Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Morg

In City by the Silt Sea, the morg is mention and one is given stats, but it is a unique morg and does not represent all of them. The boxed set states that morgs are similar to greater mummies of other worlds, but not much information is provided beyond that. It is strongly encourage that DMs who use morgs customize them to their campaigns.

Ancient Dead by Jeff Easley

Morg

Morg
Climate/Terrain Any
Frequency Very Rare
Organization Solitary
Activity Cycle Night
Diet None
Intelligence Genius (17-18)
Treasure V (Ax2)
Alignment Lawful Evil
No. Appearing 1
Armor Class 2
Movement 9
Hit Dice 16 (base)
THAC0 10 (base)
No. of Attacks 1
Damage/Attack 3d6
Special Attacks See Below
Special Defense See Below
Magic Resistance Nil
Size M (6' - 7' tall)
Morale Fanatic (17-18)
XP Value 13,000 (base)
Psionic Summary
Level: 6
Dis/Sci/Dev: 1/2/4
Attack/Defense: - / All
Score: 12
PSPs: 150
Psychometabolism: Complete Healing, Metamorphosis, Aging, Body Weaponry, Cause Decay, Displacement



Morgs are a powerful form of undead created when a high-level lawful evil templar or, more rarely, a cleric is mummified and life energy is expended to grant it unlife. It can survive for centuries.
Morgs have gray flesh that clings tightly to its bones. They give off an odor that is said to be reminiscent of spices, because of the herbs used in the embalming process that created them.
Morgs are keenly intelligent and are able to communicate just as they did in life. Further, they have an inherent ability to telepathically command all normal undead created by them. They have the ability to control other undead, provided that they are not under the domination of another of higher hit dice, but this is possible only when verbal orders can be given.

Combat
Morgs radiate an aura of fear that causes all creatures who see them in their true form to make a fear check, unless the morg chooses to exclude them. A modifier is applied to this fear check based on the age of the monster, as indicated on the Age & Abilities table at the end of this section. The effects of failure on those who miss their checks are doubled because of the enormous power and presence of this creature. The morg’s aura can be defeated by a remove fear, cloak of bravery, or similar spell.
In combat, morgs have the option of attacking with their own physical powers, priest spells, or with their granted psionic powers. In the former case, they may strike but once per round, inflicting 3d6 points of damage per attack.
Anyone struck by an appropriately aged morg's physical attack suffers the required damage and becomes infected with a horrible rotting disease that manifests itself in a matter of days. The older the morg, the faster this disease manifests itself (see the Age & Ability table at the end of this entry for exact details). The disease causes the person to die within a short time unless proper medical care can be obtained. Twenty four hours after the infecting blow lands, the character loses 1 point from his Strength and Constitution due to the effects of the virus on his body. Further, they lose 2 points of Charisma as their skin begins to flake and whither like old parchment. No normal healing is possible while the disease is spreading through the body, and the shaking and convulsions that accompany it make spell casting or memorization impossible for the character. Only one form of magical healing has any effect – a regenerate spell will cure the disease and restore lost hit points, but not ability scores. All others healing spells are wasted. A series of cure disease spells (one for each day that has passed since the rotting was contracted) will temporarily halt the infection until a complete cure can be affected. Regaining lost ability score points is not possible through any means short of a restoration or wish spell.

The body of a person who dies from a morg's diseased touch begins to crumble into dust as soon as death occurs. The only way to resurrect a character who dies in this way is to cast both a cure disease and a raise dead spell on the body within 1 hour of death. If this is not done, the body (and the spirit within it) are lost forever.
Morgs can be turned by those who have the courage and conviction to attempt this feat; however, the older the morg, the harder it is to overcome in this fashion. Once again, the details are provided on the Age & Abilities Table. They are immune to damage from holy elements, but contact with a holy symbol from a good elemental priest inflicts 1d6 points of damage on them.
Perhaps the most horrible aspect of these creatures, however, is their spell casting ability. All morgs were templars, or clerics, in their past lives and retain the spell casting abilities they had then, as long as they keep the favor of their patron. They will cast spells as if they were of 16th through 20th level (see below) and will have the same spheres available to them that they did in life. Morgs receive the same bonus spells for high Wisdom scores that player characters do. Dungeon Masters are advised to select spells for each morg in an adventure before the adventure starts.
Morgs can be harmed only by magical weapons, with older ones being harder to hit than younger ones. Spells are also less effective against morgs than they are against other creatures. Morgs are immune to sleep, charm, hold, and heat based spells. In addition, older morgs develop a magic resistance that makes even those spells unreliable.
Morgs become more powerful with the passing of time. The following table lists the applicable changes to the listed statistics (which are for a newly created monster) brought on by the passing of time:
Age & Ability Table
AgeTo HitACHDThac0AlignWisMagicDiseaseLevelXPFearLessers
0 -99 +1 1 16 9 LE 18 Nil N/A 16 13,000 -1 1d4
100-199 +1 1 17 9 LE 19 10% N/A 17 16,000 -2 2d4
200-299 +2 0 18 7 LE or CE 20 15% 1d12 days 18 19,000 -2 3d4
300-399 +2 -1 19 7 CE or LE 21 20% 1d10 days 19 20,000 -3 5d4
400-499 +3 -2 20 5 CE 22 25% 1d8 days 20 21,000 -3 6d4
500 + +4 -3 21 5 CE 23 30% 1d6 days 20+1 22,000 -4 7d4
Notes:
To Hit indicates the magical plus that must be associated with a weapon before it will inflict damage to the morg.
AC is the Armor Class of the monster.
HD are the number of hit dice that the morg has. Morgs are turned as if they had one more Hit Die than they actually do, so a 250 year old (18 HD) is turned as if it had 19 Hit Dice.
THAC0 is listed for the various Hit Dice levels of the morg to allow for easy reference during play.
Alignment As the morg grows older, it becomes darker and more evil. In cases where two alignments are listed, there is a 75% chance that the morg will be of the first alignment and a 25% chance that it will be of the second. Thus, a 300 year old morg is 75% likely to be chaotic evil.
Wisdom is the creature’s Wisdom score. When employing their spells, morgs receive all of the bonus spells normally associated with a high Wisdom. Non-advanced beings cannot be immune to spells due to high wisdom scores.
Magic is the creature’s natural magic resistance.
Disease is the length of time it takes for a person infected with the morg’s rotting disease to die. N/A indicates the morgs does not have the cause disease ability.
Level indicates the creature’s level as a priest. Older morgs have access to far greater magics than younger ones and are thus more dangerous than younger ones. At 500 years and older, the morg will be a 20th level templar and level 1 in one other class, usually psionicist.
XP lists the number of experience points awarded to a party for battling and defeating a morg of a given age.
Lesser indicates the number of lesser undead that the creature will have serving it when encountered. Lesser undead should be around 6HD and worth no more than 3,000 experience points.
Fear indicates the penalty to those making fear checks due to the evil influence of the morg’s foul aura.

Habitat/Society
Morgs are powerful undead creatures that are usually created from the mummified remains of powerful, evil templars. Most morgs create undead with the spells and techniques available to them. Some are able to create a lesser form of morg from their victims.
Ecology
Most morgs are created by their sorcerer monarch. Morgs are created with special rituals, which incudes the expenditure of 1,000 HD worth of humanoid life force energy. They do not eat or drink. They are unnatural creatures that have no impact on Athasian ecology.

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