07 February 2016

Tale Of The Fallen Kings


So you want to become a king? Ha! I’d thought about that again, kid… We had many, many kings here in the Deepwood… And you know what? Only a few of them died peacefully. Yeah, the kings… Well, the kings here ascend and fall often, very often, and violently too! Whom I should tell you about first? See, let’s start with Andars Antheros, a southern lordling who came here to carve a name and a fief for oneself. It was a hundred and fifty years ago, more or less. He arrived with a retinue of men-at-arms, servants, and laborers. He had a seer with him. Some sort of magician who threw lots and divined the auspicious place for the castle… Not much stone was were he settled and the roads here weren't suitable for long distance transport at that time. Not that changed much, the local routes are still a crap in the eyes of southern merchants. Anyway, without stone, Andars had to content himself with a wooden keep. He had grandiose plans, though. Clear the wood, build routes, settle the land, import the stone, build a proper castle fitting a southern prince… He let slip that he would value being prince of Imperial colony more than being a local king, though, and the locals would have none of that. They intercepted his envoy with letters of submission on the way south and confronted the wouldn’t-be-a-king. He died that night together with his magician and his senior officers. He must have made some sort of agreement with his killers, however, for they spared his teenage daughter, Kalia. She refused to return south and even kept some of her father’s retainers with her. The rebellion had four leaders: Arndal, Sigbert, Yesh, and Kirgillo. Arndal and Sigbert became co-rulers, called themselves Lords Keepers Of Deepwood… Kirgillo was their steward. Yesh went to become champion of the common laborers, hunters, and lumberers. He was quickly ousted from the ruling elite and had to flee and hide among his supporters. Kirgillo managed to keep peace as long he lived, but when he died of old age incompetence of the Lords Keepers couldn’t be hidden for long. Without steward to handle things for them, Arndal and Sigbert increased their oppression of the commoners, demanding higher and higher tribute. Rebellion rose on the first spring after Kirgillo’s death and Yesh led lumberers and hunters against the tax collectors… With the help of Kalia’s loyal troops. Young heiress was viewed as a savior now by the people remembering her father’s reign with fondness. Soldiers were leaving Lords Keepers side in droves. Before the autumn harvest, Kalia and Yesh stormed the keep. Arndal, Sigbert, and Yesh died that night. For years people believed that Yesh died fighting, but later some servants started telling stories of the hunter’s leader ghost haunting the keep, claiming to have been killed by Kalia in delayed revenge for her father’s death. No one knew that at first, though, and Kalia ruled for ten more years. She managed to build a stone tower as a central part of the keep as a first step of making her father’s dreams come true, but she died in childbirth. Baeldrick, captain of her guards, rumored to be the child’s father took over as a regent. His rule was deemed satisfactory but unexceptional. Until the kid got oneself killed at the ripe old age of fifteen. Fell from a horse, or so the official story went. I think it might be even true… If Baeldrick wanted to take over, why would he wait fifteen years to get rid of the kid? The people didn’t think him innocent, though. They rose against the regent. He fought back. Blood was spilled, lots of blood. Then a witch came out of the woods and offered to bring the dead prince back to life. She demanded a royal ransom for that, she did, but the people agreed. It was paid from the regent’s coffers anyway. It ruined our small kingdom but the prince returned, the regent was exiled, and the witch became the sole royal adviser and consort. The boy crowned himself the first king of the Deepwood and named himself Andars the Second in honor of his grandfather. Ruled five years and got himself killed during hunting accident. The witch revived him, emptying the treasury again. Five years later the king was dead again. This time it was fair and square death on the battlefield in a border skirmish with Idriss, a petty queen of the neighboring realm of the Greystone. After being returned to life for the third time, he promptly proposed to Idriss. The witch cursed him, took all the money from the treasure, and left for good. Thankfully, Andars was shrewd entrepreneur by now, keeping most of his wealth invested in trade routes, infrastructure, and local industries. Royal union with Greystone gave him much needed stone and now he could build a proper castle where once wooden keep stood. Just in time to see the king’s funeral. Fourth time was the final one. Andras was killed by a dragon that assaulted and ravaged the Greystone while the royal pair was overseeing a festival there. His burned corpse was recovered by the fleeing queen. She sent envoys in search of the witch who saved her husband’s life in the past. The witch laughed her out. Idriss doubled the offer only to learn that the dead kings was beyond the help of magic the witch could call upon. The dark days came for realm as the dragon turned the queen’s old settlement into own lair, earning itself the name of Greystone Dragon, and kept harassing the Deepwood. Baeldrick, the elderly former regent returned from exile to aid the queen in the assault against the dragon in its lair. The raid ended being a costly failure, Idriss and most of her companions died while Baeldrick and his squire barely fled with their lives. With no heirs to the royal line, Baeldrick proclaimed himself the king. The dragon wounded in the raid kept low for the year and the future started to look bright for the Deepwood again. And then the dragon struck again. In its rage the monster rampaged through the castle and killed every living thing within its walls. The people fled the realm and wilderness slowly encroached again. The dragon moved its lair to the ruined castle and nested there for the next fifty years. After two generations, a group of adventurers came to the Deepwood. Three siblings claiming to be grandchildren of king Andars and the witch, and their three companions. In a grand battle of magic, cunning, and martial valor, they killed the dragon, losing one of the siblings and two companions. They brought laborers and settlers and started rebuilding the castle into a new town. The sister crowned herself queen Randa while her surviving brother Faen became her adviser and her court wizard. The reconstruction works were interrupted by appearance of the former regent and self-proclaimed king Baeldrick. He arose as some sort of undying monstrosity driven by hatred toward the living, especially the usurpers of his throne. The queen and her brother promptly got rid of the dead captain. He returned next year. They destroyed him again. He arose again and again. Finally, Faen somehow managed to convince or trick Baeldrick to take the crown of the desolated Greystone and leave the Deepwood castle to the living. The battles with the dead and the time took their toll, and queen Randa died of natural causes not long after. Predicting her incoming death and with Faen refusing to take the crown, the queen organized a tournament for warriors and soldiers of the land. The winner was crowned as the royal heir. Faen retained the formal title of royal adviser and the court wizard, but he moved out of the castle and into the secret abode somewhere in the woods. Randa’s heir, Vasil, ruled for six months until an unexpected fever cut his life short. Shortness of his reign was eclipsed by those of his successors, during what is now known as The Year Of Moon Kings, for they reigned a month each, 
on average, before dying to poison, dagger, garrote, crossbow bolt, or fall from bedchamber window. The last of the Moon Kings fled the realm renouncing the crown altogether. The rule passed to the royal council who divided between them the control over various holdings and industries in Deepwood. Three times in the last thirty years one of the lords would try to subdue the others and put on the royal crown, but each time the rest would overcome their animosities and ally to defy the usurper. As you see kid, being a king is not easy. You might be strong, you might be wise, you might be loved, and yet, Death might take you before you know it.

