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Admiral Squish
2014-01-23, 02:43 PM
Thunderbird
http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2012/152/f/8/the_great_thunderbird_by_sangel99-d3h5qdc.jpg

{TABLE]Size/Type:|Colossal Outsider [Spirit Beast]
Hit Dice:|40d8+400 (580 hp)
Initiative:|+19
Speed:|20 ft (4 squares), fly 200ft
Armor Class:|27 (-8 size,+15 dex, +10 Natural), touch 27, flat-footed 22
Base Attack:|+40
CMB/CMD|+53/68
Attack:|Bite +37 melee (4d6+5 plus 5d8 electricity) or Thunderstrike +47 ranged touch (20d8 electricity)
Full Attack:|Bite +37 melee (4d6+5 plus 5d8 electricity) and 2 Talons +32 melee (4d6+2 plus 5d8 electricity)
Space/Reach:|30ft/20ft
Special Attacks:|Soaring Storm, Thunderstrike, Thunderclap, Stormbringer
Special Qualities:|Cloudwalking, Hurricane Defense, Immunity to electricity, Immunity to ability damage and ability drain, DR 10/Cold Iron, Fast Healing 10
Saves:|Fort +32, Ref +37, Will +32
Abilities:| Str 20, Dex 40, Con 30, Int 2, Wis 30, Cha 30
Skills:|Fly +55, Intimidate +50, Perception +50
Feats:|Multiattack, Improved Multiattack, Dodge, Mobility, Hover, Wingover, Spring Attack, Point-Blank Shot, Shot on the Run, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Ability Focus (thunderstrike, soaring storm, thunderclap), Death from Above, Improved Natural Attack (talons)
Environment:|Any (not underground)
Organization:|Solitary or Pair
Challenge Rating:|20
Treasure:|
Alignment:|TN
Advancement:|-
[/TABLE]

You can see it coming over the mountains, still many leagues away. At first, it appears to be nothing more than a dark cloud, but in the middle of it flashes of light burst, outlining an enormous bird in the middle of the cloud. ItĎs feathers are glossy black, the only color on the creature is its bright yellow beak and talons. It beats its wings and a crack of thunder comes a half-second later as the elemental beast soars toward your camp.

Thunderbirds are spirit beasts, one of four spirit animal beings held as sacred. These enormous eagles are spirits of sky, living embodiments of storms, and symbols of natureís wrath in itís purest form. Typically they donít bother with the beings on the ground, flying high overhead and making nests in the clouds, but when they do strike it is a terrifying spectacle of elemental fury.

A thunderbird has a wingspan of about fifty feet, and measures about twenty feet from beak tip to tail-tip. They are fearsome creatures to behold when they dive from the storm clouds that follow them in a flurry of feathers, crackling lightning arcing across itís glossy black body.

Combat

A thunderbird is not a particularly intelligent foe, but itís size, speed, elemental fury, and flight make it an extremely challenging enemy. Typically, it starts combat with thunderstrike, then follows in the next round with soaring storm. As it turns again, it uses thunderstrike, then alternates between diving charges, soaring storm, and thunderclap. It uses wingover to turn around quickly and line up to attack again. If the enemy is proving troublesome with ranged attacks, it will use storm bringer to render them useless.

Thunderstrike As a standard action, a thunderbird can blast a target it can see with bolts of electricity from itís flashing eyes. This is a ranged touch attack with a range of 250 feet. The bolts deal 20d8 points of damage, which is half electricity damage and half untyped damage. The target must make a fortitude save (DC 42) or be paralyzed for 2d6 rounds.

Soaring Storm A Thunderbird is a storm made being. As a full-round action, a thunderbird may fly up to itís speed, raining acrs of sizzling elecricity down on those below. Any creature the thunderbird passes directly over, as long as they are within 60 feet of the thunderbird, must make a reflex save (DC 42) or be struck by an arc, taking 10d8 points of damage, half electricity and half untyped. A creature cannot be dealt this damage more than once in a single soaring storm, even if the thunderbirdís path takes it over the creature multiple times.

Thunderclap A thunderbird can flap itís wings powerfully, creating a deafening peal of thunder. As a standard action, the thunderbird flaps, creating a sonic shockwave. All creatures within 100 feet take 10d8 sonic damage and are deafened for 2d6 rounds. A creature may make a fortitude save (DC 42) to reduce the damage by half and negate the deafness.

Stormbringer A thunderbird brings a fearsome electrical storm with it wherever it goes. All creatures within 1000 feet of the thunderbird must roll a d% each round at the beginning of the thunderbirdĎs turn. On a result of a 1, that creature is the target of a lightning bolt, and must make a reflex save (DC 40) or take 10d8 electricity damage.
In addition, a thunderbird can stir the storm to produce rain and wind as a move action. The rain and wind reduce visibility by three quarters, imposing a -8 penalty on perception checks and making ranged attacks impossible (except for siege weapons, which take a -4 penalty). The rain extinguishes unprotected flames automatically, and has a 50% chance to extinguish protected flames (such as lanterns). A thunderbird takes no penalty to fly checks in poor weather.

