Random Troll Generator

Trolls call me moon of the dwelling-Rungnir, giant’s wealthsucker,
storm-sun’s bale, seeress’s friendly companion,
guardian of corpse-fjord, swallower of heaven wheel;
what is a troll other than that?
(Snorri Sturluson)

The Nature of Trolls

According to existing literature, trolls were originally “creatures of nature”, i.e. creatures that one could encounter in nature. And specifically, they were present in the Scandinavian landscapes, before the industrial period, before they began to travel the world and be found in the soup.

But Scandinavian languages are complex, and the origins and meaning of ‘troll’ is lost in time. For example, the prefix troll- means ‘magic’ in Swedish, as in Mozart’s Zauberflöte (‘Magic Flute’), or Trollflöjtan. At the same time, troll- means ‘giant’ in Icelandic.

Basically, trolls are bad news. Either magical or gigantic beings, they are not good. And, like the troll woman from Snorri’s poem, a troll can be, ultimately, anything.

Making Trolls

1. Size

Trolls come in various sizes, some are smaller than a human being while others are as big as a sequoia (or, perhaps, even bigger).

Roll 1d10 to find out the size of the troll, then roll the die in parentheses to get the troll’s HD; you will also find out the movement rate (MOV) of each variety; remember that humans have a MOV of 120′.

1d10 / Size

  1. Small (1d2 HD), MOV 90′
  2. Small (1d2 HD), MOV 90′
  3. Human-size (1d6 HD), MOV 120′
  4. Human-size (1d6 HD), MOV 120′
  5. Human-size (1d6 HD), MOV 120′
  6. Large (2d4+1 HD), MOV 120′
  7. Large (2d4+1 HD), MOV 120′
  8. Huge (3d4 HD), MOV 180′
  9. Huge (3d4 HD), MOV 180′
  10. Colossal (3d6+1d4 HD), MOV 240′

Note: Small and human-sized trolls are social beings and are found in groups of at least 1d6+2. The others are solitary and are usually found alone, only rarely found in very small groups.

Morale: Referees have every right to assign any morale value (ML) to their creations, but if they wish to leave it to chance, it is easy to do so: To find out their current ML value, small trolls, roll 2d6; human-sized trolls roll 1d6+6; large, huge and colossal trolls, roll 1d4+8.

2. Armor Class

Not all trolls have the same type of skin, some are as fragile as a human being, others may be as tough as a rhinoceros or even invulnerable to physical attacks.

To find out the natural armor of a troll, roll 1d6 and compare the result.

1d6 / AC

  1. AC 12
  2. AC 12
  3. AC 14
  4. AC 16
  5. AC 18
  6. AC 20

Note: AC 12 is equivalent to an unarmored human; AC 14 is equivalente to leather armor; 16 is chainmail and 18 is full plate. AC 20 is beyond full plate; it can be harder than stone or an almost immaterial substance.

3. Attacks

Trolls are aggressive creatures, intelligent enough to use weapons, but malicious enough to prefer the use of claws and teeth to tear apart the bodies of their victims.

Roll 1d8 twice to know the troll’s attack(s).

1d8 / Attack

  1. 2 claws (damage: 1d4+1d4 small; 1d6+1d6 human-size, large; 1d8+1d8 huge, 1d12+1d12 colossal)
  2. 2 claws (damage: 1d4+1d4 small; 1d6+1d6 human-size, large; 1d8+1d8 huge, 1d12+1d12 colossal)
  3. 2 claws (damage: 1d4+1d4 small; 1d6+1d6 human-size, large; 1d8+1d8 huge, 1d12+1d12 colossal)
  4. Stone mace (dmg: 1d6 small, human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d10-1 colossal)
  5. Stone mace (dmg: 1d6 small, human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d10-1 colossal)
  6. Bite (dmg: 1d4 small, 1d6 human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d8-1 colossal)
  7. Bite (dmg: 1d4 small, 1d6 human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d8-1 colossal)
  8. Bite (dmg: 1d4 small, 1d6 human-size, 1d8 large, 1d10 huge, 2d8-1 colossal)

If you get the same attack twice, the form of attack or the damage it causes, changes like this:

Claws: The damage die goes up to the next type (1d4 becomes 1d6, 1d12 becomes 1d20, etc.) Note: If both claw attacks succeed against the same enemy in the same round, the troll will make an additional attack, tearing the flesh of its victim, causing an additional damage die equal to that of one of the claws.

Mace: The troll can make one additional attack at the end of each round, regardless of its position in the initiative queue; this extra attack is made with a -2 penalty and can only be directed at an adjacent target.

Bite: Roll a die; if the result is an odd number, the damage die goes up to the next type; if the result is an even number, the troll can make an extra attack at the end of each round, at a -4 penalty, using its inordinately large and protruding fangs.

In addition to this, trolls usually attack by throwing stones (or trees!) from a distance. More than a form of combat, these are intimidation tactics.

4. Ability Scores and Modifiers

All abilities start with a score of 12.

Roll 1d12 for each ability score you want to modify, or choose the one you prefer. The result indicates a modifier between -3 and +3; the number in parentheses is the corresponding ability score (for instance, DEX 16 has a modifier of +2).

