A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 61 to 90 of 111
  1. - Top - End - #61
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Keledrath's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    GMT -5
    Gender
    Male2Female

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Big, funny beetles from the Dragon Compendium. No RHD, LA +1, lots of fun special qualities.
    Found the problem. LA+1 is pretty brutal, especially at lower levels
    I follow a general rule: better to ask and be told no than not to ask at all.

    Shadeblight by KennyPyro

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    The lore is again excellent. I particularly like the relationship Usknavar's has with hurt vs. truth, and how she's evil in a practical manner and not because she want to rule or destroy.
    All three of their evil deities are just gods who happen to be evil, rather than gods of evil. None of them would ever intentionally act against the rest of the pantheon or wish meaningful harm to the leir. They're just jerks in one way or another.

    I do question why Zanat's primary symbol is something associated with fertility and lasting life (as many evergreens are). I would have expected Hawthorn (associated with protection) or Hickory (associated with strength) given his description.
    Tree symbolism is kind of hard to look up usefully, but I found associations of holly with overcoming anger (an ironic symbolism) and in the Ogham, holly represents justice & balance as well as the haft of a spear, and the glyph tinne which is associated with holly is also associated with iron ingots. So... that's why. Hickory would be entirely legitimate, of course. There's also the delightful irony that holly quite simply looks and sounds too friendly for a god of wrath - which besides the fun of juxtaposition is also an allusion to the fact that Zanat isn't actually awful, he's just scared, hurt, and angry at those who would harm his family and his people.

    Goodness knows, after having their homeworld harrowed by the grell, engaging in a generations-long war with the desmodu, and being enslaved by the drow, on top of which having two demon lords out for their blood, the last thing the leir need is to have their own gods opposing and oppressing them.

  3. - Top - End - #63
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    sandmote's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    US
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    All three of their evil deities are just gods who happen to be evil, rather than gods of evil. None of them would ever intentionally act against the rest of the pantheon or wish meaningful harm to the leir. They're just jerks in one way or another.
    That's a much better phrasing of what I meant, yes. I'm a bit tired of pantheons with "all the gods are good or peacefully neutral except the one that's a power-hungry scheming traitor."

    More generally, thank you for taking the time to clarify and explain your reasoning to my repeated questions on ridiculously minor details.
    Extended Signature, Woo! Latest Homebrew: Some more Celestials with native environments.

  4. - Top - End - #64
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Skogel
    Medium Fey (Fire)
    HD 6d6 (21 hp)
    Speed 40 ft. (6 squares); fly 10 ft. (perfect)
    Init: +8
    AC 18; touch 16; flat-footed 14 (+4 Dex, +2 deflection, +2 natural)
    BAB +3; Grp +3
    Attack Flame dagger +3 melee touch (1d4+6 fire) or sling +7 ranged (1d4 and exposure) or flame arrow sling +7 ranged (1d4 + 1d6 fire)
    Full Attack Flame dagger +3 melee touch (1d4+6 fire) or sling +7 ranged (1d4 and exposure) or flame arrow sling +7 ranged (1d4 + 1d6 fire)
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks Calescent gaze, exposure, spell-like abilities
    Special Qualities DR 5/cold iron or special, familiar, flamewhisper, immunity to fire, laurence, low-light vision, SR 18, vulnerability to cold
    Saves Fort +2 Ref +9 Will +8
    Abilities Str 11, Dex 18, Con 10, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 17
    Skills Balance +13, Hide +13, Knowledge (nature) +10, Listen +12, Move Silently +13, Spot +12, Tumble +13
    Feats BrachiationB, CAdv, Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Weapon Focus (sling)
    Environment Any forest
    Organization Solitary or line (4-8)
    Challenge Rating 6
    Treasure Standard plus 1d4+1 thunderstones, 20% chance of carrying one of a blight stoneMIC, glitter stoneMIC, or stench stoneMIC
    Alignment Usually chaotic neutral
    Advancement by class; Favored Class Spellthief

    Skogels are the unpredictable and troublesome fey of forest fires, whose controlled burns ensure that forests do not grow too vulnerable to future conflagrations. A younger race by the standards of the fey (which still makes them millennia old), skogels are the grandchildren of the treant god Emmantiensien by his daughter Fuinseog and the wildfire god Elfäng, who associates only very loosely with the Seelie Court and prefers to ignore Titania and her kin for the most part, though he sends tribute to his father-in-law once a century. In part this distance is due to the fire god being uneasy around the sylvan settings of the Seelie, but equally it is due to his fact that his children do not belong entirely to that Court. Indeed, skogels are able to walk freely among both Seelie and Unseelie fey without being wholly bound to either, and as such they are a rare case of a group of fey who are not individually committed, or divided as a group between Titania and the Queen of Air and Darkness. The skogels say this is because they represent a truly natural force of chaos, one which is both destruction and renewal, both death and new life, both necessity and terror. Or at least, that's probably what they would say if they stopped to talk to travellers, as opposed to their preferred way of socializing with non-fey: torment and trickery.

    A skogel stands about the same height as a dwarf but weighs only half of what a dwarf of similar size would. They are generally fair-skinned to the point of being snowy white, darkening with age, such that the eldest skogels resemble carved jet. Their hair is wavy and seems to shift between two distinctive and unlikely textures - a leafy texture much of the time, and a texture like that of gemstones when they are using their fire-based powers. Skogel hair and eyes are identical in hue and normally take gem tones, with the vast majority being ruby red, a small plurality being various hues of pink, and rare ones being emerald green or sapphire blue. The rarest of all are the white-haired skogels, who are blind but possess considerably more power and hotter flames; these scarce individuals normally attend Fuinseog or Elfäng directly, and they are considered fey nobility. Male skogels usually wear their hair short and spiked, or sometimes in a ponytail or topknot; female skogels like to braid their hair. Skogels have sharp fingernails that look like flakes of obsidian, but these are too small and brittle to use as a weapon. They often nap in the branches of tall trees, sometimes causing little sparks or embers to fall beneath them. Indeed, skogels generally prefer to be in the canopy of a forest rather than standing on the ground. They can float in midair but prefer to keep a surface underfoot, as their flight speed leaves much to be desired. Skogels eat fruit, nuts, seeds, and insects, generally using a pulse of heat from their laurence to roast whatever they are holding.

    Skogels, even the most somber and mature of their kind, are notorious pranksters with a mild violent streak, or at least a terrible lack of concern as to the consequences of their fires spreading to harm living things. While they are careful in their curation of forest fires to ensure that the spread is not calamitous, they are also easily distracted and have been known to err. It is also known that skogels can rile with little provocation and are persistent in antagonizing those who have wronged or slighted them, even in ways that seemed totally innocent. A skogel who perceives someone as meddling, trespassing, interfering, or otherwise being rude is likely to demonstrate just how powerful fire can be in the wrong hands. Skogels get along with many other kinds of fey, at least in terms of cordiality; most of the time they would rather move on than hang about and have to accommodate the needs of others. Skogels have little culture; when two skogels mate and produce a child, the mother leaves it with a fey of another race, to be raised until the child's laurence comes in and it departs to explore its role in the world. This "first laurence" is also when a skogel's familiar will manifest, said to be a gift from Elfäng, an ember of his flaming beard. Dryads and skogels have a testy relationship, but the fire fey instinctively know to acknowledge and respect treants, and when they unleash a fire in a treant's woodland, the skogel will stand by to use quench on any flames that threaten the treant. Skogels get on well with firre eladrins on the rare occasions that the two interact; they find dwarves and hobgoblins hilariously easy to prank, and most elves consider them intensely troublesome. Not just the fey of starting forest fires, skogels also control those blazes that get out of control, or those set deliberately by others; fires in a skogel's woodland are a target for the fey's pranks and retaliation, as they consider all fire to belong to themselves. Skogels know that by the decrees of Titania and Elfäng, the punishment for destroying too much nature is to be enslaved for one thousand years to a storagael.

    Calescent Gaze (Su) As heat metal cast as a caster of the skogel's character level, 30 feet, Will DC 15 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based. This effect does not function on unattended metal and is both an enchantment (mind-affecting) and transmutation effect - if the skogel cannot see into the victim's mind to transmit its own eternal flame, the gaze has no effect on any metal borne by the victim. Protection from chaos and similar effects do not block the gaze as the effect only requires contact with the victim's mind, not ongoing control.

    Damage Reduction (Ex) A skogel's damage reduction can be bypassed either by a weapon made of cold iron, or by a weapon bearing a property that causes it to deal cold damage (such as frost, freezing burst, etc).

    Exposure (Su) Any creature touched by a skogel or a skogel's weapons (including ammunition) that have not been affected by flame arrow may lose magical protections against flame temporarily. This functions as a targeted dispel magic cast by a 10th level caster, but only impacts items and effects that provide resistance to, protection from, or immunity to fire damage (such as but not limited to resist energy, protection from energy, fire shield, energy adaptation, etc) and cannot interfere with any kind of inherent resistance or immunity to fire, such as that possessed by a balor or red dragon.

    Familiar (Sp) Each skogel possesses a Small fire elemental as their personal familiar, as though the skogel were a wizard of class level equal to the skogel's character level. This familiar is not able to deliver the exposure effect via touch.

    Flamewhisper (Su) As a standard action, a skogel may speak through a fire as though it were the receiving point of an Enlarged message spell cast at 10th level (400 ft. range). Creatures within 30 ft. of the fire can hear the skogel's voice, which may be as loud as normal speech or as quiet as a whisper, and anything said within 30 ft. of the fire will carry back to the skogel's ears. The skogel must be able to see the fire in order to begin whispering through it but does not need to maintain sight thereafter as long as the flame remains within range of this effect. If the fire is quenched while this effect is active, the skogel gasps for breath and is dazed for 1 round.

    Laurence (Su) A skogel's body can naturally shed heat in waves that blur the fey's appearance and cause distortions in air pressure that can deflect harm. While active, this ability protects the skogel as a blur spell and provides a +2 deflection bonus to AC. The heat of this ability can be felt clearly and results in leaves smouldering, wood charring, snow melting, and earth scorching under the skogel's feet, reducing the DC to track or identify a skogel using its trail by 4. A skogel's equipment and clothing are always protected from this heat. The skogel can activate or deactivate this ability as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) At will - faerie fire, fire strideSC, flame daggerSC, produce flame, pyrotechnics (DC 15), quench, raging flameSC, slow burnSC; 3/day - animate fireSC, fire trap, flame arrow, flaming sphere, invisibility, major image; 1/day - firestride exhalationDM, firewardSC. Caster level 6th, save DCs Cha-based.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-01-17 at 10:16 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #65
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Storagael
    Gargantuan Fey (Chaotic, Fire)
    HD 27d6+162 (256 hp)
    Speed 50 ft. (10 squares)
    Init: +3
    AC 34; touch 11; flat-footed 31 (+18 natural, +5 +2 light fortification studded leather leafweave armor, +3 Dex, +2 deflection, -4 size)
    BAB +13; Grp +38
    Attack +1 flaming burst greataxe +24 melee (6d6+20 + 1d6 fire, 19-20/x3 + 2d10 fire damage)
    Full Attack +1 flaming burst greataxe +24/+19/+14 melee (6d6+20 + 1d6 fire, 19-20/x3 + 2d10 fire damage)
    Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
    Special Attacks Embers of the incineration, frightful presence, imperious gaze, land's liege, spell-like abilities
    Special Qualities Alternate form, DR 20/cold iron and special, fast healing 5, geas of Rhiannon, immunity to electricity and fire, laurence, low-light vision, shadows and embers, SR 30, unquenchable fire, vulnerability to cold
    Saves Fort +16 Ref +18 Will +22
    Abilities Str 37, Dex 16, Con 24, Int 20, Wis 25, Cha 23
    Skills Balance +23, Bluff +26, Concentration +27, Disguise +16, Handle Animal +26, Intimidate +36, Knowledge (arcana) +25, Knowledge (geography) +25, Knowledge (nature) +35, Listen +27, Search +25, Sense Motive +27, Spot +27, Survival +27, Tumble +23
    Feats Ability Focus (imperious gaze), Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat AcrobatCAdv, Combat Casting, Improved Critical (greataxe), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Track, Weapon Focus (greataxe)
    Environment Any forest or mountain
    Organization Solitary or pair
    Challenge Rating 20
    Treasure Triple standard
    Alignment Always chaotic (any) or neutral
    Advancement by class; Favored Class Fighter

    Wildfires that devastate large swaths of forest and grassland are thankfully rare, but these powerful and traumatic events have always caused massive ripples in nature, giving birth to mighty and terrible fey who embody the force and the fear of the raging flame. These few but mighty fey are known as storagaels, violent princes and princesses of the wooded lands, born to rule with an authority built on the terror of the all-consuming fire that they embody. Or, at least, that is their general opinion of themselves. In ancient eras, the storagaels were forced to contend with the dictates of the elder fey goddess Rhiannon, who did not want the arrogant and prideful storagaels destroying the natural world in their battles for supremacy. The geas that she placed on their kind binds them to this day, and while some storagaels have broken free of the Faerie domains to which her command confined them, most others rule phantom realms with boundaries all too easy for mortals to stumble across.

    In its natural form, a storagael is immense, towering over even giants and often visible above the tops of trees except in truly vast and tall forests. Garbed in tunics, kilts, mantles, and a repertoire of magical items, they dress in woody and earth tones with only traces of red. A storagael's hair is always long and resembles the fur of one or more types of animal from the region (fluffy snowy white rabbit hair, lush red fox hair, coarse brown bear hair, thick grey wolf hair, etc.) with occasional interwoven feathers from local birds (it is said there is a storagael whose whole head is covered in nothing but crow feathers). Storagael ears resemble those of foxes, and their almond-shaped eyes look like vast abysses of smoke in which embers flicker. Steam and smoke occasionally trickle from a storagael's nose or mouth when angered. Both male and female storagaels grow antlers - two emerging straight from their forehead, two more (larger) emerging from just above the temples. These may appear woody or completely black, with rare examples of pure white antlers. Wreaths of gold and leaves adorn their heads and may mingle with the lower prongs of their antlers. Storagael skin is typically white or jet-black, but red and green have also been witnessed. Storagaels spend much of their time asleep, attuning to the land or their domain, or in contemplation of their geas (typically pondering ways to break it). When sleeping, a storagael often employs tree shape so as to rest unrecognized and undisturbed.

    Whether good, neutral, or evil-aligned, all storagaels have at least some sense of the necessity of preserving their forested domains - after all, without fuel, there is no fire, and storagaels are the memory of the most horrific fires. All storagaels have a rather high opinion of themselves and will expect tribute from those entering their realms, or at least enough consideration to pass through quietly without disturbing the land. Most storagaels hold some amount of resentment for the geas that constrains them and act quickly to enforce their self-appointed rule over their lands whenever possible. Lesser fey, treants, and even forest-dwelling humanoids or alpine giants may be pressed into a storagael's service and join its court, acting according to the storagael's cryptic designs so that the powerful fey does not need to take action directly. A storagael roused to anger is terrifying to behold, and even verdant princesMMIV know better than to challenge a storagael in its own domain. Storagaels are almost always encountered alone or with members of their court; a mated pair of storagaels is a force to be reckoned with.

    Storagaels speak Common, Elven, Giant, Ignan, and Sylvan. A storagael is considered native to both its own demiplane and the attached plane where it was born.

    Alternate Form (Su) As a standard action, a storagael may take one of three alternate forms - a woodland animal of Medium or Large size, a humanoid or giant of Small to Huge size, or an elder fire elemental. The storagael's distinctive antlers and eyes remain present regardless of form (though they are made of flame in elemental form and so may be harder to discern) while its wreath of embers changes shape to blend into the form it assumes (as a pattern on the fur of an animal, a distinctive piece of jewelry on a humanoid or giant, or spots of colored light in the flames of the elemental form). If its new form has the scent ability, the storagael gains it while in this form.

    Damage Reduction (Ex) A storagael's damage reduction can be bypassed either by a weapon made of cold iron which either bears a property that causes it to deal cold damage (such as frost, freezing burst, etc.) or is lawful (lawful weapon property, align weapon, etc.), even if the storagael is not personally chaotic.

    Embers of the Incineration (Su) The terrifying force of the wildfire that birthed each storagael pours into any melee weapon they wield, turning such a weapon into a +1 flaming burst version of itself and overriding its other properties. A storagael is capable of restraining this ability when taking hold of a weapon in order to employ its existing properties. This effect ends when a weapon leaves the storagael's hand.

    Frightful Presence (Ex) Creatures within 100 ft. of a storagael must make a Will save (DC 29) or become panicked (if they have 4 or fewer HD) or shaken (if they have 5 or more HD) for 4d6 rounds. On a successful saving throw, a creature cannot be affected by the same storagael's frightful presence for 24 hours. Storagaels can exempt animals, plants, and vermin from this effect (or remove such an exemption) as a free action.

    Geas of Rhiannon (Su) Each storagael is bound by a covenant with the ancient fey goddess Rhiannon to remain within an extraplanar domain, a pocket demiplane within the forest of their birth, and sworn to not come forth from this domain until a certain condition is met. Good-aligned and true neutral storagaels may look on this restriction as a simple fact of their lives and choose not to pursue escape clauses (although this may turn against them when the world needs their aid and they remain bound by this geas), while chaotic neutral and chaotic evil storagaels almost always chafe against the limiting of their power and authority and seek to manipulate events to liberate themselves. If this condition is not met, a storagael cannot be physically or magically or otherwise forced out of this domain.

    Imperious Gaze (Su) Dominated for 24 hours, 30 ft., Will DC 31 partial (shaken for 2d10 rounds). A creature that successfully saves against this ability is immune to the same storagael's imperious gaze for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting compulsion fear effect. Creatures immune to fire are immune to this effect, while those with at least 10 points of fire resistance or a similar kind of protection (such as protection from energy) receive a +4 bonus on this saving throw.

    Land's Liege (Su) Storagaels are embodiments of one of the most powerful and terrifying forces to ever strike the lands they call home, and their power within the land is nigh-absolute and transcends the normal order. Within 1 mile of a storagael, or anywhere within a storagael's own domain, magic and abilities that control or manipulate the land, animals, or plants require a Will save (DC 29) to use successfully. Regardless of the outcome of this saving throw, even the attempt to use such an ability makes the storagael aware of the nature of the ability used and the location of the user. This ability does not function when the land does not acknowledge the storagael as the greatest force, which may occur when a being of significant power is present (some dragons, elder fey, deities & their agents, powerful outsiders, corrupting influences from the Far Realm, etc.) Spells and abilities used on or with respect to one's own animal companion, familiar, paladin mount or the like do not fall under the scope of this ability, nor do totally mundane methods such as uprooting a plant by hand, shooting an arrow into a stag, or training a dog using food.

    Laurence (Su) A storagael's body can naturally shed heat in waves that blur the fey's appearance and cause distortions in air pressure that can deflect harm. While active, this ability protects the storagael as a blur spell and provides a +2 deflection bonus to AC. The heat of this ability can be felt clearly and results in leaves smouldering, wood charring, snow melting, and earth scorching under the storagael's feet, reducing the DC to track or identify a storagael using its trail by 4. A storagael's equipment and clothing are always protected from this heat. The storagael can activate or deactivate this ability as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Shadows and Embers (Sp) By attuning to the land for an uninterrupted period of 30 minutes, a storagael can produce effects within its entire domain or across a 1-mile radius of forest in a manner similar to a guards and wards spell. These effects remain in place for 48 hours or until the storagael leaves the affected area, and can be renewed with another attunement. Individual effects may be dispelled, but to terminate the entire effect requires Mordenkainen's disjunction or similarly powerful spells. A storagael can only attune once per day. The effects produced are as follows:

    Spoiler: Shadows and Embers
    Show
    • Thin smoke fills the area, abating wherever the storagael should desire, affecting those areas it touches as a fog cloud would. Unlike the vapors produced by that spell, fire damage will not clear the smoke, but any area source of cold damage will apply in the same fashion (including a wall of ice causing an area 5 ft. on either side to disperse the smoke). Saving Throw: None. Spell Resistance: No.

    • At crossroads, fires brought into or set in the area (take a 15 ft radius from the center of each crossroads) are targeted by a pyrotechnics effect; which one triggers can either be left random or decided by the storagael. Saving Throw: as the spell (DC 23). Spell Resistance: as the spell. The storagael can exclude certain crossroads from this effect.

    Confusion: Where there are choices in direction - such as a dirt path forking or a marking stone giving directions - a minor confusion-type effect functions so as to make it 50% probable that intruders believe they are going in the opposite direction from the one they actually chose. This is an enchantment, mind-affecting effect. Saving Throw: None. Spell Resistance: Yes.

    Phantom trees: Up to 20 paths between trees in the affected area can be concealed and made to look like normal undergrowth with trees obstructing passage via a silent image effect. Saving Throw: Will disbelief (if interacted with). Spell Resistance: No.

    • Those whom the storagael chooses either at the time of attunement or anytime while it is active benefit from an ongoing pass without trace effect for so long as they are within the area.

    In addition, the storagael can place a choice of two of the following five effects:

    Dancing lights along four pathways. The storagael can designate a simple program that causes the lights to repeat as long as the shadows and embers effect lasts. Saving Throw: None. Spell Resistance: No.

    • A magic mouth in two places. Saving Throw: None. Spell Resistance: No.

    • A hypnotic pattern in two places. This pattern is capable of moving at a rate of 30 ft. per round as long as any creature is fascinated by it. The storagael is mentally aware that the pattern has caught a target and can choose the direction of movement, but does not gain any other information. Saving Throw: Will negates (DC 23). Spell Resistance: Yes.

    • A heat metal effect in two places. The storagael selects two areas of up to 15 feet square, and any creature who enters or passes through either area is affected by heat metal, with the duration counting up to and then holding on the fourth round for so long as they remain within the immediate area and only progressing beyond the fourth round once the creature leaves the area. Saving Throw: Will negates (DC 23). Spell Resistance: Yes.

