Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ein Kleines Problem Mit Einer Hexe-Modul

So after trawling eBay for, like, ever I finally scored a copy of one of the rare TSR "6" series modules that was pulled off the shelves during the Satanic Panic of the early '80s. Y'know, the ones with the photo-illustrations?

Anyway, due to extensive water-damage it's pretty hard to read and I have no idea what any of this stuff is supposed to be--do you?


Jason Zavoda said...

That coloring looks almost like L2 but I'm thinking that is the I6 Ravenloft cover. You should check out what SPI was releasing. Their cover to the Demons mini game is pretty cool.

The Grey Elf said...

I have never even heard of these modules. Would be interested in any more information you can provide about them. I don't even see anything on the Acaeum about them.

Bighara said...

@Jason There's a reason you can't find any info on them. ;-)

A) Is obviously some sort of "water oubliette" where some sort of siren-creature calls to the victim, charming them so they WANT to leap into the waves and be eaten, but they can't because they are in a cage.

B) The faceless ones are cursed undead that rip off the faces of their victims and assume their identities like doppelgangers until the flesh starts to rot.

C) I got nothing special here. A carnivorous gargoyle that stolen a saddle of mutton?

D) Ghost Grubs. Incorporeal worms that burrow into your mind and eat your memories.

E) The Night Hag's B&B. She runs a lovely establishment. Really! But the cost of staying is one victim per night.

F) Wightswoad. An addictive psychedelic fungus that only grows on the bodies of slain undead, hence it's ridiculous cost. Users built up a tolerance over time, but if too large a dose it taken, it causes level drain and death, resulting in the victim rising as a wight.

Trey said...

Oh, yeah. Looks like The Unholy Fane. It's about a monastery of dedicated to some good deity where the abott is corrupted by a succubus, then the children of their union turn the place into a temple to their demonic overlord and starting afflicting the nearby village with weird plagues and fits of madness.

The first picture is the "Tower of the Verbose Dead." The undead guy promises riches if you free him from the tower and carry is body to the tomb from which he was disinterred. Anybody that gets in range he casts a geas to make them do it. He criticizes everything the PCs do the whole time.

The next I think are the Plague Sisters. Disease causing relations to the succubus who the PCs first encounter in the village. They first send a herd of infected and enraged swine at the group.

The demonic dude is the cambion son of the abbott and the succubus.

I'm not sure about the next two, but the mushrooms are a tricky part. Eating them gives the ingester the power to perceive the pocket demiplane where the demon is hiding out.

Zzarchov said...

Find F, consume. The rest will make sense after that.

To be actually useful though:
A.) Wasn't that just a rip off of Wan-Hu, except trying to westernize him with a twig frame rocket. I think you just replace him with Wan-Hu since unlike T$R you weren't saving him for the Oriental Adventures module.

B.) The sisters of torment, I personally found their riddle lame and I'd add your own in instead. I liked how every wrong answer you gave disfigured and tortured THEM though, it was a neat twist. The players having to get the riddle right or torture some cursed and otherwise innocent Nuns was creepy.

C.) It was neat the Demon could backstab like a thief, and his fish sword was kind funny (though giving what was basically "the innsmouth look" was kinda harsh considering it was pretty impossible to see him sneaking up on you until he hit the first PC, or maybe my DM was just a tool).

D.) We called them the "go fuck yourself Pat" (our DM) worms. Flesh burrowing worms are normally pretty bad, so that they are key to the adventure by giving you water breathing and an immunity to fire was lame. There was no way to test beyond letting them burrow into your flesh, and why would a PC do that with no explanation? Try giving some clues to the PC's at least.

E.) The Rooster and Donkey inn was an obvious set up for being named "The Cock and Ass" by our group of 15 year old players. We thought we were so clever. It is kinda lame how "the true villain was there all along!" SpooOOOooky! or Cliche.

F.) Mushrooms that grow on the dead. These were really cool, if you ate them you gained part of the corpses XP and sometimes even memorized spells. The downside was it could screw with your alignment towards the dead. The campaign ended when one of us turned evil, and started farming them on peasants. At even a few XP a pop to eat mushrooms all day he skyrocketed in levels. We house ruled (too late) they need the specific climate of the cave they were found in.

