Friday, September 25, 2015

Horror Creature Generator

I'm running a LotFP campaign set in the Balkans a little while after the reign of Vlad Tepes. I want to invoke the feeling of black and white monster movies (Nosferatu, Frankenstein) but mostly with novel, unfamiliar monsters in the Flame Princess tradition (though Voivodja is out there for the players to find in all its vampiric glory). I put together an inspiration generator to quickly produce creatures that seem like movie monsters pulled from folklore but slightly askew.

Thinking about real animals that freak people out, I developed a pet theory that they can be categorized into four modes of creepy behavior: crawling, slithering, swarming, and stalking. So that's the first step:

1. crawl
2. slither
3. swarm
4. stalk

Then you roll an inspiration creature, taking the inspiration as literally or figuratively as you like:

Crawl - d8:
1. beetle-like
2. centipede-like
3. crab-like
4. lobster-like
5. roach-like
6. scorpion-like
7. slug-like
8. snail-like

Slither - d8:
1. eel-like
2. fog-like
3. leech-like
4. lamprey-like
5. octopus-like
6. snake-like
7. squid-like
8. worm-like

Swarm - d8:
1. ant-like
2. bat-like
3. bee-like
4. fly-like
5. locust-like
6. maggot-like
7. rat-like
8. microbe-like

Stalk - d8:
1. crocodile-like
2. mantis-like
3. plague-like
4. shark-like
5. spider-like
6. raptor-like
7. vulture-like
8. wolf-like

Then determine the creature's M.O:

d20 (roll 1-2 times):
1. feeds on body fluids
2. it follows, like It Follows
3. feeds on fear
4. infiltrates dreams
5. hypnotizes/charms
6. loves (and is immune to) poison
7. hates (and is immune to at least some) magic
8. radiates hallucinations
9. causes plants to wilt
10. is radioactive
11. exists outside space-time
12. is the result of an ancient curse
13. feeds on madness
14. is the result of man's folly
15. feeds on hedonism
16. has one form in the day and another at night
17. is from hell or the nether regions of the earth
18. desires power over men
19. is a summoned servant
20. wants to eradicate men

And weaknesses:

d20 (roll 1-2 times):
1. sunlight
2. holy blood
3. silver
4. lead
5. mercury
6. salt
7. elf urine
8. flowing water
9. virgin tears
10. vanity
11. stupidity
12. it cannot lie
13. its own reflection
14. a superiority complex
15. a sweet tooth
16. its spirit is tied to a small object
17. baby's laughter
18. being tossed down a well
19. decapitation (other attacks futile)
20. powdered bone of a magic creature

Then I cheat by rolling on the d100 Guest Attributes and Powers tables on pp. 49 and 50 of A Red & Pleasant Land. The tables are there and great so I'm gonna use them, dammit.

It's fast because you can roll all the dice at once or click here (only 10 entries from the R&PL tables are given in the online generator because I got tired of typing) and produces a fairly complete piece of inspiration that works for me. So it meets the Cardinal Rule of generators by being faster than making it up from scratch.

I would then recommend drawing the generated creature and statting it right on the drawing, like so. Ideally, there should be something both human and inhuman about the creature.