    • A suggestion in one place. The storagael selects an area of up to 15 feet square, and any creature who enters or passes through the area receives the suggestion mentally. Saving Throw: Will negates (DC 23). Spell Resistance: Yes.

    The effect of this ability is the equivalent of a 7th level spell cast by a 20th level caster, save DCs are Charisma-based.


    Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) At will - animal messenger, barkskin, calm animals (DC 17), charm animal (DC 17), chaos hammer (DC 19), command plants (DC 19), detect animals or plants, detect law, dimension door, dispel law, entangle (DC 18), evergreenFrost, faerie fire, fear (DC 20), fire shield (range touch, warm shield only), fireball (DC 19), glitterdust (DC 18), greater dispel magic, heat metal (DC 18), pass without trace, plant growth, protection from law, resist energy, speak with animals, speak with plants, suggestion (DC 19), summon nature's ally V, tree shape, wall of fire, wall of thorns; 3/day - animate plants, eyebite (DC 22), fire storm (DC 23), fly, geas/quest (DC 22), greater scrying (DC 23), hide the pathSC, liveoak, mass hold person (DC 23), mass suggestion (DC 22), programmed image, summon nature's ally VII, symbol of sleep (DC 21); 1/day - elemental swarm (fire only), summon nature's ally IX, weird (DC 25); 1/week - might of wildfire*, word of recall. Always active - body of the sunSC (DC 17), death ward, see invisibility. Caster level 20th, save DCs Charisma-based.

    Unquenchable Fire (Su) A storagael's mind keeps the spirit of an immense and devastating fire in check, and anyone attempting to control or manipulate such a mind is exposed to the fire within. The controller of any compulsion effect or mind-reading effect (such as detect thoughts, mind probe, etc.) that successfully affects a storagael suffers 6d6 fire damage (Will DC 28 negates) each round that the effect is active. Regardless of the result of this saving throw, the controller is also shaken (no save) for as long as the effect is active and for 1d4 minutes thereafter.

    Wreath of Embers At the moment of birth, a storagael becomes crowned with a wreath of embers, an ornamental diadem of gold and living leaves on which are borne three gems (often rubies, but other gemstones have been seen). This is the true heart of the storagael, the "gold" actually the trapped embers of the wildfire that birthed the storagael, the leaves the surviving life from that time. Each gemstone represents part of the storagael's life force and power, and the wreath cannot be removed from the storagael's head unless the storagael dies. Whenever a storagael suffers more than 25% of its remaining HP (including temporary hp) in damage from a single attack or effect, or when the storagael has lost 25%, 50%, and 75% of its total hit points, one of the rubies shatters, draining some of the storagael's powers and unleashing a burst of protective force. The storagael cannot choose not to make use of this benefit.

    Each shattering immediately reduces the total damage from the attack or effect that triggered it to a maximum of 25% of the storagael's total hit points (for example, if a storagael had a total of 100 hit points and took 30 damage from a single attack, that damage would be reduced to a total of 25 when the gem shatters), releases the storagael from conditions affecting it (as iron heart surgeToB), requires the storagael to surrender some of its power, and grants the storagael an immediate boon.

    Spoiler: Wreath of Embers choices
    Show
    • Lose access to shadows and embers, land's liege, and the following spell-like abilities: summon nature's ally V, summon nature's ally VII, summon nature's ally IX
    • Lose access to laurence, embers of the incineration, and the following spell-like abilities: elemental swarm, fire storm, wall of fire
    • Lose access to frightful presence, imperious gaze, and the following spell-like abilities: eyebite, fear, weird

    • Immediately gain the benefits of cloak of chaos as though cast by a 20th level caster (self only, DC 24).
    • Immediately create an incendiary cloud as though cast by a 20th level caster (DC 24).
    • Immediately gain the benefits of fire shield and moment of prescience as though cast by a 20th level caster.


    As the powers of the wreath are conferred by the item itself and only to the storagael born alongside that wreath, a creature who takes the shape of a storagael or otherwise imitates it (such as an ice assassin) possesses no true wreath of embers and cannot enjoy its benefits. It takes one full day of rest to recover a shattered gemstone, which will reappear automatically within the wreath and restore the corresponding abilities of the storagael. If a storagael is somehow deprived of its wreath in its entirety, it loses access to all of the powers listed above without gaining any of the benefits that would trigger on the shattering of a gemstone.

    Spoiler: New Spell
    Show
    Might of Wildfire
    Transmutation [Chaos, Fire]
    Level: Druid 9, Spirit Shaman 9, Wu Jen 9 (Fire)
    Components: V, S, DF, XP
    Casting Time: 1 standard action
    Range: Personal
    Target: You
    Duration: 1 minute/level (D)

    This powerful spell channels the force and chaos of a mighty raging wildfire, using it to bestow power on the caster. You benefit from the effects of balor nimbusSC, freedom of movement, haste, darkvision, and righteous might, except that the DR granted is 15/lawful. While this spell is active, you are outlined in a brilliant white glow as though under the effects of faerie fire, your attacks deal an additional 1d6 fire damage, you gain immunity to fire and vulnerability to cold, and you can see normally through smoke, fog, and other vapor. While this spell is active, you cast spells, manifest powers, initiate maneuvers, and use spell-like abilities with the Fire descriptor at +1 caster level/manifester level/initiator level (if applicable). This spell may be dismissed before its duration elapses to produce a fireball centered on you (your fire immunity lasts until the fireball resolves).

    Upon the termination of this spell, whether by dispelling, entering an antimagic field, early dismissal, or the duration elapsing, you become fatigued for 1 hour.

    XP Cost: 500 XP.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-01-15 at 05:37 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Eurus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Ooh, fire fey. I'd never heard the word "laurence" like that, had to look it up, nice job. I like the justification for the boss-mechanic on the Storagael, that's neat and fun!
    Avatar by araveugnitsuga.

  7. - Top - End - #67
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    A pretty consistent bother to me is having purely "Triple Standard" treasure on a Humanoid body-type with no specified items. It leaves awkward questions for the DM when the players wonder about where all the gear comes from. An example of working around this would be having the Wreath of Embers be an 80,000-160,000 GP value magic item after its death (with associated loss of functions), so a third to two-thirds of the "Triple Standard" treasure is the innate item, thus leaving the GM to work with only part of the value instead of going blind. Sure, items are only useful for some party members, but they can be sold for raw GP value and usually are anyways because there's only so much overlap to work with.

  8. - Top - End - #68
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    That's a much better phrasing of what I meant, yes. I'm a bit tired of pantheons with "all the gods are good or peacefully neutral except the one that's a power-hungry scheming traitor."
    This thread is rather intended to broaden the possibilities. I'm glad it's succeeding! I do love the odd villain god, but having every pantheon contain a Lolth or Laduguer gets old fast.

    More generally, thank you for taking the time to clarify and explain your reasoning to my repeated questions on ridiculously minor details.
    Oh, happy to!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    Ooh, fire fey. I'd never heard the word "laurence" like that, had to look it up, nice job. I like the justification for the boss-mechanic on the Storagael, that's neat and fun!
    I love boss mechanics, ever since the skull lord in MMV. As for laurence, I owe that one to a round of Slang Teasers that I never ever forgot. Always happy to share new vocabulary!

    Quote Originally Posted by Morphic tide View Post
    A pretty consistent bother to me is having purely "Triple Standard" treasure on a Humanoid body-type with no specified items. It leaves awkward questions for the DM when the players wonder about where all the gear comes from.
    I mean the reason I didn't specify items is because each storagael has their own arsenal of treasure - the most standard they get is that they all wear similar armor because it's easy for them to get from the fey realms, and even that is more of a handwave to justify indicating a kind of armor when calculating their AC. Storagaels no more need to be wearing +2 light fortification leafweave studded leather than a leir needs to be wearing bog-standard studded leather or have levels in Warrior - it's just an example. Some of a storagael's treasure will be things they lack any interest in using - a ring of fire resistance would be beyond useless to them. Some will be goods or art, some will be surplus weaponry they haven't found the right minion to award; it's not like you kill a storagael and it just explodes into a shower of random drops like a Diablo II act boss.

    If you require an example of what a storagael's treasure might include, here's one. Plenty of random generators available to help you with this sort of thing.

    Spoiler: Sample Treasure
    Show
    The storagael's lair contains 2716 pp and 13574 gp collected in tolls from unwary travellers or looted from the slain. Some of this value may be in smaller coinage.

    A gold cup set with emeralds, valued at 15000 gp, the Grail of the Westlands was intended to be presented as a peace offering between two hostile nations. When the messenger carriage traipsed across the boundary into the Faerie realm of the storagael, the fey used its magic to keep the driver lost until he died, then collected the cup to keep in its lair.

    A precious jacinth, valued at 6000 gp, it was stolen by an adventurer from another Faerie realm. The fey of that place elected to get revenge by driving the adventurer into the storagael's domain, and the rest is history. It is currently displayed atop the storagael's throne.

    A robe of bones worn by a necromancer in a party that thought to raid the storagael's domain. It did not go well for him. The storagael has zero interest in making use of this or in allocating this to a minion, so it sits folded in a closet somewhere in the storagael's stone manor.

    Gloves of eldritch admixtureMIC worn by a warlock who defied the storagael. It did not go well for her. They are sealed in a chest until the next warlock comes along asking for the storagael's patronage and proves worthy.

    A wand of freedom of movement (10 charges) that formerly belonged to the necromancer above. We all know how that went. The storagael cannot use this and so has just left it with the other things from that party.

    A rod of defianceMIC borne by the cleric of another party who thought to drive the storagael's evil from their lands. It did not go well for her. The storagael has no use for this item and so it sits down in the dungeons, where it was left with the cleric (who died of starvation) because it was deemed irrelevant.

    A metamagic rod of sculptingMIC that was the property of the sorcerer in the cleric's party. As is often the case, the storagael has no personal use for this, but it was a loan from the mages' guild and they want it back.

    A trident of fish command used by a ranger who guided the cleric's party into the woodlands but who was more familiar with the seas and shores. No wonder it went badly for them. There are no fish in the storagael's lands and so the trident is currently a fancy decoration in the storagael's hall.

    A rod of rulership that had been used by the bard in the necromancer's party - long since deceased. The storagael rules through fear, not 500 minutes of magic on the clock - it sits in an antechamber as bait for whatsoever fool desires to use it, as the storagael's powerful mind will burn them dead for trying.

    A regal scepter set with sapphires, valued at 11000 gp, the symbol of the king who died when the two kingdoms resumed warring after the disappearance of the Grail of the Westerlands. The storagael sent fey servants out of its realm to collect it, purely out of spite, and it rests atop the Grail as a sign of the storagael's intractable will.

    A blue diamond, valued at 5000 gp, taken from the cleric who owned it to be able to cast a raise dead spell. Didn't help since she died first. The fey left it on her because it was funny.

    An eternal wand of cure serious woundsMIC owned by the same cleric. The storagael cannot use it and so it was left in the dungeons.

    A gauntlet of rust which the storagael does wear, it having magically resized to fit the new bearer. It was taken from the fighter in the necromancer's party.

    A runestaff of transmutationMIC wielded by the sorcerer in the cleric's party, it is useless to the storagael, who has it crossed with the trident of fish command as a fancy decoration in the hall.

    A ring of freedom of movement worn by the bard in the necromancer's party. The storagael is wearing this, too.

    A platinum locket ringed with garnets, valued at 8000 gp, it bears the signet of the prince whose late father had his scepter stolen. The prince and his party journeyed into the storagael's domain to retrieve the royal scepter. Obviously that went swimmingly.

    A jeweled electrum ring, valued at 5000 gp, it too bears the prince's signet.

    A silver dragon's draughtMIC that was part of the possessions of the prince's half-dragon bodyguard, intended to be used to breathe ice to repel the storagael. The bodyguard did drink the first of two successfully, but something awfully weird happened to them after that and the second draught was collected by a fey underling as a curiosity. If the storagael knew what it was, it would likely be spilled out or smashed, but at present it's just another curiosity collecting dust.

    A personal oasisMIC used by the prince's party. Not that it helped.

    Boots of levitation worn by the rogue in the cleric's party. No points for guessing what happened to her. The storagael has never even considered using these, nor would there be a ton of merit in levitating a Gargantuan creature.

    A +2 rapier wielded by the fighter in the necromancer's party. It's part of the fancy decor now as the storagael is disinterested in using such a flimsy weapon and has no minion deserving of it at this time.

    Hawkfeather armorMIC formerly worn by the druid who guided the prince's party. The storagael does wear this magically-resized armor.

    A +2 breastplate of blinkingMIC worn by the half-dragon bodyguard. The storagael doesn't like wearing heavy armor and already has a better suit available.

    As for the rest of the gear from these three parties, to say nothing of other visitors, it has been distributed to the storagael's minions or lost in other parts of the grand fey's domain.


    An example of working around this would be having the Wreath of Embers
    Yeah... no. The only reason it's an item and not an inherent ability is to prevent anything being able to copy it. It was going to just be a special quality.

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Elltost
    Diminutive Fey (Chaotic, Extraplanar, Fire)
    HD 1d6-1 (2 hp)
    Speed 10 ft. (2 squares); fly 20 ft. (average)
    Init: +9
    AC 21; touch 21; flat-footed 16 (+5 Dex, +4 size, +2 deflection)
    BAB +0; Grp -16
    Attack Flame dagger +9 melee touch (4 fire) or singeing ray +9 ranged touch (1d3+1 fire)
    Full Attack Flame dagger +9 melee touch (4 fire) or singeing ray +9 ranged touch (1d3+1 fire)
    Space 1 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
    Special Attacks Kindle, singeing ray, spell-like abilities
    Special Qualities DR 5/cold iron or special, immunity to fire, laurence, low-light vision, muspelguide, rekindle, SR 12, vulnerability to cold
    Saves Fort -1 Ref +7 Will +1
    Abilities Str 2, Dex 21, Con 8, Int 5, Wis 8, Cha 13
    Skills Climb +25, Jump +25, Move Silently +9
    Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon FinesseB
    Environment Heroic Domains of Ysgard (Muspelheim)
    Organization Solitary, pair, trio, flicker (4-10) or spray (11-60)
    Challenge Rating 2
    Treasure Half standard
    Alignment Always chaotic (any)
    Advancement 2 HD (Diminutive); 3-4 HD (Tiny)

    Often called "living sparks," elltosts are extraplanar fey of the fiery second layer of Ysgard, Muspelheim, who enjoy finding visitors and offering to escort them, sometimes leading them to dangerous or embarrassing places. Small enough to stand on a human's hand, elltosts are "sold" by enterprising merchants of Ysgard on metal-shod poles to serve as protection from the flames of the second layer. From time to time, an elltost will bumble its way across a planar boundary or into a rift or some sort and end up among other fey or in even stranger places, where its innate curiosity and childlike enthusiasm will almost certainly lead to minor fires being spread as the fey pokes and probes into nooks and crannies, heedless of the heat of its body, which can ignite flammable materials.

    An elltost resembles a slender elfin gnome with glittering topaz eyes, including four very tiny extra eyes positioned above the two large ones. Wings like those of a butterfly emerge from its back, their edges trailing into wisps of flame, and what limited clothing they wear is normally nothing more than what is required to maintain the barest standards of modesty. Elltost hair is wavy and seems to maliciously disobey the laws of gravity, always flowing up from their scalp. Elltosts glow with an inner light that radiates from their translucent skin and hair, typically a bright orange-red, shifting to cyan when they are acting as guides and providing protection from the flames of Muspelheim.

    Elltosts are quick, nimble, and easily distracted. They do not need to sleep and indeed find the idea quite silly and boring, have no need of water to drink, and can be fed anything that burns (which does include regular food, but an elltost will make a very cheerful meal out of a scrap of parchment while commenting on the compelling aged character of the flavor). Elltosts are quite friendly but often conflate friendship with pranks and overt acts of petty maliciousness - and their standards for what constitutes "petty maliciousness" may result in their "friends" suddenly finding themselves exposed to the flames of Muspelheim. Elltosts are not very intelligent or attentive, which makes their camaraderie an uncertain thing.

    Elltosts speak Ignan and Sylvan, as well as either Celestial or Giant. They have been seen in both the Seelie and Unseelie Courts and are known to associate with skogels.

    Damage Reduction (Ex) An elltost's damage reduction can be bypassed either by a weapon made of cold iron, or by a weapon bearing a property that causes it to deal cold damage (such as frost, freezing burst, etc).

    Kindle (Ex) When an elltost remains in the same place for 1 minute and is in contact with flammable material for the entire duration, the flammable material ignites. This is not an ability the elltost can deactivate; it must keep moving continuously if it wishes to avoid burning things. If the flammable material is an unattended object, this effect does not constitute a hostile action that breaks invisibility.

    Laurence (Su) An elltost's body can naturally shed heat in waves that blur the fey's appearance and cause distortions in air pressure that can deflect harm. While active, this ability protects the elltost as a blur spell and provides a +2 deflection bonus to AC. The heat of this ability can be felt clearly and results in leaves smouldering, wood charring, snow melting, and earth scorching under the elltost's feet, reducing the DC to track or identify an elltost using its trail by 4. An elltost's equipment and clothing are always protected from this heat. The elltost can activate or deactivate this ability as a move action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

    Muspelguide (Ex) When on a plane or layer with the fire-dominant trait, an elltost can shelter a cylinder 15 ft. tall with a 15 ft. radius from the effects of the fire-dominant trait. This ability makes elltosts useful for conveying guests or travellers on Muspelheim, and they are also sometimes engaged for journeys to the Elemental Plane of Fire. Eltosts using this ability shed a bright cyan light rather than their normal orange-red coloration. This ability may be activated or deactivated as a full-round action.

    Rekindle (Su) If an elltost's corpse is exposed to at least 5 points of fire damage within an hour of its death, the elltost comes back to life, suffering no ill effects.

    Singeing Ray (Sp) An elltost can attack with a ray that singes what it touches for light fire damage, dealing 1d3 fire damage plus the elltost's Charisma modifier. The elltost must succeed on a ranged touch attack. Unlike normal touch attacks, metal, stone, or crystal armor and shields add their armor or shield bonus to AC against this attack, while those made of other materials that can singe or scorch do not. This ability is the equivalent of a 0th-level spell and is subject to spell resistance. Treat the elltost as a caster with level equal to its character level for the purpose of checking against spell resistance.

    Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) At will - dancing lights, faerie fire, flare (DC 11), raging flameSC, slow burnSC[/I]; 3/day - flame daggerSC, invisibility; 1/day - pyrotechnics (DC 13). Caster level 6th, save DCs Cha-based.

    Skills An elltost has a +16 racial bonus to Climb and Jump, and uses its Dex modifier in place of its Str modifier for these skills.

    Elfäng
    Lesser Power of Ysgard
    The Incinerator, Lord of Cinders, King of Shadows and Embers, Emberlord
    Alignment: Chaotic neutral
    Portfolio: Forest fires, wildfires, renewal of forests, ecological succession, skogels, storagaels
    Divine Realm: Ysgard/Muspelheim/Ellskåt
    Symbol: A burning tree
    Domains Animal, Chaos, Destruction, Fire, Plant, Renewal
    Favored Weapon: Greataxe

    An ancient god of wildfires and infernos, Elfäng has found himself enmeshed in the politics of the fey due to an unlikely set of circumstances - the birth of a storagael on the world that originally gave him worship, coupled with the withdrawal of the ancient fey goddess Rhiannon and the accession of Titania to her role, and finishing with the inadvertent destruction of a key shrine of Emmantiensien by Elfäng's fearful worshippers. This trifecta created the situation that resulted in an unlikely alliance between Elfäng and a scion of the treant god for the sake of managing the very force of nature that the fiery god represents.

    Old and insular, Elfäng was venerated by druidic circles, foresters, woodland townsfolk, and adventurers on his home world, including fire giants who had turned from the worship of Surtur and sought a power who would enable the flames that gave them strength but not expect the world to be subsequently ended in smoke and embers. Burnt offerings would be made seasonally to Elfäng to pray for him to take the offering in place of sweeping his fiery arm across the woodland, and his druids would seek to create small controlled burns to ensure the forest would undergo renewal and succession. On this heavily-wooded world, the devastation of a mighty forest fire was always seen as a chaotic divine force of destruction and transformation, but with the ash-enriched soil bringing new life both vegetal and animal, the Emberlord ceased to be feared as a god of evil - destruction, certainly, but not malice.

    Due to the events mentioned above, Elfäng has had a curious past few millennia - not only did he enter into a covenant to beget fey offspring by the tree spirit Fuinseog, but he has also become known on more worlds via the followers of Emmantiensien - a curious kind of revenge on the part of the treant god, but one that frustrates the quiet fire deity. In turn, having created the skogels, he is responsible for them and owes the thinnest fealty to Titania as a result. Lastly, she has charged him with taking up Rhiannon's charge over the storagaels - this duty, at least, is one that he can appreciate, as each of them is the living embodiment of a colossal wildfire, ready to break free anew. Myths of Elfäng variously place him as part of the Seelie Court, as a fire elemental, a fire giant, or even the spirit of an ancient treant that burned to death. One myth that is never repeated in his presence or that of his worshippers is that every time the fiery god sneezes, an elltost is born. Visitors to Elfäng's realm will be able to confirm that it's positively teeming with elltosts - it's considered very rude to point that out.

    Elfäng is currently in a sort of cold war with Surtur over the faith of fire giants and has found the divine politics of those seeking to recruit him or oppose him all very irritating, a group that at one time or another has included Lathander, Kalethiere, Imix, Zaaman Rul, and Talos. He has a cordial but curt relationship with a handful of forest deities, and rumor has it that he may still carry a torch for Fuinseog despite them having parted ways thousands of years ago.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-01-16 at 10:00 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #70
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Location, Location

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    AC 21; touch 21; flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 size, +2 deflection)
    Shouldn't that flat-footed AC be 16?

