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    Default [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    EDIT: This is an old post and, as such, it is against the forum rules to respond to it. If you have comments, then please PM me, or start a new thread with a link in it to this one.

    Recently finished up the beta test of this... It didn't go so hot, so I am increasing the DR and AC a bit(already edited in)... and also I didn't give enough clues in the environment... anyway, comments welcome. Will add more details of the beta test later probably.

    Acorn Folly
    Medium Construct
    HD 6d10+20 (Average 53 hp)
    Speed 20 ft. (4 squares); (Can charge and double move, but not run)
    Init: +0
    AC 16 (+6 Natural); touch 10; flat-footed 14
    BAB +3; Grp +7
    Attack Slam +7 (1d6+3)
    Full-Attack 2 Slams +7 (1d6+3)
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    Special Attacks
    Special Qualities Woodland Stride, Trackless Step, DR 15/Epic or Squirrel(but see below for more precise definition), Fire Resistance 5, Electricity Resistance 5, Acid Resistance 5, Cold Resistance 3, SR 22(but see below), Tree Shape(Oak Only, size equal to that of the Acorn Folly) 2/day, Construct Traits
    Saves Fort +4 Ref +1 Will +4
    Abilities Str 16, Dex 10, Con -, Int 14, Wis 5, Cha 1
    Skills Move Silently +9, Spot +7, Listen +9, Hide +9, Knowledge(Nature) +8
    Feats Iron Will(B), Great Fortitude, Stealthy, Alertness
    Environment Deciduous Forest
    Organization Solitary or Pair
    Challenge Rating Not Applicable (see "Usage" below).
    Treasure None
    Alignment Always Neutral
    Advancement 7-8 (Medium); 9-16 (Large) 17-24 (Huge)

    This humanoid figure seems comprised of a mass of small nuts. through gaps at the joints an incredibly crude wooden "skeleton" can be glimpsed.

    Squirrels and Acorn Folly Spell Resistance: Due to the insane nature of the Nature magic animating them, Acorn Follies have a unique weakness... Squirrels. Any magic spell that has been modified to have a squirrelesque aspect to it ignores an Acorn Folly's spell resistance and energy resistances. Examples include Magic Missile spells that hurl phantamal squirrels at the target which seem to bite it, a Burning Hands spell that takes the form of a squirrel of pure flame with a gigantic lashing tail, or a Shout spell that sounds like squirrel chittering. Researching these cosmetic modifications for a spell that is already known requires 1/10 the time and resources of researching the spell from scratch and the spellcraft check is 3 points lower.

    Acorn Folly Damage Reduction:
    Live Squirrel -> Full weapon damage on strike (but even a to-hit roll that hits as a touch attack will kill the squirrel, thus reducing its effectiveness on future strikes, unless it is somehow protected) -> no damage reduction
    Dead Squirrel (including arrows tipped with squirrel bones/teeth and such) -> damage reduced by 6 but with a minimum of 1 point of damage inflicted.
    Slashing or peircing weapon coated in fresh (still red and unclotted) squirrel blood -> damage reduced by 6 points
    Squirrel shaped weapon or squirrel motif inscribed on a blade -> damage reduced by 10 points.
    Full round of contact with a live squirrel -> 2 points of damage (So tie a bunch of them to your armor and grapple it!)
    Full round of contact with a dead squirrel -> 1 point of damage
    Usage: Acorn Follies as random encounters is basically a horrible idea... however it IS effective to have them as the central theme of an adventure for characters of levels 2 or 3 or maybe 4. The adventure should focus on hasty research and weapon construction (including the capture of a large number of LIVE squirrels for research purposes and for tying onto weapons) before the Acorn Folly(-ies) can cause too much destruction. Discovering their weakness and figuring out means of exploiting it should be key points of the adventure. Dealing even 1 point of damage to it will knock some (perhaps charred) acorns loose, which if grabbed off the ground (which probably provokes an AoO) before the party flees should provide a bonus to their research for having an actual physical sample to examine the magical residue in. If the players are particularly stumped for workable hypothesis to test, or otherwise just don't seem to get it, then have their initial research simply give them "The party spellcasters are stumped, and believe that the only way they will make any further progress is if they have a physical sample to examine."

