Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Hill Cantons Bestiary: The Vodník

I am up to 18 unique monsters in the Slumbering Ursine Dunes mini-sandbox (now in its fourth editing iteration and about to roll onto to take off), the monster bestiary now starting rival the actual pointcrawl and adventure site write-ups in size. A big fan of new critters to torment and befuddle players this, naturally, makes me supremely happy.

To give readers a sense of the flavor of these write-ups I am posting one of the new additions blog-side, my weirdo twist on the Vodník, a watery “bogey-man” still sometimes used to scare the living poo out of kids today back in the mother land.

No. Enc.: 1-2
Alignment: Chaotic (Evil)
Movement: 120’ (40’)
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d6 special (see below)
Save: F4
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: XX
XP: 300
It is said that among the Old Pahr people that a pessimist is someone who thinks that things couldn't be an worse--and that an optimist believes that it can! Pushing aside the old wives tale that a surfeit of strong drink drives men to melancholy, learned men attribute this pervading culture gloom to the surfeit of malovelent spirits and faeries in that people's mythology.

A particularly nasty example of the inimical Pahr spirit is the vodník, a male water nymph of a particularly sour and murderous nature. Vodník often lurk at the edges of lakes and rivers waiting for lone or small groups of village folk

Vodník are invisible in the the water before they strike, but rise as a translucent seeming serpent when they do. Each strike does 1d6 damage but worse is that the spirit serpent will attempt to drag the victim down to a watery doom. Failure to save vs. paralysis will mean that the victim is dragged into the water.

Once the Vodník has a victim under water it will shift into its true form, a pot-bellied old man covered in fine scales, and concentrate on drowning the hapless victim. It will drown a person in 1d6+1 rounds a process that can only be stopped with the creature's death.

The Vodník will only take one hit point of damage from piercing or slashing weapons, but takes full damage as normal. Fire magic will have no effect on the monster. Electrical magic will double in intensity. Casting Purify Food and Water on the creature will kill it outright.

The Vodník will become strangely mellow (read non-murderous) for 1d6 turns after the witching hour, often appearing on rocks or floating on the water smoking a carved pipe. Fishermen as such will often leave offerings of pipe weed to placate local Vodníki.


  1. Brilliant. A saltwater variant may be the bane of merchants and pirates when entering or leaving port, no?

  2. "The Vodník will only take one hit point of damage from piercing or slashing weapons, but takes full damage as normal." - full damage... from bludgeoning weapons, I assume? (From magical weapons?)

    I especially like the "purify food and drink" angle. Has that mythic feel.