    Also, I find it amusing that the largest grouping of Elltost is called a spray. And that Elfäng may or may not sneeze them into being.
    Last edited by Laughing Dog; 2022-01-16 at 09:44 PM.
    A fundamental truth about existence: All is to be laughed at.

    Lawful Evil with Chaotic Good tendencies. Have fun figuring that out.

    How to deal with Slowbro in Gen 1:
    1. Mewtwo
    2. there is no #2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Man_Over_Game View Post
    Well, that makes you Dr. Robotnik. So...yeah?

  11. - Top - End - #71
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Laughing Dog View Post
    Shouldn't that flat-footed AC be 16?

    Also, I find it amusing that the largest grouping of Elltost is called a spray. And that Elfäng may or may not sneeze them into being.
    Yes it should. And since they're living sparks, I figured "spray" was pretty apropos.

  12. - Top - End - #72
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Dreadwolf
    Large Undead (Augmented Outsider, Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar)
    HD 6d12+3 (42 hp)
    Speed 60 ft. (12 squares); climb 30 ft.
    Init: +8
    AC 21; touch 12; flat-footed 18 (+9 natural, +3 Dex, -1 size)
    BAB +6; Grp +19
    Attack Bite +14 melee (2d8+9 and disease) or slam +14 melee (1d8+9 and disease)
    Full Attack Bite +14 melee (2d8+9 and disease) and 1d4 quills +9 melee (1d6+4 and disease) or slam +14 melee (1d8+9 and disease) and 1d4 quills +9 melee (1d6+4 and disease)
    Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks Disease, howl, quills
    Special Qualities Darkvision 60 ft., DR 5/slashing, fast healing 3, immunity to cold, immunity to magic missile, scent, see invisibility, turn resistance +4
    Saves Fort +5 Ref +9 Will +7
    Abilities Str 27, Dex 19, Con -, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 12
    Skills Climb +26, Hide +9, Listen +17, Move Silently +13, Search +5, Spot +17, Survival +2 (+4 following tracks)
    Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Power AttackB, ToughnessB, TrackB
    Environment Castle of the Shuddering Rift
    Organization Solitary or gang (2-5)
    Challenge Rating 7
    Treasure None
    Alignment Always chaotic evil
    Advancement 7-10 HD (Large); 11-18 HD (Huge)

    Horrid creations of a renegade wizard, dreadwolves are malign and twisted undead fueled by a warped kind of magic that fuses a disease into their unliving flesh. The dark energies that sustain them drive dreadwolves to spread, hunt, corrupt, and devour, while making them viciously durable - a hallmark of the evil mage's works. Though barely intelligent, every animating desire of the dreadwolf is bent towards malevolence in the service of their creator, and the magic that constructs a dreadwolf provides unholy opportunities for the caster who dares delve into such secrets.

    Dreadwolves speak one language of their creator's choosing out of those the creator knows, chosen at the time of creation, and have a grasp of the language and its nuances based on their creator's Intelligence score rather than their own; however, they are illiterate and possess no great aptitude for understanding what they overhear beyond the raw meaning (e.g. if a dreadwolf heard an instruction to "take care of the ogre," it would not understand contextually that the ogre was to be slain as opposed to nursed back to health).

    Disease (Ex) A dreadwolf's melee attacks may transmit a particularly virulent form of filth fever (DC 14), as does making an unarmed or natural attack against a dreadwolf (grappling with a dreadwolf imposes a -4 penalty to the saving throw to resist the infection). The save DC is Charisma-based.

    Howl (Su) All beings other than undead that are within range of a dreadwolf's howling for an hour or longer are subject to its effect, though it does not help the dreadwolf in combat. Anyone within hearing range of a dreadwolf for a full hour must succeed on a DC 14 Will save or take 1 point of Wisdom damage. The save DC is Charisma-based. The save must be repeated for each hour of exposure. This is a disease effect and not a sonic mind-affecting effect - the sound is merely the distance at which the supernatural disease will carry.

    Quills (Ex) A dreadwolf's neck bristles with long bony spines similar to a howler's quills. While biting, the creature thrashes about, striking with 1d4 of them. An opponent hit by a dreadwolf's quill attack must succeed on a DC 17 Reflex save or have the quill break off in their flesh. Lodged quills impose a -1 penalty on attacks, saves, and checks per quill. The save DC is Dexterity-based.

    A quill can be removed safely with a DC 20 Heal check; otherwise, removing a quill deals an extra 1d6 points of damage.

    See Invisibility (Sp) Once per day as a standard action, a dreadwolf may see invisibility as the spell (caster level 6th).

    Dreadwolves are howlers with the juju zombieUE, hunterLM, diseasedLM, and evolved undeadLM templates. The juju zombie's immunity to electricity has been replaced with immunity to cold, and the howler's howl has been adjusted from a mind-affecting sonic effect to a disease effect.

    Spoiler: New Spell
    Show
    Create Dreadwolf
    Necromancy [Chaos, Evil]
    Level: Corrupt 6
    Components: V, S, M, Corrupt
    Casting Time: 1 hour
    Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
    Target: One corpse
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    An unholy spell created by the heretical mage Galan Dracos and derived from create undead, this profane rite transforms the corpse of a beast into a dreadwolf, a relentless undead tracker with ferocious strength and terrible durability. Unlike create undead, this spell binds the dreadwolf into the service of the caster, and a created dreadwolf does not count against the HD limit of undead that a single caster can control via effects such as animate dead. Dreadwolves can benefit from any spell that could affect a familiar, and as long as a dreadwolves is on the same plane as its master, divination spells and effects can be cast through the link onto the dreadwolves as though the caster was the dreadwolves (so a caster could use clairvoyance to see from the dreadwolf's location, or cast true seeing to give the dreadwolf the benefits of true seeing instead of the caster. While dreadwolves can only follow simple instructions, they benefit from the relative awareness of their master, so if the master charges the dreadwolf to chase down a particular target, the dreadwolf will use the master's knowledge of that target's appearance, mannerisms, scent, etc. to hunt, adding to its knowledge either through its own experiences or those of the master.

    Dreadwolves cannot exist without their master - when the caster of this spell dies, any dreadwolves so created are immediately destroyed.

    This spell must be cast at night.

    Material Component: A clay pot filled with grave dirt and another filled with brackish water. The spell must be cast on the dead body of a quadrupedal canine. You must place a black onyx gem worth at least 300 gp into one eye socket, an emerald worth at least 100 gp into the other, and a humanoid heart inside the mouth. The magic of the spell turns these gems into worthless shells. The spell also requires a piece of bone from a demon, demodand, or howler.

    Corruption Cost: 1d4 points of Wisdom damage.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-01-24 at 09:21 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #73
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    Dreadwolf
    Large Undead (Augmented Outsider, Chaotic, Evil, Extraplanar)
    I'm not sure I understand where the augmented outsider subtype comes from.

    BAB +6; Grp +19
    How did it end up having full BAB?

  14. - Top - End - #74
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    If you follow the link in the environment, you'll see that this creature started out as howler (which are outsiders) with the template juju zombie and a few other templates. That also explains the BAB.
    Last edited by Tzardok; 2022-01-24 at 07:47 AM.
    Kreaturen des Lichts
    In ein Gefängnis geboren.
    Jede Spur führt in's Nichts
    Und ist verloren schon bald.

  15. - Top - End - #75
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Zart
    Zert 1st-level Warrior
    Medium Humanoid (Zart)
    HD 1d8+1 (5 hp)
    Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
    Init: +2
    AC 15; touch 11; flat-footed 15 (+3 armor, +1 shield, +1 Dex)
    BAB +1; Grp +1
    Attack Bastard sword +2 melee (1d10+1, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack Bastard sword +2 melee (1d10+1, 19-20/x2)
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks Stroke of luck
    Special Qualities Curious, defy destiny, focus fortune, low-light vision, tail, unforeseeable
    Saves Fort +3 Ref +1 Will -2
    Abilities Str 11, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 7, Cha 10
    Skills Balance +5*, Disguise -4*, Handle Animal +4, Intimidate +4, Knowledge (geography) +2
    Feats Lucky StartB, CS (focus fortune allocated to +1 luck bonus to melee attack rolls), Unbelievable LuckCS (focus fortune allocated to +1 luck bonus to weapon damage rolls)
    Environment Any
    Organization Solitary, trio, band (5-10) or troupe (11-20)
    Challenge Rating 1/2
    Treasure Standard
    Alignment Often chaotic good
    Advancement by class; Favored Class Bard
    Level Adjustment +0

    Feckless and adventurous, zarts are a younger race in the multiverse, explorers and wanderers with a song in their heart, a spring in their step, and an apocalyptic goddess waiting for them at the end of their lives.

    Zarts may bring to mind foxes, squirrels, or raccoons - though humanoid, they possess two distinguishing features that instantly mark them out. The first is a "domino mask" pattern of dark and velvety skin around their eyes, which gives them a roguish appearance and brings to mind the facial pattern of a raccoon. The second is a large, bushy tail, rather resembling that of a giant squirrel, and several shades darker than the zart's overall skin tone. Zart skin has a hue described as "orange-brown," though they can be so pale as to appear virtually indistinguishable from a pale-skinned human, or have middling color that might be mistaken for a tan, or be dark enough so as to be nearly identical to a dark-skinned human. They run the gamut from champagne to sand to buff to tawny to saffron to rich auburn. Zart hair tends to mirror the color of their tails - several shades darker than their skin but still in an orange-red-brown color space, with a rare few having jet-black hair and tail. Grey and white streaks are common with age. The average zart stands about 5'4" tall, though the tallest are up to 6 ft. in height and the shortest may barely clear 4 ft. tall.

    Zarts have been described as "a people who think they're incredibly agile and athletic," and indeed they have been known to get along quite well with halflings, who outpace them in acrobatic skill and are more dextrous by far. The two races share an uncanny luck - though where the luck of halflings is constant and to their mild advantage, the luck of a zart is a fluid thing that seems to evolve in keeping with the zart's passions and aptitudes. On their homeworld of Majas, zarts have had to shoulder an unduly malign reputation as "the People of the Evil Sign," which has become tempered over the past millennium but still exists in anti-zart slurs and attitudes. The heart of zartkind is Valstiba, where the Grand Karaliene's palace contains the Seven Gates, portals which each awaken once per year for a three-day period, allowing zarts to wander off to new worlds and realities. It is said that the Grand Karaliene has seven windows atop the tallest tower from which she can witness the journeys of her people. Each Gate is a one-way portal, and while not all of the destinations are known, one goes to Sigil, another links to Faerûn, and a third is known to connect to a far-off Prime world filled with cyclopean ruins, living metal golems, and wild adventures.

    Zart society is clannish and traditionally matriarchal, with the great clans each led by a karaliene, or queen. While there have been some shifts in these traditions among certain clans and breakaway septs, even male leaders adopt the title of karaliene and are expected to wear the appropriate regalia. The original four clans were founded in keeping with the Grand Song of Majas, with the musicians who first joined together in song becoming the first karalienes. Splintering, intermarriage, disaporas, and the like have significantly altered the clan structure over time, but the current list has remained relatively constant for the past few centuries.

    Spoiler: Major Clans of Zartkind
    Show
    Clan Heraldry Clan Spell Clan Color Instrument Notes
    Rozasird Heart animate weaponCM Pink Voice The clan of the Grand Karaliene and the only remaining original clan, resides on Majas
    Zvaigzne Star or fireball fly Orange Trumpet Considered a "reborn" original clan, lives on many worlds
    Pakav Horse haste Purple Drums The second "splinter" clan to form and the oldest such clan remaining, none live on Majas, most common zarts on the Planes
    Abolin Cloverleaf alter fortunePHBII Green Uilleann pipe Claiming to be the heirs to one of the original clans, consider themselves "the most fortunate," majority are on Eberron
    Zilmene Crescent invisibility sphere Blue Fiddle A sept of the original Dzeltenmene clan that has replaced their progenitors after the main clan suddenly vanished
    Varaviksne Bow dimension stepPHBII Yellow (and blue and pink) Harp An older sept turned full clan, predominant on Toril, with a karaliene who wants to rival the Grand Karaliene for ostentation
    Sarkanbalon Inverted egg gaseous form Red Flute The fourth "splinter" clan and second oldest remaining, often found spelljamming. Their karaliene is by tradition a cleric of Zinkare
    Vienrad Unicorn prismatic mistPHBII White Bells The youngest major clan, occasionally found in fey realms, closer to the fey than other clans


    Zarts live life to the fullest whenever possible, always conscious of the dread spectre of their patron goddess awaiting at the end of their lives. This makes them natural adventurers, storytellers, and artisans. While most zarts tend toward good as they embrace not just their own personal fulfillment but the enrichment of the lives of others, some descend into nihilistic hedonism, which can make them dangerous adversaries as their luck does not count any less for having a malefic disposition. Zarts find it difficult to get along with some long-lived races, particularly elves and dwarves, though they get on famously with gnomes and halflings. Zarts often venerate but rarely revere their patron goddess - theirs is more of a careful dread, and while she is shown deference and worship enough to keep her in power, zart clerics are more likely to worship local gods of the worlds they have emigrated to. Zarts greatly enjoy music and are wildly curious. Because of their incredible diaspora and the vast array of worlds and peoples that they have mingled among, zarts off of Majas have long since lost their ancestral language, Valoda, and defaulted to Common, picking up an unbelievable variety of different tongues in their journeys. Nearly any tongue that is spoken by non-hostile beings may be known to zarts, and even then some few will have managed to learn a tongue like Stonesinger or Aboleth or Yuan-ti, though these are the exception and not the rule.

    Curious (Ex) A zart who is within 5 ft. of a figment effect is immediately permitted a Will save to disbelieve, as their inquisitive minds begin to latch onto details that don't quite line up. This ability functions only once per figment effect - once a zart has decided the illusion passes muster, there must be some new evidence presented to challenge what the zart believes to be true. This curiosity also has negative consequences - zarts take a -2 penalty on saving throws to avoid being dazzled or fascinated as they struggle to turn their attention away.

    Defy Destiny (Ex) As an immediate action, a zart can choose to delay the non-hit point effects of a single attack, spell, or ability used against them. The effects do not take hold until the end of their next turn. For example, if a zart was affected by a spell that dealt 12 damage and 3 Constitution damage, the zart would suffer the 12 damage immediately and put off the Constitution damage until the end of their next turn. Using this ability consumes a luck reroll.

    Focus Fortune (Ex) Zarts rely on a curious combination of skill and luck to make their way in the world, driven by their ability to "focus" their luck in particular ways. Each time a zart selects a luck featCS, the zart benefits from a permanent luck bonus to a particular roll or attribute. This bonus also stands in for another feat for the purpose of prerequisites - what others accomplish through training, the zart is just preternaturally capable of doing. A zart who loses access to a luck feat loses the corresponding luck bonus and effective prerequisite feat. Each luck feat allows the zart to choose from the below table:

    Spoiler: Focus Fortune
    Show
    Luck Bonus Equivalent Feat
    +1 luck bonus to Jump and Tumble checks Acrobatics
    +1 luck bonus to Balance and Escape Artist checks Agile
    +1 luck bonus to Listen and Spot checks Alertness
    +1 luck bonus to Climb and Swim checks Athletic
    +2 luck bonus to attack rolls against a foe with concealment Blind-Fight
    +1 luck bonus to checks or rolls made to disarm, feint, or trip an opponent Combat Expertise
    +1 luck bonus to Disguise and Forgery checks Deceitful
    +1 luck bonus to initiative checks Dodge
    +2 luck bonus to Constitution checks Endurance
    +1 luck bonus to Fortitude saves Great Fortitude
    +1 luck bonus to Gather Information and Search checks Investigator
    +1 luck bonus to Will saves Iron Will
    +1 luck bonus to Reflex saves Lightning Reflexes
    +1 luck bonus to Spellcraft and Use Magic Device checks Magical Aptitude
    +1 luck bonus to AC Mobility
    +1 luck bonus to Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks Negotiator
    +1 luck bonus to Disable Device and Open Lock checks Nimble Fingers
    +1 luck bonus to Bluff and Intimidate checks Persuasive
    +1 luck bonus to ranged attack rolls Point Blank Shot
    +1 luck bonus to melee attack rolls Power Attack
    +1 luck bonus to Heal and Survival checks Self-Sufficient
    +2 luck bonus to a single skill Skill Focus
    +1 luck bonus to the DC to dispel your spells of your chosen school Spell Focus
    +1 luck bonus to caster level checks Spell Penetration
    +1 luck bonus to Hide and Move Silently checks Stealthy
    +1 luck bonus to weapon damage rolls (including natural weapons) Weapon Focus


    Stroke of Luck (Ex) Once per day as a swift action, a zart may turn a successful attack into a stroke of luck. The attack must have successfully hit its target and dealt at least 1 point of damage after taking into account damage reduction, hardness, and any other such deduction from the total damage. The damage of the attack is increased by the zart's current number of available luck rerolls. This additional damage is considered precision damage and does not apply against creatures immune to critical hits.

    Tail (Ex) Zarts possess a long, bushy tail that aids in balance. A zart with their tail has a +4 racial bonus to Balance checks, but suffers a -4 penalty to Disguise checks to appear as a member of a different race. The tail also provides a +2 bonus to the zart's opposed Strength check to avoid being tripped, but opponents attempting to grapple a zart with their tail get a +2 bonus to their melee touch attack to initiate a grapple. Some zarts choose to dock their tails, which removes this ability and can be safely performed with a DC 25 Heal check and 5 points of slashing damage. A docked tail can be restored via regenerate and similar effects.

    Unforeseeable (Ex) Zarts are immune to the direct effects of any kind of divination spell, clairsentience power, or any other ability or effect of less than godly strength that would foresee or predict their future. A spell or ability which produces a sensor (e.g. scrying) or provides information on the present (e.g. detect magic, see invisibility) or past (e.g. legend lore, sensitivity to psychic impressions) functions as normal. Zarts are incapable of choosing to admit some effects and decline others, which means they cannot benefit from moment of prescience, true strike, foresight, precognition, augury and so forth, nor can such effects benefit another when involving the zart (e.g. an attacker gains no benefit from true strike, precognition etc. when attacking a zart). Their actions cannot be predicted via contact other plane, divination, and similar effects.

    Zart Characters

    • -2 Wis, +2 Cha. Zarts are impulsive and easily distracted but always confident, a trait that makes them seem charming.
    • Medium-size.
    • A zart's base speed is 30 ft.
    • A zart gains one of Healer's LuckCS, Lucky BreakCS, Lucky CatchCS, Lucky FingersCS, Lucky StartCS, Sly FortuneCS, or Victor's LuckCS as a bonus feat.
    • A zart gains one additional luck reroll per day.
    • Zarts are humanoids.
    • Low-light vision
    • Zarts are proficient with one light, one-handed, or ranged exotic weapon of their choice.
    • Zarts have a +2 racial bonus to Sleight of Hand checks. They are considered trained in Sleight of Hand and it is always a class skill for them.
    • A zart gets two extra skill points at 1st level which must be allocated to Craft, Knowledge, Perform, and/or Profession. The zart treats their selection(s) as being on their class skill list.
    • Zarts get a +1 racial bonus to initiative checks. They are always ready to jump into action.
    • Zarts are immune to the enslave ability possessed by certain creatures such as neogi and aboleths. Other kinds of mental compulsion affect them normally.
    • A zart that becomes host to a tween does not benefit from the tween's abilities, nor does the tween parasitize the luck of those around the zart as normal. Instead, the zart loses access to one luck reroll per day and does not regain luck rerolls daily while so bonded. When the zart runs out of luck rerolls entirely, they must choose one of their focus fortune benefits - the luck bonus provided by that benefit becomes a luck penalty instead. A zart with neither luck rerolls nor focus fortune benefits remaining to "feed" to the parasitic tween suffers 1 point of Charisma drain each day (Will DC 20 negates, +1 to the DC for each prior successful save) and dies when their Charisma reaches zero, rising as a neveiksmig 24 hours later.
    • Curious: as above
    • Defy Destiny: as above
    • Focus Fortune: as above
    • Stroke of Luck: as above
    • Tail: as above
    • Unforeseeable: as above
    • Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Armandish, Asherati, Auran, Bhuka, Buommi, Celestial, Darfellan, Desmodu, Diabolan, Draconic, Feline, Giant, Gith, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Gol-Kaa, Hadozee, Halfling, Ibixian, Ignan, Illumian, Infernal, Kenku, Loxo, Lupin, Maenad, Mongrel, Neraph, Orc, Slaad, Sphinx, Sylvan, Terran, Thri-Kreen, Treant, Tuilvalanuue, Undercommon, Urskan, Valoda, Xeph.
    • Favored Class: Bard
    • Level Adjustment: +0
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-02-20 at 02:58 PM.

  16. - Top - End - #76
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Germany
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Y'know, the first thing I did when I saw this post was laugh, because "zart" is the German word for tender or gentle.

    Anyway, a race of pseudo-squirrels based on luck that travel worlds. Sounds like fun to play. Luck feats are rarely seen, and holy crap! That must be the longest list of bonus languages I've ever seen that wasn't simply "all".
    Last edited by Tzardok; 2022-04-18 at 06:40 AM.
    Kreaturen des Lichts
    In ein Gefängnis geboren.
    Jede Spur führt in's Nichts
    Und ist verloren schon bald.

  17. - Top - End - #77
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Neveiksmig

    Though many have made an intensive study of undeath, there exist corners of the macabre world of necromancy that continue to defy full explanation. Where undeath intersects with the mysteries of luck and fate, few concrete answers can be found - and this bizarre conjunction of circumstances is that which gives rise to the neveiksmig.

