MUP Episode 194 – Jellyfish Shark Showdown!

This episode Keepers Murph and Dave, (along with guest Keeper Matt Wiseman, via email), judge a monster creation contest between Keeper Jon and the president of Golden Goblin Press, Oscar Rios. And Jon & Murph interview MAtt Madigan about his new Kickstarter, The Grand Tower Hotel.

Noble Knight Games

This episode is generously sponsored by Noble Knight Games. They have the largest selection of out-of-print games in the world. Including a huge selection of Lovecraftian RPG game books. They even stock Golden Goblin Press books! If you’re collecting any of Chaosium’s new or vintage Call of Cthulhu game books, then you really need to check out Noble Knight Games.

Campus Crier

This episode was recorded on February 27th, 2020.

One of Chaosium’s newest videos on their YouTube channel is of Keeper Jon doing an unboxing of the Gateways to Terror book.

Guest from last episode Ruth Tillman’s Kickstarter finished and funded at 227 backers pledged $4,029. I backed while recording the last episode, and it looks really good.

In other Kickstarter news, backers of the Cthulhu Alphabet are finally receiving their books! Jon did an unboxing video for the contributor copies for it too. These are some fantastic looking books. The Cthulhu Alphabet is filled with fun tables to spice-up your Mythos themed game, regardless of the game system. 

Britannia & Beyond Kickstarter set to launch March 13th.  A setting for Cthulhu Invictus detailing the province of Britannia, and the barbarian kingdoms of Caledonia and Hibernia.  Main author Stuart Boon, supporting authors Oscar Rios, Jeffrey Moeller, William Adcock, Editing by Jeffrey Moeller, Art by Alberto Guerra, maps by Gregg Shipp and Alyssa Faden, layout and design by Mark Shireman, special pendants and idol by Joe Broers.

MUP Patreon

If you haven’t heard yet, we have redesigned our Patreon and so far the feedback has been all positive! We are greatly appreciative of you, our listeners, and would ask that if you can please back us! Our next goal in funding will pay our worthy editors for their time! Also all backers, regardless of level will have access to the outtakes reel that we are going to put out on a special RSS feed from Patreon! To back us you can click the button on the sidebar of our website, mu-podcast.com or head over to Patreon directly at www.patreon.com/mup!

We have some backers that need to be named this episode! Fred! Chris! Scriven! Stefan!

Listening Room

Since Oscar Rios is a guest in this episode, we also have the final installment of the third season of the Glimpses into the Empire series. This episode recounts the tale of Rome’s Greatest Wife.

Interview

Jon and Murph speak with Matt Madigan about his kickstarter, The Grand Tower Hotel. For more information, visit the Kickstarter page here.

Main Topic — A Clash of Jellyfish Shark Titans!!!

This all started when a friend of Oscar’s, Justin Mansfield, (Oscar’s ancient language specialist), posted a facebook status of “I’m so tired I just read “selfish jerks” as “jellyfish sharks.”  So Oscar naturally called DIBS, just in case Keeper Jon was anywhere around the internet, so he couldn’t steal the idea for one of his scenarios. And that joke became the foundation for this competition.

Each author, (Oscar and Jon), wrote a Call of Cthulhu stat-block for the Jellyfish Shark. We keep it a secret from everyone. Then, once we were done, we had Golden Goblin (and friend of the show) Bill Adcock email our monster write-ups to the judges, (Keeper Murph, Keeper Dave and guest judge Keeper Matt Wiseman), that way the judges wouldn’t know which person authored which monster. And so here we are. The judges can now talk about and rate each monster with a scale of arbitrary points, but the end result is that the judges need to vote on which one of the two monsters is the winner. At that point, the winning author will reveal himself.

There are prizes at stake too. The losing author must send the winner one signed book and send another signed book to the Extra Life RPG charity. So, now we present to you the monsters created by Oscar and Jon.

Oscar’s Jellyfish Shark

Kuragesame (coo-ah-gee-sah-meh) or Jellyfish Shark

These massive and mysterious creatures usually live deep in the sea, but can be summoned to hunt near the surface by certain spells and rituals. It is thought these creatures are servitors of The Father-Of-All-Sharks, an obscure avatar form of the Great Old One Cthulhu or The Great Old One Cthylla, the daughter of Cthulhu. The creatures have been given the name Kuragesame, Japanese for Jellyfish Shark, by a survivor of a Jellyfish Shark attack.

