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Old 02-12-2019, 11:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Alphabet City, New York
Default [df] the library crawl

The dungeon crawl and the hex crawl we're all familiar with, but it seems I may need to try out an unexpected variant - the library crawl. In the closed stacks you may encounter Sean Connery trying to arrange the books properly, Borgesian texts or... well this is the main part I'm looking for suggestions on. What kind of creatures hang out in a library?

The group is pretty much fine with AD&D different-monster-behind-each-door illogic, though if you have suggestions for an ecology for the creatures as well, so much the better. On the preliminary list are various beasties ported over from different systems: AD&D intellect devourers, Talislantan neurovores, Lovecraftian lamp-efts, Fighting Fantasy hamakei. Centipedes, rats, bookworms too one would think. But any other suggested friends or foes much appreciated - especially as our heroes get down to the millennia-old catacombs where librarians fear to tread.

Relatedly, any special challenges or opportunities to consider? At least in theory the adventurers shouldn't be damaging their patrons' books even if the lower reaches are now abandoned, so presumably no fireballs or lightning bolts. But PCs domino-ing shelves onto a kobold sounds very satisfying, as do the hit-and-run tactics of rats who can bite ankles and then scurry two aisles away underneath the shelves.

And maybe I'll need a reference table for a book chosen at random - "Ah! Zaidza's Pillows of the Ancient World. A classic - this will surely help you defeat the psionicist on the level below."

Any and all considerations warmly appreciated.
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:53 AM   #2
Kelly Pedersen
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

If it's Dungeon Fantasy, you've pretty much got to have a bookwyrm, right? A dragon who considers books its hoard, and refuses to let you take any out, but might be persuaded to let you read them, for an appropriate contribution of equal or greater value. Use Dungeon Fantasy 4: Dragons to stat it out. I'd give it a breath weapon of vacuum or cold, or custom-design a "dehydrating" one, to ensure minimal risk of damage to the books. And I'd make it look kind of like a giant barn owl. :-)
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Old 02-12-2019, 11:56 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

Drawing on my memories of classic D&D monsters, a library seems like a fine place for a mimic to hang out. I could also see a trapper or lurker above. Anything that might be able to blend in and then quietly pounce.

Perhaps shifting genres a bit, you could have a ghost, specter, or poltergeist. Books need to float around and get flung at the party. Spirits could also provide fun and unexpected allies. Or perhaps they become allies after the PCs deal with the obnoxious spirit(s).

Definitely need a list of book titles, both useful (especially if they have Research, Luck, or Serendipity) and useless.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:29 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

Monstrous books. You could have a monster that looks like a book, but when opened is basically a book cover with teeth (it could be a shapeshifter or a mad wizardís creation). Sealed Evil in a Book works as well.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

Vorpal dust bunnies.

Magically enhanced silverfish (from a diet of magic tombs) might also be rather creepy...
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Old 02-12-2019, 01:28 PM   #6
Gold & Appel Inc
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: One Mile Up
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

Blatant theft from Wildbow's Pact here: One section of the Abyss is filled with endless books, and is the domain of the Boogeyperson known among some fans as "The Librarian." She looks like a stereotypical member of her vocation, and carries around a huge tome made of tanned human skin in which she records the names of her victims. Her speech pattern runs toward spelling bee style, ie: "Exsanguinate. E-X-S-A-N-G-U-I-N-A-T-E. Exsanguinate." Powers include the ability to instantly transform into a cloud of loose paper that is more-or-less Diffuse, moves of its own volition subject to gravity (including immunity to falling damage), and a wide-area Cutting attack.
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:47 PM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: L.I., NY
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

According to Terry Pratchett, in addition to at least one orangutan, L-Space (which includes all libraries in every time and place throughout the multiverse) is home to "harmless kickstool crabs, large and heavy wandering thesauri, the .303 Bookworm and the dreaded cliches, which must be avoided at all costs"
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:46 PM   #8
Join Date: Mar 2008
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

The Alarums and Excursions apa had a article that had carnivorous typos. They would do things like you cast Wall of Fire and get a pit with a metal net in it. Fall of Wire.
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:26 PM   #9
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Monstrous books
... can often fly, by flapping their covers.

You might make them D&D stirge-like bloodsuckers, but give them a stat drain, so the romance novels can drain your IQ.

Or they might just boom-and-zoom, dealing vicious paper cuts, becoming especially hazardous when there's a swarm of books.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:47 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: North Carolina
Default Re: [df] the library crawl

I remember a game supplement where there was a spirit bound into the Library that attacked anyone who tried to steal the books. In the film Night of the Demon, Karswell's library is guarded by an elemental that manifested as an angry leopard. So I suggest binding a dangerous spirit or two into any library the PCs might want to rob or simply spy in.
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