    Skeletal and emaciated, neveiksmigs are physically withered corpses of the creatures they were in life. Wisps of darkness flutter around them like rags flapping in a strong wind. Tiny objects seem to animate or levitate around a neveiksmig, sometimes being caught in an eddy around the monstrosity as it moves, other times bouncing away or clattering down harmlessly as it passes. The easiest way - and the most dangerous - to distinguish a neveiksmig is by looking into its eyes, for a neveiksmig has only deep black pits where eyes should be, each one appearing to suck in a cyan light from the environment, creating a luminous corona that plummets into the abyssal darkness. If this is not enough to set them apart, the shadows will - flickering images of alternate actions the neveiksmig could have taken but did not may sometimes appear around it, an unsettling distortion of reality that shows how severely fractured the world is when such a creature is allowed to exist.

    Neveiksmigs possess the skills and aptitudes they had in life, but very few of the mannerisms or personality of their living self - any vestiges of the being they once were are almost always coincidental, when not deliberately affected to cause emotional pain. A neveiksmig is filled with certitude in the doom of all things except itself, and finds excitement and pleasure in the idea of helping to expedite destruction, misfortune, and woe. They possess a deep hunger to devour the luck of others and replace it with suffering and curses - while they cannot define the nature of the curse their touch bestows, it will always attack the victim's insecurities and magnify their despair. This hunger is a craving that fuels them to spread their malice as far and wide as they can, and few things can abate their cruelty for long (though they will always stop at a line of caraway, or for a taste of honey, which they prize even more than the taste of luck). From time to time, a neveiksmig simply stands still and lets its gaze slowly erode those captivated by it, entranced by the flashes and flickers of its victims' twisting futures, which it can witness at the same time as they do. Neveiksmigs are said to see the world but fail to appreciate it or truly understand it - even though they possess clear common sense, the notion of "meaning" escapes them. For this reason even evil beings who become neveiksmigs are virtual strangers to their former associates - the goals and motivations of the being they were while alive are alien curiosities to a neveiksmig. A conqueror may become an aesthetic hedonist, a crime lord an itinerant wanderer, an assassin a macabre interrogator and chronicler.

    Creating a Neveiksmig
    "Neveiksmig" is an acquired template that can be added to any corporeal living creature with at least 3 Intelligence. (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

    A neveiksmig uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

    Size and Type
    The creature’s type changes to undead (augmented base creature's type). Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size is unchanged.

    Hit Dice
    Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d12s.

    Speed
    Increase the base creature's ground movement speed by the lesser of 10 ft. or its current speed (e.g. a creature with a speed of 5 ft. would increase to 10 ft. total). A neveiksmig retains the other movement speeds of the base creature and gains a fly speed equal to half of its adjusted ground speed (rounded up) with perfect maneuverability if it did not possess one previously.

    Armor Class
    Deduct 2 from the base creature's natural armor bonus, if applicable. A neveiksmig uses the equipment it had in life which may include armor and shields. A neveiksmig gains a +2 dodge bonus to armor class from the eddies of fortune and misfortune swirling around it and distorting its true position.

    Attack
    A neveiksmig retains all the attacks of the base creature. If the base creature can use weapons, the neveiksmig retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. A neveiksmig fighting without weapons uses its primary natural weapon (if it has any). A neveiksmig armed with a weapon uses that weapon.

    Full Attack
    A neveiksmig fighting without weapons uses its natural weapons (if it has any). If armed with a weapon, it usually uses the weapon as its primary attack. A neveiksmig gains a ranged attack using the objects caught in its eddies - these are treated as improvised weapons with a 30 ft. range, and the type of damage dealt is usually randomly assigned between piercing, slashing, and bludgeoning. In certain environments (e.g. a quarry full of smooth rocks, a thorny wood) the nature of the objects surrounding the neveiksmig may be such that the damage type is not random (for instance, small rocks will deal bludgeoning damage). The neveiksmig may make a number of attacks with these as a full attack action as allowed by its base attack bonus, plus an additional such attack at its highest attack bonus.

    Damage
    The damage of a neveiksmig's natural weapons remains unchanged. The neveiksmig's ranged attack deals 1d4+1 damage and applies a critical for double damage only on a natural roll of 20.

    Special Attacks
    A neveiksmig retains the base creature's special attacks and gains the following:

    Curse Amplification (Su) Creatures under the effect of a curse suffer a -2 penalty to their armor class and saving throws while within 60 ft. of a neveiksmig. The following effects are considered to be curses for this purpose (note that this list is not exhaustive):

    Spoiler: Curses
    Show
    aboleth curseSW, anathemaCoR, backlashMoF, bedevilCoR, bestow curse, bestow greater curseSC, black karma cursePHBII, cryptwarden's graspCM, curse of arrow attractionPHBII, curse of ill fortuneSC, curse of impending bladesSC, curse of lycanthropySC, curse of petty failingMini, curse of the elemental lordsDM, curse of the putrid huskBoVD, cursed dragonmarkDmark, cursed items, cursed wounds, evil eyeBoVD, eyebite, familial geasHoH, geas, ghoul gauntletSC, hexblade's curseCWar, insanity, jungle's raptureSC, Laeral's crowning touchCoS:W, legion's curse of impending bladesSC, legion's curse of petty failingMini, lesser geas, mark of justice, mark of sinCC, mark of the outcastSC, mass curse of ill fortuneSC, mass curse of impending bladesSC, necrotic curseCM, reality blindBoVD, rotting curse of UrfestraBoVD, scourgeSC, spider curseSC, suppress legacySC, symphonic nightmareSC, touch of JuiblexBoVD, touch of VecnaCM, touch of yearsCM, Tyche's touchLEoF (curse function only), unluckSC


    Fatewarping Gaze (Su) Fascination, 30 ft., Will negates. A creature who starts its turn fascinated by this gaze must make another Will save or suffer 1 point of Charisma drain. The save DC is 10 + 1/2 the neveiksmig's HD + the neveiksmig's Charisma modifier. Creatures affected by this gaze who survive gain an unusual ability - from 1 hour after they are so affected up until 1 week later, the victim of the gaze is haunted by the flickering and nebulous images of a bad event happening in their future. As an immediate action during this time period, the victim may add the neveiksmig's Charisma bonus (if any) as an insight bonus to any one attack roll, skill check, or saving throw, as the glimpse of their fate resolves into an immediate realization about how to change it. This benefit cannot be "collected" from multiple neveiksmigs - only the most recent gaze to which the victim has been exposed and been fascinated by applies. A creature drained to 0 Charisma in this way dies and rises 24 hours later as a neveiksmig. This ability does not function if the base creature did not have eyes. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect.

    Miasma (Ex) Creatures with the fey type perceive a thick black miasma similar to a stinking cloud centered on the neveiksmig at all times. A fey entering the area of this miasma suffers the effects of being within a stinking cloud, and the miasma provides concealment to the neveiksmig against fey in the same manner that a stinking cloud would. Unlike the vapors produced by that spell, the miasma is not a true cloud but instead a manifestation of the reality-warping toxicity of the neveiksmig, and cannot be thinned or dispersed by wind, etc.

    On the Plane of Faerie, or any fey-created demiplane, the radius of this effect doubles and affects any kind of living creature, not just fey.

    Touch of Adversity (Su) A neveiksmig can make a melee touch attack to deliver a distorting pulse of misfortune that roars with thunder and afflicts the victim with ill luck. This touch attack deals 1d8 sonic damage + the neveiksmig's Charisma modifier. A creature so touched must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the neveiksmig's HD + the neveiksmig's Charisma modifier). Failure means that the victim is affected by bestow curse using the neveiksmig's character level as the caster level. The victim may expend one daily luck reroll (or use of the granted power of the Luck domain, or action point) to avert this curse. A victim already under the effect of a curse (as described under curse amplification) takes 2d8 sonic damage + the neveiksmig's Charisma modifier instead and suffers 1d4 Charisma damage. Each time Charisma damage is dealt in this way, the neveiksmig gains 5 temporary hit points. A victim that reaches 0 Charisma dies and rises 24 hours later as a neveiksmig.

    Special Qualities
    The neveiksmig retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains the following:

    Darkvision (Ex) A neveiksmig has darkvision out to 60 ft.

    Luckdrinker (Ex) Whenever a luck reroll (or the granted power of the Luck domain, or action point) is expended within 60 ft. of a neveiksmig, or whenever a curse effect (as described under curse amplification) affects a creature within 60 ft. of a neveiksmig, it gains an additional luck reroll which expires if not used in 24 hours. If two or more neveiksmigs are within range, they must make opposed Charisma checks, with the highest result being the one to acquire the additional reroll (on a tie, no neveiksmig gets it).

    Resistances (Ex) A neveiksmig gains resistance to electricity 10 and sonic 10.

    Splintered Fate (Sp) A neveiksmig is constantly shadowed by mirror images that appear to be taking slightly different actions from one another. Each represents a possible path for the neveiksmig's fortune to take. The neveiksmig has 1d4+4 images at any given time and can replenish them once per hour as a full-round action. Whenever the neveiksmig expends a luck reroll, one of its images automatically disappears - a casualty of the path that fortune never took.

    Turn Resistance (Ex) A neveiksmig has +2 turn resistance.

    Warp Fate (Su) As long as the neveiksmig has mirror images remaining from its splintered fate ability, it may expend a luck reroll as a swift action to take an additional standard action.

    Weaknesses
    Neveiksmigs are afraid of frogs and toads for reasons unknown; a neveiksmig that sees a frog or toad is shaken for as long as it can see such an animal, whether alive or dead. Only an actual frog or toad will do (though planar versions of such creatures have been known to work) - giant versions, and creatures that merely bear a strong resemblance to frogs or toads, do not trigger this effect.

    A neveiksmig will not cross a line of caraway seeds. If forced across such a line, it will be stunned for 1d4 rounds.

    Neveiksmigs have a strong hunger for honey, and destroyed beehives may signal the presence of a neveiksmig. An offering of honey provides a +8 bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks made to influence a neveiksmig. A neveiksmig who consumes at least 1 cup of honey suffers 2 points of Dexterity damage and 2 points of Wisdom damage (bypassing the normal undead immunity to ability damage), recovering 1 point per day as a living creature would. Honey affects a neveiksmig like strong alcohol would affect a human and leads to unpredictable moods.

    Abilities
    Adjust from the base creature as follows: Str -2, Dex +4, Wis +6, Cha +4. As an undead creature, a neveiksmig has no Constitution score.

    Skills
    Neveiksmigs have a +4 racial bonus on Intimidate, Search, and Sense Motive checks. Otherwise same as base creature.

    Feats
    Same as base creature, plus one of Lucky BreakCS, Lucky CatchCS, Lucky FingersCS, Lucky StartCS, Sly FortuneCS, or Victor's LuckCS as a bonus feat; Fortuitous StrikeCS as a bonus feat; and Unbelievable LuckCS as a bonus feat.

    Languages
    As base creature.

    Environment
    Any

    Challenge Rating
    Same as the base creature +2.

    Alignment
    Changes to chaotic evil.

    Spoiler: Evolving a Neveiksmig
    Show
    When applying the evolved undeadLM template to a neveiksmig, a few adjustments may take place:

    Special Attacks
    Roll on the following table instead of the standard evolved undead table to see what spell-like ability the neveiksmig gains:

    d12 Spell-Like Ability
    1 circle of death
    2 confusion
    3 cursed bladeSC
    4 eyebite
    5 greater dispel magic
    6 greater invisibility
    7 mass curse of ill fortuneSC
    8 necrotic curseCM
    9 scourgeSC
    10 touch of VecnaCM
    11 unholy blight
    12 unluckSC

    Abilities
    A neveiksmig gains +2 Strength or +2 Dexterity, and also gains +2 Charisma as normal.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-01-29 at 07:12 PM.

  18. - Top - End - #78
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Tween
    Small Outsider (Extraplanar)
    HD 1d8+1 (5 hp)
    Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
    Init: +5
    AC 12; touch 12; flat-footed 11 (+1 Dex, +1 size)
    BAB +1; Grp -4
    Attack Short sword +1 melee (1d4-1, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack Short sword +1 melee (1d4-1, 19-20/x2)
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks -
    Special Qualities Bond, darkvision 60 ft., detect thoughts, empathic link, pass boundary
    Saves Fort +3 Ref +3 Will +3
    Abilities Str 9, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 13, Cha 14
    Skills Bluff +6, Disguise +6, Escape Artist +5, Hide +5, Listen +5, Move Silently +5, Search +5, Sense Motive +5, Spot +5
    Feats Improved Initiative
    Environment Ethereal Plane
    Organization Solitary
    Challenge Rating 1
    Treasure None
    Alignment Always neutral
    Advancement 2-3 HD (Small)

    The tween was originally printed in the 1E Fiend Folio and reprinted in the 2E Fiend Folio. This is an adaptation of an existing monster.

    Bizarre and parasitic entities of the Border Ethereal, tweens are a boon to the lone adventurer and a plague to parties. Bereft of experiences on their home plane, tweens search across the Ethereal boundary for intelligent creatures with whom to bond in order to vicariously enjoy existence by figuratively and literally shadowing someone with a life more exciting than their own. The strange metabolism of the tween is the source of scholarly interest in these odd creatures, for while an unbonded tween is an omnivore subsisting on such plant life and fauna as it can find around the Ethereal Plane, a bonded tween appears to eat or otherwise absorb luck from those in close proximity to its host, exuding a curious and desirable byproduct - the host's own luck seems to improve through empathic visions of the future and minor distortions of reality that alter fortune in the host's favor.

    In its rarely-seen natural form, a tween is a stumpy, stocky, squat, ugly humanoid with no neck and stubby limbs - unlovable perhaps, but also thoroughly unremarkable. When bonded to a host, the tween's body becomes incorporeal and takes on the host's shape, visible in bright illumination as a smoky or shadowy "outline" or silhouette of the host that appears at all times within 5 ft. of them. While in this state, the tween lacks any capacity to engage in combat on the host's plane - only on the Ethereal can it participate. If pressed into combat, a tween wields a straightforward melee weapon such as a short sword, mace, axe, or spear.

    Hosts bonded to a tween may be fortunate, but they quickly draw the wrong kind of attention from those around them, who experience their luck turning on them. Their emotions may also intensify drastically as the tween's inexperience and hedonism cause empathic feedback. Tweens have been sought out by scholars, sages, and mighty mages in search of answers to the questions their existence raises, as well as those who believe the luck bestowed by a tween will benefit them more than it will prove a hindrance. Tweens have no society - rarely (10% of the time) will more than one be encountered in close proximity, as two tweens cannot bond the same host. On the Ethereal Plane they are considered by most other locals to be among the lowest forms of life to be found there. Ethergaunts in particular hunt them to vivisect, as the blood of a tween is a useful alchemical reagent for some ethergaunt experiments, while their eyes and dust made from their ground bones are used as intoxicants, hallucinogenics, and nootropics by the alien race.

    Though their origin is a mystery, sages postulate that tweens may be descended from the ancient kyleen, a race scattered and transformed by a terrible chaos plague. If so, it would make them relatives of the devetes, the mysterious emotional mimics of the Astral Plane. Tweens are not known to speak but possess the capacity to learn and articulate language.

    Bond (Ex) Tweens seek out intelligent creatures to bond with, peering across the Ethereal boundary and using their detect thoughts ability to seek out those with enough intellect to make for stimulating hosts. They avoid other outsiders, aberrations, fey, and undead when selecting a host. Once the tween finds a suitable candidate, it will follow that creature through the Ethereal medium, gradually acclimating itself to its prospective host. After 1d8+4 hours, the bonding is complete, and only a wish, miracle, or the death of one of the two beings in the bond will cause it to break.

    While bonded to a host, a tween becomes incorporeal and ceases to require material sustenance. In bright illumination it can be seen as a smoky or shadowy outline or silhouette of its host, always standing within 6 feet (the tween's own movement speed becomes immaterial thanks to the bond). The host benefits from the tween's strange perception of reality and manipulation of luck - any time the host would need to make an attack roll, saving throw, skill check, or ability check, they roll twice and take the better result. Creatures within 50 ft. of the host suffer an inversion of this effect - any time any other creature (friend or foe) would need to make such a roll, they roll twice and take the worse result.

    Spoiler: Luck rerolls, action points, and tweens
    Show
    Tweens warp the fabric of reality to influence luck, which has strange interactions with luck rerolls, such as those granted by luck featsCS, the Luck domain, the spell choose destiny, and others. The following notes apply when a tween is influencing a being (either positively or negatively):

    • In the general case, if a being could reroll due to luck and is bonded to a tween, any use of the reroll effect instead adds a +4 luck modifier to the roll (e.g. if using the reroll from the Luck domain, the bonded creature rolls twice and adds a +4 luck bonus to the winning result).
    • In the general case, if a being could reroll due to luck and is within 50 ft. of a tween-bonded creature, any use of the reroll effect instead "counteracts" the requirement to roll twice and use the worse result (e.g. if using the reroll from the Luck domain, the affected creature rolls only once as normal, rather than either rolling twice and taking the worse result or rolling a second time and taking the second result).
    Choose destinyRoD totally overrides the effects of a tween for both good and ill - luck has already applied in both possible futures, and the spell's guidance is showing the ultimate outcomes, which the tween lacks the power to further tamper with. This applies only to the creature affected by choose destiny, other creatures remain affected as normal.
    • A ring of anticipationDotU overrides the effects of a tween on initiative checks for the wearer - the ring functions on the basis of divination, not luck, and is revealing futures to the wearer.
    Insight of good fortunePHBII follows the general case; despite being a divination effect, it functions on the basis of luck, and the tween destroys that as per normal.
    • The Luck of Battle ability of the Sanctified One of KordCC follows the general case.
    • The Trivial KnowledgeRoS feat allows rolling twice and taking the better result regardless of whether the tween would allow or disallow it, and does not impart the +4 luck bonus for a bonded creature. This knowledge is predicated on being a big giant nerd, not on luck, and the tween has nothing to do with helping a gnome get a life already.

    A tween's impact on action pointsECS is less extreme (action points represent heroic effort and willpower just as much as, if not moreso than, that extra helping of luck) but still present. A creature bonded to a tween that expends an action point to get a bonus on a roll gets an extra +1 bonus to the outcome, while a creature within 50 ft. of a bonded creature suffers a -1 penalty to the outcome. As an example, if Jorgeth the 5th level fighter expends an action point to improve a roll while bonded to a tween, he rolls 1d6+1 to see how much he adds to the roll; if his friend Maralie the 9th level rogue expends an action point while Jorgeth is nearby, she will roll 2d6, take the best of the two, and subtract 1 from it to improve her roll.


    While the tween's strange luck confers a lot of benefit to the host, it also comes with a strange liability - the bond between host and tween causes emotional entanglement, allowing any effects predicated on emotion (including but not limited to crushing despair, rage effects, charm effects, fear effects, and so on) greater purchase. When the host is exposed to any such effect, regardless of immunity, the tween also makes a saving throw against the same effect. If the tween fails, both it and the host are affected as though the host had failed its saving throw.

    If the host dies, the tween's shock and grief cause it to split in two, creating a new tween who will go off in search of a host of its own. Should the tween die, the host is afflicted by a strange sense of sorrow for 1d4 weeks, affecting them as per crushing despair. Immunity to mind-affecting effects does not protect against this sorrow. The bond between host and tween can be muted via any effect that conceals the host's mind, including but not limited to mind blank, mind switch or schism (both of which cause the host and tween to become confused for the duration, no saving throw allowed), and so on. While the bond is muted, the host does not benefit from the luck rerolls the tween provides, but creatures near the host continue to suffer from the normal effects of the bond being present.

    For reasons unknown, tweens gravitate toward zarts when they are not bonded, and the effects of a bond between a zart and a tween are drastically different and invariably fatal to the zart - the tween seems to devour the luck of the zart, followed by their sense of self, until eventually only a dead husk remains. This is not malicious on the part of the tween - it is a compulsion to them, but one that has earned them the aversion and enmity of that normally friendly race.

    Detect Thoughts (Sp) Tweens can detect thoughts at will when on the Ethereal Plane, with their detection reaching across the boundary to the adjoining plane, allowing them to perceive the intelligence of prospective hosts. They lose access to this ability while bonded.

    Empathic Link (Su) The host and tween have an empathic link out to a distance of up to 1 mile. The host cannot see through the tween's eyes, but they can communicate empathically. Because of the limited nature of the link, only general emotional content can be communicated. Due to the nature of tweens, a host is often unaware of the source of these emotions unless they know they have been bonded by a tween. Because of this empathic link, the host and tween have the same connection to an item or place as the other.

    Pass Boundary (Su) With few exceptions, a tween bonded to a host goes where the host goes, even when the host travels to places without an Ethereal connection. A tween cannot follow into an area where supernatural abilities are blocked (such as an antimagic field) or through effects that hedge out incorporeal creatures (such as a wall of force). Otherwise, the tween is treated as being the host in all respects for the purpose of abjurations and similar wards that would admit certain beings and repel others. If the host safely bypasses a symbol or other passworded effect, the tween is considered to have provided the password as well; the same goes for effects requiring some kind of item, possession, alignment, or other trait.

    Spoiler: Where tweens fear to tread
    Show
    Tweens can go nearly anywhere while bonded to a host, but some rare few places have properties that hedge them out:

    • The Plane of Shadow is inimical to tweens; a tween whose host enters the Plane of Shadow becomes sickened, as does the host. The tween does follow into the Plane of Shadow, but is at high risk of being devoured and replaced by a toboku, a native creature that has a similar parasitic relationship with hosts. This happens without the awareness of the host, who will only notice that the feeling of sickness they were experiencing has abated.

