Leeches!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One of my favorite parts of being an editor at Paizo is getting to read about the new monsters in each bestiary before they come out. My favorites are the ones whose descriptions make me shiver with a delicious sense of horror and disgust. If the players facing these foul beasts make the same expression that I do reading about them, GMs will be richly rewarded for including them!

Last week, James Sutter was casually describing some of the nasties in Heart of the Jungle as he handed over a copy of one of the chapters: "You know, giant botflies, giant leeches, and [...]" Oh sorry, could you repeat the rest of that sentence? I couldn't hear you over the sound of my inner child screaming in fear.

Illustration by Andrew Hou

You see, when I was about 10, I was reading my dad's Dragon magazine back issues while en route to a week of camping in northern Minnesota, and I came across an article called "Ecology of the Giant Leech." The description of foot-long ribbons of muscle whose bite you can't even feel slowly fattening as they fill with your blood horrified me—suddenly I was terrified to be spending a week canoeing and swimming in leech-infested waters. ("Leech-infested" is not an exaggeration; the water along the shore of every beach and campsite was thick with six-inch-long leeches.)

I studied over the article again and again, poring over the stats and descriptions of their attacks and vulnerabilities, so I'd know how to defend myself when the time came. (You can laugh, but clearly, it worked!)

Now giant leeches are back—and I can't wait to read about them again! Partly because I love being creeped out by things that go bump in the water, and okay, I confess, partly to learn whether leech-fighting methods have evolved over the years.

GMs, you're going to love these wriggly critters: monsters based on one of nature's actual horrors, and whose attack is so insidious that victims may not even notice until it's almost too late. The only thing more priceless than the expression on your players' faces when they find a couple giant leeches draining one of their comrades—and wonder about that crawling sensation on their own backs—will be the look on their faces when they realize they have to cross that swamp again on the way back.


Yours shudderingly,

Judy Bauer
Editor

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Andrew Hou Monsters Mwangi Expanse Pathfinder Campaign Setting Vermin
Dark Archive

Leeches ! Get your fresh leeches !

When I saw the throat leech's entry and accompanying pic of a man choking in the AD&D Fiend Folio I instantly knew I wanted to throw that bad boy on my players.


from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

Drusilla: You know what I miss? Leeches.

Dark Archive

*L* That story reminded me a bit about me seeing Jaws at the theater as a kid a bit. One of those dollar theaters showing old blockbusters.

But leaches are icky anyways.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

leeches? shudder...

Judy Bauer? Who is Judy Bauer?

Welcome Judy Bauer!


Yes! I demand to know Judy Bauer!

Why doesn't anyone tell us anything anymore?!?

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16, 2011 Top 32, 2012 Top 4

Hey! That giant leech image is a total rip-off of my Slithering Horror monster concept. Just knock out its teeth, paint it mauve, add 40 or 60 tentacles and...

Aww, crud. Nevermind. ;-)

Paizo Employee Director of Game Development

LEECHES!

Contributor

Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Yes! I demand to know Judy Bauer!

Judy snuck in early in January, lending her editorial expertise and a keenly honed b%%$~**# detector to our ever expanding editorial venture (and, shall we say, "editorial debt"). And we couldn't be more delighted to have her aboard! Several hundred pages of editing a month quite obviously leaves little time for blogging, though, so I tend to leave the daily blog burden (blurgen?) off Chris and Judy and on those Jacobs, Reynolds, Sutter, and Schneider chumps.

Grand Lodge

A pox on thee and thine tempations! I cannot wait until May to horrify my PC's! Now I have to go cobble some stats together!


F. Wesley Schneider wrote:
Mairkurion {tm} wrote:
Yes! I demand to know Judy Bauer!
Judy snuck in early in January, lending her editorial expertise and a keenly honed b@#~#&!@ detector to our ever expanding editorial venture (and, shall we say, "editorial debt"). And we couldn't be more delighted to have her aboard! Several hundred pages of editing a month quite obviously leaves little time for blogging, though, so I tend to leave the daily blog burden (blurgen?) off Chris and Judy and on those Jacobs, Reynolds, Sutter, and Schneider chumps.

Pics or I'll never beleive she's not your alter ego!

[aside]Hi Judy![/aside]

Sovereign Court

vagrant-poet wrote:

Pics or I'll never beleive she's not your alter ego!

[aside]Hi Judy![/aside]

That's just silly, clearly he already has Pierce Watters as his alter ego.


Callous Jack wrote:
vagrant-poet wrote:

Pics or I'll never beleive she's not your alter ego!

[aside]Hi Judy![/aside]

That's just silly, clearly he already has Pierce Watters as his alter ego.

How could I have never seen it before?


Reminds me of the giant leeches in Peter Jackson's King Kong.

The Exchange

Hi Judy!

This blog reminds me of the movie "Stand By Me." Only the leech pictured on the blog would eat those kids whole, I'm sure.


Hi, folks, thanks for the welcome! I've been here (albeit in lurk mode) since January. A bit of background:

1) Over the years, I've played AD&D (1st and 2nd eds), Call of Cthulhu, Rollmaster AND Spacemaster (*headdesk*), Ars Magica, a couple White Wolf games, Exalted, Star Trek, a couple things I'm forgetting, and a few homegrown systems. After a few years away from pen and paper RPGs, I'm coming back into the fold with Pathfinder.

2) It's true, I do worry about details a fair amount. A few (nonspoilerish) things I've worried about recently include distinguishing spinning vs. weaving equipment, the side of a mountain range that's in its rainshadow, and the flammability of containers (how I miss the potion misability tables!). Luckily I am better at letting go with movies, so people are still willing to go to movies with me.

3) Every time I see that leech illo I want to self-hug. Or maybe build myself a hut from those Himalayan salt slabs.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Mmmmmmm .... Ars Magica. A fine choice there.

