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Bestiary: Crush Blocks
HD 2, Defense 12, Morale N/A, Speed 120’, Armor 6, Initiative +2
Group Size: 1d4 group
Appearance: Armored metal cube that fits neatly into its native halls.
Voice: Grinding sound of rock on rock.
Wants: To crush intruders.
Intelligence: Essentially none.
Attacks: ×1 slide (Slide)
Slide: Crush Blocks can only move in straight orthogonal movements, like a rook in Chess. They move once per round, always in the direction of the easiest-to-reach enemy, or else to position themselves to attack in the future. They may move into or through a victim’s square, and when they do, the victim takes 1d12 blunt damage and must pass an Agility save to move to an adjacent free square and not be pushed along with the Crush Block. If they fail their save and the Crush Block has enough speed to reach a wall, the victim is transformed into chunky salsa.
Immune to all types of damage except for blunt and acid, as well as damage dealt by pickaxes or other stone-breaking implements.
These are 5’ or 10’ cubic blocks of reinforced stone. Although typically found in Temple-Complexes (p. XX), some enterprising golem engineers have duplicated their design to varying degrees of success. They are most dangerous when other entities are distracting their soon-to-be victims.
Treasure: 1d10*10d in armored plates, plus a jewel core worth 2d20*100d which must be dug out of the center of the steel contraption.
1d4 - Eye Color & Level of Intelligence
Ruby. Only (and always) moves as a reaction whenever any entity crosses its orthogonal lines of sight, without any thought.
Amethyst. Will move only if doing so would either allow it to attack or set it up for an attack on the next round.
Sapphire. Intelligently sets positioning traps & avoids obstacles.
Emerald. Orders lesser Crush Blocks around to make traps deadlier. Forms large interlocked moving walls, calls reinforcements.
1d6 - Unusual Crush Block Roles
Giant chess pieces. Adapt other chess movement patterns too. Move a piece after each player’s turn. Only move each piece up to once per round.
Transport. Blocks have space for monster pilots or soldiers inside.
Shifting tunnel walls. Blocks shift while not seen to rearrange hallways and confuse player mapping efforts.
Possessed Guards. Blocks are ancestral soul storage. They can be spoken to and reasoned with, like one might reason with a guard.
Sliding statues. No chunky salsa crushing; instead, statues move across specially-prepared tile floors to engage with mundane weapons.
Firewall. Armor reduced to 0. Box is a hollow frame filled with fire. When it passes through an enemy’s space, they’re automatically lit ablaze and must pass an Agility save or be knocked prone.
1d8 - Why is There a Giant Angry Block of Stone?
They were meant to be elevators, actually.
It’s gotten loose from a nearby Temple-Complex1.
The engineer was an eccentric who dabbled in golems.
A local earth sprite has had enough.
An old curiosity was dragged out of storage and put to use.
It was originally a religious idol.
The pharaoh demanded guards who would live as long as his mummy.
A local Temple-Complex is unconsciously probing the surface.
Have you ever played Spelunky? You should play Spelunky.
Hell, these are just thwomps. They’re everywhere. They’re a bit videogamey. I stuffed a bunch in an ancient automated religious complex (the aforementioned Temple-Complexes) and my players ended up dancing around them for about thirty minutes as they tried to figure out how to either get away or damage them. Their restrictions on motion (orthogonal on a grid, like a rook) makes them easy to avoid if they’re the only thing you’re fighting, but if you have other enemies that can pin players down I imagine they’re far more terrifying.
I would not imagine they’re satisfying to play with if you’re not using a grid. They’re as much a puzzle creature as crush traps in Spelunky are.
Your local megadungeon.