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Deca
2010-03-29, 06:16 AM
HIVER

Hivers are a relatively new phenomenon. It all began with Arch-mage Hyran the Yellow. It began when Hyran locked himself into his laboratory for an extensive spell-casting session. Not even his closest servants were told what he was doing. Nothing untoward happened for several days. Then, at noon, Hyran opened his doors and pronounced his experiment a success.
Inside his laboratory was the Node. It is unknown whether Hyran had created the Node or simply summoned it from another dimension. We may never know. The Node was nearly invisible, a small bundle of lightly glowing energies.
The Arch-mage had apparently thought he could control the Node. He, like so many people in this situation, was horribly, horribly wrong.
Within but a few hours, the Node made itís move. It attacked the wizard, forcing its raw psionic energy against Hyranís skilled magic. Hyran was horrified as his best mental defences, instead of blocking out the influence, were assimilated and brought under control by the Node. His mental barriers had become jail walls for his mind, walls that quickly compressed until his mind had been completely wiped from existence.
Hyran had become the first Hiver.

His mind gone, his body was but a vessel for a fragment of the Nodeís mind. The Nodeís mind had expanded into his. A tiny fragment of his mind was left alive in order for the Node to harness his spellcasting power but it was kept weak enough that it all it could do is scream and scream and scream in a tiny mental voice that is drowned out by the ever present voice of the Node.

Hyran quickly subdued his servants and transformed them into Hivers as well. They in turn left his home and spread out into the city below. Soon the entire city had been hived.

Since then, the Hive has spread its way across the land like a malignant epidemic. Individual beings are fast becoming a rarity.

Description:
Hivers can be anything. Any living being with enough intelligence can be absorbed into the Hive Mind can be used against those that remain individuals. Hivers can range from the smallest forest animal used to spy on enemies before an invasion to the mightiest dragons, their burning spirit extinguished.

Hivers look exactly the same as they did before the transformation, apart from their eyes. The eyes of a Hiver are completely grey and are always open, never blinking. Aside from the eyes, there are other indicators. Hivers display an economy of movement, they never move unnecessarily, never fidget, never twitch. Intelligent Hivers of a civilised species can also noted by their unkempt appearance. They have no care for shaving, bathing or changing their clothes, which often become frayed and worn.
The skin of a Hiver, upon close inspection, has a shiny glassy appearance and is tougher to rip or break. However, if you are this close, you are about to say good-bye to your own free will.

Creating a Hiver:

ĎHiverí is an acquired template that can be added to any living corporeal creature with an Int score of 1 or above.

Size and Type:
The base creatures size and type remain the same. All sub-types except for alignment related subtypes also remain the same. It uses all the base creatures statistics and abilities except when noted here.

Hit Dice: Remain the same.

Speed: Remains the same.

Armor Class: Gains a +1 Natural Armor Bonus

Attacks: A Hiver retains all the natural weapons, weapon attacks and weapon proficiencies of the base creature.

Damage: Same as base creature.

Special Attacks:
A Hiver retains all special attacks and spell-like abilities of the base creature as well as gaining the following special attacks:

Psi-Like Abilities:
At will- Detect Psionics, Know Direction and Location, Psionic Daze, My Light, Read Thoughts.
3/day: Metaconcert

Hiver uses Int to manifest these powers. Their manifesting level for these abilities is determined by their Hit Dice. Only a Hiver with 9HD or over can perform Metaconcert and only with other Hivers. Hivers cannot augment these abilities.

Hive Touch(Su):
As a standard action, a Hiver can make a touch attack against a non-Hived being. The target must be living, corporeal and have an Int of at least 1. The target cannot have five more HD than the attacking Hiver or the Hive Touch will not work. If the touch attack is successful, the target must make a Will Save. The Save DC is 10 + 1/2 HD of the Hiver + Int bonus. If the target has levels in a Psionic class or has Psi-Like Ability, it gains a +2 bonus to their save roll.
If the target fails their Will Save, they are rendered unconscious for 1 round. When they wake again, they are completely transformed into a Hiver. Apply the Hiver Template to the target.
If the target is unconscious, a Coup De Grace Hive Touch can be attempted. This takes a full round. In a Coup De Grace Hive Touch, the target can be of any HD and the save DC is 18 + full HD + Int Modifer of the Hiver.

Special Qualities:
A Hiver retains all special qualities they had before their transformation. In addition, the following qualities are gained:

Enslaved Mind(Ex):
The mind of a Hiver has been nearly completely replaced by a fragment of the Node. The thoughts of the Node are completely alien to all other beings. Any attempts to read a Hiverís mind simply results in a blank. In addition, they are completely immune to mind-affecting spells and abilities.
In short, treat every Hiver as if it has a permanent Mind Blank spell cast upon it.

