The Monster Thread
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 10:26 pm    Post subject: The Monster Thread Reply with quote

Often when playing muds I notice that the mobs are all pretty much the same - just some stat differences and perhaps a few cosmetic changes. I think it would be much more fun if each monster was really unique in some way, requiring different tactics to defeat and opening different options during gameplay.

So I'd like to suggest having a thread where we can post some cool ideas for monsters. These can be taken from novels, other RPGs, etc - but each should provide some unique gameplay options within the mud. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling:

Golem: Constructed as mindless automatons by wizards, golems come in various flavours but are all immune to mental spells and affects. Designed as guards, they also tend to be highly perceptive, making them very difficult to sneak past. Fortunately their tactics in combat are crude at best, relying on pure physical power rather than any real strategy, and they can often be tricked into walking into traps. The source of a golem's power is a glyph on their forehead, and a targetted blow can quickly disable them - this is very difficult to achieve, however, requiring an extremely accurate attack (ideally with a long thrusting weapon such as a spear).

Unicorn: Can move as fast as a horse, but also has a powerful horn attack which can be used when charging into combat. May be tamed by female humanoids (virgins only, if the code supports that), allowing it to be used as a mount. May also be hunted for its horn, which - when ground into powder - doubles the strength of any potions it is mixed with.

Zombie: A flesh-obsessed form of undead. Rotting and noisy, you can smell them from quite a distance and hear their moans from even further. Slow moving, but if they can get their hands on you it can be difficult to break free. Can be distracted by throwing meat on the ground, which they'll eat first (this method can also be used to lure them towards other opponents). They are unaffected by pain, and have no vitals, so you literally have to cut them apart to put them out of action - arrows do almost nothing, for example. You could also have human and humanlike mobs killed by a zombie rise as one themselves, although this may need to be controlled to avoid it getting out of hand.

Rust Monster (as per D&D): A fairly harmless creature, but loves to eat metal and is therefore the bane of characters with lots of metal armour and/or magical gear. An encounter with such a beast will often leave a victim defenceless, although they can prove valuable allies for characters who don't use metal (such as druids).

Wraith: An ethereal form of undead, non-magical physical attacks pass through it harmlessly (although blessed, silver or magical weapons will still harm it). Non-magical shields and armour provide no protection against the attacks of a wraith, although a holy symbol worn around the neck can protect like armour (absorbing damage), while holding such a symbol in the hand operates like a shield (deflecting attacks outright). A successful attack from a wraith will weaken the victim (reducing strength rather than hp), and if reduced to 0 strength the victim will simply drop dead as a lifeless husk. This strength can be recovered by drinking holy water or by praying at a temple.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dryad: A nature spirit, generally benevolent, she can become quite violent when faced with individuals who damage the forest in which she lives (particularly important if the mud allows players to gather resources by cutting down trees, but could also cause problems for people who carelessly throw off fireballs and the like). A dryad is extremely strong and resilient, and almost impossible to kill through regular means, but she does have a major weakness - each dryad is spiritually connected to a tree, and damage to that tree will also harm the dryad. Cut down the tree, and the dryad dies. Male characters may engage in social combat with a dryad in order to seduce her - if they succeed, they are granted three favours which must be used within the next 24 hours. These favours include such things as minor healing, the ability to call an animal to assist in combat, the ability to teleport from one section of forest to another, etc.
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Yui Unifex
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've had a lot of fun coming up with monster ideas for Aetas. One of my favorites is the seemingly mundane Bone Spike Pit.

Bone Spike Pit: These pits are born when a hapless yet bone-filled meat bag falls into a hole and dies. While the other organic components of the corpse decay, the bones free themselves from the tyranny of their former owner and slowly begin to grow. If the adventurer was carrying a glass of milk at the time, the bones grow twice as fast due to the extra calcium. As each new bone-filled corpse is impaled, the pit grows commensurate with the size of the skeleton of those slain. The Hidden Milk Pools are home to bone spike pits that grow to many kilometers in height, and are host to an entire bony ecosystem.
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
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Location: Munich

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Siren: These nymphs live in the ocean, where they sit on rocks and charm men with their haunting songs. Female characters are completely immune to this music, while male characters may gain some protection by placing wax in their ears. Once a character fall under their spell, he will swim towards the siren, who will then drown him. Confronted with a combat situation the siren will usually attempt to escape below the waves, utilising water-based magic to defend herself if necessary. Should you manage to capture a Siren without killing her, she will offer to buy her freedom with an enchanted pearl, which - when set in a ring - allows the wearer to breathe underwater.
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Alayla