Anathematician said...

We found a used copy at a church rummage sale which sadly was in decent condition way back when.

A. This is the soul cage, an instrument of sacrifice to the lurker beneath the waves. On the day of the new moon, the drugged sacrifice is placed in the top part of the cage known as the crucible. Its wrists are slashed. The depraved sodomites dance and orgy around it base as the rain of blood drips upon them, mingling with the waters of the lake to form an infernal soup. They blaspheme, and call upon unclean spirits and unholy ghosts. The revelers in the dark then retreat to their cottages allowing the lurker to claim its victim.

B. Are the lovers of the lurker. Young maidens given to appease and be appeased by the tentacles of the lurker. They wear veils obscuring their faces, each painted with a cross like symbol of protection. These veils serve to protect the girls, for if their eyes were to fall upon the lurker - they would surely become mad.

C. These beasts is a protector of the coven's ritual room. The neat part about this encounter is that party is fooled into attacking the horned demon beast but finds out usually too late that the beast is not the true enemy, it is merely a puppet. The club it wields is an petrified aboleth and is the true threat.

D. You thought Chekov had it bad in Wrath of Khan with those ear trilobite thingees. The saying 'the eyes are the windows to the soul.' was derived from the use of these demonic caecilians. These worms head straight for the soul burrowing through the iris of the eye. The host/victim becomes a compliant ghoul, its soul devoured, its husk a useful tool of the coven.

E. The home of the coven with its unholy basement dungeon complex.

F. Ettercaps or Attarcops. The hapless victim that eats these wicked fungi are twisted into a poisonous insectoid beasts - Ettercaps.

bombasticus said...

That module! I never found it at the time but the press coverage gave me some great nightmares from trying to figure out what was in it.

Once I got my hands on a restored copy I was actually disappointed to see how much of the text was bog-standard 1983-era "read this box and fight" stuff. Was never sure whether Creighton Hippenhammer was just going reining it in now that he was in the big leagues or whether they edited the uh "hell" out of him -- I guess he's online so we can ask him, but I just never really got the urge.

The art direction was of course brilliant. My favorite thing is how even the restorations can't get the grayscale captions on the pictures right, so we might never know where these things were supposed to go.

For the longest time I was convinced that Plate C was "Smallpox Man" from the epilogue/stinger -- where it's supposed to lead into the sequel that never came out. B could be either the "mother of monsters" illusion from the unkeyed "walpurgis zone" or the displacer medusa.

A was the one that scared me as a tween reading about it in the papers and then spending the next 20 years hunting the damn thing down. I still have no idea where it goes in the actual module but it was so forlorn and final and scratchy, he'd been up there a very long time. Reminded me of the most lurid "dungeon dressing" miniature descriptions you'd read about in the catalogs and never see: "DUNGEON FEAST, ghouls and ghast devouring the corpse of a dead adventurer." He talked to me in the dreams but I could never remember.

Oh wait, he's the coffer corpse with the magic thingie, right?

Anathematician said...

Oh I forgot, with E the house is possessed and haunted by a alien ghost. The coven believes it grants them power, but it is using them to a far more sinister purpose.

DHBoggs said...

A) A typical spelljamer spaceship with invisible exterior armor and piloting mechanism.


C) Thier husband, fishing.


E) the home of said fishing family.

F)an evenings entertainment following a tasty fish dinner.

Adam Thornton said...

Oh wow.

This is the old school pre-rework-as-a-family-friendly version of "Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent," isn't it?

From back when Jeff Talanian was really edgy before he turned into a cheery guy who chats about working with Gygax on C&C and runs sword-and-sorcery games in the System With The Best Acronym Ever.

Yeah, this is Talanian-as-enfant-terrible angry stoned teen metalhead. This is great stuff. I wish I had my copy still, but as with so much from those days, it's disappeared through time and entropy.

I think I remember most of this.

A) is definitely The Lonely King. Creepy, evocative, but--as with much of early Talanian--not really well-playtested. I mean, we get it that he's depressive and Lonely, but the ability to cast Power Word, Kill once every three rounds and to Gate in Type V (1-5) or VI (6) demons every five? Wonder why I remember *that* chart with such unnerving specificity?

