Homebrew Monsters: Octopus Dragon and Mantis Dragon

While the bestiaries for Numenera, The Strange, and Cypher System have plenty of wonderful creatures for your players to encounter, sometimes you see something you know your players need to encounter during their adventures.

A dragon-like sea creature with blue rings, and spikes and 4 legs ending in claw, four ending in tentacles

Octopus Dragon (Level 7)

While it bears little relation to the intelligent octopodes that reside in the deep, the Octopus Dragon was named for it’s resemblance to them. A cunning predator, the Octopus Dragon camouflages itself to match it’s surroundings and ambushes it’s prey. An Octopus Dragon can breath air, but prefers the ocean, where it’s a more effective hunter. Octopodes despise any association with these relatively mindless predators and will pay handsomely to anyone who brings evidence of a successful kill.

Motive: Hungers for flesh
Environment: Anywhere in the Ocean, Solitary
Health: 35
Damage Inflicted: 8 points
Modifications: Stealth as Level 9, Speed Defense as Level 6 due to size
Movement: Short
Combat: The Octopus Dragon can make two attacks in a round, a bite attack, a claw attack, and/or grabbing with it’s tentacles. The bite attack is venomous and requires a Might Defense roll if the attack succeeds. On a failed roll, the victim becomes respiratory muscles begin to seize up, and breathing becomes difficult. They take an additional 2 points of Intellect Damage (then Might, then Speed) each round as oxygen struggles to make it to their brain. To stop the progress of the venom, someone must pass a level 6 heal check, assisting with false respiration.
The tentacle attack prevents the Octopus Dragon from moving, but allows it to grab onto a target, increasing the difficulty of avoiding it’s bite or claws by two levels. To avoid being grabbed, the adventurer must succeed on a Might Defense roll, level 7.
Interaction: The Octopus Dragon is not intelligent like the Octopodes it resembles. It cannot be reasoned with. Patient predators, they use their superior camouflage abilities to blend in the with terrain and attack when prey draws near.
Use: When a party is investigating something on the sea floor or in a coral reef, the Octopus Dragon might be laying in wait. They are drawn to numenera, or semi-precious jewels, and will kill to add them to their hoard.
Loot: Like most dragons, the Octopus Dragon keeps a hoard, usually in a nearby cave. While typically composed of pearls and shells, adventurers may also find several oddities, 2d20 abadis, 2-3 cyphers or even an artifact in the hoard. If time is taken, a careful explorer might be able to extract enough venom for three uses from the mouth of the Octopus Dragon.
GM Intrusion: The PC fails to realize that the Octopus Dragon has another limb that has been camouflaged, and it now uses it to attack the PC.

A dragon like creature with front arms like a preying mantis, and dragonfly like wings

Mantis Dragon (Level 6)

With a silhouette that shocks with its very wrongness, the Mantis Dragon is an enormous hybrid that is as deadly as it is frighteningly alluring . With their ability to enthrall prey, Mantis Dragons typically wait until their targets are too close to even contemplate escape before capturing them with their hypnotic hum and fluttering of wings. Many an unlucky explorer has been ripped apart by a Mantis Dragon’s powerful forelegs, dumbly smiling all the while.

Motive: Hungers for flesh
Environment: Grasslands, temperate and tropical climates, Solitary
Health: 28
Damage Inflicted: 6
Modifications: Stealth as Level 7, Perception as Level 7
Movement: Short, Long when flying
Combat: The Mantis Dragon has powerful forelegs that it uses to clasp and cut apart it’s prey. Once grasped in the strong forelegs, it’s a difficulty 8 Might Defense roll to escape. The Mantis Dragon does an additional 2 points of damage each round once it has a creature in it’s clutches.
The Mantis Dragon frequently mesmerizes it’s prays with it’s wings. As an action, the Mantis Dragon may spread it’s wings and move towards it’s prey in a slow rhythmic motion, emitting a low hum. Each creature in line of sight must make a Level 6 Intellect Defense roll or become mesmerized by the patterns in it’s wings and the sound it makes. On a failure, the targets are stunned and unable to take actions until the Mantis Dragon ceases it’s dance, or they suffer harm from an attack.
The Mantis Dragon can also bite it’s prey, though it’s preferred attack is to crush a victim in it’s forelegs.
Interaction: Mantis Dragons are predators, and cannot be reasoned with.
Use: The Mantis Dragon, blends into the surrounding environment, rather then tracking it’s prey. The party might venture into its territory and it sees a chance for a meal, or hunters in the region have reported the Mantis Dragon as a threat on their ability to hunt for food for their families.
Loot: Mantis Dragons hide their hoards well, and it will take some time to discover it’s location. The hoard typically consists of 2d20 shins, several oddities, and 2-3 cyphers, taken from previous meals.
GM Intrusion: While an adventurer is in its clasp, the Mantis Dragon takes to the air, and drops them. The adventurer has moments to try to stop their fall.


