These little creatures have intrigued me since I first saw their entry in the Fiend Folio back in 1st edition. Between their demeanor and their numbers, the jermlaine seemed particularly nasty despite individually weak stats. So why have I never used these critters before? Back when I was running 1st/2nd edition campaigns, I think my mind was a little boggled by the sheer number of jermlaine that it would take to challenge a party of mid-level characters in a stand-up fight. I was young then and hadn't really grasped the idea that weak monsters can still be a real pain for the PCs - the trick is being clever enough, and I just wasn't a clever enough DM in those early days to make it happen. By the time 3rd edition rolled around, I was running monsters much more intelligently. However, we had moved pretty heavily into using miniatures, and I very rarely used tiny monsters because it was hard to represent them on a grid. In both cases I was narrow-minded, first because of my lack of tactics and next because I let miniature rules box me in.
What is keeping me from using the jermlaine in my current campaign? Nothing at all... except maybe waiting for the right time to spring one of their traps. There may or may not be a large group of jermlaine harassing some pech mining expeditions in a future encounter... kudos to you if you know where I snagged that encounter idea.
This month, as a participant in the A-Z Blog Challenge, I'll be writing a post each day (except for Sundays) and letting the alphabet guide my content. Thematically, all of my April posts (at least those related to the blog challenge) will be monster related. Each day, I'll be challenging myself to create an encounter, NPC, location, etc. that features a monster I've never used before in a roleplaying game. Hopefully this will push me to include more variety in my current campaign, and who knows... maybe I'll find a few new favorites.
Work has thrown me for a loop this week, and it has been tough to keep up with the challenge. Rather than abandon it altogether, I'm shifting my focus a bit. I'll be giving more of a DM's take on creatures I haven't used rather than doing some spin on each one (although I might go back to that next week). Posts of this nature are just quicker to produce, and since time is a hot commodity at the moment, I'm going with what works.