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Monday, October 30, 2017

The Horla For Swords & Wizardry: Octhorrorfest Creature Feature

The Horla is a creature not well known outside of the fans of Vincent Price and die hard fans of weird fiction who have read the original short story, which created the entity. The Horla is an extra planar entity which first appeared in a short story named after the creature itself. The story "The Horla" was written by Guy de Maupassant in 1887. The story served as an inspiration to H.P. Lovecraft who, in 1927, interpreted it thus:
"Relating the advent in France of an invisible being who lives on water and milk, sways the minds of others, and seems to be the vanguard of a horde of extra-terrestrial organisms arrived on earth to subjugate and overwhelm mankind, this tense narrative is perhaps without peer in its particular department."
The story later served as one of three inspirations (all three being Maupassant stories) for the 1963 Vincent Price film "Diary of a Madman." The entity is changed a bit in the film, and I will used what I believe to be the best aspects of the Horla from both the short story and the film.
HD 2; AC -1[20]; Atk Slam 1d4 or by weapon; Move 12; Save 16; AL C; CL/XP 9/1,100; Special: invisibility, possession, obsession, limited telekinesis
The horla are a race of extra planar (or extra terrestrial) entities bent upon the domination of chaos and evil over the peoples of the world. They achieve this goal through the haunting of individual hosts while manifest upon the material plane, causing their hosts to commit unspeakable acts. When these entities manifest upon the material plane they live upon water and milk, though it is unclear as to why these are the substances which support them. There seems to be some sort of law in effect which allows the horla to only acquire a host in one of two ways. The first is for the host to hail or summon the horla in some way. This can even be an accident (waving at a vessel the horla is on, saying "hello" into the darkness to see if someone is there etc.) The second way is to come into physical contact with someone being haunted by a horla, violently or otherwise. At this time the horla can switch hosts.
A horla, in it's physical form, is always invisible. Spells which cause invisible creatures to be seen are of no effect. The creature can only be seen if something covers it. All horla have minor telekinetic abilities. They can move relatively heavy objects with their minds, but not with much force. A large urn could be pushed from a pedestal, doors could be slammed, but a weapon cannot be properly wielded. The horla can, however attempt to use it's host to achieve its evil ends. The horla will begin it's haunting by attempting to play on it's host's desires through conversation and an attempt to drive the host mad to obsession. If this is unsuccessful, the horla will outright possess the body of the host. Rules on both obsession and possession can be found in this post. The horla will always attempt to corrupt and cause obsession in a host first, preferring to cause the host to turn to chaos and evil itself.
In regions where the horla are known, it is rumored that cults of chaos and horla worship can be found. The members of these cults actually seeking to be hosts to the horla, that their evil ends might come to fruition.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Blob For Swords & Wizardry: Octhorrorfest Creature Feature

Since it's inception the world of Dungeons & Dragons and it's simulacra has been filled with all manner of vile oozes, slimes and jellies. However, I have found, that while these are all deadly in their own right, none quite imitate or replicate my favorite jelly of all, the Blob. For statistics, I will be basing the creature on the original 1958 film, using Swords & Wizardry as my system of choice.
The Blob
HD Half-scalable; AC 5[14]; Atk Slam (1d4 scalable); Move 3; Save 18 scalable; AL N; CL/XP 5/240 scalable; Special: dissolve after hit, automatically latches on to target after hit, absorbs target after death, immune to all damage except cold
Sages believe that blobs may hail from another star, having traveled the cosmos by meteor. Whether this is their origin or not, is uncertain. Blobs are, however, often found in locations where meteors have touched down.
Blobs appear in many sizes and look like large globs of translucent red to purple jelly. Blobs move slowly by sliding across surfaces. A blob is amorphous and can squeeze through nearly any crack or crevice, regardless of the blob's size. A blog can even split itself to ooze through multiple passages at once, so long as it rejoins itself on the other side.
Blobs begin life as small insignificant things. They are, however to be feared. The smallest blobs begin no larger than an apple. When a blob hits a target, the target must make a saving throw with a penalty of the damage dealt. If the target fails the save, the blob latches on and begins to absorb the target, automatically dealing it's damage every round, growing larger with every round, until the target is wholly consumed. The blob gains mass equal to each of it's victims, as well as gaining the victims hit dice. Meaning, if a 1HD blob consumes a level 2 fighter, it will grow by the size of the fighter and become a 3HD monster. All statistics dependent upon HD will increase according to the blobs new HD along with the blob's CL/XP. For every 3 HD a blob has, it's damage will increase accordingly: >1HD-2HD 1d4, 3HD 1d6, 6HD 1d8, 9HD 1d10, 12HD 2d6, 15HD 3d6, 18HD 5d4, 21+HD 7d4
In truth there is no known way to kill a blob. Indeed, blobs are immune to all damage, save that of cold. In fact, the cold damage will not kill a blob outright. However, when a blob is exposed to extreme cold, it will be frozen solid. If a blob take it's hit points in cold damage, it will likewise, be frozen. A blob will do all it can to flee from cold.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

State of the Blog and Octhorrorfest 2017

Time for the triumphant return of Gamers & Grognards! Or not so much. For about a little over a month now, I have been filling in for a co-worker out on leave for back surgery. This has had me working two 40 hour + a week positions in our busy time. With business as it is, I would likely be working 50-60 hours, without the added responsibilities. This has put me behind in everything that I do outside of work, including parenting. Luckily, my parents help me out with taking care of my daughter. I've lost any game time that normally would have happened, including putting the Metro Detroit Swords & Wizardry Tap Room tour on hiatus for a while. For the hour of time I have in the evening and what little time I can scrounge on the weekend, I've been avoiding anything that even resembles work. That has included writing, game design and blogging.
I've decided to try to get some of my yearly Octhorrorfest blogs up, despite my work load. Starting this week, and every week until Halloween, I plan to get and Octhorrorfest Creature Feature up. This will be stating out a creature from a classic horror film, urban legend or cryptozoology/folklore for Swords & Wizardry. I will likely keep mostly to classic horror films. That said, with how busy I have been, I want the help of my readers! Using G+, comment on this blog with a creature from any of the above categories. I'll do my best to get to my favorite suggestions, along with the few that I already have planned!
Happy Hauntings!