Friday, March 24, 2023


DIMENSIONAL FISHER, fishing for condiments: Armour 14 (as leather), Move 0’ (at least in our reality), 6 Hit Dice, 27hp, spiky leg (1d8) x3 plus grab, Morale 7, Number Appearing 1. Only half there, good at surprising, almost-instant kill.

The DIMENSIONAL FISHER is something like a crab or spider; it’s not clear because people have only ever seen the legs. If they are legs. The DIMENSIONAL FISHER lives in lower dimensions but hunts in ours, grabbing prey and pulling it into Dimension F -- not the actual name -- where the local conditions turn the victim into a tasty nutrient jelly, ready for eating. It manifests as a set of three fuzzy, indistinct let’s-call-them-legs, emerging from overhead, sometimes from an object or surface, sometimes from thin air!

The DIMENSIONAL FISHER makes three leg attacks and if all three hit a single target, it is grabbed; the next Round the victim is dragged to Dimension F, where they are killed by the hostile conditions.

The DIMENSIONAL FISHER is only half-present in our reality, so surprises victims on 1-3 on 1d6, and odd attack rolls always miss as the strikes pass through the creature. If the DIMENSIONAL FISHER is forced to make a save, it is unaffected on an odd roll, even if the result would be a failure. Generous Referees may allow weapons with phasing qualities to hit as normal.

Opponents can target the DIMENSIONAL FISHER in general or can attack the individual legs. Each limb has a quarter -- round up -- of the DIMENSIONAL FISHER’s total Hit Points; it is presumed that the body has the remaining quarter, but no one has seen that and lived so (shrugs). If one of the legs is crippled or severed, the DIMENSIONAL FISHER must make a Morale roll or retreats to Dimension F. If it stays, it can only grab immobile or unresisting prey with its remaining limb(s). The DIMENSIONAL FISHER’s legs can heal and even grow back, at a rate of 2 Hit Points per day, and once all three are at least at 50% of their total, the DIMENSIONAL FISHER can hunt lively prey once more.

DIMENSIONAL FISHERS ignore constructs and other unfleshy beings, and have a particular taste for halfling meat.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Fantastic, Yes?

To celebrate the Death's Head cameo on the cover of Fantastic Four #700 -- although he's probably in fact on the cover of the following issue, but it's a two-in-one connecting thing, so whatever -- the birthday of Simon Furman, and of course #DrawDeathsHeadDay, the most wonderful day of the year, here's DH trying on a new costume.

Death's Head is wearing the Fantastic Four costume from circa 1989 to 1990, when the freelance peace-keeping agent bumped into Marvel's first family a handful of times.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Dungeon23: 052-082

I'm trying something different with this #Dungeon23 update, fewer but more meaty entries, so I'm not spamming you with a handful of rooms. I'm not sure if it's better.

Anyway, here's the first half(ish) of Level Two!

52. This was some sort of dressing room for cult priests. A pair of BLUEROBES noodle around in here and may try to hide among the rags if they hear the characters approaching, getting their full 1-3 surprise chance. Three of the cultist outfits are in much better repair than the rest, made of some sort of special material that resists decay; each is worth 300sp.

53. Cultists would wash here before donning their sacred robes. Stone basins contain nothing but cobwebs and dust.

54. One GREENROBE and two YELLOWROBES pootle around between here and 63.

55. The door is locked and fortified with metal bars, so it takes two very noisy Turns to bash down. Inside are two chests, one containing 408sp and one containing 40gp.

56. Three chests contain the cult's real treasures, and four ARISEN TEMPLE GUARDIANS that attempt to prevent any entry to the room. One chest contains 676sp, one contains 304gp, and the last contains five gems of varying size and value; a ruby worth 500sp, a pearl worth 100sp, and an amber, amethyst, and opal, each worth 50sp.

The thumb-sized ruby has a vague hint of magic about it, although it seems to have no specific enchanted properties. It is one of the missing gems from the CROWN OF ETLUZ PEQZUS.

57. What looks like a ball of multicoloured cloth, about 3' in diameter, spins and wobbles in the centre of the room, about 4' from the ground. Every sunset, it spurts out a random *ROBE, complete with weapon.

The sphere has the equivalent of 126 Hit Points, takes half damage from bludgeoning or crushing weapons and double damage from fire, and saves as a Level 14 Fighter. If destroyed, no more *ROBES will appear in the dungeon.

Interfering with the ball draws the attention of the *ROBES from 52, 58, and 74.

58. Four REDROBES and two BROWNROBES pay zero attention to the faded murals of serpents and trees that decorate the walls.

59. Three ARISEN TEMPLE GUARDIANS stand here, motionless. They attack if an attempt is made to open the door to 55.

60. A very confused ARISEN PRIEST shambles about in here, bumping off the walls and muttering in its extinct language about "whippersnappers". It is easily surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. The wretched old thing is naked aside from a bejewelled silver holy symbol -- a tree with a serpent entwined in its branches -- worth 510sp.

61. This room is empty and featureless. Searching always reveals the southern secret door first, unless a deliberate effort is made to search the north wall.

62. A DIMENSIONAL FISHER lurks in the ceiling here, waiting to pounce. It ignores *ROBES because they are not meaty enough to eat.

63. This room is empty aside from dust and debris. Tiny whirlwinds of dust form now and then from the breeze coming via locations 66 and 73.

64. The first time a character steps off the spiral staircase from 18 a deep voice booms "BEWARE!" Characters feel the voice in their minds, rather than hear it, and each understands it in their mother tongue. Henchmen and retainers should make a Morale test to avoid fleeing.

