Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Soft D&D Monster Brainstorm

Latest in the somewhat-ragged series;

Rude Orcs

Other Orcs are poor but these are very rich and pink and loud and will not go away. These Orcs move in groups, riding horses to death and breaking carriages on bending roads. They move into villages and sometimes ruins and have raucous loud and unending parties where they demand to be entertained loudly and endlessly.

These Orcs are very corse, cruel and rude and upset everyone. As well as being very strong, so you can't just force them out, they are also very rich, and have a lawyer, either with them, trapped in a silver mirror, or easily summon able by midnight bat.

Tangling with the Rude Orcs can mean you get humiliated, laughed at, have drinks and food spilled on you, have your clothes torn and be thrown in a ditch.

If the Rude Orcs really take against you they can come to your house, eat and drink everything, break furniture and shout, sing and fight all night, making the place unliveable.

How to get rid of the Orcs?

Magic perhaps, as Orcs are very scared of it. Some other Stranger or Spirit, which would mean making a deal. Or persuading them to go elsewhere for some unknown reason.

Rude Orcs love to bet and hate to be seen to welch on a bet, so its possible to out-gamble them, they also love competitions of eating, drinking, being loud, being strong and breaking things and it can be possible to trick them into such an event.

Moon Mage

Moon Mages live in Silver Towers on the borders of night and are very active under a changing moon.

(This means you can usually only find them around dawn or dusk, unless you have a silver key, or a dream compass to locate them.)

Owls know about the Keys and the Compasses.

Moon mages are very powerful and strange. Distracted and odd. They do not pay much attention to the normal world and are focused very deeply on their moon magic. 

They become dangerous 

Their main danger is that they can massively alter the world around them. 

Transform sheep into cheese, which means you need to hide them from mice until they can be turned back.

Lock the sun so it won't rise properly; "It was getting in my way!"

Freezing a river totally solid.

Playing strange music which makes all the trees dance in the night whether they like it or not.

They are not so much 'bad' as they are strange and difficult to deal with, as well as insanely powerful - there is almost no material thing which you can offer them. Most Moon Mages think the daylight world does not understand them, and they might be right, so why should they care too much about it.

To stop or change what a Moon Mage is doing, you have to understand why they are doing it and try to deal with that problem.

Getting through to a Moon Mage can be very hard. They are difficult beings to introduce yourself to and difficult men to get to know.

(Most do have some specific and particular obsessions though, and if you find those out it can help you get to know them.)

Moon Mage servants are often creepy shadows with silver rims and silver smiles in their shadow faces. They creep into villages at dawn and dusk and do the Moon Mages business - usually acquiring things the Moon Mage wants.

MOON MAGE MOTIVATIONS - Lost love. Something in the Past, needs time travel to correct it.
Fear of Nemesis. Wants to change own personality somehow. I guess these are all old-man problems. Old friend died and is trying to make a moon-replica. Had his magical staff stolen by the Master Thief. The Moon on a stick? To travel to the moon and map its cities? Animals from the white low gravity jungle on the moon. Building a spell that can let them travel to the moon?

Loan Troll

(Greedy for credit cards)
'Toll-Troll' is taken I think? Or did I come up with those already?

These Trolls are extremely greedy... for CASH. (Credit will do fine).

They hide under bridges like most Trolls but instead of eating people they offer them bad deals and make them sign unwise legal contracts. Then they come in the night to collect goods, clambering into the house. But there is nothing the person can do because legally, everything is above board and they owe the Troll.

If Trolls capture someone, they will accuse them of trespassing and make them work picking Oakum or breaking small rocks into smaller rocks, or baking bricks, or weaving baskets, or making snacks to be sold.

They capture children and debtors and take them away to Lend-Land, where they much forever work.

Defeating the Troll - they can be tricked or scammed. If the contract or records of the Troll are lost or destroyed then they have no legal right to what they take and can only caper impotently.

If a Troll can be tricked into breaking its word or ignoring the letter (not the intent) of its own promises - then all the chains of the Troll will spring open and its prisoners will be freed

Crime Bird

Creepy crimes have taken place. Could the answer be this disturbing bird?

