Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grognard's Grimoire: Termaxian Mummy

Having just watched the 1959 film, The Mummy, starring Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, reminded me of an idea I'd been toying around with. So, here's a Hammer horror-style mummy adapted for use in my Dwimmermount campaign.

The text in the quote box below is hereby designated Open Game Content via the Open Game License, while the names "Turms Termax" and "Termaxian" are designated Product Identity.

Mummy, Termaxian

No Enc.: 1 (1)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 60' (20')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 7
Attacks: 1
Damage: 1d12, choke
Save: F7
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: XIX
XP: 1140

Termaxian mummies are a rare form of undead created by the cult of Turms Termax in order to punish a member who has betrayed the cult in some fashion. Through a magical ritual, the betrayer is granted imperishable existence dedicated to a singular task, such as the protection of a cult site against interlopers. The mummy remains dormant until events related to its purpose occur or commanded by a Termaxian adept of 7th level or above.

Because of the peculiar circumstances of their creation, Termaxian mummies generally retain vestiges of their former personalities. Many, if not most, of these mummies hate their undead servitude to the cult but can do nothing to rebel against it. However, if either circumstances or a command of the controlling adept pit them against some deeply held positive belief or emotion of their former lives -- mere hatred of servitude is not enough -- there is a good chance (60%) that they can reassert their wills and act accordingly.

Like normal mummies, Termaxian mummies are so fearsome tthat any being seeing one must make a saving throw or suffer ill consequences. Unlike normal mummies, however, the saving throw must be made against death (Wisdom bonuses or penalties, if any, apply to this roll) and failure results in being afflicted with the effects of a feeblemind spell. This effect can only be lifted by means of remove curse; no other remedy will work.

When a Termaxian mummy successfully strikes, its victim is caught in its choking grip, suffering 1d12 points of damage on the first and subsequent rounds until either the victim is dead or the mummy is destroyed or forced to relinquish its grip in some fashion. These mummies can be distracted from their tasks by persons, events, or objects associated with their past life in a powerful way -- or perception of the same, for, just like mortal beings, they can be deceived, including through the use of illusion magic.

Termaxian mummies are virtually indestructible by physical means, being immune to damage by anything other than spells, including fire. Like other undead, though, they are unaffected by sleep, charm, and hold spells.


  1. In Hammer's The Mummy, Christopher Lee gave the best portrayal of a mummy I've ever seen (just as he gave the best performance of a flesh golem in The Curse of Frankenstein).

  2. I meant "best portrayal of a flesh golem." I'm not suggesting Christopher Lee is a performing flesh golem.

  3. Christopher Lee was always a great character actor, he always seemed to really dive into his roles with gusto.Add to that a huge menacing screen presence and his six foot five frame definately helped too.

  4. "...virtually indestructible by physical means"

    Does this include magic weapons, as well? And does the immunity to fire pertain to Fireball, as well?

    Even if it is immune to weapons, there ought to be a means of at least inconveniencing one - if I take a Vorpal blade to it, and whack its head off, shouldn't it at least have to spend a round or two finding its head and sticking it back on? Sort of like in the remake of the Mummy when Brenden Frasier cuts off Imotep's arm and he has to take a moment to pick it up and reattach it.

    One should consider some sort of mechanics for handling creatures that can't be killed, but might reasonably be effected, by physical attacks. Getting stunned or slowed for a round or two or whatever might not be unreasonable. That way the fighters have something they can do and not be wholly useless.

  5. Can they be turned by clerics?

  6. Angantyr's comment leads me to something I've never thought about:
    Is magic fire (fireball, burning hands, etc.) the same as regular fire from torches, oil and so on?

    I also agree that normal weapons should have some effect (if only an inconvenience) to monsters such as this (non-armored, non-immaterial). It might not "kill" the monster but if you cut off it's legs it would certainly be slowed (it's only a flesh wound!)

    Pretty much like I've never understood in modern movies why shooting zombies anywhere but the head seems to have zero effect. Sure they won't bleed to death, but they still need a solid skeleton to move. You shatter their pelvis or femur or whatever with your gunshot and they won't be able to stand/walk.