Thursday, May 7, 2020

A Gargantuan Beastie for D&D BECMI

While I’m on a roll to show off miscellaneous Calidar stuff in D&D BECMI format and before diving into the subject of demigods, here’s a fun monster few adventurers are likely to encounter in a dungeon. This was taken from CAL1 “In Stranger Skies.” There’s more of this where it wandered from. All of CAL1’s game stats are due to be published soon for Labyrinth Lord (OSR) in the near future as part of CAL1a, the “Conversion Guide to Meryath,” and for the OSRIC system in CAL1b. The material below is published with written permission from the author… oh, that’s me! Never mind.

Ghülean Grön, John Dollar ©2013 Calidar Publishing.

Ghülean Grön

These creatures are native of Ghüle, the orcs’ alien world. They are colossal, grossly fat, mangy worms partially covered with gray fur except where orcs have bolted armor plates onto them. Orcish standards and the bones of defeated monsters sometimes adorn the beasts. Like those on humpback anglerfish, appendages with glowing lures extend from the top of the gröns’ monstrous heads. Two huge, greenish eyes complete the picture. Gröns vary from the size of small galleys to something large enough to swallow several thousand orcs and their war machines.

Ghülean Grön (CAL1 p. 106)
AC 3 (head) or AC 5 (body), HD 20**, 100 hp, MV 90’ (30’) levitating only, AT nil, D nil, Save F15; Size Huge (as a small galley)—Dex 3, Int 6, ML 9, AL Neutral, XP 5,975.
AC 0 (head) or AC 3 (body), HD 80**, 400 hp, MV 120’ (40’) levitating only, AT nil, D nil, Save F20; Size Giant (400ft. length, 80 ft. girth)—Dex 2, Int 7, ML 8, AL Neutral, XP 50,750.
AC –3 (head) or AC 1 (body), HD 320**, 1,600 hp, MV 150’ (50’) levitating only, AT nil, D nil, Save F25; Size Gargantuan (1,000 ft. length, 200 ft. girth)—Dex 1, Int 8, ML 7, AL Neutral, XP 230,750 (Think you’ll level up already?)
Apnea for multiple hours at a time; resistant to outer-space conditions; can open a wormhole twice per day. No internal digestive system; though functional, mouths are vestigial remains predating their ability to drain World Soul energy. Can transport passengers and freight internally. Though they can’t attack individual foes, gröns can ram ships; they automatically hit a vessel in their path, inflicting hull damage equivalent to a quarter their total Hit Dice +10 (thus, a 320 HD grön can inflict 90 points of ramming damage). If damage exceeds half the ship’s hull rating, it is pushed out of the grön’s way.
Pup—50-200 orcs and personal gear
Bull—300-900 orcs and personal gear
Elder—1,000-4,000 orcs and personal gear.
Use lower numbers if relevant freight is included (such as war machines, long-term field supplies, booty, captured slaves, etc.)
All gröns—cold-based attacks.
Spells cast at gröns may fail entirely and, if so, feed/heal them instead, as follows:
Pup—10% chance
Bull—20% chance
Elder—30% chance. Spells absorbed in this manner heal 1d8 hp per spell level, thus a 9th level spell can heal up to 9d8 of the creature’s total hit points.
When able to drain World Soul energy, gröns heal combat damage as follows:
Pup—2d6+8 hp/day
Bull—7d10+10 hp/day
Elder—3d%+20 hp/day.

            These beasts can fly, though a bit more slowly than an average skyship, and are unmaneuverable. The largest ones require miles to turn when moving at full speed, or several long minutes if hovering. Gröns can sustain flight in space’s airless void for several hours before suffocating. Once outside a planet’s atmosphere, elder worms use the appendages on their heads to generate wormholes and reach nearby worlds. They appear just outside their destinations’ atmosphere where the wormholes end. Younger gröns travel alongside their parents and through their wormholes. If the appendage is destroyed or cut off, it regrows in one to three Calidaran years. Flying through space is the gröns’ favored way of ridding themselves of vermin and other unsavory creatures dwelling on their skins.
            Gröns are parasites without means of attacking anything, at least intentionally. Their natural life involves nesting in the deepest caverns of a world and feeding upon its natural magic core. This energy is what allows them to fly and control wormholes. When a world is stripped bare of its soul, gröns migrate to another and resume the process. Orcs of Ghüle do not allow this to happen, at least to protect their own world, and therefore keep the number of gröns within safe limits. A great many elder gröns would be needed for a long time to deplete Calidar’s world soul, but they could potentially succeed if allowed to multiply.
            Gröns can live more than a thousand years. They reproduce not more than once per century. Ghülean clans breed them in captivity and use them as troop transports between their world and another they wish to raid. Orcs enter through the beasts’ cavernous mouths and wait inside their bodies, among hollow innards. Pups can hold a few hundred orcs, elder worms up to several thousand. Air supply is limited but sufficient for an hour-long journey through space. Gröns stranded outside a wormhole eventually die, along with their passengers. Ghülean shamans wield spells altering the layout of organs and flesh inside their gröns, which allows them to open a passage into the beasts’ heads. A shaman may stand inside a cranium and commune with the host, sensing all that it sees and feels. This allows the shaman to train the creature from its youngest age and control its flight, including forming wormholes. Gröns are the pride and joy of the orcish clans who raise them, a source of even more delight than tormenting slaves and ripping the wings off flies.

Ghülean Grön ©2013 Calidar Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
D&D® Game and BECMI game mechanics ©1983-1991 TSR, Inc., Wizards of the Coast.

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