Certain monsters in the D&D mythos are downright terrifying. We have creatures that love to drain their opponents such as the Wight and the Ghoul which were discussed last post, and then we have others such as the brain-eating Mindflayer and the dangerous Rust Monster. To its benefit 4e converted a lot of these creatures to the 4th edition mindset but played it a little safe. Sure these creatures can be deadly in the right scenarios and encounters, but they lost some of their flavor. Mindflayers, for example, no longer can consume the brains of adventurers and Rust Monsters don't strike fear into the hearts of adventurer's preciously collected gear. As much as I love 4e, I really miss that flavor both as a player and a DM.
I've mentioned more than a few times, and it should be no secret, but I long for a deadlier game. To me death represents the game. Yes, it can suck and yes some people take it too seriously, but at the end of the day it is a game. To me, death validates your choices both as a player and a character. You make good choices and you live you make bad and you die. In a sense it is sort of like a Choose Your Own Adventure book, except that you cannot flip back a few pages to the last option when you chose the bad one. As a player this makes me feel like the game has consequences and my action matter, to me this sells the game world. Feeling like I'm playing a game with little threat is fun for an encounter or two, maybe, but I like knowing that luck and my own wit determine if I survive.
|found at www.play-board-games.com|
To me one of the quintessential monsters that deserves to have a place in the stronger and deadlier 4e that I've imagined in my mind is the Vargouille, a creature that spawns via the death of characters, both PC ran and NPCs alike. A Vargouille's shriek may be the last sound that you hear before you die and their kiss may be the last comfort you know before they turn you in a
walking flying abomination like them. Vargouille's are terrifying and they resonate with me for whatever reason and may very well be my favorite D&D monster.
So what defines the Vargouille in terms of mechanics? They have a paralyzing shriek, a poisonous bite, and a transforming kiss. That seems pretty easy to capture and the only real thing that needs to be created is a disease track for the kiss, and that's simple enough to base off of pre-existing diseases of similar level.
Behold, my re-imagined 4e Vargouille in all of its devious glory!
I'm really enjoying this series of re-imagined 4e monster and plan to keep it up. To me these monsters fit the Legend4ry design philosophy and could easily be ported into your regular game. As I've warned before, these creatures are not for every type of game as they are deadlier and their actions carry, at times, extreme consequences. So, as I've said a few times, Here Be Dragons.
Next up in this series of re-imagined monsters will be some more undead for my next May of the Dead post coming Thursday the 10th. I have a few ideas floating around, but suggestions are always welcomed. In addition to that, I play to convert the Mindflayer and Rust Monster to 4e with some of the tenants of their older edition design in mind.
Until next time,