Metal-Clad (Gold) Creature and Regeneration.


Advice


So I have an idea for an NPC that has a Gold-Clad Creature hostage where he amputates limbs and while keeping the creature alive and smelts the skin to forge his own gold (literally blood money); then uses magic to have the creature regrow the missing limbs. Rinse and repeat to his “unlimited wealth”.

Using this format as it is only the skin and not full limb that is gold, how many coins is reasonable per limb farming?

More importantly How would you keep a player from abusing this? I really like the concept as a plot point for good characters to discover and either free or put the creature out of it’s misery if I have it set up where it is on a life support system.

I generally don’t force alignments on my players but I’m too worried a Neutral or Evil Player would try to take and abuse this plot.


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Why would you want to prevent them from "abusing" it? If they choose to do the evil and selfish thing, don't make their choice meaningless and arbitrarily take away the power you tempted them with in the first place.

Instead, make them deal with the consequences of their actions in an interesting way. What are they going to do with infinite gold? Like, really *do* with it? To take it to town, you'd need a caravan. Does the caravan get robbed? Does one of the hirelings sell out your secret? Does a local paladin find out about your atrocities and bring the church down on you? Does a cult form around the miraculous golden creature and try to free their captive god?

Don't head off the players' choices. Roll with them.


I was worried about game breaking but I like that a lot


If the players keep him and if they decide to do the amputation/regenerate combo like I asked in op how much gold coins should the value be when smelted/pressed.


McDaygo wrote:
If the players keep him and if they decide to do the amputation/regenerate combo like I asked in op how much gold coins should the value be when smelted/pressed.

Well, what kind of creature? How much of the skin are you ruling as made of gold?

If it's something analogous enough to a human then you can find and use a body surface area calculator through your favored search engine online, find the volume of skin they should have, divide it by an appropriate number to get the skin covering a particular limb, multiply it by about 4 milimeters, and then use the density of gold (19.32 grams/cm^3) to determine how much gold is on that limb.

Just remember to convert your units so that you're working with them consistently.

Alternatively, humans are about as dense as water and gold is about 19 times as dense as water. Water is 8 pounds to the gallon in Pathfinder and approximates to that for many purposes IRL. So you could also determine the volume of skin, determine that volume's weight in water, and then multiply by 19 for that weight in gold.


Regarding the gold value - I'd bypass realism and volume/weight calculations and instead go with "CR-appropriate treasure" for the full body, and, say, 10~20% of that for a limb.

Of course, this only works if you already have a CR for the creature.


Pan, definitely not a Kitsune wrote:

Regarding the gold value - I'd bypass realism and volume/weight calculations and instead go with "CR-appropriate treasure" for the full body, and, say, 10~20% of that for a limb.

Of course, this only works if you already have a CR for the creature.

I like that. A daily regenerating treasure amount. Any more they risk killing it off.


What keeps it alive? Surely the shock will kill it eventually?

Also since gold is fire resistant and there are races of metal clad.. you could have some find out about it after someone tries to smelt some and fails.

If they go away for a while it could also die from lack of food and water? How smart are they setting it up.

This is 3rd party right?


Template is 3pp. Divine magic is what keeps it alive in the NPC’s had. Regen to regrow, restoration for fixing con damage, other spells for temporary hp and numb the pain (temp paralysis) to keep from shock of pain


But those spells arent permanent. Or listed. If the group doesnt think of them it could come back to hurt them

Personally I wouldnt allow for limb removal if they had temp HP. Vorpal being the exception.


If they don’t think of it that is there fault. None of the spells I’d use are 3pp.


Come to think of it, since gold is fairly soft, then with a good set of tools, especially adamantine ones, couldn't someone just slice into and remove the skin that way without having to cut off the limb?

I seem to recall that flaying people alive was something humans in the real world have been capable of at various points in our history, and with magic on the table, keeping them alive would also be a possibility.

I believe there's some way or another to give a creature regeneration that works slowly so that one would have time to make the incisions and flay the metal skin. One of the cracked or otherwise flawed Ioun Stones, perhaps. It'd probably ultimately save time and simplify matters and costs compared to hacking off the limb and then removing the fleshy bits that aren't of interest.

Doing things that way would also allow one to get relatively flat sheets, such as off of the creature's torso.


Yeah we just went to a place I'm no longer comfy with. I'm out.


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Cavall wrote:
Yeah we just went to a place I'm no longer comfy with. I'm out.

It is definitely important to remember how dark and gross you want to go and what your players will enjoy vs. put up with vs. revolt against.


