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Osirion

The Dalesman wrote:
You never cease to amaze, sir. Thank you, as always, for sharing these with us! :)

Thanks! It's always warming to know that these are appreciated!

How exactly seeing a documentary about a tree/ant symbiotic relationship and playing a plant-controlling superhero mashed up in my head to become a jungle dryad, I'm still not sure, but I think it has something to do with not sleeping enough.

One of these with Bard levels, a thorny-vine 'Scorpion Whip' and those Serpent Lash feats from the Rivals Guide would be freaky cool, snatching people up and repositioning them into her spike growth or entangle or snare or wasp swarm-occupied hexes...

Osirion

From an old Scarred Lands game, but now expanded upon and converted for use with the Pathfinder rules;

[The entire reason I came up with this? I wanted to use undead against a 1st level party, and did *not* want to be stuck with only skeletons and zombies. And so, a few more low HD forms of undead were required...]

Ari is a five foot tall woman, dressed in dark grey robes that vary from immaculate, to spattered in gore, depending on her current line of research. She not only lacks a sense of humor, but is a bit of a solipsist, looking at other people as a collection of body parts and qualities that may be of use to her.

Her goal, as she approaches her forty-fifth year, is to become a lich. She has spent years of her life, preparing and researching various techniques of animating, preserving and enhancing living tissue, through the use of negative energy, against this goal.

She can be seen as something of a frugal miser, but spares no expense on research materials. It is only in the animation of tissue that she wastes *nothing,* as it is the key to her eventual transformation that she find a way to infuse and replace every living system of her body with negative energy, leaving no part of herself unchanged and, therefore, vulnerable.

When she began her research, she used simple skeletons and her own magics to kidnap people from the streets under cover of darkness, and brought them to her 'laboratory' in a buried structure beneath the city itself. Over years, she learned to create multiple forms of undead, not merely from the flesh and bones, but also from the skin, the blood and the shadow of the deceased. For a time, she was content with this level of success, and even worked out a technique by which she could temporarily conjoin these individual undead back into a single entity, with attributes almost identical to a zombie, and, with a command, cause it to burst apart, the skin and organs dropping free as the skeleton, musculature and organs, shadow, blood and skin all surged forth in a display guaranteed to horrify any viewer.

And yet, there was still waste. The brain and the nervous system could not be extracted from the skull without great damage, it seemed, and her attempts to crack open the skull and later mend it back together did nothing to help her unravel the spinal cord from the vertebrae of the backbone (or unweave it from the rest of the tissues of the body).

She devised (or discovered, it is said) three spells to help in these endeavors;

Mend the Dead
School necromancy; Level cleric 1, sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 10 minutes
Components V, S, M (natron salts)
Range touch
Target one corpse
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

With this spell, you can remove all traces of injury or decay to a corpse that has been dead less than 24 hours, or has been preserved with gentle repose. The body becomes warm, as if had just died, and wounds and signs of injury are obscured, so long as the body is primarily intact (missing tissue will not be replaced, but even trauma as severe as a severed finger will be rejoined to the hand, as long as all of the avulsed tissue is available and can be placed back into position). The decedents blood returns to a fluid state, although the body will begin cooling again immediately, as if it had just perished. Heal checks to determine cause of death become nearly impossible, and the difficulty class for such checks is increased by +10.

Shedding the Skin
School transmutation; Level cleric 1, druid 1, ranger 1, sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 minute
Components V, S, M (salt and potash alum), F (a fine surgical blade)
Range touch
Target one corpse up to size Large
Duration 1 minute
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You cause the skin and hide of a single dead (but not undead) creature to become pliable and elastic, yet also quite strong, while animating a small blade to move below the surface of the skin, severing skin from muscle and tissue, allowing you to carefully peel the hide cleanly from the flesh in a single smooth action, generally starting at the lips and spreading the mouth open and peeling the skin back off of the head, across the shoulders and down the length of the body, removing the entire hide undamaged and without cutting or splitting it. The hide cannot be suffering from any significant amount of decay, and the spell will not repair any pre-existing damage to the hide. The creature must have died within the last 24 hours, or have been preserved in some manner (such as by gentle repose) for this spell to be effective. All non-hide material slides evenly off of the inside hide or skin as it is removed, including fatty tissue (but not fur or hair on the outer surface), making this spell extremely useful for hunters or furriers who wish to skin game in the field and store it for safe portage, although the skin will lose its temporary state of unnatural elasticity and toughness at the end of the skinning process. No creature larger than size Large can be skinned in a single casting by this spell, although multiple castings will make larger jobs significantly easier. Double the amount of castings required for each size category above Large, and the process must be performed in a single sitting if the hide is to be removed intact, so each spell must be cast one right after the other.

Create Lesser Undead
School necromancy [evil]; Level cleric 4, sorcerer/wizard 4
Casting Time 1 hour
Components V, S, M (a clay pot filled with grave dirt and an onyx gem worth at least 50 gp. per HD of the undead to be created)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target bodily remains
Duration instantaneous
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This spell allows you to infuse bodily remains with negative energy to create weaker forms of undead, such as skeletons, zombies and the undead mentioned later in this article. The base HD of undead you can create are based on your caster level, as shown on the table below, although you cannot create any form of undead that already requires the create undead or create greater undead spells.

Caster Level Undead Created
7th or lower 1 HD
8th-10th 2 HD
11th or higher 3 HD

You may create less powerful undead than your level would allow if you choose. Created undead are not automatically under the control of their animator, unless they are mindless. If you are capable of commanding undead, you may attempt to command the undead creature as it forms.
This spell must be cast at night.

Osirion

Thanks to the ideas of DracoDei, over at Giants in the Playground, I was inspired to go forward. (The Dark Heart and Gutsnake were totally his ideas, although I've modified them, and the rest we more or less bounced off of each other to the point where provenance is less clear...)

**********

After capturing some hapless traveller in the night, Ari would set to work. A Khaibit can only be fashioned through an act of sacrifice, as it is not created from any bit of tissue or flesh. A single light source is lit in the room, and she uses the blood of the sacrifice to snuff the flames, performing the remainder of the ritual in darkness, to conjure forth the first of many undead forms from her victim;

KHAIBIT
Human Khaibit CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +3

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 11 (+1 deflection, +3 Dex)
hp 5 (1d8+1)
Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +3
Defensive Abilities incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses light sensitivity

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft., climb 40 ft.
Melee blinding touch +3 (0 + blindness)
Special Attacks blinding touch

STATISTICS
Str --, Dex 17, Con --, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +0; CMB -, CMD -
Feats Improved Initiative (B), Alertness
Skills Climb 0 (+8), Perception 0 (+3), Stealth 1 (+7, +11 in dim light, +3 in bright light); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth in dim light (-4 in bright light)
SQ agile climber, shadow body
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Agile Climber (Ex) A khaibit uses its Dexterity modifier in place of its Strength modifier for climb checks.

Blinding Touch (Ex) If a khaibit strikes a creature, it crawls along the surface of its body until it covers the eyes with its own darkness, rendering the creature sightless. It cannot inflict any harm, but can only be detached by something capable of affecting an incorporeal target. Targets with darkvision are able to partially see through the unnatural darkness of the khaibit’s body, and only are partially blinded, being dazzled and treating all targets as if having partial concealment, instead of total concealment. Creatures with the see in darkness trait, such as devils, are completely unaffected by this attack.

Shadow Body (Ex) A khaibit is treated as incorporeal, but is not capable of passing through (or perceiving through) any solid object that is not translucent. Like a shadow, it can pass through a pane of glass, or slide under the crack of a door, being treated as if size Fine for the purposes of ‘squeezing,’ but it cannot pass through an opaque surface that air or water could not pass.

A khaibit is an ephemeral shadow-creature, called up from the body of a deceased individual. Unlike many undead, it can only be formed from the remains of a formerly sentient individual, and not one that any greater form of incorporeal undead (such as a shadow, wraith, specter or ghost) has formed from. Unlike an undead shadow, khaibit move like actual shadows, limited to travelling across a physical surface, although this could be the ground, a wall, a ceiling, or even the bodies of those it is attempting to blind.

Greater khaibit are more powerful (2 HD), intelligent (Int 7) and malicious, and are known to carry weapons that strike for painful approximations of the injuries they inflicted in life (nonlethal damage equal to the base weapon type, usually using only a single simple melee weapon), but require greater magic to create, and also have the sunlight powerlessness trait. To create a greater khaibit, Ari has to use all of the blood from the victim, and so cannot create a blood weird from a victim that she has also used to create a greater khaibit.

***********

After this ritual is complete, the blood of the victim has drained into a basin, which she sprinkles with herbs to keep it from clotting, and seals with wax, before turning back to the body, and using her shedding the skin spell to strip the skin cleanly from the rest of the body, generally starting at the lips, and gently but firmly tugging the skull out through the lips, and then 'shucking' the skin down the rest of the body, trusting to the magic to keep it elastic enough to survive this process.

The skin is slathered with alchemical compounds to strengthen it to a leathery consistency, and hung to 'cure,' while she returns to the skinless and bloodless remains. Using surgical blades and great skill, she severs the flesh from the bones, leaving everything in place, but loosened from its anchors. This is the longest process, taking her many hours to untether the muscle and sinew from bone.

It proved unworkable to extricate the circulatory system, or the nervous system, and so she instead has taken to allowing the risen creations to pull themselves free, after cutting away any tissue that might impede their struggle to freedom, particularly reaching deep within the skull to sever the optic nerves, which remain attached to the eyes.

Over the next hour, she uses lesser create undead to cause the brain and nervous system to wriggle free from a carefuly-constructed opening in the back of the skull, which she then seals back into place with a mending cantrip, while the newly-created Vestige hovers obediently before her, suitably commanded by her magic, during its creation.

VESTIGE
Human Vestige CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Small Undead
Init +6; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +2

DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+2 deflection, +2 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 6 (1d8+2)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +4
Immune electricity, undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 5 ft., fly 20 ft. (poor)
Melee nerve lash melee touch +2 (1d3 nonlethal electrical + daze) or 2 nerve lashes melee touch +2 (1d3 nonlethal electrical + daze)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft (10 ft. with nerve lash)
Special Attacks dazing strike, spook

STATISTICS
Str 6, Dex 14, Con --, Int --, Wis 14, Cha 14
Base Atk +0; CMB -1, CMD 9
Feats Attack Finesse (B), Improved Initiative (B)
SQ aura of deflection, command undead
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Aura of Deflection (Su) A vestige radiates an aura of psychic magnetism that makes it difficult to hit, providing it with a deflection bonus equal to its Charisma modifier.

Command Undead (Su) A vestige can command up to its own Hit Dice in mindless undead. Skeletons are most commonly commanded in this manner.

Dazing Strike (Su) A vestige’s nerve lashes inflict a painful shock that inflicts 1d3 nonlethal electrical damage and dazes a living target by disrupting it’s nervous system. A Will save (DC 12) can negate the dazed effect.

Spook (Su) Once per round, as a move-equivalent action, a vestige can send a pulse of malignant psychic energy towards a single target within 30 ft. An animal or undead creature targeted by this pulse must make a Will save (DC 13) or flee for 1d4+2 rounds. Other creatures targeted by this effect must make the same Will save (DC 13) or be shaken for 1d4+2 rounds. The Will save DC (and the number of additional rounds beyond 1d4) are Charisma based.

Vestiges are floating humanoid brains, with dangling nerves whipping beneath it like the venomous tendrils of a jellyfish. The creature usually floats at what would have been head-level, when it was encased in a living body, and its nerves remain constantly in motion, never touching the ground.

Maddened by its unnatural state, the vestige lashes out with its dangling nerves, inflicting electrical damage and disorienting living targets, allowing it to continue lashing them into unconsciousness. The presence of conscious thinking minds fills its unshielded psychic senses with pain, and it wants only the silent peace of the unconscious and the dead.

It is rumored that higher powered versions of the creature retain some of their former intelligence, and are able to communicate telepathically with others, or even entwine their nervous tendrils into the bodies of a living host to control its actions.

******

The heart and circulatory system is next removed the same way, pulling free ever-so-slowly, at her direction, until it slithers forth, to await further instructions.

DARK HEART
Human Dark Heart CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Small Undead
Init +2; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 6 (1d8+2)
Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +2
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, partial concealment; DR 5/slashing; [b]Immune sonic, undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., fly 20 ft. (poor)
Melee melee touch +2 (blood drain)
Special Attacks attach, negative energy pulse

STATISTICS
Str 4, Dex 12, Con --, Int --, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +0; CMB -4, CMD 8
Feats Toughness (B), Weapon Finesse (B)
SQ positive energy resistance 5
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Attach (Ex) When a dark heart hits with its melee touch attack, it can automatically latch onto its target, anchoring it in place. An attached dark heart is effectively grappling its prey, and loses its Dex bonus to AC, but can use its blood drain attack. A dark heart has a +8 racial bonus to mtaintain its grapple once it is attached. An attached dark heart can be struck with a weapon or be grappled itself – if its prey manages to win a grapple check or Escape Artist check against it, the dark heart is removed.

Blood Drain (Ex) At the end of any turn that a dark heart remains attached to a living target, it drains blood, inflicting 1 point of Constitution damage. A dark heart is never sated, and even if filled with stolen blood, will expel it onto the floor as a free action and continue to feed until its target is completely drained. For every point of Constitution drained, a dark heart can choose to either regain 5 hit points (if damaged), or release a negative energy pulse on the next round.

Negative Energy Pulse (Su) A dark heart that has drained blood on the previous turn can unleash a negative energy pulse as a swift action, inflicting 1d6 negative energy damage to all living creatures within 10 ft. (Will save DC 11 for ½ damage). A dark heart can be commanded by an intelligent master to use this negative energy to heal undead, but it will only choose to unleash energy to damage the living, of its own volition.

Partial Concealment (Ex) The dark hearts central mass is the size of a human heart, and difficult to strike, as it shifts around within a tangled mass of vine-tough arteries and veins. Physical attacks against it have a 20% chance of becoming harmlessly misdirected by these slithering masses, and failing to inflict any damage.

This coldly beating heart is nestled within a slithering mass of blue and red arteries and veins, that pull it along the ground like a nest of serpents. It attacks with its many veins and arteries, which grasp onto a target and begin draining blood to fuel its ability to channel negative energy with a noisome throbbing pulse of its many veins and arteries.

Larger creatures can produce larger dark hearts, one size class smaller than the creature itself. A medium dark heart can come from a large donor (2 HD) or a huge donor (4 HD), and a large dark heart can come from a gargantuan donor (6 HD) or a colossal donor (8 HD). A medium dark hearts positive energy resistance increases to 10, and a large dark hearts positive energy resistance to 15. The damage from a dark hearts negative energy pulse increases as if the HD of the Dark Heart were its levels in Cleric and DC increases by an additional +2 per size increase, over and above the HD-based DC increases. Blood drain similarly increases (1d2, 1d3, 1d4, and 1d6). (Stats change as if the creature had taken the Giant template multiple times, but Dexterity never decreases.) If the creature who donated the heart could fly by magical means, the dark heart retains this movement type.

*****

She then pulls the stomach and intestines forth, severing the connective tissue that keeps the looping organ in place, and stretching it out to its twenty-foot length. Once it is animated, it too slithers to its place, to await whatever purpose she has for it.

GUTSNAKE
Human Gutsnake CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Small Undead
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 natural, +1 size)
hp 7 (1d8+3)
Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +2
DR 5/slashing; [b]Immune acid, undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft.
Melee none
Ranged corrosive discharge ranged touch +2 (1d3 acid + see below, 10 ft. range increment)
Special Attacks sickening spew

STATISTICS
Str 5, Dex 14, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB -4, CMD 8
Feats Toughness (B)
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Corrosive Discharge (Ex) The spittle of the gutsnake is a combination of necromantically-potent digestive acids, unnatural bacteria that have adapted to be able to survive in a negative-energy charged environment and partially digested organic material. A living creature struck by such an attack continues to take 1 point of acid damage at the end of each subsequent round, until a full round action is spent to wipe the offending material away. (It is automatically washed off if the character submerges itself in running water, or takes more than 1 hit point of fire damage.)

Sickening Spew (Ex) The corrosive discharge of the gutsnake reeks of corruption and forces anyone struck by it to make a Fort save (DC 12) or be sickened for 1d4 rounds. Unless cleaned off, the reeking substance will also afford anyone attempting to locate or track the subject with a +4 circumstance bonus to their Perception or Survival check. The save DC is Cha-based and receives a +2 racial bonus.

A gutsnake is the necromantically-animated stomach, trachea and intestines of a formerly living creature, usually a human or humanoid. Up to twenty feet of intestine trails out behind the central mass, pushing the creature forward sluggishly, while the stomach rears up like some hideous cobra’s head, disgorging gouts of digestive acid and gobbets of partially digested flesh from previous victims, teeming with unusually vicious flesh-devouring bacteria.

Larger gutsnakes can be created from the bodies of larger creatures, but so far, only predatory animals have proven to be suitable ‘donors’ for the tissue needed to craft this particular abomination.

Gutsnakes prefer to ‘hunt’ living prey by scent, tagging them with gobbets of bacteria-laden flesh from previous meals, and allowing the bacteria to wear them down as they slowly pursue their decaying victims. Some animals will perish in short order, unable to effectively clean the mass of infected sputem off of their flesh, and stop the spread of the flesh-eating bacteria, and their twitching bodies will be reduced to a slurry of flesh and gristle, to be slurped up by the creature when it catches up with them.

*****

A lump of sagging musculature, sloughing off of gore-stained bones, now remains, and she plucks forth the eyes from the skull, careful to keep the dangling optic nerves attached.

DEAD MAN’S EYE
Human Dead Man’s Eye CR 1/4
XP 100
NE Fine Undead
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +4

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 22, flat-footed 18 (+4 Dex, +8 size)
hp 1 (1d8-3)
Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +4
Immune undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 5 ft., swim 5 ft.
Melee none
Ranged none

STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 19, Con --, Int --, Wis 14, Cha 5
Base Atk +0; CMB -13, CMD 0
Feats Alertness (B)
Skills Perception 0 (+4), Stealth 0 (+20), Swim 0 (+12)
SQ agile swimmer, sight link
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Agile Swimmer (Ex) A dead man’s eye uses its Dexterity modifier in place of its Strength modifier for swim checks.

Sight Link (Su) A dead man’s eye is easily controlled, and counts as only a half a HD for the purposes of a cleric or necromancer’s command, allowing one to control a pair of dead man’s eyes as a single 1 HD undead creature. While under the command of another, through the Command Undead feat, the command undead spell, or some other means, the controller can close one eye and see through the dead man’s eye as if present at its location, regardless of distance, so long as it remains on the same plane of existence, but is treated as if sickened, due to the distracting nature of seeing events in two locations at once. If he closes both eyes, he is blind to events in his current location, but suffers no distracting from overlapping images. Only one dead man’s eye can be viewed through at a single time, even if the controller has two (or more) dead man’s eyes currently under control, although he can switch to a different eye as a standard action at any time (or end the sight link as a free action). A dead man’s eye that is under the command of another can alert its controller when it sees a specific thing, or event of interest, through whatever unnatural link they share. The dead man’s eye can be instructed to watch for a particular individual, circumstance or event, and to stealthily move into places where it can get a better view.

A dead man’s eye is a specially treated and necromantically animated human eyeball, tougher than one would expect for its size and nature, but still extremely fragile. It rolls along the ground, weeping a pink-tinged solution to cleanse itself when it reaches a vantage point. The optic nerve usually wraps around it, in motion, or coils behind or beneath it, as a sort of stand, when it is stationary, but can lash around and function as a limb, to propel it through water, pull it up a curtain rope, or even coil beneath it to attempt to ‘spring’ up a stair (which can be a grueling obstacle for the fine creature).

Absent control, the dead man’s eye is a hapless thing, having an instinctive drive to spy upon others, and to avoid being seen itself, but lacking any capacity to remember what it has seen, to communicate what it has seen, or even to act upon or understand what it has seen.

