Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Jelly Kid Family

Jelly Kids

Undead are corpses puppeted by demons.

Not jelly kids, though.  I'm not sure what's puppeting these things, but gosh if they aren't friendly!

Jelly kids are about 18 inches tall.  Their bodies are white and rubbery.  They have little wiggly noodle arms and little wiggly noodle legs.

They have no genitals (thank the Authority) and their huge heads wobble atop their narrow shoulders.

Their staring eyes bulge out of their gelatinous skulls.  Their red eyeballs are tight with red jelly and the white worms that swim through it.

Meeting Them

When you first meet them, jelly kids will probably be a little bit shy.  They'll hang back, peering at you from around the door frame, or peeping at you from under a table.

If you don't encourage them, they'll follow you.  You're more interesting than anything else in this dungeon.

If you do encourage them to approach, or if they follow you long enough to feel comfortable, the jelly kids will walk right up to you.

Loosely based on these dudes on Bogleech

Jelly Kid

LvlDef none  Atk none

Dis playful child

Hanging Out with Jelly Kids

If you don't interact with them, the jelly kids will still prove to be an annoyance.  They'll climb on things, move small objects around, and try to get you to play with them.  If you are able to move them around with a set of heavy gloves (and are good about sanitizing your gloves afterwards) they don't pose much of a direct threat.

They also provide a subtle benefit--while you are escorted by jelly kids, low level undead will not bother you.  (Level 1 undead will ignore you.  Level 2 undead will ignore you 50% of the time.)


Jelly kids love to be given gifts.  If you give them the sort of gift that a child would enjoy, roll a d10 to see what they give you.

1 - a shiny spoon.

2 - a spider the size of a small dog (alive but bound in webbing).

3 - a human hand with a ring worth 50s.

4 - a fancy hat with a stuffed parrot on it.

5 - a treasure map OR they'll show you a secret door nearby.

6-10 - a hug!


Under no circumstances should you hug a jelly kid.

Under no circumstances should you touch a jelly kid with your bare skin, even slightly.

Either one of these conditions will require you to make a Con save vs disease or become infected.

Your starting Infection Level is 2.  Every 10 minutes, you must roll a d20.  If the result is equal to your Infection Level or less, your Con is damaged by that many points.  (So if you roll a 2, you take 2 Con damage.)  If you roll above your Infection level, nothing happens.

The time between checks is extended to 1 hour (instead of 10 minutes) if you are outside of the dungeon or if you are blitheringly drunk.  The disease is cured by staring into the sun (which causes blindness for a number of days equal to your infection level).

Repeated exposures (e.g. continuing to hug the jelly kids) increases your Infection Level by 1 point each time. 

It is extremely painful to have parasites rapidly breeding inside your eyeballs.  It is also painful to have dead parasites inside your eyeballs.

If you die from this disease, your liver, spleen, kidneys, and uterus will turn into jelly kids over the next hour and crawl out of your body.


If a jelly kid is ever damaged, their heads burst.  Jelly kids are more fragile than most monsters--even falling off a table can damage a jelly kid.

When a jelly kid bursts, everyone within 10' is covered in their jelly.  (No save, unless you're holding an open umbrella or something.)  Anyone covered in their jelly automatically gets an Infection Level of 2 (as above).  Multiple exposures (e.g. multiple bursting jelly kids) increases the Infection Level by 1 point each time.

Burst jelly kids aren't dead (unless you take an action to hack them up).  A round later, they'll get back up.  With their ruptured head sagging on their neck, they'll go rejoin their peers.  They won't be playful again until roughly three days later, when their head heals and their parasites repopulate.


Jelly kids have the minds of playful 4-year-olds, and are easily distracted by play.

Some examples of effective toys: building a slide out of a table and chairs.  A set of dice.  A kitten.  Even throwing a teddy bear down a hallway will get them to chase it.

Jelly kids cannot vocalize, but they can express their happiness by shaking their heads from side to side.  They do not need to eat, and will not eat anything except for baked goods.  Their favorite food is toasted bread.

If you start actively murdering jelly kids, the other jelly kids will run away and hide (poorly).  

After actively murdering jelly kids, any further jelly kids you encounter will be openly hostile, and will attempt to charge into you as hard as they can, bursting their little heads open in the process. 

