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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Got to say I like this one. I mean, a playable plant creature which isn't a vampire fungus and gets all those lovely, overpowered plant traits and then some for a measly +2 LA (instead of a, say, +5 on top of copious amounts of RHD)? That's just fantastic.
    That being said, this planty seems to get away with a bit too much compared to other, similar creatures. Think of treants! Those also have a starting ECL of 12 with a decidedly worse distribution (7 RHD, +5 LA) and they have to make do with 2d6 slams, a weak trample ability and that ridiculous double damage against objects, where your willow gets a 20 to 40' reach for its 3d6/×4 magical scythe attack, another, 4d6 attack (18-20/×3) with an 80' range, a whirlwind attack equivalent (made more powerful by the aforesaid superior reac) with an at will and two 3/day offensive SLAs to boot. Again, I appreciate greatly that you try to do justice to all those poor little planties, but I'm not sure this isn't a bit too much as it is.
    Hmmm.... yeah, I think you're right. I don't actually remember why I chose LA +2 there: I think I just hastily tacked on a number without putting any thought into it, just to finish out the stat block. But the LA from the stat block is supposed to be a "standard" LA (rather than a Reassigned LA), and I'm definitely undershooting the "standard" process on that.

    The reaping willow shouldn't have a standard LA at all: I'll just make it "LA: --"

    I think I'll also bump the CR up to 10.

    Thanks for the feedback!
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2021-01-21 at 09:27 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    May 2016

    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    This remake is garbage: see the remade remake for a better version.

    Boneyard (Remake)

    This one comes from Libris Mortis. In fact, I think it might have originated in Dragon magazine, with one of the adventure paths.

    --

    Boneyard
    Size/Type: Huge Undead
    Hit Dice: 20d12+20 (150 hp)
    Initiative: +6
    Speed: 40 ft, Fly 60 ft (good), Burrow 20 ft (serpent form only)
    Armor Class: 30 (+20 natural, +2 Dex, -2 size), Touch 10, Flat-footed 28
    BAB/Grapple: +10 / +28
    Attack: (serpent form) bite +18 melee (4d8+15 plus Bone Subsumption) or (giant form) slam +18 melee (2d10+10) or (amorphous form) slam +18 melee (2d10+15)
    Full Attack: (serpent form) bite +18 melee (4d8+15 plus Bone Subsumption) or (giant form) 2 slams +18 melee (2d10+10) or (amorphous form) slam +18 melee (2d10+15)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft / 15 ft
    Special Attacks: Bone shards, Bone subsumption, Create skeletons, Improved grab, Spell-like abilities, Utter subsumption
    Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 10 / bludgeoning, Darkvision 60 ft, Fast Healing 10, Immune to cold, Reshape, Spell Resistance 30, Telepathy 100 ft, Turn Resistance +5, Undead traits
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +17
    Abilities: Str 29, Dex 16, Con --, Int 16, Wis 21, Cha 22
    Skills: Balance +14, Climb +22, Diplomacy +15, Disguise +15, Escape Artist +13, Intimidate +15, Jump +25, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (religion) +15, Listen +17, Move Silently +13, Sense Motive +17, Spot +17, Tumble +13, Use Magic Device +17
    Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness, Greater Multigrab, Multigrab, ???
    Environment: any
    Organization: solitary, but often with many skeletal minions
    Challenge Rating: 17
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Neutral Evil
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: --

    --

    Bone Shards (Ex)
    As a standard action, a boneyard may hurl a volley of bone shards at nearby creatures. This attack works like a splinterbolt spell (CL 20th).

    Bone Subsumption (Su)
    A boneyard has a supernatural link to bones of all sorts. Any creature struck by the boneyard's bite attack must succeed on a Will save (DC = 24) or take 2d4 Str, Dex & Con damage as bones are torn from its body to join with the boneyard. The boneyard heals 5 hit points for every creature it damages in this way. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    In addition, once every 1d4 rounds as a full-round action, the boneyard may subject multiple nearby creatures to its bone subsumption attack. It may choose any number of target creatures with 20 feet of it, and each must save or take ability damage as described above.

    Bone Subsumption only impacts creatures with bony skeletons. Thus, elementals, plants, oozes and many vermin are not affected by this attack.

    Create Skeletons (Su)
    Once every 1d4 rounds as a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a boneyard can spontaneously fashion some of the bones that make up its body into individual skeletons, and then animate them into undead minions that serve the boneyard unquestioningly. In addition to regular skeletons, the boneyard may also choose to create bonespurs or serpentirs (MM5, skull lord entry), bone lurkers or bonestings (web article, “Bone Monsters”), or bone wall creatures (see my Homebrew Template Compendium) in this way. The boneyard can create up to 20 HD of skeletons with a single use of this ability. It can command up to 80 HD of skeletons at a time.

    Improved Grab (Ex)
    If the boneyard hits a target with a bite or slam attack, it may make an immediate grapple attempt against that target without requiring an initial touch attack and without provoking an attack of opportunity.

    Rebuke Undead (Su)
    A boneyard can rebuke or command undead 9 times a day, as a 20th-level cleric. It has a +6 bonus on the check, and deals 2d6+26 turning damage.

    Reshape (Ex)
    A boneyard is composed of an eclectic, loosely-arranged assortment of bones. As a full-round action, it can shift and move its bones around to form itself into various shapes. While in these different forms, the boneyard's statistics change slightly, though this is not a true shapechanging effect.

    Serpent Form
    In this form, the boneyard resembles a massive serpent, complete with an enormous skull. It can deliver its bite attack in this form, and can subsume bones from creatures it bites. It also gains a Burrow speed of 20 feet.

    Giant Form
    In this form, the boneyard resembles an enormous humanoid giant. It can deliver two slam attacks in this form, or it can wield weapons sized for a Huge creature. It is proficient with all simple and martial weapons.

    Amorphous Form
    In this form, the boneyard resembles nothing but a field of old bones. Its space is completely shapeable, and it can squeeze through gaps large enough for a Small creature to fit through. If it remains motionless while in amorphous form, it is completely indistinguishable from a pile of bones. It can deliver only one slam attack while in this form.

    Spell-like abilities
    A boneyard can use the following spells as a sorcerer with caster level 20th.
    at willanimate dead, awaken undeadSC, blade barrier, consumptive fieldLM, desecrate, stoneholdSC, unhallow, wall of bonesCArc
    1/daymass harmHoH
    -----
    CArc = Complete Arcane, HoH = Heroes of Horror, LM = Libris Mortis, SC = Spell Compendium

    Utter Subsumption (Su)
    If the boneyard begins its turn with a creature pinned, that creature must succeed on a Fort save (DC = 24) or die horrifically as every bone is torn from his body to join the boneyard. On a successful save, the target only takes 2d4 Str, Dex and Con damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    For Player Characters

    Gear and Loot
    A boneyard generally does not use or carry gear, but some carry and wield Huge-sized weapons (often a greataxe or greatsword) in giant form.

    ...unfinished...

    Inevitability’s Reassigned LA
    For a game that uses Inevitability's Reassigned Level Adjustments, I recommend giving the boneyard an RLA of +0.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2021-02-02 at 11:05 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    This particular rework is rather too extreme for my liking. In large part, the issue is that you've turned it into yet another "field commander" Undead, with yet another absolute pile of minion effects and yet another case of mechanically-applicable but thematically-incoherent SLAs with ridiculous shenanigans abounding. Even worse, it's being shoehorned right into the top of the CR ladder where it has so very many competitors.

    In particular, Blade Barrier and Stonehold have zero thematic sensibility, with the latter being exceptionally egregious for trivially allowing for trapping entire continents given the days/level duration. Access to Animate Dead as an at-will SLA is utterly redundant with the Create Skeletons ability and expands the capacity quite ridiculously, doubled down on with the addition of Rebuke to give it three different control pools, while Awaken Undead is pointless the vast majority of the time and hideously broken the remainder for letting it make the most powerful things it can theoretically access no longer ask for its control cap. Desecrate and Unhallow again try to shove this thing into the often-trodden "den of evil" boss where it's explicitly required to be hunting things down to eat them.

    The thing is a big, strong Undead beater that's blatantly monstrous, and yet the thing's got rather sizable mental modifiers, including Intelligence. This is very unusual, because this places it in the niche of being a true independent actor not constrained to so very many tropes. Hell, it's explicitly usually Neutral Evil, meaning that it's one of rather few Undead allowed to be Good! Which you promptly buried for, again, yet another damn field commander/den of evil type butting heads with 7th+ level spells. Most importantly, raising it to CR 17 breaks it completely because of how trivial it is to counter basically everything it does. Obliterating large masses of chaff is very simple at that level, and none of the things that would be sane to make are going to stand up for more than a round. Hell, you made its DR bypassable and half the value with almost no increase in health total, turning it into a downright glass cannon for a monster at this point. And that's without getting into the Death effect mess.

    ...Basically, keep it in the CR 10-15 range and on the theme of consuming and using bones, and try to concentrate everything you can around innate (Su) abilities instead of piling on SLAs. Like, what's the point of Wall of Bones when it can make a permanent Bone Wall Creature? Keep It Simple, Stupid applies heavily to this particular case, because the fundamental existence of a minion creation ability with as open ends as this obviates the need for a great many abilities simply by making sure it can make a minion to handle the same task. Cover the use of Unhallow/Desecrate with Turn difficulty sharing, cover the occasional need for minion healing with some variety of Fast Healing sharing, cover ranged damage with Fly speeds instead of a blunt ranged attack, and so on.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2021-01-22 at 10:35 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    May 2016

    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    This particular rework is rather too extreme for my liking. In large part, the issue is that you've turned it into yet another "field commander" Undead, with yet another absolute pile of minion effects and yet another case of mechanically-applicable but thematically-incoherent SLAs with ridiculous shenanigans abounding. Even worse, it's being shoehorned right into the top of the CR ladder where it has so very many competitors.
    Jeez, tell us how you really feel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    In particular, Blade Barrier and Stonehold have zero thematic sensibility, with the latter being exceptionally egregious for trivially allowing for trapping entire continents given the days/level duration...
    Okay, I have to say that I'm a little confused. You started out by saying that the monster is too similar to other, similarly-themed monsters; but now you're also criticizing it for having abilities that go off-theme? I don't feel like that's a very consistent argument.

    The blade barrier SLA grew out of the bone shards ability: since the creature already has a ranged attack based on throwing sharp stuff, giving it an ability that also spawns sharp things whirling about it doesn't seem like a major break from theme to me.

    And stonehold grew out of a weak Earth theme that I saw in the monster. I noticed that the original monster speaks Terran, and looks like one of the giant worm monsters, so I gave it a burrow speed to match that, and chose a strong Earth-themed SLA to go with it. I didn't give it the Earth subtype, though; and I'm not sure why not. But at any rate, stonehold is a great lair effect. A boneyard is probably going to be setting up shop in a field of bones somewhere. To me, having arms that reach out of the ground to grab intruders seems like a really cool effect to add to that kind of lair. But yes, in retrospect, making it at-will does seem a bit excessive: I did not realize that the spell's duration was so long.

    Would your objections go away if I made these into Su abilities, and explicitly re-imagined them as shards of bone swirling in the air and bony arms reaching out of the ground (respectively)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Access to Animate Dead as an at-will SLA is utterly redundant with the Create Skeletons ability and expands the capacity quite ridiculously, doubled down on with the addition of Rebuke to give it three different control pools, while Awaken Undead is pointless the vast majority of the time and hideously broken the remainder for letting it make the most powerful things it can theoretically access no longer ask for its control cap.
    Hmm... I clearly didn't think about the minion pools here. I guess I figured that, from the perspective of a monster, it's not really that important, because nobody really expects the bad guy to have all his underlings accounted for with control/rebuke mechanics.

    But, you are right that I should be more deliberate about this, instead of just lazily tacking on all of the things.

    I built this monster awhile back, and I don't really recall what my reasoning was behind these decisions. I vaguely remember being concerned about restricting the boneyard to only skeletons as minions, and wanting to give it a way to access other types of undead; but I have to agree with your point here that the minionmancy here is very poorly thought out.

    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying about awaken undead, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Desecrate and Unhallow again try to shove this thing into the often-trodden "den of evil" boss where it's explicitly required to be hunting things down to eat them.
    I'm not sure I understand what you're getting at here, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    The thing is a big, strong Undead beater that's blatantly monstrous, and yet the thing's got rather sizable mental modifiers, including Intelligence. This is very unusual, because this places it in the niche of being a true independent actor not constrained to so very many tropes. Hell, it's explicitly usually Neutral Evil, meaning that it's one of rather few Undead allowed to be Good! Which you promptly buried for, again, yet another damn field commander/den of evil type butting heads with 7th+ level spells.
    And I don't feel like I quite understand this point either. I gather that you like the tension between the "monstrous" and the "intelligent," and you think the excessive minionmancy is interfering with a robust expression of a particularly unique theme that you prefer? I guess I can understand that, and I'm going to work on consolidating the minionmancy a bit; but it also feels like you're making a mountain out of molehill with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    Hell, you made its DR bypassable and half the value with almost no increase in health total, turning it into a downright glass cannon for a monster at this point.
    I couldn't figure out what you were talking about here, until I looked back at the original monster and realized that it's DR was 10/-. I didn't realize that I'd changed that. But, "half the value"? The original in LM doesn't have DR 20, so I'm not sure what you're saying there.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
    May 2016

    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Boneyard (Alternate Remake)

    Here's an alternate idea I came up with for a remake of the boneyard from Libris Mortis. This one incorporates some of Morphic Tide's suggestions, and also develops the Earth theme further. The creature is restricted to just a few minion-creation abilities, and the shapeshifting is mostly gone.