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Parasitic scorpion: These tiny scorpions make their home in the bowels of unfortunate players, eating them from inside. The only known cure is finding an unselfish friend who will drink a potion of shrinking and combat the beast in your intestines.
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Yui Unifex
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PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time Bugger and Clock Work: Time Buggers are attracted to the sweet pheremones secreted by a Clock Work. Each bugger has an important role in making the Clock Work work, from moving the hands when a new round has begun to keeping the internal and delicate machinery free of anomaly to defending the clock from travelers. Each number on a Clock Work corresponds to another Clock Work somewhere in the nearby area, and forcibly setting its hands allows one to teleport immediately to that clock. Time Buggers hate those that abuse their clocks, and will thus try to stop time travelers from moving the hands when it's not time.
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Vilmer



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 5
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2005 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an odd love for:
Creepy green light: This appears in the form of a ball of green light that flickers and blinks. It drives the person insane as they try to battle it, until they either attack their own group members, themselves, or anything else in the room. Protection from it? None… try not to look directly at it (or maybe wear a tinfoil helmet – smirk).
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Kjartan



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mimic: a sticky, amorphous blob in its natural form, the mimic spends most of its time imitating an object. It selects something to imitate from among the equipment that players in its vicinity are wearing. When someone tries to pick it up it turns amorphous and attacks, getting an automatic grapple on its victim in the process.
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Cornelius



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 42
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This isn't so much an idea for a single type of enemy as it is for a group of enemies that would exist in a special area of the game, it comes from a cross between one section of the game MGS3: Snake Eater and the entire concept of the Soul Reaver series- I put it together just now after dying in a MUD to some phantom and thinking, "what if this was just the beginning..."

Reaper (stage I): guardian of the Phantom Zone, he just kills you outright... (sets your hp to 1 and transfers you to the Phantom Zone), while in the phantom zone you must seek him out again and challenge him to a game to get your life back (i.e. scrabble, connect 4, twister, or just kill him).

But here is the thing, in the phantom zone you have no corporeal form, you exist by pure willpower (mana) and your 'body' is a manifestation of your will to exist. All the enemies in this zone attack your mana and when your mana runs out you lose the will to exist and you die. As a spectre you cannot use magic (this will depend on your games magic system, maybe you would allow necro magic or some such) but your ectoplasmic form can hurt them by physical attacks (also picking up an ectoplasmic blade and armor wouldnt hurt).

Spectres: other souls like yourself trying to find their way back to the living world- they will not attack you but will follow you around begging for help. This can be annoying but the smart player will not kill them and instead use them as (in)human shields against attacks from the more nefarious denizens of the phantom realm, who will attack them from time to time. This will be important for characters with little mana (i.e. warriors)

Wraiths (as taken from Soul Reaver): Spectre's that have spent so much time in the phantom realm that they have adapted to living in it. These will drain your mana from a distance but will run away when attacked (flee- the purpose is that they are easy to kill but annoying, and the player will have a difficult time tracking them around a very dangerous landscape), though they dont typically use it, they often carry small ectoplasmic daggers that will transfer their victims mana to themselves- a useful weapon in the phantom world...

Fallen: these are the souls of vamires, zombies, and other undead- as their corporeal counterparts walk the world so do these walk the phantom zone. They are the army of darkness and should be feared as such. They will attack spectres for the sport of it. It is best to avoid them altogether.

Sluagh: also known as soul farmers or soul janitors, slow but very vicious in numbers their only thought and purpose is to consume spectres to keep the phantom world from getting too cluttered with lost souls. They are skittish alone and will only attack if there is more than one of them in the same place. Some of them wear different pieces of ectoplasmic armor- which will comes in handy in their world.

