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  1. - Top - End - #301
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Songbird race! (And other stuff.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bhu View Post
    Beavers should definitely have Scent and Hold Breath too.
    Huh. Thanks, I think I seriously underestimated the length of their maximum downtime (if you will), when they are really supremely well adaptad to the task. Luckily, the standard 4×CON formula gives us roughly the exact 5 minutes a longer dive would last, so that's easily remedied.

  2. - Top - End - #302
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Songbird race! (And other stuff.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Dread Elater

    Skills
    Dread elaters receive a +4 racial bonus on Jump checks.
    Thank you for bringing weird but mundane vermin to the game. I'm a bit underwhelmed by this Jump bonus. Monstrous leaping Vermin usually have aburd bonuses to Jump (see the Thri-Kreen's +30, or the Pathfinder locust's +18). Maybe the click beetle isn't that high, but +10 would not seem exxaggerated at all. Also, since it can get up from prone as a swift action, and it uses its Click to get up from prone, which couldn't it jump as a swift action too? That would explain why it's its main way of escape.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    The optimist in me likes to think half of the inspiration for this will be incredibly obscure in as near a future as possible, but I don't hold my hopes too high.
    I'll hazard a guess as Infinity Train's One-One? Or Roomba vacuum cleaners. Otherwise, I give up. I don't know many multi-legged talking robot hemispheres.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Challenge Rating: 4
    CR 4 for something with a weak slam and no offensive ability? I'd say 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Nailwort
    Their distaste for the fey folk and especially the undead,
    Is there a reason for that (I mean, you generally don't need a reason for the undead, but disliking all Fey indiscriminately is more uncommon)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    makes them useful and rather undemanding allies for communities haunted by such pests (sometimes making them a frequent feature of gardens in such places) – or, indeed, for those who hunt these.
    That sounds like a Sussurrus situation. There is no reason a creature would evolve to specifically target Undead unless it was magically-created, or is born in either the Positive or Negative energy planes. Undead are rare enough that they don't create evolutionary pressures, generally target humanoids rather than plants, and cannot be eaten. Why does a flower have the ability to make incorporeal creatures corporeal? Where does it come from? Is it just a subproduct of another ability it has?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Nailworts speak Sylvan when they need to address those not of their own kind, and commmonly know Adu'ja as well as at least one language spoken in the general area they. Among themselves, they use a curious language of gestures and scents. Those of a keen eye and good enough nose can learn to understand it, but far fewer can even begin to try and acquire it.
    The general area they *inhabit*.
    We like weird languages, especially using other senses than hearing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Abilities: Str 2, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 21
    How much Charisma!? Why? It only has 5 HD! No creature of less than 9 RHD in the MM1 (except the Succubus and Unicorn, because obviously) has more than 20 Cha, and that threshold is upped to 20 RHD if you don't count Outsiders. If you just want to increase Carnation's DC, you can use racial bonuses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Carnation (Su)
    As a standard action, a nailwort can surround itself with a spread having a radius of 25 feet plus 5 feet for each additional hit die the nailwort gains beyond the five it possesses by default.
    "a radius of 5 feet per HD of the nailwort (25 feet for the default creature)."

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Any incorporeal creature within this range must succeed on a DC 19 Fortitude save or become corporeal until such time as it leaves the area and for 1d10 rounds thereafter.
    How often do they have to save? When they enter? Or each round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Otherwise it simply loses all incorporeal traits, but gains a Strength score appropriate for its size (see the Improving Monsters section of the Monster Manual) as well as a natural armour bonus to AC equal to any deflection bonus it had while incorporeal.
    Losing incorporeality gives you a default Str score (Libris Mortis) : "The now-corporeal creature gains a Strength score equal to its Charisma score (not including any nonpermanent modifiers to Charisma, such as an eagle’s splendor spell). Its incorporeal touch attacks become normal touch attacks (and it uses its Strength modifier on attack rolls unless it has Weapon Finesse)."

    Overall, really fun monster, would be fun to have a Minish-like society in the woods.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Yzh
    Is that f**king Carbon? Let's bow to our adamantine overlords.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Of a wondrous radial symmetry, the grainy, rough black body of these elementals is of a hexagonal shape, with a limb (seemingly almost delicate, but in truth, rather powerful) jutting out of each point.
    Hmmm... Not sure if that's a Benzen reference or if I'm completely mistaken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    When stationary, the creature supports itself on either two, or, somewhat less commonly, all six of these limbs; when in motion, it either skitters, as though it were some manner of large, headless insect, or speeds about in artful cartwheels, rolling from limb to limb.
    They see me rolling... They hating

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    For a creature as sizable and powerful as they are, yzh are rather numerous, and prone to wandering onto other planes.
    Not sure why. Is it a reference to diamond prices being artificially inflated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Life and death, as well as the workings of mortal bodies appear to fascinate them: they like to associate with druids and healers (whether mundane or magical) and to congregate in places of ruin, like battlefields, places of slaughter or even the sites of old forests, cut clean recently.
    I mean, in the end aren't we all carbon-based lifeforms?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Yzh speak Terran but they are occasionally hard to understand on account of the uneven tone, sometimes very distinct and sharp, like shards of glass grinding against each other, and sometimes soft and muffled, as though they were speaking through mouthfuls of fine dust.
    That initially made me think about silicon, as silicon-based lifeforms would exhale sand (SiO2) instead of CO2 gas. But I understand that it is about graphite and diamond?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Abilities: Con 40
    Feats: Great Fortitude, Improved Toughness, Iron Will, Power Attack
    Is that a JoJo reference? Because godammnit, we can truly say that Diamond is Unbreakable. I could expect a DR 10/adamantine as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Black Cloud (Ex)
    White Cloud (Ex)
    Coal Dust and Benzen combustion. Fun for a fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Life to Life (Su)
    Love that ability. Cinematic, powerful, and climactic, while still very flavorful (and a lot of other adjectives in "ic" and "ful").