Answer = YES

Yes, yes I am.

Catching the Bird will be a problem, as will absolutely everything else to do with the bird.

Bird or birds may be employees of the Worlds Most Evil Dog as seen below.


Yes, another EXTREMELY OLD POST, this time, one of my own.

The Dragon Equivalent, Final Boss and Ultimate Nemesis of Soft D&D


Honestly, what can be added to Goblins that has not already been, by myself and also literally anyone else. They are already pretty much perfect for Soft D&D.

Tricks. Lies. Mischief. Low-Level Magical Powers. Transit through the Otherworld. Riddles. Transformations. 

SAD QUEEN -mmmm, no



Ok this should be do-able surely?

Dealing with a ghost is like solving a mystery, looking for clues and records, interviewing people. Can range from friendly-and-workable to FUCKING TERRIFYING.

Dealing with Ghosts also has a range of possible solutions;

- Investigate and fix the situation which created the ghost.
- Form a relationship with, and sooth, the Ghost.
- Get religion involved and either banish or lay to rest the Ghost.
- Super-Science, like Renaissance Ghostbuster stuff where its more like a strange technology, like maybe you can hoover a Ghost into a green glass tube with certain equipment. Ghost is still in the tube but it’s a temporary solution at least.

Wide range of threats, responses and fixes makes this a pretty good monster for Soft D&D

For extra child-friendly quality, make it..


Maybe instead of aging you prematurely the Ghost just steals the last lunch you ate and makes you extremely hungry. Or quietly eats your shoes, like you look down and they are gone..

The pig moves by night, rattling cans and eating pies in the pantry by moving through its walls. 

Well Dweller


I think I like 'Well Dweller' the best as its quite indistinct, could be a troll, a Witch, a Ghost, a Jenny Greenteeth, you don't really know what it is, except that its down the well.

You can hear it, and it pulls on the bucket when you go out for water, and asks for things..

Possibly there is a big claw that comes out.

That might be the limit of my description here.

A Well-Dweller could be the opposite of a Hearth Spirit, they are both persistent, connected to the home and family, perform some kind of exchange for information, (for the Hearth Spirit you agree to keep the Hearth Fire burning and also feed it small specific things to eat, for the Well Dweller it asks you to throw things down the Well), but while the Hearth Spirit, largely good, or at least pro-social, gives you broadly legal and decent advice about what you need or how to achieve your goals, the Well-Dweller, while possibly sociopathic and predatory, can also give you advice of a more chthonic character.

A Hearth Spirit might be a little like Google with the safe search on; "Now now, [POP & CRACKLE] Moon Mages are said to be sad and solitary men, obsessed with their Moon-Work. But they often have hobbies, or a special tobacco, or something of that kind. Perhaps that might be a way to speak to him?"

While a Well-Dweller would be more like trawling the dark web, /pol or advice from your sketchy friend who often has speed on them and who's parents went on holiday without telling him; "Ssssteeall the sssilver stafff of the mooon maaan, for his sssorows are in the ssstaff and without it he sssshal forget them and hissss magic sssshalll be losssst. NOW. Ffffeeed eee Mothhhherr Hitttons Litul Kittonsssss asss weee agreeeed."

God damn it anime

The Master Thief

Ah, the master thief.

The way I used him before was really as a kind of meta-agent, setting up impossible situations, always escaping, interacting with the world almost like an uncatchable god who sweeps through invisibly and re-arranges everything around him.

In many ways that's not that good for a game. You can put him (or HER) in an adventure as you can control the interrelationship of elements more easily but as a piece of world-building technology they are a bit irritating.

Could be someone that you call on in an emergency, like maybe they owe you a boon.

Could be that only a deranged plan created by children can catch the Master Thief, but you can only catch them once, and they must answer a question or do you a boon if you request it to let them go.

Sticky Mimics

Mimics but they don't actively consume you but just adhere to you in a friendly but disastrous way, like Acme glue.

Like they use you as if they were a tree parasite and eat any food coming to you before you can get it, and obviously no-one wants to be around you while you have a cupboard with a mouth on it hanging off you.

