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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    Arcane Devourer
    Size/Type: Tiny Construct
    Hit Dice: 13d10 (71 hit points)
    Initiative: +10 (+6 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
    Speed: Fly 30 ft. (perfect)
    Armor Class: 31 (10 + 2 size + 6 dexterity + 4 natural + 9 deflection) touch 27 (10 + 2 size + 6 dexterity + 9 deflection) flat-footed 25 (10 + 2 size + 4 natural + 9 deflection)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +7/--
    Attack: Slam +9 melee (1d3)
    Full Attack: Slam +9 melee (1d3)
    Space/Reach: 1 ft./5 ft. (modified reach)
    Special Attacks: Open, Devour Secrets, Enthrall, Grant Secret
    Special Qualities: Construct Traits, Natural Spellcasting, Spell Resistance,
    Freedom of Movement, Arcane Resistance, Arcane Deflection, DR 5/--, Anti-magic Weakness, Sympathy, Aura, Sustenance
    Saves: Fort +13, Ref +19, Will +12
    Abilities: Str 10, Dex 22, Con --, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 28
    Skills: Spellcraft +23, Knowledge (Arcana) +33, Knowledge (the planes) +25, Knowledge (All others) + 15, Concentration +25, Bluff +21, Diplomacy +21
    Feats: Improved Initiative, Ability Focus (Devour Secrets), Heighten Spell, Empower Spell, Spell Focus (any)
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary, Troup (Arcane Devourer + 1 Ė 8 Wizard/Sorcerer Thralls)
    Challenge Rating: 16
    Treasure: None, except for the Arcane Devourer itself
    Alignment: Usually neutral evil
    Advancement: 14-17 HD (Tiny)(+1 CR/HD)
    Level Adjustment: --

    The Tome of Ancients lies before you. You begin to fantasize about the profound arcane secrets hidden within and the power you shall gain through knowing them. You grimly remember how they all laughed; well, now you shall show them! You shall show them all!
    An insane laugh escapes your lips and, with a sudden movement, you open the Tome and gaze within. Arcane writings blind your eyes, instilling themselves deep within your mind and soul. You feel a cold contentment radiate from the Tome, as if it is alive. Then your spells begin to leak out of your mind, replaced by empty oblivion and a vague desire to serve. You can feel the arcane knowledge drawn into the Tome itself, and are struck by a sudden, horrible irony.


    Magic itself is powerful; yet even knowledge of it can be dangerous. The Arcane Devourer is the result of an incredibly powerful Wizardís spellbook left undisturbed and unused long enough to become sentient in some way, its multitude of spells and invocations serving as a soul, a mind, and nourishment. The Arcane Devourer is sustained by arcane spells and secrets; in extreme cases it devours its own spells, permanently erasing them from its pages. However, doing so causes it something akin to pain (though it does not truly feel anything); so it prefers not to. The sentience of the Arcane Devourer is generally malevolent, as it lacks the conscience most true living beings have, yet it understands what good and evil are. However, this is not always so. It is said some Arcane Devourers serve life rather than prey on it, and find nourishment in evil spellcasters which they thwart.

    The nature of the Arcane Devourer is such that wizards and other arcane spellcasters are drawn to the book. The magic within is so powerful that it easily registers on the senses of any arcane practitioner, who must struggle not to develop an obsession with it. The Arcane Devourer itself cannot turn this effect off. Once the Arcane Devourer feeds off the spells and secrets of a creature it may attempt to enthrall it, tugging on the still-existent connection between the creatureís spells and the creature itself. This way the Arcane Devourer can gather a host of thralls about itself, to serve as both food and guardians.

    The Arcane Devourer can cast the spells written within itself as if it were a Sorcerer. Once cast, the spells do not vanish but become inaccessible for a time, until the Arcane Devourer rests and gathers them once more. However, the Arcane Devourer cannot cast its most powerful spells (usually epic spells or spells higher than 9th level) since they serve as vital components of its sentience.

