Tuesday, January 17, 2017

blades of grass

a 5e monster for weird florida. Been thinking about Pearce's Monstrum 1 and Monstrum 2 posts, and while I haven't faithfully applied those principles here, I wanted something that didn't immediately and obviously fit into the D&D taxonomy (in some ways it doesn't matter if your kobolds are dogmen or lizard people or birdlings or shivering clouds of diamond dust if players know that it's a fodder enemy in the same genus as goblins and bullywugs).
 ~~~
you might think it's a coyote at first when you see it running down the trail--its skeleture is right, and it has that canine posture on all fours, but then it rears back on its hind legs and then keeps going, sprinting like a human, reaching for you with its sharp fingers. it looks more like a person up close, but its mouth is a little too wide and its teeth are far too sharp, and when you cut it, its blood is pink and viscous, like real blood mixed with milkweed sap.

GRASS HOUSE DWELLER
medium fey, chaotic neutral
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 7
Speed 40 ft, 60 ft on all fours, 30 ft climb speed           
STR 8 (-1) DEX 14 (+2) CON 10 (+0)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 10 (+0)                    
Skills: Stealth +6
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages unknown
Weaknesses radiant damage, makes their blood burn like wet sodium
Graceful. Can take the Disengage or Hide action on each of its turns
Hide in the House. Has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks when hiding in grass
Grass House Walker. Moves through palmetto, tall grass, and natural difficult terrain silently and without penalty                                                                 
ACTIONS
  • Claw. Melee weapon attack. +4 to hit, 1d6+2 slashing damage
  • Green glass blade. Melee weapon attack.+4 to hit, 1d8+2 slashing damage, breaks on a roll of maximum damage.
  • Weird. The dweller can cast one of the following spells per short rest. Use WIS as spellcasting ability score. Its spell save DC is 14 and its spell attack bonus is +4
    1. as entangle. The dweller gently palpates the ground; if it is stone it flexes like soft flesh, if it is dirt or sand the dweller reaches below the surface and manipulates something unseen there. Slender pale arms churn through the ground, delicate strong hands with opalescent fingernails drag down whatever they find.
    2. as fog cloud. The dweller scores the earth deep with its claw and black smoke boils up out of the gash.
    3. as unseen servant. There is the faint smell of cut grass and open earth, pollen and tiny insects hang in the air.
    4. as thunderwave. The dweller throws back its head and roars like a thousand thousand cicadas, it's the worst sound you've ever heard, you can taste it in your teeth, feel it blast through the fine bones of your jaw and ears.
  • Pact. Once per day: Three dwellers within 5 ft of each other can use their action in the same turn to summon a demon if they are outside in a wilderness area. Roll or choose based on situation, all have fiend type. Demons have their own initiative and act in the interests of the dwellers unless separated from their summoners, in which case they act of their own free will.
    1. sunstroke demon (as yellow faerie dragon) a ragged coyote corpse leaking mirage-shimmer from the rents in its hide, running weightlessly across the ground, flitting from branch to branch as easily as a crow.
    2. palmetto demon (as imp) scuttling mass of palm scrub detritus: palm fibers, browning fronds, broken roots, sand clods. It doesn't change shape, but just shows you what it's been all along, changing from spider to rat like an optical illusion resolving itself
    3. anhinga demon (as spectator) has a 60 ft swim speed. it coils through the air like an eel through water, braided serpentine bodies throwing off coils and wings that dissolve into black feathers as fast as they form. its conjoined heads are spotted with angry red eyes, each stare carrying a different curse.
    4. ash demon (as azer) it could almost be a charred corpse and often disguises itself as one, but its skin is thick like charcoal. when roused the red glow of its internal flame can be seen through the cracks in its skin, and its breath is heavy with smoke.


There are dwellers in other houses, too. The Petal House Dwellers have the character of both spiders and moths, and their magic is white and filamentous. The River House Dwellers are hulking and patient and make familiars of toads and crocodiles. There is a Pure House, too, a House long ago and far away and high above, with dwellers of infinite beauty and cruelty, who drink up the creatures of the earth, who would pull apart the world like a ripe fruit and eat it if they could.

1 comment:

  1. The former Floridian in me is really digging these. The thought of going on a hexcrawl through palmettos, sawgrass, and pine scrub makes me uneasy in a good way.

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