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Ethereal Brain

7 May

Ethereal Brain

A well-fed Ethereal Brain (click for larger image)

Ethereal Brains begin life as sacs adrift in the Ethereal sea. Once they hatch, the brain portion is about the size of the human brain, but over time, as they feed on the memories and knowledge of other creatures, they can grow to enormous size. There are no know limits to the size of an Ethereal Brain. One as large several kilometers in diameter has been reported by several planar-traveling wizards, but the sighting has not been reconfirmed. Ethereal Brains wander endlessly in search of new and exciting input.

Ethereal Brains will latch onto any creature with animal intelligence or above and stun it with its tentacles (Save vs Stun at a minus -3). Once the victim is stunned, the Brain will copy all of its memories and knowledge… a process that takes 1 hour per point of intelligence of the creature that is its victim. The Ethereal Brain will then release the victim and it will become unstained in d6 rounds. After the “feeding” has been discontinued, the victim will be temporarily reduced 1 life-level for 24 hours. Most Brains are Lawful Neutral and do not try to purposely kill those they feed from.

Ethereal Brains are not usually malevolent and feed only for survival and an innate curiosity that drives them ever onward in the pursuit of knowledge and experiences, which its victims contain (as well as that which it gathers itself during its travels through the Ethereal and sometimes Prime Material planes).

Ethereal Brains can live potentially for millions of years, unless some other mishap befalls them. They can communicate telepathically with most sentient beings, if they so choose. Sometimes an Ethereal Brain will trade knowledge with a being, if it believes that it has an exceptionally rare bit of information will be gathered from the exchange. The willing “victim” will still suffer the temporary life-level loss. The trade time is equal to 1 round per skill level of Knowledge being traded. While the odd insane or malevolent Brain might try to steal more, the knowledge trade is usually abided by strictly, given the Lawful nature of most Ethereal Brains.

Extremely adept Ethereal Brains can cause the recipient of memories to believe they were their own. A memory recipient may also be caused to “relive” a memory experience of someone else, if the recipient is either willing or stunned by the Brain’s tentacles.

The Brains range from 1 (very young = less than 1000 years old) to 100 (ancient) Hit Dice.
They will use their stun ability as a defense and some are known to have Psionic attack capability.

From the D&D Wiki:

The Ethereal Plane is coexistent with the Material Plane and often other planes as well. The Material Plane itself is visible from the Ethereal Plane, but it appears muted and indistinct, its colors blurring into each other and its edges turning fuzzy.

While it is possible to see into the Material Plane from the Ethereal Plane, the Ethereal Plane is usually invisible to those on the Material Plane. Normally, creatures on the Ethereal Plane cannot attack creatures on the Material Plane, and vice versa. A traveler on the Ethereal Plane is invisible, incorporeal, and utterly silent to someone on the Material Plane.

The Ethereal Plane is mostly empty of structures and impediments. However, the plane has its own inhabitants. Some of these are other ethereal travelers, but the ghosts found here pose a particular peril to those who walk the fog.

It has the following traits.

▪ No gravity.

▪ Alterable morphic. The plane contains little to alter, however.

▪ Mildly neutral-aligned.

▪ Normal magic. Spells function normally on the Ethereal Plane, though they do not cross into the Material Plane.
The only exceptions are spells and spell-like abilities that have the force descriptor and abjuration spells that affect ethereal beings. Spellcasters on the Material Plane must have some way to detect foes on the Ethereal Plane before targeting them with force-based spells, of course. While it’s possible to hit ethereal enemies with a force spell cast on the Material Plane, the reverse isn’t possible. No magical attacks cross from the Ethereal Plane to the Material Plane, including force attacks.

BRAIN! (audio file)

Z = Das Ende!

30 Apr

Well, here we are at the end of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

I certainly enjoyed it. Sometimes it felt like a wicker cage, sometimes it felt liberating, but it was definitely worth it!

To end the Challenge, I want to post something that is a beginning, not an end:
I made a new video that is a very basic introduction to Fantasy Roleplaying Games as Mythopoesis. It is not meant to be complete or detailed, but is a very simple overview of the subject material. I may revise it later, but here it is as it currently stands.

Here is to the end of the A-Z Blogging Challenge and on to new things in the Blogosphere and in the OSR…

Fantasy Roleplaying Games: A Mythopoetic Experience
(This is not a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter. It is meant to be introductory only and does not contain details as to many pertinent details of certain aspects due to media constraints.

No favoritism of games or game systems is implied by any of the art work appearing in this video… it is a Fair Use video for educational purposes only)

Encounter: Easter Chicken

24 Apr

I won’t post much today, but wouldn’t this make a cool encounter in a children’s RPG story adventure? We know the one driving is the Easter Bunny, but that chicken could be a neat  “monster”.