    --

    Boneyard
    Size/Type: Huge Undead (Earth)
    Hit Dice: 17d12+17 (127 hp)
    Initiative: +6
    Speed: 30 ft, Fly 60 ft (good), Burrow 20 ft
    Armor Class: 30 (+20 natural, +2 Dex, -2 size), Touch 10, Flat-footed 28
    BAB/Grapple: +8 / +26
    Attack: bite +16 melee (3d8+15, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack: bite +16 melee (3d8+15, 19-20/x2)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft / 10 ft
    Special Attacks: Bone shards, Bone subsumption, Churning ribs, Improved grab, Spell-like abilities, Summon skeletal mob, Taint earth, Utter subsumption
    Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 10 / -, Darkvision 60 ft, Fast Healing 10, Field of bones form, Immune to cold, Spell Resistance 30, Telepathy 100 ft, Undead traits
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +17
    Abilities: Str 31, Dex 14, Con --, Int 16, Wis 21, Cha 18
    Skills: Balance +14, Climb +22, Diplomacy +15, Disguise +15, Escape Artist +13, Intimidate +15, Jump +25, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (religion) +15, Listen +17, Move Silently +13, Sense Motive +17, Spot +17, Tumble +13, Use Magic Device +17
    Feats: Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Toughness, Multigrab, Power Attack
    Environment: any
    Organization: solitary
    Challenge Rating: 14
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Chaotic Evil
    Advancement: 18-20 (Huge), 21-25 (Gargantuan)
    Level Adjustment: --

    --

    A boneyard is a serpentine amalgamation of thousands of bones and partial skeletons, bound together by the tainted earth of a graveyard and topped with the massive skull of some unknown, draconic monstrosity.

    Its monstrous form belies its great intelligence, and it is in fact an excellent strategist, capable of coordinating groups of minions and laying sophisticated traps for its opponents, all while concealing its presence from those around it.

    A boneyard shares an uncanny connection with bones of all sorts, and can exercise telekinetic control over the skeleton of any creature it sees, making it a terror of nightmare proportions for humanoids and other civilized races.

    Boneyards speak Common, Terran and Abyssal.

    Bone Shards (Ex)
    A boneyard’s supernatural control over bone allows it to create sharp shards of bone to use as projectiles. As a standard action, a boneyard may generate a cloud of bone shards around itself, which lasts for up to 10 rounds. While this cloud is active, the boneyard is protected from ranged attacks (as if by an entropic shield spell), and any creature (except skeletons or other skeletal undead) that comes within 10 feet of the boneyard is dealt 4d6 magical piercing and slashing damage as the whirling shards of bone tear at flesh. A successful Reflex save (DC 22) halves the damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    Additionally, the boneyard may take a standard action to gather the whirling shards together into three clusters and hurl them at up to three targets within 100 feet of the boneyard. This requires a ranged attack, which deals 4d6 piercing damage on a successful hit. The attack deals a critical hit on a roll of 19 to 20. The boneyard’s cloud of shards is consumed in the attack, and it must use another standard action to call another cloud.

    Bone Subsumption (Su)
    Any creature caught in a boneyard's jaws immediately feels the telekinetic pull of the boneyard's magic on its skeleton. After taking any damage from the boneyard's bite attack, a creature must succeed on a Will save (DC = 22) or take 2d4 Str, Dex & Con damage as pieces of its bones are torn from its body to join with the boneyard. The boneyard heals 5 hit points for each creature that fails its saving throw against this ability. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    Bone Subsumption only impacts creatures with bony skeletons. Thus, elementals, plants, oozes and many aberrations and vermin are not affected by this attack. Undead with bony skeletons are not immune to this effect, but they are affected differently: instead of taking ability damage, such an undead creature takes 8d6 damage, which is not reduced by Damage Reduction of any type.

    Churning Ribs (Ex)
    If a boneyard successfully grapples a creature at least one size category smaller than it, it can immediately transfer the creature to its midsection as a swift action, where semi-autonomous ribcages and skeletal arms incorporated into its body seize the victim and hold it fast, grinding it mercilessly. At this point, the boneyard is no longer considered grappled, and it can move normally, dragging a held creature along with it. However, the held creature remains grappled until it succeeds on a grapple check or Escape Artist check to end the grapple.

    Each round at the beginning of the boneyard's turn, a creature held by the boneyard's churning ribs must save against the boneyard’s bone subsumption attack.

    A boneyard may hold up to 2 creatures in its churning ribs at once.

    Create Skeletal Mob (Su)
    At will as a full-round action, a boneyard can spontaneously fashion some of the bones that make up its body into mostly-articulated skeletons, and animate them into a horde of undead minions. Treat these as a mob of human skeletons (see statistics block below) under the boneyard’s control. The mob remains for 1 hour, or until the boneyard resorbs it. A boneyard can have only one such mob active at a time.

    Skeletal Mob CR 8; Gargantuan Undead; HD 30d12; hp 195; Init +5; Spd 20 ft; AC 9, Touch 7, Flat 8; BAB +15/Grapple +28; Atk mob 5d6; Full Atk –; SA Expert grappler, Trample 2d6+1 (Ref DC 26 halves); SQ DR 5/bludgeoning, Immune to cold, Mob anatomy, Undead traits; AL CE; SV Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +17; Str 13, Dex 13, Con –, Int –, Wis 10, Cha 1.
    Skills and Feats: –; Improved Bull RushB, Improved InitiativeB, Improved OverrunB

    Field of Bones Form (Ex)
    At will as a move action, a boneyard can collapse its serpentine form into what appears to be a disarticulated pile of bones and earth. While in this field of bones form, a boneyard retains its size and space, but loses its movement speed and cannot take actions. It is immune to weapon damage, but takes half again as much damage from area effects. It is essentially inert in this form, and indistinguishable from a mundane field of bones, except that its space is treated as if covered in a spike growth spell. The field of bones radiates a faint necromancy aura, but no other indications of the boneyard’s existence are present.

    A boneyard in field of bones form can be forced back into its natural form with a Turn or Rebuke check powerful enough to turn or rebuke it, at which point it also is turned or rebuked (as appropriate).

    Improved Grab (Ex)
    If the boneyard hits a target with a bite attack, it may make an immediate grapple attempt against that target without requiring an initial touch attack and without provoking an attack of opportunity.

    Spell-like abilities
    A boneyard can use the following spells as a sorcerer with caster level 20th.
    at willconsumptive fieldLM, fear, wall of bonesCArc
    -----
    CArc = Complete Arcane, LM = Libris Mortis

    Taint Earth (Su)
    A boneyard’s power over the grave reaches beyond the bones of the dead and seeps into the earth packed around them. As a full-round action, a boneyard can infuse the earth within a cemetery or graveyard with its necromantic taint, causing the very soil to rise up and grab at its foes. This functions as a stonehold spell (Spell Compendium, CL 17th), but the effect is restricted to within the boundaries of a graveyard, and it lasts only as long as the boneyard itself is present and in contact with the earth in the same graveyard.

    Additionally, while its Taint Earth effect is active, the boneyard may take a standard action to create an animating force, causing the tainted earth of the graveyard to rise up and form Large earth necromentals (Libris Mortis). While these necromentals are active, the stonehold effect is suppressed. The necromentals are not restricted to the boundaries of the cemetery: they can move freely, but they only remain active while the boneyard remains in contact with the soil of the cemetery where its Taint Earth effect originated. The boneyard can create and control up to three necromentals at once.

    Utter Subsumption (Su)
    If the boneyard begins its turn with a creature pinned, that creature must succeed on a Fort save (DC = 24) or die horrifically as every bone is torn from his body to join the boneyard. On a successful save, the target only takes 2d4 Str, Dex and Con damage. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    For Player Characters

    Gear and Loot
    Most boneyards do not use or carry gear, but they are known to be fond of magic items. A boneyard may be found in possession of wands, rods or other magic items.

    Inevitability’s Reassigned LA
    For a game that uses Inevitability's Reassigned Level Adjustments, I recommend giving the boneyard an RLA of +1.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2021-01-30 at 01:21 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    The overly-trodden theme is in the minions. We have a lot of "lieutenant" type Undead powered by reanimation, but very few that play around with being a jumble of parts like this. Throwing in Blade Wall and Stonehold keeps up its mechanical function of battlefield control, but is utterly at odds with the theme of a bone-based creature.

    The issue with Unhallow/Desecrate is that it promotes the "den of evil" situation for a thing you've given above-normal-speed flight and a Burrow speed to, particularly with the former's 24 hour cast time. Which is an issue from it being one of the Undead with an Inescapable Craving in-statblock, mandating it actually go out and do something.

    Awaken Undead's issue is simply that you're giving it the ready capacity to make all of its minions independently intelligent, which opens up a pile of issues because it doesn't have to control them and can issue essentially arbitrarily complex orders. Even before getting into the Leadership-type issues where you take advantage of the pile of toll-users.

    I reiterate that my issue is the "yet another lieutenant type" aspect of it. The Animate and/or Create Undead, package of active minion support, SLA-spewing thing that leads basically-arbitrary other Undead. Looting five different books for spells to fill out its mechanics instead of doing so with shenanigans from being made out of bones.

    ---

    With regard to the alternative, this works out much better. It's still in the area where working around its Grapple checks isn't completely trivial, and the use of the Mob setup gives it "chaff" that will hold up decently well against rather high level enemies. The Taint Earth effect is pretty much exactly the sort of thing I was referring to with working out abilities as thematic effects instead of just piling up SLAs to meet mechanical needs.

    Extending out this far from it having Terran as a language is a bit weird, but gives a solid justification for the overall capabilities it has in the end, as much as such is "needed". Consumptive Field isn't doing much with just Wall of Bones to operate on, but does offer additional, albeit marginal, survivability and something of a "hook" in the form of being really, really capable of going crazy when it gets into a crowded area.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    I will look at the alternate remake. I think it is pretty good over all here are some thoughts and comments:

    You mention Field of bones form in the stat block but don't have an entry about what it does. An interesting take on the field of bones form might be that if you lay in one spot without moving you one get a huge hide bonus and two the area you lay in is treated as either Spike Growth or Spike Stones. I also like the original Amorphous Form ability to get through small spaces.

    Bone Shards, the cloud is described as a cloud of bone shard surrounding you but the radius is only 10 feet so it won't even cover all of boneyards body that takes up 15 feet and therefore rather ineffective. With a 15' radius it would still mostly be taken up mostly by the boneyard so I would suggest a radius of 25' at minimum or since d&d doesn't tend to like that number go with 30' radius...

    I am a bit sad that Utter Subsumption is completely gone even though it is most likely not an ability that will see much play.

    Create Skeletal Mob might be better to tweak it slightly, having to remake it every hour seems silly. Instead maybe try the following, Skeletal Mob can be summoned/created once per hour and boneyard may only have one Skeletal Mob at a time. I don't think that changes the power level much when compared to summon/create once per hour and lasts for only 1 hour but it makes it less clunky.

    I feel like it could use another couple SLAs but am not sure.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    I will look at the alternate remake. I think it is pretty good over all here are some thoughts and comments:

    You mention Field of bones form in the stat block but don't have an entry about what it does. An interesting take on the field of bones form might be that if you lay in one spot without moving you one get a huge hide bonus and two the area you lay in is treated as either Spike Growth or Spike Stones. I also like the original Amorphous Form ability to get through small spaces.

    Bone Shards, the cloud is described as a cloud of bone shard surrounding you but the radius is only 10 feet so it won't even cover all of boneyards body that takes up 15 feet and therefore rather ineffective. With a 15' radius it would still mostly be taken up mostly by the boneyard so I would suggest a radius of 25' at minimum or since d&d doesn't tend to like that number go with 30' radius...

    I am a bit sad that Utter Subsumption is completely gone even though it is most likely not an ability that will see much play.

    Create Skeletal Mob might be better to tweak it slightly, having to remake it every hour seems silly. Instead maybe try the following, Skeletal Mob can be summoned/created once per hour and boneyard may only have one Skeletal Mob at a time. I don't think that changes the power level much when compared to summon/create once per hour and lasts for only 1 hour but it makes it less clunky.

    I feel like it could use another couple SLAs but am not sure.
    I like these suggestions, especially for the mob and the spike growth thing. Also, the two things you noted as missing were not intentional deletions: they were just editorial mistakes. I'll address them when I get back to my computer tonight.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I like these suggestions, especially for the mob and the spike growth thing. Also, the two things you noted as missing were not intentional deletions: they were just editorial mistakes. I'll address them when I get back to my computer tonight.
    Ah I had missed Utter subsumption, altogether it seems like a pretty solid monster, though not sure if it quite hits +1 LA as is. I think it is high side of +0 but I don't think it hits +1. Compared to what we expect from a level 17 character with standard races this doesn't seem overpowered compared to a tier 3 build.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Ah I had missed Utter subsumption, altogether it seems like a pretty solid monster, though not sure if it quite hits +1 LA as is. I think it is high side of +0 but I don't think it hits +1. Compared to what we expect from a level 17 character with standard races this doesn't seem overpowered compared to a tier 3 build.
    Okay, I made a few edits to incorporate your suggestions, plus I made a few tweaks to action-economy and whatnot.

    This creature already has a lot of text, but I also hit upon another idea of allowing the boneyard to create a "skeletal replica" of a creature it has slain via Utter Subsumption. Basically, it recreates the slain creature, but with the Bone Creature template from BoVD, and the creature is under the boneyard's control. I envision this ability taking the form of an hour- or hours-long ritual, so I think maybe it's best to incorporate it as a campaign element, rather than as a part of the monster's stat block.

    On the subject of Reassigned LAs, I guess maybe you're right; it just feels like, if the base monster is worth LA +0 already, my alterations ought to be worth a bit more. I'm still somewhat surprised that the boneyard was considered LA +0, while the hullathoin was given LA -0. I guess it just reflects how difficult the task of assigning LAs can be. Especially at these ECLs, where game balance is really tenuous and volatile to begin with. What a fantastic project, to have brought together our different perspectives!

    And of course, it's really helpful to get other perspectives on my homebrew here, too. I really appreciate the input.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2021-01-30 at 01:35 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Griffins (Remake and Original Creations)

    This post includes an excessive number of variant griffins that I made awhile back. Griffins are one of my favorite fantasy monsters, and I kind of wish they'd get more attention in the game. So, I came up with some griffin diversity. I also made some subtle changes to the basic griffin mechanics, to make them fit my picky tastes. The trouble with griffins is that they don't really fill a particularly unique niche, and most of the stuff here feels like stuff you could get by running something else. Oh well: I still like griffins.

