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Showing posts with label Outer Planar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Outer Planar. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Iron Salamander

My gaming home world is one of various styles: high magic, high technology, social interaction, divine interactions, etc but one of the few sticky points is the unending threat of the cold. Large swathes of the land are still covered in the Icy Death, and getting around this is a significant challenge especially at lower levels. 

While I have lots of unique creatures but there are a few classic ones that I shouldn't use as they violate the spirit of the themes. The Iron Salamander is one of those alternates to let me use the creature adjusted to fit my campaign world. So instead of the fiery salamander, this is the one I use, representing iron strength and metal sharpness.

Iron Salamander
CR 6
LE. Medium Outsider
Init + 1. Senses: Darkvision 60 ft, Perception

AC 18, touch 11, flat-footed 17 (+1 Dex, +7 natural)
HP 76    (8d10+32)
Fort +10 Ref +7 Will +6

DR 10 / Magic Immune Silver or 1st level Spells
Speed 30 

Str 16, Dex 13, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 13
Base Atk +8; CMB +11 (+15 grapple); CMD 22 (can't be tripped)
Melee. +11 / +6 Spear (d8+4 plus metal spray +1d6)
Constrict. 2d6+4 
Feats Cleave, Iron Will, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Crafting)
Skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Intimidate, Perception, Sense Motive +5, Craft (Weapon), Knowledge (Planes), Knowledge (Religion or Magic) +8

Environment: Plane of Iron
Organization: Hunting Party (11-20) or Tribe (100-400)
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: Standard

Tail Metal Spray: Their tail is a continuous swirling slag of metal. Normally when they attack, their tail flails in the same direction, throwing spikes, doing damage as listed. They can have their ten foot long tail to attack another distinct direction, except they must make separate attack rolls in this circumstance.

Tracking Penalty: Iron Salamanders continuously shed small iron shavings, giving opponents tracking them gain a +4 on their attempts. These shavings usually disintegrate after 12 hours on prime worlds.

Metal Weakness: Iron Salamanders suffer a -2 to sonic saving throws

The Iron Salamander is an intelligent foe from another plane, that comes to many prime worlds to raid for resources and slaves. They are well known in many locations on Nyssa because they have long used portals to make lightning quick attacks to take what they need. Their standard routine is to take over a defensible short-term lair, gather their items and then depart.

They appear bright and shiny in their youth as their silver metal scales cover their serpentine body. As they age, their metal sharpens but the metal fades into an iron like rigidity and colour. Most of these Iron Salamanders work on sharpening their tails, both for decoration and for battle functionality. While they have expertly made weapons such as spears and war hammers, they relish using their tails in battle with weaker creatures.

They are similar to a military society where every citizen understands their role and may be called upon to help in a raid. They usually follow orders when it comes to raids or defense, but they are given flexibility otherwise. Most towns will raid once every two or three years, when their supplies start to run low. Communities are independent of one another but will typically help an allied community if they are not in the midst of planning or executing a raid.

Iron Salamanders are a non specific gender, they go through periods where they change their gender, usually a female in their earlier years and a male in their later ones. Most Iron Salamanders hatched during specific periods will share their role and gender with every other salamander during that same six to nine month period. Gender roles are not recognized, unless the female is pregnant, then it takes priority for the community and they have a five year refrain from taking part in raids.

The listed example is a base Iron Salamander, they can gain levels in fighter, ranger, rogue or sorcerer. Leaders are from all all classes, as they move upward in their society ranking for success in their missions - Salamanders respect cunning and strength above all else.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Night of Masks (My Halloween Game this year)

This was my Halloween Game this year, played at a local Meet-Up event. It was a fun but rushed game. I tried to put enough of the story down here, and some broad notes that you could potentially use some of the ideas here.

The basic idea is an evil spell-caster is attempting to usurp a yearly sacrifice to regain his power - he has kidnapped the intended sacrifice for this years event. The PCs should be strangers to the town, as all local law enforcement can't seem to find the young woman. But once they start, it's all downhill from there, and pretty straightforward to complete. Some of what I found when I ran it, I added between asterisks. *

Night of Masks or My 2015 Halloween Game

A. Background & Contact
B. Golden Hounds
C. Tower and Minor Golem
D. Evil Gargoyle Watchers
E. Lawful Dwarf Guards
F. Stairs
G. Small Room
H. Manacle Room
I. Chain Devil 
J. Locked Door
K. Trap Passageway
L. Rape-y Statue
M. Prisoner, Petitioner and Gug (Big Bad Monster)
N. Mask Party and Resolution with Mastermind
O. End

Background: Night of Masks is a Halloween like holiday, in which the participants dress up and are free to break all vows, it has a dark history. Each of the local village towns in the farming Flatlands provide the names of the willing young ladies, one of them chosen during the harvest fest and after a year of living in luxury they are hung to appease the dark spirits. If the dark spirits are not appeased, legend has it that dark monsters will be freed, and will cause chaos and destruction. Something has gone wrong this year, as six days ago the young lady was kidnapped - the town needs to find their sacrifice as there is only three more nights until the Night of Masks.

Contacted by town agents, Nurther (9th level Knight) and Lady Bazznika (12th level Cleric) who have asked the party to meet them privately at a bar. Both are dressed up in fancy party regalia, and ask the party to help find a missing young lady, the annual blood sacrifice. They don't know who could be responsible, as everyone in town could potentially be victims if the spirits are unhappy and their pact is broken. The only thing they know that is different are the golden hounds (blink dogs), a beloved dog that has helped the region in the past is now here in large numbers. (Wildlife DC Low). This town is infamous for their crypt of Lord Volonez, an insane wizard who could summon unworldly creatures. Lord Nurther commands the guards at and near the secret grave all year, he highly doubts it could be him. 

Just outside the pub is a group of small-sized, sleek white dogs with golden streaks called Golden Hounds. They are well known but they rarely stay in town for long. If approached will be peaceful, will bark answers to yes, growl for no. Will not lead them to the Tower during the daytime. One dog accompanies the party.

