|#1dawnstealerMar 02, 2004 11:53:07||I just want to hear it: What is the critter that pops up in your campaigns again and again?|
I like the nightmare beast, but I have to admit that the scrab are my most common villain, especially when the PCs are composed of a wanna-be elf tribe.
|#2zombiegleemaxMar 02, 2004 12:13:03||i always felt like gith were meant to be the orks of athas, we've killed bunches of 'em and then, and then black spine came out where we killed more|
|#3elonarcMar 02, 2004 12:31:01||I like Silt Runners. I love the picture of them in the monster book and see them as tough, FAST, VERY FAST goblins.|
|#4zombiegleemaxMar 02, 2004 12:33:14||Any and everything undead. |
Someone has got to eat those yummy PC brains.
|#5dawnstealerMar 02, 2004 14:55:16||I'll second that: there were few things as frightening as a Ju-ju zombie to my players.|
|#6zombiegleemaxMar 02, 2004 15:13:41||Off topic:|
Dawnstealer, I love your drawings. I think that I will be putting them into a document for my players. If that's ok with you.
Back on topic:
Another thing that my players hate is the good old Cistern Fiend.
|#7xlorepdarkhelm_dupMar 02, 2004 15:33:23|
Originally posted by erasmus1634
I believe that they are going into the Terrors of Athas PDF, once Dawnstealer gets them all completed.
|#8nytcrawlrMar 02, 2004 15:48:14|
Originally posted by xlorepdarkhelm
Correct, though it might not be all of his stuff, they are looking for more artists to add to the mix if I remember correctly.
I wouldn't mind a mix myself even though Dawnstealer is one of the better DS artists out there. :D
Anyways, favorite critter, hmmm, probably hordes and hordes of kreen. Four arms, poisonous bite, kewl missile weapons that return to them, gotta love them.
|#9KamelionMar 02, 2004 15:55:03||High drik. Love high drik.|
|#10dawnstealerMar 02, 2004 15:58:39||Ooooo! Forgot about them! Yar, High driks were pretty cool. |
As for my art - use away: that's why it's there. If you're putting out a doc online, give me credit, but other than that, it's "open source." Can't use that term enough.
|#11flindbarMar 02, 2004 16:19:16||Has to be illithids for me.|
I know they are not DS specific but I do think they fit awfully well.
Elonarc - I have to agree with you - silt runners are pretty cool too.
Pieces of eight.
Pieces of eight.
Pieces of ....... squawk !
|#12xlorepdarkhelm_dupMar 02, 2004 16:42:35||For DS, it's a toss-up for me. I love massive hordes of Kreen, but I also like the Guardians of the Last Sea. Undead are lots of fun too.|
|#13Shei-NadMar 02, 2004 16:58:32|
Originally posted by Kamelion
Aside from the current Terrors of Athas conversion, where was this creature first published? I can't seem to remember seeing one.
|#14GrummoreMar 02, 2004 17:11:58|
Originally posted by Shei-Nad
In the second Darksun monsters manual under Drik entry.
|#15KamelionMar 02, 2004 17:13:49|
Originally posted by Shei-Nad
It's originally in DS MC2.
|#16KamelionMar 02, 2004 17:14:58||Snap! Speedy frog|
|#17Silverblade_The_EnchanterMar 02, 2004 17:31:06||So-Ut, one of my all time fave D&D monster's ever |
Just the name of it bringing fear to players, mmm-mmmm, juicy good fun!
Not only can it kick your but, act crazily and is tougher than a stoned half-giant, but they also eat and dissolve yer metal weapons!
|#18zombiegleemaxMar 02, 2004 17:38:12||Were the T'Liz in dark sun, or were they something invented for the article in Dragon? I think theyre kind of interesting.|
The sand bride is another creature that I like. The name really captures what it is, and I can imagine what it might look like easily.
|#19dawnstealerMar 02, 2004 17:39:32||Oh, you bring up a happy memory:|
The pcs went up to this cave in the heat of the day because that's when the So-Ut was asleep. They had heard tales of an ancient dwarven city below and a series of adventures confirmed it. Sure enough, down into the dark they went, spending a few nights and days below plundering and whipping tail on naughty underground critters only to reappear back into the air in the middle of the night, rife with metallic plunder.
