Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Unborn

Fleshed out more fully from here. And attempting another frightening, perplexing monster.

The Unborn

Found in tight spaces underground, the only sound they make is the quick inhalation of breath, as if surprised. Some say this is them realizing, over and over, that they live. When encountered by living creatures the unborn, usually in small groups, will approach, mindlessly clubbing with fingerless hands. Cutting their flesh open reveals dry, gristly meat almost like sausage. If they successfully hit a human, that person's mind is transfered into the unborn's body. The human's original body will stare mutely or wander randomly. Scholars say this happens because the unborn have no soul of their own.

A victim newly trapped in an unborn body will find they cannot speak and can only gesture at their allies or attempt to touch their former body to swap their mind back. Tales of doughty fighters butchering unborn often end with the strange fate of the rest of the party-- oddly docile for the rest of their days.

The Unborn

Armor Class: 9 [10]
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: Club-like arms 1d6
Saving Throw:16
Special: Touch causes bodyswap
Move: 6
Challenge Level/XP: 4/120


Yeah, the pic has them on a swing (it's unborn recess!), but imagine those bodies crawling toward you in a cave with a two foot ceiling and that noise they make. . .

Update 7/9/10:

After posting I'm thinking these guys might be a little too powerful. I might drop damage to 1d4 HD to 1 and maybe even give players a save versus the soul swap, but not sure on the last.


  1. I know they're soulless body snatchers, but I'd still want to help the poor confused little things (and I know my players would too).

    Hee hee...

  2. Combines the horror of close spaces, dolls, and things that are just close enough to human to be gross. Nice job.

    I'm about to roll out a somewhat-similar idea in my game: Animate foot-tall mummies. For stat purposes, they are just tiny zombies (none of the magic or intelligence of an actual MM "mummy"). The way I'm making them worthwhile is by playing them as a swarm. The party is in an abandoned wizard's keep, full of shelves with jars, and each jar holds a preserved little person. Once they reach the main chamber, all the jars will start tipping off the shelves...

  3. @Chris: that might be a whole campaign sidetrack-- finding souls for the unborn, haha.

    @ChrisL: Thanks, the sort of human mixed with swarm does seem inherently creepy. Crom save your players!

  4. That is seriously creepy. I love it.

  5. @Telecanter and Chris: Perhaps find those that are dying and give them a chance to live on? With them of course eventually gaining control over the it as they become used to their new body.