A Gaggle of Gobblers

To celebrate Thanksgiving, when we give thanks to God by feasting on a slain dinosaur, I present a multitude of monsters based on the humble turkey.

We begin with the original:

Turkey, Wild Forest

Size: Small (30 lb., 4’ tall)
Type: Animal
Hit Dice: 0 (1d4 hp)
Armor Class: 12
Attack: 1 scratch (1d2)
Movement: 30 (Fly 60)
Saves: F14 R12 W19
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Animal
No. Appearing: 1d2
XP: 25 (CL 0)

Wild forest turkeys have excellent daytime vision, and are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. At night, their vision is far worse, and they are surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. They dwell in meadows in woodlands.

Turkey, Giant Wild Forest

Size: Medium (60 lb., 8’ tall)
Type: Animal
Hit Dice: 1
Armor Class: 13
Attack: 1 scratch (1d4)
Movement: 30 (Fly 60)
Saves: F13 R12 W18
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Animal
No. Appearing: 1d2
XP: 50 (CL 1)

Giant wild forest turkeys are known to prey on small creatures, like gnomes, when they are particularly hungry. Like their smaller kin, they have excellent daytime vision, and are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. At night, their vision is far worse, and they are surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. They dwell in meadows in woodlands.

Turkey-Men

Size: Medium (200 lb., 8’ tall)
Type: Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 1
Armor Class: 13
Attack: 1 scratch (1d4) or by weapon
Movement: 30
Saves: F13 R15 W16
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Low
No. Appearing: 1 male + 2d6 females
XP: 50 (CL 1)

Turkey-men are somewhat dull-witted woodland humanoids. Males live alone, and are quite territorial. They keep harems of 2d6 females, who make up the fabric of turkey-man society. Males maintain alliances with their brothers, and with them control a larger territory against other brotherhoods.

Turkey-men are tall and gangling, with the heads of turkeys and tufts of feathers around their necks. Their feet resemble those of turkeys, and their fingers are talons as well. They often wear cloaks of wild turkey feathers, and usually carry simple spears or war clubs and hide shields in combat.

Like wild turkeys, they have excellent daytime vision, and are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. At night, their vision is far worse, and they are surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. They dwell in hide lodges on woodland meadows.

Draco-Turkey

Size: Medium (300 lb., 8’ tall)
Type: Dragon
Hit Dice: 5
Armor Class: 15
Attack: 2 claws (1d4) and bite (1d6)
Special: Gobble (30’ cone, sonic damage)
Movement: 30 (Fly 60)
Saves: F11 R10 W11
Immune: Sleep and paralysis
Alignment: Chaotic (NE)
Intelligence: Average
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 500 (CL 6)

Listen, the woodlands can get a bit boring. Sometimes a green dragon finds a cask of wine, drinks it, gets a little crazy and, well, draco-turkeys happen. Like their normal turkeys, they have excellent daytime vision, and are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. At night, their vision is far worse, and they are surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. They make their lairs in wooded hollows, felling trees into something resembling a crude lodge.

Galliraptor

Size: Medium (330 lb., 8’ tall)
Type: Animal
Hit Dice: 3
Armor Class: 15
Attack: 1 talon (1d6) and bite (1d4)
Movement: 45 (Fly 60)
Saves: F12 R11 W17
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Animal
No. Appearing: 1d4
XP: 150 (CL 3)

These creatures are hybrids of giant wild forest turkeys and deinonychuses. They are leaner than giant turkeys, and faster. Like their smaller kin, they have excellent daytime vision, and are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. At night, their vision is far worse, and they are surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. They dwell in meadows in woodlands.

Gruesome Gobbler

Size: Medium (330 lb., 8’ tall)
Type: Magical Beasts
Hit Dice: 4
Armor Class: 15 [+1]
Attack: 1 talon (1d6) and bite (1d4)
Movement: 45 (Fly 60)
Saves: F11 R10 W15
Resistance: Fire, magic 10%
Alignment: Chaotic (CE)
Intelligence: Low
No. Appearing: 1d4
XP: 150 (CL 3)

Gruesome gobblers are galliraptors infused with demonic power. They are sometimes summoned and bound by shamans to keep people away from evil places. Like their smaller kin, they have excellent daytime vision, and are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. At night, their vision is far worse, and they are surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. They are +2 to hit and damage Lawful (Good) creatures.