    --

    Griffin Stats

    Bonus Feats (Ex)
    All griffins gain Iron Will as a bonus feat. All griffins except the panther griffin and song griffin also gain Flyby Attack as a bonus feat.

    Improved Grab (Ex)
    To use this ability, a griffin of young age or older must hit a foe of up to one size smaller than it with a bite or claw attack. On a successful hit, it may immediately make a grapple check against the target, without provoking an attack of opportunity or requiring an initial touch attack. If it succeeds on the grapple check, it pulls the opponent into its space and may make two rake attacks.

    Pounce (Ex)
    When a griffin of young age or older charges or dives on a target, it can make a full attack, including two rake attacks.

    Rake (Ex)
    When pouncing or against a grappled opponent, a griffin of adolescent age or older may make two extra rake attacks with its hind claws. These rake attacks deal the same damage as the griffin’s fore claws, and use the same attack bonuses.

    Skills
    All griffins have a +8 racial bonus on all Spot checks.




    Common Griffin

    Spoiler: Griffin Chick
    Show
    Common Griffin (Chick)
    Size/Type: Tiny Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 1d10 (5 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 30 ft, Fly 40 ft (average)
    Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dex, +2 size, +1 natural), Touch 15, Flat-footed 13
    BAB/Grapple: +1 / -8
    Attack: bite +4 melee (1d4-1)
    Full Attack: bite +4 melee (1d4-1)
    Space/Reach: 2.5 ft / 0 ft
    Special Attacks: -
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Scent
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 8, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 6
    Skills: Jump +0, Listen +1, Spot +9, Survival +1
    Feats: Flyby AttackB, Iron WillB, Track, Weapon FinesseB
    Environment: any plains, hills or mountains (usually temperate)
    Organization: solitary or pair, or with parents
    Challenge Rating: 0.5
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Neutral
    Advancement: 2 HD (Tiny)
    Level Adjustment: -


    Spoiler: Young Griffin
    Show
    Common Griffin (Young)
    Size/Type: Small Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 3d10+3 (19 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 30 ft, Fly 60 ft (average)
    Armor Class: 16 (+3 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size), Touch 14, Flat-footed 13
    BAB/Grapple: +3 / -1
    Attack: bite +4 melee (1d6) or claw +4 melee (1d3)
    Full Attack: bite +4 melee (1d6) and 2 claws +2 melee (1d3)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft / 5 ft
    Special Attacks: Improved Grab, Pounce
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Scent
    Saves: Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +3
    Abilities: Str 10, Dex 17, Con 12, Int 4, Wis 11, Cha 6
    Skills: Jump +1, Listen +2, Spot +10, Survival +1
    Feats: Flyby AttackB, Iron WillB, Multiattack, Track
    Environment: any plains, hills or mountains (usually temperate)
    Organization: solitary or pair, or with parents
    Challenge Rating: 1
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Neutral
    Advancement: 4 HD (Small)
    Level Adjustment: +2


    Spoiler: Adolescent Griffin
    Show
    Common Griffin (Adolescent)
    Size/Type: Medium Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 5d10+10 (37 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft, Fly 80 ft (average)
    Armor Class: 17 (+4 natural, +3 Dex), Touch 13, Flat-footed 14
    BAB/Grapple: +5 / +7
    Attack: bite +8 melee (1d8+3) or claw +8 melee (1d4+3)
    Full Attack: bite +8 melee (1d8+3) and 2 claws +6 melee (1d4+1)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft / 5 ft
    Special Attacks: Improved Grab, Pounce, Rake
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Scent
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +4
    Abilities: Str 16, Dex 17, Con 14, Int 6, Wis 13, Cha 6
    Skills: Jump +9, Listen +3, Spot +11, Survival +3
    Feats: Flyby AttackB, Iron WillB, Multiattack, Track
    Environment: any plains, hills or mountains (usually temperate)
    Organization: solitary or pair, or with parents
    Challenge Rating: 3
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Neutral
    Advancement: 6 HD (Medium)
    Level Adjustment: +2


    Spoiler: Adult Griffin
    Show
    Common Griffin (Adult)
    Size/Type: Large Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 7d10+21 (59 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft, Fly 80 ft (average)
    Armor Class: 18 (+6 natural, +3 Dex, -1 size), Touch 12, Flat-footed 15
    BAB/Grapple: +7 / +15
    Attack: bite +11 melee (2d6+5) or claw +10 melee (1d6+5)
    Full Attack: bite +11 melee (2d6+5) and 2 claws +8 melee (1d6+2)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft / 5 ft
    Special Attacks: Improved Grab, Pounce, Rake
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Scent
    Saves: Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +5
    Abilities: Str 20, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 15, Cha 6
    Skills: Jump +14, Listen +5, Spot +13, Survival +4
    Feats: Flyby Attack B, Iron Will B, Multiattack, Power Attack, Track
    Environment: any plains, hills or mountains (usually temperate)
    Organization: solitary or pair
    Challenge Rating: 5
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Neutral
    Advancement: 8-12 HD (Large); or by character class
    Level Adjustment: +2





    Variations on the Common Griffin

    Sea Griffins (CR +0)
    Sea griffins are similar to common griffins, but they are usually found on islands far out to sea, or along coastal areas. Like ospreys, they specialize in diving into the water for fish and other prey, and can take flight directly from the surface of the water without difficulty. A sea griffin uses the same statistics as a common griffin, with the following additional abilities:

    Speed
    A sea griffin is less agile on land: its base land speed is 10 feet slower than for a common griffin. However, it has a racial Swim speed of 30 feet. It also gains 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 any Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can perform the run action while swimming, provided it moves in a straight line.

    Hold Breath (Ex)
    A sea griffin is not amphibious, but it can hold its breath for short dives underwater. It can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to three times its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

    Improved Dive (Ex)
    A sea griffin can make a bite attack at the end of a dive attack, and it deals double damage with this attack (normally, only claw or talon attacks can be used at the end of a dive attack). A sea griffin can also automatically pull up and avoid crashing at the end of its dive, though it can also follow through and dive straight into the water, if it chooses.

    Ocean Eyes (Ex)
    When a sea griffin makes an attack across the air-water boundary, its target does not receive the usual cover bonus to Armor Class against the attack.

    --

    Snow Griffins (CR +0)
    Snow griffins are similar to common griffins, except that they live in frostfell environments, and their feathers and fur are completely white, with a few black speckles on them. A snow griffin has the same statistics as a common griffin, with the following additional abilities:

    Cold Acclimation (Ex)
    A snow griffin is acclimated to the cold environment of the frostfell. It can withstand even extremely cold temperatures, as if it were protected by an endure elements spell. This does not protect it against warm temperatures.

    Resistance to Cold (Ex)
    Snow griffins gain resistance 5 against cold damage.

    Snow Camouflage (Ex)
    The snow griffin’s white feathers allow it to blend into its snowy environment. It gains a +8 racial bonus on Hide checks in snowy or icy terrains.

    Snowsight (Ex)
    A snow griffin can see normally in whiteout conditions. Its vision is not impeded by obscuring mist or fog cloud spells, or by similar effects.

    Ability Scores
    A snow griffin gains an additional +2 bonus to its Constitution score, but takes a -2 penalty to its Dexterity score.




    Supernatural Variations on the Common Griffin

    Phoenix Griffins (CR +1)

    Phoenix griffins are fiery creatures that bear more than a passing resemblance to their namesake, the great phoenix of legend. They proudly claim to be the descendants of the fabulous phoenix, and their claim does not seem to be entirely spurious. A phoenix griffin uses the same statistics as a common griffin, with the following additional abilities:

    Breath Weapon (Su)
    A phoenix griffin can breath fire once every 1d4 rounds. The fire takes on a cone or line shape, as the griffin chooses. The area of effect and damage are determined by the griffin’s size category, as shown in the table below. A successful Reflex save halves the damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.

    Age Damage* Cone Line Ref DC
    Chick 1d6 10 ft 20 ft 10
    Young 2d6 15 ft 30 ft 12
    Adolescent 3d6 20 ft 40 ft 14
    Adult 4d6 30 ft 60 ft 16
    *Increase damage by 1d6 for every 2 HD the phoenix griffin gains.

    Fiery Bite (Su)
    A phoenix griffin’s throat is filled with supernatural heat from the glands that produce its breath weapon. It deals an extra 1d6 fire damage with each successful bite attack.

    Fire Subtype
    A phoenix griffin has the Fire subtype. It is immune to fire damage, but vulnerable to cold damage.

    Phoenix Feathers (Su)
    A phoenix griffin’s feathers are powerful magic items in their own right. Once per day, a phoenix griffin can voluntarily remove a feather from its body, imbuing it with the power of a cure serious wounds or neutralize poison spell (griffin’s choice each time), with caster level 9th. The feather remains potent for 1 day, after which it crumbles to ash. A feather taken from the griffin against its will or plucked from a dead griffin’s body does not gain this magical power.

    Rise from the Ashes (Su)
    When a phoenix griffin is slain (reduced to –10 hit points or below), its body is immolated, leaving nothing but a pile of ashes that cover and incubate a black, glassy egg roughly 6 inches across. The egg remains dormant for 24 hours, after which time it hatches, releasing a phoenix griffin chick.

    The ash and egg left behind when a phoenix griffin dies can be used to resurrect the griffin, but the creature cannot be raised by any means. Once a new chick has burst free from its egg, the original griffin cannot be brought back to life by any means. A gentle repose spell or similar magic cast on an egg can keep the egg from hatching, allowing the original griffin to possibly be brought back to life at a later time.
    Once the gentle repose effect ends, however, the egg continues its incubation where it left off.

    A wish or miracle spell used in conjunction with a resurrection effect can restore a phoenix griffin to life after its egg has hatched.

    --

    Storm Griffins (CR +1)
    Storm griffins are rare, supernatural cousins of the griffin that mainly come out during storms and thrive in violent weather. A storm griffin uses the same statistics as a common griffin, with the following additional abilities:

    Air Subtype
    A storm griffin has the Air subtype.

    Electric Discharge (Su)
    Once every 1d4 rounds as a swift action, a storm griffin may unleash a burst of electricity from its feathers that affects all adjacent creatures. This deals an amount of electricity damage determined by the griffin’s age category: 1d6 for a chick, 2d6 for a young griffin, 3d6 for an adolescent, and 4d6 for an adult. A successful Reflex save halves the damage. The saving throw DC is Constitution-based: chick (DC 10), young (DC 12), adolescent (DC 14), adult (DC 16).

    Fast Healing (Su)
    Storms bring supernatural power to a storm griffin. While in a storm of any kind, a storm griffin gains Fast Healing 5.

    Improved Flight (Ex)
    A storm griffin flies with Good maneuverability, and its Fly speed is increased by 20 feet.

    Storm Riding (Su)
    A storm griffin is immune to electricity damage, and to all blinding and deafening effects. It treats any kind of wind effect as two categories lower for determing when it is checked, knocked back or blown away, and it gains a +2 racial bonus on all saving throws against wind effects.




    Other Griffins

    Spoiler: Golden Griffin
    Show
    Golden Griffin
    Size/Type: Large Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 12d10+60 (126 hp)
    Initiative: +5
    Speed: 50 ft, Fly 100 ft (good)
    Armor Class: 24 (+10 natural, +5 Dex, -1 size), Touch 14, Flat-footed 19
    BAB/Grapple: +12 / +24
    Attack: bite +19 melee (2d6+8) or claw +19 melee (1d6+8)
    Full Attack: bite +19 melee (2d6+8) and claws +17/+17/+15 melee (1d6+4) and 2 rakes +17 melee (1d6+4)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft / 5 ft
    Special Attacks: Dragon hunter, Improved grab, Pounce, Rake, Spells
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Energy resistance (cold, electricity, fire), Low-light vision, Scent, Wild empathy +15
    Saves: Fort +13, Ref +13, Will +10
    Abilities: Str 26, Dex 21, Con 20, Int 11, Wis 19, Cha 16
    Skills: Concentration +11, Intimidate +10, Jump +15, Listen +10, Spot +18, Survival +8
    Feats: Combat Casting, Flyby Attack B, Iron Will B, Multiattack, Power Attack, Rapid Strike, Track
    Environment: any plains, hills or mountains (usually temperate)
    Organization: solitary or pair
    Challenge Rating: 12
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Good (any)
    Advancement: 13-20 HD (Large); or by character class
    Level Adjustment: +4

    --

    A majestic griffin with its brown feathers shimmering with a gloss of gold, a golden griffin is the undisputed pinnacle of griffinkind, often serving as a ruler over other griffins, or as a mount for very powerful paladins and clerics.

    Dragon Hunter (Ex)
    A golden griffin often protects an area from the depredations of chromatic dragons, and its experience as a dragon hunter grants it bonuses on actions taken against dragons. This works as the ranger’s favored enemy ability, with a +4 bonus, which is effective against dragons. In addition, a golden griffin’s bonus applies to attack rolls made against dragons, and on saving throws against the Supernatural abilities of dragons.

    Spells
    A golden griffin casts spells as a 7th-level druid or cleric, though golden griffin clerics do not gain domains unless they take actual cleric class levels. The spells prepared below are for a golden griffin druid. For every 2 racial hit dice a golden griffin gains above 12, its druid or cleric caster level increases by 1.
    0thcure minor wounds, detect magic, detect poison, know direction, resistance, virtue
    1stcharm animal, cure light wounds, endure elements, magic fang, speak with animals
    2ndbarkskin, cat’s grace, owl’s wisdom, lesser restoration, summon nature’s ally II
    3rdcall lightning, daylight
    4thfreedom of movement

    Wild Empathy (Ex)
    This functions exactly as the druid’s class feature of the same name.


