Monster of the Week: Krampus

He’s like an anti-Santa Claus

Films Synopsis:  Narrated by the one and only William Shatner, 2015’s A Christmas Horror Story features four holiday-themed horror vignettes.  Though choppy in its delivery, the anthology delivers some memorable shorts including one that features the European half-goat, half-devil mythological creature Krampus.

An old fairy-tale, Krampus punishes misbehaving children in the way that Santa rewards the good ones. Though rooted in pre-Christian folklore, Krampus has become a moderately well-known beastie in the modern day and A Christmas Horror Story delivers a particularly devilish version of the villain. Though (spoilers) the Krampus of the this film may be arguably nothing more than a figment of a few deranged individuals imaginations, the Santa-Krampus battle vignette has one awesome looking depiction of the European scoundrel and is a great counter to the pro-wrestling Santa that Santa’s Slay depicted (converted earlier this month). So, though maybe not the traditional version of himself, here’s a conversion of this film’s rendition of the goat-headed, brutish fable – Krampus! 

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Check out the Loot the Corpse Instagram for Loot for this monster!

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Krampus is a chain devil at heart – he enjoys his yearly hunts on the prime worlds where he can inflict pain and torture on any soul unfortunate to come before him. He especially loves to finish off a mortal, already damned to the Nine Hells, and then shapechange into their form. In this way he can torment a child through a familiar figure, picking off its family and friends before finally going after them directly. Oddly enough, they are usually at that point so terrified they promise anything to escape Krampus’ clutches – bringing forth Santa to offer them a fiendish bargain. Krampus and Santa will often parlay a fight until the target either pledges their soul to one or the other or simply refuses, thus meeting their end in a goodly fashion. Once that matter is settled, Krampus and Santa will engage in their centuries old battle to the death.

Much like Santa, Krampus fights with an unrelenting fury. However, the changes to his devilish body that Asmodeus gifted him with have prompted the fiend to be much more reckless in combat than a usually well organized devil. Krampus enjoys ensnaring opponents in his chains and then headbutting them with his horns. Once lying on the floor, the fiend enjoys taunting his foes and beating them into submission. Like any devil, if a battle looks unwinnable, despite his immortal nature, Krampus is not above fleeing and returning at a time to catch his prey unawares.

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Krampus works great as a stand alone tormentor of a child – either a street urchin and their assorted street friends or even more interesting, perhaps the offspring of a noble family. Inserting the tale of Krampus and Santa, through the music of a bard or the overhearing at a tavern can be a great way to foreshadow the fiends arrival. Once on the material world, Krampus can hunt down a clan, allowing a party to slowly conclude the fiend behind the murders and disappearances. For added fun, you can always have Santa himself show up for a holiday showdown!

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Krampus started off much like Santa – needing a fiendish template that would adequately serve as a base. Looking at the Santa monster I converted last week, I thought a roughly CR equivalent (but lower of course) would be justified. And being a devil, as Krampus is traditionally depicted as, left a good pool of candidates to start from. In the movie, Krampus wields a chain – so what devils are the closest? The CR 8 chain devil!

Next up was simply beefing up Krampus’ stats to be roughly on par with Santa’s (strength and constitution buffs) and giving the horned guy a head-but or horns attack. Lastly, Krampus in this film version is depicted with the ability to polymorph – hence the shapechanger trait.

But what do you think, is the fantasy-induced Krampus from this film wicked enough to punish the children of the many planes? Or will your player’s have little love lost on misbehaving adolescents? Download my rendition of Krampus from A Christmas Horror Story in pdf format for your campaign and give them the greatest gift of all – a chance to fight the one and only (for now) krampus. 

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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