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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default The Rakshasa Community Project

    A thread for material relating to Rakshasa.

    Background:
    Origin of the Rakshasa
    How Ravanna turned to evil

    Monsters:
    Raja of the Mirage
    Feral Rakshasa

    Spells:
    Faithful Retinue

    Feats:
    Rakshasa Heritage Feats

    Original post
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    So. I was thinking about books like the Draconomicon, Fiendish Codex or Lords of Madness - Books that take a monster or small group of monsters like the Illithidae and give them more materials. Variants of the monster, greater and lesser forms, monster specific feats, powers, gods, paragon classes, perhaps prestige classes for followers of the monster, etc.

    And I thought, we should do something like that. Take a vaguely interesting monster that doesn't have much material written on it and expand it in such a way. I'll be going through the monster manual myself and put up a few suggestions, but I'd also like people to make some. Then we'll take, say, the most interesting sounding ten or so and put them to a vote.

    A few requirements:
    -Preferably intelligent. While we could take something like, say, a Frost Worm or a Phantom Fungus and give it a greater form that is intelligent, or just give it more abilities, that isn't quite what I want to do here.
    -Something in the mid levels. Epic and high level monsters don't show up often enough and low level ones tend to be generic more often than not.
    -At least one relatively unique ability. Doesn't have to be entirely unique, but something special we can build from. Not, say, an ogre.
    -Shouldn't have too much premade fluff. We're looking for something that lacks definition, here.


    Alright? Sounds good?
    Last edited by Eldan; 2016-09-08 at 06:26 AM.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Let's start with the monster that represents one of the primordial sins succubus. I think we can make her worth her cr 7 what you guys thing to improve her

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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I flipped through the old manual and found a couple categories that I thought would be cool to give a good treatment to.

    Coatls and Lillends
    - Similar beings, feels like there could be a category with them. Not my first choice.

    Nature Spirits
    - Dryads are pretty much all we get, but Naiads, Neriads, other kinds might be cool.

    Formians
    - Intelligent hive minds could be a unique thing to work on.

    Gith
    - The denizens of the Astral Plane are just cool, not sure if they need attention, but maybe.

    Witchcrafty
    - Hags particularly, but also Will-o-the-Wisps, could be neat.

    Rakshasa
    - Just made of awesome, and with some of the other kinds introduced in other Monster Manuals, could make for an interesting flavor book.


    Also, while they don't fits the "Intelligent" category in general, I've always thought Golems really needed some help.

    Of all these, I think the one I would like the most is Golems, but then again, it doesn't fit what you asked for.

    Honestly, these categories all give me little ideas for different reasons. The one I get the most ideas for is the Formians, thinking of all the other kinds of hive-mind bug-people there could be, after that the Witchcraft and Nature Spirits (really Fey in general) I feel need the most love and I could actually have ideas for them.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I don't think Succubi would be ideal for this. They are very popular and while they don't have a book on their own, fiends have tons of books as a group.

    Fey are lacking in D&D, yes, but I think other homebrewers did a lot.

    LIllendi where always one of my favourites, ever since the Planescape days.

    So, let's see.
    Lillendi
    Rakshasa
    Couatl
    Formians
    Hags

    That's five. Any more suggestions?
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Slaad? I mean they could use more fleshing out.
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Slaad? I mean they could use more fleshing out.
    Eladrin and guardianals also lack much substance (inevitables inevitably get a lot of homebrew). Maybe second string planar beings' greatest hits?
    Last edited by ShiningStarling; 2016-08-16 at 06:33 PM.
    If you're falling in a forest and there's nobody around, do you ever really crash or even make a sound?
    I have felt the pain of losing who you are, and I have died so many times, but I am still alive
    I believe that the darkness reminds us what light can be


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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Hagbook sounds interesting to me. That'd give 11 monsters to work with:

    You have the annis, green, sea, and night hags in the MM - supplements add dune hags (Sand), marzanna (Frost), and dusk hags (ECS). Unapproachable East and Oriental Adventures adds bog hags, bheur hags, shrieking hags, and hagspawn.

    I... actually wasn't aware that there were that many kinds of hags before I made this post. Huh.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    what about Raggomoffyns? I love those intellelligent wacky constructs to death!
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Ken-ku.
    Ken-ku.
    Ken-ku.
    Ken-ku.
    Ken-ku.

    *stops chanting*Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.
    Umm, sorry. Don't know what came over me.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.
    Anyway, I like a lot of these ideas, And present Kenku as mine. Thanks for the moment read.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.Ken-ku.

    Or hobgoblins of course. A sourcebook of hobgoblin military tactics, prestige classes, sample tribes etc.
    Last edited by AtlasSniperman; 2016-08-17 at 12:22 AM.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I'd second Rakshasa's and Formains, if that matters.

    Some of the more interesting/unusual elementals maybe? Arrowhawks or Salamanders or Ravids?

