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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default On Rust Monsters

    Is there ever an appropriate time to sick a rust monster on your PCs? Although I've always wanted to cackle maniacally as the humble aberration destroyed its weight in precious metal equipment, to me it seems the monster is simply cruel. It appears to be a cheap way to correct mistakes to the wealth by level guidelines, when the PCs manage to take down a high level NPC and get gear that makes them brokenly powerful for their level.

    Is there ever a time for using a rust monster? I can only see an encounter with a rust monster ending in anger. Are these creatures simply tools for DM vengeance, punishment, or cruel amusement? Does anyone have any interesting rust monster stories?

    For purposes of this discussion, other equipment-destroying creatures are appropriate as well, such as Black Puddings, Folugubs, or even Ethereal Filchers.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Rust monsters: There is a time and place for running around naked and beating something with a rock you picked up off the ground.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Occasional Sage's Avatar

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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by CockroachTeaParty View Post
    Is there ever an appropriate time to sick a rust monster on your PCs? Although I've always wanted to cackle maniacally as the humble aberration destroyed its weight in precious metal equipment, to me it seems the monster is simply cruel. It appears to be a cheap way to correct mistakes to the wealth by level guidelines, when the PCs manage to take down a high level NPC and get gear that makes them brokenly powerful for their level.

    Is there ever a time for using a rust monster? I can only see an encounter with a rust monster ending in anger. Are these creatures simply tools for DM vengeance, punishment, or cruel amusement? Does anyone have any interesting rust monster stories?

    For purposes of this discussion, other equipment-destroying creatures are appropriate as well, such as Black Puddings, Folugubs, or even Ethereal Filchers.
    My group is playing Paizo's Savage Tide adventure path, which includes a rust monster encounter. The combat features waves of bullywugs and, at one point, their pet rust monster; the fight was large, with too many people on each side in too small a space, and everybody jockeying to avoid the rust monster. There are four of us, level five at the time, with about as many NPCs (of slightly lower level).

    The fix we found for the r.m. turned out to be disarming the bullywug chief of his greatclub (via the spiked chain specialist fighter), which was picked up by the ranger and used to beat the snot out of the beast. I don't remember what was lost to the special attack, but at most, I think, it was an NPC's armor.

    We actually had a great deal of fun with that one. Generally there's a large dose of deus ex in bringing Rusty to the party, but this one was a great experience. I think the PC level is about right, where you can afford to replace things reasonably (ie, still have just masterwork or small-plus equipment) if melee is required, and casters aren't yet the walking deities they tend to become later.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Well, they are nice against a VoP character. *Something* has to make them feel optimized...
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Rust monsters are fine, as long as you realize what they are.

    They are not monsters. They are traps masquerading as monsters. Treat them like traps, and suddenly they are far cooler and far more entertaining.
    It doesn't matter what game you're playing as long as you're having fun.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    I think that the rust monster is simply cruel. It should only be used if the players have been given some clue so they can prepare for it.

    A lot of the monsters in the old first and second edition monster manuals seemed to be downright sadistic, not to mention silly, and should never be used. If Gygax invented them, his reputation as a killer DM was justified. ("Heh, Heh. Sphere of Anhillation in the statue's mouth. Priceless.")

    Remember that monster that looked and felt just like a sword until you used it in battle, then it came to life and bit your hand? How did random evolution ever come up with that one?

    How about the leeches that hid in doors and jumped into your ear when you listened at the door?

    The mimic was bad enough with shape shifting, then he had to give it the glue attack too.

    Also, the jermelaine, super stealthy little runts whose only purpose was to take out sleeping characters.

    The plant that looks just like a Beholder but blows up in your face if you hit it with a spell? Sick.

    The gelatonous cube that's nearly invisible until you walk into it, then, whoops, you're paralyzed and can't do anything while you're digested, except watch your party kill you while trying to kill the cube.

