Four Horsemen Present: Gruesome Oozes (PFRPG) PDF

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In conjunction with d20PFSRD and Rogue Genius Games, the Four Horsemen have developed some slimy scares perfect for proving not everything shiny is treasure! Run, don't walk, to pick up this volume which offers the otherworldly Intruder (which unmakes reality in its wake), the self-aware Emulation (hollowing out its victims from within), the multiplying Exponential (which constantly divides, and conquers), and the mythic threat of the Hive Mind (which seeks to protect its collective consciousness)!

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

The third Gruesome monsters-supplement (for a handy list, use the Gruesome-tag on my homepage) clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let's take a look!

So what are gruesome monsters? The simple explanation is that they're monsters that had a template added, which represents a type of design I personally absolutely adore: Basically, the templates have a goal and that is to reward smart players. Taking a cue from the best of dark fantasy and horror gaming, the templates provided here make the creatures not only more lethal, they also add a psychological component via the Shock Value to them, representing the potential for PCs being intimidated/frightened by the sheer wrongness of the creatures presented.

Furthermore, the templates may be lethal, yes, but they also come with an Achilles heel that rewards PCs acting smart and doing their legwork (meaning that knowledge DC-modifiers can glean crucial information - the modifiers and knowledge are part of the template) - mind you, you can ignore these components of the templates, sure...but why would you? The rewarding expression on player faces when they deal with such a foe courtesy of their smarts is priceless and represents one of the most cherished aspects in roleplaying gaming...at least in my opinion. It should also be noted that each such template comes with a sample creature that already has the template applied for your convenience.

The first template introduced herein would be the CR+2 Intruder Ooze, a thing from a reality beyond the confines of our laws of morality and physics - subsequently, mere contact with these things breaks down the unfortunates trying to fight it; clothed in defensive alien reality, these things can tunnel through ANYTHING and, worse, even gravity breaks down in the presence of these dread globs of goo...but the creatures need to keep moving: Their reality negation destroys anything they're in contact with...even the floor.

At CR+2, no less inspired that the previous masterpiece, would be the emulation-ooze: Basically, we have a body-snatcher here, an ooze that tries hijacking its victims...turning on their personality: The ooze actually believes it is the creature in question, making them truly disturbing adversaries that not even magic can properly sniff out.

The CR+1 exponential ooze would be the old-school, badass-version of the splitting ooze...you know, not the one with this pansy Hp-sharing, but the dread creature that actually can very quicklybecome a horrid epidemic, a flood of oozes...and one that can also divide on its own...and recombine. This is truly a great rendition of the dread blob-concept and a return to form for the much maligned and nerfed trope of the splitting ooze - love it!

The fourth template within these pages is, once again, a mythic template at CR +1/2 per mythic tier - the Hive Mind. And that template would be the answer to the question whether there is a good template to make oozes the BBEGs - with options to control its subjects, detect thoughts, absolutely perfect coordination between individual parts of the collective and the powers to assimilate and induct into its sphere of influence, the hive mind makes for a subtle and uncannily creepy adversary.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games' beautiful grimoire-style full-color two-column standard and the pdf sports thematically-fitting stock-art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.

Stephen Rowe's gruesome oozes had a difficult legacy after the superb installment on fey...and it manages to uphold the superb level of quality the predecessor established - which is a feat in itself, considering how difficult good ooze-design is. Indeed, the creature-templates here are inspired in a variety of ways that is particularly surprising once you remember how one-dimensional oozes usually are. This pdf provides a superb means to instill the fear of oozes back into your players - a brilliant little pdf well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.


Revenge of the Blob

5/5

Once more here we go with four fearsome templates for monsters. In this case -- it's oozes.

Yes, I know. Oozes seem scary at very low levels, but once you figure out how to handle them they're not so dangerous. Well, this PDF attempts to correct that, and as to how well they do, well, we're about to see.

First is the rather Lovecraftian Intruder. Basically an extrusion from realms measureless to man into our universe, the Intruder faces a constant battle against a reality that just wants it gone. It unmakes everything it touches -- the ground, the walls, swords, your flesh -- and warps reality and gravity around it as it carries a 'pocket' of its own reality around. So it can do things like cause gravity to make things fall to it, or burrow through everything from dirt to metal. In fact it has no choice; if it doesn't move, it will create a tunnel to the world's core given enough time. The Intruder ooze destroys just by existing. Thankfully sane reality realizes this and the monsters is slowly removed from our world. Unless of course it finds something to anchor it here. Like, say, an artifact.

Emulation oozes bring in some Body Snatcher-style horror. These are oozes that slither inside their victims and consume them slowly, controlling and mimicking them as they do. Indeed it controls them so well that the ooze thinks it IS them and registers to spells as such. It also retains its immunities to mental effects, and to hurt it when 'riding' its host you have to kill the host first. And all the while it has access to all the knowledge and feats of the host (no spells, though).

It gets even worse if you combine the Emulators with the next template, the Exponential. Everyone knows how easy it is to kill oozes by splitting them, right? What if that didn't weaken them? What if every time you split them you made two oozes as strong as the original? And when they recombined, they were now as big as both new oozes combined? That is the horror of the Exponential. As long as they continue to feed, they can keep splitting into more oozes. Which then combine into ever-bigger oozes. Who needs gates to the Abyss or zombie apocalypses when these guys are running around?

Last is the mythic Hive Mind template. This is a swarm of dozens to scores of oozes of all different sorts that have developed a collective intelligence and mental powers to go with it. They can also bring other oozes into the hive mind upon encountering them, and even learn to do things like control humanoids, learn spellcasting that is shared with the entire hive mind, and share monstrous abilities among its members. Try combining it with the Exponential for even more fun.

As with the others PDFs of the series, there are sample monsters listed with every template. I'm giving this one five stars mostly because they managed to make oozes scary and cool again, and that's not easy. Really a great buy if you want to really creep out your players.


Community Manager

Now available!


Thanks Liz! I’m really proud of this book in particular out of the four Gruesome books this month. Oozes being mindless blobs with a few well-known tricks makes them poor antagonists, and not really as scary as they should be. However, with these templates you can turn any mediocre ooze into a terrifying and memorable threat!

You can find a more in-depth description of each template at the Four Horsemen Website. We've also got the Four Horsemen Blog on d20pfsrd.com if you are a fan or want to see some of our group's work for free!


Just did a review here. Great job on these slimy guys; combining the Exponential with almost any other template here would make for a race against disaster. Just imagine an Exponential Hive Mind or Intruder.


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Eric Hinkle wrote:
Just did a review here. Great job on these slimy guys; combining the Exponential with almost any other template here would make for a race against disaster. Just imagine an Exponential Hive Mind or Intruder.

Thank you for all your reviewing! It means a lot to us and I am thrilled you enjoyed the templates! Oozes was one of the most rewarding to write, and I am really pleased with how well it turned out.


Having seen what you did with the oozes, I hope you make some templates in the future for monster types like vermin and plants. It would be interesting to see what you made of them.


Eric Hinkle wrote:
Having seen what you did with the oozes, I hope you make some templates in the future for monster types like vermin and plants. It would be interesting to see what you made of them.

I would love to see Gruesome Vermin.


Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com's shop.

As always, thank you for the review!

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