Saturday, February 6, 2021

OSR: Wurms and the Slimewood Tree

                                                            by Kekai Kotaki

Great burrowing beasts that wreak havoc on settlements, cities and civilizations as a whole.  All Wurms are a danger to everything around them and in most places, Wurms are the apex predator.  Even vast packs of wolves, hunting with the ghosts of their ancestors or the Cat-Princes shudder at the first glimpse of Wurm-sign.

Base Wurm Statblock
Atk Varies
Mor 15
Saves (7+X) or less

Burrower: Wurms spend most of their time underground.  They travel through earth like it is water.  Wurms can enter or exit the ground as a free action.  If a Wurm bursts out from underneath something, it gets +4 to attack if that creature is caught unaware or unable to take any action to evade.   

Wurm-Sign: Wurms are not sneaky, unless they are deep underground.  When near the surface, Wurms cause the earth to bulge up before them, indicating the direction and speed of their movement.

Tremor-sense: Wurms can sense vibrations and can find creatures above-ground while below it by their footsteps.  Creatures who do not move cannot be detected by the Wurm, but Wurms are smart enough to remember where someone was a couple seconds ago.

Blind: Wurms are blind.  They cannot be blinded.

Great Jaws: If a Wurm chooses to bite someone, that creature is automatically grappled on a hit.  The Wurm can then choose to swallow that creature on it's next turn as a free action.  That creature may attempt to beat the Wurm's STR roll with a STR check of it's own, or attempt a DEX check.  If the creature wins, it escapes and is not swallowed.  If the Wurm wins, the creature is swallowed.  Swallowed creatures are blinded and grappled and cannot do anything that requires large or precise movements.  They also take 1d6 acid damage a round.  If the Wurm takes 10 or more damage as the result of an attack, the Wurm must save.  On a failed save, the Wurm spits up the creature it swallowed.  Wurms can also choose to spit up creatures as a free action on their turns.

- Burrow up underneath a creature, bite and attempt to swallow
- Surface, crush someone, then dive back into the ground
- Go after easy prey, avoid the surface and dangerous predators

How large is this Wurm?


1- Fairly small, as Wurms go.  This Wurm has 7 HD, 21 Armor and makes two attacks Bite (2d8) and Tail Lash (2d8).  These Wurms tend to be brown and dark green.
2- Big.  This Wurm is extremely large, the kind that ruin harvest festivals, meat markets and trade caravans.  This Wurm is 9 HD, 16 Armor and makes two attacks, Bite (2d10) and Tail Lash (2d10).  These Wurms are red, brown or orange-red.  They have a 2-in-6 chance of having one of Mother's Gifts.
3- Extremely big.  This Wurm is the kind that flatten cities, devastate armies and make legends.  This Wurm has 11 HD, 14 Armor and makes three attacks Bite (3d6), Tail Lash (3d6) and Trample (4d6).  These Wurms are usually pale white or pink.  They have 1 of Mother's Gifts.     
4- Colossal.  This Wurm is like something from the Age of the Gods, a terror that shakes the pillar of Heaven, the kind of foe that challenges the Dragon and laughs at the Giant.  This Wurm has 12 HD, 7 Armor and makes three attacks, Bite (2d12), Tail Lash (2d12) and Trample (2d12).  These Wurms are usually purple, pale white or luminous silver.  They have 1d4 of Mother's Gifts.

Gifts of Mother:


1- This Wurm can replace one of it's attacks with a cone of acid that does 3d6 damage, save for half, unless you have a shield in which case save to take no damage, in a 30' cone.  The Wurm can only do this every 1d4 turns.
2- This Wurm has iron in its armor, giving it +4 Armor and a vulnerability to lightning damage.
3- This Wurm generates a natural bio-electric field.  Those touching it, touching a piece of metal around the Wurm or touching it with a metal weapon take 1d6 lightning damage.  The Wurm is immune to lightning damage.
4- This Wurm has recesses in it's armor that certain creatures can ride inside of.  If the Wurm is threatened, these creatures will leap off and attack whoever threatens it.  This Wurm is protected by 1dX [
5- This Wurm can unleash blasts of infrasound as an action.  When it does this, all creatures within 50' of it must save or vomit.  This nausea and confusion causes them to lose their next action.
6- This Wurm radiates infrasound, causing all creatures within 30' to hallucinate imaginary monsters as long as they are within range.  These monsters do not do damage but otherwise appear to be real. 
7- This Wurm is infected with a disease.  If anyone is exposed to the Wurm's blood or bitten by it, that creature must save or be infected.  Note that whatever is affecting the Wurm is too weak to seriously hurt it, but would catastrophic for a weaker creature.
8- The Wurm is infested with parasites, but these parasites do not prey on it, but creatures that threaten the Wurm.  As an action, the Wurm can vomit a swarm of blood-sucking beetles that will skitter around the battlefield, looking for creatures to prey on.  The swarm has 3 HD, no armor, does 1d8 damage on a hit and only takes 1 damage from attacks that don't affect an area.  Torches do 1d4 damage.   

