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The Vorpal Tribble
2008-08-31, 09:13 AM
Red Death

http://tn3-2.deviantart.com/fs8/300W/i/2005/294/1/a/Red_Death__With_Background__by_QAZklh.jpg

Medium Fey (extraplanar, incorporeal)
Hit Dice: 13d6+78 (123 hp)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 50 ft. (12 squares)
Armor Class: 19 (+6 deflection, +3 dex), touch 19, flat-footed 16; or 19 (+3 dex, +6 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 16
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/- (+9 to non-corporeals)
Attack: Incorporeal Touch +9 melee (1d8 plus red death)
Full Attack: Incorporeal Touch +9 melee (1d8 plus red death)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Disease, rage against inevitability, spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., essence of pestilence, incorporeal traits, low-light vision, spell resistance 23
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +11, Will +8
Abilities: Str - (16 to non-corporeals), Dex 17, Con 22, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 19
Skills: Hide +19, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (local) +17, Knowledge (nobility and royalty) +17, Listen +16, Perform (dance) +19, Spot +16
Feats: Cloak Dance, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Tomb-born Fortitude (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Tomb-born_Fortitude,LM), Tomb-tainted Soul (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Tomb-tainted_Soul,LM)
Environment: Plane of Faerie
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 10
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 14-30 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: -

This appears as a gaunt being clothed in exquisite suite of brilliant scarlet whose material seems woven of silk and smoke. The face at first appears to be but a mask made to appear as a stiffened corpse with splatters of blood. However, as it's cloudy, emotionless eyes turn to you it becomes apparent that is in truth a reality. A stream of crimson continuously trickles from a corner of it's mouth and down it's chin to flow and become one with the suit.

Red Death is an assassin of the Unseelie Court, a spirit of the natural inevitability of mortal disease and suffering. They are often the cause of great plagues. They are indiscriminate to who they affect but are wont to pursue those that make a special attempt to hide from the disease. In particular they are angered by mortals who think themselves above disease and death and thus often give special attention to nobility. Red deaths have a flair for the dramatic and often appear first at parties, dancing with his victims and infecting them one by one...

Red Deaths speak all the languages of mortals plus Sylvan.

Combat
Red Death tends to use their Rage Against Inevitabilty to throw their victims into a frenzy, leading them on a chase until they have exhausted themselves. They then close in and infect them in their weakened state.

Disease (Ex): Red Death ó touch, Fortitude DC 22, incubation period 1d3 minutes, damage 1d4 Dex and sweating blood. Victims takes 1d4 points of damage per minute from blood loss, though can stave off that minute's damage with another fortitude save. Those who fail their save and begin sweating blood can infect as well. Elementals, Fey and Outsiders (extraplanar) are immune to this disease. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Essence of Pestilence (Ex): A red death is immune to disease, death effects, and energy drain, though takes 3d8 points of damage from a Remove Disease spell.

Rage Against Inevitability (Ex): Red Death can trigger in mortal creatures an instinctive rage. The target is not only affected as the Goad (http://realmshelps.dandello.net/cgi-bin/feats.pl?Goad,CAd) feat, but they must succeed on a DC 20 will save or become utterly obsessed with pursuing and striking down the Red Death. While in this fury the opponent takes a +2 bonus to Strength and Constitution, though takes a -6 penalty to his or her AC and may not use spot or listen checks unless it relates to pursuing the red death. This rage lasts for as long as they can see the red death and for 1d4 minutes afterwards. At the end of this rage they are Fatigued. The victim cannot rage again while fatigued. This is a mind-affecting rage effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Spell-like Abilities: Caster level 13th. Save DC's are Charisma-based.
Continuous - Deathwatch
3/day - Finger of Death (DC 22), Silence (DC 16).

azalinthegreat
2008-08-31, 03:26 PM
Wow...I gotta say, I like it. Particularly, I like the "Rage against inevitability" thing, I'm a big fan of anything that gives a trade-off like that.

The only thing I'd be worried about is that this guy doesn't seem to have the basic defenses, Spell Resistance and Damage Reduction. At that level, I've found that most creatures, no matter how powerful, fall pretty easily without those two.

The Vorpal Tribble
2008-08-31, 03:36 PM
The only thing I'd be worried about is that this guy doesn't seem to have the basic defenses, Spell Resistance and Damage Reduction. At that level, I've found that most creatures, no matter how powerful, fall pretty easily without those two.
Well, it has no need for damage reduction being incorporeal. You already have to hit it with magic to hurt it. Spell resistance might be in order though.

Keep in mind it is also in how you play a creature. It infects until those with spells come around... so it hides in walls or whatnot and strikes them as they pass. It is literally a hit and run.

azalinthegreat
2008-08-31, 03:43 PM
Fair enough. I'd still throw in a little damage reduction, even if it's just 2/- or something. But if you don't think it's needed, I'm sure you could play it very well without the DR. I just find that it makes a creature much more dangerous, and makes the combat last longer.

