Saturday, April 23, 2011

T is for Thoul

Welcome to the Tower of the Archmage’s April A to Z Challenge!

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “T” the number “20” and the support of readers like you.

Thank you.

Of all the creatures, monsters, vermin, and beasts from the Rules Cyclopedia there was only one that I ever dismissed out of hand. There are a good number that I never got around to using, but only this one was blacklisted. I was perfectly happy to have fairies of various sorts, elk-people, owlbears, hippogryphs, and the whole assortment of oozes, slimes, and molds in my game, but the Thoul...

I bet a fair number of you don’t even know what a Thoul is. Allow me to explain. A Thoul is the magical combination of a Troll, a Ghoul, and a Hobgoblin. Except when very close, they look exactly like hobgoblins. They have the paralysis attack of a ghoul, a slightly reduced regenerative ability of the troll (1hp/round), and the aforementioned looks of the hobgoblin. Oh, and they can be spellcasters too.

Even today I look at the Thoul and my first reaction is “Why would anyone even think of this?!?” and my second reaction is “this is just a way to screw with players” by showing them some hobgoblins, and then BAM, you’re paralyzed.

Now, I get the concept of variant monsters. I’ve made a few myself, but when I do so, I don’t just stick two (or three) different monsters together. I’m much more likely to take a monster and tweak it, rather than just slap something on top of it.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like an iguana, and kicks like a mule, you can bet a wizard did it.

So rather than the result of some awful wizard-forced mating that requires gallons of mindbleach, lets re-imagine the Thoul.

Armor Class: 6
Hit Dice: 3** (M)
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: 2 claws or 1 weapon
Damage: 1d3/ 1d3 or by weapon
No. Appearing: 1d6 (1d10)
Save As: F3
Morale: 10
Treasure Type: C
Intelligence: 6
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 65

Monster Type: Monster (Very Rare).
A hoq-goblin is a magical variant of a hobgoblin. Except when very close, hoq-goblins look exactly like hobgoblins. Their primary distinguishing feature is a grayish pallor, and an extra joint in their overlong fingers. They are sometimes found as the bodyguards of a hobgoblin king or Chaotic ruler, if they aren’t on the throne themselves.

The touch of a hoq-goblin will paralyze (in the same way as that of a ghoul). If it is injured, a hoq-goblin
will regenerate 1 hit point per round as long as it is alive. They are cunning creatures, and will fain death when gravely injured until they can regenerate.

There can be hog-goblin spellcasters. (S4/W4)
Terrain: Barren Lands, Cavern.


  1. I've always liked the Thoul. I just ignore the flavor text saying they're a magical crossbreed, like you did in your re-imagining.

    BTW, will we resume the PbP when you get done with this A-Z stuff and I'm done with my midterms? Paul's back from India and mentioned he's still interested in playing.

  2. Why not just dump regular hobgoblins and call all Thouls Hobgoblins?

  3. I also like your re-imagining here, thanks! Though I am less put-off by hybrid monsters, at least in specific combinations that I find appealing. Truthfully, I always somewhat liked the Thoul. But I understand your blacklisting of the monster completely.

  4. @ Lord Gwydion~ For some reason the 12 year old me felt it was just too much. I'm better now!

    I'm so looking forward to being done with the semester. It's been a killer. So yes, game on shortly!

    @JDSarvis~ I hadn't considered that... but it's a neat idea. I'll have to think about it.

    @Carter Soles~ I'm ok with a lot of hybrid monsters, but this one was just so... uh. I'll stick with my reimagined version.