Octopus Wrestling

Been working on an entry for Char2terie Board, a follow up to the GLoG zine Charcuterie Board. (Also the Under Hill, By Water Yuletide Jam, but more on that later) What follows is the entry submitted for the first Charcuterie Board. It's been a year. Why not. 


Way off yonder ways, down on the coast, lies a stretch of beach surrounded by cliffs - once mountains in their own right, noble and strong, their secrets now layed exposed by the same water they hold back, forever assaulted in six hour increments as the waters are driven by their cruel lunar mistress. Betwixt a few of these here cliffs industrious hands have taken to forming an artificial tide pool out of the smooth stones and ancient whale bones liberated from their geological prison by the ocean. 

Should the PC folk arrive around High Tide, they’ll find a figure sitting happily upon the boulder that overlooks the tide pool, as though a Lord reclining and gazing upon their domain and knowing to be Right. Any meger attempt at investigation soon reveals the figure to be a man of middling height and of ending years. Adorned in only canvas britches sheared off at the thigh, the man’s skin is tanned and hardened by decades of sunburn, his hair bleached and burnt by the sun and age, his teeth are forgotten by his lips like the words to so many songs. His eyes, however, will sparkle with a passion. He’ll give his name simply as “Dale.” (L4, Geriatric Berserker) 

Should the PC folk arrive at Low Tide, Dale will probably be making margaritas and cooking seafood in his rustic shack, just off to the left. 

Dale is Friendly enough, and will gladly trade and share what he has, though it ain’t much. The occasional story and company is really all he lacks at present. 

If pressed about his backstory he’ll share. It ain’t a terribly happy one, but he’ll share. Perhaps he was a soldier in a horrific war. Perhaps it is a story of love and loss. Perhaps it involves a family and a  plague. It truly matters not. For you see, Dale has forsaken any old life he may have had, or any customs and traditions he may have once kept. Nowadays, the only meaning and joy he manages to strangle out of his existence is engaging in the True Sport of Kings: 

Octopus Wrestling

Once High Tide makes its way here around, and the tide pool gets good and deep, old Dale will scurry like a man forty years his junior to the top of the predominant boulder. He’ll sit and center himself for a moment, collecting his thoughts, gazing upon the pool. When the time is right (he’ll know it), the melanomatic man will produce an unassuming flute and, in the direct, boiling sun, he’ll begin to play a haunting tune. 

A tune that reminds of the cold, frigid depths. Of alien landscapes dotted with coral. Of inhuman thoughts and cruel desires. Of ancient shores illuminated by no known star. Of favors owed and debts to be repaid. Of vengeance due. 

The tune will then drift to silence and soon a pair of cephalopod eyes will appear peeking from the waterline, the water around them bubbling angrily. Dale will slide from his rock into the water, and begin for foam violently from the mouth as the Rage overtakes him. 

An overreaction? Well, I imagine you’re picturing one of those run of the mill, 22 pounds and 4 foot long things. What you’ve got here are the 150 pound bastards, reaching up to 20 feet. Real big, and real ornery. And real psionic. We’ll get to that. 

The first round goes to Dale. Or, hell, maybe it doesn’t. Either way, should the PCs be up for a little friendly wager, old Dale will be up for a good old wrassle. Winner learns the summoning song (requires a flute to play). 

What Dale Don’t Know

 - will probably kill him.  You see, the octopus are plotting an invasion of the surface world. They don’t know much about it, other than Dale is there. They hate him. Him and that damn song. Well, actually, they love the song, almost too much. They can’t resist it and Dale’s constant summoning is cutting into their plans. 

They also don’t realise Dale isn’t an oddity of the surface. After all, why would there be mermen AND landmen? That’s just silly. Whenever a PC interacts with an octopus via wrestling, have them Save vs Mind Scan - failure means the psionic cephalopod has copied a template into the collective consciousness and it will be implanted into the mermen serving as mindless thralls and servants. They currently have “Berserker” from Dale. 

Add groups of floating octopi and the merman thralls to the random encounters in the wilderness. Should Dale fall due to octopus fight or general murderhoboing, double their appearance, as no one is holding them back anymore. 


Dire Octopus

Squiggly brain bastards with eight arms

HD 3

AC as leather  Atk bite/crush 1d6

SaveIntelligence 20


  • Psionics - see below

  • Grappler - +1 to Grappling combat maneuvers for every tentacle involved. 

Merman Thrall

More Kevin Costner’s “the Mariner” than some half man/half fish manatee based thing, that have been bred to be mentally weak and subservient. 

HD 1

AC as leather+1  Atk spear 1d6

SaveIntelligence 10  Morale 8


  • Blank Slate - May hold/use one template of Octopus master’s choosing from the collective consciousness 


You’re probably running psionics in a certain manner, if you’re running them at all. Well, that certainly doesn’t matter - octopi have a decentralized nervous system, so they use it differently than centralized brain folk. To them it comes as easy and naturally as thinking; they just do it. No dice hassling, however it is their action for the round. 

Octopus have one ability, in addition to their floating and telepathy, chosen from below:

  1. Fold Space - Instantly teleport 64 feet in any direction. Host’s eyes permanently glow blue.

  2. Life Leech - Host is able to drain 1d4 HP from a grappled target and restore their own by the same amount. Host with this ability appears sickly pale. 

  3. Mind Blast - A psychic ranged attack that deals damage as a light melee weapon. Hosts of this ability have crystalline growths on their head sacs. 

  4. Mind over Matter - Gain damage reduction 2, and strikes with tentacles do damage to equipment struck as well. Host 

  5. Remote Viewing - By concentrating on a target they’ve encountered or have a personal item from, the host is able to scry on the target. Host has dull, milky eyes. 

  6. Sense Mind - Host is able to perfectly locate intelligent minds within 64 feet. Host has an inflated or swollen head sac. 

  7. Will Sap - By grappling a target for a round, the host forces to make a Save vs Mental or lose 1 point of Conviction. 

  8. Wither - A grappled target takes 1d8 of Inventory damage, filling up empty slots until a short rest. Host has stringy, barbed tentacles.