1d12 / Modifier (Ability Score)

  1. +1 (13)
  2. +1 (13)
  3. +1 (13)
  4. +2 (16)
  5. +2 (16)
  6. +3 (18)
  7. -3 (3)
  8. -2 (5)
  9. -2 (5)
  10. -1 (8)
  11. -1 (8)
  12. -1 (8)

5. Powers

Just as trolls come in all sizes and varieties, their powers are also quite varied. Make a roll according to the table corresponding to the size of the troll to find out its powers.

Small. 1d6 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1hp)
  3. Regeneration (1hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Metamorphosis
  6. Opportunism

Human-size. 1d8 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1hp)
  3. Regeneration (1hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Metamorphosis
  6. Invisibility (1/day)
  7. Opportunism
  8. Roll again until you get two powers

Large. 1d10 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  3. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Invulnerability
  6. Invisibility (1/day)
  7. Freezing Touch
  8. Blizzard
  9. Fascination
  10. Roll again until you get two powers

Huge. 1d12 / Power

  1. None
  2. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  3. Regeneration (1d4hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Invulnerability
  6. Invisibility (2/day)
  7. Supreme Strength
  8. Blizzard
  9. Fascination
  10. Freezing Touch
  11. Howling (1d3)
  12. Roll again until you get two powers

Colossal. 1d12 / Efecto

  1. Intangibility (1/day)
  2. Regeneration (1d8hp)
  3. Regeneration (1d8hp)
  4. Immortality
  5. Invulnerability
  6. Invisibility (3/day)
  7. Supreme Strength
  8. Blizzard
  9. Fascination
  10. Freezing Touch
  11. Howling (1d4)
  12. Roll again until you get two powers

Blizzard. The troll summons forth a blast of icy wind that can blow out any flames and hurl flying creatures or hold human-sized creatures back from moving.

Fascination. When contemplating this troll, the adventurer must save versus magic or be fascinated (or terrified if the monster is particularly horrible or bizarre) and won’t be able to act for one round.

Freezing Touch. The troll must succeed on an attack roll to touch its victim with its palm, causing 1d4 cold damage; the victim must also save versus paralysis or suffer a -2 penalty to his attacks and AC, due to the cold that has numbed his muscles and frozen his bones.

Howling. Once a day. The troll howls like a wolf, but the howl is much more ominous. It’s a call. Roll the die indicated in parentheses and compare the result to find out how many trolls and what kind come: 1: 1d3 small trolls; 2: 1d2 human-sized trolls; 3: 1 big troll; 4: 1 huge troll. These trolls will arrive in 1d4 rounds and must be generated with the same tables or, if you want to save time, you can assign their powers and characteristics without rolling dice.

Immateriality. The troll becomes a floating cloud of smoke, fog or vapor with a movement rate of 10′. Cannot manipulate objects or pass through solids. The troll decides when to interrupt the effect, but its maximum duration is 1 minute per HD.

Immortality. When reaching 0hp or less, the troll collapses as if it had died but does not really die; in 1d4 rounds it will recover 1hp. Additionally, if it has the power of regeneration, each round after its “resurrection” it will recover the indicated hp.

Invisibility. The troll and all its equipment become invisible for one minute per HD. It can interact normally with objects and it is possible to detect it if it makes noise.

Invulnerability. Immune to mundane weapons and damage.

Metamorphosis. Once a day for up to one hour, the troll can take one of the following forms: 1d4: 1: wooden log, 2: dog, 3: cat, 4: human.

Opportunism. This troll has an initiative advantage. This troll’s initiative roll is made with 1d8. If group initiative is used, this troll rolls its own die.

Regeneration. Each round, the troll recovers the amount of hp indicated in parentheses.

Supreme Strength. This troll has an extra bonus to its attacks equal to +1d4. This bonus is independent of the Attack Bonus it’s gained from its strength modifiers and HD. Life is unfair!

6. Distinguishing Features

Trolls come in all shapes and sizes, with very varied traits; the following table does not list all possibilities, referees can create their own. Sometimes, these traits are cosmetic, sometimes they add something special.

1d8 / Feature

  1. Tumors
  2. Multiple Heads
  3. Multiple Arms
  4. Stone Skin
  5. One Eye Sharing
  6. Clothes
  7. Arboreal
  8. Horrible Appearance

Arboreal. The troll’s skin is similar to wood; larger trolls even sprout branches and trunks on their heads and backs. If the troll has the regeneration power, it gains 1 additional hp each round.

Clothes. The troll is dressed in gaudy colors, but its clothing is ragged and misshapen. If the troll has the power of fascination, the opponent suffers a -2 penalty to his saving throw against magic. If the troll is successfully attacked, there is a 1-in-10 chance that its clothing will be torn and entangled, causing it to suffer a -1 penalty to its attacks.

Horrible Appearance. The troll is particularly ugly, so much so that all adventurers must save versus paralysis or they won’t be able to act for one round.

Multiple Arms. The troll has a total of 1d4+2 arms, allowing it to make one additional claw attack at the end of each round, without penalty, with damage equal to the general 2 claw attack. If the troll does not have the 2 claw attack, the extra arms give it a -2 defensive bonus to its AC.

Multiple Heads. The troll has 1d8+1 babbling heads, causing it severe stupidity. Its intelligence is 12 minus the number of heads (from 3 to 10), affecting its ability to save against magic. This trait replaces the INT score (step 4.)

