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    Default The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    While my last Let's Read kind of died halfway through, I've long been itching to finally get to the sequel to my first ever LR: the Tome of Horrors. So here we are.

    While still produced by Necromancer Games, the 2004 release of the Tome of Horrors II had some notable differences from its predecessor. For one, it was cut almost in half; 200-some creatures rather than over 400. Said creatures were also newly-statted creations rather than 3E conversions of legacy monsters. Of course, that doesn't mean that they don't have a bit of a nostalgic feel to them. Necromancer still took the "3rd Edition Rules, 1st Edition Feel" motto seriously, with this volume being made up of a mixture of creatures from folklore, deadly beasts, creatures connected to some classic unique monsters and concepts, and some really, really weird stuff here and there.

    So without further adieu, we shall begin our look at the next in the Tome of Horrors trilogy.

    Contents
    Aberrant, Abyssal Wolf, and Ahlinni

    Empyreal Angel, Arcanoplasm, Asrai

    Barbegazi, Bedlam, Giant Beetles (Blister, Saw-Toothed, and Water)

    Bloodsuckle, Bog Creeper, Brass Man

    Burning Dervish, Cadaver, Caterprism

    Cave Leech, Cerebral Stalker, Church Grim

    Cinder Ghoul, Clamor, Jade Colossus

    Corpse Rook, Corpsespinner, Crag Man

    Crucifixion Spirit, Draconid

    Dragons (Dungeon and Smoke), Dragonship

    Elusa Hound, Encephalon Gorger, Fear Guard

    Fire Crab, Fire Phantom, Fire Whale

    Giant Flea, Fulgurate Mushroom, Fungoid

    Fyr, Gallows Tree, Gallows Tree Zombie

    Gelid Beetle, Geon

    Giants (Cave, Ferrous, and Volcano)

    Gloom Crawler, Golems (Furnace and Iron Maiden)

    Golems (Magnesium, Ooze, and Rope)

    Grave Risen, Grimstalker, Gutslug

    Hanged Man, Helix Moth, Hoar Spirit

    Giant Hornet, Huggermugger, Inphidians (Common, Cobra-Back, and Dancer/Charmer)

    Kathlin, Cavern Lizard, Magmoid, Mawler, Mimi, Murderborn

    Niln, Nuckalavee
    Last edited by Rappy; 2011-11-20 at 05:56 AM.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Aberrant
    Our very first monster is a CR 5 Giant, so we're already starting with an oft-overlooked creature type. At first glance, one might mistake the aberrant for filling the same niche as the ogre; after all, it's size Large, it's brutishly strong, it's usually evil, and it wields big clubs to smash things. On the other hand, the aberrant is as intelligent as a human and otherwise has pretty high ability scores all around (although the mental ones are still below those that grant the aberrant its physical powerhouse status).

    Then, of course, there's the table-based elephant in the room: mutations. While it isn't specifically stated why, all aberrants are born with decidedly noticeable mutations that ostracize them from other giants and make them decidedly hostile to outsiders. While some of these mutations, such as one of their arms growing in an offset place or a Bigfoot-style cone head, are purely cosmetic, the majority provide some form of benefit; for instance, rolling a 4 on the d10 gives your aberrant a third eye protruding from the back of its head, granting it a bonus to Spot checks and preventing flanking.

    All in all, this is a fun monster to start off with. Giants, along with Fey, hold a soft spot in my heart as monster types that don't get the limelight often enough, and one as odd as the aberrant only further gets my attention.



    Abyssal Wolf
    Holy cow, we have an eater of sapients that isn't specifically attracted to humans, elves, dwarves, or gnomes. No, this CR 7 Magical Beast feels that tieflings, demons, and celestials are what's nommilicious. It also has an arsenal of weaponry to allow its taste in meats. Never mind the fact that it's a wolf that's as big as an a lion and intelligent as an orc; no, this thing has a paralysis gaze! So, in short, you have an intelligent, oversized, paralysis beam-shooting wolf that hunts in the nightmarish landscapes of the Abyss. Yikes.



    Ahlinni
    Also known as the cackle bird, the ahlinni is the first entity in this title up to bat for "really, really weird monster". A heron-like bird with a beak as long as the rest of its body, ahlinnis impale foes that they are capable of handling in melee. If outmatched, these cowardly (yes, the title specifically uses the world cowardly to describe them) avians will unleash a truly baffling breath weapon: one that imparts the spell hideous laughter. Unlike some dangerous birds from d20 titles, though, the ahlinni isn't evil or predatory, it just happens to have an obsession with gathering shiny gemstones for its mate. You know, sort of like adventurers.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Sweet! I enjoyed the "Lets Read ToH 1" thread a lot, so I'll be following this one. I don't currently have ToH 2, so this might insire me to go out and get it.

