I like the vomiter for several reasons:
- It is surprising the first time encountered-- What the hell is coming out of his mouth!?
- It is still surprising on later encounters-- I don't want to stick around and find out what is coming out of her mouth!
- But it's also tragic-- here is this victim suffering before you and to dally trying to think of how you might help them could cost you your own life.
So, I wanted to make some creatures that might work similarly, not the surprise so much, I don't think you can top the vomiter there, but the sympathy.
Many players couldn't care less for npc's in trouble, though, so how do we make them care? By putting them in dire need. And so, based on the humble Rat King I give you:
The Peasant King
Sometimes known as a Dark Throng, Petitioner's Circle, or just Tom Tangle, this rare mass of humanity is found moving across the countryside at night, or in dark, abandoned places. Formed from what appears to be a circle of men, women, and children with hands fused together, it moves along clumsily, slowly spinning in the direction of travel.
Those bodies closer to the center of the circle have eyes and mouths fused shut. Those on the outside beg for help of anyone in earshot. If a person touches this mass of bodies they must make a save versus petrification or begin fusing to the mass themselves. One limb is quick, the rest following as the hours pass (generally an hour per hit point before complete fusion).
If a person makes their save and resists the fusing, all the bodies not completely fused will be released as well. A person trapped in the Peasant King will know this, will feel the circle's binding strained to the limit. They will also realize that each new person touched gives a chance of release. Stories tell of strong individuals dragging the King from village to village seeking just that. Those viewing the horrific wheel of flesh generally feel differently and flee at its sight.
So, the idea is one of your players will touch this thing, get caught, and then desperately beg for help knowing just a made save is between them and freedom. The rest of the party will have to decide whther the gamble is worth it, pull out the hacksaws, or just harden their hearts to the begging as the walk away.
p.s. I thought of calling it the Serf King, but every time I thought the name I heard surf guitar. :)