The Veil (Ex):
Every Hiverís mind leads back to the Node if you explore it powerfully enough. If an enemy manages to get past the Mind Blank affect in attempt to influence or read the thoughts of the Hiver (ie through some sort of Epic Magic or Psionics), they instead get a direct link to the Nodeís mind instead. The Nodeís thought processes are incredibly alien and the creature being linked to it will understand nothing of what it is thinking. The Node cannot be influenced by any spells or powers through the link. Also, the Node will immediately notice the intruder and retaliate, using the link in an attempt to rip the intruderís mind asunder.
The intruder must immediately make a Will Save against a telepathic Hive Touch by the Node itself. The DC for the Will Save is 85 (HD of Node is 45 and Manifester Level is 22). If the intruder passes the Will Save, the link is immediately cut off and all Hivers the Node controls will be directed to move to the intruderís location immediately and attack. The Node will then attempt to make another telepathic Hive Touch against the intruder every day.

Hivelink (Su):
Every Hiver is connected in a single Hive Mind controlled by the Node that directs them what to do. All of the Hiverís senses are tied into the Hive Mind. Everything a Hiver sees, hears, smells and feels is relayed back to all Hivers. What one Hiver knows, they all know. Treat a Hiver as if it has all available knowledge skills maxed out. Due to this ability, Hivers cannot be suprised or flanked unless the attacker has done so without any Hivers seeing them. Due to most Hivers being followed and scouted for by a swarm of Hived spy fleas, this is unlikely. Hivers counts as having Improved Uncanny Dodge and Improved Evasion. They can see your attacks coming.
Hivelink can be supressed by an antimagic field or any psionic equivalent. If the hivelink is cut off, the Hiver still contains a Node fragment inside it and will still be Hived. However, a Hiver has none of the bonuses as detailed in the Hivelink description.


Saves: All of the Hiverís saves remain the same.

Abilities: A Hivers ability scores change as follows: Int+4, Cha is reduced to 1.

Skills: A Hiver retains all skills from the base creature but can never advance any.

Feats: A Hiver retains all feats from the base creature but can never get additional ones.

Environment: Hivers spread wherever they can. They can be found in any environment the base creature can survive in.

Organization: Solitary, Pair, Group (2-5), Circle (6-10), Army (11-100), Swarm (100+)

Challenge Rating: ?

Treasure: Whatever the base creature had on them when they were transformed.

Alignment: Always Lawful Evil.

Advancement: None. Hivers cannot advance classes beyond what the base creature had.

Level Adjustment: N/A (Not PC controlled characters EVER)


Breaking the Control: The Hiver template can be removed from a creature only by Wish, Miracle or Reality Revision.


Examples:

Rat Hiver
Hived rats often herald a full-on attack. They spread through the cities, attacking the rat colonies that live within all of them. This was so successfull that nobody has seen an individual rat for years. It is widely believed that non-Hived rats no longer exist and that the entire species has been assimilated. Seeing a rat is a sure-fire sign that a Hiver raiding party is on it's way to your location.

Size/Type: Tiny Animal
Hit Dice: ľ d8 (1 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 15 ft. (3 squares), climb 15 ft., swim 15 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (+2 size, +2 Dex, +1 Natural Armour), touch 15, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-12
Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d3-4)
Full Attack: Bite +4 melee (1d3-4)
Space/Reach: 2Ĺ ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Psi-Like Abilities, Hive Touch
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, scent, Enslaved Mind, The Veil, Hivelink
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +1
Abilities: Str 2, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 6, Wis 12, Cha 1
Skills: Balance +10, Climb +12, Hide +16,
Move Silently +10, Swim +10
Feats: Stealthy, Weapon FinesseB
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary, Pair, Group (2-5), Circle (6-10), Army (11-100), Swarm (100+), Plague (10-100)
Challenge Rating: ?
Advancement: ó
Level Adjustment: ó


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Comments and ideas to improve it are always appreciated.
Also, if anyone has any better ideas for the Hive Touch or the Veil abilities, I would love to hear them. I don't really like their current names.

Kuma Kode
2010-03-29, 11:47 AM
Destroy the Self? Assimilation? Integrating Touch? Grasp of Conformity?

Regardless of what you call it, the save DC is really, REALLY high for an at-will attack that is worse than a death effect. Death effects don't require 9th level magic to correct, and they can be blocked by things like death ward. Standard save formula for a special ability is 10 + 1/2 the creature's HD + Cha modifier, though I suspect you can substitute intelligence. This would result in a save DC of 14 for a 2nd level human hiver. Not so high that a 2nd level character can never succeed, but high enough that failing to a low roll is a very real possibility, especially for a fighter. Considering the monster has no reason to not try to assimilate every round, that's a very scary attack.

I've always enjoyed a fantasy-style borg monster. :smallsmile:

EDIT: Also, you may just want to make the Charisma 1, instead of a -4. A charisma of 1 is the most rudimentary form of sense of self, the purely factual bodily self-identification that allows a zombie or an animated object to navigate its surroundings. Anything lower and the creature cannot distinguish between itself and things that are not itself, making it an object.

Forever Curious
2010-03-29, 11:57 AM
Very nice. Forget zombie invasion, this is scary as hell.

