Monday, October 7, 2013

The Return of Monstrous Monday - Mushroom Kingdom Edition

Some of you may recall that last year about this time there was a big blogfest organized by Tim Brannan to post a bunch of monsters on October 29, as well as on the Mondays leading up to that date. Well, Tim's too busy to host a sequel this year, but when I came up with the idea to do Mushroom Kingdom Monsters I couldn't pass it up.

Art Via AdamsPinto
The genesis of this idea was a thread on RPG.Net titled "Hyboria + Mushroom Kingdom = IT WON'T GET OUT OF MY HEAD!"  True to the title, the idea has stuck with me ever since, occasionally inflamed by finding a neat piece of artwork to go with it. All sorts of different rulesets and play-styles have been suggested - there's a particularly nice Savage Worlds netbook by Jeremy Puckett that plays things fairly straight, for example - but the mode that most interests me is the slightly gritty, D&Dified sword-and-sorcery take on it. What, after all, is the difference between Mario and John Carter except that one landed on Barsoom and the other in the Mushroom Kingdom?

OK, that might be a bit of a stretch. Still, the setting has the idea of extra-dimensional visitors built right into it, and they might as well be a motley band of fighters, barbarians, and wizards as a family of ethnic handymen. Either way, they're going to need something to fight, which brings us back to Monstrous Mondays. Each Monday this month I plan to stat up a few iconic Mushroom Kingdom Monsters for Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperboria, that being the particular flavor of OSR I think fits this take on the setting best.

To begin, then, we'll start with the Goomba and the Koopa - not very impressive individually, to be sure, but a hoard of them is perhaps a different matter.

Goomba: An intelligent, ambulatory fungus at home in many environments, from deep caverns to scorching deserts.
Art Via D-MAC

Encountered: 1d4 (1d6+3)
Alignment: Neutral
Size: Small
Move ment: 10
Dexterity: 5
Armor Class: 10 (9)
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: 1 (bite)
Damage: 1d6
Saving Throw: 16
Morale: 11
Experience Points: 10
Treasure Class: M
Special: 1-in-12 chance per encounter that one Goomba will be piloting a Goomba Shoe (see below).

Koopa: This humanoid turtle is often found serving as the main trooper in the armies of the King Koopa.

Encountered: 1d4 (1d8)
Alignment: Neutral
Size: Medium
Movement: 30 (Swim 20)
Dexterity: 9
Armor Class: 6 (13)
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 2 (bite/claw)
Damage: 1d6/2d4
Saving Throw: 16
Morale: 8
Experience Points: 20
Treasure Class: M
Special: When reduced to 50% Hit Points, the Koopa must pass a morale check or retreat into his shell for 2d6 rounds. Once killed, the Koopa's shell can be fashioned into a suit of AC 7 (12) armor or an AC -1 (+1) shield.

Goomba Shoe: This strange device of unknown origin resembles nothing so much as a giant green boot with a windup key. If piloted by a Small or Medium creature, it provides an AC of 8 (11) and a 1d8 Jumping attack within their standard movement range. All known examples were originally discovered being piloted by Goombas - where they got them from remains a mystery.

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