Ever had a project twist and turn while under development? Something you consider brilliant? The once brilliant thought degrades into question of relevance. The Monster Stat Generator is my dilemma.
The original concept was a quick and simple utility — generate short stat blocks for wandering creatures with associated treasure. The implementation was frustrating. Pride and more stubbornness than a mule hell bent on getting back to the barn kept me moving forward. I finally hit the functional level I desired. The design decisions made in my treasure generator need to be fixed. Massive gem and jewellery type outputs are not conducive to this utility.
The original, self induced hallucinations of brilliance are long gone. I doubt its usefulness beyond my own needs. The fanciful ideas wandering about in my head have fallen to the blows of doubt.
You can see the rules and latest updates on the Goblinoid Games forum topic.
Yesterday, I answered one additional question:
Q: B&W or Color? Which do you prefer? Also, for those of us who might consider doing the full layout for the cover (with illo) could you provide all the necessary copy (working title, author’s name, logos you might use, etc.). Thanks.
A: I lean toward color for cover art. Black and white is fine as well.
Cover Details: The working title is Treasure Book on Demand. The title isn’t very imaginative but it has been the name since the start of the project. Author field is completely optional. My full name is Mark Hassman if you wish to include it. Full covers should include the Labyrinth Lord Compatibility Logo somewhere. I don’t have a quality logo for Mithril and Mages so I’ve chosen not to include one for the cover. (The logo is a project for another day.)
Due to poor planning on my part, I’ll be unavailable the last week of June. If you have questions, please post them by Thursday, June 23rd. After the 24th, I will not respond to any questions. I return on July 2nd. By then, entries will be closed.
For the Labyrinth Lord fans, I have begun to assemble a list of resources. I intend to migrate the data into a simple database. The database will be expanded to allow resources to have descriptions and multiple categorization for entries. The current list is a starting point. I apologize in advance for oversights. If I didn’t include a resource, consider it my failure. The original list had a publisher section. I intend to add it back in but need to determine how to annotate publishers along with a list of products.
Additions, corrections and suggestions are encouraged.
- Dyson’s Folder-Style Character Sheet
- Dyson’s Landscape Character Sheet
- Form Fillable Character Sheet
- PocketMod format Character Sheet
- R. Lawrence Blake’s Index Card character sheet
- Dyson’s Dodecahedron
- Monster Cards
- Morale Check’s DM Screen
- Snorri’s Creatures from Unknown Lands
- Swords Against the Outer Dark’s Labyrinth Lord / Advanced Edition Companion DM Screen
- Strange Stones’s DM Screen
- Treasure Book of the Day
Maps and Modules
- Burial Mound of Esur the Red (level 2)
- Challenge of the Frog Idol
- Dyson’s Delve
- Fortress on the Ironflow (levels 2-4)
- Goblin Gully (level 1)
- Lair of the Spider Flayers (variable level)
- The Charmed Grotto (levels 5-8)
- The Hall of Challenges (Level 5)
- The Sewers of Travon (Area 1)
- The Tomb of Dûrahn Oakenshield (level 3)
Utilities & Generators
Infestations of giant rats are a common encounter for low level adventurers. Rats thrive any place food is available including alleys, sewers. dungeons and crypts. Rats are vile but the larger, more aggressive cousin, the osquip are ferocious.
Osquips are multi-legged rodents. Most osquips have six legs although rare specimens have been seen with eight and ten legs. The teeth and head of the osquip are oversized enabling them to dig burrows faster than their rat cousins. Osquips possess hairless hides ranging from light yellow to a yellowish brown. The hides are supple when tanned and provide excellent water resistance.
Generally, osquips are encountered in subterranean settings but will establish burrows anywhere adequate prey is available. The creatures are carnivores and active only in darkness. Osquips are very territorial. Any creature entering the territory will be attacked by the rodents. Emerging from well concealed tunnels, osquip will surprise 50% of the time. The creatures are unafraid of fire but loathe deep water. If forced to swim, half will drown and the other half will be reduced to very slow paddling (1″).
A large, bramble covered hummock sits along the eastern edge of the road. Obvious game trails wind around the mound toward the bank of the nearby river. Fresh earth is scattered across the northern face of the slope and a three foot entrance to a burrow is roughly hidden by the shrubs and long grass.
The osquip have taken over the burrow of a giant weasel along a river bank. Situated along a game trail, the creatures have thrived off easy prey of wildlife and occasional small parties of travellers A smaller, rear tunnel leads under the roadway into the brush roughly 150 away. Due to the bountiful prey, the osquip have not expanded the tunnel system significantly. The tunnels are roughly 3 foot in diameter. Demi-humans can enter and move reasonably well. Human sized creatures will be cramped and hard pressed to attack or defend.
If any party member discovers and moves within 10′ of the main entrance, the osquips will begin an attack. Due to the limited number of exits from the burrow and the small entrance, only a single osquip will engage initially. The first attacker will try to force the intruder back from the entrance allowing the remaining pack members to swarm out.
Number Appearing: 2-24
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 3+1
# Attacks: 1
Size: 2′, at shoulder
XP Value: 120
Treasure Type: D (in lair)
Stats are based on the AD&D 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual. Tweak and tun as you see fit.
I enjoy putting oddball creatures in feasible, albeit unlikely locations. This osquip encounter is an eccentric variant of a subterranean monster set in a wilderness location. Why are they in the wilderness? Maybe the few members are from a nearby cavern taking advantage of the natural resources. More simply, they may well be predators utilizing abundant natural resources.
