View Full Version : [Creature] Haetae (PEACH!)

2007-06-01, 09:36 PM
First, if any of you reading this are playing a game called "Devil's Due", stop reading. Now. :smallmad:




Okay. I was browsing around on Wikipedia, and I discovered the Haetae (http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haetae). Regardless of whether the article is an accurate representation of the legendary creature (the source material seems a bit thin), I thought it'd still be a fun thing to throw at the group. They're a bunch of Level 5s. I wanted a CR 6 leader of a town they'll be visiting, which might create some friction but won't NECESARILY turn into a combat encounter (and which they'd definitely want to think twice about fighting). In particular, I'd like feedback on whether the following is overpowered.



Large Magical Beast (Lawful)

Hit Dice: 7d10 + 21
Initiative: +3
Speed: 60 ft (12 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (+6 natural, + 3 dex, -1 size)
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+21
Attack: Bite +12 melee (1d8 + 9)
Full attack: Bite +12 melee (1d8 + 9)
Space/Reach: 10ft (long) / 5ft
Special Attacks: Improved Grab, Trip.
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft, Scent, Frightful Presence (DC 15), Spell-like Abilities (Detect Chaos and Quench), Protective Aura, Aura of Darkness, Timebite.
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +6
Abilities: Str 23, Dex 16, Con 17, Int 16, Wis 19, Cha 15
Skills: Diplomacy + 14, Gather Information + 12, Intimidate +12, Jump + 16, Sense Motive + 16.
Feats: Track (bonus), Improved Grapple, Run, Negotiator
Environment: Urban or Mountains
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: Standard
Allignment: Always Lawful-Neutral
Advancement: --
Level Adjustment: --

From a distance, this creature appears to be a lion; closer inspection shows it to be an enormous dog, with golden fur and a mane of hair around its neck. Light dims in its presence, and it seems to posess a quiet serenity and soul-deep wisdom.

Haetae are manifestations of order (not law) and guardians against chaos in all its forms. In particular, they oppose violent change, and do everything in their power to prevent it. The surest way to piss a Haetae off is to start a fight. They are most commonly encountered in positions of power within a village, town, or city, either as its (usually self-appointed) ruler or in service to a ruler which it respects. Within the such a settlement, it will usually have a den of private, twisty, subterranean corridors and chambers, absent servants and furniture.

They combine the best, and worst, of an orderly society. Haetae rule, more often than not, through personal fear. They are wrathful towards those who actually violate the order they impose, more often than not being judge, jury, and executioner. They use their Detect Chaos ability wantonly. Those with moderate (or stronger) chaotic auras will be ordered to leave the Haetae's domain.

However, for all their personal strength Haetae are unusually subtle in their enforcement of order. They will aim to reform offenders (albeit through harsh methods) rather than punish them. Rather than attack chaotic intruders in their domain, Haetae will command the locals not to deal or even speak with them, leaving the intruder unable to buy food or find shelter; it will personally intervene only if the intruder attacks someone. Its favored method of dealing with dissent is to identify the potential causes of rebellion, and address them through negotiations, intimidation, and correction of inequities, before the uprising even begins.

Newborn babies, for some reason, register as especially chaotic. A Haetae will attempt to eat any baby without the Lawful subtype which is too young to walk, if it is brought within 5 feet of it, though a Hatae will warn people of this before the child is brought into range. For this reason, few people are entirely happy with having a Haetae to enforce the order of their community.

Haetae have a particular dislike for fire. Though they will (irrately) tolerate closely-watched flames turned towards a practical purpose, such as a forge, oven, latern, or hearth, they will swiftly extinguish any other fires using their Quench spell-like ability, and will have some choice words for whomever started them.

Haetae breed in the mountains in pack-dens (2-5 breeding pairs, with 2d4 whelps each), and descend into settled areas once mature. Usually they will return to the mountains every 10 years or so to breed and raise young, and then after another 10 years return to civilization. Though omnivorous, Haetae refuse to hunt, instead husbanding goats and sheep in the wild and relying on the local market in more civilized areas. Haetae can live for over 300 years.

