08 July 2020

Monster Spotlight - Sewer Monster

The Sewer Monster
When I put together the "A Crap Job" adventure, I wanted something a little different/unique to finish it off. I'd changed the Quipper statblock to make it more "sewer friendly" (thematically speaking, at least) and spent about an hour trawling through different monsters, books and notes to see what would be a good fit for the mini-dungeon. The answer? Too many things would work! There are slimes/oozes a-plenty. Rats and their relatives are perfect. Fungi? Fuck yeah. But what to top it all off?

Why not a hulking mass of tentacles, designed purely to give the party a hard time, and cover them in raw sewage while they're at it! I enjoy running more gritty games, and like my mechanics to be believable to a certain point. You stepped in crap? Oh well, not the end of the world. Clean your boots and you'll be fine. You got covered in crap up to the knees (or worse)? People aren't going to want to talk to you till that's sorted.

And if you've been trudging around in the sewers for an hour or so? Chances are you're going to be a little worse for wear. I wanted to maximise on the number of party members subjected to the effects of the "Raw Sewage" mechanic from that adventure, so built a monster designed to showcase it. You've been grabbed? Great! Into the sewage with you. You killed a tentacle? Great job! Into the sewage with you. You're simply the last person to walk into the room? Great! Into the sewage with you.

You get the picture. I also played around for ages trying to name this monstrosity, and eventually decided against it, as honestly, who would want to spend long enough studying this disgusting, foul smelling, writhing mass of teeth and tentacles to actually give it a name? (But we'll call it "Bob" for now, yeah?)

The number of tentacles was a tough one to think of, for me. As I know that 7 tentacles would be no problem for my Sunday group (consisting of 5 players and 1 sidekick), whereas the group I play with on a Thursdays would no doubt die immediately (given as there are only 3 of us - two attacks on each of us per round? No thank you). I eventually settled on Party Size + 2, as it gives a guaranteed attack against each party member, and a little extra to play with if the Tank is being... well... Tanky.

The last factor I had to consider was the damaging mechanic. It obviously makes sense that the creature would take damage from having its tentacles attacked. But killing it just by removing 5 tentacles (with a little damage to spare)? Maybe a little ridiculous. After discussing it with a DM friend of mine, we (he) came up with the idea of having the 20 damage kill the tentacle, but not carry over to the main body, if there is any damage left over (and I loved it).

So there yo go! A little more about the Sewer Monster from my "A Crap Job" adventure, I hope you enjoyed reading a little about the creative process!

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