So - appears as an ordinary piece of furniture- but being dumber than a normal Mimic, will often just 'double' something else like a chest or a sink. So now there are two.

If you interact with the wrong one, it sticks to you and you can't get it off. So you are walking around like a complete tool with this piece of furniture hanging off you except it has a gawping, chattering cartoon mouth with a super-long tongue that comes out and snaffles your lunch.

Corn Goblins

We are doing Goblins again? Ok. 

The fact that these are out in the Corn, still and watching, maybe made of corn, makes them feel rather more disturbing than just "Goblins". Why is that?

They steal your hair and come back for your eyes - that's a nice escalation. Small things go missing, and someone’s like 'oh ho look out for the Corn Goblins' and then someone wakes up without fingernails, and then without hair. Then its like o fuck we have to sleep tonight.

And the thing with agricultural monsters that live in the same crop the community itself grows is - you can always destroy them, or remove the threat of them, by destroying the crop;

Corn Goblins - burn the corn.
Rice Imps - crack open the gates and let the paddies dry out.
Apple Kings - just cut down the apple trees.

But then your family or household are 'thrown into poverty' and what do you do then?

So you have to look around to find some other way to deal with this. (Obv, talk to the Hearth Spirit or Well Dweller first).

Sky Witch

How is a Sky-Witch different and/or better than any other kind of witch and didn't Adventure Time do this first?

So - if her house is in the Sky, and her power comes from the Sky, then presumably if you are *under* things, like roofs and trees and under the earth or under your bed, then her power is limited.

If 'the floor is danger' is a common childrens game then 'the sky is danger' should also work as a kind of game?

How does the Sky Witch come down from the sky? Presumably with a Sky Ladder, so if you can find that ladder (and its glass, to keep it secret, and so heavy people can't get up it) then you can find the Witches Sky-House.

She wears and very heavy hat, which squashes her down, and heavy shoes, to keep her on the ground so you can spot her in disguise that way, and if you can trick her into taking off the hat and shoes then she will float away, up into the sky again. (But she will hold a grudge). Also she might grab someone on the way up so you will have to go and rescue them.

Snail Knight

I guess these would be extremely honourable and very slow and quite mad. Like a slow Quixote invading the village doing all kinds of crazy stuff like duelling scarecrows or marrying shadows, fighting an army of bread loaves.

You can't really hurt them as they are not a bad person. You couldn't anyway as they are pretty heavily armoured. So you have to see inside their madness to try to get them to stop, go away or be less insane.

You would need to find out their quest I think.


Gibbons which stand on each others shoulders and wear long coats, trying to act human. Or steal paper and write letters trying to lure people out to the trees; "PLS COM KWIK 2 TH GIBON TRES I UR MOFER NED U I AM NAWT A GIBON RITING TIS"

Then you wander out there and BANG, you are in a Gibbon-Sack and some Gibbon is in your house pretending to be you.

They act human by doing a crayon drawing of your face and sticking it to the front of their Gibbon face, and also wearing human clothes on their Gibbon bodies.


Also, our Hardcopy Store is now back open.

See here for discussion of postage and what is going on with that.


  1. Getting some strong Moomins vibes from these monsters.

  2. Seconding the Moomins comment, the Well Dweller in particular reminds me of both the Dweller under the Sink and the Groke

  3. Well Dweller could be a giant https://thehauntedgasworks.tumblr.com/post/92420959318

    Witches are great. They should always have at least one domestic item that is animated, like a broom, cauldron, scissors, rug, needle and thread, firedog, spinning wheel, ball of yarn, etc, that acts as a type of familar.

  4. Evil dog! Crime bird! Rude orcs!

  5. All great. I think this "soft D&D" concept gets at the interesting belly of most good scenarios. Fighting something is not interesting unless you need to figure out how. "Figuring out" is more often the fun part.

  6. Idea: The Well Dweller is incapable of lying, but it can omit important facts, stretch the truth, and let you jump to conclusions.

  7. The Toll Troll is part of the Dayman mythos from Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia. “You gotta pay the toll troll to get into this boy’s hole” etc.

  8. The Well Dweller is obviously Mr Eaten from Fallen London.