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5/25/2018 11:07 pm  #1

Weird Wonders BBC on Netflix

This show is rife with fantastic ideas for malicious referees. Especially great ideas for creatures. I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable ecology guy (my dad was a behavioral ecologist)... and the show has even surprised me.
One example from the show (and how I have exploited it for gaming)

Spider-tailed horned viper
From Wikipedia: The spider-tailed horned viper (Pseudocerastes urarachnoides) is a species of viper endemic to western Iran which was described in 2006. The head looks very similar to that of other Pseudocerastes species in the region, but the spider-tailed horned viper has a unique tail that has a bulb-like end that is bordered by long drooping scales that give it the appearance of a spider. The tail tip is waved around and used to lure insectivorous birds to within striking range.

A giant version of this incredible creature could use its lure to draw in zealous adventurers looking to make a few easy XPs...

Giant Spider-Tailed Horned ViperApp 1d6 ⁞ AC 6 ⁞ MV 50 ⁞ HD 2+1 (hp 9)  ⁞ ATT bite (1 plus poison) ⁞ SA/D: poison, camouflage, lure  ⁞ SV 16 ⁞ ML 6 ⁞ INT animal ⁞ DX 12 ⁞ SZ S ⁞ TC - ⁞ XP 294 ⁞ Instinct: cunning ambush predator
* Poison Bite: save or die
* Camouflage: The viper looks so much like a rock when remaining still it can only be detected on a roll of 1:6.
* Lure: The wiggling tail tip of the viper resembles a scuttling spider. Should the "spider" be declared as a target of a melee attack, and the viper hasn't been detected, the viper automatically receives surprise on its attacker and strikes at +2 to hit.

Last edited by Jimm.Iblis (5/25/2018 11:20 pm)

"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax

5/25/2018 11:31 pm  #2

Re: Weird Wonders BBC on Netflix

Another nifty beast, this one actually plays into a well-known mythological creature, the ercinee, so well I have no idea why no one's made the connection before me.

Hooded pitohui - Wikipedia
The hooded pitohui (Pitohui dichrous) is a species of bird in the genus Pitohui found in New Guinea. The species was long thought to be a whistler (Pachycephalidae) but is now known to be in the Old World oriole family (Oriolidae)... A medium-sized songbird with rich chestnut and black plumage, this species is one of the few known poisonous birds, containing a range of batrachotoxin compounds in its skin, feathers and other tissues. These toxins are thought to be derived from their diet, and may function both to deter predators and protect the bird from parasites.

Ercinee (giant pitohui bird)App 1 (1d4) ⁞ AC 8 ⁞ MV 20, fly 80 ⁞ HD 2 (hp 8)  ⁞ ATT buffet or peck (1d8) ⁞ SA/D: poison feathers ⁞ SV 16 ⁞ ML 6 ⁞ INT animal ⁞ DX 11 ⁞ SZ M ⁞ TC - ⁞ XP 64 ⁞ Instinct: skittish predator
* Any weapon striking the bird has a 2:6 chance of picking up the poison and any direct contact with the feathers has a 4:6 chance of causing exposure. The effects of the poison cause instantly cause numbness (-2 rolls): within 1 turn, a vaguely glowing rash will appear in the contact area, and will continue to spread and worsen. The bacteria is a flesh eater, and without treatment a victim will die within 1d6 days as a result.

The Ercinee is a large woodland bird resembling a hooded woodpecker or jay. It stands 5ft tall and has a wingspan of up to 10 ft. At night, an ercinee in flight is a truly spectacular sight, for it glows with an intensely bright green-yellow light. This light is twice as bright as torchlight, a bioluminescence caused by bacteria that grow on the bird’s feathers. The bacteria have one other effect: it is a deadly poison. Although the ercinee does not use its poisonous feathers as a means of attack, contact with the feathers can have hazardous results. (~ adapted from Monsters of Myth, OSRIC, by The First Edition Society)

Last edited by Jimm.Iblis (5/25/2018 11:31 pm)

"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
     Thread Starter

5/26/2018 6:58 am  #3

Re: Weird Wonders BBC on Netflix

Dang, reality is weirder than fiction sometimes. Thanks!

"It is all very well to point out that the man lacks facility; as he asserts, sheer force can overpower sophistication."
Jack Vance, Rhialto the Marvellous

5/26/2018 7:51 pm  #4

Re: Weird Wonders BBC on Netflix

Glad you liked them!

"Role-playing isn't storytelling. If the dungeon master is directing it, it's not a game."  ~ Gary Gygax
     Thread Starter

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