    • The Plane of Faerie is warded against tweens; a tween absolutely cannot enter the Plane of Faerie nor any fey demiplane. If the host enters such a place, the tween is sickened and begins wasting away, experiencing 1 point of Charisma drain per day. The host notices no ill effects for 1 hour per point of Charisma, after which time the same effects afflict the host as well. When the host and tween are reunited, this Charisma drain is converts to Charisma damage and recovers naturally. If they are not reunited before one or the other dies, the Charisma drain is permanent.

    • The Region of Dreams does not admit tweens; while the host is within the Region of Dreams, the tween and the bond are effectively not present. When the host emerges, the tween reappears within 6 ft. of the host as if nothing had happened.

    • Tweens cannot enter the Plane of Mirrors, and for the host to do so is very hazardous - the bond begins to shift and warp in ways neither the host nor the tween desire, and for each hour the host remains on the Plane of Mirrors, they must make a Will saving throw without the benefits of the bond (DC 20, +1 per successful saving throw). On a failure, the nature of the host begins to transfer back through the warped bond and imprint on the tween. The first failed saving throw causes both the host and the tween to become sickened and suffer 1d4 Charisma drain. The second failed saving throw causes host and tween to become frightened and suffer a further 1d6 Charisma drain, and the tween becomes corporeal on the plane the host departed, identical in appearance to the host. Each failed saving throw after that deals a further 1d6 Charisma drain to both the host and the tween. When the tween's Charisma reaches 0, it becomes a "mirror" of the host, effectively becoming a copy of the host (items do not copy over) with two negative levels. The tween forgets its original nature and believes itself to be the host, becoming violent if presented with any evidence to the contrary (the host themselves being the worst sort of evidence and subject to getting attacked immediately). If the host's Charisma reaches 0, the above happens to the tween, while the host becomes trapped in the Plane of Mirrors, becoming native to that plane. Their body dies as their consciousness separates from it, having surrendered its identity, and the host rises as an evolvedLM spectralSS version of themselves (known as a faceless spectre or spoguli) with the following traits:

    Spoiler: Faceless Spectre traits
    Show
    Mirror Jump (Su) A faceless spectre can move through mirrored and reflective surfaces at will. This effect is similar to shadow walk but the faceless spectre travels along the Plane of Mirrors. As a standard action, the faceless spectre must touch a mirror or other highly reflective surface (incorporeal touch is sufficient for this purpose); the faceless spectre then exists from another mirror that is no farther than 1 mile away. If the facelesss spectre attempts to use a highly reflective surface that is not a mirror (such as a polished shield or armor, a clear glass, or a still pool of water), there is a 30% chance that the surface is sufficiently reflective to use this ability. However, a faceless spectre can only enter a nonmirrored surface; it must still exit through a mirror. If a sufficient mirror is not in range, the faceless spectre must traverse the Plane of Mirrors to locate a mirror portal on its own.

    No Name (Ex) The faceless spectre lacks identity. It has no memories of itself, cannot answer questions its living self would have known the answer to, and the DC to pronounce its personal truename increases by 8.

    Partially Corporeal (Ex) A faceless spectre takes full damage from sonic effects despite its incorporeal nature. It has only a 25% chance of ignoring damage and effects from a corporeal source.

    Reflective Spell Resistance (Sp) A faceless spectre has spell resistance equal to its character level + 8. Whenever it successfully resists a targeted spell, that spell bounces off and reflects back at the caster, who becomes either the spell's target or the point of origin for the spell's effect, as appropriate. In addition, faceless spectres are immune to gaze attacks, and such an effect is reflected back to its origin.

    Resistances (Ex) A faceless spectre has resistance to cold 10, electricity 10, and fire 10.

    Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) At will - mirror image; Constant - reflective disguiseSC. Caster level 3rd, save DCs Charisma-based.

    Sonic Vulnerability (Ex) A faceless spectre is vulnerable to sonic damage, taking 50% more damage from sonic effects. A shatter spell targeted against a faceless spectre causes it to be stunned for 1d4 rounds.


    • The wizard Zurct'ed the Cruel theorized on the stability of bonds between beings when forced into the Far Realm. While the outcome of his experiments is not known, the fact that the frozen ruins of his tower partially exist in the Ethereal Plane and are thoroughly infested with advanced dharculiPH suggest that he did something profoundly stupid. His recovered notes suggest that the nature of the tween bond somehow transcends traditional planar interference and might cause some sort of "feedback" from host to tween if one were forced across such a gap. The magical calamity that resulted from his cruelties saw his hot desert home transformed into an icy hellscape, and Zurct'ed has not been seen there since.


    Spoiler: Adaptation notes
    Show
    I took a few liberties with these little jerks when adapting them over, some out of necessity (luck feats didn't exist in prior editions, so knowing how they interact was a must), others out of practicality (why doesn't every isolated wizard just keep a tween bonded to them? The emotional leakage is a pain in the butt), and some out of inter-edition vagueness (1E said tweens communicate telepathically with their hosts, 2E suggested they convey subliminal messages only. Empathic link seemed to be the most straightforward way to compromise). The ecological ties to ethergaunts and zarts are also new (obviously ). I hope you enjoy this adaptation.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-02-01 at 10:54 PM.

  19. - Top - End - #79
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Deities of the Zarts

    By and large, the zarts do not spend a lot of time venerating their own deities - while they show friendly deference to rites and symbols surrounding the lesser gods, they are considerably more likely to follow faiths of other cultures around them. The zart "pantheon" is really more of a tradition than a true group of deities, and unusually for a divinely-created race, their patron goddess is not actually a racial deity. She is also the one and only deity the zarts cannot ever forget, for she is the custodian of their souls in death - and her desire to understand the value of mortal lives drives them to grow and experience, lest they disappoint the ominous creator whose curiosity is the only thing holding back the death of worlds.

    The creator of the zarts is a patron goddess of an elder "forerunner" race, from which she draws her infamy as a bringer of apocalypse. Many worlds fell before these forerunners, and the survivors of those invasions memorialized the roseate star that heralded the oncoming of their destruction on obelisks and other monuments. It has been millennia since the last such world is known to have fallen, after the goddess exhausted her inquisitiveness with mere destruction and turned her curiosity toward why mortals cling to life.

    Zinkare
    Intermediate Power of Carceri
    The Scarlet Silence, Rose of the End, Destroyer of Destiny, She Who Awaits, Roseate Light of the Last Star, Witch of Wonder
    Alignment: Chaotic good
    Portfolio: Curiosity, zarts, luck, free will, discovery, the destruction of worlds, living life to the fullest
    Divine Realm: Carceri/Agathys/City of Flickering Destruction
    Symbol: A rose with a star in the center
    Domains Chaos, Curiosity*, Destruction, Good, Liberation, Luck, Protection
    Favored Weapon: Bastard sword or shield bash

    Zinkare has the unusual distinction of being a good-aligned goddess of apocalyptic destruction - the strange consequence of commanding the cataclysmic forces that her worshippers wielded to prepare worlds for their habitation, resulting in her being celebrated as a goddess of discovery and good fortune as well as destruction. Possessing characteristics that have been variously compared to a dangerously inquisitive child, a meticulously analytical scholar, a wide-eyed ingenue, or a playful kitten, Zinkare is most fundamentally the goddess of curiosity itself in all its myriad facets, both exploratory and potentially catastrophic.

    Inspired to explore outside of the role given to her as a destroyer goddess, Zinkare stepped down from her rosy star of destruction to walk among mortals and realized the profound depths of her ignorance - for all her divine awareness of the ways of the cosmos, she understood nothing of mortal life as they experienced it - not why they loved, or hoped, or feared, or raged. In search of insights, she created the zarts - a people to be scattered across the universe, whose lives she could peruse as their souls came to her at the end of their time. In doing so, she hoped to learn why mortal life holds such value to them - and whether it is in truth so unique a thing that it should not be subject to total destruction.

    Zinkare has never been malevolent; she has only ever fulfilled a role, one that sees her cast as savior to some and nemesis to others. She tires of having to exist only as a force of destruction without a holistic understanding of what she destroys and why. For this reason, she has flooded the essence of the zarts with luck, and severed them from the ties of destiny - for to be forced down a particular path is anathema to her. She wants each of her creations to live, to savor, to suffer, to grow, to thrill - to indulge their thirst for life and natural curiosity, and in doing so feed her own. From her scarlet palace in the icy bowels of Carceri, she serves as psychopomp to the souls of zarts whose lives have been lived out, questioning them about what they lived for, what they found worthwhile, and then sending them on to their final rest. The myths surrounding her curiosity paint her a bit less generously, suggesting that her curiosity is the only thing preventing her from annihilating all life. Zinkare may yet come forth to unleash another apocalypse, but while her creations live, explore, and wonder, she is content to enjoy discovering what value they each find in their short lives.

    She is a hands-off deity who does not wish to interfere with the lives of her people; for this reason, and to ensure that they remain protected from any reprisal from her former charges, Zinkare elevated a trio of like-minded forerunners to demigod status and charged them to serve as guardians over the zarts. Some sages quietly fear that she spread her people across many worlds so that she might have a foothold from which to bring about the apocalypse in several spheres; the capricious and curious goddess keeps her own counsel, and her long-term plans (if any) remain thoroughly cryptic.

    Zinkare is, oddly, never depicted as a zart in religious artwork - her appearance is vaguely human or elven, though frequently of towering size. This may speak to the continued unease the zarts feel about their patron, or be related to historical treatises linking her to the forerunners. Depictions of Zinkare are done in red or pink materials where possible, such as rose or red quartz, rose marble, realgar, cinnabar, and so on. She is rarely depicted in substantial detail or in three dimensions, as folktales suggest that too close a likeness of her will bring calamity to all around it.

    Spoiler: Forerunners?
    Show
    Zinkare's origins and the nature of the people from whom she originally derived worship are deliberately left ambiguous; I have some ideas, but whether they will play out or not is beyond the scope of this pantheon briefing. The names of her sisters are Vara, Karava, and Sagra; their glyphs appear on forerunner relics and obelisks, but none of the three are known to be worshipped or even venerated by any zart.


    Krega
    Demipower of the Prime Material Plane
    Starchild, the Singing Wanderer, the Short-Sighted, Light of the Lost, the Luckless Rogue
    Alignment: Chaotic good
    Portfolio: Music, aimless travel, freedom, zarts
    Divine Realm: Prime Material/wanders
    Symbol: An unstrung harp with a star within the frame
    Domains Chaos, Good, Liberation, Music*, Travel, Trickery
    Favored Weapon: Greataxe

    An itinerant deity who wandered the spheres, Krega was visiting the world of Majas during the invasion of the forerunners, encountering Zinkare as she walked among mortals and witnessed their joys and fears. Her fascination with his ability to connect with the emotional needs of mortals inspired her to ask Krega to join with her to create a people through whom she could try to better comprehend the thirst for life and the fear of destruction. With the scattering of the zarts across countless spheres, the wandering demigod's song now reaches far, and though he is worshipped by few, his faithful are spread far and wide - perfect for an explorer like himself.

    Whereas Zinkare does not resemble a zart in the least, Krega's appearance informs theirs - shaggy and unkempt hair and a long luxurious tail, a black domino mask worn over his eyes, It is said in zart myths that he gifted the apocalyptic goddess with a rose stolen from the gardens of Hell as a token of his love and a symbol of liberation. This myth has its roots in a bit of truth - Krega did infiltrate Fierna's gardens and steal away with a precious artifact - a magical rose that conceals secrets. In doing so, Krega secured the future of the zarts by helping to conceal Zinkare's actions from her kindred - but also won himself a terrible adversary in the hot-tempered princess of the Fourth Hell. Fierna has vowed that she will catch him, seduce him to prove that his affection for Zinkare was not worth the theft of her priceless rose, and then devour him. How much of this is a boast remains unknown, but the demigod keeps wandering just in case.

    If zarts represent the unbridled potential for luck, then the apple has fallen well far of the tree - as demigods go, Krega is particularly hapless, having managed to stir himself into some manner of trouble on every Outer Plane he has visited (and most Inner Planes besides). It is often said (and not without merit) that he roams the Prime because he's out of other safe places to go. For his part, Krega is relatively relaxed about his current situation; he resides on an asteroid converted into a kind of roaming spelljamming wharf, which voyages between spheres and stays well clear of planets and well-travelled ports like the Rock of Bral. A small caravan of vessels is often accompanying this wandering "realm," though Krega himself is absent as often as he is present, sometimes working as a diversion to protect his home... and sometimes letting his home serve as a diversion to protect his own tail. Well-intentioned but aimless, the demipower is just pleased to have once earned the love of a goddess.

    The Three Guardians

    Before the zarts ever came into her imagination, Zinkare was one of the four goddesses of a powerful forerunner race that conquered many spheres. During the attempted invasion of Majas by this elder people, Zinkare intervened and instigated a conflict within the forerunners' ranks, forcing the question of whether the lives of other mortal races had sufficient value that they did not deserve to be conquered. A small number of these forerunners aligned themselves with this idea, and of their number were born the three guardians - demipowers raised up to divinity by Zinkare for the purpose of stewarding and protecting the zarts in ways she would not and Krega could not. Each was raised to her role through conflict, and as such each guardian is considered a power of war, though they dislike characterizing themselves as such. They favor nonintervention unless outside forces threaten the zarts.

    Janva
    Demipower of Elysium
    The Mediator, Three-Eyed Seer, the First Guardian
    Alignment: Neutral good
    Portfolio: Protection of zarts, foresight, wisdom, strength, self-determination
    Divine Realm: Elysium/Amoria/Harmony and Vision
    Symbol: A gauntlet holding a star
    Domains Good, Oracle, Protection, Strength, War
    Favored Weapon: Gauntlet

    Though she is titled the First Guardian by the zarts and holds pride of place in the trinity of tutelary goddesses that watch over the race, Janva was actually the second of the trio to join Zinkare's grand experiment. Formerly serving under one of the creator goddess's sister deities, she despaired of the future she prophesized in which nothing would change, nothing would grow, and all would continue to play their role for eternity. With a great act of self-sacrifice, she gave up her existence as she knew it to try to change the future, and her example galvanized others to question the invasion of Majas, ultimately leading to the birth of the zarts and the forerunners being repelled from the world. For her heroism she was venerated, and became a demigoddess in death.

    From her home in Elysium, Janva watches for the return of the forerunners, or for the other goddesses of that people to discover what Zinkare has done. Not many zarts worship her, but she is recognized as both a warrior goddess and a sage, a protector who uses her insight to guide and serve. Zart monks who do not follow Juni may find themselves drawn to the balance of insight and martial prowess that Janva represents. As an oracular being, she chafes at the knowledge that the future of zarts cannot be predicted, and struggles to balance the challenges of Juni and Bruari's conflicting natures.

    Juni
    Demipower of Mount Celestia
    The Fateless Knight, Hierophant of the Roseate Star, the Second Guardian
    Alignment: Lawful good
    Portfolio: Martial excellence, learning, commitment, loyalty, purpose
    Divine Realm: Celestia/Venya/The Still Waters
    Symbol: A spear bearing lily petals
    Domains Glory, Good, Knowledge, Law, War
    Favored Weapon: Spear

    The high priestess of Zinkare during the invasion of Majas, Juni has always believed herself to be the holder of her patron's most sacred charge, despite being subordinate to Janva and the second guardian. Her sense of self-importance provides a valuable commitment to giving zarts the same belief in purpose and ambition to learn and grow, but it does lead to her being alienated from their nature as chaotic people blown on the winds of luck - Juni has always believed in personal performance outshining random chance, and still struggles to acknowledge that her zeal to be the greatest servant of her goddess in all things actually distanced her from Zinkare. She regards her role as both gift and curse, conscious of the fact that Fierna's rose conceals her beloved patron from her for all time as a demigoddess but resolved to uphold her sworn duty to see the zarts survive and thrive. Her disconnection from the world of mortals makes her a somewhat alien deity and results in clashes with the more down-to-earth Bruari, and while she would never admit it, she continues to resent that Janva was named First Guardian over her.

    Bruari
    Demipower of the Beastlands
    She of Many Shapes, the Wild Warrior, the Third Guardian
    Alignment: Chaotic good
    Portfolio: Hedonism, change, animals, individuality
    Divine Realm: Beastlands/Brux/The Violet Wood
    Symbol: A violet
    Domains Animal, Chaos, Competition, Good, War
    Favored Weapon: Stingray whipStorm

    Youngest of the guardian trinity, Bruari is the only one of them commonly depicted as a zart - among many other guises, for she is the patron of zart druids, totemists, and rangers, and is known to love taking animal form. Boisterous and wild, Bruari's less reserved nature comes from her detachment from her origins, being a forerunner warrior born on Majas during the invasion but at the time of retreat. As her self-reliance was born of a need to defend herself against a world recovering from hostilities by her kind, she came to symbolize rough-and-tumble combat and unconventional strategy, and has difficulty with surrendering any of her individuality to serve in a common cause. Her charge as a guardian is to remind zarts that individuality does not mean total alienation from others, and that self-definition can be found by working with others and discovering one's differences. Of the trio, she is the least involved with watching for the forerunners, and the most involved with helping the zarts explore their own relationship to the world around them.

    Other Deities of the Zarts

    Bathym
    Duke of Baator
    The Black Duke, Knight of Fierna, Questant of the Heretical Rose
    Alignment: Lawful evil
    Portfolio: Punishing trespass, magical secrets, fear, dark desires
    Divine Realm: Baator/Phlegethos/Bathym's Black Bastion
    Symbol: A black mace
    Domains Darkness, Evil, Fear*, Inquisition, Law
    Favored Weapon: Heavy mace

    One could almost pity Bathym for the mission with which he has been charged, for he has been forced to start from nothing, with little to no assistance, chasing a people who multiply to new worlds faster than he can hunt, for a mistress who manipulates him and has already forgotten about the goal she set him. One could, if one did not remember that Bathym is a Duke of Hell, a great and terrible fiend who has served the cause of evil for countless millennia. The Black Duke, as he is called, is an armored figure bearing a heavy black mace, riding a nightmare. At one time a vassal of Belial, he despised his lord's cowardice during the Reckoning of Hell and swore his allegiance to Fierna. This was not done wholly out of loyalty or conviction - Bathym has lusted after the new Lord of the Fourth for time beyond imagining, and also covets the power service to her cause might provide. He was a natural choice for Fierna to charge with exacting revenge on the zarts for Krega's theft of the Heretic's Bloom, the magical rose she had cultivated in her cruel gardens for the sake of helping her corrupt mortals to begin establishing her cult on the Prime Material Plane.

    Bathym is not privy to his mistress's plans, of course, and so does not know that she has already moved on to new plans. While he has many dire schemes of his own, he still prosecutes the hunt to find zarts wherever they may be and make them suffer for the slight against his mistress. He does this despite having never had worshippers on the Prime or even followers there to act as his agents - and the process of establishing even a minor foothold has been torturously slow, forcing him to deal with petty arcanists, grasping princelings, would-be warlocks, and prideful conjurers who believe themselves capable of summoning and commanding a Duke of Hell. His painstaking work has taken a positive turn with the assignment of a few of his hamatula minions to serve as cult leaders, fiends of blasphemy who are beginning to find cruel and ambitious minions desirous of the power on offer. Bathym cannot accept clerics except via these fiends of blasphemy.

    As evil turns against evil, so too does Bathym find his plans complicated by his onetime friend Balan, a Duke of Hell whose loyalties remain with Belial. Crude, hedonistic, and violent, Balan gleefully toils to undermine Bathym at every turn. While he doesn't yet know the full extent of Bathym's operations on the Prime nor the reasons behind them, Balan would deeply enjoy having a trump card to throw at his former ally. Fortunately for the Black Duke, Balan has no Material Plane cult or following of note, though the dark scrolls which carry his name and the invocations to call forth his power exist and have passed through the hands of those who might yet use them.

    Curiosity Domain
    Granted Power If you merely pass within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door, you are entitled to a Search check to notice it as if you were actively looking for it. You gain Investigator as a bonus feat. Gather Information and Search are considered class skills for you.
    1st - instant searchSC
    2nd - knock
    3rd - enduring scrutinyCM
    4th - scrying
    5th - find the path
    6th - legend lore
    7th - greater scrying
    8th - visions of the futurePHBII
    9th - hindsightSC

    Fear Domain
    Granted Power You get a +2 bonus to saving throws against fear effects. The save DC of your fear effects is increased by 1.
    1st - cause fear
    2nd - scare
    3rd - blade of pain and fearSC
    4th - fear
    5th - phantasmal killer
    6th - aura of terrorSC
    7th - opalescent glareSC
    8th - final rebukeSC
    9th - weird

    Music Domain
    Granted Power You gain the countersong ability of the bard class. Add Perform to your list of class skills.
    1st - joyful noiseSC
    2nd - harmonic chorusSC
    3rd - dissonant chordSC
    4th - haunting tuneSC
    5th - drums of warHoB
    6th - fugueSC
    7th - body harmonicSC
    8th - song of discord
    9th - irresistible dance
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-02-15 at 08:06 PM.

  20. - Top - End - #80
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Eurus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Tweens are neat! I'd never heard of them before, but I'm sure I'm going to find an excuse to use them in a game at some point. For a luck manipulating creature, they sure are unfortunate.
    Avatar by araveugnitsuga.