    The creation of an Acorn Folly is noticably different from the process for most constructs in many regards. One is that there are no expensive components required and no XP component. Another is that there is no time limit per day either maximium or minimum that the creator must limit themselves to.

    Creating the body requires the creator to PERSONALLY assemble the wooden frame using healthy branches from Oak trees. The druid must be in base form whenever working on the harvesting and assembly of these branches. No tools of any kind may be used. This usually means that the druid must make all the necessary cuts by knawing the trunk and limbs with his own teeth (Magic Fang and Greater Magic Fang are popular when engaging in this activity..., and yes, a bite attack DOES count as a natural weapon for a human IMHO... just provokes an AoO even if you have Improved Unarmed Strike, only does 1 point of base damage and has some horrible to-hit penalty). Note that NONE of these restrictions apply to the acorns. The assembly requires a DC 5 Craft(carpentry) check. Although the materials are technically free, due to the restrictions on construction methods the body is considered to have a market price of 10,000 gp for purposes of how long it takes to construct (assuming a fairly usual race on the part of the creator and a medium size Acorn Folly), the spells mentioned above may, if used in great abundance may reduce this at the GM's discression.
    If the Acorn Folly is to be Large in size then the "cost" is doubled, and for Huge is quadrupaled.

    After the basic frame has been constructed 5,000 acorns, each of which has been affected by either Goodberry or Fire Seeds (when used for this purpose the spells do not provide their usual benefits, however the acorns need not be freshly picked, although they must be whole and unrotted, the duration of the spells is perminant, and Goodberry may be used even though acorns aren't berries) must be piled onto the frame, where-in they destribute themselves and magically adhere. The Acorn Folly is then complete with no further work, and no XP cost. For each additional hit die above the minimum 2,000 more enchanted acorns are required. Note that these spells can come from assistants, scrolls, etc and the means by which the acorns were gathered is irrelevant as long as they remain in good condition throughout the process. If at least %5 of the acorns were enchanted with Fire Seeds then the slam attacks strike as Flaming weapons, or as Flaming Burst weapons if at least %10 of the acorns were so enchanted. This effect may be changed to Shocking/Shocking Burst if the appropriate Energy Substitution feat was applied to all the Fire Seeds spells used to enchant the acorns, or it may function as both if the appropriate Energy Admixture feat was instead applied (or if the number of "Fire Seeds" affected acorns both with and without Energy Substitution(Electricity) applied to them to independantly meet the percentage requirements). Each additional damage type increases the base CR by 1.



    "Behind the scenes" for the number of acorns required.
    Assuming 9th level druid creator with a wisdom of 19 or lower and no assistants.
    14+(WIS bonus) spell slots per day at 9th level usable for "Good Berry". Assuming 16 WIS = 17 castings per day.
    17*5(average of 2d4) = 85 acorns per day average.
    Assume we want this to be ~60 days work... 85*60=5,100... so round that to 5,000 acorns
    \
    Fire Seeds is level 6 and lists as affecting up to 4 acorns or 8 holly berries
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2011-03-02 at 11:50 PM. Reason: Put in Anti-threadomancy header.
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Ow ow ow ow ow....this is just painful. Ow.

    Who do you really see designing one of these? You mention a druid and go into a lot of details regarding the frame and construction using goodberries but that's almost too confining.

    5,000 goodberries would take a ridiculous amount of magic to create. Even if the all the druids were 20th level you'd still need too many druids to do this because it would have to be done in one day! Duration is one day so one druid cannot do this by himself, even if you allow goodberry to be made permanent which it normally can't.

    Adding the absurdity of having to use teeth to make this construct just means that it cannot be taken seriously. Nobody would do this. Furthermore, most druids DON'T HAVE NATURAL WEAPONS so the druid can't use this on his own teeth any way. Maybe this works for a vampire druid with 200 levels of druid but in a normal campaign, it's ridiculous. As I said, who do you envision actually making one of these things????

    The fact that squirrels are involved is funny but the execution doesn't work unless there is some reason behind the squirrel vulnerability. When you are creating a new monster it really does help to see the big picture and not just a jumble of numbers and special abilities.