Owner - House of Books and Games LLC

Judy Bauer wrote:
... and the flammability of containers (how I miss the potion misability tables!).

Those were the best EVER!

I still use the AD&D DMG on a regular basis. In fact, I still use the tables there to generate all my gems and jewelry :)

(shouts out to the powers that be)

Any chance we'll see AD&D style random gem/jewelry tables ever?

Edit: P.S. Welcome to the insanity, Judy :)


Judy Bauer wrote:

Hi, folks, thanks for the welcome! I've been here (albeit in lurk mode) since January. A bit of background:

1) Over the years, I've played AD&D (1st and 2nd eds), Call of Cthulhu, Rollmaster AND Spacemaster (*headdesk*), Ars Magica, a couple White Wolf games, Exalted, Star Trek, a couple things I'm forgetting, and a few homegrown systems. After a few years away from pen and paper RPGs, I'm coming back into the fold with Pathfinder.

2) It's true, I do worry about details a fair amount. A few (nonspoilerish) things I've worried about recently include distinguishing spinning vs. weaving equipment, the side of a mountain range that's in its rainshadow, and the flammability of containers (how I miss the potion misability tables!). Luckily I am better at letting go with movies, so people are still willing to go to movies with me.

3) Every time I see that leech illo I want to self-hug. Or maybe build myself a hut from those Himalayan salt slabs.

Welcome, Judy! Please, don't stop worrying about details! :D


Judy Bauer wrote:

Hi, folks, thanks for the welcome! I've been here (albeit in lurk mode) since January. A bit of background:

1) Over the years, I've played AD&D (1st and 2nd eds), Call of Cthulhu, Rollmaster AND Spacemaster (*headdesk*), Ars Magica, a couple White Wolf games, Exalted, Star Trek, a couple things I'm forgetting, and a few homegrown systems. After a few years away from pen and paper RPGs, I'm coming back into the fold with Pathfinder.

2) It's true, I do worry about details a fair amount. A few (nonspoilerish) things I've worried about recently include distinguishing spinning vs. weaving equipment, the side of a mountain range that's in its rainshadow, and the flammability of containers (how I miss the potion misability tables!). Luckily I am better at letting go with movies, so people are still willing to go to movies with me.

3) Every time I see that leech illo I want to self-hug. Or maybe build myself a hut from those Himalayan salt slabs.

(edited)

[gentle fun] Hmm. I was going to ding you for 'misability' when I felt sure the word was 'miscibility', but table 111 in my DMG [TSR 2160] is 'Potion Compatability' anyway... ;) [/gentle fun]
Anyway, welcome back to the world of pen and paper games, and to posting on the Paizo boards. Watch using the word 'smurf' in posts in case it does *that* to your avatar, be warned that you have a long way to go if you want to overhaul Heathansson's post count, and remember to make occasional obeisances to the awesome cookie power of the demon queen of victuals if you wish for cookies at PaizoCon...

Charles Evans (25) :)

Dark Archive

Judy Bauer wrote:
1) Over the years, I've played AD&D (1st and 2nd eds), Call of Cthulhu, Rollmaster AND Spacemaster (*headdesk*), Ars Magica, a couple White Wolf games, Exalted, Star Trek, a couple things I'm forgetting, and a few homegrown systems. After a few years away from pen and paper RPGs, I'm coming back into the fold with Pathfinder.

Hey hey... spacemaster is cool. Ok i finally gave up on rolemaster I tried for years but just loath the magic system.

BTW you need a avatar of some form, all the cool kids have one. Plus now i will know who to send curses to when I see editing errors. :)


Maybe Judy is holding out for a special avatar?


Dark_Mistress wrote:
Judy Bauer wrote:
1) Over the years, I've played AD&D (1st and 2nd eds), Call of Cthulhu, Rollmaster AND Spacemaster (*headdesk*), Ars Magica, a couple White Wolf games, Exalted, Star Trek, a couple things I'm forgetting, and a few homegrown systems. After a few years away from pen and paper RPGs, I'm coming back into the fold with Pathfinder.

Hey hey... spacemaster is cool. Ok i finally gave up on rolemaster I tried for years but just loath the magic system.

BTW you need a avatar of some form, all the cool kids have one. Plus now i will know who to send curses to when I see editing errors. :)

Hmm. Perhaps Judy has an avatar the non-euclidean angles and mind-wrenching horror of which your mind instinctively blanks out to preserve your sanity - which is definitely 'cool' in my book. ;)


Ah-hah! I SPY A NEW POSTER!

*sends virtual cookies delivered by gninjas*

Welcome to the boards Judy!

Liberty's Edge

Welcome Judy!


Welcome Judy and thank you for your attention to detail. :)

Judy Bauer wrote:
...Every time I see that leech illo I want to self-hug. Or maybe build myself a hut from those Himalayan salt slabs.

I highly recommend an excellent documentary film from 1959 that covers the do's-and-don'ts of preparing for a leech assault.

{goes back to loading john-boat with dynamite, whistling a jaunty tune}

Jon Brazer Enterprises

Judy Bauer wrote:
Hi, folks, thanks for the welcome!

Greetings.

*the kobold king turns and walk away thinking about how he is to foil the humanoids' plans. Now that they have someone who can figure out what side of a mountain range the rain falls upon, who knows what else they are capable of. She may very well know what side of a fish is the most delicious. Or how much wood a woodchuck could infact chuck. Or **gasp** the lost arcane ritual that could ascend kobolds to being purple worm wrangling. kobold king must remember to be nice to this humanoid until he can steal secrets of purple worm wrangling/hog-tieing.*

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Lost Omens Campaign Setting / Lost Omens Products / Paizo Blog: Leeches! All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Lost Omens Products