    Does the Aberrant have LA listed as a playable race?

    Side question: can anyone confirm 100% whether or not the original ToH revised was released as a hardback or not? I've heard conflicting reports...AFAIK, only the original printing (3.0) got a print run, and the Revised version (3.5) was pdf only? If there exists a hardback of the 3.5 version, I must have it!

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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    I approve of this thread. I hope you make it to the end, which should be easier since you said you've been wanting to do it.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Sweet! I enjoyed the "Lets Read ToH 1" thread a lot, so I'll be following this one. I don't currently have ToH 2, so this might insire me to go out and get it.

    Does the Aberrant have LA listed as a playable race?
    You're in luck...sort of. It's ECL 12 (8 HD, +4 LA), so while it is playable, it might not be worth it to a lot of people.

    On the other hand, I'm glad to see you start on this, Rappy. I can't wait until you get to my absolute favorite monster in this book, the troblin. Also, I really want to hear your take on the N'gathau, because I still can't make out what they're trying to do or be.

    Question: Do you have any future inklings to do the Book of Fiends? It is a pretty big book with a lot of similar content, so I wouldn't blame you if you didn't; just curious.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Side question: can anyone confirm 100% whether or not the original ToH revised was released as a hardback or not? I've heard conflicting reports...AFAIK, only the original printing (3.0) got a print run, and the Revised version (3.5) was pdf only? If there exists a hardback of the 3.5 version, I must have it!
    As far as I know, the 3.5 version didn't have a print version. No word on whether or not the Pathfinder version will have a hardback, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Makiru View Post
    You're in luck...sort of. It's ECL 12 (8 HD, +4 LA), so while it is playable, it might not be worth it to a lot of people.
    Yeah, aberrants are a bit on the hefty side of LA.

    On the other hand, I'm glad to see you start on this, Rappy. I can't wait until you get to my absolute favorite monster in this book, the troblin. Also, I really want to hear your take on the N'gathau, because I still can't make out what they're trying to do or be.
    Oh yes, the N'gathau. So much wasted potential...

    ...But that's still a ways to go, so I'll keep my thoughts to a minimum on that.

    Question: Do you have any future inklings to do the Book of Fiends? It is a pretty big book with a lot of similar content, so I wouldn't blame you if you didn't; just curious.
    I'm not sure about it at the moment, but I will say I do like the Book of Fiends. Qlippoths and daemons of Gehenna for the win.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Angel, Empyreal
    The CR 13 empyreals are sort of like the seraphim angels of lore; they are the warriors of the angels, can burst into fire at will, and have the ability to blast out a radiant burst of shiny doom, dealing 15d6 damage and blindness with its sheer shimmering awesome. And...that's about it, really. What is it about angels that I can't really put out much thoughts on them?



    Arcanoplasm
    An amoeba-like creature that isn't an Ooze? Madness! Madness being a decidedly apt word, as the CR 7 arcanoplasm is an Aberration. Arcanoplasms are a type of creature that the folks at Expeditious Retreat Press have referred to as a magiotroph: a creature that sustains itself on magical energy. Unlike a placid little magic-enveloped plant or such, though, the arcanoplasm can constrict its acidic body with the best oozes out there, and its diet consists of far more than residual magic. Spells that strike an arcanoplasm are not only eaten, but they are both converted into HP-healing energy and can be mimicked and shot right back at their caster. This is a bit of a conundrum for me. On the one hand, I'm often wary of creatures designed specifically to combat one class/class type. On the other...it's a giant spellcasting amoeba! That's just so out there and insane it ends up being an interesting monster. Add to that its mysterious origins and the fact that it hangs out in old wizard's towers and similar buildings and you have an enigmatic entity that is begging to be further explored.



    Asrai
    Mythology-based and of the Fey type? Double points to the CR 5 individual in the early pages of the book! The asrai get their name from old English lore, and they're pretty much true to mythology in their Tome of Horrors II incarnation. As in folklore, they are water fey that resemble miniature young maidens; somewhat like a shrink-washed nymph, one might say. Also as in folklore, they are extremely cold to touch. Unlike folklore, however, the asrai are statted as being water-dependent, losing Constitution points on land. In the original mythology, the asrai's fatal enemy was said to be the sun, but given how dry and sunny the land can be on the right day, I guess this is a minor quibble to spout at a gift horse. Their spell-like abilities are entirely speculative, as the lore gives no real outright statement on them having magical power, but they seem to be in order: spells such as hideous laughter and dancing lights for the "tricksy fey" archetype, and ones such as obscuring mist for the shy and reclusive nature attributed to the asrai. This monster wins an official seal of "yay!".
    Last edited by Rappy; 2011-05-27 at 08:52 PM.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    How on Earth did this slip under my radar? Another Rappy LR? Yes please!