One Eye Sharing. Two or more troll share one single eye between them. The one troll who is wearing the eye has normal stats, the rest suffer a -4 to their perception-relatd checks, including attacks.

Stone Skin. The troll has a thick and rough skin, like granite. It gains a +2 AC bonus against mêlée attacks and +4 against ranged attacks. These bonuses are in addition to those already in previous steps.

Tumors. The troll body is full of hideous, oozing tumors. If the troll has the power of regeneration, it heals only half the hp. When the troll is attacked, there is a 1-in-10 chance that a lump will burst and splatter the adventurer, dealing 1d4 acid damage (save versus breath weapons to dodge).

Henrik Ibsen ain’t afraid of no troll

Making monsters for OSR games

Creating a monster for any OSR system is the easiest thing in the world, you don’t even need a detailed guide or deep rules, just fill out this form:

AC: ___
HD: ___
hp: ___
MV: ___
#ATT: ___
DMG: ___
ML: ___
SPECIAL: ___

When creating a monster, don’t stick to the rules of character creation, monsters can, and indeed should, break the rules.

Let’s have a closer look.

Armor Class (AC)

Assume that the AC is 12 when a character wears no armor, 14 when wearing leather armor, 16 when wearing chain mail, and 18 when wearing full armor. Some games use descending AC, where the better the armor, the lower the number. See this table of equivalences.

Monsters usually don’t wear armor, unless you consider orcs and goblins to be monsters, in which case the real monster is you. So what we must do is think about how easy or difficult it is to hit a monster, and we can use these values to guide us, but we must not follow them to the letter, that is to say that you can give an AC of less than 12 or more than 18 if you consider it should be so, just keep in mind that a 10 or less might be trivial, and a 20 or more, might be impossible.

Hit Dice (HD)

In addition to armor, HD helps us define how durable a monster is: the higher its HD value, the more hit points it will have, so you need more successful attacks to kill it.

HD also determines how powerful a monster is and how easy it is for it to make its attacks. Although each system calculates the attack bonuses of monsters according to their HD differently, all these systems are similar. Let’s say that each HD translates into a bonus equal to its value; thus, a monster with 5 HD gets a +5 to its attack roll.

Hit Points (hp)

The standard method is to roll a number of d8 equal to HD, so 5 HD translates into 5d8, and the result of that roll is the monster’s hp, but we’re not gonna be making that roll every time a monster appears, so we’d better use the average value.

This value is obtained by multiplying the number of HD 4 or 5 times. Thus, our 5 HD monster would have on average between 20 and 25 hp.

Depending on the role of the monster in the adventure where you want to use it, you can reduce or increase this number.

An ordinary monster might have 1 or 2 hp per HD, but if the monster is the main enemy, consider giving it 6, 7 or even 8 points per HD (in our example, between 30 and 40 hp).

Keep in mind that the stronger and tougher it is, the more likely it is to cause a TPK. Consider alternate ways to cause it damage if the players are smart, such as luring it into traps, shooting it from a safe area, or something similar.

Movement (MV)

As a base, use standard human movement, which is 120 feet per exploration turn (10 minutes), 40 feet per combat round, and 120 feet per combat round when running but taking no other action.

How fast or slow is your monster? Equal to a human, half the speed of a human, twice the speed of a human?

To keep it simple: Standard, half, double, or more than human; in feet this translates to:

  • 120′ (40′)
  • 60′ (20′)
  • 240′ (80′)
  • 180′ (60′)

Accuracy is irrelevant, the important thing is to know if the monster is going to catch us if we try to run away or how long it would take us to catch it if we want to recover the gold ring that our partner who has been eaten by the monster was wearing on his finger.

These values correspond to the speed of the monster on the ground, some creatures may have another mode of movement with a different speed, for example flight. We write it down like this:

  • MOV: 120′ (40′), flight 240′ (80′)

That is, on the ground it moves with the same speed as a person, but when flying it’s twice as fast.

Number of Attacks (#ATT)

You don’t need to complicate things, as a general rule all monsters can perform only one attack per round.

But some monsters must break the rules, right? A radioactive octopus can maybe hit with 8 of its tentacles each round, in which case you’ll write down this:

  • #ATT: 8

If it can squirt radioactive ink, but can only do one of the two types of attack per round, you write it down like this:

  • #ATT: 8 or 1

On the other hand, if it can attack with tentacles and ink in the same round, you write it down like this:

  • #ATT: 8 and 1

If you want it to have other attacks, follow the same principle, but write down all the ones it can do during the same round one after the other, and then the ones it cannot. Following the example, if our octopus can launch a mental discharge, but to do so he must concentrate and not do any other action, it should be written down like this:

  • #ATT: 8 and 1, or 1

Damage (DMG)

To decide how much damage each attack does, compare the attacks with common weapons. Depending on the type of weapon, the damage may be 1d4, 1d6, 1d8 or 1d10 (although some systems may include other values).

  • d4: Knive, club, cane
  • d6: Short sword, hand axe
  • d8: Standard sword, battle axe, mace
  • d10: Two-handed sword, great axe, maul

Let’s say each tentacle hits like a whip, how much damage does a whip do? 1d3 damage.

