Wednesday, October 25, 2023

OSR: Oni

by ChunLo
Often called Phantom Ogres, though they are not related to those gluttonous, childlike monsters.  

Evil is a metaphysical force, just as Goodness and Virtue have weight.  This is a common teaching of the Priests- it is only the uncommon religion that teaches that evil is not real, or that it is simply the absence of goodness.  Some even argue that the final judgement in the afterlife is not a judgement, but a simple assessment of the soul.  It is the Weight of sin that drags the wicked down into the pits of punishment, where the palaces of pain await them.  Good souls, meanwhile, are free to ascend the Eternal Mountain atop the Rock of Eternity. 

As such, when an especially wicked person dies, that Evil must go somewhere.  It does not simply die with them.  Just as a good deed affects not only the person who does it but the person who experiences it, which further influences how he acts towards others, so too does evil remain.  And in some cases, in a method similar to the creation of Ghosts, this evil will live on in the form of the Oni.  

As discussed in other places, Ghosts are what happens when a person dies and leaves behind enough of their essence to 'stain' the world around them.  This stain then persists in the form of a pseudo-consciousness.  Most Ghosts possess only limited sentience, some are not aware at all.  For example, the ghost of a suicide might take the form of a figure seen leaping off a tall building.  But when the place where he should have landed is inspected, there will be no body, nor any sign of a figure that matches the jumper's appearance entering the building and making their way to the roof.

Oni are different in several ways.  For one, all Onis are sentient.  They are fully aware of themselves and possess free will, but as creatures born of wickedness, they tend to have very little in the way of impulse control and are consumed by their desires, but more on that later.  They are also corporeal, despite how sneaky they are.  And finally, unlike Ghosts, an Oni can plan and take different actions.  They aren't stuck repeating the same behaviors over and over again or caught in a perpetual loop.

Number Appearing: 1 (or 2, rarely)
Alignment: Any Evil
Languages: The Lingua Franca plus any languages their parent knew
Treasure: Varies, depending on the Oni and type

HD 1d8+2
AR 1d3 [Natural Armor]
Atk Varies, see below
Mor 5+(1/2*HD)
Saves (7+HD) or less

Born of Evil: Onis are created from especially evil creatures, usually upon the death of that creature.  This creature is called an Oni's 'parent'.  Onis have an X-in-10 chance of knowing any random piece of knowledge their parent knew.  

Shapeshifter: Onis are normally Large humanoids, but they can as an action, shapeshift into any Large of Medium humanoid.  Their appearance can be anything they can imagine or can mimic a creature they have seen.  Their stats remain the same in either form.  

Terrifying Strength: Oni are enormously strong, easily able to overpower creatures of the same size or smaller than themselves.  Oni have advantage on all strength checks and on any grapple check made against another creature without supernatural strength.  Additionally, for each size category an Oni is larger than a creature, the Oni adds +2 to any STR check made against that creature.

Feast of Blood: If an Oni feeds on an intelligent humanoid, the Oni heals for a number of HD equal to that creature's HD.  This meal takes at least 10 minutes.  

- Varies depending on the type of Oni

by Kyveri
To customize an Oni, roll on the tables below:

How strong is it?

1- 3 or less HD.  The Oni makes 1 Weapon (1d8+1) or 1 Bite Attack that does (1d6+1).  It has 0 Dark Gifts.
2-3- 4-5 HD.  The Oni makes 1 Weapon (1d8+3) or 1 Bite Attack that does (1d6+2).  It has 1 Dark Gift.
4- 6-7 HD.  The Oni makes 2 Weapon (1d8+2) or 1 Bite Attack that does (1d6+3).  It has 2 Dark Gifts.
5- 8-9 HD.  The Oni makes 2 Weapon (1d8+3) or 1 Bite Attack that does (1d8+1).  It has 1d3 Dark Gifts.
6- 10 HD.  The Oni makes 2 Weapon (1d8+4) or 1 Bite Attack that does (1d8+2).  It has 1d4+1 Dark Gifts.  

Does it have a Third Eye?

