Friday, June 3, 2011

Fiend Folio Fixes: K

Still trucking through the Fiend Folio and redecorating...

A Kamadan is what you get when you take a displacer beast and you replace the panther part with a leopard and the tentacles with some snakes. Why would you do that? Why would anyone do that? Just be impressed with yourself that you got an idea as harebrained as a tentacled puma with built-in stealth technology to actually kind of work and move on, crazy lily-gilding geneticist/wizards.

So, anyway I took the snake thing and leopard thing and did this...
...which I like a lot but really this is just another one of those lazy, heart-of-darkness-dwelling creepy-wisdom-dispensing you-come-to-me Colonel-Kurtz monsters because seriously no way is that thing chasing anybody except maybe in some Mayan carving and/or DMT trip.

Kelpie is a dumb name for anything that isn't a Korean novelty dessert but the basic idea of some creepy seaweed-maiden that goes all hagged and horrid and Room-237-scene-from-the-Shining on you is fine.
Kenku: a bird guy. I have already cracked wise on the Friar Tuck budgie-man Kenku in the Folio. He is hereby replaced. What is scary about birds is the clockwork vapidity of their eyes. Give the bird personality--as they did in the original picture--and it all goes awry.
The Khargra (a kind of fish/xorn from the Earth Elemental dimension) is a monster that I have never ever heard anybody talk about ever, despite the fact that it has a pleasingly freakshow picture......and is just weirdstupid enough that someone, somewhere might actually take a shine to it. That someone is not me. Much as I would like to see it fight a sharkticon, a fish that flies or tunnels (I refuse to look it up) through walls is just not what I need in my D&D game. I have decided Khargra is instead a weird Xorn god that is sort of, to the Xorn, what Charon is to us, and sort of greets them or otherwise facilitates their visits to our Prime Material Plane. Because I do need that. I guess. Hey, I said I was going to do every monster, right?
The Kilmoulis is the Fiend Folio's dumb elephant-nosed version of a species of Irish or Scottish or English brownie or fairy or whatever that--hey guess what?-is mischievous and/or sometimes helpful. The only thing that really distinguishes it from the entire rest of the Midsummer Nights Dream posse is it hangs out in mills. Which, as monster-distinguishing-characteristics goes, is not exactly up there on the excite-o-meter with snakes-for-hair. This sort of thing is all fine and good if you're thinking up tonguetwisty names of things to keep kids from tromping the dales or romping off the ockle or whatever it is bad children do on the other side of the Atlantic but if I'm going to give something stats I need to have something more to go on.

So anyway, this is Kilmoulis. He appears one morning where one of your thumbs should be and does his evil bad-fairy stuff from there.
Kuo-Toa: Yeah yeah, I know "Shadow Over Innsmouth", Module D2, blah blah I hate them anyway on account of they look like footballs with fins in diapers. Fuck them. Lovecraft's Deep Ones were disturbing because they were genetically mixed in with regular people and that was gross but these guys are just one more grunty humanoid race. Plus they wear sandals, which is entirely unacceptable.

Basically when I need bipedial icthyoids, I'm going to use the fishwife. Illustrated below is the fishgroom, which is what you become if you marry one.


  1. That someone is me. I love those living rocket engine fish things, but I do admit that I have no idea how I'd use one in a game beyond "the engines of the 747 have come alive and are coming towards you with a hungry look in their brand new eyes; what do you do?"

  2. I'm surprised by this one. The Kelpie and Killmoulis are classic faerie critters. Putting them back to their folklore origins has always worked well for me. Especially the Kelpie, which is more often depicted as a horse-like creature.

    And just when I think I understand your love of the Flail Snail, I find you dislike the horta-like jet fish. Huh? I though such a ridiculously unique beast would be right up your alley.

    Live and learn.

  3. You did. You went there. You brought sharkticons into this. Welp, I'm happy. Thanks for making my day. First time I've ever seen someone mate a sharkticon reference with D&D and I'm far too happy about it for my own good.

  4. ) I first encountered the kamadan in a random Endless Quest book, and thought they were the coolest looking monsters ever. But I like your revamped one even more, and would giddily use it in my Mutant Future game.

    ) The khargra and the HR Giger-designed beastie from 1996's Killer Condom look surprisingly alike. "Malevolent marital-aid monsters" have a place somewhere in D&D, methinks.

  5. The thing about Kuo-toa that always got me was that they were the only monsters with a cultural hierarchy. Whips & Monitors & all that. I always found that fascinating, & enough reason to consider them. Also-- Blibdoolpoolp! A naked woman with a lobster head & claws? Great stuff.

  6. Blibdoolpoolp! A naked woman with a lobster head & claws? Great stuff.

    I wonder if the boobs on Blibdoolpoolp were the result some fish-men putting the most terrifying things they could think of on a hybrid monster (claws! giant claws! And, uh, those weird chest things land-people have!). Fish would have no idea what boobs are, they're some oozy, scaleless lump-organ... the closest thing they'd have experience of would be an octopus's head.
    in some Mayan carving and/or DMT trip.

    They could be like the dangly bits of an anglerfish, the material plane extrusion of an astral creature that has to get you to channel to it's vibratory pocket before eating your memories or magic powers.

  7. That kamadan piece may be my favorite so far, Zac. Nice work!

  8. So instead of a jaguar with snakes on it your kamadan is a snake with jaguars on it? I can dig it.

    Another option for its general style of monstering is that it could be a living barrier with strong elements of curse/tribulation/vengeful Meso American diety sending.

    The pc's hack their way thru the jungle and find a shaggy, spotted, breathing tree trunk lying across their path that sprouts a claw/claw/bite routine wherever they try to cross. It doesn't have to chase you, and you don't seek it out willingly, if you run afoul of it it's always somehow in your way, in an ever tightening ring until you're trapped in a snarling, Aztec hula hoop of doom.

    Also: Long cat is loooooong!

  9. Dude, Monster Book next please.

  10. @ blair

    Yeah, c'mon, we already did the art for it : P

  11. There's going to be a ZaKamadan coiled atop an Incan-style pyramid in CARCOSA soon...

  12. This Kamadan is the best because it is the most inexplicable. Like the Piercer, though, one imagines that its bag of tricks ends shortly after it drops on you and strangulates a guy or two.

  13. This is a fantastic series. It's incredibly inspiring. I'm awed by your imagination.

  14. I agree with Ry St. Zak, this series is a joy to read, and you should consider doing a dark, WTF-is-that monster book containing your weirdest, creepiest, most over-the-top monster ideas, illustrated by you of course. It would sell like crazy and win awards.

    Of course, what you should really do is whatever you love to do rather than whatever we get excited about, but we can always dream.

  15. If you DO ever do a monster book, I'd say skip rules entirely. Just make a Borgesian grimoire of critters.

  16. I have always thought the kenku were a semi-reimagining of tengu. But we all knew that, right?

  17. " just weirdstupid enough that someone, somewhere might actually take a shine to it..." That would be me. Instantly. This (illustration) is oddly enough, exactly what I need for an upcoming (sky-ship) campaign. Thank you muchly for putting it before my eyes.