The ink does no harm, but it can blind an enemy.

Mental discharge can cause 1d8 damage due to the strong emotional charge it represents.

Assuming that our octopus can strike with the tentacles and throw the ink in the same round, but the mental discharge can only be done separately, we would write it like this:

  • #ATT: 8 and 1, or 1
  • DMG: 8 tentacles 1d3 and Special, or 1 psycho blast 1d8

Note that we write down each type of attack followed by the damage; this can be used to eliminate the line for the number of attacks per round, but it is advisable to leave it for clarity.

In a moment we will explain “special”.

Morale (ML)

The morale value is a number between 2 and 12. When you need to know if an enemy surrenders or tries to flee, or if it continues to fight during an encounter (usually when it has suffered more or less considerable damage or its party has suffered many casualties), you make a morale check, rolling 2d6. If the result is equal to or less than the monster’s ML, it keeps fighting; if the result is higher, the creature tries to flee (or surrenders, if your monster is an orc or goblin).

It’s impossible to get more than 12, so a ML of 12 means that the creature may fail this roll, is unaware and will fight to the death, or has lost all interest in its own well-being.

To understand it clearly, morale means “will to fight”. Passing the morale test means that the will to fight is still intact, failing means that it has lost its will.

Special

All information that cannot be abstracted with a simple numerical value or that requires further explanation is placed here.

In the case of our octopus, the ink jet does not cause quantifiable damage (a numerical value) but has the possibility of blinding the target. Can this attack be dodged, does the octopus roll its attack die, or how does it work mechanically?

This is one possibility:

  • Special: The octopus squirts a blast of ink at a target; the player must make a saving throw vs. breath weapons to prevent the ink from touching her eyes. If she fails, she can’t act for 1d3 rounds until the ink effect ends, or a single round if she can wash her face and eyes immediately.

This is another:

  • Special: The octopus squirts a blast of ink making a normal attack roll against a target, if successful, the target can’t act 1d3 rounds until the ink effect ends, or a single round if she can wash her face and eyes immediately.

Both methods are equally valid, in some cases one may be easier or more difficult to avoid, but don’t worry about that, choose the one you consider more natural, you can even have two identical monsters with the only difference that one uses the first method and the other uses the second.

Now it’s time to show off our finished creation.

Psychopus

An octopus the size of a horse. Its color varies according to its mood (make a reaction roll; the more hostile, the more purple; the friendlier, the whiter).

AC: 11
HD: 5
hp: 20
MV: 60′ (20′), water 240′ (80′)
#ATT: 8 or 1 or 1
DMG: 8 tentacles 1d3 or Special or 1 psycho blast 1d8
ML: 9
SPECIAL: The octopus squirts a blast of ink at a target; the player must make a saving throw vs. breath weapons to prevent the ink from touching her eyes. If she fails, she can’t act for 1d3 rounds until the ink effect ends, or a single round if she can wash her face and eyes immediately.

Note how I wrote the damage. My monster can only make one type of attack per round, either tentacle lash, or ink, or blast.

Final words

Making monsters for your games should be quick and easy, not a chore. It can feel arbitrary, but once you get the hang of it, you can make a monster in less than a minute and it won’t be totally random. Spend a couple more minutes and you can make a reasonably interesting monsters that fits well in your game. Make a bunch and it will become second nature in no time. Need some inspiration?

OST

While I was writing this, I was listening to this playlist.

1d12 Magic-User Garments

All these garments can only be used by Magic-Users, and their powers are only active when worn. Unless otherwise specified, these garments don’t offer physical protection.

  1. Robe of Ice. Ice-blue silk mantle with a gold snowflake pattern that grants AC 14 (or as leather). During the winter, there’s a 1-in-6 chance that every spell casted will remain in the Magic-User’s memory. During summer, there’s a 1-in-6 chance another spell is spent without taking effect, randomly determined.
  2. Robe of Is (plural of I). This cotton robe has the Magic-User’s face stamped multiple times. Once every 24 hours, the magician can create a number of insubstantial duplicates of himself equal to his level. At will, he can choose any number of duplicates to imitate his movements and the rest, a second pattern of movements (for example, two duplicates imitate and three duplicates break-dance). There’s a 1% chance you are replaced by a duplicate.
  3. Unseelie Garments. An elegant fairy linen suit or dress. AC 16 (as mail) but it’s invisible to the human eye, so you seem to go naked, which is considered heresy and punishable by hanging.
  4. Slime Tunic. A tunic made with the most delicate fibers of the infamous green slime. The wizard gains resistance to acid, including that of other slimes, oozes and jellies.
  5. Blood Cape. Elegant crimson cape. All attacks made with regular weapons cause -1 damage. Fire and electricity attacks cause double damage (roll twice and add both results).
  6. Twilight Cloak. Red silk inside, black wool outside, very valuable even for non-Magic-Users. Once a night (between sunset and sunrise), the Magic-User can turn into a flying fox for up to one hour. In this shape, he cannot speak but can cast spells. One of his spells is replaced by the cleric’s spell “Putrefy Food and Water” (inverted Purify Food and Water), which allows him to rot the crops (an area of 100 square meters per level). If the spell is not used in bat form, it reverts to the original spell. There’s a 1% chance that you will never recover your true form.
  7. Shadow Cloak. Blacker than black, unknown fabrics. The Magic-User can make stealth rolls with a success rate of 5-in-6 but there’s a 1% chance you simply disappear.
  8. Pointed Hood of Lies. You can tell a lie and everyone who doesn’t know that it’s a lie, will be convinced that what you say is true; one hour later, they will realize it was a lie.
  9. Madcap Hat. Shaped like an amanita muscaria, blood-red and silver spots (actual silver). You can understand the language of fungi, moss, ooze, slime, jellies and smurfs, but all your charisma-based rolls (except with fungi, moss, and so on) suffer a -2 penalty because you look like an idiot.
  10. Light Mail Armor. Literally made of light, so it doesn’t weight. AC 15 (or leather +1). It illuminates like a continual light spell but you can be seen from the distance.
  11. Gloves of Strangling. These wool gloves don’t look like much, but if a Magic-User tries to strangle someone, his victim must Save vs. Poison or die. If the victim survives, the gloves will try to kill you. If you survive, the gloves will disappear, perhaps in search of the food that keeps them alive: a human life.
  12. Pixie Boots. Pixie leather boots, each toe is decorated with a pixie eye, and on each heel, one of its wings. The pixie is still alive. Initiative +1, an extra spell from the second highest level you know, or lower, but there’s a 2-in-6 chance that a pixie swarm will attack you immediately when you put the boots on, and again every 24 hours you wear them.

