Monday, October 1, 2018

Nameless Cults VI

I was thinking about Warhammer the other day, and reading some of my old books. I had forgotten for a while how fucking pure it really is, despite cutting my teeth on 40k for years back in the day. (My space marines were consistently mangled by my pal Dave's chaos army).

Games Workshop was tapping into something really special way back in those early days. Is there any point in doing the Lovecraft Mythos, or classic AD&D demon lords, or the absurd profusion of extra-dimensional beings in Paizo's Book of The Damned (which I do like...), when we have the mainlines to our collective unconscious called Khorne, Slaanesh, Nurgle and Tzeentch? 

Just a thought.

CULTISTS OF TSATHOGGUA the demon toad-god, AKA The Hungry One, Zothaqquah

These are good

No. Appearing: 1-6
Alignment: C
Move: 120’ (40’)
Armour Class: 16
Hit Dice: 2
Attacks: 1
Damage: by weapon (whip or club)
Save: D
Morale: 10
Hoard Class: I
Experience: 38

Tsathoggua is a hungry god. Its clergy cast living offerings into the slimy feeding-pits at their temples in the hidden and dark places beyond the Barrier. For those who aren't eaten, another fate is in store:


Seeking to prove their faith, postulants to the cult of the demon toad will modify their bodies to resemble a frog's: they cut their mouths wider "chelsea grin" style, or have their thumbs broken and reset sideways to bend the same direction as the other fingers. Some graft skin-webbing between their fingers, or immerse themselves in brightly-coloured dyes to remove their humanity. Filing the teeth down flat and even hideous eye surgeries are not unknown. Through these modifications they become closer to the Hungry One and his ascended servants, the tsathar or toad-men.

For initiation into full membership in the cult, they cast themselves into the slime pit that forms the center of every temple of Tsathoggua. These pits could be as simple as a humble cauldron for a minor shrine or the size of foul swimming pool of corruption in the case of a major power center.

Repeated immersions in this primordial mixture renders humanoid flesh down to a soft, spongy material resembling moss or algae. Veteran cultists can be recognized by their pale green, yellow or blue skin and bleary indistinct features - their humanity has been slowly washed away. They don't become slime creatures (we'll save that for another NAMELESS CULT edition), but rather a strange plant-slime-toad hybrid being. This bodily transformation has several effects other than the cosmetic. Cultists' moss-bodies are spongy and absorb blows easily, thus their high natural AC (they don't usually wear armour).

(Player characters without the cult's blessing who get immersed in the slime pit should at the very least take HP damage, if not be dissolved utterly. Tsathoggua is hungry!!!)


A transformed cultist's moss-body cannot contain an intelligent humanoid's mind or spirit.

Instead, they carry their souls in small animals (reptile, bird or rodent) that live inside their bodies. This spirit-animal IS the cultist in a real sense, their 'body' is like a giant moss-suit controlled from within. This animal can leave the cultist's body to send a message, spy on foes or do any other task its form will allow. While the animal is outside, a cultist's body has only zombie-like intelligence and will continue with whatever task it was last doing when the spirit-animal departed.

If a cultist is killed, his spirit-animal will crawl out of the corpse's mouth in 1d6 rounds. It makes all haste to the temple where it will immerse itself in the slime-pool and grow a new body. This is the equivalent of a Raise Dead or similar spell, the new body is an exact duplicate of the last one.

If the spirit-animal is killed while on a trip outside the cultist's body, it remains alive but near-mindless. It continues with the last thing it was doing before its spirit left, or will follow simple orders given by a cultist of higher rank, a tsathar, or any other frog- or toadlike being.

These unfortunates are used as shock-troops and cheap labour since they don't complain. Without the animating force of a mind or soul, they don't feel pain and cannot recover hit points or heal in any way. You'll encounter many that are missing fingers or even limbs, getting shoved out in front en masse by the cult to mob their opponents and bring them down with sheer numbers. Another vicious 'recruitment tactic' is to immerse hapless villagers in the slime-pool, and then reach down their throats and pull out their spirit-animals...


Since Tsathoggua's cult also exists in Land's End (not all the Nameless Cults do) I have to come up with PF stats for them. I have sworn not to compose a single one of those infernal stat blocks.

Luckily the Tomb of Abysthor has tsathar already! Their stats will work fine for all the transformed cultists, pretty sure they are 2 HD anyway. Postulants can just have basic stats based on race/class, nothing fancy.

***** END DIGRESSION *****

Now let's get back to the important thing...


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