Wandering Wednesday: The Grumpkin

“Viscount Dispardonia was a bent man, ill-tempered and prone to brooding. It was said his hunch was so severe his supplicants had to bend the knee just to meet his gaze. The common folk would say ‘Mean ol’ Dispardonia’s got a grumpkin on his back’, without really knowing how true the statement was. He was found dead in his chambers, crushed to death by some invisible force; a victim of grumpkins if ever there was one” -Saul Spidermin, scholar and monster expert

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The Grumpkin (Kiel Chenier)

Grumpkins are small monsters the size of goblins. They have greyish skin with the texture of leather, large noses, and small mouths curved downward in perpetual frowns. They have no teeth, instead using their wide thick gums to mash up softened food. Often confused with goblinoids, grumpkins are far more dangerous and far rarer.

A grumpkin is thought to be the embodiment of ill will and bad feelings. They are not born so much as they are conjured by dark moods and foul tempers. When a person becomes depressed or sullen, they take hold of them like an invisible burden upon their back. They feed off of the person’s bad feelings, growing bigger and heavier, until the person finally buckles under their weight. Once a grumpkin has crushed a person, its invisible form slips into the crushed body through its nostrils, wraps itself around the person’s brain, and proceeds to take material form using the body’s skin. That is how it is born.

Once born, it attacks others.

  • Threat level: medium
  • Armour Class: 15 or 5
  • Hit Dice: 3
  • Speed: Same as human
  • Abilities and Saves: 1 better than average goblinoid
  • Resistances: Takes half damage from all non-magical weapons.
  • Appears near:¬†Bones of fallen enemies, graveyards, underground strongholds and abandoned fortresses.
  • Drops treasure: sometimes.
  • Tactics: It is said that a grumpkin will rush at anyone living and try to climb on their back. Once clinging to someone, they will ride her/him like a horse, growing increasingly bigger and heavier until they crush their mount to death. Once a grumpkin has successfully grappled a creature and climbed on its back, its weight doubles (from 50lbs to 100lbs) and then doubles again at the start of every new round (100lbs to 200lbs, 200lbs to 400lbs, 400lbs to 800lbs, and so on).
  • Weaknesses and Strategy:¬†Grumpkins are confounded and angered by the sound of laughter. When they hear a creature laugh they hold their hands over their ears and their speed is reduced by half. To counter grumpkins, throw pork at them to distract them long enough to get away. Otherwise, set them on fire.

Random Grumpkin Facts (d6):

  1. Some cities forbid gatherings of poets and philosophers in bars and pubs, for fear that their morose musings will summon a horde of grumpkins out of the ether.
  2. A grumpkin’s favourite food is crushed elven nobles, and its favourite drink is absinthe.
  3. While grumpkins have eyes, it is believed that they do not actually “see”. Their vision is based on sensing the emotions of creatures around them. This is why they appear still and almost dormant when not around anyone.
  4. Grumpkin hide is highly sought after by hatters, as they make extremely durable (and fashionable) hats.
  5. Grumpkins speak in strange rhymes (their entire language is made up of quotes from Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘The Raven’).
  6. When a grumpkin is killed there is a 30% chance it will have a large 100gp gem in its stomach, which holds all the dark secrets and memories of its first victim.

As always you can find more from Kiel Chenier at Dungeons & Donuts on Tumblr

Copyright 2014 Kiel Chenier

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One Response

  1. Stacy December 3, 2014