Large tower, on the edge of town overlooking a few boarding houses and some bad taverns. Once the lair of an infamous wizard, Lord Volonez, now it's little used but always watched. Local rumors tell of winged figures haunting the place at night, it's significance is unknown.

If the players approach the Tower windows (50 & 125 ft), they will be attacked by four gargoyles. If PCs are not using magic devices, they will do significantly less damage.

Next stage depends on if they enter thru the top (Gargoyles) or the bottom windows (Golem.) The main doors are locked, they need to knock loudly and request entry, possibly making a diplomacy check. If they come in any other way, they will quickly be attacked by the Golem who will throw blood globs at them. 

The upper areas of the town are demolished, doors broken and every piece of art, destroyed. Slogans about various warlords are spread large across the walls. Small campsites in disarray, destroyed weapons. Freshly killed impaled bodies...which is extremely unusual, probably against the law, especially given the elaborate funeral rituals that happens to ensure undead do not arise. **not used**

A small contingent of 8 Dwarves are stationed near the main stairs, sitting around a table, drinking and playing cards. One of them stands, giving an official greeting, the SR officer is old, sleeping, passed out. They refuse to accept the story about gargoyles in town and say nothing else is here at the station or post. They tell the group they can search the upstairs to see if there's anything around. If they go down the circular stairs, they are warned there are creepies down there but nothing that comes to the surface.

The next level is around 1000 feet down, the stairs are well built, every 12th stone has a slight glow, just enough to see the steps. Lanterns can be lit with a light spell but all of them would be for 300 ft. (Note the stairs only go down - going back up reveals the stairs don't go back up to the top.) **One of the players made a risky choice of sliding down, very fun scene!**

They come to a small room, ten feet around, with a doorway and signs of a door bust through. A short passageway leads to a large heavy door. Locked, (Difficult to open) but with a peering window reveal a much larger room, filled with a dozen manacles on the walls...two of the chains have people.

If they go in, they see more manacles and five people in total, two ladders going up on the opposite wall, and a large double set of doors locked by chains. Looking up, they will see large windows on the ceiling but it shows cavernous walls outside. One ladder goes to a set of locked doors, sealed by a holy glyph the other to an area previously locked, that opens to a room filled with bodies of beasts hanging upside down, covered with glowing runes. In the primary holding room, around 200 hundred feet around, only one of the prisoners was male. The only one still barely alive though is a middle aged woman, badly bruised, unconscious. After they approach the fourth body, a grey circular light flashes, then 3 to 5 gray skinned humanoids appear, with chains dangling from their bodies. A smack down should ensue. (Use medium level outer planar monsters, such as Kyton.)

If they use magic to work awaken the girl, she tells her tale. Her name is Fanara, who works at a tavern, well outside of town. She was kidnapped by gnolls during a raid and she believes she was sold to a vile necromancer, who wore a hood and commanded a bunch of silver winged undead. She remembers awakening here with two dozen others, lots of screaming and tears...individuals taken, experimented on. Slowly the others died, she knows little else. If asked what did they do to her, it was drink poisons...they were always so much vomiting. Those who died, had their arms explode in vermin.

The characters can try to go back but the stairs apparently don't go up to the top, they are a few hundred feet shy. They are forced to go forward, the double doors are next. Not locked directly, but a heavy chain wrapped around the doors. If the characters touch the chain they will be shocked (3d6 Low Level Save) save for half. A character must willingly grab the chain to remove it. If the players use any means to disengage the chain, save again for 10d6 damage (Medium Level Save). 
  **took dmg then defused it**

There are heavy tracks, lots of rope, much of it chewed on. Going forward the floor drops, anyone falling takes 7d10 dmg (half if low acrobatics DC is made). Once the floor drops it is stable for 2d6 minutes. If anyone drops, they are in a area made of the bones of the dead, snakes are coming towards them. They need to put a weight down, then if a rope is lowered they can climb up or just wait until the floor drops again. **reworded this scene that game night, monster tentacles grabbed from below. The party took cultist cowls to go through. The scene took too long, should have stuck with what I had written.**

Going forward they come to an oddly decorated room, with the decor of naked people fornication with demonic beasts being bitten with blood spraying out. In one corner a small group of piously dressed but blindfolded humans walking thru the scene, there. A huge statue of a demon with robes and many hands, but seems to be decorated with blood. Anyone with religion / religious leanings must make a will save as they have images of gratification against the statue and those failing will have dreaming delusions of fornication with the statue. **one of the players got right into it, she had fun. Good scene.**

A cleric detects evil from the entire room. The players should realize the bleeding person in the montage is offering their blood, this scene shows someone must provide a blood sacrifice, inflicting 25 unholy damage. If a religious check is made they will know that this damage can't be healed by clerical spells or magic. The statue takes no damage from spells or weapons. They need to follow the instructions, with someone willing to submit to the beast, with the rest of the party blindfolding or looking away. The characters will hear her tears, her screams and a demonic laughter and the louder pitch. She is drained 25 HP but only 5 of that is unholy damage.

Once the blood is given, another passageway will appear, they will go down further and see an arena with even more walled manacles and a center hole, around it are 9 dark robed individuals chanting. One hooded masked figure on a large raised dais, a figure dressed in green chained beside him...is the victim they are trying to save. **Party took the time to plan, very good planned actions for them.**

The chanting cultists turn to face the heroes but as they do a huge gray arm comes out from the hole. As the bestial form emerges, their chanting increases, what does the party want to do? Large, furry monster, head opens its maw on the top of its head their elbows split, two arms on both sides. When enough of the handlers are taken out, the BLBG will emerge. If the party approaches the dais, Volonez will go out a back door.

They must face the BLBG beast who tries to demolish them, battle should be heroic as the beast uses awesome blow to beat them down. When completed, they should be exhausted. They approach the chained victim, unable to get her out of the chains. She is pleading with them to get her free. They know that they cannot cut her out, she must be whole before the ceremony. They cannot pick the locks or break them...The only chance is to find the Lord Volonez, who has the keys. **two party members chase after Volonez, I dumped the fight making it much easier..warrior and cleric took him on and the rogue tried to free the enslaved woman.**

When they go after him, they lead up first into a proper dungeon, then a well lit area, then into a huge wine cellar, from there to another set of stairs, until finally a huge formal dining area inhabited by four hundred or more masked party goers, all enjoying the Night of Masks fete. As soon as they enter, immediately healed then given buffing spells, contacted in their minds by Lady Bazznik ...she will ask them: Why are they here at the Gala? What do they need? They see her in the same dress, with her knight very close by. There are dozens of other soldiers in the room, you know they are loyal to the lady that will assist when needed. Did the players pay attention? (Perception roll to see if they remembered.)

