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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Well, today hasn't exactly been the greatest, so I figured instead of sitting around in a slump, I'd feed my rage (ha-tchtchtchtchtch) into productivity instead. So, let's finally get through of the H entries and get into the product identity avoidance schemes

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    Hornet, Giant
    What's the difference between a giant hornet and a giant wasp? Very little; just an added bite attack and some attack bonus-producing anger hormones. Really, looking at the stats, they seem to speak to me as less "giant hornet" and more "revised giant wasp". When I think of a monstrous hornet, I imagine a cow-sized version of the Asiatic hornet, decapitating with its vorpal mandibles as its flesh-dissolving enzymes are squirted violently to deal acid damage to the unfortunate giant bees and their cloud giant wranglers (because cloud giants love them some fresh giant honey).



    Huggermugger
    In addition to having one of the silliest names of any gnome-esque small humanoid ever, the huggermugger presents us with the oddity that is a size Small creature of the Humanoid type that has a Level Adjustment of +2; I can't think of many of those in existence off the top of my head. The reason they get this LA is because they've got both the minotaur's uncanny natural cunning and a confusion aura made by babbling in a three-huggermugger chorus, all wrapped up in a high-Dexterity package. As for what role the huggermugger plays, well... Imagine a kender, only the authors realize that they're jackasses. That, in essence, is what the huggermugger is.

    Oh, and they have their own exotic racial weapon, a curved knife called the hook-blade. It's okay, but nothing to write home about.



    Inphidians (General) and Inphidian, Common
    See? The title of this thread didn't lie! Yes, the inphidians, those yuan-ti with the serial numbers filed off, are back with a vengeance. While the original Tome of Horrors only had one inphidian, this title expands on them since it is no longer constrained under the "mostly 1E/AD&D conversions" premise. While their origin is shrouded in mystery – our good friends, those wacky sages, are unsure whether they are the results of mad wizard hanky-panky or a serpent deity's equivalent of a drider – they are rather well-known to societies around them, spending a lot of time on plying the underdark merchant circuits with both slaves and venoms/antivenoms made by their master distillers.

    In addition to reprinting the common inphidian, as well as the inphidian gauntlets and Serpent clerical domain, from the first ToH, we have two new inphidians added to the group by this book. Before those two, though, I figured I'd note the revisions to the common inphidian between the first and second Tomes. Namely: there aren't any revisions, at least as long as you have the Tome of Horrors Revised Edition like I do. I don't have a copy of the original 3.0 ToH, though, so I can only guess that the common inphidian's changes revolved specifically around edition differences. Anyway, let's get moving on...



    Inphidian, Cobra-Back
    Based around spitting cobras, the CR 3 cobra-back inphidians are distinguished from their common kin by neck hoods and their muscular bodies. In game terms, the main differences are 2 more points of Strength and 1 more hit die than the common inphidian, as well as projectile venom instead of the blinding liquid the common inphidian can squirt out. In inphidian society, the cobra-backs are the enforcers, acting as guardians that are loyal but prone to overdoing the violence on enemies and bullying other inphidians to "toughen them up"...which means that we can only conclude that inphidian society is basically high school.



    Inphidian, Dancer Charmer
    Dancercharmer inphidians, in addition to having one mouthful of a name, trade out some of the the standard inphidian's Strength and Constitution in favor of rather impressive Charisma, and they have a charm spell-inducing dance rather than any projectile weapons. They also...hm...wait...

    *Looks a bit further down* Ahhh, they're either called a dancer ophidian or a charmer ophidian; one really should put a / in that entry name, then.

    Anyway, dancer/charmer inphidians are an-always female subspecies of inphidians that are basically an entire race of belly dancers. Because when I think "serpentine Monstrous Humanoids", I totally think a culture spawning a caste of individuals that act on human attraction...unless they actually were originally human, but still. To add to the Arabic feel, there's a statement in the text of a rumor that the ruler of the inphidians has a palace with a harem of dancer/charmer inphidians, because if you're going to take that first step, why not go the whole way?
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    "Huggermugger"? Oh my...

    Nice to see some more Inphidians.