    The Arcanoplasm sounds like a nasty little surprise. I love stuff like that.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Fiddler View Post
    The Arcanoplasm sounds like a nasty little surprise. I love stuff like that.
    Necromancer Games is pretty good on delivering "Gotcha!" monsters like that.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Barbegazi
    Wow. Another legendary creature right after the asrai? This can only be described as...

    Erm, yes, my legend/lore bias is showing a little, isn't it? Let's move on...

    The barbegazi are based off of gnome-like beings in Swiss lore. Indeed, here they are specifically noted to be LA +2 Humanoids with the Gnome and Cold subtypes. Hardy survivalists of the alpine snow fields, barbegazi use their big flat feet to cross snow without difficulty and have chill metal and icicle blast (burning hands, but cooooold!) as innate spell-like abilities. To add some D&D flavor to them, it is stated that white dragons love the taste of barbegazi, and that they have a cultural hatred of the frost men.

    With 2 natural Hit Dice and a penalty to Charisma, offset by a bonus to Dexterity and Constitution, as well as Hide and Spot checks, barbegazi are built to be Rogues rather than spellcasters like the typical gnome. If you're looking for a - dare I say it? - more dwarven gnome for your games, this is an interesting potential player race.



    Bedlam
    CR 9 Aberrations made of "pure chaos" - just how one can concentrate and purify chaos into a lifeform is beyond me, but hey, Aberrations - the bedlams are Chaotic Neutral beasts sent to chaotic places by chaotic spellcasters to guard said places by messing up spells and magic items in their vicinity while busting out law-damaging beams of doom. Because Chaos, that's why.



    Beetles, Giant
    Wow, deja vu. Our big, bad beetles this time are the CR 1 giant blister beetle, CR 3 giant saw-toothed beetle, and CR 3 giant water beetle.

    While having the lowest Challenge Rating of the bunch, the halfling-sized giant blister beetle is definitely one of the most interesting. It's not really a human-killer, instead having a taste for giant bees, which is eviscerates without fear thanks to its poison immunity. Of course, just because something's not your predator, doesn't mean it can't hurt...and boy, do giant blister beetles hurt. As their name implies, they can blast out an acidic spray that blisters skin. While a normal-sized blister beetle is likely to just give you a nasty blister on your thumb, you're more or less going to come out looking like you fought with a nest of bees and lost if you draw the ire of these chemical weapon-toting giant insects.

    Giant saw-toothed beetles are decidedly less interesting. They are highly aggressive, hide in the forest underbrush, and...that's about it, really. They are in the Medium-size category, just like the slightly more interesting giant water beetles. While they have an inky blast and wave-sensing abilities, it's less the stats and more the concept of the giant water beetle that makes them have some appeal. It is more of a mixture of memories of being bitten by normal-size water beetles far too often in the swimming pool and my recollection of the annoying dungeon-cleaning quest surrounding giant water beetles in the computer game Siege of Avalon.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Bumping with somewhat meaningful replies.

    I really don't get the obsession that third-party companies have with making a bunch of giant mundane creatures to fill their books, especially beetles, for some reason. It just feels overdone and a cop-out when they could actually make a creature that is unique to their books that gets them to stand out on the shelves.

    I guess what I'm trying to get out is: why you afraid of thinking? Break the mold and do something that hasn't been done (or at least hasn't been done enough times to make it feel like a rehash)

    I don't mean for this to come off as attacking the companies that put out these books. They're good books, but just have some weird consistencies.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Makiru View Post
    I really don't get the obsession that third-party companies have with making a bunch of giant mundane creatures to fill their books, especially beetles, for some reason. It just feels overdone and a cop-out when they could actually make a creature that is unique to their books that gets them to stand out on the shelves.
    Personally, I feel it's less form and more function. Giant versions or normal creatures can be interesting with the right creature; a pistol shrimp, for instance, could be great as a monstrous vermin. It's just that a "giant saw-toothed beetle" has nothing to really differentiate it from a giant slicer beetle, giant ripper beetle, or giant-whatever-generic-beetle.

    I don't mean for this to come off as attacking the companies that put out these books. They're good books, but just have some weird consistencies.
    In this case, it somewhat comes down to that whole "old school vibe" that Necromancer loves. Looking at my old copy of the 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual, it had six giant beetles and a grand thirty other insects, many of which made it into the first Tome of Horrors.

