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Harperfan7
2009-12-15, 05:06 AM
Enjoy.

Crystal
Tiny Construct
HD: 18d10 (99hp)
Init: +9
Speed: Fly 60ft. (perfect), otherwise immobile
AC: 17 (+5 Dex, +2 size)
Base Attack: +15/cannot grapple
Attack: Slam +15
Damage: 1 x2
Touch Attack: +20
Space/Reach: 1ft./-
Special Attacks: Spells
Special Qualities: Spell-like abilities, All around vision (unflankable), Low light vision, Darkvision 120ft., Blindsight 60ft., X-ray vision (as ring, at will), Aerial Buoyancy (Su), Telepathy 100ft., Spell Resistance 35, DR 40/magic, DR 30/-, Resistance to acid 30, cold 30, electricity 30, fire 30, Sonic Vulnerability (treated as crystal), Slow Repair 1, Immune to all shape changing (including beneficial), Construct Traits
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +11, W+16
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 20, Con -, Int 19, Wis 30, Cha 19
Skills: Concentration +25, Decipher Script +25, Knowledge (Any three) +25, Spell craft +25, Search +14, Spot +14
Feats: Counter-Spell, Counterspell Master, Eschew Materials, Improved Counterspell, Quicken Spell, Rapid Metamagic, Still spell

Climate/Terrain: Any
Organization: Solitary or Cabal (2-4)
Challenge Rating: 20?
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral

The crystal is an ageless being that next to none knows anything about. Physically, it can be of any shape or color, though the default is: octahedron, slightly transparent green, 18 inches tall, 12 inches wide (like a d8, but bigger). They are incredibly dense and much heavier than they appear.
They have no vocal cords, though it can speak through audible illusions (from a spell). It still makes noise when casting spells with a verbal component, but the noise is inhuman and indecipherable, though this is usually masked by Imperceptible.

Spells: as an 18th level sorcerer.
The Crystal Knows all sorcerer spells of 0-8th level, but cannot cast any spell with a material component cost not covered by eschew materials or one with an experience point cost.
It cannot cast 9th level spells, though it has 9th level slots.
The spells it casts are extremely difficult to identify with spell craft, and as such have +10 to the DC (due to not having limbs or vocal cords).
All spells it casts with somatic components must be used with Still Spell.
Being grappled does not hamper this creatures' spellcasting in the least.

Aerial Buoyancy (Su): The crystal automatically floats at all times, unless it enters an anti-magic field, in which case it falls to the ground immobile until the effect ends or the crystal is moved by some other force. If its buoyancy is negated, it has no strength score. This is where its fly speed comes from.

Spell-like Abilities: At will (Sorc 18th) - Constant Absorption (set at 9 spell levels instead of rolling 1d4+6), Constant Imperceptible (http://www.giantitp.com/articles/LQrUU7ApBttgaXkOzts.html), Modify Memory, Constant True Seeing, Telekinesis.

Slow Repair: The crystal regains 1 hit point per day.

The crystal is immune to all shape changing. It is treated as having infinite spell resistance to any shape changing spells, and it cannot lower this even for harmless spells (this includes repair spells).


Notes: Counter-Spell [Metamagic]
Prerequisites: 8 ranks in Spellcraft
Benefit: A spell modified by this feat can be cast as a counter as an immediate action. Whenever you succeed on a Spellcraft check to determine that another spellcaster is casting a spell that you can counter with the counter-spell, you may use your counter-spell immediately. You may cast a counter-spell normally on your own turn. Spontaneous casters casting a spell modified by this feat may not act on their next turn except to take a free action.
You may still counterspell as normal. A counter-spell takes up a slot two levels higher than the original spell.

Counter-spell Master [General]
Prerequisites: Improved Counterspelling, Counter-Spell, 12 ranks in Spellcraft
Benefit: When you ready an action to counterspell, you need not select a specific target to counterspell; you may counterspell any target within range.

The above two feats are homebrews from this site. If you don't want to use these, use Improved Initiative and Reactive Counterspell (MoF) instead.

More Notes: Ok, first off, let me explain the inspiration for these things. I was playing ff6 during the summer for the first time. I got to the top of that rainy city with all the thieves and found Terra, then all the sudden there's a flash of light and a flying crystal appears and transforms into Ramuh, the freaking thunder god. Holy crap, pop fly into left field!