Oops, forgot about that So-Ut.
heh, heh, heh
|#20zombiegleemaxMar 02, 2004 18:58:38||Athasian Tree Sloths just because I like paleo-creatures and they are a version of one.|
|#21zombiegleemaxMar 02, 2004 20:03:34||Well, besides my nefarious den of tembo, I'd have to say t'chowb and thrax, both of which I've used as repeat villains. The t'chowb harried a group of PCs through most of 10 levels worth of adventuring, constantly being a behind the scenes player against the party. Needless to say, after they finally caught and killed him (a bit too soon for my tastes), the PCs were forced to eat him. And there was much rejoicing.|
Also loved using a rogue Tohr-kreen (later called a zik-trin'ta) with a severe racial superiority complex.
|#22nytcrawlrMar 02, 2004 20:08:21|
Originally posted by Mach2.5
You'll have to share the specs on that thing ones of these days.
|#23zombiegleemaxMar 02, 2004 20:20:34|
However, it's not something as silly as I, or others, thought it would be either, and I wouldn't mind cleaning it up some and adapting it to my own campaigns.
Its an easy equation. 1 tembo for every 4 party levels. Unless of course its a TPK (total part kill, great for playtesting), then its 1 tembo per 2 part levels and rarely lasts more than 4 rounds.
So, a TPK party of 4 tenth level crits faces 20 tembo, 10 if we're not testing something. Played right, even ten will munch one player at least. Of course, you still have to play it intelligently and not just rush up and bash em or your toast.
|#24nytcrawlrMar 02, 2004 20:48:46|
Originally posted by Mach2.5
My issue though is that I am not the best at playing monsters intelligent enough to always give the PCs a hard time, or at least a hard enough time to seem a challenge.
Working on that though, since I doubt I will be able to get a 2nd DM this time around either, hehe.
|#25dawnstealerMar 02, 2004 20:52:40||Thrax! Forgot about them! They kick arse! No better way to put a cocky high-level character in there place, in my opinion.|
|#26KamelionMar 03, 2004 3:22:46||I have this recurring fantasy about statting out a hunting cactus/psion to use a recurring bad guy. Kind of a behind-the-scenes criminal mastermind. Like the Godfather. Except he's a plant.|
|#27elonarcMar 03, 2004 3:43:07||Stop that, Kamelion. Please. It was very hard to resist the urge to start laughing freakishly…can't do that at work…a cactus-villain...|
|#28jon_oracle_of_athasMar 03, 2004 7:05:05||Ring-a-ding-ding. Belgoi. A pack of them can drain anything to death. Thank Ral I noticed the no save entry before ToA went up on the site...|
|#29zombiegleemaxMar 03, 2004 7:21:55|
Originally posted by Mach2.5
Man, I can't believe I totally forgot about the tembo. My players used to hate those. If I remember correctly they had Death Field as one of thier psionic powers.
"You close to within melee range with the fell beast. Take 15hp of damage."
|#30KamelionMar 03, 2004 8:02:16||I still think that cacti are way scarier.|
Defiled Hunting Cactus, 9th-Level Psion (Telepath)
Small Undead (Plant)
Hit Dice: 14d12 (91 hp)
Speed: 10 ft. (2 squares)
Armor Class: 17 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+4
Attack: 10 spines +10 ranged (1d3+1 plus poison)
Full Attack: 10 spines +10 ranged (1d3+1 plus poison) or 1 feeding spine +4 melee (1d3 plus blood drain)
Space/Reach: 5 ft. / —
Special Attacks: Blood drain, poison, psionics
Special Qualities: Backlash, defiled traits, fast healing 4, plant traits
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +9
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 12, Con -, Int 15, Wis 14, Cha 13
Skills: Bluff +13, Craft (alchemy) +6, Diplomacy +13, Knowledge (local)+8, Psicraft +10, Search +8, Sense Motive +13, Spot +8, Survival +8
Feats: Ability Focus (backlash), Ability Focus (poison), Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (spine) +2
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 14
Alignment: Neutral Evil
A pale green cactus sporting spiny pods and clad in a flaring velvet cloak with tall collar, this creature turns and angles its body to follow the movements of all who approach it, sneering with contemptuous abandon at your puny meat-bodies. When in motion, it moves with a delicate, mincing stride. Or maybe just an exaggerated limp.
