The Coming of the Triphibians

The triphibians have their origin in a delightful Japanese film with numerous titles, the most common in the U.S. of A. being The Monster from a Prehistoric Planet. Another title (Gappa: The Triphibian Monster) refers to the monsters in question being triphibians. I really dig that word, so I decided to make them into more useful monsters for the average fantasy/sci-fi game – i.e. I resized them as humanoids rather than uber-massive kaiju. Here then, are the triphibians, compatible with Blood & Treasure and other OSR games.


Type: Humanoid
Size: Medium
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 15
Attack: Slam (1d4) or by weapon
Movement: 30′ (Fly 90′, Swim 30′)
Save: 16; +3 vs. poison
Intelligence: Average
Alignment: Neutral (N)
No. Appearing: 1d6*
XP/CL: 200/3

SD—Immunity (electricity), resistance (fire)

Triphibians look like beaked humanoids with scaly skin and large wings which they can fold onto their backs, nearly hiding them. They are emotional creatures, and their scales change colors to match their emotions. They are not desirous of contact with other species, and do their best to maintain a wide buffer between their lands and those of other creatures. In their own territory, they are highly aggressive towards intruders, especially when they are protecting their eggs and their young. In battle, they fight with swords, spears, bows and javelins, and sometimes use shields.

Triphibians can fly and they can breath underwater, making them a triple threat. Nations that have gone to war with them find their skies blackened by their warriors dropping heavy stones or bombs, and their boats falling prey to their attacks from underwater. Triphibians do not believe in fair fights, and use their abilities to the fullest to get an advantage.

Triphibians dwell in tribes of 1d6 x 60 warriors and twice as many noncombatants. They usually make their home underwater near thermal vents or in secluded mountain strongholds near lakes. It is not unusual for 1d6 tribes to live within a mile of one another, forming a confederation.

Triphibian tribes are commanded by a 6 HD king or queen who can breath a 10′ cone of electricity (2d6 damage) three times per day. These kings and queens undergo a secret ritual that increases their size to Large and their intelligence to High. The king or queen is attended by a bodyguard of 3d6 warriors with 2+1 Hit Dice. There is a 36% chance that a tribe has a spell caster, usually an adept (roll 1d4 for level). This philosopher, as the triphibians call them, is a spiritual teacher to the people, attends the king or queen on matters of state, conducts public rituals (including coronations) and joins the tribe in battle.

NOTE: These monsters would work very well in a PARS FORTUNA campaign, substituting for the larger humanoids like gnolls and bugbears that appear in traditional fantasy. By adding ray guns and such to their weaponry and putting them in serene bubble architecture above or below the sea, they would also work in a sci-fi setting such as Space Princess.

Bloody Basic (Revised) Stats

Size: Medium
Type: Humanoid
Hit Dice: 2
Armor Class: 16
Movement: 30′ (Fly, Swim)
Attacks: Slam or Weapon
Saving Throw: 16
Alignment: Neutral
CL/XP: 3/300

Rediscovering Pars Fortuna

Bo’al, Ilel, Caledjula and Cakrol

It was about seven years ago that I published Pars Fortuna, my first game. It used the Swords & Wizardry engine, with a few alterations by myself just to test out ideas for alternate mechanics. Seven years, and now it’s time for a little revision.

Revising seems to be my main hobby at the moment. I’ve just done a 2nd edition of Blood & Treasure, so I’m now working on revising the two B&T supplements, the Monster Tome (to be re-titled Monsters II) and the NOD Companion (to be re-titled Esoterica Exhumed). That goes on apace, one piece at a time. Now I’ve started delving into Pars Fortuna, and it has been fun to explore that weird little book.

The idea at the time was to make a random RPG. This meant removing the races, classes, spells, monsters and magic items that we all knew and (mostly) loved, and replacing them with things that had their genesis from random generators. At the time, I described it as reminiscent of Talislanta (“no elves”). For the most part, that’s what I did. Random classes just were not workable at the time, though I later developed a random class generator. To deal with classes, I went the race-as-class route. Random spells had the same problem, so I just rolled randomly on some lists of OGL, but non-SRD, spells.

