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

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    Default [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    Conditioned Berserker: Description
    A man is standing in the corpse-ridden hall before you. He is breathing heavily, leaning on his bloody sword. Bits of gore still drip from it, and its point leaves marks of blood on the marble floor. He seems to be staring at nothing, oblivious to the pile of dismembered body parts and organs at his feet.

    Suddenly he gives a loud grunt, and surveys the room. As he turns towards you, you see his face, distorted and tight in a mockery of human expression. There are red stains around his lips and his eyes are open wider than you’d think was possible. He makes a bizarre sound, something between a grunt and a scream, and starts babbling insanely about pain, and blood, and fear, and death. Especially yours. You and your companions ready yourselves as he, or possibly it, wildly charges in your direction.


    Conditioned Berserkers are the result of deranged psionic experiments on humanoids. These are beings whose minds were fully and utterly shattered, and then reassembled at the best of the psionicist’s ability. The goal, in most cases, was to create a perfect fighting machine, oblivious to pain and death, without the loadstone of conscious thought to drudge it down. The goal was fully accomplished, perhaps even better than expected. The human body and mind hide much power, locked behind the iron seal of consciousness. Breaking that seal can be dangerous, however. Even after the rigorous conditioning given to the Berserker, the controller is only partially immune from his rage, which defies all logic and sense.

    Conditioned Berserkers, while unprovoked and uncommanded, do nothing but babble incoherently, usually about the rigors of their conditioning, not even bothering to eat, drink or defend themselves from obvious threats. When commanded or attacked, however, they immediately enter a wild rage and kill all those in the vicinity, except for the controller, though even the controller is not 100% safe. Their power is the strongest near-death.

    One of the unexpected, but not unwelcome (by their creators, of course), aspects of the Conditioned Berserker is the strength of their insanity, which leaks it and distracts all nearby creatures with mad and perverted thoughts.

    Conditioned Berserker: Rules Information
    “Conditioned Berserker” is a template that can be added to any living humanoid or monstrous humanoid.
    Conditioned Berserkers cannot speak coherently but can understand common. They are capable of communicating basic messages, such as 'yes' or 'no'.

    Size and Type: The creature type is unchanged.
    Hit Dice: Unchanged, except that the Conditioned Berserker gains full BAB for every hit die.
    Speed: Same as base creature.
    Armor Class: Unchanged.
    Attack: A Conditioned Berserker retains all the attacks of the base creature. If the base creature can use weapons, the Conditioned Berserker retains this ability. A creature with natural weapons retains those natural weapons. A Conditioned Berserker fighting without weapons uses his natural weapons (if any) or his unarmed attack. A Conditioned Berserker armed with a weapon uses its weapon.
    Full Attack: A Conditioned Berserker fighting without weapons uses either his natural weapons (if any) or its unarmed strike. If armed with a weapon, he usually attacks with the weapon
    Special Attacks
    A Conditioned Berserker retains all special attacks of the base creature, except those that rely on concentration and intelligence, including all psi-like and spell-like abilities, and special attacks derived from class levels.
    Special Qualities
    The Conditioned Berserker retains all special qualities of the base creature except those that rely on concentration and intelligence, including all psi-like and spell-like abilities, and special qualities derived from class levels.
    Damage Reduction (Ex): The Conditioned Berserker has 5/-- Damage Reduction.
    Turbulent Mind (Su): The Conditioned Berserker is immune to all mind-affecting effects that do not stem from his own abilities, as well as any effect that deals damage or drain to mental ability scores.
    Any creature attempting to detect the thoughts of a Conditioned Berserker must make a Will save or suffer 4d6 points of damage and become confused for 2d4 rounds.
    Tireless (Ex): The Conditioned Berserker is immune to fatigue, exhaustion, and non-lethal damage.
    Unconscious Thought (Ex): The Conditioned Berserker is immune to all unconsciousness and sleep effects.
    Interference (Su): Uncontained insanity and psychic noise radiate from the Conditioned Berserker at all times. All creatures within 30 feet of the Conditioned Berserker must make Concentration checks (DC 10 + ½ HD + Charisma modifier) to cast spells or manifest powers.
    Conditioned Frenzy (Ex): When a Conditioned Berserker is attacked, affected by any pain effect or an effect that deals continuous damage, or when ordered to do so by its controller, the Conditioned Berserker enters a Conditioned Frenzy. During the Conditioned Frenzy it gains a +8 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution, a +4 bonus to Will saves, a -4 penalty to AC, can make one additional attack when making a full attack action, and an immunity to pain effects. Once he has entered the Conditioned Frenzy the Berserker will proceed to attack all creatures within line of sight except for its controller until all are slain. This effect lasts for 1 minute or as long as the Conditioned Berserker suffers the continuous damage or pain effect (whichever is longer). At the end of the Frenzy the Conditioned Berserker is dazed for 1d4 rounds.
    Insane Frenzy (Ex): If a Conditioned Berserker falls under 10% of its maximum health while in a Conditioned Frenzy he enters an Insane Frenzy. During an Insane Frenzy the Conditioned Berserker's actions are random. Every round, roll d% to determine how the Conditioned Berserker acts:
    {table=head]Action | Roll
    Attack nearest creature, except controller | 0-50
    Attack nearest creature, including controller | 51-70
    Attack controller; if not within 1 move or less, attack nearest creature| 71-80
    Become Shaken for 1 round, reroll | 81-100
    [/table]
    The Conditioned Berserker gains a +16 morale bonus to Strength and Constitution and a +8 morale bonus to Will saves, his damage reduction increases to 10/--, he may perform two additional attacks when taking a full attack action, and he gains fast healing 5. The Conditioned Berserker leaves the Insane Frenzy if his health rises above 20% of its (new) maximum health. After leaving an Insane Frenzy the Conditioned Berserker remains in a Conditioned Frenzy for at least 1 minute.
    If the Berserker's Conditioned Frenzy ends while he is also in an Insane Frenzy he does not become dazed until after the following Conditioned Frenzy ends.
    Abilities: Strength +6, Dexterity +6, Constitution +6, Wisdom 1, Intelligence 3.
    Skills: Unchanged.
    Feats: Conditioned Berserkers lose all feats gained from class features. All Conditioned Berserkers gain Power Attack and Die Hard as bonus feats.
    Environment: Any.
    Organization: Solitary or with controller.
    Challenge Rating: ½ * HD + 5
    Treasure: Standard.
    Alignment: Always neutral.
    Level Adjustment: --