In appearance Kuragesame look like an enormous jellyfish, with a smooth dome like body of translucent white, blue, and pink, trailing hundreds of tentacles of varying length. The size of a large whale, the main body of the creature is seldom seen by its victims. Its name comes from the only part of its usually seen, the tips of its four specialized hunting tentacles. The Kuragesame’s hunting tentacles can be over 1000 yards in length and end in a specialize lure to attract prey. These lures are incredibly life-like and convincing, able to move and act like the animal they are designed to mimic. Typically these lures are shaped like either White Tipped or Blue Sharks, with the tentacle linking the underside of the shark shaped lure.

The Kuragesame has a very specific prey item, human beings fishing for sharks. These are typically fishermen trying to harvest the shark’s fins, for the making of Shark Fin Soup. The creature drifts into a fishing ground where such fishing vessels work, and then sends out its lures. The Kuragesame then directs its lure into the path of such ships, in an effort to get lure hauled up onto the ship’s deck by the crew for harvesting.

When the lure of the Jellyfish Shark is brought onto a ship’s deck it begins thrashing about, much like a normal shark, in an attempt to attract as many humans to it as possible. This would be done to restrain the shark so it could not hurt a crewmember or escape back into the sea. The Jellysfish Shark can see, hear, and smell everything within 100 yards of its lure. Once enough humans have gathered around the lure it quickly drops its camouflage, becomes a translucent gelatinous thing shaped like a shark, and then explodes.

Those caught in the blast radius of an exploding lure are victims of a Deadly Attack, suffering 2d10 points of damage, with an Extreme CON success reducing damage by half and avoiding paralytic effects (see below). The exploding lure covers everything in the blast radius with a sticky gelatinous substance containing an extremely powerful neurotoxic attack. The toxin causes seizures, followed by paralysis and (in the cases where the 2d10 points of damage proves fatal) occasionally death.

Anyone killed, paralyzed, or entangled by the exploding lure is then dragged overboard and down into the main body of the Kuragesame. Victims can be cut free by damaging the strands entangling them for a total of 8 points before they are dragged into the water. Victims can pull themselves free of the lure by making an Extreme STR check, by cutting themselves free (see above) or by pouring at least three cups of alcohol on the entangling tentacle (which dissolves their adhesive properties). Up to 500 SIZ points of victim can be dragged away per lure. Victims are usually dead before they are drawn into the body of the creature, either from the neurotoxins of by drowning. Victims are digested within the main body of the creature over a 36 hour period after ingestion. Victims who are poisoned but rescued before being drowned regain use of their muscles within 2D6 hours.

To drive off a Kuragesame all four of its hunting tentacles must be severed, with each having 30 HP. Once all four hunting tentacles are destroyed the creature withdraws to the ocean depth until they are re-grown, a process which takes one year. To completely destroy a Kuragesame would be difficult, because they seldom come within 50 feet of the surface. Specialized weapons, such as depth charges, weighted explosives, or spells, would likely need to be employed.

If forced to defend itself it can strike out with a pair of larger, stronger tentacles it used for locomotion, with large paddle like ends. These tentacles don’t have neurotoxin membranes but can smash, lash out, or constrict for 1D8+damange bonus points of damage. A desperate Kuragesame would not hesitate to smash a surface vessel to splinters with such attacks if it felt threatened. There are rumors of these creatures using lures shaped as Bluefin Tuna as well, but so far these are unconfirmed.

Kuragesame, The Jellyfish-Shark

char. averages rolls

STR 250 (4D6+36X5)

CON 125 (2D6+18X5)

SIZ 250 (4D6+36X5)

DEX 65 (2D6X5)

INT 80 (3D6+6X5)

POW 70 (4D6X5)

HP 37

Average Damage Bonus: +5D6

Average Build: 6

Average Magic Points: 16

Move: swimming for 6 or 24 for a short period six round period once her day.

ATTACKS

Attacks per round:

Fighting attacks: Four tentacle lures which explode for a Deadly attack.

Two large flipper tentacles 60% (30/12), damage 1D8 + Damage Bonus 1D4-2

Dodge 20% (10/5)

Armor: 2 points of rubbery gelatinous flesh.