Now I’m revising, and that means re-reading, and I’m amazed at how much I wrote that I do not remember writing. A couple of the races receded from memory and were nice surprises to me now. Many of the monsters were forgotten, and now I’m realizing how much monster art I’m going to need.

In Pars Fortuna Revised, I’m going to bring the rules more in line with what will be, next year, a revised Bloody Basic. Mostly just messing with saves and skills – nothing earth shattering. The race/classes will get some more options (essentially a warrior, skill monkey and magician class for each race). Pars Fortuna’s spell system will remain intact, and I’ll add in a few extras that I created after it was published and maybe a few things that have been bouncing around my head for a while.

Speaking of art … art was the weak spot for me when I wrote Pars Fortuna. At the time, I had zero budget to work with, so I convinced my wife that sinking $120 or so of our money into this silly project was a good idea. I contracted with Jon Kaufman to give life to the bizarre races in the setting, and I still remember the feeling of absolute delight when I got that first illustration (at the top of the post) from him. It’s still one of my favorite things ever from my years of commissioning art for games.

And then came the monsters. I tapped a fellow named Michael Stewart for a few pieces (gongthrottle over to the left is among my favorite, but the hamazak and qward are also awesome), as well as Russ Nicholson (who I’m proud to say is now working on a cover for B&T Monsters II) and Rhiannon McGuiness (who did the delightful illustration of ouphs). All great illustrations, but … there were so many more monsters to be illustrated! Almost all of the monsters in the book are original (to some extent), but I didn’t have the money to commission more art for them. Seven years later, I have a bigger budget to play with, so I plan to commission quite a few more monster illustrations. Here are a few that are on my list of potential targets for illustration:

Arahkhun – giant racoons, as big as bears and excellent grapplers

Armadillox – armadillos the size of oxen and used as draft animals; a cakrol (pangolin man) mounted on an armadillox would be just dandy!

Bebb – bears with curled goat horns

Gangarou – glossy black giant kangaroos, sometimes used as mounts

Haloot – owl-lions – quadrupedal raptor, with cheetah speed

Jumart – horned horses with shaggy hair

Mursa – furry, white walruses with bear-like legs

Olph – carnivorous sheep with wide faces and toothy maws

Opur – penguins the size of orcas, filling a similar niche

Woin – sleek wolverines with skin membranes that allow them to glide

Abominid – a giant spider stitched together from humanoid arms and legs by a vivimancer

Fulminator – five bronze spheres joined together by arcs of electricity and moving like a humanoid

Mercurial – animated mercury in the vague shape of a rat

Ningyo – animated wooden puppets with demon faces

Retriever – clockwork dingo

Sanctus – animated statue of a saint

Skeloid – animated skeleton bound in silver and gold wire with its head replaced by a wooden raptor or crow head

Tinker King – mechanical man with gemstone eyes

Nine – furry humanoids that look something like otters or seals, but with four eyes; extremely fast

Nizzertit – slimy burrowers with big eyes; keep guard cats

Nurg – short, hairy men with savage tempers; have large fists

Spenwanan – spider people of dungeons and grasslands

Zimbad – humanoid pterosaurs

Goon – evil underground humanoids who wear crowns and cause trouble

Ingalas – amazon nymphs of the jungle

Meagle – stunted moor-folk who like like a combo of hedgehog and bat

Osk – golden humanoids with sharpened teeth; covet jewelry

Tomb Robber – tiny men with grey skin, white eyes and oversized black claws

Azimok – towering crimson humanoids with protruding foreheads; urbane philosophers in daylight, raving madmen at night

Booglemoon – bear-sized wingless turkeys with crushing beaks

Cavern Crawler – terrestrial octopi

Crystalline tree – can throw beams of searing light

Dreak – look like polliwogs with the faces of human children; lake predators

Floating Horror – floating eyeball formed of protoplasm

Hyari – feathered carnosaurs with long snouts and who can leap like fleas
Idekel – cross between alligator and boa constrictor with illusion powers