    Also, what is the purpose of the Acorn Folly? It has a lot of special qualities but no cohesion that makes them seem like they fit together for any particular purpose.

    Don't just grab a handful of resistances to make it more powerful without them being a part of the overall picture. I can see it being resistance to electricity (ie lightning) because it would act as a lightning rod in the forest. However, I don't see where acid and cold resistance feel like they have a place. Rather than fire resistance, I could see them a vulnerable to fire. This is a creature made of wood is it not?

    DR 15/epic is excessive for a 6 HD monster. If you want to make a TPK you have it right there. 8th level PCs don't normally have epic weapons nor should they. If you are really set on that, then make it especially vulnerable to axes. Axes should overcome the DR for this creature and maybe do extra damage. Again this fits with the forest theme.

    Don't overwhelm a 6 HD monster with special abilities or you'll end up with a high CR for relatively low HD. Speaking of which: 6d10+20 is 53 Hit points
    [6 x 5.5 = 33 +20 = 53) not 86. Even if you max the hit points the most you can give it is 80.

    Most constructs are unintelligent. If you are making an intelligent construct it gets 2+Int Modifer at each HD with quadruple for the first HD. It has Int of 14 giving it a modifier of +2 so it has 36 skill points to play with (16 for the first HD and 4 for each subsequent HD). It definitely should have more skills. It can have up to 9 ranks in each skill. It should have at least 4 skills all maxed out at 9 ranks.

    It needs another feat. It gets 3 feats and bonus feats.

    Special attack: Acorns. It can throw acorns (3 per day) as a range attack. You could treat each acorn as magic missile [CL 6].

    There is a lot of good potential here that could be ported into a more normal campaign but this is so over the top and homebrewed that it really isn't viable to anyone else.

    Debby
    P.S. Titanic Carniverous Flying Squirrel of Legend eats your Acorn Folly for lunch!
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2008-12-04 at 11:05 AM. Reason: added stuff.

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Clarification: Purpose is as something that requires something other than just beating on it to defeat... something that requires retreating to research the problem. Think any classic monster movie (including kaiju (sp?) movies such as Gozilla) where the scientists are more important to the eventual victory, and the military are, at best a speed-bump to give the researchers time, and a delivery system for the magic bullet when it is discovered...

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Ow ow ow ow ow....this is just painful. Ow.

    Who do you really see designing one of these? You mention a druid and go into a lot of details regarding the frame and construction using goodberries but that's almost too confining.
    Creator would be a total cloud cookoo-lander. I had mine get hauled off to the looney bin by the elves in the little white coats (players are in the elven empire), raving about how someone had swapped the wings on white dragons and chickens... as anyone with eyes could PLAINLY see... (yes, insanity often implies a low Wisdom score, but not ALWAYS).

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    5,000 goodberries would take a ridiculous amount of magic to create. Even if the all the druids were 20th level you'd still need too many druids to do this because it would have to be done in one day! Duration is one day so one druid cannot do this by himself, even if you allow goodberry to be made permanent which it normally can't.
    Thought I specified that for these purposes the duration was perminant? I will double check, and correct if I left it out...

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Adding the absurdity of having to use teeth to make this construct just means that it cannot be taken seriously. Nobody would do this. Furthermore, most druids DON'T HAVE NATURAL WEAPONS so the druid can't use this on his own teeth any way. Maybe this works for a vampire druid with 200 levels of druid but in a normal campaign, it's ridiculous. As I said, who do you envision actually making one of these things????
    Perhap I need to specify out that yes, humans can unarmed strike with a bite for 1 point of damage at some rediculous to-hit penalty and that this can be enhanced by Magic Fang? I thought that was pretty much implied by the context really...

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    The fact that squirrels are involved is funny but the execution doesn't work unless there is some reason behind the squirrel vulnerability. When you are creating a new monster it really does help to see the big picture and not just a jumble of numbers and special abilities.
    Insane creator results in insane mechanics... same reason Weirders and Lunatics get their powers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Also, what is the purpose of the Acorn Folly? It has a lot of special qualities but no cohesion that makes them seem like they fit together for any particular purpose.
    See above about "why does it have to make any sense at all?"... but yes, I did sorta design it as a hit and run stalker at first... the tree-shape and track-less step means that they can't just keep hitting it to wear it down at will...

