There was a time when the noble houses of many cities would hire specialist chefs to prepare – or conjure – fantastical meals. These were the times of the pastamancer, the saucerer and the Clerical order of the Miracle Whip. None were so prized for their skills, however, as the great culinary wizard, Anton Burdo.
Burdo’s foods were a spellbinding delight, sugarplum fairies that flew into your mouth, fountains of chocolate and his turducken one-upped the owlbear by combining three creatures into one, raised purely for the eating. His garlic-chilli dire-chicken was to die for, and many did die in battle with dire chickens to ensure a steady supply for the high tables.
Then it all went wrong.
The wastage from uneaten food and continuous kitchen-spellcasting began to have side effects, trolls in the pantry, mutations in the wait-staff and then – most spectacularly – the emergence of an entirely new breed of beholder in the sewers beneath the kitchens.
Burdo quit in disgrace and fled to the south in a personal quest to explore as many dungeons and drive-ins, and dragons and dives as he could, providing the spoils to the people as an apology. His lost spellbook is said to be in the hands of a cakeholder and to contain a wealth of lost magic. These apocryphally include:
Splashback, Onion Ward, Chilli Touch, Pilot Light, Condiment Spray, Ray of Frosting, Disguise Food, Expeditious Service, Protection from Haute Cuisine, Food Coma, Unseen Sous-Chef, Enlarge/Shrink Portion, Melf’s Acid Reflux, Animate Food, Barbecue Ball, Leomund’s Tiny Kitchen, Appetising Cloud, Banish Calories, Control Lard, Leomund’s Secret Pantry, Wall of Cake, Create Omnomculous, Otto’s Irresistable Cookies, Finger of Fudge, Ramsey’s Harsh Power Word and Profiterole Swarm.
As to the cakeholders themselves, they continue to proliferate, a strange being made of your actual cake, layer upon layer of sponge, chocolate, jam, cream and berries, brought to some unholy life. An unsavoury beast, in every meaning of the word.
(Not to be confused with other sub-species such as the cupholder or the cuckolder)
Large Aberration, lawful-delicious or delicious-evil
Armour Class: 16 (Natural Armour)
Hit Points: 180 (19d10+76)
Speed: 0 ft, fly 20 ft (hover)
Strength 10 (+0)
Dex 12 (+1)
Con 18 (+4)
Int 16 (+3)
Wis 15 (+2)
Cha 20 (+5)
Saving Throws: Int +8, Wis +7, Cha +10
Skills: Perception +7, Deception +10
Condition Immunities: Prone
Damage Resistances: Slashing, Piercing, Cold
Damage Vulnerabilities: Bite attacks and bludgeoning.
Senses: Darkvision 120 ft, Passive Perception 17 (Cakeholder’s cast dim light from their candles in a 10 ft radius)
Cakeholders have low-level telekinesis, enough to use kitchen equipment.
Language: Deep Speech, Undercommon, Baker’s Tongue
Challenge 13 (10,000 xp)
Ice Cream Cone: The cakeholder’s central eye creates an area of rich, creamy coolness in a 150 ft cone. At the start of each turn, any character within that cone must make a Constitution Save against a DC of 17 or suffer an ice cream headache (so long as they remain within the area). They are considered to be three levels of exhausted, and this adds on to any existing levels of exhaustion.
Bite: Despite rampant tooth decay, the cakeholder is still a formidable biter, their remaining teeth honed to razor edges on day-old bran muffins. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, Reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: 11 (3d6) piercing damage.
Eye/Stalk Rays: The cakeholder shoots three of the following magical rays at random (reroll duplicates) choosing one to three targets it can see within 150 feet of it. Roll a d8
Ray of Frosting: A character struck by the Ray of Frosting (DC 13 Dexterity Save to avoid) is covered in a delicious sugary coating. Any character or enemy in a neighbouring space must make a Will Save DC 13 or only be able to grapple and/or lick the afflicted character for their action. The frosting effect remains until a whole turn is spent cleaning it off, or the Dungeon Master rules it has been removed by some other means (or excessive licking).