Lord Doomspike began life much like any other hunting cactus – as a writhing mass of recently joined seed-pod matter. As he grew, the young cactus began to look to the far horizon, his budding mind ripe with the possibilities of a life yet to be lived. Such was not to be, however. A chance encounter with a renegade elven defiler soon changed all of that. The defiler (who was fighting – and subsequently eaten by – a nightmare beast) did not even notice the hapless hunting cactus that became undead as a result of his careless spellcasting. The newly undead plant, on the other hand, conceived a dire hatred deep in its unliving heart for all humanoids and vowed to lay low the civilizations of the same flesh-things that had cursed him to this hideous half-life.
Now, many years later, Lord Doomspike sits at the heart of a criminal empire that spans the Tablelands. Less intelligent plants are his favoured agents, but he has a loyal network of enslaved humanoids at his beck and call, many addicted to bizarre drugs concocted by their unspeaking master. Day by day he draws nearer to his pet apocalypse, The Night of the Long Spines, when cacti of all kinds will rise up and take back the lands that once were theirs – and grow fat on the mulch of human blindness.
Lord Doomspike is a highly intelligent blood-drinking plant who likes to boast about his spread of useful psionic powers. When enraged, the hunting cactus fires paralyzing spines at his prey and then drains the blood from his inert victims, although he tries to avoid doing this in public as it tends to be bad for morale. Lord Doomspike makes his homes wherever he darn well please but is known to prefer the company of other cacti (although this is largely because his humanoid servants are forever absent-mindedly picking him up and putting him in the window to get better light ).
Lord Doomspike prefers a carnivorous diet, but will consume the saps of other plants for nourishment if no other options are available. He secretly relishes this form of cannibalism, and often daydreams about a second apocalypse known only to himself. This Hour Of The Guacamole is, however, a horror best left unexplored.
Weighing ten pounds and standing three feet high, Lord Doomspike has a definite complex about his size. He often worries that other cacti have much longer spines and is begin to wonder if his quest for global conquest isn’t compensating for something. He does grow at a rate of three inches per month, mind you, and so still has high hopes.
For all of his vaunted prowess, Lord Doomspike is something of a coward and prefers to let others to the fighting for him. He does possess considerable psionic might and can bring this to bear in a number of surprising ways (chiefly flying away from his foes, blasting them with spines from the air and promising dread vengeance through psionic mindlink). If cornered, he favors a paralyzing blast of spines from one of his pods, followed by a leisurely feed, but will not shirk from begging and snivelling like a little baby to strengthen his position if necessary.
Lord Doomspike has, of course, a full 30 spine pods and each spine pod is angled so as to be able to hit targets up to 30 feet away in a 140° arc – generally six Medium targets. Each pod carries 10 spines and each spine has a tiny poison sac at its base containing a paralyzing venom. Lord Doomspike fires these spines at his targets and, assuming the target is paralyzed, moves to within 5 feet and extends a feeding spine from his base. Using this spine, he strikes and grapples his paralyzed prey and drains blood until it he sated, the victim dies or he is forced to make a suitably dramatic exit.
Backlash (Su): Lord Doomspike is able to directly damage any wizard that attempts to use him to fuel their spells. Any attempt to draw energy from Lord Doomspike exposes the wizard to an amount of negative energy. The wizard automatically takes 5d4+5 points of negative energy damage, with a Fortitude save (DC 15) for half damage. The wizard must make a Concentration check (DC 10 + spell level + damage dealt, as described in the Concentration skill) in order to continue casting her spell.