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    So how do Inphidians charm gay men and straight women?

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Terraoblivion View Post
    So how do Inphidians charm gay men and straight women?
    Oh, you and your logic.

    In seriousness though, I did have an idea about that. Instead of having the dancer/charmer inphidians use "teh Sexay" belly dancing attire to magically seduce people, I thought about some of the old fair folk lore about "being caught up in the dance". Perhaps, rather than rhythmic seduction, dancer/charmers use dancing that is intoxicatingly catchy, sweeping up people in a magical spell that convinces them to join in the revelry.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Huggermuggers are hilariously silly. I hate them so.

    Also, the writers of this book are so adorably sexist. I just want to pat them in the head and go "D'awwww, your antiquated gender views are just so adorable!"

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Kathlin
    The kathlin is a six-legged horse that is pretty endurant. That’s...pretty much it, really. One might compare it to Sleipnir in spite of it being two legs short, but the kathlin doesn’t exactly have the “best horse ever” powers of Loki’s horse-child. Given that they are always Neutral Good and can understand Sylvan and Common, I can only imagine they might be intended as a Druid’s equivalent of a Paladin mount, albeit not noted out in stone as being such. Still, food for thought, that. Of course, there is a template called Sleipnirrin from the book Template Troves: Serpents, Spiders, and Godlings, designed to grant the blood of Sleipnir to a horse-like creature. Adding that would make the kathlin +2 LA cooler.



    Lizard, Cavern
    Other than having an Intelligence score of 3, there’s pretty much nothing about the cavern lizard that is worthy of noting beyond standard giant lizard fare. Yeah, this is one of those sets of three. ...Actually, you know what? Since I had technical difficulties over the past few weeks that delayed this post, combined with the boredom factor of some of these critters, I’ll go double for a total of six.



    Magmoid
    The CR 7 magmoid is an evil fire creature that likes to spread destruction for the lulz. We’ve totally never seen that setup before, have we? But seriously, the magmoid has a vaguely familiar feeling to it beyond that. It might be the “melts metal, but doesn’t harm wood” oddity that the lava child also has. Indeed, the magmoid has a lot of similarities to a magma child. Perhaps too many, even. Surely the lava children aren’t literally the children of the magmoid, are they? Now there’s an idea. More monsters need connections between each other, really.



    Mawler
    Oh, hey, it’s a monster connected with another! What are the odds? It’s almost like...I had planned that last statement in advance! Le gasp.

    As their name implies, the mawlers are mostly mouth (maw) and like to maul people. They take on the form of an article clothing, which has led our textual sage friends – what would we do without them? - to suggest that they are offshoots or either the mimic or the executioner’s hood. Given their shapeshifting abilities, I’d personally say the “spawn of mimics” theory is more likely, but who knows? In any case, the mawler is a pretty nasty critter. With a combination of improved grab, constrict, and a vorpal bite, the mawler is definitely one of the more dangerous CR 4 Aberrations out there. Ahh, clothing-miming creatures with vorpal bites...now there’s some nightmare fuel for your players.


    Mimi
    If there are two things that there need to be more of, it’s cold-weather monsters and fey. The (thankfully non-screaming) mimis are both, being size Tin CR 1 faerie folk with the power to chill the air around them and utilize several ice-related spells. Unfortunately, mimis are also Chaotic Jackass “whimsy through aggravation” fey, leading me to feel rather conflicted about them. Now, to put things straight, I like the idea of fey as tricksters. It’s just that...well, something about it just seems more Chaotic Neutral than the supposed Chaotic Good such fey are labeled as.



    Murder-Born
    What’s creepier than an evil baby? An evil undead baby. Oh yes, they went there. Murder-born are CR 6 undead for when you want the unsettling factor of the atropal in a conveniently lower-level package, being the undead spirits of unborn babies who died with their murdered mothers. Their violence and unfulfilled rage manifest in a curse-inducing wail that reduces the amount of experience points gained by those effected by it and a touch that deals Charisma damage. Of course, the existence of the murder-born does produce a few questions, such as what happens to the mother. After all, she was murdered as well, so does she rise as an undead as well? Perhaps she becomes a stronger incorporeal undead such a ghost. On the other hand, if she doesn’t rise as one of the undead, what factor separates her from her bloodthirsty undead baby?
    Last edited by Rappy; 2011-11-20 at 05:56 AM.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Well, at least the Cavern Lizard can take class levels, thanks to it's INT.