    Finally, the cave fisher. Resoponsible for the second most painful TPK I experienced.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    The only time I've seen Rust Monsters used is a few weeks ago in our XCrawl campaign. One of the challenges in the Crawl was a 10' deep pit that extended all the way down the hallway and had several (2-3) Rust Monsters in the bottom. The design, I assume, was such that players would have to wait a minute until the monsters were distracted or something and then just try to sprint across.

    Of course, we had one archery Ranger and a bunch of people with ranged attacks, so I (the Gnome Wizard) just jumped in a ran across while everyone else was trying to kill them. The DM realized no one was gonna risk anything, so he basically just said, "Alright, it takes a while, but you kill them all. Now just go across." I guess he expected to rust away some equipment...

    For suggested encounters, try this. The following trap is from Dungeonscape, so I assume the Giant had something to do with it. The art is priceless:
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    Now just replace the Owlbear with a Rust Monster, and you'll be golden. And by "golden," I mean "without any players."
    Last edited by RTGoodman; 2008-03-25 at 04:13 PM.
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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    capture your players. take away all their high end gear.

    Let them escape and get new (low end) gear.

    Rust monster them and laugh maniacally.

    Let them get new gear and rust that as well.

    Continue until you get it out of your system.

    Let them find their old gear plus something new.

    Profit for everyone!

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Rust Monsters work best when used as a "DANGER: DO NOT ENTER" type monster.

    You're right. If the DM throws a monster at us that utterly destroys my armor, shield, and weapon, I'm gonna be a little peeved. Not to mention, it slows the game as we now have to attempt to re-stock our supplies (we could press on, but any halfway intelligent party is going to realize that the warrior needs a breastplate and pointy stick of some kind to help the group).
    But if the desperate owner of a silver mine is begging someone, anyone, to help him because a group of rust monsters are running rampant in his mines, attacking workers and destroying equipment... At least we know what we're in for heading down into the pits. We're heading for a rust monster, and anything we don't want ruined is best left with someone trustworthy in town.
    In which case, you find a way to subdue the horrible creature and stick it in an ironwood cage built when you found out about this situation. And then you lug the thing around, feeding it cheap goblin short swords to keep it hale and hearty. And then when the blackguard/bounty hunter who's been tracking you for months charges out of the woods for the fourth time, hell bent on cutting off your faces to collect the price on your lives, you make a trip attack to knock the blackguard off his horse and prone, sunder the lock on the ironwood cage, and dimension door a few hundered yards away, just close enough to hear the blackguard curse in rage when his armor turns into dust around him and the rust monster takes a heavy chunk of his HP, softening the sucker up for you to put an end to things once and for all.

    Not that that's ever come up.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    On the subject of rust monsters, do alternate materials rust? Adamantium, mithil, cold iron, alcheimical silver, all that good stuff. If it does, is there any way around it asides from a gauntlet of rust?
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Number 6 View Post
    Remember that monster that looked and felt just like a sword until you used it in battle, then it came to life and bit your hand? How did random evolution ever come up with that one?
    More like how did a random (crazy) mage ever come up with that one?

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    This is why I like Mundane Crystal. It's almost impervious to most forms of weapon destruction, just because its made of rock.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    as a DM, i quite like the rust monster. and no- i don't use it as some sort of terrorising/ punishment tool. but this depends on how you use it, how your players percieves it, and the situation:

    - there are many other monsters who do worse when they succeed on their special attacks- medusa and beholder for example, or the recently mentioned on the thread catoblapes? many players seem far too attached to their stuff, then to their characters. ("what, it might kill me? chaaaarrge! what, it might turn my magical armor to scrap? Ruuuuunnn!") strangely, in roleplay sysytem where what you have matters less than what you are, a loss of an item, even a serious item isn't that importent... make the change for your playing group...

    - on the WoTC site, there are some articles about monsters makeover (i think that's how they're called). one of them deals with the rust monster, changing her touch to a "metal weakening" touch (decreasing armor bonus, or weapon damage). you might wish to adopt it to make these guys less problematic.