Lord Volonez pays close attention to the goings-on, back to the wall. He has some allies here but he knows he is heavily outnumbered. He has knowledge but is unable to cast spells in his current state which is why he needs to spoil the sacrifice to begin his rebuilding of power. If not spotted, will use a distraction to escape. During the distraction only if players are paying attention do they get a chance to foil his escape and confront him. They can stop him in an alleyway and attack to kill him where he reveals what he is - can they get the keys?  If they are able to kill him, he breaks apart into a colony of thousands of bugs and insects, it is only his pure malevolence that binds this creature together. 

**My plan was ruined, as the rogue was a few steps behind Volonez...pointed him out at the party. The spell-casters blasted...him down. We were running out of time anyway, and since I didn't note that the door Volonez was running through should be locked, I wouldn't have felt right about changing it. **

Ending

If they are unable to capture Volonez, describe them going back into the dungeon, still being unable to break or open the locks holding the victim. Lady Bazznik then gets the PCs to help guard the victim until the Night, when two sacrifices are done, the public one solemnly witnessed that happens for the crowd. and a private one, in the sewers, done with a crying, desperate pained sacrifice. She has a tattoo that heals her, so the rope breaks until a chin is used, all the time crying out in despair and pain. This is intended to be an horrific scene that you may want to just rush through.

Regardless of what happens, the PCs should have made a few decent allies that can potentially lead to more missions.


Monster Listing

Gargoyle = Low Level Flying CR
Blink Dog = CR 2
Low Level Golem CR 4 – 6
Medium Level Bad Guy = Kyton CR 4
High Level Bad Guy = Gug or a 12 HD evil outer planar
Mastermind Bad Guy = Volonez, a Worm that Walks, stats below.

Worm That Walks: AC High, Saves as a 10th lev Wizard; Immune to critical attacks, Dmg Reduction 15/-,Physical Attack: Insect Engulf 3d6 dmg; HP 90; One magical Atk Bolt of shadows +10 to hit / 3d6 evil dmg - he can cast once a round.

Volonez was a high level evil wizard but was killed while committing his crimes. He needs to ruin the purity of this sacrifice, to grow in power, perhaps enough to reclaim his body. His spirit infected a pile of insects to carry his soul, but will only have his full spell-power once he reclaims his body. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Aether Mist

This is inspired by a famous monster in a storybook that I love. I've never used it in a game, as a feared legend. They have a weakness but you need to have read the story...or if you haven't read the story, just make up your own.  

Aether Mist

Large Sized Outsider
Hit Dice: 20d10 (150 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: Fly 50 ft (perfect)
AC: 42 (+30 natural, +2 Dex), 42 touch, 40 flat-footed
Base Attack/Grapple: +19 / +0 (Can not be grappled or tripped)
Attack: Automatic Hit (40-AC dmg)
Full Attack: Automatic Hit (40-AC dmg) or +33 Penetrating Attack (5-50)
Special Attacks: Automatic Damage, Double Damage
Special Qualities: Astral Jaunt, Immunities, Dmg Reduction 20/Adamantite, SR 35
Saves: Fort: -, Ref: +14, Wis: -
Skills: Knowledge (Astral, Magic, Religion) +20, Perception +40
Abilities: Str 28, Dex: 14, Con: -, Int: 10, Wis: 10, Cha: 10
Environment: Deep Ethereal, Aether Domains
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 20
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral
Advancement: 25 - 50 HD (Huge)

An immense sized, deeply coloured mist.

These living clouds are approximately 30 feet in radius and 10 feet high. Their origin is somewhere in the deep ethereal. They come to prime worlds when summoned by spell casters using a Monster Summoning VII or greater spell. Spell casters must sacrifice a single magical item worth at least 75,000 g.p.  which is consumed in the casting.

The only other time they can be recruited, is in the minutes after they have successfully completed a mission, they can be requested to stay and complete another mission if a Diplomacy check of DC 30 is made along with the offering of a magic item or gem worth at least 25,000 g.p.

The Ether Mist has never communicated with any other creature. When summoned their instructions must be exactingly precise, or they will interpret it sometimes with dangerous effects. If they have a weakness, it is unknown to scholars.

The colour of its mist determines purpose, when they have a new mission, they change colour.
Grey - guards an item for ten years; they pursue if the item is stolen
Red - Executioner, summoned to execute one creature on that same plane.
Purple - guards a location for ten years unless password is spoken

Combat

An ether mist doesn’t attack, just like a swarm, anytime creatures are in it’s radius, they are automatically crushed.

Swarming: An Ether Mist automatically hits all creatures that is within their radius. They inflict 40 - Victim’s Touch AC every round acting as a +4 weapon. All creatures affected must make a winded check (Fort DC = dmg taken) to remain fully active. If they fail, they are winded and are able to take partial actions for that round and any round they fail their save when in the misty cloud.

Penetrating Attack: This is a focused attack on a single creature, doing 5-50 crushing damage, acting as a +4 weapon. They can take this attack action even if they are using their swarming action, but only one creature is attacked in this manner. Victims cannot be the target of both the penetrating and double damage attack on the same round. A penetrating attack is most done on the second round, if a particular foe seems to have taken less damage than the others,

Double Damage: The Ether Mist on any round can designate any one creature that has taken damage from its swarming as it's primary target. This primary target must save vs a Fort DC 25, or take double damage from its swarming affect. A Red Ether Mist will always use this special attack on their target. They do not stop their crushing until the target is a blood smear.