Dead man’s eyes fashioned from the eyeballs of creatures that had unusual visual qualities, such as low-light vision, or a gaze attack, retain these properties, although preserving the capability of a gaze attack in such a creature requires greater magic than is usually used to fashion the lesser versions. Creatures capable of wingless supernatural flight produce dead man’s eyes similarly capable of flight, and the eyes of ogre magi, yeth hounds and similar creatures are prized for that reason.

******

The lungs are then drawn forth, now that Ari has more room to work under the ribcage, thanks to the evacuation of the heart and its attendent veins and arteries, and she uses a surgical blade to 'peel' each lung, causing it to unfold into grisly flaps of flesh, as filetting a fish into an artful shape, almost like the wings of a predatory bird.

BLOOD-EAGLE
Human Blood-Eagle CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Small Undead
Init +2; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1

DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +1 size)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +3
DR 5/bludgeoning or slashing; [b]Immune sonic, undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 0 ft., fly 20 ft. (poor)
Melee none
Special Attacks death-cry

STATISTICS
Str 5, Dex 16, Con --, Int --, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB -1, CMD 10
Feats Dodge (B)
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Death-Cry (Su) Once per round as a standard action, the blood-eagle can unleash a wail of anguish that targets one foe within 30 ft. and inflicts 1d3 sonic damage. Everyone who can hear this wail must make a Will save (DC 12) or be shaken for 1 round, and the creature targeted is also dazed for one round if he fails this saving throw (against which he has an additional +2 penalty to the DC).

A blood-eagle is a flayed pair of tattered lungs, carefully cut in spiraling patterns to create the appearance of grotesque wings with a six foot span. This horrible thing flaps on these rags of flesh, a writhing windpipe in blindly seeking towards living targets, and unleashing an unearthly death-scream.

******

The skeleton is then animated, and the musculature and remaining organs and tissue that remain pools around it in a sodden heap, which is then also imbued with animation through the use of negative energy.

VISCERA
Human Viscera CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Small Undead
Init +1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 7 (1d8+3); fast healing 1
Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +2
DR 5/slashing; Immune acid, undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +3 (1d4+3 bludgeoning)

STATISTICS
Str 17, Dex 12, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +2, CMD 14
Feats Toughness (B)
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

This creature is a dripping mass of organs and muscles, pushing and pulling itself along the ground via muscular contractions like some boneless ooze. It rises to strike its target by flailing at it with boneless tentacles of muscle tissue. Deep within the rippling mass of musculature, various organs can be seen, performing who knows what function, now that any sort of natural life has left these remains. Whatever spark of necromantic energy animates this mass of offal and tissue, has charged them with the ability to recover from injury, perhaps in some corruption of the original function of the generative organs.

Larger viscera can be made from the muscular systems of larger creatures, such as cattle and horses, with appropriately advanced HD, size and attributes. The fast healing quality is based on HD, for instance, and a 2 HD viscera would have fast healing 2.

Earlier ‘greater viscera’ included the heart, circulatory system and digestive system, and included acid-spewing and blood-draining qualities, but these were quickly abandoned, as they wasted good blood, that could be used to create blood weirds, and the acid corrupted the tissues that their creator wished to experiment upon further. Still, an example of such a creation may be found, locked away in a ceramic tub, preserved for posterity…

SKELETON
Human Skeleton CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Medium Undead
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 armor, +2 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +2
DR 5/bludgeoning; Immune cold, undead traits

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft.
Melee broken scimitar +0 (1d6), claw -3 (1d4+1) or 2 claws +2 (1d4+2)

STATISTICS

Str 15, Dex 14, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +2, CMD 14
Feats Improved Initiative (B)
Gear broken chain shirt, broken scimitar

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

****

She then returns to her sealed amphora of blood, and gives it vitality, in the form of a blood-weird.

BLOOD WEIRD
Human Blood Weird CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Small undead (ooze)
Init +2; Senses blindsight 60 ft., scent; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 13, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 natural, +1 size)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +2
DR 5/-; Immune ooze traits, piercing damage, undead traits
Weaknesses vulnerability to acid

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee melee touch +4 (drowning grapple)
Special Attacks drowning grapple

STATISTICS
Str 6, Dex 14, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +2, CMD 14
Feats Agile Maneuvers (B), Improved Grapple (B)
Skills Swim 0 (+10)
SQ agile swimmer
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Agile Swimmer (Ex) A blood weird can use its Dexterity modifier for Swim checks, instead of its Strength modifier.

Drowning Grapple (Ex) The drowning grapple of a blood weird inflicts no damage and only restricts movement as per the Entangled (unanchored) condition, and can never achieve a pinned condition. The blood weird moves to cover the targets mouth and the target to need to begin making Con checks to avoid Suffocation. A victim cannot attempt to hold their breath versus this attack, as the cold blood attempts to force its way down the victims’ throat. A character grappled by this amorphous creature suffers half of any damage that is directed at the blood weird, and the blood weirds damage reduction does not protect the victim.

A blood weird is an animated serpentine mass of cold human blood, rushing forth to engulf and attempt to drown any living prey it senses.

******

The skin must 'cure' for a day, and so is the last form of undead to be animated from a typical human(oid) victim;

SKIN-WIGHT
Human Skin-Wight CR 1/3
XP 135
NE Medium Undead
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 11 (+3 Dex, +1 natural)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +2
DR 5/slashing; Immune undead traits

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft.
Melee grapple +3 (damage by constriction)
Special Attacks constrict (1d3)

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 16, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB +3 (+5 to grapple), CMD 14 (16 vs. grapple)
Feats Agile Maneuvers (B), Improved Grapple (B)
Skills Climb 0 (+8), Stealth 0 (+7); Racial Modifier +4 to Stealth checks
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

A skin-wight is a leathery humanoid skin, flayed seamlessly from the body, strengthened by alchemy and foul necromancy, and slithering bonelessly along the ground like a freakish serpent.

Anyone striking at a skin-wight that is grappling another target and hits inflicts any damage that the skin-wights damage reduction blocks to the target of the grapple (i.e. the first five points of damage from any Bludgeoning or Piercing attack), as well as any damage over the total hit points of the Skin-Wight (so an 8 pts slashing wound would destroy the Skin-Wight and inflict the remaining 4 pts of damage to the grappled victim).

A skin-wight made from the skin of a creature with natural armor adds natural armor equal to half of the rating of the original creature (minimum +1) to its normal natural armor rating.

Osirion

So, from one luckless victim, Ari creates individual weak undead from their bones, muscles, blood, skin, shadow, brain/nervous system, heart/circulatory system, stomach/intestines, lungs and eyes.

And she *can* get even more frugal, since she can sever the hands, and animate them as Tiny scuttling crab/scorpion-like Skeletons, while affixing weapons to the forearm bones that remain on the full-sized Skeleton remains. (She doesn't do this, as it doesn't suit her research goals.)

Other stuff that she's looked at, that don't fit as perfectly into the 'many undead from one body theme.'

*******

CHATTERBONES
Human Chatterbones CR 1/2
XP 200
NE Fine undead (swarm)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 20, flat-footed 18 (+8 size, +2 Dex)
hp 7 (1d8+3)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +2
Immune undead traits, weapon damage

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee swarm (1d3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 10)

STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 15, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +0; CMB -, CMD -
Feats Toughness (B)
SQ underfoot
Gear none

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization any
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Underfoot (Ex) Any square a chatterbones occupies is treated as a caltrop square. If the chatterbones takes no other action, it can spread itself out to occupy four squares, each being treated as if covered with caltrops.

Chatterbones are not made from the remains of a single humanoid, but require at least a dozen humanoids to provide enough teeth to create a swarm of tiny hopping teeth, that clatter along the ground like hundreds of spilled dice, bouncing to jab at living foes with their sharp root ends (or sharp canine ends, if available).

A swarm composed primarily of human or humanoid (or herbivore) teeth only inflicts 1d3 damage through this swarming attack, but a swarm composed primarily of the teeth of predatory animals (or creatures with a damaging bite attack) may inflict more damage, at the GM’s discretion.

Larger swarms, composed of the teeth of hundreds of individual creatures, also can be created, with a 10 ft. square specimen having 4 HD.

Osirion

Statted up too many things at once. Now I want to go back and change the Dead Man's Eye to be something that travels in pairs and has a weak fascinate gaze attack that can affect a single target.

Grr. Too late to edit!

Osirion

So, it occurred to me, while writing up a Cleric of Abadar, that they must not only have a lot of bank-guarding duties, but also some 'armored van' type situations where a bunch of coin needs to be moved from one bank to another.

[Cue Armored movie plotline here.]

With the favored weapon of the church being the crossbow, and the holy symbol looking a lot like a disk-shaped shield with a keyhole in it, I decided to make some church-specific weaponry along that theme.

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Shielded Crossbows
The clergy of Abadar, often focused on city (or vault) defense, have developed a specialized form of crossbow that is built into a shield.

The stock of the crossbow rests on one forearm (and is often strapped into place), and serves a handle for the shield, which has no straps, and is held forward like an open parasol (and, during travel, sometimes held up, exactly like a parasol, for ease of carrying). Unlike a less cumbersome weapon, attached perhaps via a weapon cord, a strapped-on shielded crossbow severely restricts the use of the affected limb.

In the hands of a proficient user, the shield provides its full bonus, even when the crossbow is in use, as the center of the shield has a keyhole shaped opening through which the bolt is fired, and through which the user can sight up his target. The weapon, statistically, is simply a light (or heavy) crossbow, which provides the shield bonus of a light (or heavy) shield, when used.

A non-proficient user only gains the shield bonus when firing a bolt, or when fighting defensively or taking the total defense action, and suffers the normal penalty for lacking proficiency with the attached crossbow, although this penalty is halved if the attached shield is made of darkwood or mithral.

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Shielded Crossbows) gives proficiency with both light and heavy versions of the weapon. The standard versions of the weapon are a conjoined light shield and light crossbow, and a conjoined heavy shield and heavy crossbow, and the typical cost for such a weapon is equal to the cost of each weapon, plus 20 gp.

A hand crossbow / buckler does exist, as well as repeating crossbow versions, but a user must either take a separate Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Shielded Hand Crossbow) or Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Shielded Repeating Crossbows), *or* be proficient in both the hand crossbow (or repeating crossbow) *and* take Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Shielded Crossbows) to use these weapons unpenalized.

Shielded heavy crossbows are almost always used for stationary defense, mounted to wagons carrying the wealth of the church, or to the walls of banker’s buildings, and when mounted in such a way, on swiveling tripods, can be used with only half the usual non-proficiency penalty (and without the limitations on gaining the shield bonus to AC) by a non-proficient user, thanks to the bracing effect of the stationary mount. Setting up such a mount takes a minute, making it impractical in an emergency (most wagons or fortifications protected by such keep them set up permanently), although the shielded crossbow can be detached from such an emplacement with a full round action (that provokes an attack of opportunity).

In addition to heavy shielded crossbows, some locations go so far as to have ballista mounted to tower shields in place, providing excellent protection to their users, but only the larger banks have this sort of arrangement.

With a minute’s work, someone proficient in the use of the shielded crossbow, or with a rank of Craft – Weaponsmith, can remove the shield from a Shielded Crossbow, leaving a fully functional (non-shielded) crossbow of the appropriate type. The shield itself, now with a sizable hole, where the anchoring stock was removed, and lacking any sort of straps for use, is treated as having the broken condition, and will require a skilled craftsman to turn it into a serviceable shield.

Due to their special training, and familiarity with these normally church-specific weapons, Clerics of Abadar can take a special Religion Trait that allows them to use any sort of Shielded Crossbow with proficiency, so long as they are proficient in the crossbow type and shield type that the weapon is crafted from. (So the average Cleric of Abadar, proficient in light and heavy crossbows, and in the use of the buckler, light and heavy shield, could use this trait to become proficient in Shielded Light Crossbows and Shielded Heavy Crossbows, but not Shielded Hand Crossbows, Shielded Repeating Crossbows or the stationary Ballista/Tower Shield combinations used at the larger banks, as he is not proficient with those component weapons. If he later takes Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Repeating Crossbow), the trait will then allow him to also make proficient use of Shielded Repeating Crossbows.)

Trait
Abadarian Arbalester Due to time spent manning the shielded crossbows on the armored wagons, or vaulted walls of the Church of Abadar, if you are proficient with both the type of crossbow and the type of shield it is composed of, you are treated as proficient with a shielded crossbow of that type as well.

Osirion

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Porting over from another thread, since it's probably more sensible for me to keep all my junk in one drawer...

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Twigkin – a well-intentioned but ill-advised arcane experiment into creating firewood that replenished itself and could be burned over and over again led to an unwise Arcanamirium researcher raising saplings on magically potent troll’s blood. He deemed the experiment a failure when the troll’s-blood infused wood proved incapable of repairing damage done to it by fire, and he simply abandoned the project. Three nights later, dozens of stunted starving ‘twig-trolls’ pulled themselves up from the ground and wrought havoc on the surrounding territory, seeking to ‘water’ themselves with the blood of living creatures. While not a terribly powerful threat individually, they tend to attack in swarms, and attempts to eradicate them from the Isle of Kortos have been stymied by their natural regeneration and ability to regrow from the smallest severed portion.

Twig-Troll CR 1
This stunted little creature looks like a goblin-sized stumpy shrub, almost as wide as it is tall, and bearing characteristics of both troll and treant. It waddles towards you, waving it’s branches threateningly.

XP 400
N Small plant
Init +0; Senses low-light vision; Perception +4

DEFENSE

AC 16, touch 11, flat-footed 16 (+1 size, +5 natural armor)
hp 14 (2d8+5); regeneration 1 (acid or fire)
Fort +4, Ref +0, Will +0
Defensive Abilities cannot be flanked; DR 5/-

OFFENSE

Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +2 (1d6 plus attach)
Special Attacks blood drain

STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 2
Base Atk +1; CMB +1; CMB 11 (15 vs. trip)
Feats Toughness
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +8 (+12 if stationary and pretending to be a normal plant); Racial Modifiers +4 to Stealth checks to pretend to be a stunted shrub or ugly sapling
Languages none
SQ plant traits

ECOLOGY

Environment Isle of Kortos
Organization solitary or pack (2-5)
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Attach (Ex) When a twig-troll hits with a bite attack, it automatically grapples its foe, inflicting automatic bite damage each round.
Blood Drain (Ex) A twig-troll drains blood at the end of its turn if it is attached to a foe, inflicting 1 point of Constitution damage. Twig-trolls are never sated, and continue draining blood until they or their target is dead.

Surprisingly strong, and unnaturally hard to kill, for their small size, these malformed little creatures look like a thick trunked bush of some sort, more like a stunted tree than a typical shrub. They waddle forth on many root-like legs that give them great stability, and wave their ineffectual limbs around as they advance towards warm-blooded prey. They usually have four limbs capable of lifting small items, but these branches are not useful for offense, merely aiding the creature in maintaining a grip on anything it has bitten, until it has drained as much blood as the target has to give. It can see from all directions, having pits in its trunk that act like eyespots covering all approaches, although it only has a single maw, in the confluence of its larger branches, at the very top of its body.

Once it has drained four Constitution points worth of blood, its body cannot hold anymore, and instead vents it out from between its roots, leaving a pool of blood that other twig-trolls may hungrily devour. It continues to draw blood, whether ‘full’ or not, until the prey is dead, and has no concept of surrender or self-preservation. If a twig-troll is slain, and some part of its body, such as a severed branch or root, remains unburnt in this blood-saturated ground, a new twig-troll will sprout from the remains within 24 hours.

Osirion

Collected Oracle Mysteries, designed for the various groups that no longer have Clerics in the setting (such as the Godclaw, or the philosophy of Diabolism, from the original Campaign Setting);

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Mystery of Justice

Mystery of Omens (or Portents)

Mystery of Corruption

Spoiler:

Corruption
Dieties Abraxas, Andirifkhu, Areshkagal, Cyth-V’sug, Flauros, Haagenti, Jubilex, Mazmezz, Nocticula, Rovagug, Shax, Socothbenoth, Zura
Class Skills: Bluff, Perception, Stealth
Bonus Spells: detect good or detect law (3rd), scare (5th), summon monster III (chaos or evil only) (7th), confusion (9th), telekinesis (11th), summon monster VI (chaos or evil only) (13th), greater teleport (15th), power word stun (17th), summon monster IX (chaos or evil only) (19th)
Revelations: An oracle with the corruption mystery can choose from any of the following revelations.
* Abyssal Arcana (Sp): You gain the spell-like abilities of a half-fiend with hit dice equal to one half your oracle level (minimum 1), although the spell-like abilities gained take effect at your full caster level.
* Calling Up From the Depths (Su) Once per day, you can modify one of your castings of summon monster to summon a creature with the half-fiend template, instead of the fiendish template. You gain an additional use of this ability for every ten oracle levels you possess. Additionally, any fiendish (or half-fiendish) template creature you summon is infused with abyssal cunning and taint, and has a minimum Intelligence score of 3, the [chaos] and [evil] subtypes, and is both chaotic and evil.
* Demonic Rampage (Su): Once per day, as a swift action, you can reduce your Charisma by a number of points equal to half your oracle level (at least 1, although you cannot reduce your Charisma below 3 with this ability). For every point of Charisma you reduce, you gain two points to put into your Strength, Dexterity or Constitution (chosen when the demonic rampage begins). For every two points of Charisma you reduce, your Intelligence and Wisdom scores also decrease by one (at least 1, although your Intelligence and Wisdom scores cannot go below 3 from this effect). You remain in this state (and cannot willingly end it) for a number of round equal to your original Charisma modifier. When the rage ends, your attributes return to normal, but you become fatigued for the remainder of the encounter, and you cannot use this ability again until you have recovered. At 10th level, you can use this rage a second time per day, and at 20th level, a third time (and are no longer fatigued afterwards).
* Fiendish Friend (Su): You can summon a familiar as if you were a wizard of a level equal to your oracle level. This feat also qualifies you to take the Improved Familiar feat, but you can only select a fiendish version of a normal animal or a quasit. You can select this revelation multiple times, but your effective wizard levels are divided among your familiars, for the purposes of advancing their abilities per the table on page 83. If you select more than one of the same type of familiar, the bonus gained per the table on page 82 does not stack with itself, and you no matter how many familiars you possess, you only benefit once from the Alertness feat. You must take the Improved Familiar feat multiple times if you wish to have multiple improved familiars, and also must qualify for them individually (so that you must be 7th level to have a quasit familiar, and must gain seven more oracle levels before you could take a second quasit familiar, even if you took the second Improved Familiar feat much sooner).
* Flesh of the Twisted Realms (Su): As a swift action, you can grant yourself some of the resilience of demonic flesh, becoming immune to electricity and poison, and gaining resistance equal to your oracle level versus acid, cold and fire damage. While your flesh is so transmuted, you also gain damage reduction equal to half your oracle level (mimimum 1), which can be overcome by cold iron, good or lawful weapons. If you make yourself immune to poison while you have poison in your system, the effects continue to expire, but you take no damage during rounds in which you are immune, possibly allowing you to remain immune until the effects have fully passed their course, if you have sufficient duration remaining. You can maintain this state for a number of rounds per day equal to half your oracle level (minimum 1). This effect is not subtle, and your features are unmistakably demonic for the duration.
* Hateful Smite (Su): You gain a smite power, similar to that of a Paladin, with the following changes; your hateful smite affects elves of any alignment, or anyone of good or lawful alignment. Against those with the [good] or [lawful] subtype, a powerful aura of good or law (such as a cleric of a good or lawful deity) or an elf of good or lawful alignment, damage is doubled. You can select a target to smite once per day at 1st level, plus one additional time per day for every ten oracle levels. This ability qualifies you to take the Extra Smite feat, if you wish.
* Storm’s Fury (Su): When wielding a metal weapon, you call lightning down upon yourself, gaining the following benefits; your weapon gains the shock quality, you are treated as if protected by a blur spell (from a combination of swirling winds and dust and the blinding glare of the constant lightning stroke) and a modified fire shield (granting immunity to electricity instead of cold or fire, and inflicting electrical damage instead of fire damage to those who strike you, but otherwise acting as a fire shield cast at your level). You can activate this ability as a swift action for a number of rounds per day equal to your oracle level.
* Trickery at Arms (Ex): You gain proficiency in battleaxe, hand crossbow, kukri, net, rapier, scimitar and whip, as well as the Improved Dirty Tricks feat, even if you do not have the prerequisites for that feat. Once per day, you can use Bluff to feint with one of the above weapons (or the dagger, heavy mace, quarterstaff, sickle or spear) as a swift action. You gain an additional use of this ability at 10th level, and another at 20th.
* Unmaker (Ex/Sp): You gain the Improved Sunder feat, even if you do not have the prerequisites for that feat. This is an exceptional ability. Once per day, as a swift action, you can cause an item you have struck with a sunder attempt to be affected by a shatter spell at your caster level, in addition to any damage inflicted by the sunder attempt. You can use this ability another time per day for every five oracle levels, and at 10th level, you can spend three uses of this ability to instead cause the item struck by the sunder attempt to be affected by a disintegrate spell at your oracle level.
* Unwholesome Whispers (Su): You gain the ability to communicate telepathically with any creature within 30 ft. that understands Abyssal. At 5th level, once per day, as a full-round action, you can whisper sinuous twisting words that affect a single target within 30 ft. as a suggestion spell, phrasing your request in a language that none but the intended target understand. You gain an additional use of this ability for every five oracle levels. At 10th level, you can instead bark out a single syllable of this discordant speech that echoes and reverberates upon itself into a maddening babble that acts as a shout spell. At 15th level, you can expend two of your daily uses of this ability to shout as a swift action, although once you have done so, you must wait 1d4 rounds before being able to use either spell-like ability again.
Final Revelation Your body is warped by the forces of the abyss, and you gain some of the qualities of the half-fiend template. You gain natural armor +1, darkvision 60 ft. (if you do not already have it), and the ability to cause bat-like wings to sprout from your back as a swift action, allowing you to fly at twice your racial ground speed for a number of minutes per day equal to your oracle level. You gain a single use of hateful smite per day, or an additional use, if you have already selected that Revelation. You gain the half-fiendish spell-like abilities of abyssal arcana, unless you have already selected that Revelation, in which case you gain the full spell-like abilities of a half-fiend of Hit Dice equal to you full oracle level. You can use the abilities of the flesh of the twisted realms revelation, unless you already have selected that revelation, in which case, the effects can be used for a number of minutes per day equal to your oracle level (in increments of at least 1 minute per use). Finally, if you possess the unwholesome whispers revelation, you can now communicate telepathically with any creature that speaks abyssal within 100 ft.

