Thursday, December 31, 2020

OSR: Gargoyles, Rust Monsters and the Clever Xorn


                                                              by peachiekeenie

HD 1d4+1
AR Varies
Atk Stone Claws and Jaws (1d8+2/1d8+2)
Mor 14
Saves (7+HD) or less

Stone Skin: Gargoyles start with 2d10 Armor.  While they have this armor, they have immunity to sharp damage and resistance to bludgeoning from non-magical weapons.  They are also immune to small projectiles that aren't supersonic, such as arrows, stones hurled from a sling, etc and anything else that couldn't hurt a statue.  This includes but is not limited to fire, acid, lightning, ice and force damage.  The Gargoyle can still be injured by types of damage that attack the soul though, such as that from magical weapons, radiant, necrotic or psychic. 

Rock Eater: Gargoyles have the ability to crush up and consume stone.  If a Gargoyle takes an action to eat some rocks, this restores 1d10 Armor points to it's 'Stone Skin' ability (see above). 

Petrification Condition: Gargoyles turn to stone when this condition is met.  While Stone they retain the hardness of 'Stone Skin', except their armor cannot be damaged.  Another condition will cause the Gargoyle to return to its' animated form.

Curse of the Gargoyle: Anyone bitten by a Gargoyle or who comes into contact with it's bodily fluids, or god forbid eats it, must save or be cursed.  On a failed save, the creature becomes cursed with the 'Petrification Condition' of the Gargoyle.  Creatures only need to save once per Gargoyle.

- Depends on the type of Gargoyle

Types of Gargoyle:


1- Mageborn.  Some powerful Magi know the secret of creating Gargoyles.  These Gargoyles transform from stone at their Master's command, or when a specific condition is fulfilled, as long as that condition is set by the Master.  Mageborn Gargoyles are Constructs, following orders exactly and never having to check morale, as they have no fear of death, or fear of anything for that matter. 
2- Cursed.  Gargoyles created from curses come about when a statue or building is cursed.  The curse twists the fabric of reality, causing them to come to life, and indeed, having always been alive.  These Gargoyles transform under the conditions of the curse, for example, whenever the Moon is Bloody (the New Moon).  The Gargoyle then transforms back into stone once that condition is no longer being met.  Cursed Gargoyles work to ensure the curse is carried out and ensure the one who cast it has his wish fulfilled.  If the curse is broken, they will transform back into normal statues.    
3- Demonically Possessed.  Lesser spirits of wickedness can come to inhabit the statues standing atop buildings or in hidden catacombs.  This animates the statues, causing them to become Gargoyles.  Sometimes this is because of some crime that was committed within the building, giving spirits of evil permission to enter it.  Other times it is because the spirit was deliberately invited, the statue having been prepared for it.  Demonic Gargoyles animate under broad conditions, such as at night or when an act of wickedness is committed before it. 
4- Ancestral.  Ancestral Gargoyles are created when successive generations venerate a building or religious site that has statuary.  Over time, the collective spiritual energy can transform the statues into Gargoyles or cause Gargoyles to form naturally out of the stonework.  Ancestral Gargoyles usually form from the sentiments of one ethnic or religious group, so they transform whenever something that would offend that group is done in the Gargoyle's presence, or when the site is in danger.

Gargoyles, when animated, have behaviors that are based on their origin and on what kind of statue they originally animated. Gargoyles with wings can fly.  Gargoyles with genitalia seek to breed.  Gargoyles with large bellies seek to eat and feed much more frequently than normal Gargoyles.

This Gargoyle has...


