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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    ...but she has no freakin' idea what else to be!

    So I ran across a song about angler fish on YouTube a while ago and it's been intermittently stuck in my head ever since. Plus, my homebrew campaign setting Scroungers, is heavily maritime so good aquatic encounters are useful. The upshot of all this is that I decided that D&D needs more angler fish. So here they are. I'm interested to hear what you think. And any input on the appropriate CR would be helpful. I think they're about right, but I'm afb right now and don't remember the formula well enough to be certain, so I'm guessing...


    Angler Fish (Pseudoceratias assuetus)

    Size/Type:
    Tiny Animal
    Hit Dice:
    1/2d8 (2 hp)
    Initiative:
    +2
    Speed:
    Swim 30 ft.
    Armor Class:
    14 (+2 size, +2 Dex), touch 14, flat-footed 12
    Base Attack/Grapple:
    +0/--
    Attack:
    Bite +2 (1d2-4)
    Full Attack:
    Bite +2 (1d2-4)
    Space/Reach:
    2.5 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks:
    Bioluminescence
    Special Qualities:
    Darkvision 60 ft, blindsight 10 ft
    Saves:
    Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +0
    Abilities:
    Str 3, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 2
    Skills:
    Swim +11
    Feats:
    Alertness, weapon finesse (b)
    Environment:
    Oceans
    Organization:
    Solitary
    Challenge Rating:
    1/4
    Treasure:
    None
    Alignment:
    Always neutral
    Advancement:
    None
    Level Adjustment:
    --

    Angler fish are strange creatures who use dangling, bioluminescent lures on their heads to attract prey.

    Combat:
    Bioluminescence (Ex): As a free action, an angler fish can ignite the small iridescent light that dangles from between its eyes, producing brilliant patterns of dancing, shimmering light. When this ability is activated, the 5-foot square in which the angler fish is located is brightly illuminated, with shadowy illumination stretching for an additional 5-foot radius. Additionally, all creatures within 10 feet that can see the light must succeed on a DC 10 Will save or be fascinated for as long as the light remains illuminated. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Skills: An angler fish has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line. It uses its Dexterity modifier instead of its Strength modifier for Swim checks.

    Angler Fish as Familiars: A sorcerer or wizard who selects an angler fish as her familiar gains a +1 bonus on her caster level when casting the Dancing Lights, Daylight, and Light spells.


    Angler Fish Swarm (Pseudoceratias accumulans)

    Size/Type:
    Diminutive Animal (Swarm)
    Hit Dice:
    3d8+2 (16 hp)
    Initiative:
    +3
    Speed:
    Swim 30 ft.
    Armor Class:
    17 (+4 size, +3 Dex), touch 17, flat-footed 14
    Base Attack/Grapple:
    +2/--
    Attack:
    Swarm (1d6)
    Full Attack:
    Swarm (1d6)
    Space/Reach:
    10 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks:
    Distraction, bioluminescence
    Special Qualities:
    Darkvision 60 ft, immune to weapon damage, swarm traits, blindsight 30 ft, deceptive illumination
    Saves:
    Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +0
    Abilities:
    Str 1, Dex 17, Con 12, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 2
    Skills:
    Listen +2, Spot+2, Swim +11
    Feats:
    --
    Environment:
    Oceans
    Organization:
    Solitary, school (2-4 swarms)
    Challenge Rating:
    2
    Treasure:
    None
    Alignment:
    Always neutral
    Advancement:
    None
    Level Adjustment:
    --

    Angler fish commonly dwell far below the surface of the ocean, where the light from the sun never pierces the gloom. However, some threat will occasionally drive them from their accustomed dark solitude and toward the surface, where they sometimes coalesce into large swarms of tiny fish for protection. Their appearance is startling; milky-white, beady eyes set above wide gaping jaws full of impossibly long, thin teeth. And above all, the dangling, dancing, tantalizing light that sits atop their face.

