2018/03/31

OSR: Medieval Things, Part 3: The Devil's Broker

Whenever I pick up a new book I grab a stack of book darts and mark every really interesting passage. I've just finished a second read of Frances Stonor Saunders’ The Devil's Broker, a sort of John Hawkwood-focused companion volume to Barbara W. Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror. I love A Distant Mirror, and I cite it more-or-less constantly in my feudalism posts. I liked The Devil’s Broker a lot less. It felt like recycled scholarship and it didn’t cover some areas I’d really hoped it would. If you’re writing a book about Hawkwood, you don’t get to gloss over certain periods with an airy “well, Italian politics were complicated”. Yeah I know they were complicated. It’s your job to uncomplicated them. If you don't want to tackle the complexities of medieval Italy, you probably shouldn't write a book about medieval Italy.

Still, as a reader’s digest text, it’s handy for gameable quotes. Non-fiction provides the best gameable content because the real world is very strange. I'm not going to focus on Hawkwood because his Wikipedia article provides enough detail.
Le secret de l'histoire naturelle, France ca. 1480-1485

The 14th Century

It's my favorite.
The fourteenth century has often unfairly been written off as "waning" or "expiring" - a necessary sacrifice to a biological theory of the age which superseded it as a rebirth or "renaissance". But the fourteenth century was a period of such rude strength in the face of awful odds that it is perverse to ignore its optimism, its innovation, its sheer puissance. Sudden outbursts of hysteria and paranoia coexisted with frenzies of virtue; violence and greed existed alongside pacifism and generosity. There was chaos, of course, but out of the chaos, or perhaps because of it, everything was possible, and everything was for sale (even access to eternal life, which was secured by the accumulation of credits - indulgences - here on earth.)

This was the age of the new man, of the renaissance man, who willed himself into existence, who was, like Coriolanus, the "author of himself". The new man was the Pope (Urban VI was born in the slums of Naples), the lord (the Visconti of Milan fabricated their own noble lineage), the tyrant (Cola di Rienzo was the son of a laundress), the knight (humble squires could earn their spurs), the vilein, the lawyer, the bookkeeper, the merchant, the artist. Leaving behind him the "small enclosed society of [men] still wholly preoccupied with local interests", the new man chose instead a field of action as wide as his ambition and enterprise. Shrewd, skeptical, adaptable, he discarded old rules, or used them as a screen for pursuing his own ends.

-The Devil's Broker, pg.17

A bit overwrought perhaps, but could you ask for a better introduction to OSR PCs? The author doesn't even the arch-swindler of the 14th century, Paul Palaiologos Tagari, whose career is a legendary example of how a good costume, the right connections, and sheer bald-face lies could carry anyone to positions of power.
During his long and tumultuous career, Paul was appointed an Orthodox bishop, sold ordinations to ecclesiastical offices, pretended to be the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, switched from Greek Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism and back again, supported both the See of Rome and the Avignon anti-popes in the Western Schism, and managed to be named Latin Patriarch of Constantinople.
 
 -Wikipedia
Anyway, the 14th century. You have cannons, but not very good ones. The world is moderately disordered. Old power structures are struggling, new ones are emerging. The printing press, the new world, the Reformation, and the Renaissance lurk just over the horizon.
Fortune's Wheel, Hortus Deliciarum

Loot

"I am so great a lord that I can make all of your rich," King Jean had told the crowd of soldiers who had jostled to claim him as their prisoner in the battle. His promise was not empty. Even the humblest returned with battle-horses, swords, jewels, robes, and furs. There was hardly a woman in England, crowed Thomas Walsingham, without some necklace, silver goblet, fur, or piece of fine linen brought home by the victors. Those fortunate enough to capture some great magnate became themselves lords. Sir Thomas Dagworth was offered £4,900, an enormous fortune, for the ransom of Charles of Blois. One shrewd looter who had come away with the King of France's Bible cashed it in with the Earl of Salisbury for £67.

In this, "the age of chivalry", loot mattered as much as loyalty to captain or crown; it was the key to courage in combat. Pillage was not simply the inevitable and distasteful consequence of war, but the very substance of it. "From earl to archer they were all adventurers, with the plunder of [France] as the price for which they staked their lives." No wonder then, that when the English army went forth it looked, said one contemporary, "more as if it were going to a wedding than to a war."

-The Devil's Broker, pg. 28

There you have it; XP for looted gold. What sort of hoard could the PCs be expected to find?
When Cardinal Hugh Roger died, his executors found in his house a hoard that represented almost every currency in Europe. In bags, purses, boxes, or wrapped in cloth, they found 5,000 Piedmontese gold florins, 5,000 old gold crowns, 2,000 Aragonese gold florins, 4,500 gold crowns of England, 855 gold francs, 500 gold angels, 97 gold ducats, 1,000 gold papal florins, 363 pure florins of Florence, 511 Sicilian florins, and 900 gold florins of the mint called du Grayle.

...the average cost of living for a single man at this time was estimated at 14 florins a year.

-The Devil's Broker, pg. 38

By my currency system, that’s a haul of 20,726 gold pieces; enough to take 7 PCs from level 1 to level 10, or a year’s revenue for a prosperous kingdom. Seems about right (or within one order of magnitude of right).

However, ransoms ran both ways.
Money won by Hawkwood in ransoms might have to be quickly recycled in order to bail out his own men when they were captured. Moreover, ransoms passed through many hands, were subject to various deductions, were frequently and heavily discounted with merchants, and bore high charges for collection, interest, and upkeep of hostages. Hawkwood himself was taken prisoner at least once. We do not know the ransoms set for him, but they would have been high. Inability to raise ransom was a common predicament: Robert Hungerford, Lord Moleyns, was taken prisoner in France in 1422 and stayed in prison for seven years. His mother, Lady Margaret Hungerford, had to sell jewels and pledge estates before she was able to raise his ransom.

