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    Morph Bark's Avatar

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    Default Creatures from the Nightmare Realm [3.5]

    Welcome to the Nightmare
    leave your sanity at the door...


    Time to expand some on my campaign setting! I notice that it is not often that monsters are the subject of a thread in the Homebrew forum, playing second fiddle to anything that is for PC use, and considering it's also a part of my setting I've so far kind of neglected, it's time to make up for all that!

    Introducing: the nightmares! Nightmares are creatures from the Nightmare Realm, quite literally nightmares made manifest. Originally known as a realm of the afterlife known as the 'Realm of Lost Souls' it was corrupted by Akurnu, one of the Nine Sons of Darkness, and became the way it is now. It is a plane where the elements are emotions and thoughts are weapons. Going in with a weak mind is the worst thing one could think of doing there.

    As a plane where physics works differently, the nightmare creatures are different as well, and possess a love for invading people's dreams. Sometimes, they take this love too far and invade other worlds, causing chaos and disrupting the natural flow of life. Such times, they may invade all, everything and everyone.


    Nightcritter, CR 3
    Spoiler
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    Small Outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar)
    HD: 4d8 (20 HP)
    Speed: 30 ft, climb 15 ft
    Init: +6
    AC: 16 (+2 Dex, +2 natural armor, +1 size, +1 deflection); touch 14; flat-footed 14
    BAB/Grapple: +4/-4
    Attack: claw +7 melee (1d4-1)
    Full-Attack: 2 claws +7 melee (1d4-1)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
    Special Attacks: soulstirring, summon nightcritter
    Special Qualities: darkvision 60 ft, emotional flux
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 7, Cha 12
    Skills: Climb +14, Hide +13, Jump +6, Listen +5, Move Silently +2, Perform (sing) +7, Spot +5
    Feats: Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
    Environment: Nightmare Realm
    Organization: Pairs or groups (3-9)
    Challenge Rating: 3
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
    Advancement: 5-7 (Small), 8-12 (Medium)

    Nightcritters are the most basic of nightmare creatures, appearing as 2-foot tall little black humanoids, with a pudgy appearance and gooey-looking skin. They have large eyes that are usually a single colour (usually yellow, purple or red), with rare nightcritters having eyes that are a swirl of two colours in a spiral pattern.

    Combat
    Emotional flux (Su): Nightcritters add their Charisma bonus as a deflection bonus to their AC, but not against attacks from mindless creatures.

    Skills: Nightcritters have a +8 bonus on Climb checks.

    Soulstirring (Su): Once per encounter, as a standard action, a nightcritter may attempt to stir the souls of those nearby. It makes a Perform (sing) check as it lets out a sorrowful wailing. Everyone within 30 ft must pass a Will save (DC equal to the check result) or move 5 ft away at the earliest opportunity. This does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Other nightmare creatures are immune to this ability. This is a mind-affecting ability.

    Summon Nightcritter (Sp): Once per day, a nightcritter may attempt to summon another nightcritter. This has a 40% chance of being successful.



    The Nightmare Realm is full of fine cracks in reality, ones that can be exploited to travel to other planes. However, nightcritters aren't big enough to fit through these cracks normally, because cracks that are big enough for them to go through are very rare (1/8000 chance a 1-by-1 mile area has a crack of Tiny size or larger). This does not stop the nightcritters, who touch these cracks and try to squeeze themselves into it anyway. This causes the nightcritter to break down, which may result in death or warping, or they may successfully squeeze through and emerge from the other side as a heartseed.


