Biweekly Monster-Baffler (AD&D)

Baffler
FREQUENCY: Very Rare
NO. APPEARING: 1
ARMOR CLASS: 6 (see below)
MOVE: 3″/21″ (MC: B)
HIT DICE: 3
% IN LAIR: 50%
TREASURE TYPE: R
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-8
SPECIAL ATTACKS: surprise on 5 in 6, see below
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Nil
MAGIC RESISTANCE: 20%
INTELLIGENCE: Average
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
SIZE: S (2′ long)
PSIONIC ABILITY: 40
Attack/Defense Modes: C/F

Bafflers are bat-like creatures, notable for their pulsating cranium. They feed on the confusion of intelligent creatures, which is enough to sustain them with only scraps of meat and fruit in addition. To this end, they dwell in complex caverns frequented by humanoids, lurking at intersections where they wait for humanoids to pass so they can baffle them. Each creature in the group must make a saving throw against spell at -4 or pass through the intersection in the straightest path or at random without registering that they have passed an intersection.

If the full group fails the save, then even a known path will become confused as they take the third left rather than the second. If partial, a known path will result in disagreement. During new exploration, if the mapper(s) fail the save, they will fail to include the intersection in the map, though they may subconsciously participate in the discussion of which way to go.

After baffling a group, the baffler follows to feed off their confusion, but tries to remain undetected. If detected and attacked, a baffler can cast confusion as a level 7 magic-user.

Like bats, bafflers have an armor class of 1 when in motion, a 9 when completely immobile, but the listed 6 in tight spaces where full maneuverability is not possible.

Bafflers are sometimes sought out to be used as a surreptitious defense, for example, by city dwellers to maintain the functionality of their sewer access while preventing their use as a point of entry.

I hope the ‘miss a turn’ mechanic isn’t too complex, or is at least explained well. I’ll try it out some time soon and report back in the comments how it actually worked out in play.

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5 Responses to Biweekly Monster-Baffler (AD&D)

  1. I initially read “miss a turn” as in a turn of play. Baffling successful!

  2. Carefulrogue says:

    I like this idea a lot. I can see hating it too, but it’s too fantastic to hate fully.

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