Friday, 8 January 2016

I Tried Building a Monster-Creation-Table and Ended Up Creating a Monster

I like making monsters but I often don't know where to start. I have, therefore, made some tables that give me what I need to create excellent and fun encounters. Turns out some of the things write themselves, some of the things aren't monsters, and sometimes I end up with things I don't think I'd have otherwise thought of. It seems more powerful than I intended. I am pleased, but need to refine some things. I rolled straight on the tables, and these are the first 6 things they churned out:

1) "The Raven and The Bull". A magical ballad or story; a lilting Fae given tonal flesh. The story tells of a raven, which frustrates and thwarts a young bull of his opportunities to impress and court young heifers. He becomes furious, but the raven is too cunning and elusive to be trampled. The young bull's rage instead brings great harm to those kind beasts around him, who in turn get angry with him and he is ostracised. The song, once heard, is unforgettable. When afflicted folk find anger in their company, the swirling, dirgy ballad may slink forth from their mouths. Their angry fellow, hearing the chorus, may enflame and do violence upon those around him/her. The weakest willed enfuriates will cruelly eat their victims, unless bodily restraints are applied. The fae-song thus propagates, feeding on the rage of folk.  

2) The Monks of Makery. A chasm, from which dull, copper light emerges. Inside, a sect of outcasts worship the formless, brazen mists that pool in the central, bottomless void of the pit. It demands, they say, the crafts and makery of all things, and in return nourishes them with warmth and life.

3) Khanezzar's Fingers. A spidery, ten limbed abomination crafted of alchemically treated man- and beast-flesh. The central mass is a stitchery of hide and maws, surrounding pulsating and purpling organs. It is the servant of a mad, lost alchemist, who commands it to covet and collect treasures and food for his work and sustenance. The passages of command are carried on leylines, and these words might be acquired in order to control the thing...

4) Mists of Madness. Writhing, tentacled sacs that live in the frozen fogs of New Feierland. The instincts and emotions of manfolk, particularly those of dreamers, draw them forth from their icy nests. The take nothing, but bring gifts of overwhelming paranoia, confusion and distrust. They thrive, dance, and reproduce to the moorish delights of humans succumbing to and exaggerating their gifts. Madness often follows, and these sorrowful folk may be found, helpless, in the shadows of receding night.

5) The Hungerer. A large, emaciated serpent that eats the bones of virtuous folk. It stalks the night. It attacks by spewing forth a mass of grey bile, that stretches and sticks like a spider's silk. Helpless victims are dragged into cursed pits, where they hang and starve, until their bones can be drawn from their flesh and consumed. The beast, perhaps due to its diet, is incapable of lies or verbal evasion.

6) Vulheulla. Home to the lost, desperate, and hopeful. Vulhuella is a magnificent bastion, built of Celestine bricks, gilded with gold and bronze, and fed by a river of alchemical silver. There are tales of travellers, wracked with grief, loss or despair, who find this place beyond the edges of civilisation. Most who visit its glorious walls or speak with its beauteous, alluring folk are forever lost to the world of men. Those few that return are forever changed, and burdened with treasures.