While many gamers are fixated on creating a serious game setting, I feel at least 30% of any adventure has to include some humor to keep things relaxed and fun. Commonly known as Gonzo D&D this kind of not quite serious fantasy play adds a lot to game sessions. In my own game, players are used to seeing things like Laser Penguins, or a magical talking door named Isadore.
Get it: IS-A-DOOR (pause for effect) AH HA HA HA HA
I always feel really clever coming up with bad humor for my dungeon adventures. My players, maybe not so much.
It's surprising how easy it is to switch between serious and silly within the same campaign. Gonzo encounters can range from harmless role play to deadly combat. Most of you may already be playing Gonzo without even knowing it. Many of the original D&D monsters were intended to be Gonzo; especially the Dungeon Clean Up Crew monsters, the oozes, jellies, puddings, rust monsters, and several others.
When Ken Fletcher sent us his drawing of a Gelatinous D12 I realized I had to add this creature to my Gonzo dungeon world, Journey to the Chewy Center of Laser Penguin Island Is the T'awesomenest!
What follows is a suggestion for making the Jellies even more absurd.
The Many Scented Fruity Platonic Jelly
Many different kinds creatures can be found in the world of, Journey to the Chewy Center of Laser Penguin Island is T'awesomenest! Of these, perhaps the most feared, colorful, and possibly flavorful, is The Many Scented Fruity Platonic Jelly. It is described by those who have met one as fearless, cunning, and jiggly in equal portions.
The Platonic Jelly has the overall consistency of Jell-O desert cubes along with coming in a variety of colors. Adventurers are more likely to smell one before they see it. Each variety emanates a fruity scent with the exception of the clear variety which do not have a color or scent. None have lived to tell if the colors also have flavors. All of them are nearly transparent and thus have a high chance of surprising adventurers, but the scented ones will make their presence known fairly early even if they are not spotted visually.
Nothing will terrify a party of adventurers more than hearing the referee say: All of you are overcome by the smell of Tropical Fusion Fruit Mix.
These creatures should be treated just like an ordinary Gelatinous Cube with the following differences and additions.
Hit Dice for the creatures per D&D are based on the number of sides they have.*
List of Shapes and Sizes:
2 sided, or flat ( although these are small, they can be very dangerous as they can stretch across a hallway like a net waiting to trap its victims, or drop from the ceiling.)
4 sided pyramid shape
6 sided cube
8 sided double pyramid
12 sided polygon
20 sided polygon
*It is said there are extremely large 30 and 50 sided ones as well. Occasionally they may also come in a bundt form.
They consume anything organic they come into contact with and can be found wandering underground in ruins and mines.
What makes them unique is that each color will also have an additional special ability that allows them to affect characters in strange ways.
In order to make the ones in your game unique to your dungeon, and not have players know ahead of time what color has what property, you should use this list of fruity colors and roll randomly to determine what color has what effect. Over time and several encounters, your players can begin to remember what to watch out for when encountering these jellies.
The Many Scented Fruity Platonic Jelly List of Common Varieties:
a. Clear Unflavored
b. Grape Violet
c. BlueBerry Blue
d. Water Mellon pink
e. Raspberry Medium Red
f. Lime Green
g. Green Apple Green
h. Banana Yellow
i. Lemon Yellow
j. Pineapple Orange
l. Strawberry Red
m. Tropical Fusion Bergundy (This one has several abilities roll 3 times on ability list.)
Obviously, this is just a brief overview as the possibilities for color and flavor are limitless.
The Many Scented Fruity Platonic Jelly Determination of Special Abilities Chart:
1. Electrical, roll 1d6 on a 1 it can shoot a lightning bolt that turn, otherwise the effect only works if it touches a player
2. Fire, same as above for probability of it being a touch or a fireball
3. Cold, same as above for probability of it being a touch or a cold blast
4. Acid, same as above for probability of it being a touch or a acid splash
5. The Flying Jelly, easily recognized by the "clearly visible" wings attached to it's body. It moves 120' per turn just as an unburdened character does
6. Confusion, also known as the Jell-O shot
7.Teleportation,yes it can skip around between rounds even appearing on players, or teleporting away with someone inside of it!
8. Fire resistance
9. Poison, save vs 2d6 poison damage
10. Anti Magic, highly resistant to any spells
11. Paralysis, save or be immobilized for 2d6 rounds
12. Roll Twice for this Jelly's abilities.
13. Level Drain, save or lose 1 level of experience
14. Death, save or die
15. Shoots Marshmallows for sticky damage, movement and actions halved
Roll a d20 ignoring numbers higher than 15. Each Time a jelly is assigned an ability, other colors may no longer take that ability, except for the Roll Twice and Tropical Fusion Variety.
If a player gets ingested by a Jelly and manages to survive, they will suffer odd side-effects. There is no saving throw against the result of this die roll.
The Many Scented Fruity Platonic Jelly Side-Effect Chart:
1. Remove Curse. Oddly enough, if one manages to survive being ingested by this variety they will discover that it has removed all curses they may be under
2. Cause Blindness. Player is blind until the proper healing spell is applied
3. Player gains dark vision ability just as an elf or dwarf
3. Loss of Touch, victim unable to feel anything
4. Lose speech, victim can no longer speak
5. Victim loses sense of smell, or rather, all they can smell until magically healed is whatever scent the jelly that engulfed them is
6. Player gains powerful smelling skill, can get on all fours and track things like a dog
7. Loss of hearing
8. Acute hearing, player has ability to hear at twice normal ability.
9. Victim changes into human sized talking animal: 1. Squirrel; 2. Rat; 3. Frog; 4. Otter
10. Same as above except the victim is the same size as the creature they become
11. Lose 1 point from an attribute
12. Gain 1 point to an attribute
13. Gain one Experience level
14. Player's skin glows like a light spell, they get to be a human lantern
15 - 19. No effect except the player will be told they feel different. The referee should encourage the player to think they are somehow more capable
20. The player takes on the special ability of the kind of Jelly they were consumed by
Many Thanks to Ken Fletcher for being the Zany inspiration for these monsters.
Also, make sure to get some Jell-O for your next game session!
DVD'S, BLU-RAYS AND OTHER SPECIAL ITEMS FROM OUR KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER (UNTIL FEBRUARY 15TH)
Secrets of Blackmoor is a Feature-length documentary about the birth of the “Mother of all Games;” Dungeons & Dragons.