                                                    from Fine Art America, artist unknown

The Slimewood Tree:

A tree famous for being extremely hard to cut down or burn.  Whenever it is cut, gooey sap with the consistency of gelatin oozes out to fill the gap.  This slime is also naturally fire-retardant, making burning the tree an exercise in futility.  Slimewood trees also secrete this same substance, making their trunks difficult to climb.  The majority of it drips off the trunk though, forming pools of translucent color around them.  The slime is usually a vivid color, often green or pink or bright blue.  When groves of Slimewood gather together, they transform the forest floor into a patchwork of lurid colors. 

Some people gather this sticky slime and use it as a substitute for pitch, as it's less flammable, but this presents its own hazards.  The slime pools often attract prey animals and predators.  The slime is edible, though it tastes bad and provides no nutritional value.  Some animals do chew on it, and some plants parasitize the slime pools, drawing water from the viscous fluid, leaving piles of colorful dirt around the pools.

But the Slimewood trees hide two secrets that are rarely discussed.  The first is the danger seeking them out brings.  For Slimewood trees do not survive solely on sunlight and water, as other plants do.  They live in a symbiotic relationship with the Slime Wurms.

Slime Wurm
HD 1d4+2
AR Slime-Coating [14 Armor]
Atk Bite (1d10) or Elemental Surge (2d10 random element (see below) ignore non-magical armor, save for half)
Mor 13
Saves (7+HD) or less
Resistant to Fire Damage
Resistant to Lightning Damage

Wurm: Slime Wurms have the other abilities of a Base Wurm.  See the statblock above for the specifics of those abilities.

Elemental Surge: Slime Wurms absorb mana from their prey.  As an action, a Slime Wurm can unleash a blast of raw energy in the form of a line of elmental damage.  This line is 10' wide, striking one creature and any others directly adjacent or behind it, doing 2d10 damage, save for half.  This damage ignores non-magical armor and is a random elemental type.  This blast is 1d4 [1= Fire; 2= Ice; 3= Acid; 4= Lightning.]  The Slime Wurm can only do this once every 1d4 turns.

Fruit Transformation: Slime Wurms, when they swallow a creature, do not do acid damage.  Instead, that creature takes 1d6 STR damage a round as the creature's body is broken down.  If this reduces a creature's STR to 0, it is transformed into a Slime Fruit.  For more information, see below.

- Ambush potential prey
- Slurp someone up and then escape
- Blast elemental energy at those who try to follow

Slime Wurms live around Slimewood trees, acting in a symbiotic relationship with them.  Slime Wurms prey on the creatures that come to eat the plants that bloom in great masses around the edges of the slime pool, gobbling up deer and warthhogs with equal vigor.  They are known to eat intelligent creatures as well, but only opportunistically. 

Slime Wurms burrow through the earth like normal Wurms, but they also immerse themselves in the slime pools that form around the trees, bursting out to ambush unsuspecting prey.  They are difficult, but not impossible, to see under the slime. 

Slime Wurms also do one other thing- they produce the rare, forbidden delicacy known as a Slime Fruit.    

                                           by Shenaniganza

Slime Fruit:

Slime Fruit is produced by the Slime Wurm totally consuming someone.  Their flesh, muscles and bones dissolve into mana and are replaced with a rubbery substance comparable to rubber, but springier and squishable.  They are pleasing to the touch and can be squashed and deformed without losing their original shape.  They are usually the same color as the slime produced by the tree the Wurm has bonded with.

What form does it take?