1- Wings.  This Gargoyle possesses the ability to fly. 
2- Genitals.  This Gargoyle possesses the ability to charm people by producing a pheremone cloud (1/Day).  Those exposed to it's bodily fluids have disadvantage on their saves, and those who ingest those fluids automatically fail.
3- A body bloated by pregnancy.  This Gargoyle will give birth to smaller baby Gargoyles.  You also must successfully save when first attacking it or be unable to harm the Gargoyle.  If you do manage to attack, this will draw the ire of creatures friendly to the Gargoyle, who will then target you.
4- Multiple sets of arms.  This Gargoyle can grapple multiple creatures at once and gains one extra attack.
5- A second head.  This Gargoyle has advantage on all perception and Cognition checks.  It is extremely hard to sneak up.  Also, it gets a bonus bite attack (1d6).
6- A third eye.  This Gargoyle has the ability to cast spells innately.  It has a number of Mana Dice equal to its HD and can cast the spells Entomb, Repel Stone, Steel Intangibility and Stone to Dust.  These spells do not trigger Chaos or Corruption, but it's MD do burn out on a 5 or 6.

Gargoyle Plot Hooks:


1- An ancient temple was recently reclaimed from the wilderness, the insides reconsecrated, the shrine to the Green God inside smashed and offered to the Lords of Law.  But since then, each full moon, someone has gone missing.  The locals suspect a Werewolf and have hired a group of adventurers to find the beast.  Secretly, it is a Gargoyle, and not all the missing are dead, some have become new statues adorning the temple's ancient walls.
2- In ancient days, a woman was cursed (or blessed) to give birth to a savior who deliver his people from a Messiah.  To prevent this from happening, a Sorcerer-King who ruled over those people commanded one of his Gargoyles to scratch the woman, who was already pregnant with the savior.  The woman was petrified and resides in one of the vaults of the palace, now ruled by that descendants of that ancient King.  You have been enlisted for a sacred task- find a way to revive the woman long enough for her child to be born.  Unfortunately, the only way to do so would be for her to hear the Sorcerer-King's voice, which would be difficult, given how he perished generations ago.
3- There is a royal wedding being planned between the prince and princess of two feuding kingdoms.  You have been hired to provide security and otherwise keep things running.  Unfortunately for you, there is a Chaos Cult running around, with a plan of using mass human sacrifice to awaken as many of the cities' statue on the wedding day.  The plan is bone-headed and very likely to kill them all, but if not discovered in time, it would lead to untold amounts of destruction.
4- An evil Magi is terrorizing a city with a pack of Gargoyles who obey his every command.  He seems to be controlling them through a magical artifact he possesses.  Please take it from him before he destroys the city.
5- Thanks to a curse, a group of monster statues that once attended a Goddess of the Harvest have animated and become terrifying monsters.  Wielding their stone scythes, pitchforks and sickles they have gone out to reap a red harvest of blood. The curse must be broken to defeat these terrors, but the man who uttered the curse is dead and the only other person who knows what the curse was is a young female acolyte who has been in shock since she witnesses the slaughter.  Helping her might be the only chance of defeating these monsters. 
6- A series of vigilante killings have shocked a city.  Several well-known suspects who have so far escaped punishment have been found killed by an unknown person or group.  The people of the city think this is a generally positive outlook, but criminals, city authorities and corrupt officials are determined to root out the source of these killings.  Secretly, it is a Gargoyle intended to be a guardian spirit for a city, spurred on by the pious prayers of a young child.  

                                                artist unknown

Rust Monster
HD 2
AR Varies
Atk Barbed Mandibles (1d6)
Mor 15 (7)
Saves 9 or less
Vulnerable to Lightning Damage

Steel Skin: Rust Monsters are covered in a shell of metal.  This gives them 2d6+2 Armor Points.  While they have this shell up, they are vulnerable to lightning damage and immune to sharp damage from non-magical weapons, fire and ice; they also have resistance to acid damage.

Scared of Storms: Rust Monsters, upon seeing lightning or hearing thunder, must immediately check morale or flee.  When confronted by thunder or lightning, or things that sound or look just like it, use the smaller number for their Morale.

Metal Sense: Rust Monsters can detect the presence of ferrous metals within 1 mile of them and will seek it out.

Devour Metal: Rust Monsters can, as an action, attack an object made of metal.  That object takes 1d6 damage on a hit.  Weapons damaged this way do -1d4 damage.  If this reduces the amount of damage a weapon could do to 0, it breaks.  If Armor is damaged this way, it's protective ability is lowered by 1d6.  If this reduces the Armor to 0, it breaks.       

