More than a few of us at Green Ronin have fallen into the hands of Open Design’s Wolfgang Baur at his gaming table, and we can report that the man comes up with some good monsters. They’re fun, surprising, and they really make you earn that treasure.
For the past five years Open Design has turned out one cool monster after another; and as of today some of the best are available for the AGE System* in the Midgard Bestiary: Volume 1.
With an introduction by Jeff Tidball, the Midgard Bestiary includes 50 new foes for the AGE System*, including the iron ghoul, kobold slyblade, harem assassin, clockwork hound, and an insane derro fetus that swaps souls with its victims. (Yes, that’s how Open Design rolls.) Although they were created for the Midgard campaign setting, any of them can be adapted to a homebrew or published setting.
(* The AGE System is that used in the Dragon Age RPG.)
As a sneak preview of Midgard Bestiary: Volume 1, here’s a golem made of…eyes? Yikes.
A muscular giant, well proportioned and with smooth marble-white skin, stands alert, its skin covered with eyelike sigils. One of the eyes opens for a moment, and a beam as bright as the sun shines forth, piercing the night.
The smooth white skin of these giant humanoid abominations is covered from head to toe in eyes and tattooed arcane sigils that resemble eyes. The aberrant constructs consume the eyes of living creatures, absorbing some of the victim’s soul energy in the process. The consumed eyes later appear in the place of the creature’s tattoos, shining forth with an unholy light.
The golem gains strength from every eye it collects, fusing a part of the victim’s life force with its own. The eyes that cover its body are more than sensory organs, they can project beams of that stolen energy to blast and sear its foes. Created by the arcanists of the Shadow Court, eye golems are often used as a form of punishment for those who displease court nobles. These hapless individuals are cast into a maze where the golem is kept, and spend the rest of their lives wandering sightless through its shadows. The large eye in the center of the creature’s head is typically taken from a titan or primordial, and is a necessary component in the golem’s creation.
When slain, an eye golem does not simply fall down dead. All its eyes open at once, releasing a scream heard for miles and a burst of light that blots out everything around. When the light and noise stop, hundreds of perfectly preserved eyeballs roll on the ground where the monster stood. The eyes are still warm and fresh, without scars or damage that one might expect. A careful examination of the eyes may reveal that many of them seem to have a thin beam of arcane energy connecting them to their owners. They can be returned and healing magic can allow their owners to see again.
8 Constitution (Stamina)
5 Magic (Eye Beam)
6 Perception (Seeing)
9 Strength (Intimidation, Might)
3 Willpower (Courage, Morale)
Armor Rating 7
Crushing Fist — Attack Roll: +9 Damage: 3d6+9
Eye Beam — Attack Roll: +7 Damage: 2d6+5 Penetrating
Favored Stunts: Dual Strike, Gaze of Ancient Light, Knock Prone (1SP), and Lethal Blow (4SP).
Gaze of Ancient Light: For 5 SP, the golem can emit a blast of searing light from eyes all over its body, bathing an area with a blinding glare. Opponents within six yards of the golem take 3d6 penetrating damage, are knocked prone and are dazed as per the spell. Those that pass a TN15 Constitution (Stamina) test take only 2d6 damage and remain standing.
Many Eyes: With eyes covering every part of its body, the golem cannot be surprised and automatically passes any Perception (Seeing) attempts against sneak attacks such as a rogue’s backstab ability.
Piercing Sight: The golem can shoot a beam of concentrated light from its central eye as a ranged attack with a short range of 12 yards and a long range of 24 yards. For 2 SP, the golem can sweep its gaze, covering an area eight yards across. Secondary opponents who pass a TN15 Dexterity (Acrobatics) test take half damage.
Sun God’s Skin: The magically hardened flesh of the golem grants it an Armor Rating of 7.