Saturday 23 October 2010

The Necrophidius Takes On MM1 and MM2 ... No Contest!

How do you improve on skeletons? Those evergreen, Harryhausenish, all-weather, no-feeding-required, make-players-circle-every-pile-of-jumbled-bones-cautiously staples of the scary dungeon?

The Fiend Folio knows. You stick a human skull on a snake skeleton ... you give it a couple of snake-related magic powers (snake dance, paralytic bite) so the monster makes sense.

And oh yeah, you make it NOT UNDEAD. You're a bitter, wise and experienced monster designer who's had one too many bone-pile ambushes rebuffed by some low-level crucifix jockey.

"Unfair!" you might cry in defense of the Monster Manual. "The skeleton is merely the basic monster, of course it is going to be improved on as the game develops!"

So by that token the skeletal monster from the Monster Manual 2 should be all kinds of awesomeness rungs above the Necrophidius, right? Like - a skeletal unicorn-pegasus whose horn blasts Mandelbrot fractals that do 10d12, or something, right?

"I call it the Necropiggyus."
Here. Have a skeletal dog. Or perhaps a skeletal sheep, or chinchilla, or something. It's MM2's answer to the Necrophidius: the animal skeleton. Par for the course, from the book that statted up goats, squirrels, and the herd animals of the lower planes.

Sometimes the Fiend Folio is better ... both forwards and backwards.

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