  21. - Top - End - #81
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Gathan
    Gathan 1st-level Warrior
    Small Giant (Air)
    HD 1d8+3 (7 hp)
    Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
    Init: -1
    AC 12; touch 10; flat-footed 13 (+2 armor, +1 size, -1 Dex)
    BAB +1; Grp -2
    Attack Large bronze longsword -1 melee (2d6, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack Large bronze longsword -1 melee (2d6, 19-20/x2)
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks Rolling strike
    Special Qualities Burst of speed, curse of Gath, fulcrum grip, low-light vision, nimble stand, pigheaded, windproof
    Saves Fort +5 Ref -1 Will -2 (+2 vs. fear)
    Abilities Str 13, Dex 8, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 7, Cha 9
    Skills Climb +3*, Intimidate +3, Jump +5*, Tumble +5*
    Feats AcrobaticB, Weapon Focus (longsword)
    Environment Any
    Organization Solitary
    Challenge Rating 1/2
    Treasure Standard
    Alignment Usually neutral evil
    Advancement by class; Favored Class Fighter
    Level Adjustment +0

    Descendants of prideful giants transformed by a curse, gathans are misproportioned figures driven by stubbornness, mania, and an unyielding ambition to take back the power they believe they have been denied. Standing roughly three and a half feet tall, gathans are much broader than humanoids of similar height such as gnomes, with thick gangly arms, wide shoulders, flattened-looking heads, and short stumpy legs. Their rambling gait somewhat resembles the movement of gorillas, as gathans make use of their arms to clamber and tumble over the land, usually dragging vastly oversized weapons made of bronze. Gathans tend to have coarse gray or black hair and pale teal skin, sometimes with a silvery glint. Their eyes look like clouded black marbles with blue, teal, or grey rheumy patinas that appear to occlude their vision but cause no sight issues. Their noses may look squashed or "mashed" and their jaws often look overbroad for their faces. While his curse is abated, a gathan resembles a wind giant - properly proportioned, with clear eyes like sky-blue marbles, thick curly or wavy hair, and very pale, silvery skin with a hint of teal.

    Trapped in bodies they know are not their own by a malicious and vengeful curse, gathans have by and large eschewed any attempt to learn anything from the experience - they have little empathy for others and are often just as cruel as the god who cursed them. Possessed of a self-importance well beyond their stature either literal or figurative, gathans attempt to involve themselves in matters solely to feel important, and will try to push for their own goals or subtly leverage their way into taking charge where possible. Deceptively sturdy and strong, their attempts to muscle into situations succeed more often than is warranted, and a gathan can sometimes be found pushing around goblins, kobolds, or even orcs, gnolls, and ogres. Some gathans seek to find ways to lift their curse, while others are just out to vent their spite at their situation against anyone opportune, and still more just want to feel powerful or important in some way.

    Gathan society is relatively loose, with few traditions to pass down besides their skills at bronzework and the oral history of the racial curse that shaped them. Gathans prefer to make their homes in caverns or forests or rocky ravines - anywhere that rewards their natural acrobatic skill while offering a defense against those less capable of jumping, tumbling, and clambering. While they are poor combatants due chiefly to their obsession with overlarge weapons, those very same armaments make gathans horribly lethal on the few occasions where they strike true. Their rolling strikes are able to catch foes off guard and deliver punishing blows that belie their small stature. Gathans generally favor combat classes such as fighter, barbarian, and warblade - they may believe themselves to be subtle and cunning, but deep down the resentment, spite, and self-importance that fuel them curdle into a venomous mixture that just wants to be let out as physical force. Those gathans capable of mastering these impulses make for dangerous adversaries indeed.

    Burst of Speed (Ex) Once per encounter as a swift action, a gathan can increase his base land speed by 20 ft. for 1 round. This increase stacks with enhancement bonuses to speed. A gathan may use this ability a maximum number of times per day equal to his Constitution modifier (minimum 1).

    Curse of Gath Gathans are all afflicted by Memnor's curse, which stripped them of their stature and powers. This powerful curse cannot be removed by conventional means, but it can be abated temporarily. While under the effects of this curse, a gathan suffers a -2 penalty on saving throws against spells and effects which would change his form in some way (including but not limited to polymorphing and petrification) and cannot grow beyond Small size via enlarge effects, righteous might, or other methods.

    Abated Curse (Su) A gathan's curse can be temporarily abated using remove curse, break enchantment, a targeted dispel evil, or similar effects. The caster must declare that this casting is for the sole purpose of abating the gathan's curse (meaning it cannot remove any other effects) and succeed on a caster level check against DC 20. If successful, the caster immediately suffers 1d4 points of Wisdom damage as a backlash from Memnor, while the gathan undergoes a radical transformation that lasts for 1 round per level of the caster of the curse-abating effect. While the curse is abated, the gathan gains the following benefits:

    • +8 Strength, +2 Dexterity.
    • +2 natural armor.
    • Size increases to Large. All equipment changes to accommodate the gathan's temporary size increase. Note that an oversized weapon will also transform to accommodate the gathan's current size, and thus will no longer be oversized for the duration of this effect.
    • The gathan's space and reach become 10 ft./10 ft.
    • The gathan temporarily loses the following racial abilities: burst of speed, fulcrum grip, nimble stand, pigheaded, rolling strike.
    • The gathan temporarily gains the rock throwing and rock catching extraordinary abilities, as a frost giant (120 ft. range increment, 2d6 base damage).
    • The gathan temporarily gains the following spell-like abilities: 3/day - gust of wind; 1/day - wind wall. Caster level is equal to the gathan's character level, save DCs are Charisma-based. A gathan's uses of these abilities are per-day and they do not reset if the gathan's curse is abated more than once in the same day, they draw from the total pool of daily uses.

    To date, no "ongoing" method of abating the curse has been found; even items that would normally suppress a curse while worn do not interact with the curse of Gath. Only a casting of a curse-abating spell or similar effect can abate the curse, and only for a number of rounds equal to the caster level of that effect. This duration cannot be modified by effects which adjust the duration of the curse-abating spell or effect such as Extend Spell (such spells are, after all, instantaneous). If the gathan is in an area where supernatural abilities do not function (such as an antimagic field, the curse cannot abate - any benefits of the curse already having been abated vanish immediately and the curse reasserts itself.

    Fulcrum Grip (Ex) When wielding an oversized weapon, a gathan can ignore one designation step. For example, if wielding a Medium one-handed weapon, the gathan can use it as a one-handed weapon even though it is intended for a larger creature. If that same gathan were to attempt to wield a Large one-handed weapon, it would be treated as a two-handed weapon (an increase of designation by one step rather than two).

    Nimble Stand (Ex) A gathan can stand from prone without provoking an attack of opportunity.

    Pigheaded (Ex) When making a Will save against a fear effect, a gathan uses his Wisdom modifier or +2, whichever is greater.

    Rolling Strike (Ex) Using his low center of gravity and natural acrobatic skill, a gathan can execute a rolling strike, a tumbling attack that brings a larger weapon to bear with centripetal force. To execute a rolling strike, the gathan charges at half speed while tumbling. The gathan makes a Tumble check opposed by the target's Sense Motive check. If successful, the opponent is flat-footed against the gathan's charge attack. If the gathan is wielding a weapon of a greater size category, he adds his Strength modifier to the damage dealt by this attack (on top of any normal damage it would deal). If the gathan fails in this attempt, he can still make his attack at the end of the charge but loses any benefits and bonuses granted by charging. When making such an attempt against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2), the gathan gets a +4 circumstance bonus to the Tumble check. Against a nonintelligent creature, the Tumble check automatically succeeds.

    A gathan can also use this ability to trick an enemy into attempting to avoid a strike that never comes. The gathan makes a Tumble check opposed by the target's Sense Motive check as part of a move action after moving at least 10 ft. toward the enemy. If successful, the target is denied its Dexterity bonus to AC until the start of its next turn. When attempting this deception against a creature of animal Intelligence (1 or 2), the gathan takes a -8 penalty. Against a nonintelligent creature, the Tumble check automatically fails.

    A gathan suffers a -2 penalty to rolling strike attempts (whether attack or deception) against a target for each failed opposed check against that target in the encounter.

    Windproof (Ex) For any wind-related effects dependent on size, such as gust of wind, the gathan is treated as being one size category larger.

    Gathan Characters

    • +2 Str, -2 Dex, +6 Con, -4 Wis, -2 Cha. Gathans retain some of the strength and endurance of their giant heritage but have misshapen stumpy bodies and suffer from madness and rage.
    • Small size.
    • A gathan's base speed is 20 ft.
    • A gathan gains Acrobatic as a bonus feat.
    • Gathans are giants with the Air subtype.
    • Low-light vision
    • Gathans are proficient with simple and martial weapons and with leather and hide armor.
    • Gathans have a +2 racial bonus to Climb, Jump, and Tumble checks.
    • Gathans have a +4 racial bonus to Appraise and Craft checks involving bronze.
    • Gathans grow violently ill on eating fish or marine crustaceans or shellfish (treat as though having ingested arsenic, DC 15 if crustacean or shellfish). Regardless of whether the gathan succeeds on this save, a gathan suffers a -2 penalty to Strength and Dexterity for 24 hours on ingesting fish or marine crustaceans or shellfish.
    • Burst of Speed: as above
    • Curse of Gath: as above
    • Fulcrum Grip: as above
    • Nimble Stand: as above
    • Pigheaded: as above
    • Rolling Strike: as above
    • Windproof: as above
    • Automatic Languages: Common, Giant. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Auran, Desmodu, Gnoll, Goblin, Gol-Kaa, Mongrel, Orc, Undercommon.
    • Favored Class: Fighter
    • Level Adjustment: +0

    Deities of the Gathans

    As giants, gathans recognize members of the Ordning, the giant pantheon, and associated deities. Their patron, Gath, is a demipower both celebrated and reviled - celebrated for his aspirations, but reviled for bringing the curse down upon himself and all of his followers. Gathans shun most other giant deities, keenly aware that none came to the rescue when Memnor cursed the race. This perspective ignores that the curse of Gath was brought down by Gath himself, to say nothing of the continued malign and hubristic character of most gathans.

    Gath
    Demipower of Carceri
    The Bronze Blade, Prince of Clouds, the Great and Guileful, the Accursed
    Alignment: Neutral evil
    Portfolio: Planned violence, plotting, gathans, ambition, windstorms
    Divine Realm: Carceri/Colothys/Maze of Guile
    Symbol: A bronze sword embedded into a stone
    Domains Air, Evil, Planning, Trickery, War, Windstorm
    Favored Weapon: Longsword

    The product of a union between an ancient Olympian power and the giant god Memnor, the wind giants were an offshoot of the cloud giants, more crafty and subtle than the comparatively easygoing cloud giants, but smaller and yet somehow more prideful. Unlike their forebears, whose superiority complex often caused them to be disinterested in the affairs of "lesser" beings, wind giants were busybodies who felt that they should exercise a subtle but ever-present hand in guiding affairs to their liking. Among their number, none were more predisposed to this cocksure meddling nature than Gath, a favored follower of Memnor who felt that his god's stature next to the storm giant god Stronmaus was lacking, and that with well-placed pressure Stronmaus could be toppled and made to kneel before the giant god of pride. Gath petitioned Memnor for a fragment of his divinity, so that he and his followers might assist in the constant jockeying of brother against brother, providing pressure from an unexpected direction. Amused by the prospect and scheming to exploit such a willing distraction for his own plots, Memnor acceded, raising Gath to demipower status.

    Of course, when given a taste of true power, Gath hungered for more. Attempting to barter with Stronmaus to betray Memnor for still more power, Gath was rebuffed - but in a moment of cold and cruel ambition, Gath decided that to present a fait accompli would press his point better than asking for permission. Gath dispatched his followers to infiltrate Memnor's priesthood and attempt to steal precious relics from places of pride, hoping to collect the power of Memnor and steal it, ingratiating himself to Stronmaus while devouring strength from his own patron in the offing. Unfortunately for Gath, the senior giant god had anticipated this treachery, and the relics his faithful had targeted were components of a powerful curse. When united, they tainted Gath's power and corrupted his followers, exposing them to Memnor's retribution.

    Of the wind giants who escaped the curse, none now follow Gath the Accursed - they have turned their backs on the grasping and venal demipower, whose rage has only intensified as a result. Stung by being outplayed by the elder giant deity, Gath encourages his followers to work against any who would look down on them, to find ways to steal and control power, and to undermine the ambitions of Memnor, Stronmaus, and any other deity of giantkind who, in his view, has failed to give the gathans their due.

    Memnor
    Intermediate Power of Gehenna
    The Masked, the Wise Counselor, the Golden God, the Deceiver
    Alignment: Neutral evil
    Portfolio: Pride, honor, mental prowess, control
    Divine Realm: Gehenna/Chamada/Thraotor
    Symbol: A thin black obelisk
    Domains Charm, Death, Domination, Evil, Mind, Pride, Sky, Trickery
    Favored Weapon: Morningstar

    Everything Gath aspires to be, Memnor is - the proud, subtle, charming, and cruelly conniving patron of evil cloud giants, the Golden God presents himself as an intelligent, cultured, benevolent deity. His priesthood, in turn, attempt to promote this vision within the giant populace at large, for Memnor's true ambition is to supplant his elder brother Stronmaus as de facto leader of giantkind, claiming their father Annam's long-abandoned throne. Unlike his onetime underling, Memnor is deeply patient and on good terms, broadly speaking, with his siblings. His clerics, following his example, present themselves as wise counselors, advocates for the underprivileged and the downtrodden. Their goal, like that of their patron, is to climb the ranks of giant society, and in doing so exert more power and influence over the direction of giantkind across the many worlds where the Ordning are recognized.

    Some gathans have turned against Gath and follow Memnor as a form of contrition, or as an obsequious recognition of the "true" power shaping their lives. Memnor accepts some few gathans as priests for the sake of having another tool for his manipulations and ambitions, but by and large he has proven unforgiving and considers the wounded pigheadedness of those he has cursed to be deeply amusing. Their venomous rage toward the Ordning as a whole and willingness to swallow their pride to make use of goblins and other "lesser" beings makes them a useful catspaw in his eyes.

    Karontor
    Lesser Power of Carceri
    The Deformed One, Winterheart, Wolfsouled, the Twisted God, the Hungering Hate
    Alignment: Neutral evil
    Portfolio: Deformity, hatred, envy, beasts, fomorians, verbeeg
    Divine Realm: Carceri/Minethys/The Rack of Injustice
    Symbol: A winter wolf's head
    Domains Animal, Destruction, Envy, Evil, Hatred, War, Wrath
    Favored Weapon: Club

    One of the "runts" of the Ordning, Karontor is a warped, twisted, and deformed deity who bears hatred for nearly all of giantkind, as well as most things of beauty and goodness. Exiled by Annam All-Father for his envious deeds against his older brother Stronmaus and others, Karontor's dark nature bubbled to the fore, becoming imprinted on him for all to see. Filled with self-loathing, Karontor is motivated by hatred for all things and a desire to hurt, to destroy, to consume, and to defile. Unlike his brother Grolantor, Karontor possessed mighty magical talents before his exile, and he still remembers the nuances of magic to teach his followers, dark secrets to undermine and corrupt all. Karontor's faith appeals to gathans who resent their physical distortion under the curse of Gath, who despise "true" giants for their stature and might when they are so reduced, and many see the appeal of the toxic wrath and savage contempt for all things that Karontor represents, particularly gathan barbarians and lycanthropes. Through dark communion with the Twisted God, these lost souls aspire to transform themselves into something powerful and impossible to ignore - deadly foes to the peoples who shun and scorn the gathans.

    Vaprak
    Lesser Power of the Abyss
    The Destroyer, Eater of Kings
    Alignment: Chaotic evil
    Portfolio: Ogres, trolls, violence, destruction, greed
    Divine Realm: Abyss/524/Shatterstone
    Symbol: Taloned claw
    Domains Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Greed, Hunger, Strength, War
    Favored Weapon: Greatclub

    Though he possesses lesser epithets, Vaprak has only ever truly needed one - the Destroyer. Reckless, debauched, hedonistic, and irrepressibly violent, Vaprak's nature aligns with all of the worst qualities of ogres and trolls, and his attitude toward basically anything is universally one of basic selfish utilitarianism. Can it be eaten, can it be skinned, can it be used to kill things to eat or skin, and so forth. Vaprak has always existed on the fringes of giant religion, appealing to the rare few hill giants or frost giants who come looking for the strength and resilience offered to Vaprak's best servants. Gathans have found in Vaprak a kindred spirit, particularly those who have thrown off an obsession with having their pride validated by other races. For those who just want to hurt, maim, kill, and slake their hungers, Vaprak's faith is a blood-soaked ideal. The Destroyer has few expectations of his followers and gives them a wide latitude to do as they like so long as they prove themselves strong enough and fight aggressively to counter other faiths' encroachment on "his" territory.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-04-21 at 06:54 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #82
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Eurus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    I kinda love the Gathan. Small giants? Small creatures specialized in melee combat? Too dumb to be afraid? It's all great stuff. I'm not so sure about balance, but they're great. Tickles the part of me that likes playing goblin barbarians.
    Avatar by araveugnitsuga.

  23. - Top - End - #83
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    I kinda love the Gathan. Small giants? Small creatures specialized in melee combat? Too dumb to be afraid? It's all great stuff. I'm not so sure about balance, but they're great. Tickles the part of me that likes playing goblin barbarians.
    Glad you've been enjoying! I'm open to requests if there's anything you'd like to see - trying to flesh out the ranks of low-level creatures of interest, of course, but happy to try my hand at anything.

  24. - Top - End - #84
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    enderlord99's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Since you're taking requests... hmm...

    Stackable zombie variants (presumably as templates that can only be applied to zombies) that each correspond with a different non-zombie variety of undead and give powers reminiscent of that other undead. Ideally, I'd like many such variants, as in, "a couple dozen, at least" but any at all is still good.

    Ideally, the one connected to liches should be the strongest (unless, perhaps, you make an atropal-based one, in which case the lich one should be the second-strongest) as well as being one of a very small portion that grant an intelligence score.
    Last edited by enderlord99; 2022-02-20 at 06:21 PM.
    Spoiler: Vanity quotes
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Wow.
    That took a very sudden turn for the dark.

    I salute you.
    Quote Originally Posted by AuthorGirl View Post
    I wish it was possible to upvote here.

    I use braces (also known as "curly brackets") to indicate sarcasm.
    Explanation here.

    Most pronouns are fine for me. Just don't try to mix them.

  25. - Top - End - #85
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Eurus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    I'd enjoy some lower-level intelligent plant creatures... it seems like the poor plants are all either really big/high-level, or mindless.
    Avatar by araveugnitsuga.

  26. - Top - End - #86
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Geloid
    Small Ooze (Psionic)
    HD 2d10+4 (15 hp)
    Speed 5 ft. (1 square); climb 5 ft.; swim 5 ft.
    Init: +6
    AC 6; touch 6; flat-footed 11 (+1 size, -5 Dex)
    BAB +1; Grp -5
    Attack Slam -1 melee (1d4-2 + 1d4 acid)
    Full Attack Slam -1 melee (1d4-2 + 1d4 acid)
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks Acid, moan, mucilage
    Special Qualities Blindsight 30 ft., DR 5/bludgeoning, sessile state, vulnerabilities
    Saves Fort +2 Ref -5 Will -5
    Abilities Str 6, Dex 1, Con 14, Int 0, Wis 1, Cha 1
    Skills Hide +15*
    Feats Improved InitiativeB
    Environment Any
    Organization Solitary, clump (3-6), or cluster (10-20)
    Challenge Rating 1
    Treasure Half standard
    Alignment Always true neutral
    Advancement 3-4 HD (Small); 5-8 HD (Medium)

    The properties of oozes, slimes, and jellies are of great interest to mages, alchemists, and scholars; certainly the first two of these groups, at least, have more often than not borne responsibility for the very existence of predatory oozes, to say nothing of the myriad mutations and permutations that gave rise to such horrors as the mustard jelly and stunjelly. The phenomena that give these creatures life and the modicum of awareness that they possess are not completely understood, but one thing that is certain is that far too many sapient creatures have become the unfortunate prey of a translucent fluidlike thing, their final moments an agony of drowning and melting away in the acidic goo.

    When a creature possessed of strong sense of self dies in this way, the psychic imprint of their final moments may remain "stuck" in the ooze that devoured them (roughly 3% of the time on average), like a piece of bone caught in the throat after a meal. While some such irritants may break down naturally, others cannot be tolerated - the primitive animus directing the ooze has only one solution, and that is to split away the slime so contaminated, leaving behind a chunk of itself as it goes off in search of a more palatable dinner. When this happens, the sessile lump of jelly remaining behind transforms into a geloid - an ooze animated by a tiny psionic flicker of the creature that died within the progenitor's clutches, stabilized within its environment. Though they possess no inherent psionic capabilities (most of the time), geloids are still capable of eliciting horror in onlookers - small wonder, as a geloid resembles the creature that died from the waist up, everything below dissolved into a puddle of ooze. This resemblance is corroded and skeletal, more akin to a partially fleshless zombie, and no true skin or bone or flesh remains. The geloid thus appears like a grasping, moaning, translucent corpselike version of the original victim, gurgling the sound of its agonizing death as its pseudopod "arms" attempt to reach out for a salvation that never came in time.

    Geloids are largely sessile, remaining in a puddlelike state and only rising up with head, torso, and arms when prey approaches. The geloid is not driven by hunger; instead, the only "thought" in its mind is a need to touch another living thing. When no living creature is within range of the geloid's blindsight, it sinks back down into its puddle state, lacking any interest in or even awareness of the concept of giving chase. Geloids possess no lower limbs and cannot be tripped or knocked prone.

    Speak with dead can sometimes reach the victim via the geloid, which functionally contains the "corpse" of the deceased, but to do so requires a caster level check vs. DC 20 unless the caster has access to the Slime domain. Even then, the duration of the spell is halved, and there is a 25% chance that the geloid is incapable of responding to a question posed.

    Acid (Ex) A geloid's acid does not normally damage metal or stone. A geloid split from an ooze whose acid does damage such materials will produce acid of the same kind.

