Friday, January 25, 2013

It's the Bernie the Flumph Show!

What's a Flumph?

Look at this guy! Don't you love him?
Flumph's were introduced in the 1981 D&D accessory Fiend Folio. These Lawful Good critters resemble floating jellyfish with acidic spikes and a stink-spray defense mechanism. Nobody seems to like flumphs, but I do. I think they're cool.

I didn't start playing D&D until the arrival of Second Edition (I was a Champions guy). I was introduced to the flumph with the Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 2. This book introduced the concept of monastic flumphs—flumphs with cleric levels—a concept that hasn't carried over to any of the current version of the flumph. I was immediately taken with the flumph. The thought of good-hearted floating jellyfish monsters with a clerical powers just appealed to me. I don't know why. Maybe it's because they reminded me of Healie, Ragnar's buddy in my favorite old NES game Dragon Warrior IV.

Ragnar and Healie, fighter and "flumph"?

Flumphs have popped up here and there in D&D 3.x and Pathfinder, but they're still considered something of a joke. But not here. Here flumphs get the respect they deserve.

Who is Bernie the Flumph?

Back in the mid-late 90s, I spent a lot of time online in roleplaying chat-rooms. After years of dealing with elder vampires, ascended gods, and level-20 antipaladins, I decided I wanted to play something different. A low-powered, inoffensive, friendly, but interesting character. Thus was born Bernie the Flumph, a first-level flumph cleric, sole survivor of the Grell conquest that destroyed his homeland. Bernie didn't get much play, but he was always a refreshing break from power-playing.

Bernie would show up years later as a reoccurring NPC in my D&D 3.0 Dragonstar campaign. Wayfarer Station (my PCs home port) was a corrupt space station in a bad part of space. Bernie and his friend T'odd (another flumph) were the only representatives of lawful good on the sleazy station. They ran a small laundry business and maintained an even smaller shrine to the Father (a lawful good deity). Bernie & T'odd's Temple and Dry Cleaning was the place to go to both heal your wounds and get the blood stains out of your armor.

Bernie hasn't seen much use since Wayfarer Station, but when I needed a mascot for this RPG blog, Bernie seemed to be the flumph for the job.

Who am I?

I'm Josh Burnett. I've been playing RPGS for 25 years now, always experimenting, always coming up with new things. I'm part of Hex Games, creators of QAGS, and have helped produce several games with them. I'm also an illustrator and cartoonist. You can see more of my creative stuff on my Stegosaurus Studios blog.

In recent years, my gaming taste has spread across a wide variety of tastes. One one side of the spectrum, I love new-agey high-narrative “story games” like Prime Time Adventures. On the other side of things, I equally love “Old School Reniasance” games like Labyrinth Lord. For reference, two of my all-time favorite games are Dogs in the Vineyard and Rules Cyclopedia D&D.

So what's this blog about?

This blog is a spin-off of my Stegosaurus Studios blog. I want to refocus that blog on purely creative endeavors. Bernie the Flumph will focus on RPG blogging—musings on theories and ideas, sharing inspirations, actual plays, house rules, adventures, monsters, resources, and all that sort of things.

While the blog ramps up, content-wise, I'll probably  repost a number of bits and bobs from the Stegosaurus blog. There's some cool stuff there I'd like to share!

Happy gaming!


  1. Heya man,
    As a fellow lover of bizarre monsters and scourer of the obscure I figured you'd like this: An explanation about the classic and updated Flumph and justification as to why it is awesome. I also recommend Bogleech's blog in general because... awesome monsters and stuff.


    1. Yes! Glad to see I'm not alone in my flumph-love!