    Heartseed
    Spoiler
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    Diminutive Outsider (Chaotic, Extraplanar)
    HD: 1d8 (20 HP)
    Speed: 5 ft, swim 10 ft
    Init: +7
    AC: 17 (+3 Dex, +3 size, +1 deflection); touch 17; flat-footed 14
    BAB/Grapple: +1/-15
    Attack: --
    Full-Attack: --
    Space/Reach: 1¼ ft/0 ft
    Special Attacks: drill the soul, emotional flux
    Special Qualities: blindsight 20 ft
    Saves: Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +1
    Abilities: Str 4, Dex 17, Con 9, Int 2, Wis 7, Cha 12
    Skills: Hide +19, Jump -3, Listen +2, Move Silently +7, Swim +8
    Feats: Improved Initiative
    Environment: The Material Plane
    Organization: Solitary
    Challenge Rating: 1/2
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

    A heartseed looks kind of like a two-tailed pitch black tadpole with a dark gemstone making up most of its head, barely a foot long at most. It's a native of the Nightmare Realm, but most often appears in the Material Plane or other planes.

    Combat
    Drill the Soul (Su): As a standard action, a heartseed can leap at a target within 10 feet (Jump DC 10) and drill their soul. If the target is alive and conscious, they take 2d6 points of damage. If this brings them down to negative hit points, the heartseed automatically digs itself into their body and soul and turns them into a heartseed creature. If the target is unconscious, but has positive hit points, they must make a Will save (DC 11) to resist being turned into a heartseed creature. If the target has negative hit points or is an object (including corpses), the heartseed automatically succeeds in turning them into a heartseed creature. This ability does not work on undead, but does work on constructs.

    Emotional flux (Su): Heartseeds add their Charisma bonus as a deflection bonus to their AC, but not against attacks from mindless creatures.

    Skills: Heartseeds have a +8 bonus on Swim checks.


    Heartseed Creature
    Spoiler
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    "Heartseed creature" is an acquired template that can only be applied to a living, corporeal creature.

    Size and Type: Size is unchanged. Type changes to undead.

    HD: Change all current and future HD to d12s.

    AC: Natural armor increases by 2.

    Attack: A heartseed creature gains two primary claw attacks that deal 1d6 plus full Str mod damage (for a Medium creature).

    Special Attacks: A heartseed creature retains all the base creature’s extraordinary special attacks and gains those described below. Save DCs are equal to 10 + ½ heartseed creature's HD + heartseed creature's Cha modifier unless otherwise noted.

    Special Qualities: A heartseed creature retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described below.

    Emotional flux (Su): Heartseed creatures add their Charisma bonus as a deflection bonus to their AC, but not against attacks from mindless creatures.

    Abilities: Dex +4, Con --. Mental ability scores are Int 8, Wis 7, Cha 12 or base creature's -4, whichever are better.

    Skills: Heartseed creatures have a +4 bonus on Climb and Swim checks.

    Feats: Heartseed creatures gain Improved Initiative as a bonus feat.

    Environment: Any plane invaded by the Nightmare Realm's creatures.

    Organization: Solitary, pairs, squads (3-12) or hordes (20-80)

    Challenge Rating: +2

    Treasure: Standard

    Alignment: Chaotic Neutral



    Note that this is as of yet unfinished. More creatures will follow, more explanations of how their lives work, and maybe even a few details on the Realm itself.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2012-12-26 at 12:01 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Morph Bark's Avatar

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    Default Re: Creatures from the Nightmare Realm [3.5]

    I can now call this finished up to a useable point.

    More creatures will follow, such as the commonly-occurring Nightblades, Nightmechs, the irregular Knights and the hideously complicated Imperfects.

    Critique and comments or ideas are much welcome and appreciated.
    Last edited by Morph Bark; 2012-12-25 at 06:35 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Creatures from the Nightmare Realm [3.5]

    The nightcritter seems to remind me of the heartless from Kingdom Hearts at least by description. It should have 18 hp not 20 (4 x 4.5 = 18).

    Can these speak and what language do they speak?

    "Soulstirring" should probably be renamed "Soul-stirring Performance" since it should describe something and it should be hyphenated.

    Supernatural abilities always have DC 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + creature's charisma modifier.

    I am not sure why the creature has to succeed at its own Perform (sing) check [and you left off what the DC is to the performance] to use "soulstirring" as that just adds an unnecessary level of complexity for the DM and leads to possible failure before the PCs are even affected.