31 January 2016

Monster: Centurion Battlewrought

Battlewrought, Centurion

A massive anthropomorphic figure made of mismatched pieces of plate armors and seemingly random parts of siege machines. It wields a big scimitar in the right hand while its left arm seems to be a complex bolt-throwing mechanism. Its head resembles a helmet made of solid plates with a red-glowing visor slit instead of eyes.


CR 11; XP 12,800

CN Large Outsider (battlewrought, chaotic, extraplanar)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19
Aura forever war

Defense

AC 25, touch 12, flat-footed 22 (+9 armor, +3 Dex, +4 shield, –1  size)
hp 144 (12d10+78); regeneration 10 (lawful)
Fort +12, Ref +11, Will +10
Defensive Abilities constructed; DR 10/lawful; Resist cold 20, electricity 20, fire 20

Offense
Speed 40 ft.
Melee scimitar +19/+14/+9 (2d6+9, 15-20/x2)
Ranged heavy repeater crossbow +16/+11/+6 (3d8+3, 19-20/x2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks final solution, tides of battle
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th, concentration +19)
Constant—gravity bowlead bladesmagic weaponshield
At will—feather fall, telekinetic charge, true strike
3/day—quickened hastesummon (level 7, 6 bolter battlewrought, 3 grunt battlewrought or 1 charger battlewrought), wall of stone