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Don't just grab a handful of resistances to make it more powerful without them being a part of the overall picture. I can see it being resistance to electricity (ie lightning) because it would act as a lightning rod in the forest. However, I don't see where acid and cold resistance feel like they have a place. Rather than fire resistance, I could see them a vulnerable to fire. This is a creature made of wood is it not?
    The abilities don't actually HAVE to make sense from within the game, it was created by someone with only the most tenuous connection to reality... but, actually they do... he gave it exactly the resistances it needs to be fairly resiliant against whatever could be thrown at it... Fire, Cold, Electricity, and Acid for Alchemists Fire, Frost, Spark and good old vials of Acid respectively... DR for mundane attacks, and SR for spells...

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    DR 15/epic is excessive for a 6 HD monster.
    Allowing Epic to bypass its DR was just a way of keeping it more reasonable for random encounter use that is all.. for purpose of the initial fight it might as well have DR 15/- and straight spell resistance... the research is a whole seperate thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    If you want to make a TPK you have it right there. 8th level PCs don't normally have epic weapons nor should they. If you are really set on that, then make it especially vulnerable to axes. Axes should overcome the DR for this creature and maybe do extra damage. Again this fits with the forest theme.
    Axes are much too obvious... and fire is THE easiest energy types to deal. And yes, as for the CR... I bumped up the DR and AC since I wrote that, to deal with Power Attack. Perhaps it should be higher, but against what this thing is ACTUALLY supposed to be fighting (not what the CR says), yes it is supposed to be a TPK if the party doesn't run away each time until they have done their research (which ideally involves collecting some acorns they knock off it when they penetrate its defenses for a few points of damage...).


    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Don't overwhelm a 6 HD monster with special abilities or you'll end up with a high CR for relatively low HD. Speaking of which: 6d10+20 is 53 Hit points
    [6 x 5.5 = 33 +20 = 53) not 86. Even if you max the hit points the most you can give it is 80.

    Most constructs are unintelligent. If you are making an intelligent construct it gets 2+Int Modifer at each HD with quadruple for the first HD. It has Int of 14 giving it a modifier of +2 so it has 36 skill points to play with (16 for the first HD and 4 for each subsequent HD). It definitely should have more skills. It can have up to 9 ranks in each skill. It should have at least 4 skills all maxed out at 9 ranks.

    It needs another feat. It gets 3 feats and bonus feats.
    Oops... yeah... don't know what happened with these things... but yes, it is supposed to be intellegent (dumb things can be tricked into a pit and buried in rocks or the like too easily).

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Special attack: Acorns. It can throw acorns (3 per day) as a range attack. You could treat each acorn as magic missile [CL 6].
    A ranged attack would seem to me to discourage running away, something the players are going to be reluctant to do in most cases anyway... except some parts of it having too many special abilities... I think that is necessary for the designed game purpose (a monster that MUST have ORIGINAL research performed or some VERY creative trickery used to defeat it).

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    There is a lot of good potential here that could be ported into a more normal campaign but this is so over the top and homebrewed that it really isn't viable to anyone else.
    Defeating this thing is supposed to be an entire (short) adventure in and of itself, even without mixing in any other encounters.


    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    P.S. Titanic Carniverous Flying Squirrel of Legend eats your Acorn Folly for lunch!
    Yes, yes it does... and that is as it should be. So does any member of the "Squirrel Hurler" PrC someone pointed me to on the Wizard's boards...


    Edit: Fixed hp (if the extra for medium size are +20), clarified the "Magic Fang" issue, and added emphasis about the indefinite duration of the Good Berry and Fire Seeds spells (which I had already specified, but now it is underlined and I added a word or two for emphasis). And I realized I need to state that they are capable of self-repair by gathering acorns and adding them to themselves in a minor magical ritual.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2008-12-05 at 04:58 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Clarification: Purpose is as something that requires something other than just beating on it to defeat... something that requires retreating to research the problem. Think any classic monster movie (including kaiju (sp?) movies such as Gozilla) where the scientists are more important to the eventual victory, and the military are, at best a speed-bump to give the researchers time, and a delivery system for the magic bullet when it is discovered...
    In that case, they'd be following a trail of dead squirrels. The creator would be obsessed with squirrels [maybe he was bitten as a child and contracted a disease which affected his mind]. There'd be notes galore over his quest to end squirrel villainy. Of course, with this insanity it's no wonder his creation was totally vulnerable to squirrels. He died a total failure as his acorn folly was the exact opposite of his intentions! Yep to use your words a total cloud cookoo-lander!

