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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Question Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids?

    Hi, rather than look for someone's ACTUAL statting of zerg or tyranids for a D20 Future game or something, I'm curious -- what are the 3.5e and PF1 analogs to this concept? The 'swarm of giant bug monsters' trope goes wayyyyy back into science fiction (I think some of the earliest examples go back to, like, 1900). Bonuses if they're psionic, and also bonuses if they aren't, yaknow, quite the world-ending threat that many of these more-famous biological aggressive hegemonizing swarm types are, so I can actually use them against a party!

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    There are monsters you could adapt...

    Cranium Rats are the big obvious one for Psionics. There's a homebrew version of various swarm sizes from CR 3 up to CR 22.

    BoVD has "hivemind" rules for building really horrible Sorcerer swarms. You see them crop up in Vermin Mage optimization.

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Off the top of my head, maybe kaorti?

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Hi, rather than look for someone's ACTUAL statting of zerg or tyranids for a D20 Future game or something, I'm curious -- what are the 3.5e and PF1 analogs to this concept? The 'swarm of giant bug monsters' trope goes wayyyyy back into science fiction (I think some of the earliest examples go back to, like, 1900). Bonuses if they're psionic, and also bonuses if they aren't, yaknow, quite the world-ending threat that many of these more-famous biological aggressive hegemonizing swarm types are, so I can actually use them against a party!

    Thanks!
    Kythons and Kruthiks are pretty popular for this purpose. Formians are Outsider versions of this, Ragnorra is basically Jenova from FF7 so the world becomes squiggly when she arrives. An Elder Evil that is a big hive ship and has a sign that makes bug aberrations appear everywhere would be a D&Defied version of it.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    I vaguely remember something about Kruthik?
    Oof, swordsage'd
    Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 2020-06-05 at 07:58 PM.

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    I vaguely remember something about Kruthik?
    Oof, swordsage'd
    Kruthiks are crab-dog monsters CR 3-5? Kythons are xenomorph like creatures from Book of Vile Darkness. CR1-12. MMIV or MMV had another bug race that had caste bodies; dragonfly spys up to CR 5 Humanoid bugs. If you add in all of those and some really big Vermin like Siege Crabs and the Giant Monstrous X line you have a good shot at Nids.
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    MMIV or MMV had another bug race that had caste bodies; dragonfly spys up to CR 5 Humanoid bugs.
    Tirbanas (MM5, CR 0.5 to 5)
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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Tirbanas (MM5, CR 0.5 to 5)
    Boom! The whole range!
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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Kythons fit the bill as do Kruthiks. Formians as mentioned work perfectly for this and even have some support in later Manuals
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    I would mention the Ekolid, an FC1 bug demon- except it is quite the world-ending threat, my go-to example of a spawning monster to really worry about. Flight, DR, fast healing, multiple attacks after moving, and they can spawn a new one for every attack they make, which mature in a few hours unless the DM imposes their own food requirements. If you kill them all and smash every single larvae produced, you can end it, but even one reaching a group of peasants or just some cattle means game-over.

    Alternatively, have you considered the Kobold? Check out their writeup in Races of the Dragon: in a consistently 40F+ environment they need only 1/4 of the food a normal Small creature eats, which is 1/2 that of a Medium, or two ounces of food per day- and temperature control magic isn't exactly expensive. Oh, and they can also digest pretty much anything all the way down to dirt so who cares about food anyway. Females could potentially lay an egg every two weeks, they can walk only hours after hatching, and mature in 6 years. Having a strength penalty just doesn't matter with the completely ludicrous force of numbers a kobold swarm could bring to bear. Those numbers also translate to aid another bonuses, making their workshops supreme. Their only limitation is effective classroom sizes to actually raise that many offspring.

    Enter two possible templates: Feral, and Axiomatic. Feral grants natural armor, fast healing, big claws, improved grab, and a strength boost, all at the cost of intelligence- if you can't teach, who cares if they learn? Axiomatic grants broad energy resistance and not a hive-mind, but Linked Minds, which could potentially mean that anyone within 300' of someone learning something is also learning it (if you take the link as a link and rather than just "constant communication").

    There's also just all the Dragonspawn of Tiamat. A cavalcade of specialized monsters spawnable in groups from their effective "queens," if the DM decides to remove the whole Tiamat thing and run them as a doom swarm. Though the individual monsters themselves can also reproduce- the greens in particular, Razorfiends and Sneaks, have detailed ecology entries. The Razorfiend can produce 3-6 eggs per year and their DR and breath weapon make them existential threats to standard warrior 1 armies. But it's the Sneak that takes the cake, literally stating that when building up for war they might allow 5-10 times the number of adults in hatching eggs per year. They're also tough, have innate Sneak Attack, and use unhatched eggs as free acid flasks. If only they didn't have that pesky problem of requiring 8 times as much food as a kobold.