It was like somebody took a sledgehammer to the rusty floodgates of my muse and all sorts of stuff came rushing out.

So basically, the crystal (just a placeholder for the name, call them whatever you want) is to your campaign what aliens are to real life. Basically only a few people if anybody know if they exist, much less what the hell they are/where they come from/what their goals are/etc. There is no factual recorded information about them. One of these things could have been floating a foot above your head your entire life and you would never know it. They are ageless, don't sleep, eat, breathe, or get tired. They are not distracted by much of anything and can go pretty much anywhere undetected. They are the paranoids worst nightmare.

What they are and what to do with them is all up to you. Enjoy.

Random_person
2009-12-15, 05:18 AM
Well, using the system over here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10313), specifically the Vorpal Tribble system, you come out with a CR between 16 and 22, depending on how much you think stuff is worth. Now, I'm no expert, but I would say that this would be a decent challange for an unoptomized group of level 20s, maybe a bit weak, so I would say CR 19-20. That last one is very approximate though, use it at your own risk.

DracoDei
2009-12-15, 11:25 AM
If Disintegrate counts as a shape changing spell then you probably need to pick a different term and define it very carefully.

Mulletmanalive
2009-12-15, 12:45 PM
Ok...

PEACH...

Bold tags. Bold everything that's a title for a line. You might also like to colour them. Some people even colour code their tags but don't go overboard. Bolding makes it far easier to read.

Right, first thing i notice is that technically, based on it's description as a "heavy crystal that flies" it should indeed have a Strength score. Not that there are many things that can damage a construct's strength but it is doable.

As a result, the thing will have an attack, even if it's just a case of bumping against the target. It's probably also worth calculating the Melee and Ranged touch attacks of the creature and putting them up for spells.

You've made many references that are not explained. "Constant Absorbtion 9" means nothing, for instance, to a casual observer. This is a spell like ability and as, i assume that the spell Absorbtion, assuming it is a spell, has a limit on spell levels it can absorb, i'd suggest setting a refresh time.

Permanent Imperceivability is also an Sp ability and should be described in the notes section; natural invisibility is, this should be too.

DR sources do not stack in unaltered D&D. They do, however overlap. As it is, your DR 30/- has negated the point of the other two. Were you to list them as say, DR 10/-, DR 20/Adamantine, DR 30/Magic, then it would actually allow for some change. Or...Following your original intent, i think you may have meant DR 30/-, DR 50/Adamantine, DR 60/Magic. If this latter is the case, welcome to mid 20s of Epic levels...

Ok, finally having gotten to the bottom, i realise what you've done. Spell like abilities are traditionally listed as "Spell-like abilities" under Special Attacks, as are Spells. With three abilities on constantly, it would be far quicker to read if you posted synopses of these abilities and stated that it took a Standard action to reestablish them if they are dispelled, which is the case.

CR, i'm placing around 23 to 25, though it's somewhat hard to tell because about 4 of those come from the Imperceivability. As it is, any fighter who can find the damn thing should be able to two handed-sword it, but that's about the only think i can think of that can hurt it.

Zeta Kai
2009-12-15, 01:38 PM
1) I'd say the CR is 19-21, depending on how easily the party can detect the creature for targeting.

2) Kudos on using Rich's imperceptible spell. Good integration.

3) The creature really needs a raison d'Ítre. It's a cool monster, without some context to work with, I would probably never use it in a campaign. It's a super-intelligent invisible flying crystal. Great, so what?

What is it's purpose?
Who built it?
Why?
How long do they last?
What kind of personality does it have?
How does it react to attacks?

These questions need to be addressed before I'd consider integrating one into a campaign. This isn't 4E, where all you need for a monster is a statblock & a name. I need a know what the creature is about, not merely what it can do.

4) I really like how the Crystal is a fusion of creature & object. The only other "monster" that I have seen that is like that is the Cell Block, the constituent mass of the Elemental Plane of Flesh.

5) This monster needs a better name. The Jeweled Eyes? Krystalnacht? I dunno, it needs something.

6) Spell-like abilities should go into their own section of the Special Qualities descriptions. It would make the stats easier to read, & people expect to see them down below.

7) It would be best if you enumerated the spell slots & gave a list of commonly-known spells for these things. The notes give a few clues & suggestions for spell selection, but it seems like it's mostly up to the DM to decide what spells are known & prepared. This is another impediment to use that is easily fixed by providing more information.