- Seek out metal
- Gobble it up
- Attack those who interfere

A long time ago, an unnamed Sage bred a giant insect with a Gargoyle.  The result of the copulation was a clutch of eggs that hatched into a beast called the Storza or as it is much more commonly called, the Rust Monster.  These creatures have since spread far and wide, becoming a nuisance wherever they go, annoying Adventurers, smiths and miners alike.  It is unknown whether this Sage's name was stricken from the record for his foolishness, or if he removed it himself to protect his descendants from future recriminations. 

Regardless, Rust Monsters are large, insectine creatures covered in shells of rusting iron.  They have razor sharp mandibles and long, twitching antennae, which allow it to detect the presence of ferrous metals.

Rust Monsters seek out metal to reinforce their shells, which they use to protect themselves from predators.  They do not actually eat metal, as the stories Adventurers tell about them seem to indicate.  Rather, Rust Monsters eat small animals and carrion.  They only opportunistically pursue metal when they come across it, except during mating season, when they pursue it with great intensity.  Rust Monster females usually choose the males with the thickest or largest shells, meaning the pressure to find an abundance is metal is much stronger than normal.

Rust Monsters are no smarter than an intelligent dog.  Despite their seeming malice and evil reputation, they are just beasts.

                                                             source unknown

HD 6
AR Varies- See Below
Atk Slam (1d12/1d12)
Mor 15
Saves 13 or less

Earth Armor: Xorns have a shell of animated earth over their bodies, giving them a grotesque appearance and protecting them from danger, giving them 3d6 Armor Points.  This Armor repairs or resets itself (Referee's Choice) each time the Xorn goes into the ground.  While they have this armor, they have immunity to sharp damage and resistance to bludgeoning from non-magical weapons.  They are also immune to small projectiles that aren't supersonic, such as arrows, stones hurled from a sling, etc and anything else that couldn't hurt a boulder.  This includes but is not limited to fire, acid, lightning, ice and force damage.   

Stone Walk: Xorns can pass through unworked stone and earth like it was air.  Any creature or object they are touching also gains this property for as long as it maintains contact with the Xorn.

Treasure Sense: Xorns can sense the presence of precious metals as well as jewels within 1 mile of itself.  

Animate Earth: 1/Day, Xorn can create guardians of stone or earth to serve them.  Stone guardians are created of unworked stone and have 4 HD, 10 AR and make 1d10 Slam attacks.  Xorn can only make 1 Stone Guardian a day.  Stone Guardians also have all the resistances the Xorn's Earth Armor provides. Alternatively, a Xorn can create 1d4+1 Earth Guardians, which have 2 HD, 6 AR and make 1 1d6 slam attack.  Earth Guardians have resistance to non-magical sharp damage and are immune to fire, acid and lightning damage.   

- Use 'Stone Walk' to go into the ground underneath someone.  Then, grab them and start pulling them down into the earth.  Once you have pulled them under, let go and they will instantly be buried alive.
- Dive in and out of the ground, using it for hit and run tactics. 
- Pick off your foes one by one.  Use Guardians as decoys or as cover to escape. 

Xorns, sometimes called the Dao or Lesser Janeen, are a race of highly intelligent creatures with the souls of clerks and the resentfulness of weaker men.  They are the rivals of the Deep Janeen and other Genies, who they resent and envy for their innate natural abilities.  This hatred of Genies is the primary reference point in Xorn culture, whatever Genies do is bad, so the opposite is usually good.  Xorn do not keep slaves, they hire workers.  Xorn do not steal things, they only bargain and trade for them.

This is not to say that the Xorn do not copy the Genies in many ways.  Like their rivals, all Xorn aspire to wealth.  So they collect jewels and precious metals and use these to build lavish palaces beneath the earth.  The wealthiest Xorns live in luxurious halls, surrounded by sycophants and servants.  Less wealthy Xorns are often included in these groups, attending greater Xorn.  But even these lesser Xorn can still build impressive estates for themselves, using their innate magicks and masonry and mining skills to slowly carve out tunnels, link caves and expand caverns.  Xorns are also known to be some of the best farmers in the Veins, producing vast stores of fungus bread, slug butter, pale crawfish and other subterranean staples. 