Mystery of Gold

Spoiler:
Gold
Dieties Abadar, Norgorber, Mammon, Nivi Rhombodazzle, Thamir Gixx, Prophecies of the Kalistocracy
Class Skills: Appraise, Bluff, Knowledge (nobility), Sleight of Hand
Bonus Spells: magic weapon (3rd), heat metal (5th), magic vestment (7th), shrink item (9th), fabricate (11th), guards and wards (13th), sequester (15th), discern location (17th), polymorph any object (19th)
Revelations: An oracle with the gold mystery can choose from any of the following revelations.
* All that Glitters (Su): As a standard action, you can cause one metal weapon within 30 ft. to visibly transform into solid gold. The weapon’s weight triples, and the user suffers a -4 penalty to attack rolls due to the increased mass. On any hit, the weapon has a 50% chance of gaining the broken condition, as the soft metal deforms, and if it continues to be used while broken, it has a 50% chance on any hit to be destroyed. Against any attempt to sunder the weapon (or otherwise damage it) during the duration, it's hardness and hit points are halved. The weapon remains in this state for a number of minutes equal to your Charisma modifier, and you can use this ability once per day, plus an additional time per day for every four oracle levels you possess.
* Devalue (Su): As a standard action, you can target one non-magical item (or group of related items, such as coins in a pouch) within 30 ft. and cause it to temporarily become mundane and of minimal value. You can effect up to 5 lbs. of material for every oracle level you possess, and the item remains transformed for 1 hour, and you can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier. Any valuable properties related to quality or exotic craftsmanship are lost for the duration, so that a masterwork weapon or item of armor becomes of mundane quality, an alchemical concoction or expensive libation becomes simple water, a fist-sized emerald becomes green-tinted quartz, a dose of expensive poison becomes bitter weed and a pile of gold coins becomes paltry copper. While sometimes used to strip away the advantage of a fine weapon or alchemical mixture from a foe, this power seems more popular in the smuggling of contraband…
* Ennoble Armor (Su): As a move-equivalent action, you can cause metal armor (and any shield in hand, if applicable) worn to shimmer and transform into reddish-golden metal. While so transformed, the armor is treated as masterwork armor of both adamantine *and* mithral, reducing in weight by half, being treated as armor one weight class lighter, and having the armor check penalty, max dex bonus and spell failure chance of mithral, and yet also conferring the damage reduction of adamantine armor of its original category. This effect fades immediately if you remove the armor (or release your grasp on the shield), but otherwise lasts a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier + your oracle level, and you can activate this property a number of times equal to half your oracle level (minimum once).
* Ennoble Self (Su): As a move-equivalent action, you can cause your skin to become golden-orange in color, purging yourself of injury or weakness. You immediately are healed a number of hit points of damage equal to twice your oracle level, and receive the benefits of [i]lesser restoration. At 8th level, you instead receive the benefit of a restoration spell, and at 14th level, the benefit is the equivalent of a greater restoration spell. You can invoke this effect once per day, plus an additional time per day for every six oracle levels you possess.
* Ennoble Weapon (Su): As a move-equivalent action, you can cause any weapons with a metal striking surface in hand at the time (including a crossbow, but not a bow, which extends the property to any ammunition it fires) to gleam like ruddy gold. While so transmuted, the weapon(s) are treated as a masterwork of both adamantine *and* mithral, both for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, and halving in weight and bypassing up to 20 pts. of hardness. Despite being lighter, the weapon *feels* unnaturally heavy, and while this property does not impede your ability to wield the weapon, it causes it to strike with great force, so that any blow with the weapon inflicts damage one die size larger than is normal for the weapon. This transmutation fades immediately if someone else attempts to use the weapon, or at the end of any round it leaves your person, for a thrown weapon or item of ammunition, but otherwise lasts a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier + your oracle level, and you can activate this property a number of times equal to half your oracle level (minimum once).
* Filthy Lucre (Su): As a standard action, you can curse another within 30 ft. so that the touch of precious metals and stones causes him discomfort. So long as he bears at least a pound worth of coin or jewelry items on his person, he must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half your oracle level + your Charisma modifier) to avoid being nauseated by an intense allergic reaction and painful cramps, as of metal poisoning in the blood. If he makes this saving throw, he is still staggered for 1 round, and then sickened until he divests himself of coin and gems or until 24 hours pass, whichever comes first. Coin and gems kept in an extradimensional storage space, such as a handy haversack or portable hole, do not count for this purpose. You can inflict this curse upon another once per day, plus an additional use per day for every five oracle levels you possess, although no individual can succumb to this curse more than once in a 24 hour period.
* Goldsmith (Sp): You can cast mending at will, and can cast a number of spells per day equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier as spell-like abilities from the following list: fabricate, make whole, minor creation. If any of these spells are currently among your spells known when you choose this revelation, you can immediately choose to replace any or all of them with different choices, even if you would not normally be able to make such an exchange at this time (although you cannot replace fabricate in this manner). After you reach your 10th oracle level, you can choose to use major creation in place of minor creation.
* Share Ennoblement (Su): As a standard action, you can expend a use of ennoble armor, ennoble self or ennoble weapon on an item of armor or weapon, or the person, of an ally within 30 ft. If you have not selected one or more of these revelations, this ability cannot be chosen. For the purposes of this ability, the recipient is treated as you, for the duration of the effect (so that ennobled armor or weapon remains effective only so long as upon their person).
* Seeker After Wealth (Sp): You can cast detect magic at will, and can cast a number of spells per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier as spell-like abilities from the following list: detect secret doors, knock, locate object. If any of these spells are currently among your spells known when you choose this revelation, you can immediately choose to replace any or all of them with different choices, even if you would not normally be able to make such an exchange at this time.
* Weapons of War (Ex): You gain proficiency with all martial weapons and heavy armor (including tower shields), so long as the armor, shield or weapon is either predominantly made of metal, or has a metal striking surface. (This does not include bows.)
Final Revelation: Upon reaching 20th level, your flesh transubstantiates and becomes like ruddy gold, and your eyes become glittering amber stones, granting you +2 natural armor, DR 3/-, low-light vision, a +4 sacred bonus to Fort saves or Con checks vs. disease and poison, or to resist the effects of environmental heat or cold, suffocation / drowning, or the effects of a forced march, and the benefits of a ring of sustenance, allowing you to subsist without food or drink, and to require only two hours of rest a night. Any natural attacks you possess are treated as if silver and adamantine for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction. You recognize the value of metals and gems with a touch, quickly identifying fakes or alloys, and gain a +10 insight bonus to Appraise checks to determine the value of metals or gems.

Mystery of Hell

Spoiler:
Hell
Dieties Asmodeus, Archdevils (Baalzabul, Barbatos, Belial, Dispater, Geryon, Mammon, Mephistopheles, Moloch)
Class Skills: Bluff, Intimidate, Knowledge (local), Sleight of Hand
Bonus Spells: burning hands (3rd), align weapon (evil or law only) (5th), major image (7th), imbue with spell ability (9th), fire shield (11th), hold monster (13th), blasphemy (15th), greater teleport (17th), summon monster IX (evil or law only) (19th)
Revelations: An oracle with the hell mystery can choose from any of the following revelations.
* Fiendish Flight (Su): As a standard action, you can sprout devil wings that allow you to fly as the spell for a number of minute per day equal to Cha mod + oracle level, usable in one or more uses, but with each use consuming at least 1 minute of the daily uses. At 8th level, you can activate this ability as a move-equivalent action, and at 12th level, as a swift action.
* Gift of Baalzebul (Sp): As a full round action, you can cast insect plague as a spell-like ability once per day. The wasp swarm has the fiendish simple template, the [cold] subtype, and replace the poison special ability of a wasp swarm with the disease special ability of a rat swarm (adjusted to take effect immediately, similar to a contagion spell, and with Fort DC 13 to resist). The wasp swarms also have the frost quality, and inflict an extra 1d6 cold damage to any target they damage. You must be 10th level to select this revelation, and at 20th level, you can use this ability twice per day (but cannot cast the ability a second time as long as any of the swarms from a previous casting are still alive).
* Gift of Barbatos (Su): As a standard action, you can summon a variation of a carrionstorm to appear anywhere within 30 ft. This modified carrionstorm has Hit Dice equal to half your oracle level, channel resistance equal to your Charisma modifier, and does not have the Pallid Bond special ability, but instead has the Disease special ability of a rat swarm. You are never affected by the carrionstorm, and can stand within it without suffering distraction, disease or harm. The swarm remains in existence for a number of minutes per day equal to your oracle level, and can be called forth once or multiple times, for a minimum duration of 1 minute per use. You are treated as if possessing an empathic link with the carrionstorm, similar to that between a druid and her companion, and you can direct the swarms actions and movement as a free action on your turn through act of will, so long as it does not leave a 1 mile range of your person. Your link with the swarm is strong enough that you can see, hear and smell events as if you were occupying its spaces, in addition to your own, without distraction. When you reach 10th level, any carrionstorm you summon also has +2 channel resistance, the ghost touch quality, and the stench aura of a ghast (which does not affect you). You cannot have more than one carrionstorm in existence at a time, but the destruction of a swarm does not prevent you from immediately calling up another one with another use of this abiility. You must be 5th level to select this revelation.
* Gift of Belial (Sp): As a full round action, you can whisper sickly seductive words to another within 30 ft., that acts like a suggestion spell cast by you. If the subject resists the effect, they are instead afflicted with contagion, at your caster level. You can use this ability once per day, plus an additional time per day for every six oracle levels you possess. At 12th level, you can instead attempt to use mass suggestion, but all targets must be within 30 ft. of you, and any that resist must be afflicted with the same disease by the contagion effect. You can only attempt a mass suggestion once per day, and it also expends one of the uses of the single-target version.
* Gift of Dispater (Su): As a standard action, you can cause a suit of metal armor within 30 ft. to radiate the effects of heat metal at your caster level, to gain the broken condition, to become masterwork, to be covered with masterwork armor spikes, to become adamantine, *or* to triple in weight and be treated as armor one category higher (to a maximum of heavy). Only one effect can be caused with a single use of this ability, although you can use multiple uses over successive rounds to place multiple effects on a single item of metal armor. With the exception of heat metal, which has it’s normal duration, the effects last a number of rounds equal to your oracle level +your Charisma modifier, and you can use this effect a number of times per day equal to half your oracle level (at least once).
* Gift of Geryon (Su): As a standard action, you can vomit forth a fiendish serpent to attack a designated foe that is within 30 ft. at the time of activation, remaining until it or the target is slain (to a maximum of 10 minutes). At first level, you can summon only a single viper per day, and for every two levels thereafter, you can summon another fiendish viper per day, either singly or in groups. The venom of these serpents inflicts wisdom damage, in addition to constitution damage, and if a divine spellcaster dies while under the effects of their poison, or as a result of damage inflicted by a serpent, the serpent that bit him returns immediately to you. You can then devour the serpent as a full-round action (the snake does not resist this process), and you gain a bonus to your own caster level equal to the divine spellcasting level of the slain spellcaster, for a number of rounds equal to your Charisma modifier. You can only have one such bonus at a time. At 8th level, you can also summon fiendish constrictors, which are enhanced by possessing the same sort of venom that the vipers possessed, with an additional fiendish constrictor per three oracle levels after 8th, to a maximum of five venomous fiendish constrictors at 20th level. Despite the improbability of such a thing, you can devour a constrictor that has slain a divine spellcaster in the same manner as a viper, as a full-round action, gaining the same benefits. You cannot summon both vipers and constrictors with a single use of this ability.
* Gift of Mammon (Su): Mammon has whispered to you a foul rite by which you can swallow a gold coin or small gem, and 24 hours later, when it has passed from your body, you have forged a link with the precious item that allows you to spy upon its surroundings spell scrying. You can have a number of these items prepared at one time equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier, and you can scry on any of these items for a total duration per day in minutes equal to your oracle level, which can be divided into one or more uses, with a minimum duration per use of 1 minute. You count as ‘familiar’ with the coin or stone, regardless of who is in possession of the item. The coin or gem radiates a faint aura of evil and magic, but is shielded from detection as if protected by magic aura at the oracles caster level. A break enchantment or dispel magic can be used to cleanse the item, although it may be simpler to destroy or get rid of it, if its true nature is discovered. At 14th level, this ability instead functions as greater scrying, and is used in minimum 1 hour increments.
* Gift of Mephistopheles (Su): Once per day, you can enact a 10 minute ceremony that creates an appropriate magic circle against evil and functions as lesser planar binding at your oracle level. You can only call forth devils with this revelation. You must be 10th level to select this revelation. At 12th level, the ability instead mimics planar binding, and at 16th level, greater planar binding.
* Gift of Moloch (Su): You gain proficiency and Weapon Focus with one of the following weapons; heavy flail, heavy mace, light mace, quarterstaff, ranseur, shortspear, spear, trident or whip. You also gain Dazzling Display as a bonus feat, and can use it with the weapon selected, or any others that qualify. Whenever you hit a foe with one off these weapons, you inflict an additional point of fire damage, and as a swift action you can cause the weapon to instead inflict an additional 1d6 fire damage on a hit a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.
* Magic of the Fiendish Disciple (Sp): You gain the spell-like abilities of a half-fiend of half your oracle level (minimum 1). For the purposes of these abilities, your effective level is equal to half your oracle level (minimum 1), and save DCs are based on Charisma.
* [i]Magic of the Fiendish Heirophant (Sp):
You must have fiendish magic to take this Revelation, which allows you to use the spell-like abilities of a half-fiend of your full oracle level. Your caster level for these effects is equal to your oracle level, and save DCs are based on Charisma. You must be at least 15th level to take this revelation.
Final Revelation: Upon reaching 20th level, you gain many fiendish traits, including a +1 natural armor bonus, 60 ft. darkvision, immunity to fire and poison, energy resistance 10 against acid and cold, DR/10 chaos, good, magic or silver and SR equal to your oracle level +10. You can smite good or chaos once per day as a swift action as a paladin of the same level as your oracle level. The smite persists until the target is dead or you rest. You gain two claw attacks and a bite attack, as your features assume an infernal cast, damage depends on size (see pages 301-302 of the Bestiary).

Osirion

A few Favored Class bonuses for Aasimar, Tieflings and Suli;

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Aasimar Favored Class options

Bard - Heavenly Choir
+1/2 effective Bard level to determine the effects of Inspire Courage, Inspire Greatness or Inspire Heroics, each time this bonus is chosen.

Cleric - Lightbringer
+1 CL to determine the duration of any [light] spell that does not inflict damage. For every four times this bonus is chosen, +1 CL to determine the effects of damaging [light] spells, such as searing light, sunbeam or sunburst.

Paladin - Font of Healing
+1/2 damage healed (or inflicted) via Lay on Hands or Channel Energy

Alternate Heavenly Choir (wordier, more limited)

Spoiler:
+1 effective Bard level to determine the effects of Inspire Courage, to a maximum of nine times (which gives the maximum effect, as if from a 17th level Bard). Every time this bonus is chosen after the ninth time, any use of Inspire Greatness can be enhanced by two levels of Inspire Courage (at the cost of two rounds of bardic performance per round, if this option is taken). At 18th level, the Bard can produce the full effects of Inspire Greatness and Inspire Courage, for the cost of 2 rounds of bardic performance per round of use.

Tiefling Favored Class options

Rogue - Shadowblade
-5% to the chance of missing a target due to concealment resulting from darkness or dim lighting, if this reduces the percentage to 0%, the target is not treated as having any concealment against you.

Wizard - Shadowcaster
+1 CL to the effects of any spells with the [darkness] descriptor for each time this bonus is selected. For every five times this bonus is selected, spells with the [shadow] descriptor are 5% more ‘real’ for the purposes of damage and effect.

Suli Favored Class options

Paladin - Elemental Smite
Each time this bonus is chosen, the Suli can choose to substitute one point of bonus damage from his Smite Evil bonus for Acid, Cold, Electrical or Fire damage, chosen at the time the Smite is declared. Whether this damage is elemental or remains untyped, it is still doubled against appropriate targets (undead, evil outsiders, evil dragons). You cannot deal more (undoubled) elemental damage in this manner than your Charisma modifier.

Ranger - Desert Creature
You are treated as having +1 Ranger level for determining when one would be eligible to increase the favored terrain bonus for desert terrain, each time this option is taken. Desert terrain, once chosen as a Favored Terrain, advances automatically at this advanced rate, and does not count as a ‘choice’ to be upgraded at 8th, 13th or 18th level. (So, if desert terrain is chosen at 3rd level, and the Suli ranger has taken all three levels in this bonus, he will be treated as a sixth level ranger for the purposes of advancing FT: desert. When he attains 4th level, if he again chooses this FC bonus, he will be treated as 8th level, and his FT: desert will automatically increase by another +2. When he attains 7th level, FT: terrain upgrades again, if he has continued to select this FC bonus, and 8th level, he gains the normal option to upgrade a pre-selected FT (desert, in this case) , or choose a new FT.) He can never exceed +10 to his favored terrain bonus to FT desert in this manner.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

The thread that keeps on giving. :)

Liking the favored class options!


Amazing stuff Set, keep up the good work. Also, have my babies? Just putting it out there.

Osirion

Thanks for the kind words!

