Friday, March 23, 2018

12 Midnight Monsters

These monsters only come out when you foolishly leave the safety of Garden or if the power goes out, letting them in. All of the monsters here hate light and have -1 or more hit dice when illuminated by something like a stadium light or when trapped in a brightly lit room. If this drops the creature to 0 HD they become comatose and they take 1 damage per Turn until they die.

Some creatures have extra powers in darkness, which means once the lanterns and flashlights of the players are out or destroyed the creatures will become stronger. Only roll a 1d6 on this list if you're close to Garden; the city is surrounded by bright lights and walls that keeps the worst ones away. Sometimes, in the dimmest streets and dark black alleys of the city, one of the weakest monsters (1d4) may be lurking in wait.

Nightmouth (12)
-12 Midnight Monsters-
[1] Many-Tail Panthers (1 HD, 1d6+2 claws, each panther has 1d4+1 tails that become tail worms when they die, if damage roll of 1 a tail is shot off and becomes a tail worm)
Number Appearing: 1 if near Garden, otherwise pack of 1d6

In Darkness the panthers can drop from the shadows to bite the necks and throats of explorers, dealing 1d10 damage that ignores armor.

The Many-Tail Panthers are the most classic of the monsters outside of Garden and are among the most well understood. They prey upon the residents of the city and seem to be pets and act like hunting 'dogs' for the Torchlight society. The Panthers do not have a gender and instead seem to reproduce by biting off one of their own tails and dropping it on the remains of a corpse.

When removed from the body the fleshy, bleeding stump end of the tail actually has a mouth with lamprey-like teeth that bites any warm flesh nearby and tries to bore into it, as well as being able to grapple with prey by wrapping themselves around it and choking them. The tails eat corpses and grow into a juvenile panther with no tail; tails seem to grow with age and by eating lots of lost city folk.

Tail Worms (Dies on first hit, 1d4 bite each round, grapples prey to prevent escape and fighting back; save to break free, +4 cover bonus from firearms due to size and worm body)

[2] Shakeyshroom (1 HD, hops around and releases spores when in melee, releases spore cloud on death, spores cause suicidal hallucinations)
Number Appearing: Usually 1

Shakeyshrooms look like giant, 3foot tall mushrooms that appear perfectly normal, but can hop around when threatened or when not observed. They are nearly totally silent. It is unknown if they are actually fungus, or some creature that pretends to be fungus to blend in. Shakeyshrooms like to follow explorers in the woods and shake their spores onto their food, sleeping bags, or over them when they sleep. Spores that are ingested take 1d6 turns to take effect.

When the spores are inhaled or take effect, the target suffers audio and visual hallucinations and needs to make a save to see anything clearly as it really is. Failing this save causes 1 psychic stress, so those who try to resist the effects often just fall in deeper. The hallucinations drive the victim to suicidal thoughts or actions, such as seeing their gun as an ice cream spigot and the trigger as a button that dispenses it, or walking off a cliff because they see a bridge over it. The spore effect fades over 1d4 turns, but lasts 2d6 turns if the target has more then 7 points of psychic stress.

The Shakeyshroom has no defense besides its spores and is basically helpless if attacked, though spores it releases in melee can turn allies against each other in suicidal confusion. The fleshy head of the shroom releases some spores each time it is bumped or struck, but plenty of gangs and drug-dealers in Garden will buy it from you for a very specific high and to synthesize special Psychic drugs. The head can be sold for $40 on an open market, but expect Enforcers and other do-gooders to try and stop you from selling or keeping this contraband. Strangely, the shroom does not grow or reproduce with the bodies of those who die from its effects, instead preferring to hop away and allow other predators of the forest to consume the body.

[3] Black Scratch (2d6 Turns, harries or deals 1d4 damage, warded off by light and fire)
Number Appearing: Unsure/NA

In Darkness the Black Scratch deals 1d6 damage with deep, bleeding claw marks that ignores armor and any target killed by this simply vanish along with their equipment.

Instead of having health, the Black Scratch follows the explorers around for a number of exploration turns equal to their 3d6 roll. The Black Scratch is seemingly invisible, though some claim to see 'something' out of the corner of their vision when faced with one, and they often seem to teleport to different locations nearby. It is not possible to hit a Black Scratch with any weapon, except maybe for a psychic assault. Instead of attacking directly, the Black Scratch harries their prey, tugging at their clothes, ripping off cords and ropes hanging from your person, and delivering small 1d4 damage scratches to you. It tends to attack about once a turn, or whenever someone is alone or especially vulnerable. The scratches it delivers appear as light pink marks instead of bleeding wounds.