    Spoiler: Panther Griffin
    Show
    Panther Griffin
    Size/Type: Medium Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 5d10+10 (37 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 40 ft, Climb 20 ft, Fly 50 ft (good), Swim 20 ft
    Armor Class: 17 (+3 natural, +4 Dex), Touch 14, Flat-footed 13
    BAB/Grapple: +5 / +7
    Attack: bite +8 melee (1d8+3) or claw +8 melee (1d4+3)
    Full Attack: bite +8 melee (1d8+3) and 2 claws +6 melee (1d4+1)
    Space/Reach: 5 ft / 5 ft
    Special Attacks: Improved Grab, Pounce, Rake
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Scent, Woodland Stride
    Saves: Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +4
    Abilities: Str 14, Dex 19, Con 14, Int 5, Wis 13, Cha 8
    Skills: Climb +10, Hide +9, Jump +7, Listen +7, Move Silently +9, Spot +11, Survival +6, Swim +10
    Feats: Iron WillB, Multiattack, Track, Weapon FinesseB
    Environment: any plains, hills or mountains (usually temperate)
    Organization: solitary
    Challenge Rating: 4
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Neutral
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: +1

    --

    A lithe, lightly-built griffin of the forests, with midnight black fur and feathers, a panther griffin is a versatile, stealthy hunter. They are less inclined to take to the air than other griffins, preferring to stalk along the forest floor, climb trees or even swim. However, when a panther griffin does fly, it flies with great agility, weaving skillfully among the trees; though it is not a fast flier.

    Woodland Stride (Ex)
    A panther griffin can move through any sort of undergrowth (such as natural thorns, briars, overgrown areas, and similar terrain) at its normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. However, thorns, briars, and overgrown areas that have been magically manipulated to impede motion still affect it.

    Skills
    In addition to the usual racial bonus to Spot, a panther griffin has a +4 racial bonus on all Hide, Listen, Move Silently and Survival checks. It also has a +8 racial bonus all Climb checks, and on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on any Climb or Swim check, even if distracted, threatened or rushed. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it moves in a straight line.


    Spoiler: Song Griffin
    Show
    Song Griffin
    Size/Type: Tiny Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 1d10 (5 hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: 20 ft, Climb 20 ft, Fly 40 ft (average)
    Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +2 size, +1 natural), Touch 14, Flat-footed 13
    BAB/Grapple: +1 / -9
    Attack: talons +1 melee (1d3-2)
    Full Attack: talons +1 melee (1d3-2)
    Space/Reach: 2.5 ft / 0 ft
    Special Attacks: -
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Low-light vision, Scent
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +2
    Abilities: Str 6, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 14, Cha 6
    Skills: Climb +10, Listen +6, Spot +9
    Feats: Alertness, Weapon FinesseB
    Environment: any forests
    Organization: solitary
    Challenge Rating: 1/4
    Treasure: Standard
    Alignment: usually Neutral
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -

    --

    A song griffin is a small creature that combines features of a large songbird (often a blue jay or blackbird) and a small climbing feline or even a squirrel.

    Skills
    Unlike most griffins, a song griffin has only a +4 racial bonus on Spot checks. A song griffin also gains a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. It can choose to take 10 on any Climb check, even if rushed or threatened. It uses its Dex modifier or its Str modifier on Climb checks, whichever is higher.





    For Player Characters

    Gear and Loot
    Griffins generally do not use or carry gear, though some are trained to wear armor and serve as mounts for humanoid riders.

    Griffins as Animal Companions
    Even though panther griffins are magical beasts, they can serve as a druid’s animal companion. The druid must have the Exalted Companion feat (Book of Exalted Deeds) or the Monstrous Animal Companion feat (Dragon #326). Add the panther griffin to the 7th-level animal companion list: a druid’s effective druid level for a panther griffin companion is 6 lower than it otherwise would be.

    Griffins as Familiars
    A song griffin can be taken as a spellcaster’s familiar. A spellcaster with a song griffin familiar gains a +2 bonus on all Spot checks.

    Griffins as Paladins’ Special Mounts
    Although griffins are wild beasts with notoriously rowdy temperaments, they readily serve as a paladin’s special mount. Most griffins prefer to serve Lawful Good paladins, though some may serve Evil paladins, as well.

    A paladin of at least 10th level can select an adult griffin (including a sea griffin or snow griffin) as her special mount. She treats her paladin level as 5 lower for determining her mount’s abilities.

    A paladin of at least 11th level can select an adult phoenix griffin or storm griffin as her special mount. She treats her paladin level as 6 lower for determining her mount’s abilities.

    A paladin of at least 18th level can select a golden griffin as her special mount. She treats her paladin level as 13 lower for determining her mount’s abilities.

    A Small-sized paladin of at least 8th level can select a panther griffin as her special mount. She treats her paladin level as 3 lower for determining her mount's abilities.

    Inevitability’s Reassigned LA
    For a game that uses Inevitability's Reassigned Level Adjustments, I recommend the followed RLAs for these griffins:
    Standard Griffins Chick Young Adolescent Adult
    Common Griffin RLA +1 RLA +1 RLA +0 RLA +0
    Sea Griffin RLA +1 RLA +1 RLA +0 RLA +0
    Snow Griffin RLA +1 RLA +1 RLA +0 RLA +0

    Supernatural Griffins Chick Young Adolescent Adult
    Phoenix Griffin RLA +2 RLA +2 RLA +1 RLA +1
    Storm Griffin RLA +2 RLA +2 RLA +1 RLA +1

    Other Griffins Reassigned LA
    Golden Griffin RLA +0
    Panther Griffin RLA +1
    Song Griffin RLA +2
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2021-02-02 at 11:37 PM.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Colorado
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Boneyard (Remake): (if you are still looking at refining this version)
    • Space/Reach: it would probably be advisable to just say see 'Reshape Ability' and enter space and reach in the ability text based on form.
    • Bone Subsumption: the every 1d4 round ability is pretty incredible, for vermin maybe make a comment that it only affects vermin with exoskeletons, if that is true
    • Does Bone Subsumption only work in serpent form? does the 1d4 round variant work in giant or amorphous form? maybe restrict that 1d4 round ability to amorphous form only since it makes a bit more sense in that form than the other two
    • Rshape: does giant form have a bite attack still? Might be good to make that clear. In amorphous form it would be good to comment on space and reach I think 30'/0' would make sense, also can it move normally, only fly, do both? can it make any attacks in said form, are any of its abilities useable, or not useable in that form?
    • Create Skeletons: it would probably be good to clarify the command portion of this ability is said 80hd independent of rebuke and Animate Dead limits?
    • Changing the command limit to be based on HD would increase the power level of the ability.
    • I would tend to agree with Morphic Tide on the SLAs and DR, I get where you were going with Blade Barrier and Stonehold but over all I think Stonehold is a bit over powered and DR overcome by bludgeoning is going to get ignored ~ half the time.
    • Consumptive field+animate undead+ awaken undead+desecrate+rebuke undead makes for some very powerful undead on the super cheap. I think that was Morphic Tide's point.
    • Also making unhallowed ground everywhere you go for free is pretty crazy similar to stonehold.
    • In general I think it would be interesting to play around with the abilities and forms a bit more. For example desecrate, stonehold, unhallow, and maybe even blade barrier could be tied to amorphous form and the area you take up in amorphous form. In this case it would also be important inside the amorphous form entry to talk about taking up the same space as other creatures.
    • In general I think this is about right for the power level of a level 20 character but as is I worry it would quickly fall behind in epic campaigns


    Griffin Stats since all griffins can fly it would be good to include the +8 jump bonus in the general stats area.
    Boneyard (Alternate Remake) Only real comment here is I still think this doesn't quite hit +1 LA.

    Common Griffin: two comments here I don't think you changed enough to justify a +1 much less +2 LA for these guys. Also under 'Inevitability’s Reassigned LA' section you are referring to Boneyard...

    panther griffin: are missing Flyby Attack and have Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat are they supposed to have both? Can they be paladin mounts for small paladins?

    Song Griffin it seems to be missing Iron Will as a bonus feat is this correct? Also seems like a fun player race

    Seas, Snow, Phoenic, and Storm Griffon might be good to specifically comment on LA for each.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Boneyard (Remake): (if you are still looking at refining this version)
    • Space/Reach: it would probably be advisable to just say see 'Reshape Ability' and enter space and reach in the ability text based on form.
    • Bone Subsumption: the every 1d4 round ability is pretty incredible, for vermin maybe make a comment that it only affects vermin with exoskeletons, if that is true
    • Does Bone Subsumption only work in serpent form? does the 1d4 round variant work in giant or amorphous form? maybe restrict that 1d4 round ability to amorphous form only since it makes a bit more sense in that form than the other two
    • Rshape: does giant form have a bite attack still? Might be good to make that clear. In amorphous form it would be good to comment on space and reach I think 30'/0' would make sense, also can it move normally, only fly, do both? can it make any attacks in said form, are any of its abilities useable, or not useable in that form?
    • Create Skeletons: it would probably be good to clarify the command portion of this ability is said 80hd independent of rebuke and Animate Dead limits?
    • Changing the command limit to be based on HD would increase the power level of the ability.
    • I would tend to agree with Morphic Tide on the SLAs and DR, I get where you were going with Blade Barrier and Stonehold but over all I think Stonehold is a bit over powered and DR overcome by bludgeoning is going to get ignored ~ half the time.
    • Consumptive field+animate undead+ awaken undead+desecrate+rebuke undead makes for some very powerful undead on the super cheap. I think that was Morphic Tide's point.
    • Also making unhallowed ground everywhere you go for free is pretty crazy similar to stonehold.
    • In general I think it would be interesting to play around with the abilities and forms a bit more. For example desecrate, stonehold, unhallow, and maybe even blade barrier could be tied to amorphous form and the area you take up in amorphous form. In this case it would also be important inside the amorphous form entry to talk about taking up the same space as other creatures.
    • In general I think this is about right for the power level of a level 20 character but as is I worry it would quickly fall behind in epic campaigns
    Yeah, I don't think I want to keep up that version: it is pretty messy, especially the minionmancy, and I don't really like it anymore. I'll probably scrub it completely (by putting strikethrough codes on the whole post and providing a link to the alternate version); I've just been too lazy these past few days.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Griffin Stats since all griffins can fly it would be good to include the +8 jump bonus in the general stats area.
    You get a bonus on Jump checks for having a Fly speed? Where is that rule?

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Boneyard (Alternate Remake) Only real comment here is I still think this doesn't quite hit +1 LA.
    Hm... you might be right. I'm probably going to keep it up there anyway, unless some other votes flow in, just because this feels like a monster I want to be conservative with.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Common Griffin: two comments here I don't think you changed enough to justify a +1 much less +2 LA for these guys. Also under 'Inevitability’s Reassigned LA' section you are referring to Boneyard...
    The MM griffon has LA +3, so mine is actually a reduced LA.

    The LAs in the stat blocks are my attempts to mimic WotC LAs, because somebody upthread commented about that. To be honest though, my method so far has been to just assign an LA that's 1 or 2 higher than the RLA I recommend for it. I have no idea what I'm doing there.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    panther griffin: are missing Flyby Attack and have Weapon Finesse as a bonus feat are they supposed to have both? Can they be paladin mounts for small paladins?
    It's called out in the "Griffin Stats" section: "All griffins except the panther griffin have Flyby Attack as a bonus feat." The idea is that the panther griffin lives in dense woods, so it doesn't fly as much... and as I'm typing this, I realize that I didn't paste in that flavor text blurb. Doh!

    And actually... yeah, I should make them available as paladin mounts.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Song Griffin it seems to be missing Iron Will as a bonus feat is this correct? Also seems like a fun player race
    ...and Flyby Attack too. I think I'm going to keep Flyby Attack off, though. Iron Will should be there, though.

    And I also forgot to add the line about using Dex instead of Str on Climb checks.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Seas, Snow, Phoenic, and Storm Griffon might be good to specifically comment on LA for each.
    Oh yeah. I should do that.

    The sea and snow griffin are meant to be basically racial variants of the common griffin, so they should have the same LA.

    The phoenix and storm griffins though, should be a little different. It might even be worthwhile to tweak some stats around a bit to make them into unique monsters, rather than variants.

    --

    Thanks again for the input.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OrcBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    You get a bonus on Jump checks for having a Fly speed? Where is that rule?
    Hmm I thought it was baked into flying creatures but now looking through the MM I am not seeing any mention of it. I had thought it was a thing since most pc races you interact with get +10 jump because of their wings: dragonborn, raptoran, and Dragon Wings. But looks like that isn't a general rule, though it seems to make sense...

    Hm... you might be right. I'm probably going to keep it up there anyway, unless some other votes flow in, just because this feels like a monster I want to be conservative with.



    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    The MM griffon has LA +3, so mine is actually a reduced LA.

    The LAs in the stat blocks are my attempts to mimic WotC LAs, because somebody upthread commented about that. To be honest though, my method so far has been to just assign an LA that's 1 or 2 higher than the RLA I recommend for it. I have no idea what I'm doing there.
    granted that LA is specifically for having it as a cohort isn't it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    It's called out in the "Griffin Stats" section: "All griffins except the panther griffin have Flyby Attack as a bonus feat." The idea is that the panther griffin lives in dense woods, so it doesn't fly as much... and as I'm typing this, I realize that I didn't paste in that flavor text blurb. Doh!

    And actually... yeah, I should make them available as paladin mounts.
    I apparently missed the 'all griffins except' part and just saw panther griffin have flyby attack as a bonus feat. Granted I would think living in the forest with a lot of tree would make more sense for having flyby attack

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Monster Feats

    Okay, this is something that's a little different. Instead of a monster, here I'm posting a collection of monstrous feats that I created. These feats all address a few specific things that I think would be nice for some monster characters, but I haven't yet put a lot of thought into how they interact with each other or with any other optimization content. I would appreciate hearing anyone else's thoughts about which of these feats are a good idea, and which are not; which of them might be better granted by templates or prestige classes; or any other ideas for ways to improve them.




    Augment Energy [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural attack that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic)

    Benefit
    Choose one of your extraordinary or supernatural attacks that deals energy damage. The chosen attack deals 2 more dice of damage of the same type as it normally deals.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special attack.

    --

    Augment Energy, Greater [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural attack that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic), Augment Energy, character level 6th or higher

    Benefit
    Choose one of your special attacks, for which you have taken the Augment Energy feat. The chosen extraordinary or supernatural attack deals 2 more dice of damage of the same type as it normally deals. This additional damage stacks with the additional damage granted by the Augment Energy feat.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special attack.


