Sunday, February 24, 2013

Monsters of the Virgin Woode

I've spent a few hours finalizing the new monster stats that will appear in NOD 19 (coming soon - I swear - just give me time). Thought I'd share a few of the beasts from mythic North America. The cultural origin of the monsters appears in parentheses after the monster's name. Keep in mind, most of these monsters have been fantasy-ized, as is typical for the grand old game (i.e. I already know it isn't accurate in terms of folklore).`

ALTAMAHA-HA (Georgians)
Large Animal, Neutral (N), Animal Intelligence; School (1d4)
HD 8
AC 14
ATK 1 bite (1d6) and 1 slam (1d8)
MV Swim 50
SV F8 R8 W14
XP 400 (CL 8)

The Altamaha-ha is a giant river creature that looks vaguely like a giant sturgeon with a bony ridge on its back and a snout like a crocodile. The monster is grey in color, with a belly the color of parchment. Mostly harmless, they are curious creatures who are attracted to humanoid activity, and those ridges on their backs have a nasty habit of damaging or capsizing river craft. Boats under which the animal scrapes must pass an item saving throw or spring a leak.

BOO HAG (Gullah)
Medium Monstrous Humanoid, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Solitary
HD 6
AC 15
ATK 2 claws (1d4) and bite (1d6)
MV 30 (Swim 50)
SV F12 R10 W10
XP 1500 (CL 8)

Boo hags are monstrous women of the swamp. Similar to vampires, they drain the life of their foes by riding them at night while they sleep and stealing their breath. A hag squatting atop a person drains one hit dice or level from them every 10 minutes.

Those victims they kill, they skin, as they have no skin of their own. They use this skin as a disguise when they wish to hunt at night in settled areas. Boo hags are amphibious, and look like skinless, gaunt women with blazing eyes and gnashing, yellow teeth. They can be distracted for 1d10 minutes by brooms, the straws of which they are compelled to stop and count. If attacked while counting straws, the hags flee with their brooms, that they may count the straws at their leisure in a safe place.

Spells: 3/day—gaseous form

FASTACHEE (Seminole)
Small Humanoid, Lawful (NG), Average Intelligence; Clan (1d20)
HD 1
AC 12
ATK 1 weapon
MV 20
SV F14 R15 W15
XP 50 (CL 1)

The fastachee are the dwarves of the hilly portions of the Virgin Woode, exiles from the Bleeding Mountains who settled here long ago. They have reddish-brown skin and black hair, which they wear long, braiding both the hair on their heads and their chins. The fastachee have long since given up on mining, save for the working of flint and granite. They are now mostly farmers, growing corn and raiding medicinal gardens. They enjoy a +2 bonus to save vs. poison and magic. They usually wear buckskin armor and wield tomahawks.

HEADLESS HORSEMAN (Washington Irving)
Large Undead, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Patrol (1d6)
HD 7
AC 18
ATK 1 sword (1d8 + special) and 2 hooves (1d6) and bite (1d4)
MV 30 (Mounted 50)
SV F12 R12 W10
XP 1750 (CL 9)

Headless horsemen may be encountered alone or in small patrols. The souls of horsemen who have perished in battle and now seek vengeance on the living. They appear as soldiers of various types, always mounted on black horses and always lacking a head. Most carry lanterns, perhaps even jack-o-lanterns, and slashing swords.

Headless horsemen are dangerous opponents. The whinny of their spectral horses and their own shrieks, screams and maniacal laughter cause fear (as the spell) in those with 3 HD or less. They prefer to get their victims running away, that they might swoop in and attempt to decapitate them. Attacks with their swords that roll a natural ‘20’ have a chance at decapitation; the target must pass a Reflex save to avoid this terrible fate. Mounted warriors who are decapitated will rise as headless horsemen themselves in 24 hours, while all others who are decapitated rise as wraiths, none of them under the control of their creator.

Headless horsemen have but a single weakness. They cannot cross running water, like streams or rivers. Make it across a bridge, and they cannot follow, though they may throw their lanterns in a fit of pique.

Note that the headless horsemen’s stats represent the horseman upon his horse – the two are rarely separated. That being said, it is possible to remove a headless horsemen from his steed, though he always gets a Fortitude saving throw to resist, and can, the next round, “teleport” back onto his mount. The two creatures live and die as a team.

Spells: 3/day—ethereal jaunt

Special Qualities: Immune to fear and all mind effects

Large Aberration, Neutral (N), High Intelligence; Solitary
HD 7
AC 18 [+1]
ATK Slam (1d10) or breath weapon
MV Fly 40
SV F11 R12 W9
XP 1750 (CL 9)

Kanontsistóntie are giant, flying heads that appear to be constructed of bronze. They have unmoving faces and apparently sightless eyes, though they see all. Their mouths are agape and one can discern powerful energies within. The ultimate purpose of these entities is unknown and often seems contradictory from day to day. They primarily seek sustenance in the form of grain, lording it over lesser peoples and threatening them with destruction if they fail to pay tribute.

Kanontsistóntie have a breath weapon they can use once every three rounds, and no more than three times per day. The breath weapon is a 60-ft. cone of pure energy that deals 6d6 points of damage. Objects deposited in their mouths linger for a moment, and then disappear in a cascade of colored motes of light. Living creatures so transported into the “belly of the beast” suffer 6d6 points of damage, and, if they live, find themselves suffering 1d6 points of energy damage per day as they are slowly processed and digested by the head.

Special Qualities: Magic resistance 15%, regenerate

SPLINTERCAT (Lumberjack)
Medium Magical Beast, Neutral (N), Animal Intelligence; Solitary
HD 4
AC 14
ATK Bite (1d6) or slam (2d6)
MV 40
SV F11 R10 W17
XP 400 (CL 5)

Splintercats are odd creatures that look like stout mountain lions with broad, flat heads. They so love honey that they charge at trees hosting beehives, smashing into them so hard that the trees are killed; they lose their branches and leaves and are utterly blighted. This rather odd method of feeding leaves them with a terrible headache and in an eternally foul mood.

YEHASURI (Catawba)
Tiny Humanoid, Chaotic (CE), Average Intelligence; Band (2d8)
HD 0
AC 13
ATK By weapon
MV 20
SV F16 R16 W16
XP 25 (CL 0)

Yehasuri are the goblins of the Virgin Woode. They appear as tiny, hairy wildmen armed with spears and darts. They dwell in burrows beneath tree stumps (they enjoy fermented stump water) and issue out at night to hunt for animals and any unfortunate humanoids they might come upon. The smell of tobacco, either tobacco smoke or the juice, drives them away in a panic.


  1. Very cool! I have always loved Native American mythology and colonial folklore.

  2. The description of the Kanontsistonie reminds me of Zardoz.

  3. And for good reason! Actually, I'd already done a giant floating head monster when I was writing the Mu-Pan stuff, so I figured that would be a fun twist on the concept.


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