Statistics
Str 22, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 19, Wis 19, Cha 19
Base Atk +12; CMB +19; CMD 32
Feats Combat Reflexes, Dirty Fighting, Furious Focus, Improved Critical (scimitar), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Penetrating Strike, Power Attack, Quicken Spell-like Ability (haste), Weapon Focus (heavy repeater crossbow), Weapon Focus (scimitar), Weapon Specialization (heavy repeater crossbow), Weapon Specialization (scimitar)
Skills Bluff +19, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (arcana) +16, Knowledge (engineering) +19, Knowledge (geography) +16, Knowledge (history) +16, Knowledge (planes) +19, Perception +19, Profession (soldier) +19, Sense Motive +19
Language Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal; truespeech
SQ enemy at the gates

Ecology

Environment any
Organization single or pair, often leading numerous forces of lesser battlewrought
Treasure standard

Special Abilities


Enemy At The Gates (Sp): A centurion battlewrought can spend 10 minutes creating a magical portal in the shape of a vertical curtain of shimmering energy, 30-ft wide and 20-ft high. It acts like teleportation circle, but restricting passage to battlewrought only and lasting as long as the centurion concentrates.


Final Solution (Ex): As a merciless machine of war, a centurion battlewrought can make a coup d'grace as a standard action that does not provokes attacks of opportunity and its coup d'grace stops regeneration ability for 1 round, except for regeneration that requires epic effects to be stopped.

Forever War (Su): A mere presence of a centurion battlewrought disturbs peace and promotes conflict within 100 feet. All ability and skill checks made to calm, promote peace, or diffuse violence suffer a -4 penalty. All the saving throws against effects that would promote peace, or clam the combatants, or would prevent or end violence (such as sanctuary or calm emotions) are made with a +4 bonus.


Tides Of Battle (Su): A centurion battlewrought can take a free action to alter the flow of battle with a well placed command three times per day. Either all the battlewrought within 100 feet can move as an immediate action or all the battlewrought within 100 feet gain 5 temporary hit points per HD.


Centurions are the commanders of the battlewrought. Callous and cunning, centurion battlewrought exist to wage wars, often by any means necessary. The cause, the costs, the participants are irrelevant, as long as there is war, though individual centurions might differ at exact tactical and operational approach—some may even seem to care for the costs and loses, but it is a matter of logistics, not morals, for one cannot wage war without soldiers. Other centurions are ruthlessly sacrificing available troops knowing there will always be reinforcements, sooner or later.

Centurions battlewroughts are sometimes conjured to serve as military advisers and commanders, tasks they perform gladly as long as it allows them to direct events to provoke more wars or to put oneself in challenging circumstances, like defending seemingly indefensible city from an incoming invasion. 

The Battlewrought

The war incarnate, the spiritual debris of endless battles, the battlewrought are embodiment of conflict itself. While they appear to be husks made of discarded armors, broken weapons, and pieces of ancient siege engines, they are animated with a living force, spirits formed from out of the raw chaos of war.


Battlewrought Subtype: Battlewrought are spirits of war inhabiting shells made of shattered arms and armor. They have following traits.


Body Weaponry (Ex): All the weapons, shields, and armors used by battlewrought are parts of its body. They cannot be disarmed or removed. They can be sundered but they regenerate in 1 round if broken or 1d4+1 rounds if destroyed.


Constructed (Ex): Although battlewrought are living outsiders, their bodies are constructed of physical components, and in many ways function like constructs. For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as a ranger's favored enemy and bane weapons), battlewrought count as both outsiders and constructs. They are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless). Battlewrought are not subject to nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. They are not at risk of death from massive damage. They have bonus hit points as constructs of their size.


Low-light Vision.


Saves: A battlewrought good saves are Fortitude and Reflexes.


Skills: A battlewrought counts Acrobatics, Intimidate, Knowledge (engineering), and one Profession skills related to war and its specific role such as siege engineer, soldier, teamster, or sailor as its class skills in addition to regular Outsider class skills.


