Monday Monsters: Black Pudding

Last week I ran a poll on Twitter and Google Plus asking which monster people wanted to see for today’s Monday Monsters post. Surprisingly, the Black Pudding won with a total of 10 votes. The Purple Worm and Juvenile Blue Dragon tied for second place with 9 votes each, and the Cloaker came in third with 6 votes. Those will most likely be the Monday Monsters for the next few weeks, and I’ve already started writing them up.

Friday also saw the release of the Fate Adversary Toolkit, which is going to be a fantastic resource for future Monday Monsters posts. I grabbed a PDF copy as soon as it was available and read through it during my spare time over the weekend. (Which is not all that much. Who knew three-month olds were so demanding?) In addition to a rogue’s gallery of NPC baddies, GM advice about how to spice up combat, and rules for traps and obstacles, the book also introduces four new categories of enemies: fillers, hitters, threats, and bosses.

So I decided to try those new enemy categories out with the Black Pudding. I went back and forth for a long time about whether the pudding was a threat or a hitter. Its overall hardiness and ability to split into smaller blobs means it’s something the PCs have to focus on, which suggests it’s a threat. But its corrosive secretions can do a lot of damage, suggesting it’s a hitter.

Ultimately I decided to make the Black Pudding a threat, mainly because I also made a Gelatinous Cube and decided that monster was a hitter. To complete examples of all the new enemy types, I also made a filler Gray Ooze. That’s right, you’re getting not one, not two, but three monsters for this week’s Monday Monsters post! You’re welcome.

There were any number of aspects and stunts I could have made for these oozes, slimes, and jellies. The Black Pudding splits into smaller puddings when hit, is highly corrosive, is resistant to acid and electricity, and can climb any surface. The Gelatinous Cube is really hard to spot, can paralyze foes, is acidic, and can swallow targets whole. The Gray Ooze is immune to magic, is good at grappling, and again is very hard to see when not moving. But adding too many mechanical bits overcomplicates things, so I limited the aspects ato four and only gave the monster two stunts maximum.

The most notable feature of the Black Pudding is its ability to split into smaller monsters. I wanted to represent this effect without actually increasing the number of enemies in the scene. The more NPCs the GM has to manage, the more difficult running the game becomes. After some very helpful suggestions on Twitter, I decided on a stunt that creates a situation aspect representing this split whenever the monster takes a consequence. It can only do this when taking a consequence from a slashing or electrical attack to help keep the monster’s flavor. Giving it an additional mild consequence makes it tougher and increases the number of times it can split.

I decided the Gelatinous Cube was a hitter, as it’s relatively easy to avoid when you know it’s there, but can be very dangerous under the right circumstances. Like if you blunder into it when walking down a dimly lit dungeon corridor. A stunt that grants an extra invoke on Paralyzing aspects represents the strength of its numbing secretions, and it’s engulf ability can do a lot of damage. (I could have used the Weapon rules here. It’s a lot easier to say “Weapon: 2” instead of writing out “deals +2 stress on a tied or better result. But I didn’t want to introduce too many optional rules. Writing the effect out allows GMs who don’t know about the weapon extra rules to use the creature just as effectively as those who do.)

The Gray Ooze is a filler enemy. That means the GM can fill the scene with them, as they’re not all that powerful or hard to take down. Fillers don’t usually have stunts, but I think they’re fun to make and help capture the flavor of monsters, so I gave it one. As Gray Oozes are noted for actively hunting prey, a stunt that increases their chances of quickly grabbing a foe seemed appropriate. Put enough of these oozes together in a mob and they can become a problem. Especially if there’s another creature lurking about to take advantage of those free Grappled invokes. Like a Gelatinous Cube the characters haven’t spotted yet.

Oh. You probably noticed I said I made examples of the four new enemy types, but that I’ve only presented three here. If you’re wondering where the boss ooze is, stay tuned for this Saturday’s post.


Black Pudding

High Concept: Large Blob of Amorphous Black Goo
Motivation: I Must Absorb All Organic Matter
Aspect: Deadly Corrosive Secretions
Aspect: Extremely Sticky and Viscous

Approaches:

  • Careful: Mediocre (+0)
  • Clever: Mediocre (+0)
  • Flashy: Mediocre (+0)
  • Forceful: Great (+4)
  • Quick: Mediocre (+0)
  • Sneaky: Good (+3)

Stunts:

  • Bifurcation: Because I split into successively smaller oozes when damaged,
    I create a new situation aspect representing my increasing numbers, such
    as More Puddings, They’re Everywhere, or We’re Surrounded!, with a free
    invoke each time I take a consequence. I can only use this stunt when
    taking a consequence to mitigate stress from a slashing or electrical attack.
  • Pseudopods: Because I can extrude multiple pseudopods from my body at
    once, I can spend a Fate point to Forcefully attack everyone in my zone.

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Threat
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):
  • Mild (2):

Gelatinous Cube

High Concept: Large Cube of Quivering Jelly
Motivation: I Must Sweep the Area Clean
Aspect: Almost Totally Transparent

Approaches:

  • Careful: Mediocre (+0)
  • Clever: Mediocre (+0)
  • Flashy: Mediocre (+0)
  • Forceful: Good (+3)
  • Quick: Mediocre (+0)
  • Sneaky: Great (+4)

Stunts:

  • Anesthetizing Secretions: Because I secrete a powerful anesthetizing
    agent, I get an extra free invoke when I Sneakily create an advantage
    related to my paralytic touch, such as Paralyzed, Numbed, or Stunned.
  • Engulf: Because I can envelop creatures by moving over them, I deal +2
    stress on a tied or better Forceful attack as long as I move at least one
    zone before attacking. (I won’t get a boost on a tied attack this way.)

Weight: 2 (Large)
Role: Enemy: Fair Hitter
Stress: ▢ ▢ ▢
Consequences:

  • Mild (2):

Gray Ooze

High Concept: Medium Blob of Magic Immune Slime
Motivation: I Must Constantly Hunt

Approaches:

  • Careful: Mediocre (+0)
  • Clever: Mediocre (+0)
  • Flashy: Mediocre (+0)
  • Forceful: Average (+1)
  • Quick: Average (+1)
  • Sneaky: Mediocre (+0)

Stunts:

  • Active Hunter: Because I am adept at hunting mobile prey, I get +2 to
    Quickly create an advantage representing my ensnaring pseudopods, such as
    Held In Place, Grappled, or Restrained.

Weight: 1 (Medium)
Role: Enemy: Fair Filler
Stress: ▢ ▢

You can download the Black Pudding, Gelatinous Cube, and Gray Ooze as a two-page A4-sized PDF or a letter-sized PDF.

Pudding_Cube_Ooze_A4

I’ve modified the monster sheets again. Aspects are now in a dark blue color so they’re easier to see in the text. I’ll be updating the Ghoul, Ghast, and Umber Hulk to this style soon. I’ll post an update when I do so.

The monster illustration is the free paper mini made by Printable Heroes. The free versions are backless, but if you support the Patreon at just $1 a month you get minis with backs. For $2 a month you get access to “reskins”, and for $3 a month you get multiple color options. That’s a fantastic deal.

Monday Monsters: Black Pudding

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