Thursday, April 28, 2016

#26 - Tomb-Herd & Dark Sargassum


The Tomb-Herd are gelatinous blobs from another dimension that possess special statues upon entering ours so that they can feed. If a statue is unavailable, they can possess a human for the same purpose.

In the RPG...

Though I wasn't a fan of the Tomb-Herd when I read the source material, I've since come to appreciated them thanks to their Call of Cthulhu entry. The Tomb-Herd have two forms. The first is their natural, insubstantial form which is immune to all physical weaponry—though fire, magic, and acid do normal damage. In this form, the possession mentioned above is determined by an opposed POW roll. If overcome, the victim must make a successful POW roll or they pass out. If conscious, however, they must make a SAN roll to account for partaking in the ghoulish feast, so in this instance it's actually favourable to pass out. Once fed, they leave their host otherwise unharmed. They also have the ability to fold space in a small region—less than 5 miles—such that the victim always returns to where they came, losing 1 SAN and 1 magic-point each time they do. In the second form—possessing a statue—the Tomb-Herd are harmed normally, though they do have 3 armour.

In a video game...

I think the Tomb-Herd would work quite well in a video game. Not from a combat viewpoint, but from a gameplay one. Their ability to loop space could really mess with a player, especially if they didn't know why it was happening or how to escape it.

In a film...

On the flipside, I think the trait of the Tomb-Herd that would work best in a film is their possession. Having the antagonist forced to partake in their ghoulish feeding could be a truly horrific thing in the right hands. I can't remember if the protagonist from The Church in High Street was conscious during his possession, but it could be worth adapting.

Dark Sargassum

A Dark Sargassum is a Dark Young that has taken to living in water. They appear at first glance to be a floating mass of black, rotting seaweed.

In the RPG...

The Dark Sargassum are much rarer than the Dark Young—which have become one of Call of Cthulhu's most common monsters—though also much bigger. A Dark Young averages 220 SIZ, while a Dark Sargassum is 425—so almost double. If a Dark Sargassum grabs an investigator, they can only escape with an opposed STR roll, and lose an average of 10 STR per round once bitten. The Malleus Monstrorum says that fellow investigators can add their strength to the escape, however, being in the water, I'm not exactly sure how they would physically do that. The Dark Sargassum is immune to heat, blast, corrosion, electricity, and poison, and only takes 1 damage from firearms, so trying to kill one would be practically impossible. It does take normal damage from melee weapons, but good luck to an investigator trying to club it to death.

In a video game...

Being aquatic, I'm not sure where they would fit in a typical Call of Cthulhu story. Sure they could attack a ship that's being travelled on, but being practically indestructible means that such an event would just be an elaborate death sequence. Perhaps they could just be used to advance the story, where said ship is destroyed and the players are stranded on a nearby island.

In a film...

I'd say a film would suffer the same problems as a video game in this instance. As a side note, the monster in Deep Rising is practically a Dark Sargassum, so if you're looking to see one on film, perhaps you should just seek that out.

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