    re: Goodberry
    Thought I specified that for these purposes the duration was perminant? I will double check, and correct if I left it out...
    You left it out. Duration for goodberry is one day per level. If you are making it permanent you need to explain this because it doesnj't follow normal rules.


    Perhaps I need to specify out that yes, humans can unarmed strike with a bite for 1 point of damage at some rediculous to-hit penalty and that this can be enhanced by Magic Fang? I thought that was pretty much implied by the context really...
    Actually I had a bit of inspiration. Perhaps the creator filed his teeth down so that he could have an unarmed bite attack. That would make using magic fang and greater magic fang for the creator a little more reasonable. It also shows how obsessive he was.


    Insane creator results in insane mechanics... same reason Weirderers and that class that could summon Tire Iron get their powers...
    I totally agree but insane doesn't mean that you throw the kitchen sink at the PCs.

    See above about "why does it have to make any sense at all?"... but yes, I did sorta design it as a hit and run stalker at first... the tree-shape and track-less step means that they can't just keep hitting it to wear it down at will...
    Because there is fun weird and annoying weird. This really shoud be fun weird for the PCs going up against it. If they can't figure it out they'll just get frustrated and stop having fun. As a DM you can prevent this from happening and the easiest way to to do this is make a monster that has some internal consistencies.


    The abilities don't actually HAVE to make sense from within the game, it was created by someone with only the most tenuous connection to reality... but, actually they do... he gave it exactly the resistances it needs to be fairly resiliant against whatever could be thrown at it... Fire, Cold, Electricity, and Acid for Alchemists Fire, Frost, Spark and good old vials of Acid respectively... DR for mundane attacks, and SR for spells...
    To a point and that point ends when the players stop enjoying your creation because it's just too difficult. And if the creator is obessive crazy he's not going to focus on throwing every resistance. If the PCs realize they need epic weapons to defeat this, they'll give up and come back when they've got epic weapons or find an NPC with an epic weapon and then they aren't even in the battle. This becomes very unfun quickly and I doubt you want that.


    Allowing Epic to bypass its DR was just a way of keeping it more reasonable for random encounter use that is all.. for purpose of the initial fight it might as well have DR 15/- and straight spell resistance... the research is a whole seperate thing.
    But you didn't design this as a random encounter. You had to create a special unarmed bite attack and the special creation rules. That's not random that's too much work for random. Why require any research for a random monster?


    Axes are much too obvious... and fire is THE easiest energy types to deal. And yes, as for the CR... I bumped up the DR and AC since I wrote that, to deal with Power Attack. Perhaps it should be higher, but against what this thing is ACTUALLY supposed to be fighting (not what the CR says), yes it is supposed to be a TPK if the party doesn't run away ieach time until they have done their research (which ideally involves collecting some acorns they knock off it when they penetrate its defenses for a few points of damage...).
    hey you started with this theme and I'm just expounding on it. Sometimes the obvious is the best way to go. For 6 hit dice, you are making a very difficult creature with a CR that probably is even highter than 8.



    A ranged attack would seem to me to discourage running away, something the players are going to be reluctant to do in most cases anyway... except some parts of it having too many special abilities... I think that is necessary for the designed game purpose (a monster that MUST have ORIGINAL research performed or some VERY creative trickery used to defeat it).
    I didn't mean to tell you it had to have a ranged attack but frankly if the PCs animate some dead squirrel skeletons they wouldn't have to be involved at all. A swarm of squirrels would be just as effective. If you want an original al way of dealing with a monster then you need to give out better clues. Playing 20 questions with every resistance is boring.

    Defeating this thing is supposed to be an entire (short) adventure in and of itself, even without mixing in any other encounters.
    But you've made it very complicated with all its special abilities.



