NES OSR Bestiary 4: Faxanadu

And here you thought I’d only ever played the NES’s greatest hits collection. Pshaw, I played my fair share of weird ones, and Faxanadu always fascinated me. (Even though I sucked at it). It has some of the creepiest, most inventive sprites of any game on the console. The game had this brooding atmosphere to it that has always stuck with me.

The Pendantrist
Draws strength from correcting you. Anything you say, it will find some technical error to comment on. Half the time its corrections aren’t even accurate. For each correction it makes, the Pendantrist gains 2 hit points, which can raise it above its normal maximum. The green bile that leaks from the creature’s mouth is liquid knowledge. If consumed, make a saving throw. On success, you gain some significant knowledge (perhaps represented by a skill point) If you fail, the slow transformation into becoming Pedantrist yourself will begin.

Creepin’ Goat
They sneak everywhere they go. Generally they’re a benign enough race, preferring not to be seen, but only as a matter of preference, and not as a means of conducting illicit activities. However, they do have a violent reaction to being perceived.  If you see one, it’s best to pretend you didn’t. If they think they’ve gotten away with being sneaky, they’ll continue to sneak off. If they think they’ve been seen, they will attack.

Toothcare Worm
In a time before proper dental hygiene, the Toothcare Worm is here to try and help us. He has an intense love of teeth, particularly human teeth. To him they are works of beauty, simultaneously religious and erotic. He has developed several devices, such as the toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss, and will teach anyone willing to listen about these things.

The Toothcare Worm is a generally amicable fellow, but hates being lied to about teeth. If someone tells him they’ve been brushing and flossing when they haven’t, he will know, and he will take their teeth away from them. Clearly, they are not capable of handling the responsibility.

Just before the alien ship ran out of power, the captain ordered her crew to download as much as they could about the world they were going to be stranded on. One of the most notable things they discovered while reviewing the information tapes was that humans love to eat a native creature that looks a great deal like they do–the Turkey.

Fearing the humans would kill and eat them as well, the captain ordered the whole crew to pluck their own feathers, exposing their pinkish flesh as an attempt to disguise themselves. They avoid humans whenever possible, as they are terrified of us, and will attack and kill out of that fear, rather than be taken to be roasted alive as they believe humans will do.

Parti Boi
While others merely enjoy parties, a PartiBoi is a party. They’re big tubby guys with huge mouths, who dance and clap around, and take a party with them wherever they go. A PartiBoi’s epistemology is entirely contextual. They know no language but the languages that the person they are speaking to knows. They don’t know anything about the calendar, except what reasons might exist for their celebration right now, at this moment. They have no craft or hobby, save for the ones that will promote good conversation with whomever they are with. Though their intentions are entirely innocent, there is a real danger that a PartiBoi will trap a person in a cycle of perpetual celebration that will leave them exhausted, destitute, or dead.

Bone Lips
Bone lips knows things. She’s a catalogue of the grizzly secrets that no sane person wants to know, but which adventurers sometimes need to know in order to get their job done. She’ll happily share, but only if you’ll let her have her way with your brain first. She likes to slide her tongue into a person’s ear, and probe every wrinkle  for some dark pocket of secrecy. She’ll share what she knows whether she finds something juicy or not.

The Capricious Batallion
You know those people who get weirdly uptight about the importance of “accuracy” and “realism,” in situations where those concepts have no bearing? Well, there’s a god like that. One day this god got really pissed off about the way children played at war. So he twisted their bodies with unnatural muscle, turned their sticks into swords, and their sweaters into chainmail. He filled their minds with hate and bloodlust, and organized them into a regimented body of troops.

Like anyone with a misplaced passion for realism, however, the god was strangely selective in his critique. He didn’t really develop the children’s minds at all. They’re still as unfocused and capricious as any children are, but with enough muscle and skill at violence to be  a real threat. He also gave them no goal, and so they wander around, killing and maiming whatever seems fun to kill and maim. Many have tried to assert some kind of control over the army, but any success is short lived, as the used-to-be-children quickly get bored and want to kill something else.

He used to be a decent enough guy: quiet, never late for work, always polite to people. Then he turned 32 and it was like a switch got flipped in his brain.  He put on a robe, started insisting that he was a powerful sorcerer, contsnatly makes allusions to his ‘dark plans.’ It was offputting, but he still did his job, so people mostly just tried to ignore him.

What nobody realizes is that Kevin actually is spending his evenings attempting to summon a devil. Soon he will succeed, and manage to trade his soul for some of the dark powers he lusts for.

Outraged Obbo
Obbos have a rigid, traditionalist sense of morality. They are easily shocked by anything that might be considered inappropriate. They are also frail creatures, prone to heart problems. So even something as simple as seeing a woman wearing pants, or two men kissing one another, might be enough to kill an Obbo. Obviously, the Obbos themselves are not really much of a danger, as they can be easily killed with a string of mild cuss-words. However, killing an Obbo also causes it to stop excreting Liquid Euphoria while it sleeps. When the people who are used to enjoying that delightful tincture discover that their supply has been cut off, they may become predisposed to violence.

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