View Full Version : Magical Riot Squad (3.5 Monster, PEACH)

2012-05-11, 04:07 AM
In the game I'm running, the local wizard queen needs a way to arrest the plebs causing trouble and rioting in the streets below her pristine flying castle. For that purpose, I have created the Cloak. Individually frail, but masters of battlefield control and with a quick escape button. I am thinking she has a total of maybe 15, with about three appearing at the scene at any given time. Let me know what you think.


Cloaks are magical law-enforcement constructs in a high-magic city. Tasked with keeping the local matriarch's dungeons fully stocked, these unthinking creatures teleport onto the scenes of disasters or large crimes and immediately attempt to arrest everyone present. When hovering at rest, they might appear to be an extremely tall, thin, hooded figure draped in a long cape. However, the cape is actually twelve long, thin, independently-mobile strips of canvas-like fabric which hang down from what appears to be the head and shoulders of the creature. The head, shoulders, and tendrils make up the entirety of the construct; there are neither body nor limbs concealed within the cape.

Cloaks are programmed for hit-and-run tactics. They enter the scene of the crime, put up walls using their confine ability if there is a large crowd, then attempt to hit as many creatures as possible with their teleporting grasp. They then immediately recharge to go for another run. The mages in charge of Cloak activity rotate which Cloaks are active in order to keep Cloak presence as constant as possible at the scene; when one Cloak returns to recharge there is usually another that is ready to go. Most citizens actually believe that Cloaks immediately return after teleporting because of this.

Size/Type: Large Construct
Hit Dice: 10d10 +30 (85 hp)
Initiative: +14
Speed: Fly 60 ft. (good)
Armor class: 26 (-1 size, +10 Dex, +8 Natural Armor), Touch 19, Flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+3
Attack: --
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Teleporting Grasp, Confine, Teleportation
Special Qualities: Construct traits, Damage reduction 10/slashing, Darkvision 60 ft., Recharge, Tendrils, Life Detection 120 ft., Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +15, Will +1
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 30, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills: --
Feats: --
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or gang (2-6)
Challenge Rating: 10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always Lawful Neutral
Advancement: --
Level Adjustment: --

Recharge (Ex): Cloaks have an internal "battery" of magical energy that fuels their abilities. Using certain abilities expends charges from this battery. The battery holds 15 charges when full. Once the battery is empty, the Cloak must return to a specially-designed recharging dock, which replenishes its charges fully at a rate of 1 charge/round. Cloaks are treated as helpless when connected to their recharging docks and may take no actions except to detach themselves from the dock, but gain fast healing 2.
Tendrils (Ex): Cloaks have 12 tendrils made of magically-reinforced canvas-like material. Whenever a Cloak takes at least 5 points of slashing damage, it loses 1d4 of these tendrils. One missing tendril is reattached per minute on the recharging dock. These tendrils are very long, giving the Cloak a reach of 15 ft.
Teleporting Grasp (Su): As a standard action, the Cloak may spend 1 charge to initiate a Teleporting Grasp against any enemies within its range. It makes up to as many touch attacks against targets within range as it has tendrils, and may spend 1 charge on each target per successful touch attack against that target. The Cloak then teleports back to its recharging dock, and all targets must make a Will save whose DC equals 5 * the number of charges the cloak expended on them (max 30) or else be teleported into specially-designated holding cells. Targets fill the available cells individually in order. If all cells are full, then they are filled two to a cell in order, then three, etc.
Confine (Sp): The Cloak may expend 5 charges to create either a 10 ft high by 60 ft. wide wall or a fully-enclosed 10 ft cube at a range of 100 ft. These barriers are made of shimmering, translucent blue magical energy and persist for 10 minutes. The barrier has hardness 12 and 30 hit points and can be broken by a DC 27 Strength check. Destroying any portion of the barrier destroys the entire barrier.
Teleportation (Sp): Cloaks may expend 1 charge to teleport unerringly anywhere within 20 miles of their recharging dock as a move action (self only).
Life Detection (Su): Cloaks can detect living creatures within 120 feet, even through solid objects, invisibility, darkness, or any other effect that would hinder the Cloak's ability to see. This counts as a scrying effect, and is blocked by effects that block or hinder scrying. At least 1 inch of solid lead between the cloak and a living creature also blocks this effect.
Improved Initiative (Ex): Cloaks have a +4 bonus to initiative rolls.
Lightning Reflexes (Ex): Cloaks have a +4 bonus to Reflex saves.

2012-05-11, 11:12 AM
For your homebrewed campaign, these are probably okay. They'd be difficult to fit in a standard campaign.

It should have 52 hit points. 5.5 x4=22 +30 =52.

Size should be 10 ft./5 ft. (15 ft. with tendril)

The DC to avoid being teleported would normally be 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + Cha modifier. I agree that Teleporting Grasp with a DC 7 is too low. However, you have it as a variable from DC 5 to DC 60 and I'm not convinced it is an improvement. Rather, you could simply have made it Dexterity-based (DC 22), which would have been the best solution for CR 10. Static saves are always better than variable ones. It makes the DM's job easier.


