My wife gave me last year Black Leopard Red Wolf, the amazing African sword & sorcery tour de force by Marlon James. I am still in the fourth chapter, and I just can’t stop reading that beauty! So, following this blog tradition of adapting everything that excites me into the D&D mash-up blender, here is an awesome monster from the 1st chapter: Omoluzu, the Roof Demons. This adaption is how I see this lovely critter and not based on any further research.
|Read this beauty!|
Omoluzu are ancient demons from the beginning of the world (or the multiverse). In fact, they might be
remnants from a previous world or existence, upon which the Material Plane was later built. Sages have long debated where the Omoluzu (the world means both singular and plural) came from, with theories ranging from frozen and forsaken hells, the black sands of Yondo, to the Negative Material Plane, among others.
The most telling sign of the Omoluzu is that their existence is somehow inverted in relation to other creatures of the Material Plane. Omoluzu are only found in the roof or ceiling of any structures, including caverns, ruins, and dungeons (the famous folktale of the Drowned King has Omoluzu showing up in the ceeling of even an extraplanar court, which means they can reach other planes). Their “natural” state of existence is of constantly inverted gravity. Omoluzu only “fall” out of a ceiling when killed and their bodies are immediately destroyed and rendered to smoke (although there are rumors of adventurers blowing up the roof and sending Omoluzu “falling upwards” and disappearing in the sky).
The Roof Demons’ body is completely black, as tar, without any visible organ, although they are clearly humanoid shaped. They are famous for their swords made of blinding light, which kills victims without leaving any visible wounds. Omoluzu are tireless hunters. It is whispered that once they taste your blood you will never find a safe roof for the rest of your life.
Omoluzu understand most Material Plane languages, but no one has ever heard them speak. Marginalia in Nkou’s Roll of Deviltries mentions that a mentalist once tried to establish mental contact with Omoluzu only to start screaming and falling upward into the ceiling, forever disappearing into a darkness pool that theoretically led the Roof Demons’ mysterious world.
Omoluzu are completely silent, but their coming is easily to spot. They are heralded by hissing and cracking sounds, as if the roof was melting or boiling. After a few second, the sound is followed by literal cracks in the roof, from which a bubbling darkness, almost as tar, can be seen. It is from those rifts that the Omoluzu come.
|Art by Ana Toledo.|
Here are stats for 3 RPGs that I am currently tinkering with: DCC RPG, 13th Age, and OSE.
Omoluzu: Init +4; Atk sword of light +1d7 melee (1d8+1d7); AC 16; HD 5d12; MV 40'; Act 2d20; SP see in darkness 60', immune to mind-altering spells, mighty deed of arms (d7), roof demon, sword of light, tar body; SV Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +2; AL C
Roof Demon: Omoluzu fight from the ceiling without any penalty and can jump to reach even prone foes. They can freely withdraw from enemies without triggering counterattacks.
Sword of Light: wounds by this weapon leave no mark.
Tar Body: only wounded by magic weapons or fire.
4th level wrecker
AC 20 HP 50
Sword of light
+9 vs. AC (2 attacks) — 8 psychic damage.
Miss: 1d4 psychic damage.
Demon Mind: any successful attack against Omoluzu targeting MD causes 1d4 psychic damage in the attacker.
Fear: while engaged with Omoluzu, enemies that have 18 hp or fewer are dazed (–4 attack) and do not add the escalation die to their attacks.
Roof demon (1/battle): Omoluzu can pop free from all enemies.
Tar Body: Omoluzu have resist 12+ against attacks targeting AC or MD.
Tireless Hunters (1/battle): as a free action, when a nearby enemy moves, they must roll a hard save (16+) or they are intercepted by the Omoluzu. The Omoluzu can pop free from an enemy to move and intercept the target.
Group ability: for every two Omoluzu in battle (round up), one of them can use come here! as a free action once during the battle.
Come here!: the Omoluzu can execute a melee attack of +10 vs. PD to capture a target and grapple them into the ceiling. Keeping the target grappled is a free action for the Omoluzu, who can keep attacking. Captured targets are stunned until they roll a hard save (16+), try a maneuver to free themselves, or the Omoluzu holding them is forced to disengage.
AC 7 , HD 4 (16hp), Att 2 × sword of light (1d6) or grab, THAC0 16 [+3], MV 90’ (30’), SV D8 W9 P10 B10 S12, ML 12, AL Chaotic, XP 75, NA 2d4, TT None
Mundane damage immunity: Can only be harmed by magical attacks or fire.
Spell immunity: Unaffected by acid, cold, illusions, poison, sleep or charm spells.
Roof Demon: Constantly under inverted gravity but they are adept at fighting enemies on the floor. They can jump to reach prone enemies and they can withdraw without suffering attacks.
Grab: Omoluzu grab one target and pins them into the ceiling (save vs paralysis). Pinned targets are automatically hit by other Omoluzu.
Sword of Light: leaves no wound mark or any sign that the target is hurt.
The Curse of the Omoluzu
The Curse of the Omoluzu is one of the most dread curses known in some realms. To condemn someone to be eternally hunted by the Roof Demons is a work of the darkest magics and the wickedest hearts. It requires first a bit of fresh blood just taken from the target. The blood is then tossed into the ceiling, while the dark power command that triggers the curse is uttered.
As profoundly evil curse once is uttered, most users somehow corrupted (while the victims are easy condemned to a quick and painful death, or to a life in the wilds). In OSE, a change of Alignment to Chaotic and potential loss of divine powers are maybe in order; in DCC RPG the one responsible for the curse can change his Alignment to Chaotic or perhaps receive a corruption of the referee’s choice; finally, in 13th Age, this curse can be reflected by a negative background (“Wielder of diabolic magic”), and the user can be forced to change one of his Icon Die to a relationship with the Diabolist, or something like that. There are tales that this curse could be used without consequences to right a divine wrong, but that is open to debate.
Once cast there is no know cure to the curse, except perhaps divine intervention (or dying and being raised from the dead). There are rumors that claim that the Omoluzu only hunt a cursed target in the original place where the curse was uttered (so, theoretically, a target cursed in the Materila Plane would be safe in any other plane). Of course, a “safe” way to avoid the Omoluzu is to never go under roof… forever.