B) The Blinded. They're cultists of the Sightless Serpent. They give you Mummy Rot if they touch you, plus the chick can seduce you with Charm Person and suck levels like a succubus. Plus, ew.

C) A demon who swings a club which is another demon and then two rounds later they switch places. It probably sounded better when you were huffing glue in your parents' basement in a Boston suburb.

D) Sightless Serpent. Turns out it/they are plural, kind of a hive mind, and, yeah, they devour your eyes and then your soul. Actually really fucking creepy. I've used them time and again, in different guises, in my own games.

E) Strange High House In The Mist. Even back then Talanian was riffing a lot off of Lovecraft. I think there was a cannibalistic old man illusionist and some Eeeeevil Book in it, even.

F) They Unlock The Gates Of Dream. Also, they make you trip balls. Asshole DMs always used them as an excuse to force half of the party to fight the other half. Oh, and then once you're done tripping balls? Save at -2 or die. Thanks. I don't remember what they were called, but I remember them as Dick Move Shrooms.

mattruane said...

Oh I remember seeing this advertised in one of the fanzines, Bells and Pathways, circa 1982 or 1983. I so wanted a copy, but I knew if I brought it to high school with me, it would probably be seized. I had saved up the money to buy my copy, but it was being sold to another gamer by the time I arrived at the local Conclusive Tactician store. I did manage to look at the back cover though for a few moments.

So this is what I remember from the back blurb:

A. Summoning Tower of Arat-Xa: Requires a humanoid sacrifice to summon up the infernal sea creatures to attack the neighboring fishing community. Lightning strikes the steel rods implanted in the bamboo framework, and the fried bodies primal juices flow down the hollow bamboo posts into the waters below.

Rumor had it that there were originally to be Deep Ones, until the whole mess with the original D&D-G scandal. Then they became Kuo-Toa, but still led by Dagon.

B. The Faceless Sisters of Sacrifice: Cultists transformed into pseudo-undead creatures, whose horrifying gaze is hidden behind their veils. Like many monsters in this module, their outward bodies show no sign of corruption, but some hidden aspect does. In this case, it was their demonically twisted faces and the milky orbs for eyes, eyes that reflected and captured the images of their victims' terrified faces as they died.

C. According to the few posts that appeared, this demonic henchman guarded an artifact laden treasure room. While the creature seemed an easy kill, any death of the monster within the dungeon setting meant that it reappeared, intact and restored to full health in 1d6 rounds. The only way to destroy the demonic henchman was to bring his body out of the dungeon and expose it to the suns' rays and to a vat of holy water. Until then, the artifacts remained magically trapped in the room.

D. Rot grubs, renamed Demon Grubs in a spot of uninspired naming of a new monster. Instead of killing the victim as a normal Rot Grub did, however, these Demon Grubs burrowed to the victim's heart and then encircled the organ, transforming it as part of the first stage of turning the victim into a Lemure. If caught within the first 1d3+1 rounds, the tail ends could be wrapped around a stick or other object, and slowly withdrawn over a number of days equal to the roll above. Each day, for each worm, the target would suffer 1d4 damage as the Demon Worm's barbs and pincers tore at the victim's flesh. If not removed slowly, the worm would break in half, the remaining part would immediately dissolve as an acidic pool inside the victim, doing 4d4 damage per worm. Regardless on the method of extraction, a survivor would be marked with hard rings of raised flesh around the point of entry.

mattruane said...

E. The entrance to the demonic temple and lair beneath this remote, dilapidated rural farmhouse. In part designed after the house in module U1: Secret of Saltmarsh, some would say too closely modeled, the lower floors contained the entrance to the dungeon that was at the heart of the setting. The upper floors contained numerous empty rooms, but a chance to encounter 1) a ghost of a former cult victim trapped to haunt the site of his sacrifice, 2) a banshee that was allied to one of the cultists, and 3) a part of lower level adventurers, their torn and mutilated corpses spread about the room where they fought a demonic statue.