    Combat
    Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn with an angler fish swarm in its space must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Bioluminescence(Ex): As a free action, the angler fish within the swarm can ignite the small iridescent lights that dangle from between their eyes, producing brilliant patterns of dancing, shimmering light. When this ability is activated, the area within the swarm plus an additional 10-foot radius is brightly illuminated, with shadowy illumination stretching for an additional 10-foot radius around the swarm. Additionally, all creatures that can see the light must succeed on a DC 12 Will save or be fascinated for as long as the swarm’s lights remain illuminated. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Deceptive Illumination (Ex): When their lights are illuminated, an angler fish swarm can alter the patterns of light to deceive its foes. To do so, some swarms douse some of their lights while keeping others lit and convince enemies that their mass is concentrated where in fact there are fewer fish. Other swarms illuminate all of their lights at once before dousing them and moving quickly, convincing their foes to follow their afterimage while the swarm escapes into the dark. Either way, the swarm can activate this ability at will as a free action. While this ability is active, the swarm takes normal damage from area of effect spells and gains a +4 bonus on Reflex saves. Additionally, it gains a 25% miss chance against effects that require an attack roll.

    Skills: An angler fish swarm has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line. It uses its Dexterity modifier instead of its Strength modifier for Swim checks.

    Arcanoeconomics of Angler Fish
    On their own, angler fish are far too small and skittish to be a threat. However, these wondrous creatures have distinct value in certain circumstances that makes them the targets of hunters and collectors. A magic user can choose to include a dried or fresh angler fish as an optional spell component any time she casts the Dancing Lights, Daylight, or Light spells. Doing so increases the radius of bright illumination and the radius of shadowy illumination produced by the spell by 5 feet.
    Cost: 10 gp each

    Dire Angler Fish (Megaceratias profundis)

    Size/Type:
    Medium Animal
    Hit Dice:
    6d8+18 (45 hp)
    Initiative:
    +3
    Speed:
    Swim 30 ft.
    Armor Class:
    14 (+2 Dex, +2 natural armor), touch 12, flat-footed 12
    Base Attack/Grapple:
    +4/+8
    Attack:
    Bite +6 melee (1d10)
    Full Attack:
    Bite +6 melee (1d10)
    Space/Reach:
    5 ft./5 ft.
    Special Attacks:
    Bioluminescence, improved grab, swallow whole
    Special Qualities:
    Darkvision 60 ft, blindsight 30 ft, senses of the parasite
    Saves:
    Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +1
    Abilities:
    Str 10, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 2
    Skills:
    Swim +16
    Feats:
    Environment:
    Oceans
    Organization:
    Solitary
    Challenge Rating:
    3
    Treasure:
    None
    Alignment:
    Always neutral
    Advancement:
    None
    Level Adjustment:
    --

    Combat
    Bioluminescence(Ex): As a free action, a dire angler fish can ignite the small iridescent light that dangles from between its eyes, producing brilliant patterns of dancing, shimmering light. When this ability is activated, a 10-foot radius around the dire angler fish is brightly illuminated, with shadowy illumination stretching for an additional 10-foot radius. Additionally, all creatures that can see the light must succeed on a DC 22 Will save or be fascinated for as long as the light remains illuminated. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Senses of the Parasite (Ex): All dire angler fish commonly encountered are female, but they are never encountered alone. Over the course of a female’s life, one or more dire angler fish males bite her on her side and, over time, are incorporated into her body, becoming parasites. Not only does this practice facilitate mating in the darkness of the deep ocean, but it grants the female uncanny awareness of her surroundings via her parasitic connection with the tiny male angler fish. A dire angler fish cannot be flanked.

    Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a dire angler fish must hit an opponent of up to its size with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can try to swallow the foe the following round. The dire angler fish has a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks.

    Swallow Whole (Ex): A dire angler fish can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to its size by making a successful grapple check. The swallowed creature takes 1d8 points of bludgeoning damage and 4 points of acid damage per round from the dire angler fish's stomach. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 10 points of damage to the gizzard (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.

    A Medium dire angler fish’s stomach can hold 1 Medium, 2 Small, 8 Tiny, or 16 Diminutive or smaller opponents.

    Skills: A dire angler fish has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line. It uses its Dexterity modifier instead of its Strength modifier for Swim checks.
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2014-07-27 at 08:27 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    But... Anglerfish are solitary animals, they don't live in swarms.

    I like the Dire version, though. Both (Ex) abilities are a nice touch. Hm, but it may lack a bit on the offense. A +4 1d8 attack probably won't do much against 3rd level characters.

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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    But... Anglerfish are solitary animals, they don't live in swarms.
    This. Not only that, but this was also almost 100% of the point of the song you're referencing, so it really seems to be... missing it? to give them a swarm.

    Also, for reference, the singer is Hank Green, and he and his brother John have a ton of really cool YouTube videos (and by a ton I mean there are a few thousand of the things).

