New Monster: Octyrannopus
Stats: as Tyrannosaurus, except with tentacles and a central beak.
Attacks (in addition to stomp and tail-swipe):
- Tentacles: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., 2 targets. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the Octyrannopus has advantage to attack with its beak.
- Beak: +10 to hit, reach 10 ft., 1 target. Hit: 17 (2d10+6) piercing damage.
The Octyrannopus is a hunter and scavenger of the Haunted Jungle. At some point in the past a normal tyrannosaur either ate or mated with some Cthulhoid horror from beyond space and time, and now there are octyrannopods running around, being all disturbing with their slick wet tentacles and disturbingly blank giant squid eyes. They’re more cunning and more cruel than garden-variety tyrannosaurs (INT+5), and expert at attacking from ambush.
My party encountered their first Octyrannopus when they came out of their most recent dungeon. As they’d been killing guards on the way in, they’d dragged the bodies out and stashed them in the jungle so roving patrols inside the dungeon wouldn’t find their dead comrades lying around. Eventually they penetrated the inner sanctum, had a big fight with the boss monster, and solved the puzzle that was the focus and raison d’etre of the dungeon. Wounded, wealthy, and happy, they staggered out of the dungeon and BAM!, there’s ole Octyrannopus gorging itself on the dead bodies they’d hid in the woods. Thereby illustrating the Smithian principle that it’s not just where you are geographically that generates story-fuel, it’s where you are in a chain of consequences.
New Monster: Rocketceratops
Stats: as Triceratops, but with 2d6 rockets where the horns should be.
Attack (in addition to charge and trample):
- Rockets: +3 to hit at 0-30 meters, +0 to hit at 30-100 meters, -3 to hit at 100-300 meters, fires 1d4 per turn. Hit: everyone in 15-foot radius from point of impact makes a DC 12 DEX save, taking 4d6 explosive damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. Alternatively, rockets may be used to deliver biological or chemical weapons (hallucinogens, poisons, spores, etc.).
The rockets are ignited by bio-electrical pulses. If a Rocketceratops takes more than 10 electricity or lightning damage in a single turn, roll 1d6 and consult this table:
- No effect.
- Half the remaining rockets had their ignition systems fried, and will fail to launch when triggered. (For more fun, wait until the Rocketceratops tries to launch them and then roll one at a time see if they work.)
- One rocket launches immediately on a random trajectory. Roll 1d12 to determine heading (like a clock face, Rocketceratops facing 12:00) and 1d20 x 15 to determine the range in meters.
- Half the remaining rockets launch immediately on random trajectories. Roll heading and range for each rocket.
- All remaining rockets launch immediately on random trajectories. Roll heading and range for each rocket.
- All remaining rockets detonate immediately, dealing their normal damage to the Rocketceratops and to any creatures within the blast radius.
Unlike the Octyrannopus, which is a(n un)naturally-occurring consequence of trans-dimensional biological mingling, the Rocketceratops is a product of deliberate alchemical experimentation and genetic engineering. The horns develop normally, with hollow bony cores covered by a thick layer of keratin. Once the horns have attained full size, highly energetic compounds are deposited in the hollow spaces inside, until the horns are completely packed with what amounts to biologically-produced rocket fuel. The bony connection between each horn and the rest of the skull breaks down, and a cluster of massively enlarged neurons develops at the base of each horn. The neural clusters beneath each horn are under voluntary control – the Rocketceratops can deliberately trigger these neurons to deliver a powerful electrical pulse that ignites the rocket fuel and launches the horn. Aiming is fairly haphazard since the rockets are unguided. Rocketceratops brigades are therefore useless for pinpoint bombardments but they are effective against massed enemy formations, fortifications, and cities.
It is not uncommon to see a Rocketceratops fairly bristling with long metal pikes. Canny dino warriors know about the rockets’ vulnerability to electrical damage. They use the pikes, in conjunction with one or more chains dragging on the ground, as lightning rods to draw and dissipate bolts of electricity hurled by enemy sorcerors. For every pike sticking out from a Rocketceratops, jump up one die before rolling on the table above (i.e., 1 pike, roll d8 instead of d6, 2 pikes = d10, 3 pikes = d12, etc.), and ignore any results higher than 6.
Trying to remove a rocket horn from a live Rocketceratops is just asking to get shot in the face, but the horns can be cut away from the heads of dead animals with very little effort. The potential for PCs who steal Rocketceratops horns to accidentally set them off or detonate them is up to the DM.
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One third of the inspiration for the Rocketceratops came from the Mutant Dinosaur Generator at Goblin Punch, one third came from Jeff Rients and his NecroDinoMechaLaser Squad, and the final third came from the Rundihorn from Dougal Dixon’s book After Man: A Zoology of the Future – I always thought it looked like a rhino crossed with an antiaircraft battery. The font in the pictures is the Vornheim alphabet by Zak S.