Ray of Deliciousness: A character struck by the Ray of Deliciousness (DC 13 Dexterity Save to avoid) is made magically delicious. Any character or enemy who has them in their field of view must make a Will Save DC 13 or try to move in and bite them – and only bite them, no other attacks are allowed. The effect lasts for ten turns.
Flesh to Cake Ray: The target of the ray must make a DC 12 Constitution Save or start to turn into cake, appropriate type to be determined by the Games Master. On a failed save they are Restrained and must make additional Constitution Saves on the following two turns. If they fail all three times they are turned into (immobile) cake. While in cake form they have the same weaknesses and immunities as the cakeholder.
Candle Flare: The candles atop the cakeholder flare into brilliant light, lighting everything for 50 ft as bright as day, and sending out a blast of harmful radiance. This harmful blast has an area of 15 ft centred on the cakeholder and creatures within that area must make a Dexterity Saving Throw or take 3d6 radiant damage on a failed save or half as much if they succeed.
Ray of Obesity: A target struck with the Ray of Obesity must make a Strength Save against a DC of 12 or start to become fat. Each time they are struck they gain a level of obesity from ‘A’ through ‘F’. While many halflings and dwarves are healthy at any size, this ray causes unhealthy obesity. Removing this obesity take a month of harsh diet and exercise per level.
A: Buxom – You have disadvantage on Strength checks.
B: Plump – You have disadvantage on Strength and Constitution checks.
C: Rubenesque – You have disadvantage on all physical ability checks.
D: Big Boned – You have disadvantage on all physical ability checks and move at half speed.
E: Fat – You have disadvantage on all physical ability checks, move at half speed and halve your maximum hit-points.
F: Hambeast – You have disadvantage on all ability checks, can no longer move and divide your maximum hit points by 4. You can – however – now reduce all incoming damage by two points, due to a thick, protective layer of blubber.
Tooth-Rotting Ray: A target struck by this ray, provided that they have teeth, must make a Constitution Save against a DC of 17 or take 1d4 damage as though from a disease. A second strike does 1d6 damage and a third rots their teeth out of their head.
Berry Blast: The target of this ray must make a DC 13 Dexterity Save or be struck by a hail of berries. The force with which they are blasted does 1d4 x 1d4 damage and the staining makes them sticky and causes them disadvantage on Charisma-based rolls until they can get clean. They will also be the preferred target of both giant and conventional insect attacks until they are cleaned.
Trick or Treat: A target struck by this ray must roll a d20 to make a Saving Throw on behalf of their rations. Standard rations just roll a d20, iron rations add +2 to their total, both rolling against a DC of 12. If they fail, the rations are turned into sweet, delicious, but fattening treats. They can still be eaten but now require a Strength Save against a DC of 12, or the person who eats the rations gains a level of obesity (see above). This change is permanent.
NB: This is just for fun, but it’s entirely usable if you really wanted to. Hanging out with Satine and Ruty (Rudy?) warped my fragile little mind and reminded me of one of the times I helped with the D&D School Competition back in the 2nd Ed AD&D days. One of the adventures involved a candy/sugar-themed dungeon and a peppermint dragon!
Art by Aaron McBride
Buohteesian Galoboar & Snark Turbiner
The galoboar is an enormous beast, much prized as prey for hunters on safari. The galoboar is a tough foe, covered in thick rubbery skin and bristly hairs which absorb impacts and burn off, absorbing energy fire. The galoboar’s tusks are valued for inlays and carving, its flesh for meat and its – prodigious – stink glands in the production of perfume. Only sanctioned hunting is currently permitted in order to maintain the galoboar’s numbers.
Buohteesian Galoboar CR 10
N Huge Animal
Init +0, Senses: Low-light vision, Perception +19
Defence: Hit Points 200
EAC 20 KAC 28
Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +13
Defensive Abilities: Stinking Aura (ex): (10 ft, DC 17 Fortitude) causes those afflicted to be sickened, Ferocity (ex): At zero hit points the creature can fight on for one more round.