Black Scratch can be held back by bright lights, but seems to either move incredibly quick or have some control over electricity since the moment the light flickers they can still attack, often trying to throw an item you're carrying just out of reach to lure the group to split up. The Scratch is one of the few creatures that is almost stronger in the dark parts of Garden then out in the forest, as it can snuff out streetlights and hallway bulbs to isolate victims in the city itself.

The one thing a Black Scratch cannot stand is light from a fire, which wards it away. It never attempts to attack someone carrying a torch and anyone standing within a campfire's light is safe from the scratch until it gives up and goes away. The Scratch also seems to be the one “creature” of the forest that the Torchlight society have not tamed, instead many of them have deep scars from the creature's fingernail-like wounds, which they proudly show on their bodies.

[4] Flaming Fox (1 HD, +4 evasion from bullets, 1d8 pyroclastic flames, 1d4 brain burn)
Number Appearing: 1 or 2

Small, fox-like creature that appears to be made of simmering embers. It's tail gives off sparks when it moves and its long whiskers wisp out of its face like open flames. When the creature is running or in combat, its body flare up much brighter and hotter. It can flick its tail to produce long jets of flame that torch everything they touch; lighting up huge sections of the forest's underbrush while the trees themselves seem not to be much harmed by it. These flames have a similar range to a firearm, but armor grants no protection.

Any psychic who attempts to use their powers on the fox itself or on its flames in an attempt to control or extinguish them will take 1d4 damage each round they do it- the fox making the temperature of their forehead extremely warm. Psychics killed by this move burst into flames. This effect also happens on anyone who gets within 15 feet or closer of the fox, their head heating up from the foxes intense psychic aura.

The flaming fox is a creature that seems to have been bred or totally domesticated by the Torchlight Society. The vast majority of them wear flame-proof collars or sometimes even little bells. The Torchlighters use these foxes as a mobile source of fire and warmth in the forest it seems, and as weapons of war. Nobody knows if they intentionally let some into the city as an act of arson or if the foxes that end up near Garden are just strays or runaways.

[5] Flying Frogs (2 HD, +1 Armor, d6 choking tongue, can detach tongues, flight)
Number Appearing: 1d4

Frogs with the power of flight and can 'stand' on air with their webbed feet. They have oily dark gray skin and must stay wet or dry out and perish. These frogs use their long tongues to choke people from above, similar to a hangman's noose. These frogs can detach their tongues and glue them to tree trunks and branches, holding their prey in place and slowly choking them to death.

These frogs can constantly float and fly, meaning they run when they can't surround an enemy. The forests around Garden are filled with decayed, rotten fibers hanging from the canopy, occasionally wrapped around the next of an unfortunate corpse. The frogs don't eat the corpses, instead merely eating the warms of insects that are attracted to the decay.

[6] Rakemen (3 HD, +1 armor, slow, d8 rake attack- if doesn't deal damage destroy target's armor)
Number Appearing: 1d4

The Rakemen appear as creatures shorter then the average human with dark brown skin and fur that covers any sort of facial features, which travels down to their groin. Their hands are unnaturally bent metallic rakes with four points each, connected to their stump wrist by a metal pole. It seems all of the bones of the Rakemen are made of metal, as they move very slowly and stiffly and despite their size are tremendously hard to kill.

Using these metal claws, the Rakemen deal significant damage to any beings who cross their path. They also use these Rakes to rip apart bulletproof vests, metal straps, and other forms of armor that an explorer may wear. They use their Rakes on dead foes to cut them up into thin strips, which they suck up into a mouth hidden underneath their head-fur covering.

These Rakemen don't seem to speak any language but have some mild levels of intelligence and tactics, usually preferring to wait and hide around trees before creeping up to attack forest explorers which also helps due to their lack of ability to give chase. Their territory is marked by long scratches in the trees, dirt, and on rocks. When deployed by the Torchlight society in raids or assaults on Garden city; they will sometimes have Rakemen equipped with simple armor, as the Rakemen don't seem capable of tool use on their own.