    It also hamstrings this creature since it can only use this ability once an encounter (which is really a 4e mechanic). Generally, Special abilities in 3.5 are a number of times per day.

    However, I really like that you want to use the Perform (sing) in conjunction with this special ability and want to find a way to incorporate it that makes sense.

    Forcing creatures to move 5 feet away is not very effective, rather it should cause Panic (which is a standard condition that causes creatures to flee and to take a -2 penalty to saves, etc.).

    Here is my recommendation:

    Soul-stirring Performance (Su): Three times a day as a standard action, a nightcritter may let out a sorrowful wail. Everyone within 30 feet must pass a Will save (DC 13) or become Panicked. Creatures that fail their save move at 3x their normal speed in any direction way from the nightcritter for one round and take a -2 penalty on all saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. This does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Other nightmare creatures are immune to this ability. This is a mind-affecting ability. If the nightcritter has sung in the round previous to its soul-stirring performance, the DC rises to 15. The save is charisma-based.

    Under skills it should say that it can Take 10 on Climb checks even if rushed or threatened since that is standard language for having a Climb speed. Skills are always listed last.

    Speaking of skills, its Hide should be +13 not +14 (7 ranks + 2 Dex +4 size)


    Heartseed

    This has a few more issues.

    Environment should be Nightmare Realm not Material Plane. If these were Native Outsiders, then the proper plane would be Material Plane. You always list the creature's home plane in the stat block.

    How does it get 20 hp? 1d8 -1 = 3 hp.

    These should probably have a +4 racial bonus to Jump. Since these have a Swim speed, the Take 10 language from Swim belongs in the skills section.

    Diminutive creatures always have a 1 foot space not 1 and 1/4.

    Making a successful Jump should not be a requirement for a Special Ability especially for one that carries a high degree of failure since these have a -3 to Jump skill.

    How often can a heartseed use its drill the soul ability? Since you mention that the target has to be living and conscious, this ability cannot affect Constructs. Also Constructs are destroyed at 0 hit points. Constructs are also not objects. I recommend you streamline some of this so the DM doesn't have as much to keep track of.

    Here is my suggestion:

    Drill the Soul (Su): As a standard action, a heartseed can leap at a target within 10 feet and attempt to drill its soul. Living targets take 2d6 points of damage and are turned into a heartseed creature unless they succeed at DC 11 Will save. A successful save also halves the physical damage. If the attack brings the target creature down to 0 or fewer hit points, the target gains a -2 penalty to its save. Any target killed in this manner is turned into heartseed creatures in the following round. Constructs and Undead are immune to this effect. The save is charisma-based.

    Debby
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
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    Morph Bark's Avatar

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    Default Re: Creatures from the Nightmare Realm [3.5]

    HP for the creatures has been fixed. The HD and Con scores were changed a few times in the creation process, and I forgot to adjust hp appropriately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    I am not sure why the creature has to succeed at its own Perform (sing) check [and you left off what the DC is to the performance] to use "soulstirring" as that just adds an unnecessary level of complexity for the DM and leads to possible failure before the PCs are even affected.

    It also hamstrings this creature since it can only use this ability once an encounter (which is really a 4e mechanic). Generally, Special abilities in 3.5 are a number of times per day.

    Forcing creatures to move 5 feet away is not very effective, rather it should cause Panic (which is a standard condition that causes creatures to flee and to take a -2 penalty to saves, etc.).

    However, I really like that you want to use the Perform (sing) in conjunction with this special ability and want to find a way to incorporate it that makes sense.
    The performance has no DC, but it sets the DC for the Will save. Originally, I had the Will save DC as [check result - 5], but that extra bit seemed unnecessary to me, just another thing to keep track of, which is bad.

    Making it not based off Perform would be easier, yes. I don't really want to take it out entirely though. As you said, I like it as well, and the way you remade that ability doesn't incorporate it. Plus I've got some things in the works for Perform skills that I want to use for monsters as well.