    --

    Awakened [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Member of a monstrous race with a typical Intelligence score of 2 or lower, or that lacks an Intelligence score altogether

    Benefit
    You gain an Intelligence score of 6 (i.e., apply a -4 racial modifier to the value you rolled or purchased for your Intelligence score).

    Special
    Mindless creatures generally do not gain feats. However, a mindless creature can opt to take this feat at 1st level anyway. When it does so, it can gain feats and skill points as normal for a non-mindless creature of its type, and this feat counts as its 1st-level feat.

    --

    Denature Energy [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural attack that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic)

    Benefit
    Choose one of your extraordinary or supernatural attacks that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic). When you use the chosen attack, you may choose to convert half of its damage to untyped damage, allowing it to bypass immunity and resistance.

    --

    Dexterous Pseudopods [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Ooze type

    Benefit
    You can use pseudopods to manipulate objects and wield weapons and shields as if you had two humanoid hands. If you have one or more slam attacks, you can still deliver one slam attack as a secondary attack in a full attack while wielding weapons.

    If you would normally deal acid or other damage to an object on contact, objects you manipulate or weapons you wield with your pseudopods are not subjected to this damage unless you will it.

    This feat does not grant proficiency with any weapons or shields.

    -

    Dexterous Tentacles [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Tentacle, vine or similar natural attack (including slam attacks delivered by a tentacle- or vine-like appendage)

    Benefit
    You can wield manufactured weapons in your tentacles or vines, as if they were humanoid hands. You take the normal penalties for wielding two or more weapons, but you can take the Two-Weapon Fighting or Multi-Weapon Fighting feats to reduce the penalties.

    --

    Energy Affinity [Monstrous]
    Benefit
    Choose one of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic. Anytime you deal that type of damage with an extraordinary or supernatural attack, a spell-like ability or a magic weapon, you deal an extra 1 die of that damage type. Use the same size of dice as the attack normally uses. When an attack's damage value is not expressed in terms of damage dice, you add 2 extra points of damage instead.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects stack. Each time you take this feat, it applies to the same energy type: you cannot have affinity with more than one energy type.

    Spoiler: Examples
    Show
    A will-o'-wisp normally deals 2d8 points of electricity damage by touch. A will-o'-wisp with this feat can instead deal 3d8 electricity damage by touch.

    A winter wolf normally deals 1d6 points of cold damage with its bite, and 4d6 cold damage with its breath weapon. A winter wolf with this feat can instead deal 2d6 points of cold damage with its bite, and 5d6 cold damage with its breath weapon.

    An azer normally deals 1 point of fire damage with its melee attacks. An azer with this feat can instead deal 3 points of fire damage with its melee attacks.

    A black pudding normally deals 2d6 acid damage with its slam attack, and 21 acid damage to an object per round of physical contact. A black pudding with this feat would instead deal 3d6 acid damage with its slam attack, and 23 acid damage to an object per round of physical contact.


    --

    Energy Healing [Monstrous]
    Prerequisite
    Immunity to any type of energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic; immunity granted by spells does not qualify)

    Benefit
    Pick an energy type that you are naturally immune to. Whenever you are subjected to an attack or effect that deals that type of damage, you instead recover 1 hit point for every 3 points of damage that the effect would deal. This effect cannot increase your hit points beyond your normal maximum, nor is it triggered by attacks or effects you create yourself.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, you may pick a new energy type.

    --

    Enhanced Recovery [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like ability with a limited number of uses per unit time (any real-world time unit less than 1 day is acceptable; but in-game time units such as rounds, are not).

    Benefit
    Choose one of your special abilities that has a limited number of uses per unit time (any real-world time unit less than 1 day is acceptable, e.g., "once per minute", "once per hour", "once every ten minutes", etc; but in-game time units such as "rounds" or "encounters", are not). You no longer have a limited number of uses per unit time, but you still must wait 1d4 rounds between uses of your ability.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special ability.

    --

    Extra Attack [Monstrous]
    Prerequisite
    An extraordinary or supernatural attack with a limited number of uses per day

    Benefit
    You gain 2 additional daily uses of your special attack.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

    --

    Fiery Soul [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Fire subtype

    Benefit
    Choose any 1st-level spell with the Fire descriptor. You may cast that spell as a spell-like ability three times per day, with caster level equal to your character level.

    If the chosen spell only has the Fire descriptor conditionally (e.g., most summoning spells), you can only cast it as a Fire spell (i.e., a summoning spell-like ability can only be used to summon fire creatures). You cannot choose a spell that would only gain the Fire descriptor through application of metamagic or similar affects.

    --

    Fiery Soul, Greater [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Fire subtype, Fiery Soul, character level 6th or higher

    Benefits
    You may cast the spell-like ability you chose with your Fiery Soul feat at will.

    Additionally, you may choose two other spells with the Fire descriptor. One of the spells must be of 2nd level or lower, and you may cast it as a spell-like ability three times per day. The other spell must be of 3rd level or lower, and you may cast it as a spell-like ability two times per day.

    If one of the chosen spells only has the Fire descriptor conditionally (e.g., most summoning spells), you can only cast it as a Fire spell (i.e., a summoning spell-like ability can only be used to summon fire creatures). You cannot choose a spell that would only gain the Fire descriptor through application of metamagic or similar affects.

    --

    Friendly Attack [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    A special attack that affects creatures in an area

    Benefit
    Pick one of your special attacks that affects multiple creatures in an area. Each time you use the chosen attack, you may designate one creature that will not be affected by it. This only applies to that single use of your special attack: you must designate a creature again with each subsequent use.

    Normal
    Area attacks usually affect all creatures within the area of effect.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special attack.

    --

    Icy Soul [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Cold subtype

    Benefit
    Choose any 1st-level spell with the Cold descriptor. You may cast that spell as a spell-like ability three times per day, with caster level equal to your character level.

    If the chosen spell only has the Cold descriptor conditionally (e.g., most summoning spells), you can only cast it as a Cold spell (i.e., a summoning spell-like ability can only be used to summon cold creatures). You cannot choose a spell that would only gain the Cold descriptor through application of metamagic or similar affects.

    --

    Icy Soul, Greater [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Cold subtype, Icy Soul, character level 6th or higher

    Benefits
    You may cast the spell-like ability you chose with your Icy Soul feat at will.

    Additionally, you may choose two other spells with the Cold descriptor. One of the spells must be of 2nd level or lower, and you may cast it as a spell-like ability three times per day. The other spell must be of 3rd level or lower, and you may cast it as a spell-like ability two times per day.

    If one of the chosen spells only has the Cold descriptor conditionally (e.g., most summoning spells), you can only cast it as a Cold spell (i.e., a summoning spell-like ability can only be used to summon cold creatures). You cannot choose a spell that would only gain the Cold descriptor through application of metamagic or similar affects.

    --

    Improved Perception 1[Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Blindsense, Blindsight, Darkvision, Scent, Tremorsense or similar sensory ability with a specified range limit

    Benefit
    The range of your special sensory ability increases by 30 feet (e.g., "Darkvision out to 60 feet" becomes "Darkvision out to 90 feet").

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

    --

    Improved Speed [Monstrous]
    Benefit
    Choose one of your movement modes. Your speed for that movement mode increases by 10 feet.

    If you lack any movement modes, you instead gain a base land speed of 10 feet.

    --

    [B][COLOR="#0000CD"]Improved Volley] [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    An extraordinary, supernatural or spell-like special attack that is delivered as a volley (i.e., you can deliver multiple attacks as an action other than a full attack or full-round action).

    Benefit
    Choose one of your special attacks that meets the prerequisite criteria above. When making a volley of attacks with the chosen attack, you deliver one additional attack as part of that volley. For example, a manticore can normally throw 6 spikes in a single volley. With this feat, a manticore can throw 7 spikes in a single volley.

    --

    Iterative Attack [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    One or more natural weapons (not including unarmed strikes), BAB +6 or higher

    Benefit
    Choose one of your natural weapons. When making a full attack, you may deliver extra attacks with the chosen natural weapon for having a high base attack bonus, just as if the chosen weapon were a manufactured weapon.

    If the chosen natural weapon comes in a pair (e.g., 2 claws), then you treat one of the pair as a primary weapon, and the other as either a secondary natural attack or an off-hand weapon, whichever is more beneficial to you.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take this feat, it applies to a different natural weapon.

    --

    Mule Attack [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Two or more hoof attacks.

    Benefit
    You may make two hoof attacks against a single target as a standard action or at the end of a charge. If both hoof attacks hit, you may immediately make a Trip attempt against the target without provoking an attack of opportunity or requiring an initial touch attack to hit.

    --

    Natural Weapon Training [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any natural weapon, BAB +3

    Benefit
    Choose one of your natural weapons. Attacks with the chosen weapon are always treated as primary natural attacks: you always use your highest base attack bonus on attack rolls, and add your full Strength modifier to damage rolls when using the chosen natural weapon, even if using it in conjunction with other primary weapons in a full attack.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different natural weapon.

    --

    Pummel [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Two or more slam attacks

    Benefit
    If you hit a single opponent with two or more slam attacks in the same round, you may make two additional slam attacks against that opponent at the same base attack bonus as a swift action.

    --

    Rapid Attack [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural special attack that requires a standard action to deliver and an attack roll to hit, BAB +6 or higher

    Benefit
    Choose one of your special attacks that meets the prerequisite criteria above. Your special attack now requires an attack action, instead of a standard action. This allows you to deliver your chosen special attack once per round as part of a full attack. Treat your special attack as either a primary or secondary natural weapon (your choice each time). If you could already deliver your chosen attack as part of a full attack, you may instead deliver it one more time than usual as part of that full attack, using one of the iterative attacks you are allotted for having a high base attack bonus.

    Your attack is still subject to its usual timing and use limitations: this feat does not grant you more daily uses of your attack than you normally get, and if you must wait between uses of your special attack, you cannot use this feat to deliver that attack multiple times in the same round.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special attack.

    --

    Rejected Identity [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    One or more creature subtypes

    Benefit
    Choose one of your subtypes (e.g., Chaotic, Water, etc), other than Extraplanar, Incorporeal or Swarm. You lose that subtype and all benefits and drawbacks associated with it. If you cannot breathe air, you cannot choose to remove the Aquatic subtype.

    Special
    You make take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, you choose a different subtype to remove.

    --

    Reverse Petrification [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Racial special attack that causes petrification

    Benefit
    As a standard action, you may touch a creature that was petrified by your special attack and restore it to life, as if by a stone to flesh spell. You cannot use this feat to reverse petrification caused by another creature.

    --

    Rugged Trample [Monstrous]
    Prerequisite
    Trample special attack

    Benefit
    You can trample creatures up to your own size. To trample a creature, you need not move over its entire space: as long as you move over any square the creature occupies, the creature is considered trampled.

    --

    Versatile Area Attack [Monstrous]
    Prerequisite
    A special attack that affects creatures in an area

    Benefit
    Choose one of your special attacks that affects creatures in an area. Each time you use the selected attack, you may choose to have it affect a smaller area. The shape of the area remains the same, but the primary measurement can be reduced to as little as one-tenth of its usual size. For example, an adult red dragon’s breath weapon usually covers a 50-foot cone, but with this feat, the dragon could choose to reduce its breath weapon’s area to a smaller cone (e.g., a 35-foot cone, a 20-foot cone, or as small as a 5-foot cone).

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special attack.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2021-02-23 at 01:51 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Awakened [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Member of a monstrous race with a typical Intelligence score of 2 or lower, or that lacks an Intelligence score altogether.

    Benefit
    You gain an Intelligence score of 6 (i.e., apply a -4 racial modifier to the value you rolled or purchased for your Intelligence score).

    Special
    Mindless creatures generally do not gain feats. However, a mindless creature can opt to take this feat at 1st level anyway. When it does so, it can gain feats and skill points as normal for a non-mindless creature of its type, and this feat counts as its 1st-level feat.
    Yeah, I've always found it weird that the only mechanic that gives creatures sapience only worked on animals and trees (which is not to say I'm not happy about the option of awakening trees that are otherwise treated by the game as objects which is creepy and wrong). I like this one.

    Dexterous Tentacles [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Tentacle, vine or similar natural attack (including slam attacks delivered by a tentacle- or vine-like appendage)

    Benefit
    You can wield manufactured weapons in your tentacles or vines, as if they were humanoid hands. You take the normal penalties for wielding two or more weapons, but you can take the Two-Weapon Fighting or Multi-Weapon Fighting feats to reduce the penalties.
    Hm. Is there any actual rule that explicitly prevents, say, shamblers from SWINGING AWAY WITH A GREATAXE?



    Energy Healing [Monstrous]
    Prerequisite
    Immunity to any type of energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic; immunity granted by spells does not qualify)

    Benefit
    Pick an energy type that you are naturally immune to. Whenever you are subjected to an attack or effect that deals that type of damage, you instead recover 1 hit point for every 3 points of damage that the effect would deal. This effect cannot increase your hit points beyond your normal maximum, nor is it triggered by attacks or effects you create yourself.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, you may pick a new energy type.
    Shambling mounds made something like this before it was mainstream!

    Augment Energy [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural attack that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic)

    Benefit
    Choose one of your extraordinary or supernatural attacks that deals energy damage. The chosen attack deals 2 more dice of damage of the same type as it normally deals.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special attack.

    --

    Augment Energy, Greater [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural attack that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic), Augment Energy, character level 6th or higher

    Benefit
    Choose one of your special attacks, for which you have taken the Augment Energy feat. The chosen extraordinary or supernatural attack deals 2 more dice of damage of the same type as it normally deals. This additional damage stacks with the additional damage granted by the Augment Energy feat.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time, it applies to a different special attack.
    Denature Energy [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural attack that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic)

    Benefit
    Choose one of your extraordinary or supernatural attacks that deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic). When you use the chosen attack, you may choose to convert half of its damage to untyped damage, allowing it to bypass immunity and resistance.

    Energy Affinity [Monstrous]
    Benefit
    Choose one of the following energy types: acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic. Anytime you deal that type of damage with an extraordinary or supernatural attack, a spell-like ability or a magic weapon, you deal an extra 1 die of that damage type. Use the same size of dice as the attack normally uses. When an attack's damage value is not expressed in terms of damage dice, you add 2 extra points of damage instead.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects stack. Each time you take this feat, it applies to the same energy type: you cannot have affinity with more than one energy type.