    Really, your periodic series is gem-packed, thank you for that!
    Last edited by Beni-Kujaku; 2024-06-18 at 08:25 AM.
    Resurrecting the Negative LA thread, comments and discussion are very welcome!
    Nice find! Have a cookie!
    Do you want to build monstrous characters with reasonable LA? Join the Monster Mash! Currently, round XII: One-Punch Monster!!! Come judge single-strike entries!
    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

  3. - Top - End - #303
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Songbird race! (And other stuff.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Thank you for bringing weird but mundane vermin to the game. I'm a bit underwhelmed by this Jump bonus. Monstrous leaping Vermin usually have aburd bonuses to Jump (see the Thri-Kreen's +30, or the Pathfinder locust's +18). Maybe the click beetle isn't that high, but +10 would not seem exxaggerated at all.
    I was trying to be conservative because, like, Vermin, but I like that +10. It's official now!

    Also, since it can get up from prone as a swift action, and it uses its Click to get up from prone, which couldn't it jump as a swift action too? That would explain why it's its main way of escape.
    The idea is that it stands as a swift (disorienting opponents) with Click, then Jumps away as a standard, also with Click and the racial bonus.

    I'll hazard a guess as Infinity Train's One-One? Or Roomba vacuum cleaners. Otherwise, I give up. I don't know many multi-legged talking robot hemispheres.
    Okay, I'll explain the alleged joke. It's worse. It's Google Chrome. Hence the round shape, incoherent rambling in poorly translated languages and Gathering Information to sell it.

    CR 4 for something with a weak slam and no offensive ability? I'd say 3.
    Fair enough. Done.

    Is there a reason for that (I mean, you generally don't need a reason for the undead, but disliking all Fey indiscriminately is more uncommon)?


    That sounds like a Sussurrus situation. There is no reason a creature would evolve to specifically target Undead unless it was magically-created, or is born in either the Positive or Negative energy planes. Undead are rare enough that they don't create evolutionary pressures, generally target humanoids rather than plants, and cannot be eaten. Why does a flower have the ability to make incorporeal creatures corporeal? Where does it come from? Is it just a subproduct of another ability it has?
    Hrm. There is… Let's call it a rumour that they were Extraplanar once. Arcadia. Their power, as such derives from Law, as a stabilizing influence that gives concrete form of entities caught in it, anchoring them into a more predictable and uniform reality. They were likely expelled from this erstwhile planar home for a form of extremism, advocating for a less than peacable use of their birthright power to limit the influence of beings commonly (if often erroneously) perceived as Chaotic, such as the Fey and Evil, such as the Undead, proactively and often. They were never Outsiders and with time, their ties to the Outer Planes faded. Now they are far calmer, as well as fully mortal.

    The general area they *inhabit*.
    Oops. Fixed.

    How much Charisma!? Why? It only has 5 HD! No creature of less than 9 RHD in the MM1 (except the Succubus and Unicorn, because obviously) has more than 20 Cha, and that threshold is upped to 20 RHD if you don't count Outsiders. If you just want to increase Carnation's DC, you can use racial bonuses.
    [Grumbles.] You are a wicked man, Beni. It's a 16 now, and I'm not going below that.

    "a radius of 5 feet per HD of the nailwort (25 feet for the default creature)."
    Yeah, that's… Far more clear. I'll borrow that wording, thanks.

    Code:
    How often do they have to save? When they enter? Or each round?
    Once, upon entering.

    Losing incorporeality gives you a default Str score (Libris Mortis) : "The now-corporeal creature gains a Strength score equal to its Charisma score (not including any nonpermanent modifiers to Charisma, such as an eagle’s splendor spell). Its incorporeal touch attacks become normal touch attacks (and it uses its Strength modifier on attack rolls unless it has Weapon Finesse)."
    Huh. That's what I get for disliking Undead enough to not research them properly when designing countermeasures. Roger that and thanks.

    Is that f**king Carbon? Let's bow to our adamantine overlords.
    Yes!

    Hmmm... Not sure if that's a Benzen reference or if I'm completely mistaken.
    And yes again! Aromatic compunds look pretty. Couldn't not do that, could I, now?

    Not sure why. Is it a reference to diamond prices being artificially inflated?
    …despite how carbon is freakin' everywhere. It's about carbon being, like, freakin' everywhere, ultimately.

    I mean, in the end aren't we all carbon-based lifeforms?
    My thought process exactly here and with Life to Life (those diamond material components make a lot of sense for those spells).

    That initially made me think about silicon, as silicon-based lifeforms would exhale sand (SiO2) instead of CO2 gas. But I understand that it is about graphite and diamond?
    Yup. For silicon, I went the boring "sand thing" way (v. the Sabulon).