8) I hope that I'm not seeming too harsh with my critiques. The concept (well, the conceptual framework) is quite good, as is the mechanical implementation. I just want to see the idea fleshed out just a bit more. I hope that this helps.

Debihuman
2009-12-15, 10:43 PM
I'm seeing a number of problems with this creature. Tiny creatures with more than 6 hit dice are problematic. They don't do much damage, they tend to have a bloated number of special qualities to make up for their lack of physical damage. Generally this is not a good design feature.

In addition, you have a number of stat block errors:

Although you state it is a 3.5 monster, you formatted it in 3.0.

It should have 99 hit points not 95 (18x5.5=99)

Melee attack is at +15. Ranged attack is at +18 (you forgot the size modifier). Also, monsters don't get additional attacks for their natural weapons due to high BAB. Tiny creatures should only have 1 slam attack and 1 ranged touch attack.

"Spells" is missing from Special Attacks. It casts as an 18th level sorcerer.

"Construct traits" is missing from Special Qualities. Also, these are really bloated even for an 18 HD monster. Generally 1 for every HD is appropriate other than the ones that come from Type. DR 30 should only be reserved for epic creatures, which this is not. DR 15 would be far more appropriate.

Skills: it has 126 skill points to work with (2 + Int modifier per HD with quadruple for 1st HD). It can have a max of 21 ranks in any skill. It should probably have 6 skills at max ranks then adjust for abilities, synergy, and stuff like that. Does it have any racial bonuses to skills?

Debby

Surgo
2009-12-15, 10:47 PM
Tiny creatures with more than 6 hit dice are problematic. They don't do much damage
I'd call spellcasting as an 18th level sorcerer pretty good "damage".

Giving a creature at that level a CR greater than its hit dice is extremely problematic due to a number of spells. Actually, the CR of this is problematic period because it's the ultimate glass jaw, and glass jaws don't make much sense CR-wise. If an 18th-level character breathes on it too hard it will die. You should figure out if that's desirable or not.

In addition, what's up with the huge numbers? DR 30/- is something of a 3.0ism, but it doesn't hurt to have it I guess. With SR 35, though, you might as well just say "immune to spells from anyone who didn't cheese their caster level". Is that what you want?

Debihuman
2009-12-15, 10:52 PM
Not compared to a party of 4 that may have spellcasters at 19-21 level...It's not as good as you think. Also, a party of that level generally has magic devices which this does not.

With a Str of 10, it can only carry a max of 50 pounds because creatures of Tiny size are limited to 1/2 normal Strength for carrying capacity. So it won't benefit from many magic items (if any).

Aside from spells and spell-like abilities, it's offensive capability is limited. It's major defensive is the DR 30/- which is not appropriate.

Debby

Surgo
2009-12-15, 10:53 PM
Not compared to a party of 4 that may have spellcasters at 19-21 level...It's not as good as you think. Also, a party of that level generally has magic devices which this does not.

Debby
I am quite aware of that, but the statement was "tiny creatures of more than 6 hit dice don't do good damage", not "tiny creatures of more than 6 hit dice don't do much damage compared to a party of 4 at levels 19-21". This is a creature that can and will throw around Mazes at everyone.

Debihuman
2009-12-15, 11:48 PM
Well, that assume it has maze in its spell list. No spell list was given.

Regardless, Tiny creatures tend not to do much damage compared to larger creatures regardless of hit dice. More importantly, Tiny creatures with more than 6 HD tend to be unbalanced . That's its real weakness. If the party can overcome the SR, sonic spells will take it out relatively quickly--negating the DR. A greater horn of blasting shouldn't be a problem. It still has a glass jaw to a lesser degree.

Debby

DracoDei
2009-12-15, 11:58 PM
What has size got to do with hitdice except for realism issues?

The weight issue doesn't matter much because the equipment that weighs enough to matter also tends to scale with size.

It only matters if someone tries to grapple it, which wizards have ways of doing I guess, but...

Harperfan7
2009-12-16, 12:06 AM
@Random_Person: Thank you, and I hope you're right, because that's where I want it.

@Draco Dei: Fixed, I guess that should just be common sense.

@Mulletmanalive: Thanks, heavily fixed.