All Onis with 5 HD or more have a third eye in the center of their foreheads.  These Onis can see into the future.  Any Oni with a third eye gains the following ability:

Future Sight: For purposes of Combat, a Three-Eyed Oni can see X rounds into the future, where X is it's HD.  When entering combat, have everyone roll a number of d20s equal to X and arrange them in order.  Every time the player would take an action that would require a d20 roll, instead merely use the first number on the list.  After that, the number is expended, and the player must roll the d20 again, and add it to the bottom of the list. 

Can it Bless or Curse?

All Onis with 7 HD or more can place a blessing or curse upon their enemies.  Any Oni of 7 HD or more gains the following abilities:

Manipulate Fortune: 1/Day, an Oni can place a blessing upon a creature.  This blessing will grant them good fortune for the immediate future.  The Oni can only affect one creature like this at a time and cannot use this ability again until the affected creature receives a sufficient blessing from Fortuna.  The affected creature can shed this blessing by doing something unlucky, such as spilling salt, breaking a mirror, slapping a baby or anything else considered unlucky.   

Curse: Curse: 1/Day, If an Oni can see a creature or group of creatures and those creatures can understand the Oni, the Oni can curse them.  This curse can be anything the Oni wants.  Additionally, the Oni can only have one curse active at a time.  It cannot curse another creature until that creature dies or the curse is broken.   

Common Oni Blessings:

1- Your next child will be born safely.  The next child that this creature sires will be born safely with no defects or complications during birth.  This is the blessing most commonly given out to women, especially pregnant women.  Onis sometimes give it to single men or women as a cruel jape.    
2- You will have a good harvest.  The next time this creature plants crops, come harvest time, they will find an abundant crop, barring any form of interference from other agents.  If the Dragon burns down your fields, this blessing will not protect your wheat.  This is the blessing most commonly given out to farmers and peasants.    
3- You get 10 Luck Points.  These Luck Points are single-use, once you spend them, they are gone.  This is most commonly given to warriors, adventurers and merchants.   
4- Wealth beyond measure.  Anyone the Oni blesses with this will soon find out about a large cache of treasure that they could potentially claim for themselves.  Not that this treasure might be already in the possession of some powerful creature or faction, hidden or in some sort of location that makes it hard to access, such as being really far away or the environment itself is very dangerous.      
5- You experience a break-through.  Any creature who receives this blessing will suddenly receive an advantage with any problem he is trying to solve.  For example, say the players are trying to complete a quest where they have to kill an army of Undead.  If they receive this blessing, they suddenly encounter a powerful Cleric or hear about an order of paladins or find out the location of a legendary sword of Undead-slaying.     
6- Something good happens to you soon.  A felicitous twist of fate.  Any creature given this will suddenly have a golden opportunity fall into his lap.  For example, he rescues an old man who is being attacked on the road and the old man turns out to be a god in disguise, or after the princes die in a war, he is revealed to be the king's bastard son.  Something of that nature.    

Common Oni Curses:

1- "I curse you with impotence!"  The cursed cannot impregnate anyone or be impregnated.  The cursed also does minimum damage when making attacks.  This curse can be be broken by receiving a blessing from a priest or angel of a fertility God or having sex with a Demon of the opposite sex as you.  
2- "I curse you with truth!"  The cursed cannot lie.  Additionally, if anyone lies around the cursed and the cursed knows the truth, he must save or be compelled to declare what was said was a lie.  This curse can be broken by making a bargain with one the Folk or tricking someone into doing something against his interests.  
3- "I curse you with gold fever!"  The cursed becomes obsessed with gold and wealth.  He will never want to spend money and will constantly seek it.  He will crave it beyond all reason or any other desire.  The more he obtains, the more the cursed will want.  This curse can be broken by the cursed trading something extremely valuable for money, such as a body part or loved one or by making a transaction with a group that uses a currency that the cursed does not recognize as valuable.     
4- "I curse you to feel the shadow of death!"  Whenever there is a chance of someone dying around the cursed, the cursed will be struck with an ominous sensation.  This is the 'shadow of death'.  This will force a Save vs Fear.  If the cursed fails the save, he will be compelled to flee, hide or find some other way to get away from danger.  This curse can be broken by letting a Demon of Wrath possess you or trading away your sense of Fear.   
5- "I curse you with the Simurgh's hate!"  All birds suddenly develop a distaste for the cursed.  Evil birds will always target the cursed if they have no better targets, while neutral or good birds will refuse to help him.  This curse can be broken by doing a favor for a Noble Bird or ripping out an eye and feeding it to a crow.    
6- "I curse you with blindness!"  The cursed goes blind.  This curse can be broken by fighting an invisible enemy or by gazing upon the Anti-Phoenix.       