Were-Turkey

Size: Medium (60 lb., 8’ tall)
Type: Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 2 [Silver]
Armor Class: 15
Attack: 1 scratch (1d4) or bite (1d4) or by weapon
Movement: 30 (Fly 60)
Saves: F15 R12 W12
Alignment: Neutral (N)
Intelligence: Average
No. Appearing: 1
XP: 200 (CL 3)

When the full moon is rising, you can find the were-turkeys scrambling for the woodlands, mostly to avoid the embarrassment of turning into a turkey in front of their friends. “Why”, they ask, “why couldn’t I have been bitten by a werewolf?” They have excellent daytime vision, and are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. At night, their vision is far worse, and they are surprised on a roll of 1-3 on 1d6. Were-turkeys can communicate with turkeys.

By the way – I put my five latest print titles at Lulu on sale at 25% off – today only. Pick one up if you’ve a mind to.

Happy Thanksgiving, One and All!

From We Heart Vintage

Just a quick note today to wish everyone (American or not) a happy day. It’s always a good idea to stop and take an inventory of the blessings in your life, and among mine is the audience of folks who read my blog and buy my stuff. You folks have given me, through your attention and your cold hard cash, an opportunity to pretend to be a real grown up writer, and I appreciate it more than you know.

As a way to show my appreciation, I’m put all of my books at Lulu are now 10% off between now and the end of the year (not the PDF’s though – they’re cheap enough already). At the moment, Lulu is doing a 30% sale as well (code is DELIRITAS), so if you’ve been waiting to buy NOD or Blood & Treasure or anything else, now’s the time! Remember, with Blood & Treasure, I’ll send you a link for a free download of a PDF when you buy a hard cover book – just email me the receipt.

In other news, I’ve commissioned the first bits of character class art for the Nod Companion, which will gather together classes, races and other useful character bits from the NOD magazines, revising and updating them for Blood & Treasure. It will also include a brief run-down of the Land of Nod’s history and major city-states and peoples, for those who want to know more and can’t wait for me to hex crawl the entire planet (yeah, that’s just about what I’m aiming for – I might skip a bit of open ocean, but I do want to hex crawl the entire landmass).

And finally, to keep this post useful …

HELL-PUNKINS

Hell-punkins are orange gourds that are grown in the swamps of Hell. They are steeped in hatred and misery and, when the air turns cold, heaved out of the depths to spread fear on the Material Plane.

Hell-Punkins look like large pumpkins (usually about 3-ft in diameter) with burning red eyes and jagged mouths that look as though they were ripped into the flesh of the plant by the plant’s own burning desire to nibble on the flesh of innocents. A single long tendril (8 feet) rises from the top of the plant.

Hell-Punkins can breathe cones (10 ft.) of molten gunk and seed from their mouths once per day. The gunk initially does 2d6 points of damage, and if the target fails their Reflex save to cut the damage in half, sticks to people’s skin and deals another 1d6 points of damage the next round. More importantly, the seeds in the gunk begin to sprout the second round, digging roots into the person’s blood (1d4 points of damage) and then sprouting forth in tendrils that grow quickly, entangling the victim (per the spell entangle). Victims killed by this burning gunk eventually become the fodder for a new crop of hell-punkins.

The creatures move by bouncing and utter a wheezy cackle of delight when they discover new victims.

Demons and devils enjoy a spicy pie made from hell-punkins, a pie that deals 3d6 points of internal damage to most humanoids.

Hell-Punkin, Small Plant, Low Intelligence: HD 3; AC 16; ATK 1 bite (1d4) and 1 tendril whip (1d4/10′ range) or breathe burning gunk; MV 20; F13 R14 W15; AL Chaotic (CE); XP 300; Special – Breathe gunk, immune to fire and poison, magic resistance 15%

Happy Thanksgiving, Mystery Men! Style

To start off, I want to give thanks for what has been a pretty good year for me. A couple years ago, I wouldn’t have thought I’d now be making a few bucks writing game material and even publishing my own games. I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve had and for the support folks in the game community have given me. I’m even more thankful for my wife, daughter and family and friends. Things are going well today, but I know that things can change, and I’m determined to be thankful for what I have while I still have it.