No one is quite certain of the origin of jelly kids.  One theory holds that they may be the spirits of corpses (in the same way that kodama are the spirits of trees).

based on a comic by Mat Brinkman

Skeleton Jellies

If skeleton jellies are puppeted by demons, they are puppeted by stupid, lazy ones.

Jelly kids have an odd relationship with skeleton jellies.  

Jelly kids love to play with skeleton jellies, and will climb on them while decorating them with everything they can find.

For their part, skeleton jellies are utterly entranced by jelly kids, and will stand motionless while it watches jelly kids play, oblivious to all else.  If a skeleton jelly witnesses a jelly kid being harmed, it goes berserk (+2 to hit, damage, and Str).

Skeleton Jelly

Lvl Def Leather  Slam 1d8

Int low  Str low  Dis lazy, murderous

Jelly Skeleton - Skeleton jellies are immune to all forms of damage.

Bone Needle Men

Both jelly kids and skeletons jellies will flee from bone needle men.

Bone needle men look like the elephant man’s skeleton, except that their gangly limbs allow them to stand 9’ tall.  

Their skull is a single fused piece.  They have no eye sockets.  They have no mouth, although they have several “mouth-like” fissures.

They are undead, but their bones are filled with marrow and warm blood.

They do not wander, but stand in pools of still water.  If there is a group of bone needle men, only one will stand--the others will hide beneath the water’s surface.  If undisturbed, they do not move much (except to rattle their heads every 30-60 minutes).

The skull of a bone needle man is very valuable because of the bone needles it contains.

If the needles inside the skull are extracted in a neutral atmosphere and then cured in lye, they become bone needles.  This is typically done by submerging the skull in oil, puncturing the foramen magnum with an awl, and then removing the bone needles by hand.  The bone needles are then placed in shallow trays and washed with lye (typically changed 1/day for 3-5 days).  If any air contacts the bone needles before they are complete, they are ruined.

An intact skull is worth 300s.  It contains 1d3+3 bone needles (worth 60s intact, or 100s each once treated).  If a bone needle man every takes bludgeoning damage, the skull is cracked and the bone needles inside are ruined.

DM's Note: The last paragraph is common knowledge (although exact prices are not).  Tell it to your players when they first encounter a bone needle man.

Inserting a needle into someone will cause them to obey the next 7 words you say (as in dominate person).  They'll be sweaty and robotic the whole time though.  Creatures of Lvl 4 or less do not get a save.  The effect lasts until the needle is removed.  Victims are incapable of removing the needles on their own, although they won't stop other people from pulling out the needles.  Each needle can only be used once.

Replica Skull of Joseph Merrick (the Elephant Man)

LvlDef chain  Right Claw 1d6 Left Claw *

Int 10  Dis calculating, murderous

Skeleton - Half damage from slashing and piercing.

Left Claw - A creature struck by the left claw has its HP dropped to the bare minimum while still standing (0 HP in the GLOG, 1 HP in most other systems).  After each round, an affected creature can make a Hard Cha check to regain all HP lost in this way.  

Bone Needle Men typically use their left claws on the first round.  On the second round, they attempt to kill those affected.


Bone Needle Men rattle their heads every 30-60 minutes.  This sound is heard by all living creatures within 1 mile (who can then approximate which direction the sound is coming from).  Sleeping creatures who hear this sound will suffer terrible nightmares, gain a point of Stress, and awaken a few minutes later.  Sleep is impossible within 1 mile of a bone needle man (except for those who are already insane).


  1. What about the bone needles makes them so valuable? Are they literally used as needles?

  2. Minor point, but I assume your caption meant to say Joseph Merrick instead of Merrick Garland, who is the current US Attorney General (unless you're making a satirical point which has gone over my own normal-sized head).

    1. If it's satire, it's amazing. If it's a long-form spoonerism, it's also amazing.

    2. I'm just tired and bad at names but also congrats to Merrick Garland.

    3. Could have claimed it was extremely specific pandering for Humza Kazmi.

  3. Love to see the skeleton jellies back, also the jelly kids themselves are really unsettling in a particularly interesting way. Make something childlike and incidentally dangerous/murderous and I immediately feel conflicted as a player, always an unsettling dilemma (the opening adventure of storm king's thunder made me feel guilty for at least a week after playing)

  4. This is just how I feel about kids in general