Saturday, September 29, 2012

Beast of the Week: Jack-o-lantern

I mentioned earlier in the week that my son is sorta playing Dragon Strike (or at least playing with the pieces).  When he runs around as the Wizard, he often says that he's changing into a "pumpkin head wizard."  The his wizard punches the monsters.  Also, while it's Chuseok (one of the big annual Korean holidays, sort of Thanksgiving and the Confucian version of Halloween rolled into one) and I thought I'd try to post another Korean monster, most of them are things already covered by monsters in D&D (OA) or else in Flying Swordsmen.  So I'll start my annual Halloween monster postings tonight with a jack-o-lantern monster.

AC: 6 (14)
HD: 4*
Move: 120 (40)
Attacks: 1 bite/1 gaze
Damage: 2d6/blindness
No. Appearing: 1d6 (1d6)
Save As: F4
Morale: 7
Treasure Type: C
Alignment: Chaotic

Jack-o-lanterns are evil spirits animating a scarecrow with a carved pumpkin head for a face.  The eyes, nose and mouth of the pumpkin glow with an eldritch light.  Despite their jerky movements, they are capable combatants, with iron-hard jaws.  In addition to their bite attack, jack-o-lanterns can use a gaze attack each round.  A target who meets the gaze (see standard penalties for avoiding the gaze under the Medusa) must Save vs. Paralyzation or stand still, unable to move for 1d6 Rounds.

I personally plan to describe each jack-o-lantern's gaze differently.  One will be beams of light shooting out of the face like Lo Pan, another might be swirling, mesmerizing hell flames like Ghost Rider, another might release strands of ectoplasm which wrap up the victim.  Just to keep players on their toes and give them something cool to talk about.


  1. I've been through a lot of your older posts, and wanted to say that I've enjoyed your monster write-ups tremendously. I particularly like that you take a good concept, keep it simple, and write it in a terse and minimal manner.

    Its very easy to get too wordy and turn a nice, simple concept for a monster into a total cheese fest, and you avoid that remarkably well.

    Further, your monster write ups are eminently gameable; its obvious they are written to be used at the game table, and not as an exercise in amateur thespianism.

    I'd suggest you collect your monsters into a file and offer them up for download so others can use them without having to scour through old posts to find them.


  2. Thanks. I try to find something interesting for each new monster whenever possible and like you said keep them simple.

    I'm collecting these Beast of the Week posts, plus the other holiday or random monsters. At the end of the year when I finish Beast of the Week I'll add them to the downloads.