Monday, April 23, 2012

Giant Slug

Simply put, giant slugs are pretty badass monsters.  That’s not a term I throw around lightly—we like to keep it professional here on TDB—but giant slugs earn it.  They’re CR8—nothing to sneeze at.  They’re Huge, but don’t think ducking down the corridor is going to help—they can squeeze down to 5 feet.  Oh yeah, and they spit acid—10d6 worth of acid.  (And when was the last time your party prepped any kind of acid resistance, as opposed to fire, cold, or lightning?  Probably never.  Despite ample cautionary examples.)  Even some DR to boot.  Bad. Ass.

The Bestiary actually includes a lot of monster/adventure hooks for the giant slug, including mites, troglodytes, skum, and aboleths.  Let’s see if we can add to that, shall we?

A giant slug attacks a sleepy village.  Reports come in of two more attacks in nearby towns.  Following the slugs’ trails reveals a common source.  The vermin sprang from a single polluted pool as ghastly side effects from the birth of a nuckelavee.

An advanced zuvembie has grown in hateful power.  While she cannot control vermin, she is effectively invisible to them.  She uses her claws to goad a giant slug against the targets of her rage, then uses her corpse call to lure victims to feed the beast and slake her bloodlust.

In the only recorded example of human/mite cooperation, a tribe of mites lives in the cellar of a village common house.  The mites earn their keep serving in the militia, whose main job is to drive giant slugs and other dangerous vermin away.  Now half the mites have disappeared, the other half have gone into hiding, and unless the mystery is solved, a giant slug will demolish the town.

Pathfinder Bestiary 254

Final notes:

1) The illustration in the Bestiary has a giant slug crushing a house.  A house.  Just sayin’.

2) The giant slug is one of those monsters that gets more creepy, rather than less, the more you learn about its real-life counterparts.  Again, this is a family show, but check out the Wikipedia entry and scroll down to “Reproduction.”  Yikes.

3) Finally, I think the giant slug gives you a great excuse to just ignore CR for an evening.  Throw one at the party a few levels too early, give them plenty of clues that they are out of their league, and see what they come up with.  Maybe there’s a salt mine or a great salt lake nearby that they can lure it into.  Maybe they can cajole all the town’s merchants and housewives to donate their salt stores.  Maybe they sacrifice the tavern in which they first met to intoxicate and drown the beast.  If their solution seems like a good one, let them run with it.  You may have to fudge a few die rolls so the acid spit doesn’t wipe them out, but it’s a great chance to foster problem solving instead of spell-slinging out of necessity.  (Extra points if any of your older players reference the G.I. Joe episode, “The Germ.”)

And yes, my show.  On Saturday The New Indie Canon celebrated Record Store Day and the 20th anniversaries of Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted and the Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head. Check it here.

(Music starts about a minute and a half into the file. If the feed skips, Save As an mp3 with Firefox or Chrome and enjoy in iTunes.  Link good until Friday 4/27, at midnight.)

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