Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Carnivorous Ice Worms: More Icy Death for OSR Games

In keeping with the winter theme I present a new horror for your travelers in the icy reaches.

Carnivorous Ice Worms
No. Enc.: 2d4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40'), 90' (30') while burrowing through ice
Armor Class: 7/12
Hit Dice: 1
Attacks: 1 bite or sting
Damage: 1d4 or 1 point plus possible paralysis
Save: F1/17
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: nil
XP: 25/ Challenge Level/XP: 3/60
Note: Stats after backslashes are for Swords & Wizardry

In the cold wastes there live vicious creatures roaming in packs, tunneling through ice and snow, homing in on the body heat of other animals and stripping them of flesh. They are a menace to every warm-blooded living thing and are particularly lethal to explorers and raiding parties huddled in sleep.

The Carnivorous Ice Worm is five to six feet in length and big around as a man's thigh. It appears as a pale naked tube of flesh with a faint fiery glow emanating along the inner core of the worm and from the mouth. The front end of the worm is a mouthful of multiple rows of ringed cutting teeth doing 1d4 damage per successful attack. Four red slits in the worm-flesh are set around the worm's 'head' just behind the teeth. These slits allow the worm to sense body heat up to a distance of 120' in snow and up to 60' while under ice. The worm and its pack will be drawn to any source of heat that is not another ice worm and attack, bursting from beneath the snow or ice trying to gain surprise (see below).  The worms are connected as a pack: for every two worms attacking a single target the worms gain a +1 bonus to attacks with a max bonus of +4.

The worm's belly and digestive system secrete a mix of chemicals that create fairly intense heat. The secretions give the worm the ability to use its saliva to bore a hole through snow and ice allowing it to travel almost unseen. The movement rate above ground and tunneling through snow is 120 and the movement rate through ice is 90. While moving through snow the worm surprises its prey on a 1-3 on a 1d6. When travelling through ice the surprise goes up to 1-4. On the worm's death the cocktail of heated secretions will still be good and hot for up to one hour plus ten minutes per hit point of the worm after the creature's demise. The stomach can be stripped out and used to keep one person heated in the cold for this time.

The tail of the ice worm is tipped with a small stinger and poison glands. The sting only does one hp of damage but the victim must make a Saving Throw (vs Poison) or be paralyzed by the venom for 2d6+4 rounds. While helpless the victim will most likely be swarmed by the whole pack to be devoured. The ice worm's venom glands, once they release a dose, take three rounds to refill enough to be used again. If un-used and removed after a worm's death the venom is good for up to twenty four hours. Once dose is enough to coat one medium sized weapon. If it is split into two small weapons the Saving Throw is with a two bonus and the time of paralysis is 1d6+2 rounds. If split among five arrows or bolts the Saving Throw is with a four bonus and the paralysis only acts for 1d3+1 rounds.

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