Thursday, May 22, 2014

Monsters from Synthexia (and 1 Motorcycle)

I'm perpetually sad that I haven't gotten to play Synthexia, a crowdsourced Hexcrawl started by +Jacob Hurst.  Then +Ramanan S compiled the whole thing here.  I also wrote notes for a dungeon in Synthexia previously.

It's just a hex crawl with lasers and crystals and skeledroids and space princesses.  Nothing fancy.

Anyway, instead of playing Synthexia like I want to, I decided to write about it.


This is like a motorcycle, except instead of a gas tank, it has a zombified brain floating in a tank full of green liquid.  The brain tank is usually clear, so you can see the corrugated brain mean clearly through the plastic emerald shine.  

The green fluid is called necro-combustive powersoup.  It's what's used to power the combustion engine.  The necrocombustive powersoup is recycled--it is used to power the engine again and again.  The powersoup is re-energized by the insanity resonance between the zombie brain and the rider.

The more insane the rider, the faster the psychocycle goes.

For a rider with Wis 10, the psychocycle goes about as fast as a horse.  10/10 = 100% speed.
For a rider with Wis 5, the psychocycle goes about twice as fast.  10/5 = 200% speed.
For a rider with Wis 15, the psychocycle goes about 2/3 as fast.  10/15 = 67% speed.

If the rider chooses to permanently sacrifice a point of wisdom to the psychocycle, the vehicle will kick into overdrive.  Green flames will blast out the exhaust, the tires will leave green flamelets licking the trail, and the vehicle will go about 5x faster.  It will also be able to pull 5x as much.  This lasts for 1 minute.  At the beginning of the minute, the rider must save or go insane for 1d20 minutes, and endure impossible colors, vivid hallucinations, and uncontrollable impulses.


These are the skull-faced heads of old men, about twice the dimensions of a human skull.  They fly around, biting and gnashing.  They make horrible slurping noises with their withered lips all the time.  They can also vomit forth a horde of spiders.

Craniac XP 30
HD 1 AC 14 Mv fly 12 Frothy Kiss-bite +1 (1d6 damage + lay eggs)
Save 16+ Morale 12 Int 5 Vomit Forth, Lay Eggs, Undead
Vomit Forth: After 1d4 rounds of combat, vomit out a jumping spider swarm.
Lay Eggs: Each bite has a 25% chance to lay spider eggs in the victim.  During the incubation, the victim will get -1 to attacks from the swelling and itching.  They can be extracted by a skilled healer possessing a sharp scalpel.  The eggs will hatch in 1d3+1 days into a jumping spider swarm.

Ixian Jumping SpidersXP 0
HD 1AC 14Mv 6Nibble 1d6 (automatically hits) + poison
Save 18+Morale 12Int 1Swarm
Swarm: Take minimum damage from most weapons and spells.  AoE spells (e.g. fireball, cone of cold) deal full damage.  Burning oil does full damage.  Torches deal 1d3 damage.
Poison: Save or lose 1d6 Cha as your head swells and ages grotesquely (but not the rest of you).  If this drops your Charisma to 0, your huge, wrinkled head pops from your shoulders and becomes another Craniac.

Meteor Eaters

These are sort of like flying stone dumpsters with angry faces drawn on.  They fly around in space eating minerals, picking out the tasty minerals, and then spitting out the rocks they don't like.  They look like normal meteors until you notice them changing directions in order to intercept you.  They fly around in space eating rocks and generally wrecking shit. 

They are also accompanied by flocks of void gulls (just like sea gulls except that they have inverted colors, can fly around in space, and if you look real deep in one's eyes you can reach a painful level of introspection).  The void gulls are too fast for the meteor eater to catch, and instead just eat its scraps and shit on its face.

Meteor EaterXP 300
HD 5AC 16Mv 9Bite +4 (2d6 + swallow)
Save 14+Morale 10Int 8/grumpyBarf Rocks, Swallow, Calcium Hungry
Barf Rocks: 30' cone, 5d6 bludgeoning damage, save for half.  1/day.  Also ejects swallowed items.
Swallow: If the bite attack exceeds the targets AC by 5 and the dice shows a natural 17-20, the target is swallowed, and is smashed up in the rocky gullet.  They take 2d6 damage if the creature has Barfed Rocks, but only 1d6 damage if it has.  Escaping the gullet requires a successful opposed Strength check (vs Str 20).
Calcium Hungry: Meteor eaters go after humans because they want the calcium in their bones.  If they get a PC in their gullet (living or dead) they might decide to fly away and digest them, spitting out the crushed, boneless corpse later.  If presented with a human's worth of bones (or other calcium-rich material) or a suitable amount of rare earth metals, they have a 4-in-6 chance to be satisfied with that, and depart with the offering.


Take a hampster and increase its size to about that of a deflated basketball.  Change it's fur to a mossy blueish-purple and cover it with green lichens.  Now get rid of the limbs and face.  Give it a single, red-rimmed eyeball in the center of where its face was.  Lastly, a pair of batwings.  That's what a spazbat looks like.

They fly around being assholes.  They hunt by teleporting blood out of their prey, laughing, and then teleporting away.  If they are feeling malicious (which is often), they may teleport random items into the PCs that annoy them the most.  Killing them is messy, since they are often just furry basketballs filled with blood.

