As you may already know, Jim Raggi over at Lamentations of the Fire Princess (see my blog roll) wrote a little book with a big title: The Random Esoteric Creature Generator for Classic Fantasy Roleplaying Games and Their Modern Simulacra. It has been reviewed several times in the OD&D blog community, so rather than try my own hand at reviewing it, I will summarize: if you have eleven bucks to spend on what is essentially a giant random table for creating crazy-ass* monsters, or if you just like random tables in general, go and buy it.
Here is my first random creation, rolled up on the bus ride home from work earlier this week. (By the way, it is difficult to roll dice on a bus and some people look at your strangely) I humbly present: The Zygorax, presented using AD&D 1st edition stat block format
Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 4
Move: 13" walk, 13" wall-crawling
Hit Dice: 6
% in Lair: 20%
Treasure Type: C
No. of Attacks: 2
Special Attacks: nil
Special Defenses: Immune to crushing damage
Magic Resistance: Standard
Size: L (15' tall)
Psionic Ability: Nil
Attack/Defense Modes: Nil
Alignment: N/A (Or Neutral if you really must have one)
The zygorax is an unnatural abomination. It is possible that it resulted from the experiment of some mad sorcerer of ages past, or perhaps it was brought to this world by a summoning spell gone awry or a gate to a nightmarish demi-plane. The creature is encountered so rarely that the answer may never be known.
The zygorax has a pink, fleshy body covered with plates of black chitin. It's unarmored head looks similar to a hairless rat, with gleaming red eyes and a gaping maw. It stands uneasily on six legs of uneven length which jut down from its torso, and has a very long prehensile tail with a stinger on the end. Where the flesh is exposed, there are vestigial, catterpiller-like legs that twitch uncontrollably. the creature moves with a tottering, shambling gait due to the unusual, unstable shape of its body.
In combat, the zygorax attacks with thin, nearly tentacle like arms that it uses to blugeon opponents. In addition, it can use its tail sting for an additional attack every round. (The sting is not poisonous) The creature seems to be able to sense weakness and always attacks the character with the fewest current hit point total to the exclusion of all other opponents. The zygorax hates all natural creatures and will attack them on sight, only fleeing if badly wounded.
The zygorax can move across walls and ceilings at full speed, and can cling to them as if under the effects of a spider climb spell.
Perhaps most freakish of all, the body of a zygorax is actually made of a flexible, cartilage-like substance. The creatures's body is filled with a viscous purple fluid in lieu of organs. Because of this unusual anatomy, the creature is completely immune to any damage from crushing/bludgeoning sources.
...and there you have it, a random and esoteric creature. Thanks, Jim!
*Crazy-ass: I'm talking like Lewis Caroll/H.P. Lovecraft slash fic.