What type of Oni is it?


Red Onis are formed when one whose primary vice was wrath or lust dies and their evil manifests into an Oni.  Red Oni have skin that ranges from bright red to crimson.  They tend to be muscular and wild-eyed, with explosive tempers and very little impulse control.  Red Onis are the least likely to use clever strategies or think through their actions- they prefer to charge in and just start smashing stuff until things go their way.  

They are the type of Oni most likely to tolerate other Onis and are occasionally willing to work with others of their kind.  They will also work for other creatures in exchange for booty, though Red Onis are least likely to desire treasure, with the exception being slaves.  Red Onis consumed with wrath will keep slaves to abuse and torment for their pleasure, or perhaps sacrifice them, especially if it would cause the object of their wrath pain.  Red Onis consumed with lust are known to build harems of slaves for self-evident reasons.  They are also the type of Red Oni who will seek treasure, as it will allow them to obtain more slaves and maintain a more luxurious dwelling for their slaves and lovers, though this is more of an exception than the rule.  A Red Oni is perfectly comfortable sleeping in a damp cave as they are in a palace.  Such comforts, though desirable, are less important to them.

A Red Oni's treasure: The one exception to Red Oni's indifference to treasure is magical weapons and armor.  All Red Onis prize such items and will seek them out, even if the other trappings of wealth are little more than dross to them.      

If a Red Oni has Dark Gifts, roll the appropriate number of times on the following table:

1- It is immune to Fire and Fire damage.  
2- It can, as an action, throw a 2d6 fireball, save for half, as an action.  This fireball can hit one creature and anything directly adjacent to it.  On a failed save, you are also set on fire.
3- It's blood is hot as molten metal.  If you injure it in melee combat, you must save or take 1d6 fire damage.
4- It can, as a free action on it's turn, fly into a berserker rage.  While raging it can only attack but gets +2 to Attack and damage.  It can only rage for 1d4+1 rounds.  After that, it has disadvantage on all attacks until it rests for at least 10 minutes or eats someone.  While raging, it is also immune to mental effects or abilities that affect it's mind.  
5- It can, as an action, try to Charm or Frighten a creature as a free action on it's turn.  The targeted creature gets a save to resist.  On a failed save, that creature is Charmed or Frightened of the Oni for 1 hour or the effect is removed by some sort of effect such as 'dispel magic'.
6- It knows 1d3 Martial Manuevers.   

- Fight smartly, probe for weaknesses
- Always bring allies, never fight alone
- Strike fast, strike hard, retreat if in danger of dying


Blue Onis are formed from one whose primary vices were pride or sloth.  They have skin that ranges from electric blue to ultramarine.  They tend to be fastidious about grooming and cloth themselves in the finest clothing, adorning themselves with jewelry and ornaments.  

Blue Onis tend towards laziness.  They love nothing more then doing nothing or spending long hours admiring themselves in mirrors, still ponds or other reflective surfaces.  They tend to be cold and condescending towards others and consider themselves to be the best at well, everything.  Anyone who defeats them in a contest will earn their enmity and the Oni will usually find some sort of excuse to justify how it lost.  For example, if you beat an Oni in a game, it will accuse you of cheating.  This also applies to any of the Oni's falures.  If the Oni tries to play music but the only things it can produce are awful screeching, it will either abandon music and take up a new pursuit, or it will go into denial and declare it's music to secretly be amazing and anyone who fails to grasp the complexity of it is just a fool.

Blue Onis will not work with anyone who is not willing to stroke their own ego, so they usually cannot stand their own kind.  This goes doubly for Blue Onis.  If two Blue Onis meet, they will immediately begin clashing with each other, as both will try to assert their position as the superior one.        

A Blue Oni's treasures: Fine clothes, jewelry, hair brushes, make-up and beauty products.  Works of art depicting the Oni.  Mirrors, made of every possible material and in every size the Oni could carry off.   