    Oh, and Redspawn Arcaniss says hi. They only lay one egg per year, but they hatch fully adult, including 6th level sorcerer casting. So your pop grows by 50% every year and has no non-combatants to drag along. And the Blackspawn Raider's entry is no slouch either, capable of producing an average of 20 young per year which mature in one year, they're not as strong as the Razorfiend or numerous as the sneaks (actually that's exactly as numerous as the sneaks), but lie in the middle with a breath weapon, DR, and tool use.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2020-06-06 at 04:25 AM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    I don't think they were ever statted for 3E, but the Witchlight marauders fit the bill pretty well: https://spelljammer.fandom.com/wiki/Witchlight_marauder

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Clockwork Horrors were intended for that role in the original Spelljammer. They were statted in MM2. They have a hivemind if there's a high ranking horror within 10 miles.
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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Kythons and Kruthiks are pretty popular for this purpose. Formians are Outsider versions of this, Ragnorra is basically Jenova from FF7 so the world becomes squiggly when she arrives. An Elder Evil that is a big hive ship and has a sign that makes bug aberrations appear everywhere would be a D&Defied version of it.
    Man I love Kythons! I've always wanted to use them as summons or minions or something as a player.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Looking at the stats, Kython seem wayyyy more interesting than Kruthik!

    Other than making Kython Phrenic, has anyone done a psionic update to them? Of these various things, it looks like Formians are the most magical (they actually have a hive mind!), as well as the best able to have workers able to do much with an economy (they actually have workers!). Has anyone done some homebrews of Kythons (or one of the others) to give them all the interesting things necessary to build a terrifying alien civilization? Formians just... don't seem that terrifying, though they're the best organized. And Kythons don't seem much able to coordinate like they should be able to...

    I guess I could do the work to make the Dragonspawn function for this, but that'd require a LOT of reflavoring...

    I suppose Abeils (MM2) make slightly more terrifying Formians? The flight alone...

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    the most magical (they actually have a hive mind!)
    Did you look at Cranium Rats?

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    Looking at the stats, Kython seem wayyyy more interesting than Kruthik!

    Other than making Kython Phrenic, has anyone done a psionic update to them? Of these various things, it looks like Formians are the most magical (they actually have a hive mind!), as well as the best able to have workers able to do much with an economy (they actually have workers!). Has anyone done some homebrews of Kythons (or one of the others) to give them all the interesting things necessary to build a terrifying alien civilization? Formians just... don't seem that terrifying, though they're the best organized. And Kythons don't seem much able to coordinate like they should be able to...

    I guess I could do the work to make the Dragonspawn function for this, but that'd require a LOT of reflavoring...

    I suppose Abeils (MM2) make slightly more terrifying Formians? The flight alone...
    I would suggest just adding some of the different buggy things together rather then having to reinvent the wheel. Formians and Abeils don't have to be separate, now you have flying monsters and ground monsters in the same species. Abeil Queens make a good Princess for the Formians, Mymarchs being drones, etc.
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Since you're open to PF1e, i'll suggest the Hive from Horror Adventures. There's even a template that can be applied to basically anything. Since they are from HA, they also have a corruption to expand the dynamics of their infestation. Also look up their art, they are basically a Xenomorphs.
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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Ekolid demons from Fiendish Codex I are fit there pretty well: they're insectile in appearance, have Implant Egg ability, and even embedding their victims into walls...

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    Default Re: Doing the 'Horde of Alien Locusts' trope in 3.5e? Esp w/Hive Minds? Zerg/Tyranids

    Quote Originally Posted by ShurikVch View Post
    Ekolid demons from Fiendish Codex I are fit there pretty well: they're insectile in appearance, have Implant Egg ability, and even embedding their victims into walls...
    Huh- I never actually read their society entry, but yeah it turns out they can form hives and coordinate. So, that's great news.

    Edit: Found a spawning undead to maybe be afraid of. How about a swarm (immune to weapon damage) with 100 hit points, climb speed, fear aura, and if it doesn't kill+spawn you with swarm damage it'll give you a magic-cure-only disease that will do it anyway. It doesn't fast heal, but reproduces even faster than an Ekolid, can squeeze through smaller spaces, and still has the lol quality of turning any kill regardless of size into a full new monster. All-Consuming Hunger from Underdark.
    Last edited by Fizban; 2020-06-11 at 05:26 AM.
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