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

    Ah, random collections of generic monsters that can't have taken many minutes to make, how I love you.

    Also, is it just me or does "fairies as tricksters" often end up being "fairies as hyperactive children as imagined in the 50s"? They just often seem to end up completely amoral, completely without longterm foresight and more petty and annoying than anything else.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Terraoblivion View Post
    Ah, random collections of generic monsters that can't have taken many minutes to make, how I love you.
    Indeed - it makes me wonder how much "filler" there is in ToH3.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Mawler
    Oh, hey, it’s a monster connected with another! What are the odds? It’s almost like...I had planned that last statement in advance! Le gasp.

    As their name implies, the mawlers are mostly mouth (maw) and like to maul people. They take on the form of an article clothing, which has led our textual sage friends – what would we do without them? - to suggest that they are offshoots or either the mimic or the executioner’s hood. Given their shapeshifting abilities, I’d personally say the “spawn of mimics” theory is more likely, but who knows? In any case, the mawler is a pretty nasty critter. With a combination of improved grab, constrict, and a vorpal bite, the mawler is definitely one of the more dangerous CR 4 Aberrations out there. Ahh, clothing-miming creatures with vorpal bites...now there’s some nightmare fuel for your players.
    So going to have to use these sometime.

    DM: You find a glowing chain shirt on the headless corpse.

    Player: I put it on.

    DM: Mwuhahaha....


    Murder-Born
    What’s creepier than an evil baby? An evil undead baby. Oh yes, they went there. Murder-born are CR 6 undead for when you want the unsettling factor of the atropal in a conveniently lower-level package, being the undead spirits of unborn babies who died with their murdered mothers. Their violence and unfulfilled rage manifest in a curse-inducing wail that reduces the amount of experience points gained by those effected by it and a touch that deals Charisma damage. Of course, the existence of the murder-born does produce a few questions, such as what happens to the mother. After all, she was murdered as well, so does she rise as an undead as well? Perhaps she becomes a stronger incorporeal undead such a ghost. On the other hand, if she doesn’t rise as one of the undead, what factor separates her from her bloodthirsty undead baby?
    Also something I'm going to have to use sometime. Not for any real particular purpose, but combined my group owns/has access to almost all 3/3.5 material so I always like finding something to throw at them they'll never expect.

    Also noticed in the description they do drain, not damage. (supported by the victim dying once it hits 0 cha instead of just being knocked unconcious iirc.)
    Last edited by Antonok; 2011-11-19 at 08:33 PM.
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  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Thurbane View Post
    Indeed - it makes me wonder how much "filler" there is in ToH3.
    The ToHIII's not too bad about it, but there are some examples such as the giant horsefly, gelatinous golem (a golem literally made out of dead gelatinous cubes slapped together into a Gumby-esque block man), and the puntastic thermite (a fire-breathing giant termite! Ahahahaha...no, not funny).

    Quote Originally Posted by Antonok View Post
    Also something I'm going to have to use sometime. Not for any real particular purpose, but combined my group owns/has access to almost all 3/3.5 material so I always like finding something to throw at them they'll never expect.

    Also noticed in the description they do drain, not damage. (supported by the victim dying once it hits 0 cha instead of just being knocked unconcious iirc.)
    Huh. Yeah, it's labelled as damage, but it definitely seems to be drain as far as rules go. Unless I'm mixing up my damages and drains.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post

    Murder-Born
    Urg, my imagination is to vivid to think long on that one....
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    It brings a smile to my face to see you updating this again, Rappy. Like everyone else, I wish your grandma the best.

    Now, for random comments!

    The inphidians always kinda struck me as odd ducks in these books, like they were just there to fulfill the quota for "new low LA race" that these books like to have. There's nothing wrong with the inphidians; I just feel that they just aren't any more interesting than the OA nagas.

