Dungeons & Delvers: Shambling Mound

We've been working on rounding out the monster roster for Dungeons & Delvers, trying to make sure that for Red Book we'll have all the bases covered (as opposed to overlooking some iconics like the ankheg, bulette, gnoll, and owlbear).

I got to the shambling mound, a monster that I think I've used once, perhaps twice, and was surprised to learn that, at least from 2nd Edition and up, it's intended to have a "roughly humanoid shape". Seemed kind of odd and a little bit boring, so I decided to tweak the design, make it more amorphous.

Here's the rough concept I came up with so far:
Going to give the art a second pass before Melissa gets her mitts on it, refine some of the details, and add more variety to the upper foliage. I want it to look like it could just slump down among some vegetation, close its mouth, and easily blend in with its surroundings.

Instead of stuffing you into its body and suffocating/crushing you (or just grabbing and crushing you as it does in 3rd Edition), it grabs and swallows you. I'm thinking that behind all those vines is something like a giant pitcher plant. It also moves about on numerous spider- or crab-like wooden legs.

Here's a mock up of what it's stat block and art would look like together.

Interesting to see something like Damage Resistance in 2nd Edition: slashing and piercing weapons only inflicted half damage, as did cold-based attacks, while bludgeoning weapons did no damage at all. Didn't want to go quite that extreme, so gave it a good base DR, plus even more when blunt weapons are used against it.

We're also going to include more examples of using monster parts with the crafting system. For example, for the shambler heartwood there will be a note that it could be used to make wooden armor and shields that are resistant to lightning damage, and magical versions could give you a boost when you get hit with lightning attacks.

The acid would just be good for making acid.

You can now get a physical copy of Dungeons & Delvers: Black Book in whatever format you want (the PDF is also on sale on DriveThru)! We've also released the first big supplement for it, Appendix D, so pick that up if you want more of everything.

The first issue of The Delver, a magazine featuring fungal-themed content for both players and GMs (including an adventure in which myconids find religion), is available!

Our latest Dungeon World class, The Ranger, is now available.

Dwarven Vault is our sixth 10+ Treasures volume. If you're interested in thirty dwarven magic items (including an eye that lets you shoot lasers) and nearly a dozen new bits of dungeon gear, check it out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).


  1. Really enjoying the way this is shaping up. I just downloaded the class previews from RPG now for the Red Book. A lot to like! Can't wait for the finished version.

    1. Awesome man, glad to hear!

      Let us know what you think, especially what might be missing, and fighter should be up this week. :-D

  2. What if you really embraced the crab and mound aspects of the monster and expand it out along the horizontal axis If you have it's stomach in the back of it it could enlarge as it consumes things. The idea of a giant backpack gullet with occasional wriggling from its unfortunate occupants is really cool to me.

    1. That's a pretty morbid visual, so of course I dig it!


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