    Is that a JoJo reference? Because godammnit, we can truly say that Diamond is Unbreakable. I could expect a DR 10/adamantine as well
    Huh. That's something to consider, actually. I didn't give them DR because carbon is quite eminently minable in most forms.

    Coal Dust and Benzen combustion. Fun for a fight.
    The latter was actually conceived as "visually more impressive carbon monoxide"; hence the "too low damage to burn it properly" trigger it has.

    Love that ability. Cinematic, powerful, and climactic, while still very flavorful (and a lot of other adjectives in "ic" and "ful").


    Really, your periodic series is gem-packed, thank you for that!
    You're all too kind! Thanks! (And the series certainly doesn't end here. I have very concrete plans for two more as we speak, with one of those being a FIne non-Swarm.)

  4. - Top - End - #304
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Songbird race! (And other stuff.)

    Because killer whales are awesome, brokenly powerful, and deserve much more than the one and a half lines of description they got.

    Orca


    The orca, or killer whale, is a gigantic aquatic mammal looking like an oversized porpoise with a patterned black and white skin somewhat resembling that of a darfellan. Combined with the similarities between the darfellan and orca languages, this made many sages believe that orcas were in fact a group of darfellan who used magic to vastly improve their physical capabilities and escape the sahuagin menace at the cost of some of their mental acuity. Now, their race numbers in the tens of thousands across all seas.

    Contrary to their land cousin, orcas have kept an upbeat and playful personality, with a strong sense of family. Orcas live in pods of a few dozen individuals, all of them blood-related as descendants from a single mother orca (though the pod stays together even after the death of its matriarch). Most of their culture revolves around games, competition and hunting. Orcas spend a lot of their time devising more effective or more flashy ways to hunt, which they then demonstrate to the rest of their pods. A big part of the education of the youngs (called "calves") is teaching them about the most unique or most efficient techniques from their elders. While mother orcas stay with their calves during their whole childhood, the father acts as more of a baby-sitter and helps and teaches all calves of his pod.

    They do not have a sense of hierarchy as such. The older orcas are generally the ones whose opinions hold the most weight, but that's because they are often the ones who have proven to have the best skills, rather than from any sort of innate respect.

    Orcas think of themselves as the most powerful species of the sea (with good reason, considering their individual power, how many of them there are, and how willing they are to help each other when needed). However, they understand that the land is home to many powerful creatures that could be a threat to their species at large. As such, they generally do not attack humanoids, or powerful dragons that pass through their territory. Still, they do not hesitate to sink ships that they think are invading their parts of the sea, including staying there for several days, polluting the water or overfishing.

    Orcas speak their own language, composed of supersonic clicks for echolocation and signaling one's presence, long deep calls for medium distance and pod-wide communications, and high-pitched whistles for private and short-range dialogues. Some of them can also be taught to understand a few words of common.


    Size/Type: Huge Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 9d10+72 (121 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: swim 70 feet (14 squares)
    Armor Class: 23 (-2 size, +3 Dex, +12 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 20
    Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+29
    Attack: Bite +19 melee (3d6+18) or Tail Slap +14 (1d10+6 plus stunning tail)
    Full Attack: Bite +19 melee and Tail Slap +14 melee
    Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Improved Grab, Stunning tail
    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Blindsight 500ft, Hold Breath, Wave mastery
    Saves: Fort +14, Ref +9, Will +5
    Abilities: Str 35, Dex 17, Con 26, Int 5, Wis 14, Cha 14
    Skills: Jump +16, Listen +6*, Perform (Hunting) +6, Spot +10*, Swim +20*
    Feats: Cleave, Improved Natural Attack (Bite), Power Attack, Swim-by AttackStormwrack
    Environment: Any aquatic
    Organization: Solitary, transient pod (2-6 and 3-6 noncombatants), or resident pod (8-16 and 4-20 noncombatants)
    Challenge Rating: 8
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: 10–20 HD (Huge), 21–40 HD (Gargantuan)
    Level Adjustment:


    Blindsight (Ex): Killer whales can “see” by emitting high-frequency sounds, inaudible to most other creatures, that allow them to locate objects and creatures within 500 feet. A silence spell negates this and forces the orca to rely on its vision, which is approximately as good as a human’s.
    Hold Breath (Ex): A killer whale can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 8 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning.
    Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an orca must hit with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. A prey takes bite damage each round it remains grappled. The orca cannot hit with its tail a prey in its mouth.
    Stunning Tail (Ex): The slap of an orca's tail is a traumatizing event, and the force of the blow can disorient the target. When a medium or smaller creature is hit by n orca's tail attack, it must make a DC 26 Fortitude saving throw or be stunned for 1 round. A Large creature is instead staggered for one round if it fails its saving throw. The DC is Strength-based.
    Wave mastery (Ex): Orcas have learned to use the waves to their advantage. They can swim at the same speed as natural waves to either increase their heights, or use the waves as a tailwind. An orca that swims near the surface of the water increases its speed by 10ft. It can also create small tidal waves (called washing waves), up to 5ft tall, that push creatures off from floating supports (such as small boats, or floating chunks of ice) and into the water. Treat the wave as a Bull Rush attempt by the orca, except it does not provoke an attack of opportunity, it can affect creatures outside the water and the orca does not need to move with the target. An orca must move at least 20ft in a round to create a washing wave.
    Skills: A killer whale has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
    *A killer whale has a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Listen checks. These bonuses are lost if its blindsight is negated.
    Last edited by Beni-Kujaku; 2024-06-24 at 01:54 PM.
    Resurrecting the Negative LA thread, comments and discussion are very welcome!
    Nice find! Have a cookie!
    Do you want to build monstrous characters with reasonable LA? Join the Monster Mash! Currently, round XII: One-Punch Monster!!! Come judge single-strike entries!
    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

