Whether or not you believe, you'll have heard of the concept of sin... going your own way, indulging in your own desires, rather than paying attention to the wishes of your deity. This is the first in a series of resources focussing on the so-called 'seven deadly sins' and providing ample material for GMs to lead characters astray...
Avarice - the desire to accumulate wealth and resources far beyond what you actually need - is a sin that probably besets most fantasy adventurers every so often. Here are presented three monsters whose theme is based around avarice, a template to enable you to bring out the worst in any monster or NPC and a creature that is the pure embodiment of avarice itself - fitting climax to an adventure based around this sin.
First up, the 'Avaricious Creature' template. These poor beasties are corrupted to such a level that they literally eat valuable items. Next come three monsters: the hoard golem, the map mimic, and the midasite. Each in some way typifies avarice - displaying it or goading those characters unfortunate enough to meet them into becoming avaricious themselves.
The hoard golem is, like all golems, a mindless construct, one made out of precious items. Said to have been the invention of a dragon so paranoid about his hoard that he found a way to make his hoard guard itself (rather than hire or enslave guards who might be tempted to help themselves!), they take the form of a shambling heap of treasure that can bedazzle characters with the sheer wealth involved, and conduct a whirlwind attack during which they purloin any valuable items that their target carries.
The map mimic is actually an infant mimic, appearing as a treasure map which shows the way not to loot but to its parent mimic! If it does not lead folks astray and into danger, it has a nasty attack of its own - it attempts to adhere to its victim's face, blinding and eventually suffocating them.
As for the midasite, it is a small insect-like creature whose touch can turn flesh to gold, a bit like a flesh to stone spell only with gold rather than stone as the result. It's a small fey, and wears gold armour itself. Some sneaky art collectors have been known to attempt to capture or befriend a midasite, and then have it create them gold statues on demand!
Finally, the Embodiment of Avarice is a CR20 colossal outsider. Impressive at first glance, it has rat-like features and a dirty furry hide wrapped in fine silks and adamantine full plate armour. Its malign influence can cause the unwary to pull out a valuable item and admire it, ignoring peril, whilst having the capacity to steal precious things and store them in its stomach. When an area contains enough avaricious people - or one who is spectacularly so - it turns up to steal their stuff...
Ending with a few notes on where to find avarice in Midgard, if you use that setting, this book provides some interesting ways to deal with those characters who want to gather far more wealth than they could possibly need, or to build adventures around the theme of avarice. Something to make characters think about what they are doing, and what their true motives are, perhaps... certainly with the potential to be entertaining.
Return to Monsters of Sin: Avarice page.
Reviewed: 1 July 2012