Booty and The Beasts, Part II: Under The Sea
Under the sea… under the sea…. you can be ripped into thousands of fleshy gobbets and then devoured while still in excruciating agony under the sea…
Yes, folks, we’re back for Part 2 of our look through the classic late-1970s Dungeons & Dragons (very, very, unofficial) roleplaying supplement “Booty And The Beasts” by Fantasy Art Enterprises, and if anyone has Erol Otus’ email and wants to point him here, that would be swell. Part I is, of course, here. In Part 2, we go under the sea, to “Creatures Of The Sea”.
Face the Sonic Fish! Bargain with the Oyster People! Try to figure out how to pronounce “Masjenada”! And wonder just what the hell sort of recreational pharmaceuticals were involved when they came up with the vacucumber! (Says the man who created the charcharodoom while completely sober.)
The Charcharodoom. I came up with this. Don’t blame Erol Otus.
Any way, to read about the things Erol Otus and company came up with, click “Read More!”
When A Sonic Screwdriver And a Babel Fish Love Each Other Very Much…
They produce a sonic fish. It’s a fish. With a sonar dish on its head. And when my wife gets back and hooks up her scanner, I’ll show you what it looks like. For those interested in the kind of bizarre Gygaxian pseudo-ecologies that were dominant in the fluff text of the era, sonic fish are the prey of the giant shore anemone. Their treasure includes children’s teeth, with, it is clearly noted, fillings, which sort of makes you wonder about what a much later generation of game designers would like to call “the implied setting”. I mean, “fillings” is a pretty modern concept. “King Arthur And The Dental Chair” wasn’t included in my copy of Le Morte D’Arthur.
These peaceful folk were nearly exterminated due to demand for their flesh from horny couples, until the invention of… No, wait, that’s their updated entry from Book of Erotic Fantasy (not really). These are humanoid beings from the waist up, who live in oyster shells. Big oyster shells. They are described as neurotic psychologists and philosophers, and have befriended mingo snails and masjaneda. They possess a giant pearl, worth 500 to 5000 gold pieces. This is what I love the most about real old-school roleplaying gaming material, especially the ultra-small-press stuff. It is so wonderfully stream-of-consciousness and non-sequiter. No one held massive design meetings to make sure dwarves had an internally consistent style for weapons and armor or to work out just how to fit a race of asexual (but with BOOBIES!) crystal people into an increasingly incestuous cosmology (lest some poor DM have to be forced to use his “imagination” and “creativity” to work a new race into the game, we couldn’t have that, now, could we?)No, you just wrote down one idea after another, and if they flowed into each other, or were relevant or useful, were not primary concerns. Any why not? That’s how I do it — I just start writing and then one idea leads to another and another and then I see that this can connect to that and forming that connection creates a sudden implication that opens up an entire new area of the world. I like to call myself a worldbuilder, but the reality is, I am more of a world explorer. I start creating and then just see what I discover in the world as I detail it. Anyway, oyster people are pretty silly, but they could make interesting and frustrating NPCs.
Well, it beats “taster turtles”. Which is what these are. They’re turtles. Which shoot darts, connected to them by wires. When they hit, in addition to doing 1-6 dart damage and 3-36 electrical damage, you have a 10% chance of suffering one of four random effects, one of which is “you die” and another of which is “you lose 1-4 levels”.
Just what it says on the tin. Invisible creatures that travel in packs of a million, and can kill a man in ten rounds, but usually in 4. Exactly how this is to be adjudicated is left up the DM. Maybe, for every round you’re exposed to them, you have a 10% chance of dying, cumulative? I dunno.
44 hit dice. 150 foot long octopus that can crush a ship in 2-8 melee rounds, does 14-84 points of damage with its beak, and anyone killed by it becomes a Lost Soul Of The Sea.
It’s basically a man-sized hermit crab with a human face. It has a poisonous bite which “causes the victim to throw up his entrails and lose his eyeballs, which fall out onto the ground”. The mingo snail will also attack to save the oyster people, “for Mingo Snails are in desperate need of psychoanalysis and only the Oyster People provide this service”. I would say there is a 99.99% chance this monster is a very obscure inside joke.
A lobster-centaur, except the humanoid part is always female. They’re also friends with the oyster people.
A giant sea cucumber with 67(!) hit dice and 10 500-foot long tentacles. It reaches up from the bottom of the sea to suck down seamen. Yes, I went there. There is a handy little picture, showing the vacucumber (a) and the pile of loot it excretes after it’s done digesting its prey (b). Yes, they’re labeled “a” and “b”. For your convenience.
Thus endeth a selection of monsters from Section 2 of “Booty And The Beasts”. Tune in… whenever… for section 3, “Creatures Of The Air”, wherein you will meet the Egg People Of Venus.