  5. - Top - End - #305
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Metastachydium's Avatar

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    Default Re: Songbird race! (And other stuff.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Because killer whales are awesome, brokenly powerful, and deserve much more than the one and a half lines of description they got.
    My Crows from earlier and I readily agree with that sentiment! (Also, I just got into a game with a very stupid Darfellan character, so this is very well timed as far as I'm concerned.)

    Orca


    The orca, or killer whale, is a gigantic aquatic mammal looking like an oversized porpoise with a patterned black and white skin somewhat resembling that of a darfellan. Combined with the similarities between the darfellan and orca languages, this made many sages believe that orcas were in fact a group of darfellan who used magic to vastly improve their physical capabilities and escape the sahuagin menace at the cost of some of their mental acuity. Now, their race numbers in the tens of thousands across all seas.
    I like what you did to this thing called "evolution". I mean, in context, it makes more sense than the Darfellans evolving from whales.

    Orcas think of themselves as the most powerful species of the sea
    Note to self: this setting does not have pilot whales.

    Orcas speak their own language, composed of supersonic clicks for echolocation and signaling one's presence, long deep calls for medium distance and pod-wide communications, and high-pitched whistles for private and short-range dialogues. Some of them can also be taught to understand a few words of common.
    Can a Darfellan learn it?

    Size/Type: Huge Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 9d10+72 (122 hp)
    121 hp.

    Attack: Bite +19 melee (2d6+18) or Tail Slap +14 (1d10+6 plus stunning tail)
    Full Attack: Bite +19 melee and Tail Slap +14 melee
    2d6 damage on their single primary with INAtt? Come on, even WotC did better than that! They deserve that 2d6 by default.

    Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Blindsight 500ft, Hold Breath, Wave mastery
    The text puts Blindsight range at 120'. Which one is it?

    Abilities: Str 35, Dex 17, Con 26, Int 5, Wis 12, Cha 14
    Orcas have pretty good sensory acuity. I'd let them keep the 14 WIS of the WotC version.

    Skills: Jump +16, Listen +5*, Perform (Hunting) +6, Spot +9*, Swim +20*

    Perform (hunting)?

    Stunning Tail (Ex): The slap of an orca's tail is a traumatizing event, and the force of the blow can disorient the target. When a medium or smaller creature is hit by n orca's tail attack, it must make a DC 26 Fortitude saving throw or be stunned for 1 round. A Large creature is instead staggered for one round if it fails its saving throw. The DC is Strength-based.
    Wave mastery (Ex): Orcas have learned to use the waves to their advantage. They can swim at the same speed as natural waves to either increase their heights, or use the waves as a tailwind. An orca that swims near the surface of the water increases its speed by 10ft. It can also create small tidal waves (called washing waves), up to 5ft tall, that push creatures off from floating supports (such as small boats, or floating chunks of ice) and into the water. Treat the wave as a Bull Rush attempt by the orca, except it does not provoke an attack of opportunity, it can affect creatures outside the water and the orca does not need to move with the target. An orca must move at least 20ft in a round to create a washing wave.
    These two are brilliant, particularly the second one. Very good job translating that to gamespeak.

  6. - Top - End - #306
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Songbird race! (And other stuff.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    My Crows from earlier and I readily agree with that sentiment! (Also, I just got into a game with a very stupid Darfellan character, so this is very well timed as far as I'm concerned.)
    Yes, your crow was the main initiator for this. I was wondering how the people of D&D world would react to a creature that is basically an animal but with a society, a language and in-species education. And the obvious answer was : they'd consider it a Magical Beast, and try to explain how they came to be through magic rather than evolution. I still don't think your crow should have been an animal with more than 2 Int, but changing the type is much easier (and, honestly, more fun) than changing the rules of the game we're homebrewing for. One of the defining traits of creatures with more than 3 Int is the ability to learn a language, which, according to Hockett's design features includes (beyond the obvious) :
    1) the need for the language to be learned from other members of the species (and as such, large differences between groups of the same species living in different areas),
    2) the ability to talk about things that are not present (past, future, not-immediately-relevant things),
    3) the ability to tell lies (this one and the previous are more signs of intelligence rather than language, but that fits what we're doing here anyway)
    4) the ability to combine syllables (primary vocalisations with no meaning) into "words" (small vocalisations each with their own meaning) and words into "sentences" (full vocalisations with combined meaning).

    Both crows and orcas have the first (though crows have a big part of their language that is innate and common across the world).
    Crows definitely have 2) and 3) since they can hold grudges and share them with others, and other corvids are known to lie. Orcas are known to mimic the vocalisations of other pods, even after these pods are not present anymore, which actually fulfills both these things, as it includes playing a role, which isn't different from lying.
    I don't think there is any evidence of corvids or killer whales combining words into sentences, though other birds are shown to have word structures and crows can understand recursive sequences, so it's not that far. Orcas are also thought to have "signature calls", which are basically names, so it's also close.

