Thursday, September 12, 2013

Help me with this demon, please!

One of the hitches I have run into with Cyclopean Deeps is that my original "boss monster," a demon princess that totally rocks, turned out to make the module sequence "feel" a bit too much like Lolth's role in D1-D3. The entire goal with Cyclopean Deeps is to present a part of the Underdark that isn't just "more drow doing the will of Lolth." So, a female boss monster with insect attributes turned out to be something I needed to alter.

Continue reading only if you expect to be running (or reading) the Cyclopean Deeps. If you are going to be a player in this series of modules, Stop reading here.

Dammit, I mean that.


Okay, hopefully what we've got here is the group of people who won't be deeply affected by getting a glimpse inside the design process of Cyclopean Deeps.

Enter the new "boss monster" of the Cyclopean Deeps -- the Lord of Mists, the one, the only -- Isclaadra. He's in the Monstrosities book, for those who want to look him up. I'm not asking for help here with Isclaadra, and in fact he's a fairly well-developed bad guy in my own campaign. What I need help with is the details of his lieutenant demons. The original power-broker in the Cyclopean Deeps, Teratashia, had these demons called "darkswimmers" that were her leader-demons. With Isclaadra, I never developed his forces in that level of detail, just the human cultists.

I'm thinking something octopus-themed, given the association of the octopus ink with mists. That does potentially risk fart jokes, but, let's face it, all writing for fantasy games is essentially skirting the boundaries of Monty Python and fart jokes.

In any case, I'm thinking of something along the lines of the Shrroth demons from the Tome of Horrors, but they float in the air and are surrounded by demonic mists.



  1. Would some demonic variation of the Cloud of Hate from Nehwon's Mythos be worth playing with, Matt?


  2. It totally would, Allan, but I'm pretty sure I've already done something using it ... I LOVE that story. I have to check and find out if I'm remembering something I published, or whether it was just something from gaming with the group.

  3. Have them jet a cloud of "spores" that will convert a human-type into a darkswimmer in d6 days ... complete with horrifying symptoms a la the Goldblum "The Fly" remake.

  4. Maybe flumphs? But evil?

    Creatures of the deep makes me think of Deep Ones from HP Lovecraft. The town of Innsmouth where most of the townspeople are inbread with them to varying degrees.

    You could also look at Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Carribean for inspiration.

    Mindless but strong might also be a way to go like the Kraken or the Watcher at the Gates from the Lord of the Rings.

    The Choker from the Rules Cyclopedia and BECMI might also be a monster you can use. Long arms and legs, no bones, it waits in cracks in walls in tunnels for someone to pass by then chokes them.

  5. Evil flumphs as the chief minions of a demon lord? That's hard to pass up as a challenge to write... I have to pass it up because it would inevitably have too many comedic responses at the actual gaming tables of the world, but it's really, really tempting.

  6. Try flipping some monsters.

    An undersea medusa with grabby tentacles for hair.

    A giant unicorn seahorse that impales.

    A metal puffer fish that expands and impales anyone in a 10' radius (again with the impales?).

    A neon-lit gelatinous cubelike fish that mesmerizes PCs before swallowing them.

    An undersea hydra with many shark heads and giant flippers instead of legs.

  7. id use tidbits from Lovecraft....Cthulhu style... a little mist or fog... white figures scurrying about, kuo toa cross breeds....
    Cyclopean... is such a dream world reference for me.

  8. How about inverting the octopus? Things that walk on legs like a man, but who's upper body unfolds into a mass of tentacles surrounding a snapping beak. So you get snagged by a tentacle and hoisted in the air to be chewed on. Om nom nom

  9. Matt, I'm on about beer #8. I lookt at the picture. Don't know hoiw to help youew with this. Sorry. --Jimmm

  10. I must appreciate the interests you earn inside establishing this informative article. My business is relying a similar best work within you down the road in addition
    Cccam Server | Best Cccam Server | Cardsharing Server | Best cardsharing