    Edit: Fixed hp (if the extra for medium size are +20), clarified the "Magic Fang" issue, and added emphasis about the indefinite duration of the Good Berry and Fire Seeds spells (which I had already specified, but now it is underlined and I added a word or two for emphasis). And I realized I need to state that they are capable of self-repair by gathering acorns and adding them to themselves in a minor magical ritual.
    Here's the SRD on constructs:
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/typesSubty...#constructType

    Yes, medium constructs get +20 hp.

    Debby

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Before I go any further:
    Thank you for your help Debihuman, it is MUCH appreciated, and don't ever think I am getting down on you or whatever, what we are doing is what I wanted done here... critique.

    Ok, for the CR... I know what I want it to do, and I don't NECESSARILY see a problem with having a creature with a CR equal to twice its HD or whatever...

    Quite frankly I don't see any way to make this thing work without making it pretty darn frustrating... it HAS to be something that they CAN NOT just power their way through for most gaming groups. Axes and fire mean that it can be over in one (extended?) encounter, which is something I am specifically trying to avoid... and to a noticable extent the greater the frustrations, the larger the triumph when they finally pull it off...

    A trail of dead squirrels in the druid's wake would be a LITTLE obvious I think... now having the construct have driven off/killed all the squirrels in its area (and the corpses having mostly been eaten by scavengers so they wouldn't be found unless the PCs specifically look and/or make a decent Knowledge(Nature) / Spot / Search check...) that is reasonable for the difficulty level I want to create...

    The idea is that they need to get away, get to the nearest library (I conveniently had a mage get so annoyed by the druid before the druid was hauled off that he didn't bother taking most of his less valuible books with him). They then analyze it, based on their first hand observations (I asked the players to state specific hypotheses they were going to test... which they could not provide for one reason or another... I would have given them pretty direct hints without making them go back to get sample acorns if they had just stated it in a clear/scientific format, but since they didn't...). Depending on the degree of success the descriptions of the weaknesses could vary greatly in clarity from:
    - handing them the text of the DR and SR sections of the abilities description,

    -to "It seems to be well protected against almost every energy type... but there SEEMS to be some sort of material it would be vulnerable... what you aren't sure, because it is no metal, mineral, liquid or wood..."

    -to "Its weakness seems to be more metaphysical than anything else and centers around the acorns"

    - to "A Live squirrel attached to the striking surface of a bludgeoning weapon would be the most effective, although the squirrel would not survive the first hit so it would be reduced in effectiveness at the very least... even a blade inscribed with a squirrel motif would have some minimal effectiveness... and between those two extremes there are many levels, but you can't quite pin them down with your book research."

    And yes, 20 questions is, to a large extent, the name of the game...

    Once again... shear bull-headed persistance should be a DEATH SENTENCE when fighting this monster... meticulous, systematic, and creative thought are the order of the day.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2008-12-05 at 04:45 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    No offense trust me. You actually get some of what I'm saying. It's one thing to look at a monster from the DM's perspective (you have a really great idea) but a good monster also has to look good to the PCs. It will do you no good to bully the PCs into going to a library unless you set it up as a possibility. Unless they know what to look for, it's pretty unlikely that this is one they will figure out -- especially since you are using a lot of house rules to make the creature in the first place.

    This is why this particular monster doesn't work well as a random encounter -- too many variables. Not just the DR to everything which isn't fair to the PCs unless they are very lucky and a squirrel appears, they have to know its history. This is not an intuitive monster. Are they going to think "squirrel" when you say this is made of acorns? Or will that confuse them because they'll be more likely to think Treant. With squirrel vulnerability, the acorn folly isn't likely to be found anywhere near squirrels if it can help it. Their creator may have been crazy, but they are intelligent. Also the acorn folly is mostly neutral so you have to give it a reason to attack the PC party. Frankly, it might offer a reward to the PCs if they can keep a gang of squirrels away from it. You didn't mention what language it speaks.

    Debby

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Actually, I would think "squirrel" if I knew it was made of acorns, if that's worth anything.