    EDIT: Idea just occurred-Barghests fit all the criteria quite neatly, don't they?
    Last edited by St.Just; 2016-08-17 at 01:09 AM.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    The night hag, while interesting, isn't actually related to the other hags as far as I know. They are hadean outsiders, not witchy monstrous humanoids, though they share a taste for dark magics.

    Eladrin, guardinals and slaad could be interesting, but I'm a bit worried that they all have rather a lot of older fluff, books and books of it in Planescape. Might not leave enough design space open. And Slaad have the best NPC ever written in D&D, Xanxost.

    And I didn't even know Kenku were in 3.5, I only knew their stats from Pathfinder. Got a source?

    Hobgoblins I'm going to disqualify under the "no special abilities" clause. Their fluff might interest people, but their rules are incredibly bland.

    Then we have:

    Lillendi
    Rakshasa
    Couatl
    Formians
    Hags
    Eladrin
    Guardinals
    Slaad
    Raggomoffyns
    Salamanders
    Barghests
    Ravid

    Twelve is, I think, a good number. Let's start the vote. Let's say you can vote for three.

    I'll vote Rakshasa, Barghest, Lillendi.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Couatl, Rakshasa, or Hags!
    On a quest to marry Asmodeus, lord of the Nine Hells, or die trying.

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Rakshasa only if we go akashic on the kitten bastards

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Define Akashic. I honestly fail to see a connection between the akashic records and Rakshasa. I mean, it's a sanskrit word, but I think the concept is pretty new. Also, it would clearly be an astral plane thing in D&D and Rakshasa are from Acheron.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Define Akashic. I honestly fail to see a connection between the akashic records and Rakshasa. I mean, it's a sanskrit word, but I think the concept is pretty new. Also, it would clearly be an astral plane thing in D&D and Rakshasa are from Acheron.
    pathfinders incarnium export aka dreamscared press akashic mysteries

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I'll say hags, salamanders or rakshasas

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Quote Originally Posted by khadgar567 View Post
    pathfinders incarnium export aka dreamscared press akashic mysteries
    Ah. Realy not familiar with anything pathfinder beyond the basics. Don't they already have quite a lot on Rakshasa?
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I'll go Lillendi, Rakshasa, and Hags!

    Also, Kenkus may be found on page 86 of MMIII.
    Last edited by ShiningStarling; 2016-08-17 at 11:43 AM.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Coatl, Barghests, and Rakshasa sound like the most open to fun.

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    .
    My vote goes for Barghests and Guardinals.

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    The reason I suggested slaad was because of the major planar races in Planescape they had the least development and cover that I knew of.

    That said gonna have to say rakshasha as my #1, with raggomuffyns and slaad following up.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Hags. Ok, I know that there's Van Richten's Guide to the Witch, but it's 1) Ravenloft-specific and 2) 2nd Edition. Also, rakshasa and eladrins.

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Lillendi 2
    Rakshasa 8
    Couatl 2
    Formians
    Hags 4
    Eladrin 1
    Guardinals 1
    Slaad 1
    Raggomoffyns 1
    Salamanders 1
    Barghests 3
    Ravid

    We have Rakshasa by a landslide. Are we going with that?
    Going by Wiki, sources we should look at are:
    AD&D Monstrous Compendium Volume One (Rakshasa, Rakhasa Raja, Rakshasa Maharaja, Rakshasa Rukh)
    3.5 Monster Manual
    Eberron Campaign Setting (Zakya Rakshasa)
    Monster Manual 3 (Ak'chazar rakshasa and the Naztharune rakshasa)
    Tome of Battle (Naityan Rakshasa)

    and especially

    Dragon 326, Ecology of the Rakshasa

    Also, actual Indian myth.

    So, among types detailed in 3.5, we have the standard sorcerer, a necromancer, an assassin, two fighters and what I guess is a kind of Paladin of Tyranny of their god.

    I'll try and hunt down what I can of the fluff of older editions and dragon magazines, but let's brainstorm here abit, too.

    Ideas
    The Rakshasa Knight, an elite warrior of Ravanna, their god, sounds interesting. I'll see if I can port that.

    Apart from that, I see a necromancer, but not much in the way of actual improved shapeshifting, which, in the myths, is their specialty. I'm thnking something like a master of many forms type Rakshasa, a shapeshifting master.

    They can naturally detect thoughts. How about a psionic Rakshasa that steals people's secrets and sells them as an information broker?

    They are solitary. Maybe something relating to slavery?

    In myth, they are often cannibals or blood drinkers, as well as illusionists. Both things are missing from their D&D incarnation, can we bring that back?
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Ah, damn, missed the vote. Well, was going to go for Rakshasa anyway.

    Given how boring it is that the most powerful version of the evil sorcerer species is a necromancer, I'm wholly in favor of a master illusionist and shapeshifter Rakshasa noble.

