Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Meditations On The Gibbering Mouther Character Class

Gibbering mouther.JPG
Get it right here

There are utter strokes of genius out in the OSR blogsphere & this is one of them. Dyson's Dodecahedron presents this wonderfully warped piece of  sanity bending knowledge.  He gives birth to a whole new take on the monster.
File:The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.jpg
I've been a big fan of Mouthers ever since the 
The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan. What the author has done is something pretty damn cool. Instead of simply being a monster that is only available to as a high level AD&D monster he's basically allowed the Mouther to be scaled to your campaign and party.

The Mouther can now be used in any retroclone. The thing can appear anywhere within the OD&D retroclone campaign sphere.
This also allows the Mouther to become a hazard as never before.

The Characteristics Of The Gibbering Mouther 

According to Wiki : 
"The gibbering mouther is not regarded as an evil creature, but in order to sustain its mad self, it must feast upon the bodily fluids and sanity of mortal creatures, preferably intelligent ones. It attacks by spitting strings of protoplasmic flesh which end in a mouth and one or more eyes at opponents, which then bite them, causing both acid and blinding damage. When it has defeated an opponent, it swallows them whole, and then proceeds to suck the bodily fluids and sanity. It is possible for the victim to cut their way out.
Having so many eyes, gibbering mouthers are difficult to sneak up on.
Gibbering mouthers can speak Common, but seldom speak anything other than mad babble and gibberish.
They are regarded as neutral in alignment, but have distinctly evil habits."
They're abilities which have been worked into the character class include the following : 
"Gibbering mouthers can produce a constant gibbering that confuses all creatures within 60 feet. They can also change nearby ground (whether earth or stone) to the consistency of quicksand. The mouther can move unimpaired through the quicksand.
A gibbering mouther can loose a stream of spittle that ignites on contact with the air, temporarily blinding creatures within 60 feet."
I've used Mouthers as proto shaggoths many times and the results haven't been pretty. They're a bit powerful when they appear in the Monster Manual II.

Uses for the Gibbering Mouther Character Class 

"It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter."

At The Mountains of Madness HP Lovecraft 

Mouthers have appeared in my games throughout the multiverse. This character class is perfect for introducing PC's to the horrors of the species. In the comments of the entry is  the idea of using this as part of a curse for a 'were shaggoth'. Which is a whole other entry into itself. Perhaps the Dyer Expedition brought back more then a few insane members. 
The uses for this class on Carcosa goes without saying because its possible for these things to be an actual PC class where warriors corrupted as part of a possible rite to become one of these things. 
The late great Nigel Finley (RIP) created the ecology for these Lovecraftian horrors and these things can certainly appear where and when they are needed. I can think of dimensional holes opening up and one of these horrors leaking into the world. 
Then these mad bastards might ooze into the ruins of a Mutant Future game quite easily and perhaps even become part of a party! Realms of Crawling Chaos gives some pretty solid guidelines for Shaggoth erm Mouthers.
These things can easily find their way into a host of science fiction and fantasy retroclones. Space might be the place these things are encountered or Heaven help us as part a society of mad humanoid aliens that dance under the stars until the time they are right.
 These things make a perfect encounter in Jack Shear's Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonsque region of Scar. These mad bubbling bastards can easily be encountered though out the region feeding, breeding, and corrupting. 
There have been suggestions for using these things as part of some weird reverse dungeon and I can easily see this happening. This only actually highlights the idea of monster as character class and the options it actually brings to the table for the DM. Not to mention the horror of it.


  1. I am glad you appreciate my gibbering madness. ;)

  2. Gibbering Mouthers are great monsters! Making them a class is delightfully twisted.

    It reminds me of a Call of Cthulhu adventure called "The Asylum". The mad scientist in that game was turning people into proto-shoggoths.

  3. Hey Dyson! Yes much appreciated and I love to get a crack at a few other things sometime. Gibber, gibber, gibber! Thanks for the Mouther!

    Tom - its pretty damn twisted indeed! I have the Asylum and I've used it as part of a proto time travel horror game ala 'The Keep' inspired by a story from the Hastur cycle called 'A Night's Dreaming'. Twisted tale for a twisted adventure!
    More coming up!