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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Thanks for the quick comments!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    But... Anglerfish are solitary animals, they don't live in swarms.
    Quote Originally Posted by Answerer
    This. Not only that, but this was also almost 100% of the point of the song you're referencing, so it really seems to be... missing it? to give them a swarm.
    True. But real angler fish also don't really gain improved vision from parasitic male angler fish attached to their bodies. Nor do they typically grow to be Medium sized. I came up with the idea for the deceptive illumination and thought it was a cool ability, so I made a swarm. Plus, I wanted to throw in the stuff about arcanoecology and a swarm seemed to fit with that. I know that angler fish don't swarm in real life, but this is D&D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode
    I like the Dire version, though. Both (Ex) abilities are a nice touch. Hm, but it may lack a bit on the offense. A +4 1d8 attack probably won't do much against 3rd level characters.
    Hmm. You're right. I miscalculated a few things and forgot to add feats, so hopefully they take things up a notch. Let me know if you don't think that fixes it. I'm also probably going to recalculate the CR this evening when I have access to the formula I use.
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2013-02-08 at 11:09 AM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    First, this is just cool. I love ceratioids for all their freaky weirdness, and I'm running a seafaring campaign, so these will definitely get some use.

    On the swarming part...well, yes, these fish are sort of the opposite of swarming creatures, and it's their extreme diffusion that's driven the male parasitism. When you're only likely to meet one potential mate in your entire lifetime, you can't risk being choosy.

    But there are also countless cases in the real world of solitary individuals which come together in huge masses, often in situations of migration or predator avoidance. It's not too hard to imagine a species of swarming anglerfish (Pseudoceratias accumulans, let's call it) which forms a swarm under certain conditions in a certain season.

    I like the Fascinate effect ("I'm feeling...happy....") and although I'm no expert on game mechanics, it looks mechanically sound to me. Deceptive Illumination is a neat idea, but I'm not sure quite how it works. Is the swarm shifting its apparent center of mass with the lights? Keep in mind that predatory fish will be able to sense their prey with their lateral lines, so Deceptive Illumination might not be that effective as a sparkly defense.

    However, you might try working up an ability based on the swarm pulsing all of their lights at once, in sudden synchrony: a great flash, total darkness, and then another great flash, etc. It might work the same as a squid's ink, but in reverse--rather than the distraction of a dark shape in sunlit water, your anglerfish swarm would leave a brilliant, confusing afterimage while they darted off to safety in the black.

    On the Dire Anglerfish, very cool again; this is the sort of thing Stormwrack should have had. I do have to agree, though, that the flanking ability kind of...wouldn't work...because the male anglerfish is actually embedded headfirst into the female, and his eyes are some of the first things to go.

    Apart from that, I love the Dire Anglerfish, and my only other suggestion would be to add something involving their monstrous stomachs. Because prey can be rare in the deep, anglerfish have to be prepared to eat other fish their own size, and their stomachs can expand hugely to accomodate oversized meals. That's got to be a Swallow Whole or something similar.

    Overall, I love it. Do we give rep in the Playground? Because this really deserves some rep.


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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    *Is not a zoologist in any way, shape, or form.* Sorry for all the zoological inaccuracies. I can only plead ignorance and the Rule of Cool. But I'm glad you like the monsters and really appreciate the input. If you use them in your campaign, let me know how things go and what needs to be fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    But there are also countless cases in the real world of solitary individuals which come together in huge masses, often in situations of migration or predator avoidance. It's not too hard to imagine a species of swarming anglerfish (Pseudoceratias accumulans, let's call it) which forms a swarm under certain conditions in a certain season.
    I love this, especially the Latin name. Added to the original write-up! Any suggestions on a Latin name for the dire version?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Deceptive Illumination is a neat idea, but I'm not sure quite how it works. Is the swarm shifting its apparent center of mass with the lights? Keep in mind that predatory fish will be able to sense their prey with their lateral lines, so Deceptive Illumination might not be that effective as a sparkly defense.

    However, you might try working up an ability based on the swarm pulsing all of their lights at once, in sudden synchrony: a great flash, total darkness, and then another great flash, etc. It might work the same as a squid's ink, but in reverse--rather than the distraction of a dark shape in sunlit water, your anglerfish swarm would leave a brilliant, confusing afterimage while they darted off to safety in the black.
    To be honest, I had more of the first description in mind when I designed the ability, but I like your explanation, too. I'll add something to the ability and DMs can choose. I was thinking more about PCs than natural predators. Not really sure what a lateral line is, but I doubt most PCs have them!