And, uh. No.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks for the awesome work. The Blight Oak and Mwangi Dryad are going straight into my campaign. But, alas, the party knows enough to avoid that area for now.

The undead are inspiring too. Creepy, but inspiring.

Osirion

Landon Winkler wrote:
Thanks for the awesome work. The Blight Oak and Mwangi Dryad are going straight into my campaign. But, alas, the party knows enough to avoid that area for now.

Thanks! The Mwangi Dryad just popped into my head as something to convert from her Mutants & Masterminds write up in my first ever M&M game (she was one of the Green Man's Brides, all of which I heavily modified from Steve Kenson's original designs). I'd also played a character on that theme in City of Heroes (Spines Scrapper), City of Villains (Plant/Thorn Dominator) and DCU Online (Nature / Plant controller). I've played fantasy inspired superheroes plenty of times, but this was the first time I went the other way and turned a superhero / villain into a D&D monster!

Too much Discovery channel, and an unwholesome fascination with the Swollen Thorn Acacia tree, led to the swarm feature.

Between the Mwangwi Dryad and Blight Oak, I need to back away from the swarm-carrier monster design a bit. Too much playing of carriers and PF tenders in Star Fleet Battles, I think. :)

I now have to design a monster based on my absolute favorite SFB ship type, the cloaked minelayer... Mwahahahaha!

Quote:
The undead are inspiring too. Creepy, but inspiring.

I'd needed some low HD undead for a 1st level Hollowfaust game I was running, and had no intention of just sticking to skeletons, so I came up with Ari and her mad goal to individually necromantically animate blood, bones, skin and vicera. It kind of thematically progressed to her wanting to become a form of lich, but not all at once, charging each of her living systems / tissues with negative energy individually, piece by piece. And then I bumped into DracoDei over at Giant in the Playgrounds, and he was doing the same thing with necromantically animated hearts and digestive systems, and we kind of went nuts with notions like animated floating quasi-psionic brains and animated eyeballs...

The blood-wierds were particularly cool to use as low-level encounters, because I could craft my own 'miniatures' out of old red candle wax left over from my roommates Yankee Candle obsession. Just warm the wax up and press it into funky blobby shapes, like blood-colored water elementals, and superglue them to a base-shaped bit of cardboard (so that they don't stain the map), and instant blood-weird 'figures.'

For added fun, the player who kills one gets to squish it with the base of his own figure. :)

(I stole that 'figure interaction' idea from another GM, who made a hydra 'figure' out of plastic tubing, and let us cut off each head with scissors as we killed it, with us competing for who got to take the most 'heads' home.)

Gory, gruesome fun!


just found this thread. good stuff i may have to borrow for a future game or two

Osirion

Nermal2097 wrote:
just found this thread. good stuff i may have to borrow for a future game or two

Thanks! If any of it works out for you, or doesn't, feel free to let me know how I can tweak it!

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And the latest thought to wander through my insomniac brain;

A new Sorcerer Bloodline;

Wisselkind (Hagborn)
Changeling-child, they called you, and killcrop, and hag-boy, and worse things. What dubious circumstance left your blood tainted with the ichor of hags, you shudder to consider, but their sly ways and deceptive magical charms come naturally to you.
Class Skill: Perception.
Bonus Spells: ray of enfeeblement (3rd), alter self (5th), bestow curse (7th), charm monster (9th), baleful polymorph (11th), veil (13th), control weather (15th), mind blank (17th) and shapechange (19th)
Bonus Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Casting, Deceitful, Great Fortitude, Spell Focus (enchantment), Spell Focus (illusion), Toughness
Bloodline Arcana: Your caster level is one higher than your sorcerer level for sorcerer spells that you cast of the divination, enchantment, illusion or transmutation schools, so long as you possess the appropriate Spell Focus feat(s). Your caster level is always one lower for spells of evocation, however, making spells such as burning hands and magic missile ineffective at 1st level.
Bloodline Powers: The twisted insights of your background have left their marks on your body, and eventually open your psyche to the hexcraft more common to witches than sorcerers.
* Grasping Clutches (Ex): Starting at 1st level, you can grow claws as a free action. These claws are treated as natural weapons, allowing you to make two claw attacks as a full attack action using your full base attack bonus. Each of these attacks deals 1d4 points of damage plus your Strength modifier (1d3 if you are Small). At 5th level, these claws are considered magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming DR. At 7th level, the damage increases by one step to 1d6 points of damage (1d4 if you are Small). At 11th level, these claws are also considered cold iron for the purpose of overcoming DR, and if you strike a single target with two claws in a single round, you can rend that target for additional damage equal to twice your normal claw damage. A critical hit does not multiply this extra damage, and for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, this rend damage is added to the damage of your second claw attack. You can use your claws for a number of rounds per day equal to 3 + your Charisma modifier.
* Black Anne’s Hide (Ex): At 3rd level, your skin toughens, becoming like the iron-hard hide of the Annis hag, giving you +1 natural armor, and increasing to +2 natural armor at 9th level, and +3 natural armor 1t 15th level. At 6th level, you gain DR 1/-, and at 12th level, this increases to DR 2/-, and at 18th to DR 3/-.
* Home Beneath the Sea (Su): At 9th level, you can adapt yourself to gain a swim speed equal to your land speed, underwater darkvision, and the ability to breath underwater for a number of hours per day equal to your sorcerer level. This transformation is not subtle, and you are indeed so hideous, that natural animals will not approach you unless summoned, magically compelled to do so or you attack them first (or specially trained to be willing to attack exceptional creatures, such as aberrations or undead). While so transformed, your ground speed is halved, and you are fatigued while breathing air (although this condition ends immediately if you submerge and can breathe water again). You can enter this state as often as you wish, but each use consumes one hour worth of your daily use of the ability.
* Hexcraft (Su): At 15th level, you gain the benefits of the Coven Hex, and can choose one other Minor Hex. Your sorcerer levels are treated as witch levels to determine the effectiveness of your chosen hexes. Once you have gained this class feature, you qualify for the Extra Hex feat (and other feats that modify hexes, such as Split Hex), and can learn additional minor hexes in this way. At 18th level, you can choose one more Minor Hex.
* Grand Mal Damme (or Sur) (Su): At 20th level, your hag heritage ripens to fruition, and your hide thickens once again to increase your natural armor bonus to +5, and your DR to 5/-. You also can choose one Major Hex, and use it as a Witch of equal level. You gain darkvision, 60 ft., if you did not already possess this ability, and unlike the darkvision that comes with your aquatic transformation, this ability is usable out of water. For the purposes of the Coven Hex, gained at 15th level, you are now treated as a true Hag.

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[The hardest part is choosing stuff to cut, since the hags available had a selection of interesting spells, feats and skills, and I had a limited amount that I could actually include. For someone with a less generic 'hag' theme, specifically descended from a night hag, for instance, I'd probably end up making specific archetypes for this bloodline, to swap out some features to better suit the specific heritage... I lucked out on the class skill, as the two most common hag skills were bluff and perception, and sorcerers already have bluff as a class skill. They shared quite a few feats in common, as well.]


Landon Winkler wrote:

Thanks for the awesome work. The Blight Oak and Mwangi Dryad are going straight into my campaign. But, alas, the party knows enough to avoid that area for now.

The undead are inspiring too. Creepy, but inspiring.

Make something exit into that area, such as a cubic gate or the Cleaves. As for the Ryme Knights, the card of The Deck of Many Things that calls for single combat could summon them. :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As I restart my game, I will be using these undead, probably in a 'murder mystery' mode. Great job!

Osirion

Bwang wrote:
As I restart my game, I will be using these undead, probably in a 'murder mystery' mode. Great job!

Thanks! I considered having her integrate them into what appears to be a zombie, that it the first encounter will burst apart into the six to eight lesser undead, guts spilling out, brain and nervous system peeling off into the air, skin pooling around the ankles and slithering forth, etc. prompting some sort of fear effect to those who view it 'coming undone,' but never got around to writing that up, mechanically.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's been my pleasure to find and wonder through this thread today. Really well done Set. Different takes on a number of themes well thought out and often both unusual and useful. I'm going to be borrowing from you wholesale for my game.

Thanks.

Osirion

R_Chance wrote:
Different takes on a number of themes well thought out and often both unusual and useful. I'm going to be borrowing from you wholesale for my game.

Awesome to hear, thanks!

And, something old, re-examined now that time has passed, a way to make counterspelling *not* totally suck.

First, an Alternate Class Feature for Abjuration specialist Wizards.

Abjurant Counterspell
You can counterspell another spell with any prepared arcane Abjuration spell of equal or higher level, regardless of the school of spell being countered. You still need to make a Spellcraft check to identify the spell you wish to counter, and the abjuration spell expended is treated as dispel magic or greater dispel magic, requiring a contest of CL checks to determine success.

Whenever you counter a spell with a spell of higher level, you gain a +1 bonus to the opposed caster level check for each level by which the counterspell exceeds the spell to be countered.

To gain this feature, you must use your 1st level Feat choice to learn the Improved Counterspell feat, and you do not gain the arcane bond class feature, or the Scribe Scroll bonus feat (although you can purchase the latter normally).

And some feats to round it out;

Absorptive Counterspell
You learn special techniques to draw upon the magics you unravel with your counterspells, to refuel your own spent magical reserves.
Prerequisites: Improved Counterspell
Benefits: When you successfully counter another spell, you have a 50% chance of drawing in sufficient energies to replenish the spell (or slot) you used to counter the spell. This percentage cannot be enhanced by any means. If you are using a higher level spell to counter a lower-level spell, the chance of replenishment is reduced by 10% per level of difference.
Example: If using a dispel magic to counter a casting of glitterdust, you only have a 40% chance of retaining your prepared dispel magic spell (or the slot used to cast it, if a spontaneous caster) if successful.

Reflective Counterspell
Your gift for abjuring magic has taught you how to seize the forming energies of a spell and twist them to your own designs.
Prerequisites: Must be a wizard specializing in Abjuration, Improved Counterspell, Absorptive Counterspell
Benefits: If you successfully counter a spell, you can choose *not* to absorb the energies to replenish your own expended spell slot, and to instead attempt to turn the spell back as if you had cast it yourself. If the spell has a single target, it must be the caster, but you can turn an area spell back as you see fit, so long as the caster is within the area affected. There is a 50% chance of successfully redirecting a countered spell in this manner, with a bonus of 10% for every level by which the spell you used to counter the incoming spell overpowered it.
Example: An abjurer uses a dispel magic to counter an enemy sorcerers scorching ray. He has a 60% chance of reflecting it back upon the sorcerer.

Countermagic
You can counter not only prepared or spontaneous spells, but also the spell-like abilities of some creatures.
Prerequisites: Must be a wizard specializing in Abjuration, Improved Counterspell
Benefits: You can counterspell a spell-like ability. The Spellcraft DC to identify a spell-like ability that duplicates a pre-existing spell is +4. For a spell-like ability that does not have a spell equivalent, such as a white dragons freezing fog ability, the difficulty to identify it is +8, and you cannot counter it unless you have an ability such as Abjurant Counterspell or a spell such as dispel magic or greater dispel magic (of the appropriate level) prepared that specifically can be used to counter any spell.
Special The Spellcraft DC to identify the spell-like ability is increased by another +4 if you do not have at least one rank in the appropriate Knowledge skill (planes for outsiders, dungeoneering for aberrations, nature for fey, arcana for dragons, etc.).

Patient Counterspell
You have grown accustomed to delaying your action for the slightest sign of action on the part of your foe, and then unleashing your countermagic without impeding your following actions.
Prerequisites Improved Counterspell and either Dex 13+ or Improved Initiative
Benefits When you ready an action to counterspell, your initiative count is not reset to the count upon which you took your delayed action.
Example: On your Initiative count of 16, you ready an action to counterspell. Your foe begins casting a spell on 12, and you interrupt his action with your counterspell. Next turn, your Initiative count remains at 16.

Master of Countermagic
You have spent many hours poring over tomes of magic, familiarizing yourself with the beginning movements and phrases of the spells at your command.
Prerequisites Improved Counterspell
Benefits Your long hours of practice afford you a +4 circumstance bonus to Spellcraft checks to identify any spell that you have inscribed in your spellbook. When using dispel magic or greater dispel magic to counter a spell that you have inscribed in your spellbook, you gain a +4 bonus to your caster level check.

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The ACF and Feats make a dent in the hole that the counterspeller starts in, but it's still a crapshoot, round by round, if a counterspell will end up being a wasted action...

As with so much in gaming (and life), the best defense appears to be a strong offense. You can delay your action, after having spent three feats on the possibility to do so, and have a *chance* of turning a sorcerer's scorching rays back on him, or you can just blow him out of his boots with your own scorching rays...

Osirion

In much-belated honor of Blinky.

And, also, because we don't have nearly enough feats, traits, lore, spells, etc. derived from or inspired by the Cyclops of Golarion!

Trait (both a Garundi regional trait and a Nethyn faith trait)

Awakened Third Eye The ancient Cyclops seers painted ornate glyphs around their eyes, to awaken their inner sight, and you have followed a similar tradition, tattooing a ‘third eye’ on your forehead, in ancient Garundi (or Nethyn) tradition. The awakened third eye grants you limited insight into both the past and the future, and you gain a +1 trait bonus to knowledge (history) checks and to initiative checks. Knowledge (history) is always a class skill for you.

Osirion

Random non-evil necromancy spells.
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Spiritwalk
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a drop of the casters blood)
Range personal
Duration Concentration (up to 1 minute/level)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You can separate a fraction of your spirit from your body and send it forth to view the surrounding area. This spiritform shares most of your own attributes, but is incorporeal and invisible. This form cannot affect the material world in any way, either physically or by magical means, and your equipment remains behind on your body, which is unconscious throughout the duration. Anything that disturbs or damages your body disrupts your concentration and causes the spell to end immediately, and you are dazed for 1 round, as your mind reels from the sudden dislocation. Damage to your spiritform, such as via magic missile or a weapon with the ghost touch property does not disrupt the spell, but the damage is reflected upon your physical body (perhaps giving viewers warning that your spiritform is under attack). You can end concentration on the spell and snap back to your body as an immediate action, although this also dazes you for 1 round. You can avoid being dazed by returning to your body normally and stepping into it, ending the spell without the shock of sudden return.

Your spiritform moves at your normal movement rate, but can pass through solid objects without difficulty, like any other incorporeal creature. In this form, you have your normal sensory capabilities, plus darkvision 60 ft., if you do not already have darkvision with a superior range. While your remaining senses function as if you were physically present, you do not produce sound or scent, and cannot be detected by these senses. Many animals are sensitive to the presence of bodiless spirits, and at the GM’s adjudication, may become agitated in your presence, although this uneasiness provides them with no special awareness of your exact position, or the nature of the presence that is upsetting them.

While your spirit is not an undead creature, in the conventional sense, it lacks the protection of an embodied state, and is vulnerable to effects that would harm the undead as if it were undead, and detects as an undead creature to the detect undead spell. Similarly, a hide from undead spell may conceal a protected party from your sight, while in spiritform.

If your spiritform is reduced to zero or less hit points, the spell immediately ends, and your body is reduced to zero hit points (excess damage is lost). Even if healed, you remain staggered and sickened for 24 hours, and while ‘soulsick,’ you cast neither shadow, nor reflection. A restoration, greater restoration or heal spell can end this effect.

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Spiritflight
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a drop of the casters blood)
Range personal
Duration Concentration (up to 1 minute/level)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This spell functions similarly to spiritwalk, with the following exceptions;
Your spiritform becomes capable of flight at twice your ground speed, with perfect maneuverability.
You can choose to make your spiritform become visible and audible to those within viewing range, although your form remains translucent and unnatural in appearance, and your voice is hollow and sepulchural.

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Ancestral Whispers
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (an item that has been handed down from ones ancestors)
Range personal
Duration 1 minute/level (special)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You call forth the shades of your peoples ancestors to whisper their counsel to you. At any time during the spells duration, you can call upon their insight as an immediate action to add a +2 bonus to a single attack roll or skill check, or to your AC versus a single target for one round, as if you were receiving the benefit of the Aid Other action. You can call upon these insights a number of times equal to your level, but no more than once in a single round.

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Ancestral Guidance
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (an item that has been handed down from ones ancestors)
Range Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one or more allies
Duration 1 minute/level (special)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This spell acts as ancestral whispers, but can be cast upon a single ally. For every three caster levels you possess, you can affect another ally within range, but the total number of uses of the spell does not increase, but is shared by the recipients.

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Least Infusion of Essence
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 10 minutes
Components V, S, M (a drop of the casters blood)
Range touch
Effect one tiny object
Duration 1 hour/level (D)
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

You have learned to draw upon your own life-energies to impart animation upon a single inanimate object of tiny size, making it into a tiny animated object (PF Bestiary p. 14). The process imposes a -1 penalty to your Constitution score, and this penalty cannot be overcome by any means, until the spell is ended, or the animated object is destroyed. This penalty stacks with itself if you cast multiple spells of this sort. The animated object follows your silent mental direction as if you had a mental link with it, similar to that between a Druid and her companion, thanks to the spiritual connection it shares with you, through the fragment of your spirit that provides it with animation. When the spell ends, the object gains the broken condition, and cannot be affected again by this spell until it is repaired.

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Minor Infusion of Essence
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 2

This spell acts as least infusion of essence but can be used to animate a single small sized object or a pair of tiny objects.

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Infusion of Essence
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 4

This spell acts as least infusion of essence but can be used to animate a single medium sized object, 2 small objects or 4 tiny objects.

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Major Infusion of Essence
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 5

This spell acts as least infusion of essence but can be used to animate a single large sized object, 2 medium sized objects or 4 small objects.

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Greater Infusion of Essence
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 7

This spell acts as least infusion of essence but can be used to animate a single huge sized object, 2 large objects or 4 medium sized objects.

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Sovereign Infusion of Essence
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 8

This spell acts as least infusion of essence but can be used to animate a single gargantuan sized object, 2 huge objects or 4 large objects.

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Master Necromancers Infusion of Essence
School necromancy; Level sorcerer/wizard 9

This spell acts as least infusion of essence but can be used to animate a single colossal sized object, 2 gargantuan objects or 4 huge objects.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

More cool stuff, more thanks. I think I'll cut and paste your material into a document and keep it handy. Add to it as needed. Title it "The Book of Set". One thing, you might consider increasing the Con penalty on the higher level Infusion of Essence spells. Alternatively, use hit points. Too hefty a penalty to Con could be nasty.

Osirion

R_Chance wrote:
More cool stuff, more thanks. I think I'll cut and paste your material into a document and keep it handy. Add to it as needed. Title it "The Book of Set". One thing, you might consider increasing the Con penalty on the higher level Infusion of Essence spells. Alternatively, use hit points. Too hefty a penalty to Con could be nasty.

It's a thought. A part of me wanted to 'game' the notion of an odd-numbered penalty, to give the wizard an actual reason to want an odd-numbered Con score. (Since, if he's got a 14 Con, casting this spell is gonna cost him 1 hp / HD and a point off his Fort save, where if he had a 13 Con, he'd be able to 'give a little' without actually suffering a mechanical penalty.)

Increasing the Con penalty (or just using flat hit points) for the higher level versions does make some sense, I just felt wary of having the higher level spell costing 7 Con points to cast.

Basing the hit points on the 'extra hit points' a construct gains by size might be a suitable tweak. Even a small construct would require a 'loan' of 10 hit points to animate, while a colossal one would cost 80 hit points, and represent a sizable chunk of even a 17th level wizards hit points.

Dropping the casting time and duration might just be a more suitable approach. I wanted something that a 'white' necromancer could use to remain remotely competitive with one that can cast animate dead willy-nilly and have 20 HD zombie hydra stomping around indefinitely, but this idea is still 'under construction,' I think...

Thanks for the feedback!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Having the zombie 'explode' should be good for a Bluff check at the very least!

Like the multi-level spell idea. A game I played in back in the 70s required learning a spell at each level, similar to a feat tree. Previous spells learned affected the numbers of later spells, good and bad.

