Thursday, April 11, 2013

We Have Puddings and Jellies ... Why Not Custards?

I like my dungeons a bit on the goofy side, I'll admit. I dig the freewheelin' olden days when there was no good reason not to have three green martians hanging out in a room next to a tribe of orcs who had just tangled with the dalek on level 6. I don't necessarily want to do that kind of thing all the time, but it certainly keeps people guessing and keeps the gaming atmosphere light and fun.

With that in mind ... dungeon custards. No - not a topic on kobold cookery (though God knows we need one), but rather a new form of ooze that's maybe not quite as oozy as other oozes. I mean, if we have puddings and jellies, why the heck not custards?

Custards are a bit thicker than the average ooze, which hampers them a bit, but also gives them a bit more punch and a few extra special abilities. Rather than invent some new ooze monsters, I'm going to present this monster as a template you can add to existing ooze monsters - yes, even if you don't normally use templates.

Here goes ...

1. Custards are made of sterner stuff than normal oozes, so they gain one hit dice, and improve their armor class by 1 step. This makes them vulnerable to attacks by all sorts of weapons (i.e. they lose immunity to certain types of weapon, not including oozes that are only struck by silver or magic weapons).

2. Custards are not quite as flexible as most oozes. They can flow through cracks and such, but reduce their speed by half when doing so.

3. When custards are exposed to fire damage equal to at least half their current hit point total (or to out it another way, when a custard takes half its hit points in fire damage), it liquifies somewhat and takes on the characteristics of a normal ooze of its type.

4. Custards suffer half damage from cold.

5. Custards do not divide or engulf - they're too thick - but they do cling. Whenever a creature is struck by a custard in combat and suffers damage, it must pass a saving throw (Reflex save in B&T) or have the ooze cling to him. This allows the ooze to inflict automatic acid damage each round (1d4 if you don't have a different acid damage value already) and the character counts as entangled. The ooze can be cut away or the victim can free herself with a bend bars/open doors check, but some of the ooze remains clinging to the victim, and more importantly, begins to use their body heat to grow.

If the adventurer is wearing armor, it is assumed that the custard is clinging to the armor. In this case, the armor must make an item saving throw vs. acid each round. If successful, it holds up and the adventurer suffers no acid damage and does not begin to grow. If an item saving throw fails, the armor in that spot is ruined and the custard begins dealing damage and growing.

Each round that the ooze deals damage to the character, it grows by 1 HD, eventually reaching the normal maximum hit dice for an ooze of its type. This process can be stopped in the following ways: The ooze can be scraped away with a blade, the ooze can be burned away with fire or the ooze can be defeated with a cure disease spell.

If using a blade, the victim suffers 1d3 points of damage with each attempt, and the custard gets a saving throw to resist. When the custard fails a save, the scraping has been successful. Fire works the same way, though the damage is equal to 1d4 points of damage per round. If using a fire spell that deals more damage, impose a penalty to the ooze's save equal to -1 per 2 points of additional average damage (i.e. average torch damage is 2.5; average 5 dice fireball damage is (3.5 x 5) or 17.5; the custard would suffer a -7 penalty (rounding down) to its saving throw if its victim was exposed to the full fury of a 5 dice fireball).

There you have it. So how about a sample custard for Blood & Treasure?

Huge Ooze, Neutral (N), Non-Intelligent; Solitary
HD 11
AC 4
ATK Slam (2d6 + 2d6 acid + cling)
MV 20 (Climb 20)
SV F 7, R 10, W 10
XP 1,100 (CL 12)

The typical blackberry custard measures 15 feet across and 2 feet thick. It weighs about 22,000 pounds. The creature secretes a digestive acid that dissolves organic material (50 points of damage per round) and metal (20 points of damage per round), but does not affect stone. Any hit by the monster deals acid damage, and the target’s armor and clothing dissolve and become useless immediately unless they succeed on an item saving throw. A metal or wooden weapon that strikes a blackberry custard also dissolves unless it passes a saving throw. A blackberry custard that strikes a victim clings to it (see above).