I’m proud of my Labyrinth Lord Treasure Book Utility. Based on the feedback I’ve gotten directly and indirectly, others have found it useful as well. Both the online generator and nightly generated books have found an audience.
The contents are fine but it needs an identity. Such an identity can only come from artwork. So, I have decided to hold an open artwork contest for art to adorn the free utility as cover art. I do not require exclusive license to the artwork, just the right to reproduce it on demand on the cover of the treasure book. The artist is free to use the work for other purposes. Artist will be credited within the book including contact information, website info, etc.
Entries are for artwork to adorn the cover of the book but need not be a full cover. Full covers including title, artwork and layout are encouraged but not required.
The Prize Pool
- 1st: Prize: $100.00 (USD)
- 2nd Prize: $50.00
- 3rd Prize: $25.00
Prizes will be paid either through PayPal, via gift certificate at DriveThruRPG/RPGNow or via gift card at Amazon.com. The winners must select a preferred payment upon notification of a prize.
Entries & Judging
Entries must be posted to on the Goblinoid Games forums by June 30, 2011. All members of the Goblinoid Games’ forums can vote for up to three entries. Voting ends July 8th, 2011.
I will down select from the top five entries, based on forum votes, and announce the prize winners the week of July 10th, 2011. Winners will be notified via private message on the forum site to coordinate payout.
Post them on the Goblinoid Games forum thread.
Jackalwere’s are an excellent choice as an encounter for a lower level party. The creature occurs in low (1-4) numbers but has powerful special abilities. The creatures can shape shift at will into three different forms: a jackal, a human or as a half-human/half jackal. They also possess a sleep gaze and can only be hit my magical or iron* weapons.
Unlike lyncanthropes, the jackalwere doesn’t transmit a disease. They are very intelligent and will use the sleep gaze if possible on unsuspecting victims. Their hatred for humanoids should be tempered by intelligent tactics. Given a choice, the jackalwere will only attack if they believe they can prevail. If possible, they will utilize the sleep gaze to incapacitate prey rather than engaging in outright combat. The jackalwere is a master of deceit and will only reveal itself if forced.
Initially, I was going to use Jackalweres as a encounter on a roadway. Instead, the party chose to stay in town and undertake a mission from the local thieves guild. The ‘weres were stalking unsuspecting merchants after closing. They would approach the residence of the shopkeeper acting as if they needed items urgently. If the unsuspecting merchant fell to the sleep gaze, they would drag the disabled merchant back into the residence and slaughter/feast upon the corpse.
The party was already alerted to the deaths early and staked out the area where the killings had taken place. The jackalweres were in human form but were not aware of the party staking out the street. After targeting a merchant, the party engaged forcing the jackalweres into a fight.
Tweaks to Better the Encounter
I was flying by the seat of my pants so I didn’t play it as well as I could have. I ignored the intelligence and morale of the monsters once the combat was in full swing. The jackalweres should have likely tried to flee and fight another day once they were significantly injured. One did escape but would not have chosen to re-engage a party member later unless it was at an advantage.
I underplayed the menace of the jackalweres. The creatures are prone to feasting upon their prey. The horror could have been upped if the original deaths were reported as partially eaten corpses. Toss in full families rather than individual merchants and I may have gotten a more energetic response from my group. Still, it was a brutal encounter, which fit the setting requested.
Should you choose to be evil, have a single ‘were in human form, act injured on the roadside. If the party aids the injured, the ‘were will wait until night and attempt to disable those on watch and then slaughter the rest of the party in its sleep. The tactic is brutal but aligns with the mentality of the creature. If discovered, it will attempt to flee rather than fighting a pitched battled.
Pack of Jackals / Wilderness Encounter
The jackalweres will mix with a pack of normal jackals in jackal form Within the pack, they will engage the party briefly overnight to test the strength of the party. As the alpha members of the pack, the jackalwere’s will not sacrifice any member of the pack in combat. Its a feint. If the party appears weak enough to be killed, one jackalwere, bruised and bleeding, will approach the camp at dawn in attempt to use its sleep gaze. If ineffective, the jackalwere will later try to slink off. If successful, the rest of the pack will engage.
I don’t understand the magical and iron(*) only weapon restriction. Magical only? Sure. Iron? I’ve never distinguished materials for weapons in my game. I’d play it as +1 or better magical weapons and ignore the “iron” weapon option unless you classify metal types of weapons in your game. The iron weapon component must have a following since its survived several fantasy editions and been included in retro-clone games.
Jackalweres are tough creatures. The fantastic abilities of shape shifing and sleep gaze make for a far more interesting encounter than wandering band of humanoids. Played correctly, they could become an early nemesis of the party.
I changed the Spell Book generator to follow the more traditional model of 2 known spells per level. Additional spells, if any, are randomly added to the levels allowed as defined by the class spell progression chart.
For example, the magic user progression is defined as 2 1st level spells and a single 2nd level spell. The generator will result in either 3 first and 1 second or 2 first and 2 second level spells. More useful but not quite what I would find useful overall. I want to restructure the entire generator into something far more flexible. Doing so will need to wait for another day.
You may also like Skull Crushing for Great Justice’s version better, which uses the AD&D spells and optionally Unearthed Arcana. Options and versatility are good.