Tuesday 3 May 2011

An Adventure for Every Monster - Black Pudding

Black Pudding

Frequency Uncommon
No appearing 1 to 1-4
AC 6
Move 6"
HD 10
% in lair Nil
Treasure type Nil
No of attacks 1
Damage per attack 3-24
Special attacks Dissolve wood and metal
Special defences Blows, cold and lightning do not harm
Magic resistance Standard
Intelligence Non
Alignment Neutral
Size S to L (5’ diameter to 8’ diameter)
THAC0 10
XP value 1350 + 14/hp

The black pudding is a monster composed of groups of single cells. It is a scavenger/hunter found only in underground areas normally. The body structure of a black pudding is such that it can pass (flow) through narrow openings (such as a 1" crack under a door). The monster travels equally well on walls or ceilings as well as floors. Its tiny mouths and saliva do 3-24 hit points of damage per melee round to exposed flesh. If the monster needs to dissolve wood in order to obtain food, it can eat away about a two inch thickness of wood equal in area to its diameter in 1 melee round. Black puddings also eat away metal with their corrosive saliva: Chain mail in 1 melee round, plate mail in 2, and an additional melee round for magical armour at a rate of 1 melee round for each plus of armour. Thus, +1 magic (plate) armour would have to be in contact with a black pudding for 3 melee rounds before it dissolved. If chopped or struck, the monster is broken into two or more parts, each able to attack. The same is true if it is attacked by lightning. Cold does not affect it. Fire causes normal damage to this monster, and they avoid flames. Black puddings sometimes have colour variation, grey, brown, and white being not uncommon.

Black puddings with 10-20 hit points are about 5' diameter, those of 21 -40 hit points 6', 41-60 are 7', and 61-80 are 8'. Note that even those of the smallest size (or those as small as 1' diameter) are able to deliver normal damage. This is due to the fact that larger puddings simply do not use all of their mouth openings as they are not exposed.

This adventure takes place as the party enter a large, long chamber whose floor is made of obsidian slabs. This glassy substance is fairly slippery and each member of the party who tries to walk across it needs to save vs. DEX each 20’ or lose their footing. This will become very relevant soon.

At the far end of the room is an altar. Access to this is blocked by a wall of force about ten feet or so into the chamber. There is no way of physically breaking through this. On the altar is a complex sculpture, whose arms can be moved into a number of different permutations.

At the near end of the room is a large stone dial set into the wall. This has an inner and an outer wheel to it.

The wheels can be aligned to five settings. Whichever setting is selected first, there is an initial delay of fifteen seconds during which time the wall of force dissipates. The party might think that they have achieved this through pure chance alone and may believe that the way to the altar has been cleared.

The settings will trigger the following effects

1) Certain (number to be determined by the DM) of the obsidian slabs will slide aside and the black puddings in the pits beneath them will rise up to become level with the rest of the floor. It may not be apparent to the party that anything has actually happened, since the puddings and the floor are the same colour. Not apparent until they tread on one, that is.
2) As 1 but after thirty to forty seconds, those slabs slide shut and new ones slide open
3) As 2 but the duration is now one and a half minutes
4) As 2 but the duration is now fifteen seconds
5) All the slabs open at the same time, and the floors of the pits rise up, pushing the black puddings out onto the floor. The door to the chamber will close behind the party. The only way to open it is to pull the right permutation of arms on the altar at the far end of the room.

If the DM wishes, incorrect permutations of the arms can be penalised with dire effects (or perhaps the black pudding onslaught is penalty enough)

If the party manage to defeat the puddings, they will find that at the bottom of each pit there is 1d20gp worth of loose coinage and gems from previous victims of the trap.

I know that the monster stats say no treasure type but that's just wrong to me - you've fought your way past several slithery black slimy things (with mouths) and you deserve a reward. So...

The altar at the far end of the chamber will hold obsidian jewellery which will be to a value of at least 10,000gp.

DG note - the idea of a black pudding and obsidian combo comes from a very old Dragon article (can't remember which) but I've whipped it up and given it a bit of a spin for your delectation and delight.

1 comment:

  1. IIRC: The black pudding/obsidian thing appears in the 1E DMG as a trick vase that's sometimes a vase and sometimes trying to eat you.

    Hang on quiz nights is Saturday on another blog... I'll get me coat.