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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

PPP Winner 2 of 3 Converted for AD&D: THE SYMP


FREQUENCY: Very rare
MOVE: 12"
% IN LAIR: 5%
NO. OF ATTACKS: 3 or by weapon (see below)
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 2-12/2-12/1-10
SPECIAL ATTACKS : Break stone/use magic crudely
INTELLIGENCE: Low (see below)
SIZE: L (12'+)
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE: VII/1300 + 12/hp

The symps are giant ape-like creatures that have been spotted in the remotest regions of the underground. They appear somewhat like a giant, hairless, ebon-skinned crossbreed between a chimpanzee and a gorilla. The shock white, pupil-less eyes of these monsters have a subtle glow that reveals their presence in the dark. They are completely bipedal but still retain the long armed body shape of a great ape. The average symp is around 12 feet in height but some can be up to 20 feet in height. They’re intelligence is somewhat of a mystery as they appear to be able to use devices, even of the magic sort, but have no language or societal structure. Some learned sages say they are the mindless servitors of a long forgotten underworld civilization not the byproduct of evolutionary trends but manufactured of the darkest lost sorceries of another age.

Symps are mostly solitary but annually they organize into loose bands for raiding and mating. The raids of these creatures are centralized around the settlements of deep earth dwelling civilizations. Although in recent years a great mountain fortress of the dwarves in the far North, that was completely on the surface, was overrun with such creatures. But it was not an easy victory as the symp battle prowess is one of raging chaotic destruction. A famous technique of these beasts is to break the ceiling to fall on an opponent’s head (Save VS death or 3-18 dmg). This is done by their ability to rend through stone with their punches. Symp tunnels can be crude, sharp, jagged, unstable or almost unnavigable by most all creatures. These symp “highways” are a boon to the giant apes as a source of food since many creatures don’t get too far before being waylaid by disaster.

The symp’s lack of cunning is sometimes forgotten because of their strange ability to use complex items as if they were trained to do so. A symp’s possessions which will often include looted magical items that the creatures have identified and learned to use. They can identify with a relentless problem solving intensity that defies logic. As mentioned above it is unknown how but given proper time a symp can even cast a spell from a scroll speaking the verbal incantation as if having been fully trained as a wizard. And yet the symps have no real language of their own and only communicate with each other through scent, growls and body language. Give a symp a day and he’ll figure out any complex or mechanical device as well. Although in the field application of “figured out” devices is where the symp’s true nature is revealed. From casting spells in the wrong direction to locking themselves in airless tombs these beasts are probably better off using their fists.

Many powerful wizards consider a beguiled symp to be a great resource indeed. 


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