65. The north wall is decorated with a life-size carving of a humanoid with a serpent head. Searching reveals a lever inside the serpent's mouth; the lever opens the secret door, but also triggers the jaws to clamp shut and trap the hand of the, er, manipulator? Releasing the lever releases the hand, but also closes the door. There is no way to open the door from the other side.

66. A YELLOWROBE, a GREENROBE, a BROWNROBE, and a BLUEROBE stand guard here, watching the bridge. Five small decorative alcoves line the top of the north wall, about 8' up. In the fourth alcove, concealed by centuries of spider webs, is a metal box containing 1000sp.

67. Two BROWNROBES lurk here, ready to chuck fireballs across the chasm.

68. A 3' statue of a six-armed holy warrior is propped in the south-east corner; the base and three of the arms are broken and the statue seems to have been dragged here from elsewhere. It is super heavy, counting as two Oversized items. This is because it is made of silver and is studded with gems, all of which is covered with a layer of plaster. Anyone with Architecture 2+ recognises that there's something fishy about the statue. It is worth 470gp.

69. An old meditation room, with small wooden benches, the dusty remains of pillows, and fragile, ragged strips that once were curtains.

70. Another old meditation room, in similar condition to 69. A hidden space under a flagstone contains a jewelled collar worth 10000sp. Another space under another flagstone conceals a pendant worth 12000sp. Wow!

71. A dusty but grand secondary temple, with statues of figures recognisable as versions of those in location 02, except their features have a hint of the... reptilian to them. A stone altar at the western end of the room has been split in two by some great force.

72. Three small -- about 2' square -- windows look out over the dark chasm. The wall around the central window has become weak with age, clear to anyone searching for a Turn or succeeding on an Architecture roll. Anyone peering out should save versus Paralysation to avoid the structure collapsing; on an even failure they are pummelled by falling blocks, taking 1d10 damage; on an odd failure they fall into the chasm, for which see XX.

73. This stone bridge has collapsed. Lit torches can be seen at the other end.

74. The remains of some sort of office or study. A BLACKROBE chills out in here, accompanied by a GREENROBE. Scattered amongst the wreckage are eight fancy scroll cases; the contents are long gone, but the cases are worth 100sp each. The BLACKROBE has a +2 two-handed sword callled EYEKILLER.

75. A 2' deep depression in the floor may have been some sort of baptismal pool at some point, but is now full of dust and spiders.

76. Underneath a small pile of rubble, worryingly close to the edge, is a Bluestone Key.

77. A glowing blue circle carved into the floor radiates teleportation magic. A character entering the circle is zapped to room 78.

78. A glowing blue circle carved into the floor radiates teleportation magic. A character entering the circle is zapped to room 77 and perhaps develops a feeling of deja vu.

79. The lower level of the library (location 35). The books and scrolls here are all rotten and useless, and there is a thick layer of damp moss over the floor and what's left of the furniture.

80. The secret library, accessed from locations 36 and 38. The door is locked, the key long missing. Four ARISEN TEMPLE GUARDIANS stand motionless around a stack of seven stone tablets; they attack only if an attempt is made to take the tablets, and are relentless in pursuit of thieves.

The tablets are the original texts of the cult that built the temple and although the content is more or less identical to that written in their holy books, the tablets are in the original language of the cult, and the entire text has survived the centuries, unlike the paper copies. Each tablet is worth 100sp to a historian, surviving member of the cult, or other weirdo with niche interests. The language is not spoken by anyone alive today.

81-82. A PINKROBE, two GREENROBES, and four REDROBES patrol between these two old and ruined store rooms.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Greater Spotted Beakie

Cyberdyne Warrior, Commodore 64, 1989.

Scale creep was always a problem, apparently, even back in 1989. Look at the size of that Beakie in comparison to the player sprite at the top!

See the game in action below, and perhaps note that the chunky marine isn't the only bit of IP borrowing going on.

That ending music sounds quite familiar too...

Tuesday, March 07, 2023


CLAWED BASTARD, will **** you up: Armour 18 (as plate), Move 90’, 5 Hit Dice, 18hp, claw/claw/peck 2d4/2d4/2d4, Morale 10, Number Appearing 1, thank the gods. Difficult to surprise, infravision 60', immune to charm and similar effects, heals through necrophagy.

The CLAWED BASTARD is some sort of unholy mix of reptile, bird, and a box of butcher knives. No natural process could have led to the development of such a horror, and most sages agree that the CLAWED BASTARD must be the work of a wizard even more misanthropic than usual.

Excessively violent and aggressive, the CLAWED BASTARD attacks on sight and is relentless; it seems to enjoy killing for no other reason than the act itself, although it has been observed eating the corpses of the fallen. If the CLAWED BASTARD fails a Morale roll it does not flee, rather it stops to eat any nearby dead. Or wounded, it’s not a fussy eater.

The CLAWED BASTARD takes a single Turn to consume a body, and in doing so restores Hit Points up to a maximum of the body’s original Hit Points, or the CLAWED BASTARD’s original Hit Points, whichever limit is reached first. The CLAWED BASTARD does not like being interrupted during lunch and will immediately spring back into violent action. Wise dungeon delvers learn to run away as fast as possible while the CLAWED BASTARD is eating.

Culinary habits aside, the CLAWED BASTARD is not stupid and will retreat if in actual danger. It has infravision out to 60’ and despite only having a single eye, does not seem to have any problems with depth perception. The CLAWED BASTARD is difficult to surprise (1 on 1d6) but its aggression -- and its incessant screeching -- makes it easy spot, so it never surprises opponents. The CLAWED BASTARD is so belligerent that it is immune to spells that calm or charm or otherwise reduce aggression.

No communities of CLAWED BASTARDS have ever been seen, so it is unknown how or even if they breed. Most scholars hope that they don’t.