Working my way through Vornheim. Some clever ideas here for running a city campaign. But what spiked my curiosity were the unique takes on some monsters and some of the unique monsters. Can definitely imagine using these in my 5e OSR game.
The original was a librarian (a rogue) who had made contact with alien minds and had been possessed by a cthulian like entity. Great idea, here is a more generic version that you could use with any mad magic-user or alienist. The base creature is an assassin keeping with the original presentation. Vortullax’s traits (the possessing entity) are marked in purple. These could be taken and applied to any base creature like a mage, archmage etc. The creature must be living.
Mysterious creature with the body of an eagle, breast and head of a stag, with 7 everburning candles entwined in its antlers. Its 7 overlapping shadows are those of men. All of Hell can be seen in the creature’s left eye so long as it lives.
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Vortullax’s Arrival. When the assassin is reduced to zero hit points Vortullax takes full control of it. The assassin is returned to full hit points any/all conditions or effects are also immediately ended. The assassin now has access to all traits and abilities tagged with Vortullax’s name (and coloured in purple for quick reference) in addition to its original traits and actions.
Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Light Crossbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
Head Toss (Vortullax). Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: 2d6 + 3 piercing damage, and the target has a bone sucked out through its skin. Roll a 1d20 to determine which bone is targeted (a natural 20 means its the skull and the target dies instantly). The target loses the use of that appendage (if it makes sense) and takes an additional 2d6 + 3 bludgeoning damage.