Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Daydreams of Stair Stalkers

"The Stair Stalker, created by Roger Musson, is just plain fucking creepy..."

Thanks to Greg Gorgonmilk for turning me on to the Stair Stalker; after reading his awesome interpretation of this thing, I can't imagine a dungeon of mine without them. Tekumel, Hyboria, Call of Cthulhu, some Ancients pyramid in the Traveller universe; if it's underground and has stairs, chances are you may run into a Stair Stalker...

Now I agree with the creepiness of the Stair Stalker, and a good DM could milk it. And with an Armor Class of 0, 3+1 Hit Die, and two attacks for 1-6 pips of hits, the Stair Stalker is no pushover! Tougher (albeit not as social) than a bugbear and with that AC is probably more dangerous than an Ogre, I'm pretty sure one of these guys could have a shot at TPKing a beginning party.
"Oswald the Greedy shoves the shaggy green thing down the stairs after taking it's leathern sack"
Oswald the Greedy is going to get beat the fuck down...

So now I have to include some notation in my random dungeon encounter matrices about the probability of an encounter with a solitary (No. appearing: 1) Stair Stalker.

Okay, the No. Appearing die is only 1 pip, and the solitary gimmick works for this thing, but imagine being deep in the bowels of some creepy ass dungeon, beat to shit and hauling some heavy sacks of copper wire, statuary and silverware out, and when you come to the exit staircase you are confronted by a herd of Stair Stalkers cutting you off. Shambling silently, zombie-like, filling the entire stairwell. Do you try and wait it out? How many of these fucking things are there? Sure you can try to cut your way though, but these things are tough and the whole pack  would probably flip out. Where are they going? Where did they come from?

I definitely need some rare chance of a Stair Stalker herd occurring for my dungeon encounter tables...


  1. Yeah like a 1/50 chance! Stair stalkers are nasty & remind me of some freaked out Doctor Who monster just waiting to rip off your face!

  2. It'd be cool if the other dungeon-dwellers considered the stair stalker taboo. Can't talk about it. Don't want to be near it.

  3. @ Needles: I am all about Dr Who-vibe monsters!

    @ Greg: Dude, that is awesome; if I actually do a "Thing Tome" I'm going to have to get you to write the Stair Stalker-analogue fluff...

  4. You're referring to the [cue creepy music] STAIR SKULKER?? I'm down like a dead clown with his head turned round.

    flowthrake AT gmail DOT com

  5. Awesome! I'll email you when things are less inchoate, although what I'm thinking is that a theoretical THING TOME could do with "tributes" to several of the Fiend Factory creatures that didn't make the Fiend Folio such as the IRON HOG and DESERT ZEALOTS.

  6. Oh, dude, you should definitely do that. Some tributes to certain Arduin and Tekumel beasts wouldn't hurt either. Red Dwarves perhaps. And I can't remember it's name off the top of my head but that reptilian beast from EPT who is ridic fast, constantly hungry and likely to attack/pursue anything it comes across is pretty badass.

  7. The one with a hundred legs and poison teeth?

  8. Maybe? I remember "oily skin" or hide being part of its description.