Spaz BatXP 40
HD 2AC 16Mv fly 15None
Save 17+Morale 6Int 5/meanTeleport Self, Teleport Blood, Teleport Stuff
Teleport Self: At the beginning of a turn, a Spaz Bat begins vibrating.  It teleports at the end of its turn unless it has taken damage in that interval.  Range is 1000'.
Teleport Blood: If a target in 30' fails a save, about a gallon of blood is teleported into spazbat (which then bloats appropriately).  This deals 1d6+1 Constitution damage to the target, after which the spazbat psychically laughs at them.  They usually teleport away after this.
Teleport Stuff: If a target in 30' fails a save, a small, random item is teleported from a random PC's inventory into the target's guts.  The target takes 1d6 damage.  Cutting the item out of the target usually causes the target to take 1d6 damage if attempted by an unskilled person, but medical training reduces that damage to whatever.

Unicorn Addicts

Every part of the unicorn is magical and addictive.  Even a unicorn's poop is mystical.  Eating a full unicorn patty restores 1 HP and causes a pleasant euphoria.  While powerful and gnashing warlords are accustomed to throwing unicorn feasts every year or so (or whenever they feel that their life is growing boring and wish to invite some bloody calamity to liven it up), there is a sadder victim of the unicorn's addictive juices.

They can be easily identified by the (usually curved and stunted) monohorn growing from their foreheads.  Sometimes they cover these horns up with little hats and ribbons.

Unicorn addicts follow unicorn herds around.  These are usually disheveled, unwashed, malnourished people who persist in wearing the brightest colors possible.  They sometimes kidnap virgins in order to entice unicorns closer (possible plot hoot).  They also have horrific breath, due to the constant consumption of unicorn dung.  Many of them are strange, irrational, and  unscrupulous in their desperation to be close to unicorns.

Unicorn AddictXP 20
HD 1AC 11Mv 12Quarterstaff +1 (1d6), Boomerang +1 (1d6) 50'
Save 5+Morale 8Int 10/zanyPacifistic Prattle, Spell Dance, Zany
Pacifistic Prattle: No one take take any offensive actions against unicorn addicts.  This effect ends if the unicorn addict (or his allies) do anything offensive or suspicious, OR if a PC makes a save (they only get one attempt).
Spell Dance: If three or more unicorn addicts spin around in a circle while rubbing their horns, they can cast sleep.  If 20 or more unicorn addicts spin around in a circle, they can cast cure light wounds.  They can do this as many times per day as they want.
Zany: After each round of combat, roll a d10.  1 - Berserk mode.  2 - Run away.  3 - Pledge eternal loyalty (as long as they get a steady payment of unicorn dung).

Vector Skeletons

Vector Skeletons come from the Dimension 95, the information dimension (it only exists in 2D).  In fact, some say that vector skeletons are the spirits of cyber demons.  Other say that they are primitive forms of the same.  In any event, they can be found anywhere a tunneling protocol connects Dimension 95 to this one.  

They sometimes wear the skin of the last humanoid that they killed.  They're actually quite good at wearing skin.  Not realistic, but good.  The skin is stretched taught over their bodies, pulled smooth, and with all the ragged ends joined together.  The resultant creature is an angular piece of architecture reminiscent of the original.

They look like shitty wireframe models from old computer games.  But don't tell your players that.  Just just describe jagged purple lines moving of their own accord, like a cage for a man that isn't there, glittering in the harsh light from the supernovas, moving with arrhythmic animation, hissing with satanic static.

Vector SkeletonXP 20
HD 2AC 14Mv 15Cyberclaw +1 (1d10-1, min 0)
Save 19+Morale 11Int 1/logicalGlitch, Wall Hacks, Bashable
Glitch: At the start of every combat round, roll a d12.  The vector skeleton will glitch out in different ways.
1 - teleport 10'-60' in a random direction.
2 - get stuck in the floor, immobilized for 1d6 rounds
3 - 3 attacks this round
4 - lock up, paralysis 1d6 rounds
5 - attack allies this round
6 - explode, dealing 1d10-1 to all in 10'.  Save for half.
7-12 - no effect.
If this rolling seems tedious, feel free to roll for all vector skeletons at once.  Just be cautious about rolling a 3. 
Wall Hacks: Vector skeletons are not incorporeal, but they can walk through walls anyway.
Bashable: Take double damage from bludgeoning weapons.

unlike this. . . but not completely unlike this



Laser Elemental

This is what you get if you get a cellophane balloon in the shape of a man and fill it with lasers.  It's weighs a few pounds and is fully of hot bars of light.  It looks like a lightsaber orgy in there, constantly pulsing and changing color.

Laser elementals are created when a normal laser gets trapped in the prism maze of Prismax the Unblinking.  There's also a strange reification process that involves molasses, balloons, and lots of MDMA.  So basically, a wizard did it.

Although lots of people think that there is a plane of lasers, though.

Laser ElementalXP 400
HD 6AC 14Mv fly 120Fire Lasers +6/+6/+6/+6 (1d6 fire damage), 200' range
Save 14+Morale 12Int 2/stoicErrata, Quick, Light-based
Errata: I just want to point out that laser elementals move 10x faster than a human.  Also, their lasers have 200' range.  Basically, their strategy is just to dance around the PCs and shoot lasers from 200' away.  This is awful outdoors, but somewhat more manageable indoors.
Quick: They don't provoke attacks when they withdraw from melee, or when they fire from melee.
Light-based: Laser elementals are light-based.  This means that you can see them clearly in dark places.  They're like neon signs.  However, this doesn't mean that they can see you.  Additionally, you can reflect their lasers with a mirror.  If they shoot their lasers at a person holding a mirror and miss, you can redirect them at whatever you want.  They are, however, immune to fire damage.


  1. This is so awesome! I'd love more Synthexia content by you.

  2. The Psychocycle: the perfect ride for the Transmaniacon

  3. Laser elementals are my favorite. Beat only by Milk Elemental (if left alone turn into elemental of yogurt and ten cheese) and Surprise Elemental.

    Any idea where the flying eyes with wings come from? Are they a variation of beholders from early video games?