Astral Jaunt: Ether Mist can re-enter the astral plane as a free action from anywhere. Any creature in the mist at this time must make a Will DC 33 or be transported to the ethereal plane at the same time. Creatures transported do not take swarming damage in the ethereal. It takes one hour for the Ether Mist to come from the astral plane to a material world, and can only be done in specific locations, such as a wizards lab or church with an active obelisk,, etc.

Immunities: Immune to mind-affecting spells, elemental effects, energy effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromancy spells or any fortitude or wisdom save unless it affects objects. They are not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain or massive damage.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Mortal Slaad (Orange Slaad)

Many of the things that I create could potentially be used for PCs, especially in short-term games or one shots but not this one which is purely Monster Material. This is a savage creature, created when the bloody ooze from a slaughtered Red or Blue Slaad infects mortals on Nyssa. Unlike many creatures I create, this one is intended to be infused by chaos or unbalance, so it's not necessarily a "bad guy" just never a nice or fully sane one.

Mortal Slaad (Also called Orange Slaad)

CR 2
NE        
Init +2; Perception +3

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+2 natural AC, +2 Dex)
hp 13 (2d8+4)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will -1

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Claws +4
Damage 1d6 + 2
SR sonic and acid resistance 5

TACTICS

Morale 15

They are wild and savage in combat, taking no time to leap into battle to tear their enemies apart.

STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 14, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 8, Cha 7
Base Atk +4; CMB +4 CMD 16
Attacks: Claw 1d6+2, or two attacks at +1 attack doing d6+1 each
1d10 skills 1st to 4th levels; 1d12 5th to 7th; 1d8 points 9-10
Feats: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th, 10th

Feat: multi-attack (claws)
Skills Perception +3, Acrobatics +5, Survival +5, Escape Artist +8 (Bonus +4 to their escape chances due to their oily skins.)
Languages: Choose any two: Minotaur, Dwarf or Common
Environment   Warm Swamps or Deep Caverns
Organization   Gang (4d4) at lower levels (1-2) at higher levels
Treasure          Quarter

Mortal Slaad are things of chaos and madness that should not exist on prime worlds. The few experts who have studied them believe they were previously humans that were warped into this variant of the chaotic slaad by exposure to the slimy ooze containing their microscopic eggs when a Red or Blue Slaad were killed on a mortal plane. Most are hatched in groups of a dozen or more pods, sticking with each other as a frenzied hunting family group. 

They are a disturbing sight, a mixture of a large orange frog with human features. Their eye stalks are high on the head, their arms are too long for their body with stubby legs that are for a far shorter beast. They seem to have multiple hearts and other internal organs visible on the outside of their bodies, most of these are non-functioning but some beat at random points during the day. Their body secretes slime when they are nervous or excited which happens to be most of the time.

These creates exist in wet, slimy spots - usually dungeons and swamps. They often reside in small numbers, usually less than ten. At lower levels, they work together, hunting and collecting things. At higher levels, they rarely work with each other, as jealousy often results in fratricide.

Most seek to get into the outer planes to join their perceived kin. The few who reach the outer planes, usually die quick and alone as the other Slaad barely recognize each other as kin let alone this warped variation.

A few who don't end up on the planes, grow in enough wisdom to seek other goals. Often they ally with non-good and non-lawful creatures for power and to revel in destruction. Higher level slaad use their ability to transform into oozes to sneak into lower dungeon levels or escape if ever cornered.

Racial Level Advancement

Gain +6 skill points every level

Typical Skills: Acrobatics, bluff, craft, disable device, disguise, escape artist, knowledge (planes, dungeons, geography, religion), perception, spellcraft, stealth, survival,

SR: 5 at 2 HD. Gain +1 on SR by HD or character level.

Feat Levels: 1st, 2nd, 4th, 7th, 9th, 10th levels

2 HD +2 to natural AC, sonic and acid resistance 5; Immune to Acid, Claws dmg 1d6; +12 skill points; Str, Dex, Con (+2); Wis & Cha (-2)
3 HD Fast Healing (Swamps, underwater, underground) 1/5 rounds, +1 to AC
4 HD +2 to any 2 abilities; align weapon chaos, Gain Multi-Attack (Gain bite attack); Spray Poison 1 / ten minutes (DC 14, Slimy skin, -4 to physical ability checks), +2 to AC
5 HD +3 on saves vs chaos spells or affects, Infuse confusion by touch -  Fort DC 16 (lasts d8 rounds)
6 HD +7 on CMD, claws 1d8, dmg reduction 7/lawful, +3 to AC
7 HD +2 to any 2 abilities, Transform into lesser ooze 1/2 HD
8 HD Align weapons (claws 2d6 extra dmg, 4/day), Spray Poison 1 / 3 rounds (Fort DC 18, Slimy bones, -7 to attacks, lasts 6 rounds)
9 HD Constant Non-detection, Sonic Resistance 26, Immune to Madness spells and effects, dmg reduction 13/lawful, +2 to AC
10 HD Transform to Greater Ooze; Claws 3d6; align weapons against non-chaotic creatures (claws + 3d8 extra dmg, 4/day); +3 to any 3 abilities, +3 to AC

After 10 HD they increase in fighter, rogue or sorcerer class levels. They cannot take these levels until they are a fully grown Slaad

Lesser Ooze: Medium Sized Puddle, Move 20, AC +6, Atk -, SA Acidic Touch (1d6), SA submersion (3d8 / rnd), Saves: No Change, Two rounds to complete change

Large Greater Ooze: Move 40, AC +12, Atk Pseudopod (touch), SA Acidic Touch (3d6), SA submersion (8d8 / rnd), Saves: +5 to all saves. One round to complete change

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Corona Salarius

This was an idea that I was playing around with for a while - an outsider spirit that would inhabit mortal creatures and give them a shimmery golden glow and a bunch of powers. Then I realized it was kind of done before - the Incarnate from the 2nd Planescape Monster Compendium (Second Edition). 

Anyway, this is a neat little way to give players a bump-up without increasing their actual levels for a one-shot adventure.

