View Full Version : [Creature] Mmmm, obscured light

2008-01-07, 01:55 PM
Size/Type: Medium Magical Beast
HD: 3d10+6 (22 HP)
Initiative[/b: +3
[b]Speed: 50 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (+3 Dex, +2 Natural) touch 13, flatfooted 12
Base Attack / Grapple: +3/+5
Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d8+2)
Full Attack: Bite +5 melee (1d8+2), 2x Claws +2 melee (1d6+2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft. / 5 ft.
Special Attacks: Trip, Attack the Shadow
Special Qualities: Blind, Shadescent, Scent, Blindsense 10 feet
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +2
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +3, Listen +3, Move Silently +4, Spot +3, Survival +4
Feats: Track, Blind-Fight
Environment: temperate plains or forests, wend den
Organization: Solitary (very rare), pair, pack (7-16) or full hunt (16-30)
Challenge Rating: 2
[b]Treasure: Things the creature has consumed--1/2 coins; 50% items
Alignment: Usually true neutral
Advancement: 4-6 HD (Medium), 7-10 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: -

Shadescent (Su)-A wend can 'see' the shadows of any creature, but not the creature itself. If the shadow is clear to the wend, the creature does not gain 50% miss chance from total concealment. If it is partly obscured or behind the creature, the wend cannot judge the creature's movements well enough to counteract the fact that they are blind, and in these cases the creature gains the 50% miss chance. Wends also can see any dead creatures, including undead, although they will never eat undead meat.

Attack the Shadow (Su)-A wend may elect to attack the shadow of a creature instead of the creature itself--this includes grappling, trip attacks, or standard attacks, but all such attacks deal nonlethal damage to the character instead of lethal damage. If a creature is knocked out by attacks in this manner, the creature's shadow disappears, and all wends can see them normally. A creature will never cast a shadow from the specific light source a wend attacked them in again if they lose their shadow, with the exception of the sun or moon on an especially bright night. In the case of a celestial light source, the shadow will return with the next passing (the next day or night). Lines directly across shadows also count for flanking. Creatures who are not touching the ground, such as birds or flying individuals, take half damage as well as the damage being nonlethal.

A wend is a creature that hunts the shadows of living creatures. They only venture out of their dens (usually dead ends of well-lit areas, such as canyons or niches in forested areas--they never go willingly underground more than a few feet) when hunting, and usually won't stop hunting until they have satisfied their hunger. A shadow of a medium creature will satisfy a wend for two weeks. If a wend is very hungry, though, it can be satisfied by eating normal meats.

Wends are quadrupeds, roughly three feet tall standing, four feet long and a foot and a half wide. They have dull tan to dark grey thin fur, and the skin underneath--which is usually dry and cracked enough to almost appear scaled--is always the same hue as the individual's fur. Their rear haunches are the highest points of their bodies, their spines tipping down towards the ground. Their heads are broad and flat, with a vertically flattened snout. A wend's tooth is extremely bright, but surprisingly has near to no radiance--it will appear very bright in dark areas, but does not light up its surroundings at all. Wends also have patches of pinkish flesh over where the eyes would be on most predatory quadrupeds--it has been hypothesized that these patches are nerve endings that allow a wend to 'see' shadows, although, even when these have been covered or removed in experimentation, the wend retained its ability to spot the shadows of creatures. It is unknown how a wend differentiates between the shadow of an unmoving creature and the shadows of nonliving things, but they have demonstrated this capability time after time in encounters with hunting packs. They appear to have no sexual dimorphism, and it is unknown how they reproduce, or how long they live in the wild.

Tracking wends is a simple process, as they move in large groups and tend not to move in a very coordinated way. Feces, however, cannot be depended on as tracking keys. It is unknown how, or indeed, even if, wends defecate, as they seem to lack the physical elements involved in the conclusions of most standard digestive tracts. They do, however, have stomachs, and inside these can be found anything the wend has eaten that it could not metabolize--bones of recent kills (a wend's stomach can dissolve bone over roughly a year's time), any processed metals, and sometimes wood or grass. Wends cannot process vegetation at all, and often one can trace where a wend has been by identifying what vegetation has found its way into the wend's stomach.

