One of my favorite game mechanicians of the d20 era was Erica Balsley. She was a monster gal – did some great stuff for the Tome of Horrors and Creature Catalog and did some neat conversions for Bard Games’ old Atlantis setting. Years ago, I came across a template she wrote for the “Mephit Lord”. The mephit lord template was applied to mephits to make high-powered elemental baddies like the Steam Lord, Smoke Lord, etc. All mephit lords had an attack called a “clutch”, which tipped off their origins …
Now, I’ve long since lost track of that original template – it was on some message board somewhere – but it eventually showed up in the Book of Templates Deluxe Edition. I still have the stats for Heat Lord and Snow Lord, though, and here they are in Swords & Wizardry format.
Fire Lord: HD 12; AC -3 ; Atk 2 claw (1d6+4) or 1 clutch (4d6); Move 15 (Fly 24); Save 3; CL/XP 18/3800; Special: Fire mephit abilities + breath weapon (4d4), clutch, regenerate 4 hp/round, only harmed by +2 or better magic weapons.
The clutch of the Heat Lord deals 4d6 points of fire damage to living opponents, and instantly melts or incinerates any non-living, non-magical matter of man-size or smaller. Magic items are allowed a saving throw to resist this effect.
Ice Lord: HD 12; AC -3 ; Atk 2 claw (1d6+4) or 1 clutch (4d6); Move 15 (Fly 24); Save 3; CL/XP 18/3800; Special: Ice mephit abilities + breath weapon (4d4), clutch, regenerate 4 hp/round, only harmed by +2 or better magic weapons.
The clutch of the Snow Lord deals 4d6 points of cold damage to living opponents and instantly freezes and shatters any non-living, non-magical matter of man-size or smaller. Magic items are allowed a saving throw to resist this effect.
Mephit Lords are always accompanied by 2d6 mephits of the appropriate type. They can summon 1d6 mephits with a 75% chance of success.
The relevant mephit stats are:
A fire mephit breathes a 15-foot cone of fire that deals 1d8 damage (saving throw for half). Once per hour it can cast burning hands, and once per day it can heat metal. A fire mephit regenerates if it is touching a flame at least as large as a torch.
• Fire Mephit: HD 3; AC 2 ; Atk 2 claw (1d6); Move 12 (Fly 21); Save 14; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Harmed by magic weapons, breath weapon, burning hands, heat metal, regenerate, summoning.
Ice mephits breathe a 10-foot cone of ice shards that deals 1d4 damage (saving throw for half) and imposes a -2 penalty to AC and attack rolls. Once per hour an ice mephit can cast magic missile and once per day they can chill metal. An ice mephit regenerates if touching a piece of ice of or if the ambient temperature is 32°F. or below.
• Ice Mephit: HD 3; AC 1 ; Atk 2 claw (1d6); Move 12 (Fly 21); Save 14; CL/XP 5/240; Special: Harmed by magic weapons, breath weapon, chill metal, magic missile, regenerate, summoning.
And if you use these guys against your players, make sure you have them do the song and dance first – it will make the TPK that much more satisfying. Nobody likes to get their butt kicked by a song and dance man.
Image from Patrick Owlsley – check out his blog if you love old cartoons!