Corona Salarius

Type                Usually Small Outsider
AC                  As per host
HD                  As per host

Saves               Fort +2 Ref +2 Will +2 (Add to host's base)
Init                   +1                               (Add to host's base)
Speed               --
BAB       --      CMB   --    CMD --
Special Defenses +6 on saves versus alignment affecting spells or affects, Lesser Telepathy

Str   --   Con   --    Dex +2                    (Add to host's base)
Int   --   Wis   +5   Cha +5

Skills: Any five: Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana, history, magic, planes or religion), Sense Motive, Survival, or Use Magic Device plus Perception

Typical Feat Selection: Alignment Channel, Alertness, Blind-Fight*, Channel Smite, Deadly Aim, Dodge, Mobility, Eschew Materials, Extra Channel, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Spell Focus, Spell Penetration

Lesser telepathy: Corona can communicate with mortal creatures that are physically near (within 20 feet) their remains or a piece of jewelry their spirit inhabits.

Best known as a shimmering bright halo that surrounds mortal creatures. These “shining lights” are the remains of souls of former outer planar beings that did not depart when their physical forms were defeated on the mortal planes. The heavenly spectres clung to a dungeon on a physical plane, waiting for help from mortals to complete a mission.

Good aligned Corona usually watch mortals to ensure their potential host have similar views to their own. When finding a match, they will ask if they can inhabit the mortal body to complete a specific goal – explaining in detail what is needed and the risks. They accept the answer even if it's not the one they want. 
A mortal's eyes glow golden when utilizing the spells or feats their guest provides for them. Once the task is completed, most Corona depart for the heavens. It is interesting that Corona gives their host the capacity to turn spirits, but they cannot be turned as their host and them form a bond that is only broken when the Corona wishes to depart.

Evil aligned Corona are summoned to the mortal planes by evil clerics for help in their dark plans. These spirits give their hosts apparent freedom, but don't hesitate to exit a host for another of higher level or more useful to them. Some evil Corona may have alternate magics to the spells listed below. They won't hesitate to inhabit lesser beings if they need to escape.

Most Corona inhabit their host as guests and whisper helpful suggestions. In times of stress, they may take a more active role, their hosts exhibit other forms. For good aligned Corona: they take on Golden Halo, Wings, Angelic Appearance. For evil-aligned ones it is small sharp horns, devilish features, and deep sharp claws.

3 HD Detect Alignment*, Curse, Magic; +15 skill points in only their selected skills; Turn as 3rd level cleric
4 HD Gain + 2 to any Ability Score; Turn as 4th level cleric; +5 skill points in their selected skills
5 HD Gain Align Weapon, Remove Curse & Disease;+5 skill points in their selected skills
6 HD Gain Circle against Evil & Discern Lies; Turn as 5th level cleric; +5 skill points in their selected skills
7 HD Gain + 2 to any Ability Score; +5 skill points in their selected skills 
8 HD Dispel Magic & Cure Medium Wounds (2/day); Turn as 6th level cleric; +5 skill points selected skills
9 HD Smite (2/day); Turn as 7th level cleric; +5 skill points in their selected skills
10 HD Blade Barrier (2/day); Turn as 8th level cleric; +5 skill points in their selected skills
11 HD Gain + 2 to any 2 Ability Scores; +5 skill points in their selected skills
12 HD Regenerate Other (2/day); Turn as 12th level cleric

Unlike standard creatures, the levels for a Corona do not change. When a Corona and a mortal merge, the mortal gains the level abilities for the HD or level that they are at.  Also, Corona do not increase skill levels beyond their normal maximum point, so they are not added or increases a character's current skill levels. 

*Spells are cast at the Cleric level indicated or the minimum needed to cast the spell

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Minion -- Communual Yellow-Skinned Golem-like Servant

Inspired by the many commercials, books and toys my little Peach shows me every time she sees them. This is a way to have a funny referential servant creature in your games that will be a shared joke but still be functional and fitting to either a castle or dungeon setting.

Minion *

Minions were thought to be a golem-like creature from another dimension (sometimes called Deesneey) brought to the mortal plane a long time ago as a type of servant.  When they have strong leaders from the summoning group and are treated well - they serve extraordinarily efficiently, otherwise they just return to their home plane.

Unlike many other creatures Minions don't really evolve as a group, they exist to follow simple directions and then be left alone to complete their task.  However just because the creature doesn't evolve individuals do change, adapting to service a need when it is recognized. They learn special features (listed below) to better survive in their location, in fact there are few creatures better or quicker at adaption.

They appear as small sized yellow skinned humanoids with small legs and arms.  They are in fact a solid blob form, meaning they have no blood or true shape and are immune to bleeding effects. Minions live to a set age, then dissipate. Different tribes have different top-ages but most are between 50-75 years. They often wear a basic uniform of their team or unit with little variation. Most times Minion teams are brought together to perform a service such as maintaining a prison or bridge. They take jobs that are most in need and learn the function. As long as they are treated well, have companionship with their own kin and have enough to eat - they continue to serve. They form extremely tight-knit communities in remote areas, servicing their own needs without interacting with others.  Many times Minions are found in remote locations, they are maintaining a site that has long been forgotten about, by long dead masters but their basic orders are still being followed.

The standard routine is when they are summoned between 1-6 Minions come into the mortal plane by the first level Summon Minion Spell.  If conditions enable, within a week, they summon another 1-4 Minions themselves. The process continues repeatedly until there is enough Minions to service their functions, they are at capacity for their food or space supply, they are either mistreated, suffer loses from the environment or other threats. Barring these negative conditions, Minions continue to summon their own kind until at capacity or there are 100 Minions, they then stop and maintain for a year. After the year point, their top capacity increases by 50% every year, barring no other problems. Minions who are mistreated or starved, just vanish and this usually leads to the entire Minion team leaving service.

As a general rule, Minions fit in and conform to the processes around them. They are not cruel but they seem to ignore these actions if they are not done to their own kind. Many evil masters have tried to summon these simple servants to take care of the non-military aspects of running an empire but the overwhelming majority of times they fail well before the year point, and lose all of the summoned minions.


Minion                                       CR 1
N (tend to LN)                                 Humanoid (Mountains & Desert)
Init +2                                  Senses-  Darkvision 30 ft.