Lady-of-the-depths – plant that uses illusion to look like a dainty woman; enslaves people with tendrils, who then serve as her handmaidens

Nanc – coppery capybaras with spiny tails

Oroboros – worms with lamprey mouths on either end; Pars Fortuna’s answer to color-coded dragons

Palasm – look like faceless baboons with distended bellies

Pellucid – colonies of translucent crystals

Pyroceros – stone rhinos with cores of magma

Sand rat – scaled rats with sapphires embedded in their foreheads

Sagebane – large frogs with psychic powers

Snurl – mastiffs covered in lobster-like armor

Wyveroon – like little wyverns; they adore magic rings

Zavvo – body of giant serpent, head of bat, wings of vulture; surrounded by darkness

Archfiends – Haaqugo the Burning One, Ac’ishlath the Elder Goddess and Y’dhortshagg

Lunarch – slightly amorphous silvery bear with a cluster of spider eyes on its head

Malhora Swarm – tiny moths that accelerate time

Nokt – evil spirit that looks like a five-headed green crow

Pillar of Fire – ’nuff said

Volp – crystalline wolves

Zax – energy creatures (look something like 9-bit designs from old arcade games)

If I can manage to commission a third of these, I’ll be pretty happy. If I can do more than that, I’ll be ecstatic. If you have any favorites from the list above, let me know in the comments.

I’m thinking of doing a separate setting book for the game, and both rule book and setting book (if I do separate them) will have adventures in them as well. Should be a fun project, and a nice chance to resurrect one of my first attempts at making games.

Cyclopeans – Playable Race for PARS FORTUNA

Having watched Krull over the weekend – a dandy fantasy movie, in my opinion – I was inspired to do something inspired by the cyclops in that movie. The cyclopean is designed for PARS FORTUNA, but should be readily usable in other old school-style games …

The Cyclopeans are tall, rugged humanoids with a single, large eye located in the center of their face. Cyclopeans have skin tones that range from the color of aged parchment to a rich, glossy umber. Their hair is usually worn long and shaggy, and is always blue-black in youth and adulthood, turning white as a Cyclopean enters his or her later years. The Cyclopeans eye might be any color in the spectrum, with amber and blue being the most common colors, and mauve and mottled green/brown being the rarest.

A warlike people, the Cyclopeans nonetheless have a philosophical side – probably an artifact of their unique ability to see into the future. Born fatalists, they know well the curse that accompanies their power, and take care to only pierce the veil of time when their lives, or the lives of their loved ones, depend on it. Most Cyclopeans dwell in the wilds or on the fringes of civilization, making a living as trappers, hunters and bandits. They have a passion for fighting, but lack the organization of the Oraenca or their flair of the Ilel. Cyclopeans like to rush into battle, casting their military forks and then drawing their hand weapons to close with the enemy. Cyclopean warriors usually wear light or medium armor and carry shields, military forks and broadswords. They might also carry slings and knives.

Cyclopeans see in the Skathra kindred spirits, both for their wild ways and their divinatory powers. They respect the Bo’al, Oraenca and Olvugai as worthy warriors, and though they fear the deadliness of the Ilel, they can’t quite bring themselves to respect them.

Cyclopean names are short and to the point, and are usually followed with a wad of spittle if the name is despised or a clang of the fork on the ground if revered. Common names include Bach, Brel, Cert, Oban, Tohr and Venn for males and Azra, Jula, Kento, Mala and Trena for females.

Cyclopeans adventure for money, fame and a love of action. Cyclopeans like to stay on the move and stay in the action, for it helps to keep their fatalistic moods at bay.

Racial Abilities
All cyclopeans have the following special rules:

1. Cyclopeans have poor depth perception and peripheral vision. All opponents are treated as though they have a knack for surprising them. Cyclopeans suffer a -1 penalty to hit with ranged attacks, except when using their military forks, with which they train from childhood.

2. Cyclopeans have a knack for wilderness survival and reading people’s faces. This helps them discover falsehoods and guess at intentions.