Most Xorn hold the belief that all gold, gemstones and other metals belong to their race and all others are merely thieves handling Xorn property.  That said, they do not immediately jump to violence, and are more than happy to trade.  Xorn trade with other races in the Veins, exchanging food or light for gold and jewels.  They are also known to carry baubles and trinkets to trade with adventurers for their stores of jewels or packs laden with gold coins. 

 Xorn do not eat gold or jewels, as the stories say they do, but instead they hand them over to smiths to make art from them, or work them themselves.  Xorn saliva is able to polish jewels without cutting them, for instance.

Xorn are a proud race, usually possessing massive, easily bruised egos.  They hate to be compared to Earth Elementals, whom they look down upon, or Genies, whom they despise and envy.  They present themselves as reasonable, polite and professional, but when angered they easily give in to petulant rages and temper tantrums. 

What does this Xorn offer you, in exchange for your treasure?


1- Food.  The Xorn will only do this if you seem hungry.
2- Light.  The Xorn spend most of their lives in perfect darkness or surrounded by Earth, so light is not as important to them.
3- Ammunition.  Depending on your setting, the Xorn could be carrying shot and gunpowder, arrows, darts, crossbow bolts or anything else that common ranged weapons could use.
4- A magical bauble.  Roll on the table below to see what the Xorn has on them, or roll on your favorite 'Minor Magic Item' table.

The Xorn's magical treasures:


1- A wand of bone, the handle wrapped in dried skin.  The wand fires bolts of necrotic energy and heals Undead, instead of harming them.
2- A wire whip.  Anyone who is struck by this whip must save or lose his next action as he is wracked by spasms of agony.
3- A cloak of dark feathers that when activated, allows you to use telekinesis and move an object up to weight as an action. Creatures get a save to resist being moved by you.
4- A wooden good luck charm that, if you fail a save, allows you to pass the effects of the failed save onto another creature within range of the original effect.  That creature you pass the failure onto is allowed a save to try and mitigate the failure.
5- A mask of white that, when worn, makes the wearer incorporeal.  The wearer cannot use or affect purely physical objects while incorporeal, but can affect magical items or living creatures.  The wearer is also immune to damage from non-magical weapons, as well as cold, poison and necrotic damage.  If the mask is ever removed, this effect ends.
6- A magical shell that if spoken to and held up to the ear, will answer the question.  The shell does not know everything, but it does know everything the oceans, rivers, lakes, clouds and rain know.  If if the shell cannot answer a question, it will sing instead.

Xorn Plot Hooks:


1- A group of miners have been taken hostage by a tribe of monsters.  The monsters are making nonsensical demands for their safe return.  Please rescue them.  Secretly, the monsters are just stalling.  They work for a Xorn, who is attempting to enlist the miners into working for it.  The Xorn is reasonable, but not above using strong-arm tactics or threats of violence.
2- The rivals and enemies of a controversial figure, such as a governor, suspected crime boss or wealthy merchant have started disappearing, leaving no evidence behind.  You are hired by one of that figure's enemies, to protect him and to find out what happened to the other victims.  Secretly, the assassinations are the work of a Xorn, who is being paid in large quantities of rubies and other jewels.
3- The party is approached by a Xorn who wishes to hire them.  In exchange for some magical baubles, the Xorn wants them to infiltrate the palace of a Genie and steal the Eye of Zuul, a massive emerald said to be worth as much as some principalities.
4- A Dragon is on a rampage, interrogating and destroying everything it comes across.  Apparently, someone stole something from the Dragon's hoard and the Dragon is going to keep looking until it finds it.  Secretly, a Xorn is responsible for the theft, and is hiding so the Dragon doesn't find it.  If the party looks strong enough, the Xorn might even try and convince them to fight the Dragon, in exchange for reveal the hidden location of the Dragon's hoard.      

                                                      by Gurbatchoff

No comments:

Post a Comment