    In the end, dolphins (including killer whales) and corvids (including crows) may be the only non-ape animals to actually have Int 3 or more, in the D&D meaning of the term, and as such, to actually be Magical Beasts. And I, for one, welcome our new magical whale overlords.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    I like what you did to this thing called "evolution". I mean, in context, it makes more sense than the Darfellans evolving from whales.
    What's that "ee-vaw-lush-on" you speak of? Come on, let's be serious here, there is no way a land-dwelling creature would evolve to become something so fish-like. There has to be some magic involved, right? Right? I don't expect Elminster to have Darwin levels of insight in natural selection.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Note to self: this setting does not have pilot whales.
    I mean, killer whales are bigger, stronger and smarter than pilot whales. I see orcas fleeing from pilot whales as "Oh, for Mariana's sake, those jerks again... Look, boys, I don't want to fight, I'm just eating herring over here, so could you please use those brains of yours for once in your life and leave us alone? No? Yeah, I thought so, why would it be different than the previous twenty-seven times. Okay, guys, let's move, don't want to deal with them right now.". And on the side of the pilot whales : "What's this bastard talking dirty 'bout us? Did she say we've gots no brain!? 'Kay gang, swarm 'em, full speed ahead! HA! She flinched! Coward, coward, chcken! Yeah that's right you don't wanna fight us! I wouldn't wanna fight us either!".
    Pilot whales to killer whales are just like goblins to humans. When you see some, you get away. You could definitely beat one or two, but they're just rabid little bastards, and they're just not worth getting injured to kill one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Can a Darfellan learn it?
    I'd say yes. They have similar vocal chords, and can produce the same vocalisations. So I don't see why they couldn't. Of course, they're too busy crying over spilled milk and plotting revenge to have time for that, but that's another matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    121 hp.
    Oh, do you round down? I can never remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    2d6 damage on their single primary with INAtt? Come on, even WotC did better than that! They deserve that 2d6 by default.
    I definitely intended the 2d6 to be the default, and forgot to change it after I added INAtt. Changed to 3d6, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    The text puts Blindsight range at 120'. Which one is it?
    RAW orca has 120', but real-life orcas have 500', so the right one is 500'. Fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Orcas have pretty good sensory acuity. I'd let them keep the 14 WIS of the WotC version.
    I thought the whale skill bonus to Spot and Listen was enough to represent that, but sure. 2 points won't change much.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post

    Perform (hunting)?
    YES! Orcas like performing recreation of their hunting techniques, either to their youngs or even to humans. I've watched a video where they talked about a pod of orcas that willingly almost beached themselves to grab seals that where too close to the water, and hoped the waves would bring them back to the sea. The elders of the pod would show this technique repeatedly to their youngs, sometimes using kelp to represent a seal. That's definitely their way of acting, but I don't think Perform (Act) would accurately represent what's going on here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    These two are brilliant, particularly the second one. Very good job translating that to gamespeak.
    Thank you! I definitely wanted to have at least one mechanical ability about the washing waves, which are just such a cool skill, showing the mastery, strength and smarts of orcas all in one. Happy to see that you like it!
    Resurrecting the Negative LA thread, comments and discussion are very welcome!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Yes, your crow was the main initiator for this.
    HAH!

    I still don't think your crow should have been an animal with more than 2 Int, but changing the type is much easier (and, honestly, more fun) than changing the rules of the game we're homebrewing for.
    I maintain that I never changed the rule; I merely exploited a RAW loophole WotC probably didn't even realize was left in there with the whole "unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry"

    4) the ability to combine syllables (primary vocalisations with no meaning) into "words" (small vocalisations each with their own meaning) and words into "sentences" (full vocalisations with combined meaning).
    Yup. Linguistics calls a version of this the double coding of human language, and it's generally considered the one jump animal languages are yet to perform, insofar as they can produce words and morphemes (finite combinations of atomic linguistic units), but cannot organize them into a syntax of virtually infinite combinations.

    Oh, do you round down? I can never remember.
    Always, so long as that is inconvenient for you. No, seriously.

    YES! Orcas like performing recreation of their hunting techniques, either to their youngs or even to humans. I've watched a video where they talked about a pod of orcas that willingly almost beached themselves to grab seals that where too close to the water, and hoped the waves would bring them back to the sea. The elders of the pod would show this technique repeatedly to their youngs, sometimes using kelp to represent a seal. That's definitely their way of acting, but I don't think Perform (Act) would accurately represent what's going on here.
    Ah, that's still weird but in the cool way that makes sense. Silly big dolphins.