    Oh, and the 2EMM's insect entry contains the giant tick, which isn't an insect at all. I just noticed that.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bloodsuckle
    What is it with giant intelligent plants always thirsting for blood? Ah well, the CR 6 bloodsuckle does at least have one creepy trick up its sleeve: mind-altering drug sap! Instead of waiting for new prey to come to it all the time, it injects sap into those it snares in an attempt to turn them into mind-slaves that are effectively cattle to the bloodsuckle, coming when called to provide more blood to sustain the freaky foliage.



    Bog Creeper
    Hm, two plants in a row. At least this one doesn't also suck blood! It is, however, absolutely weird. For starters, its appearance is that of a stump with a long, vaguely humanoid wooden hand protruding from it. If that alone wasn't enough to spark your "what the hell"-o-meter, bog creepers can actually swim and move across marsh territory without penalty, as well as sense any creature standing in the marsh with it within 60 feet. It can also spit out digestive acids, because why not? I guess if you ever said "hey, I need a CR 8 plant monster to face my characters, and they're in a swamp"...you still could have just used multiple shambling mounds instead of this thing. On the other hand, maybe some refluffing to make this creature some sort of demented relative to the shambling mound and tying their origins and/or habits together might make for some interesting story potential.



    Brass Man
    The first of several ports of creatures from Necromancer Games' hefty efreeti-themed title City of Brass, the giant brass men are CR 7 constructs that are specially built by the efreet to act as guardians and war machines. And war machines they can easily be, with an armament of huge metal fists, a built-in giant greatsword, and the ability to churn their innards to blast out molten brass at an opponent to deal fire damage. As if that wasn't bad enough, their golem-like magic immunity means that, when attacked by your spellcaster, they are only slowed by electricity and healed by fire. They are natives of the Elemental Plane of Fire, too, mind you; unless you're lucky, their very environment is likely to keep them going as nightmarish juggernauts coming to gut you like a pig. The lesson here: don't screw with the efreet, as they are vengeful and have giant brass constructs.
    Last edited by Rappy; 2011-06-06 at 06:46 PM.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    The Brass Man sounds a little like the Colossus from jason and the Argonauts...
    Oh, and the 2EMM's insect entry contains the giant tick, which isn't an insect at all. I just noticed that.
    Yeah, 1E and 2E loved their giant creepy crawlies. As well as insects, you had the various arachnids (spiders, scorpions and even ticks), not to mention all the other arthropods, like giant crayfish, crabs, centipedes etc.

    Giant crayfish were surprisingly common opponents in early modules. I always felt like my characters should carry around a giant keg of butter, just in case!

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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    The Brass Man sounds a little like the Colossus from jason and the Argonauts...
    A fully advanced brass man is size Huge and has 30 Hit Dice. I'd say that could definitely fill in for Talos. Just refluff the brass as bronze and the molten brass as Talos' ichor flow, and viola.

    Giant crayfish were surprisingly common opponents in early modules. I always felt like my characters should carry around a giant keg of butter, just in case!
    And with the giant crayfish having been in the original Tome of Horrors, you can recreate all the fun of a crawdad boil with your fire-blasting Wizard and company!

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Burning Dervish
    Hey, another City of Brass inter-title refugee. The burning dervishes are CR 7 outsiders dedicated to zealously serving and spreading worship of the Sultan of the Efreet, ruler of the aforementioned book's titular city. They were once a tribe of jann, until they decided they wanted Ultimate Power™ and made a pact that sold their souls to the Sultan; as a result, they are now evil, fiery, and slightly unhinged. They are actually pretty dangerous in combat, wielding falchions and capable of setting themselves ablaze to immolate opponents. In addition, they have the ability to shrink enemies or enlarge themselves for an advantage in combat, become invisible to sneak upon a foe, and plane shifting for when they feel the battle isn't going their way and they want to run away and live to fight their holy war another day. This is an interesting monster, truly, but it does have the slight detraction of either needing refluffing or requiring you a further to shell out $50 or more to get City of Brass and find out more about the end goals of the Sultan of the Efreet.



    Cadaver
    I'm surprised we went this long without seeing an undead. In spite of its rather generic name, the cadaver is actually a pretty nasty surprise for players. While it resembles a zombie, and indeed shares said monster's mindlessness, these CR 2 creeps spread filth fever and are very hard to keep down...and by "hard to keep down", I mean "you'd better hope you have a Cleric on hand". Unless they have been turned by a Cleric or had gentle repose cast on them, cadavers felled by reduction to 0 Hit Points simply begin regenerating before they're up to fight again. While you could theoretically whittle them down with enough time and magic (damage dealt by spells or magic weapons don't regenerate), the fact remains that an undead monstrosity that can seemingly constantly rise back up from being re-slain is a dirty trick. And I love it.