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    On the Dire Anglerfish, very cool again; this is the sort of thing Stormwrack should have had. I do have to agree, though, that the flanking ability kind of...wouldn't work...because the male anglerfish is actually embedded headfirst into the female, and his eyes are some of the first things to go.
    Umm...yeah. Not really too much to say here. I like the ability and I couldn't think of any other way to get the parasitic male thing in there. Would I be destroying all my credibility if I kept it for Rule of Cool reasons?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Apart from that, I love the Dire Anglerfish, and my only other suggestion would be to add something involving their monstrous stomachs. Because prey can be rare in the deep, anglerfish have to be prepared to eat other fish their own size, and their stomachs can expand hugely to accomodate oversized meals. That's got to be a Swallow Whole or something similar.
    Now this is awesome! I didn't know they could do that. Consider it added, asap!

    Thanks again for the feedback!
    Last edited by Mephibosheth; 2013-02-18 at 09:57 PM.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    That's outstanding you added Swallow Whole. I can't wait to use one of these; my party has a halfling who'd go down very nicely indeed.

    As for a Latin name for the Dire Anglerfish, I propose Megaceratias profundis, suggesting the dark depths of both its habitat and its stomach.

    On the lateral line: this is a row of sensory organs usually running from behind a fish's gills to just ahead of its tail, one lateral line per side. They sense subtle pressure differentials in the water, and they're one way that fish can maintain tight formations in a massive school. Think of it as a full-body motion detector; in game terms, a lateral line is essentially free blindsense.

    --And, this might be a good substitute for your Eyes of the Parasite ability. Instead of a second set of eyes, the male contributes a second set of lateral lines, which help triangulate the position of nearby creatures and deny a flanking bonus. Maybe?



    EDIT: Two other comments here. First, if spellcasters are willing to pay 10 gp for a small P. accumulans, I'm guessing a full-grown M. profundis could fetch several hundred gp. Perhaps some other magical effect for the larger lure of the Dire Anglerfish? Given its Fascinate ability, perhaps this could enhance glamers and enchantments somehow?

    And, this is just begging a version of the anglerfish for an undersea wizard's familiar. A solitary P. accumulans could be decidedly creepy, glowing over the shoulder of an aventi deep magus....

    .
    Last edited by Palanan; 2013-02-18 at 10:46 PM.

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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    ... Yes.

    Yes.

    Yes.

    This is the best thing ever.
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Kudo. Excellent job on these. I never think that D&D creatures have to exactly resemble real world counterparts. That said, I think you made a few minor missteps with these.

    Let's start with the Swarm. The first problem is that Fascination is never an Extraordinary ability.

    Fascinated

    A fascinated creature is entranced by a supernatural or spell effect. The creature stands or sits quietly, taking no actions other than to pay attention to the fascinating effect, for as long as the effect lasts. It takes a -4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Listen and Spot checks. Any potential threat, such as a hostile creature approaching, allows the fascinated creature a new saving throw against the fascinating effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a ranged weapon at the fascinated creature, automatically breaks the effect. A fascinated creature’s ally may shake it free of the spell as a standard action.
    Luckily fixing it is easy. These easiest way is to change it from Fascinate to Bioluminescence. I don't usually advocate renaming special abilities but in order to make this a natural feature, it makes sense to do so.This is one of those times when I think you should break the rules.

    The other problem with Fascinate is that you gave them +4 racial bonus but never say where it comes from. Normally, a bonus like this would come from Ability Focus feat and would be +2. Since this is meant to be a CR 2 monster in the first place, DC 16 is a bit too high for CR 2. The DC is 10 + 1/2 creature's HD + ability modifier. It should be DC 12 and that's appropriate to the CR of the creature.

    If they have darkvision 60 feet why bother giving them blindsight 30 feet? It's unnecessary. Darkvision means that the creature has the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness.

    Your last misstep is that Swim speeds (like Fly and Burrow) are never given in squares because you can have vertical movement. That goes for the Dire Angler as well as the Swarm.

    As for the Dire Angler fish, again watch your DCs. DC 22 save in Fascinate (which should be renamed to Bioluminescence) is too high for CR 3. It gets a +2 racial bonus from its feat so that stays, but the DC should be 18 and that includes the +2 racial bonus from Ability Focus. (10 + 1/2 creature's HD + Con modifier +2 ability focus) 10 +3 +3 +2= 18.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-02-19 at 02:09 PM.
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Let's start with the Swarm. The first problem is that Fascination is never an Extraordinary ability.

