New Monster Ideas

Right now, we don’t have anything particularly original or iconic in the game. We have a substance, the stuff that makes up the extradimensionals and causes the zombies, but no real original monsters of our own. Everything is a modified and ripped version from other source, or a natural animal of some sort, maybe with some common trope applied to them.

Worse, I don’t think we really get properly horrific with any of the monsters in game right now.

Obviously, this is a text based game, but I think working together we should be able to come up with one or two good monsters without just inserting a creature from another setting into the game, and a powerful enough description that it works even through text.

Here’s the current ideas I’m working with, in their current state:
Egg-layers (Needs a better name)
Still pretty rough as an idea, but basically a small, racoon-like creature with a spiked tail, it is attracted to and only attacks sleeping victims, implanting a powerful anesthetic (to allow it to escape if the victim wakes by making them very slow) in addition to a sack of eggs that will eventually hatch and deal large amounts of damage to the player if left untreated. They can be hunted and processed into a natural source of painkiller that can be very useful to a wilderness player.
Hard, smooth, rectangular towers with razor sharp edges that taper off more to towards the top, they stand about 8 feet tall with a single “eye” on the front near the top, always oriented towards their prey. They are almost impervious to normal attacks, have little in the way of offensive power, and remain stock still while being observed by the player, but they still pose an interesting and unique challenge. When the player isn’t observing them, they move rather quickly, making a scraping noise as they move along the ground. They will pursue the player, trying to be right next to them if possible, and are common in some areas. They can not follow the player indoors.

They are most often found in groups of 4 to 8, clustered in a circle around a corpse (human, zombie, or animal).

The threat comes from the fact that they will try to surround the player, forcing him to starve to death or attempt to escape and hurt himself (possibly killing himself) in an attempt to move past them by climbing over the top of their tapered bodies and slicing himself open on their razor sharp edges. If a player seeks shelter inside, they will attempt to block all exits, meaning that the major worry with dealing with them isn’t so much their relatively non-dangerous nature so much as stupidly trapping yourself. Even then, the player can attempt to kill them (if he has something powerful enough to penetrate their armor) or push his way past them (if he has strong enough armor to withstand the edges, or enough drugs and medical supplies to survive it). Killing one will make the others flee, permanently, in favour of prey that can’t fight back.

They are basically vultures that make their own opportunities. Overcoming them is fairly trivial with some thought - since they don’t move when observed, wide open spaces make it trivial to move out of their range, but an incautious player can easily face difficulty if he decides to hide indoors from them instead… or if they have the misfortune of running into a group while being pursued by creatures that work well in open plains.
Rust Eaters
Large, heavily transformed zombie bats with dusty brown fur, large wings and vicious teeth. Don’t actually eat metal in gameplay (they do cluster around it and lick the rust off, but not enough to cause damage within the game’s timeframe) they could nevertheless be used to explained the preponderance of damaged vehicles thanks to their willingness to tear them open to get to the victims within, and they would (relatively rarely) spawn around vehicles or piles of vehicle parts, giving a sense of thematics to their presence. In reality, however, they do not “eat” metal - rather, they are quite carnivorous, which is unfortunate for the player. They exist in small packs of flight capable eaters that will mostly try to avoid the player and scatter, though they will occasionally appear (especially in junkyards) led by a Junk Glutton, a larger, landbound and far more aggressive specimen. All Metal Eaters will aggress against the player if the Junk Glutton is doing so, and if he is driven off or killed they will also flee.

Metal Eaters and Junk Gluttons, true to their name, are very dangerous to players in vehicles. The fliers are quite fast, and have the ability to damage vehicle structures, but will only do so if the player is in it. Junk Gluttons can usually be outrun in a vehicle… unless the Eaters manage to damage it enough first for them to catch up.

Both of them navigate primarily by sound, relying next on sight with a focus on moving objects, and have a poor sense of smell (except, thematically, the smell of rust, though I doubt that would have an effect in game).