Easter Chicken

Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: Normally 1, though a brood of 6 to a dozen has been reported
Armor Class: 4
Move: 3″
Hit Dice: 4
% in Lair: 50%
Treasure Type: Special (candy eggs)
No. of Attacks: 2 or 1
Damage: Scratch/Scratch/Peck – d4/d4/d6
Special Attack: Deafening Cackle (once per day – Save vs Stun)
Special Defences: Nil
Magic Resistance: Standard
Intelligence: Animal
Alignment: Neutral
Size: Large 7-9′ + wingspread
Psionic Ability: Nil

Easter Chickens lay one candy egg per day
(roll d6 for type)

1- Giant Jelly Bean Egg (assorted flavors)
2- Dark Chocolate Egg
3- White Chocolate Egg
4- Milk Chocolate Egg
5- Marshmallow Egg
6- Creme Filled Egg

This large, flightless fowl is not very intelligent and tends to run wild if set loose or frightened. It will defend itself if attacked, but generally just gets into trouble or wanders around if found free roaming. The Easter Chicken has a loud voice and will cackle, gobble, chirp, etc. much of the time, which tends to attract predatory animals & wandering monsters if in an environment where they may be found. They can be trained to pull Easter Egg wagons and similar conveyances if treated well.

Happy Easter 🙂

Whazzit? Quasit!

20 Apr

Whazzit? Quasit!

This has got to be one of the weirdest creatures in D&D.

I had a character encounter one once and I was not pleased! They are a pain in the rump and perhaps just as treacherous to an adversary as to their supposed master. If you see one I suggest you run, hide or blast it quickly from existence!

Info on the the freaking Quasit:

A quasit’s natural shape is that of a tiny horned, winged, and tailed humanoid, although they are capable of shape-shifting at will. They are normally found serving as counselors, spies, or spellcasters for more powerful demons or chaotic evil spellcasters.

Quasit are poor fighters, but they have many clever tricks up their sleeves, such as poisonous claws and the ability to shapeshift, turn invisible, and cause fear. They generally employ these tricks to the full as they prefer to use guerilla tactics when possible.

SEAN ÄABERG has a trippy Quasit pic he did shared on his blog in this post:

Whazzit? I dunno, but they call it a Quasit.


Purple Worm Poster

19 Apr

Oh noes! Giant Otter!

18 Apr

Dave Arneson’s Blackmoor supplement is where the Giant Otter first appears in D&D.
I have never used this creature in a game, but I see that it could be a great encounter for any wilderness adventure.

Different varieties of otter live in many climes, so anywhere there is a river, lake or ocean, you could insert one into an adventure.
They are a carnivorous mammal and will eat just about anything that they can catch in their environment.Except when feeding, they are not typically aggressive. They use high-pitched vocalizations to communicate.

The terrifying Giant Otter!

The “real life” Giant Otter is a species that lives in South America. You could use these stats for a more realistic Giant Otter in your campaign or as a basis for creating a truly huge Giant Otter:

Males are between 1.5 and 1.8 meters (4.9–5.9 feet) in length and females between 1.5 and 1.7 m (4.9–5.6 ft). The animal’s well-muscled tail can account for as much as 69 centimeters (27 in) of total body length. Early reports of skins and living animals suggested exceptionally large males of up to 2.4 m (7.9 ft); intensive hunting likely reduced the occurrence of such massive specimens. Weights are between 32 and 45.3 kilograms (70–100 pounds) for males and 22 and 26 kg (48–57 lbs) for females.

The otter is perfectly suited for an aquatic life. Long and sleek, it has short legs, webbed feet, and a long tapered tail.
The giant otter has the shortest fur of all otter species; it is typically chocolate brown but may be reddish or fawn, and appears nearly black when wet. The fur is extremely dense, so much so that water cannot penetrate to the skin. (This is why the Giant Otter’s velvety fur is so prized!)

They live about 8 years in the wild.

When hunting these creatures, I suggest you take along siege engines and make sure you acquire at least a +2 weapon vs. Giant Otters.
Personally, I think they would make a better Druid companion creature than a fur coat.


Ki-rin (Qilin or Kirin)

13 Apr

Magical mythological creatures, Qilin (or kirin in Korean and Japanese) are always lawful & good. They resemble unicorns and may be related.
They are powerful spellcasters, and roam the skies looking for good deeds to reward, and malefactors to punish. It has a head like a dragon, antlers of a deer or other horned beast, scales like a fish and hooves like of an ox. Its tail is like a lion’s with scales. It legs are sometimes ablaze with magical fire! Seeing a Qilin is a good omen. If attacked it can shoot fire from its mouth, but can also be so gentle as to be able to walk upon water.

In D&D, the ki-rin first appeared in the original Dungeons & Dragons game supplement Eldritch Wizardry (1976) and then in the 1977 Monster Manual.


bronze Qilin from the Ming Dynasty