@Zeta Kai:
1. Good, that's just where I want it.
2. Thanks, I love that spell.
3. Read the "More notes" section.
4. Thanks.
5. See #3.
6. Fixed.
7. Actually, it knows all sorcerer spells. (I realize that is extremely powerful, and I was hoping that gets balanced out by not having 9th level spells and its spells not being very powerful on their own + it'll be facing 17+ leveled characters with only 8th level spells on down)
8. Not at all, and thanks again.

@Debihuman:
1: Oh well (it's a weird monster).
2: I was looking at 3.0 stat blocks at the time of making it.
3: Fixed.
4: You were thinking +15 and +20, and you were right.
5: Fixed.
6: Fixed, and that was intentional. I gave it DR over natural armor (because it's made of crystal that's harder than adamantine).
7: It does (and the synergy depends on which knowledge skills you choose). As for racial bonuses, they would be to spot, which it has bonuses for already, and knowledge (whatever)/spellcraft, which it doesn't need.

2nd post - 1: I was hoping that would help with balance.
2: Right, unless it uses telekinesis on scrolls/wands/staffs. (I don't know if thats Kosher, but I would allow it)
3: Intentional - and I disagree.
Thanks!

@Surgo:
1: I agree, although it is intentionally limited from having 9th level spells.
2: Well, if they can find it and get close enough to breathe on it, then yes, and that was intentional (but those 30's are fairly tough, I think).
3: The DR 30/- is from it being harder than adamantine and I didn't give it natural armor. The SR 35 is tough, but as Debi said, a 19-21 probably won't have too much trouble. (with greater spell penetration and a +1 CL boost, a 20th level caster needs an 11)

2nd post - 1. Quite right, sir.
Thanks!

EDIT: It knows all 0-8th level spells. It knows maze, and it knows energy immunity: Sonic. Read "@Zeta Kai."

Random_person
2009-12-16, 12:11 AM
Oh. ALL 0-8 sorceror spells. *checks Int* OH. That may be a problem.

Something casting as 18th level sorceror, with all spells except ninth known and rapid metamagic and quicken spell, probably merits a CR 18-19 if it has 1 hp and AC 0. This... this is very near the EEH (Epic Event Horizon), although Epic Spellcasting prevents it from crossing. CR 20-22 in my estimation, if not higher, with this new information.

Harperfan7
2009-12-16, 12:15 AM
Oh. ALL 0-8 sorceror spells. *checks Int* OH. That may be a problem.

Something casting as 18th level sorceror, with all spells except ninth known and rapid metamagic and quicken spell, probably merits a CR 18-19 if it has 1 hp and AC 0. This... this is very near the EEH (Epic Event Horizon), although Epic Spellcasting prevents it from crossing. CR 20-22 in my estimation, if not higher, with this new information.

If that's too powerful, as I suspected it very well might be, then I would leave the spells up to whichever DM decided to use it.

I could make a list of common choices, should that be the case.

EDIT: It doesn't actually get "all" 0-8th spells. read the "spells" section in the OP.

Random_person
2009-12-16, 12:17 AM
The issue is not the casting alone. The issue is the casting AND the intelligence AND the stream of special qualities. Get rid of 1 of those, and the issue reduces considerably. Get rid of two, and it may be where you want it.

Debihuman
2009-12-16, 01:07 AM
"What has size got to do with hit dice except for realism issues?"

It's not a matter of realism, it is a matter of balance. Tiny constructs lack the bonus hit points because of size. Without all the spells and special qualities, this would be a significant disadvantage. The CR boost isn't from HD, which is where it should be. Generally this is bad design.

If you want realism, the party could try resonance frequency which would shatter the monster without the use of magic and would probably do enough damage to overcome DR 30/- and still kill it. No Save. Just massive damage. The blast radius when that happens would be interesting.

Wait, does bringing science in mean I've now killed a catgirl? Cool!

Debby

DracoDei
2009-12-16, 01:25 AM
In point of fact neither HD relative to Size as a hard and fast rule nor resonance are types of realism I favor.

Debihuman
2009-12-16, 02:00 AM
I'm far more concerned with Size to CR than Size to HD. Tiny creatures with CR 18 are usually poorly designed. This one is better than most.

Without HUGE power-ups (DR 40/magic; DR 30/-; SR 35, etc.), ts relatively low hit points are a disadvantage in comparison to other monsters with CR 18 and to a typical party.

