Saturday, 28 January 2023

Let’s Convert the Fiend Folio: Volt and Vortex

I have never been a big fan of the Vortex, but the Volt is one of my favorite creatures from the Fiend Folio. Maybe it is just the cool illustrations. Maybe it was that I could picture them haunting deserted subway lines in a post-Apocalyptic landscape. I honestly don’ know, but I do know that I love the ornery little critters.

Either Volt or Vortex would work quite well in Umerica or Mutant Crawl Classics – although the Vortex might be rewritten as a robot originally designed to entertain children.

There are now only three more posts to go before the Fiend Folio is fully converted. If you feel like tipping, here is a way to do so.



Volt: Init +0; Atk Bite +0 melee (1d4 plus attach, blood drain, and shock); AC 17; HD 2d4; MV fly 20’; Act 1d20; SP Attach, blood drain, shock; SV Fort +2, Ref +0, Will -2; AL N.

This bad-tempered creature is a near-spherical bundle of bristly grey hair with two bulbous eyes, two small curved horns, and a three-foot-long tail. The creatures are able to fly naturally, as if by levitation, and can use their tails to move though the air with a swimming motion. The horns have no offensive or defensive purpose, and are used purely for mating displays.

When encountered, volts almost always attack. If a volt succeeds with its bite attack, it remains attached to its victim, until either volt or victim perish. It can automatically drain blood for 1d4 hp each round, and can make an attack with its tail (+4 melee, delivering a powerful shock for 2d6 damage).

Volts have an organ which can be used as a power component when casting electricity-based spells, such as lightning bolt, allowing a +2 bonus to the spell check per organ used, to a maximum of +8. This usage consumes the organs. Removing the organ successfully requires a DC 10 Intelligence check and a DC 10 Agility check. The same character does not have to make both checks – two characters can split the task of identifying the proper organ to remove, and then removing it.




Vortex: Init +5; Atk Capture +1 melee (spin); AC 20; HD 2d6; MV fly 40; Act 1d20; SP Capture, spin; SV Fort +0, Ref +8, Will +1; AL C.

This elemental being is a small sphere, about six inches in diameter, whose motion creates a whirlwind up to 40 feet high, with a 10-foot base diameteAC 20; HD r and a 30-foot diameter at the top. A target which has been hit by the vortex is captured by it. Captured targets are pulled within the whirling cone of air. Each round after being captured, the spinning victim suffers 1d3 damage from the spinning and must succeed in a Luck check or the damage increases in the next (and subsequent) rounds by +1d on the dice chain.

Worse, those caught within the vortex may only make attacks with a -2d penalty on the dice chain to both attack roll and damage. Casting spells or performing skill checks is normally impossible (although an attempt may be made with a -4d penalty). Victims cannot normally extract themselves, as they have nothing to exert physical prowess against, but a successful Mighty Deed of 4+ may extract a victim, as might a thrown rope in conjunction with a DC 15 Strength check from both the victim and an ally holding the rope from outside the vortex.  

Normal vortexes are only large enough to accommodate one victim of human size, though it could contain two smaller creatures simultaneously, but larger creatures of this type are thought to exist. Although elemental creatures, vortexes can be harmed by mundane weapons.

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