Remember that monster book I’ve been writing for like…five years now? I’ve mostly been playing it pretty close to my chest, but I don’t have time to get a proper post written, so lucky you, here’s one of my monsters. I hope you enjoy it.
And now I’m writing a second introductory paragraph, because I really want to alight that image to the right, given its dimensions, but the header refuses to alight properly, and it’ll just be easier if I make up something to go in this space.
The Ugly Thing
(As intelligent as a severely developmentally disabled human)
Armor 14, Move 120’ (40’), 4 Hit Dice, 2 Bites 1d8, Morale 5
Its eye is too big, it has too many mouths, it produces a rancid smell and a variety of strange fluids from incorrect places. This thing is an ugly thing, and no one could ever love it. That is the strongly held belief of The Ugly Thing, and much as one might be moved to pity its body image issues, you’d be hard pressed to come up with a convincing counter-argument.
- The The Ugly Thing is obsessed with the forms of beautiful humans, and expresses this obsession through taxidermy. It’s probably the foremost expert on human taxidermy in the world, but even still the process is ugly, and never really produces perfect results.
- The creature can temporarily alleviate its self loathing by shrouding itself beneath an illusion. Each of these false forms matches the appearance of one of the taxidermied humans back in its lair, complete with lumpy skin and stitches. Given the odd appearance of these forms, anyone specifically paying attention to The Ugly Thing within 15’ can automatically disbelieve the illusion. Anyone standing further away must make a save versus Magic. Because of the ease with which its illusions can be shattered, The Ugly Thing does its best to avoid attention when it moves in public.
- If discovered, the The Ugly Thing will charge, spinning its arms like windmills. Hollows in its jaws cause a eerie, high-pitched whistling sound that strikes hard at the fear center of the human brain. Any human NPCs must make an immediate loyalty check or flee.
- When attacking from surprise, the The Ugly Thing gets a +4 to its attack roll, and deals x4 damage.
- In addition to normal damage, the creature’s right arm deals 1 point of Intelligence damage on a successful hit, and the left arm deals 1 point of Wisdom damage.
- Anyone struck by both hands must make a save versus Poison as the creature’s venoms combines within their system. On failure, their brain begins to heat up. Veins bulge, and the character seizes for a few rounds before falling unconscious for the next hour. In this state, it’s easy to drag them off to become their attacker’s next taxidermy project, if they’re attractive enough to deserve it.
- By focusing its eye on a location for 1 round, the The Ugly Thing can teleport to that location.
A wizard with more money than charm or sense wished to make a perfect mate for himself. A demure creature of radiant beauty. Instead The Ugly Thing crawled from his vats. A being cursed with strong aesthetic sensibilities, but no aesthetic beauty of its own.
The Ugly Thing killed its ‘lover’ when the wizard decided to put his monstrosity out of its misery. In an emotional frenzy, the poor creature then used the wizard’s laboratory to haphazardly summon a demon and beg for beauty. But The Ugly Thing is a stupid creature. It did a poor job of its summoning, and if its plight had not so amused the demon it might have been destroyed. Instead it was given its strange powers. Given the ability to wear whatever beauty it could steal, but only unconvincingly.
The Ugly Thing inherited its lair from its creator, filled with poorly tended magical oddities. Most of these have withered, or rotted, or run out of fuel in the years they’ve been left untended. In their place are dozens upon dozens of taxidermied humans, the menagerie of forms The Ugly Thing may take. The lair is a building in the midst of a thick copse of buildings. The doors and windows beneath the 3rd floor are fakeries, and the only access is via a secret door 3 blocks away, which leads into a tunnel. If found, the contents of the lair will resolve dozens of local missing persons cases.
At some point the The Ugly Thing met the Xepolon, who felt some pity for this lesser being whose very existence was like a cruel cosmic joke. Xepolon crafted a pair of mechanical wooden hands of remarkable quality, which The Ugly Thing could operate with its twin mouths. They are delicate contraptions, kept in a velvet lined box in The Ugly Thing’s lair. It wears them only to perform its taxidermy. In exchange for a few private tasks, the Xepolon also gave The Ugly Thing a pair of its 3 ½’ tall wooden automota, to assist it in the activities of daily living.
If any of the PCs have a Charisma score of 15 or higher, and aren’t an uggo for some reason, The Ugly Thing will covet their beauty. It will attempt to capture them and drag them back to its lair, where it can kill them and taxidermy their fresh corpse. If all the players’ Charsimas are lower than that, The Ugly Thing will have no particular quarrel with them. It may even be willing to deal magical oddities in exchange for subjects of exceptional beauty.
Unsurprisingly, Charisma is important to the creature. It has 4 Charisma itself. 1 point of Charisma damage dealt to the creature translates into horrible physical and psychological harm, dealing 20 points of hp damage. If its Charisma is somehow raised to 15, then the failures of the wizard are undone. The creature transforms into a beautiful and demure… (1-5. Man, 6-10. Woman 11-12. Hermaphrodite)
The mechanical hands of The Ugly Thing are superb quality treasure, and if a character replaces their own hands with the wooden ones, it will improve their dexterity by 1. The hands are lacquered and resistant to fire, though if the character takes more than 10 damage from fire, they’ll have to make a save versus Paralyzation to protect their hands.
Whomever makes the killing blow against The Ugly Thing briefly inherits its obsession with its own appearance, which affects their morale for good or ill. The character adds their Charisma modifier to their attacks for the next week of game time.