Saturday 24 April 2021

Monster Moth Picks its Victims from Open Fields

Monster Moth: Init +0; Atk snatch +7 melee (no damage) or bite +4 melee (2d8)AC 16; HD 4d16+8; MV 10’ or fly 60'; Act 1d20; SP snatch, drop; SV Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +4; AL C.

The monster moth is rare creature suitable for both DCC and MCC campaign milieus. It prefers open areas, such as fields and plains, where it is able to detect prey. Although not particularly stealthy, the monster moth can fly faster than most humanoids can run, which again makes open fields a suitable hunting ground for the creatures.

A monster moth attacks first with a snatch attack, which allows it to grab a creature and bear it aloft when it is next able to move. The victim can use an Action Die to attempt a DC 15 Strength or Agility check to break free, but once aloft normal falling damage applies. The monster moth then bears its victim to some remote location to devour it privately. If the victim fails a Luck check, the monster moth begins its feast by dropping the victim 1d6 x 10', with appropriate falling damage, both to take the fight out of the creature and to tenderize its prey.

The monster moth itself is an unholy amalgam of an enormous humanoid and a colossal moth, and it is both intelligent and malign. It might have been created by a mad scientist of the Ancients, mutation, a wizard's presumptuous experiments, or even a rain of tiny dead monsters.

Thanks to James Mishler, I learned that the Monster Museum was a common entry in the Gold Key comics of the past. They had a "Gold Key Kids Club," and part of it was a "Draw Your Own Monster" entry, which was only for the subscriber copies. They were also used multiple times in multiple titles, but this image (along with the Giant Walking Eye and the Mammoth Mummy) appeared in The Lone Ranger #9 and probably other Gold Key issues.

Discerning readers will note that I gave the monster moth only 4 HD, but made them d16s, with a +8 bonus. This gives the creature a range of hit points between 12 and 72, with an average of 40 hp. That works for the creature in the illustration, to my mind at least, without allowing it the massive critical effects that higher Hit Dice would grant. This is intentional, as a snatch attack could still result in a critical hit, and I didn't want that attack to result in a PC death. There are still some nasty critical effects that could occur, but nothing out of line with how I envisioned the creature. This blog post has more information on my rationale for creature design.

If you use this creature in your game - or, really, any of the ones posted here - please drop me a line and let me know how it went!

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