Monster of the Week: Gingerdead Man

It sure ain’t the Pillsbury fucking doughboy!

First – I want to give a BIG THANKS to my Patrons! You are all Awesome and there’s a tiny bonus link for this week’s Monster in the rewards! 

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And now, ON TO THIS WEEK’S MONSTER!!!

Perhaps the only thing more horrifying than the thought of a serial killer brought back to life in the animated body of a Gingerbread man, is quite frankly, having to watch the low-budget rendition of this insane idea. Thankfully the movie was at least made bearable by the always entertaining and always watchable, Gary Busey. To sum up the film, the 2005 Horror Comedy Gingerdead Man is a movie that well… exists.

Film Synopsis: Short on plot, flimsy on acting and clocking in at an agonizing 70 minutes, the film tells the tale of Millard Findlemeyer, a serial killer whose ashes are somehow spontaneously brought back to life after being rolled into a big Christmas cookie. Once animated, Findlemeyer goes on a tepid and mostly ineffective murderous revenge rampage against the woman responsible for his arrest and death sentence. It’s a brutal watch, or a delightfully cheesy good time, depending on your taste. With the tiny cookie-man voiced by the one-and-only Busey, one thing this film ultimately did was to kick off this month’s Holiday-themed Monsters of the Week.

That’s right, for the rest of December, I’ll be converting Christmas-themed horror-baddies for your 5e cheer! Ho, ho, ho!

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The Gingerdead Man is sneaky, preferring to set up traps for his enemies and delights in watching them squirm once they have fallen victim to them. A collapsing roof trap or a door with a poison dart or poison needle triggered to activate when opened are great little hindrances to the party. Leading his enemies into such makeshift booby-traps should be the major crux of his tactics. He should also avoid direct confrontations with the entire party, preferring to lure single characters away from their allies. Once alone, he loves to taunt his opponents, going out of his way to make sure they are gripped with fear before he finished them off – the classic ego-maniacal villain.

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What small town or urban setting doesn’t have a bakery? Why not add a member of the little shop to the campaign as the sole witness to a group of grisly murders whose murderer was put down by the city watch a few months ago. Then, one night, a gruesome scene in the bakery is discovered as another murder with surprising similarities to the original string of deaths occurs, causing the shopkeeper to call on the aid of hearty adventurers for an eerie copycat killer on the loose…

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After hearing about this movie for quite some time, and sitting through it, I was doubly disappointed to see that the actual little gingerbread guy didn’t have any real supernatural powers to speak of, other than being essentially a cookie golem (without any noticeable abilities however that look similar to these monsters). I did want to give him a bit more damage, so I gave him a trimmed down version of the Crossbow Expert feat, allowing him to fire more than once (similar to a modern handgun) Aside from being sneaky and able to wield weapons, the Gingerdead man is fairly straightforward and lacks anything that would make him more than a tiny golem- with one exception.

(Spoiler alert) After being eaten, Findlemeyer’s one supernatural ability manifests itself- he is able to possess his devourer which presents a funny ‘finishing move’. It also immediately brought to mind my Guide to Possession (available on the DMSGuild). However, this one trait seemed like a long shot for actually being an option that players might actually take … hence the mild push towards making them take it. Call it railroading, but I kind of feel like there’s entirely too little possession in 5e as is, so why not add some to the mix?

But what do you think, is the Gingerdead Man too little a threat for your players? Or will their sweet tooth get them into deadly trouble? Download my rendition of the Gingerdead Man in pdf format for your campaign and throw a wise-cracking, psychopathic cookie into their path- and don’t forget the Busey accent!)

And, if you want to get this and all the creatures to date in a single, indexed PDF as well as a handy-dandy Fantasy Ground version of these creatures, consider heading over to my Patreon and becoming a Patron!

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