May 13, 2009

System neutral inspiration in the small things...OR OMG THESE FRACKING THINGS ARE EATING ME!!!11!!

First off, a shout out to for their "thought provoking" articles :) Seriously, if you don't know of this site, you should be fed to a pack of Gila monsters. They have found a way to mix satire and science to produce what can only be described as Wyatt's Turbulent Thoughts blog in unholy coitus with Bill Nye the science guy.

As to the beef, as a DM sometimes I find myself caught up in a vicious cycle of bigger monsters! More tentacles! More heads! When just poking around our wonderful and completely orc free world, I see the makings of PC death and dismemberment all around :)

"Fuck with this little guy and you will die in a puddle of your own scat, vomit, and urine."
This little critter is less than a foot across, yet it packs one of the most horrific venoms in existence. Enough to kill 26 fully grown men! We arent talking fatality inducing venom per se, we are talking HORRIFIC FATALITY INDUCING VENOM!!!. Almost identical to Tetrodoxin, for the uninformed, that is Pufferfish (or Fugu) poison. From Wikipedia:
"paresthesia in the face and extremities, which may be followed by sensations of lightness or floating. Headache, epigastric pain, nausea, diarrhea, and/or vomiting may occur. Occasionally, some reeling or difficulty in walking may occur. The second stage of the intoxication is increasing paralysis. Many victims are unable to move; even sitting may be difficult. There is increasing respiratory distress. Speech is affected, and the victim usually exhibits dyspnea, cyanosis, and hypotension. Paralysis increases and convulsions, mental impairment, and cardiac arrhythmia may occur. The victim, although completely paralyzed, may be conscious and in some cases completely lucid until shortly before death. Death usually occurs within 4 to 6 hours, with a known range of about 20 minutes to 8 hours."

My suggestion? The party is contacted by a collector of rare zoological specimens, and will pay handsomely for a specimen. After said unkowing dumbass PC is bitten, the party has 4-6 hours to find an antidote (none exists in reality), and must meanwhile keep said poor bastard's body alive long enough to apply it - Skill Challenge anyone?


For a small insect, less than 6" long - this critter is a dynamo! I personally believe that whatever deity put this thing in the arid deserts of Africa and the middle east did it solely to re-enforce the whole "Deserts are for idiot and madmen" thing. As to what it's pushpin sized stinger will do to you, from Wikipedia:

"The deathstalker is regarded as a highly dangerous species because its venom is a powerful cocktail of neurotoxins, with a low LD50 rating. While a sting from this scorpion is extremely painful, it would never kill an otherwise healthy, adult human. However, young children, the elderly, or infirm (such as those with a heart condition or those who are allergic) would be at much greater risk. Any envenomation runs the risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction to the venom. If a sting from Leiurus quinquestriatus does prove fatal, the cause of death is usually pulmonary edema."

Neurotoxins in L.quinquestriatus venom include the following:
Chlorotoxin, Charybdotoxin, Scyllatoxin, Agitoxins type 1, 2 and 3

For all the old schoolers out there, next time the party camps out in a desert - did they check their smelly boots before putting them back on? REALLY, did they SAY they checked their boots?

Any of you other poor saps have your teenage years ruined by Arachnophobia? What a wonderful movie :( In fact, the only exaggeration relevant to this article is the "deadly" venom of the original giant spider, because GUESS WHAT! They actually jump and HISS! That's right, nature done made up for the relative lack of deadly venom by letting this 8 legged fucker induce absolute mindless panic by no only being big enough to cover your ENTIRE face, but able to loudly hiss as well! Did I mention it can also fling it's razor sharp hairs like freaking darts!?

My suggestion? Up it two size categories and you have this:

"Spidey want a bird? Spidey want a AAARRGGHGHG


Add a fear inducing hiss, A nasty ranged attack, and instantly memorable encounter :)

#4 - The Corpse Flower

"Is it my cologne, or are you just happy to see me."

So here we see nature's playful side, a flower that reeks like rotting meat, and looks like a 6' long dick. That's...great? Only the devil's in the details. You see, the corpse flower - while harmless itself, is often infested with "flesh flies" and carnivorous beetles...That's right, while the party is screwing around and making jokes about the giant dick flower, they get swarmed by carnivorous flies and beetles. There are times when being a DM is worth all the time, effort, and bullshit. Seeing the looks on their faces when the giant dick belches out a series of carnivorous scarab beetle swarms is one of them.

#5 - The asian giant hornet

I hate bugs. I am not so much terr...Okay, I am freaked right the fuck out by bugs. Spiders in particular, but I think that all things considered, I would soil myself unashamedly if a 4" hornet landed on my face.

"Move, and I'm taking the finger with me."

Now imagine a hundred of them on you...a thousand...Descending on your poor ass like a cloud of flying razor blades...crawling through the joints of your armor...dismantling you one tiny piece at a time...I am going to go and change my pants, I just had a sympathy movement.

Don't fuck with nature, it's everywhere, and it will eat your face!


Ameron said...

This is way better than a Monster Manual. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I saw an asian giant hornet as well! In Japan. Nasty buggers. And you can find somewhere online video of a couple of them destroying a whole hive of bees. They are nasty

Donny said...

Agreed, nasty doesn't even BEGIN to describe them :)