Regeneration (Ex): All battlewrought have regeneration, usually suppressed by cold iron or lawful effects. The amount regenerated varies between battlewrought.


Truespeech (Su): A battlewrought can speak with any creature that has language as if using tongues (caster level 14th). This ability is always active.


Wrought For Battle (Ex): A battlewrought racial HD counts as fighter levels when meeting prerequisites of combat feats. A battlewrought gains bonus combat feats as if its racial HD were fighter levels.

24 January 2016

Serpent: The Ancient

Long before the rise of primates and humankind spreading across the world, the Earth had different masters. Reptilian, callous, haughty, stoic, intellectual, and yet decadent, the serpentfolk harnessed strange sciences to build and rebuild their civilization time after time. Despite all their grand achievements and resistance, time, entropy, and wars with others took their toll numerous times. Yet, while their civilizations collapsed the serpentfolk survived hiding in the cracks of the world, only to re-emerge later and start anew. Only a few dozens of serpentpeople remain alive and active in the modern world, but their immense longevity, allowing them to see millennia pass, and their strange metabolism that allows them to slumber for tens of thousands of years allows that handful to carry significant splinters of the ancient lore and science inconceivable to humans. More serpentfolk might be slumbering in hidden vaults across the world, waiting for their siblings to be awakened and introduced to the modern world... Or the new world ruled by the serpentpeople.

The first of the great serpentfolk cultures of the past was valusian supercivilization, a series of related civilizations lasting for a few million years in the Tertiary. Valusian serpentfolk were masters of conjunctions and waged war against multiple competing species dwelling in the oceans and the mountains of the younger Earth. The next major culture was the lemurian one, when serpentfolk and a few other prehuman civilizations engaged in lifeshaping experimentation that involved early primates. The details are vague and hint that the manipulation might had been a series of genetic proxy wars in a prolonged cold war between the involved peoples. The final serpentfolk civilization of note was hyperborean one, hidden among the glaciers of the Pleistocene, when the dwindling serpentfolk population controlled a number of now extinct hominid species with mesmerism as their beasts of burden and food source.

Now, the remaining handful of serpentfolk hide themselves from humans in the isolated valleys and underground caverns, or in the plain sight, disguised as humans, plotting and experimenting... The serpentfolk of shadow throne nest want to rule the humankind as power behind the throne and using the resources of primate civilization for the benefit of their rightful masters. The glorious throne nest wants to build a new serpentfolk civilization on the ruins of humans' one—plotting the downfall of humanity through any means possible. The empty throne nest intends to use the humanity to gather means that will allow serpentfolk to move elsewhere where they will be able to build their new, fourth dynasty, far away from humans, either hidden in the deepest reaches of the Earth or on another planet. Beyond the three major nests there are lesser philosophies as well: the nihilistic shattered throne that claims the serpentfolk are doomed to slow extinction and the heirs of the throne, desiring to leave the Earth to humans... Together with teachings to make their civilization greater than any one ever build by the serpentfolk.

Individual serpentperson has numerous advantages over human. Its longevity is tied to superior physical and mental resilience, resistance to biological and chemical pathogens, ability to heal most wounds, regrow lost limbs, minimize needed sustenance, and enter a death-like slumber that can last thousands of years. Their fangs can inject venom, rather weak on its own, but easily enhanced with a conscious effort of a serpentperson. In addition to their physical superiority over primates, the serpentfolk enjoy numerous mental advantages. They are on average smarter and quicker, have sharper perception, and much better ability to focus, lacking the many distractions of psychologically inferior humans. Their senses include ability to see heat and sense vibration, deteriorated comparing to actual snakes, though. They have a special organ that allows them to analyze biochemical composition of whatever they can taste, together with their venom glands a key tools of their lifeshaping science.

If the natural abilities of the serpentfolk are amazing, their mastery of esoteric sciences is nothing less than miraculous. They divide their secrets into three branches of mesmerism, lifeshaping, and conjunctions, manipulating the minds, the bodies, and the cosmic energy of vril for their own purposes.