    I mean, killer whales are bigger, stronger and smarter than pilot whales. I see orcas fleeing from pilot whales as "Oh, for Mariana's sake, those jerks again... Look, boys, I don't want to fight, I'm just eating herring over here, so could you please use those brains of yours for once in your life and leave us alone? No? Yeah, I thought so, why would it be different than the previous twenty-seven times. Okay, guys, let's move, don't want to deal with them right now.". And on the side of the pilot whales : "What's this bastard talking dirty 'bout us? Did she say we've gots no brain!? 'Kay gang, swarm 'em, full speed ahead! HA! She flinched! Coward, coward, chcken! Yeah that's right you don't wanna fight us! I wouldn't wanna fight us either!".
    Pilot whales to killer whales are just like goblins to humans. When you see some, you get away. You could definitely beat one or two, but they're just rabid little bastards, and they're just not worth getting injured to kill one of them.
    Note to self: this setting doesn't have murderhobos (i.e. the "see a Goblin an be all looks like cheap XP is back on the menu, boys"). But you know what, that's too funny to not be an actual thing. I'm behind with progress on the next Elemental anyhow, so…

    Pilot Whale
    Thick-skinned, large, broad and robust beings with an almost comically spherical head, pilot whales are fearless, and indeed, quite astonishingly confident predators of the seas that live and hunt in groups bound together by family ties. It is sometimes alleged that they derive from some manner of aquatic goblinfolk that attempted to undergo the same ritual which produced the orcas, but this is a much-debated and rather controversial matter. At any rate, they don't always get along with the killer whales and like to voice that sentiment, loud and clear.

    Pilot whales communicate using a simple language of clicks and whistles. Many insist it consists entirely of insults, but that is likely an exaggeration.

    Size/Type: Huge Magical Beast
    Hit Dice: 6d10+30 (63 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: Swim 50 feet
    Armor Class: 19 ( -2 size, +3 Dex, +8 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 16
    Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+23
    Attack: Bite +15 melee (2d4+13)
    Full Attack: Bite +15 melee (2d4+13)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Bullying mob
    Special Qualities: Blindsight 200 ft., darkvision 60 ft., hold breath
    Saves: Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +4
    Abilities: Str 28, Dex 17, Con 21, Int 3, Wis 14, Cha 12
    Skills: Intimidate +8, Jump +9, Listen +2, Spot +2, Survival +4, Swim +17
    Feats: Endurance, Power Attack, Run
    Environment: Any aquatic
    Organization: Solitary or pod (10–80)
    Challenge Rating: 4
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: 7–11 HD (Huge)
    Level Adjustment:

    Combat
    Pilot whales fight in rather well coordinated groups. Sometimes they mob opponents to overpower them or have them flee. Other times some of them break off of the main group to chase down singular hostiles or prey further away in quick, sudden sprints.

    Blindsight (Ex)
    Pilot whales can “see” by emitting high-frequency sounds, inaudible to most other creatures, that allow them to locate objects and creatures within 200 feet. A silence spell negates this and forces the whale to rely on its vision, which is approximately as good as a human’s.

    Bullying Mob (Ex)
    Pilot whales can be very convincing when it comes to signalling others that they should leave. Whenever a pilot whale accosts opponents while accompanied by at least two other conspecifics, it can make a special Intimidate check that receives a +2 circumstance bonus for each further pilot whale present. An opponent that fails the opposed check is overcome by a sudden urge to just swim away as fast as it is able, as though frightened, albeit otherwise taking none of the other penalties associated with said condition.

    Hold Breath (Ex)
    A pilot whale can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 8 × its Constitution score before it risks drowning.

    Skills
    A pilot whale has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim
    check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.

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    The fact that a group of dolphins is called a "pod" in English still amuses me. Does that mean that if a group of darfellans attacks a nation it's the Invasion of the Pod People? If I build an orca-drawn chariot, is that a podracer? If I summon dolphins with Summon Natural Ally, am I a podcaster?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Pilot Whale
    Thick-skinned,
    Yes, they'd have to be to still think so highly of themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    It is sometimes alleged that they derive from some manner of aquatic goblinfolk that attempted to undergo the same ritual which produced the orcas, but this is a much-debated and rather controversial matter.
    Since the only goblinoid with a swimming speed is one that can breathe underwater, that means that (allegedly) the goblins literally just copied the ritual to the letter, and that made them lose their ability to breathe. Alternatively, eevawlushon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Pilot whales communicate using a simple language of clicks and whistles. Many insist it consists entirely of insults, but that is likely an exaggeration.
    I like the implication of that "likely" that they're so insufferable that no one ever bothered casting Tongues with them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Bullying Mob (Ex)
    Pilot whales can be very convincing when it comes to signalling others that they should leave. Whenever a pilot whale accosts opponents while accompanied by at least two other conspecifics, it can make a special Intimidate check that receives a +2 circumstance bonus for each further pilot whale present. An opponent that fails the opposed check is overcome by a sudden urge to just swim away as fast as it is able, as though frightened, albeit otherwise taking none of the other penalties associated with said condition.
    Also very well translated. It really feels like a mob.
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    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    The fact that a group of dolphins is called a "pod" in English still amuses me. Does that mean that if a group of darfellans attacks a nation it's the Invasion of the Pod People? If I build an orca-drawn chariot, is that a podracer? If I summon dolphins with Summon Natural Ally, am I a podcaster?
    Well, only if you don't use Silent Spell on the last one. Otherwise yes to all!

    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Since the only goblinoid with a swimming speed is one that can breathe underwater, that means that (allegedly) the goblins literally just copied the ritual to the letter, and that made them lose their ability to breathe.
    Okay, that's just too good for me not to pretend it was my intention all along.

    Boss Goblin: Stupid melonheads turned into fish, now they's big and strong! We do that, we be big and rad!

    [One ritual later.]

    Goblin Rando: Boss? I can't feel my gills.

    I like the implication of that "likely" that they're so insufferable that no one ever bothered casting Tongues with them.
    Well, that, or they were rather, khm, recalcitrant whenever someone tried.