    Luckily fixing it is easy. These easiest way is to change it from Fascinate to Bioluminescence. I don't usually advocate renaming special abilities but in order to make this a natural feature, it makes sense to do so.This is one of those times when I think you should break the rules.
    If one is going to break the 'rules' (which are not as hard-and-fast as you say), why not break it the other way? Fascinate is an existing condition, with existing counters and such, far easier to tweak the glossary desc rather than inject an entirely new condition. Just making it Ex doesn't actually break anything, only tweak the description to have been referring to only the at-the-time existing uses of the condition.

    If he wants to make the DC higher, due to a racial bonus or the like, I also see no problem with that, as long as it comes as a high counter to a distinct low-point elsewhere in the creature's mechanics. (it also could be justification for bumping the CR a little, if desired.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    If they have darkvision 60 feet why bother giving them blindsight 30 feet? It's unnecessary. Darkvision means that the creature has the ability to see 60 feet even in total darkness.
    Actually not true, blindsight is useful where magical darkness is involved, as darkvision does nothing for you there. Same with invisibility and concealment, blindsight negates those, darkvision again does jack. Plus, it works for the lateral line sense described above in the thread. Flavor text being reflected in the mechanics for the win.

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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Quote Originally Posted by RedWarlock View Post
    If one is going to break the 'rules' (which are not as hard-and-fast as you say), why not break it the other way? Fascinate is an existing condition, with existing counters and such, far easier to tweak the glossary desc rather than inject an entirely new condition. Just making it Ex doesn't actually break anything, only tweak the description to have been referring to only the at-the-time existing uses of the condition.
    It's not a new condition, it is a new name for the Special Ability. Technically, though, it is the condition that' s the problem. It's up to the original poster as to how to proceed. Theoretically, there's no need to change anything since it's all in the description. I am however pointing out the error in the DCs.

    If he wants to make the DC higher, due to a racial bonus or the like, I also see no problem with that, as long as it comes as a high counter to a distinct low-point elsewhere in the creature's mechanics. (it also could be justification for bumping the CR a little, if desired.)
    Racial bonuses usually have to come from somewhere, either from a Special Ability or Feat or as part of a background. Part of creating good monsters, is understanding the variables and how it all fits together. Hey, I'm all for breaking rules when it makes sense.

    Generally speaking if the odds of making a DC save or check are less than 50%, it's designed to be a fail. On a d20, you should succeed 50% of the time so 10.5 would be the average roll.

    There is almost no way for an "average" 2nd level PC to succeed at making the angler fish swarm's fascination save. Let's be generous and give the average PC Wis 18 (16 is more average but hey, I'm feeling generous). So a 2nd level fighter with Wis 18 would have to roll an 18 or better to succeed in not being fascinated. That sucks for the PCs. There is a bit more than a "little" difference at having to roll 18 or better than having to roll 12 or better.

    If your party has exceptional stats, your creatures will be tougher than normal. When you design a homebrew, unless you specify it is being made for your specific campaign using your house rules and whatnot, it's generally expected that any DM could use these.

    With DC 22, there's no way I'd throw these at 2nd level. Changing the CR doesn't make it better. It just means the monster will be woefully underpowered when the PCs attack. This is why good monster design isn't as easy as it looks.

    I appreciate a well-written monster, I really do. I also want one that is appropriate. It can be done. It's not even that difficult. It's just a matter of understanding how it all balances. I've been playing this game (and critiquing monsters) for ages. I can pretty much look at a monster and see where the errors/missteps are. Note I said misstep. The original monster isn't "wrong" but it is too hard for the CR. The idea is to make it better and keep all the original flavor of the creature.

    Actually not true, blindsight is useful where magical darkness is involved, as darkvision does nothing for you there. Same with invisibility and concealment, blindsight negates those, darkvision again does jack. Plus, it works for the lateral line sense described above in the thread. Flavor text being reflected in the mechanics for the win.
    If we were talking about creatures that would be in areas where magical darkness is likely to occur, I'd agree with you. Furthermore, the swarm is designed for CR 2 and PCs can't cast darkness until 4th level. Moreover the angler fish swarm can't cast darkness either. So unless there's a reason for magical darkness (and I can't see one), I fail to see why these creatures should have it. Darkvision makes sense. Blindsight doesn't.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-02-19 at 04:07 PM.
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Thanks very much for the extremely helpful comments, everyone!