    Moan (Ex) A geloid's limited psionic awareness contains the death gasp of the creature it mimicks, and it can emit a sucking, bubbling, gurgling version of this horrid sound as a swift action when it attacks. Creatures within 10 ft. of the geloid when it moans become shaken for 1d4 rounds (Will DC 13 negates). A creature that successfully saves against a geloid's moan is immune to the moan of any geloid of the same or lower HD for 24 hours. The save DC is Constitution-based. This is a sonic mind-affecting effect.

    Mucilage (Ex) A geloid's mucilaginous slime forms a transparent but sticky coating on each adjacent square that renders those squares difficult terrain. Movement through a square containing mucilage imposes a -4 circumstance penalty to Tumble checks. The mucilage dries up in 1 round, but is automatically renewed at the start of the geloid's turn. Large numbers of geloids can spread a thick layer of mucilage across a wide area.

    Sessile State (Ex) When not attacking, a geloid takes the form of a simple puddle, appearing to be a shallow pool of viscous fluid the same color as the ooze that spawned it. In this state, the geloid gets a +16 racial bonus to Hide checks. A geloid uses its Constitution modifier in place of its Dexterity modifier for initiative checks. Geloids can detect prey up to 30 ft. away with their blindsight but rarely choose to emerge from their sessile state until prey is within striking distance.

    Vulnerabilities (Ex) While many variant geloids exist that possess the immunities and vulnerabilities of the ooze that spawned them, all geloids possess a few common vulnerabilities. Sunlight (or the equivalent, such as a daylight spell) causes a geloid to become inert and helpless. A flask or vial of alcohol deals 1d6+1 damage to a geloid. The psionic power dissipating touch deals double damage to a geloid. A dissipater weapon works on a geloid as though it were made of ectoplasm, and can deal critical hits to a geloid. A targeted dispel psionics (but not dispel magic) instantly destroys a geloid if it succeeds on a caster level check against DC 10 + the geloid's HD.

    Spoiler: Geloid Variants
    Show
    Many varieties of geloid exist, often determined by the nature of the ooze that spawned them. A few ideas are presented below:

    Blood Geloid
    These disturbing ruby-red geloids deal 1 point of Constitution damage to creatures with blood instead of dealing acid damage. They can be turned as an undead of their HD with +4 turn resistance, but are not actual undead. Blood geloids have +2 Strength and +2 Constitution. A blood geloid gains Ability Focus (moan) as a bonus feat. Blood geloids have CR +1 above their normal CR.

    Cubewake Geloid
    Spawned from gelatinous cubes, cubewake geloids are immune to electricity. Their slam attack can cause paralysis for 1d6 rounds (Fort DC 13 negates). The save DC is Constitution-based. Cubewake geloids gain Toughness as a bonus feat and have CR +1 above their normal CR.

    Fire Geloid
    These translucent reddish geloids can be ignited by at least 5 points of fire damage, dealing 1d6 fire damage per round to anything standing in their mucilage or attacking them with a melee weapon. Such a fire does not harm the geloid, and burns for 1 minute before being extinguished. Fire geloids have the Fire subtype and are immune to fire damage and vulnerable to cold damage; their attacks do fire damage instead of acid damage, and cannot be used to ignite themselves or one another.

    Gray Geloid
    Born from gray oozes, gray geloids are a terrible threat to metal. When a gray geloid makes a successful attack against a creature, armor or clothing that creature is wearing dissolves and becomes useless immediately unless it succeeds on a DC 13 Reflex save. A metal or wooden weapon that strikes a gray geloid also dissolves immediately unless it succeeds on a DC 13 Reflex save. The save DCs are Constitution-based. Gray geloids have CR +1 above their normal CR.

    Ice Geloid
    Rather than sticky terrain, an ice geloid's mucilage freezes around it, creating a slippery film that constitutes difficult terrain. Creatures entering an ice geloid's mucilage must make a DC 15 Balance check to remain standing; should they fail, they fall prone (this replaces the normal Tumble penalty of a geloid's mucilage). An ice geloid deals cold damage in place of acid damage, has the Cold subtype, and is immune to cold damage and vulnerable to fire damage.

    Quick Geloid
    These dangerous aquamarine geloids are super-fast, with their base speed for all movement modes increased to 20 ft. and a +16 racial bonus to Move Silently checks. They deal electric damage in place of acid damage and can make two attacks on a full attack action instead of one (with the same attack modifier). Quick geloids have CR +1 above their normal CR.

    Tiny Geloid
    Ordinary geloids are Small creatures created from half of a Medium humanoid. Should a Small humanoid's death produce a geloid, the result is a Tiny geloid with 1 fewer HD than normal. Tiny geloids have -2 Strength compared to ordinary geloids and their slam attack deals 1d3-2 damage and 1d3 acid damage. They need to occupy the space of the creature they are attacking to be able to successfully attack.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-02-27 at 09:52 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Valravn (Raven Form)
    Tiny Fey (Extraplanar)
    HD 4d6+4 (18 hp)
    Speed 10 ft. (2 squares); fly 40 ft. (good)
    Init: +4
    AC 19; touch 16; flat-footed 15 (+4 Dex, +3 natural, +2 size)
    BAB +2; Grp -9
    Attack Claws +7 melee (1d2-3 and heart rip)
    Full Attack Claws +7 melee (1d2-3 and heart rip)
    Space 2.5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
    Special Attacks Heart rip, spell-like abilities
    Special Qualities Changeling, DR 5/magic, low-light vision, resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10, SR 16
    Saves Fort +2 Ref +8 Will +6
    Abilities Str 5, Dex 19, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 15
    Skills Disguise +7 (+15 when pretending to be a raven), Hide +18, Intimidate +7, Knowledge (nature) +9, Knowledge (religion) +9, Knowledge (the planes) +9, Listen +8, Sense Motive +8, Spot +8
    Feats Flyby Attack, Weapon FinesseB, Weapon Focus (claws)
    Environment Any Outer Plane
    Organization Solitary
    Challenge Rating 4
    Treasure None
    Alignment Usually true neutral
    Advancement 4-6 HD (Small); 7-12 HD (Medium)

    Emissaries of distant gods sent to influence events and guide champions to great deeds, valravns are dark fey of the Outer Planes whose tasks begin with a violent deed to allow them to become part of the societies they must operate within to advance their patron's goals.

    A valravn looks identical to a common raven at first glance, almost always bearing rich black plumage. A careful observer will note (Spot DC 20) that the air seems to cloud, ripple, or distort ever so slightly around the bird, the product of its entropic shield protecting it so that it might fulfill its destiny. Unlike a true raven, a valravn's eyes are always starkly white and pearlescent. A valravn's head will often be bowed as though in mourning. They are generally found around the realms of the gods they serve when on their native plane, while when dispatched to the Prime Material they are typically found circling over lonely roads, battlefields, or the outskirts of small villages.

    Valravns employ their spell-like abilities to seek out vulnerable or dying children, hoping to steal their hearts and take over their places in their communities. Via their deathwatch ability, valravns can sight out likely prey, though they have no qualms about using critical strike and their ability to rip out a heart to pick off a proper target who was otherwise perfectly healthy. Using hypnotism and silent image, valravns can isolate a target and go in for the kill.

    Valravns are mostly (90%) female, though a valravn may target a host of a different gender. Valravns understand Common, Sylvan, and one planar language (generally Celestial, Infernal, or Abyssal) but cannot speak. Unlike true ravens, valravns are silent. The diet of a valravn is blood, though it can subsist for a time on the sap of trees.

    Changeling A valravn that rips out the heart of a human or demihuman child can eat it to undergo a transformation, taking on an appearance similar to that of the child whose heart was eaten. While so transformed, a valravn loses a great deal of its personality and memories from its time in its true form and is considered native to that child's home plane. See the valravn (humanoid form) entry below for details.

    Love For The Lost (Su) The blood relations of the valravn's victim are bewitched by a powerful supernatural charm to treat the valravn as the child that was slain. A Will save (DC 18) allows them to see through the enchantment and perceive that the valravn is a fey changeling and not their lost child, though grieving families are likely to suffer a -2 morale penalty on this saving throw as their wish to have their dead child returned to them overrides their common sense. The save DC is Charisma-based and includes a +4 racial bonus. The save is made once at the time the valravn presents herself to "her" family, and may be remade after any particularly traumatic or out-of-character incident involving the valravn. This is an enchantment (charm), mind-affecting effect.

    Heart Rip (Ex) A valravn that scores a hit against a humanoid foe and deals damage can attempt to rip out that creature's heart, killing it instantly (provided said foe has a heart and requires it to live). A Fortitude save (DC 8) negates this effect. The victim adds their armor bonus and natural armor bonus to their Fortitude saving throw. A creature with an armor bonus greater than +1 does not automatically fail on this save on a roll of 1. The save DC is Strength-based and increases by 1 for each successful attack made by the valravn against the victim within the past 24 hours.

    Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) At will - hypnotism (DC 13), silent image (DC 13); 3/day - critical strikeSC, daze monster (DC 14); 1/day - blink, hold person (DC 14); Constant - deathwatch, entropic shield. Caster level 5th, save DCs Charisma-based.

    Valravn (Humanoid Form)
    Valravn 1st-level Warrior
    Medium Fey
    HD 1d8+2 (5 hp)
    Speed 20 ft. (4 squares) (30 ft. unarmored)
    Init: +3
    AC 17; touch 11; flat-footed 17 (+6 armor, +1 Dex)
    BAB +1; Grp +3
    Attack Longsword +3 melee (1d8+3, 19-20/x2)
    Full Attack Longsword +3 melee (1d8+3, 19-20/x2)
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks -
    Special Qualities Flash of insight, guidance, low-light vision, raven's armor, ravensight, stand ready, without dreams, without hope
    Saves Fort +1 Ref +1 Will -1
    Abilities Str 15, Dex 12, Con 9, Int 11, Wis 8, Cha 8
    Skills Intimidate +3, Knowledge (local) +4*, Knowledge (religion) +4*
    Feats Insightful ReflexesB, CAdv, Soul of the NorthB, CAdv, Toughness
    Environment Any plains, forest, or mountain
    Organization Solitary
    Challenge Rating 1/2
    Treasure Standard
    Alignment Often true neutral
    Advancement by class Favored Class Warblade
    Level Adjustment +0

    Valravns take on humanoid form in order to serve as guides, protectors, and aides-de-camp for those their patron deities have chosen to be champions of a particular cause or quest. Given shape by an act of violence and raised in a stolen life, valravns have an intimate acquaintance with sorrow, pain, and tragedy that shapes their dedication to their charge. A valravn taking on humanoid form appears superficially similar to the child whose heart it devoured, but with a few telltale differences. Valravn hair matches the color of their plumage in their natural form (normally jet-black) and is always worn long - valravns are highly averse to having their hair trimmed or cut. They appear noticeably more pale than the original child and may appear sickly or ill. They are more slight of build, which tends to become increasingly noticeable as they age. Their irises are ashen gray or black and their eyes bear what is often described as a flat affect or a "dead" look.

    The process of becoming a changeling child is severely disruptive to a valravn's memory and sense of self. A valravn who has taken humanoid form remembers a few scant facts - she knows she is not a true member of her host race, she knows she has replaced the actual child of her host family, she usually knows which deity she serves, and she knows that her purpose is to assist one or more others in accomplishing a particular quest or great cause. The details beyond that become hazy - at best, a valravn is steered by flashes of insight, a limited ability to see into the future of another, and the capacity to give supernatural guidance. Over time, she may discover more facts surrounding her duty. She assimilates few memories from the child whose life she took - she instinctively knows her way "home" and can recognize "her" family, speak their language, but beyond these surface-level facts, details are scant.

    Meanwhile, becoming a changeling brings other challenges for the valravn herself. Most valravns were female in their true form, but when a valravn becomes a changeling, it takes on the physical appearance and some vestigial memories from the child whose heart was devoured, which can lead to dissociative feelings when a valravn takes on sex and gender characteristics which conflict with its own true identity. Conversely, some valravns may come to identify with the sex and gender they have taken on. A valravn objectively knows that "her" family is not truly related to her in any sense, but emotionally she still feels connected to them as though they were, which can be challenging if one or more members are able to see past the changeling enchantment and know that she's an imposter. Similarly, most families that take in a valravn are likely to call her by the deceased child's name, which can be a significant source of discomfort and distress for the valravn, who knows that it is not truly her name and can suffer alienation, feeling like she is being forced to play a role or fill in for a dead person who is little like the person she is - effectively becoming a "living ghost." Wrestling with identity and feeling truly connected to the world around them are major challenges for a valravn, to the point that they have great difficulty even looking at themselves in a mirror - some because they fear to see the humanoid looking back at them instead of the true form they only vaguely remember, others because they fear they will only see a face that is not truly their own, and still others who fear they will see a fey creature looking back at them instead of the body they have become familiar with. Complicating the experience further is that valravns do not possess the full capabilities of a member of the host race, which can become particularly evident when others are using natural climbing skills, or seeing in the dark via darkvision, or develop interests in crafts or professions to which the valravn feels no attachment. Some scholars believe this alienation is an intentional part of the gods' design for a valravn - that to become too connected to those around her would risk her abandoning her duty.

    Outside of their issues with identity, valravns are generally quiet but often deeply passionate individuals whose fascination and curiosity with elements of the world around them can distract them from sights and sounds that should catch their notice. They are fond of exploring aesthetics, art, music, and architecture, and can often be found simply placidly enjoying a quiet meadow, babbling brook, or lone minstrel's tune. Valravns show a severe bias toward obsessing over details to the point of missing the bigger picture and they can often struggle to take in new information and properly factor it in to the situation as they currently understand it. They rarely smile, and while valravns experience emotions which are cognate to joy and contentment, they cannot feel true hope - they are constantly pressured by a sense that there remains something unresolved which must be addressed. These factors can lead valravns to be curt, uncommunicative, and sometimes frustrating to be around, but while they are often slow to show emotion until their facades crack, valravns feel just as deeply as (if not moreso than) their host race counterparts, and they are fiercely protective of their friendships, their host family, and other interpersonal bonds, even if they often struggle to figure out how to meaningfully maintain them. Valravns rarely enter into relationships, but the child of a valravn and a humanoid will be a half-fey with raven wings. Valravns have no inherent affinity to actual ravens (who they quite correctly feel are a different species) nor to most other fey.

    Valravns are very rare and almost never encounter one another. Their effectiveness as agents of divine influence is specifically tied to their subtlety in comparison to dispatching a powerful outsider or a high-level cleric to accomplish a task, being less predictable and offering more long-term support for those the gods want to champion. Even if a valravn fails, they represent a negligible investment of resources from the standpoint of the gods. Those few valravns who go rogue are often hunted down by the churches of the gods they spurned, fearful that their insights into the designs of the divine might give them leverage to more thoroughly undermine their former patrons.

    Valravns grow to maturity twice as fast as a member of their host race from the age at which she became a changeling (e.g. a valravn who eats the heart of a 9-year old human child will reach adulthood (15) in 3 years rather than 6). A valravn ceases to age once she reaches twice the age of adulthood for her host race, and will not die of old age; however, most valravns are called home to their patron after around 100 years or so, possibly earlier if their charge is completed. This requires the valravn to voluntarily surrender her humanoid form, so rogue valravns can easily refuse the call. Valravns eat, drink, and sleep (if applicable) in the manner of their host race, though they need to ingest meat or blood at least weekly and cannot survive on a purely vegetarian diet. In general, a valravn requires only half of the food and water of a member of the host race. Changeling valravns know and speak the language(s) of the child whose heart they devoured, and by adulthood a valravn's languages are those of any other member of the host race.

    The sample valravn above has humans as her host race.

    Flash of Insight (Su) Once per day as an immediate action, a valravn can gain a flash of insight, adding a +2 insight bonus to a single attack roll, damage roll, skill check, saving throw, character level check (such as caster level check, manifester level check, initiator level check, etc.) or ability check.

    Guidance (Sp) A valravn can use guidance once per day per target, as a caster of her character level. This ability cannot be used on herself or another valravn, and if used while another creature is still under its effects, the prior casting ends immediately - only one creature can benefit from a valravn's guidance at a time.

    Raven's Armor (Su) The most spectacular manifestation of a valravn's power is her armor - a valravn can unfurl giant phantasmal raven wings from her back and wrap them around herself as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity, causing the plumes of her wings to transform into a black suit of masterwork banded mail. This armor cannot be removed from the valravn. If this armor ever becomes damaged, the valravn must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + damage dealt after subtracting hardness) or become sickened for 1 hour. If this armor is destroyed, the valravn is immediately sickened for 24 hours (no save) and must make a Fortitude save (DC 25) or become nauseated for 1 hour. A damaged or destroyed suit of armor recovers fully in 24 hours. The valravn can dismiss her armor as a standard action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

    Raven's armor is masterwork and can be magically enhanced and hold an augment crystalMIC, which appears and vanishes along with her armor unless removed. Other physical modifications such as armor spikes cannot be added to the valravn's armor, though the basic details of her armor's appearance are at the valravn's discretion (up to and including color scheme, though most valravns stick with a black suit of armor with a raven and feather motif). When determining the gold piece cost in raw materials to enhance raven's armor, a valravn reduces the base price by 25%. When a valravn reaches 6 Hit Dice, her raven's armor takes on the qualities of mithral armor (-10% arcane spell failure chance, +2 max Dex bonus, reduce armor check penalties by 3, and so on).

    If a valravn is already wearing armor when activating this ability, that armor is supplanted by this armor while active. Any special properties of that armor are ignored.

    Ravensight (Su) As a full-round action, a valravn may touch another creature to receive a vague premonition about their immediate future. This functions as an omen of perilSC, except that it provides the valravn with insights into the touched creature's future within the next two hours - a clear sky for safety, a perched raven for peril, and a circle of ravens in a clouded sky for great danger. For each time in the same day that the valravn uses this ability beyond the first, she suffers 1 point of Wisdom damage which cannot be prevented. Uses of this ability reset at midnight.

    Stand Ready (Ex) A valravn's faint insight into the immediate future provides her with a +2 insight bonus to initiative checks.

    Without Dreams (Ex) Valravns sleep but do not dream, and can thus not be targeted by dream, nightmare, and similar effects that rely on mental contact with a sleeper. Valravns are immune to magical and supernatural sleep effects, though extraordinary methods (such as poisons) can still knock them unconscious. Valravns cannot enter the Region of Dreams through slumber and can never take ranks in Lucid Dreaming. If a valravn physically enters the Region of Dreams (such as via the dream travel spell), she automatically provokes hostile reactions from all denizens of that plane, and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks while within the Region of Dreams.

    Without Hope (Ex) Valravns are not inherently despairing or sorrowful, but their liminal awareness of their existence for a cause and their duty to secure it makes it difficult for them to experience optimism in a meaningful way. Valravns cannot benefit from morale bonuses (morale penalties can still apply to a valravn).

    Valravn Characters

    The below characteristics describe a valravn that has taken humanoid form via its changeling ability, not its natural form. A valravn's form imitates a human or demihuman. Some of the racial characteristics of the valravn draw from the humanoid being imitated, which is referred to below as the host race.

    Spoiler: What races are suitable?
    Show
    Discuss with your DM to have the final say, but in general valravns are associated with sylvan or mountain areas. Successful valravns are integrated into a society (at least, as well as they can be) and not at particular risk of neglect leading to harm or death prior to maturity. In general, creatures with the Aquatic, Goblinoid, or Reptilian subtypes are unsuitable host races for a valravn. In general, a race with a gliding ability (such as hadozee, phanatons, or raptorans), a natural swim speed (such as darfellans), a natural climb speed (such as grippli), or a natural burrow speed would be unsuitable as a host race as the valravn does not possess the capacity to move in like fashion and would struggle to integrate successfully or thrive. The following are examples of successful host races: human, dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, halfling, half-orc, kalashtar, and shifter.


    • +2 Str, -2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Wis. Valravns are surprisingly strong despite their frail frames, but their natural insights come at the cost of paying attention to the world around them.
    • A valravn's size is the same as that of the host race.
    • A valravn's base land speed is the same as the host race's, to a maximum of 30 feet. The valravn does not gain any other base movement speeds from the host race. The valravn inherits any special characteristics of the host race's base land movement speed (such as a dwarf's ability to move at 20 ft. in medium or heavy armor).
    • Valravns are fey.
    • Low-light vision.
    • A valravn gains Insightful ReflexesCAdv as a bonus feat. A valravn who acquires the battle clarityToB or intellectual agilityCAdv class feature may elect to exchange this feat with any feat for which she meets the prerequisites.
    • A valravn gains one of Blade Bound*, CommunicatorCArc, Haunted Shadow*, Ineffable Sight*, InsightfulCArc, Lighter of Darkness*, Necropolis BornCArc, Night HauntCArc, One With The Land*, Soul of the NorthCArc, Spell HandCArc, Stormchild*, Sunlit Spirit*, Touch of CaptivationPGE, Touch of DeceptionPGE, Tutelary*, or Vexatious* as a bonus feat. A good-aligned valravn may instead choose Binding BrandPGE, while an evil-aligned valravn may instead choose Touch of SummoningPGE. A chaotic-aligned valravn may instead choose Bewitching Voice*, while a lawful-aligned valravn may instead choose Structured Soul*.
    • Valravns are proficient with a single martial weapon of their choosing and with the banded mail produced by their raven's armor ability. They have no native proficiency with any other kind of armor, including any other suit of banded mail.
    • Valravns have a +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (religion) and one other Knowledge skill germane to the host race. These skills are always considered class skills for the valravn and the valravn is considered trained in these skills. The table below provides suggestions.