Compare those to a Black Dragon at CR 18 with SR 23 and DR 15/Magic. It is significantly more powerful in terms of Special Qualities while being a bit underpowered in terms of hit points.

Does this make for a good monster? I'm not sure. A party of CR 18 should be able to defeat this using only 1/4 of its resources and I'm rather doubtful that it can be done.

If it is closer to CR 21, then the party may have an even bigger hit point advantage. It certainly lacks powerful physical attacks. Get it in an anti-magic field and it could be beaten to death with a rock. It would have to be a really hard rock, but still....

Debby

Amiel
2009-12-16, 02:10 AM
It's actually not unprecedented for Size to be greatly disproportionate to CR or HD. Take the demilich (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/epic/monsters/demilich.htm) for example; it's diminutive and has CR 29 and HD 21.

However, while it's not unprecedented, it is also generally accepted that it (the demilich) is one of the more broken monsters in an already unbalanced supplement.

Harperfan, was/is the Crystal Skull of Mayan or Aztec origins an inspiration for this creation?

Harperfan7
2009-12-16, 02:12 AM
Harperfan, was/is the Crystal Skull of Mayan or Aztec origins an inspiration for this creation?

Heh, no, not at all. Actually it was FF6 espers in crystal form.

Mulletmanalive
2009-12-16, 06:59 AM
I'm still stumped as to how you can actually fight this thing...

Only thing i can come up with, given that no form of detection will stick to it is to cast antimagic field on all of your party members and run around until it falls out of the air visible. Then you get two guys with power attack to stand over it and pound it...

Not all that heroic.

Surgo
2009-12-16, 08:59 AM
You can just kind of hit it. It only has 99 hit points (129 virtual ones if you factor in the DR), so one attack should kill it.

Debihuman
2009-12-16, 09:28 AM
Better yet, why wouldn't the party just ignore it completely? The crystal isn't exactly motivated to attack first with its neutral alignment. Let's think this through: an invisible tiny statue flying overhead or being completely immobile, isn't going to attract much attention.

At least the demilich has a reason for attacking: it's EVIL and wants to trap your soul. The crystal is just sorta there.

Here is how the attack lines look in 3.5. I am perplexed why it even has a ranged touched attack. Does it shoot out shards of crystal from its body or something? What is the range? You didn't mention how far this attack extends.

Attack: Slam +15 melee (1/x2)
Full Attack: Slam +15 melee (1/x2) or Touch +20 ranged (1/x2)

Debby

Mulletmanalive
2009-12-16, 09:59 AM
The traditional reason for a Demilich attacking was that it's a crotchety old man that wasn't even aware of you until someone inevitably disturbed its skull. Then it would kill one of you and settle back down in the hope that you'd get off its lawn.

I guess you could hit it, if you can find it...

It has nigh permanent Imperceivability. The only way you're going to find the damn thing is if it stays put after casting a spell and you then manage a DC 70 odd spot check or somehow manage to grope around the square and find it.

True Seeing doesn't work, Blindsense doesn't work, Blindsight doesn't work and good luck making any spells stick to it...

DracoDei
2009-12-16, 12:01 PM
Touch attack might be miscellanious spells, which would explain why it has only an attack bonus, without range, damage, etc. None-standard, but nice.

Also, it does need a grapple modifier since it can BE grappled, and try to wiggle free. It just has no limbs to grab anyone ELSE.

It does need a personality to give it a reason to fight (and for other things).

Harperfan7
2009-12-16, 01:17 PM
Touch attack might be miscellanious spells, which would explain why it has only an attack bonus, without range, damage, etc. None-standard, but nice.

Also, it does need a grapple modifier since it can BE grappled, and try to wiggle free. It just has no limbs to grab anyone ELSE.

The touch attack is only for spells.

Grappling this thing is pointless (and if its not, its grapple modifier is low, as in negative).


It does need a personality to give it a reason to fight (and for other things).Read the "more notes" section. People not knowing anything about it is kinda the point. What its motives are is up to you, but your players probably aren't going to know it anyways.

Dante & Vergil
2010-01-20, 02:35 AM
I like the fact that FF6 inspired this creature. The monster is something else.:smallamused:

Harperfan7
2010-01-20, 02:44 AM
Thanks! Glad to see another FF fan :smallwink:.