Cloudwalking A thunderbird can treat clouds and fog as solid surfaces. This is a passive effect, but the thunderbird can suppress or resume this ability as a free action.

Hurricane Defense A thunderbirdís wings stir the wind around it into a fearsome gale as it flies, granting it a +10 deflection bonus to AC against missile attacks.

Admiral Squish
2014-01-23, 02:47 PM
So, here's an attempt at a CR 20 monster for the Crossroads: the New World setting. Certainly not a little critter. One of four spirit beasts, very important creatures in the setting. Anyways, I'm hoping I hit the mark at CR 20. It's harder to balance out because in crossroads there's no PC-available flight, so just being able to fly is a huge benefit, plus the stormbringer ability negates most ranged attacks.

SuperDave
2014-01-28, 11:02 PM
OK, first: sorry I haven't commented on this 'til now.

Second: These guys are friggin' terrifying and I think I'm in love now. That drawing you found for the illustration is AWE-INSPIRING! (As was your flavor-text, come to that.)

Third: You should link to them in the main thread under SpiritBeasts, so they're easy for everyone to find.

Fourth: you mention that their feathers and other body-parts are highly valuable, but exactly how valuable? How much does one feather go for on the market? What about a bundle of twenty, and how much would that weigh? Are their pinions more valuable than their down? Are their feathers valuable as spell-components? Do they enhance the power of weapons or artifacts to which they're affixed? How much could you get for ten pounds of ground thunderbird bone?

Fifth: if SpiritBeasts have a strong presence on both the Spirit World and the Material Plane, then do they have any special powers in the other world, or are their powers stronger there? Can they shift between the two planes more easily than most creatures can?

Admiral Squish
2014-01-29, 12:54 PM
I added the link to the spirit world post, thanks for reminding me.

Well, I was certainly debating that. I could certainly imagine some magical effects for the feathers. You could use it as an optional material component to empower a spell that does electricity damage, or you could tie a feather to a weapon's hilt to deal extra electricity damage. But materially, the feathers would be valuable for use in clothes and such (which might actually have some magical effects of it's own). I hadn't considered bones.
The problem is, a thunderbird kill would be extremely valuable, you could pluck one like a chicken and come away with hundreds of thousands of VP. Kinda wrecks the WBL curve, ya know?

The thuderbirds share their special connection to the spirit world with the other spirit beasts, so I'm still trying to iron out what traits exactly come with the spirit beast subtype. One thing that's certain is that they can move freely from the spirit world to the mortal world and back at will, with ease.

Amechra
2014-01-29, 01:03 PM
The problem is, a thunderbird kill would be extremely valuable, you could pluck one like a chicken and come away with hundreds of thousands of VP. Kinda wrecks the WBL curve, ya know?

Is that really a problem? Just have getting that much treasure devalue the market. :smallbiggrin:

More "seriously", I see that as a benefit; Thunderbirds are CR 20 and are hard to take down. A lower level party might be able to kill one, and then they have to, you know, sell the feathers. Which is going to be really damn hard, because their supply is going to smack face first into demand limits real quick.

Heck, Bi Xie are more worrying from a "breaking the WBL curve" standpoint, since they can actively make gold and silver, which is accepted as currency in most places. Feathers, however valuable, probably aren't legal tender.

Admiral Squish
2014-01-29, 03:01 PM
Is that really a problem? Just have getting that much treasure devalue the market. :smallbiggrin:

More "seriously", I see that as a benefit; Thunderbirds are CR 20 and are hard to take down. A lower level party might be able to kill one, and then they have to, you know, sell the feathers. Which is going to be really damn hard, because their supply is going to smack face first into demand limits real quick.

Heck, Bi Xie are more worrying from a "breaking the WBL curve" standpoint, since they can actively make gold and silver, which is accepted as currency in most places. Feathers, however valuable, probably aren't legal tender.

True.

The thing about currency in crossroads is that there's a lot of currencies of various varieties and values and such. So, we make it so everything's valued in VP, and can be traded for things of equal or lesser value (though you can bluff to upsell your stuff). So, even if the feathers aren't legal tender, most places will probably accept the trade. Particularly if we make them magical in nature. I imagine it to be like selling furs.

Tanuki Tales
2014-01-29, 04:22 PM
Since this is a CR 20 critter, I think you'd be quite in line with making half the electricity damage it deals be typeless instead.

Admiral Squish
2014-01-29, 04:48 PM
Since this is a CR 20 critter, I think you'd be quite in line with making half the electricity damage it deals be typeless instead.

*facepalm*
Yeah, that happened. I can't believe I didn't account for energy immunity.
Right, I shall go do that now.