Wrathofzombie’s Stab at the Monster Manuals- H

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Harpy [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]

I’ve always like the Harpy; a disgusting female creature that lures you in with her beautiful voice and then kills you.  The interesting thing about a Harpy is the cool implied story.  What caused this creature to become what it is?  Behind the savagery and evil is a beauty that can’t be denied (even if you are trying).

I read up on Harpies on Wiki and found out that during the Greek and Roman eras there was confusion between the Harpy and the Siren (hence why Harpies are portrayed as having the heavenly voice). Also that the Siren’s were either given wings by Demeter to find Persephone when she was abducted by Hades or flip that and they were cursed by Demeter for letting Persephone be abducted.  I’m using mythos influence how I will handle Harpies.

Harpies were once beautiful Nymphs who have been cursed because they failed in their charge to protect the unsoiled and sacred areas of nature.  When this happens the Nymph goes through a terrifying and painful transformation.  Her skin becomes coarse, flaky, and scaly.  She sprouts wings covered in a sickly auburn plumage.  Her face becomes twisted and ugly yet there is evidence of the Nymphs once overwhelming beauty that still lingers.

Once the transformation is complete the Harpy is banished from the realm and seeks out its sisters in the far reaches of the land, preferring badlands or blighted areas.  They are cruel, evil, and extremely emotional, sometimes to the point of hysterics.  The Harpy has the ability to use its voice, which only the strongest are able to resist, to lure in human prey.

Possible World Knowledge

  • The Harpy is an extremely cunning hunter that uses a creature’s weaknesses against it.
  • The Harpy’s song captivates those who hear it making them forever a slave.
  • The Harpy is vain compulsively believing that they are the most beautiful creatures alive.
  • The Harpy is able to control the mind of men [F].
  • The Harpy is the offspring of a demon [F].
  • The Harpy is afraid of mirrors [F].

Hellhound [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]

Hellhounds are fucking badass; flaming wolves that hunt and bite and burn.  I’d pretty much keep them as they are now, but I’ve added one thing to them.

Unlucky Aura– Hellhounds carry an evil aura around them that causes any “non-evil” creature within 30 feet to suffer from grave misfortune.  Targets in the aura must reroll all checks and take the lowest of the two rolls.  This aura is highly appreciated by those who train Hellhounds as guard/attack dogs.

Hobgoblin [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]

Really not much I can add to the Hobgoblin.  I like Pathfinder expanding on just how crafty the Hobgoblin is by using siege engines, alchemy, and various forms of engineering to overcome the enemy’s defenses before utterly destroying them.

I could see Hobgoblin’s being a bit like the Jem’Hadar from Star Trek: Deep Space 9.  They are utterly rigid in their devotion to war and the glory of a death in battle.  Those who die of old age are ridiculed and not spoken of again.  Only Shaman’s feared for their magical ability are given allowance to live into their twilight years.

Homunculus [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Homunculus (aside from letting a player create one) because they’re basically weak and pathetic imp-looking creatures.  If I want a creature that will be troublesome for players..  It will be Imps, not a Homunculus.

The Monster Manual Homunculus is just fucking boring, there is zero flavor text.  The Pathfinder and Castles & Crusades at least have some flavor of this creature that goes bat-shit crazy should the master die.  That’s a little better.

Zak posted a link to wiki page about the Homunculus and there is some pretty cool info here.  Zak’s version of the creature offers some good food for thought and taking in what the Wiki page said, especially about Teratoma, made me think of how I would handle Homunculus from now on:

Wizards dabble in the secrets of the arcane and to some this is an all-consuming arduous task.  Wizards often require help but loathe sharing their research or secrets with others, even possible apprentices.  Thus they delve into the strange world of the Homunculus.

These strange creatures are created from the wizard’s own flesh and blood.  The Wizard must craft a potion containing his blood, flesh, hair, and a tooth that are mixed with herbs and charged with arcane energies.  Once the potion is drunk the wizard’s body small pulsating lump on his side that grows over three months to the size of a large watermelon.  On the full moon of the third month the lump bursts and in a deluge of pus, blood, and worse this strange creature is deposited on the floor.

The Homunculus is an extension of the wizard and has some of his personality and features, although oddly distorted as if possibly showing what is really inside the wizard (this can be determined by the player or rolled randomly on the table below) standing roughly 18 to 24 inches in height.  The creature is absolutely dedicated to the wizard and will follow any command without question.  The Homunculus has a personality and is conscious but does not have free will.  The Homunculus also has one strange ability or power that is granted due to the magical nature of its creation.

Should its master die the creature obtains full free will but something inside the Homunculus has broken, as if a vital piece of itself has been lost forever.  This can lead to violent outbreaks of rage, sorrow, or even delusions of grandeur as the creature thinks it is now the master and seeks its own gains, but often these are strange and incomprehensible as the creature is an artificial being removed from humanity.

Should a Homunculus be destroyed the wizard suffers 2d10 damage.

Roll twice on table, once for deformity and once for ability.

Homunculus Table

Roll

Deformity

Ability

1

Hunchback Ability to cast 2 spells (levels 1 or 2) as a 3rd level wizard

2

Odd colored Skin (blue, green, black, purple, yellow, etc) Able to discern lies

3

Curled hands Poisonous bite- 1d6 dex damage

4

Oddly deformed extremities Able to cause target relive terrible tragedy

5

Bleeding gums Fear aura

6

Needle fanged teeth Acidic Vomit- 1d8 damage

7

Scarred body Sprout Wings- gain flight

8

Enlarged head Change Shape into small animal

9

Exact copy of wizard Can attempt to merge and posses creature

10

Pustules all over body Cover area of floor with sticky thick mucus

11

No eyes Able to absorb memories from target

12

Constant Conjunctivitis Feed of creatures vitality- 1d6 con damage

13

Unable to talk only shrieks Ability to warp wood into any shape

14

Strange pot belly Ability to rust any metal it touches

15

Infantile body Blood is an airborne hallucinogen

16

Black pulsating veins Magic spells cast at it are absorbed and cause creature to grow in size

17

Organs on outside of its body Is able to create food and water for one person once per day

18

Necrotic Body parts that fall off and eventually grow back Is able to mimic the skills of a person it touches for 24 hours

19

Shallow hollow face with terrified eyes Its fingers are edible and grant the wizard strange random effects.  Once all have been eaten they grow back

20

Constantly twitches, spits, and wets itself Causes nodes to appear all over target that turn into edible fungus and mold in 1d4 days.

Howler [Monster Manual]


The picture of the Howler is pretty cool and I can dig that the beasts howl, when subjected to it for too long, can cause madness and hysteria.  That’s pretty fucking awesome actually.  Imagine being trapped in a cave attempting to get away from a pack of these baddies coming after you, all the while chittering and howling and slowly driving you mad.

Why a dog though?  Too many dogs in D&D.  I especially don’t like that this is a dog-like creature since it is an evil outsider.  I would rather have it look like one of the little crazy critters from Cloverfield (see pics below) that if bit you exploded.  That’d make Howlers even worse.

Blood Explosion– If bit by a Howler you must make a Constitution based save, failure mean that you swell and burst taking 2d12 damage and continue to bleed 1d6 per round until healed.

Hydra [Pathfinder, Castles & Crusades, Monster Manual]

There really is nothing I can say about a Hydra to make it any cooler in my book, however I really don’t dig Hydra’s with legs or breath weapons because that’s what we have dragons for.  I prefer the ones that have snake body.  Neither the C&C or MM books have mention of a Hydra’s head growing back and you’ve GOT to have that shit!  That’s what makes them really awesome.

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About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

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