The alien environment has you on edge, behind every corner untold horrors could lie in wait. Suddenly, you hear a soft ‘flumph’ behind you. Turning around, you gaze into a ball of floating tentacles and an alien mind touches yours… A soothing, childlike voice asks quizzically, “Are you lost, by chance?”
Flumphs are arguably the best things that can happen to your gritty underdark or eldritch horror campaign. There is a good reason why they are consistently a part of the Spelljammer campaign setting as well as the two big 5e underdark campaigns, Out of the Abyss and Dungeon of the Mad Mage. A single flumph popping up unexpectedly can not only provide some much needed catharsis but also roleplaying opportunities and help, all wrapped nicely into one cute, squirming bundle.
Importantly, it does all that without breaking the player’s immersion. It is strikingly alien, and an inexperienced party might take it for another hostile enemy and attack on sight, especially if they’ve recently encountered other tentacled, mind-reading monsters…
Should a party decide to fight a flumph, it’s guaranteed to evoke some chuckles around the table. When shoved, these feeble creatures float helplessly upside down and they reveal themselves as the skunks of the far realm when frightened, their stench spray serving as their only true form of defense.
Flumphs are diametrically opposite of what one comes to expect from an aberration in DnD, and its lawful good alignment is just the start. Flumphs live in complex social groups called cloisters and are highly empathetic creatures that seek out other good aligned creatures to help reduce the evil in their proximity. This is a perfect setup for a lone monk-flumph to seek out a party that they sense needs help on their mission and to serve as local guide or even quest giver. Since they themselves have no fighting capability, a flumph has ample reason to seek out help and their telepathic ability is an easy way to explain to the players how a flumph could find them in that mind-bending labyrinth they have been stuck in for two sessions straight.
They are also a great joy to roleplay with. Feeding off the emotions around them, flumphs are easily frightened and players need to be careful on how they act around a flumph, less it releases its skunk blast and flumphs away. Luckily, a flumph also communicates via a small lightshow it produces with its tendrils and the colors it produces indicate its emotional state. This can be a fantastic little puzzle to embed into a roleplay situation, as understanding what color represents what emotion can come very handy when pressing a flumph for information.
And let’s not forget the overwhelming urge to squeeze and cuddle a flumph on sight. There’s a reason why one can buy all kinds of flumph plushies online and who knows, maybe a flumph decides to travel with your party after they helped it and its cloister? So next time you need a helpful NPC, there is little reason not to make it a flumph! And If you want to insert a flumph into a Spelljammer scenario, our 5e adventure, Astral Voyage, shows you how it is done!
Our interpretation of these pure hearted and easily scared love-a-balls is available now as part of The Astral Voyage Collection, but you can get a FREE Plumph of your very own by visiting our website.