    Spoiler: Examples
    Show
    A will-o'-wisp normally deals 2d8 points of electricity damage by touch. A will-o'-wisp with this feat can instead deal 3d8 electricity damage by touch.

    A winter wolf normally deals 1d6 points of cold damage with its bite, and 4d6 cold damage with its breath weapon. A winter wolf with this feat can instead deal 2d6 points of cold damage with its bite, and 5d6 cold damage with its breath weapon.

    An azer normally deals 1 point of fire damage with its melee attacks. An azer with this feat can instead deal 3 points of fire damage with its melee attacks.

    A black pudding normally deals 2d6 acid damage with its slam attack, and 21 acid damage to an object per round of physical contact. A black pudding with this feat would instead deal 3d6 acid damage with its slam attack, and 23 acid damage to an object per round of physical contact.
    These ones combined would look truly scary on a true dragon, you know.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2021-02-16 at 06:23 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Goblin

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Yeah, I've always found it weird that the only mechanic that gives creatures sapience only worked on animals and trees (which is not to say I'm not happy about the option of awakening trees that are otherwise treated by the game as objects which is creepy and wrong). I like this one.
    If you look around, there are other awakening effects. The awaken construct and awaken undead spells are in Spell Compendium. Savage Species has a prestige class (Master of Flies) that gains Awaken Vermin (Sp) as a class ability. Dragon #304 has awaken ooze, though that spell changes the ooze's type to aberration. There are also plenty of templates that give Intelligence scores to mindless creatures (celestial, half-dragon, sentry ooze, etc).

    But, I wanted something more universal, and I figured that a feat was a reasonable cost. This one is actually born from some experience with an ongoing game at Myth-Weavers: we made an Awakened feat, and discovered the problem with mindlessness when someone wanted to build a spider PC. So, I'm relatively confident that my Awakened feat (which is a watered-down version of the feat we use in that game) is pretty reasonable.

    --

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Hm. Is there any actual rule that explicitly prevents, say, shamblers from SWINGING AWAY WITH A GREATAXE?
    It's a good question, and I don't know the answer. But I figure there's a good chance that many DMs will veto the idea of weapon-wielding vines. Also, I figure that those DMs would feel better about allowing it if it cost the player something, so I thought it would be worthwhile to make it a feat.

    --

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Shambling mounds made something like this before it was mainstream!
    Seems like somebody has a favorite monster.

    --

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    These ones combined would look truly scary on a true dragon, you know.
    That's one of the obvious questions I have: some of these feats are clearly stackable, and I would need some caution about implementing them together. If you had to choose between these somewhat overlapping feats, which would you keep, and which would you discard?

    From my perspective, 3 feats for +5dX damage on most monsters is probably not going to break the game. Certainly not for an advanced dragon that's already doing 60 or 70 damage with its breath weapon. But for some monsters, like arrowhawks or winter wolves or half-dragons, the extra damage is an important way to keep their signature special attacks relevant later in the game, and Denature Energy will let a player play a pyromaniac monster without being rendered completely useless by some enemies' immunities.

    I'm more concerned with the couple of feats that influence the action economy of attacks, because those can make some really scary full attack routines: Iterative Attack and Rapid Attack, especially, can be stacked in a lot of ways. Improved Volley on a Beholder is also a bit concerning.

    And that's before you start to looking at combining it with the templates and prestige classes I made in my other homebrew threads.

    A lot of monsters that I have a particular fondness for have fairly poor attack routines, and their signature special attacks just don't have any avenues of advancement. That's why I made these feats: so some of these "underdog" monsters can actually get a little scaling, and some of the sucky monsters that I want to be viable might actually become viable. But, it's really hard to boost the weak monsters without completely unleashing the overpowered monsters.

    Anyway, thanks for the continued comments: I really appreciate the feedback.

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    If you look around, there are other awakening effects. The awaken construct and awaken undead spells are in Spell Compendium. Savage Species has a prestige class (Master of Flies) that gains Awaken Vermin (Sp) as a class ability. Dragon #304 has awaken ooze, though that spell changes the ooze's type to aberration. There are also plenty of templates that give Intelligence scores to mindless creatures (celestial, half-dragon, sentry ooze, etc).

    But, I wanted something more universal, and I figured that a feat was a reasonable cost. This one is actually born from some experience with an ongoing game at Myth-Weavers: we made an Awakened feat, and discovered the problem with mindlessness when someone wanted to build a spider PC. So, I'm relatively confident that my Awakened feat (which is a watered-down version of the feat we use in that game) is pretty reasonable.
    Fair. That's what I get for thinking Spell Companion is boring, ignoring the Dragon magazine stuff and giving up on Savage Species upon realizing that its LA assignment guidelines are useless, the monster classes don't do much and that it has a gelatinous bear for some reason. That said, I'm still not sure spells and abilities cover everything they should and I still like what you did here.

    Seems like somebody has a favorite monster.
    It's an intelligent plant creature that is not a zombie vampire fungus. What's not to like about the 'mounds?

    That's one of the obvious questions I have: some of these feats are clearly stackable, and I would need some caution about implementing them together. If you had to choose between these somewhat overlapping feats, which would you keep, and which would you discard?
    I think I'd drop Energy Affinity. It does pretty much the same thing as the Augment feats but it's stackable.

    From my perspective, 3 feats for +5dX damage on most monsters is probably not going to break the game. Certainly not for an advanced dragon that's already doing 60 or 70 damage with its breath weapon. But for some monsters, like arrowhawks or winter wolves or half-dragons, the extra damage is an important way to keep their signature special attacks relevant later in the game, and Denature Energy will let a player play a pyromaniac monster without being rendered completely useless by some enemies' immunities.
    I'm somewhat conflicted on Denature Energy. On the one hand, untyped damage is just plain cool. On the other hand, there's no running away from it, so it should probably be a rare and special thing and not something even the tiniest shocker lizard can dish out at will. Adding some extra prerequisites that spell „it's for later in the game” would perhaps help.

    I'm more concerned with the couple of feats that influence the action economy of attacks, because those can make some really scary full attack routines: Iterative Attack and Rapid Attack, especially, can be stacked in a lot of ways. Improved Volley on a Beholder is also a bit concerning.

    And that's before you start to looking at combining it with the templates and prestige classes I made in my other homebrew threads.
    Well, yes, there's that too.

    A lot of monsters that I have a particular fondness for have fairly poor attack routines, and their signature special attacks just don't have any avenues of advancement. That's why I made these feats: so some of these "underdog" monsters can actually get a little scaling, and some of the sucky monsters that I want to be viable might actually become viable. But, it's really hard to boost the weak monsters without completely unleashing the overpowered monsters.
    Some of the feats do a good job of the former without doing the latter, though. Natural Weapon Training, for instance, absolutely saves tha abrian (you know, the demon ostrich from Fiend Folio with the 1d3 (!) primary and 1d8 secondary attack).
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2021-02-18 at 06:05 AM. Reason: Â.

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    Swarm of Flying Swords (Original Creation)

    As a swarm aficionado, this idea came to me once, and I just had to try to make it. I wanted the sword swarm to be a really nasty swarm, and I think this one does it. It's an oddball of a swarm, because it's made up of Small creatures. In spite of that, I thought the swarm rules would be more in line with what I'd imagined than the mob rules, so I'm just making adjustments to the swarm subtype instead of trying to fit the mob rules. Also, I wanted this swarm to have a way to make normal weapon attacks, so I added a threatened area and attacks of opportunity, which really makes it a tougher and more difficult enemy. I'm kind of worried about this monster being harsh on melee PCs at the point in the game when melee PCs are already struggling, but hopefully the generous loot (which consists entirely of magic weapons) makes up for that a little bit; and the Spell Resistance assures that the casters are also at least a little annoyed and inconvenienced too (because making sure your monster annoys everyone is good game design ).

    --

    Swarm of Flying Swords
    Size/Type: Small Construct (Swarm)
    Hit Dice: 11d10 (60 hp)
    Initiative: +2
    Speed: Fly 30 ft (perfect)
    Armor Class: 18 (+5 natural, +2 Dex, +1 size), Touch 13, Flat-footed 16
    BAB/Grapple: +8 / --
    Attack: blade swarm 6d8
    Full Attack: blade swarm 6d8
    Space/Reach: 15 ft / 5 ft
    Special Attacks: Blade call, Blade swarm, Distraction, Wounding
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 40 ft, Construct traits, Hardness 10, Immune to electricity, Oversized Swarm, Rust vulnerability, SR 20, Swarm traits
    Saves: Fort +3, Ref +5, Wis +3
    Abilities: Str 15, Dex 14, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 13
    Skills: --
    Feats: Combat Reflexes B
    Environment: any
    Organization: solitary
    Challenge Rating: 10
    Treasure: see text
    Alignment: always Neutral
    Advancement: --
    Level Adjustment: --

    --

    What was once a distant clinking has grown to a cacophany of metallic clangs as a chaotic cloud of metallic weapons rolls around the corner, ricocheting violently off one another, off the floors and walls, and hurtle recklessly in your direction.

    --

    Blade Call (Su)
    A swarm of flying swords produces a strange, supernatural lure that calls bladed weapons towards it. Any bladed weapon in the swarm’s space is drawn in to join the swarm. If the weapon is wielded or otherwise attended by a character, that character can make a Will save or Strength check (DC 16) to resist the effect and maintain control of the weapon. On a success, the character retains his weapon and can use it normally, though he must repeat the save each round. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    A character may attempt to retrieve his weapon from the swarm again as a standard action. Treat this as a Disarm attempt, though the swarm of swords counts as a Large creature for this purpose, and the character gets no save against the swarm of swords’ blade swarm attack (see below) this round (he still gets a save against the swarm’s Distraction effect, however).

    Blade Swarm (Ex)
    A swarm of flying swords does not deal swarm damage in the same way as other swarms. Instead, it deals 6d8 magical slashing damage to each creature in its space at the end of the swarm’s turn. Creatures that pass through the swarm’s space without remaining in it at the end of their turn take 3d8 magical slashing damage. In either case, each creature is entitled to a Reflex save (DC 17) to halve the damage taken. The save DC is Strength-based.

    Distraction (Ex)
    Any living creature that takes damage from the swarm of flying swords’ blade swarm attack (see above) must also succeed on a Fort saving throw (DC 17) or be nauseated for 1 round as the many cuts distract and disorient them. The saving throw DC is Strength-based.

    Oversized Swarm (Ex)
    A swarm of flying swords is an unusual swarm, in that it is comprised of Small creatures (swarms are usually made up of Tiny or smaller creatures). As such, a swarm of flying swords takes full damage from weapon attacks (though its Hardness still applies to weapon damage), and it does not take extra damage from area effects.

    Additionally, the swarm of flying swords has a reach of 5 feet, and it threatens the area around it (but not the space it actually occupies). Because of its Combat Reflexes feat, the swarm can make 3 attacks of opportunity each round. Treat these as attacks with +1 longswords wielded in one hand by a Medium-size creature (+12 attack bonus, 1d8+3 damage, threatens a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20). If the swarm has stolen any weapons with its Blade Call ability, it may opt to use those weapons to make its attacks of opportunity. The swarm does not otherwise make weapon attacks.

    Wounding (Ex)
    Any living creature that takes damage from the swarm of flying swords’ blade swarm attack or is struck by the swarm's attack of opportunity continues to bleed, losing 1 hit point per round thereafter. Multiple wounds result in cumulative bleeding loss. The bleeding can be stopped with a DC 10 Heal check or the application of a cure spell or some other healing magic.

    Swarms of Other Weapons
    The above stat block represents a swarm of flying longswords. But, swarms of other weapons can also exist. Some are even comprised of multiple different types of weapons. A swarm of a different kind of weapon may have a different Hardness value (see Table 9-8, PHB p. 166 for Hardness values of various types of weapons). The Blade Swarm attack always deals the same amount of damage, but the damage type may change, depending on the type of weapon(s) that comprise the swarm. If there is a mix of weapon types in the swarm, the Blade Swarm damage may count as multiple types simultaneously (bludgeoning, piercing and/or slashing). A swarm's attacks of opportunity may also use the statistics of a different weapon, but these weapons always have a +1 magical enhancement bonus, and always deal damage as if wielded in one hand (even if the weapon is a two-handed weapon).

    The Wounding effect only accompanies attacks that deal slashing damage: consequently, a swarm without slashing weapons does not have the Wounding special attack.

    For Player Characters

    Gear and Loot
    A swarm of flying swords is comprised of hundreds of magically animated swords (and possibly other weapons). When the swarm is dispersed, the magic binding these weapons together fades, and the remaining swords fall to the ground, becoming inanimate weapons. Any weapon that was incorporated into a swarm of flying swords becomes a magical weapon with an enhancement bonus of at least +1. When the swarm is dispersed, a total of 2d6 magical weapons can be recovered, in addition to any weapons the characters lost to the swarm's blade call ability. For each weapon recovered, roll on the following table to determine its properties:

    Spoiler: Recovered Weapons
    Show
    d% Weapon* Market Price
    1-45 +1 longsword 2315 gp
    46-55 +1 silver longsword 2405 gp
    56-65 +1 cold iron longsword 4330 gp
    66-75 +1 adamantine longsword 5015 gp
    76-80 +2 longsword 8315 gp
    81-85 +1 bane† longsword 8315 gp
    86-90 +1 ghost touch longsword 8315 gp
    91-95 +1 keen longsword 8315 gp
    96-98 crystal echoblade MIC 4315 gp
    99-100 +1 flaming burst longsword 16,315 gp
    *Although longswords are listed here, the DM may choose to substitute other melee weapons, or roll randomly for weapon type, as he sees fit.
    †The DM chooses any creature type for the bane property, or rolls randomly, as he sees fit.
    MIC = Magic Item Compendium


    Inevitability’s Reassigned LA
    For a game that uses Inevitability's Reassigned Level Adjustments, I recommend giving the swarm of flying swords an RLA of +0. This creature makes for a very strange PC, and it may be a real challenge to DM for it: make sure you know what you're doing before you approve this..
    Last edited by Blue Jay; Today at 12:13 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #50
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Monster Feats:

    • The energy feats and maybe some of the other action economy ones can also be leveraged by say warlock or dragon fire adept to some potentially powerful ends... Not sure if you have thought that over.
    • Awakened is a very powerful feat as it does make vermin, animals, and plants smarter than things like cave trolls. Not sure if that is a bad thing but something to think about.
    • It would be good to put under Awakened's 'special' how it interacts with animal companions
    • Energy Healing would be very powerful in some builds like flaming+frozen berserker barbarian
    • Fiery/Icy Soul and Greater versions, can they be taken more than once? Also cool idea, maybe have an earthen soul for acid spells, you could also do air though there aren't a lot of those. Also these can be from any spell list?
    • It would be advisable to rename one of your two Improved Speed feats...