Mesmerism is their ability to inspire certain basic emotions in lesser creatures, primarily humans, but also other mammals and birds. Any serpentperson can induce anxiety, apathy, fascination, or sense of submission in nearby humans, with more skilled mesmerists being able to inspire those instincts in large groups, make them long lasting, more refined (the emotion can be focused on a single source, making the victim anxious or apathetic about single thing for example), and true masters can sway whole crowds can imprint the mesmeric inspiration within an object or a place, affecting those who enter into contact with it.

Lifeshaping allows serpentfolk to manipulate living creatures via a number of methods. They can analyze biochemical composition with taste and synthesize biochemical compounds in their venom glands—though they are not above augmenting either talent with actual tools. They can also perform surgeries easily, dampening pain with a form of mesmerism and sanitizing the wound with their venom. All those skills are used for breeding living creatures with desired traits, starting with simple algae or bacteria, going through invertebrates, fungi, and plants, and reaching vertebrates for the masters of that art.

Final, the most potent but also the most time-consuming, is the science of conjunctions used to alter biosphere, weather, geology, space/time continuum, or the flow of vril itself. Appearing to be more of an occult practice to modern eyes, it is the art of aligning the cosmic energies through the placement of focusing sigils, seemingly pointless constructions, sometimes going as far as requiring intensive earthworks as a part of the project. Once the conjunctions are properly set up, they allow for grandiose effects given the right scale and time—setting up right focal elements all over the world could change the climate or even, with the right position of other planets, shift the orbit of the Moon... Which serpentfolk might have already done in the past.

Despite their capabilities, the serpentfolk are not the masters of the world now, though. They were in the past but even they lost to the climate changes, internal strife, wars with other long forgotten inhuman civilizations, and decadence. The serpentfolk longevity and ability to slumber through ages also makes them vulnerable to lethargy, a state of languor easily reached by overindulging in food, but also triggered by wounds or long periods of intense activity. When the lethargy kicks in, the serpentperson finds oneself sleepy and lacking energy and initiative to start new activities, being barely capable of maintaining existing tasks. When the lethargy deepens the serpentfolk finds it hard to take any actions other than protecting itself or preparation for safe slumber.

While living among humans serpentfolk have a number of ways to pass undetected. The least reliable method uses mesmerism to avert human attention—anxiety or apathy strong enough can make mundane humans ignore a inconspicuous and careful serpentperson. This is a dangerous method, though, as it can only sway a very small number of mundane humans of weak will at a time, and has no power over recording devices common in modern times. The most common way of disguising as human requires a serpentperson to breed a special batch of human-blood feed algae that can be then used to form a kind of mesmerism-sensitive covering that will mimic external human appearance. The most advanced and time consuming technique allows a serpentperson to make a sort of grisly suit out of skin and pieces of musculature of an actual human, treated with various synthesized enzymes. This method allows to pretend to be a particular individual, often using mesmerism to mislead people familiar with the original individual.

A serpentperson wishing to travel unnoticed across the world might follow the ancient network of hidden caves and passages spreading in a complex network through the world, build and shaped with potent conjunctions twisting time and space allowing to travel on feet across the world in days, as long as one knows how to navigate the ancient mazes of twisted paths.

17 January 2016

Monster: Toy Swarm

Toy Swarm

A mass of worn out toys of various types marches like a deadly wave.

CR 3; XP 800
N Tiny Construct (swarm)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

Defense
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+3 Dex, +2 size)
hp 33 (6d10)
Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +2
Defensive Abilities half damage from weapons, swarm traits; Immune construct traits

Offense
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee swarm (2d6 plus distraction and grasping arms)
Special Attacks distraction (DC 13), grasping arms (DC 13)

Statistics
Str 10, Dex 16, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +6; CMB —; CMD —
Skills Climb +7, Stealth +3
SQ hidden monsters, patch the ranks

Ecology
Environment any urban
Organization solitary, pair, or band (3-12)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities


Grasping Arms (Ex): A toy swarm can exert a surprising amount of force on the creatures caught within. All Medium or smaller corporeal creatures suffering swarm damage from a toy swarm have to succeed on a Reflex saving throw (DC 13) or become entangled for 1 round. The saving throw DC if Constitution-based.