[7] Lurklei (2-6 HD, +3 armor, d4 lurk water spit, d8 engulf- if small save or be swallowed)
Number Appearing: Always 1

In Darkness over the lurk pool, the Lurklei can sense all nearby creatures. It can exit the body of water in absolute silence if no light source illuminates its blackness.

This creature appears as a large bony fish with two strong humanoid legs underneath it that allow it to exit the water. Unlike almost any normal creature, this creature continues to grow and grow and grow to fill its habitat, destroying and absorbing all other life. Lurkleis eat all other fish, eggs, insects, and use their great sucking mouths to even absorb all the pond scum from where they live. Eventually they are the only thing left, alone, at the bottom of the pond.

The ponds they live around are called Lurk pools. The first time people encounter them, they notice the quiet and unsettling lifeless water, which has a dark black color. Lurklei's don't excrete waste save for black liquid that dribbles from their mouth constantly. This liquid corrupts the pond and makes it poisonous. Lurklei's can hold their breath out of water for a number of combat rounds equal to their HD. When their time is up they will bolt for the water to refresh; as such they prefer to fight as close to the water as possible and not get walled off from their pond.

Lurk water is toxic. Getting it sprayed on you deals 1d4 damage from tiny amounts entering your eyes, mouth, and nose. If you brace yourself for a round or are wearing a gasmask/scuba gear you can avoid taking the damage, but the liquid soaks its way into clothes and bags and makes those things deal 1 damage per exploration turn of carrying them around until they are properly cleaned with hot water and soap and dried out.

If a character is physically small enough, then the Lurklei's bite can engulf them in its toxic black mouth, dealing d8 damage. If they fail a save when attacked, then they are swallowed and are trapped inside its belly, causing death unless cut out within a few minutes. If they succeed the save they can attack the Lurklei inside it's mouth, thus ignoring it's high armor or just wiggle out. If a character is too large for the Lurklei to swallow at the creatures current size, it cannot engulf them and instead just spits on them. The size the Lurkeli's can swallow is equal to the characters height in feet equal to HD. So a 3 HD Lurkeli can swallow very small 3 foot or shorter explorers, etc.

[8] Roving Columns (2 HD, +4 armor, d10 trample and knock prone, always attack different targets, if prone when trampled causes instant impalement and death, take double damage from payloads)
Number Appearing: 1d6+2

They look like crudely carved humanoid columns made of a soft, craggy stone. They are vertical and when dormant simply stick in the ground, but when moving they quickly raise up and then spike themselves back down again after traveling parallel to the ground for some distance. The columns in a group or formation always move one after the other, each one taking a moment to stay in the ground as another moves, as if they were the feet or shoes of some giant, unseen, intangible monster. As such it doesn't attack the same character twice in a row; with a new pillar moving to run over and smash into another character as soon as the last one lands.

The danger is amplified by the bottom of each pillar, which is sharpened inwards somewhat. If a character is prone or sleeping then this pillar will land on them with enough force to impale them and instantly kill them; meaning one must keep moving to avoid being slain by the roving columns.

Due to their material; the soft stone breaks apart easily with enough force so a concussive blast such as from a psychic with powers over sound or from an explosive weapon such as a payload grenade launcher will cause double damage and easily break the pillars apart.

[9] Leachbear (4 HD, +1 armor, 1d6+3 hair attack dehydrates victims)
Number Appearing: 1 or 2

In Darkness the bear is less effected by gravity and can float over people to attack any target, or to easily avoid melee attacks. Mechanically they gain +3 armor in darkness.

The Leachbear appears as a large flat bear-like skin of a creature that crawls across the ground or wraps itself around trees and branches above to get the jump on prey. It's shaggy, coarse fur is its primary weapon, of which each hair is a proboscis and can drain fluids from things it grapples and wraps around the victim. Armor is the only real protection against this attack.

Those harmed by a leachbear are rapidly dehydrated and cannot be healed with regular first aid alone, requiring clean water to restore what their body has lost. Each item of first aid used to heal them also requires drinking a full ration of water or another liquid. As the bear attacks prey it swells larger and larger from the stolen juices and becomes heavier. It can spray out these juices as a last resort, which causes firearms soaked by them to jam.