    Spoiler: Example Knowledge skills
    Show
    Race Knowledge skill
    Human Local or Nobility
    Dwarf Architecture or Dungeoneering
    Elf Arcana or Nature
    Gnome Arcana or Geography
    Half-Elf History or Local
    Halfling Geography or Local
    Half-Orc Dungeoneering or Local
    Kalashtar Psionics or the Planes
    Shifter Geography or Nature


    • Valravns grow uncomfortable around mirrors. A valravn who can see herself in a mirror or other reflective surface must make a Will save (DC 15) or become shaken for as long as she can see her reflection and for 1 minute thereafter. A valravn who successfully saves is immune to making further saves against this effect for 1 hour. Effects and abilities which provide immunity to fear do not apply to this effect.
    • Valravns have a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against death effects. A valravn is "born" of violence and death.
    • Valravns suffer a -4 penalty to Swim checks.
    True seeing or similar effects can perceive the valravn's true nature - she appears as an emaciated version of her humanoid form with pure white eyes and large raven wings emerging from her back (if raven's armor is inactive) or wearing a cloak of raven feathers (if raven's armor is active). Her hands and feet appear to be bird talons.
    • When a valravn dies, her body (and raven's armor, if active) collapses into a pile of raven feathers that scatter in the wind, and a phantasmal raven flies off into the sky, vanishing 1 minute later. Spells that restore souls to their bodies, such as raise dead, reincarnate, and resurrection, don't work on a valravn. It takes a different magical effect, such as limited wish, wish, miracle, or true resurrection to restore her to life.
    • Flash of Insight: as above
    Guidance: as above
    • Raven's Armor: as above
    • Ravensight: as above
    • Stand Ready: as above
    • Without Dreams: as above
    • Without Hope: as above
    • Automatic Languages: A valravn has the automatic languages of the host race. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Auran, Celestial, Draconic, Infernal, Sylvan.
    • Favored Class: WarbladeToB
    • Level Adjustment: +0

    Spoiler: New Feats
    Show
    Bewitching Voice
    Your voice has magical properties that can manipulate the weak-minded.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - daze, lesser confusion, lullaby. Save DCs are Charisma-based.
    Special This feat is the equivalent of Gift of the XoriatDR332 and provides the same benefits. A character who selects one cannot select the other.

    Blade Bound
    You possess a magical gift that attunes you to the strength of the blade, making you adept at causing harm.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - critical strikeSC, glittering razorsDR302, inflict minor wounds. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Haunted Shadow
    You possess a disquieting aura that makes you seem haunted or cursed.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - bane, launch itemSC, unnerving gazeBoVD. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Ineffable Sight
    You possess a magical awareness that even lets you find worth in others.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - detect magic, true strike, virtue. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Lighter of Darkness
    You possess a magical affinity to bring forth light and life.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - cure light wounds, disrupt undead, flare. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    One With The Land
    You possess a magical affinity for the land around you and its native flora and fauna.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - detect animals or plants, know direction, naturewatchSC. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Stormchild
    You possess a magical affinity for thunder and lightning.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - electric joltSC, sonic snapSC, thunderheadSC. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Structured Soul
    You possess a magical affinity for making things be as they should be.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - mending, protection from chaos, stickSC. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Sunlit Spirit
    You possess a magical affinity with the sun.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - dawnSC, guiding lightSC, light. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Tutelary
    You possess a magical affinity for precaution and protection.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - detect poison, purify food and drink, shield. Save DCs are Charisma-based.

    Vexatious
    You possess a magical affinity for fey mischief, trickery, and torment.
    Benefit An innate talent for magic grants you the following spell-like abilities as a 1st-level caster: 1/day - buzzing beeSC, caltropsSC, minor disguiseSC. Save DCs are Charisma-based.
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-03-06 at 08:15 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #88
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2020

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    I'd enjoy some lower-level intelligent plant creatures... it seems like the poor plants are all either really big/high-level, or mindless.
    Well, technically, there's the volodni and the adu'ja (I think; I never know where the apostrophe goes) and I like those. But planties sure deserve more love, so that would certainly be lovely!

    Quote Originally Posted by afroakuma View Post
    Geloid

    (…)

    Init: +8

    (…)

    Feats Improved InitiativeB

    (…)

    Sessile State (Ex) When not attacking, a geloid takes the form of a simple puddle, appearing to be a shallow pool of viscous fluid the same color as the ooze that spawned it. In this state, the geloid gets a +16 racial bonus to Hide checks. A geloid uses its Constitution modifier in place of its Dexterity modifier for initiative checks. Geloids can detect prey up to 30 ft. away with their blindsight but rarely choose to emerge from their sessile state until prey is within striking distance.
    Am I missing something (again) or Improved Initiative + CON should indeed give a 6 rather than an 8?

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Am I missing something (again) or Improved Initiative + CON should indeed give a 6 rather than an 8?
    Ooh, good catch. That's what happens when I run around tweaking numbers. +6 is correct.

  30. - Top - End - #90
    Titan in the Playground
     
    afroakuma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Default Re: Steel Men and other strange creatures (3.5, PEACH)

    Deities of the Valravns

    Wild valravns on the Outer Planes do not often seek out the opportunity to become changelings, especially given that they cannot reach the Prime Material Plane of their own accord. Those sent to the Material Plane are dispatched by deities, and thus each valravn changeling has (or at least, originally had) a patron deity. While any deity could theoretically enlist and dispatch a valravn, in practice many prefer not to do so, while others particularly favor valravns as a way of subtly influencing the affairs of mortals. The below are a number of the more prominent deities who employ valravns in their service and send them to the Material Plane to nudge champions to greatness.

    Amaterasu
    Greater Power of Celestia
    Light of Heaven, Empress of Light, the Wise and Brilliant
    Alignment: Lawful good
    Portfolio: Light, sun
    Divine Realm: Celestia/Mercuria/Radiant Light
    Symbol: Sun
    Domains Good, Kami*, Knowledge, Law, Nobility, Sun
    Favored Weapon: Longsword

    Though she does not claim to be their creator, the solar goddess Amaterasu is known to dispatch valravns (called kara-onna, though whether this is intended to translate to "crow woman" or "empty woman" is continually debated by sages) to serve as her hand on the Prime, working to restore order where it has been demolished and bring hope to those who have had it stolen from them. Her valravns seek out those who commit dark deeds and take their changeling forms from the dying victims of cruel warlords, vile sorcerers, and other such oppressors, living to avenge the memory of those who have died. Valravns of Amaterasu often have Sunlit Soul as their bonus feat, bringing the light of their goddess to the aid of the oppressed.

    Anshar
    Lesser Power of Pandemonium
    the Night, the Supernal Vast, Father of the Heavens
    Alignment: Chaotic evil
    Portfolio: Darkness, night, the working of magic
    Divine Realm: Pandemonium/Pandesmos/City of Eternal Darkness
    Symbol: Black sphere
    Domains Chaos, Darkness, Evil, Shadow, Sky, Spell
    Favored Weapon: Shortbow

    Anshar is an interesting evolution - formerly a sky god of orderly and benevolent aspect, he transferred much of his portfolio to his son Anu, becoming associated more with the hours of night while Anu was venerated as the blue sky. In time, mortal fear of the things of the night combined with increased veneration of Anu as the chief deity of the pantheon, resulting in Anshar becoming associated with not only darkness but also secrecy, danger, and ill will. Belief is a powerful thing where gods are concerned, and Anshar has spent untold ages residing in his lightless city, fuming over the fact that his marginalization has not helped the broader pantheon stand the test of time. Impulsive, angry, and possessed by a primordial understanding of the cosmos that predates Anu's vision of order, Anshar is confident that he still has a role to play as a meddler, and he dispatches valravns to serve his shadowy plots to steer events toward what is intended to be a stronger future for his son's followers - whether or not Anu would approve. Anshar is not so much malevolent as he is narrow and unconcerned with the well-being of individuals if it gets in the way of what he thinks is right, and his valravns are often as not neutral or even good-aligned. Valravns of Anshar often have Night Haunt as their bonus feat, a reminder of their ties to the dark.

    Apollo
    Intermediate Power of Arborea
    Musician of the Gods, the Archer God, the Healer, the Light-Bringer, etc.
    Alignment: Chaotic good
    Portfolio: Light, prophecy, music, healing
    Divine Realm: Arborea/Pelion/Amun-Thys
    Symbol: A lunar disc surrounded by horns, or a moon and ankh
    Domains Chaos, Good, Healing, Music*, Oracle, Sun
    Favored Weapon: Composite longbow

    Ravens have long been a symbol of Apollo, who sometimes shares his valravns or koraxides with his twin sister Artemis. A prophetic deity, Apollo looks ahead to possible futures and dispatches valravns to nudge events toward his preferred outcome, a method he has often needed to employ due to the more overt meddling of his father Zeus and the often retributive counter-moves of Hera. For some reason, Apollo's faith is insistent that valravns are his creation, which is provably false - Apollo has only started to employ them in the past 500 years, while other pantheons have made use of valravns for millennia. Valravns of Apollo often have Bewitching Voice as their bonus feat, allowing them to employ a touch of the solar god's charm and music in their efforts.

    Arawn
    Intermediate Power of Hades
    The Dark One, Lord of the Otherworld
    Alignment: Neutral evil
    Portfolio: Life, death
    Divine Realm: Hades/Niflheim/Annwn
    Symbol: Black star on gray background
    Domains Death, Destruction, Evil, Life, Retribution
    Favored Weapon: Club

    The dark god of the Celtic underworld, Arawn is harsh but of just and honorable character, a firm believer that good must exist and thrive in the world and that life must be given its chance. Arawn views his role in the cosmos as quite literally a necessary evil - the darkness that makes the light glow all the brighter. His valravns are of many alignments, not bound to evil, and their quests may be of the kind that a mortal would never associate with the Lord of the Otherworld. Ulterior motives are not in Arawn's nature - his role is motivation enough, and Arawn is very good at it. Valravns of Arawn often have Haunted Shadow as their bonus feat, the spectral traces of Annwn shrouding them in otherworldly and sometimes frightening mysteries of magic.

    Dhumavati
    Lesser Power of the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vacuum
    Queen of Smoke, Goddess of the Unfulfilled, Voidwidow, the Power of Time, She Whose Form Is The Void
    Alignment: True neutral
    Portfolio: Inauspicious fate, unfulfilled desires, supernatural gifts, endings, ugliness, bad luck, true wisdom
    Divine Realm: Quasi-Elemental Plane of Vacuum/Pralaya
    Symbol: Blue lotus with eight petals
    Domains Brahman, Darkness, Fate, Knowledge, Mysticism, Time, Trickery, Truth
    Favored Weapon: Trident

    The dark horse in the debate about the original creator of the valravns, Dhumavati is a reclusive Vedic power whose contrasting natures and famous ugliness keep her lesser-known, a situation that suits her just fine. Goddess of the void and widow of the living Shiva (it was complicated), Dhumavati encompasses many facets, but fundamentally she is the goddess of time, of hard truths and easy lies, of gifts and needs, and she who keeps and fills empty things. Symbolized by crows (a bird scorned among the pantheon's worshippers), Dhumavati is depicted as a hideous woman, a hag of advanced age and surpassing hideousness, but also as a seductive young woman decked in jewelry. With one hand she doles out misfortune and woe, with the other generous gifts and secrets of magic. She is deception and revelation. Robed in myriad attributes, where Dhumavati represents so much but is known to so few, the goddess maintains cordial but distant relations with the other Vedic goddesses and has an uncomfortable detente with her ex-husband Shiva. Her meddling is particularly hard to predict or perceive, for the goddess rarely acts and keeps her own counsel. True to her nature, while she is often depicted as a great evil, a mighty benefactor, a preserver of order, or a cloud of smoke sowing chaos and confusion, Dhumavati in truth takes steps to preserve and promote balance and neutrality. As a goddess of the end of the world, she feels she knows better than any what forces are unworthy of bringing it about.

    Dhumavati has made one and only one statement that she was the original creator of valravns, or vayasa to the Vedic pantheon. Certainly other Vedic deities make use of them as they like, but the faithful of more prominent deities such as Odin and the Morrigan have been much more persistent about their own claims, and the goddess of the void doesn't care to argue with them - their statements are as the wind to her, just noise that will pass in due course. Valravns of Dhumavati often have Spell Hand as their bonus feat, the minor magic allowing them to manipulate the minor motions of the cosmos without unduly forcing them.

    Hecate
    Intermediate Power of Hades
    Lady of the Night, Dread Goddess of Night, Goddess of the Crossroads, Goddess of the Dark of the Moon
    Alignment: Neutral evil
    Portfolio: Moon, magic, abundance, undead
    Divine Realm: Hades/Pluton/Aeaea and Baator/Minauros/Aeaea
    Symbol: Setting moon
    Domains Creation, Darkness, Evil, Magic, Moon, Undeath
    Favored Weapon: Dagger

    Unusually for an evil-aligned power, Hecate employs valravns but does so rarely and with great reluctance, only dispatching them to places where death, disease, and calamity are already rampant. This likely has to do with the fact that while the witch goddess deeply enjoys meddling with the grand order of the cosmos and leaving her mark on the world, she considers herself a protector of children and is loath to see them come to undue harm. Valravns of Hecate often have Insightful as their bonus feat, giving them senses around magic that let them follow the example of their patron.

    Hel
    Intermediate Power of Hades
    Goddess of Death and the Underworld, Keeper of the Dishonored Dead
    Alignment: Neutral evil
    Portfolio: Death, the underworld
    Divine Realm: Hades/Niflheim/Niflheim
    Symbol: The face of Hel
    Domains Age*, Death, Deathbound, Destruction, Evil, Winter
    Favored Weapon: Longsword

    The dour goddess of the Asgardian underworld, Hel rarely has cause to meddle with affairs on the Material Plane - after all, her grasp already extends to all via the threat of old age and disease, and she is terribly patient. Nevertheless, when her interests need serving, Hel has no qualms whatsoever about dispatching a valravn to marshal forces to the cause of darkness and despair. Hel's valravns are likely as not to chafe at their directive, not least because they have little love for their dreary home. Valravns of Hel often have Necropolis Born as their bonus feat, demonstrating their allegiance to the power of the grave.

    The Morrigan
    Intermediate Power of the Outlands
    Queen of Ghosts, Phantom Queen
    Alignment: Chaotic evil
    Portfolio: War, battle, violence, fate
    Divine Realm: Outlands/Tir na Og (the Bloody Field)
    Symbol: A sword hilt
    Domains Bloodshed*, Chaos, Death, Evil, Fate, War
    Favored Weapon: Shortspear

    Like Arawn, the Morrigan has changed over the aeons as mortals have come to fear war and fate; her protective aspect has long since faded, her neutrality has been transformed through their fearful beliefs into chaos and evil, and even her symbol has drifted over time - formerly two crossed spears, now the hilt of a sword. Still a goddess of war, fate, and death, the Morrigan is one of the most likely candidates for being the original creator of valravns (Odin being the other), who are called bean branán by followers of the Celtic pantheon, and she is among the most prolific senders of valravns, typically to stir up chaos or bring the Morrigan's justice against those who have defied fate. Valravns of the Morrigan often have Blade Bound as their bonus feat, letting them keep their weapons sharp and ready to strike.

    Nephthys
    Intermediate Power of Arborea
    Protector of the Dead, Lady of Sands
    Alignment: Chaotic good
    Portfolio: Wealth, death, grief
    Divine Realm: Arborea/Pelion/Amun-Thys
    Symbol: A lunar disc surrounded by horns, or a moon and ankh
    Domains Chaos, Good, Protection, Repose, Wealth
    Favored Weapon: Mace

    The funerary goddess's realm plays host to a number of valravns or kemsatib, who are dispatched sparingly by Nephthys. While the goddess rarely has much need for intervention on the Prime, she engages in a shadow campaign to undermine her former husband Set and his wicked designs. Valravns of Nephthys often have Tutelary as their bonus feat, echoing their patron's role as a protector of the dead by working to protect the living.

    Oberon
    Lesser Power of Faerie
    King of Shadows, Lord of Beasts, Hartsfriend
    Alignment: Neutral good
    Portfolio: Animals, wild places, nature, the hunt, martial protection of fey
    Divine Realm: The Seelie Court
    Symbol: White stag
    Domains Animal, Fey, Good, Hunt, Plant, Protection, Sun
    Favored Weapon: Longbow

    Consort of the Faerie Queen Titania, Oberon takes a more hands-on approach to the practical advancement of fey interests and needs, and while he doesn't trust the valravns, as a fey deity he doesn't completely trust any of his followers - what fun would there be in that? Valravns allow Oberon to be relatively hands-off in his dealings with the mortal realm and bypass the intrigues of the Seelie Court entirely, though it does chafe that they are a less direct method than he would often prefer to employ. Still, it keeps him out of the limelight, which suits the King of Shadows just fine. Valravns of Oberon often have One With The Land as their bonus feat, giving them a link to nature that suits their patron.

    Odin
    Greater Power of Ysgard
    All-Father, Father of the Slain, God of the Hanged, the High One, etc.
    Alignment: Chaotic good
    Portfolio: Knowledge, magic, war
    Divine Realm: Ysgard/Ysgard/Asgard
    Symbol: A blue eye
    Domains Chaos, Good, Knowledge, Magic, Repose, Rune, War
    Favored Weapon: Shortspear

    Leader of the Asgardian pantheon, Odin is often cited as one of the likely creators of the first valravns, and certainly his valkyries bear strong similarities at first blush. The inscrutable god of magic and wisdom is one of the most frequent patrons of valravns sent down to guide champions and steward heroes, though the tragedy that has been linked time and time again to those whom Odin would try to exalt as among the greatest of warriors and adventurers bodes ill for their track record. Valravns of Odin often have Ineffable Sight as their bonus feat, giving them acumen both magical and martial.

    Queen of Air and Darkness
    Intermediate Power of Pandemonium
    Ladinion's Bane, Queen of the Unseelie Court, Titania's Shadow, the Wraith-Queen, Wraith of Cwm Glas
    Alignment: Chaotic evil
    Portfolio: Magic, deception, darkness, murder, evil fey
    Divine Realm: Pandemonium/Phlegethon/Unseelie Court
    Symbol: Black diamond
    Domains Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Fey, Illusion, Magic, Vile Darkness
    Favored Weapon: Dagger

    The corrupted sister of the Faerie Queen Titania, the leader of the Unseelie Court is a formless and terrible wraith of nightmarish aspect, eroded and hollowed to the point that even her true name has long since been lost. Evil fey of every kind serve at her hand, and she dispatches them to wreak havoc and spread her ill intent across all worlds, determined to unravel hope and dreams. The Queen of Air and Darkness takes pleasure in almost nothing, save the hollowing and despoiling of all fey and everything they love and hold dear. Her valravns are agents of profound wickedness and traitors to feykind. Valravns of the Queen of Air and Darkness often have Touch of Summoning as their bonus feat, anchoring them to the Lower Planes and giving them the power to call on foul beasts to join their cause.

    Other Deities of the Valravns

    Besides those listed above, many deities in those same pantheons make occasional use of valravns to enact their goals. Below are some additional deities who are particularly known to employ valravns.

    Arvoreen and Urogalan of Yondalla's Children (halfling pantheon).
    Baravar Cloakshadow of the Lords of the Golden Hills (gnomish pantheon).
    Beshaba, Kelemvor, and Shar of the Faerûnian pantheon.
    Belinik, Cuiraécan, Eloéle, Erik, and Ruornil of the Cerilian pantheon.
    Dol Arrah, the Fury, the Keeper, the Shadow, and the Traveler of the pantheons of Eberron.
    Dumathoin, of the Morndinsamman (dwarven pantheon).
    Erythnul, Incabulos, Istus, and Wee Jas of the pantheons of Oerth.
    Habbakuk, Morgion, and Zivilyn of the Krynnish pantheon.
    Labelas Enoreth, of the Seldarine (elven pantheon).
    Loviatar and Mielikki of the Finnish and Faerûnian pantheons.
    Tyr of the Faerûnian and Norse pantheons.

    †spells in this domain lose their alignment subtypes when used by characters with access to this domain.

    Age Domain
    Granted Power You cease to age. You do not attain any further bonuses or penalties for aging, or otherwise experience any adjustments that would come with advancing age, and you cannot be magically or otherwise forcibly aged save by a deity. You still die of old age when your time is up.
    1st - power word fatigueRotD
    2nd - ray of weaknessSC
    3rd - aging touchDR350
    4th - touch of yearsCM
    5th - graymantleSC
    6th - memory rotSC
    7th - disintegrate
    8th - horrid wilting
    9th - Ensul's soultheftCoS:W

    Bloodshed Domain
    Granted Power You gain access to the blood in the waterToB stance, which you may use as a martial initiator of your character level.
    1st - blade of bloodPHBII
    2nd - whirling bladeSC
    3rd - keen edge
    4th - bloodstarSC
    5th - bleedCC
    6th - incite riotPHBII
    7th - avasculateSC
    8th - avascular massSC
    9th - mass harmHoH

    Brahman Domain
    Granted Power Once per day as an immediate action, you may grant another creature within 60 ft. your Charisma modifier as an insight modifier to a single attack roll, saving throw, skill check, ability check, or to their AC against a single declared attack. For every three cleric levels you possess above 1st (4th, 7th, 10th, etc.) you gain an additional daily use of this ability.
    1st - comprehend languages
    2nd - divine insightSC
    3rd - attune formSC
    4th - restoration
    5th - telepathic bond
    6th - mass owl's wisdom
    7th - mental pinnacleXPH
    8th - true creationSC
    9th - miracle

    Kami Domain
    Granted Power A number of times per day equal to your Charisma bonus (minimum once, even with a Charisma penalty), you can summon a local spirit and channel some of the spirit's karmic power into yourself. This guidance grants you a +4 insight bonus on any skill check.
    1st - tranceOA
    2nd - invisibility to spiritsOA
    3rd - commune with lesser spiritCArc
    4th - spiritual advisorCC
    5th - spirit selfCArc
    6th - spirit bindingCArc
    7th - commune with greater spiritCArc
    8th - greater spirit bindingCArc
    9th - foresight
    Last edited by afroakuma; 2022-03-01 at 08:09 PM.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •