When Wizards of the Coast bought TSR in 1997, I recall a lot
of fears that D&D would suddenly be featuring Llanowar Elves and Scryb
Sprites. Thankfully that never came to
pass, either in the world’s oldest role-playing game or Pathfinder…but when I
opened my Bestiary 4 to the “Living
Wall” entry, I almost wondered if it had.
There are differences of course. The good news for PCs is that this wall
doesn’t regenerate—ha, just kidding; it has fast healing 1. And it has a number of resistances. And it can link with its fellows to better
withstand damage. Oh, and it will still
crush you into a pulp—that’s definitely happening.
Um…anyone got any Scryb Sprites handy?
The skull of the
nephilim Ja’om was used in the construction of the living wall at
Abendiggal—a calculated insult by Abendiggal’s goat priests, directed at
Ja’om’s sire, Jashketh Shedu-Father. The
Shedu-Father may be a demigod associated with peaceful entreaties and oral
contracts, but even he has a limit to what he will bear. His factors seek adventurers who will infiltrate
Abendiggal, rescue Ja’om’s skull, and ideally cast down the goat priests and
their summoned schirs.
A living wall
protects the entrance to a dungeon.
Luring the wall away from its post reveals the hidden trap door. Leaving the trap door open for too long
completes a mystic circuit that calls allips to attack poky investigators.
Kasatha society has
been seduced into the worship of the Black Emissary. When they die, their bodies are supposedly
added to their local temple’s Wall of Remembrance. In truth, they are hacked apart and made into
a gruesome corpse concrete that is the first ingredient for a living wall. These living walls turn kasatha temple
complexes into ever-shifting deathtraps.
—Pathfinder Bestiary 4
I only experienced the bombshell that WotC was buying TSR
belatedly and third-hand. I was in
college at the time, and my engagement in the hobby was pretty much at its
lowest ebb ever—I even got lazy about regularly buying Dragon Magazine. (I would
later go back and pick up the issues I’d missed at back-issue prices, so the
six months it ceased publication were actually a kindness to my wallet.) So I was utterly flummoxed when I did find
out about the merger…I think either one of my more hardcore gamer friends told me or I
just discovered it when I picked up a random issue of Dragon and went, “Bwaaah?!?”
You know what I’m super pleased about? My new reader numbers took a major hit during
my surprise two-week “vacation” after my old computer got injured…but as of
last week we’re reliably back to adding more than 200 folks a month. Better yet, last Friday we hit a milestone:
3,000 followers. I think actuallywut
gets the nod for putting us over the top.