Thursday, January 17, 2019

[Monster] Spawning Spawns with Carcosa's Spawn of Shub-Niggurath generator

I like random creature generators! I was reading through Carcosa, and there is a short section with tables for generating random Spawns of Shub-Niggurath. Two examples follow:

Spawn #1: G'hal, The Niggurathean Spore-Sack Bastard

AC: 13
Movement: Land only, 30'
HD: 6
Alignment: Chaotic (duhh...)
Body type: Fungoid
Color: Gray
Hide: Scaled
Eyes: One
Mouth: Circular gaping maw
Special Attacks: None
Special Defenses: Regenerate 1HD every 1-3 rounds
Crawling and ever-growing fungal fruiting body. Its slow movement is not "movement" per se, but actually rapid directional growth. Which explains the regenerative powers as well. The single eye makes it quite phallic too. Creepy. 

Spawn #2: Tsath-Shub Hybrid

AC: 12
Movement: Land 60', Flying 120'
HD: 3
Alignment: Chaotic (duhh...)
Body type: Batrachian
Color: Green
Hide: Smooth
Eyes: Three
Mouth: Circular gaping maw
Special Attacks: None
Special Defenses: None
A three-eyed flying frog, nothing less, nothing more!

Overall, the generator serves the purpose well - it can quickly spurt out a couple of spawns. 3 minutes for a creature, tops.  Its utility outside of Carcosa seems more limited.

One of the main problems with this generator is the low number of special attacks. There is a 84% chance of "none", and then 16 powers. Admittedly, in the context of Carcosa, this is alright, as Spawns are encountered ALL THE TIME, and having each and every one of them with a special attack would be too much even for the Carcossan gonzo.

Another thing I find underwhelming is the Eyes table. The results are just quantitative (zero to six eyes), with just one result being a qualitative descriptor ("multiple/insectile"). Not very inspiring. The Mouth table is short (1d6), but with four good qualitative results in there.

It can yield interesting combinations, but it lacks that emergent inspiration that you can find in RECG, for example. But, again, this was not created as a general monster randomizer, so it's unfair to criticize it as such. Go Spawns!

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