SANITY LOSS: 0/1D8 points to see a Kuragesame

Jon’s Jellyfish Shark

It was under the sea, at first for food and later for other purposes, that they first created earth life—using available substances according to long-known methods. … When the star-headed Old Ones on this planet had synthesized their simple food forms and bred a good supply of Shoggoths, they allowed other cell groups to develop into other forms of animal and vegetable life for sundry purposes, extirpating any whose presence became troublesome.

– H. P. Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

During their time when they lived under the seas, the Old Ones formed the shoggoths to facilitate their acts of creation and then they formed the jellyfish sharks to service their acts of destruction. The jellyfish shark is an enormous protoplasmic and bioluminescent creature; it has a translucent dome-like body covered in black eyespots and numerous ribbon-like tentacles trailing below it. Centered on the underside of the body dome is the creature’s razor tooth lined mouth. The sphincter-like orifice is designed to grab and pull inward anything placed within its mouth. A pair of large intestines is contained within the body dome; digested mass is broken down into its base elements and are then excreted by the jellyfish shark. A matured jellyfish shark averaged a body dome forty-five feet in diameter and crested twenty feet high in the center. The creature’s mouth was twelve feet in diameter, and the tentacles varied between sixty and eighty feet in length.

Whenever a lifeform became a nuisance, the Old Ones dispatched the jellyfish sharks to consume it. And should the lifeform exhibit a negative behavioral trait ingrained in the species cellular makeup, then the jellyfish sharks would consume that entire species to eradicate every trace of the negative trait. The jellyfish shark paralyzed its prey with a chemical shock delivered through the tentacles. Once incapacitated, the jellyfish shark can consume the prey without resistance. The creature’s razor-like teeth shred the prey as it is consumed, then the digestive system dissolves the prey and reduces it down to its essential chemical components. Those components are later ejected by the creature’s intestinal system so the Old Ones can collect them and reconstitute them into a new biological lifeform. The jellyfish shark never sleeps; it continually patrols the oceans looking for prey the Old Ones commanded should be eradicated and recycled.

SPECIAL POWERS

Spells: None.

JELLYFISH SHARK, Bioluminescent masters of extirpation

char. averages rolls

STR 262 (15D6 x5)

CON 227 (13D6 x5)

SIZ 490 (28D6 x5)

DEX 87 (5D6 x5)

INT 15 (1D6 x5)

POW 15 (1D6 x5)

HP: 71

Average Damage Bonus: +8D6

Average Build: 9

Average Magic Points: 3

Move: 7 swimming

ATTACKS

Attacks per round: 2

Fighting attacks: The bioluminescent lights within the jellyfish shark’s body dome and tentacles twinkle and glitter; this subtle strobe effect can distract prey just long enough for the jellyfish shark to get close enough to paralyze it with a tentacle. During combat, the jellyfish shark’s tentacles are lifted in a defensive posture, making it difficult for aggressors to get to close. The creature’s body dome has numerous eyespots all over the circumference of the body dome, allowing the creature to see spherically all around itself; it cannot be approached unseen.

Bioluminescent strobe (mnvr): As the jellyfish shark approaches prey, or if it is being approached, the bioluminescent lights begin to strobe. Anything viewing the strobing lights must make a successful POW roll or be mesmerized for 1D3 rounds. Mesmerized creatures cannot fight or flee; they just stare at the strobing lights. Creatures can only be mesmerized once; anyone with a successful POW roll are unaffected by the strobing lights.

Defensive posture (mnvr): With its tentacles held up protectively in a defensive posture, aggressive creatures approaching the jellyfish shark must make a Hard DEX roll to avoid the tentacles in order to make a melee attack against the jellyfish shark. Touching a defensively postured tentacle could result in paralysis. Ranged attacks do not require a successful DEX roll prior to the attack roll.

Paralyze (mnvr): The jellyfish shark secretes a powerful neurotoxin that may paralyze creatures that touch, or are touched by, its tentacles. When touched, the target creature must make a successful Hard CON roll to avoid being paralyzed for 2D3 rounds. Paralyzed creatures are unable to take any action, other than breathing, during the length of their paralysis, but the creature is conscious and fully aware of its surroundings during that time.

Fighting: 60% (30/12), damage equals damage bonus, or it can paralyze the target

Dodge: 43% (21/8)

Armor: 3-point gelatinous hide. Electrical attacks do double damage. Jellyfish sharks regenerate 2 hit points per round.

Sanity Loss: 1D6/1D20 Sanity points to see a jellyfish shark.

And the winner is…

Listen to the episode and find out!!!

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