    Caterprism
    Om-nom-nomming their way through the Elemental Plane of Earth, caterprisms are large CR 6 earth elementals that resemble caterpillars made out of crystal. While they're rather dangerous in combat, with a vorpal bite and the ability to shoot out piercing crystal silk, what's really notable is this line in the fluff:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tome of Horrors II
    Dwarves have been known to bring caterprisms under some degree of control, using them to help carve out new mines and dwelling places.
    I think the mental imagery of that statement speaks for itself.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Cave Leech
    While they act like what you'd expect from a giant leech, the CR 6 Magical Beasts known as cave leeches at least have a novel appearance. They look like a giant leech crossed with something like an aboleth, with flailing tendrils whipping around their toothy maw. Still, they're kind of boring, and are basically leeches that happen to be able to tentacle-drag you before they suck your blood. They might have some refluffing potential, though...



    Cerebral Stalker
    If slaad didn't already make you unnerved by frog-like monsters in D&D, these CR 8 Aberrations are likely to. They are positively disturbing in nearly every facet of how they live. They can glide through the earth, meaning one can come up without even stirring the soil to blast you with a fear gaze, grapple you, and drag you down into the shadowy depths. Then, once they've taken you to their lair, they cocoon you in webbing excreted from their body, chew on your skull, and devour pieces of your brain while you are still alive. Then, to put the icing on the cake, they spit your brainless corpse back out of the earth, which then proceeds to become a wandering zombie. The cerebral stalker doesn't even control the zombies it creates, making it an even more eery mystery. It states in the text it's unknown how the cerebral stalkers reproduce; could they possibly use zombies as squishy flesh-nests for their tadpoles, which consume their shambling undead nanny before heading out into the world to find brains of their own? It sounds like a plot to me.



    Church Grim
    Another creature from mythology, yay! This time it's the church grim of English lore, also known as the kirk grim or kyrkogrim in the Nordic lands, one of several types of dog-shaped spirits found in the lore of western Europe. A pretty popular legend, considering it was strong enough to migrate with immigrants to America, taking the form of lore such as the Mississippi headless hounds and the black mastiffs of New England. They are the guardians of sacred land, created by a dog specially sacrificed and buried on the church grounds that they guard. They are defenders of the buried and companions of those that mourn the individuals that have passed on, but become vicious combatants against demons, grave robbers, and the undead. All in all, a pretty cool cat dog with a widespread folkloric background.

    Thankfully, while only CR 5, the stats presented here for the church grim really does them justice as wardens of the cemetery. As incorporeal Magical Beasts, they aren't quite undead, but have several undead-like traits, including being bound to their cemetery and the ability to rejuvenate from destruction as long as their cemetery's church remains intact and its grounds hallowed. In addition, they have a mighty howl that causes evil creatures and ill-intented individuals to become shaken, and an incorporeal bite that both deals damage as a holy attack and inflicts 1d4 points of Wisdom damage. Last but not least is the increased casting DC of any animating spell performed in the grounds kept by the church grim, not to mention the immediate "bite me in the ass" target the caster paints on themself by using such a spell in detectable range.
    Last edited by Rappy; 2011-06-10 at 01:06 AM.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    I actually really like the sound of the bloodsuckle.

    Also I'm glad you are back to doing this Rappy. :D
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    Evil Intelligence is knowing the precise ritual that will allow you to destroy the peaceful kingdom that banished you.

    Evil Wisdom is understanding that you probably shouldn’t perform said ritual while you’re standing in the estimated blast radius.

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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    This book certainly has the old school feel down. Most of these monsters are either completely insane or just over-sized critters, with the occasional folkloric thing that doesn't seem to fit anything else. In short, it's quite amusing.

    Also, this time I won't lose track like the last one, I've subscribed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Makiru View Post
    Bumping with somewhat meaningful replies.

    I really don't get the obsession that third-party companies have with making a bunch of giant mundane creatures to fill their books, especially beetles, for some reason. It just feels overdone and a cop-out when they could actually make a creature that is unique to their books that gets them to stand out on the shelves.

    I guess what I'm trying to get out is: why you afraid of thinking? Break the mold and do something that hasn't been done (or at least hasn't been done enough times to make it feel like a rehash)

    I don't mean for this to come off as attacking the companies that put out these books. They're good books, but just have some weird consistencies.
    'Cause some of us actually like having giant bugs instead of a couple hundred bizarre and unusable monsters? Personally, I'd be all over a book chock full of giant vermin, dinosaurs, and prehistoric fauna that pretty much ignores magical and mythological critters.
    I think I've had enough for a while.

