Mystery of the Purple Pig

A while back, in the olden days of 2008, Master Jeff o' the Gameblog re-posted this wandering monster chart, originally brought to the attention of the Internets by a member of Dragonsfoot:

One can only speculate as to the nature of those monsters scrawled in by the DM who once owned this copy of Holmes Basic. Sure, we can (probably) safely assume that the "guinea pig (1-4)" was literally a few guinea pigs -- perhaps slightly oversized to suit the dungeon environment. Did they magically charm PCs with their sheer cuddliness? 

But what of the unfamiliar beasts? What of the "map devoerer" [sic]? What of the "purple pig"?

It would be cool to stat up this beastie and give him a proper niche in the dungeon ecosystem. Questions that come to mind:
  • Is the purple pig a sub-variety of the standard surface-world pig?
  • If so, what caused its change in coloration? (Perhaps it eats the spoor of the purple worm?)
  • Do goblins like 'em? Do they eat 'em? Ride 'em? Mate with 'em?
  • If pigs can be trained to sniff out valuable shrooms, what kinda stuff can purple pigs find?


  1. I love the way (in this person's world) hawks live underground on the 2nd level of dungeons!

  2. Underworld Lore - Purple Pig

    No. Enc.: 1d6 (1d6)
    Alignment: Neutral
    Movement: 150' (50')
    Armor Class: 7
    Hit Dice: 4
    Attacks: 1 (tusk)
    Damage: 2d4 + 1
    Save: F2
    Morale: 9
    Hoard Class: None
    XP: 100

    Purple pigs have been part of the underworld ecosystem for only a few hundred years and are the descendants of normal pigs that were trapped in a large cavern complex after having been trapped in a rockslide during the Hellands Upheaval of 302. These porcines have developed into sightless, pale lavender beasts that rely on their superior sense of smell to navigate their underworld habitats.

    In fact, these pigs have the uncanny ability to ALWAYS choose the shortest and least dangerous (for them) route through a cavern complex despite being 100% blind. However, due to their superior sense of smell, they gain a +1 for attacks.

    No one knows why they have developed their particular color; some underground adventurers have noted that in caverns where purple pigs have been found there are no fungal growths or spoor of any beast.

    In most respects, purple pigs resemble their above-ground brethren in temperament, strength, and taste. Most adventurers, however, would eat a purple pig as a last resort, as they are known to carry a rather nasty strain of intestinal parasites and/or other dungeon-borne diseases.

    Dwarves and rock gnomes treasure purple pigs for their ability to sniff out veins of precious metals. Attempts have been made by some gnomish clans to adapt the purple pig as battle mounts; these have been highly unsuccessful, as the pigs cannot stand to be near each other. If two or more pigs encounter each other outside of mating season, they will fight to the death.

    During mating season (which lasts roughly two weeks twice a year), purple pigs lose their sense of smell, gather in a large empty cavern, and engage in unending rutting activity with either sex for 72 hours (thus the origin of the dwarvish curse "May yer mother fall into an orgy of pigs!").

    Perhaps the strangest side-effect of the pigs' estrangement from their above-ground brethren is not their mating ritual but their "musical" communication. Purple pigs have developed a high-pitched pattern of communication that relies on simple repetition of a few musical notes relayed in varying intensities and tempos. As they are solitary creatures outside of rutting season, recent scholars suggest that the pigs use this "music" to alert other pigs of their location to avoid confrontation and/or frighten would-be predators.

    The snout music of the purple pig has been known to drive underworld explorers insane (Save vs. Insanity; failure means 20% chance of suicide if exposed to the music for more than 1d6 turns; 75% chance if in mating season). Captured purples pigs often have one nasal passage cauterized shut to stifle the music, but this often creates a highly temperamental and unruly pig.

    The music was transcribed by one intrepid bard, who upon playing the music in a tavern was immediately attacked and torn to pieces by his audience. Luckily, a snippet of his manuscript survived and can be heard here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNJJ-QkZ8cM

    Goblins are highly afraid of the purple pig, as the pig music has the ability to liquify their brains.

    FYI, for your reference:

  3. You know, Gary himself said that the sixth level of Greyhawk Castle had "a repeating maze with dozens of wild hogs (3 dice)"*. I think this purple beast makes total sense.

    *Europa 6-8, 1975