Pixie swarm

AC 14, HD 2, 5 hp, MOV flying 240′ (80′), walking 30′ (10′), ML 9, SAVE as Magic-User 2, #ATT 1 sword stings (1d4), Fairy dust, Tooth removal

Sword Stings: Automatically hit an opponent they are surrounding, once per turn. Most pixies are armed with swords appropriate for their size, dealing d4 damage, which represents countless small stings.

Fairy Dust: Once per turn, they can choose not to attack and concentrate on flapping their wings faster so they’ll project enough fairy dust. It works as the spell Sleep.

Cutting/Impaling Resistance: Cutting and impaling weapons do half their damage (rounded down).

Tooth Removal: A pixie swarm can remove 1d4 teeth from an sleeping in one round. Each tooth removed deals 1 hp damage.

(Pixie swarm, based on an original concept by Bruno)

The Four Humorous Goblins

[Artwork source]

The Four Humorous Goblins is either a troupe of four goblins or the whole of the four strains, whatever fits your game.

The Four Humorous Goblins – The Four Strains

Sanguine Goblin aka Hemogoblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, STR Mod +1, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, SAVE as fighter 4, #ATT 1 tentacle or 1 projectile or fusion

A bloody mass of tissue, vaguely humanoid in shape, as though someone had inverted a small person inside out.

Tentacle (mêlée, 1d6). One per round, the hemogoblin can produce a metre-long tentacle that executes a swift whip attack for 1d6 damage.

Projectile (ranged, 1d6). One per round, it can squirt acidic blood up to a distance of 10m, 20m with a -2 penalty, or 30m with a -4 penalty, for 1d6 damage.

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Fusion (grapple). Each round, the goblin and the victim roll 1d6 and add their strength modifier; the highest wins. The first to win two rounds wins. If the defender wins, the grapple ends. If the goblin wins, it enters the victim’s body through the nose, mouth and any opening it can.

Once the hemogoblin is inside the host, it will remain dormant for some time, and at the most inopportune moment, its presence will prevent the host from having full control of its body.

Mechanically, this translates into penalties to their action or salvation rolls.

And when the referee sees fit, perhaps a few weeks later, the hemoboglin will hatch: the host body will throw hundreds of tiny goblin larvae in the form of blood clots. mucus and bile, through the mouth, eyes, nose, etc., suffering a massive 6d6 damage. There’s a 5% chance one larvae survives and grows into one of the four types.

Choleric Goblin aka Sallow Man

AC 13, HD 4, 20 hp, STR Mod +3, MOV 120′ (40′), ML 11, SAVE as fighter 4, #ATT 1 or 2 punch or 1 infection

A bubbling mass of sallow muscular tissue, vaguely humanoid, as though someone had melted a person in 50 kilos of mucus.

Infection (mêlée, 1d6). With an attack roll, the goblin can touch a victim to cause severe vomiting and 1d6 damage.

In addition, the victim must save vs. Poison or will get an infection that will cause 1d6 of cumulative damage day by day (next day 1d6, next day 2d6, etc.); if the victim makes a new Saving Throw, no vomiting will occur that day and the next day it will restart with 1d6 of damage.

Punch (mêlée, 1d6). The goblin can produce one or two humanoid arms to punch.

Accelerated nervous system. It can make two punch attacks every third round (round 1: two attacks, round 2: one attack, etc.)

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Low sensibility. Physical attacks cause -1 damage to the goblin.

Cholera. Its extreme violence grants him a +3 bonus to all STR based rolls, including attacks (but no damage).

Melancholy Goblin

AC 12, HD 4, 16 hp, STR Mod -1, DEX mod +1, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 7, SAVE as specialist 4, #ATT 1 needle or 1 whale song

A fuliginous shape, a thing difficult to focus on, as though it was a humanoid made of shadow-tissue.

