O is for Octopus
Octopus - Tentacles are handyOctopus, squids and other tentacled enemies are always giants and mostly water based. They are so big that character will only face and fight their appendices, maybe their beak if they are lucky. The Old World is so huge, so corrupted and dangerous that more tentacular challenges exist. Let’s see how game masters can use cephalopods with style to entertain players. We already see how to achieve that for other animals, most of these tricks are valid. So we will focus on how having eight tentacles is handy.
Moving. A quadruped is faster than a biped. Eight legged animal like insects and arachnids are lighting fast. Especially when you face a horse sized specimen. So make octopod very fast. Portray land based octopus locomotion as very slow at start but when all eights pods start to work in sync, it’s already almost too late.
Climbing, falling and Jumping. So octopus can move fast in water and on land. But they can also climb using their eight arms equipped suction cups. The surface is smooth that’s not a problem. The surface is rough, having several grips is handy. Now that our octopus can move in the third dimension, let’s use that opportunity. Hunting octopus can just fall on their prey. Using their mass and tentacles to knock off their victims, while their beak is starting to cut in. So if you enjoy cephalopod using third dimension on land, then make their tentacles efficient springs. Having a octopus jumping in or out is the special move you can use to advance your story.
Grappling. Eight arms that’s at least two available for throwing rocks, checking trees, using wooden sticks as weapons. That’s for basic use of natural like tools. If octopus have an higher intelligence, let them reuse the weapons they found on their prey. A specimen using a polearm, a hammer, a sword and an axe, at the same time while moving is something to use from time to time.
Armed, running, climbing, jumping octopus is a game changer. But wait, we haven’t touch how to replace the ink of water octopus by gaz for the land based one. We haven’t mentioned their chameleon abilities. Nor any kind of poison, magic or mutations. So next time you read an adventure portraying the overused spider, replace it with an octopus and have some fun.