Wednesday, December 3, 2008

For Klarkash-Ton

One never knows what lurks within the dank confines of the dungeon depths. Here is the Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua converted from Call of Cthulhu to 1st edition AD&D, which I recently found myself in need of. For some reason...

Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua

Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1-2
Armor Class: 5
Movement: 15”
Hite Dice: 5+5
% in Lair: 100%
Treasure Type: Nil
No. of Attacks: 4 or 1
Damage/Attacks: 3-10 or 6-36
Special Attacks: Swallow whole
Special Defense: Blows, cold and
lightning do not harm
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Average
Size: L
Alignment: Neutral (with evil tendencies)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
Level/X.P. Value:
VI/575 + 6/hp

“When the men of K’n-Yan went down into N’Kai’s black abyss with their great atom-power searchlights, they found living things – living things that oozed along stone channels and worshipped onyx and basalt images of Tsathoggua. But they were not toads like Tsathoggua himself. Far worse – they were amorphous lumps of viscous black slime that took temporary shapes for various purposes. The explorers of K’n-Yan did not pause for detailed observations, and those that escaped alive sealed the passage.”
- "The Mound", H.P. Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop

Appearing as viscous pools of black quicksilver, the Formless Spawn serve as guardians of places sacred to Tsathoggua. When called upon to fulfill their obligations as sacred protectors, the Formless Spawn sprout a menacing head with gaping mouth, long tentacle-like arms, and dozens of legs to support their amorphous form.

“The basin ... was filled with a sort of viscous and semi-liquescent substance, quite opaque and of a sooty color.... [T]he center swelled as if with the action of some powerful yeast [and] an uncouth amorphous head with dull and bulging eyes arose gradually on an ever-lengthening neck ... Then two arms — if one could call them arms — likewise arose inch by inch, and we saw that the thing was not ... a creature immersed in the liquid, but that the liquid itself had put forth this hideous neck and head, and [it was now forming arms] that groped toward us with tentacle-like appendages in lieu of claws or hands! ... Then the whole mass of the dark fluid began to rise [and] poured over the rim of the basin like a torrent of black quicksilver, taking as it reached the floor an undulant ophidian form which immediately developed more than a dozen short legs.”
—Clark Ashton Smith, "The Tale of Satampra Zeiros"

A Formless Spawn may attack with either four of its tentacles for 3-10 points of damage each, or may attempt to bludgeon an opponent with its massive bulk doing 6-36 points of damage. In addition, the Formless Spawn may choose to attempt to devour a victim whole. On an attempt to swallow a creature whole, the Spawn must roll an unmodified 16 or better to-hit. If successful, the victim is engulfed by the creature and trapped within its amorphous shape. The victim loses 1 hp on the first round after being swallowed, 2 points on the second, 3 on the third, and so on, until either the victim or the Spawn is slain. If a Formless Spawn has devoured a creature, the Spawn may continue to attack as normal, but may no longer move. To pursue other opponents it must either wait until the swallowed creature is dead, or expel that creature from its gullet, which it may do at anytime.

A Formless Spawn may flow through cracks and under doors much like a Black Pudding (q.v.), and possesses similar defenses against physical attacks, cold, and electricity. A Formless Spawn merely absorbs these energies and disperses them harmlessly. They do not cause a Formless Spawn to split into multiple entities as is the case with a black pudding.

Formless Spawn generally remain within the confines of the area they protect, sinking back into quiescence once a threat has been destroyed or has fled. It is not unknown for Spawn to sometimes pursue those who have dared defile a Temple of Tsathoggua, however, so retreat is not a guarantee of safety for unlucky adventurers.


belst8 said...

I wonder if this is going to figure in the Fane of St. Frog...

Michael Curtis said...

I have no idea what you might be suggesting, sir. :)