F. Blue Bloomers: These mushrooms were crowing along the walls of the dungeon's hallways, in random patches. Many of the cultists could be seen grabbing one or two from the walls as they passed, stuffing them into their mouths and eating them before they attended a religious summoning. Each time, the demon tainted mushrooms provided a random effect to anyone who ate one:

Roll 1d8 and consult the following table:
1. Ingesting the mushroom causes a blue tinge to appear around all objects gazed at. Otherwise no effect.

2. Ingesting the mushroom causes horrific stomach pains (suffer 1d4 damage per mushroom consumed), but the character's Wisdom is increased by 1 for 1 hour.

3. Ingesting the mushroom causes the a blue tinge to appear around all object gazed at. It also grants the character Infravision, 30" for 1 hour.

4. Ingesting the mushroom causes 2d6 damage to the character. Wracked by severe pain, they are incapacitated for that time. Three days later, the character's flesh will sprout 1d3 mushrooms, and continue to do so every day for the next month. Eating any of these mushrooms requires a roll on this table.

5. Ingesting the mushroom causes the character to feel full as if having eaten a meal. However, their flesh takes on a bluish tinge for the next 12 hours.

6. Ingesting the mushroom causes the character to gain 1 point each of Strength and Dexterity, but to lose 2 points each of Intelligence and Wisdom. The effects last for 1 hour.

7. Ingesting the mushroom causes the character to have a connection to the demonic entity overseeing the temple complex. This demonic entity will see the character as a member of the cult, even if they are not. All reaction rolls will be favorable. However, one of the cult's runes will be appear on their flesh, tattooed permanently, each time they encounter the demonic entity at the heart of this adventure.

8. Save at -2 or be paralyzed for 1d4 hours. If the character makes the save, they are able to climb walls as if the spell Spider Climb had been cast on them by a 9th level wizard.

James said...

D. One of the Pictures accompanying something from the New Magic Items section, in the back of the module.

I remember thinking at the time, that it was a total rip-off of Wrarrl, from The Savage Sword of Conan.

The Helm of Hell's Disdain

This human sized helm, once belonged to a minor Duke of Hell, Betias, who served as the General of Geryon's forces, until he came into disfavor and fled to Avernus, becoming one of the "Rabble of Devil-Kin" (See Dragon # 75. Ed.)

Though Betias' fate is unknown, his Helm eventually made its way to the Prime Material, where it has been passed from one owner to another, for centuries:

The Helm of Hell's Disdain appears as a black iron helm, decorated with reptilian "wings" and a single blood ruby, in the center of the area covering the wearer's forehead. Sigilized words of Power, mocking blasphemies, which twist the holy words of compassion, relayed by Solar's at the beginning of Time, adorn the area immediately surrounding the t-shaped opening for the wearers eyes, nose and mouth.

The Helm adds +2 to the wearer's AC and confers a Magic Resistance of 20%. On the Prime Material, the wearer may speak an Unholy Word, 2/day. 1/day, the wearer may summon and command a pack of 2d4+1 Hell Hounds, which will remain for 1d4+1 hours.

1/day, the wearer may cast a Death Spell, as the spell, save that the souls of the victims, will be turned into Larvae. The wearer must eat no less than three of these, per day, or he will lose 1 level per day, until such time as he has properly fed.

Excess Larvae may be kept and stored and will retain their potency, for up to 3 days, before passing into the astral, then outer planes. They may also be sold or traded to Night Hags, and the like.

Once donned, the wearer cannot remove the helm, without the aid of Remove Curse, or similar magics. There is a 3% cumulative chance, per larvae eaten, that a Remove Curse will be ineffective, necessitating a Wish to remove the helm.

x said...

Sweet :)

Good work on this discovery.

Anonymous said...

Devil of the Bleak Shore had a poorly- or at least oddly-chosen cover, but the interior was very consistent. Everyone's seen those clashes between Sales and Creative, I guess. I guess it references the bit where the nuns sacrifice one of their number by "triple death"? (I'm not sure if stabbing, hanging and burning is an authentic combination, but the practice certainly is.)
It was a pretty creepy module, or so I remember thinking at sixteen anyway.

