate a d4 to d6-1, d8 to d6+1. And just kind of go from there. If a monster does 2d8 damage then for White Box, I’d do 2d6+2. And just kind do what feels “right”.

Yeah, I know this isn’t specific. It’s more about converting the feel and abilities of monster rather than the math. Could get it wrong? Sure. Just maybe the party found an exceptionally weak or strong individual. Change it up next time.

So have fun out there!

Goblins of Zoong

The campaign is coming and I’m pulling out all those ideas that have been lingering in the back of my head. This time I want to talk a little about goblins.

Sure they’re a fun, favorite bag of hit points for player characters to kill. But in some settings they are cute little scamps that makes everybody say, “Ahhh.” Well, the goblins from Zoong are nasty and a common threat everywhere. They’re sort like a cross between piranhas and cock roaches.

Nobody knows exactly where goblins come from. They just seem to appear out of nowhere and occasionally disappear just as quickly. A goblin nest or warren acts as a portal from their native dimension. The only to deal with an infestation is find the nest and take it out.

Goblins are primitive and vicious. They gang up on what they believed to be the weakest target. They will use what ever weapons that they can find but many just prefer biting their opponents. Speaking of biting. Goblins have no real sense for mortal precious metals or gems, but for some reason they do value to teeth of mortal humanoids. So if you find a bunch of chewed up corpses that are missing their teeth. It’s goblins. That is if you find corpses. Goblins like meat.

Goblin hunting is a professional practiced across the land. It doesn’t matter if it’s a rural area or a major city. The little monsters can show up anywhere. Hey, it’s a living. That is if you survive.

Orcs of Zoong

Slowly gearing up for that new campaign and it’s time to start pulling a few odds and ends that have been bouncing around my head for a long time. So yes. The Orcs of Zoong are EVIL. And no. This has nothing to do with all the hubbub from early. It’s an idea that’s been there I just hadn’t blogged on it until now.

The Orcs of Zoong appear out of nowhere and hew a path of death, destruction and misery. Their sole goal is cause as mush pain and devastation as possible. Why?

The Orcs are the souls of the most cruel and evil mortals sent back to the material to cause as much chaos as possible. If they inflict enough pain and suffering on the mortals before they die, their souls return to Hell. But instead of being a tortured soul in Hell, they get to be the torturer. So it’s sort of a promotion.

He’s still working those dungeon tiles.

There really isn’t anything that could remotely considered an “orc” society. They are just these bands that appear and start killing. They are constant threat every where. On the bright side, there never seems to be enough of them in one band to stage what anyone could consider a large scale military operation. Nor are they organized enough. The safest time to attack a new band of orcs is when they are still fighting amongst themselves to see which one of them is toughest and gets to lead.

Do they have any different stats than you’re run of the mill Orc (pig-faced or otherwise)? Nope. It’s the lore and those subtle things like just appearing out of nowhere in a civilized region.