Hidden Monsters (Ex): A toy swarm can hide among mundane toys with ease. When in place where a toy could be expected it can use Stealth even without proper cover or concealment and can take 20 on the Stealth check.


Patch The Ranks (Ex): A toy swarm can use replenish its numbers repairing 1 point of damage per minute of scrounging and assembling, as long as there are mundane toys or parts suitable to build new toys available nearby.

Toy swarms are sometime creation assembled and animated by groups of dire toys to serve as support. Occasionally, they raise spontaneously when one or more dire toys are destroyed among large amount of other toys available—their animating spirit torn asunder and bringing a semblance of life to a numerous smaller toys. A toy swarm follows the original mission of the dire toy that created it, except for toy swarms created when both Lawful Good and Chaotic Evil dire toys were vanquished at once, those are unpredictable and often tend to be generally aggressive.

Variant Toy Swarms

Lead Troops (CR +1): A swarm of fine lead soldiers, immune to weapon damage with AC of 17, HD 8, and 44 hit points. It inflicts bleed damage with its swarm attack but lacks grasping hands special ability.

Construction

Toys requires to compose initial swarm cost 300 gp (average of 1 gp per toy).

Dire Toy
CL 8th; Price 8,300 gp.
Requirements Craft Construct, charm personmendingunseen servantSkill Craft (tailor); Cost 4,300 gp.

10 January 2016

City Of Mists: Characters And Campaigns

City Of Mists: Introduction
City Of Mists: The Law
City Of Mists: The Departments
City Of Mists: The Infrastructure

There are many stories that can be told in the City Of Mists—episodic series, with each session being its own story with independent plot, extended story arcs, or mix of those, individual episodes with elements of greater metaplot interwoven with unrelated events.

Criminal Investigators

City Of Mists as a state has a terrible weakness, it lacks local institutions of higher education and law enforcement academy, having to rely on foreigners and immigrants for the much needed professional knowledge. While uniform services can rely on on-job training and former military experience, investigation and forensics are much less forgiving trades. This makes Department of Justice hire cast-offs of law enforcement agencies from all over the world, often overlooking flaws, vices, violent past, and darker secrets... The loose nature of the local law and procedures leaves them a lot of room to accommodate... Or descent deeper into corruption. Failed medical practitioners and forensics technicians are highly valued too, even if they lost their licenses elsewhere.

In some aspects criminal investigations here quite anachronistic, mixing style and methods of law enforcement of American fifties, sixties, seventies, with a sprinkling of 21st century technology. Often on lease from a helpful friendly corporation with no strings attached. At other times they need to rely on help from other departments, which is always costly. On the other hand, all departments are always happy to push extra work their way—each department tries to get for themselves cases that might bring prestige and gratitude of corporations and pass the responsibility for less glamorous ones to a different department. Thankfully, criminal investigations are rarely profitable enough for other Departments to interfere... Unless they involve their acquaintances or corporations they are indebted to...

Troubleshooters

Another group suitable as protagonist of the stories in the City Of Mists are troubleshooters solving problems for corporations (or gangs). Dozens of big corporations create a tangle of interests, intrigues, and outright conflicts. Critical events might need a push or pull here and there to make the business running, with legitimate and less legitimate methods used alike. Business espionage is big here, with Departments rarely involved as arbiters... But occasionally acting as their own side.

For corporate troubleshooters the City's departments and their representatives can act as allies, enemies, resources to be used, obstacles... Often all of that combined. Unlike the agents of law, the troubleshooters have much better resources and means, even if lacking in direct legal standing. And even the later can be circumvented with friends in right places and a few calls from high ranking corporate managers to commissar of the right department.

Private Investigators And Consultants

In the social and economic cauldron which the City is, lots of people might need help which weak and ineffectual law enforcement cannot or will not provide. While the loyal corporate employees can usually count on their employers aid, the people lacking such patrons are often lacking in options, having to rely on hired private entrepreneurs.