Blood Drain (Ex): If Lord Doomspike successfully grapples a target with his feeding spine, he may initiate a blood drain. A grappled target that is being drained suffers an additional 1d6 points of damage per round. Lord Doomspike will continue to drain available targets until he has drained 30 hit points, at which point he seeks to withdraw from combat, laughing maniacally.
Poison (Ex): Injury, Fortitude DC 13, initial and secondary damage paralysis for 1d4+2 rounds. The save DC is Strength-based.
Psionics (Sp): Discovered powers: Talents – burst, daze, detect psionics*, distract, far hand, missive, telempathic projection; 1st – attraction, charm person, lesser body adjustment, see sound*, sense link; 2nd – aversion*, brain lock, detect thoughts*, expansion, inflict pain*, suggestion; 3rd – charm monster, fly, mindlink; 4th – domination, polymorph self.
*Racial ability. Useable at will.
Attack/Defense Modes: All. At will – mind thrust, mental barrier.
Power Points per Day: 38. Manifester level 14th
|#31nytcrawlrMar 03, 2004 9:09:43||Just as long as it doesn't start talking like Marlon Brando, it's all good.|
Damn Kam, you have way too much time on your hands.
Get busy on those NPCS! *whip*
I do like the writeup though. :D
|#32dawnstealerMar 03, 2004 9:56:42||You're a weird guy, Kam. Weird guy.|
|#33KamelionMar 03, 2004 10:07:47||Thankyou |
I tried to find a way to have him play this enormous church-organ too, but in the end I decided that would just have been silly.
|#34jon_oracle_of_athasMar 03, 2004 10:35:44||You give sillyness new proportions of meaning.|
|#35dawnstealerMar 03, 2004 10:38:41||Yes. That would have been silly. |
Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as a gift on my daughter's wedding day. And dump some inix poop on me: I'm hungry.
|#36zombiegleemaxMar 03, 2004 15:39:50||Errrr . . . wow. I feel so much more normal now. Thanks Kam ;)|
Actualy, I tend to take my games far to serious some times (as do the players). I think I'll have to borrow your uber-cacti as a little 'mood lightener'.
|#37dawnstealerMar 03, 2004 15:52:18||I'm with you, Mach: my campaigns tend to be brutal affairs where survival is pretty much the main driving concern. There may be parts we laugh about, but it's rare that they're intentional. |
But a godfather cactus is a wonderful idea!
[edit: had a thought right after I hit "submit." I know you were probably (hopefully) kidding, but it would be cool to have a hunting cactus be a villain. Who the hell would ever suspect it? Seriously, a cactus in the desert? It could crawl into a house and be a potted plant, in plain sight and running the show and no one would ever know. You know, this isn't such a bad idea...No cape, though: I just think that would be a giveaway.]
|#38KamelionMar 03, 2004 16:49:53||Kidding? What ever for?|
Ahem. It was the "unseen enemy" idea that originally drew me to this, too, Dawnstealer. I can just imagine my players running around in circles trying to figure out who their enemy is... and all the while they've tethered their kanks to him. And he doesn't always wear the cape, you know. He has a secret identity too, like Batman. That's what the polymorph self is for...
|#39dawnstealerMar 03, 2004 17:03:58||I think the mask and utility belt would give it away...|
|#40jon_oracle_of_athasMar 04, 2004 2:08:59||But what is Mr. Cactus' agenda? World domination? A rejuvenated Athas? McCactus outlets in every city? |
Where does Mr. Cactus come from? Is it a druid from the Green Age who hid too long from the Champions and went insane? Is it a lifeshaped creation gone horribly wrong (or was it created on purpose, destined to awake and pave the way for the return of the space halflings?) Or better yet - is it one of Rajaat's secret secret secret champions, destined to wipe out humanity?