Incoming is a voracious, translucent, strangely adorable apex predator… The Gelatinous Cube!
Alright so maybe our illustration isn’t exactly the Happy Meal equivalent of the standard Gelatinous Cube, but nonetheless it is a feared creature… Right?
The Gelatinous Cube’s capabilities are probably much more limited than how I initially introduced them in this column. I take pity because they really aren’t capable of doing too much too quickly. For example, the Cube can only hold up to one large monster or 4 smaller/medium sized creatures. Without a doubt there are hotel elevators with a stronger physical physique, but the limitations of the Cube are what give it charm. It’s lack of eyes makes it immune to becoming blinded, and if it hasn’t eaten the Cube is essentially invisible to the naked eye. Another benefit of the gel-like substance of the Cube, is that it’s own flesh works as a paralyzing agent to enthrall it’s captures into a deep slumber. This also helps it digest, which I won’t go into great detail since we all know what that word means.
The Gelatinous Cube also reproduces via the power of mitosis, and generates a new half-self baby every six years. With that being said, it’s uncommon to find them in groups as it is more common to find them living a life of solitude in a random far-off dungeon.
How to include them in your campaign
I love a classic dungeon crawl every once in a while. This guy is your standard find in a dungeon or spooky building (along with a Mimic of course), but where can you include one that your players will never expect?? Time to get creative.
Perhaps the local temple has one on staff to keep the place spotless? They thought if they could keep it fed, it wouldn’t eat the parishioners. Whoops.
Entice your players with a Hot Springs episode, they’ll love the opportunity to relax… until they hop in.
Side quest to take out the black market Monster Breeder? Baby Jell-Os EVERYWHERE.
Let us know what kind of hijinks you’ve created with the Gelatinous Cube! See you all next week!
For the low, low price of 50,000gp (and some advanced magic) you too can be the proud owner of a… bloody construct.
This week’s monster of the week is the morally questionable Blood Golem. I’ve always wanted to start a recipe blog, now is my chance! I will spare you the life story and get to the juicy bits:
Blood of at least 16 sacrifices
Spell- Animate Object
Spell- Gentle Repose
One set of full plate armor (optional)
You know… I’ve suddenly lost my appetite!
A Blood Golem without armor is pretty much a humanoid(ish) shaped mass of coagulated blood. They continuously leak blood as they move which is why you’ll find swarms of flies and other insects in their wake. The armor helps with this some, it lessens the blood loss and can double its lifespan. It also allows them additional abilities in battle.
Blood Golems were typically created to guard temples and slaughter the enemies of their faith. This makes them an easy enough addition to your campaign! Lacking their own intelligence, they are unable to speak but are cruel and unforgiving in battle. Due to the nature of this golem, they frequently need to ‘refuel’ to stay alive… I’ll let you use your imagination for that one, but they need their targets to be living and immobile.
If you find yourself facing off with one of these constructs there’s some things you need to know. The Blood Golem is immune to magic and magic-like effects. It will attack at random, using its mechanical limbs and whatever weapon it was equipped with. If the golem you are facing is armored, you can target the blood reserve tanks on its body; These tanks are how it repairs damage sustained in combat. Good Luck!
That (thankfully) concludes this week’s edition of Monster of the Week! Before we go: What do you call a ship full of Blood Golems?
A BLOOD VESSEL!
Okay, okay, we’ll see you next week. Let us know what monsters you’d like to hear about next!
“Give a man a fire, he’s warm for a day. Set a man on fire, he’s warm for the rest of his life” – Sir Terry Pratchett.
This week’s Monster of the Week blog is on FIRE… literally.
The Azer are residents of the fire plane, which has caused their appearance to deviate from their Dwarven ancestors. They have brass-colored skin with flaming hair and beards, and they wear some badass fireproof kilts made of bronze, copper or brass. Their skin is extremely hot to the touch, so don’t go in for a hug!
Like the Dwarves, the Azer are a proud race of mastercrafters and miners. They have been called upon throughout history to aid in creating magical items, weapons and art. One of their proudest accomplishments is the City of Brass on the Fire Plane. The Efreet hired the Azer to build this magnificent city, but ultimately betrayed them and attempted to enslave them to protect the city’s secrets. To this day, the Azer and Efreeti are bitter enemies.
The Efreeti are pretty cool, so we’ll save that juicy info for a later blog!
If you have the “opportunity” to visit the Elemental Plane of Fire, you may find the Azer serving the Fire Giants or living in communities within bronze fortresses, although they can be a rare sight. Unless you’re an Efreeti or happen to flash some gemstones in front of them, you’ll probably be safe from the lawful neutral Azer. If you do cross one, watch out for that Warhammer… It’s got a spicy kick at the end! They don’t have any particular weaknesses, BUT they are shirtless, so their armor class is fairly low. (small favors)
DMs, if your players find their way to the Fire Plane, the Azer is definitely a must have addition to your campaign!
Now we find ourselves at the end of another Monster of the Week… never fear, we’ll see you again next Tuesday. We’re getting good at this schedule thing… you might even say we’re on a… hot streak?