Combat: A Haetae will never initiate combat for any reason, always seeking to resolve matters through intimidation or negotiation, but it will defend itself or join a combat against the aggressor. However, it will always prefer to end the combat through negotiating an end to hostilities. If forced to fight a series of engagements, Haetae prefer to intimidate its foes with a series of hit and run attacks, preferably taking one of its foes with it as it goes.

A Haetae's bite attacked is treated as lawful-alligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- Quench (DC 17), Detect Chaos. Caster level 3rd. Saving throws are wisdom-based. The Quench spell-like ability has a peculiar visual effect, in which the Haetae seems to suck the flames into its mouth and swallow them. Other than this strange appearance, it functions exactly like the spell.

Frightful Presence (ex): See Monstrous Manual, Page 309

Improved Grab (ex): See Monstrous Manual, page 310. A Haetae may not attempt to use its Trip ability and its Improved Grab ability with the same attack.

Scent (ex): See Monstrous Manual, page 314

Trip (ex): A Haetae can make trip attacks like just as wolves do. See Monstrous Manual, page 283. Its trip modifier is +6. A Haetae may not attempt to use its Trip ability and its Improved Grab ability with the same attack.

Protective Aura (su): Treat this as a permanent Protection from Chaos spell benefitting the Haetae. This aura can be dispelled, but a Haetae may recreate it as a free action at the beginning of its next turn. (The bonuses to AC and saves are not included in the stat block.)

Aura of Darkness (su): A halo of darkness seems to surround the Haetae. Every thing within 10 ft of the Haetae, and everything seen through this area of effect seems to dim based on the distance. If in full daylight, objects within 30 feet of the Haetae appear to be in bright light, objects outside of 30 ft but within 60 ft appear to be in shadowy light, and objects outside of 60 ft appear to be in total darkness. If the object is in only bright light, it will seem as if in shadowy light within 30 feet of the Haetae, and in total darkness beyond that, and if in shadowy light, it will appear to be in total darkness. This only affects the appearance of things seen through the sphere of effect, not the actual light which may illuminate them (even if the light passes through the aura), nor things seen where the line of sight does not pass through the area of effect. This aura is famed for its ability to cause an apparent ecclipse when the Haetae stands between the observer and the sun or the moon (both of which are much, much further than 60 ft away). The Haetae's vision is not affected by its own aura, but a character's ability to see the Haetae will be. A Haetae may choose during its turn to suppress its own Aura of Darkness for a round as a free action.

Timebite (su): It is said that the great maw of a Haetae can seize time itself. While this is a bit of an exageration, the presence of Haetae has an unsalatory effect on time-based magics. Treat it, at all times, as projecting a 20-foot anti-magic field, centered on itself, except that ONLY the following are affected: The spells Augury, Foresight, Haste, Moment of Prescience, Slow, Temporal Stasis, and Time Stop; any spells (such as some wordings of a Wish) or spell-like abilities which function as these spells; and any magic item abilities or ehnahcements requiring these spells in their creation (such as a weapon with the Speed enhancement). If a magic item has multiple abilities or enhancements, only those requiring one of the listed spells are affected. (Thus, a +2 Shocking Longsword of Speed is reduced to a +2 Shocking Longsword in the area of effect.) If non-core spells and powers are allowed, the DM should determine whether or not they are affected. The Haetae may choose during its turn to suppress its Timebite ability for a round as a free action.

2007-06-02, 01:08 AM
Mordenkainen's Lucubration, and Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer don't NECESSARILY seem like time twisting spells as much as spells that convert or reformat magical energy in an inefficient but highly flexiable way... I guess the fact that one can only get back spells you had prepared that day argues against this but it is worth considering.

Do baby animals provoke it, or only babies of racies with intellegence above 2 (for the sake of arguement I mean the intellegence as adults, since an infants Intellegence score is somewhat debatable within the D&D system).