    - rust monsters are unique monsters, and as such should be used in unique situations. i found them especially usefull with conjunction to other creatures, or circumstances. for example:
    1) as mounts for goblins wearing leather armor, armed with bows/ javelins/ and lances. (used that as a special cavalry against a warforged unite, in Eberron).
    2) while escaping some collapsing dungeon/ fort, the party comes to a fork, one way is longer and perilious, the other is short, but may have several rust monsters present. (an interestign option). the rust monsters are could nicely be linked with stirges for example (who sucks blood of armorless opponents).
    3) the monster was domesticated by druids, and helps protects their groves (bringing the "city dwellers" to a more "natural" state).

    there are many ways to use this lovely creature, as there are for many other rarely used monsers... just be creative, make it feel a part of the place, and not something the DM just stuck in there, and it will pay off.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    I like rust monsters, but mostly only in one of two situations.
    1. The PCs were doing something incredibly stupid that lead them to the rust monster.
    2. The PCs can either easily win with little to no loss, or they can easily replace/upgrade their gear.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Occasional Sage's Avatar

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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    as a DM, i quite like the rust monster. and no- i don't use it as some sort of terrorising/ punishment tool. but this depends on how you use it, how your players percieves it, and the situation:

    *snip*

    for example:
    1) as mounts for goblins wearing leather armor, armed with bows/ javelins/ and lances. (used that as a special cavalry against a warforged unite, in Eberron).
    2) while escaping some collapsing dungeon/ fort, the party comes to a fork, one way is longer and perilious, the other is short, but may have several rust monsters present. (an interestign option). the rust monsters are could nicely be linked with stirges for example (who sucks blood of armorless opponents).
    3) the monster was domesticated by druids, and helps protects their groves (bringing the "city dwellers" to a more "natural" state).

    there are many ways to use this lovely creature, as there are for many other rarely used monsers... just be creative, make it feel a part of the place, and not something the DM just stuck in there, and it will pay off.
    Option #1 is clever, I like the flavor of it. I'm dubious of their utility as mounts in terms of speed and such, but for the cool image WHO CARES? Heck, give them ironwood Horseshoes of Speed and have a real party!

    Option #3 is.. brilliant. Kudos!
    Last edited by Occasional Sage; 2008-03-25 at 06:05 PM.

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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    I threw them at my party in a fair way. The rust monsters were giving a dwarven iron mine a whole bunch of trouble, and the party stepped in to fix things. Since they knew they were going to have an entire adventure based on exterminating rust monsters, they prepared and got a few obsidian blades and left their equipment elsewhere. It made for a pretty good adventure.


    I think rust monsters in general are a great idea for a monster, and not sadistic at all. In something other than D&D. D&D's system puts far too much emphasis on items, and rust monsters are far too deadly a foe in such a system. If we were in a medieval setting instead of a high fantasy one, rust monsters would be scary without being utterly devastating.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    The CR of a rust monster is 3. There is only so much they can lose at that level.

    Usually though, I provide an NPC or knowledge check that gives them enough warning describe what the creatures of the area are.

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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    This is why I like Mundane Crystal. It's almost impervious to most forms of weapon destruction, just because its made of rock.
    Where are the rules for this? Because now I want a PC dressed entirely in crystal weapons and armor. Best of all, doesn't violate your vow of nudity.

    But yeah. Rust monsters shouldn't be able to destroy magic weapons of +2 or better, just make useless for a few minutes. Just because IC) at that level included in the +2 is a charm against rust-monstering, and OOC) That stuff's too expensive.
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    What happens if a Rust Monster attacks a metallic creature, such as an Iron Golem or Warforged?

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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    I'm not sure about warforged, but for the iron golem baaaaaad things happen.

    Yep, the rust monster is the CR 3 critter that can beat a CR 13 monster.