Much has been made of fortunes founded or forfeited on ransom money. Henry of Lancaster built a sumptuous residence in London from the ransoms of French prisoners taken at Pontiers. After the Battle of Najera in 1367, John Kempton, a squire of the Black Prince, released a prisoner after receiving a promissory note for his ransom. The deadline for settlement came and went, and Kempton remained unpaid. Advised to pursue his debtor in the courts of Aragon, Kempton was to past most of the rest of his life chasing his fortune, traveling frequently to Barcelona, instructing a succession of attorneys, and eventually settling permanently in Saragossa as a naturalized Aragonese. He finally recovered the last of what was due to him in 1400.

-The Devil's Broker, pg. 306
Seems like a good plot seed to me. “This guy escaped ransom. Go shake him down.” It might be surprising that in a century of constant disorder, plague, famine, and warfare, someone might seek recompense in the courts. It's even more surprising that he succeeded.
Le livre de Lancelot du Lac and other Arthurian Romances, Northern France ca. 1275-1300

Warfare

[The White Company] rode in a basic unit of three called a lance (hence “freelance” for military journeymen), consisting of a mounted soldier, a page, and an archer. When ready to engage, they would all dismount and form a tight-knit pack, with the soldier and archer together wielding the heavy six-foot lance, while the page held back the horses. 

-The Devil's Broker, pg. 65

Hrm. Soldier, archer, page => Fighter, wizard, thief.

Think about it. The page is in the best position to gain thief-like skills (larceny, fencing, information-gathering). The fighter fights from the front. The archer/wizard fights from range.

The basic unit of 3 forms the core of the 14th century mercenary army. That’s how your PCs know each other. That’s why they’re in a land where they can loot and raid and come up with cunning plans. They’re mercenaries in not-Italy. Give it a shot.
For escalade, the White Company carried scaling ladders, assembled in sections, and the English shimmied up them like cats, their speed matched only by the longbowmen behind them who unleashed wave after wave of goose-feathered arrows to push defenders back from the walls (and away from the tips of the ladders, which, if pushed, would fall back, taking their cargo of mercenaries crashing to the ground).

-The Devil's Broker, pg. 67
Not exactly deathless prose, but the collapsible ladders and covering fire remarks are interesting. I had never really considered archers firing upwards as a vital part of siege warfare.
The tactics of escalade were described by Jean de Bueil:
“They spy out a walled castle for a day or two beforehand; then, collecting together a group of thirty or forty brigands, they approach it from one side and then from another. At the break of day they burst in and set fire to a house, making so much noise that the inhabitants think there must be a thousand men-at-arms among them and flee in all directions. Then they break into the houses and loot them before departing loaded with spoil.”

-The Devil's Broker, pg. 67

Nice to see that that the old “set something on fire, cause panic, and grab loot” tactic was in full swing in the 14th century.

I think most people think of the 14th century mercenary companies as united (if incoherent) armies, but they were fairly compartmentalized. Individual units could join or leave as needed, switch sides, combine to replace losses after a battle or split apart over differences in pay or leadership.
The captain-general, who earned his position by means of respect, confirmed by election, presided over a well-articulated hierarchy of captains, corporals, and marshals. Smaller companies existed within the larger one. A unit might consist of as few as twelve lances (thirty-six men), with its own captain and treasurer who ensured a degree of autonomy at the micro level. It was up to the skill of the captain-general to keep these restless particles together. All decisions were arrived at by the common consent of the commander and a council made up of the leaders of various contingents. Booty derived from pillage and plunder was carefully divided by the leader and the council among the company’s rank and file. Once they received their share, soldiers dealt through regular brokers who sold it for them.

Also present in the company were priests, prostitutes to cater to other needs, servants, cooks, barbers, jesters, and “sanitation divisions” that included doctors. Common criminals mixed with ecclesiastics, knights and exiled nobles with tradesmen. Some were more or less permanently attached to the company, some were virtually hostages, others came and went. 

-The Devil's Broker, pg. 68

 How rich were these companies?
The cost of settlements to the companies in the early years of the Schism (1381-5) drained in excess of sixty thousand florins from the Sienese coffers. This did not include the countless additional payments, or “gifts”, which communes were required to offer to their predators, extras which could double the official cost of a settlement. One Sienese account book records that, in addition to the cost of wine, bread, and sweets given to Hawkwood, the Commune had to bear the expense of 19 barrels to hold the wine, 12 sacks to hold the bread, 4 boxes, 2 baskets and cloth to package the sweets, and the cord to tie all of the above items. Then there was the cost of the 17 men (paid 10 soldi per day) and 26 beasts of burden employed for two days to transport the goods to the company. In 1382 the city incurred additional expenses by allowing the mercenaries to exchange their devalued florins for good coins.
 
-The Devil's Broker, pg. 297
Luttrell Psalter, England ca. 1325-1340

Miscellaneous

In the iconography of Saint Michael, representations of him as a knight outnumbered pacific representations (which is fair enough, given his use of force to expel Adam and Eve from Paradise, celebrated by the French chronicler Jean Molinet as “the first deed of knighthood and chivalrous prowess that was ever achieved.”)
-The Devil's Broker, pg. 121

I feel a bit weird using one book to quote another (better) book, but this bit is too good to leave out. 
“The Visconti – by HBO”.

Chaucer would surely have heard of the lust and cruelty of the Visconti, who were to provide generations of writers with their ripest material on the decadence of Europe after the Black Death. “Murder, cruelty, avarice, effective government, alternating with savage despotism... and lust amounting to sexual mania, characterized one or other of the family,” wrote Barbara Tuchman.
Lucchino had been murdered by his wife who, after a notable orgy on a river barge, during which she entertained several lovers at once, including the Doge of Venice and her own nephew Galeazzo, decided to eliminate her husband to forestall the same intention with regards to her. The debaucheries of Matteo, eldest brother of Bernabo and Galeazzo, were such that he endangered the regime and was disposed of by his brothers in 1335, the year after their accession.

