I took a break from the game aides (well, I need another good idea) but not from pay-what-you-want-titles. So, I released From the Maw of the Würm came… today, a collection of special attacks for dragon-esque monsters.
These are not your regular attacks of “elemental breath” or acid, but were written with a battle against a nasty, hideous monster in mind. One that most would like to leave alone for the harm and woe it might cause. Some of the entries refer to a “cone of “ effect/attack. The GM is the final arbiter in regard to the exact shape and measures of said cone (and how often the monster may make use of its special attack), so that it may be easier to fit the attacks into any given game. All of the entries are Labyrinth Lord(tm) compatible, but every GM worth the title should be able to adapt those to any other OSR RPG.
To lend this blog post some substance, I will post 10 of the twenty attacks of the title right here. Enjoy!
The monster spews sour-reeking, yellow bile, and more than enough to cover a character completely with it (which will happen unless a Saving Throw vs. Breath Attacks is passed). The beast´s humor are noxious and unwholesome in every aspect: as soon as the victim suffers a wound while still being covered with it, an additional point of damage will be suffered per round for the next 1d3 combat rounds unless a Saving Throw vs. Poison is passed. This effect stops once the character was able to bath and clean all clothes and armor.
A wave of bright colors flashes forth from the creatures jaw, and those in its cone must pass a Saving Throw vs Paralyze or will be stunned for 1d3 combat rounds.
A rolling, boiling tongue of darkness jets out of the maw and will engulf all that do not pass a Saving Throws vs. Breath Attacks. Even after the Saving Throw is passed, the Darkness will roll towards the characters in an attempt to wrap around them for the next three turns (after which it fades into nothingness). Those characters that end up engulfed by it (Saving Throw vs. Breath Attacks to avoid it) will suffer -4 to their attacks and and are -2 to hit by others, unless the attackers can see through darkness (and a monster that breathes darkness may very well be able to do so).
04# Aetheral Doom
An iridescent, fraying non-substance the color of gold and nacre billows forth from the mouth of the creature to snake around the characters found in the cone of effect. Those who come into contact with it must pass a Saving Throw vs. Wands each combat turn or choose: lose 1d6 x50 xp or suffer from the effects of a Confusion spell (LL p.28) for 1d6 turns. The Aetheral Doom will linger for 1d4+1 combat turns, and each turn a Saving Throw vs. Breath Attacks must be passed to avoid contact. The Saving Throw will benefit from a +2 bonus if the character accepts a -3 penalty to all attacks for that round.
05# Foul Gases
A cloud of yellow-brown gases shouts from the beast´s nostrils and threatens to choke the characters. Those who do not pass a Saving Throw vs. Death will suffer a -1 penalty to their attack rolls and a -3 penalty to their melee damage rolls. The cloud covers an area of roughly 20´x 10´feet and will stay for 5 rounds. Those inside must pass the Saving Throw each round or will suffer the effects for one turn.
06# Glowing Vapors
Pale-green vapors shout out of the monster´s maw and every character in the cone of effect must pass a Saving Throw vs. Wands. Those who fail will begin to glow themselves and be under the effect of special Dispel Magic spell with a level equal to the monster´s HD. The spell will act against all magic cast by or targeted at the victim, and will stay in effect for 10 combat turns.
A wave of a thick, dirty-white organic goo sploshes forth from the beast´s maw and will cover those who do not pass a Saving Throw vs. Breath Attacks from head to toe (otherwise, the character will just be sprayed partially with it, without further game effects). At first, this is just inconvenient and disgusting. At the start of the second round after the attack, the substance toughens and grows sticky, so that the character´s feet begin to glue to the ground. As a result, the victim´s movement is reduced to ¾ of the original speed (and to ½ a further two rounds later) while there is a (-1) (two rounds later: -2) penalty to all attacks of the character while all attacks against the victim will gain a +1 (and later; +2) bonus.
A swarm of gnats and other flying pests swarm out of the monster´s throat and begin to harass the characters. The insects will sting the PC, suck blood and fly into their eyes (-1 penalty to all attack rolls). After three rounds, the affected characters need to pass a Saving Throw vs. Poison, and those who fail will begin to sweat profoundly. At the fourth round the monster will inhale the complete swarm back in. From that point on, the bite attack of the creature will deliver a Class III Poison against all characters that failed the Saving Throw (in addition to its regular damage).
The creature exhales what seems to be a small hailstorm: dozens of pebble-sized, irregular shaped objects that are hard and smooth like teeth. Every character in the cone of attack will suffer 2d6+2 points of damage (1d6 on successful Saving Throw vs. Breath Attacks, a shield will provide a bonus equal to its AC bonus against ranged attacks).
10# Maggots & Worms
The breath attacks turns out to be more of a spitting attack as a shower of worm-like maggots are hurled towards the characters, together with droplets of bile and gastric juices. Characters who pass a Saving Throw vs Breath Attacks will be able to dodge the majority of this unsavory attack, those who do not will have two rounds to brush and shake off the abhorrent little things . Doing so takes just one round, but after two rounds a large number of them will have wormed their ways inside of the characters clothes and armor. From that point on, the victims need to pass a Saving Throw vs. Death every other round, or they will lose a hit point as the vile beasties chew on their flesh. Maggots that got under the victim´s garment cannot be removed without undressing completely.