That being said, the saves look almost impossibly high. I echo Kuma Kode's advice. Other that that, looks good.

Lysander
2010-03-29, 12:06 PM
I also like it, and agree its very powerful. Not necessarily overpowerful. It could work in an apocalyptic campaign with epic characters.

One option to weaken it is to make the Hive Touch a psionic disease, and give it an incubation period of several rounds. During that time Dispel Psionics, Heal, or Break Enchantment can stop the effect from taking hold. Protection from Evil could also delay the hive touch from taking effect, buying more time to have it cured.

Also, can a slain Hiver be resurrected as their original selves like undead can be? Anything that destroys souls is probably going to be epic.

Another way of limiting it is ruling that creatures can only convert those of equal or lesser HD. So high level players don't need to worry about swarms of zombie chipmunks beyond all the bite marks. It would also nicely explain why the players are resistant in a world where most humans are converted. It would also make the epidemic spread at a more manageable rate so it can be an ongoing scourage instead of an almost instantaneous worldwide conversion.

Deca
2010-03-30, 03:17 AM
After looking back over the Supernatural Ability rules, it turns out Hive Touch saves have to be 10+ 1/2 HD etcetera. Changed the Hive Touch Rule. Added a coup-de-grace Touch on the basis that as the target is unconscious, the Hiver can take it's time to do it's business and thus gets a stronger Touch.

Note that the Node's Hive Touch still ignores that Supernatural Ability Rules. That's because the Node is alien to the regular rules of reality and I figured the best way to show this is to make the actual game rules bend around it.

Changed Charisma to 1 as per Kuma Kode's idea.

@Lysander: Becoming a Hiver merely supresses the soul to a pinprick of light in a sea of darkness. It doesn't destroy it. Therefore, if someone resurrected a slain Hiver, their soul would return to their body un-hived. The problem is that the slain Hiver was also containing a fragment of the Node. So a Hiver is someone with essentially two souls. And if you bring back a slain Hiver, both souls will try to come back.
A ressurected former Hiver will have to make a Will Save as if being Hive Touched by a Hived verion of himself to avoid being Hived immediately upon coming back. If they do pass the save though, they'll be fine and back to their old self.


...Also added an example of a Hiver Rat, one of the most common spies for the Hive. Might also stat up the Node itself as well later.

Agi Hammerthief
2010-03-30, 03:32 AM
is this from A Hat Full Of Sky by Pterry?

Deca
2010-03-30, 03:52 AM
is this from A Hat Full Of Sky by Pterry?

Actually no. The concept came from a previous idea I had, Hive Wizards. But I did steal the name. It's a nice name and it describes everything they do.

Agi Hammerthief
2010-03-30, 05:46 AM
What one Hiver knows, they all know.
challenge rating:

x^(n+z)

where
x is the challenge rating of the creature with the most HD in the Organization form encountered
n is the number of hivers in the Organization from encountered
z is the number of encounters the group has had with hivers



Actually no. The concept came from a previous idea I had, Hive Wizards. But I did steal the name. It's a nice name and it describes everything they do.
without the spawning it's pretty close to the Pterry one
only needs
Skills: Knowledge (all seperately) the individual taken over by the hiver accumulates all knowledge skill points of all previous hosts.

in yours case: the hived creature gains: Knowledge (all) maxed out

Kuma Kode
2010-03-30, 02:37 PM
You may also want to add to the Hivelink ability that no Hiver in an encounter is surprised unless they all are, and no Hiver in an encounter is flanked unless they all are.

It gives them this horrifically precognitive air to them when they dodge the rogue's sneak attack without even looking.

Lysander
2010-03-30, 02:51 PM
You should explain what can cut off the hivelink. Perhaps areas immune to scrying cut off the hivelink? An antimagic field? An antipsionics field? Maybe it's temporarily suppressed by dispel psionics?

Also, what defensive spells/abilities can guard you from the hive touch? Would Mind Blank completely protect you? Protection from Evil?

Chainsaw Hobbit
2010-03-30, 09:18 PM
Isn't the hiver from discworld?

Deca
2010-03-31, 12:32 AM
You should explain what can cut off the hivelink. Perhaps areas immune to scrying cut off the hivelink? An antimagic field? An antipsionics field? Maybe it's temporarily suppressed by dispel psionics?

Also, what defensive spells/abilities can guard you from the hive touch? Would Mind Blank completely protect you? Protection from Evil?

Well both Mind Blank and Psionic Mind Blank would prevent it. According to the Protection From Evil rules, PFE doesn't actually stop evil mind-affecting abilities from targeting the caster. All it does is prevent it from taking effect until the duration of the PFE ends. So someone with Protection From Evil who took a successful Hive Touch would remain themselves until the PFE ended, at which point the caster would immediately become Hived.


Isn't the hiver from discworld?

Not really. I feel that this concept is different from the Discworld Hiver, which only inhabited one body at a time and was actually just hiding. As for the name, well, contrary to popular belief, Pratchett was not the only person to use the word 'Hiver'.