There are other varieties of blackberry custards in existence. Chocolate custards (brown puddings) (12 HD) dwell in deserts. Vanilla custards (white puddings) (10 HD) dwell in snowy regions and dissolve stone instead of metal. Mocha custards (dun puddings) (9 HD) dwell in tropical jungles and only dissolve organic materials.
Special Qualities: Immune to mind effects, resistance to cold


  1. Custard's should have an an increased AC vs bludgeoning weapons but suffer a penalty to hit on any round they're struck by them. Custard is a non-Newtonian fluid which means that is solidifies on impact.

  2. You know, other than making me hungry with this post, you've got me thinking John...what sort of natural predators might exist that would live off creatures like this? That's one characteristic that nearly always exists in the natural world, but which is rarely mentioned in creature stats. It would be very interesting to learn what sort of creatures would eat a blackberry custard and prefer to it to other possible flavors. It would have to be either a horde (lets say of kobolds) or a large and very voracious monster.

    1. I've always viewed oozes as apex predators, but here's a critter that eats 'em and even uses them as weapons.


      SIZE: Large (7 ft. wide)
      MOVE: 60 ft.
      ARMOR CLASS: 4
      HIT DICE: 6
      ATTACKS: 1
      DAMAGE: 1-4
      SPECIAL ATTACKS: Ooze dart
      SPECIAL DEFENSES: Regeneration
      MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
      RARITY: Very rare
      TREASURE: None
      ALIGNMENT: Neutral
      LEVEL/X.P.: 5 / 370 + 6/hp

      General information: The jellyhive is one of the stranger creatures of the subterranean world, specifically noted for its eating habits. The shelled fungus uses its probiscus to feed on various oozes, jellies, gelatinous cubes, puddings, and slimes, easily stalking and ingesting this foul quarry. When not hunting or feeding, it waits patiently or hangs from a cavern ceiling. It can climb at 60 ft. per round.

      Not only does the jellyhive consume these sloppy creatures, it also cultivates them for future meals. Every time the jellyhive consumes an ooze, it saves a little portion and stores the tiny bit in a flesh-sac for the future. If ever the jellyhive finds an animal or other creature coming close, several sacs split open and shoot a few of the tiny oozes nearby. This method works out splendidly for the fungus; the oozes will devour whatever creatures they can, thereby growing larger to become new meals for the jellyhive to enjoy. If the little jellies, oozes, or puddings happen to escape, they will likely get larger on their own, and the jellyhive will probably hunt them down later.

      When faced with a non-ooze opponent, jellyhives launch their wee oozes like darts to a range of 20 feet. A jellyhive has 12-22 ooze sacs, each one containing a wee ooze. These are most typically ochre jellies (their favorite food), but they can be any type of ooze, jelly, or pudding. Each ooze dart causes 1-4 points of damage upon impact. The resulting tiny ooze has 4 hp and does 1 hp of acid damage until killed or scraped off of the target. A jellyhive can launch 3 ooze darts per round, at multiple opponents if necessary. After darting all of their oozes, jellyhives will resort to biting if necessary, but fleeing is a more typical result. Jellyhives are immune to any mind-based and polymorphic magics, as well as sleep, charm, and hold. Jellyhives cannot be surprised, as they sense disturbances in the ground and air.

      Two rounds after taking damage, a jellyhive begins to regenerate 2 hit points per round. Jellyhives are immune to acid damage, and there is no known ooze, pudding, or jelly that can harm them. They suffer under fire however, and are unable to regenerate fire damage.

      Physical description: A jellyhive is a wide stalk covered with a dome-shaped shell and several fleshy sacs. Protruding from under the shell are several fat legs and a toothy proboscus used to suck up their prey or deliver a small bite. They have a variety of colors, ranging from dark orange to dark purple.

  3. Speak not of the blancmange ... of spotted dick and drowned babies ... of figgy-dowdy and plum-duff ... and that most terrible of creatures, the Haggis.

    1. This is to say nothing of the dreaded Creme Filling or the deadly Frosting.

    2. Ooze-filled dragons - replace breath weapon with an ooze (color-coordinated with the dragon?) - would be pretty fun. Not for the players, of course.


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