Speed 40 ft
Melee Tusks +22 (2d12+18 P)
Wild Thrashing +19 (four attacks) (1d8+18)
Strength +8, Dexterity +0, Constitution +5, Intelligence -4, Wisdom +3, Charisma +0
Skills: Intimidation +24, Survival +19
Environment: Plains and grasslands.
Organisation: Solitary, Mated pair, Mother and 2d4 young.
The Snark Turbiner is a great vehicle for people on a budget. Designed as a simple to use transport and gunnery platform for hunters and safari tourists, it’s a relatively tough, no-nonsense machine that can put up with a good deal of abuse. It is, however, rather noisy and its heavy duty cargo arms cause a great deal of drag.
Tier 1 Huge Vehicle
EAC 9, KAC 9, TL 8
Speed: 40 ft, full 400 ft, 75 mph, Manoeuvrability: Average, +0 Piloting, Turn 2
HP: 200, Hardness 10
Expansion Bays: Passenger Bay
Crew: Minimum Crew 1: Maximum Crew: 2, Passengers: Up to 16
Micron Superlight Powerplant, T8 Thrusters, Basic Computer, Budget short-range sensors, Manipulator arms (1d4 B damage).
PLOD are lumbering, but intimidating, police droids which can be deployed by truck – typically in pairs. They are most commonly used for riot suppression, guard duty and for establishing perimeters around ongoing criminal situations (such as hostage negotiations). The PLOD personality is dour and matter-of-fact and has a tendency to use technical and long-winded language. All PLOD are fitted with a crime-analysis computer that uses complex profile algorithms to determine potential troublemakers by alignment. Despite constant revisions, there are continual claims and protests that the PLOD system has racial bias.
Police Light Ordinance Droid CR 2
Large Technological Construct
N Large robot
Init +2, Senses: Darkvision 60 ft, Low-Light Vision, Detect Alignment, Perception +10
Defence HP 30
EAC 10, KAC 16
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will -1
Immunities: Construct immunities, unliving,
Speed 25 ft
Melee: Stomp +8 (1d6+7 B)
Ranged: Twin-linked plastic-bullet rifles +11 (2d6+4 B, knockdown on crit), range 90 ft, capacity 80 rounds, usage 4.
Space: 10 ft, reach 10 ft.
Str +5, Dex +2, Con -, Int +0, Wis +0, Cha +1
Skills: Intimidate +5, Diplomacy +5
Organisation: Solitary or pair.
Art by Toraji
Crocvine, dubbed ‘F*ckthorn’ by soldiers who have encountered it, is a budget-conscious security system for those who have facilities in swamps, jungles and other biologically diverse and dense areas. Crocvine rapidly grows and sends tendrils over a wide area, attacking and killing anything that enters its zone and using its biomass to increase in size. Crocvine uses patented ‘planimal’ technology, developed by Doctor Allmark, and which is also present in other biological weapons developed by the same lab.
Crocvine CR 4
Large Plantlike Animal
Init +1, Senses: Tremorsense, Perception +15
Defence HP 55
EAC 14, KAC 18
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +3
Defensive Abilities: Plantlike, Amorphous (ex)
Speed 5 ft
Melee spiked vine +11 (1d6+10 P and grab)
Space 10 ft, Reach 10 ft
Offensive Abilities: Grab (ex)
Str +6, Con +3, Dex +1, Int -5, Wis +1, Charisma +0
Skills: Stealth +10, Survival +10
Environment: Forest, swamp, jungle
Grab (Ex): Hits that beat the target’s KAC+4 automatically grapple, if they beat KAC +13 then the target is automatically pinned. Crocvine can grab and grapple any number of enemies.
Amorphous (Ex): Crocvine doesn’t take double damage from critical hits, but does suffer critical hit effects as normal.