Still, I like the set of spells.

Osirion

Bwang wrote:
Like the multi-level spell idea. A game I played in back in the 70s required learning a spell at each level, similar to a feat tree. Previous spells learned affected the numbers of later spells, good and bad.

Older computer games (like Might & Magic) often had 'trees' of spells with imaginative names like 'fireball 1' and 'fireball 2' and 'fireball 3' that one would learn while 'leveling up,' and I found that kind of eh.

The main reason I went that route with the Infusion of Essence line is that making it a single spell that scaled would, IMO, just smack the clerics 6th level animate objects spell around like a red-headed stepchild (which this line already does). Breaking it out into seven spells felt a little less like a huge middle finger to the animate objects spell (which I think is pretty 'meh' anyway).

I think, in some Xth iteration of the game, I'd rather see each spell work along a line, but instead of learning a new spell to 'throw flame on people' at 2nd or 3rd level, your base 'throw flame on people' spell would get better, and have more options.

Instead of learning new spells that also throw flame on people, but in a slightly different way (This ball of fire explodes! This one is shaped line a cone! This one can be delayed X number of rounds before it goes off! This one is half un-fire-resistable damage!), the spellcaster would learn completely different lines, *or* continue to focus on lines he's already learned, gaining new 'stunts' involving previously mastered spell lines.

At 3rd level, he could perhaps choose to begin learning the 'teleport' line, but only be able to use it to transpose himself or someone else. At 5th level, following the same line, he'd get blink. At 7th, dimension door. At 9th teleport, etc.

But that would be a very different way of doing things than any version of D&D we've seen.

Another option would be to have each spell of a particular descriptor lead to 'Mastery' of that spell line, so that the more [fire] spells you learn, the better you are at casting fire spells, perhaps gaining +1 damage / extra fire spell mastered, to *all* fire spells you cast, or +1 round of duration, or whatever.

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Perhaps that could even be a feat choice for a spellcaster. Pick a spellcasting descriptor like [shadow] or [fire] or [evil], and for every spell you have known (if a spontaneous caster) or prepared (if a prepared caster), you gain a 'Mastery Bonus' to spells of that descriptor. The more [fire] spells you cast, as a prepared caster, the lower your bonus gets, but for Sorcerers, it would rock. Then again, it would box them into trying to get as many spells of their chosen descriptor as possible, leaving them crap out of luck if they 'Mastered' [fire] and end up fighting a lot of fire-resistant creatures.

Ooh, I kind of like that. Perhaps a prepared spellcaster might gain a smaller bonus for spells that he's inscribed in his spellbook, but not prepared, so that he's not completely at a loss compared to the sorcerer / oracle / bard. Perhaps not. The idea is still rough...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Set wrote:


It's a thought. A part of me wanted to 'game' the notion of an odd-numbered penalty, to give the wizard an actual reason to want an odd-numbered Con score. (Since, if he's got a 14 Con, casting this spell is gonna cost him 1 hp / HD and a point off his Fort save, where if he had a 13 Con, he'd be able to 'give a little' without actually suffering a mechanical penalty.)

Increasing the Con penalty (or just using flat hit points) for the higher level versions does make some sense, I just felt wary of having the higher level spell costing 7 Con points to cast.

Basing the hit points on the 'extra hit points' a construct gains by size might be a suitable tweak. Even a small construct would require a 'loan' of 10 hit points to animate, while a colossal one would cost 80 hit points, and represent a sizable chunk of even a 17th level wizards hit points.

Dropping the casting time and duration might just be a more suitable approach. I wanted something that a 'white' necromancer could use to remain remotely competitive with one that can cast animate dead willy-nilly and have 20 HD zombie hydra stomping around indefinitely, but this idea is still 'under construction,' I think...

Thanks for the feedback!

I thought about the CON penalty increasing but got a little queezy over something like CON -7 myself. That's why I thought hit points might work better. One possibility would be a ratio of hp loaned to the construct (say 1 hp loaned to 2 hp for the construct) but have the caster take damage if the construct does at the same ratio. It is his life force after all. Making it a ratio keeps it viable as a combat option for the caster while still presenting him with a penalty to counterbalance that. Just a thought. Keep up the good work!

Osirion

Afroakuma, over at the Giant in the Playground forums is having some fun making Prestige Classes based around spellcasters who focus on a single spell (similar to the Force Missile Mage, from the Dragon Compendium). His Cinder Connoiseur attempts to find a way to solve every problem with fireball, and his creepy Begetter of the Black Bothria goes way, way too far in exploring the origins and nature of the black tentacles conjured by the spell of the same name.

That stuff's just inspiring to me, and reminds me of an ENWorld Publishing PDF called Safe Harbor Guild, that included an NPC PrC for mages who specialized in using floating disk spells (and modifications thereof) to unload ships with supernatural skill.

Rather than go the PrC route, I decided to go in another direction, and just come up with some enhancements to the floating disk spell.

These would be they;

JOURNEYMAN’S DISK
School evocation [force]; Level sorcerer/wizard 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a drop of mercury and a cold iron disk worth 1 gp)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect 5-ft.-diameter disk of force
Duration 1 hour/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This spell functions like floating disk, but you can sit or stand atop your own disk, and move it through silent command as a move action up to 30 ft., or as a double-move action, up to 60 ft. If you would normally be able to take a 5 ft. step, you can reposition yourself while ‘mounted’ on a journeyman’s disk similarly, and you can take a Run action normally, although riding a journeyman’s diisk is not significantly less tiring than running normally, and the detrimental effects of a hustle, charge or run action will be felt normally. While you stand atop your disk, a magnetic force holds you in place so that you receive a +4 circumstance bonus to your CMD to avoid attempts to bull rush or reposition you off of the disk (or against similar effects that would dismount you). The disk otherwise resembles a slightly larger floating disk, and carries the usual 100 pounds of weight per caster level. The disk remains 3 ft. above any solid or liquid surface, and leaves a faint trail, as a loaded disk generates faint pressure on the surface beneath it (equal to one tenth the weight carried), and may trigger some traps, and leave notable depressions in tall grass, deep snow or muddy ground, although the quality of the surface or terrain beneath it in no way hinders its movement. Survival checks to track someone riding such a disk have a +4 DC penalty. If the surface drops away beneath a journeyman’s disk, the disk floats down gently, as if under the effects of feather fall, and the disk similarly drifts gently to the ground at the end of the spells duration. Only you can control the journeyman’s disk in this fashion (although any person or item atop it benefits from the quasi-magnetic attraction), and if you are not atop it, it moves as a normal floating disk.

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BATTLEMAGE’S DISK
School evocation [force]; Level sorcerer/wizard 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a drop of mercury), F (a cold iron buckler)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect 5-ft.-diameter disk of force
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance no

This spell creates a disk of force, similar to floating disk, but this disk is angled vertically, and provides the benefits of improved cover to a medium or small sized caster (+8 bonus to AC, +4 bonus to reflex saves, improved evasion). The disk is transparent, and provides no benefit to stealth checks, and its defense is limited by its inability to be in two places at once. A readied action can be used to strike the caster while the disk is defending against an attack by a flanking opponent, and the caster will not receive the benefits of improved cover. The disks cover is also forfeited when the spellcaster himself takes an offensive action, although he still gains the benefit of standard cover (+4 AC, +2 reflex saves) against attacks that are delayed to strike concurrently with his own attack.

Finally, the disk can itself be used as a weapon, lashing out instantly to strike a single target within close range, inflicting damage, and also initiating a combat maneuver to bull rush the target. Make a single roll, with both your BAB and CMB treated as equal to your caster level plus your Intelligence modifier (if a wizard) or your Charisma modifier (if a Sorcerer). If this roll meets or exceeds the targets Armor Class, it takes 1d8 bludgeoning force damage + 1 hit point / level (max +20). If the roll meets or exceeds the targets CMD, it also suffers the effects of a bull rush, and the disk will continue the movement out to its maximum range, if possible. This disk immediately returns to defensive stance after making this attack, but an attacker who has delayed or readied their action can seize the opportunity to attack you while the disk is ‘away,’ and you gain no cover benefits in this case.

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These totally don't fit in my 'Magics of the Arcanamirum' line, because they are the opposite of what the Arcanamirum is looking for. Instead of way to make magic more practical for the common man, whoever crafted these spells found ways to make practical magic more useful for getting into brawls...


Hey Set, awhile back you mentioned an idea for an Oracle curse that was based on which mystery you took. Did you ever flesh that one out?

Osirion

Corrik wrote:
Hey Set, awhile back you mentioned an idea for an Oracle curse that was based on which mystery you took. Did you ever flesh that one out?

I did not, and it completely flew out the other side of my head after whenever I mentioned it. It is an idea, though, and I'll have to put a little thought into it, now that you bring it up...

A few ideas that came to me immediately;

Battle – battle-crazed

Bones – skeletal
Skeletal: Your body is unnaturally thin and your skin stretches unnaturally taught over your bones. You weigh only 60% as a normal individual of your race and height, and suffer a -2 penalty to CMB and CMD, due to your relative frailty. For the purposes of whether or not you can be grappled or swallowed whole or checked by strong winds, you count as one size class smaller than your true size. At 5th level, you gain DR 1/bludgeoning, like the Skeletal undead you increasingly resemble. At 10th level, your DR improves to DR 3/bludgeoning, and you gain the beneficial properties of being one size class smaller than is normal for your race, including a bonus to Armor Class, attack rolls, Stealth checks, etc. but do not suffer a reduced carrying capacity, and continue to use weapons sized for your base size. At 15th level, your DR improves to DR/5 bludgeoning.

Flame – pyromaniac

Heavens
Claustrophobic: The sky and stars above you fill you with confidence, but you cannot long abide their absence. You must make a Concentration check to cast any oracle spell when you are not able to see the open sky, even if only through a nearby window or open doorway. At 5th level, your connection to the stars provides you with low-light vision, if you do not already have it, and doubles the range of any previously existing low-light vision. At 10th level, you are so inspired by the open sky that you receive a +1 bonus to the difficulty class of your spells and to your checks to overcome spell resistance, so long as both you and your target(s) are under the open sky. At night, under the stars, you also cast all spells at +1 caster level. At 15th level, the night sky whispers soothingly to you, and as long as you remain out of doors, you count hours spend awake and active under the stars as restful sleep, both for the purpose of resting, and for the purposes of regaining spells. Hours spent under the night sky engaged in tiring activity, such as a forced march, does not count as ‘restful’ for this purpose.


Good stuff, like where you are going with that.

Osirion

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Random spell inspired by a performer at King Richard's Faire;

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Paulo Garbanzo’s Flaming Ball of Death
School conjuration [creation]; Level sorcerer/wizard 3, summoner 3
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (a caltrop and a drop of oil)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect 3-ft.-spiked iron ball
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw special (see text); Spell Resistance no

You conjure a three foot diameter iron ball that is covered with jagged spikes, like the head of a colossal morningstar. It is also on fire, shedding light as a torch. It appears in an adjacent unoccupied square and immediately moves in a straight line to the end of its range and explodes, overrunning anything in its path. It attacks every creature in its path using a BAB equal to your caster level, with a bonus equal to your Intelligence modifier (if you are a wizard) or your Charisma modifier (if you are a sorcerer or summoner). Any target struck takes bludgeoning and piercing damage equal 6d6 plus your caster level that is treated as magical for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, plus 1d6 fire damage. Additionally, targets suffer a reposition or trip combat maneuver, using the same roll used to attack the target for its CMB check. If the target can be repositioned into an adjacent square, out of the path of the flaming ball of death, it is repositioned appropriately (the target can choose to be repositioned to the left or the right), but if the target cannot be repositioned, such as a foe that is struck while in a corridor only 5 ft. wide, the foe is instead tripped and the flaming ball of death rolls right over the foe, leaving them prone. If the flaming ball of death fails to reposition or trip a foe, or strikes a target that it cannot affect in this manner, and that its damage fails to break through (such as a wall, or other obstruction), it stops moving and explodes prematurely.

When a flaming ball of death explodes, either at the end of its range, upon being checked in its forward motion by an obstacle that is not destroyed, repositioned or tripped by its impact, or at a point determined by the caster, jagged bits of metal inflict 3d6 magical bludgeoning and piercing damage to all within a 10 ft. radius, and everyone in that radius also suffers 3d6 fire damage. A reflex saving throw halves each of these damage results.

Any remaining red hot iron fragments dissipate into smoke and cinders at the end of the round, in any event.

Osirion

Oh look, another monster idea from one of my superhero characters! Inspiration comes from the strangest places... She might work better at 7 HD or higher, but, frankly, the fact that lesser planar ally sucks so brutally hard, with friggin' *mephits* being the most useful things it can call up, bugs me, so I capped her at 6 HD.

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The Angel of Blades stands before you, her skin paler than silver, and her wings clattering with blackened iron plumage. A greatsword of adamantine shimmers into view in her hands as she assumes as martial stance.

ANGEL OF BLADES CR 7
XP 3,200
LN Medium outsider
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +14

DEFENSE
AC 24, touch 15, flat-footed 19 (+5 mithral shirt, +5 natural, +5 Dex; +2 if using combat expertise)
hp 57 (6d10+24)
Fort +9, Ref +10, Will +8; +2 vs. fear, +4 vs. disease, death effects, necromancy effects, paralysis, poison, sleep effects and stunning
DR 5/chaos; Resist cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10
Weaknesses vulnerability to sonic

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.; fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee greatsword +14/+9 (2d6+9) or two short swords +11/+6 (1d6+7) or greatsword power attack +12/+7 (2d6+15)
Ranged thrown dagger +13/+8 (1d4+7)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +7)
...Constantdetect chaos, see invisibility
...At willchill metal, dimension door, heat metal, keen edge, magic weapon
...3/dayplane shift, spiritual weapon*
...1/dayblade barrier*, rusting grasp

*in the case of blade barrier and spiritual weapon, the blades inflict piercing/slashing damage that is both lawful and magical, for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, instead of force damage.

STATISTICS
Str 20, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 13, Wis 17, Cha 13
Base Atk +5, CMB +9; CMD 19 (23 vs. trip)
Feats Power Attack, Cleave, Combat Expertise, Improved Disarm (B), Improved Initiative (B), Improved Sunder (B), Two-Weapon Fighting (B)
Skills Acrobatics 6 (+14), Bluff 6 (+10), Craft (weaponsmith) 6 (+10), Fly 3 (+11), Intimidate 6 (+10), Knowledge (planes) 3 (+7), Linguistics 0 (+5), Perception 6 (+14), Sense Motive 3 (+9), Stealth 6 (+16); Racial Bonus +2 to Perception and Stealth
Languages Common, Tengu, Tien; telepathy 100’
SQ bravery +2, armor training 1, weapon training 1 (heavy blades)

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Always Armed (Su) The angel of blades can conjure any sword or dagger-like weapon she is proficient with to her grasp at any time as an immediate action, as many times per round as she wishes, although blades that leave her grasp disappear at the end of the round. These blades have no magical properties, but are treated as lawful and magical weapons for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction, and can be composed of any metallic material she wishes, from cold iron, to silver, to mithral, to adamantine. Any weapon so created can also be caused to disappear, as an immediate action, even as part of the same action to generate a new blade, happening so quickly that a foe might believe that the weapon has transformed in her hand. All such weapons are of masterwork quality.

Change Shape (Su) The angel of blades appears as a human or a tengu, and can change her form as a move-equivalent action through act of will. She has wings in either form, but only so long as she chooses to, usually causing them to fold into her body when she is fighting in close quarters.

Gifted Linguist (Ex) The angel of blades, while mute, has a +4 racial bonus to Linguistic checks, and learns 2 languages every time she takes a rank in Linguistics, rather than 1 language.

Swordtrained (Ex) The angel of blades is proficient with all sword-like weapons (including, but not limited to, aldori dueling swords, bastard swords, daggers, elven curve blades, falcata, falchions, greatswords, kukris, longswords, punching daggers, rapiers, scimitars, short swords, starknives and two-bladed swords), in addition to the standard weapon proficiencies available to an outsider.

Unsurpassed Swordmaster (Ex) The angel of blades is treated as if possessing the Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization feats for all blades listed under swordtrained.

Warrior Soul (Ex) The angel of blades gains the class features of a Fighter of equal level to her hit dice, including bravery, armor training, weapon training and bonus feats. For all purposes, she is treated as a 6th level Fighter, in addition to being a 6 HD outsider.

ECOLOGY the planes of law
Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure mithral shirt, incidental

The angel of blades has been described as a former servant of Gorum, who was cast out for her disciplined and precise ways, and turned to the service of Irori. Another origins claims that she was a mortal tengu, who so mastered the arts of swordsmanship that she was ascended to serve her patron, the Master of Perfection. Whatever her origin, she alternately appears as a winged human of mixed Azlanti and Tien heritage, with pale silver-white metallic skin, plumage of blackened iron and short black hair, or as a female tengu, with similar silver-white skin, scales and eyes, and blackened-iron plumage. Despite the cosmetic changes, and the fearsome edges on her blade-like pinions, she never attacks with her wings or beak, and her attributes are the same in either form.

She fights in silence, and, especially in her human form, a jagged scar can be seen marring the otherwise flawless metal of her neck, throat and breastbone. Those who believe that she once served Gorum claim that she received this scar as a parting gift, when her words offended his ears, and that even if the wound could be healed, she would never again speak by choice, relying on extremely curt statements from her natural telepathy, when communication is necessary.

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Designer's Note: I felt like, particularly with her AC, she might be a bit too much for her CR, but then looked at other CR 7 beasties, like the allosaurus, young black dragon and bullette, and thought that she wasn't out of line with those critters. She's got them beat on AC, for the most part, but they've got more hit points, and, in most cases, a fair bit more per-round damage.

There's certainly room for a higher CR version with +10 natural armor, magical heavy fortification mithral fullplate, DR 10 and extra attacks from her tengu beak or her enormous wing-blades, plus a few more feats. That was the hardest part for me. She was a Mutants & Masterminds character, and had twenty feats, making her the *ultimate* swordswoman, in that game, and being forced to cut it down to just seven (and knowing that stuff like whirlwind attack and improved critical would just flat-out not be available) was painful!

Osirion

A recent thread about a 'Book of Good' led to someone commenting that there's a whole lot of good vs. evil supplemental information, and not a heck of a lot of law vs. chaos. (Hm. Looking back at that thread, I think *I* was the one who mentioned that. Wow, how self-referential...)

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Deep within Axis, hovering like a pitiless moon in the skies over the Threefold Spire of the Axiomite Godmind, is the Engine of Creation, usually just referred to as 'the Engine.'

A vast whirring clockwork mechanism the size of a world, the Engine's history is obscured in legends from a dozen outsider races, but tales agree that, in a time beyond recording, it somehow served to cause form to emerge from formlessness, and stability to be imposed upon the swirling madness of the eternal maelstrom. Axiomites and formians both inhabit the Engine, working tirelessly and mechanically to maintain, and, when necessary, repair damaged areas of the vast machine. Vast forges, the size of cities, pump out inevitables, each with their own inscrutable instructions, and the axiomites and formians are able to discern when these vast forges require fresh materials to be imported, to restoke their fires and re-provision them so that they can continue their aeons-old task.

Proteans regard the Engine of Creation as 'the Great Abomination,' which fractured the shapeless perfection of reality, and enslaved it into 'unhealthy' and 'unnatural' patterns of rigidity. Everything that is wrong about the universe, including disease and death, comes from reality struggling to break free from the shackles imposed by the cruel Engine of Creation, and waves of proteans emerge from soft spots in space, to assault the Engine, only to be fought back not only by inevitables, but also by legions of devils, and cohorts of archons, who are not permitted to land on the surface of the Engine, but have orbiting fortresses of a golden-gleaming variant of mithral the celestials call 'sunsilver,' or grim forge-hot blackened iron, adorned in cruel spikes, where the craft-devils of Dispater work torturous shifts, ever attempting to seal up breaches into the maelstrom with terrible iron traps and armed and armored devil footmen.