Reaper (stage II): the reaper in the phantom zone, he keeps a retinue of sluagh around him to feed on souls and transfer their energy into him. If you walk into his lair with your own horde of spectres as you should the slaugh will immediately begin feeding on them. But the reaper will only attack you. Hopefully you have a full set of ectoplasmic eq by now- your going to need it. The reaper is immune to the mana drain of the knife (it will still work as a weapon) so kill off the sluagh as fast as you can- your armor plus their mana should keep you alive (and actually ahead of the game) while the reaper is attacking you. With the sluagh all (but one- they will not attack if only one and you may need him later) dead focus on the reaper- when you need to heal, attack the other spectres and steal their mana (what can I say... its a spectre eat spectre underworld)

... of course now everyone who reads this board will know the spoiler on how to defeat the reaper but I think the concept here was important to show- using the knowledge of mobs behavior so that they themselves become tools rather than just obsticles.
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Kjartan



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 110

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2005 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Invisible Stalker:This creature has a better grade of invisibility that is not subject to 'detect invis' spells or the like. It's not exactly aggressive (in the diku sense) but when a player of the right level passes by, it starts tailing him. When he's involved in a combat with another monster and his hit points drop below half of max, that's when the invisible stalker attacks!
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RuinsOfFeyrin



Joined: 20 May 2005
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago!

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nilbog
These were in an AD&D campign i was playing. Guy said they were from the extended second edition monster manual i think. Basically its a goblin, looks like a goblin, smells like a goblin, walks and talks like a goblin. Only differance is damage doesnt damage them, healing damages it.

Yeah it sucked, guy sent 10 of them after 4 of us, by time we figured out what was going on, and how to defeat them(with some serious hinting from the DM) it was basically to late.

How you would translate this into the game, without the name of the creature giving away its weakness im unsure, you would most likely need to name it goblin still so as to throw off the players. Thats what the DM did to us, he never said they were goblins, he just described them looking like goblins.

(edit)
Oh yeah, forget, incase you dont know why they are called Nilbog, its goblin backwards.
(edit 2)
Oh so i looked it up, and it appeared in Fiend Folio page 67 and Tome Of Horrors page 204.
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Kjartan



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PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I remember, nilbogs also had the property that you came up to them, gave them your treasure, and then left.
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Molly O'Hara



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 99
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Octopus. A segmented mob, consisting of a brain/body and eight arms. All the arms assist, but not the body. Only by killing the body you can kill the octopus.

Hydra. Like the above, but each time you cut off a head, two new ones grow out. The mob is unkillable, unless you get a helper to burn the stumps as you chop the head off. *)

*) (Hehe, we had a Hydra in our Mud that did this, and the players used it to powerlevel. It sprouted so many new heads that it crashed the mud with the fight spam after a number of rounds. I had to redesign it completely to make it work as intended. Trust the players to abuse anything that can be abused). Razz

Shapeshifter. Each time the mob drops below a certain level it transfoms into something else, and regains its strength. Only after it runs out of shapes after about ten rounds you will be able to kill it.

A variation of the above would be the common Greek myth about nymphs that turn into flowers or trees when pursued by one of the horny Greek Gods, or otherwise threatened. I've used it for the nymph Lothis, who according to the myth turned into a Lothus flower to get away from the phallic deity Priapos. (The Lothus flower is a useful item that you need for a certain potion, and only by attacking Lothis can you get it).

I love those old Greek Myths. No copyright on them either... Smile
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Alayla



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 88
Location: Prague

PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not entirely on topic, but here's one of my rare ventures into ASCII graphics. Made for a battlecard game one of our imms is working on. :)

The Fanged Frog
Code:
        /\__/\           
       / +  + \´\.       
      ( -`..´- )  )     
     /`wvVvvVvw´ '''     
     '', ^^^^   /       
        \ \/  '''       
       '''               
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KaVir



Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 565
Location: Munich

PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2005 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bloodfly swarm: These vicious insects tend to live near rivers or lakes for most of the year, but shortly before the first snow of winter they gather together into huge swarms and fly to swampland to lay their eggs in the enchanted trees that grow there. Any living creature that gets in their way will be attacked, and have eggs laid under his or her skin - and if the unfortunate victim is a magic user, the eggs will hatch within minutes, devouring the character from within. Non-mages will have sufficient time to seek medical help or magical healing.

As a swarm creature, most conventional weapons are useless against it - indeed, attacking the swarm will typically only serve to aggravated the insects further, causing them to hang around longer and focus on the threat. A flaming torch or area-affect fire spell will typically be more effective, but barring warding spells the best way to minimise damage is simply to lie down on the ground and wait until the swarm has gone past.

Armour provides little in the way of protection, but rolling around in mud will reduce the number of bites on the covered location. You could also try diving into a river or lake, as the swarm will usually pass within 30 seconds or so. Outrunning the swarm is a bad idea, although you could try running through it (to minimise the amount of exposure) - this will also aggravated the swarm, however, and is not recommended.
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