Recommended strategies for fighting Eaters and Gluttons: They are relatively fragile, and focused on hit and run tactics versus players on foot and grab and cling damage over time to piloted vehicles. It’s recommended that you leave your vehicle if you attract the attention of eaters, to keep it safe. They are easily taken down with ranged weaponry, but melee is quite a bit more difficult. Moving the fight indoors is a good way to protect yourself from them. While the Eaters have the ability to eventually tear down doors and break through windows, if the players moves inside and stops making sound, they will often quickly forget the hunt and move on, since they can neither see nor hear the player. Soundmaking devices such as radios work well against these creatures, as they will prioritize investigating things that sound like prey over things that look like prey.

If you decide to fight, the Glutton can eat quite a bit of damage and is strong enough to easily bash down doors, but usually moves slower than a running player, relying on the Eaters to wear them down enough for the Glutton to catch up. It might be worth engaging the Glutton quickly, however - if it is killed, the Eaters will disperse.[/td]

Jackhammers should be an instakill against the obelisks.

100% agree.

That being said, I really like the ideas of them. But how do you determine when the player is observing them? Within a certain distance or just within sight range?

Even simpler. If they are on a visible square, they are being observed.

So they mostly get dangerous at night, when the player is sleeping, or in tight outdoor situations like heavy forest.

An addition: A mutated large feral cat. They live in cities, are fast and hard to hit, sees in the dark as well as a character with full night vision, and can hear extremely well. But they take damage in light. Direct sunlight kills them outright, but even being indoors during the day or even a flashlight causes them to take damage every turn and causes them to flee if it’s night.

They only spawn aboveground at night in the cities, but they can be rarely found in basements during the day. If you really want to be evil opening closed dressers or refrigerators could potentially spawn one nearby during the day, that attacks like a berzerker until killed. These things have to be hiding somewhere during the day.

The idea of them is to make night raiding more dangerous, forcing the player to either use a gun, or their flashlight, both of which can draw attention from the zombies.

Oooh, I like the idea. It’s pretty strong. And I like expanding the whole “(some) other mammals can become revenants” thing too, and that seems like an interesting way to do it, especially if it’s clear that they were once simply house-cats or something.

A flashlight could easily cause a serious but not overwhelming morale hit, while something like a floodlight could drive them off completely.

Mostly, I love how it feels like the vampires from I Am Legend, in house cat form. Hmm… would be interesting if you could occasionally find a “nest” of them huddling together and sleeping through the day. Heheh. Wait. No, bad GG, no ripoffs. :stuck_out_tongue:

It would be cool if the basements you find them in during the day are classified as some sort of Cat Den, though, full of corpse chunks that it has dragged home and a nice batch of random loot from it’s victims.

I like the obelisks. But I don’t like the idea of newer characters being owned because of their power. Maybe have the idea a bit behind the body itself so you can potentially throw/shoot at it to kill it. Causing the obelisks to crumble into rubble piles. (Perhaps dropping an evil orb, an orb containing a very evil creatures soul. Cracking or otherwise damaging it would release a torrent of horrid nightmares, creatures that make you break down into insanity if they touch you, or anything else nearby it will flee or randomly attack the air.)

The easiest solution for a new character is RUN AWAY. As long as you don’t run into dense woods or something, you should be fine.

Although you’ve given me an idea for a more deadly variant… “Flaming Eye” Obelisks. Heheh.

Think I’ll throw some crumbs into the mix.

Feral Android/Harvester
Science gone too far, this survivor pushed themselves over the proverbial edge with the help of a few too many augmentations. More machine than man, they now rove the landscape in search of nutrients to fuel their seemingly insatiable hunger for energy.
These guys will eat anything! Food, drinks, plants, paper, metal. Meat of any kind. The more they consume, the tougher they get. Don’t get too close.