    Swarm of Flying Swords:
    Very cool idea I have actually been milling over a 'sword saint' prc that has a 'blade domain' with similar functionality. Could actually be comical to instead give such a PRC the ability to make and control a Swarm of Flying Swords.

    Only really have a couple comments:
    • I would expand the blade swarm ability to also do the 6d8 slashing damage for anyone attempting to pass through the blade swarm.
    • Should a swarm of small items only take up 10ft as a swarm of tiny or diminutive creatures does, seems like maybe 15" or 20" feet would be warranted.
    • At the end of the day you are fighting a bunch of hunks of metal it would probably be good to put in something about how this is effected by Rusting Grasp.
    • low light vision and darkvision seem strange for a sword swarm maybe blindsight or blindsense?
    • Under Oversized Swarm what does 'The swarm does otherwise make weapon attacks.' mean? I am a bit confused.
    • Under Oversized Swarm maybe give the +1 longsword the Wounding ability?

  21. - Top - End - #51
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    The energy feats and maybe some of the other action economy ones can also be leveraged by say warlock or dragon fire adept to some potentially powerful ends... Not sure if you have thought that over.
    The first time I tried to do this sort of thing was with my Blazer PrC, and I worked hard to make sure it was completely restricted to just monsters and couldn't be pirated for spells or class-based special attacks, but it ended up taking a lot of extra rules text. I decided not to be too restrictive with the wording this time, because I'm not sure the end result is worth the effort. But I certainly haven't done any build experiments to look for potential abuses and loopholes.

    Do you think I should have more restrictive requirements for it? The "Monstrous" feat tag (as defined in Savage Species and Draconomicon) is supposed to restrict the feat to monstrous abilities only. But I've just gone back and looked at it, and the wording isn't really all that tight, and there is some DM leeway built into them. Personally, I kind of want to leave it how it is, and rely on DMs to make that kind of call; but maybe the extra wording isn't such a bad idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Awakened is a very powerful feat as it does make vermin, animals, and plants smarter than things like cave trolls. Not sure if that is a bad thing but something to think about.

    It would be good to put under Awakened's 'special' how it interacts with animal companions
    I've been DMing for an ongoing, rolling-recruitment game at Myth-Weavers for a few years now. I got the reassigned LAs approved, and we're also using a version of this Awakened feat there. I think the biggest thing I've learned is that... well, there isn't a ton of interest in playing monsters that require that feat, so we haven't seen a lot of action on it yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Energy Healing would be very powerful in some builds like flaming+frozen berserker barbarian
    I'm not actually sure that I know what you're referring to here. What's the "flaming" component you're talking about there?

    But again, I hope the Monstrous tag covers this.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Fiery/Icy Soul and Greater versions, can they be taken more than once? Also cool idea, maybe have an earthen soul for acid spells, you could also do air though there aren't a lot of those. Also these can be from any spell list?
    I hadn't planned on making them available to take multiple times. Do you think it should be?

    I had considered making a longer feat chain, by renaming the "Greater" versions as "Improved," and adding another, higher-level one to be called "Greater", but I'm not sure that kind of scaling is all that necessary. I ultimately decided to keep it fairly limited and conservative. But, I guess, since I've ruled out Snowcasting shenanigans already, three's probably not a great danger of breaking the game with [Fire] and [Cold] spells.

    I did consider reaching for the other energy types, but I don't like the association of Earth with Acid, so I probably wouldn't tie that in. In fact, I probably wouldn't tie it to the "four elements" at all: it would just be "Corrosive Soul" and "Stormy Soul" or something like that (but those both sound stupid to me).

    And yes, I did intend to leave all spell lists open. One of my big pet peeves is players raiding spell lists for under-leveled spells, so I actually resisted the urge to write in "from any 9-level spell list" on these feats.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    It would be advisable to rename one of your two Improved Speed feats...
    Ha! There were (apparently) actually three of them before, but I fixed the "Improved Perception" one already. I did not notice the other one. It's a cut-and-paste error: the second feat is "Improved Volley." I've fixed it now.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Swarm of Flying Swords:
    Very cool idea I have actually been milling over a 'sword saint' prc that has a 'blade domain' with similar functionality. Could actually be comical to instead give such a PRC the ability to make and control a Swarm of Flying Swords.
    You're welcome to build off my homebrew, if you'd like. Let me know if you do get your "Sword Saint" put together, and I'll come take a look at it.

    As I built this monster, I kept debating whether it was really necessary, or whether a permanent blade barrier spell would fill the niche well enough. But, I really like monsters, and you can do more with a monster than with a spell effect, so I went for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    I would expand the blade swarm ability to also do the 6d8 slashing damage for anyone attempting to pass through the blade swarm.
    Maybe. With the Combat Reflexes on top of that, it might end up being a bit much, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Should a swarm of small items only take up 10ft as a swarm of tiny or diminutive creatures does, seems like maybe 15" or 20" feet would be warranted.
    Yeah, that makes sense. I was trying to minimize the number of changes I made to the basic swarm rules, so I hadn't even considered this possibility. Maybe I will bump it up to 9 squares.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    At the end of the day you are fighting a bunch of hunks of metal it would probably be good to put in something about how this is effected by Rusting Grasp.
    I hadn't thought about that. I did think thought about the [Electricity] spells that give bonuses against targets wearing metal, but I didn't think it was necessary to mention specifics like that, since the spells themselves contain the information you need. I guess it would still be worthwhile to define this as a "ferrous" creature for rusting grasp and such.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    low light vision and darkvision seem strange for a sword swarm maybe blindsight or blindsense?
    Yeah, that makes sense too. I basically just copied over the standard Construct traits, but I do like the idea of using Blindsight here. I do like the idea of allowing the PCs the option of avoiding the monster (by hiding) instead of facing it, though; since it can be a pretty harsh monster to have to face head-to-head.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Under Oversized Swarm what does 'The swarm does otherwise make weapon attacks.' mean? I am a bit confused.
    Is there not a "not" in there? Crap! It's supposed to be clarifying that the swarm only gets to make AoOs, and not normal melee attacks on its turn.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    Under Oversized Swarm maybe give the +1 longsword the Wounding ability?
    Maybe. If I do, I should probably rename the "Wounding" special attack, to avoid confusion. Or, I could just apply the bleeding effect to the longsword attacks. I think I'll hold off on it, but it does make sense: I might add it in later, especially if I get some more feedback in agreement with you.

    --

    Thanks again for the feedback: I appreciate it.
    Last edited by Blue Jay; 2021-02-23 at 07:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    The first time I tried to do this sort of thing was with my Blazer PrC, and I worked hard to make sure it was completely restricted to just monsters and couldn't be pirated for spells or class-based special attacks, but it ended up taking a lot of extra rules text. I decided not to be too restrictive with the wording this time, because I'm not sure the end result is worth the effort. But I certainly haven't done any build experiments to look for potential abuses and loopholes.

    Do you think I should have more restrictive requirements for it? The "Monstrous" feat tag (as defined in Savage Species and Draconomicon) is supposed to restrict the feat to monstrous abilities only. But I've just gone back and looked at it, and the wording isn't really all that tight, and there is some DM leeway built into them. Personally, I kind of want to leave it how it is, and rely on DMs to make that kind of call; but maybe the extra wording isn't such a bad idea.
    I am honestly not sure how powerful these feats are on a warlock or dragonfire adept either, I have never played either I just know enough about the two to know that the words does allow them to potentially take the feats.
    In my gaming experience the 'monster' tag has always been ignored and anyone who qualifies for a feat is free to take them. After all if you have gone through the effort to get a pile of SLAs or a bunch of natural attacks you should be allowed to use resources that improve them. But that might just be the people I play with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I'm not actually sure that I know what you're referring to here. What's the "flaming" component you're talking about there?

    But again, I hope the Monstrous tag covers this.
    Sorry Blazing Berserker, I always think flaming for some reason. Anyways blazing and frozen give you the fire and cold subtypes and therefore immunity to both fire and cold while raging. To be honest if you are blowing 4 feats to be able to be healed from fire and cold I think that sounds like a reasonable investment so it is probably not a big deal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I hadn't planned on making them available to take multiple times. Do you think it should be?

    I had considered making a longer feat chain, by renaming the "Greater" versions as "Improved," and adding another, higher-level one to be called "Greater", but I'm not sure that kind of scaling is all that necessary. I ultimately decided to keep it fairly limited and conservative. But, I guess, since I've ruled out Snowcasting shenanigans already, three's probably not a great danger of breaking the game with [Fire] and [Cold] spells.

    I did consider reaching for the other energy types, but I don't like the association of Earth with Acid, so I probably wouldn't tie that in. In fact, I probably wouldn't tie it to the "four elements" at all: it would just be "Corrosive Soul" and "Stormy Soul" or something like that (but those both sound stupid to me).

    And yes, I did intend to leave all spell lists open. One of my big pet peeves is players raiding spell lists for under-leveled spells, so I actually resisted the urge to write in "from any 9-level spell list" on these feats.
    I don't think it would be too powerful to allow both to be taken multiple times after all feats are a pretty limited resource, I was just more wondering since the feats didn't explicitly say you could and I think there is a rule out there that you can't take a feat more than once unless the feat says you can.

    Anyways, I would suggest putting in some wording on how the greater version interacts with multiple standard versions. IE if I have taken Fiery Soul twice does Greater Fiery Soul make both spells at will or just one of them? While I don't think having greater Fiery soul make all the level 1 SLAs at will is overpowered (to be honest I am not sure if there are any first level fire/cold spells that would cause issues if you could cast them at will) I find it better to be clear about how things interact.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    You're welcome to build off my homebrew, if you'd like. Let me know if you do get your "Sword Saint" put together, and I'll come take a look at it.

    As I built this monster, I kept debating whether it was really necessary, or whether a permanent blade barrier spell would fill the niche well enough. But, I really like monsters, and you can do more with a monster than with a spell effect, so I went for it.
    I will have to see if I get inspiration to work on it I was shooting for a PRC accessible either around level 12-15 or level 21 and just trying to figure out how powerful to make it and what not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Maybe. With the Combat Reflexes on top of that, it might end up being a bit much, though.
    So you have a creature that is pretty hard to kill due to hardness rules and does decent damage to anything it manages to end its turn with inside of it. Having people who purposely try to pass through it doesn't seem like that much more of a power adder. I suppose depending on how you interpret that its possible that people who start their turn inside the swarm and try and leave would be subject to the damage.
    Alternatively you could explicitly say anyone attempting to pass through the Swarm of Flying Swords who didn't start their turn already inside is subject to an AOO. That functionally makes sense but doesn't boost up the power much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I hadn't thought about that. I did think thought about the [Electricity] spells that give bonuses against targets wearing metal, but I didn't think it was necessary to mention specifics like that, since the spells themselves contain the information you need. I guess it would still be worthwhile to define this as a "ferrous" creature for rusting grasp and such.
    To be honest I think making them immune to electricity and acid dealing +50% more damage would make sense with this swarm. From a physics point of view a flying piece of metal is unaffected by electricity. The concern comes in when said piece of metal comes into contact with another piece of metal. Heck if we really want to jump into the physics of it if you electrify a piece of metal that is flying through the air it would hold the charge until it comes into contact with some grounded object at which point the charge would be released. Granted there is the potential for melting said metal on contact with the grounded object depending on the amperage, this is how welding works. Depending on how far down this rabbit hole you want to go, you could put in some fun rules for electricity.

    The main reason I suggested putting in some rules about rusting grasp is that spell just talks about ruining 'a 3-foot-radius volume of the metal' which is a rather abstract and ambiguous statement for something that has hp. It makes sense that rusting grasp should be doing damage to the swarm but from that statement its unclear how much damage it should be doing.

    Based on the description I think rusting grasp damages in a half sphere area with radius of 3', if that is correct that means a creature that takes up 15' area like this swarm would loose 1/6th its mass. However, our swarm isn't a solid mass of metal it is instead a grouping of individual parts. By that logic how about saying rusting grasp does 2d10 (~ 1/6th of its HP on a max roll) of straight HP damage?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    Yeah, that makes sense too. I basically just copied over the standard Construct traits, but I do like the idea of using Blindsight here. I do like the idea of allowing the PCs the option of avoiding the monster (by hiding) instead of facing it, though; since it can be a pretty harsh monster to have to face head-to-head.
    If you state blindsight as its only sense, it isn't able to use the listen skill and it is blind to everything outside of the radius of its blindsight. This is the same reason why oozes while they can be quite powerful are often very easy encounters because you just have to stay out of the range of their blindsight and you can pelt them with attack or just runaway if you are incapable of damaging them. On the other hand having low-light and darkvision gives it the ability to see anything within something like a mile or so of it...

  23. - Top - End - #53
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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    In my gaming experience the 'monster' tag has always been ignored and anyone who qualifies for a feat is free to take them. After all if you have gone through the effort to get a pile of SLAs or a bunch of natural attacks you should be allowed to use resources that improve them. But that might just be the people I play with.
    Yeah, my experience is that most people don't even realize that there are rules attached to the tag at all. You may be right. Let's see...