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    Cinder Ghoul
    This CR 7 undead is the product of people killed by magical fire; why exactly this makes them Large size and capable of flying is beyond me, but there it is. In addition to having the Fire subtype, their arcane origins grant them the ability to take the form of smoke, as well as deal Constitution damage by clogging opponent's organs with their burning smog. I'll give you three guesses as to what type of player this monster is meant to punish. No, the first two guesses don't count.



    Clamor
    While the last monster is meant to be a bane to a specific player, this creature performs the exact opposite function as a boon for a specific character class. Clamors, so called because of their multiples mouths making hefty amounts of noise, are naturally invisible CR 4 Aberrations. They are heavily associated with sound and music, with their ability to mimic any sound perfectly, has a sonic burst attack, is affected in strange ways by sound-based spells, and...well, I think this ability really needs to be quoted in full.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tome of Horrors II
    Speed of Sound (Ex): Once per day, a clamor can move at the speed of sound for a number of minutes equal to its Hit Dice. Its speed becomes 6,820 feet per round (1,364 squares), but it cannot attack or make use of any of its other abilities when moving this way.
    Yes, that quote is real. In any case, as I previously stated, clamors are meant as a bit of a boon creature, in that a Bard of 5th level or higher can communicate with and subsequently befriend a clamor to act as a companion of sorts. If nothing else, it's one hell of a conversation piece.

    "How exactly did you end up with a one-legged mouth-covered abomination against nature as your adventuring partner?"

    "We have an understanding."



    Colossus, Jade
    Ah, colossi, those mighty uber-golems outfitted with massive size and heaps of Hit Dice. They're pretty fun higher-level monsters, but alas, only the jade colossus has shown up for the Tome of Horrors II party. Still, one is better than none, and in spite of being "only" CR 16, the jade colossus has one amazing pair of party tricks. Of course, this isn't a surprise; in addition to being a colossus and all, these jade giants are built by powerful spellcasters and the denizens of the City of Brass...again, it's generally a good idea not to upset the efreet.

    Anyway, the jade colossus can blind foes that use light attacks on it, since its body just bounces that light around inside before blasting it back. In addition, the jade colossus has a breath weapon that deals a whopping 15d6 points of untyped damage, and turns those killed by it into jade statues.

    There is also a sidebar detailing the Jade Guardian, a unique CR 20 jade colossus built to defend the City of Brass. Its weapon of choice (besides the whole breath wepaon thing) is the Ruby Star of Law: this fancy tool of totalitarianism slows lawful creatures, stuns and deals 6d6 points of damage to non-lawful creatures, slows lawful creatures, and deals a mighty 6d4 Constitution damage to genies.
    Last edited by Rappy; 2011-06-14 at 06:51 PM.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    At least all those efreet based monsters should do something about efreet abuse...Or you can hope at least.

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    Corpse Rook
    A three-headed giant raven that is the favored prey of red and green dragons, rocs, and wyverns. Because they're tasty or something.

    ...I'm so confused.



    Corpsespinner
    Horrendous CR 11 Magical Beasts, corpsepinners are another pf the demented residents of the Astral Plane, hunting astral sharks and planar travelers. While being a giant astral spider with venom-laden fangs and a deathly pallor wasn't creepy enough, corpsespinners are also intelligent and capable of necromancy. Yes, necromancy. They create their own form of undead known as the corpsespun, which we'll meet when we reach the templates appendix. This means that a fight with a corpsespinner can be livened up by web-mummified croneys of many different sorts. This means you can induce both arachnophobia and necrophobia in the same encounter, hooray!



    Crag Man
    Yet another monster with ties to the first ToH, the cranky crag men are evil CR 5 Aberrations (no clue why they aren't elementals, as they are vaguely humanoid chunks of rock) that have long been at war with the vilstrak for some reason. While most captives of the crag men are captured to be eaten, the tunnel thugs are killed on sight or enslaved. In combat, crag men are brute force fighters with their spiky hands, but also have the stealthy ability to camouflage themselves by reverting to their natural form: that of a stalagmite. And speaking of the stalags, the big power the crag men have is that they have a 50-50 chance of being able to produce a "piercer hellstorm", raining down 2d10 piercers. Ouch.
    Last edited by Rappy; 2011-06-22 at 12:16 AM.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Three-headed raven? Odd...Everybody knows that if ravens need to break the general body type of their kind it should be by having three legs.