DEFENSE

AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 10
hp 3 (1d8-1)
Fort +1, Ref +1, Will -1

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft.
Melee: Bow -1 (1d6), Flail or Mace -2 (1d6)

STATISTICS

Str 7 Dex 12 Con 8 Int 8 Wis 9 Cha 8
Attack -2; CMB -2; CMD 9
Feat: Share Skill Knowledge
Base Skills:  Climb, Disable Device, Any 1 Knowledge (Nature, Magic, Plane, Engineering), Perception, Use Magic Device +2
Typical Feat Choices: Agile Maneuvers, Alertness, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Point-Blank Shot, Weapon Finesse
Languages: Minion-kin and pick one of Goblin, Dwarven or Common

NEW FEAT

Share Skill Knowledge: If able to spend three uninterrupted hours watching another minions perform a specific skill action, they gain +3 to their skill level. Minions can only benefit from this once a month - if they go through the watching ritual again, they lose the bonus and do not re-gain it to a new skill. If they do not go through the performance ritual every month, they lose the skill bonus.

LISTED FEATURES:

1 HD:  Limited Telepathy, Co-Operate, Share health, Small Size
2 HD: Gain 1 advanced Feature; +4 skill points; Gain Feat, Summon Other Minion
3 HD: Gain +3 attribute points; +4 skill points; Immune to Alignment affecting spells or effects
4 HD: Gain +3 attribute points; Gain 2 advanced Features; +4 skill points; Gain Feat  
5 HD: Immune to Charm Spells; +4 skill points, Minion Telepathy (50 ft)
6 HD: Gain +3 attribute points; +4 skill points; Gain Feat
7 HD:  Gain +3 attribute points; Gain 3 advanced Features; +4 skill points
8 HD  Immune to Illusion Spells; +4 skill points; Gain Feat, Minion Telepathy, Greater (500 ft)
9 HD  Grow to Medium Size; Gain +6 attribute points (no more than 2 in any specific ability score); +10 skill points; Gain 4 advanced features

+1 HD Gain level in character class (Bard, Monk, Psion, Ranger, Rogue & Fighter are preferred classes)

Minions do not need to advance up this listed level chart. They can gain non-Minion levels at any time, however, if they ever gain non-Minion HD they are unable to further advance in these natural class levels again.

BASIC FEATURES:

1st Level: Limited Telepathy: Minions have a basic empathy with each other, picking up on the raw emotions of other minions within 100 ft.

1st Level: Share health: Minions can share their hit points through touch. They do this to minimize injuries. They can do this to non-Minions but only if the Minions know and trust them.

1st Level: Co-Operate: Gain +1 to a skill check for every five additional Minions that have the same skill ranking. Twenty-Four Minions with +7 in crafting for example would gain +7, then another three +1, so in total +10 to the skill check.

2nd Level: Advanced Feature. Roll below on the advanced feature listing to determine their learned ability. (20% of tribes share the same features)

5th level: Minion Telepathy:  Minions at this level gain full telepathy with all other Minions within 50 ft radius. as long as one minion with this ability is in the radius, all other Minions share the same mental-link

2nd level: Summon Other Minion: As communal creatures, Minions do not feel comfortable alone. As long as they have the basics needs, a Minion is able to summon others of his kind. They are fine in a community of between 6-10 Minions. Once they are at this point, they do not summon more of their own kind unless it is needed to perform basic functions to their specific location.

3rd Level: Immune to Alignment Affecting Spells: Gain +5 to avoid alignment affecting spells if alone, and another +1 for every three additional minions in a 50 ft radius,

5th Level: Immune to Charm: Immunity to charm person spell. They gain +5 on charm related spell saving throws. For every three additional minions in a 100 ft radius, they gain another +1 on saving throws related to charms spells

8th Level: Immune to Illusions: Gain +5 on illusion spell saving throws. For every five other minions in a 300 ft radius, they another +1 on saving throws related to Illusions

Advanced Features (Roll d100)

1 Choose any Feature from Number 90 or lower
2 Gain +2 on any Ability Score
3  Gain +2 on any Saving Throw
4 Ability Damage and Drain (Ex or Su)
5 All-Around Vision (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
5-6 Amorphous (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
7-8 Amphibious (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
9-10 Attach (Ex) Same as Trait of same name plus +4 to maintain Grapple
11-12 Blindsense (Ex) Blindsense at 30 ft.
13-14 Blindsight (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
15-16 Burrow (Ex) Gain Burrow movement at 20 ft
17-18 Climb                         Gain +15 to their climb skill
19-20 Compression (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
21-22 Stench (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
23-24 Curse (Su) Victims must make a D12+ D-Minions Charisma Score Bonus or                suffer a -3 to physical skill checks for 48 hours
25-26 Disease (Ex or Su) Disease - Itching (Ex) Scratch—injury; save Fort DC 15, onset                    1d2 hours, effect 3 Con damage, cure 2 consecutive saves
27-28 Distraction (Ex) Distraction (DC 15) or nauseated for 1-2 rounds
29-30 Earth Glide (Ex) Same as Trait of same name, can use the ability 3 times / day
31-32 Sound Mimicry (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
33-34 Fear (Su or Sp) As Fear Ray, Will save (DC 12 + racial HD + creature's Cha                         modifier) 3/day
35-36 Ferocity (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
37-38 Flight (Ex or Su) Can sprout wings twice a day @ 30 ft. (average)
39-40 Fortification (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
41-42 Freeze (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
43-44 Frightful Presence (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
47-48 Greensight (Su) Same as Trait of same name
49-50 Heat (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
51-52 Hold Breath (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
53-54 Immunity (Ex or Su) Immune to one type: acid, charm, cold, fire, illusion, paralysis                           (roll d6)
55-56 Incorporeal (Ex) Can become incorporeal for up to five rounds - twice a day
57-58 Keen Scent (Ex) Gain the scent ability
59-60 Lifesense (Su) Same as Trait of same name
61-62 Low-Light Vision (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
63-64 Natural Attacks Gain a natural claw attack (1d6) as a natural attack
65-66 No Breath (Ex) They gain breath through their skin at will
67-68 Paralysis (Ex or Su) Touch effect 3/ day, Will save (DC 12 + racial HD + creature's                            Cha modifier)
69-70 Plant Traits (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
71-72 Poison (Ex or Su) Contact Poison (Fort DC 15 - onset 1d2 hours, effect 3 Con                               damage, cure 2 consecutive saves)
73-74 Pounce (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
75-76 Resistance (Ex)                     Roll: 10 resistance in one of 1-2 Air, 3-4 Earth,  5-6 Electrical, 7-8                     Fire or 9-10 Water
77-78 See in Darkness (Su) Same as Trait of same name
79-80 Spell Resistance (Ex) Gain SR 15
81-82 Telepathy (Su) Gain Telpathy 100 ft, Unlike the creatures base version of this                           affect, can work with non Minion creatures
83-84 Summon (Sp)   Able to summon a specific local small creature 3 times a day.
85-86 Tremorsense (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
87-88 Web (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
89-90 Water Breathing (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
91-92 Unnatural Aura (Su) Same as Trait of same name
93   Breath Weapon (Su) Choose (Fire, Cold, Electricity, Stone) DC 15, 3d6 dmg; 3 / day
94   Change Shape (Su) Change into one creature same as spell effect of same name 2/day
95   Damage Reduction (Su) Gain +10 Dmg Reduction
96   Construct Traits (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
97      Regeneration (Ex) Regenerate 2 hp / rnd
98      Summon Summon Monster Level 4 - Able to cast 2/day
99      Burn (Ex) Same as Trait of same name
100    Greater Flight Sprout wings at will. Speed 50 ft. (average)