    • The DFA can take both feats by 6th level, so her breath weapon can be dealing 7d6 damage at that level, or 8d6 with a dragon spirit cincture. That's better than a typical blasting spell at this level, so it is a little excessive on a DFA. Probably still not a game-breaker, but perhaps some stricter prereqs could keep this from being too powerful in the early game.
    • A warlock doesn't get energy damage with his eldritch blast until 6th level, so he'll be slower to qualify for these feats (barring items like the gloves of eldritch admixture). I don't think, in general, he'll be a problem.


    Perhaps I could make a separate feat chain for area attacks?

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    I don't think it would be too powerful to allow both to be taken multiple times after all feats are a pretty limited resource, I was just more wondering since the feats didn't explicitly say you could and I think there is a rule out there that you can't take a feat more than once unless the feat says you can.

    Anyways, I would suggest putting in some wording on how the greater version interacts with multiple standard versions. IE if I have taken Fiery Soul twice does Greater Fiery Soul make both spells at will or just one of them? While I don't think having greater Fiery soul make all the level 1 SLAs at will is overpowered (to be honest I am not sure if there are any first level fire/cold spells that would cause issues if you could cast them at will) I find it better to be clear about how things interact.
    Yeah, the general rule is that you can't take a feat more than once unless it specifically says so, so the way I have it written currently, you can't take it more than once. Maybe it would be fun to allow it multiple times, though.

    [QUOTE=liquidformat;24943569]So you have a creature that is pretty hard to kill due to hardness rules and does decent damage to anything it manages to end its turn with inside of it. Having people who purposely try to pass through it doesn't seem like that much more of a power adder. I suppose depending on how you interpret that its possible that people who start their turn inside the swarm and try and leave would be subject to the damage.

    Alternatively you could explicitly say anyone attempting to pass through the Swarm of Flying Swords who didn't start their turn already inside is subject to an AOO. That functionally makes sense but doesn't boost up the power much.[QUOTE]

    I was thinking about having the swarm only count the area around itself as threatened for AoOs, and then creatures that pass through the swarm's occupied space would instead by subject to the blade swarm damage. I think that's about the same as what you're thinking, but I think your way of saying it is better than mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    To be honest I think making them immune to electricity and acid dealing +50% more damage would make sense with this swarm. From a physics point of view a flying piece of metal is unaffected by electricity. The concern comes in when said piece of metal comes into contact with another piece of metal. Heck if we really want to jump into the physics of it if you electrify a piece of metal that is flying through the air it would hold the charge until it comes into contact with some grounded object at which point the charge would be released. Granted there is the potential for melting said metal on contact with the grounded object depending on the amperage, this is how welding works. Depending on how far down this rabbit hole you want to go, you could put in some fun rules for electricity.
    Oh yeah, you're definitely right about that. I had misremembered some metallic monsters as being vulnerable to electricity when they're actually immune to it, so giving immunity to electricity is probably more consistent with the existing rules. I'll write that in.

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    The main reason I suggested putting in some rules about rusting grasp is that spell just talks about ruining 'a 3-foot-radius volume of the metal' which is a rather abstract and ambiguous statement for something that has hp. It makes sense that rusting grasp should be doing damage to the swarm but from that statement its unclear how much damage it should be doing.

    Based on the description I think rusting grasp damages in a half sphere area with radius of 3', if that is correct that means a creature that takes up 15' area like this swarm would loose 1/6th its mass. However, our swarm isn't a solid mass of metal it is instead a grouping of individual parts. By that logic how about saying rusting grasp does 2d10 (~ 1/6th of its HP on a max roll) of straight HP damage?
    Oh, rusting grasp doesn't work the way I thought it did, so you're right: I'd better get that language in there. I think I'd rather have it just deal normal damage for the spell (3d6+CL), as if the swarm were a single ferrous creature. I might possibly even have it treat the spell as an area-effect spell?

    Quote Originally Posted by liquidformat View Post
    If you state blindsight as its only sense, it isn't able to use the listen skill and it is blind to everything outside of the radius of its blindsight. This is the same reason why oozes while they can be quite powerful are often very easy encounters because you just have to stay out of the range of their blindsight and you can pelt them with attack or just runaway if you are incapable of damaging them. On the other hand having low-light and darkvision gives it the ability to see anything within something like a mile or so of it...
    I was first thinking of Blindsight 40 ft (like a grimlock). That's pretty restricted, but it will still be pretty difficult to hide from in a dungeon setting. I guess it wouldn't really be unfair though, and the rationale for it makes a lot of sense. I think I will implement that, then.

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    With regard to Energy damage, my suggestion would be rolling them together into a single line where each does something different, and more importantly operate as a hit dice based pool of bonus damage dice. The latter is the main sticking point, because otherwise you get very nasty with a Pyrohydra of six or more heads. Burning all three feats on an extra five dice per head is utterly ridiculous. The energy hydras are probably the most extreme example, but anything with more than two instances of damage gets nasty.

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    With regard to Energy damage, my suggestion would be rolling them together into a single line where each does something different, and more importantly operate as a hit dice based pool of bonus damage dice. The latter is the main sticking point, because otherwise you get very nasty with a Pyrohydra of six or more heads. Burning all three feats on an extra five dice per head is utterly ridiculous. The energy hydras are probably the most extreme example, but anything with more than two instances of damage gets nasty.
    I don't think my Augment Energy feats would give a hydra 2d6 extra damage per head, because the heads don't get individual weapons: it's a single attack, with a single saving throw. Granted, I acknowledge that that isn't the only valid reading there, so I bet a lot of people would agree with you and reject my reading.

    But honestly, I feel like the pyro- and cryohydras are already out of control, even without my feats. The damage output on those breath weapons is way too high already. Plus, their Fast Healing gives them a good chance of surviving long enough to use the weapon two or three times. Not to mention what happens if the party tries to chop off the hydra's heads.

    Basically, I feel like a hydra is too much of an outlier to be a useful benchmark for power balance.

    But, your point that there are plenty of monsters that can abuse this is well taken. For example, a Large fire elemental with both of the Augment Energy feats would be adding 6d6 fire damage to each slam attack, and would be dealing an average of 30 damage per hit, without factoring in any other optimization that could be done on the monster. And that one's probably not anywhere near the upper echelon for this kind of thing.

    The alternative approaches I've thought of are to either (1) increase the level prerequisites (e.g., maybe the Greater version doesn't come online until 12th level or something), or (2), similar to what you said, build in some formula for scaling the damage with hit dice. I tried damage-scaling with my Blazer PrC, and if you're trying to keep things balanced, that kind of scaling is much, much more complicated than I ever imagined it would be. I ended up creating different scaling rules for single-target and area attacks, and built in some damage caps based on hit dice and the underlying damage value of the weapon. I didn't want to repeat that process, so I stuck with the simple structure of these feats.

    But, I'm going to try a rewrite that uses a damage-scaling formula for the Augment Energy feat, and see if that helps out. I'll probably break it up into different feats for different types of attacks too (single-target, melee rider, area attack, etc).

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Jay View Post
    I'll probably break it up into different feats for different types of attacks too (single-target, melee rider, area attack, etc).
    This is frankly what makes the most sense. When you're talking about two feats that are just differing levels of the same thing, it doesn't make sense to have two, because re-selection text is perfectly fine in 3.X D&D. But on the other hand, there's too much variety in the way that attacks work in 3.X (double so when talking under-adjusted 3e monsters) to have one feat affect everything equally. Doesn't actually need to scale with one feat, few of them do, but such does help build diversity because you aren't re-selecting feats to keep your damage up.

    One thought that comes to mind which may greatly simplify the formulae is using Challenge Rating in some capacity, since these feats aren't particularly intended for PC use. Then Animals, Undead and Constructs don't have a particular difficulty associated with balancing it for their horrifyingly bloated Hit Dice, because it's asking about the value the designers place on their intended threat level. Granted, a Zombie Battletitan is probably still going to cause problems however it is you cut it because you're double-dipping on horrifying hit dice bloat, but bad edge-cases are inevitable, this is just a note that Hit Dice aren't how monster threat is judged, so feats intended to normalize monsters at a higher threat value than the original shouldn't be using that value.
    Last edited by Morphic tide; 2021-02-27 at 12:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    This is frankly what makes the most sense. When you're talking about two feats that are just differing levels of the same thing, it doesn't make sense to have two, because re-selection text is perfectly fine in 3.X D&D.
    Yes, but the generic "you may take this feat multiple times" text also leaves it much more open. My second feat has an added prerequisite that makes you wait until a specific level before you can double up, which is supposed to space out the upgrades (admittedly, 6th level is pretty paltry, as far as prerequisites go, though). Also, having it as a two-feat chain puts a cap on the number of times you can take it, which I thought was a reasonable compromise between "you can only take this feat once" and "you may take this feat as many times as you want."

    I obviously was following the example of the Sneak Attack feats that come with the Generic Classes variant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    One thought that comes to mind which may greatly simplify the formulae is using Challenge Rating in some capacity, since these feats aren't particularly intended for PC use. Then Animals, Undead and Constructs don't have a particular difficulty associated with balancing it for their horrifyingly bloated Hit Dice, because it's asking about the value the designers place on their intended threat level. Granted, a Zombie Battletitan is probably still going to cause problems however it is you cut it because you're double-dipping on horrifying hit dice bloat, but bad edge-cases are inevitable, this is just a note that Hit Dice aren't how monster threat is judged, so feats intended to normalize monsters at a higher threat value than the original shouldn't be using that value.
    I don't particularly like Challenge Rating for this. Generally speaking, when damage scales, it scales with hit dice. Plus, even though it's not specifically for PC use, it is meant to be usable by PCs, and I don't want to introduce the CR formula into the mechanics of what is already going to be a complicated PC.

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    Default Re: Blue Jay's Bestiary

    Okay, here is another attempt at making feats that augment the damage of energy-based special attacks. This time, I've broken them into separate feats for different attack types, and tried to make them more resistant to abuses.




    Augmented Energy Blast [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Character level 3rd, and any extraordinary or supernatural attack that has the following properties:
    • Deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic)
    • Delivered as an attack action or standard action (not as a volley, or as a secondary effect that accompanies another attack)
    • Requires an attack roll to hit
    • Targets a single creature or object with each attack roll


    Benefit
    Choose one of your special attacks that meets the above criteria. Once per round when you use the chosen special attack, increase the base damage of the attack by 2 damage dice (e.g., 4d6 fire damage becomes 6d6 fire damage). Use the same die size as the attack normally uses. If the chosen attack deals a set amount of damage instead of damage dice, you may deal 5 extra points of damage instead.

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects stack. Each time you take this feat, the you increase the base damage of the attack by an additional 2 dice, but you can never apply this extra damage more than once per round.

    Spoiler: Notes
    Show
    This one is for the single-target attacks that aren't riders (e.g., arrowhawk, magmin, will O' wisp, etc). This one is less controlled than the Augmented Blast feat, because it keeps the base damage of the weapon, and adds to it. I think this kind of straight damage boost should be largely okay for this kind of attack, especially if it's limited to once per round. The character-level prerequisite should keep the scaling somewhat in check, and the once-per-round limit prevents too much compounding.

    I don't know, maybe it would be better to use the same paradigm as Augmented Blast (i.e., replacing the base damage with a scaling damage value). But, I do kind of like the idea of letting the single-target effects have a stronger scaling ability.

    Thoughts?





    Augmented Energy Burst [Monstrous]
    Prerequisites
    Any extraordinary or supernatural attack that has the following properties:
    • Deals energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic)
    • Delivered as standard action, and no more than once per round
    • Affects creatures (or objects) in an area (a burst, emanation or spread)


    Benefit
    Choose one of your special attacks that meets the above criteria. The chosen attack deals 1 die of damage for every 2 hit dice you have (rounded up). Use the same die size as the attack normally uses. If the attack’s standard damage would be higher, use that value instead.

    Spoiler: Notes
    Show
    This one is for breath weapons and similar area attacks. The feat replaces an attack's base damage value with a damage value that scales with hit dice. The scaling is made to roughly match the scaling of the DFA's breath weapon (though it doesn't slow down at later levels). This should make it appealing for monsters with weak or non-scaling attacks (e.g., winter wolf, mephits, etc), but not for monsters that already have a powerful attack.

    I note that a DFA could hypothetically use this feat to keep their breath weapon scaling while they multiclass, but I don't think that's terribly overpowered, so I'm not very inclined to guard against it (unless one of y'all knows how to abuse that).

    Thoughts?





    Improved Light Rays [Monstrous]

    Prerequisite
    Light ray special attack

    Benefit
    Your light rays deal extra damage equal to your character level.

    Spoiler: Notes
    Show
    I figured that the various Celestials that make light ray attacks deserved some boost, and I wanted to try out a different approach to damage scaling. A damage bonus equal to your character level is good enough scaling to keep the attack interesting, but also slow enough that it shouldn't be too overpowered. Or, maybe +20 (+40 with two rays) at 20th level is pretty high, after all? Would it be better at 1 point per 2 character levels?

    Thoughts?





    Intensified Energy Touch [Monstrous]

    Prerequisite
    Character level 3rd or higher, and either a Heat special attack, or ability to deal energy damage (acid, cold, electricity, fire or sonic) accompanying an attack with a natural weapon or unarmed strike.

    Benefit
    Your heat attack (or other qualifying attack) deals one extra die of damage, and if its damage die is smaller than d6, increase all its damage dice to d6s. The damage type is the same as the damage it normally deals. If the chosen attack deals a set amount of damage instead of damage dice, increase the damage of your attack by 2 points.

    This extra damage only applies when making an attack with a natural weapon or unarmed strike that would normally deal energy damage. It does not apply to attacks with manufactured weapons, natural attacks that do not normally deliver energy damage, or to energy damage that is dealt passively to a creature that attacks you.

    If you also have the ability to deal extra damage of a different energy type with the same natural weapon, you lose that ability (though you may still use it with other applicable weapons you wield).

    Special
    You may take this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.

    Spoiler: Notes
    Show
    And this one is for rider effects. This one gives a smaller damage boost than Focused Energy Attack, but it has fewer restrictions. I imagine that this might be slightly more abusable than the two previous feats, but the slow scaling and the minor tradeoff should make it less worthwhile to stack the feat multiple times.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Blue Jay; Today at 01:56 PM.

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