“Are you a bad enough dude to steal the wax legs of the Holy Roman Emperor?”
There was a very real problem in producing well-fitting made-to-measure armour for distant customers. At the prodigious prices paid for it, it needed to fit well. The accounts of Louis, Duke of Touraine (Charles VI’s brother, and later Duke of Orleans), reveal that in 1386 he bought three ells of fine Reims linen to have a doublet made to send as a pattern to his armourer. When the Early of Derby, later Henry IV of England, ordered armour from Milan, four armourers came with it to give him a fitting, before finishing and hardening it. It wasn’t until the sixteenth century that the solution was reached of modeling the customer in wax. Charles V was then able to send wax models of “his imperial legs to his armourer.”
-The Devil's Broker, pg. 138

It’s interesting that some letters legitimizing illegitimate sons or recommending illegitimate sons to the priesthood included a clause “to dispense him on account of his illegitimacy, provided he be not an imitator of his father’s incontinency”.
Basically, “you don’t count as a bastard provided you don’t make more bastards.” Wonder how often that worked out?


Conclusions

Next time you read nonfiction, grab a stack of markers, note every gameable bit, and put them on the internet.

2018/03/29

OSR: Class: Sorcerer

Wizards have mind-guns that shoot spell-ferrets. They train and breed spells.
Warlocks borrow power. So do Paladins.

A Sorcerer's power is their own.


They have turned their souls inward and built a pyre in their hearts. They are more real than the rest of the world. Rare, because their arts cannot be taught, and because they frequently explode. Intolerable, because they cannot abide servitude or obedience. Powerful, because the world reshapes itself to their whims. There are no sorcerers around here; they're all from Foreign Parts and they are all absolutely nuts.

Efflam Mercier



Class: Sorcerer


Starting Equipment: Outlandish Costume
Starting Skill: Foreign Parts

A: Soul Casting, +1 SD

B: Billowing Robes, +1 SD
C: Soul Vision, +1 SD
D: Magic Ward, +1 SD

You gain +2 to Save vs Mind Altering Effects (charm, sleep, mind control) for each Sorcerer template you possess.


If you have a Sorcerer template, your base Save value does not increase. It will always be 5+Charisma Bonus.


Soul Casting

You alter the world through sheer force of will. You need no charms, no runes, no spells, no incantations. Reality is yours to command.

You change the world using your Sorcerer Dice (SD). You gain +1 SD per Sorcerer template to a maximum of 4. Each time you wish to use one of the abilities below, invest any number of your SD. The [sum] of the SD rolled, as well as the number of [dice] invested, may affect the result.


SD can be used any number of times per day. Unlike a wizard's MD, they always return to your pool. However, each time you use your sorcerous powers past the first time per day, add +1 ID (Instability Die) to your pool. These dice do not count towards the [sum] or [dice] of any given power, but they do count towards doubles, triples, and quadruples. Use 2 different colours of dice. You can also add ID to increase the effects of you sorcerous powers.

E.g. Ziwilgo the Sorcerer, level 2, has 2 SD to invest. She wishes to Harm a target and invests both SD. She has used two other sorcerous effects today, so adds +2 ID. Only the 2 SD count towards the [dice] and [sum] of the spell, but all four dice are counted for the purposes of Calamities (doubles, triples, and quadruples.)
Sorcerers don't run out of steam. They have the opposite problem. Like an overcharged locomotive, they sometimes explode. 

Sorcerous Powers

Harm
Deal [sum]+[dice] damage to one target creature or object you can see. Creatures and magical objects can Save to negate. Flavour however you'd like: lightning bolts, beams of light, grasping hands from the underworld.

+1 ID for each prior sorcerous effect you've used today.
+1 ID per additional target.

 
Alter

Make a declarative statement affecting one creature or object you can see. The statement is true for [dice] rounds. The statement cannot cause damage directly (use Harm), move a creature or object, or create new objects or effects (use Create). Creatures and magical objects can Save to avoid being altered.
E.g. "This door does not exist." You can walk through the space the door formerly occupied.
"The dragon is now a mole". The dragon still has all its original abilities and HP, but it might be easier to hit.
"The dragon is made of paper." The dragon is now made of paper for [dice] rounds. If you set it on fire with a torch, it will take extra damage.
+1 ID for each prior sorcerous effect you've used today.
+1 ID per additional target.

+1 ID to affect an area the size of a wagon.
+2 ID to affect an area the size of a cottage.
+3 ID to affect an area the size of a village.
+1 ID to make the effect last for [dice] minutes.

+2 ID to make the effect last for [dice] hours.
+3 ID to make the effect last for [dice] days.

Create
Create something. The creature or object created exists for [dice] rounds. Without adding ID, the creature is person-sized or smaller and has 2 or fewer HD. Objects are person-sized or smaller.  


Creatures created cannot deal damage. You can create objects with magical effects (flying carpets, invisibility cloaks), but created objects cannot deal magical damage (you can make a regular sword but not a +10 vorpal sword of fire) or 
or provide permanent effects (healing potions only heal for the duration listed, rings of permanent stat gain only work for the duration). You can make a sword that looks like a +10 vorpal sword of fire though.

+1 ID for each prior sorcerous effect you've used today.
+1 ID per additional object or creature created.

+2 ID to create a creature of up to +4 HD.
+1 ID to create an object the size of a wagon.
+2 ID to create an object the size of a cottage.
+3 ID to create an object the size of a village.
+1 ID to create a magical or sufficiently weird object.
+1 ID to make the creature or 
object last for [dice] minutes.

+2 ID to make the creature or object last for [dice] hours.
+3 ID to make the creature or object last for [dice] days.
Jens Kuczwara

Billowing Robes
If you are wearing an outlandish costume worth at least 10gp, your armour counts as Leather.
If you are wearing an outlandish costume worth at least 100gp, your armour counts as Chain.
If you are wearing an outlandish costume worth at least 1,000gp, your armour counts as Plate.

Soul Vision

You can see the souls of living creatures. This allows you to guess the approximate location of invisible creatures. You can also immediately tell if a person is possessed, undead, protected by the Authority, or a spellcaster. The price for this gift is your connection to others. You permanently lose 1d6 Wisdom (as the constant scrutiny of souls warps your mind) or 1d6 Charisma (as you become callous and jaded). 

Magic Ward

Reduce all incoming magic damage by 2. Does not apply to self-inflicted damage. Once per day, negate the effects of a spell that targets you. Does not apply to spells generated by Calamities.
Chenthooran Nambiarooran


Sorcerous Calamities


Doubles
1 Brightly coloured sparks fly from your ears. 
2 You make a noise like a thunderclap.
3 A strong wind billows around you, extinguishing all torches and candles within 20'.
4 You act last in the next initiative round.
5 You broadcast your current emotional state. Everyone in a 60' radius must Save or experience your emotional state.
6 Take 1 damage.
Triples
1 Effect targets adjacent target instead (harms next nearest person, alters wrong thing, creates related but not identical item).
2 Teleport 1d6x10' in a random direction.
3 A random spell is also cast on your target.
4 Gain a random Mutation for 1d6 rounds. Save. If you fail, mutation is permanent.
5 Add +1 ID to all rolls for the rest of the day.
6 Take 1d6 damage.  If reduced to 0 HP or below, explode. 3d6 damage, 20' radius.
Quadruples
1 Lose 1d6 permanently from a random Stat.
2 Effect is reversed (harm heals, alter in opposite manner, create the opposite of what was intended).
3 Effect is maliciously altered (harm targets an ally, alter makes the target more dangerous, create something inconvenient).
4 A random spell is also cast, targeting you.
5 Roll on the Death and Dismemberment table (1d6 for location, 1d12+previous injuries for severity). HP is not reduced. 
6 Take 3d6 damage. If reduced to 0 HP or below, explode. 5d6 damage, 50' radius.

Jens Kuczwara

Mechanical Notes on the Sorcerer


At level 1 you have an infinite-use magic missile. Wow! Overpowered, right?
Well, possibly. The problem is that you might explode. You are not stealthy, not subtle, and not inclined to use your brain when you could use your powers. Unlike a wizards, who must carefully chose when to deploy their powers, sorcerers are full-speed all the time.

You gain a few powerful abilities, but your Save never increases, making you more vulnerable than most classes. Your stats are also likely to decrease (though you could, feasibly, alter yourself to have higher stats temporarily).


You can heal people using alter, but the wounds reappear when the duration expires. Reality will, eventually, override your impositions.



Who Are You?


You are a Sorcerer. Elves might be arrogant, but you operate on another level entirely. Your pride, sense of self, and sheer bloody-mindedness override reality. You brook no competition; there can be only one sorcerer in any given party, city, cabal, or cult. You will accept no master and believe in no law but your own. To the feudal system, you are an Outlaw. To the Church, you are an appalling spectacle, and should be put in your place (or in the ground) before you harm anyone else.

You might be tempted to optimize your Sorcerous Powers, but consider... is that what a power-addled, overconfident, and utterly self-assured sorcerer would do? Would they do the best thing or the coolest thing?

Generate a name here if you're stuck.

You can say, "I'd like to make a bridge from here to here" when using a sorcerous ability, but you are also free to shout, "Stones! Heed the word of Ziwilgo!" Sorcerers tend to chew scenery.
Simon Pape

Outlandish Costumes and Ambient Sorceries


Roll once on each table when you gain your first Sorcerer template.


1d10 Outlandish Costume Ambient Sorcery
1 Long woven cloak of many colours. Clap hands to take 1 damage and teleport 1'. 
2 Thick coat made of human skin and hair. Can read any language, but must read out loud.
3 Living full-body tattoos of scenery, birds, clouds. Thumb or nose can glow as brightly as a candle.
4 Turban and billowing silk robes. Cross legs and close eyes to hover 2' off the ground.
5 Three conical felt hats stacked inside each other. If you hold your breath, you weigh as much as a feather.
6 Coat made of pierced sea-shells. Pleasant, exotic, spicy smell. Can turn on and off at will.
7 Nude, save for a few modest scraps of leather. Invisible to birds.
8 Extraordinarily long eyebrows and fingernails. Rain or snow will not fall on you.
9 Geometric robes with silver symbols. Do not need to eat or drink. Eat 1 gold piece per day instead.
10 One strip of cloth wound around your entire body. Invisible to cats.





2018/03/26

OSR: Monster Manuel's 1d50 Discount Monsters

"Manuel, what is this?"
           "Theees ees a dragon, senor."
"No it's not. It's a lizard. You've tied those wings on with string."
           "No, ees dragon. Eees just... small dragon. Soon eees big dragon, set senor's henemies on fire with heees breeething."
"What about this?"
           "Eees a fhearsome grhiffon."
"It's just a housecat with a beak glued on."
           "Eeesss... eees molting."
"Revolting, more like."
           "No, eees a good ghriffon. Ees purrhing."
"That's because it's a cat. And what's this?"
           "Is ghelatanous cube."
"It's got fruit in it."
           "Maybe it eeets the froot?"
"Manuel, do you have any actual monsters for sale?"
           "Oh si senor."
The late Andrew Sachs as Manuel from Fawlty Towers

1d50 Discount Monsters

(I am a vhery good Gee Hem. I learned it from a book!)

Key
#d# : # of dice with # of sides (e.g. d6 is a six-sided dice, 2d10 is 2 ten-sided dice added together)

HD: Hit Dice. These are d8s. Roll them and add the numbers together to get the creature's total HP (hit points).
Appearance: What it looks like.
Wants: What it wants.
Armor: None, leather, chain, plate, or plate+shield, in order from worst to best.
Move: Compared to a normal human.
Morale: Roll 2d6 and try to get under Morale or the creature flees.
Damage: How much HP damage it does on a successful hit.

Number Appearing: How many show up or appear in a herd.

Monster names taken from Janelle Shane's neural network.


1. Animal, Dome
HD: 1
Appearance: furry turtle
Wants: lettuce
Armor: as plate+shield
Move: 1/4 normal
Morale: 6
Damage: 1d4 bite

Number Appearing: 2d6
Dome Animals roam the steppes. They resemble miniature yaks trapped under a furry soup bowl. They are very hard to tip or crack. Delicious if boiled, but people tend to trip over them. 

