Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Malevolent and Benign

Since I've been doing monsters and items for Sorcery & Super Science!, I thought I should start doing such for our old-school products. So, here's the first entry in the Malevolent and Benign series. It's a critter from our monster book of the same name. The artist is Jeff Womack.

ARCANOPLASM

SIZE: Medium (5 ft. tall)
MOVE: 90 ft.
ARMOR CLASS: 6
HIT DICE: 7
ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE: 3-18
SPECIAL ATTACKS: See below
SPECIAL DEFENSES: See below
MAGIC RESISTANCE: None
RARITY: Very rare
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1
LAIR PROBABILITY: 90%
TREASURE: None
INTELLIGENCE: Semi
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
LEVEL/X.P.: 6 / 554 + 8/hp

General information: Arcanoplasms are thought to be the result of a failed magic experiment. Wizards and sages alike have tried for years to gather complete information on this odd creature, but thus far such information has eluded even the most resourceful of casters. Arcanoplasms are found in areas where the residual energies of arcane magic linger. Such areas include ruined wizard’s towers, keeps, dungeons, and so forth. Here they feed and remain until disturbed. Most encounters with these monsters take place in such locations, as the arcanoplasm rarely travels far from its lair - and since it lairs in ruins and other such adventurer-attracting places, it rarely has to wait long between meals.

When forced to combat, arcanoplasms always locate arcane spellcasting creatures first. An arcanoplasm can automatically detect the location of any arcane spellcaster within a 100-foot radius and its detection is not blocked by stone, lead, or other material. Because of its ability to replicate spells cast near it, the arcanoplasm tries to stay within 30 feet of an arcane caster while physically attacking others with acid-laced pseudopodia for 2-12 points of damage, plus an additional 1-6 points of acid damage per hit. An arcanoplasm can mimic any arcane spell of 4th level or lower that is cast within 30 feet of it. The spell takes effect on the arcanoplasm’s next round and does not require any components. Mimicked spells are cast at the foe deemed most threatening. Arcanoplasms only attack arcane casters once all other threats are removed.

Any arcane spell cast at an arcanoplasm is automatically absorbed. This cures 1 hit point of damage per 3 points of damage the spell would otherwise deal. (Non-damaging spells cure 1 hit point of damage per spell level of the spell.) Spells that affect an area are not absorbed, but neither do they affect the arcanoplasm. An arcanoplasm cannot absorb divine magic and is affected by it normally. Arcanoplasms are immune to poison.

Arcanoplasms do not value mundane treasure and view magical treasure as food. Any magical item less potent than an artifact or relic will be drained after one week of feeding. If recovered before then it will still be functional, but any charged items lose 1/7 of their charges per day of draining. There is a 10% chance that an encountered arcanoplasm will possess a magic item currently being drained.

Physical description: Arcanoplasms are amorphous blobs that often assume a sort of pseudo-bipedal form roughly 5 feet tall.

Variants: It is speculated that 10% of all arcanoplasms are actually divinoplasms that treat divine magic like normal arcanoplasms treat arcane. This ratio is uncertain due to the rarity of the monster, but such variants have been confirmed.

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