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    Not much here, but it's big. Slimy too.

    Macrophage
    Massive, translucent blobs of quivering matter encased in a seemingly thin, but very tough film, macrophages prowl about the lands mindlessly, looking for things to devour. Many hold they were engineered by well-meaning but foolish healers trying to containt the outbreak of some great plague of the past; others suggest they lived within some great being once, larger yet than themselves, keeping it healthy as they fed. Either way, they persist, and with baffling ease: they are yet to be observed dying of anything short of violence.

    Size/Type: Huge Ooze
    Hit Dice: 8d10+72 (116 hp)
    Initiative: +0
    Speed: 40 feet (8 squares), swim 40 feet
    Armor Class: 13 ( -2 size, -2 Dex, +7 natural), touch 6, flat-footed 13
    Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+24
    Attack: Slam +14 melee (1d8+15)
    Full Attack: Slam +14 melee (1d8+15)
    Space/Reach: 15 ft./10 ft. (15 ft. with slam)
    Special Attacks: Suctional grab
    Special Qualities: DR 10/piercing, ill affinity, immunity to disease, ooze traits
    Saves: Fort +11, Ref +0, Will -3
    Abilities: Str 31, Dex 6, Con 28, Int –, Wis 1, Cha 1
    Skills: Swim +18
    Feats:
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary or team (2–14)
    Challenge Rating: 4
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: 9–15 HD (Huge)
    Level Adjustment:

    Combat
    Once it senses prey, a macrophage will attempt to move as close to it as it is able, as fast as it can and attack immediately. It does not retreat so long as it is aware of a living opponent being still present.

    Ill Affinity (Ex)
    A macrophage is automatically aware of the presence and location of any diseased creature within 80 ft. Such a creature doesn't receive the benefits of cover, concealment or total concealment against attacks by the macrophage, nor can it use the Darkstalker feat or similar abilities to hide from the ooze. Additionally, the macrophage enjoys a competence bonus of +4 to attacks made against diseased creatures and a competence bonus of +4 to AC against the attacks of those creatures.

    Suctional Grab (Ex)
    Whenever a macrophage hits an opponent of Huge size or smaller with its slam attack, the pseudopod delivering it thickens as more of the creature's viscous form flows into it, trying to wrap around its prey. The macrophage makes a grapple check as a free cation, provoking no attack of opportunity; if it succeeds, its opponent is immediately sucked into its body, suffering 2d8 points of bludgeoning damage, as well as 2d4 points of acid damage each round it remains so trapped. An engulfed creature can attempt to cut its way out by means of dealing 20 points of damage to the inside of the membrane enveloping the macrophage (AC 17), taking penalties to attack and damage rolls as though it were fighting underwater.

    Skills
    has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.



    Suctional Grab is of course a rather experimental twist on standard Improved Grab&Swallow Whole/Engulf. I should have probably made it two abilities, but I wanted to stress how it doesn't transfer things to its mouth; it transfers its (current) mouth to things.
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2024-07-03 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Illsense ushered out, new version in; Suction clarified.Edit to edit: WIS lowered.

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    Huh. That phage is really macro.
    ... I wonder, was Illsense (and what an annoying word to read) inspired by the kronks, perchance?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    ... I wonder, was Illsense (and what an annoying word to read)
    Is it the stupid amount of letters looking like glorified straight lines all beside each other or something else?

    inspired by the kronks, perchance?
    Those little fellers were probably crawling about in the back of my mind when this occured to me, but it also kinda comes with these big fellers being oversized white blood cells running loose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Is it the stupid amount of letters looking like glorified straight lines all beside each other or something else?
    First I only thought of those, yes, but just now when I read your post I misread it for a moment as Ilsensine, god of mind flayers. So there's that. *shrug*

    May I suggest Sicksense instead? It's got an alliterative quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    First I only thought of those, yes, but just now when I read your post I misread it for a moment as Ilsensine, god of mind flayers. So there's that. *shrug*

    May I suggest Sicksense instead? It's got an alliterative quality.
    I preferred ill to sick becaue it's a stronger and less ambiguous term, as well as one that doubles as a noun (the sense is for sensing ill, not a sense that is ill). I considered something like Illsight, but it's not visual, and in fact (so long as I keep it Ex which I would like to stick with) is more like scent, as in it relies on trace chemical cues. Is it really that bad? If it is, I'll think some more about it, but I kinda don't like Sicksense.

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    If you prefer it, keep it. It was just a minor gripe.