2. Barber
HD: 1
Appearance:  human in a white apron. Long black moustache, bald head.
Wants: to shave all men who do not shave themselves. Will shave not-men for reasonable rates.
Armor: none
Move: normal
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d6 slashing
Number Appearing: 1d4x2
Thanks to a loophole, only another Barber can shave a Barber. They travel in pairs.

3. Beeple, Desert
HD: 6
Appearance: an emaciated camel with a long pointed snout
Wants: delicious beetles, water, attractive lady- or gentlemen- beeples
Armor: as leather
Move: 3x normal
Morale: 6
Damage: 1d8 piercing/1d6 kicking
Number Appearing: 1
Roaming the desert, Beeples plunge their heads into the sand to search for buried beetles. Their snout filters out sand and dust. They are cautious creatures, eager to run away on their huge gangly legs.

4. Big Dragon
           "Oh senor, is a vhery beeeeg dragon. Eeess henormous."
"Can I see it?"
           "No, eees sleeeping in hees tent."
"That tent over there?"
           "Si, senor."
"The one with smoke coming out of it?"
           "Si, senor. Hees firery breaths."
"The one marked "Canteen"? The one with a stovepipe coming out the top?"
           "Eees a disghuise, senor. Eees... hincognito."
"Nice try, Manuel."

5. Brain, Fire
HD: 8
Appearance: a flying brain hovering on 4 blue-white jets of fire
Wants: to devour the mental energy of intelligent creatures
Armor: none
Move: 2x normal
Morale: 12
Damage: 2d6 psychic blast/2d6 fire/2d6 fire
Number Appearing: 1
The dreaded Fire Brain seems to be a less stealthy variant of the Intellect Devourer. It flies around setting things on fire and eating minds. You can usually hear it coming, but finding a place to hide is difficult.

6. Burglestar
HD: 0 (2 HP)
Appearance: a starfish with five limbs, each ending in a branching bone-like tree
Wants: to open locks, eat sea urchins
Armour: none
Move: 1/8th normal
Morale: 12
Damage: 0
Number Appearing: 1
The Burglestar evolved to pick the locks of sunken treasure chests. No one is sure why. Perhaps it's one of the Creator's little jokes, like the platypus and male-pattern baldness. It can pick any lock submerged in sea water.

7. Cat, Stone
"It's not moving, Manuel"
           "Eeet will move soon, senor. Eees just resting."
"It's not moving because it's a statue."
           "No, ees a fhearsome ghargoyal. Eees just prethending to be a sthatue."
"It says 'Made in Sigil' on the side, look!"
           "Ees very good at prethending."

8. Cloud of Chaos
HD: 5
Appearance: a 30' wide cloud of pink-purple-green sparkles
Wants: to adjust everything. May not actually want anything.
Armor: as plate
Move: 1/2 normal
Morale: 12
Damage: see below.
Number Appearing: 1
The Cloud of Chaos attacks every creature inside it. If it hits, it shifts all numerical values on a PC's character sheet (stats, number of inventory items, age, etc) one slot to the left. If a PC has over 20 in any stat, they explode.

9. Dog, Goblin
HD: 2
Appearance: a hairless misshapen dog. Too many teeth. No two legs are the same length. Tufts of bristles and patches of warts. Drool and big goggle eyes.
Wants: to lick things, smell things, chew on things, obey masters
Armour: as leather
Move: normal
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d6 biting
Number Appearing: 2d10
Goblin Dogs, like goblins, are misshapen toothy creatures. Slobbery and excitable. Not really vicious, but very hungry. The goblins have figured out how to make them to attack. They have yet to figure out how to make them attack the enemy. 

10. Dragon, Curple Lard
Curple Lard is the fattest dragon
Fattest one in all the land
Ate a village
Ate a tower
Ate the baron's marching band. 
Curple Lard is the greenest dragon
Greenest one you'll ever see
Ate a bishop
Ate a windmill
And I hope he won't eat me.

11. Dragon, Dead
"Manuel..."
           "Si, senor?"
"Manuel, it's dead."
           "No, ees a zhombie dragon. Onlee, the cleric turned undead, so eees very sad. Eees taking break from undeading."

12. Dragon, Purple Fang
HD: 4
Appearance: a whip-thin dragon with a crocodile head and two huge purple fangs. Little tiny bat wings; flies anyway.
Wants: to bite people, hoard panic.
Armor: as plate+shield.
Move: 2x normal
Morale: 8
Damage: 0, or 1d6 claw if really annoyed.
Number Appearing: 1d6
Purple Fang Dragons bites have a peculiar effect. Their venom makes people think they are dying from flesh-corroding poison. Victims scream, twitch, roll around, lop off limbs, drink potions, and attempt to avert their (perceived) impending death. Purple Fang Dragons hoard panic and like to watch. They also hoard hourglasses, official documents, and wigs.

13. Durp Snake
HD: 1
Appearance: a pale green snake with a perpetually worried expression
Wants: to live a long and happy life
Armor: as leather
Move: normal
Morale: 4
Damage: 10d6 poison damage
Number Appearing: 2d6
The most peaceful of all snakes, for a very good reason. They lie in forest groves with their mouths open, hoping birds or insects land inside to bite their red wiggly tongues. The Durp Snake cannot attack, for if it does, it inevitably bites itself and dies. It's tragic. If provoked, it will forget, try to strike you, bite itself in the middle, and die in agony. The venom would be worth a fortune but harvesting it is impossible without provoking the Durp Snake.

14. Dwarf, Giant
           "Eees a Dwarf. Say something dwarfish."
                      "Hullo laddie."
"Manuel, that's just a man with a beard. A perfectly normal man."
           "Noo, eeees a famous Gihant Dwarf. See, has an axe. Bheard. Hackccent. Likes ghold. Likes hale and dreenking."
"Manuel, I like ale and gold. Anyone can grow a beard."
           "Whomen canno grow a bheard, senor!"
"Well, yes, but that's not the point, and that's not a dwarf!"