Whale song (auto, 1d4 INT). As an automatic action, and up to 3 times per day, it emits a sound that resembles the song of a hunchback whale. It spikes your dreams with (m/s)adness, causing you a loss of 1d4 INT. After a long night rest, all INT is recovered, but save vs. Magic or your Alignment changes to Chaotic.

If your intelligence reaches zero, save vs. Death or you will become a babbling and drooling vegetable. Make a new character.

Needle (ranged, 1d4). Each round, this goblin can create a sharp needle that shoots like a light crossbow (ranges of 50′, 150′ and 400′).

Self awareness. Its high insight makes all its DEX based rolls get a +1 bonus. And it cannot be surprised.

Shape shifter. Once per day, it can take the form of a short human for one hour.

Slow nervous system. Its attacks and all STR based rolls are done at -1.

High sensibility. Weapons used against it, deal damage as though they were one bigger die size (d4 weapons cause d6 damage and so on).

Phlegmatic Goblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, INT +3, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, SAVE as magic-user 4, #ATT 1 weapon or 1 spell

Looks like a regular goblinoid, pale green skin, eyes of a sickly yellow, smart.

Weapon (mêlée or ranged). It can wield minor, small and medium mêlée weapons, short bow or light crossbow or pistol, without bonus or penalties other than its +4 granted by its HD.

Caster. It can cast 2 1st leverl and 2 2nd level spells. Randomly determine which spells it has prepared for that day, as a magic-user.

Spells known. 1st level: Charm Person, Magic Missile, Sleep; 2nd level: Phantasmal Force, Stinking Cloud, Wall of Fog

Phantasmal force. Vicious dog. AC 12, HD 2, 9 hp, STR +1, MOV 180′ (60′), ML 12, SAVE as fighter 2, #ATT 1 bite

Equanimous. In reaction roll, results between 3 and 11 are “indifferent”, while 2 and 12 are “unfriendly” and “talkative”. No extremes here.

Story Hook

PCs have been hired to lead a humorous goblin-infected person to where a healer can have a cure. You have to get there before the hemogoblin hatches. The healer is actually a barber surgeon, and the surgery can be just as bad: save vs. Death, if you fail:

  • you survive but are left with only 1 hp
  • lose one hit die worth of maximum hp (roll a die your class size)
  • lose one point of either STR, CON or INT (your choice)

The Four Humorous Goblins – The Troupe

Main NPCs

Mr. Blood. Sanguine Goblin and main comedian; Mr. Night’s assitant.
Mr. Xanthous. Choleric Goblin and MC’s bodyguard.
Mr. Night. Comedian and kidnapper.
MC (Master of Ceremonies). Phlegmatic Goblin. Leader and maker of fog (wall of fog).

What’s happening

A new circus/comedy company is in town, its members are four short men, therefore they are known as The Four Humorous Goblins.

Children started disappearing the same night the company arrived, one child every night.

The Four Humorous Goblins are secretly real humorous goblins in disguise (the phlegmatic goblin wears an actual disguise, the other three, their shape-shifting power).

Freaks, outcasts and criminal work for them, as members of the circus.

The troupe kidnaps children (adults are hard to drag to their place). The children are used to produce more goblins by infecting them with sanguine goblin cells. One they have between 6 and 10 children, they leave town and return home, where the children are infected.

They already have five children, no-one suspects of the troupe. Five more nights, and they leave, or before if they realize the PCs are investigating them.

What the PCs know

  • Children have been disappearing for some nights
  • Find them and you will be well rewarded
  • Find them and the major will drop the charges against you
  • The son of a former lover has disappeared
  • Might or might not be your child

Clues | Roll or choose one everytime PCs interact with NPCs

  1. A circus is in town, it arrived some days ago
  2. One per night, for five nights now, children have disappeared
  3. Strange people have been seen roaming the streets after midnight
  4. The Four Humorous Goblins are a comedy company that travels around the land and now it’s here
  5. The major’s son was the first to disappear, he was only 6
  6. There’s been unusual fob these alst nights
  7. All the children were abducted while they were been accompanied by their parents; all say there was fog and couln’t see who kidnapped them
  8. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, and, yeah, maybe I am, but I know what I saw: it was a monster, but it wast not a monster first, it was a man, and then it was a monsters
  9. I found the remains of a camp, not far away, between the town and the forest
  10. Madam Letti’s heard giggles and wet steps in the fog when her child was taken

It is expected that the players can figure it out by themselves, but if they don’t, once they collect three clues, send some clowns, tricksters, acrobats, bearded women, strong men and other freaks against them. This means the troupe has realised the PCs are after them, and send their henchfreaks to stop them. This should be the most obvious clue: “Oh my dog it’s the circus!”

Random circus henchfreak generator

1d8 for freak type, ability modifier

1: clown (cha +2)
2: trickster (int +2)
3: acrobat (dex +3)
4: bearded woman (any +1)
5: strong man (str +2)
6: juggler (dex +2)
7: sword eater (con +2)
8: beast master with trained baboon (wis +2)

1d6 for armor class

1-4: 12
5-6: 14

1d6 for hit dice

1: 1
2-4: 2
5: 3
6: 4

1d6 for damage (customize weapon accordingly)

1: 1d4
2-5: 1d6
5: 1d8

Trained baboon

AC 12, HD 2, 9 hp, DEX +1, MOV 120′ (40′), ML 10, SAVE as fighter 2, #ATT 1 bite or 2 claws

Lazy and relentless. The beast master will command the babon to attack a specific PC, the baboon will obey in a 3-in-6 chance, otherwise it won’t act that round. Once it acts, he will continue attacking until death.