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    I'm not married to it or anything, I just struggle to think up something I feel like works just as well, but doesn't sound like some creepy tentacle deity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Macrophage
    Oh, I don't want to see the creature this macrophage belongs to... It's not just a mountain, it's a mountain range. Those who think that those are corpses of immense ancient dragons will be happy. I could see a series on it, with T-cells and red bloos cells being Large, the Ovum being Gargantuan and producing sperms that eventually rejoin it (such a big being cannot be anything but hermaphrodite), at which point it starts Splitting., fingers and eyes being Colossal (or even Colossal+), and anything above that being environmental hazard.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Armor Class: 17 ( +9 natural)
    Abilities: Dex 10, Wis 11
    I know it's a bit cliché, but I see no reason why this Ooze would have anything better than the standard 1 Dex, 1 Wis, no natural armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Illsense (Ex)
    A macrophage can detect the exact position of diseased creatures within 80 feet of itself. No amount of concealment or cover , nor possessing the Darkstalker feat or similar abilities can prevent it from doing so.
    Sooo... Does it cure them, or is it just in a "Secure, Contain, Eliminate" kind of way?
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    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Sooo... Does it cure them, or is it just in a "Secure, Contain, Eliminate" kind of way?
    It's called a phage, what do expect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    I'm not married to it or anything, I just struggle to think up something I feel like works just as well, but doesn't sound like some creepy tentacle deity.
    I could also suggest Affliction Awareness. Or wait... What do you think of this:

    Affliction Affinity (Ex): A macrophage is automatically aware of the presence and location of any diseased creature within 80 ft. Such a creature doesn't receive the benefits of cover, concealment or total concealment against attacks by the macrophage.
    Additionally, the macrophage enjoys a competence bonus of +4 to attacks made against diseased creatures and a competence bonus of +4 to AC against the attacks of those creatures.

    We could also call it Ill Affinity or Disease Mastery or something like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    Oh, I don't want to see the creature this macrophage belongs to... It's not just a mountain, it's a mountain range. Those who think that those are corpses of immense ancient dragons will be happy.
    Yep yep! I was thinking something sized like the Earthquake Plesiosaur from Elder Evils (and about as likely to meet a PC in person too).

    I could see a series on it, with T-cells and red bloos cells being Large, the Ovum being Gargantuan and producing sperms that eventually rejoin it (such a big being cannot be anything but hermaphrodite), at which point it starts Splitting.
    I should totally do giant T-Cells at some point! The gametes on the other hand… They are, mechanically speaking, a very sound idea (stationary boss creature constantly spawning creepy mobile things and more of itself), but I'm not sure I'm really comfortable making giant gamete monsters.

    I know it's a bit cliché, but I see no reason why this Ooze would have anything better than the standard 1 Dex, 1 Wis, no natural armor.
    Balance issues drove that decision. It basically cannot perceive healthy opponents, which puts it at something of a disadvantage when doing anything more risky than devouring a plague-ridden village of filthy peasants. I'm certainly amenable to lowering values if that reasoning is shakier than I thought, though.

    Sooo... Does it cure them, or is it just in a "Secure, Contain, Eliminate" kind of way?
    It doesn't perceive such opponents as ill creatures; it perceives them as pathogens to intercept and yes, eliminate. With extreme prejudice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tzardok View Post
    I could also suggest Affliction Awareness. Or wait... What do you think of this:

    Affliction Affinity (Ex): A macrophage is automatically aware of the presence and location of any diseased creature within 80 ft. Such a creature doesn't receive the benefits of cover, concealment or total concealment against attacks by the macrophage.
    Additionally, the macrophage enjoys a competence bonus of +4 to attacks made against diseased creatures and a competence bonus of +4 to AC against the attacks of those creatures.

    We could also call it Ill Affinity or Disease Mastery or something like that.
    Hey, I like affinity for that! It even carries an "it's drawn to the source" element to its meaning. And the AC bonus would obviate some of the need for pumping defenses, hm. I think I'll use this, yeah, thank you!
    Last edited by Metastachydium; 2024-07-02 at 11:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    I should totally do giant T-Cells at some point! The gametes on the other hand… They are, mechanically speaking, a very sound idea (stationary boss creature constantly spawning creepy mobile things and more of itself), but I'm not sure I'm really comfortable making giant gamete monsters.
    You coward! I thought flowers were immune to fear!

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    Balance issues drove that decision. It basically cannot perceive healthy opponents, which puts it at something of a disadvantage when doing anything more risky than devouring a plague-ridden village of filthy peasants. I'm certainly amenable to lowering values if that reasoning is shakier than I thought, though.
    Cannot perceive? It's an Ooze, it has Blindsight 60ft as a racial trait. Wisdom is basically useless to it (since it's also Mindless). The difference is basically only a matter of AC, nothing that you cannot balance with some more acid damage or a few more points in Con.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metastachydium View Post
    It doesn't perceive such opponents as ill creatures; it perceives them as pathogens to intercept and yes, eliminate. With extreme prejudice.
    Oooh, I love prejudice, it's my second favorite thing. Right after pride!
    Resurrecting the Negative LA thread, comments and discussion are very welcome!
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    Quote Originally Posted by H_H_F_F View Post
    3.5 allows you to optimize into godhood, yes, but far more importantly, it lets you optimize weak, weird, and niche options into relevance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beni-Kujaku View Post
    You coward! I thought flowers were immune to fear!
    Fear, yes, but the sickened condition (triggered by animal reproduction being gross)? That takes a feat, and one only gets so many of those.


    Cannot perceive? It's an Ooze, it has Blindsight 60ft as a racial trait. Wisdom is basically useless to it (since it's also Mindless). The difference is basically only a matter of AC, nothing that you cannot balance with some more acid damage or a few more points in Con.
    The issue is, Ill Affinity, as it is now called, is meant to replace Blindsight (which it doesn't have in its statblock because it doesn't have it). As for WIS… I don't know why it even has that. I should probably just lower it into oblivion, yes.

    Oooh, I love prejudice, it's my second favorite thing. Right after pride!
    …but still ahead of zombies!

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