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Azrai
11-27-2003, 12:09 AM
Monte Cook has published a nice little encounter table for
internet message boards wandering monsters. Here it is.....



If you're a veteran of any Internet message boards, bulletin boards, mailing lists, or Usenet, you've almost certainly run across a common wandering monster that frequents the Net: the troll. (You've almost certainly heard non-trolls being referred to as trolls as well -- such is the nature of the Internet.)

Trolls are people who go to a message board (or similar discussion area) and start a new thread of messages with a post designed only to be inflammatory. An obvious troll might, for example, go to a message board about fishing and post "Fishing Sucks!"

This has had me thinking for a while now: If there are trolls out there, what other monsters lurk in the caverns of the Internet, waiting to strike? As a public service, I've created a wandering monster encounter table for the Internet (to be honest, specifically for message boards).

Good luck, and I hope you don't run into too many of these horrid monsters (well, actually some of them are more treasure than challenge).

d% Encounter
01-05 Troll. See above. CR 6

06-15 Evil Merchant. These are also known as spammers. They post only to sell you something, whether it's a porn site, a multilevel marketing scheme, or a roleplaying game. The evil merchants are not challenging, but they often come in large hordes. CR 1.

16-17 Quickling. This monster's sole goal in life is to post new information, no matter how minor or irrelevant, before anyone else. Not dangerous, but sometimes annoying. CR 1.

18 Mimic. The danger of this monster is that it's not what it appears. Sometimes, it poses as a woman in a discussion dominated by men. Other times, it pretends to have credentials and experience that it does not actually have to make it sound important. Most mimics aren't as good as they think they are, though, and you can see through the disguise. CR 4.

19 Doppelganger. Similar to a mimic, this Internet creature uses deception. It tries to pose as a specific person, however, usually to make that person look bad. Thankfully, there are safeguards that make this identity thief rare. CR 12.

20-21 Hydra. This monster creates multiple identities for itself, and then pretends to be multiple people at once to gang up on a single poster, or so that it can agree with itself and look smart. Very tricky to ferret out sometimes. CR 11.

22-25 Archangels. These powerful beings are also known as moderators, or mods. When they use their power wisely, they keep things moving smoothly. Without them, the other monsters would make it too dangerous to even visit message boards. But don't cross them or you can get shut down or even banned. CR 20.

26-27 Zombie. This wandering monster attaches itself to another poster and agrees with whatever that poster writes and defends that poster when he or she's not around. Sometimes, rather than another poster, the zombie latches on to a thing (like a TV show) or to a celebrity (like Stephen King). CR 1.

28 Chaos Beast. This creature posts nonsensical posts just to get attention. Not really all that different from a troll, really, although its easier to resist. CR 2.

29-33 Phosphorescent Fungi. Not really a danger or evil, it's just always around. This is the poster who never seems to be offline. CR 0.

34-36 Green Slime. Like the phosphorescent fungi, this poster is always around. However, it does present a threat, because it spreads. This poster feels the need to respond to every message. CR 1.

37-38 Necromancer. Never wanting to let anything die, this poster keeps bringing up old issues long thought dead. No thread, argument, or flame war ever really ends with a necromancer around. CR 9.

39-42 Crusading Ogre. This encounter is dangerous because of the creature's ability to bowl over others. The crusading ogre's got an agenda and will barge into any discussion, no matter how unrelated, to turn it into a diatribe about that agenda. Politics, religion, operating systems -- the agendas of the crusading ogres are many and varied. CR 8.

43 Gargoyle. This poster sits and waits. The odd thing is, he sits and waits in a forum discussing something he doesn't like. So he sits and waits for any excuse to chime in with a quick snide remark about what he doesn't like about it, or why something he does like is better. CR 5.

44-46 Dire Boar. This guy just likes to argue. He doesn't care about the topic -- you name it, and he'll oppose it just to argue. CR 4.

47-49 Champion. This guy chooses a thing or a person to champion. In some ways, this encounter is similar to the zombie, but the champion doesn't just blindly agree with everything. He presents well-reasoned viewpoints to defend that which he champions. Can easily turn into a crusading ogre, though, so watch out. CR 7.