    I've always the fact that they're native outsiders really interesting, did they ever get a writeup explaining how exactly they work, cosmologically? Like, breed true, born from damned souls who manage to escape their rightful fate, what?
    Last edited by St.Just; 2016-08-17 at 04:33 PM.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Ah, just barely too late! Vote wouldn't have changed the outcome (or even the relative count), but still.

    I don't remember this very well (taking this with enough grains of salt would end up emptying the shaker) but I recall Rakshasa are pretty much in the same boat as Genies and Sidhe: really brutal nobility metaphors. Even setting that aside, I feel giving them a charismatic super-slaver Raksha Noble and/or an exotic Rakshasa shapeshifter/illusionist combo would be pretty sweet.

    I know that in 4e the Rakshasa were reincarnations (for whatever that's worth); their polar opposites were a PC race called the Deva, which were then ported to Pathfinder as the Samsarans. The Primal Power sourcebook spent a chunk of time going over their stuff, though I can't recall much off the top of my head. From a quick check, Dragon 374 and 385 had some stuff on Deva (and by extension, the Rakshasa) that could be pulled from, if such a connection is considered valid.
    Last edited by VoodooPaladin; 2016-08-17 at 06:12 PM. Reason: lrn 2 proofread nerd

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    "Decadent Nobility" is a pretty oveririding theme for them, yeah. Which actually raises the question-Are there Rakshasa serfs? Do they have dedicated slave races the way (say) Aboleths and Efreet do? If not, should they?
    The world was born in flame and art,
    The world was born – then torn apart.
    Creation’s sorrow rent the sky
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I know the 3.0 Manual of the Planes made rakshashas be on Acheron and I ran with that when I ran 3.5 Planescape (only thing from the 3.0 MotP that I didn't ignore*) the rakshasha recurring villain (the big bad's dragon but the big bad never showed up) was actually one who was ousted from his territory by another rakshasha so I guess what I'm saying is I like rakshasha as decadent nobles.

    For the cannibalism aspect I'd make a note of it as a cultural thing, but not make it a game mechanic. They enjoy the taste of human flesh but they aren't powered by it or anything.

    Personally I'd definitely say make a high level illusionist rakshasha monster and as a question any stats for Ravanna as a D&D god or references in D&D for their religion? If the answer to both are no I'd suggest someone figure out Ravanna as a D&D god and that a cleric PrC (similar to Radiant Servant of Pelor) be designed not for rakshasha properly but for their human allies/servitors.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I only quickly checked Wiki earlier for references and they mention Ravana as their god. HE is apparently a ten-headed Rakshasa demigod who is invulnerable to any creature that isn't a mortal from the prime. No source on where he's from, though. Probably an older source. I'll see what I can find. Probably can't get the AD&D sources, but the Dragon magazines should be possible.

    THe part about being fallen Deva is, like Ravanna, pretty much directly lifted from Indian mythology, by the way.

    Since they are nobles and solitary, they pretty much need slaves. THe question is whethery they have special followers or just trade in general slaves. Hailing from Acheron, the natural candidates for their slaves would be Goblinoids. I could see them lording it over tribes of fearful goblins.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2016-08-17 at 07:33 PM.
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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Also, actual Indian myth.
    I'll be honest, rakshasa as depicted in D&D have very little resemblance to rakshasa as I've read about them in the epics. I'm not sure where the tiger thing came from. Or the detecting thoughts.

    As you noted, shapeshifting is fairly central to mythological rakshasha, and the fact that they can only become human is unfortunate. A wider range for shapeshifting would definitely be on theme. New types of rakshasa with better shapeshifting might also be a decent idea.

    Illusions are also a prominent theme that seem entirely absent from the 3.5 rakshasa. It would be much more accurate to give them beguiler casting than sorcerer casting.

    Its also worth noting that the whole "always lawful evil" thing is entirely bunk. Not only would I say the common rakshasa has as much chance to be chaotic as lawful (as they are sometimes depicted as bloodthirsty, rampaging monsters), but there have been quite a few notable instances of them not being evil, even the ones that were antagonists in their stories (not to mention the ones that aided the protagonists and were entirely heroic).

    Oh also Ravana isn't a god.

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    Default Re: A Homebrew Project - Let's put it to a vote

    I know they are even further than usual (For DnD( away from their myths, but we have to strike a balance here. People expect certain things from Rakshasa in D&D.

    That said, how about a Fallen Rakshasa, Rakshasa Exile, Cursed Rakshasa or however else one might name it? Perhaps, similar to vampires, they appear as decadent nobles, but there's always a chance of them becoming bestial?

    Wouldn't be too hard ot build a Rakshasa variant that has lost most of it's magic in exchange for being much stronger, able to change into bestial shapes and battle rage? A chaotic evil variant resulting from a transformation that can happen to all Rakshasa.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
    Après le monde - le gris; après le gris - le monde de nouveau.
    "

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