When Wizards of the Coast bought TSR in 1997, I recall a lot of fears that D&D would suddenly be featuring Llanowar Elves and Scryb Sprites. Thankfully that never came to pass, either in the world’s oldest role-playing game or Pathfinder…but when I opened my Bestiary 4 to the “Living Wall” entry, I almost wondered if it had.
There are differences of course. The good news for PCs is that this wall doesn't regenerate—ha, just kidding; it has fast healing 1. And it has a number of resistances. And it can link with its fellows to better withstand damage. Oh, and it will still crush you into a pulp—that’s definitely happening.
Um…anyone got any Scryb Sprites handy?
The skull of the nephilim Ja’om was used in the construction of the living wall at Abendiggal—a calculated insult by Abendiggal’s goat priests, directed at Ja’om’s sire, Jashketh Shedu-Father. The Shedu-Father may be a demigod associated with peaceful entreaties and oral contracts, but even he has a limit to what he will bear. His factors seek adventurers who will infiltrate Abendiggal, rescue Ja’om’s skull, and ideally cast down the goat priests and their summoned schirs.
A living wall protects the entrance to a dungeon. Luring the wall away from its post reveals the hidden trap door. Leaving the trap door open for too long completes a mystic circuit that calls allips to attack poky investigators.
Kasatha society has been seduced into the worship of the Black Emissary. When they die, their bodies are supposedly added to their local temple’s Wall of Remembrance. In truth, they are hacked apart and made into a gruesome corpse concrete that is the first ingredient for a living wall. These living walls turn kasatha temple complexes into ever-shifting deathtraps.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 4 182
I only experienced the bombshell that WotC was buying TSR belatedly and third-hand. I was in college at the time, and my engagement in the hobby was pretty much at its lowest ebb ever—I even got lazy about regularly buying Dragon Magazine. (I would later go back and pick up the issues I'd missed at back-issue prices, so the six months it ceased publication were actually a kindness to my wallet.) So I was utterly flummoxed when I did find out about the merger…I think either one of my more hardcore gamer friends told me or I just discovered it when I picked up a random issue of Dragon and went, “Bwaaah?!?”
You know what I’m super pleased about? My new reader numbers took a major hit during my surprise two-week “vacation” after my old computer got injured…but as of last week we’re reliably back to adding more than 200 folks a month. Better yet, last Friday we hit a milestone: 3,000 followers. I think actuallywut gets the nod for putting us over the top. Thanks all!