Cypher System Creature: Child of Golthnor

The Child of Golthnor is found in The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady. For more on this horror, and it’s parents, see the adventure. Without the adventure, just gloss over it’s parentage.

TiersThis eldritch horror is designed as an extreme challenge to any tier party, from tier one to tier six. Need a transdimensional boss fight? The child is here to help. Stats are presented in three groups, separated by /s. The first stat is for tiers 1 and 2. The second for tiers 3 and 4. The last for tiers 5 and 6.

Child of Golthnor 6/8/10 (18/24/30)

Dread Unicorn Games; The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady; Numenera adventure
Art by Doug Scott

This transdimensional child of a synite and Golthnor is a sanity-blasting monstrosity. It usually stays invisible, but once it attacks, it shows its true form: a 16 foot (5 m) synite saucer covered in weeping red eyes and lipless drooling mouths. Atop the saucer is a writhing mass of purple trunks and tendrils, some ending in eyes, others in fanged maws.

The first Child of Golthnor the PCs meet has a lumpy humanoid face that stares out in horror from this mass of corruption, whispering, “Help me,” in a dozen languages, including Truth. Perhaps this is a face the PCs have met before in happier circumstances.

Motive: Open the door between worlds and let Golthnor in. Seek out esoteries that deal with transdimensional entities. Eat mass quantities of fresh meat.

Environment: Any, especially near a portal to other dimensions.

Health: 18/30/42

Damage Inflicted: 6/8/10

Armor: 3/10/25 vs. normal physical weapons; 1/3/6 vs. numenera weapons and esoteries.

Movement: Short (flying)

Modifications: Speed defense 8/10/10 when invisible; 5/7/9 when visible. Those in thrall to Golthnor are immune to the Child’s sanity blasting attacks.

Combat: When invisible, approaching within 100 feet (30 m) causes an Intellect attack that does 3/4/5 points of Intellect damage if not resisted. To physically attack, the Child must become visible.

When visible, looking at it the first time causes an Intellect attack that does 6/12/18 points of Intellect damage.

A Child of Golthnor attacks twice per round, with a bite and a constricting trunk.

Bite: 7/9/11 points of damage

Twisted jaws clamp down on your flesh and grind back and forth. Will the pain ever stop?

Trunk: 11/15/19 points of damage from crushing and blood drain. Target must escape the next round to avoid automatic crushing and blood drain.

You can’t breath and it feels like your ribcage is about to pop. Dozens of mouths burrow into your wounds and suck. Your head spins as your blood is drained. The trunk holds on, obviously unsated.

Interaction: Will only assist those in thrall to Golthnor.

Use: This creature is great for defending a portal that Golthnor is trying to open.

Loot: The saucer yields 1d6 squirming bio-mechanical cyphers.

GM Intrusion: A mass of tendrils reaches for the face of someone in immediate range, level 8/10/10. If it hits, it forces the target’s mouth open, and a wriggling mass of pus with worm-like appendages slides down the victim’s throat. Move down one step on the damage track and gain the Gibbering descriptor until Golthnor is defeated (use Mad if you don’t have The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady).

Options: In a Cypher System horror game where you are using shock levels, the Child of Golthnor counts as mind-bending. Any encounter that ends up with a Child of Golthnor is a great excuse for using Horror Mode.

In a recursion of The Strange, a Child of Golthnor may be a mad-science child of a robot and a planetovore.

More: Follow the link for more information on The Sun Below: Sleeping Lady.

Stealing the Weird: Putting Numenera Creatures into your 13th Age Game

Sometimes it’s nice to shake the players up a bit. They know the game a little too well and are becoming hard to surprise. One trick is to look at your bookshelf and steal something from a very different game and stick it in the one you are running now.

Art by James E Shields
Art by James E Shields

As an example, I’ll steal a Numenera creature, and 13th Ageify it. I’ll take one of mine, the Pyronic Sentry, which first appeared in The Sun Below: City on the Edge, but you can see it here. You can do this with any two game systems.

This is a challenging creature for beginning Numenera parties, so let’s make it a challenge for a 2nd level 13th Age party. We’ll make it a large 4th level monster. It looks large and it’s doing double damage, which is what large monsters do.