The devils and archons do not often fight wing to wing, their floating citadels a respectful distance from one another, but both factions will arrive at the sight of the other position being overwhelmed by proteans, and fight savagely in the 'defense' of their 'allies.'

And yet, the proteans numbers seem without limit. As they fall, their essences escape back to the maelstrom, where they reform in time, perhaps weaker than before, but they devour other creatures native to the primal chaos, and grow in strength as they slither to return to the fray, perhaps moments later, perhaps centuries, according to no schedule that an ordered mind can discern. Archons and devils who fall in defense of the Engine of Creation take longer to replace, and both groups prefer to use lower ranking footsoldiers that they deem more readily replaced, while the most powerful devils and archons teleport to safety if overwhelmed, as it would take many of them years to reform (or regain their former station and power), leaving the inevitable defenses closer to the Engine itself to handle what they cannot stop, or those proteans who manage to evade the orbiting patrols of archons and devils and their fortress-outposts.

Demons rarely, if ever, move against the engine, despite apparently loathing it as much as the proteans, and the daemons have a strict non-interference policy. (Charon appears to be most strongly opposed to daemonic involvement in the war to destroy the Engine, while the other three Horsemen apparently would support it's destruction. Exactly how the politics of the Daemon Horsemen work, where three could support the destruction of the Engine, and only one support its defense, and yet the Daemons follow the lead of the sole dissenter, is unclear. Perhaps the Daemons require unanimty. Perhaps Charon is potent enough that none of the other three wish to challenge him on this matter.)

Other than the proteans, the only force that actively loathes and seeks the destruction of the Engine of Creation are the qlippoths of the far abyss. Three centuries ago, a qlippoth of monstrous size appeared in the skies above the Engine and descended, flicking archon, devil and inevitable aside like buzzing insects, and struck the surface like a runaway star, shaking the Engine with it's fatal impact, and leaving behind a crater of tortured metal and pits of smoldering unnatural flames and energies that, to this day, have not yet been repaired by the tireless work of thousands of axiomites and formians. The scar itself is the size of a large city, even still, and at its formation, was as large as a small nation...

Other qlippoth have struck against the Engine of Creation, and, unlike most other outsiders involved in the battle to determine the final shape of the universe, seem to have a nihilistic approach to the battle, striking at it with their great bodies, with utter disregard to their own fate, as they hurl themselves at what they consider to be the source of everything that has gone so terribly wrong with the universe. Still, these attacks are rare, and some speculate that there are simply not enough of these elder qlippoth yet in existence, or that they slumber so deeply in their obsolescence as to rarely stir to take to the fight.

Even when the Engine itself is not under seige, the supplies being ferried to it's vast creation forges by axiomite and formian alike (occasionally guarded en route by archon and devil patrols), are sometimes targetted by proteans, hoping to prevent new armies of inevitables to be fielded in the defense of the 'Great Abomination.' Proteans are not the only danger, as some supply caravans are attacked by forces that care nothing for the great war between order and chaos, and simply wish to fatten their own purses with the great stores of expensive metals and fuels being conveyed to the creation forges, seeking profit above all, possibly at the expense of the dissolution of reality itself into primal madness.

Osirion

More on the war between order and chaos, over the Engine of Creation;

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A vexing problem with the endless war over the shape of creation, is that the proteans slip away, even after apparent destruction, to reform in the maelstrom and return.

The devils in service to Dispater have their own 'solution' to this problem, and each patrol carries a greenish-yellow jagged irregular crystal the size of a man's head, confined within a black-iron spiked cage that floats at the end of a chain attached to one of the devils. It floats weightlessly behind the devil, giving off a faint radiance. If any outsider touches the crystal, it suffers pain and feels itself being torn apart from within, and every round loses 10% of its hit points until it discorporates and has it's soul bound within the crystal. Each crystal can only hold a single outsiders' soul at a time, and the devil chained to it avoids contact with the crystal, pulling it around by the attached chain, and opening an iron grate on the cage to allow it's light to shine free like that of a bullseye lantern. If this light falls on a conscious outsider, that outsider is shaken, but suffers no harm. If it falls upon an outsider that is at negative hit points, or has died within a number of rounds equal to its hit dice, it instead absorbs the soul of the fallen creature, causing it's body to vanish, as per a soul bind spell. The protean souls stolen in this manner are taken back to the floating iron keeps orbiting the Engine, where the devils transfer the souls into larger prisons, and eventually transport them to the Hells, so that they cannot be freed again.

After a 'misunderstanding' 800 years ago, the devils have a standing agreement not to 'save' any fallen archons using these devices...

For their part, the archons have attempted a bewildering array of axiomatic and bane (chaotic outsider) weapons that ensnare or hook or bind a chaotic outsider, causing it to suffer damage every round or negative levels, leading to surreal sights, such as a half-dozen archons surrounding a vast protean entity, hooking it with harpoons and nets and similar weapons, attempting to inflict enough continuing damage upon it to bring it down, while it attempts to reform it's shape to elude their entangling nets, or slither free of their cruelly barbed harpoons.

The proteans are aware of these tactics, and raids on the devil-fortresses are sometimes made, to free captured protean souls, and release them to reform in the maelstrom. They have their own tactics, and a proteanic 'toxin' has been fashioned from primordial chaos deep within the maelstrom itself. While similar to a disease or a poison, the chaos infusion is neither, being more of a curse, than anything, and when injected into an outsider, it causes it to suffer debilitating spasms as it's body attempts to become a chaotic outsider. When this occurs to a lawful outsider, the attempt is doomed at the start, and only a gruesome and terrible death ensues, with the archon or devils corpse flying apart into a swarm of voidworms, the spiritual essence of the lawful outsider having been consumed by the chaos creatures that gestated within it.

Osirion

Still on my 'law and order' kick. Here's a type of Protean that's all about my favorite role in the game, the support role.

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A colorful frill of foot-long red and purple spines flares around the eel-like head and neck of this protean. From its body, three spindly arms each with three long-nailed fingers gesticulate wildly, as its razor quill-tipped tail lashes powerfully behind it, propelling it through the air, as if through water.

PROTEAN, SEKMERET CR 8
XP 4,800
CN Medium outsider
Init +9; Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 15, flat-footed 15 (+5 natural, +5 Dex)
hp 80 (7d10+42)
Fort +7, Ref +10, Will +8
Defensive Abilities amorphous anatomy, freedom of movement; DR 5/lawful; Immune acid, polymorph; Resist electricity 10, sonic 10; SR 16

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (perfect), swim 30 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d8+1), tail +12 (1d8+1 plus grab)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tail)
Special Attack proteanic debility, proteanic rending
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +10)
Constantdetect law
At willdimension door, shatter (DC 15)
3/daybaleful polymorph (DC 18), enlarge person, reduce person (DC 14)
1/daygreater teleport, haste, plane shift, slow (DC 16)

STATISTICS
Str 12, Dex 21, Con 20, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 17
Base Atk +7, CMB +8; CMD 23
Feats Toughness (B), Ability Focus (proteanic rending), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Weapon Finesse

7x6=42 Skills Acrobatics 6 (+14), Fly 6 (+22), Intimidate 3 (+9), Knowledge (the planes) 6 (+9), Perception 6 (+10), Sense Motive 3 (+7), Stealth 6 (+14), Survival 3 (+7), Swim 3 (+15)
Languages Abyssal, Protean
SQ change shape (polymorph), proteanic enhancement, proteanic mending

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Proteanic Debility (Su) As a free action, once per round, the sekmeret can cause the form of a target within 120 ft. to warp and shudder, suffering an eight point penalty to one ability score. The sekmeret can choose which ability score is debilitated, and the effect lasts until the sekmeret willingly ends the effect as a free action, the sekmeret dies, or until 24 hours have passed. The effect can be ended earlier by a heal, restoration or greater restoration spell. A creature cannot suffer debility to more than one ability score at a time, from the same sekmeret, and cannot suffer multiple instances of debility to the same ability score, even from multiple sekmeret. The sekmeret can maintain any number of these transmutations at one time. At 12 HD, this ability improves, and the sekmeret can debilitate two ability scores (one mental, one physical) with each use of this ability.

Proteanic Enhancement (Su) As a free action, once per round, the sekmeret can cause the form of a target within 120 ft. to twist and evolve, gaining a four point enhancement bonus to one ability score. The sekmeret can choose which ability score is evolved, and the effect lasts until the sekmeret willingly ends the effect as a free action, the sekmeret dies, or until the target has spent a number of minutes outside of a 120 ft. radius of the sekmeret that evolved it equal to the sekmerets Hit Dice. The sekmeret cannot enhance more than one ability score on a given target at a time, and multiple sekmeret cannot enhance the same ability score on a single target. A sekmeret can have a number of enhancements active at one time equal to its Hit Dice plus its Charisma modifier. At 12 HD, this ability improves, and the sekmeret can enhance two ability scores (one mental, one physical) with each use of this ability.

Proteanic Mending (Su) The sekmeret can duplicate the effects of cure moderate wounds or lesser restoration with a caster level equal to its Hit Dice. These effects have a range of 60 ft., but otherwise act as the spell in question. A 12 HD sekmeret cures 4d8+12 hit points of hit point damage with proteanic mending, or replicates the effects of a remove disease, restoration or neutralize poison spell.

Proteanic Rending (Su) The sekmeret can duplicate the effects of inflict moderate wounds, blindness/deafness or contagion with a caster level equal to its Hit Dice. These effects have a range of 60 ft., but otherwise act as the sell in question. A 12 HD sekmeret inflicts 4d8+12 hit points of damage with proteanic rending, or replicates the effects of an enervation spell (although it cannot use proteanic rending to grant negative levels to a target again until 24 hours have passed). The DC to resist these effects is Charisma-based, and has a +2 bonus due to the creatures Ability Focus with this attack.

ECOLOGY
Environment the maelstrom
Organization always accompanied by two to a dozen other proteans
Treasure standard

Despite being smaller than the more powerful proteans, sekmeret are treated with exaggerated respect, as their talents at ‘fleshweaving’ and ‘fleshreaving’ make them valued allies. Those that grow to the size of their peers, are afforded even greater acclaim, as their contributions increase with their size.

When challenged, a sekmeret turns it’s talents towards enhancing its allies, while debilitating their foes, which it can do without impeding its own ability to attack with its fleshreaving talents, or heal its allies with fleshweaving. Due to the range limitations of its abilities, a sekmeret is rarely seen more than a move-action away from larger allies, as its abilities are most potent when used in a supportive role.

Due to their role, sekmeret tend to be insufferably smug, convinced that they are indispensible, and prone to rash acts to ‘prove their worth’ in the eyes of their larger kinfolk, or even petulantly refusing to aid allies who have failed to properly placate them. For similar reasons, two sekmeret are rarely seen in the same group, as they grow argumentative and competitive.

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Other thoughts in the kettle;

Nekertef Proteans - aka 'warform' proteans. size large or even huge, have the spell-like ability to use transmogrify on themselves to give them various evolutions, as if they were eidolons.

Shusetet Proteans - aka 'cloud serpents.' size gargantuan and colossal proteans whose bodies are discorporate clouds of mist, making them hard to damage. They attack by engulfing foes and converting their mist-bodies into acid fog, stinking clouds, incendiary clouds or cloudkills...

Osirion

Posting stuff just after writing it leads to annoyances, like forgetting to mention that the proteanic debility effect above cannot drop a creature's ability score below 1. (No insta-gibbing low int animals or low dex dragons or whatever!)

The 'warform' protean didn't gel in my mind yet, so on to the 'cloud serpent.'

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Like a river of fog moving with unnatural purpose, this vast serpentine form is made of mist. Churning and swirling colors play throughout its enormity, and suggestions of eyes, mouths and tentacles form and disperse moments later, as it turns and begins flowing in your direction, turning a lurid venomous green, like the warning display of a toxic animal.

PROTEAN, SHUSUTETH CR 14
XP 38,400
CN Colossal outsider
Init +0; Senses blindsense 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +19

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 2, flat-footed 22 (-8 size, +20 natural)
hp 232 (15d10+150); fast healing 10
Fort +17, Ref +9, Will +12
Defensive Abilities amorphous anatomy, freedom of movement, partial incorporeality; DR 10/lawful; Immune acid, polymorph; Resist electricity 10, sonic 10; SR 27

OFFENSE
Speed 60 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect), swim 60 ft.
Melee 6 tentacle slams +19 (2d8+12 lethal) or 6 incorporeal tentacle slams +19 (2d8+12 nonlethal) or 6 incorporeal touch attacks +19 (4d6 acid, cold or fire, depending on form, or electricity, if using static discharge); power attack 6 tentacle slams +15 (2d8+20 lethal or nonlethal, depending on form)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Attack storm rush, static discharge, trample
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +16)
Constantdetect law
At willghost sound, light, shatter (DC 13)

STATISTICS
Str 44, Dex 11, Con 30, Int 7, Wis 12, Cha 13
Base Atk +15, CMB +35; CMD 35
8 Feats Ability Focus (static discharge), Diehard, Endurance, Great Fortitude, Hover, Iron Will, Power Attack, Wingover
15x4=60 Skills Fly 15 (+18), Perception 15 (+19), Stealth 15 (+2, +12 if transparent, +22 if transparent and unmoving), Swim 15 (+30)
Languages Abyssal, Protean
SQ mutable form, obscuring form, partial incorporeality, solidification

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Form of Chaos (Su) A shusuteth can change the composition of its body once per round as a swift action, causing its fog to become extremely cold, acidic, or superheated, inflicting 4d6 cold, acid or fire damage to anyone it tramples, or half that damage to anyone that strikes it with natural weapons, or that it touches with its tentacle attacks. During any round in which it is superheated, it has the [fire] subtype and is immune to fire attacks (but takes +50% damage from cold attacks) and when it is extremely cold, it has the [cold] subtype, respectively.

Mutable Form (Ex) The body of a shusuteth can be coiled to occupy a 30 ft. space, or any combination of thirty-six adjacent 5 ft. squares. While it can extend tendrils of fog to touch creatures up to thirty feet distant from itself, it does not count as occupying those spaces for the purposes of storm rush, or for calculating range for static discharge.

Obscuring Form (Ex) At will, a shusuteth can make its form barely visible (+10 to stealth checks, or +20 if unmoving) or thickly obscuring (as obscuring mist).

Partial Incorporeality (Ex) Being composed of barely tangible mist, a shusuteth is treated as incorporeal, defensively. Unlike a fully incorporeal creature, it cannot move through solid objects, although it can ‘squeeze’ its vast body through small openings as if it were a Fine creature. It gains the properties listed in the first and fourth paragraphs of the Incorporeal trait (Bestiary 301), but not those in the second, third and fifth paragraphs. Unlike a fully incorporeal creature, the shusuteth retains both its strength score and its natural armor bonus, although its physical attacks normally inflict nonlethal damage, due to its semi-solid state (unless it uses solidification, below).

Solidification (Su) As a swift action, a shusuteth can become partially solid, losing the defensive properties of partial incorporeality, but becoming able to occupy solid space and inflict lethal damage with its trample attack. It can only change state in this manner once per round, and cannot be both solid, and under the effects of form of chaos. It must use a swift action each round to maintain this state, and cannot remain solid for more than 10 rounds in any event, requiring an equal time spent in partial incorporeal state before being able to use this ability again.

Static Discharge (Su) As a shusuteth moves, it can build up a powerful electrical charge, that proves dangerous to those nearby, or those it strikes. In any round after it has taken a charge or double-move action, it discharges bolts of lightning striking any targets within 30 ft. of its body for 4d6 electrical damage (Ref 29 save for half, the save is Con-based and includes a +2 bonus for Ability Focus). Any creature that it touches with its tentacles after such an action also suffers this damage, and it receives a +3 bonus to strike creatures made of metal, wearing metal armor, or carrying significant amounts of metal on their persons with these touch attacks. Creatures engulfed within its mass when the discharge occurs are not affected, being protected by its own body. This effect does not occur if the shuseteth is in form of chaos or has used solidification.

Storm Rush (Ex) When a shusuteth moves over another creature’s position, the powerful winds that make up its incorporeal not only function as a trample attack (2d8+18 nonlethal damage, Ref DC 29 half), but also subjects all creatures smaller than itself to a combined bull rush and trip maneuver. Make a single check with the shusuteths CMB against each valid target to resolve the effects of both the bull rush and the trip maneuver. The shusuteth does not provoke additional attacks of opportunity for these maneuvers, although the trample attempt itself does provoke as per those rules (Bestiary 305). If the bull rush attempt fails, the shusuteths movement is not checked, and it does not fall prone if it fails a trip attempt by 10 or more. Attempting to bull rush multiple foes in a single storm rush does not impose a penalty to the shusuteths CMB checks.

ECOLOGY
Environment the maelstrom
Organization solitary, solitary plus two to twelve voidworms
Treasure standard

It is said that proteans form from the maelstrom itself, and that some, in the process of this formation, fail to coalesce into a solid state, resisting the call to take on even the form of mutable, unstable protean flesh. These proteans become the shusuteth, vast creatures of roiling mist, called ‘cloud serpents,’ colloquially.

Able to manipulate their smoke-like forms on a fine level, a shusuteth can alter the opacity, the temperature or even the acidity of its body, allowing it to become a barely perceptive haze in the air, or a brightly colored corrosive river of corrosive fog, superheated steam or frigid arctic mist, at a whim. A shusuteth can even become solid, for a brief time, although it is loathe to do so, finding solidity an unpleasant state, and fearing on some instinctive level that too much time spent ‘solid’ will cause it to ‘freeze that way’ and be stuck in this state.

Shusuteth regard themselves as ‘more pure’ than proteans who have assumed a solid form, no matter how mutable their fellow proteans forms prove to be, although they recognize that the smaller proteans are much cleverer (too clever, they think, always anticipating and thinking and remembering, never surrendering to just experiencing events as they occur). They tend to think of themselves as invulnerable superior beings, and are easily outwitted as a result, as they tend to panic and overreact if greatly harmed, fleeing in confusion (and waiting for their fast healing to repair the damage).

Shusuteth tend to gather in great ‘storms,’ but rarely communicate amongst each other, living their ideal of experiencing reality, rather than introspecting upon it or attempting to contextualize it. The only fellow proteans they truly enjoy the company of is the tiny voidworms, who seem to share their lack of sophisticated thought, as well as certain other properties, such as an affinity for mist, and a fast healing talent, suggesting that some deeper link may exist between the largest and smallest of proteans.

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Other bunnies hopping around, awaiting my subconscious mind to flesh them out;

Legion Devils, wielding longspears (one-handed, thanks to a lopsided build) and tower shields, and with an improved Aid Other ability, allowing them to aid each other as a move equivalent action, or, at higher HD, as a swift action. Moving together, like a cruel engine of merciless efficiency, they gain special benefits involving flanking, or gaining attacks of opportunity when an adjacent Legion Devil would qualify for one.

Lanternbearers, special Archons who carry four-faced golden lanterns, into which a Lantern Archon is bound. When one face of the lantern is open, it acts as a bullseye lantern (60 ft. cone of illumination). When all four faces are open, it acts as a normal lantern (30 ft. radius illumination). In either event, lawful and good creatures in the primary illumination receive bonuses to attack rolls, AC and saving throws. The bonuses from multiple lanterns stack, and enemies target the lanterns with darkness spells, or just with attacks intended to destroy the devices (and / or kill the lantern archons within them), because a group of archons with a half-dozen lanternbearers is significantly harder to beat while overlapped in the fields of illumination.

The lanternbearer idea is kicking my butt. I wanted them to be dudes with lanterns for heads, or with lanterns bobbing over their heads, suspended from ornate supports that rise off of the back of their armor, or something, but I can't find a mechanic I like for the stacking effect. Multiple overlapping fields is just crazy stupid to try and adjudicate during combat, as they move around and different combatants would have different levels of bonus, so some sort of mechanic where each additional lantern just adds to the radius of the primary lantern, and the increases to atk/AC/saves increase along a non-linear scale (+2 for 2 lanternbearers, +3 for 4, +4 for 8, etc.) might make sense.