    Debihuman makes some good points, but I think that this is fairly well worked-out. The idea of having a bunch of dead squirrels around, presumably found before the acorn folly is, is a good idea. Perhaps rampant squirrel demise could be the hook that leads them to check out the woods and find the Acorn Folly in the first place.

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Yeah... now that I think it over some more this thing is not just poorly suited to being a random encounter, it is actually just about the worst random encounter ever, now that I think about it. DR 15/- (in effect) and high SR with low hp... probably not good for that purpose (or I could be wrong...).
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Though never officially stated, I believe that CR is a measurement of how difficult a creature is to destroy in a random encounter. That said, I do not believe that it is possible to appropriately assign this thing a CR.

    I understand that several creatures follow a similar principle, the most obvious being a troll. Indeed, if your party doesn't know how to keep a troll dead, it is going to be a TPK. However, the troll does not require careful research to kill, only a successful knowledge (nature) check made as a free action. After learning this, it is possible that the party won't have any means of killing it and be forced to run away.

    However, the Acorn Folly pushes this principle to the very limits. Having fire and/or acid on hand is not too unrealistic to destroy a creature. Having specifically crafted weapon, a stockpile of dead squirrels, or customized spells is simply more than you can expect from a party you randomly spring this on.

    I understand what you were intending to do with this, I really do. Sick it on the party once while it seems invincible, they run away, they plan for an eventual comeback, and they kill it. This is a good plan and I like it.

    However, there is a single fundamental problem with this creature. You are pretending that it exists outside of this one adventure. Rid yourself of this delusion. It will be used in this one adventure only, never as a random encounter.

    One thing that you have to realize is that even after your party realizes this thing's weakness, you are going to railroad them into killing it more efficiently. Believe me when I say that many parties are going to get one or two squirrels and think it is sufficient. If they are feeling creative, the fighters may try using them as improvised clubs. No (or next to no) parties will think to carve squirrel shaped clubs, collect hordes of squirrels (well, they might think of that), or have their evocations reshaped into squirrels unless you specifically suggest it.

    Also, once this thing's weakness is known, even a party of 4th or 5th level adventurers can kill this thing with ease, earning far more experience than they should be able to (note that trolls can put up a fight even against fire/acid using parties). Pumping up the CR for the few instances when this is used as a "random encounter" is simply doubling the XP of the low-level party that figures the weakness out. While I'm all for rewarding creative parties, this seems like going a bit too far.
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Right... that is pretty much what I said, but you said it even more intensely... Worst random encounter EVER.

    Have now officially changed the CR to "Not Applicable"... might need to insert a number just to give GMs an idea of how many XPs to award for the adventure... but that can come when I am not so sleepy...
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2008-12-05 at 01:58 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    This has soo not lost the funny since I first saw it.


    Theres a Faerunian Feat that defeats it easily though
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    What feat would that be?
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    cool Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    You know, this is still a hoot.

    CR is 9 or less. [Long and excruiciatingly detailed explanation deleted due to it being far too dull to inflict on readers here] Suffice to say that once the fighter can hit for 16 points of damage or more, the acorn folly is toast because the fighter will have a lot more hit points and will hit more often due to higher BAB.

    The problem is how to convince the party to use squirrels. As a DM, you kinda have to lead them to that route because it is so weird. Really, that is how this encounter should be set up. Make the party want to attack using squirrels.

    You need a good story with a catchy hook and lots of clues. Set up as a mystery would be better and don't show the monster until the very last possible moment. Think Hound of the Baskervilles meets Scooby Doo.

    Debby

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    As any Schlock Mercenary fan can tell you, survival, and getting paid can be powerful motivating factors... but yeah, I could totally see doing it in the style you describe (not that I am too familiar with The Hound of the Baskervilles, but I think I know just enough)...
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    I just noticed that your advancement is odd.

    Advancement: 4-8 (medium); 9-20(Large);21-30(Huge)
    First, you should only show how it can be advanced using more hit dice. You don't need to show that it can be reduced. Also, advancing creature's usually follows that they advance in size after doubling their hit dice. Here's how a standard progression woud look:

    Advancement: 7-8 (Medium); 9-16 (Large) 17-24 (Huge)

    If you wanted, you could advance to Gargantuan (25-32), but generally speaking advancement only follows two increments. I know advancement doesn't HAVE to fit this model but this is fairly standard.