1- A shrunken version of the creature's original torso and head, but with no limbs.
2- A shrunken head.
3- A normal sized hand attached to a shrunken body.
4- A shrunken half a torso, ending at the belly-button, but with arms.
5- A shrunken lower half of a torso, ending at the belly-button, then going down to the feet.
6- A single, bulbous eye.

Slime Fruits also crackle with mana.  The original consciousness of the creature survives in this altered form for some time, until the supply of mana runs dry and the soul loses its grip on the changed body.  Touching an active Slime Fruit enables a telepathic link between the one holding the fruit and the creature who was transformed into it, assuming the creature's soul hasn't been forced to depart. 

These Slime Fruits can have many uses.  For one, if fed mana, the soul within can persist indefinitely, as long as the fruit isn't destroyed.  They can also be eaten, with the eater absorbing what mana the Fruit contains.  The eater will also usually absorb some of the creature's memories, though these will fade with time.  Do note that should you eat a Slime Fruit with a soul inside it, that soul can attempt to possess your body. 

What memories do you gain from eating a (Random) Fruit?


1- Running from predators, eating grass, competing with other males; the memories of a prey animal such as a deer.
2- The last regrets of an intelligent creature who was digested- most of the creature's consciousness has departed, leaving behind only this spiritual detritus. 
3- The recollection of a powerful ideal- justice, greed, hatred, love of honor, etc.
4- The muscle memory of a craftsman or artisan.  For 1d6 hours, you get +1d4 to checks or saves based on this information.
5- An important piece of information that people would kill or die for- the passcode to a secret facility, the hidden location of a treasure, the Lich-Queen's secret weakness, etc.
6- A cherished memory of a loved-one.

For a Slime Fruit that is fresh, the eater gains 50+Xd10% of a creature's memories, where X is a creature's COG modifier. 
Eating a Slime Fruit also gives you +X Mana Dice, where X is the number of HD the creature processed into a Slime Fruit had. If you don't have MD, it instead restores X+[The creature's COG score] FS.  

Slime Fruit where the soul has already departed have no mana and are simply rubbery, unpleasant tasting trophies.  They do make excellent toys to relieve stress with or intimidate rivals though.  Some powerful gangsters keep some on their desks for that reason, so they can always remind their associates and subordinates that they don't want to end up like Slippery Jon, who is now the boss' favorite souvenir.     

                                           by Zohaku

Softfoot and Soul Vacation:

Softfoot and Soul Vacation are the names of two illegal magical drugs that are created by Sages and Magi from various natural ingredients, including herbs, alchemical ingredients and fluids extracted from the Slime Wurm.

Softfoot turns a man's flesh rubbery and soft, making it easier for him to sneak around.  On hard surfaces, he leaves no footprints.  Certain versions of it also make it so when the man wets his skin, it becomes sticky, allowing him to more easily pilfer objects or carry loot.  This drug is prized by criminals because it makes theft easier.  Softfoot also makes it easier to escape being hurt, as the springy, elastic qualities of someone's flesh while on the drug grants them resistance to bludgeoning and fall damage.  Criminals who rob towers and other places sometimes take this drug as part of their exit.  Having taken the jewels, they chew it up, wait for it to kick in and then jump. 

However, they have to be careful, as it doesn't render one immune to fall damage, so if the drop is too high, they will still die.

Softfoot is also used as an interrogation tool.  Victims are fed it, then have bits of them sliced off.  As long as the drug is present in their system at a high enough level, damage can be easily repaired- though it still hurts, just not as much as normal.  Additionally, if enough of it is taken, the victim can be shoved into a small container or confined space that is perfectly survivable now, but once they change back, they will be suffocated or crushed by their stiffening body.  As such, those interrogated in such ways tend to develop lose tongues very quickly.

Some Magi have also developed a spell that allows the caster to inflict the effects of a concentrated dose of Softfoot on a target. 

Flesh to Slime
R: touch    T: creature    D: [sum] minutes

One creature you touch must save.  Creatures with HD 3x greater than [dice] are immune.  Creatures with more HD than [dice] add the difference to their save. 