    Unless the golem pummels the rust monster to death before the rust monster lands a touch attack on him.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    If I remember correctly, it just hurts the warforged really badly, but doesn't outright destroy it.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Warforged take... 2d6 damage from a rusting attack, reflex half.

    Also, iron golem loses it's fists if it attacks the thing. They aren't know for their high reflex saves, after all, and it does say any metal weapon, which I'm pretty sure iron golem's slams count as.

    That would make a nice twist, actually. Mad wizard's tower is supposedly gaurded by his iron golem. When the PCs get there they find a pile of orange-ish dust, just when the rust monster comes around the side of the tower, it's mandibles covered in fine orange powder.
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    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    I recall from some supplement dwarven cavalry on rust monsters with hide armor, wooden shields, and stone warhammers.

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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Rust monster is a relic of the old Gygaxian style dungeoncrawling, like mimic and other assorted you lose monsters. Not that they are bad, but it's rather incompatible with the player friendly attitude of recent editions.

    And rust monster predates WBL concept by some decades.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    I remember a thread in the wizards boards where people came up with the most lethal, creative and evil (but still survivable) traps they could. The best one I saw? You walk through a doorway. Make a save (Fort or Will, your choice). If you fail, you turn into metal. You gain a huge strength and natural armor bonus, but your speed lowers. The finally?

    Rust monsters swarm out of nearby doorways.
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    I think that with sufficient warning, there is nothing wrong with an occasional Rust Monster. For example, set your encounter in some enormous industrial complex. The players will be able to see rust everywhere, and may well find the Rust Monster before it finds them. Then you can use all sorts of tricks, like collapsing the floor/ceiling/vat wall.

    Now the real question: is there ever a real place to use a Rust Dragon? A Wyrmling is CR3, has a rusting bite, a rusting breath attack, and can fly. It seems just cruel.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    cnsvnc More or less has it. The problem Is that the new Game is... Well in alot of ways it Coddles players. They are not used to Weapons or armour being destroyed players will often get more upset about item destruction than character death.

    So even though for example a Adamantium sword using imp sunder Fighter as an oponent might be a valid oponent most Dm's would be considerd Jerks for using it. Its a problem partially of the modern game design really.

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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by shaddy_24 View Post
    I remember a thread in the wizards boards where people came up with the most lethal, creative and evil (but still survivable) traps they could. The best one I saw? You walk through a doorway. Make a save (Fort or Will, your choice). If you fail, you turn into metal. You gain a huge strength and natural armor bonus, but your speed lowers. The finally?

    Rust monsters swarm out of nearby doorways.
    ...duuuude...

    And I agree with Mojo Rat. Newer editions (really, modern game design) have made RPGs much more of a power-fulfillment exercise than a serious game based on overcoming difficult challenges. They're both valid ways to play. I just prefer the older game style. I don't feel the need to live vicariously through my PC.
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyeudo View Post
    This is why I like Mundane Crystal. It's almost impervious to most forms of weapon destruction, just because its made of rock.
    Until the DM digs up the psionic version of the rust monster, which targets crystalline items.
    Man this thing was full of outdated stuff.
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    Default Re: On Rust Monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Mojo_Rat View Post
    So even though for example a Adamantium sword using imp sunder Fighter as an oponent might be a valid oponent most Dm's would be considerd Jerks for using it. Its a problem partially of the modern game design really.
    There's a significant degree of difference between sundering and a rust monster, tho. Sundering (at least in the current rules) disallows targeting armor and leaves space for an item to be repaired later on (although it's still damaging to the player, since expensive items are also expensive to fix.) Rust monsters just make stuff gone, short of Wishing it back. If you happen to face more than one at a time, you can end up completely stripped inside of a single turn- weapons, armor, shield, rings, even your cash. Sundering stuff is being aggressive with your players. Siccing rust monsters on 'em is like fighting with Disjunctions at higher levels.

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