2007-06-02, 02:55 AM
The +30 to HP seems higher than the 21 (3 [con bonus] *7 [hit die]) I would expect. Natural attacks don't normally deal x1.5 str damage, since it is hard to wield your own mouth as a two handed weapon, so the Haetae might more normally deal 1d8+6 damage instead of +9. Ok, for some reason, animals add x1.5 str to damage while biting while nearly every other creature (up to and including Mr Tarrasque) add x1 str. I guess once you get more than 3 int, you forget how to bite hard...

You also didn't list a speed entry, or saves.

Design wise, a few points.

Dog-like animals and magical animals tend to get trip as a special attack and usually get track as a bonus feat. I'm not sure how much 'dog' you want in your monster so I'll leave that up to you.

Something that may make sense for a magical creature that seems to embody the lawful alignment might be a "Magic Circle against Chaos" effect always being centered on the Haetae. That would mean the Haetae and all creatures within 5 feet (normally a 10 feet radius, but the haetae takes up 5 feet of the radius in all directions, I think) gain +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saves against chaotic creatures, blocks attempts to charm and doesn't let non-Lawful summoned creatures make bodily contact. This is something outsiders usually have, but considering how lawful the Haetae is, you might consider it.

Timebite seems inelegant. When creating a monster based on a mythical creature, you don't have to fit everything about the myth into the monster [when was the last time you brought sesame seeds to kill a vampire?], just the few key aspects and the theme. The "eating the baby" thing isn't as bad, and since it seems a larger part of the myth and fits the extremely Lawful bent of the creature, I can buy it. The odds of Timebite actually coming up are so poor that were it to actually come up, it would appear to the players to be dm fiat. "The dog-lion eating the flame for your torch negates your haste." "What, why?" "It just does, live with it." If you arn't really attached to it, you might consider letting it go.

Overall, a good creature based on a lesser known mythical beast. Hopefully you'll tell us how it did in Devil's Due.

2007-06-02, 03:24 AM
I dunno... I think little quirks like that can make a monster more memorable... having a background REASON for them is more important than only having 'predictable' abilities.

2007-06-02, 12:12 PM
Made some fixes. If you don't want to scroll up and puzzle out what's changed, just keep reading.

Mordenkainen's Lucubration and Rary's Mnemonic Enhancer removed from Timebite. I was really waffling back and forth on those, and since they were the FIRST things that jumped out at the FIRST poster, they had to go. Currently debating whether to ADD Quickened spells to the list.

Added a qualifier about the (lawful) subtype to the baby-eating paragraph.

HP reduced to +21. That was a math error on my part -- somehow the rank 10 skills conflated in my mind with hp * con.

Put in the speed (60 ft -- they're dang fast) and saves (Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +6).

Added Track and Trip.

Added a permanent Protection from Chaos effect. I'd been waffling back and forth on this (especially liking the charm-blocking), and thought it'd make the Haetae too powerful, but since its ABSENCE jumped out so very readilly at the second person to read it through, in it goes.

Added a clause to Timebite saying that, if only some powers or enhancements of a magic item requires those spells to create, then only those powers or enhancements are suppressed.

Things I didn't change:

Yes, it will eat the babies of animals even if they have an int < 3. However, as most herd animals are born able to walk, they get... well, they get a walk. Also, note that the exception for (lawful) subtypes means that a Haetae won't eat its own whelps. (Yeah. That's an important qualifier, there.)

I know Timebite's inelegant. However, the group I play with likes weird stuff like that. Especially if I make it a recurring creature, which I just might. And this isn't quite like a vampire, because there's much MORE in the way of vampire myth. If we included every aspect of the vampire into its entry, its entry would be longer than that of all the dragons combined. Here, I hit every aspect (that I know about) and got a reasonably-sized entry.

Oh, and as for why it's str x 1.5: Natural weapons are supposed to be str x 1.5 if they're the creature's ONLY natural weapon (according to the Monstrous Manual). Look at the Leopard and Lion entries to see the contrast.

Still looking for feedback on the power level....

EDIT: Also, any idea what its LA would be? I've already figured out that its favored class should be Monk.