15. Fish, Astro-
HD: 1
Appearance: silvery-blue fish with very hard scales.
Wants: no one knows. Fish things, presumably.
Armor: as chain
Move: 2x normal in water
Morale: 5
Damage: 2d8 on impact, 1d4 biting
Number Appearing: showers of 3d100
Beyond the crystal spheres that contain the planets and stars there is a great deal of water. The holy books are fairly certain on this point. They don't mention fish, but when it rains fishes they have to come from somewhere, right? Astro-fishes strike the earth from time to time in meteoric swarms. They rarely live long (our water is too warm), but they are quite valuable. 

16. Fish, Sun of
HD: 4
Appearance: a radiating sun of herrings. Tails in, gawping mouths out. 
Wants: to shine benevolently
Armor: as chain
Move: 1x normal (floating)
Morale: 8
Damage: none
Number Appearing: 1
Rats have kings, owls have parliaments. Herring, it seems, have suns. Suns of Fish float peacefully over the ocean, casting a lovely silver light onto the waters below. No one knows why. They are harmless, beautiful, and delicious. Occasionally boats mistake them for a lighthouse or the moon and get lost.

17. Fraithwarp, Giant
HD: 8
Appearance: a giant fraithwarp. Fraithwarps are a kind of wading bird, I think.
Wants: to pick people up, turn them upside-down, and shake them to see what falls out.
Armor: as chain.
Move: 2x normal (flying)
Morale: 7
Damage: 1d6 from the shaking, 2d6 if it stomps on you or bites your head.
Number Appearing: 1d6
They roam the shoreline, picking up people and shaking them. They swallow anything shiny. Their guts must be full of treasure.

18. Giant, Dunebat
HD: 4
Appearance: a giant khaki bat with a huge scoop mouth
Wants: to eat delicious beetles, ostrich eggs, young camels, small children
Armor: as leather
Move: 3x normal, or 5x normal if diving
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d6 bludgeoning on a miss, 1d6 per round if swallowed
Number Appearing: 1
The solitary Dunebat Giants (as opposed to the Giant Dunebats, a similar though not identical species distinguished, according to scholars, by a small black dot behind the eye and a slightly higher pitched screech), dive from great heights and swallow sand, searching for a meal. Their eerie whine, followed by a loud thump and a huge spray of sand, is a nightly occurrence. 

19. Golem, Rain
HD: 1
Appearance: a human figure made of rain. Drops appear where the figure's outline starts and vanish where it ends. Like a hole cut in a sheet, but in reverse. Leaves soggy footprints.
Armour: none
Move: normal
Morale: 12
Damage: 0. Can drown an unconscious creature with 10 rounds of constant effort.
Number Appearing: 1
A bit of summoned storm. Cannot lift anything or deal any damage. Mostly useless, but good at putting out small fires, frightening the credulous, and watering the garden.

20. Hatfright
HD: 4
Appearance: a wonderful and expensive wizard's hat. Red silk, a tassel, sequins around the brim, a stars, and gold frogging (made from real gold frogs).
Armour: as leather
Move: 1/2 normal (hopping).
Morale: 12
Damage: 1d6 per round biting. Difficult to remove once it bites.
A variety of mimic. The hat appears normal (and possibly even magical) until someone puts it on. The Hatfright then screams, shines blue light everywhere, and tries to eat the unfortunate victim's head. It usually succeeds. Dried hatfright larvae make excellent appetizers for fancy wizard parties.

21. Horse (Spider, Brain)
HD: 2
Appearance: a giant brain with hairy eight spider legs... and a saddle.
Armour: none
Move: 2x normal on all surfaces (even upside-down)
Morale: 6
Damage: 1d6 piercing 
Who in their right mind would sit on this so-called horse? You can feel it thinking. It invades your thoughts, your dreams. You need to call it out of your nightmares in the first place to ride it; small wonder it lurks there when not required. 

22. Hound, Plant
HD: 2
Appearance: a wolf made of vines with a venus flytrap head
Wants: to eat rabbits, mice, small children. To digest happily in the sun.
Armor: none.
Move: 1/2 normal.
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d6 biting, swallows target on a 3 or more. 1d6 acid each round to swallowed targets.
Number Appearing: 2d6
They urch out of the woods, pink mouths open and sticky. They can't chase you down, but they can corner you. They aren't quick but they are very, very good at blocking escape routes. 

23. Human, Crystal
           "Ees a human made of cryhstal. So mysterihous."
"It's a person covered in bits of mirror and chalk."
           "No, eees cryhstal man from crhystal world, where everything is chryhstal and shine."
"It's definitely a person. In fact... is that your brother?"
                      "Hallo senor, I am chertainly a crhystal man."
"Oh shut up."

24. Jabberwont
HD: 4
Appearance: a blue rabbit with elk horns, fangs, and a snake's tail
Wants: riddles
Armor: as plate
Move: 1x normal
Morale: 12
Damage: 2d6 lightning from its horns. Will not attack unless cornered.
Number Appearing: 1
The Jabberwont sits on a stump in the woods and asks for riddles. It promises rewards (it lies).Tell it a riddle and it laughs and laughs. Once you run out of riddles or patience it runs away. 1 day later, you'll retch and cough up a Jabberwont egg for each riddle you told. The eggs hatch quickly. 

25. Kick Spirit
HD: 2
Appearance: a ghost with a malicious grin. Only visible when it wants to be visible.
Wants: to kick people in the backside
Armour: none (but it is a ghost)
Move: 2x normal, can pass through solid objects
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d4 from being kicked in the pants
Number Appearing: 1
A jerk-ass ghost. Created when a real jerk dies and people say too many nice things at the funeral. Rises up and starts kicking people in the pants. Inconvenient. While you're trying to get on a horse. While you're getting out of bed. Loves tipping people over or causing a scene. Will punt a baby with glee. If you piss it off it will follow you around, kicking you and your friends until you deal with it or it gets bored.

26. Lycanthrope, Wereladoo
HD: 2
Appearance: most of the time, a normal person. By the light of the moon, a dreaded Ladoo. The Ladoo is so fucking weird that it cannot be described, sketched, or photographed.
Wants: in Ladoo form, to bite people and stack delicate pottery into pyramids.
Armor: as chain.
Move: 2x normal (bounding)
Morale: 12
Damage: 1d6 (suckers), 1d6 (claws), 1d8 (eye beams). Maybe. 
Number Appearing: 1
People have fought the Ladoo and lived to tell the tale, but nobody can describe it. It's a weird creature. People who think about it too much become Wereladoos.

