Sunday, June 11, 2017

#52 - Terrors from Beyond & Shantaks

Terrors from Beyond

Terrors from Beyond—also known as Astral Parasites—appear like jellyfish floating through the air... when they can be seen. Normally they occupy their own dimension, completely invisible to ours, but with special devices, they can be seen. The only problem is, as soon as we can see them, they can also see us... and they are always hungry.

In the RPG...

Terrors from Beyond can only attack—and be attacked by—those who can see them. They have 4-point armour and regenerate 4 hit-points per round, so are no pushover. Their central tendril has a mouth on the end which does an average of 7 damage, and if the victim becomes unconscious, they're taken back to the Terrors' dimension, leaving behind all their clothes and effects. In a strange twist, only certain spells that cause physical damage can affect them. All others automatically fail.

In a video game...

I think the Terrors from Beyond would be pretty cool in a video game. Perhaps the player comes across a Tillinghast Resonator and foolishly switches it on. Like the source story—From Beyond—seeing the creatures floating around and through you would seem cool... until they attack.

In a film...

There have been a few adaptation of From Beyond, including the wildly off-track Stuart Gordon version, but I feel like the central premise could also be used to great effect in a serious horror film.


Like Byakhee, Shantaks are typically treated as mounts. Unlike the Byakhee, however, Shantaks are not very intelligent, so are more suited to the role. They can also fly through space. They are described as being larger than an elephant with a head like a horse's. Despite also being referred to as a "Shantak-bird", they have scales instead of feathers.

In the RPG...

Shantaks are mostly animalistic, and decently tough. Their attack does an average of 17 damage, so could take out an Investigator in a single hit, and they have 9-point armour, which means most guns won't hurt them. Even with a 12-gauge shotgun it would take about 7 shots to take a Shantak down. It should be noted that the 7th edition rulebook has slowed the Shantaks down considerably. Whereas the Malleus Monstrorum had a flight speed of 30, the new rules have them at 18.

In a video game...

With Shantaks being difficult to kill, but not impossible, they would work well as a boss. As I mentioned with the Byakhee, I would be inclined to leave their rideability out however.

In a film...

Most art depicts Shantaks as dragon-like, so I think they'd need a unique appearance to be worth including in a film.

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