Absolutely. When i explain the process I wanna go dark but not graphic details that is why I figured an amputation vs. skinning.


Although if you changed your mind, there is actually a spell that automatically removes the skin for you.

Slough, which makes all their skin fall off in such a way that is easy to grow back with a few Lesser Restorations.


so... how about an easier way to get and regrow the skin?

1: get one metal clad creature (medium size for the last spell).- might want one of each of the many kinds. getting Adamantine or silver or Mithril might be very much worth it beside gold.

2: KILL IT!

3: cast decompose corpse on it - rut the flesh leave the bones intact. the metal skin will not rot but should fall off nicely with no flesh to hold it in place (think of a bone in armor)

4: take the metal skin to the hoard

5: cast restore corpse (hence the medium size limit).
- '..The corpse looks as it did when the creature died...'

go back to steps #3-5 and repeat.

enjoy.

-for 2x 1st level spells per cycle this is golden.


Cop-outs wrote:

The skin is very thin, and thus contains very little gold.

The skin is golden, but not actual gold.

Extracting the gold from the limbs is a messy and laborious process, that costs too much to be worthwhile.

Finding an NPC willing to continuously harvest a living creature to turn it into gold is practically impossible. If the PCs do find someone immoral enough to go along with it instead of reporting them to the authorities, that NPC will almost certainly betray them.

Peasant mobs, paladins, and the like are likely to confront the PCs once word spreads of the atrocities they are commiting.

The flesh of the creature can accumulate gold on the skin because it contains acids/enzymes that allow them to dissolve gold in whatever they eat. As such, cooking the golden flesh actually destroys the gold by binding it to an organic goo.

Without having access to (golden) food, the creature keeps regenerating, but no longer produces golden skin.

You can use one or many of the above. But it really depends on what you want to do with your campaign. Are you bothered by the moral implications, or the wealth generated? This can influence how you tackle the issue. Because really, this is a great plot device for a villain. "How is that villain rich enough to keep corrupting so many officials and hiring so many mercenaries?" *gasp* If the campaign has the PCs as the villains, then the moral issues are not a problem. Otherwise, well, this kind of behavior is certainly an evil act, and they should be made clearly aware of this.

If the wealth is a problem, well, that can be handled with limiting how much gold it actually produces and increasing how much it costs to extract said gold. This way, you can tweak the generated income to something you are comfortable with. At our table, such a monster would need to crap out a ton of gold per day if it wanted to compete with adventuring yields. Even if it were as high as 1000gp per day (which I wouldn't do), it still wouldn't change the power level of the party dramatically. And by that point, I probably wouldn't just give the gold flat out to the players, but inspire myself from Ultimate Campaign material, and handle it somewhat like a business, and give them perks instead. For example, if I gave them a very generous and literal gold mine, I'd narrate about how they live in luxury, and about how costs for minor items are covered, and how they keep bumping into grateful employees and such. After all, the mine might be extracting 1000gp per day, but it requires an army of miners, teamsters, guards, caravans, horses, tools, buildings, smiths, more guards, food, amenities, roads, weapons for the guards, even more guards, and so on. If these employees aren't treated too bad, they'll probably be eating up a large part of the gross sales in salaries, but most of them will likely be friendly to their boss and offer him favors when asked (regardless of whether their generosity is sincere or not, ambition and fear are also legitimate motivators).


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Oh, this is a necro of sorts. I'm curious how things panned out for our potential flesh miners.

The risk of using a dead creature is someone could take one of your gold-flesh pieces and resurrect it, stealing your golden goose. You'd need to keep it's first skin locked away somewhere so that you never put an original piece of the creature into circulation. You'd probably want to isolate its soul, or let it die of old age, to prevent a true resurrection.

I'd expect players to miss a few things like that and only manage a few successful harvests before someone stole the thing out from under them.


They discovered the creature as an evil party but because they were not powerful enough to take it, they allied themselves with the owner (a Mind Flayer). Vs. flat out sharing his wealth he paid them well for very dangerous tasks.


ErichAD wrote:

Oh, this is a necro of sorts. I'm curious how things panned out for our potential flesh miners.

The risk of using a dead creature is someone could take one of your gold-flesh pieces and resurrect it, stealing your golden goose. You'd need to keep it's first skin locked away somewhere so that you never put an original piece of the creature into circulation. You'd probably want to isolate its soul, or let it die of old age, to prevent a true resurrection.

I'd expect players to miss a few things like that and only manage a few successful harvests before someone stole the thing out from under them.

It's not actually dead, though. And that's actually the last thing you would want, else its regeneration would stop, and I would bet on that creature refusing to be brought back to life.

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