Bite. When a bite attack is successful, it can attack the same target at a -2 difficulty (or +2 to attack) the next round; if successful, the same bonus applies again.

Armor class is based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Here’s how you convert AC between systems.

Bestiary | Spectral Slüg

Spectral Slüg

AC 15, HD 6, MV 120′ (40′), #AT 1 bite+Paralyze, DMG 1d8, ML 12

This omnivorous slüg the size of a truck* is practically invisible, except when it eats, when it acquires a translucent shade according to the color of what it eats, that lasts several hours. It has a 4-in-6 chance of surprising adventurers (3-in-6 for elves).

Bite. The victim must pass a Saving Throw vs. Paralysis or remain motionless until the same roll is successful, with a -1 penalty each subsequent round. By paralyzing a victim, the slüg will begin to absorb fluids from their body, causing an additional 1d4 damage each round. Additionally, each time the damage die rolls 4, the victim loses 1 permanent constitution point.

This is madness! Whenever a Magic-User or Cleric (or Elf) tries to cast a spell in the presence of the Spectral Slüg, it will summon a new Spectral Slüg.

Armor class is based on Lamentations of the Flame Princess. Here’s how you convert AC between systems.

*According to Sir James Edward Raggi IV, the umlaut indicates a colossal size.

Artwork source: AI Weirdness

Some goblins

Somewhere else I said the goblins might be corrupted halflings. But there might be different kinds of goblins, not all of them little green men. Here are couple.

Hemogoblin

AC 12, HD 4, 18 hp, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, #ATT 1 tentacle or 1 projectile or fusion, DMG 1d6 or 1d6 or special

Artwork by Yalaki

A bloody mass of tissue, vaguely humanoid in shape, as though someone had inverted a small person inside out.

Tentacle (mêlée). One per round, the hemogoblin can produce a metre-long tentacle that executes a swift whip attack for 1d6 damage.

Projectile (range). One per round, it can squirt acidic blood up to a distance of 10m, 20m with a -2 penalty, or 30m with a -4 penalty, for 1d6 damage.

Fusion. It tries to hold on to its opponent (mêlée roll; no damage). If successful, it will immobilize it for one round, and in its next action the hemogoblin will try to enter its victim through any hole it can (victim saves vs. Paralyzation to avoid it).

Once the hemogoblin is inside the host, it will remain dormant for some time, and at the most inopportune moment, its presence will prevent the host from having full control of its body.

Mechanically, this translates into penalties to their action or salvation rolls.

And when the referee sees fit, perhaps a few weeks later, the hemoboglin will hatch: the host body will throw hundreds of tiny hemogoblin larvae in the form of blood clots through the mouth, eyes, nose, etc., suffering a massive 6d6 damage.

History Hook: PCs have been hired to lead a hemoglobin-infected person to where a healer can have a cure. You have to get there before the hemogoblin hatches.

Cosmic goblin

AC 12, HD 1, 5 hp, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, #ATT 1 weapon or 1 command, DMG as weapon or special

Artwork by Yalaki

These creatures have the proportions of a human being, but their height is about one meter. Their heads are shaped like planets and are believed to come from the stars.

Weapon (range). Cosmic goblins usually carry a strange device that shoots a musical beam of silvery light at a distance of 20m, 40m with a -2 penalty, or 100m with a -4 penalty, causing 1d8 damage.

Command. One per battle, the cosmic goblin can insert a mental command into an enemy, ordering him to carry out an attack against whomever the goblin says. This action is undetectable; whoever has received the command is not aware that he has acted on the orders of the goblin, he simply does not know why he has attacked a companion (or whoever it was). To avoid this, the victim must save vs. Magic.

§

Stats are written for LotFP, where AC 12 is for no armor. This is the only adjustment you should make if you use another OSR system. All the illustrations were made by Yalaki, hire her!

Goblins are halflings gone mad

Halflings are a peaceful people, who mind their own business and are more worried about what they will have for second breakfast than how to acquire wealth and political power.

“What would cause this to become a monster?”

Other races, especially humans, view halflings as unworthy of respect. Even the most venerable of halflings are considered little less than children. It’s no wonder that when a human kingdom seeks to expand its lands, halfling lands are the first to be taken, much like the lands where animals live are taken: no one would think they are stealing anything, animals don’t own their lands.

Halflings can sometimes be invited to live among humans, but most often are assigned reservations. Many halflings accept these conditions, since they know they are at a disadvantage, but others, more proud, perhaps a little too proud, decide to leave in search of other lands.

But there is less and less good land for a civilized people, so, many halflings have formed small villages in dark forests and underground tunnels. But the halflings are people of the prairie, of the open field, the lack of sun and space and freedom, has acted negatively in some of these communities.