    Most Arcane Devourers appear as ancient spellbooks, decorated with precious gems. The gems serve as the Arcane Devourerís eyes.

    Arcane Devourers speak Common, Draconic, and any three other languages. Most can also cast Tongues. An Arcane Devourer speaks magically, so it cannot speak in an anti-magic field.


    COMBAT

    Arcane Devourers fight behind their hosts of thralls and never venture into close combat, since they cannot deal much physical damage through their slam attack. They often attempt to flee to the furthest possible range from their targets, while still allowing them to cast their powerful offensive spells.

    The DC of the Devourerís special abilities is 10 + 6 (Ĺ its HD) + 9 (Charisma modifier) = 25
    Devour Secrets (Su): When a creature capable of casting arcane spells attempts to read the Devourer (a full-round action that causes it to lose its Dexterity modifier to armor class), the creature must make a Will save or suffer 1d4 negative levels. If the save is successful and the creature is affected by the Sympathy effect it immediately gains an additional save to end the effect. Otherwise, it is likely the creature will resume reading the Devourer on the next round as well. For every negative level the Devourer causes it heals 10 hit points. Excess hit points are temporary hit points that disappear in 1 hour, if not used beforehand. Devour Secrets cannot lower a creatureís effective level below 1. Casters that have no need for a spellbook gain a +4 bonus on saves against this ability. Whenever the negative levels cause a creature to lose a known spell there is a 20% chance the spell is added to the Devourerís list of known spells and it gains an additional spell per day for that level (if it is of a sufficient level to cast the spell, at least). Spellcasters capable of casting epic spells are immune to this ability.
    Enthrall (Su): Once a Devourer has drained a creature of 4 levels that creature must make a Will save immediately or become Dominated, as if by Dominate Monster cast at the Devourer's caster level. The creature must make the save again whenever it is drained by the Devourer's Devour Secrets ability. The Devourer may not influence a creature with a higher caster level with this ability and may only control twice its HD in casters.
    Open (Su): This ability allows the Devourer to open itself while hovering in the air, as a full-round action, allowing any creature to gaze within. When this ability is used the Devourer loses its Arcane Deflection, Arcane Resistance, Damage Reduction, and Natural Armor bonus to armor class for 1 round. This is a gaze attack that compels all creatures capable of casting arcane spells within a 30-foot cone that are susceptible to take a full-round action to read the Devourer. The action must be taken as soon as possible. Casters that can cast epic spells are immune to this ability.
    Grant Secret (Su): In some cases necessary for its survival the Devourer may grant one of its secrets willingly to another creature. Every time a creature saves against the energy drain ability of the Devourer it also has a 20% chance to learn one of its secrets.
    When a creature is granted a secret willingly the Devourer chooses a spell from its list of known spells; if it is granted unwillingly, the spell is chosen at random. The target creature can then use the spell at the Devourerís caster level, as a spell-like ability, as long as it has a sufficiently Intelligence score to cast spells of that level. Once a granted secret is used, it is forever lost (it is impossible to regain it by rest or anything else). If unused, a granted secret is forgotten within 1 minute. Granting a secret causes the Devourer 1 point of damage per level of the spell, the spell is erased from the Devourerís list of known spells, and the Devourer permanently loses 1 spell per day for that level.
    Natural Spellcasting: The Devourer can cast spells as a Sorcerer of its HD. It also ignores all spell components except material components that cost more than 1 gp and focus components. Such physical components must in some way be brought next to the Devourer, as it does not have limbs or anywhere to carry the components. Most Devourers start out with 120% - 1d4*10% of their spells due to having Devoured some and Granted others.
    Spell Resistance (Su): The Devourer has 11 + HD Spell Resistance.
    Freedom of Movement (Su): The Devourerís movement is always smooth and uninhibited, as if affected by a Freedom of Movement spell (at the Devourerís caster level).
    Arcane Resistance (Su): The Devourer gains a Resistance bonus equal to its Charisma modifier to all saving throws.
    Arcane Deflection (Su): The Devourer gains a Deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier to AC.
    Anti-magic Weakness (Ex): The Devourer suffers 1d10 points of damage per round while in an anti-magic field, but the Devourerís magical flight is unaffected by it.
    Sympathy (Su): The Devourer is constantly radiating a magical aura that draws arcane casters towards it. All arcane casters must make a Will save when they enter the area within 60 feet of the Devourer. Failure causes them to desire to possess, touch, and finally read the Devourer. Even if the save is successful creatures must make an additional save within 1d6x10 minutes. Failure causes them to return to the Devourerís area. If the Devourer reveals its sentience this effect works like Charm Monster. Affected creatures gain an additional save to end the effect within 24 hours. Casters that have no need for a spellbook gain a +4 bonus on saves against this ability. Casters that can cast epic spells are immune to this ability.
    Sustenance (Su): By taking a standard action the Devourer can devour one of its own spells and heal itself by 7*spell level. This ability erases the spell from the Devourerís spells known and permanently reduces its spells per day for that level by 1.
    Aura (Su): The Devourer sheds an Overwhelming magical aura.
    Skills: The Devourer has a +4 racial bonus on all Int-based skill checks and a +10 competence bonus on all Knowledge checks.

