Imps and Pseudodragons

Monday, March 24, 2008

While Mike was working on the Guide to Korvosa, he and I brainstormed ideas for what kind of perils might be dwelling in the Shingles. We'd both seen plenty of monster-infested city undergrounds, but we wanted something more with Korvosa; we wanted a monster-infested rooftop. Sort of. We didn't want things like dire bats or manticores stomping around up there—whatever ended up in the Shingles had to be relatively small and agile. Nick Logue's adventure already had a pseudodragon in it, and I liked the idea that these little dragons were perhaps native to the region and adapted to the rooftops as the city took over the landscape. And Mike had all these rogue, castaway imps flapping around. From there, the image of periodic imp-on-pseudodragon sky clashes popped into my head—it was too awesome an image to resist, and so the imp and pseudodragon battles became a part of the city's flavor.

This wasn't really meant to be much more than flavor; just something that makes Korvosa unique. But we got a little carried away, and suddenly two huge pictures in the book were of this supposedly rare event. With the extra weight lent by the illustrations, the imp and dragon clashes became THE iconic Korvosan event. Problem is, of course, that the game rules get in the way of this flavor. Pseudodragons can't actually hurt imps, so logically speaking, such huge battles should only ever happen once and after that, it's all imps all the time, right?

Not really. If you want more rules to back up how these battles work out, it's a relatively simple thing to come up with variants and additions for both sides to even things up a bit. Of course, you can just fake it, saying that with enough pseudodragons piled onto you, no amount of damage reduction will really help. Alternately, you can rule that Korvosa's imps have lived on the Material Plane so long that they're now considered native outsiders and have lost their fast healing and damage reduction as a result.

My preference? The Impslayer feat! Give it to all your Korvosan pseudodragons as a bonus feat, and watch the imp ichor fly!

New Feat: Impslayer

Many of Korvosa's nobles decorate their roofs with tiny amounts of precious metals, among them silver-lined weather vanes, shingles, and gutters designed to catch the sunlight to give their homes a distinctive sparkle in the sunlight. By spending years sharpening stings and teeth against these silver-enhanced decorations, or sneaking drinks of holy water from outdoor fonts at various temples, some pseudodragons have effectively transformed themselves into deadly weapons against the city's imps.

Prerequisites: Pseudodragon

Benefit:Your natural weapons bypass an imp's damage reduction. In addition, your great skill at fighting imps allows you to apply your Dexterity modifier to damage done with natural weapons rather than your Strength modifier, as your blows are delivered with great precision rather than force.

Special: Pseudodragons born and raised in Korvosa's Shingles gain this feat as a bonus feat.

James Jacobs
Pathfinder Editor-in-Chief

More Paizo Blog.
Tags: Curse of the Crimson Throne Korvosa Monsters
Sign in to start a discussion.