DnD Community Contests: Infernal Wave of Lemming Liches

Every now and again, Wizards of the Coast will put out a call to the Dungeons and Dragons community to produce some fresh ideas.  I recently entered the “Table for Two” contest with an adventure idea. I also seriously considered entering the “D&D Championship Encounter Design Contest” for the annual Dungeons and Dragons Championship Tournament (here’s last year’s tourney info), but since inspiration did not strike me, I decided not to force it. After all, there’s always next year.

What I find most appealing about these calls for proposals is that they give aspiring authors, and the gaming community at large, a chance to participate in the ongoing development of the game.

These kinds of interactions are not just limited to Wizards of the Coast, either. Each July, Kobold Quarterly runs a “King of the Monsters” (KotM) tournament where their gaming community members are encouraged to develop a Pathfinder or DnD monster, with the winners receiving fame and some modest prizes (but mostly fame). Here is my silly entry from the last KotM tournament:

Infernal Wave of Lemming Liches

One can only assume that before performing the Lich ritual on himself, some dastardly mage experimented extensively on an abundant local resource– Lemmings. Fancying them as perennial pets, it was only a matter of time before they were used for some vile purpose.

Lemmings in Combat

Unleashed from their captivity, the Swarm blasts forward at full speed gnawing, grabbing, dazing and sliding anything unfortunate enough to be caught in their path. If the Swarm reaches an open edge of the battle area, it flees.

Lore (Arcana DC15)

Once destroyed, it is only a matter of time before they reappear near their giant swarm phylactery. This is most likely linked to a holding chamber in maze fashion, in such a way that lemmings journeying through the maze reset the holding device, and can safely enter the holding chamber but not return. This process would require several days, but if the device is destroyed, Lemmings will likely wander about in tiny, unorganized, and relatively harmless groups.

How to Use

Lemmings make a great alternative to typical blast or other linear traps, and can provide a comical escape diversion for any villainous Lich.

Infernal Wave of Lemming Liches

Huge Undead Beast Swarm; Level 10, 900XP
Initiative +16 Senses Perception +5; all around vision, darkvision, tremorsense

HP 450 (entire swarm) 50 (single square); Bloodied 225/25
NOTE: At the DM’s discretion, each individual square of the Swarm may be considered to have 50 HP and removed when destroyed. Considered individually, each square has Regeneration 5 and is worth 100XP. Alternatively, the collective Swarm maintains all nine squares until defeated and has Regeneration 20.

AC 21; Fortitude 19; Reflex 20; Will 27
Immune charm; fear; disease; poison; polymorph;
Resist 10 necrotic; Vulnerable 5 radiant (nullifies regen next round)
Saving Throws +3

Speed 8 Makes no double movements. The nine squares of the swarm are amorphous and may change shape as desired, so long as the Swarm moves in a linear fashion as a whole, and all squares remain contiguous. The Swarm will only change directions when it meets an obstacle that it cannot walk, climb, or swim over. Climb 4 , Swim 2 At the end of any round where a section of the Swarm is in water 6in/15cm or deeper, make a saving throw for that section. Swarm loses 10 HP for each failure as some Lemmings believe they have drown and cease to move.

C Incessant Gnawing (immediate reaction)

Melee 0; They’ve no cheek-pouches or stomachs, but they still enjoy nibbling adorably. +15 vs AC, 1d8 + 5 AND +13 vs Reflex to knock target prone.

Gnawing attacks occur if the Swarm moves through targets, or if targets are within the Swarm at the start of the Swarm’s turn. Attacks are made for EACH square of the Swarm that affects a target, so targets may endure multiple attacks as the Swarm moves through them. The Swarm will not attack while in terrain with water 6in/15cm or deeper.

C Carried Away (immediate reaction)

Melee 0;  A conveyor belt of Lemmings engulfs you, lifting and floating you forward. +13 vs Reflex; 1d8 + 5;

Carried Away attacks occur if the Swarm moves through prone targets, a target is knocked prone by Incessant Gnawing, or if prone targets are within the Swarm at the start of the Swarm’s turn, and are not already being Carried Away. Affected targets are both grabbed and dazed (save ends both) and slide along at the Swarm’s movement speed, moving along with a single Swarm square. This movement is automatic; the Swarm does not make strength checks. If a target’s section of the Swarm enters water 6in/15cm or deeper, the target is no longer grabbed or subject to Swarm movement, but is still dazed while within the Swarm (save ends). If the swarm moves off the battle area, a carried target is dropped at the edge, and suffers 1d8 necrotic damage for each section of Swarm that exits through the target’s square (in addition to the Incessant Gnawing attacks). The Swarm will not use Carried Away attacks on targets dropped at edge of map or in water 6in/15cm or deeper.

Alignment Chaotic Evil Languages Vermin
Str 12 (+6) Dex 21 (+10) Wis 12 (+6) Con 18 (+9) Int 10 (+0) Cha 10 (+0)

NOTE: At the DM’s discretion, additional XP or Swarm treasure may be awarded if the entire Swarm is destroyed before fleeing, or if the characters can discern a way to access and destroy the phylactery or holding device.

Your Contest Entries?

Have you ever tried entering one of these contests? Have you had any luck? So far, I haven’t the entry process has nonetheless been fun!

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