2012-05-11, 11:31 AM
In addition to the above comment think 4 HD is too frail for a CR 10 environment. It really should have 10 HD, I think.

2012-05-11, 01:50 PM
I was actually worried that 50 HP was too much. After all, you've got one, maybe two rounds to completely destroy one before it disappears to completely recharge, and is replaced by another fully healed one. And even then, you're only going to be around to deal with the second one long enough if you managed to evade, hide from, or save against the first one's teleporting grasp. They're not going to be fought individually as a single CR 10 entity, they're going to be fought 3-5 at a time as a CR 14-17 group. If you guys insist, I will up the HP, but I'm worried that 52 damage is already a lot to deal in a single round, especially if you have to deal it to three individual targets who are flying above you, or else be subject to a save-or arrest from as many as you didn't finish off.

I'm against a flat save for the teleporting because I want there to be a few ways for canny PCs to avoid arrest. If you're nimble and it attacks you with 6 tendrils, maybe only two hit and you only have to save against DC 10. If you're willful, maybe it hits you with four but you can make that DC 20 save. On the other hand, these things should be terrifying to see in action, because they can swoop down and scoop up 4 commoners at a time.

I fixed the HP and reach issues. I also fixed a couple of the errors that I made due to it being 4 AM when I posted this, namely that I forgot to make the teleporting self ability a move action, forgot to give confine a range, and I forgot to cap teleporting grasp's DC at 30, which should solve some of the problem with that ability.

2012-05-11, 03:27 PM
The average damage output of one CL 10 fireball is 35 (granted, reflex save, but there are fortitude options too, and this guy will fail fort saves), so 50 damage is less than what one character will do in two rounds with a baseline spell. With a small ammount of effort, 50 damage is what every 10th level character in a party will be doing per round. So four of these guys being destroyed per turn.

A 14-17th level party can roll over these guys in a variety of amusing ways. If they have a psion, they could follow the teleport back to their dock and destroy everything, for instance. Or they just drop Dimensional Lock and the problem is solved.

The monster looks quite extreme, in fact. Its only offensive option is what ammounts to a save-or-lose effect, while its defenses vary a bit wildly, but generally leave it in a bad situation where any solid hit probably destroys it.

zegram 33
2012-05-11, 04:46 PM
what are the classes of the players in the game you're running?
as stated, these things will be getting hammered out of the sky regularly, and also as stated, the saveor lose effect is...odd.
since its so campaign specific, your players classes and also possibly playstyles are quite important in regards to this.
as stated before, a decent wizard or two will steamroll this, especially at 14-17th level.
i mean, thats the time 7th, 8th, and maybe even 9th level spells come online, so 50-odd hp suddenly looks a lot less dangerous, even with a save or arrest from each one.

and as stated, if you can cast dimensional lock (an 8th level spell) you can pretty much kill these things by throwing sticks

2012-05-11, 05:21 PM
Upped the HD.

To be totally frank, the game is more of a play-by-post adventure game where I draw comics along with player actions, similar to MSPA. It is still based on 3.5 rules, however.

There are two main groups of characters. The rebellion group who will deal with the cloaks the most is around level 14, and consists of a tiefling warlock, blaster wizard who is a terrifying mix of about 6 things that should not have been able to breed, a maenad utility wizard, and a lesser nymph healbot. Unfortunately for them they're also accompanied by a rioting crew of assorted level 1-3-ish fey, who they would like to keep safe if possible. This group thinks they are too sexy to think ahead and tends to charge in, guns blazing.

The second group is a shapeshifting bruiser aberration who is probably about CR 17 by himself, and his level 7 druid friend (a myconad, they're in my sig). They're both very slippery but the druid is very, very wanted. This group thinks ahead too much and doesn't take many risks because of it.

zegram 33
2012-05-11, 05:50 PM
well, first group sounds like they might get hammered if the arnt thinking and let one of these things teleport them away, although a team of pretty much full spellcasters IS kinda this mnsters worst nightmare.

second group sounds rather more capable vs them if theyve asked around the populace enough to know their weaknesses

2012-05-11, 08:09 PM
I'd throw on arcane sight (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/arcaneSight.htm), plus a stackable "suppression aura" which reduces the caster level of spells within a certain radius. A continuous blur (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/blur.htm) effect seems thematic if nothing else.

Rather than having Improved Initiative and Lightning Reflexes as special qualities, they should be bonus feats (and the latter grants only a +2 bonus). If they use "hit and run tactics" then they should also have Flyby Attack.
BAB/grapple should be +7/+11, reach should be 10ft since it's not a quadruped, and saves should be +3/+15/+3

To reduce the save-or-lose factor I'd give them actual attacks with their tendrils, which inflict Str damage and/or can deal nonlethal damage without penalty; limit Teleporting Grasp to helpless targets. This would also let you simplify the charge system so that creating walls uses 1 charge.