    Debby, your points about fascination are well-taken. I like the idea of renaming it bioluminescence and have done so. I've also lowered the DCs. You're right, a +4 racial bonus was a little bit more than appropriate.

    That said, there are plenty of examples of creatures that have racial bonuses to save DCs without an obvious source. Ettercaps for example have a +2 racial bonus on the save DC of their poison without Ability Focus or any other obvious source that I can see. So adding racial bonuses to DCs doesn't seem like breaking rules per se. That said, I don't disagree that the DCs of the newly-renamed bioluminescence are too high.

    I also removed the "6 squares" from the swim speeds. Good call.

    I think I'm going to keep the blindsight even if its somewhat redundant. It would be helpful if the fish were blinded or in areas of magical darkness (like RedWarlock said) which might not occur in the real world but could very well be present in a D&D setting. Plus, as Palanan and RedWarlock reminded us, angler fish have senses other than sight.
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    And, this is just begging a version of the anglerfish for an undersea wizard's familiar. A solitary P. accumulans could be decidedly creepy, glowing over the shoulder of an aventi deep magus...
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Niiiiize fish.




    I'd been wondering what a single example would look like. Also, a very nice touch with the species name.

    Just a couple very minor comments. First, what does the [b] mean after Weapon Finesse? Does that denote it's used on the bite? (Well, b for bite, it kind of makes sense....)

    Also, as a minor bio-nitpick: the convention with zoological names is that the genus should be capitalized while the species remains lower-case: thus, Pseudoceratias assuetus, P. accumulans, and Megaceratias profundis. (I'm suggesting you keep the familiar version in the same genus as the swarming species, since Ceratias is a real-world anglerfish genus.)

    Very nicely done, and in fact I've suggested your dire anglerfish as a marine encounter for a seafaring campaign. I'll definitely be using these myself.

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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Just a couple very minor comments. First, what does the [b] mean after Weapon Finesse? Does that denote it's used on the bite? (Well, b for bite, it kind of makes sense....)
    The [b] indicates that it's a bonus feat. A creature with less than 3 hit dice normally has only one feat. Angler fish have the animal type which gives them cleric BAB, so the wouldn't qualify for weapon finesse at 1st level. But you can give the feat to them as a bonus feat regardless of prerequisites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Also, as a minor bio-nitpick: the convention with zoological names is that the genus should be capitalized while the species remains lower-case: thus, Pseudoceratias assuetus, P. accumulans, and Megaceratias profundis. (I'm suggesting you keep the familiar version in the same genus as the swarming species, since Ceratias is a real-world anglerfish genus.)
    Done and done. Thanks!
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephibosheth View Post

    True. But real angler fish also don't really gain improved vision from parasitic male angler fish attached to their bodies. Nor do they typically grow to be Medium sized.
    Actually the biggest anglerfish do reach 2 m long and over 200 lb in weight- so they would comfortably qualify as Medium.
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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Rather than specifying those three particular spells, why not give the Sorcerer or Wizard +1 Caster Level for all spells with the [Light] descriptor?

    It's a bit powerful for a familiar ability, but then you have to figure out how to keep this fish alive for adventuring that usually isn't be happening underwater.

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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    Originally Posted by Mephibosheth
    Done and done. Thanks!
    You're very welcome. You're giving me some great creatures to use here.

    Originally Posted by Answerer
    Rather than specifying those three particular spells, why not give the Sorcerer or Wizard +1 Caster Level for all spells with the [Light] descriptor?
    I would second this, since restricting the benefit to only a couple of spells seemed a little, well, restricted.

    Alternatively (or as an advanced ability) you could allow the familiar to grant a modest bonus on Enchantment spells, as a nod to its Bioluminescence ability.

    Originally Posted by Mephibosheth
    Early in the female’s life, a dire angler fish male bites her on her side and, over time, is incorporated into her body and becomes a parasite.
    And finally, one last bio-comment: often a female will pick up several males during the course of her lifetime, so we could imagine a network of fused males at several points around her body--which in game terms would give further support to the Senses of the Parasite ability. Any anglerfish that's grown to this size is likely to be old, very old, and she'll have a whole collection of males.

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    Default Re: The deep sea angler fish has no reason to be happy... [3.5, Monsters]

    I thought about that, but it looks like there are a fair number of spells that carry that descriptor. It's a bit more powerful than I'm comfortable with for a familiar bonus.
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