3. No more than once per day, a Cyclopean can peer into the future. They will either glimpse a moment of Weal or a moment of Woe (50:50 chance). The moment glimpsed will be connected to their current endeavors or goals, and can be described with as much or as little detail as the Referee thinks appropriate. A Cyclopean might, for example, glimpse himself or a friend opening a door and being struck dead by a trap, or looking behind a curtain and discovering a secret door. Perhaps the door or curtain is unique and the Cyclopean will easily recognize it when they come to it – perhaps not. Perhaps the Cyclopean will never come across the possible future they have glimpsed. In general, this power acts as a free “clue” to something in the Cyclopean’s current adventure.

4. Whenever a Cyclopean glimpses the future, they hasten their own demise. For the next 24 hours, the Cyclopean suffers a -2 penalty to saving throws made to avoid death, damage or danger.

Class Abilities
Cyclopeans have the following class abilities:

Prime Requisite: Constitution (+5% bonus to earned XP if 13+)
Hit Dice: 1d6+2 (or 1d10), +2 hp per level after 9th
Saving Throws: As warrior
Attack Bonuses: As warrior
Restrictions: Cyclopeans can use any weapon, light and medium armor and shields.
XP Advancement: As the Oraenca

Cyclopean characters turn their racial knack for reading faces into a skill.

Cyclopeans can go berserker once per day. This berserkergang can only be entered once they have suffered damage in battle or once they have inflicted damage in battle. Once the berserker state is entered, the Cyclopean remains in it for a number of rounds equal to their Constitution divided by 3. They cannot exit the berserker state prematurely without passing a saving throw, and will attack anything in reach while under its spell. While berserk, a Cyclopean gets two melee attacks per round and inflicts +1 damage with melee attacks, but suffers a -2 penalty to Armor Class. A Cyclopean suffers from exhaustion for a number of hours equal to the rounds of combat they spent while berserk unless they spend a full turn after the battle resting.

Picture nabbed from HERE

PARS FORTUNA Discount and the Zwunkers

I present the Zwunker from the aforementioned PARS FORTUNA as a playable race.

Zwunkers (Sea Dogs)

Zwunkers are black-skinned dwarves with long manes of gold hair. Their eyes are faceted and resemble yellow diamonds.Zwunkers stand anywhere from 3 to 4 feet tall, and they are heavier than they look. Zwunkers are usually found working as sailors or hired muscle, so they tend to dress simply and prefer to let their arms be bare to show off their mighty thews.

In the PARS FORTUNA setting, Zwunkers seemingly have no home. Most ports have an itinerant population of the little buggers working as sailors, bodyguards, thugs or laborers. Zwunkers like to move around, and in fact often need to move around to stay ahead of the trouble they get into. When they do settle down, it is usually to dwell in caves overlooking the sea. These caves are decorated with flotsam and jetsam and all the bric-a-brac you would expect a person to collect in the course of dozens of sea voyages.

Zwunkers are wanderers and, often, troublemakers. They enjoy stirring things up and seeing what happens – introducing a little chaos into otherwise staid and steady lives. Although not overly fond of alcohol, they are downright obsessive over gambling and wagering, and most of the trouble they get into starts as a dare-turned-wager. Zwunkers are hard, diligent workers, taking great pride in out-working other folk. This makes them popular with Oraenca. Their disregard for authority makes them popular with the Kyssai. Most other races see them as a nuisance.

Zwunker adventurers aren’t much different from normal zwunkers – they like to see new things, annoy new people, walk further, climb higher, etc. Many Zwunker adventurers got their start when somebody bet them they wouldn’t climb into a hill or plunder a tomb.

Zwunker names are little more than nicknames. They are usually monosyllabic – names like Zurk, Yan or Gord for males and Tua, Offa or Zee for females.

Zwunkers have a knack for seamanship, including navigation (even away from the sea – they have an excellent sense of direction), climbing and swimming. Zwunkers are also very anti-magical in nature, receiving a +1 bonus to save vs. magic, and actually creating a zone of magical interference within 30 feet that creates a 5% chance of spells cast in that zone or into that zone going awry and not working.