PIs and consultants have the least firm backing, but they still can benefit from the right friends greatly. Of course, in their case tugging on the strands of gratitude and debt is the most delicate for they rarely can make their acquaintances' involvement worthwhile...

Law enforcement, other departments, and corporations are enemy or at least obstacle more often than not, only very rarely becoming a tenuous allies. PIs more often have to rely on criminals and ne'er-do-wells...

Occult Scholars

With the amount of traffic of all sort going through the City, it's no wonder that a lot of "unconventional" things happening here as well. Strange tomes, items of powers, secret knowledge, all of it can pass through the City on its way elsewhere or in the hands of people living on the island. Many of the powerful people living in the corporate towers desire influences extending beyond the mundane world and are willing to pay high price for artifacts and lore, sometimes in cash, sometimes in blood...

03 January 2016

Monster: Winterseed

Winterseed

This floating pale sphere, covered in thick hairs and tendrils glows with a subtle hint of blue-tinted radiance.

CR 3; XP 800

N Medium Plant (cold)
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +1

Defense
AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 26 (4d8+8)
Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +2
Defensive Abilities plant traits; Immune cold
Vulnerability fire

Offense
Speed fly 20 ft. (good)
Ranged 3 cold motes +4 touch (1d6 cold and entrap)
Special Attacks entrap (DC 14, 1 minute, 6 hp)

Statistics
Str 10, Dex 12, Con 14, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 1
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 14 (cannot be tripped)
Skills Fly +19; Racial Modifiers +10 Fly
SQ create spawn, death throes, insidious cold, limited starflight, no breath

Ecology
Environment any
Organization pair or flock (3-10)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities


Cold Spores (Ex): A winterseed can fire up to three motes of intense cold as a standard action. They have a range of 30 feet with no range increment and entrap creatures struck in ice.


Create Spawn (Ex): When a creature dies entrapped by a winterseed attack, a small sprout grows from its corpse growing into a 1d4+1 young winterseeds in the next week.

Death Throes (Ex): A winterseed reduced to 0 or less hit points explode in blast of intense cold and ice 1 round later. All the creatures within 10 feet suffer 2d6 cold and 2d6 slashing damage and are exposed to the winterspore's entrap special attack. A successful Reflex saving throw (DC 14) halves the damage. The saving throw is Constitution-based.

Insidious Cold (Ex): A winterseed presence lowers local temperature creating a zone of cold weather or decreasing local temperature by another 20 degree Fahrenheit if it is already cold. Gatherings of numerous winterseeds extend the range of cold weather and reduce the temperature further.

Limited Starflight (Ex): A winterspore can survive in the void of the outer space indefinitely and can fly in that environment with exceptional speed. It can travel between planets of the same planetary system in months or years but unlike creatures with full starflight, a winterspore cannot reach speeds that allow for fast and reliable interstellar travel. A winterspore can safely descend on a planet from the outer space with a successful Fly check (DC 25).

Winterseeds are strange spores that appear to fall from the sky and bring with them cold of eternal winter. Some claim they are shards of shattered star that was made of elemental frost, but their plant-like nature makes that unlikely. Others suggest that they are seeds thrown on the wind by fey deity dwelling at the far North, wishing to extend her ice gardens through the world. A few say they are falling from the Moon, where more cold-loving plants grow, or even from farther reaches of the sky, unknown to common people.


Where winterseeds come, creatures of cold and winter often follow, often feeding on victim's of the winterseed freezing attacks. Winterseeds themselves are normally aggressive only against sources of heat, and are often attracted to and attempt to quench fires. They seem to recognize sources of geothermal heat from the artificial ones, though, for they mostly ignore them.

02 January 2016

Monster: Charger Battlewrought

Battlewrought, Charger

A fusion of a rider and its steed, all clad in blackened, battered, spiked armors.