    Necromantic, astral spiders is pretty bizarre too, to be honest. I mean, how did anybody come up with that idea?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terraoblivion View Post
    Necromantic, astral spiders is pretty bizarre too, to be honest. I mean, how did anybody come up with that idea?
    I believe it involves a form of illicit drug, but I could be wrong.

    Anyway, just two entries today, as the next few monsters are in a set (see if you can guess what said set is given by the name of the second monster here).

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Crucifixion Spirit
    As the name implies, this incorporeal undead is the ghostly spectre of an individual that has died a very specific death: namely, crucifixion (what a tweest!). They aren't particularly jolly fellows, especially given that their wrists are broken and contorted even in death, and most of their scorn is directed toward divine spellcasters. They are CR 11, and with good reason; while many undead these days have turn resistance, crucifixion spirits have turn immunity, rendering Clerics impotent when it comes to the standard turn/rebuke strategy. In addition, they have impressive ability scores (including a Charisma of 20!), hefty spell resistance, a paralytic incorporeal touch, and a particularly wicked supernatural ranged attack: Crucify Soul. As its name implies, this special attack rips the soul from the body, leaving a translucent soul that is clear to all and crucified mid-air by ethereal nails that cause intense spiritual pain. Dealing a negative level per round, the soul crucifixion has the added whammy of "even wish, miracle, and resurrection have a 50-50 chance of failing to bring you back after you die from this ability". To top that off, the Will save to escape the soul crucifixion is based on the spirit's highest ability score: its Charisma. I think somebody was in a vindictive mood when they came up with this creature, but I can't deny it has a certain interesting quality to it.



    Draconid
    Technically, the demons and devils are in a block after the crucifixion spirit, but as with the ToH, I'm going to do them last as a pseudo-appendix, lest I have an aneurysm. So...draconids. In spite of the name, these are Aberrations, not true dragons; specifically, they are CR 9 hydra (or maybe not, as the text is vague on whether or not they look like they are part hydra or part indeterminate dragon)-spider hybrids that live in the terrifying depths of the underdark. They have two venomous bites, they have a fiery breath weapon, they can shoot webs! What can't they do? The answer to that question is "pretty much anything else". Bafflingly, draconids have an Intelligence score of 6, higher than that of either the monstrous spider or the hydra.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Terraoblivion View Post
    Necromantic, astral spiders is pretty bizarre too, to be honest. I mean, how did anybody come up with that idea?
    Maybe they are the spawn of Chupocolops (ToM) - or was he Ethereal?

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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Crucifixion Spirit
    I would bet my right knee it has been at least influenced by a certain historical figure who suffered a similar death and whose first name is a current internet meme preceded by the word "Zombie" and/or "Raptor."

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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowknight12 View Post
    I would bet my right knee it has been at least influenced by a certain historical figure who suffered a similar death and whose first name is a current internet meme preceded by the word "Zombie" and/or "Raptor."
    The illustration of the particular entry adds credence to that, but I wasn't going to make any jokes due to the forum rules.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dragon, Dungeon
    Ha ha! Metahumor. From the name to its modus operandi, the CR 9 dungeon dragon is the ultimate in-joke monster, encapsulating many D&D stereotypes into a single creature. Dungeon dragons get plenty of amusement out of being an expy for the DM, crafting elaborate mazes and dungeons, placing traps, and importing monsters, before heading out in the guise of a humanoid to announce that there's "this totally awesome dungeon with treasure out there for reals!" Indeed, unlike many dragons, the dungeon dragon has no real attachment to its treasure: all the shinies are simply a means to an end, with that end being attracting adventuring parties. After its prey has reached the dungeon, this dragon sits back and enjoys the show with its crystal ball. After all, if blood sports worked for the Romans, it sure works for a powerful draconic mastermind.

    As far as powers go, the dungeon dragon is definitely geared more towards support rather than active combat. Its breath weapon induces the spell confusion rather than dealing damage, and its other main abilities are dominate monster to capture new critters for its games, shapeshifting to bring forth adventure hooks, and the innate ability to craft crystal balls to oversee its exploits. This means that the dungeon dragon isn't so much the BBEG as it is the Q or Mytzlplk. In the end, the dungeon dragon is a trickster that just wants to have fun, and it just so happens that its definition of fun puts the adventurers in danger.



    Dragon, Smoke
    Inoffensive CR 2 omnivores, the small smoke dragons aren't exactly the paragon of ferocity. With the ability to take on a smoky form and breath painful but nonlethal smog breath, they aren't so much opponents as they are nuisances. Indeed, considering their high intellect, I can't help but wonder if they were meant to be an alternative to the pseudodragon as a draconic companion. The notes on how many eggs and young are typically in a nest seems to lend credence to this idea...