Leaving behind civilized customs, such as tailor-made suits, elegant haircuts, and hot showers, but above all abandoning their pacifism, many have nurtured resentment against those who have taken over their lands; entire generations have given way to these new, aggressive and savage halflings, who form hordes to invade human towns, with the aim of killing and destroying, of sowing terror in human hearts, of bringing a bit of vengeful chaos, knowing that they won’t be able to recover their lands. Anyway, that is not what they want, they have become used to living in their unsanitary villages and their abysses without fresh air. Most likely, they don’t even have a goal: it is resentment, hatred, and anger which drives them.

Note: I am not talking about Tolkien hobbits, I talk only about D&D halflings and goblins.

The Middlebrow (aka The Normalizer), a monster for LotFP

The Middlebrow (aka The Normalizer)

AC 12, HD any, MOV 90′ (30′), ML 9, #ATT 1 (weapon)

This creature looks like a bald human head with legs where it should have the neck and arms where it should have ears. It has green eyes, a sharp nose and thin pink lips. It would be beautiful but it only has an eyebrow and gives it a weird appearance, and this eyebrow is not above its eyes but in the space in between the natural location of eyebrows (procerus).

Its only purpose is making everything plain and normal and samey and boring. It will attack characters that are out of place or out of the norm. If a player is a stereotype of its class (or race), the Middlebrow will ignore her unless attacked.

When it’s attacked, the player must roll 3d20 to hit and choose the middle result. If two or three dice give the same result, use that.

Special: When you look at it, you feel mediocre. Make a saving throw vs magic or a random social/mental stat (Cha, Int, Wis) must be re-rolled. In this case, make the roll used to create your character (usually 3d6) but make three rolls instead; remove the best and worse results and keep the remaining one. This effect is passive and is always active.

Mold Undead & Purple Mold | Two monsters, a disease and a character class

Mold Undead (monster)

AC 12, MV 90 (30), ML 12, Any HD, #AT 1, Bite (1d6+Infection) or Claws (2d4+Infection) or Purple haze

An unlucky adventurer got infected by the Purple Mold, then died, then undied, transformed into this rotten mockery of a man. You can tell a mold undead from other undead types by its dark purple skin.

Hit Die: It’s a monster, break the rules, give it as many HD as you wish. Also, see Mold Undead (class).

Infection: The victim must save vs poison, adding their CON modifier. In a failure, the victim is infected with the purple rot disease.

Purple Haze: It takes an entire round, it takes effect at the beginning of its next initiative action and it can take another normal action (move or attack). The undead produces a cloud of slimy spores. Everyone in the area (aprox. a 6-meter, or 18-foot radius) must save vs poison, adding their CON modifier but also substracting 3 (this manner of infection is stronger than a bite or scratch as it penetrates the body through every pore and orifice). Those who fail, contract the purple rot disease.

Purple Mold

AC 12, MV 0, ML 12, 1 HD (4), #AT 1, Burst

A sac of throbbing gristle the size of a hog that feeds on dead matter. It’s so slow it crawls only a few feet per week.

Burst: When someone is within 1 or 2 meters (3-6 feet), or if the sac is pierced from a distance, it bursts and produces a cloud of slimy spores. Everyone in the area (aprox. a 6-meter, or 18-foot radius) must save vs poison, adding their CON modifier and substracting 3. Those who fail, contract the purple rot disease.

Weakness: Fire causes double damage and destroys most spores (saving throws are still made after the fire with a +7 bonus in addition to CON.

Purple Rot disease

Whenever a character gains a level, he levels up normally but instead of gaining a new hit die, he loses 2d4 permanent hit points (minus their CON modifier bonus). When a person infected by this disease dies, either by losing permanent hit points, killed in combat, or for any other reason, as long as the body remains relatively intact it returns to life as a new Mold Undead in 1d3 nights.

There’s no cure for this disease.

Mold Undead (class)

After dying and undying, a player character loses all their previous abilities but returns to “life” after 1d3 nights and can keep their equipment (at the referee’s discretion, of course), and is now a 1st level Mold Undead. You keep your stats intact except your Constitution, which becomes 10. A player can also start as a Mold Undead of level 1 if so he wishes and the referee allows it; in that case, roll normally except your Constitution which must be 10 and can never improve (it can worsen, though).

Nature doesn’t make mistakes. You are not a product of nature. You are a curse, a blight in the land. But somehow you managed to keep your identity intact, your humanity.

A Mold Undead as player character moves at 90′ (like a dwarf or halfling), and is as its core a Specialist, but on first level he must spend at least 2 skill points to a new skill called Purple Rot. You don’t roll this skill, but the number of points invested in it, modifies your attacks as follows:

2 points: You can attack using teeth or claws (for 1d6 or 2d4 damage.)
4 points: When you attack with teeth or claw, your victim must save vs poison or be infected with the disease.
6 points: The victim suffers a -1 penalty to their saving throws when attacked with teeth or claws.
6 points: You can use Purple Haze as the Mold Undead (monster), following the same rules.

An Undead Mold (class) can progress in any other skill the referee allows, but the most reasonable ones are: Architecture (underground tunnels become second nature), Buschcraft (but only in subterranean places, or perhaps at night), Languages (of undead creatures not normally known by mortals, as well as fungal languages), Sneak Attack and Stealth.

The stats were written for LotFP; you can easily convert into other system by knowing the armor class equivalences.