27. Man-Can
HD: 2
Appearance: a cylinder of metal with holes for arms and legs to pop out and a narrow vision slit.
Wants: to live in peace, roll down soft hills, acquire gold.
Armor: as plate
Move: normal
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d6 punching
Number Appearing: 10x1d10
Some believe the Man-Cans are a type of hermit crab. Some believe they are mad knights from a distant nation. Their young are born in cans (in fact, they need air-holes punched with specialized tools). No one knows if they are human-shaped inside or, worryingly, can-shaped. They reportedly taste of smoked salted pork. 

28. Marraganralleraith
                      "Eesss a.... eeess a marrhaganrallre... no, ees a marragahrallerainther..."
"Manuel?"
                      "Si?"
"Shut up."

29. Memeball
HD: 4 (chan)
Appearance: cat
Armour: as chain (letter)
Move: it move it. You like to move it move it. We like to move it move. 
Morale: the memeball has no morales because it is Chaotic Evil
Damage: 1d6 directly to the soul, 3d6 lazor, etc.
Number Appearing: 100 - 1 for every meme the players can list in under a minute and I'm very sorry about this.
Deployed via a series of tubes. 

30. Mommy, Greater
Your momma so fat her HD is expressed in scientific notation (as 1x10^n).
Your momma so ugly she turns Medusas into stone.
Your momma so dense she reduces all incoming damage by 4.
Your momma so round that she doesn't move. She orbits at normal speed.
Your momma so mean if a fly bites her she bites it back (dealing 1d6 damage).
Your momma so big that only 1 of her can appear at any given time, but it's a capital 1.

31. Ogre, Space
HD: 6
Appearance: huge muscled humanoid in a burnt white suit with a cracked bowl-like helmet
Wants: to collect samples, go back into space
Armor: as leather
Move: normal
Morale: 8
Damage: 1d6 bludgeoning (with a sample collection trowel).
Number Appearing: 1d6
There must be a civilization of ogres up there somewhere. Maybe they live on the moon? Anyway, some of them occasionally crash into the Earth, try to scoop earth people and earth dirt into strange not-silk bags, and wander around aimlessly. If you find one, try not to be near it on a moonless night or a strange silver disk might appear and carry it away, into the upper air or beyond.

32. Owlborn
HD: 2
Appearance: human body, owl head, little tufts of feathers
Wants: to eat raw meat, get silver, form conspiracies
Armor: none
Move: normal (flight)
Morale: 6
Damage: 1d6 claw/1d6 claw
Number Appearing: 10x1d10
Like dragonborn, but for hieracosphinxes or possible owlbears. They eat live marmots and hoot noisily at people from treetops. They aren't very bright but they love to conspire. They have a false reputation for great and solemn wisdom. 

33. Pat, Great, Space
The Great Space Pat lives on the moon
With a bucket full of weasels and a wicker-work broom
She has a cornbread hat and one green shoe
And she never never never goes to bed.  
Oh the Great Space Pat is a mighty foe
With her gravy sword and her singing toe
And her house of meat and her silver hoe
And she never ever ever goes to bed.  
Yes the Great Space Pat is widely feared
With her flashing eyes and her red false beard
And her sharpened teeth and her kid-snipping shears...
And she never ever ever never never ever ever goes to bed.

34. Pigaloth
HD: 8
Appearance: an enormous pig. Lives in the water. Small trees grow on its back.
Wants: food
Armor: as plate. Reduces all incoming damage by 6.
Move: 1/2 normal
Morale: 12
Damage: 2d6 biting or trampling
Number Appearing: 1
The Pigaloth is nearly impossible to kill. It lives in swamps, eating crocodiles and fish and fishermen indiscriminately. Some swamp-dwellers worship it as a god. Its manure fertilizes an entire ecosystem.  

35. Purple Bird
"Manuel. It's a chicken. You've painted it with purple paint."
           "Oh senor, no, eees a famous and vhaluable phurple bird!"
"The paint is still wet."
           "Eeet has a lhustrous coat."
"It's dripping."
           "Dripphang with value, senor."

36. Serpent Shark
HD: 5
Appearance: A snake with fins and a zipper of teeth halfway down both sides.
Wants: to eat things
Armor: as chain
Move: 2x normal in water
Morale: 10
Damage: 1d6 biting. On a 6, does an additional 1d6 damage, etc.
Number Appearing: 1d10
Serpent Sharks unzip down the middle and wrap around a creature, tightening and sawing. Like a snake if the mouth went aaaaall the way back and was full of serrated sawblade teeth. Snips off limbs and swims away with them. Small ones go for fingers and toes.

37. Shadowstaffer
HD: 1
Appearance: a black shadow, an ethereal nightmare humanoid
Wants: to file, sort, collate, staple, copy, transcribe, and fetch hot drinks
Armor: none (but it is a ghost)
Move: normal
Morale: 12 (drops 1 point per hour if unpaid)
Damage: 0
Number Appearing: 1
Summoned by a wizard's spell to do paperwork. Consumes one silver piece per hour. If unpaid, slowly fades. Diligent but not brilliant. Wizard universities have vast halls full of summoned shadowstaffers.

38. Slug, Spectral
           "Eeees a ghost slug."
"It's an empty jar."
           "With a ghost slug hinside, senor."
"Manuel, I hesitate to ask, but how can you tell?"
           "Weeeell, ees hinvisible, so the slug must be in there."
"Because you can't see it, right?"
           "Si, senor."
"Brilliant, Manuel."

39. Spectral Woof Greepy
HD: 0 (2 HP)
Appearance: a floating tongue. You know how the Cheshire Cat fades to leave just a grin? The Spectral Woof Greepy fades to leave just a tongue.
Wants: scritches, steak
Armor: none (as a ghost)
Move: normal
Morale: 12
Damage: 0
Number Appearing: 1
The ghost of a dog named Greepy. Haunts a village graveyard. Woofs softly at people, drips ectoplasmic goop on their socks. Wants belly rubs; has no belly. Only the tongue and the bark are left.