    Dragonship
    You know those Viking longboats with the draconic figureheads? Yeah, that's basically what these massive CR 10 Constructs are. Their innate navigational skills, control over the winds, and fiery breath weapon means they are a tool for the PCs or some band of raiders or other maritime opponent.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Congratulations. I now have to buy this book, if only for the Dungeon Dragon.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by LOTRfan View Post
    Congratulations. I now have to buy this book, if only for the Dungeon Dragon.
    Yeah, it's a pretty awesome monster.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Clamor
    While the last monster is meant to be a bane to a specific player, this creature performs the exact opposite function as a boon for a specific character class. Clamors, so called because of their multiples mouths making hefty amounts of noise, are naturally invisible CR 4 Aberrations. They are heavily associated with sound and music, with their ability to mimic any sound perfectly, has a sonic burst attack, is affected in strange ways by sound-based spells, and...well, I think this ability really needs to be quoted in full.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tome of Horrors II
    Speed of Sound (Ex): Once per day, a clamor can move at the speed of sound for a number of minutes equal to its Hit Dice. Its speed becomes 6,820 feet per round (1,364 squares), but it cannot attack or make use of any of its other abilities when moving this way.
    Yes, that quote is real. In any case, as I previously stated, clamors are meant as a bit of a boon creature, in that a Bard of 5th level or higher can communicate with and subsequently befriend a clamor to act as a companion of sorts. If nothing else, it's one hell of a conversation piece.

    "How exactly did you end up with a one-legged mouth-covered abomination against nature as your adventuring partner?"

    "We have an understanding."
    The real question is, how do you make a saddle for this thing?


    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Cerebral Stalker
    If slaad didn't already make you unnerved by frog-like monsters in D&D, these CR 8 Aberrations are likely to. They are positively disturbing in nearly every facet of how they live. They can glide through the earth, meaning one can come up without even stirring the soil to blast you with a fear gaze, grapple you, and drag you down into the shadowy depths. Then, once they've taken you to their lair, they cocoon you in webbing excreted from their body, chew on your skull, and devour pieces of your brain while you are still alive. Then, to put the icing on the cake, they spit your brainless corpse back out of the earth, which then proceeds to become a wandering zombie. The cerebral stalker doesn't even control the zombies it creates, making it an even more eery mystery. It states in the text it's unknown how the cerebral stalkers reproduce; could they possibly use zombies as squishy flesh-nests for their tadpoles, which consume their shambling undead nanny before heading out into the world to find brains of their own? It sounds like a plot to me.
    To me too, and I would totally play in whatever game used that hook...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Dragonship
    You know those Viking longboats with the draconic figureheads? Yeah, that's basically what these massive CR 10 Constructs are. Their innate navigational skills, control over the winds, and fiery breath weapon means they are a tool for the PCs or some band of raiders or other maritime opponent.
    ...as long as you promised I'd get one of these eventually.
    Last edited by Occasional Sage; 2011-06-27 at 05:42 PM.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    You know, that historical figure comes in a lot of varieties. Apart from the ones mentioned so far, I can think of Yamato, emo, youkai and lesbian magical girl varieties. It's quite impressive, actually.

    Also, they just had to make not one but two monsters based on dragon puns. That's actually quite sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    The illustration of the particular entry adds credence to that, but I wasn't going to make any jokes due to the forum rules.
    I will say only this:

    Now, at long last, we can say in a game (for real): "The Crucifixion Spirit saves. The rest of you take full damage."

    Quote Originally Posted by Terraoblivion View Post
    Also, they just had to make not one but two monsters based on dragon puns. That's actually quite sad.
    I concur. Verily.
    Last edited by Shadowknight12; 2011-06-27 at 08:18 PM.

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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Hiya Rappy!

    You've reminded me that I haven't stopped by the chat in awhile. Also, it seems like Ponydom has gone that far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Aberrant
    An Aberrant that isn't an abberation? How noticably odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Arcanoplasm
    An amoeba-like creature that isn't an Ooze? Madness!
    Aww, Phasm is disappointed that it isn't remembered. Then again, I don't think anyone ever used it either...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Bedlam
    CR 9 Aberrations made of "pure chaos" - just how one can concentrate and purify chaos into a lifeform is beyond me
    How indeed. You even mentioned Slaad in a later post!

    Also, with all the creatures related to the City of Brass module - doesn't that module have its own monsters? You'd think that book would have made better use of all these related creatures.

    Other than that, these are always fun to read - even if I don't have a handy response to most of them.

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