    The mawler continues the long tradition of "everything in Greyhawk is trying to kill you". Seriously, this is two monsters off the top of my head (the other being the ragamuffyn) that can make putting on your underwear ruin your life.

    The fact that you're glad mimis don't scream made me chuckle just a little bit, if I'm thinking of the same game you were. Also, it has to be really frustrating for you to have this new wealth of fey only to realize they're all Chaotic Stupid.
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Makiru View Post
    The inphidians always kinda struck me as odd ducks in these books, like they were just there to fulfill the quota for "new low LA race" that these books like to have.
    Personally, I'm fairly sure that they are meant to be Open Game Content alternatives to the yuan-ti.

    Just two monsters this time in comparison to the six last time.

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    Niln
    Also known as vapor horrors, the CR 5 nilns are water-air elemental hybrids from the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vapor. They aren't really much more than summoning fodder, really; their ability to exude a fog cloud spell and a naturally gaseous body allow them to get the enemy's goat, and their drench ability makes fire-users useless. Add to that the statement that they serve those that summon them without requesting anything in return, and you can see exactly what they're for.



    Nuckalavee
    Have you ever read any Orcadian folklore? You haven't? Well, it's a shame, as this monster comes from that lore! A rather horrendous creature, the nuckalavee is akin to a centaur with its skin flayed off (and, according to some legends, a single cyclopean eye) and is a bearer of plague and horror. In its D&D incarnation here, the nuckalavee are said to be either cursed centaurs or demon-centaur hybrids, neither of which seems like a particularly pleasant story. As per its folkloric roots, the nuckalavee's fetid breath is a festering mess, acting as a breath weapon dealing loads of untyped damage. In addition, to push them further up into their listed Challenge Rating of 9, the horrific appearance of the nuckalavee's flayed body deals hefty Strength damage, and its hooves can trample foes beneath. Of course, being a folkloric monster, I heartily endorse this creature's presence. Still, I must wonder why it's typed as an Aberration when Orcadian lore classified them as a baffling but nonetheless faerie-type fey. Eh, I guess that's up to the designer.
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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: The Inphidian Strikes Back: Let's Read Tome of Horrors II

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    Personally, I'm fairly sure that they are meant to be Open Game Content alternatives to the yuan-ti.
    Yeah, that's my guess as well.
    Nuckalavee
    Have you ever read any Orcadian folklore? You haven't? Well, it's a shame, as this monster comes from that lore! A rather horrendous creature, the nuckalavee is akin to a centaur with its skin flayed off (and, according to some legends, a single cyclopean eye) and is a bearer of plague and horror. In its D&D incarnation here, the nuckalavee are said to be either cursed centaurs or demon-centaur hybrids, neither of which seems like a particularly pleasant story. As per its folkloric roots, the nuckalavee's fetid breath is a festering mess, acting as a breath weapon dealing loads of untyped damage. In addition, to push them further up into their listed Challenge Rating of 9, the horrific appearance of the nuckalavee's flayed body deals hefty Strength damage, and its hooves can trample foes beneath. Of course, being a folkloric monster, I heartily endorse this creature's presence. Still, I must wonder why it's typed as an Aberration when Orcadian lore classified them as a baffling but nonetheless faerie-type fey. Eh, I guess that's up to the designer.
    These guys existed in 2E (Mystara Monstrous Compendium), but AFAIK, never got any official update to 3.X. Sounds like this version is not based upon that one, however.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Rappy View Post
    If there are two things that there need to be more of, it’s cold-weather monsters and fey.
    I couldn't agree more. A shame the execution was so underwhelming.

    I am particularly disappointed by the murder-born. Another evil, adventurer-fodder undead. Sigh. Even with such a creepy concept, they could've gone with a monster that haunts its mother's murderer, tormenting them until they kill themselves or turn themselves in. Or a tragic, heartbreaking creature that does not harm anyone and the players must find a way to help move on. But nope! We need more throwaway monsters for adventurers to slay guilt-free! Bah. Pathetic.

    The niln make me frown as well. Casters don't need any more nice things.

    Thumbs up for the nuckalavee, should've been a fey.

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