40. Undead Lake Man, Fire
HD: 12
Appearance: RUN! What are you doing?! A corpse in full armour walked out of the lake and burst into flames and he's coming for the village! Flee! Fleee for your liiiiiives!
Wants: He's at the gates! He's come for us!
Armor: Our arrows do nothing!
Move: Relentless, implacable, unstoppable!
Morale: Knows no pain, remorse, or fear. 
Damage: Each stroke of his iron sword is a killing blow. To attack him you must brave the column of flame roaring around his body.
Number Appearing: 1. Thankfully, blessedly, there is only 1.
Or is there?

41. Unicorn, Bat
HD: 1
Appearance: a white bat with soft iridescent wings and a glowing horn the size of a nail
Wants: to flit mysteriously through the moonlit wood 
Armor: as leather
Move: 2x normal (flying) 
Morale: 12
Damage: 1d6 magic (rainbow horn-beam). Can also curse you and make all your teeth fall out.
Number Appearing: 1
Regular unicorns can only be tamed by virgins. Bat Unicorns can only be tamed by cheesemongers. No one knows why. 

42. Unicorn, Black Willow
HD: 12
Appearance: a twisted black tree with long hanging silver tendrils. In its crown, a silver horn.
Wants: to shelter virtuous people
Armour: as plate+chain. It's a tree.
Move: it's a tree.
Morale: it's a tree.
Damage: 0. Can curse you to wander forever.
Number Appearing: 1
The Black Willow Unicorn shelters virtuous souls. No one under its leaves can die, even if sorely wounded. Lost knights, princesses, and woodsmen form a little group of mortally wounded residents.

43. Unicorn, Fumble
HD: 2
Appearance: a hoser with bubber lags & a honr
Wants: parnce a round merilee
Armor: lather
Move: x2 nermal
Morale: dozen
Damage: 6d1 blugdoning
Number Appearing: !
Birds smack into trees. Deer leap gracefully into bushes. When the Fumble Unicorn comes to town everyone tries to stay very still until it leaves. Everything about the Fumble Unicorn, and everything around it, goes wrong. All attacks are automatically critical failures. It likes to wander into the middle of fights.

44. Vampire Bear
HD: 6
Appearance: an emaciated bear with patchy grey fur, red eyes, and huge fangs
Wants: to drain the blood of the living. Needs a lot of blood. 
Armor: as plate
Move: 2x normal, fly 2x normal
Morale: 12 
Damage: 1d6 claw (drains 2 levels), 1d6 bite. Targets bitten and killed will rise as vampires at sunset.
Number Appearing: 1 (plus 1d6 vampire horses, 1d6 vampire squirrels, and 1d6 vampire humans)
Has all the usual vampire spell-like abilities, except it turns into a really big ugly-looking bat or wolf on steroids. Needs to sleep in its cave during the day.

45. Vampire, Putter
HD: 1
Appearance: a perfectly normal golf club
Wants: to drain the blood of the living
Armor: as plate
Move: 1/2x normal (hopping), normal (flying)
Morale: 12
Damage: 1d6 bite (from the handle). Targets bitten and killed will rise as vampires at sunset.
Number Appearing: 1
The dreaded Club of the Night (not a Night Club, those are different). A cursed, forsaken sports implement. Some say it was forged from a silver cross and bound in vampire leather. Some say it's a myth meant to keep those darn teenagers away from my golf clubs. Who can say? I can. It's real. And stay away from my golf clubs,  you hear?

46. Walfablang
HD: 3
Appearance: head of a snake, legs of a sheep, body of a leopard, neck of a horse, eyes of a chameleon, teeth of a person, fingers and toes of an ape, tail of a lion, and the neuroses of a novelist. 
Wants: to bite people
Armor: as leather
Move: normal
Morale: 6
Damage: 1d6 biting. Parts bitten by the Walfablang change to parts of a different creature (roll randomly). If it bites your hand, you might get a wolf's paw, a horse's leg, etc.
Number Appearing: 1
Some say a wizard did it. They are probably right.

47. Wendless Woll
HD: 2
Appearance: a twisting snake of smoke and oil, long forgotten, lost in toil
Wants: sliding smoothly through the soil
Armor: cutting, curling in a coil
Move: shimmer-speed, an arching arrow
Morale: wounding widows, melting marrow
Damage: a killing kiss, a barren barrow
Number Appearing: mark your mantle, ward your wall
creeping closer, Wendless Woll. 

48. Will O’Dragon
HD: 4
Appearance: a ball of mist and lightning, crackling softly like a dying fire.
Wants: to touch metal things, particularly iron and silver.
Armor: none
Move: 1/2x normal (flying)
Morale: 4
Damage: 1d6 lightning, drains 1 level on a hit.
Number Appearing: 1
The king of the will-o'-the-wisps. Flies like a rising moon over the swamps, draining life from frogs, rats, and unfortunate travelers. 

49. Wolf, Chromatic
"Again, it's just dog, Manuel. A dog in a silly rainbow costume."
           "Eees a vicious wolf, senor. Look at ees fhangs."
"Look at his mange, Manuel. And his collar. He's named 'Wuffles' and he's probably fifteen years old if he's a day."

50. Wolfworm
HD: 3
Appearance: a long dog with tiny legs, large claws, and a face like a wedge full teeth. No eyes, huge snout, folded ears.
Wants: to eat moles, voles, rats, sheep, and people if it can get them.
Armor: as leather
Move: normal (on surface or burrowing)
Morale: 6
Damage: 1d6 bite/1d6 claw
Number Appearing: 2d6
The Wolfworm, or the Emperor Mole, is an adapted hound. It hunts in thick soil, shuffling along, digging rapidly, searching for prey. It tries to herd travelers into rock-free plains and devour their horses. Campsites have been found with the fire still burning and each tent neatly plucked into the earth. The Wolfworm, though blind, is as cunning as any surface wolf. Beware its infrasonic bass-thrum howl.