    Treasure

    The treasure left by the Devourer is itself; as it is a spellbook containing a large assortment of spells, though it can no longer teach the reader the arcane secrets it could have while it lived. All the Devourerís spells known are written within the spell book, though at least 2d4*10% of them are unreadable due to the damage it has suffered. A Wizard could decipher it as any other spellbook. It is also highly ornate and covered with rare gems and various other decorations, meaning it could be sold for at least 15,000 gp even without the spells within it.

    Thralls
    The devourer is usually surrounded by multiple thralls, most of which are wizards. It may also be surrounded by other casters that havenít become thralls yet, though casters affected by its Sympathy ability tend to be hostile to one another.
    Last edited by Syne; 2008-07-25 at 12:39 PM. Reason: Edited some abilities, changed size...

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    First, awesome. A sentient, malevolent spellbook. I like it. :)

    Second, does the Open ability give a save? If not, that seems pretty powerful (what with negating all arcane casters within 30 ft for a round without options and all). I know this might mesh poorly with the Sympathy ability, but it seems like a way to just punish arcane casters that defeat the Sympathy, since it'll just rope 'em in w/o a save anyway.

    -argus

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    Open is extremely powerful, yes, but it's also extremely dangerous for the Devourer to use, as it takes a full-round action and carries a -13 penalty to AC, -9 to all saves, and +5 to all physical damage it receives. Not to mention the chance that the target will actually benefit from using the ability.
    Also, the caster can simply avoid looking at the book, as Open is a gaze attack.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    Though that caveat is true about gaze attacks... I rarely see it happen. Most of the time, unless you KNOW it has a gaze attack, you're not lookin' away. Since no one's ever seen this thing before, they'll have no idea that has a gaze attack that compels folks to read it, thus losing their minds, and becoming it's willing puppets.

    Also, I noticed something else. Can thralls to the Devourer still cast spells? I know it sucked some levels out, but since they obviously still have levels in their casting classes, can they use their spells in it's name? If so, what happens if one used something like Break Enchantment on themselves by accident (removing a bad effect an enemy cast on them or something)? Do they free themselves? If so, would they still be subject to the Devourer's powers, or does their freedom break the power to be affected by the compulsion?

    Lastly, if the Devourer dies, do they get their levels back? Are they freed? Or do they just mill about aimlessly, cause their master is dead, but their minds aren't freed yet?

    -argus

    Note: Really though, cool stuff! I'm loving it!

    NinjaEdit:
    Casters that have no need for a spellbook gain a +4 bonus on saves against this ability. Whenever the negative levels cause a creature to lose a known spell there is a 20% chance the spell is added to the Devourerís list of known spells and it gains an additional spell per day for that level (if it is of a sufficient level to cast the spell, at least).
    I like this dichotomy, between sorcerers getting bonuses against it, but also being the only way for it to increase its spells known and more spells/day. Clever twist.