It’s obviously a construct, perhaps one of the Dwarf King’s artificers went over the deep end and sold these to the highest bidder. Or was forced to make them against her will…

Reading the modifications, we’ll make it invulnerable to heat, and vulnerable to cold.

Now, let’s look at it’s GM Intrusion: it can teleport a PC to directly in front of it. Which is nice, because it’s always standing in a fire or lava, and then it hits it for extra damage. A GM Intrusion typically only happens once a battle, so we’ll go with limited use, once a battle.

Check out DIY Monsters section in the 13th Age Core book.

Pyronic Sentry

A pyronic sentry is an armored construct whose color changes to match the flames it finds itself in. It looks like an eight foot tall armored man with long blades for hands. It is always found standing in fire, lava, or some other superheated environment. To engage a pyronic sentry, one must enter its fiery environ. As a construct it follows orders to guard a place or a thing.

Large 4th level wrecker [construct]

Initiative: +7

Invulnerable: magical and mundane heat and fire; Vulnerable: cold

Sizzling Sword Hands +9 vs. AC — 20 damage

Natural even hit: +16 heat damage

R: Come Play: +9 vs. MD — 24 damage

Hit or Miss: Nearby target is teleported directly in front of the pyronic sentry, taking 16 heat damage from the environment the sentry is standing in.

Limited Use: 1/battle.

Fiery environs: At the start of the pyronic sentry’s turn, each enemy engaged with it or otherwise standing in the fire/lava takes 14 fire damage.

Nastier Specials

Some Like it Hot: A character must make a hard save (16+) to leave the fiery environs.

AC   20

PD   18                          HP 108

MD  14


Creature Preview: Pyronic Sentry

Here’s a preview from The Sun Below: City on the Edge, available now on While the creature hails from a Numenera adventure, it’d be right at home in The Strange as well.


Art by James E Shields
Art by James E Shields

A pyronic sentry is a synthsteel- and glassteel-cladded automaton whose color changes to match the flames it finds itself in. It looks like a massive armored man with long blades for hands.
Motive: Follow orders to guard a place or a thing.
Environment: Pyronic sentries are usually found near fires, lava pits, or other hellishly hot environments.
Damage Inflicted: 5 slashing and 5 heat.
Armor: 3 (100 vs. heat)
Modifications: While being almost invulnerable to heat, cold attacks gain an asset and ignore armor. In fact, if a pyronic sentry is removed from a fiery environment and placed in a temperature comfortable for a human, the automaton will become sluggish and have a one-level penalty on all its actions. Should one end up in a frigid environment, it would take a two-level penalty on all actions and take one point of damage a turn until it shattered into pieces.
Combat: A pryonic sentry will follow its orders first, and worry about self-preservation second. Usually the orders do not require it to move to cooler locations.
Interaction: Pryonic sentries do not speak, but are telepaths.
Use: An arch-nano’s synthsteel tower rises out of a lava field. People say the arch-nano hasn’t been seen in years, but the pryonic sentry still stands guard, stopping good folk from taking valuable items from a woman who surely doesn’t need them anymore.
Loot: Once cool, the remains of a pryonic sentry can be salvaged for 1d6 cyphers and possibly an oddity.

TiersThe Pyronic Sentry’s GM Intrusion is designed to challenge any tier party, from tier one to tier six. Stats are presented in three groups, separated by /s. The first stat is for tiers 1 and 2. The second for tiers 3 and 4. The last for tiers 5 and 6.

GM Intrusion: The pyronic sentry teleports an enemy who is at short range or  closer to just in front of the automaton. The sentry then attacks as level 7/8/9 with both bladed hands, doing double damage and dazing the foe for one round if it hits. The foe will also take heat damage from the environment if the pyronic sentry is in its usual searing environs.

You teleport into the flames and feel the searing-hot bladed hands of the automaton spike deep into your body. Your flesh sizzles like meat on a spit.

Notice how the GM Intrusion flows from the creature’s description? Bring on the searing heat! You can do the same with your own creatures, see Numenera GM Intrusions: Creatures.

Have fun, and there plenty more creatures to be found in The Sun Below: City on the Edge‘s bestiary!