A) The Wicker-Longlegs is where they burn him, to attract the thing that lives in the water. We got there too late to stop them; I don't recall if it's possible to save him at all, or if that just serves as the adventure hook?

B) The Helmeted Vestals are the secondary antagonists, and secretly witches; they give the PCs free room and board in their creepy, mostly empty nunnery, which is so important to the rest of the adventure that it's really forced over on you. We had no idea that you were supposed to seduce them before the water-thing got to them. In retrospect, they're pretty obviously the product of watching too much Italian schlock horror, aren't they?

C) Ugh, this guy. The Water Ogre is supposed to be a red herring, but our otherwise great DM internalized that too much and played him way too hammy and eye-rolling. I'm sure you can see where that came from, but he never seemed like a credible suspect to us, so that part of the module just didn't work.

D) Servants of the Thing; these five-foot benthic worms are the main combat opponents for most of the adventure (which has pretty few fights, all in all). They only have one attack, a sort of Bite leading to a Swallow which is pretty easy to break free from, but I still vividly remember the DM's description of the Thief kicking and twisting inside of the white, just slightly translucent worm, the muffled yells... Really gross, I should steal it. (We ended up running the Thief through from sheer panic, but he survived).

E) The Alchymist's house. (Yes, it's spelled that way. Yes, I know.) Another red herring, he seems like the obvious culprit of the sacrifice (A), and is generally occult, reticent to speak with people, and Turn Undead actually deflects, but doesn't harm him, which I thought was a nice touch. Of course he's actually an enlightened hermetic trying to stop the witches; I think one of the bad-ending ways, so to speak, to win the module is using a philter he gives you to drive the devil back into the water, if the witches get it to rise. "Paradamus" is an incredibly corny name, though.

F) Oh, those fucking, fucking mushrooms. TPK:ed us.

stasisengine said...

The person in A is the Phobian. He was cursed long ago to fear all that is and was and will be, and all that could be and is not. Before the curse fully took hold, he built himself this structure, to hold himself as far away from as many thing as possible (though he fears the lake, and the structure, and the sight of his own body). After he had come to fear everything, the true extent of the curse became clear; he began to imagine, and to fear what he imagined.

Though the curse has extended his natural life, thee Phobian can be killed, it is said- and it is further said that anyone who puts him out of his misery will be rewarded. But the only way to do it is to exist within the Phobain's version of reality. The easiest way is to grind up Bluerot toadstools (F) and eat them, at which point the Phobian's appalling imaginings will become real for the players as well.

This is where the module perhaps inevitably falls down. Instead of a Boschian wasteland of infinitely regressive terrors, the players must fight their way through a spooky house (E), dealing with various unpleasant monsters and enormous amounts of psychological stress. The Unenvisaged (B) are the hardest fight, probably – high-level clerics with the additional party trick of turning anything that strikes their head into the same tallow-like substance that their heads are made of. C is a demon of a relatively pedestrian kind, and D a species of worm that infests the wood of the house and can latch onto the players when they touch said wood, causing severe pain and disorientation, as well as intensifying the fear they are feeling.

Once you make it to the Phobian (he is sitting on top of the house's chimney- once you climb out the unreality of the house becomes clear), he is relatively easy to kill – indeed he wants to be killed. The mushrooms wear off a few hours later, though the psychological damage to the characters may in some cases be permanent.

PS German grammar nerd alert- “mit einem Hexe-modul”.

Zak Sabbath said...


take it up with Google Translate

Zak Sabbath said...


love the description of the phobian

stasisengine said...

Cheers...I also meant to say that he gibbers tachiphrastically, because I learnt that word today and I like showing off. What's the actual source of the picture?

Zak Sabbath said...

isn;t it "tachiphrenically"?

Dieter Appelt "Eye Tower".

James said...

Google didn't recognize either word. Someone help! A word I can put with "gibbers" is a word I need to know!!!

James said...


"In the analysis of Hare's The Language of Morals (1952), the phrastic is the aspect of a sentence that is common to different moods: between ‘the door is shut’, ‘shut the door’, ‘is the door shut?’, and ‘would that the door were shut!’ we can isolate the common content of ‘the door being shut’, to which are added the various neustics or mood indicators giving the indicative assertion, the imperative, and so on."