[size=8pt]This is nothing new, but damn it… [/size]
Haywire Enforcement Droid
Previously deployed during heavy riots and irreparable hostage situations, now hacked and running amok, this menacing hunk of metal and wire endlessly stalks its surroundings looking for targets to eliminate.
Heavy firepower on legs. “Put down your weapon. You have 20 seconds to comply.” Surrender naturally won’t work but running away might. Better hope he isn’t lying about those 20 seconds though. Maybe you could even find and attempt to reprogram your very own deactivated Enforcement Droid. Hmm…

What about the evil orb? I like the idea because it is good and original.

Hmm. Not sure what the orb could be. (Un)holy hand grenade? Zombie pheromone for otherworldly creatures maybe? Something you just really don’t want to pick up because touching it might rot your hand and mind alike? Maybe even all three under the same name to be a dubious bastard. Would you pick up the evil mini nuke? it might be armed…

The orb could rarely be a petrified eye for temples.
Wouldn’t want them to be too common but it would be another rare way to get them.

But creatures. Horrible flesh eating monstrosities that just refuse to die… and isn’t (just) a zombie. No, I’m thinking something quiet, covert…

Wrath (name is a bit overused so maybe something else?)
These soldiers were given the MXY24 luminosity deflection system (commonly known as CBM invisibility) and fuelled it with their own bodies (CBM Metabolic interchange). Unfortunately the high demand of the systems often killed their hosts leaving an emancipated husk that like many before it was amalgamated into one of the walking dead. The dead can’t stave, they hunger, they lust for it and crave it but food is of little need to the dead. Wraths crave it even more as their biotic drive them into a gut wrenching frenzy as they feed ravenously on anything they find… still kicking or not. Thankfully the program was terminated after a few squads went missing so there shouldn’t be too many out there.

Armoured like a zombie soldier
Invisible like a… (maybe see signs of them in half your perception squares away. More if it’s raining because movies make all invisible things show up in the rain as an outline. Fully visible to inferred vision.)
Stops to eat (and heal. Nanomachines!) if they step on food or a dead body.
Often has military guns/ammo on them when they die. They’re not using it by you might.
Rare! Not dozens of hulks rare, almost never see them rare… because you shouldn’t see them.

For somthing thought up on the fly I don’t think it’s too bad a start.

Shrieking zombie

First few turns the zombie just stands still, heaving in and out as it prepares it’s belting banshee scream.

Once that happens, all bets are off. It starts chasing, every few turns it belts another scream…like a mobile siren, attracting everything you’ve never wanted.


It’s not really original but i’d love to see one or two of these hanging out near a science team or some other dead human entity, just munching down.


Death machine. Due to hideously high amounts of radiation the abomination no longer resembles anything humanoid. It’s a writhing mass of tentacles and sharp, lethal appendages hell bent on seeking out anything that’s living and assimilating it.
Basically Hulk MK. II


Those are small, slimy, black worms that gained the ability to jump by radiation or mutagene which gave them very strong muscles. To jump they contract their bodies and throw themself at their prey. They have a similiar round mouth like graboids but with more and smaller teeths so they can hold themself better at the skin of their victims.
They are mostly found in groups around dead bodies where they suck the rest of the blood out of the corpses.

The Leaper although very fast has only a few hitpoints and should be easy to kill with a ranged weapon.
But be carefull when you get too close to them.

Instead of attacking you constantly to deal damage they release once they bit you a smaller version of them into your body.
After the transfusion they die.

While the parasite inside doesn’t hurt you in a direct way there will be 3 stages of the “disease”:
In the first one you will gain hunger and thirst faster than normal. Also healing by sleeping is greatly reduced.
After 3 days:
In the second you’re also wracked with pain periodically and you start vomiting dark, brownish slime.
After another 3 days:
You have constantly pain, hunger, thirst, you get 2 encumbarance to all your body parts and you start loosing torso health every half hour until you finally die.

The best way to defend yourself is to wear good armour so they don’t even get to your skin.
But if you unfortunaly made the mistake of only wearing a T-shirt, there are a few ways to get rid of that parasite.
By drinking bleach or ammoniak you can poison yourself but also the parasite inside of you. This only works as long as the disease is still in the first stage because when the parasite grows it can survive even a carboy full of bleach and you probably not. Another way is the purifier that reduces that nasty worm into a small normal bloodsucker which although not very pleasant to have under your skin doesn’t kill you. Also several CBMs can deal with it like for example the blood filter.