If a Blue Oni has Dark Gifts, roll the appropriate number of times on the following table:

1- It is immune to Psychic damage or any mental effect that would affect it's mind such as Charm or Fear effects.  
2- It can play music that when you hear it, causes anyone who hears it to save or be overcome with 1d4 [1= Homicidal rage, you will try to murder the closest living thing; 2= Insane lust, you will attempt to rape the nearest living thing; 3= Fear, you will be struck with terror and will want to flee from the source of the music; 4= Sleepiness, creatures will find themselves struggling to stay awake.]  This music affects all creatures that can hear within 100'  Every round a creature can hear it, that creature must save again.  
3- It can infuse an inanimate object with it's mana to grant that creature a semblance of life.  All animated objects like this have a varying amount of HD depending on their size and are absolutely loyal to the Oni.  They have no fear and will obey any order.  The Oni can also "see" out of any object it has animated, no matter the difference.  
4- It can, as an action on it's turn, petrify creatures with it's gaze.  Any creature that it sees must save.  Creatures that fail their save take 1d6 DEX damage a round as long as the Oni can see them.  If reduced to 0 DEX, that creature turns to stone.  DEX returns at a rate of 1 point per minute, as long as the Oni isn't looking at you.  
5- It can levitate up to 30' off the ground.  
6- It regenerates 1 HD a round.  This regeneration can be prevented by using blessed or holy weapons or by burning it with fire.  If it takes fire damage, it cannot regenerate for 1d3 rounds.    

- Rush in, attack in a rage
- Crush the person who has most angered you
- Flee if in danger

by KGBigelow

Yellow Onis are formed from one whose primary vices were gluttony or greed.  They have skin that ranges from dandelion to gold.  Their eyes are usually bright colors, typically red or blue.  They have a love for finery, but some are so greedy they cannot bear to spend anything on clothing and thus will cloth themselves in clothing that would make a pauper blush.

Yellow Onis are greedy and gluttonous.  They love money and valuables of all kinds.  Gold, silver, platinum and copper, precious stones, valuable pieces of art, trade goods, livestock, slaves, property, they love and value it all.  Yellow Onis are most willing to work with other creatures and will gladly sell their services in exchange for money.  They are happy mercenaries, willing to work for almost anyone if the price is right.  They are gregarious and always willing to talk to someone, especially if there's money to be made.  

That being said, they look upon almost all with suspicion.  Anyone is a potential thief to them and even those of long acquaintance are never fully trusted, as Yellow Onis tend to assume that everyone is as greedy as them.  They will smile politely at you, but they judge every action and every word for signs of treachery.  

The one thing Yellow Onis will gladly spend money on is on rare ingredients, hiring expensive chefs and holding lavish feasts.  Yellow Onis love to eat and the better it tastes, the more eager they are.  When not fighting for coin or counting their vast collections of wealth, Yellow Onis seek out rare recipes, ingredients and skilled chefs to help them prepare fabulous dishes.  And if a Yellow Oni can find nothing of the sort, it will simply substitute a rare, exotic dish for simply, yet tasty fare, especially if it's in large quantities.  To the Yellow Oni, a rare dish made from ingredients that take 100 years to gather is equivalent to an entire table's worth of dishes that only peasants would eat.  

A Yellow Oni's treasure: If it is valuable, a Yellow Oni will try to have it.

If a Yellow Oni has Dark Gifts, roll the appropriate number of times on the following table:

1- It can as an action, teleport up to 50 on it's turn as a free action.  This ability recharges after 1d4 rounds.  
2- It can turn invisible as an action.  It remains invisible for 10 minutes or until it uses another ability or makes an attack.  
3- It can create illusions that produce light and/or sound.  It maintains the illusions via concentration.  If it takes damage it must succeed a save to keep them up or if it uses another ability, the illusion disappears.  A Yellow Oni can only maintain 2 illusions at once.
4- It can, as an action, steal an item from a creature's inventory.  This item is random unless the creature is not expecting it, restrained, unconscious or otherwise unable to resist.  
5- It can reverse the direction of gravity for itself or another creature, so it can easily walk on the ceiling, run up walls like they're the ground or send an enemy plummeting up into the sky.  
6- It can create objects out of hard light.  These items have 3d6 HP and take no damage from non-magical weapons, cold, poison, psychic, radiant or necrotic damage.  They last for 10 minutes.  The Yellow Oni can make an item that is up to 10' long, 10' wide, 10' high and 3' thick.  The Yellow Oni can only make one of these items at a time, but can dismiss it's creations as a free action.  Once an object they create is destroyed or dismissed, it cannot use this ability until after 1d4 rounds.       

