Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gamer ADD: Fiend Folio Part 9

Wandering Monster Table Level 3

This is a continuation of my posts here and here. An interesting thing starts to happen with the Level 3 Wandering Monster Table (WMT) in Moldvay. The variety of monster types begins to expand. Trying to define some of them is actually quite challenging. For example, a Shadow is not undead in B/X and how does one categorize a Doppleganger? I was forced to categorize Medusae and Lycanthropes as humanoids because petrification is not common in the FF and there are no lycanthropes at all in the FF. For what it is worth, here is my attempt to strip out creature specifics and just leave general categories (the numbers in parentheses are HD and asterisks indicate special abilities, where two indicate more powerful abilities):

  1. mammal (4)
  2. insect (3+1)
  3. humanoid (3+1)
  4. scavenger (3+1*)
  5. ambusher (4*)
  6. insect (4*)
  7. flyer (4+4*)
  8. slime/ooze (4*)
  9. flyer (3*)
  10. construct (3)
  11. humanoid (3*)
  12. human (1**)
  13. humanoid (4**)
  14. NPC Party (var.)
  15. slime/ooze (5*)
  16. humanoid (4+1)
  17. extra-planar (2+2*)
  18. insect (4*)
  19. undead (3**)
  20. undead (3*)

Once again, the dearth of insects in the FF rears its head. I was forced to substitute some other kind of animal for every insect slot in this table. Surprisingly, the various weird categories had decent fits. The Skulk has a similar strategy as a Doppleganger, the Shocker is an extra-planar being like the Shadow and the Whipweed fits the scavenger slot as nicely as the Carrion Crawler does. The only other stretch I had to make was the Thoquua as a construct. The FF has a number of creatures that fit this category, but they either don’t have the right HD or are specifically not wandering monsters. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Osquip (3+1)
  2. Gorilla Bear (4)
  3. Firenewt (2+2*)
  4. Whipweed (2+4; 1+4)
  5. Skulk (2*)
  6. Fire Mephit (3+1*)
  7. Grell (5*)
  8. Stun Jelly (4*)
  9. Mantari (1+1*)
  10. Thoquua (3*)
  11. Crabmen (3)
  12. Swordsmaster (3rd level fighter)
  13. Lava Children (4*)
  14. NPC party (var.)
  15. Algoid (5*)
  16. Meazle (4)
  17. Shocker (1+2*)
  18. Firedrake (4*)
  19. Sons of Kyuss (4*)
  20. Huecuva (2*)

This WMT has a distinctly elemental feel to it. One of the reasons I chose the Thoquua as a construct was that it fit very nicely with the elemental theme. The one element that stands out is fire. Firenewts, Fire Mephits, and Firedrakes all have breath weapons. Thoquua and Lava Children have heat-related powers that can render various items useless. Another observation: there are a lot of multiple and special attacks on this list. PC parties better be ready to be creative because going toe-to-toe with this list of creatures is not a recipe for long-term success. If there isn’t an easy way to the surface from the third level of a dungeon, even one combat could place a party in danger of a TPK just trying to get out.


Scott said...

Am I just missing the Gorbel? I know you didn't leave out the Gorbel.

FrDave said...

Grrr. Yes, I did. One thing that the FF has in abundance are low HD flyers. I was torn between having the Gorbel or the Giant Bat. Since there are that many "normal" monsters in the FF, I went with the Bat. If, however, you are perfectly comfortable with dispensing of "normal," just read Giant Bat as Gorbel and all will be well.