Plantlike: The crocvine is considered a plant, or animal, depending which is the worst for it. It gains a +2 save bonus against mind controlling and similar effects, due to its plantlike nature.
Armour Upgrade: Slicksuit Coating
The armour is fitted with a small field generator which, instead of providing a forcefield in the conventional sense, surrounds the wearer with a friction reducing field that increases in effect the more the suit is ‘squeezed’. The practical upshot of which is that your KAC is considered four points higher against grab and grapple attacks. The field itself is invisible, but does emit a very faint hum.
Level 3, Price 1500, Slots 2, Armour Type: Any, Bulk: L
Sharp Solutions Lachete
The Sharp Solutions Lachete is engineered especially for cleaving through dense, alien vegetation. The blade is encased in a low-level power field and is flooded with photonic radiation upon its strikes, tuned to resonate with chlorophyll and similar chemicals in other plants (it can be tuned to suit the local equivalent). As a result, the lachete is extremely disruptive to plants and hacks through them with ease. In practical terms, this means that the blade does double damage against plant and plant-like enemies and if the weapon is in hand while traversing difficult terrain (in the form of vines, bushes or other plant matter) you add 5 ft to your movement through that terrain after halving it. EG: Jensen has a move of 30 ft, in difficult terrain he can only – normally – move 15ft. Armed with a lachete he can move 25 ft.
Lachete: Level 3, Price 600, Damage 1d6 S&E (choose most effective), Bulk L, Special Powered (Capacity 80, usage 1).
Art by Maxim Verahin
The cordiceph is a conversion template that can be attached to any, infected, living creature.
Cordiceph-infected creatures lose their creature type and replace it with the Plant type. As such they gain low-light vision and plant immunities as well as a +2 bonus to Fortitude saving throws, this is in addition to any conventional abilities they might have. The cordiceph counts as both its original type, and a plant, whichever is most detrimental to it.
Cordiceph lose any skills they might otherwise have had, save Perception, and instead default to their basic Ability bonuses should they attempt any skill with the vestiges of their former intellect.
Cordiceph gain a natural attack based on their CR from the Alien Archive and the Combatant array. EG: A cordiceph infested goblin would do 1d6+Strength bonus bashing damage. Cordiceph may use basic melee weapons, but nothing more complex. This table is also used to determine the Fortitude save DC to avoid infection.
- Type: Disease (inhaled or injury) Save: Fortitude, DC depending on source.
- Track: Mental; Frequency 1/day.
- Effect: At the stage of death the cordiceph erupts fruiting bodies from the victim and begins to move again. It will seek to attack anyone who is not infected and to travel as far as possible from its point of origin. Upon death the fruiting bodies burst violently, spreading their spores in a fifty foot radius and threatening to infect anyone in that area who is breathing the open air or who has open wounds.
- Cure: Two consecutive saves.
Art by Fanny Poulain
The Relentless are an unstoppable force. They single out targets that have caused enormous disruption to the status quo – for good or ill – and attempt to kill them. The problem is that the moment one of The Relentless is killed, another takes its place and begins to track its target. So it goes until they, mysteriously, decide to cease their pursuit or until their target goes so deep into hiding that they cannot be found, even by these dogged pursuers.
The Relentless CR 6
LN Medium Undead Humanoid Soldier
Initiative +9: Senses: Darkvision 60 ft, low-light vision, Perception: +2
Defence HP 90
EAC 19, KAC 19
Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +7
Defensive Abilities: Unliving, constructed, regeneration 5 (chaos), truespeech, synthetic.
Immunities: Undead Immunities
Speed 40f t
Melee: Armblade, three attacks +16 (1d10+11 S, 1d6 Bleed on critical).
Ranged: Throwing knife +13 (2d4+9 P)
Str +3 Dex +5 Con – Int +2 Wis +2 Cha +0
Skills: Survival +18, Stealth +11, Intimidate +11, All languages.
Surprise Attack +3d8 damage when striking from flank or surprise.
Blitz: Rapid Response, Charge AttackMelee Striker