    Notes
    Anyone has an idea for a better name?
    Last edited by Syne; 2008-07-28 at 09:30 AM.
    Books and the people who read them.
    Sometimes, a little madness is a good thing.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Zeta Kai's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Syne View Post
    Challenge Rating: ½ * HD + 4
    By this, do you mean (½×HD)+4? Because, as it's written, it could be read as ½×(HD+4). Either way, it's an interesting way to calculate a critter's CR.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DracoDei's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    Confusion seems like the wrong choice for the higher level insanity given that one of the options is blabbling incoherently. While that matches with the fluff it doesn't seem aggressive enough for the way I would think the condition would work. For another thing two of the random possibilities in it refer to the "caster" and one of them involves fleeing. Now I guess as a valuible tool, having it preserve itself when badly injured makes sense, so maybe if you had "caster" refer to the nearest designated target, that could work...

    I would change "supernatural noise" to "psychic noise" to fit the fluff better I think since you just mentioned babbling which stopped when it attacked and no odd sounds.

    I wonder about the possibilities of expanding this to Magical Beasts, Aberations, Giants, or <Shudder> dragons.
    [Public Service Announcement]P.E.A.C.H stands for Please Examine And Critique Honestly[/Public Service Announcement]
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Baron Corm's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    By this, do you mean (½×HD)+4? Because, as it's written, it could be read as ½×(HD+4). Either way, it's an interesting way to calculate a critter's CR.
    Parenthesis
    Exponents
    Multiplication
    Division
    Addition
    Subtraction



    Also... yeah... applying this template to anything with 9 or more HD actually lowers its CR (if CR = HD... it eventually lowers it in any event).

    Any chance these guys were inspired by Reavers from Firefly?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    Never watched Firefly :P I just kind of... thought of it.

    Also, it's fitting for the template to lower CR in many cases, since the creature loses many of its abilities once it gains it. High-HD creatures (and because of the humanoid/monstrous humanoid requirement, those creatures would have class levels) have many powerful abilities.
    Confusion seems like the wrong choice for the higher level insanity given that one of the options is blabbling incoherently. While that matches with the fluff it doesn't seem aggressive enough for the way I would think the condition would work. For another thing two of the random possibilities in it refer to the "caster" and one of them involves fleeing. Now I guess as a valuible tool, having it preserve itself when badly injured makes sense, so maybe if you had "caster" refer to the nearest designated target, that could work...

    I would change "supernatural noise" to "psychic noise" to fit the fluff better I think since you just mentioned babbling which stopped when it attacked and no odd sounds.

    I wonder about the possibilities of expanding this to Magical Beasts, Aberations, Giants, or <Shudder> dragons.
    You're right about the confusion thing. Shows what you get from working with memory. Especially if it's my memory. I'll try to design a different table of random actions.

    You're right about the supernatural noise too. I'll change it.

    As for the magical beasts and so forth, at first I thought about making it 'any living creature', but then I thought about the problems it could cause, with many non-humanoids having very high stats and powerful abilities (i.e. things like Swallow Whole, fast healing, regeneration) that would make finding the proper CR adjustment for all cases difficult. It's not very precise right now, but I feel it approaches some semblance of accuracy,
    Books and the people who read them.
    Sometimes, a little madness is a good thing.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Silence's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeta Kai View Post
    By this, do you mean (½×HD)+4? Because, as it's written, it could be read as ½×(HD+4). Either way, it's an interesting way to calculate a critter's CR.
    No, not really. You multiply before adding.

    Som

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    So... is it OK the way it is? Anyone have anything else to say about it?

    Is the fluff any good? Or is it a cheesy/overdone/I don't know thing?

    Is the CR calculation method any accurate at all, judging from its abilities?
    Books and the people who read them.
    Sometimes, a little madness is a good thing.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Baron Corm's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Monster/Template] Insanity Has Its Virtues... (Peach)

    I didn't even notice that it took away class features and SLAs, heh. In that case, I think it should be something more structured, such as -1 CR for each level's worth of class features or at-will SLA or per day SLA of xth level or higher. Something structured like that, instead of hoping higher HD creatures have better abilities (sometimes they don't, consider most undead). And add a flat + to CR of 3 or so.

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