1. Anatomy . of or pertaining to the diaphragm.
2. Physiology . relating to the mind or mental activity.

Tachi is just getting me Japanese Swords and Sumo Wrestlers.

Orion said...

A) The Canary Cage. Villages along the damned coasts hang these unfortunate souls (usually travelers passing through) in cages over the water around the mouth of the harbor. When They come They cannot resist the urge to snatch these helpless morsels. This delays Them briefly and the tortured screams of the caged let the villages know to seek shelter behind a threshold marked with lamb's blood.

B)These are the Seers. You find them in the black rocks, behind the door of rust. One can answer any question about the past, one any question about the future, and the third any question about the present. They're each bound to truthfully answer one question of any visitor, however you MUST ask a question of each Seer. However, immortality has led to boredom and cruelty. If the questions traveler's ask does not have an answer that they find interesting or novel then they will turn on the travelers and drag them to their inner chambers to entertain them with suffering until the next traveler arrives.

C) Much nicer than he looks, this guy was hilarious. He's an adventurer you run into at the Sheltered Clam. He's got a Deck of Many Things he'll sell you if you can cure his skin condition. Say's it's brought him nothing but trouble.

D)Whatever writer came up with these was a complete asshole. They're like rot grubs, but instead of just straight out killing you you turn green, swell up and then explode. This showers everyone in the area with more grubs.

E) This was a burned out church on the coast. The villagers said that the priests here claimed that they would drive Them away, that the Gods were more powerful. That's when they knew the temple had to burn. The priests were clearly mad, still praying to their silly gods when they roasted inside.

F)Half the party died convinced these mushrooms would give them some sort of high or trippy supernatural senses. I have no idea why. But when you grind them up and mix them with some wine you can make a paste that'll stop even an ox's heart if it touches bare skin.

stasisengine said...

@Zak and James; lots of googling and wiki-ing suggests that firstly it's "tachy" with a y like tachyons, and secondly that tachyphemia, tachyphasia and tachyphrasia all exist and mean roughly the same (obsolete) thing...but I still think "tachyphrastically" is more satisfyingly onomatopoeic.

I actually found the word looking for the English meaning of the "polter" in "poltergeist", which is interesting in itself.

Stefan Poag said...

I have my mint copy in a safe deposit box. I can't look up the info because it is still in shrink wrap.

(those illustrations, the comments and the whole concept are inspired!)

x said...

Now if we could just find the two German underground releases, De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis (1977) and El Libro de Satán (1978).

Only small print runs were ever done but these seem to be elusive even to the most dedicated collector.

I only know about them from a family member stationed with the Air Force in Germany during the release period ('76-'79).

Joshua said...

Why, 'D' is gummied worms, after all! (Don't hit me!)

Zak Sabbath said...


true enough. dropped a handful on the scanner and thenceforth, like, subtracted the color by digital means so as to engender a, like, visual aid.

(tell no one.)

Helm said...

B, I enjoyed the theme you presented.

If it's any use tachi-phrastic is made from two Greek words, the first meaning fast, the second meaning phrase or manner of speaking. The compound however is not a real Greek word. It's interesting when this happens - I often stumble upon Greek terms used in English that I can understand perfectly but which have never been uttered in common speech. A manifestation of 'weirdness' I can appreciate.

Sethor said...

I couldn't tell you what these were meant to be and my imagination is a little broken at the moment but I think I can give some thoughts on B and F.

I have a book called "What a Way to Go" which talks about all the ways people have been executed throughout history and it turns out there were a number of non lethal iron maidens out there for various purposes. These I think, are iron maidens meant for seductresses. After their heads were interred they were forced into the life of nuns for a time. Those who learned quickly and didn't wear it for long might get away with a minor scar or two while those who did not would have their beauty ruined and would be unable to seduce men. I like the idea of turning these beings into ghosts. The only way to ward them away is to be in a room with a portrait of how they originally looked. The only way to slay them is to entice them into possessing a beautiful woman and then using the original mini-maiden on the possessed. Naturally most women are safe from these spirits while men will be horribly murdered on a routine basis.