* This idea is borrowed from a very popular movie franchise - no copyright infringement is intended*

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Elder World - Local Outer Plane

Long ago for my gaming, I decided the planar stuff was a little convoluted. I liked the ideas though, and came up with a linked outer planar world that would be the base of most planar excursions. Essentially, this was home to my own version of the Titans or Elders, who were like little gods. They each had their own realm and were in between everything. Mortals came seeking knowledge and equipment, gods came for recruits and magic, and the dead came both as free and bound petitioners.
Each Elder realm was independent with specific rules and rites.

From Scroll Vitae Laenum Nem Xl IIV  -  Elderworld History

The home plane of the Elders (once referred to as Titans) the original offspring of the gods. These immortal beings are feared for being able to tap directly into mystical energies found in every plane. Some scholars call these energies arcane or even divine sources, but for the Elders it is all the same, and is used to power their personal abilities. Even more than the gods, these creatures are spurred by their own personal direction - not a particular idea, religion, faith or view. Thus it is incredibly difficult to gauge them except as individuals. Like the gods, their alignment varies, but, they usually don't interfere with each others plans unless they directly contradict.

It is believed humans were their spawn, and originally lived on the Elderworld. How long mortals were underlings is unknown, but how it changed is recognised due to the actions of one person, a human named Hamja. While perhaps not the first one to discover how to escape, he was the first known individual that left via the magical planar gates.to travel to the lower mortal worlds. Upon realising they could escape, many mortals began the treacherous act of running away from their cruel masters. This enraged the Elders, many began limiting their servant's activities as well as hunting down and destroying the rebellious offspring in the mortal world.

Knowing he was to blame for their suffering, Hamja returned to the Elderworld, demanding to be put on trial for his actions. The Elders tried to immediately attack him, but couldn't, as he was protected by the gods, a singularly rare event on the Elderworld. Agreeing to terms, a trial was held, witnessed by Casna, Lord of Justice.

The trial was quick. Hamja was found guilty of sedition but not for escaping. The humans who escaped were free and the Elders couldn't, by divine decree, recapture them by using force. The gods essentially shut down the planar gates, so the Elders couldn't travel to the lower world. This had a treacherous side-affect,while the knowledge was now recognised, the mortals lost their chance to escape.  (*For Hamja`s fate see Scroll Vitae Laenum Nem XX V ven Q*)

The Elders didn't realise the gods were intending to use the mortals as free and willing servants instead of the slaves as the Elders were using them. Within less than a century after their escape, the humans numbers had exploded and they had found a magical energy that they could utilise, that of the divine faith in the gods.

For their part, Elders, never organised a mass retrieval of the mortals. Some clamped down on their personal servants, others put up more elaborate traps to keep their servants in line and just as many to keep others out. A few learned other lessons, and begin to give their mortal children more freedoms to serve both themselves and their masters equally.

(Linked to Scroll Vitae Laenum Nem OV ven ii*) Most scholars know the Elder World as the mid-level between the Heavens and Mortal Planes. It is now understood that all mortal souls must return to this realm for a mere moment, as they travel to their final destination to the heavens or hells. What is not fully understood is the small number of souls that don`t leave the Elder World but are reborn as petitioners, destined to live a new life here in service to the plane and its needs without memories of their previous mortal existence.

Each individual Elder rules their own realm. Most are the size of a small mortal town; the largest are enormous counties with various races and beasts from across the planes. The spaces between the Elder Realms are wild, with shifting physical features causing near constant danger - while physical travel is possible, usually it is done via linked portals, indirectly from realm to another, often using multiple linked portals,

Many of these communities trade with Outer Planar groups, contact with the mortal realms is rare but a few have connections with High Level Wizards or Clerics. Portals to the High Planes are common and often permanent in the Elders communities. Those to the Lower Mortal Planes are rarer and seemingly uncontrolled, when they appear it is usually in remote areas and are open for short periods of time.

Elder World Random Encounter Table

02  High Petitioner (8th level or higher)
03  Githzen
04  Kyton
05  Reave
06  Yugoloth (Usually Mezzoloth or Nycaloth)
07  Nightmare
08  Night Hag
09  Astral Giant
10  Mortal Travellers (3-18, Levels 3+)
11  Imp (# 2-12)
12  Nightmare
13  Bladeling
14  Einheriar
15  Jackalla
16  Angel
17  Lower Level Elder Petitioner (1-3)
18   Quashi
19  Maelephant
20  Manticore
21  Yeth Hounds
22  Sphinx
23  Lillend
24  Coatl

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Cenobite

A horror monster from the 80's, which I have used as a creepy-crawler many times in my games. Often seen as genie-like beings, tempting players with favours and rewards until they risk calling them too many times or are seen as vulnerable, then these figures will turn the table and try to capture one of the party members inside the box.