I think what we need right now are a few more monsters than encourage melee solutions.

Everyone proposing ideas, we aren’t just looking for pure flavour here, though flavour is fine. But what we really want is interesting behaviour and new challenges that will make the creature memorable both flavour-wise AND mechanically. Specifically, I’m looking at Slax here, because those are some good ideas but they really need something to make them pop in gameplay terms, instead of becoming just another forgettable zombie variant or copbot variant. (Also not terrible original, but hey, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be in the game … but maybe not the best for this thread unless you can figure out a way to make them special somehow)

And Nopkar, every one of your suggestions is already in the game. :stuck_out_tongue:

Monsters that encourage melee? It’s actually a little hard to do because even if you make it a ranged combatant… well guns work point blank too. Sometimes better.

We need some kind of ranged attack that wouldn’t work up close.

What if we made Hulk zombies able to pick up and throw items (and other dead zombies!) at you. It’s not a new creature but it’s an idea, I wouldn’t like to get hit with a flying zombie! maybe they only do that if you’re in a set range, say 3-10 tiles. Closer then that and they move up to smash you, farther and they can’t reach.

Still wouldn’t love to go toe to toe with one in melee but a ~two-hundred pound flying carcass hitting you in the head is a death sentence anyway and a good deterrent to my run and gun strategy.

I’ll try to think of some non-zombie /original monster /mutants later but I’m out of brain juice at the moment.

Right now we have two enemies that encourage melee.

Skeletons, which are resistant to the piercing damage most guns provide, and
Worms (including graboids), who are protected at range until they get close enough to “reveal” themselves.

It’s possible that we could just make worms more common, maybe having wandering worms of some kind instead of always having WORM SWARMS.

But personally, I’d like to see some sort of mechanically wraith-like creature - maybe it almost cloaks at a distance, making it very hard to see until it gets close (influenced by perception). Maybe it has the ability to pass through solid walls, meaning they can get the jump on player in close quarter situations like labs or other dense structures. Maybe they have the ability to “phase” out in response to a projectile, making it very unlikely for a projectile to hit them, but can’t do the same with a slower moving but forceful melee weapon. Or maybe, like the worms, they have some sort of defense that opens up in melee range.

I dunno, but I think it’s an area we could work on, and a viable mechanical “in” for an interesting creature. But those are only mechanical ideas - it would still need some awesome flavour.

You can already drop skeletons pretty early with a single pistol shot, given you use the correct ammo.

We need to rework how ranged attacks work a bit, but one thing that helps in principle is very small enemies.
Galen suggested a poisonous butterfly, which I think would be a great idea, especially as a skirmisher that bites you and flutters off repeatedly.

Obelisks -> giant stone faces?

[quote=“Greiger, post:6, topic:336”]An addition: A mutated large feral cat. They live in cities, are fast and hard to hit, sees in the dark as well as a character with full night vision, and can hear extremely well. But they take damage in light. Direct sunlight kills them outright, but even being indoors during the day or even a flashlight causes them to take damage every turn and causes them to flee if it’s night.

They only spawn aboveground at night in the cities, but they can be rarely found in basements during the day. If you really want to be evil opening closed dressers or refrigerators could potentially spawn one nearby during the day, that attacks like a berzerker until killed. These things have to be hiding somewhere during the day.

The idea of them is to make night raiding more dangerous, forcing the player to either use a gun, or their flashlight, both of which can draw attention from the zombies.[/quote]

This idea, currently being referred to as “Vampire Cougars Oh God” is polling VERY well with the focus group, and shouldn’t be terribly hard to implement. I’m going to be trying to put them into the game as best I can by the end of this weekend, but there’s one important piece missing. A name!

Barring a better suggestion, I will be going with the generally uninteresting “Nightstalker”. classic reference “Orlok”.