- Use hit and run tactics
- Ambush, be sneaky, launch surprise attacks
- Never stand when faced with a superior foe, retreat and live         

by Kipine

Black Onis are formed from the one whose primary vices were hatred or envy.  They tend to have skin that ranges from dark ash to charcoal black.  They also tend to be smaller then other Onis and have the most unpleasant forms, tending towards physical deformities such as hunched backs, deformed faces, extra fingers and other unpleasant blemishes.  Note that these deformities nor their smaller frames do not make them any weaker than other Onis.  Black Onis tend to avoid wearing pretty clothes or fine armor, either wearing clothes that suit their current mission or taking pains to make themselves appear more sinister, such as wearing rags stained with blood and filth, wearing armor set with bones or etc.  

Black Onis are motivated almost entirely by spite.  Someone is the target of their enmity and they will do anything within their power to find and destroy this person.  Every obstacle in their way is a secondary target for revenge and every other need is merely a distraction from the holy work of their revenge.  Black Onis may delay and take time to plot, as circumstances may not be optimal or their enemy might be too strong now, but they will never stop.  They are cruel and patient and are perfectly willing to plot for years to hurt the target of their ire.  They will do anything to cause their target suffering, including going undercover in enemy organizations, befriending their target, working for other creatures or doing things that other Onis would consider beneath their dignity.  

Black Onis will work with anyone who promises to help them with their revenge.  They don't like other Black Onis, they don't like anyone, but they can understand them.  Other Onis are often considered to be too unpredictable to be trusted, with the exception of Yellow Onis, who rarely care for personal slights, only losses of coin or wealth.  Despite the fact that they are willing to cooperate with almost anyone, they are still not very well liked as they are consumed by bitterness.  They are utterly cheerless and constantly brood over the fact that their enemy is still walking around when he should be wounded or humiliated or dead.  

A Black Oni's treasure: Black Onis will hoard anything they believe will help them with their revenge.  Whether this be weapons or poisons or toxic substances or money, they will have enormous quantities of it.  They are likely also to have multiple potential caches of different types of stuff, as almost all Black Onis either have multiple plans or plan for multiple contingencies.  A Black Oni might hoard gold and weapons to recruit mercenaries to storm their target's palace and slay him, or it might have accumulated large amounts of poison with the hopes of finding a way to slip it into it's target's food.

If a Black Oni has Dark Gifts, roll the appropriate number of times on the following table:

1- It can transform into other living creatures other than humanoids using it's 'Shapeshifter' ability.
2- It can eavesdrop through shadows within 1 mile of it's current position, though it must be actively "listening" through a particular shadow to hear what is being said.  Anti-divination countermeasures can prevent this.  
3- It has fangs that secrete venom.  This venom does +1d6 damage a round until it does +3d6 damage or the afflicted creature passes a CON save.  Each time a creature is exposed to this venom, he gets a +1 bonus to his save.
4- It drain life from creatures by touch as a free action.  If contact with a creature, it can cause that creature to take 1d6 necrotic damage and it recovers that much HP.    
5- It can enter the dreams of sleeping creatures as long as they are within 1 mile of it.  
6- If a creatures dies near it, it can force that creature into a COG contest.  If it wins the contest, it can trap the soul inside it's aura.  The Oni can then absorb one of these souls and regain HD as per 'Feast of Blood' or it can shove these souls into corpses and raise them as Undead monsters.  A Black Oni can have up to it's HD worth of souls in it's aura.  For example, a 4 HD Oni can have four 1 HD souls, two 2 HD souls or any other combination that adds up to 4 HD or less.       

- Wear the enemy down
- Ignore those who you do not hate or those who aren't threats
- Play with your food if you hate your foe
- Kill them as quickly as possible if you don't care  

by Teru