View Full Version : "The Masters" [monster concept help]

2007-08-06, 02:38 AM
So I'm running a level 6 cap game (see my item progression thread for more on that). We've been playing for a while now, and the players have been hearing about this master race that used to rule the world 20,000 years ago for almost the whole time. They've spent most of the game fighting the servant races of the masters, which have been waking up across the world. The masters created dragons, enslaved mortals, and ruled over their servants for thousands of years. The dragons, their ultimate creation, rebelled against them, and sealed away their servants. No one knows what happened to the masters in the end.

Now, on to my problem. This is epic. These beings are fantastically powerful, and the players have heard of them for ages. They're going to have high expectation, and I don't want to dissapoint. Statistically, I have no problems. I can make some pretty awesome boss fights, give the masters cool powers, epic capabilities, etc. But what do they look like? They presumably made dragons in their image, but how much so? Are they beings of pure energy? Are they alien and weird? Or are they big humanoid dragon people?

Does anyone have any ideas for this? What would be properly epic and amazing, while not being steriotypical or cliche?

Paragon Badger
2007-08-06, 03:55 AM
Made dragons in their image, huh?

That makes me think of taller, more fearsome kobolds. :-P

Well, are your dragons the D&D classic kind, or the more asian style?

As for coolness, I guess the asian style could not work so well, I mean... It's basically a fire breathing snake that's got pretty colors. :-P So then that leaves european style dragons.

I'm thinking big, fearsome, wings. Possibly used to conceal their 'true' form, like if you wrap a cloak around your entire body, front and back. Heck, the wings could even have a greater damage resistence seperate from the enemy's body, so if the heroes find out a way to pry away their wings or something... but that's venturing into your domain; statistics. ;-)

Still thinking big, imposing wings, though, since that's one trait that most dragons share.

Instead of a tail, they could just have serpentine-esque tails. The Masters float a few feet off of the floor, due to their great powers, while their snake-like legs sway and slither around in mid-air. Hmmm, that might look a bit cheesy and unintimidating.

People usually assosiate big legs generally with stability and great strength. Since it's much probably much harder to knock over a kangaroo than it is a flamingo. Even though they might be floating, you still want them to look powerful and all-controlling.

So snake-legs might not be it... I still like the floating a few feet off the ground though. Perhaps their legs are humanoid, but have dragon-like claws instead of feet... Or regular feet, but with claws instead of toes. ;-)

I'm thinking elongated, powerful looking arms... Perhaps arms that extend down to their knees. With, again, claws instead of fingers.

Now I'm getting the feeling that they have a magical aura about them. I played a video game once, where the final boss, had forearms and lower legs but no upper arms and thighs. It always stuck with me, because he had the tools; hands with which to punch, feet with which to kick... but did not need/have the rest of arm/leg. However, this boss was mechanical in nature, a robot with..like...magical powers (don't ask.)

So perhaps disembodied limbs might not work, but a magical vibe would definately help them look scarier. Perhaps they have a ring of orbs around them (that may double as weapons/shields), or a seperate pair of wings floating a foot behind their bodies, which are made of fire. Not used for flying, but for attacking, maybe?

Perhaps whenever their feet *do* touch the group, fire erupts there. I dunno... I'm out of ideas on that one, so I'll switch to another topic.

The face... that's tough. A monster's face could make or break the complete design. Perhaps they have sterile, cold, unyielding human faces, but have, like, a dragon's skull-ish shape as a sort of biological 'helmet' above their ears.... Like that one dinosaur, lemme find a pic.

Or perhaps, the same human faces, but large dragon horns erupting from the back/top of their skull. ...And two little horns coming from the corner of their jaw.

Glowing eyes, that's a must. ;-) And perhaps sharpened teeth, like a dragons.

That's all I could think up of on the fly... If anything, it should help you come up with better ideas on your own. :smallwink:

2007-08-08, 11:32 PM
So tempted to say Timelords... oop said it. Maybe Atlantians?

2007-08-10, 11:30 PM
I'd like to make each master an individual, with varying appearance, but I want them all to be obviously part of the same race, perhaps save a few very weird ones.

Does anyone else have any ideas?

2007-08-11, 09:10 PM
Make them look like huge dragons, but a spot check shows that the "dragons" seem to have a hatch on their bellies. if the PCs defeat the "dragon" and open the hatch, it turns out that these "masters" are just balls of fur with extremely long tongues (much like puffskeins from harry potter).

2007-08-11, 10:50 PM
i think these powers are a fairly important factor in what they look like, if you want them all individual. for instance, a highly magical master would look tall, with cruel, cunning eyes, mabye covered in runes. a fighting master would have bulk, and would carry an impressive weapon, etc.

2007-08-11, 11:52 PM
I think it would be cool to have them as being of pure magic/space and time/energy. I picture them as creatures ranging in size all sizes from diminutive to colossal composed of different elements in the shape of a feline/lizard with wings for forelegs and spines, crests and manes. Since you want them to each be individual I suggest making them as different as possible and give the races one defining characteristic.

One for example a master of space would, at first glance, appear to be a small black cat with carnal ridges. But a closer look you would notice white stripes composed of millions of white dots. Keep staring and you would see that within the creature are several galaxies of stars, all infinitely far away and yet confined within the creature.
A master of words could be a low crawling lizard the size of a horse made of densely packed runes from all languages made of shifting sapphire and emerald and molten glass.
But give them both a band of what looks like fire and lightning made solid around their necks and they are both the same species.

2007-08-12, 12:09 AM
Giant, multi-color half-dragons, each with control over a different element.

2007-08-12, 12:12 AM
I think I like that idea, Thistle. I'm not entirely sure about shape, but in composition, make them very alien. Some of the concepts I'll be basing them on are: Time, Space, Living Magic (inspired by the living spell template. Basically, this thing can take any spell you throw at him and give it life, and make it attack you), Schism/Gestalt (split mind/combining creatures), Undeath, Motion (kinetic energy, force, etc.), Animation (animated objects and the like), Shapeshifting, and Weather.

Time I figure will sort of jolt around, do something that should have come before another action after taking the second action (swinging a weapon after landing a hit with it, for example). I like your idea for space. Sort of like staring into something that could go on forever, but also in a confined area. Living magic could be a swirling vortex of magical energy. Schism/Gestalt would be many creatures that can combine and split from one another. Undeath (my least favorite idea so far) could be made of negative energy and essense of rot. Mtion would perhaps be made of force, and constantly moving very quickly. Animation could perhaps be incorporeal, and take over physical objects. Shapeshifting of course would never look the same. Weather could be like a constantly shifting cloud. Sometimes bright, other times dark and storming.

I'd like a unifying shape though. I like the idea of the ring around the neck. I think I'll use that.