Dolmenwood: Jack-O'-Lantern Fungus

A preview of one of the monsters to be included in Wormskin issue 8.

HD: 3**
AC: 8
Attacks: 1 × thumping (1d3) + strobing gaze
Move: 90’ (30’)
Morale: 7

Number Appearing: 1-7: abroad (1d8), 8: lair (2d6)
Alignment: N(E)
Intelligence: Alien
Size: M (4’)
XP: 80
Languages: Telepathic projection
Possessions: None
Hoard: I/XIV

Ancient, brown-fleshed, humanoid mushrooms with great, wobbly caps and inscrutable pits for eyes. Jack-o'-lanterns are rare and reclusive, dwelling in secret grottoes in the tractless depths of the forest. Despite being infrequently encountered, jack-o’-lanterns are well-known in folklore, being famed as guardians of obscure knowledge and long lost secrets and infamous as wicked slavers who delight in capturing mortal folk. Both these reputations are true.

Jack-o’-lanterns love riddles and word games and always favour parley over violence. When encountering other intelligent beings, they attempt to enter into conversation and offer to reveal deep secrets of the wood via their communion ability.

The flesh of a jack-o’-lantern can be distilled down by an alchemist to produce a potion of diminution.

Communion: Jack-o’-lanterns have the ability to trigger a hypnotic state (lasting 1d4 hours) in willing humanoids via a gently pulsing green glow emitted from their eyes and cap. Hypnotised subjects are immobilised for the duration and experience a phantasmagoric sequence of visions. A WIS check is required. Success indicates that the answer to a riddle or puzzle is revealed, as deep secrets are dredged up from the collective memory of mushroom-kind. Failure indicates that the subject has come under the mushroom’s thrall, shrinking to 1” tall. Such victims are scooped up by the mushroom and carried to its lair, where they are imprisoned in miniature towns or other dioramas.

Strobing gaze: In combat or when otherwise threatened, jack-o’-lanterns’ eyes emit a sickening green/blue strobe that dazzles other beings within 30’. At the start of each round, targets must save versus paralysis or be stunned, unable to act for the round. Those who make the save may act normally, but suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls and Armour Class.

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