Now then, on to the goodies. When I was a kid, we used to do these book orders in elementary school. One of the items we could get from these four-page “catalogs” was a subscription to one of two magazines (I think one was four younger kids, the other for older kids, though which is which I don’t remember), Bananas and Dynamite. One little article from Dynamite that stuck with me was about “Zero Heroes”. Apparently, these less-than-stellar superheroes were created by B. K. Taylor as a set of stickers. Years later (now, in fact) I managed to find them online (amazing, isn’t it) and happily present you a hero for the holiday (well, kinda).

The Great Gobbler
According to the back of the sticker, the Great Gobbler had some exciting adventures, but his series was finally cancelled because, no matter how exciting they were, people couldn’t get over the fact that he was just a big turkey.

Cover image above from retroCRUSH.

New Class for Thanksgiving: The Puritan

A while back, I got it into my head to design classes based on characters from fiction, since there are indications that AD&D rangers are really just Aragorns (why else can a woodsman specifically use crystal balls?) and the barbarian class owed a bit to everybody’s favorite Cimmerian. Thus were born the Beastmaster (to be published one day), the She Devil (again, you’ll have to wait) and today’s blog post, the Puritan. The Puritan can be regarded as a darker alternative to the Paladin (the turkey leg to the paladin’s turkey breast, so to speak). Enjoy – and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Historically, the puritans were an English religious sect that operated in the 16th and 17th centuries. The terms “puritan” and “preciseman” were coined as insults; the people called themselves “the godly”. The puritans, by and large, were interested in returning Christian worship to what they believed was a purer form. In general, this involved problems they had with the trappings and rituals of the Catholic Church and its progeny, the Anglican Church. In England and the United States, puritans are often associated with strict moral guidelines, religious zealotry and witch hunts.

Religious reformers offer little grist for the mill when creating a new character class, unless Robert E. Howard enters the picture. In 1928, Howard introduced Solomon Kane in a story entitled “Red Shadows”.

Solomon Kane is an English puritan who leaves his country to adventure. As with many adventure-oriented characters of the time period, very little time is dedicated to Solomon Kane’s history, although the poem “Solomon Kane’s Homecoming”, we learn that he lost his love, Bess, at some point before he became an adventurer. During the course of his adventures, Kane battled brigands, sorcerers, pirates, vampires and slave-traders. Most of his adventures take place in Europe and Africa.

Prime Attribute: Wisdom (13+ for 5% XP bonus)

Hit Dice: 1d6+2/level (Gains 2 hp/level after 10th)

Armor Permitted: Leather, ring armor, buckler.

Weapons Permitted: Any.

Puritan Class Abilities
Puritans have a +2 bonus on saving throws made against fear and its effects. In addition, they have a +2 bonus on saving throws made against the spells and magical effects of creatures of chaos or evil.

Puritans enjoy a +1 bonus to hit and damage creatures of chaos or evil. Moreover, their weapons are capable of damaging creatures normally only damaged by magical or silver weapons.

When a puritan turns his gaze on a creature for at least one minute, he can determine that creature’s alignment. This cold stare is unnerving to those of a chaotic or evil disposition, forcing them to succeed at a saving throw or hurry away.

A puritan’s devotion to the gods of law grants him the ability to turn undead, as a cleric, but at a -2 penalty. In addition, he can call down one minor miracle (i.e. level one cleric spell) each day simply by grasping a holy symbol or book and invoking the name of his Creator. The puritan does not have to memorize or prepare this spell in advance. At every odd level, the puritan gains the ability to call down one additional level one cleric spell, thus two at third level, three at fifth, four at seventh, and so on.

Level
Experience
Hit Dice
Attack
Save
Title
1
0
1
+0
15
Confessor
2
2,200
2
+0
14
Penitent
3
4,400
3
+1
13
Pilgrim
4
8,800
4
+2
12
Preciseman
5
17,000
5
+2
11
Firebrand
6
35,000
6
+3
10
Hexenhammer
7
70,000
7
+4
9
Shepherd
8
140,000
8
+5
8
Zealot
9
280,000
9
+6
7
Puritan
10
380,000
+2
+7
6
Puritan
11
480,000
+4
+7
5
Puritan
12
580,000
+6
+8
5
Puritan

Image: Puritan Jemuel Landes regards traveler “Steel” Sullivan with some suspicion – he claims to be a “football” star from the land of Cleve, but he’s probably a witch. Art by J. C. Leyendecker via Golden Age Comic Book Stories.