    -argus (again)
    Last edited by arguskos; 2008-07-24 at 04:55 PM.

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

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    Default Re: [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    Compare and contrast to this.
    [Public Service Announcement]P.E.A.C.H stands for Please Examine And Critique Honestly[/Public Service Announcement]
    Currently Running: Equestria Begins (A High Tactics campaign)
    Extended Signature
    My Homebrew is meant to be used, but, if you do, PLEASE tell me how it goes.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    O_O
    WUT
    WUTWUT
    WUTWUT

    I do believe someone has stolen my idea via an international conspiracy and a time machine.

    Edit: Somewhat bemused by the revelation that I've been the victim of temporal plagiarism, but I'll answer the questions anyway:

    Though that caveat is true about gaze attacks... I rarely see it happen. Most of the time, unless you KNOW it has a gaze attack, you're not lookin' away. Since no one's ever seen this thing before, they'll have no idea that has a gaze attack that compels folks to read it, thus losing their minds, and becoming it's willing puppets.
    Theoretically, a Knowledge (Arcana) check should reveal something about the creature. Also, once it is has used its abilities, they are apparent.

    Also, I noticed something else. Can thralls to the Devourer still cast spells? I know it sucked some levels out, but since they obviously still have levels in their casting classes, can they use their spells in it's name? If so, what happens if one used something like Break Enchantment on themselves by accident (removing a bad effect an enemy cast on them or something)? Do they free themselves? If so, would they still be subject to the Devourer's powers, or does their freedom break the power to be affected by the compulsion?
    Dominated creatures can only cast spells if specifically ordered to do so or if doing so aids them in reaching a goal set by the controller. So they can't cast Break Enchantment themselves, though another creature can cast Break Enchantment on them, which would end the domination immediately (if the check is successful).

    Lastly, if the Devourer dies, do they get their levels back? Are they freed? Or do they just mill about aimlessly, cause their master is dead, but their minds aren't freed yet?

    -argus
    I think they would do whatever the last thing the Devourer set them to doing was until it was completed, and then they would just do whatever they wanted. They would also get to make an additional save every day, as per the description of the Dominate Person spell.
    Last edited by Syne; 2008-07-24 at 05:13 PM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    AstralFire's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    Really cool idea, I like. Curious though, why would a spontaneous caster feel compelled to read?

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    Dominated creatures can only cast spells if specifically ordered to do so or if doing so aids them in reaching a goal set by the controller. So they can't cast Break Enchantment themselves, though another creature can cast Break Enchantment on them, which would end the domination immediately (if the check is successful).
    So, does the dominator know the spells/prepared of the dominated? I'd think that if the dominator says to the dominated, "Cast something!" then the dominated could totally case a Break Enchantment spell. Of course, this may also be a "DM ruling" moment, so meh.

    -argus

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [Monster] In Soviet Russia, Spellbook Reads You!

    Quote Originally Posted by AstralFire View Post
    Really cool idea, I like. Curious though, why would a spontaneous caster feel compelled to read?
    For the same reason any other caster would be compelled; they are drawn by the profound knowledge it contains. Although for Sorcerers the desire is somewhat foreign (hence the bonus), the book can still give them power. Reading the Devourer is less actually 'reading' it and more having the knowledge fly out of the book and find purchase in your mind (reading an actual spell from a spellbook takes much more time than a full round action). Even in the minds of Sorcerers that purchase can be found, as they do the same things Wizards do; albeit in different ways.

    So, does the dominator know the spells/prepared of the dominated? I'd think that if the dominator says to the dominated, "Cast something!" then the dominated could totally case a Break Enchantment spell. Of course, this may also be a "DM ruling" moment, so meh.
    Yes, if the controller gives the controlled a vague order like that he may well cast Break Enchantment, or even Mind Blank for that matter. No controller is going should be to be that stupid, though.
    And yes, the controller could ask the controlled what its prepared spells are/order the controlled to learn or prepare certain spells.
    Last edited by Syne; 2008-07-25 at 05:12 AM.

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