MONSTERS IN THE MACHINE 6: RE-RETRIBUTION

I’m back for a sixth dose of Monsters in the Machine. To re-read our previous entry click here, or you can go back to the start and see how it all began.

To quickly re-cap what’s going on, this is a follow-up to an earlier creative session, where I feed an AI entries from the Vaults of Vaarn bestiary and let it come up with its own monsters based on the prompts. This post is me taking my editor’s pen to the AI’s raw output, and getting the new monsters into a fully playable state.


Phase Panther

Hypergeometric
Level 6, Armour 14, Morale 11, Appearing d4
Attacks: Claws (d10 hypergeometric) / Pounce
Notes: Creatures woven from predatory hypergeometry, summoned by the mystics of lost eras to guard their mansions. They resemble great cats made of swirling colours, and can phase in and out of existence at will.
Phase: At the start of each combat round, the Phase Panther may choose to phase out of reality. While phased, the panther can be seen but cannot be touched or damaged; it likewise cannot touch or harm any non-phased creature.
Pounce: Targets of the Panther’s pounce must make an opposed DEX save; failure means that the target is pinned and will take 2d6 damage per round until the Panther can be dissuaded from mauling them.


Luxfoe Beetle

Biological
Level 1, Armour 13, Morale 1, Appearing d8
Attacks: Bite (d4)
Notes: A nocturnal insect, enraged by artificial light. The beetle has a hard dark carapace and long, sharp mandibles. It will relentlessly attack any lantern or torch-bearing hand it comes across. Sometimes called helldiver bugs, due to their ill-fated penchant for assaulting the embers of a campfire.


Laser Shrimp

Synthetic
Level 1, Armour 10, Morale 1, Appearing d6
Attacks: Lasers (d4 beam)
Notes: Small synthetic shrimp that fire lasers. They are often used as guard animals.


Mandrake

Biological
Level 2, Armour 12, Morale 6, Appearing d6
Attacks: Claws (d6) + Parasite Seeds (CON save vs Incubation)
Notes: Small, humanoid creatures, half-plant and half-crazed child. Hated due to their parasitic reproductive cycle. Mandrakes rest underground by day, before emerging from the desert soil by night to go hunting. Their aim is to cause humans to ingest their seeds, which will germinate into new Mandrakes.
Incubation: The afflicted character fills an item slot with a Wound: ‘Incubating Mandrake’. Each day the Wound goes untreated, a new item slot is filled by an Incubating Mandrake. After seven days, the Mandrakes burrow out of the character, causing d6 damage per item slot occupied.


Gorgon

Biological
Level 9, Armour 16, Morale 12, Appearing Unique
Attacks: Constrict (d10) + Venom Spit (d8 TOX) + Venom Spit (d8 TOX) / Captivating Gaze (All foes EGO save vs Beguiled)
Notes: A monstrous creature with the head of a ferociously beautiful woman and the body of a writhing mass of snakes. She is believed to be a pursuant of the Path Renewed, who sought eternal youth in the image of the Ouroboros, the world-serpent without end or beginning. She achieved the long-sought apotheosis, but at terrible cost, having shed her humanity like a rough and discarded skin, and lives her eternal life as a voracious chimera of odalisque and viper.
Beguiled: Characters who have been Beguiled cannot harm the Gorgon, believing her to be the most beautiful creature they have ever seen. They may make an EGO save each round to attempt to fight off this insidious devotion. While Beguiled, they grovel and compete with one another for the Gorgon’s favour.
Harem: The Gorgon is accompanied by d10 personages of exceptional charm and comeliness; these are her favoured suitors, who have so far been spared the Gorgon’s appetites and make every attempt possible to please her. Stats as Bandits.


Parched Man’s Snare

Biological
Level 4, Armour 16, Morale Rooted, Cannot Flee, Appearing d4
Attacks: Snare (d6), followed by drowning (STR save vs d6 damage per round )
Notes: A giant, carnivorous plant that lurks in pools and oases, waiting to devour unwary travellers. The fleshy body of the Snare roots at the bottom of a pool, while its thorny vines trail in the water, moving towards any disturbances. The Snare hunts by grabbing animals while they drink and dragging them to the bottom of the lake or river, there to be drowned and absorbed into the Snare’s root structure. Cautious travellers know to test the water’s surface with a long pole before drinking, but those who have lost their wits from thirst find themselves easy prey to these plants.

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