Osirion

This lanternbearer / chain archon concept is still kicking my butt. Every attempt is either ridiculously too powerful, or too complicated, or too fiddly, requiring adjustments based on movement round-by-round. I have a solution, but it was causing my head to hurt because I've got, like, six variants written up and I have to untangle the stuff I'm using from the failed ideas.

So instead, I cranked out the much, much simpler Legion Devil, along with some variations;

Figures move with singular purpose across the smoke of the battlefield, equipped with identical unadorned longspears, heavy shields and breastplates of blackened iron. Below their greaves, their feet are cloven hooves, and from beneath their helmets, the gleam of infernal red eyes betrays their nature.

LEGION DEVIL, 2nd level Fighter CR 3
XP 800
LE Medium outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., see in darkness; Perception +8

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+6 mw breastplate, +2 heavy shield, +2 dex, +1 natural)
hp 21 (2d10+6)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +4; +1 vs. fear
DR 5/good or silver; Immune fire, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 12

OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft. (30 ft. in armor)
Melee cold iron longspear +4 (1d8+3) or slam +4 (1d6+3)
Ranged composite (+2) longbow +4 w/ cold iron arrows (1d8+2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with longspear)
Special Attack smite chaos or good 1/day
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 2nd; concentration +3)
At willdetect chaos, detect good
3/daydarkness
1/dayteleport (self only plus 50 lbs. of gear)

STATISTICS
Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 12
[5 + 2 + 2 + 0 + 2 + 2 + 2 =15 pt. buy, racial +2 Dex, +2 Con]
Base Atk +2, CMB +4; CMD 16
[1+2] Feats Combat Reflexes (B), Power Attack (B), Cleave
[3x2=6] Skills Intimidate 2 (+8), Perception 2 (+8), Survival 2 (+6); Racial Modifiers +2 to Intimidate and Perception checks
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; telepathy 100 ft.
SQ fighting machine flawless teamwork, infernal coordination, mismatched arms, warrior born

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Fighting Machine (Su) Legion devils drill endlessly at coordinated maneuvers, and any legion devil can use the Aid Other action to benefit another legion devil as a move-equivalent action. Using two move actions, a legion devil can use its action for the round to benefit two adjacent allies, if it wishes, but cannot use multiple Aid Other actions on a single legion devil in a round. At 6 Hit Dice, this ability improves, and the legion devil can now also Aid Other on an ally as a swift action, which can be done in the same round that it uses one or more move-equivalent actions in this manner. These actions are conducted through the silent mental link that legion devils share, and cannot be taken if this ability is suppressed.

Flawless Teamwork (Ex) Legion devils receive an extra +1 to their AC, attack roll or skill check if they benefit from the Aid Other action of another legion devil.

Infernal Coordination (Ex) A legion devil is in constant telepathic communication with its legion, as long as it remains within range of at least one other legion devil, and no legion devil is considered flanked or flat-footed unless all of them are.

Mismatched Arms (Ex) The left arm of a legion devil is overdeveloped, and capable of wielding a lance, longspear or ranseur (or other two-handed piercing weapon) one-handed without penalty, and is treated as holding the weapon in both arms, for the purposes of calculating damage. Its stunted right arm is suited only for holding a shield, and a legion devil can never benefit from the two-weapon fighting feat, or attempt to bash with its shield in conjunction with another attack (although it can use a shield slam as its primary attack in conjunction with a charge maneuver). Due to its build and training, a legion devil does not suffer the usual -2 penalty to attack rolls while using a tower shield.

Warrior Born (Ex) Legion devils do not advance by Hit Dice, but instead gain levels in Fighter. While they only gain skill ranks as a fighter, they retain the class skills of an outsider, and their saving throws are the best of either the fighter class or the outsider type.

ECOLOGY
Environment the Hells
Organization decani (nine plus 1 leader), centuria (ninety plus 10 leaders), cohort (nine hundred plus 100 leaders), legion (nine thousand plus 1000 leaders)
Treasure standard

Legion devils are souls that have been forged into perfect fighting machines, physically identical in details of height, weight and appearance, showing no evidence of whatever mortal race they once called their own. Bearing small horns, solid black eyes, small fangs, red scales, and cloven hooves, they resemble traditional devils in some respects, although their most striking feature is their mismatched arms, one longer than normal and with thick, ape-like musculature, and the other shriveled clutching onto the tower shield that travels everywhere with the legion devil.

Legion devils fight in eerie silence, communicating amongst themselves via their telepathic capabilities, and brook no deviation from battle plans, or any other sign of individuality among their ranks, with no signs of heraldry or customization of equipment (or visible self-decoration) tolerated. Even the leaders of invidual decani appear no different, although a detect magic may identify a leader by noting that only one in ten bears magical armor or arms.

They make excellent tactical use of their ability to create and see through darkness, once per day, to move as a unit into position, or completely away from a hopeless battle, via telepathically-coordinated group teleportation.

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Standard leaders are 4th level Fighters with the following modifications from the above;
CR 5
XP 1,600
Perception +10

AC 22 (+1 breastplate replaces mw breastplate, +2 natural armor instead of +1)
hp 38 (4d10+12)
Fort +6, Ref +6, Will +5; +1 vs. fear
SR 14

Melee mw cold iron longspear +8 (1d8+3)
Ranged mw composite (+2) longbow +7 w/cold iron arrows (1d8+2)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th; concentration +5)

Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 13, Wis 12, Cha 12
[5 + 2 + 2 + 0 + 2 + 2 + 2 =15 pt. buy, racial +2 Dex, +2 Con, +1 Int at 4th level]
Base Atk +4, CMB +6; CMD 18
[2+3] Feats Combat Reflexes (B), Power Attack (B), Cleave, Weapon Focus (longspear), Dazzling Display
[3x4=12] Skills Intimidate 4 (+10), Perception 4 (+10), Survival 4 (+8); Racial Modifiers +2 to Intimidate and Perception checks
SQ add malice strike

Malice Strike (Su) The armed or unarmed attacks of a Legion Devil leader are treated as lawful and evil, for the purposes of overcoming damage reduction.

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Other variations –
All Cavalry are 4th level Fighters and usually are mounted on fiendish heavy warhorses, sacrificing their FC bonus to hit points to gain ranks in Ride equal to their level, and taking the Mounted Combat feat in place of Dazzling Display. Their leaders are 6th level, have +3 natural armor (basic rule, +1 NA / 2 HD for these guys), and also have the Toughness and Vital Strike feats. Some ride fiendish heavy warhorses that also possess a 25 ft. fly speed, and the ability to run across any surface, even water, at their full movement rate. Cavalry units mounted on fiendish aurochs, or leaders mounted on winged half-fiendish warhorses, have also been seen.

Hounders are 4th level and are usually found with a pairof fiendish war hounds, sacrificing their FC bonus to hit points to gain ranks in Handle Animal equal to their level. These warhounds (or hellhounds) share the telepathic link with their handlers, and benefit from Infernal Coordination, Flawless Teamwork and Fighting Machine (they can receive, but not grant, these bonuses, as if they were legion devils). Their leaders are 6th level and also have the Helltamer* and Toughness feats, usually being accompanied by a pair of hell hounds, instead of fiendish ‘riding’ dogs.

Hounders are usually only found in pairs, at most, although they are the most variable unit type, as they may be accompanied by all sorts of fiendish creatures, in place of hounds, such as fiendish eagles (used as scouts), or small or medium-sized fiendish giant spiders (trained to hurl webs on enemy units).

Wingmen are also 4th level and have wings that grant them flight at their ground speed, and replace their standard feats with Dodge, Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Precise Shot and Weapon Focus (composite longbow). Leaders will be 6th level, and carry a small selection of bane arrows, distributed as appropriate to the mission, that they may dole out among their men.

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Helltamer
You are skilled in taming the cruel and willful creatures of the fiendish realms you call home.
Prerequisite: Must be an outsider with the evil subtype, BAB +4
Benefits: You can use Handle Animal (or wild empathy) to influence the behavior of fiendish animals or vermin, as well as animal-like fiends, such as hell hounds, hellcats and nightmares. You can also use the Intimidate skill to demoralize or influence the behavior of these creatures.

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Designer's Note: I noticed the Aasimar cleric had maximum hit points for her first level, unlike the usual 'half HD' thing, so I decided that this was likely the intent, that 0 HD 'monsters' got maximum hit points for their first class level.

Osirion

Next up, probably the Chain Archon, maybe a new type of Protean, and possibly a half-dozen types of Formian that have been buzzing around my brain.

Law vs. Chaos proceeds apace!

It's somewhat amusing that stodgy traditionalist 'we fear change!' law has three primary types of outsider (formian, axiomite and inevitable) while wild crazy 'let's try anything!' chaos has only the one (proteans).

Still, proteans are way cool. I must restrain myself from making more, before I work up some law-stuff.

Osirion

Totally random thing that crept into my head instead of what I was gonna work on. I am occasionally surprised to come up with an idea, and note that the guys at Paizo already came up with something similar (with their gestalt option for lantern archons). This seemed different enough to run with, 'though.

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Shedding a dazzling globe of warm golden light, interlocking structures of silver and amber form complex patterns as they dance around a central point, roughly a pace across.

ARCHON, OCTET CR 6
XP 2,400
LG Medium outsider (archon, good, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8
Aura aura of menace (DC 19)

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (+10 natural; +2 deflect vs. evil)
hp 60 (8d10+16)
Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +5; +4 vs. poison, +2 resistance vs. evil
DR 10/evil; Immune electricity, poison; SR 18

OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Ranged 2 light rays +8 ranged touch (6d6) or 12 light rays +6 ranged touch (1d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 8th; concentration +11)
Constantdaylight (centered on self)
At willaid, continual flame, detect evil, greater teleport (self plus fifty pounds of objects only)

STATISTICS
Str 7, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 17, Cha 16
Base Atk +8, CMB +6; CMD 16
[4] Feats Improved Initiative, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Toughness
[7x8=56] Skills Diplomacy 8 (+14), Fly 8 (+19), Intimidate 8 (+14), Knowledge (planes) 8 (+12), Knowledge (religion) 8 (+12), Perception 8 (+14), Sense Motive 8 (+14)
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
SQ shared sacrifice, sudden aid

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Shared Sacrifice (Su) Octet are composed of seven lantern archons that have been semi-permanently fused together into a single entity. When reduced to seven hit points or less, the entity collapses into individual lantern archons, dividing hit points between them (which may result in one or more deaths, if the octet had less than seven hit points remaining).

Sudden Aid (Su) The octet can use it’s aid spell-like ability as a swift action once per round, or as a move-equivalent or standard action, to a maximum of three times per round (if it takes no other actions, apart from a 5 ft. step). An octet can administer the effects of the aid spell to a range of 30 ft., and need not touch its target (although it must have line of sight and line of effect).

ECOLOGY
Environment the celestial realms
Organization always in the company of one or more higher level archons
Treasure standard

An octet, sometimes called a circle of eight, or circle of light, is an alternate arrangement of lantern archons, unrelated to the gestalt form sometimes assumed by the creatures of their own volition. Forged together by higher-ranking archons, the octet is comprised of seven lantern archons (referred to as an ‘eight,’ because of the eight sentience that is created from their conjoined intellect), and resembles a larger version of their individual components, linked together in an ever-changing fractal progression, their individual illumination intensified by this joining and causing them to be accompanied by a sphere of radiance.

Treated as a singular creature, the octet can emit six sets of individual light rays, as per the smaller component archons, or concentrate its power to emit a pair of more powerful rays, as well as use its innate ability to bolster life-energies via the aid spell to help stave off a small amount of damage per round.

Octet, despite being smarter and stronger of will and personality than their original component forms, are extremely disciplined, humble and obedient creatures, recognizing that they are no different ‘flesh’ than their lantern archon brethren, whom they regard as equals, or, in some cases, even envy, for their relative freedom and ignorance of weightier matters, treating them like favored children.

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Like the Sekmeret Proteans, I wanted to come up with some 'support options' for the archons. Something that didn't just function as a pure combatant (although the light rays aren't terrible), but also could hover behind a group of archons and make use of aid to a limited extent. This was the initial draft, but, to be meaningful, the 'support archon' would likely need a better healing / damage prevention option *and* would benefit from the ability to use its light powers to counter darkness effects (treating light rays as light spells to dispel darkness, for instance).

Something to noodle around the noggin, for later...

Osirion

A day later, I kinda hate the octet. Here's a slimmer version;

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Shedding a dazzling globe of warm golden light, three interlocking structures of silver and amber make the form of an upright triangle, roughly a pace across, as they float towards you with purpose.

ARCHON, TRIUNE CR 4
XP 1,200
LG Medium outsider (archon, good, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8
Aura aura of menace (DC 16)

DEFENSE
AC 16, touch 10, flat-footed 16 (+6 natural; +2 deflect vs. evil)
hp 45 (6d10+12)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +3; +4 vs. poison, +2 resistance vs. evil
DR 10/evil; Immune electricity, poison; SR 16

OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Ranged 6 light rays +3 ranged touch (1d6)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +7)
Constantdaylight (centered on self)
At willaid, continual flame, detect evil, greater teleport (self plus fifty pounds of objects only)

STATISTICS
Str 3, Dex 11, Con 12, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 12
Base Atk +3, CMB -1; CMD 9
[2] Feats Improved Initiative, Toughness
[5x6=30] Skills Diplomacy 6 (+10), Fly 6 (+17), Knowledge (planes) 6 (+8), Perception 6 (+10), Sense Motive 6 (+10)
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Infernal; truespeech
SQ dispel darkness, ranged aid, shared sacrifice, triune unity

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Dispel Darkness (Su) The light rays of a triune archon are treated as a 1st level spell with the [light] descriptor for the purposes of countering or dispelling a [darkness] descriptor effect. If multiple light rays strike a single area of darkness in the same round, these levels stack, so that an area of deeper darkness could be dispelled by the use of three light rays.

Ranged Aid (Su) The triune can use it’s aid spell-like ability at a range of 30 ft., and need not touch its target (although it must have line of sight and line of effect).

Shared Sacrifice (Su) Triune are composed of three lantern archons that have been semi-permanently fused together into a single entity. When reduced to three hit points or less, the entity collapses into individual lantern archons, dividing hit points between them (which may result in one or more deaths, if the octet had less than three hit points remaining).

Triune Unity (Ex) Each of the triune’s three components receive a single standard action, which they can use to fire two light rays, or use the creatures aid spell-like ability. The triune does not receive any additional move actions or swift actions, and cannot take more than a single 5 ft. step during a round. If the triune chooses to use two of its standard actions, it can cast aid on two different targets, or the effects of a single aid spell-like ability is empowered, and if it chooses to use all three of its action in a single round, it can produce a single aid effect that is both maximized and empowered.

ECOLOGY
Environment the celestial realms
Organization always in the company of one or more higher level archons
Treasure standard

A triune, sometimes called a tripartite, trinity, unity, or ‘pyramid of light’, is one of several alternate configurations of lantern archons, unrelated to the gestalt form sometimes assumed by the creatures of their own volition. Forged together by higher-ranking archons, the triune is comprised of three lantern archons, their individual illumination intensified by this joining and causing them to be accompanied by a sphere of radiance.

Treated as a singular creature, the triune can emit three pairs of individual light rays, as per the smaller component archons, as well as use its innate ability to bolster life-energies via the aid spell to help stave off a small amount of damage per round.

Triune, despite being smarter and stronger of will and personality than their original component forms, are extremely disciplined, humble and obedient creatures, recognizing that they are no different ‘flesh’ than their lantern archon brethren, whom they regard as equals, or, in some cases, even envy, for their relative freedom and ignorance of weightier matters, treating them like favored children.

Alternate: to simple it up, dump dispel darkness and the constant daylight aura, and give it 3/day use of daylight. I like the visual and ‘feel’ of the light rays being used to slice up areas of darkness, but it does eat up word count, when just letting the triune archon cast daylight X times per day would pretty much cover the same function. *If* continual flame counts as a 3rd level spell for the lantern archon (coming from the cleric list, instead of the wizard list), even that daylight option is redundant…

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Angels (planetars, solars, deva) have pretty solid themes, either being based around planes (Astral Deva, etc.) or celestial bodies (suns, planets, moons, galaxies?).

Agathions have the animal thing going on.

Archons? Wow, they are all over the place. OGL versions include Hound, Lantern and Trumpet, and then Shield and Star. Non-OGL includes Sword, Tome, Warden, Throne, Owl, Hammer, Justice, Fire, Ice, Earth, Storm, Water, Air, Iron and Mud!

So, I'm thinking;
Candle Archons - an archon *swarm* of little angellic lights that burn away impurities with positive energy (making them hella dangerous to undead).

Bell Archons - I already wrote these up on my website as familiar options. I still like them, although I might tweak them to give them a sort of break enchantment option that works on mind-affecting effects, as they ring their little bells and snap people out of sleep and confusion and daze effects.

Banner Archons - defend the flag! The flag gives all of its allies bonuses, like a huge magic circle of protection vs. jerks. The banner also 'claims' an area around the banner archon, putting up a dimensional lock effect, and keeping foes from teleporting into the area, or using teleportation / planar travel abilities to escape...

Chalice Archon - healing abilities, can channel positive energy by pouring golden 'liquid' positive energy from her chalice, and can wash away many afflictions with remove curse, remove disease and neutralize poison SLAs. Primarily support / defensive, although she can throw people around with a hydraulic push-type effect that also does positive energy damage to evil outsiders or undead who would be affected by holy water.

Sigil Archon - robed lorekeepers of the archon set, they carry tablets and prayer strips (ofuda) covered with runes and glyphs in many languages (and some of them purely mathematical or symbolic, and not linguistic), and can cast various glyphs of warding and symbol spells, as well as spells to erase writing and dispel magic, or to confuse languages (curse of Babel!) or curse someone with illiteracy.

Crown Archon - a leader among leaders, with an invisible body, represented by floating golden crown, sceptre and orb (and purple robes) providing bardic bonuses to allies, and usually accompanied by a 'court' of lower ranking archons. Sort of a living 'regalia of lordly might.'

Oaken Archon - angelic archers, made of wood, with leaves for hair. Not the first thing you'd think of for an angel (instead of an agathion or azata), but Hound Archons set a precedent for critter-related archons, and I wanted something that felt earthier and suitable for an archon in service to Erastil.


Some of this stuff needs to get into Wayfinder or another published format. Nice work.

Osirion

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A History of Giants

In the days before giants, there were mortal heroes and legendary philosophers, and the outsider Titans who patronized them and inspired them to greatness. Respect went in both directions, and affections grew on both sides, as several human-guiding Titans and their most accomplished and respected human allies grew closer. Nine children were born of such affairs, and they were called the giants, as they grew to tower over their human parents, while remaining far short of their Titan parents’ stature. Some line was crossed, and the Titans soon withdrew from directly influencing mortal affairs, leaving their human lovers and their children behind. Not feeling entirely at home among their human parents, whom they were already seeing age before their eyes, and recognizing a wanderlust from their Titan parents, who lived among the planes, the giants spread out to explore, each choosing a different path.

Cunning Fandarra travelled to the plane of earth, and there was ensnared by shaitan promises that proved false and treacherous. She escaped that plane with twin children in her belly, sired of a shaitan whose power she claimed with his blood and smuggled forth within herself as a gift to her children-to-come.

Bold Zursvaatar spent a decade in the City of Brass, where his strength and martial prowess served him well in the gladiatorial arena. He wooed efreeta and playing the one against the other, in a game as dangerous as it was provocative. The children of his dalliances he claimed, leaving the City of Brass one step ahead of a death-sentence.

Savage Thremyr sought out the coldest reaches of the elemental plane of water, finding the winter palaces of the marids, soaring towers of sculpted ice, much to his liking. Whatever power he wrested from that place manifested in his own children, said to be born of no woman, but shed from his own body.