The blue mushrooms reminded me of smurfs. Originally, and perhaps a savvy reader can correct me, the smurfs were a norwegian legend akin to denmark's gnomes. Those people who made deals with the devil and then managed to scam their way out of it or run away would have to deal with a posse' of tiny blue forest demons. These demons would track down the victim and torture him/her, dragging their soul out in pieces through the many wounds they made and the restitched it before dragging it into hell. Naturally they were terrible seamstresses and therein lay the extra punishment for attempting to deny the devil his due. I don't know how the mushrooms in this picture tie to it, I just remember the original folklore and that the cartoon had the smurfs living in mushroom houses. I'd say that fairy circles of blue mushrooms were indicators of where the demons came through or dragged the soul down. Probably hella useful spell components for demon summoning/banishment in that context though.

Nagora said...

b: Honeys. Three beautiful women who wear veils. If they are observed from hiding it will be noted that they gather in a favourite clearing where they take it in turns to dance a shimmying, oddly erotic dance to each other. They then all join in together and after a few minutes depart together. These departures invariably precede the slaughter of some isolated person or small group.

If engaged in combat, their veils fall away to reveal bee hives from which emerge swarms of killer bees. Each swarm attacks an area of 1" diameter, making 2 attacks per round which ignores armour unless some method of preventing the bees' ingress is found. Each hit does no damage but requires a save vs poison or the victim will fall to the ground, unconscious for 1d4 hours.

If the honeys defeat their opponents, the swarms will overrun the bodies, burrowing into them and killing the victims as each bee strips away a small amount of flesh and brings it back to the nest to feed that swarm's Queen (the humanoid body). The honeycombed remains will ooze a sticky yellow substance which is itself poisonous to the touch for 48hrs, although its stickiness makes it useful for weapon use.

The bodies are AC10, 3+3 HD but will flee rather than engage from combat. The swarm from each body can operate up to half a mile from the hive-head but they normally stay close by as the swarm is the body's only defence if attacked.

They "breed" by a special form of their feeding attack which first destroys and then reconstructs the victim's head much in the way that wasps construct their nests. They do this when a body is worn out or damaged, and the swarm transfers to the new body, leaving the old one to wander off and die although it is perhaps possible for the swarm to split and thereby genuinely breed and increase the number of these things.

They prefer woods or caves near to open meadowland.

Nagora said...

e: Inn of the Unwelcome Itch.

arcadayn said...

You should really try to get your hands on the original pastel cover Golden Goblin Press version from Gen Con ’78. Of course, there were only ten copies made, and half of those were destroyed in a book burning by a group of Satanists who thought the module revealed a little too much of their hagiology. The last time I saw one on Ebay, it went for close to $2500.

This version was the highest level module published at the time. The PCs stumble upon a clue to the Staff of Azanigin (C), the mother of all demons who lie waiting in the earth. The staff will coincidentally bestow exactly the power that the PCs are looking for. The DM was encouraged to customize the staff’s powers to the PCs’ desires. In actuality, the artifact is bait to get the PCs to succumb to greed and lose their souls to Azanigin. By devouring their souls she will gain the power to unleash her sleeping minions upon the world.

Area (A) is the mad sage Belzecor. He is a prisoner of the three witches (B), who torture him for his arcane knowledge. They keep him in the cage above the water in a constant state of delirium and thirst. The PCs must go to the witches’ lair (E) and find where they are keeping Belzecor imprisoned. The manor house makes the Tomb of Horrors look like a playground. The real twist is that the PCs are forced to perform terrible rituals to get past certain obstacles. Many of the encounters are designed to foster mistrust amongst the party members. The mushrooms (E) must be injested to be able to travel the prison plane where Belzecor is kept. They find Belzecor a babbling idiot, who is only coherent when pain is inflicted upon him. If handled properly, the PCs will learn the ritual to summon the “staff”. Of course, it actually summons Azanigin who taunts the PCs for succumbing to his evil plot and then attacks them.

The module was universally hated by players as it would frequently cause discord and conflicts during the game. There are no credits listed in the module, and no one seems to remember or have any record of who the GM was that ran the module at Gen Con.