Friday, 19 August 2016

Dreams of Devoured Corpses

One of the areas of the dungeon in Behind Gently Smiling Jaws is comprised of the memories the crocodile has of the aftermath of the great catastrophe which caused the extinction of most of the dinosaurs. I wrote about it here. This is one of the locations:

In the mountains lies a a small deep lake where rainwater has collected, with sheer cliffs on three sides and a small rubbley beach on the fourth. In the depths of the water live turtles, memory things from the crocodile’s distant visions of post-catastrophic days. In its dreams, it sees them still: small and snub-nosed and gleefully feeding off the corpses of creatures killed or starved in the disaster. In its nightmares, the corpses awake, lurching towards it, attempting to grasp it in a rubbery, clammy embrace, with the turtles still snapping at their decaying flesh.  
Whenever the lake is visited, roll a d6 and consult the following table. The result indicates the type of corpse that is floating under the surface of the water, being consumed by the turtles – it awakens inevitably after 1d4 rounds.  
1 - Therapod. AB +5, HD 6, AC 14, ATT 2d6 (bite) 1d6 (tail).
2 - Stegosaur. AB +4, HD 8, AC 16, ATT 2d6 (tail).
3 - Ankylosaur. AB +4, HD 7, AC 20, ATT 1d6+4 (tail).
4 - Ceratopsian. AB +5, HD 6, AC 16, ATT 2d6 (gore, does double damage on a charge).
5 - Sauropod. AB +3, HD 10, AC 14, ATT 3d6 (trample).
6 - Ornithopod. AB +4, HD 5, AC 14, ATT 1d6+2 (tail) 1d4 (head butt).  
The corpse issues a weak, melancholy howl which strikes the listener with an unutterably bleak apathy as the cruel caprice of the universe is revealed to him (loses initiative automatically for the remainder of the day and move at half the normal rate unless saving successfully vs magic).  
4d6 turtles remain clinging to the corpse as it emerges from the water. Each can spring off the corpse to attack, delivering a single bite, before scuttling back to the lake. Bites are at AB +2 and do 1d2 damage. The victim must save vs poison or become diseased and lose 1 point of CON for 2d6 days; death occurs if CON drops below 3, and a random limb is lost if CON drops below 5. After 2d6 days CON points are recovered at a rate of 1 per day.  
The corpse collapses and falls apart after 1d3x10 minutes. 
If the corpse succeeds in killing a living thing it will grasp the body and attempt to drag it into the lake to be devoured by the turtles. If this happens the victim's essence remains trapped in the crocodile's memories. [NB: There are rules for what happens in these circumstances. In essence, there are mechanisms by which dead PCs and their equipment become part of the crocodile's memories and proliferate within them.] 

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