    I believe the guidelines came from a WotC article but since I don't have my gaming stuff handy, I'm not 100% sure.

    Debby

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    I probably originally had 3 HD or something and then bumped it up for one reason or another... Note that there isn't any particular reason you couldn't introduce this thing at a anywhere from 1st to... well eventually there is going to be some sort of limit, but... maybe 10th level? It is a conceptually driven monster, rather than one that has to be a certain size, CR, or fit an ecological niche or something.

    The other thing I forgot to mention and stat up (and it is mostly going to be cut-n-paste) is the stats for the squirrels themselves since capturing them alive and in sufficent quantities is interesting enough to actually play out for most groups... I mean there are was certainly Sleep comes to mind, but even then you have to catch them before they hit the ground or the will probably wake up... just the uniqueness of going after diminutive quarry that has no interest in combat with you until you get a grip on it (at which point it IS going to try to bite you to get you to let go of it), is going to be a novel experience for most groups so handling it too "off screen" would be a mistake.
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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Here is a copy of squirrels that was previously posted on GitP by Dracomortis.

    Squirrel
    Diminutive Animal
    Hit Dice: 1/4d8 (1 hp)
    Initiative: +3
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 30 ft.
    Armor Class: 17 (+4 size, +3 Dex), touch 17, flat-footed 14
    Base Attack/Grapple: +0/–16
    Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d3–4)
    Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d3–4)
    Space/Reach: 1 ft. / 0 ft.
    Special Attacks: —
    Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +1
    Abilities: Str 2, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
    Skills: Balance +13, Climb +13, Listen +3, Spot +3
    Feats: Alertness, Weapon Finesse(B)
    Environment: Temperate forests
    Organization: Solitary, pair, or group (2–10)
    Challenge Rating: 1/8
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: —
    Level Adjustment: —

    These docile rodents thrive in temperate woods, where they eat mostly nuts, berries, and small insects.

    Combat

    Squirrels are extremely timid and run at the first sight of danger, biting only when cornered.

    Skills: Squirrels have a +8 bonus racial bonus on Balance and Climb checks. A squirrel can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened. A squirrel uses its Dexterity modifier for Climb checks.

    Squirrels As FamiliarsA squirrel may be selected as a familiar. It grants its master a +3 bonus on Climb checks.


    Squirrel, FlyingDiminutive Animal
    Hit Dice: 1/4d8 (1 hp)
    Initiative: +4
    Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 30 ft., glide 20 ft.
    Armor Class: 18 (+4 size, +4 Dex), touch 18, flat-footed 14
    Base Attack/Grapple: +0/–16
    Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d3–4)
    Full Attack: Bite +8 melee (1d3–4)
    Space/Reach: 1 ft. / 0 ft.
    Special Attacks: —
    Special Qualities: Glide, low-light vision, scent
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
    Abilities: Str 3, Dex 19, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 6
    Skills: Balance +14, Climb +14, Jump +12, Listen +3, Spot +3
    Feats: Alertness, Weapon FinesseB
    Environment: Warm forests
    Organization: Solitary, pair, or group (2–10)
    Challenge Rating: 1/8
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always neutral
    Advancement: —
    Level Adjustment: —

    Flying squirrels have two flaps of skin connecting their forearms to their body, which allows them to “fly” from tree to tree.

    Combat

    Flying squirrels avoid combat, using their gliding ability to quickly escape enemies.

    Glide (Ex): A flying squirrel can glide from any height at a speed of 20 feet per round in moderate or lower winds, descending at a rate of 10 feet per round.

    Skills: Flying squirrels have a +8 racial bonus on Balance, Climb, and Jump checks. A flying squirrel can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened. A flying squirrel uses its Dexterity modifier for Climb and Jump checks.

    Flying Squirrels As Familiars
    A flying squirrel may be selected as a familiar. It grants its master a +3 bonus on Jump checks.

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    No jump bonus on the first one? Must be a ground squirrel I guess...
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    PirateGirl

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    Default Re: [3.5] DR/... WHAT?! (Creature) [PEACH]

    Maybe they should have a +4 racial bonus to jump.

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