One idea, if some of your gaming party is away, instead of cancelling a game, players may find themselves inside the Cenob Box, to do missions of rescuing or finding treasures.

Cenobite

Lawful Evil     Medium Outsider
Init +6 Senses Darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12

 DEFENSE
AC 19 touch 12, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +7 natural)
hp 110hp (13d10+39 con)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +6

Defensive Abilities  
DR  10/+1  Immune: Fear, Pain, Blindness, Paralyzation, Petrification  
Resistance: All Elemental 20  

OFFENSE
Speed Fly 50 ft.
Melee Scythe or Whip +16/+11 (1d10+3)
Special Attacks: Hooks of Pain

Spell Like Abilities: Cast as 13th level Necromancer. They are able to use each of their spell-effects once a day. Every time one of their Hooks of Pain contacts, they are able to recast any one of their spells again.

 STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 9
Base Atk +13 CMB +16 CMD 28
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack
Skill: +9 Bluff , +12 Craft (Armor and Chains) , +15 Knowledge (arcana, planes, religion) , +12 Perception , +10 Sense Motive , +12 Stealth
Languages Dwarf, Minotaur, Kyton, Elf, Common

 ECOLOGY
Environment                             Any Mortal Plane (Always found near a Cenob Box)
Organization                              Small Units (1-3)
Treasure Value                          Half Normal  (Small bits of treasure and magic that can be worn)

 SPECIAL ABILITIES
Spell Like Abilities: Cast as 13th level Priest; Saving Throw (DC 13 + spell level)

Detect: Magic, Invisibility, Illusion (Constant)
Rays of: enfeeblement, paralyze, rusting & fear (all usable 1 / day)
Touches of: Silence, Confusion, Blindness, Polymorph, Electricity (11-20) (all usable 1 / day)

Field of Mercy: Cenobites radiate a 25 foot radius of empathy towards outer-planar beings. Any non-natives that approach a Cenobite on a mortal plane must beat a Will DC 24 to break the field and act normally. However, they are unable to take physical actions or cast spells against a Cenobite until the second round. This effect likewise prevents a Cenobite to take any counter action on planars until the third round. Meaning, on the second round they are totally defenseless against a creature in their field who has made their saving throw. This is a constant effect that they cannot evade. This effects only the Cenobites, not the Cenob Box or their mortal servant.


The Cenobites are outer-planar beings that seek to cause suffering to mortals.  Most were former mortals themselves who manipulated an arcane device called the Cenob Box, which is often used to give physical pleasures, but its main purpose can be used to summon these horrific beings that brings mortals to their world. Most forced into the device, endlessly suffer, but a few are transformed into beings who serve the device, these are the Cenobites. They appear as pale skin humanoids often with visual signs of torture on their bodies, wearing deep-black leather armor. They seem to lack emotion, except for when their sadistic side comes out when interrogating or attacking mortals. Most use scythes or whips, but a small number use other types of weapons.

The Cenob Box is actually a portal to the Demi-Plane of Pain. Cenobites can only come to mortal worlds when summoned through this device. Most who use the devise seek physical pleasure until that sensation is lost - and they are driven to seek the suffering of others. Eventually those who uses the device, can summon the Cenobites, once every 24 hours. While they come to serve the wielder, they always require a "pound of flesh" before they return to the Box. Wielders instinctively know the Cennobites obey the holder of the Cenob Box by attacking, capturing or otherwise destroying an
enemy. When they are able to incapacitate a victim, they drag them into the Cenob Portal and in return the wielder is given a permanent boon 1-3 hp. What few wielders realize is that if they are unsuccessful at finding a victim at least once every ten days, the Cenobites may punish the wielder by permanently draining the wielder 2-5 hp.

While outer-planar, Cenobites prefer the company of mortal beings. They are sometimes seen in medical houses or places or torture, just to hear the screams of victims. They have a deep fear of other Outer planar beings, even those they should have some connection to. They emanate a Field of Mercy which enables them to re-enter the Cenob Box to avoid confrontation. They understand though, if the current mortal wielder is unable to escape, the Cenob box might be found by those they are unable to manipulate.

Hooks of Pain (Su) Cenobites can summon chained hooks to attack a singular victim at +13 to touch attack, inflicting a cumulative 1d6 dmg and a -2 on all rolls (second hook inflicts 2d6 dmg and -4 to rolls, etc.) Each time a chain attaches to a victim, it connects to the nearest hard surface; if the hook does not hit a victim, it disintegrates the next round. When at least three chained hooks are on a victim, the Cenobites can call the victim into the Cenob Box, or whenever they leave. Each of the first three hooks add 20% chance, additional hooks adds +5%. If the victim fails this roll, they are sucked into the Cenob Box. The only way to free the victim is to defeat the Cenobite or destroy the chains holding the victim (AC 30, Requires a +3 weapon, 50 hp).  What many don't realize is that a Cenobite may summon the Hooks even without a Cenob Box, but then it is done merely to inflict suffering.

Cenob Box: A small, intricately carved wooden, bone or metal box with small sliding pieces that when re-positioned change the carvings on the device.  While believed to be a singular artifact, they are in fact several versions in any given mortal plane. These boxes are portals to the Demi-Plane of Pain. By manipulating the pictures, wielders receive happy sensations. The first few times, it is always positive (24 hour +4 bonus to their preferred ability score, rush of happy memories or feelings, etc) but by the fourth time, these leave the wielder wanting something else - usually to inflict pain on others.

Box wielders must then call out the Cenobites at least once every ten days, these beings appear for their sacrifice, and if no one else is there, the Cenobites take their sacrifice from the wielder.  If a wielder is able to go more than 99 days without providing a sacrifice, the Cenobites will either teleport the Box away or begin to tempt another would-be wielder to take it from the current wielder. Once the Cenob Box summons the Cenobite back, it cannot be used again for 24 hours, if they were not successful in having a sacrifice, they must wait 48 hours.