Let us know what monsters you’d like to learn about next!
Check out last week’s monster the week, the Tarrasque!
As a wise man once said; you too will want to kill all your friends with this beast. For this is no normal mammal; a 130 ton killer armadillo-esque kaiju from your worst nightmares… The Tarrasque!!
Well I hope you could stomach that intro because it essentially summarizes the best aspects of the Tarrasque. Wait a second… You’ve never heard of them? I don’t blame you, the Tarrasque is not the most commonly discussed creature in the TTRPG community. (But does it compare to our beloved goblins?… hmm… Nah.)
Kindly ignore the aforementioned armadillo comparison, and focus on the kaiju mental image you’ve created within the recesses of your imagination. The Tarrasque has two giant protruding horns coming off its scalp, but those horns aren’t the only thorny thing about them. They also have a variety of spikes that trail off the back of their body, almost like a Chia pet that wasn’t properly taken care of over the years. Their body is much similar to that of a T-Rex, but if the proportions were actually beneficial to the T-Rex’s survival. What I’m saying is that they have long arms, the kind of arms that could scoop up your familiar and eat them like fresh made 100% natural chicken nuggets. (This is not turning into an ad for a Fast Food Lunch Menu, I swear.)
Now that we know what it looks like…
The Tarrasque doesn’t rely on their eyesight to hunt their prey, this is because they have two beady eyes that are limited to begin with. By default the Tarrasque are blind at birth and have to rely on their own sense of smell to get around. Don’t pity them though, they are natural born killers and have zero remorse for who and what they kill. Definitely try not to get swallowed, you’ll suffer some HEFTY acid damage, not to mention… ew.
Unlike previously discussed monsters of, the Tarrasque isn’t capable of communicating the way Goblins or Beholders do. They are much more grounded in reality in terms of how they function like real mammals; they only eat, sleep, and kill… Only to eat some more. A simple life for a simple beast.
For the DMs.
The Tarrasque is extremely formidable, with the 5e version sitting at a CR of 30 and an armor class of 25! This monster is not for the faint of heart, but it is a great BBEG. If you wanted your players to encounter a Tarrasque at some point in the campaign, you could consider making it a far off terror while they’re at a lower level. A Titan that armies are fighting a world away. They could occasionally hear rumors, or witness the aftermath of its destruction. When they reach a level that might stand a chance (or not, you do you) entice them to join the forces fighting this evil!
That concludes another Monster of The Week blog, tell us how you’ve included a Tarrasque in your campaigns!
For now, take care and let us know who you think should be featured in an up and coming MOTW!
Bringing back the trend of floating eyes with tentacles, the Beholder emerges from its slumber in this week’s post!
Another classic TTRPG monster already, at this time of year and this time of day? Localized entirely within a 300(ish) word count!?… Yes.
From an aesthetic standpoint, the Beholder could be easily dismissed from other classic TTRPG monsters; it’s an angry flying orb with eyes and tentacles. Yet it is one of the few monsters to constantly re-appear in different iterations of popular TTRPGs.
Why is that? One reason being: the Beholder loves confrontation. It thrives off instilling fear into its opponents (kind of like how old people treat retail employees). This severe personality flaw is one that makes the Beholder so endearing to players, they’re incredibly xenophobic and that adds a level of unpredictability to their actions. Beholder’s are creepy because of their human-like qualities, and these qualities often represent the worst aspects of mankind. They consider other creatures to be lesser beings and are known to keep slaves… Yeah they might be some of the worst as far as evil TTRPG creatures go, but for the sake of gameplay a good bad guy can bring up a lot of powerful and genuine conversation between players. You can enjoy the presence of a bad guy, and recognize that their actions are unjustifiable. (Not every villain has to be a hurt baby rejected by society after all…*cough* Disney. *cough*)
If you see one… immediately go the other direction.
Definitely don’t try to sneak up on it; The Beholder can see in all directions, even when it sleeps. As you’d expect, they can attack you with eye rays. What kind you ask? Just… all of the above. You might get a charm ray, but you could also get a death ray. Only the dice can tell!
I think I’ll stick with the Spectator
Good call. At first glance, the Beholder and Spectator are difficult to separate from one another. You wouldn’t be wrong to confuse the two though, the Spectator is a form of Beholderkin. In fact, the Beholder has many different variants that have spun off from it over the last few decades. I won’t ramble on about those though, since they could earn a post of their own eventually!
Thus concludes this week’s post on the Beholder, the real MVP of ball-shaped malevolence. If you liked this week’s post, comment below and yell at us with positive vibes and what monster you’d like to hear about next!
Check out last week’s monster, the Ginormous Squirrel here!
Look up there! It’s a Giant, no… a Dragon? It’s… a Ginormous Squirrel?!