Some other animal furs having similar powers and aggression as the Leachbear have been reported in connection the Torchlight society. Since many Torchlighters wear animal furs when trading with or in war with Garden; these furs could be animated as the Leachbear is and act as a sort of guard for the person wearing it, or be used as a weapon of assassination and terror.

[10] Speartides (2 HD, +2 armor, 2d6 spears attack OR 1d10 spear rain, bulletproof, reforming)
Number Appearing: 3d6

Mass of sharpened wooden pikes, one end hardened and brunt by a fire, moving together like a massive snake with each end rotating to face forwards as the rest pull back to to give it motion. These wooden spears have no flesh or physical body, and are given motion by psionic powers. Because they are made of wooden stakes bullets cannot harm them unless it is an explosive or incendiary round.

These creatures do possess a lesser “mind” created by a psychic. Mostly it is a simple and warlike emotion of aggression. Psionic attacks deal damage to it instead of stress, and can unravel the forces that keep these stakes moving and fighting. The spears either lurch forward to stab an enemy from many angles or rear back and fling themselves to rain spears on foes.

Speartides seem to be the living barricades of the Torchlight society that can move as commanded, but are just as powerful on offense and defense. The speartides can roll into each other to reform up to their full strength if needed, and can freely add more carved or crafted spears into their mass as they go.

[11] Twisted (3 HD, +4 evasion from bullets, 4d6 psychic attack dice, minor telekinetic, minor pyrokinetic, minor electrokinetic, minor dowsing)
Number Appearing: 1

In Darkness the Twisted gains an addition +1 psychic attack die and automatically deflects 1d6 bullets fired at it per round with psychic barriers.

Appear as a twisted, tangled up slender mass of roots, vines, branches, and grass that levitates in the air a few feet off the ground. The being is incredibly psychically potent and its presence can be felt as a painful throbbing sensation in the head of psychic explorers when nearby.

The creature may split up its psychic attack die freely among whoever it is fighting each round. Psychics can attempt to fight back by rolling their own psychic attack die against it. The roll with a higher result inflicts that much psychic stress on the loser. If enough stress is accumulated then a save must be rolled or the character faints. Characters who are not psychic do not get this defense and simply must endure the psychic stress they receive until overwhelmed or until they defeat the monster. Usually, the Twisted focus on psychic characters first before moving on to non-psychic characters.

The Twisted has many minor psychic abilities including telekinesis, that lets it move objects, as well as pyrokinesis and electrokinesis, which lets it avoid fiery attacks against itself and also try to short out lanterns and electrical devices that explorers carry. Once all threats have been defeated the Twisted bores into the minds of unconscious people to mentally torment them, playing traumatic and terrifying false memories and experiences in their head until they become so mentally regressed is simply absorbs their psychic energy and leaves them a vegetable shell.

[12] Night-Mouth (7 HD, +2 Armor, 2d10 big bite, 1d6 punch- stuns on 6, chew through anything)
Number Appearing: 1d8

In Darkness Night-Mouths move twice as fast, and replace their 1d6 punch attack with a second 2d10 bite attack.

These massive lumpy humanoids are one of the most terrifying known monsters in the woods away from Garden. They are almost 10 feet tall with small heads, but a massive mouth that stretches down to their chest. Their large flat teeth glow white even in the darkness, and are able to chew and bite through almost anything. The creatures are also smart enough to bite at the guns that explorers bring with them; making them useless and making their prey easy kills. Their lumpy fists are also quite strong and can punch people into trees to stun them.

Despite having functioning 4 fingered hands, they don't seem to use tools, merely using their hands to grab foes still to bite them into pieces or to punch, grab, or throw. Their level of intelligence is a mystery. Always hungry and seeking things to devour, the Night-Mouths gladly eat rocks and trees, but keep some area around their territory clear to 'ambush' travelers.

The Night-Mouths usually appear in groups and without talking, they can maneuver themselves into basic tactically formations. Some believe this was taught to them by the Torchlight society, or perhaps the Night-Mouths have a rudimentary society all their own, or some yet undiscovered psychic link. Night-Mouths used by the Torchlighters are in chains and are usually alone, which leads some Garden scholars to believe that they are only semi-domesticated and are closer to being enslaved by the Torchlight society then raised and used as living weapons by them. For this and other reasons; some believe that the Night-Mouths are the original inhabitants of the dark forest before Garden city was built, and its cursed electric lights sent them away into the woods.

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