Thursday, April 30, 2020

OSE Encounter Activities - Thoul

Ah, Thouls. Decided to tackle these unusual Humanoids after coming across them in a conversation this morning. Splicing together abilities from Ghouls and Trolls on a Hobgoblin template always struck me as a little strange. The Regeneration is nifty, but I always envisioned Ghoul paralysis as more psychological/fear based (highlighting a fear of mortality, which is why Elfs were immune to it). So is the Thoul’s Paralysis more like a toxin they secrete (similar to the Carcass Crawler)?

They’re a strange entry for sure. Gnolls at least eventually received their “Hyena Folk” niche, but you don’t really see Thouls showing up very often after B/X and BECMI. They tend to work as another type of “Gotcha!” monster, hiding among normal Hobgoblins as a nasty surprise for your Players, but consider how well they could work seeded in a pack of ravenous Ghouls as well? That Turning attempt just won’t work on these, and while they don’t have the bite, their 2 claw is nothing to sneeze at.

I tend to treat them as fairly well integrated into Hobgoblin society for the most part, sometimes preferring them more cunning/grasping than their cousins, other times more dim-witted (with the Troll-blood addling their brains). I’ve treated them as a special bloodline, blessed by the Mother Goddess of Battle, and I’ve sometimes made them a kind of scion to a more praetoran/bodyguard order within the society due to their roles as protectors of the Hobgoblin Kings. As for the actual origins, well ever notice how close the “G” and the “T” are on a QWERTY layout keyboard? It seems obvious to me that Thouls were created by the infamous Typo-mancer Etaoin Shrdlu 😊.

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