Friday, February 14, 2020

OSE Encounter Activities - Carcass Crawler (d100)

The Carcass Crawler. Eight (8) attacks! Eight (8) Saving throws versus paralysis! 2d4 turns of not doing much on an increasingly likely fail, other than potentially being eaten somehow of course…the rules aren’t really clear on how it ends up actually damaging it’s victims, so perhaps this is really just an excruciatingly drawn out “Save or Die” after all.

Big pushover that I am, I usually rule that they’ll try to drag the tastiest (completely subjective) target somewhere safe to eat, somewhat reducing the chances for a TPK. If I were truly evil, I’d emphasize how they actually prefer their food to be ripe, rank, and rotten, so they typically just re-sting the paralyzed party every so often until it dies of starvation. Then after a suitable amount of decay sets in, they dig in. Gross stuff!

I vaguely recall one of these (well, it’s precursor) having an appearance in one of the starter dungeons in the Mentzer Basic Set? They are a pretty brutal lesson on risk management for players just embarking on adventure. Was there a Deus ex Machina built in? I gotta go dig that up now…

Interestingly, as this is our first IP dodging critter: I don’t think my players have ever called them by their “name” (official or otherwise). I’ve heard them called “Stun Grubs,” “Creepy Crawlies,” “Corpse Eaters,” “Those nasty Dungeon Bugs,” and all sorts of other evocative, experientially generated names. Something to consider if the names of things troubles you: Things have more meaning when they’re named by the players, and one simple way to preserve the mystery of a Monster and the thrill of discovery is to refrain from calling it by its name. A good description should get their brains bubbling with something to call it as a shorthand soon enough.

Here's a hundred little vignettes to choose from when these nasty little beasties decide to show their jelly-fish faces:

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