Wednesday, July 8, 2015

(Sort of) Designer's Notes for "More Psionic Threats"

My article "More Psionic Threats" in Pyramid #3/80: Fantasy Threats is about half of a longer article that I submitted. The first half was an expanded version of the table in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 14: Psi and was cut for length. I'm not going to be posting that table here, but I plan on seeing it published in some form in the future. In the meantime, here's some behind-the-curtain stuff for the material that did get published:

Astral Ghost

This came straight from my GURPS Dungeon Fantasy game. I had created an Elder Thing dungeon which had an artifact the PCs needed on the very outskirts of it, but they could decide to explore more if they wanted. One of the things that was in the dungeon (which was about as far they decided to explore) was the remains of a Mentalist and his Astral Ghost. The idea of the "helpful" monster that causes even more Psionic weirdness grew out of this encounter. I wanted something to add to the table that was a more ambiguous "threat" which might even be beneficial, and this fit perfectly.

Astral Spider

These also came from my DF game and do a couple of things that no existing GURPS DF monster does. First they are an Elder Thing that falls on the Nature side of the "Bunny/Squid Axis" and are not at all Insane. I like hard working civil servants of reality that industriously work to keep the universe running, and these guys are definitely that sort of thing. They also invert the typical dynamic with astral monsters by pulling material prey into the astral plane rather than materializing or being able to attack material things while still astral.


The table lacked any swarms entirely, which seemed like a hole that needed filling (Kromm apparently felt the same and had the Fear Seekers in "Psychic Swords Against Elder Evil", Pyramid #3/76 Dungeon Fantasy IV potentially replace Astral Parasites or Astral Piranha from the table). It also lacks any diseases and the brainworms filled two holes with one icky parasite. I also like including uses for skills from GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2: Dungeons that are underused and Surgery (Horrible Grubs, Dungeons p. 13) was an obvious thing to include here.

Chaos Ooze

I love Shoggoths. Here's some Shoggoths-with-the-serial-numbers-filed-off for you to use in your GURPS game. You are welcome. This also was intended to fill out the Elder Thing boss monster roster which currently only really held mindwarpers.I tried to keep as close to the original source as I could without running into Chaosium's and Paizo's legal territory. This is probably the toughest monster I've ever actually written up for GURPS, and hopefully helps those people that are looking for stuff to challenge their high point delvers.


Honestly, I have no idea where I got the idea for this. It's more trap than monster, and those sorts of things are always a good thing to have in the mix.

Void Wyrm

Everything is better with dragons. This ineffable space dragon is another non-Insane Elder Thing. The power parry with the breath weapon is probably something I'll do with DF dragons in general as an anti-scout defense. This is another potential boss-monster Elder Thing.

Psionic Monster Prefixes

 I really liked the monster prefixes in GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Monsters I and wanted to add some that were psi-themed. Unfortunately my psionic prefix covers the same territory as Kromm's psi-beasts (Pyramid #3/76 p. 10). The two approaches are pretty similar but different in a couple of ways, so maybe its a worthwhile distinction. I'm not entirely sure.

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