A place wherein this Dwarven Cleric can share his love of maps, dice, miniatures, and all things involving gaming and general geekery--not to mention the occasional witty non-gaming observations--whilst escaping from the humdrum existence of his routine Terran existence.

Hail and Well Met, fellow traveler! May my Stronghold provide a place for enlightenment and amusement, and somewhere to keep your dice dry. Enter and rest awhile.

12 September 2011

The Bestiary: Gloom Mold [OSR Challenge Creature]

In the words of the immortal Egon Spengler, “I collect spores, molds, and fungus.” Here’s a little something that I cooked up for the OSR Challenge: Short Adventures. The adventure related to this critter will be coming a little later today.

I give you: Gloom Mold

Gloom mold is a fungus originating on the Grey Wastes of Hades. Its appearance on other planes is usually as a residue resulting from a planar portal. It appears as a thick grey mist, close to the floor, between 6 inches and 1 foot deep, depending upon the available food sources. The mist swirls and eddies in varying shades of grey, shifting with any movement through the surface. Closer inspection of the mold reveals that the mist is of an organic nature, rather than a liquid. Those who have touched gloom mold describe a cold greasy feel that numbs bare flesh after only a few minutes’ contact.

Moving across gloom mold at more than ½-speed requires a Dexterity check (DC 15). Those failing the check fall, halting their movement and requiring a move-equivalent action to stand again. Such a fall disturbs the mold sufficiently that a 5-foot square of the mold bursts upward in a columnar spray of spores four feet into the air, almost like a physical appendage. A single spray affects no more than one individual of medium size or larger, or two creatures of less than medium size.

Creatures struck by a gloom mold spore spray must make a Fortitude save (DC 20) or fall under a mind-affecting feeling of despair. This feeling also manifests itself as a physical effect. The duration of the effect is 2d8 rounds, although creatures within the mist remain under the shroud of despair until removed from the mist. A successful save means the creature is unaffected by the spores and requires a move-equivalent action to stand again.

Creatures affected by the despair can take no actions other than to move to sit within the mist. (This sitting action does not cause a secondary spore eruption.) Affected creatures will take no action to save themselves or move elsewhere and even attack companions who seek to restrain them. Once seated within the mist, the affected creature drops anything in hand and sits motionless, except when driven to tears by the despair; at such times crying is the only voluntary movement they make. The creature is dazed and does not resist the creeper’s attacks as long as it remains within the plant.

After 1d6 rounds of sitting within the mist, the gloom mold spores begin to work on the affected creature’s body. The mold starts to devour the victim, dealing 1d4 points of Constitution damage each round. If the victim’s Constitution is reduced to 0, the victim must make a Fortitude save (DC 20). Those who fail, die, and their bodies grant sustenance to the hungry plant. Those who succeed receive back 1 Constitution point and regain consciousness, but are shaken and sickened. They may once again move under their own power and influence; standing in such a state requires a full-round action.

Gloom mold may be destroyed by divine fire and sunlight renders it dormant. Detect evil cast on the mold returns only a vague sense of the presence of evil, regardless of how long the mold is studied by the caster.

CR: 7

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