50-51 Nemesis. The opposite of a champion in many respects, the nemesis chooses one thing or person to hate and never misses an opportunity to let you know what he hates, and also why. Different from the crusading ogre, because he isn't so forceful in pushing his agenda into unrelated threads, and different from a gargoyle because the thing he hates isn't actually the very purpose of the whole discussion group. CR 7.

52-58 Roper. This guy's always dragging things off topic. Sometimes it's just to tell a lame joke, sometimes it's to make an unrelated point or just to cause trouble (a roper with an agenda is a crusading ogre). CR 8.

59-64 Harpy. This creature only says negative things, period. CR 5.

65-66 Disappointed Harpy. A variant harpy, this poster says something positive, but makes it clear that he doesn't really want to be doing so. "This actually didn't suck," he'll write, or he'll point out that something isn't as terrible as the other things of its kind. CR 6.

67-68 Kobold. This foe is able to make only very small attacks, pointing out flaws in others' punctuation or spelling. CR 1/2.

69-70 Carrion Crawler. This guy picks apart others' posts with his many tentacles, line by line, sometimes word by word, pointing out every flaw (big or little) that he can. He makes his one argument seem like many. CR 4.

71-73 Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. This monster tries to look harmless, but isn't. He says the meanest, most insulting, condescending things, but then ends each attack with a smiley-face icon. CR 5.

74-80 Commoner. This is, well, most of us. We post a bit, try to stay out of flame wars, and mostly just watch all the other types battle it out. CR 0.

81 Ravid. This entertaining, very rare poster brings life to many discussions with a delightful sense of humor or an intriguing outlook. Less of a wandering monster and more of a treasure. There's a fine line between a ravid and a chaos beast, though, or even green slime or a roper.

82-84 .Sigmund the Sea Monster. This is the guy who's .sig file is longer than not just his own post, but the post he's replying to (copied in the message) as well. Annoying but not dangerous. CR 1.

85 Undead Slayer. This is the enemy and opposite of the necromancer, but he usually takes things too far. He doesn't want any old topics or issues raised again. His weapon is condescension: "Oh, this old argument again." He tries to end almost every discussion he comes across by pointing out that it's been done to death, even when it hasn't. Truth be told, the undead slayer usually has an agenda, and the poster bringing up "old arguments" is usually just stating a point he doesn't agree with: this makes him different from the veteran (see below). CR 9.

86 Veteran. This poster has been around a long time and has been active all that time. Everyone comes to know (and usually respect) him. The danger is that the veteran can be an undead slayer. In fact, all undead slayers think they are simply veterans.

87 Wizened Sage. A variant veteran, this masterful individual is truly an expert in a particular area (not just someone who thinks he is, or a mimic pretending to be). He gains the respect of others as long as he uses his powers for good. The benevolent wizened sage doesn't cut others down with his might, but merely helps those in need.

88-92 1st-Level Dude. This guy has no idea what's come before him and doesn't seem to care. He assumes that the same old obvious jokes or comments he makes are fresh when they are tired and old. If he's lucky, a veteran helps him out. If he's unlucky, he'll be cut down by an undead slayer. CR 1.

93-94 Otyugh. Everything this guy posts is a waste. He is crude, rude, and tactless. CR 3.

95-99 Orc. This humanoid would be fine if he just gave his posts some thought ahead of time, read the FAQ, used a spellchecker, and/or didn't post in all caps. CR 1.

00 Cuckoo. This poster draws attention to himself or herself, willingly or unwillingly, because he or she is different. Perhaps it's a woman in a discussion group dominated by men, or a staunch Republican posting on a board devoted to liberal ideas. Beware, however, for cuckoos are often mimics or gargoyles in disguise. When they are not, they are usually peaceful and good. CR 3.

Azrai
11-27-2003, 12:12 AM
Azrai, sometimes a Gargoyle, sometimes a Veteran....

Ariadne
11-27-2003, 01:57 PM
Since there are enough who think of me as a powergamer: Archangel :D

Otherwise maybe a chuckoo...