Ordinary predators often follow wend hunts, having learned that where wends have been, unconscious animals will be. Wolves, mountain lions, and other, similar creatures have all been spotted running after wends. If spotted by the wends, however, they are turned on and their shadows eaten--more than just their shadows if the wends are especially hungry.

Some creatures that do not cast shadows, such as specific kinds of undead, use wends as hunting animals--leashing them and directing them at their prey by projecting light from behind the intended targets (for example, by casting any light-producing spell, throwing torches, or anything else that will draw the wends' attention to the target).

When in a wild hunt, wends are very simpleminded. They attempt no ambush, and instead will charge at their intended prey headlong, running them down and eating their shadows or the bodies of the creatures wends ahead of them have already downed. The wend hunt keeps hunting until all of the individual wends are satisfied, whereupon the entire hunt wheels and turns back to the wend den.


So, what do people think? Flavorful enough? CR about right? Treasure?

2008-01-07, 07:40 PM
And there are packs of these things?

The CR almost seems a bit low to me, but I suppose the non-lethal nature of its attacks brings it down a bit. Will they preferentially attack shadows, or will they sometimes just jump for your throat?

2008-01-07, 07:42 PM
*browses through SRD*
Wends eat shadows, and yet you say they will never eat undead meat? You're confusing me.

2008-01-07, 08:24 PM
Shadows as in those cast by living people, not shadows as in blackish incorporeal undead.

Undead meat also meaning zombies, vampires, skeletons and the like--corporeal undead. Incorporeal undead are fair game.

All a wend can see when it encounters something is its shadow, so it will always attack the shadow first. If something gets in the way of its meal (like the person the shadow is attached to), it'll attack it, but shadows to a wend are first targets.

Think I'm gonna pull out that 90 degree thing--just make it so that they can see shadows of living creatures, and I'll add that they attack shadows first.

As to the comment that there are packs of these things--just 2 casts of Light and you're as good as invisible to these guys. Light, being a cantrip, is something EVERYBODY is going to have. Maybe not while traveling overland, but really, what moron doesn't bring more than one torch?

2008-01-09, 06:06 AM
Seeing as I don't have any rulebooks (and thus have no business being on this forum in the first place *shrug*), I suppose I should be a little clearer:
There are rules for casting shadows!?
The only shadows in the SRD are the aforementioned undead creatures.
Another question: Should I be concerned if a Wend is attacking my shadow? It doesn't sound very dangerous, and the lack of a shadow seems pretty advantageous to me. Especially for a thief, though I suppose you'd need to keep a packaged wend around for each light source. On that note, a very silly question: Does the damage to my shadow count as damage to me? Reading through, I didn't really make the connection until the fluff about unconscious animals...

2008-01-10, 11:54 AM
There are no 'rules' for casting shadows, but you can figure out pretty easily where a person's would be with distinct light sources. If it's late or early in the day, your shadow could extend double your height in a direction directly away from the sun (westward in the morning, eastward in the evening). Around midday, your shadow is under you. Midafternoon or midmorning, you could say it's roughly your height away from the sun. Same for night time if the moon's especially bright. Things get even simpler with handheld light sources. If it's at the same elevation (for example, clipped to somebody's belt or someone is carrying it), the shadows would extend directly away from the light source out to the distance it projects light. If somebody's holding the light source up, halve the distance.

Yes, you should be concerned if a wend is attacking your shadow. They very rarely move on their own, and, even if you do keep one as a 'pet', you still have to take enough nonlethal to knock you out to destroy your own shadow.

To clarify: attacks on the shadow produce nonlethal damage on YOU, not against your shadow. I'll fix up the original post to make that clearer.

If you've got a good healer, though, a captured wend could be helpful for a thief.

As to your comments on the rulebooks--guess what? I don't have any either. The SRD's all you need for a good background for homebrew.