Create-a-creature

I haven't noticed topic dealing with homebrewed monsterlings yet, so I figured I'd start one after getting an idea in the "Invincible Character in Encounter" thread.

Mine is a terrachnid (level 4), a bright purple, eyeless ultraterrestrial which exists only when you look at it. Its body is ovular, with eight legs sprouting from around the edge of its body, then four more each from the top and bottom. It spins glowing, intangible webs which, when a creature walks through it, cause intense emotional anguish and terror to the point of distraction. Because the creature and its webs only exist while you can see them, it is possible to pass through the webs entirely unharmed if you do so with your eyes closed.

Motive: Craves mental energy.

Environment: Typically found in places that have long been abandoned. Due to their nature, they can't travel far in our realm unless there is a sentient creature to observe them; thus, once they have killed and consumed the mental energy of the last living thing to pass by, they disappear again. There can be anywhere from 2 to 50 in a nest.

Health: 16.

Damage Inflicted: 4 Intellect damage. Their webs also deal 4 Intellect damage when characters pass through them, but if the character fails an Intellect task (difficulty 4), they have the added effect of distracting characters until they spend an action clearing their minds. This increases the difficulty of all actions by 1 step to the characters' detriment.

Armor: 0.

Movement: Short, and they can move through physical objects.

Modifications: Resists mental attacks at level 6. Resists persuasion, diplomacy, and all other attempts at communication as level 8.

Combat: Terrachnids, despite feeding on mental energy, seem almost mindless in the way they attack: they tend to attack the creature nearest to them until it offers no more food, and then they move onto the next nearest creature. They exist physically, but only so long as something is looking at them. Thus, if everyone in a party closes their eyes while surrounded by hungry terrachnids, they can escape with relative ease. That is, assuming they don't walk over any other traps or on the way out.

Interaction: The only way to communicate with terrachnids is with telepathy, which they never initiate. Anyone who tries draws their attention, and any terrachnids nearby will stop attacking their current targets to focus on the telepath instead.

Use: When the PCs round a corner, they see a 50-foot hallway that is filled from start to finish, top to bottom, with glowing purple webs and the bizarre, eyeless creatures which spun them. If they wish to continue, they will have to figure out how to pass through the webs safely.

Loot: Typically, terrachnids are found near areas with extradimensional technology. Anyone searching for loot in the middle of a web can find 2d6 cyphers, or 1d6 cyphers and an artifact.

GM Intrusion: After the character suffers damage from the creatures or the web, they forget one critical piece of information until they restore the Intellect pool to full. This could mean a bit of data relating to their current task, or it could mean they lose training in one of their skills.

Comments

  • Very appropriate...just enough "weird" to make it feel Numenera-esque.  Solid first creature entry, Jeremy.
  • I love the GM intrusion on this one.  Love the webs.  

    The premise of a creature that disappears when you stop looking at it is great, too.  Invokes both childhood and fairy tale style magic.  I can imagine a few complicated conversations with players though- does it exist differently for each person (if I close my eyes but my buddy doesn't, does it still exist for me?), how can you see it in the first place, if it's not real yet, etc.  I think I know the answers, but you may want to address those issues.

    It's funny, I've been working on a list of creatures and for some reason didn't think of posting it in this section of these forums.  I guess I didn't think of them as numenera technologies, but I think you're right- they are.  We should probably start posting them here.
  • Definitely like the creatures.  My only issue is that they seem too far on the fantasy side especially with them only existing when looked at.  In some sense, there's a place for that in Numenera, but I feel like it's just a bit TOO far, for me.  Would absolutely use them in another setting, though.
  • The thinking is that they exist in superposition. So really, saying they "don't exist" isn't accurate; it's more that they exist everywhere, but only in one place when you look at them.

    Don't think too hard about it. Your brain will get all twitchy.
  • Maybe another way to think about it:  since they are mental/psionically-based creatures, perhaps they draw their existence via cognitive recognition.  In other words, when you don't acknowledge their presence, they "go out of phase", but when you perceive them, they are attracted to that mental recognition like a moth to the flame and become "substantial"?
     
    Flynn said:
    Definitely like the creatures.  My only issue is that they seem too far on the fantasy side especially with them only existing when looked at.  In some sense, there's a place for that in Numenera, but I feel like it's just a bit TOO far, for me.  Would absolutely use them in another setting, though.



  • I think even with a scientific explanation they read fantasy.  Fantasy themes aren't for every Numenera game.  But I think the superposition quantum mechanics explanation for a creature that plays on a common childhood fear response is brilliant.
  • Sean: If they can only be made visible by cognitive will, and the players have no knowledge of the creature, how can one discover this creature?

    Jermy: right on! this is a semantics issue, "exist" may be a bad in-game term to utilize, especially for gm text. I would rather say its a trans-dimensional creature that is psudo-psionic. (for those D&D players think ethereal with planar shifting)

    However, to "exist" when you look at it (either directly/LOS or cognitive will) would make no sense. I would much rather suggest other methods to disguise/hide the creatures to part of the party

    • Prior to contact with the creature, have the player roll an intellect challenge to see whether they see the creature or not

    • Players must have a childhood horror to see the creature (or other backstory trigger)

    • Have an intellect pool of 15 or higher to see the creature

    Perhaps once the creature phases out, players who can see the creature would have to reroll to see if they can spot the creature. 

    These would better question the creatures existence, or if its an illusion or drug.
     
  • Here is one from me I do hope that I get some feedback about it:



    Name:  Metal Rats                                        Level: 1 (3)

    Description: These creatures are about a foot long with another foot in their barbed tail. They have 12 pair of legs. They range in color from a pale metallic white to a dark metallic black (It seems to depend on what they have been feeding on how they are colored). They are found in almost any place that there where artificial constructions in the past, or in the current world. They eat almost anything that they can chew through. They are able to chew through materials that are much tougher then their level would indicate.

    Motive: Hungers for all sorts of materials.

    Environment: They are found in almost any place that there where artificial constructions in the past, or in the current world.

    Health: 3

    Damage Inflicted: 2

    Armor: 1

    Movement: Short

    Modifications: Speed defense as level 2 due to their size. They climb at level 4 in part due to their hard claws. Chewing through things at level 4 due to their teeth and habits.

    Combat: The metal rats attack mostly in defense and tend to swarm a target, they will try and drop on the target if they are over it.

    Interaction: Metal rats are at times raised as pets, but require very tough cages, as they tend to eat their way through most materials. They are easy to scare by displays of power like loud noise, fire, lighting, etc.

    Use: Metal rats are mostly scavengers, and pests. They are more likely to eat the parties gear while they sleep, then directly attack.

    GM Intrusion: the metal rat is much tougher than the normal ones, it has 5 extra health, and +1 Armor, as well as doing 4 points of damage.

    Other Notes: Yes I do know that rats today have four legs. They are called  metal rats who really knows way.
  • im going to have such fun with this over christmas

    and consider them added to my run games!

    Sean Gore said:
    Maybe another way to think about it:  since they are mental/psionically-based creatures, perhaps they draw their existence via cognitive recognition.  In other words, when you don't acknowledge their presence, they "go out of phase", but when you perceive them, they are attracted to that mental recognition like a moth to the flame and become "substantial"?
     
    Flynn said:
    Definitely like the creatures.  My only issue is that they seem too far on the fantasy side especially with them only existing when looked at.  In some sense, there's a place for that in Numenera, but I feel like it's just a bit TOO far, for me.  Would absolutely use them in another setting, though.




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