Prime Requisite: Constitution, 13+ (5% experience)

Hit Dice: 1d6+1 (+2 hp per level after 9th level)

Armor Restrictions: Zwunkers can wear light and medium armor and use shields.

Weapon Restrictions: Zwunkers can use any weapon except two-handed swords and pole arms.

Special Abilities: A Zwunker character’s anti-magic zone increases in power as they increase in level, adding a 1% chance per level of spells going awry (i.e. a 1st level zwunker’s zone has a 6% chance of ruining spells, while a 10th level Zwunker’s zone has a 15% chance of doing so). Once per day, a zwunker can control winds (and only winds) per the spell Control Weather. A 10th level Zwunker gains the ability to use the Control Weather spell, as written, once per day. Finally, Zwunker characters are skilled at climbing, navigating and other nautical tasks.

Zwunker Advancement

Level Experience Hit Dice Hit Bonus Saving Throw
1 0 1 +0 15
2 2,000 2 +0 14
3 4,000 3 +1 13
4 8,000 4 +1 12
5 16,000 5 +2 11
6 32,000 6 +3 10
7 64,000 7 +3 9
8 128,000 8 +4 8
9 256,000 9 +5 7
10 350,000 +2 hp +5 6
11 450,000 +4 hp +6 5
12 550,000 +6 hp +7 4


PARS FORTUNA Complete Rules Are Go!

I’ve doggone gone and done it – PARS FORTUNA is up for sale. I’m nervous as hell about this one – so many more “moving parts” than the NOD magazines. If any errata come up, I’ll post it on the site as a free download, of course. Fortunately, Lulu is running a sale right now – 20% off anything with the coupon code DONE305 at checkout.

And don’t forget to pick up a PARS FORTUNA t-shirt – ’cause, you know, metal apes on t-shirts are all the rage these days.



A review has appeared at Geordie Goes Gaming!

The basic rules were given a thorough review at Aeons & Augauries by JD Jarvis.


So, I’m still waiting for one piece of art before I can publish the complete rules to PARS FORTUNA – hopefully it won’t be much longer, but I’ve seen a preliminary of the art and it is worth waiting for. Anyhow – missing that art doesn’t keep me from posting the free download of the basic rules, a link to which can be found HERE, or on the free downloads page (see above and to the right).

I’ve had a blast writing these rules, trying to take a randomly generated bunch of races, monsters and treasures and making them (sorta) make sense. There are some alternate rules to try out and hopefully people who play old school rules (or new school) can find something worthwhile for their game.

If all goes well, the Complete Rules will soon be available on The print book should go for $15, the PDF for $7. The Complete Rules will contain 12 race-classes, over 120 spells new to the old school, 120 new magic items, 140 new monsters, new magic rules, alternate rules for combat, equipment and encumbrance, rules for skills and knacks (i.e. a very simple skill system), a sample sandbox setting, a sample 1st level dungeon and general conversion notes for other old school rules – including adventurer, magician and warrior classes for folks who prefer to separate race from class. All packed into about 120 pages.

For now, check out PARS FORTUNA: Basic and let me know what you think.

UPDATE: I’ve incorporated some corrections suggested by JD Jarvis of Aeons & Auguries (and he wrote a review of the basic rules) and Gonster of Attack Plan R, one of the erstwhile followers and friends of the blog. All the links now point to the updated document.

Pars Fortuna Preview – 12 Magic Armors

For PARS FORTUNATM, I wanted to do something slightly different with magic items. To that end, I kept the concept of potions and scrolls (in a slightly tweaked format), but I decided to make all other magic items unique. I’ve used the treasure system in Swords and Wizardry quite a bit in producing my NODTM sandboxes, and so I knew that magic items in Swords and Wizardry are, by the rules, rare enough that unique magic items should work. After all, if the magic items in PARS FORTUNATM were not unique, it would have been pretty tricky to randomize them. Here, then, is the master magic item table, and the items in the Armor category.