CR 8; XP 4,800

CN Large Outsider (battlewrought, chaotic, extraplanar)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +15

Defense
AC 21, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+9 armor, +1 Dex, +2 shield, –1  size)
hp 105 (10d10+50); regeneration 10 (cold iron or lawful)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +7
Defensive Abilities constructed; DR 5/adamantine or lawful; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10
Weakness rust vulnerability

Offense
Speed 50 ft.
Melee lance +15/+10 (2d6+5, 19-20/x3), bite +9 (1d6+2) and 2 hooves +9 (1d6+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with lance)
Special Attacks crushing charge, victorious prance
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th, concentration +11)
Constant—air walklead blades
1/day—summon (level 5, 3 bolter battlewrought or 1 grunt battlewrought)

Statistics
Str 20, Dex 12, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 15, Cha 13
Base Atk +10; CMB +16; CMD 27 (31 vs trip or overrun)
Feats Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (lance), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Mounted Combat, Ride-By Attack, Skill Focus (Ride), Spirited Charge, Weapon Focus (lance)
Skills Acrobatics +14 (+22 while jumping), Intimidate +14, Knowledge (engineering) +13, Perception +15, Profession (soldier) +15, Ride +17
Language Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal; truespeech
SQ monstrous cavalry, undersized weapon

Ecology
Environment any
Organization single, pair or a band (3-12)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities


Crushing Charge (Ex): A charger battlewrought can attempt a free bull-rush or overrun attempt without provoking attack of opportunity after a successful charge attack.


Monstrous Cavalry (Ex): Despite being a single creature, a charger battlewrought counts as both the mount and the rider when that would be beneficial to it.

Rust Vulnerability: A charger affected with rust-inducing effect has its regeneration suppressed for the duration of the effect. Instantaneous rust effects suppress the regeneration for 1 round.

Victorious Prance (Ex): When a charger drops an enemy below 0 hit points, it can rear triumphantly as an immediate action. The charger can make two hoof attacks against enemies in reach, and until end of the following turn, its speed increases by 10 feet. 

Chargers are the cavalry of the battlewrought legions. A union of the mount and the rider, fused into the singular machine of war, they do little else except roaming the battlefield and charging their opponents. Like all battlewrought, they are only interested in war, but whereas grunts appear to be uniformly taciturn stoics, the chargers are divided between equally silent lancers and boastful and temperamental cavaliers. Both kinds of chargers are willing to roam the fields in search of opponents, but when called they will participate in crushing heavy cavalry charges as well.

The Battlewrought

The war incarnate, the spiritual debris of endless battles, the battlewrought are embodiment of conflict itself. While they appear to be husks made of discarded armors, broken weapons, and pieces of ancient siege engines, they are animated with a living force, spirits formed from out of the raw chaos of war.

Battlewrought Subtype: Battlewrought are spirits of war inhabiting shells made of shattered arms and armor. They have following traits.

Body Weaponry (Ex): All the weapons, shields, and armors used by battlewrought are parts of its body. They cannot be disarmed or removed. They can be sundered but they regenerate in 1 round if broken or 1d4+1 rounds if destroyed.

Constructed (Ex): Although battlewrought are living outsiders, their bodies are constructed of physical components, and in many ways function like constructs. For the purposes of effects targeting creatures by type (such as a ranger's favored enemy and bane weapons), battlewrought count as both outsiders and constructs. They are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless). Battlewrought are not subject to nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain. They are not at risk of death from massive damage. They have bonus hit points as constructs of their size.

Low-light Vision.

Saves: A battlewrought good saves are Fortitude and Reflexes.

Skills: A battlewrought counts Acrobatics, Intimidate, Knowledge (engineering), and one Profession skills related to war and its specific role such as siege engineer, soldier, teamster, or sailor as its class skills in addition to regular Outsider class skills.

Regeneration (Ex): All battlewrought have regeneration, usually suppressed by cold iron or lawful effects. The amount regenerated varies between battlewrought.

Truespeech (Su): A battlewrought can speak with any creature that has language as if using tongues (caster level 14th). This ability is always active.

Wrought For Battle (Ex): A battlewrought racial HD counts as fighter levels when meeting prerequisites of combat feats. A battlewrought gains bonus combat feats as if its racial HD were fighter levels.