    I made it encounter-based, as I don't think there are enough encounter-based things. While unusual for a monster, I don't think it's necessarily bad, though perhaps I should reserve it for creatures that are more fit to return as an encounter again later in the same day. Hmmm, probably shouldn't keep that for low-CR creatures like these.

    As for the 5 ft movement thing, while it's not strong, it's not really supposed to be. Causing panic would be too much for these in my eyes, while at the same time also much more easily countered.

    Under skills it should say that it can Take 10 on Climb checks even if rushed or threatened since that is standard language for having a Climb speed. Skills are always listed last.
    Noted and will fix.

    Environment should be Nightmare Realm not Material Plane. If these were Native Outsiders, then the proper plane would be Material Plane. You always list the creature's home plane in the stat block.
    I'll clarify that it's the Nightmare Realm then, though they're actually the least likely to appear there due to the nature of their creation.

    Diminutive creatures always have a 1 foot space not 1 and 1/4.
    They do? Huh. I know Tiny ones have a space of 2.5, so I figured one size down would be half that.

    Making a successful Jump should not be a requirement for a Special Ability especially for one that carries a high degree of failure since these have a -3 to Jump skill.
    It came as a later addition, when I thought "wait, jumping requires the use of the Jump skill, so I need to put that in for completeness".

    How often can a heartseed use its drill the soul ability? Since you mention that the target has to be living and conscious, this ability cannot affect Constructs. Also Constructs are destroyed at 0 hit points. Constructs are also not objects. I recommend you streamline some of this so the DM doesn't have as much to keep track of.
    Noted. Constructs do become objects upon destruction though, just like any other creature (since corpses are objects).

    Thanks for your evaluation.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
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    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: Creatures from the Nightmare Realm [3.5]

    Quote Originally Posted by Morph Bark View Post
    The performance has no DC, but it sets the DC for the Will save.
    .

    How do you know if the creature succeeds at its Performance check if there is no DC? It could fail as on a natural 1.

    Furthermore, saving throws of Supernatural abilities are always 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + Cha modifier. Once you start messing with that, the Will save becomes variable making it too easy if the Perform check goes badly. I don't like such variable DCs for saves because it can over power the CR.

    Making it not based off Perform would be easier, yes. I don't really want to take it out entirely though. As you said, I like it as well, and the way you remade that ability doesn't incorporate it. Plus I've got some things in the works for Perform skills that I want to use for monsters as well.
    If you notice, I didn't remove the Perform completely from the ability. It just adds to DC if the creature sang in the previous round.

    I don't think there are enough encounter-based things. While unusual for a monster, I don't think it's necessarily bad, though perhaps I should reserve it for creatures that are more fit to return as an encounter again later in the same day. Hmmm, probably shouldn't keep that for low-CR creatures like these.
    The reason you don't see encounter-based abilities in 3.5 is because there aren't any in the core books. This is a mechanic from 4e that people port into 3.5. I'm not a fan of it personally because it can lead to abuse. During the encounter the creature could run away and then come back 10 minutes later making someone decide that it is a "new" encounter.

    As for the 5 ft movement thing, while it's not strong, it's not really supposed to be. Causing panic would be too much for these in my eyes, while at the same time also much more easily countered.
    I disagree. Forcing a creature back 5 feet can be countered by a 5-foot step.
    If you think causing panic is too strong, you could limit it to one round rather than 1d4 rounds or change it from causing panic to frightening its targets. Targets still flee but flee, but it is a lesser condition.

    Heartseed Creature leaves me with a couple of questions.

    1. How long does it take to turn into a heartseed creature? Is it immediate or will the party have time to prevent it?

    2. Do you recalculate the creature's hit points? Since they lose their Con score, they will lose those bonus hit points too.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2012-12-28 at 06:39 PM.
    P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either. Note I generally only critique 3.5 and Pathfinder material.
    Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
    my creations in homebrew signature thread

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