Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Desolation, Part 2: The Elves

The Elves of the Desolation

Image Credit: Muglo
The elves of the Desolation work in a loose caste system, with the despicable common folk and disgusting foreigners at the bottom, and knowledgeable necromancers and noble council members at the top.

Elven cities are led by a Council, chosen through a convoluted system of nepotism, backstabbing, false elections, true elections, and then some more backstabbing for good measure. Members of the Council will either have a very short lifespan or an incredibly long one, depending on how well-protected they are.

Even outside of the Council, confusion, deception, and other such nonsense is commonplace. Because of this, even money must have a place in defending you. Instead of using gold, copper, or other metals, elves use Amulets of Shinnae, necromantic objects that contain souls. The Amulets of Shinnae are built by the noble necromancer caste, with souls taken from criminals, foreigners, and anybody an elven noble didn’t like very much. The Amulets inflict a geas on the soul, forcing them to protect their holder.

In case it wasn’t already easy to see, necromancy is far from taboo in elven society. The necromancer caste is one of the two noble castes, spending much of their time in their own towers, built by the other nobles.

Image Credit: Paizo, I think.
Necromancers are taught to replace most normal solutions to problems with urban living with their magic. Without easy sources of light, elven cities are lit with Soulamps: a fragment of a soul stored in a heavy, iron-bound lamp. When shattered, a Soulamp’s prisoner escapes with a deafening screech.

Elves are very isolationist, refusing to leave the Desolation. Some say they've found something, deep within.

The Desolation, Part 1: Creatures of the Desolation

The Desolation

The Desolation is an ice desert, comprised of tiny fragments of ice and sand and irradiated with horrible magics. With the rising sun, it becomes a hellscape of blinding light and wandering Prismwraiths. At night, the cold can crack even the most hardened adventures (if the creatures that awaken with the darkness don't first).

Cultivators

The Cultivators go through a metamorphic life, being born as small worm-like creatures and buried in some of the deeper chambers of their underground Hivecities. Decisions are made by the Queen's Circle, made up of the queens of every Hivecity.

The Cultivators are the only source of plants in the Desolation, and thus are often under attack by some creature or another, or under siege by the elves. To protect themselves, they fabricated the Wyrm Eaters, and military service is mandatory if a Hivecity comes under assault.

Cultivators worship the Inner Gods: ancient titans buried beneath the earth, revealed through fault lines. It is said some of the deepest Hivecities have burrowed all the way down to where the Inner Gods live. Cultivator clerics of Inner Gods such as Ursek, Ar-Torak, and Om-Tira are common in the larger Hivecities.

Image Credit: Cloister.se


Cultivator

Medium Monstrosity, Lawful Good

  • Armor Class 12 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points 10 (2d8)
  • Speed 30 ft., burrow 15 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
10 (+0)8 (-1)12 (+1)14 (+2)14 (+2)6 (-3)

  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 12
  • Skills Arcana +2, Survival +2
  • Languages Cultivator
  • Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
  • Damage Immunities Cold

Actions

Multiattack: The Cultivator can make 2 claw attacks
Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8 + 1) slashing damage

Maidenfly

Maidenflies are bioengineered pollinators created by the Cultivators, with multiple pollen sacs, often filled with poisonous or irritating pollens, and their large proboscis, they can be somewhat dangerous, although they are very passive, and do not attack without a command from the Cultivators.

Image Credit: Cloister.se

Maidenfly

Tiny Monstrosity, Lawful Neutral

  • Armor Class 12
  • Hit Points 8
  • Speed 10 ft., fly 65 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
6 (-2)14 (+2)10 (+0)3 (-4)14 (+2)5 (-3)

  • Senses Darkvision 20 ft., Passive Perception 11
  • Skills None
  • Languages -
  • Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
  • Damage Immunities Cold

Actions

Jab: 1d4 piercing damage, +2 to hit, 5 ft. reach, one target
Stunning Pollen: All creatures other than Maidenflies, Cultivators, and Wyrm Eaters in a 30 foot dome around the Maidenfly must make a DC 5 constitution save or be stunned for two turns.
Irritating Pollen: All creatures other than Maidenflies, Cultivators, and Wyrm Eaters in a 30 foot dome around the Maidenfly must make a DC 10 constitution save or have disadvantage on to hit rolls as well as attackers having advantage on affected targets for the next 3 turns.
Vitalizing Pollen: All Maidenflies, Cultivators, and Wyrm Eaters within a 30 foot dome around the Maidenfly gain +10 ft. of movement, +1 to hit rolls, and 5 temporary hit points.

Prismwraith

Prismwraiths are formed by the reflected light of the Desolation reacting with the magical radiation contained within. They spend their single day wandering, with their fragmented minds racing to understand what they are. Large amounts of them congregate to Elven cities, where they can find the light they need to survive.

Prismwraiths are not always immediately aggressive, but often lash out in confusion. They vanish at sunset, with the loss of the light that makes them up.

Prismwraith

Medium Celestial, Chaotic Evil

  • Armor Class 14
  • Hit Points 65
  • Speed 0 ft., fly 80 ft., (hover)

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
6 (-2)16 (+3)16 (+3)12 (+1)14 (+2)5 (-3)

  • Senses Passive Perception 16
  • Skills None
  • Languages -
  • Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
  • Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't silvered
  • Damage Immunities necrotic, poison, cold, radiant
  • Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained
  • Incorporeal Movement: The wraith can move through other creatures and objects as if they were difficult terrain. It takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object.
  • Solar Powered: The Prismwraith disappears if not touched by sunlight.