1 Armor
2 Bauble
3 Cube
4 Raiment
5 Shield
6 Staff
7 Sword
8 Weapon – Melee
9 Weapon – Missile
10 Miscellaneous

Most magical armor carries an enchantment of +1 to +3. This bonus applies to the wearer’s AC, thus +1 light armor would give one a +3 bonus to AC rather than the usual +2 bonus. Magical armor resizes itself to fit its owner perfectly.


1 Hospitaler’s Helm
2 Ymbrym’s Bulwark
3 Champion’s Cuirass
4 Armor of Orth
5 Sollerets of ESP
6 Scales of Faduz
7 Hoden’s Mail
8 Crusader’s Breastplate
9 Gauntlets of Kriusaichon
10 Ruby Scales
11 Zena’s Robe of Spells
12 Emperor’s Armor

Armor of Orth: Orth was a kyssai scoundrel who have his life protecting a village from raiders. His armor was blessed by his heroism, and has long been lost by the champion of that forgotten village. Orth’s armor is a suit of leather armor (+1 light armor), the breastplate being stamped with a cornucopia. When the right fist is held aloft, the armor glows with light as bright as a torch. When the left fist is held aloft, the wearer and his comrades are immune to mind effects.

Champion’s Cuirass: Forged by the ilel and then lost during one of their many wars, this blue-steel cuirass is +1 medium armor and creates a 10-ft radius zone of magic resistance (10%) around the wearer.

Crusader’s Breastplate: This breastplate is washed in gold and has crimson leather straps. It counts as +2 medium armor and allows the wearer to control flames, making them brighter, snuffing them out, or causing them to leap at targets (treat as missile attack, 1d6 damage). The wearer gains a +2 bonus to save vs. fire.

Emperor’s Armor: This suit of plate armor is made of silvered steel, and the breastplate is marked with a noble crest of a hhai rampant. Owned by an ancient emperor of Vex, it was lost during the coup of the ilel, and it is prophesied that the person who will overthrow the ilel will come wearing this armor. Volzaar’s armor allows the wearer to fly (movement of 12), and the owner of the armor does not age. In daylight, it can be commanded to dazzle all in sight (saving throw allowed to negate the effect) once per day.

Gauntlets of Kriusaichon: These black boiled leather gauntlets allow the wearer to make a level drain attack with their touch. Treat this as a normal melee attack. Each time a level (or Hit Dice) is drained, the wearer permanently loses 1 point of charisma, their appearance becoming more ghoulish and unwholesome.

Hoden’s Mail: The famed olvugai adventurer Hoden wore this expansive coat of mail. The mail acts as +2 heavy armor and, on the wearer’s command, casts the spell Invulnerability.

Hospitaler’s Helm: This conical steel helm gives its wearer the ability to heal 2d6 points of damage with a touch once per day. The wearer, unfortunately, is struck with deafness while wearing the helm.

Mail of Ymbrym: Ymbrym was an olvugai smith of the highest order and arrogance. The coat of mail that reaches to the ankles and shines with an inner fire. It is +1 heavy armor and grants the wearer immunity to magical ranged attacks of level 1 to 3 (i.e. cantraps). Unfortunately, the wearer becomes an overbearing know-it-all while in the mail.

Ruby Scales: This +3 medium armor is composed of crimson-tinged scales of metal on a leather backing. On the chest, the armor is bejeweled with three perfect rubies that blaze with an inner fire. These rubies enable the wearer of the armor to cast three Maledictions. As Malediction is cast, a ruby loses its sheen. When all three have been cast, the armor disappears.

Scales of Faduz: Forged by the infamous osk smith Faduz, this +2 medium armor of lacquered black metal with gilded edges allows the owner to shape shift into the form of a beast. The chosen form cannot have more Hit Dice than the wearer of the armor. It has the side effect of making the wearer look more bestial.

Sollerets of ESP: Sollerets are, basically, armored shoes. This pair is made of steel and has long, pointed toes. The wearer of the sollerets gains the ability to read people’s minds, but each time this power is invoked, they develop a painful, ugly boil on their face. These boils effectively lower the wearer’s charisma by 2, and last for 1d6 days.