On a failed save, the creature's flesh is transformed.  At 1 [dice], their flesh becomes springy and elastic, causing them to gain resistance to bludgeoning and fall damage, but to take a penalty equal to [dice] to their attack and defense rolls.  At 2 [dice], the creature's flesh becomes moldable, and with consistent pressure can be pushed into taking on a new shape.  At 3 [dice], the creature's flesh becomes translucent and soft as dough, gaining a vulnerability to sharp damage.  However, bits hacked off of the creature can be put back on, healing the creature to full.  At 4 [dice], the creature's flesh takes on the consistency of cake batter and becomes fully transparent.  The creature is no longer solid enough to hold any object heavier than a leather jacket, anything heavier will just fall through the creature.  Such a creature also takes a -[sum] penalty to attack and defense rolls. 

Soul Vacation is the rarer of the two drugs, produced only by the most wicked and brilliant of alchemists and Magi.  The drug takes the form of a white powder that can be easily mixed into a strong-tasting liquid such as tea or alcohol.  When consumed, Soul Vacation causes the creature that consumes it to excrete a log or slurry of multi-colored slime.  This slime is their soul, extracted to leave the body an empty husk.  Note that these empty bodies need to be warded, otherwise they will attract spirits roaming in the Shallows of the Astral Sea, who will see an opportunity to possess the body and take it for a joy-ride.  

This slime can be used for many purposes.  It can be used as raw materials for magical experiments, as it is rich in mana and contains a living soul.  If the slime is eaten, the soul can be transferred into another body.  This is useful for black-mail and kidnapping purposes, as it enables you to return part of a person without giving over all your leverage.  It is also good for jobs requiring deception.  Why bother to disguise yourself as the informant when you could hijack his body instead? 

Note: both of these drugs are rare and secret, only found in small amounts.  If the party discovers the recipe, they will likely abuse them, so make sure that acquiring the ingredients is difficult.  Additionally, each time you want to make some of either drug, you will need to confront a Slime Wurm. 

Also, here's something you might find useful:

So you've been dosed with Soul Vacation.  What do you do now?


1- Have one of your comrades eat the slime.  You can cohabitate inside his or her body for a while.  While you are in his system.  Treat this as if you were fused, but the PC who provided the body doesn't gain any additional HP, but could gain FS, as well as access to the knowledge and power of the PC he or she ate.  This solution is only temporary, however, as soon the eater will expel the personality slime or their body may be overwhelmed from the amount of power and could start taking damage.  This latter danger only applies in the case of a weaker PC hosting a stronger one- the Level 5 Fighting Man can carry around a level 3 Sage no problem.
2- Have a Sage make a clay doll for you and draw runes on it.  Pour the slime inside the doll and you will be able to animate it.
3- As above, but use a corpse.  Cheaper and easier, but expect many of the bodily systems to not function as well, on account of it being dead.  Also, skeletons don't apply here- you need something that can hold you new substance.
4- Place the slime in a pot, dissolve it in water and then bring the water to a boil.  The PC will be able to act as if they were a cloud of gas as per 'Gaseous Form'.  While in this form, the PC can only be hurt by things that could damage clouds, so blowing on them causes pain and strong winds are deadly.              
Plot Hooks:


1- A daring series of burgularies has shocked the city of Kalito.  Jewels and finery has been pilfered from high towers and the upper rooms of the sacred temples.  The city elders are promising a large reward for anyone who can find the thieves and apprehend them.   
2- A former accomplice of a crime boss recruits the party.  He has been dosed with a large amount of Softfoot and then had his arm cut off.  He needs his arm back before the drug wears off, otherwise he will bleed to death.  The boss has his arm.  Also, don't tell the boss that you're doing it for this accomplice, as the boss regards the former as a traitor.
3- The party have been hired to investigate a certain powerful NPC and find out if they are up to anything nefarious, for the purposes of black-mail.  They discover this NPC has been meeting a new, secret lover.  However, in the midst of their investigation, the NPC starts acting strangely, the lover goes crazy and a man is seen trying to escape with a jar of glowing green slime.  Secretly, the lover was actually part of a conspiracy to rob or manipulate this NPC.  However, after dosing him or her with Soul Vacation, the "lover"'s empty body was hijacked by a local spirit. 
4- For reasons best left to you, someone wants revenge on the party.  So this individual tracks them down and doses one of them with Soul Vacation.  That person then 'vacates' their body and the demon this individual hired hijacks the unprotected body, before using it to go on a rampage.  Can you find your comrades' body before your enemies use it to do something dastardly?

                                                by nJoo

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