Actions

Radiant Cone: 2d10 radiant damage, 15 ft. cone
Radiant Beam: 2d8 radiant damage, 75 ft. range, one target

Wyrm Eater

Wyrm Eaters are bred and kept by the Cultivators for use as protectors. Their circular antennae connect them to the energies of magic, and their large size and destructive mandibles make them formidable opponents in close combat.

Wyrm Eaters fight quickly and violently, but each has been trained to minimize collateral damage.

Image Credit: Cloister.se


Wyrm Eater

Medium Monstrosity, Lawful Neutral

  • Armor Class 18
  • Hit Points 37
  • Speed 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
15 (+2)10 (+0)14 (+2)11 (+1)12 (+1)6 (-3)

  • Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 16
  • Skills None
  • Languages -
  • Challenge 2 (450 XP)
  • Damage Immunities Cold
  • Charge If the Wyrm Eater moves at least 30 ft. straight toward a target and then hits it with a Slam attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 3d6 bludgeoning damage.

Actions

Slam: 1d10 bludgeoning damage, +2 to hit, 5 ft. reach, one target
Kinetic Blast: 1d8 force damage, 100 ft. range, one target
Acid Spray (Recharge 4-5-6): Deals 2d6 acid damage in a 30 ft. line, 5 ft. wide
Kinetic Storm (Recharge 5-6) Fires 4 blasts, each dealing 1d8 force damage with a range of 100 ft. You can direct the blasts at the same target or at different ones. Make a separate to hit roll and attack roll for each blast.

Silentwyrm

Silentwyrms burrow under Cultivator farms, hiding their heads by folding the leafy flaps behind their head over their titanic maw, waiting for a Cultivator to come by. Silentwyrms will focus on killing or knocking one person unconscious, then dragging them away.

Even if their camouflage is broken, Silentwyrms are big, violent, and destructive: perfect for DMs to use against players who think there's nothing to be afraid of in the Hivecities.

Image Credit: Cloister.se


Silentwyrm

Large Monstrosity, unaligned

  • Armor Class 18
  • Hit Points 154
  • Speed 30 ft., burrow 30 ft.

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
18 (+4)8 (-1)18 (+4)11 (+1)12 (+1)6 (-3)

  • Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Blindsight 120 ft., Passive Perception 16
  • Skills None
  • Languages -
  • Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
  • Damage Immunities Cold

Actions

Multiattack: The Silentwyrm makes 2 Claw attacks.
Bite: 1d10 bludgeoning damage, 1d6 piercing damage +3 to hit, 30 ft. reach, one target, then attempts to grapple.
Consume: The Silentwyrm makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, that creature takes the bite's damage and is swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the Silentwyrm, and it takes 21 (6d6) acid damage at the start of each of the Silentwyrm's turns. If the Silentwyrm takes 30 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the Silentwyrm must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the Silentwyrm. If the Silentwyrm dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse using 15 feet of movement, exiting prone.
Claw: 2d10 slashing damage, +5 to hit, 60 ft. reach, one target

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Will Work For Copper: Celebrants of the Dragon Emperor

Celebrants of the Dragon Emperor

Will Work For Copper is a comedic d6-based RPG I'm writing where the player characters are apprentice wizards, random people, petty thieves, and generally incompetent. Lucky for them, so are the enemies: the endless Kobold hordes of the Dragon Emperor.

The Celebrants are the Dragon Emperor's lieutenants, and each leads an army of kobolds. Each of them hates the rest. They will never cooperate without the Dragon Emperor's forceful interference.

Perfected-Wind

Image Credit: Hunqwert

 

The air dragon Perfected-Wind is overly dramatic and theatrical. She thinks even the lightest wound could kill her, and reacts accordingly. Her kobolds are very quick-thinking: a necessary trait to quickly convince Perfected-Wind of her continued health.

Scattered-Lights

Image Credit: WOTC
Scattered-Lights is not a dragon. His predecessor, Tattered-Sky, died under mysterious circumstances. A few days later, Scattered-Lights took control of Tattered-Sky's soldiers and equipment. The issue with this is that Scattered-Lights is actually a paper puppet with 5 kobolds in it. The five kobolds switch around leadership every week, making Scattered-Lights seem confused and strange when it comes to strategy.

Scattered-Lights' kobolds know their leader is a puppet, and have gotten used to the strange, conflicting orders by only listening to the largest swathes and concepts, making it easier to change plans at a moment's notice.

Bloodied-Tide


Image Credit: Creature Caster
Bloodied-Tide is a water dragon, and also a zombie. He still has authority, for some reason, although he mostly uses that to wander around moaning "BRAINSSSS" at people. His kobolds have a rather higher ratio of necromancers than most: they spend their time studying Bloodied-Tide, in the hope of learning how he was returned to life.

Bloodied-Tide's army is led by a kobold wizard named Watches-Sunlight. However, Watches-Sunlight is just as incompetent as any other kobold. While she thinks her leadership is a secret, it's common knowledge.

Sundered-Mountain

Image Credit: Athayar
The earth dragon Sundered-Mountain is the youngest of the Celebrants, and thinks she's much smarter than he actually is. Her kobolds spend most of their time building overcomplicated Rube Goldberg devices, for use as traps. Sundered-Mountain rarely leaves her lair, where she constantly improves her defenses.

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