Images from Gomalemo on Tumblr

Not So Strange 13: Into the Strange

A spacecraft that looks like the ISS

TM and © 2016 Monte Cook Games, LLC

In the finale (but certainly not the end) of Not So Strange, the team heads to the source of the problem they’re greeted by an old friend. They work together-ish to defend Earth from one of the greatest threats yet.

GM: Aser
Players: John, Matt, Megan, Mike
System: The Strange

If you love The Strange, check out MCG’s current Kickstarter for a boxed edition of the game. This beautiful set includes everything you need for your own game in The Strange and more. It will be available through March 17, 2017.

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

Not So Strange 12: The Beginning of the End

Extereon from the Bestiary. A pod creature with tentacles and eyes on stalks

TM and © 2016 Monte Cook Games, LLC

As the Strange starts appearing throughout Seattle the team struggles to prevent chaos.
If you love The Strange, check out MCG’s current Kickstarter for a boxed edition of the game. This beautiful set includes everything you need for your own game in The Strange and more. It will be available through March 17, 2017.

GM: Aser
Players: Matt, Megan, Mike
System: The Strange

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

For more information visit The Redacted Files. To help support us, check out our Patreon.

Not So Strange 11: Toil and Trouble

The Three Witches painted by Henry Fuseli shows three hagsin white cloaks. They point off screen and have their finger to their lips as they point.

Witches. Why’d it have to be witches?
If you love The Strange, check out MCG’s current Kickstarter for a boxed edition of the game. This beautiful set includes everything you need for your own game in The Strange and more. It will be available through March 17, 2017.

GM: Aser
Players: Matt, Megan, Mike
System: The Strange

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

Not So Strange 10: Fan Service

The dish is installed on the death star as destroyers fly about it

The team discovers a chunk of a galaxy far far away somewhat closer to home, also a jabberwock.

GM: Aser
Players: Matt, Megan, Mike
System: The Strange

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

For more information visit The Redacted Files. To help support us, check out our Patreon.

Not So Strange 9: Paintball to the Knee

A woman falls backwards in an trust exercise as a man scrambles to try to catch her

Agents from the Estate engage in team building activities like paintball, storytelling, and avoiding killer robot assassins.

GM: Aser
Players: Matt, Megan, Mike
System: The Strange

Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Direct Download!

Not So Strange Holiday Special: Silent Night, Strangely Bright

Robot santa unleashes with a machine laser gun

The team has to work together to survive the deadliest mission yet- the Estate holiday party.

GM: Aser
Players: John, Matt, Megan, Mike
System: The Strange

Music by Kevin Macleod, “Wish Background.” (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

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Not So Strange 8: The Omega Mission

Old Postcard that reads Greetings From Seattle with pictures of the city in the letters

Mission accomplished, our heroes take time to relax and recover. None of them could have predicted what would happen when they were called to join The Omega Mission.

Featuring Aser, Matt, Megan, and Mike. Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense”.

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Not So Strange 7: Wait, it shoots what?

A battle chrysalid, with a glowing red face and guns mounted to it's back moves forward menacingly

Escaping from the tunnels beneath Ruk, the team and Agent Davis join forces with the Quiet Cabal to take on a threat to Earth and Ruk before it’s too late.

Featuring Aser, John, Matt, Megan, and Mike. Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense”.

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Not So Strange 6: Revenge is a Dish Best Served with Knives

A front and side view of partly mechanical beings

The team follows their nemesis to Ruk where they are joined by a veteran agent with a very familiar name.

Featuring Aser, John, Matt, Mike, and Megan. Music by Kevin MacLeod, “Failing Defense”.

Direct Download!