Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Creature: Ghosts

This is part two of 1000 Ghost Falls, an ancient city being uncovered from its thousand century sleep under a layer of earth by a thundering waterfall. The ruins are infested by black Ghosts that slide out of the walls and feed on the minds of explorers. Below is write-up of the black Ghosts that infest the ruins and the drugs that can be made from their cocoons.

At 1000 Ghost Falls, alien Guests were entertained by a protogiant bronze age civilization until an uprising ended their visit. Check out the city's explorers and the waterpark of horrors they have to survive in part one of this series. For landmarks and treasures to stock the site, check out post three.

Source: Peter Harrison
Domesticated Ghosts (a foot long) were once used in the buried city to extract and refine dreams into potent hallucinogens for the Guests, who derived much pleasure from sharing the minds of their hosts. Left unchecked, the Ghosts have grown wilful. Their eggs can survive for centures in the mud, and start to hatch when sentient minds come within 60 ft. The Ghosts then start to hunt for stragglers (or, if they are in a clutch, take on an entire digging team.)

Alien, MiƩville's Slake Moths and Grindylows (Perdido Street Station, The Scar)


Imagine an eel, a caterpillar, a moray, an earth worm. Wide as your head and as long as you're tall. Make it sleek, shiny-black, smooth looking but every part razor sharp with obsidian microscales. It swims through the air as easy as through mud and earth. Never in a straight line but racing towards you in jerks and turns, sometimes slipping out of sight and appearing from your blind spot. Eyeless but homing in on your heart beat.

The smooth round front splits into three parts to reveal rows of rippling crab's legs pointing inward. A gullet shaded so purple that your eyes fuzz with the near UV intensity. A flash of your childhood. When it engulfs your face, feelers peel back your eyelids. Colors flood your optic nerve like pressing into them with a finger. Your mind fills with forgotten dreams and old memories suddenly fresh - the Ghost predigesting your mind like your saliva does a bite of food.

If you wake - if there is a you - you are numb, senseless. The Ghost has left by now, spun a cocoon, and entered the spirit realm as a Ghost Moth. It will come into your world once more during its death dance of mating and lay a batch of glistening eggs.

DM: This is an excellent time to break out the sanity rules, turn the victim into an Awakened, or induct victims into the Dero conspiracy.

Number appearing (d6): 1-4 one Ghost; 5-6 two Ghosts; 7 three Ghosts; 8 five Ghosts
  • Against a lone digger, spring from a wall or ceiling and perform a head grab, then put the victim in a hold until their mind is sucked dry.
  • Against a group, perform a head grab and try to pull the victim into the wall. It will probably suffocate there while the Ghost feeds - a trade-off between a lesser meal and relative safety.
  • In a clutch, most of the Ghosts use gaze attacks to immobilize the group, while one extracts dreams until its gaze attack recharges.

Ghost - medium-sized aberration [Pathfinder based]

senses: blindsight 60 ft, perception: 13
languages: speechless, understand Aboleth + language of previous victims
str 14, dex 18, con 15, int 3, wis 16, cha 12
Speed: fly & swim 40, burrow 20

AC: 20, touch: 14, flat-footed: 16, when blurring: 20 or 50% miss chance
damage resistance: acid 10, cold 5; damage vulnerability sonic (+50%)
reflex +6, constitution +5, will +8
cmb: +6 (+10 grapple), cmd: 10 (14 grapple)
HD: 6, HP: 35

feats and skills: flyby attack, weapon finesse, acrobatics +14, fly +14, perception +13, stealth +14

attack abilities
  • attack: +8 slither along target for 2d4+4 slashing
  • head grab: +8, 1d4+3 piercing and grappled
  • grappling: +8 to inflict 2d4+2 slashing, Will 18 or 1d6 Charisma drain & stunned 1 round
  • gaze: only if not in a head grab. 15ft cone: Will 15 or 1 Charisma damage & stunned 1 round. Recharge on 5-6 on a d6 every round.

defense abilities
  • razor scales: unarmed attackers take 1d4+1 slashing damage on a succesful attack
  • blur: standard 20%, raise to 50% for 1 round for 1 banked Charisma

other abilities
  • jolt: move up to 10 ft through ethereal plane as part of move action & attack with +1 bonus for 1 banked Charisma
  • cocoon: spend 20 banked Charisma to spin a hardness 10, 50 hp cocoon. Emerge into ethereal plane as a Ghost Moth (tbd) after 7 days. Reduce by a day for each extra 5 banked Charisma spent. Each cocoon yields 2d4+2 batches of Ghost dust.


Drugs rules: Dungeons and Druggies
Take the drug, gain its advantage and disadvantage for the duration. After the duration, roll the tolerance save to see if you gain tolerance to the drug; if you fail the save, gain one point of tolerance. To lose points of tolerance, stok taking the drug for a week, then roll to kick the habit and hope you don't go into withdrawal.

Coarse purple-black powder or paste, can be inhaled or ingested. Powerful hallucinogen - you move in a dream state, fluid-fast but easily distracted by flashes of the spirit world.

Duration: 1d4 hours
Advantage: +1 to Reflex saves and +1 Dodge bonus per dose taken. Can reroll a d20 you rolled once per dose during the duration. (base: Laba Wasp)
Disadvantage: -1 to Will saves and perception per dose taken.
Tolerance: -1 to reflex and dodge per point of tolerance.
Tolerance save: Fortitude 17 +{number of doses taken} - {tolerance points}
Kick the habit: after week of not taking the drug, roll Fortitude 17 +{points of tolerance in drug} -{tolerance points in other drugs}. Success: lose one point of tolerance in the drug. Failure: double the tolerance effect until you take the drug again.


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