Zena’s Robe of Spells: Zena was a magician of olden times, claimed by all the magical races as one of their own. Her robe is made of thick leather, and acts as +3 light armor. Once per day, the wearer can cast any spell of a level equal to or lower than their Hit Dice.

PARS FORTUNA Election ’10 Results

A week ago I announced that I was going to commission a piece of monster art from Russ Nicholson. The question, of course, was which monster. I introduced these five candidates …

1. Fiend: A scaly demon carrying a barbed spear and sticking out a long, wavy tongue.

2. Meagle: Stunted piskie, looks like a cross between a hedgehog and gnome with bat wings; carry nets woven from human hair.

3. Nine: Humanoid otter with four beady eyes; carries a long knife and/or sling; quaff mystic beer; extremely quick.

4. Eight-Headed Creeper: Weird creatures with eight jabberwocky-ish heads on long necks, clawed feet, long arms with long, nimble fingers and large, bat-like wings.

5. Bounder: Giant bipedal grasshoppers wielding military forks and chakram.

And in the best democratic tradition put it up to a vote. It was a hard-fought contests, with two candidates, Eight-Headed Creeper and Meagle, leaping ahead in the polls and Bounder playing the role of third party spoiler. Well, the votes from comments and e-mails are in and tallied and the contest went to Eight-Headed Creeper. And to be honest, I’m kinda happy about that. The Creeper and me, we have a little history.

It had to be six or seven years ago. I was sitting in front of the computer, tapping away at the keys working on something RPG related, when my daughter scurried in to see what dad was up to. She had to be four or five at the time. I think at the time I was probably fooling around with converting lots of old monsters to a Castles and Crusades format (my system at the time), because she announced that she wanted to make up a monster. I suggested she start out with a drawing and she went to it, producing this little gem.

“Well, what is this monster called?”, I asked, and she thought about it for a minute and came back with “Eight Headed Creeper”.

“What does it do?”, I asked.

“It sneaks around and steals gold from people”

“What is is like? How does it behave?”

“It is scary, but it usually runs away from fights.”

So, I kept asking questions, and did my best to translate her Creeper into a monster, which is now going to show up in my own little RPG and is going to be illustrated by my favorite monster artist. Neat how things work out, isn’t it?

Oh, and my daughter thanks those who voted for her Creeper. If PARS FORTUNA sells well enough, the Meagle is next on my list for a monster commission.

Today I’m putting a little more work into Western Venatia, but I’m mostly working on the PARS FORTUNA dungeon I’m going to play test next weekend with friends. I’m about 50 magic items away from finishing the PAR-FOR rules, and I also just realized that I need to make a PAR-FOR character sheet. The Mystery Men! project has achieved funding (!!!) and I’ll post an update about that tomorrow.

PARS FORTUNA Monster Vote!

I’m going to commission a monster piece from Russ Nicholson, my favorite monster illustrator ever (yeah, I’m one of those Fiend Folio fans – I even like the flumph). The question is – what monster should I request? I’ve decided to let the readers of this blog make the decision for me. You will see below a description of five monsters – just leave a comment on this post with your choice or shoot me an email and in a week I’ll tally the results and see about making the commission.

1. Fiend: A scaly demon carrying a barbed spear and sticking out a long, wavy tongue.

2. Meagle: Stunted piskie, looks like a cross between a hedgehog and gnome with bat wings; carry nets woven from human hair.

3. Nine: Humanoid otter with four beady eyes; carries a long knife and/or sling; quaff mystic beer; extremely quick.

4. Eight-Headed Creeper: Weird creatures with eight jabberwocky-ish heads on long necks, clawed feet, long arms with long, nimble fingers and large, bat-like wings.

5. Bounder: Giant bipedal grasshoppers wielding military forks and chakram.

UPDATE – Interesting! After a day of voting, people have pretty much divided into the Meagle party and the 8-Headed Creeper party, with the Bounder showing up in the roll of the Libertarians. Keep the votes coming – I’ll collect them until next Sunday and then reveal the winner and request the commission.