Like many monsters from our previous posts, the Ginormous Squirrel is a large mammalian force to be reckoned with. The novelty of the Gigantic Squirrel comes from the fact that it is purely a fan creation; a homebrew creature, if you will. The idea of a small rodent-esque critter turned into a 500 foot tall beast is absurdist humor at its finest. It’s also a testament to how creative DM’s can be with the creation of homebrew content, which says a lot given how TTRPG rely solely on the power of imagination and skillful storytelling to thrive. The abilities of the Ginormous Squirrel are anything you can make it to be. You want a Ginormous Squirrel that spouts fire and shoots laser beams like a raging Kaiju monster? Yes, you can make that possible! How about a Ginormous Squirrel that’s a peaceful gentle giant, and lives in a cottagecore-esque paradise with a variety of quirky NPCs that worship it? Yes, praise the fuzzy demigod!…
Now let’s segway into something else before I start a cult…
The Ginormous Squirrel in my eyes would probably be the closer to the Kaiju variety, a deathly beast that leaves no man unscathed in battle. They are fast, and can be mounted and ridden by those who are brave enough to tame them into submission. OK That sounds weird but trust me it’s not, if you saw our little Goblin gif from our Kickstarter campaign you’d know immediately what I’m referring to. If that squirrel can run through projectile fireworks with a Goblin on it’s back, then who knows what else it could handle?
The power of the Ginormous Squirrel is not one to be underestimated, and those who tell you that you can’t use homebrew monsters might just be too crazy to DM for.
That’s just my two cents.
Tell us about your homebrew monsters in the comments below, and check out the original Reddit post for the Ginormous Squirrel HERE! See ya next week.
Ahhh, the raccoon of the TTRPG universe. These short pointy-eared mischief makers are one of the most iconic monstersin fantasy settings.
If you haven’t noticed from the title of this post, this week’s featured Monster of the Week is none other than our beloved Goblin (coming most often in green, yellow, and fleshy flavors). You might think comparing them to raccoons is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out… The Goblin is a small, pointy eared creature with fangs and an adorable face (depending on the artist that depicts them – don’t judge me!). They’re extremely nimble creatures and are quite capable of looting whatever they come across. They also breed in small warrens at an extremely quick rate. While they tend to be selfish and highly competitive, you rarely encounter goblins in groups less than two. Keep that in mind if you only SEE one. They also tend to scavenge at the fringes of human society. See… Like Raccoooooons!
The Life of A Goblin
Young goblins are taught to fend for themselves in preparation for emergency situations (Accch! Adventurers! Every Goblin For Themself!). And in prep for turning the ripe old age of 8, when they’re officially adults (oof. And I thought I felt bad BEFORE about moving back in with the parents at age 24).
While little, Goblins (or gobbos, or gobbs, or gerblins, or SQUUUUEEEEs (if you’re me)) aren’t helpless. They can plan elaborate strategies to trap and pillage their opponents like a giant horde of tiny pirates. Ambushing via the power of family and friendship (take that Little Ponies!) is the goblin way of life after all. Despite this talk of togetherness, it’s temporary and for the expediency of the moment. Traditionally, Goblins fall under the Neutral Evil alignment. You’d probably be kinda selfish and looking out for numero uno too, if you had to compete for scraps and always had big bad Hooo-Mans trying to slaughter you – just because you stole a few chickens, a cow, and that crying baby (seriously, that last one was like… a Favor. Those things scream too much and they poop EVERYWHERE).
Goblins are a bit ill-tempered, and if they think they’re in a position of strength they can be extremely aggressive – despite their average size being below 3’5”. The height of the Goblin species is a perceived weakness preyed upon by other monstrous denizens. They’re extremely prone to bullying and become prey or servants (or both) to many larger humanoids or intelligent creatures.
Like some of the previously discussed Monsters of the Week, Goblins are not the most social creatures when it comes to outsiders. Outsiders are most likely prey, because they’re weaker, or a threat, because they’re stronger. They seem to be in a grey area when it comes to other goblin-kind as well as their relationships with orcs. It probably depends on the benefits they receive (food, treasure, time to sleep), how they can take advantage of said benefits (nap time on a full-belly, yo), and their likelihood of becoming food themselves (Eat Stan! I’m stringy and that farm baby just puked on me!).
In short (*snort*), Goblins live not much differently than any large extended family. They scream when they have to share their space or belongings with all their siblings. Nobody showers because all the hot water got used up or their parents are just too tired to care. They do the least amount of chores in the least amount of time, and never without complaint. Their room is a mess because it was always someone else who left the dirty underwear on the floor (or dining room table, or couch, or TV. Who leaves dirty underwear on the TV?!?!?) And no – I don’t know this just because it was my life for 15 years. Anyway….
Not all Goblins are created equal…
We talked a lot about goblins in general. But not all are equal, unfortunately. Goblin leaders have a lot of privilege in goblin society. Unlike the common goblin, they get to have their own space, food, and the best treasure. They’re also more likely to survive by “attacking” from the most rear position. Which is unfortunate for all the meat-shiel.. Erm… beloved goblin brothers and sisters fighting on the front lines. It might seem odd, because the leaders are considered to be the strongest and most capable. But keep in mind – for Goblins power is about survival. You don’t survive long if you’re heading the charge.
Goblins are super common and a staple of many adventures. Should we tackle something more rare? Which strange creature should we deep dive into in an upcoming Monster of The Week? Let us know in the comments below!