The mother of the cloud giants remains unknown, although she is known to have flown through the plane of air astride a massive roc that she had tamed herself, and counted many djinn princes among her ‘conquests.’

One child remained bound to the mortal plane, and, in forsaking the wanderlust that led his fellow giants to the planes, he grew degenerate, and his children became the savages known as the hill giants, and their own children, in turn, further interbred with man and orc to become the even more brutish ogres. Hill Giants remain to this day very prone to deformities. They are quite fertile, but giving birth to non-viable young is considered a sign of weakness on the part of the female, and many destroy freakish infants, believing that to do so is reclaiming their power and destroying the taint of weakness that their body has spat out. Acceptable ‘freaks’ are one-eyed (cyclopes), two-headed (ettins, born with one off-set head and another lump that develops over the next weeks into a fully functional second head) and three-armed (athach). Athach are considered, even by the standards of CE hill giant ‘society’ to be foul tempered murder-loving psychopaths, and are usually driven off soon after they can walk under their own power, to become hate-filled menaces to pretty much anything in the area. Cyclopes are feared for their supernatural insights, and, being smarter than their parents, and believing that 'those with two eyes only see half so well,' usually leave under their own volition, and join societies of their own kind (as they breed true). Ettins are respected for their martial abilities, and are the only sports to remain regularly integrated into Hilll Giant tribes.

Another child was so beloved of her Titan father, that she alone was permitted to travel to the elysian realms with the departing titans, and, there, she found love among her half-kin, and became mother to the storm giants, who remain as wild and free as their ageless queen.

That leaves three whose destinations and final fates remain a mystery. Rumor places one in the First World, another in the plane of Shadow, and a third descended to the hells, parent to the infamous ‘Hell Giants,’ but scholars of planar matters (and those who have faced them, through whatever misadventure) note that the ‘hell giants’ are merely giants of fire, frost and stone, who have become fiendish creatures (and occasionally even more strongly fiend-blooded, or of advanced size and power) through long inhabitance in the infernal realms.

Dispater keeps his stone giants bound in grey iron collars, manacles and shackles, although the chains are merely symbolic reminders of their status and do not restrain the giants ability to work, or fight. In war, he girds them in black iron fullplate, and replaces their traditional throwing boulders with wire baskets containing spiked iron balls, inflicting the same damage, but bludgeoning and piercing, like the heads of colossal morningstars. Fiendish by nature, the ‘hell giants’ of Dis have turned more rigidly to the embrace of order, if not always evil (proving strangely resistant to corruption), and some have grown to sizes not often seen on the mortal plane.

In Cocytus, Baalzebul has only small tribes of fiendish frost giants, neutral and evil in outlook, their naturally chaotic nature ill-serving them in this unforgiving environment (although still not changing their outlook sufficiently to turn them towards law…).

Belial has the largest body of fiendish fire giants, the most common of ‘hell giants,’ in his burning realm of Phlegethon, although populations are also known in Malebolge, and, it is said, in Nessus itself, where huge half-fiendish fire giant blackguards and hellknights serve as honor guard to the palace of Asmodeus.

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An alternate telling of the tale removes all mention of the elemental planes, and instead says that it is the blood of the Titans themselves that empowered their children, and further says that Cloud Giants are a degenerate spawn of the Storm Giants, as Ogres are to Hill Giants (although to say such in the presence of a Cloud Giant is to court death!).

If this is the case, the thinning of the Titan’s blood that served to help empower the Storm Giants with mastery of the skies left the more common Cloud Giants lacking equal mastery of storm and sea. This particular lineage would also place Hill Giants beneath Cloud Giants, a further degeneration of the weakening Titan's blood passed down from the Storm Giants, and that too is a suggestion of great offense to the Cloud Giants, who eagerly promote the theory above.

In this telling, Stone Giant Elders reclaim the birthright of their own elemental bloodline, gaining powers of earth and stone similar to a Storm Giants powers of storm and sea, but Fire and Frost Giants appear to have degenerated too far to do reclaim any further elemental powers as 'Elders,' save in highly unusual cases.

If such 'Elder' Fire and Frost Giants do exist, they are quite rare, but would likely have unique powers over ice and flame.

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As with all such 'histories,' neither tale comes from the most reliable of narrators...

Osirion

Hermean shenanigans;

Mengkare is a gold dragon. Presumably, a fairly old gold dragon. He's likely got an Int score of 24 to 26 (and similar Wisdom and Charisma scores), assuming no Int-boosting magic items and that he's got exactly average peasant stats, by dragon standards, and no special array or point-buy.

Even if he may not be as Lawful Good as he started out, he still came from that direction, in the beginning, and so would have come from a noble-minded, idealist and 'for the greater good' place.

So, yeah, about those charred corpses...

Options;

1) Mengkare's gone evil, and totally does that sort of thing, and doesn't care that pretty much everyone on the island knows it, and that traders who visit the island hear the rumors, too (which means, pretty much, *the entire world, including all the other gold dragons, know it*), and that there's a resistance brewing against his 'draconian' rule.

2) Mengkare's gone totally crazy, and see above.

3) Mengkare ate the wrong mushrooms, took 20 pts of mental ability drain, reducing his final Int, Wis and / or Cha score to six-ish, and see above.

4) It's all a hoax. Part of designing an idealized enlightened human society, is that, logically, *it shouldn't be run by a dragon, forcing them to all behave properly.* In the long run, the humans *have* to maintain this advanced and enlightened culture without being led by the hand by a fearsome monster that will eat them if they disappoint him. Eventually, they have to *choose* to be better, not just be forced to be better, out of fear. (Imma gonna shoot you if you don't become a democracy!) He is arranging for apparent 'deaths,' and arranging for them to be discovered (because, let's face it, he's not a wyvern, if he wanted it to be secret, it would be, 'cause he's not an idiot, and he can baleful polymorph the failures into fancy decorative goldfish and then eat them, leaving behind no terribly-convenient evidence that points to the nearest fire-breathing overlord...) so that the better people he's trying to breed will rise up and take responsibility for themselves, and drive the 'mean old dragon' away. (He might even fake his death. He's flexible enough to roll with one of several plans, put in place over a century ago, depending on how the 'Great Rebellion' shakes out.)

4a) Mengkare hasn't killed anyone. He uses magic to create fake corpses, braises them to perfection ('pulling' his *24d10* breath weapon, *deliberately* leaving behind an indentifiable corpse and not a tiny wisp of greasy ash), and leaves them to be 'discovered' on the beach. The people who 'disappear' are either rejects, who are dominated, geased, cursed, mark of justiced, etc. to go away and never come back *or* he uses his +36 to +42 Diplomacy score (again, assuming he's a *bare minimum* wicked old Gold Dragon, and has no above-average scores, magic items or feats to improve this) to convince them to fanatically go forth and recruit more worthy people to join the Great Society, not bothering to waste one of his 60 odd daily spell slots on such persuasions. Why leave someone who was *almost* good enough to join his perfect utopia rotting on a beach, when he could have them spend the rest of their puny mortal lives hunting for even better candidates and serving his ends for the low, low price of talking at them for 10 minutes?

4b) Mengkare, like many teachers, drill sergeants, etc. is *especially* hard on his favorite recruits, challenging and pushing and criticizing them harder than he does those that are 'good enough.' And so, when the citizens of Promise find a washed-up body of someone who Mengkare seemed especially critical of and hard on, they assume that person 'washed out' before they 'washed up.' Instead, Mengkare sent them on to his *real* utopia, in a demiplane of his own construction, letting the people of Hermea, whom he regards as 'above average, but nothing special' go on thinking that they are the cream of the crop, and not the 'farm team.'

4c) Mengkare uses the corpses of (mostly evil) people who infiltrate his island and attempt to undermine or corrupt or subvert to their own agenda what he's building, transforming them a bit to look like the 'failures' he's supposedly burninating.

5) Someone *else* is killing folk, and letting the assumption spread that the dragon is behind it;

5a) The culprit(s) strongly believe in the Great Experiment, only that Mengkare is perhaps a bit too soft on disappointments, and is arranging for those who fail to have 'accidents' (involving being doused in alchemical fire and then found on the beach) to motivate the rest of the populace to try just a little bit harder to please the wonderful Mengkare and better themselves.

5b) The culprit(s) *hate* Mengkare, and are trying to make him look bad, by arranging for these deaths, and gussying them up to look like they got burned by dragonsfire, to tear down the enlightened society that the dragon is trying to create. Why? Maybe they got rejected, and feel all spurned and stuff. Maybe they are human supremacists who love the idea of breeding better humans, but hate the idea of serving a non-human monster. Maybe they work for one of the gods who've been told to kindly butt out of Hermean affairs.

6) Mengkare never existed. An evil wizard uses dragon shape to appear as 'Mengkare,' and is pulling his own version of the 'Razmir Gambit.'

7) Mengkare is possessed. Probably not by a devil (which would generally be too smart to leave burned bodies around to be discovered), but more likely by a fairly unsubtle demon or daemon that isn't breeding a more enlightened society, but a *tasty* one. He's trying to form the 'perfect' human, both delicious and flavorful, with enough muscle mass to make a hearty meal, and also containing a 'good soul,' that will sell for top larvae on the lower planes market.

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There's quite a few options, and, best of all, none of them are 'official,' so any of them are usable.

Osirion

Vampire dietary habits;

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The mechanical rules of vampiric feeding are such that a vampire could drain a Constitution point’s worth of blood from a housecat every night (which would, by the rules, recover overnight, leaving the cat little worse for the wear) and go about her business. For the most part, this is an oversimplification, and vampires derive very different amounts of sustenance from different ‘qualities’ of blood. The blood of the same species as the vampire was in life is the most nourishing of all, and formerly human vampires gain full value only from the blood of living humans.

After that, everything gets a bit fuzzy, but *generally,* vampires gain the most nourishment from similar species (other humanoids), from predatory creatures (wolves, lions) and from supernaturally potent creatures (fey, outsiders, monstrous humanoids, some magical beasts). Blood drained from a living subject is always more nourishing than blood drained from a vessel, or that has been stored for a time, or that is taken from a dead body. Blood of an omnivorous creature is generally acceptable, but the blood of herbivores tastes ‘watery’ to vampires, and despite the great volumes of blood in a cow or horse, a vampire might have to spend an hour slowly ingesting flagon after flagon of blood from a cow or horse, draining it entirely to gain a night’s nourishment.

Even predatory animals vary in quality, with domesticated animals, or those who feed on grains mixed with low-quality meat, being ‘thin gruel at best,’ to a vampire, while a wild wolf or panther would be quite savory, and a pack of vicious warhounds, allowed to occasionally chase down and devour a hapless peasant or prisoner of war, would provide blood nourishing enough that their vampire packmaster would likely be able to keep them in relatively good fighting trim, so long as he didn’t lose control during feeding and 'over-eat.'

There are, and should be, no hard and fast rules for such matters. If the story calls for a ‘master of the hunt’ who chases down peasants to feed his hounds, and then, in turn, drinks only from his hounds, then so be it. If some other vampire wants to catch rats in the sewers to feed, he should find such fare *far* less satisfying, and require dozens of rats a night to ‘break even.’ Even if he is, mechanically, only draining ‘1 Con point’ worth of blood from a 10 Con rat, bat, bird, cat or snake, a vampire shouldn’t be able to subsist on such fare without killing the tiny creature, or greatly endangering a small creature. (In other words, it’s not thematically appropriate to equate Con points with blood volume or quality.)

Different vampires will have different tastes. A century or more of eating only the one meal, blood, has led to vampires becoming the consummate ‘wine snobs.’ Some prefer to devour the blood of the young, not for any nutritional value, but because they relish the idea of cutting short lives early, and consider each year stolen to add to the ‘value’ of the blood they consume. They revel in the wastefulness of it all, cutting short decades of life, just for a few cups full of blood from an infant. Others find the ‘complex texture’ of the blood of the elderly to be more interesting, and prefer to prey on those who are already ‘one footstep from the grave,’ claiming that the many years they have experienced leave ‘echoes’ in the blood. Some eschew any blood but that of those in the grip of mortal fear, chasing and terrorizing their prey in elaborate games. Others seduce their prey, and only savor the blood of those in the grip of ecstasy. Some mix the two ‘dishes,’ and prefer to seduce and then terrorize someone, or to occasionally spoil themselves by devouring the blood of someone in the moment of betrayal, setting themselves up as trusted friends or loved ones or business partners, and then cruelly destroying them, just because they enjoy the moment of shock and betrayal, when faith turns to despair, as much as the taste of blood itself.

The blood of other vampires is generally less nourishing than the blood of true prey, and, while most vampires will have tried it at some point, only a few city-bound vampires rely on it, considering themselves too comfortably ensconced in their current positions of power to go hunting personally, or to risk having victims brought to them, instead creating spawn that feed normally, and then return to their masters and bending their neck to provide ‘second-hand blood’ to their creators. While this is generally an accepted practice among certain urban masterminds, many other vampires look upon the whole thing with disdain, and (behind their backs, since many of these vampires are quite old and powerful) speak scornfully of vampires who have ‘missed the whole point of being a vampire’ and no longer hunt or feed from living prey, but have blood brought to them in the bodies of their spawn.

It probably need not be said that the spawn subjected to this sort of arrangement are not looked upon with much respect by other vampires, and rarely bear any great love for their masters…

No vampire has proven capable of long stomaching the greenish-black ichor that serves as ‘blood’ for a troll. They can attack and drain the brutes normally, but gain no nourishment from the act, and usually violently retch up the fast-clotting and foul-smelling substance soon thereafter.

Osirion

Adding the Vampire: the Masquerade concept of the 'ghoul' or 'the Renfield' to Pathfinder.

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Sanguinary Child or Blood Poppet (sometimes 'puppet')

A vampire can learn to use their blood to empower and enthrall a living creature to their service.

A special feat is purchased, to represent the special training required to perform this function (although a vampire may receive this feat as a bonus feat), allowing the vampire to swap some of his blood into someone he’s just drunk from, a process that takes about a minute and includes a use of dominate person on them. After seven nights of this blood-swapping, the person has a blood link with the vampire similar to the empathic bond / link of a druid and her companion (and including the advantages of such a link, such as allowing the vampire to relay commands to the blood poppet empathically). The vampire can sense, to a limited extent, what the blood poppet is sensing (Perception DC +10, requires full concentration) and is always aware when the poppet is dying or in distress. The poppet regards the vampire as if under the effect of charm person, and feels exaggerated feelings of fear, love, desire, etc. for the vampire (depending on how the vampire treats the poppet). The poppet gains a +2 racial bonus to strength, +2 to Perception checks, low-light vision, the Endurance & Diehard feats, -2 to all Will saves, -2 to Intelligence (minimum of 1), and light sensitivity. If the poppet spends 10 minutes exposed to sunlight, they are sickened until they spent at least 10 minutes in shade, recovering. As a result, they tend to wear hoods when travelling about on their master’s orders, and move from shadowed eave to alley to under the cover of a merchant’s canvas tent. While the nature of the blood within them makes them stronger, more able to endure pain and privation, and grants them keener senses, it also leaves them more susceptible to mind-affecting magics and less able to concentrate. Impulsiveness, fits of temper and confusion, paranoia and even hallucinations are typical side-effects of this new status, as the vampire’s blood wreaks havoc with the natural tendencies of a mortal mind. While no more susceptible to hot or arid environments (and, indeed, due to their Endurance feat, more able to resist extremes of temperature), blood poppets often feel hot, not merely to the touch, but complaining of high temperatures, which is often complicated by the concealing outfits they prefer, to stay out of the sun. As a result, blood poppets often prefer to sleep in basements, pressed against the cooling stone, absent blankets, awakening stiff and cramped, which does little for their already someone erratic moods. Similarly, they develop a distaste for vegetable matter, and only eat bread when they can soak it in a meat-sauce or gravy of some sort, becoming ever more strictly carnivorous. Those who cannot afford a regular diet of meat, or find themselves in a place where such would be unacceptable (such as poppet serving as a scribe in a temple to Irori, that practices a vegetarian diet), may find themselves sneaking away to stuff themselves with meat, or even snatching insects and stuffing them in their mouths when they think nobody is looking, unable to fully restrain their craving for meat, blood and, eventually, life itself.

Vampires use poppets as daylight serving minions and enforcers and guards, usually ‘recruiting’ those in positions where they can keep an eye on those in power, rather than those in power (a scribe who writes and distributes royal edicts, or a jailer, is far more likely to be a poppet than an actual ruler or advisor, for instance).

A magic item known as a ]crucias can be used to hasten the process of making a blood poppet, being a cross-shaped dagger with a blood groove along the length of the blade on one side. A mortal is strung up with arms over their head, and the vampire places his hand in the mortals, and then thrusts the crucias into the back of his wrist, angling downwards. The dagger protrudes from his wrist, and he twists the handle, causing the blade to split into two blades, with identical grooves, and then pushes it forward until it pierces the mortal’s forearm, allowing blood from the vampire to flow down the twin grooves into the wounds made by the blades tips in the flesh of the mortal. The vampire then carefully bites the mortal (traditionally on the other arm, but sometimes the neck) and very, very slowly allows blood to seep into his mouth. This process takes an hour, and can be fairly tedious and uncomfortable, filled with ritual, eerily sensual or utterly horrific, depending on the nature and whim of the vampire administering the process. At the end of the hour, both parties feel the surge of the newly established connection, and the mortal becomes a blood poppet. This is the only way commonly known to hasten the process, which otherwise takes a full seven nights (although only a few minutes each night) to develop. It is also the only process by which a vampire who has not learned the ‘Engender Sanguinary Child’ feat can create a blood poppet, as the dagger requires no special training to use.

The crucias is removed, and the vampire heals within moments, while the mortal will retain two fang-like marks from the blades of the crucias for so long as they remain a blood poppet.

A blood poppet must be fed the vampires blood every 30 days, to remain a blood poppet, and does not age so long as they remain a poppet. Any aging staved off returns in a rush when the blood poppet runs out of vampire blood, and this process exhausts the poppet, even if they had only been a blood poppet for a single month. The process of feeding a poppet only takes a few minutes, regardless of whether they were transformed over seven nights, or in a single hour, via crucias.

The Blood Poppet template can only be applied to a living creature, and only to one that is of the same type as the vampire, or individuals of the humanoid, animal or vermin type.

It is extremely rare for a creature of the dragon, aberration or outsider type to become a vampire, virtually always resulting in a unique creature, but when this happens, they can make blood poppets of monstrous humanoids and magical beasts, as well as humanoids, animals and vermin (and their own specific species, but not, usually, other creatures of their type).


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As always, interesting. I like the "Renfield" bit Set. Again, as always thanks for the ideas...

Osirion

R_Chance wrote:
As always, interesting. I like the "Renfield" bit Set. Again, as always thanks for the ideas...

Thanks for the comment!

Given their inability to function during the day, I wanted vampires to have something a bit more specialized than just dominated human flunkies, and a means to create Lost Boy's style 'Hounds of Hell,' or a stronger than normal human servant, like the vampire's servant in the original Fright Night movie.

Osirion

Random thought that burbled up after looking over Hamunaptra again recently;

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Lector-Priest Cleric Archetype

Domain Spontaneity Instead of preparing a spell from one of your Domain choices, the extra free domain spell slot for each level of spells gained is instead left open at the beginning of the day, and you can spontaneously cast a spell from either of your Domains. This replaces the ability to spontaneously cast cure or inflict spells.

Extra Domain You gain this ability at 5th level, 11th level, and 15th level, each time adding another Domain from the choices made available by your deity, each time replacing the +1d6 of channel energy you would have gained at that level. If your deity only grants four (or less) Domain options, you do not gain additional domain choices (or lose additional dice of channel energy). Domains gained in this fashion become usable in conjunction with Domain Spontaneity, above, so that a 15th level cleric of Iomedae would be able to spontaneously cast a single domain spell per day from each level from 1st to 8th, but could choose at the time of casting whether that spell would be the domain spell option from Glory, Good, Sun, Law or War.

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