Spell resistance would be good too. I once ran a campaign with a really powerful spellcaster, who was supposed to give the players a run for their money. He did alright, but eventually he got hit with a baleful polymorph and...well, that was it for him. I didn't properly account for one-hit-kill spells like that, and seeing him as a toad made him much less threatoning.

Icewalker
2008-08-31, 09:09 PM
...wow.

I was going to stat this up. My complete works of Shakespeare book that I'm reading mentions in the introduction a thing about two men, one in red with a sword, and one in blue with a mace, representing the end of the world and rapture.

You did a better job than I ever could, of course.

Prometheus
2008-08-31, 09:27 PM
The literature in question is Poe actually (read it here (http://www.online-literature.com/poe/36/), it's a good 'un). That's really awesome to make something from Poe. You are officially my hero.

That makes a really well put together monster, thematically and mechanically. My only criticism I would have imagined it a lot lower powered, but I suppose if we take Red Death as a one time phenomenon rather than a larger species, it is quite necessary for it to be that tough.

Icewalker
2008-08-31, 10:37 PM
I believe it may be a reference by Poe to a very old play.

There is a description of a bit of a play from Shakespeare's time, quoted from Ralph Willis, born the same year as Shakespeare.

...two old men, the one in blue with a sergeant-at-arms his mace on his shoulder, the other in red with a drawn sword in his hand, and leaning with the other hand upon the other's shoulder...the two old men, the end of the world and the last judgment."

It's possible that they are just unconnected, I suppose. That story looks pretty awesome though.

The Glyphstone
2008-08-31, 10:51 PM
That Red Death seems a little harsh - it's effectively a Save-or-Die that bypasses immunity to death effects, as it's technically a Disease. Unless the Cleric prepared Remove Disease for some reason (extremely unlikely, as even Mummy Rot - the next fastest-maturing disease - can't kill you in one day), the infected person is absolutely toast...even if the group made camp on the spot, that'd be (1d4x60x8=480d4 damage taken by the poor shmuck who bombed his Fort save before he could get his healing mojo on.

The Vorpal Tribble
2008-09-01, 08:57 AM
That Red Death seems a little harsh - it's effectively a Save-or-Die that bypasses immunity to death effects, as it's technically a Disease. Unless the Cleric prepared Remove Disease for some reason (extremely unlikely, as even Mummy Rot - the next fastest-maturing disease - can't kill you in one day), the infected person is absolutely toast...even if the group made camp on the spot, that'd be (1d4x60x8=480d4 damage taken by the poor shmuck who bombed his Fort save before he could get his healing mojo on.
What about the basilisk? It's only a CR 5 but can for all intended purposes kill everyone in 30 feet who fails their save, every round. You can't even prepare Stone Into Flesh until you are 12th level.

This guy could die and you prepare Raise Dead before you could fix someone from the basilisk, except at this guy's CR you'd actually be able to cast it.

azalinthegreat
2008-09-01, 10:53 AM
That's a good point. While I don't really strictly mind the "save or die" thing, I don't really think it's what you're going for with this.

So, I suggest you keep it like this, but allow some way for the victim to somehow survive without a spell. A heal check with a very high DC or something, or killing the Red Death.

The Vorpal Tribble
2008-09-01, 11:05 AM
That's already covered under the heal skill.

Treat Disease: To treat a disease means to tend a single diseased character. Every time he or she makes a saving throw against disease effects, you make a Heal check. The diseased character uses your check result or his or her saving throw, whichever is higher.


So technically you could keep him alive indefinitely if you made enough skill checks.

azalinthegreat
2008-09-01, 11:08 AM
Doh. Didn't catch that. Okay, then I think it's a fair enough attack. Gonna drive some players crazy though, haha.

Debihuman
2008-09-01, 12:06 PM
I think Edgar Allan Poe would be pleased with this one. I always loved The Masque of the Red Death.

I agree that the SR 23 is a good idea. Since red deaths comes from the Plane of Faerie, they could easily be minions of the the Queen of Air and Darkness. It's nice to see some subtlety in a creature.

Debby

The Glyphstone
2008-09-01, 01:42 PM
That's already covered under the heal skill.

Treat Disease: To treat a disease means to tend a single diseased character. Every time he or she makes a saving throw against disease effects, you make a Heal check. The diseased character uses your check result or his or her saving throw, whichever is higher.


So technically you could keep him alive indefinitely if you made enough skill checks.

It's a good point about the gaze attacks - but they can be protected against, it just make it a lot harder to kill the monster. It just seems kinda sneaky (which is appropriate for Unseelie, given) this way, being save-or-die in disguise.

I'm not certain the Heal skill can help though...you only get a save against an ongoing disease every 24 hours, and the character doesn't count as being infected unless they fail that initial Fortitude save, so you can't use Heal to replace their save. If you're meaning to use Treat Disease to help keep them alive, I'd suggest adding a line under Red Death akin to:
"A character with the Heal skill can try to postpone the effects of the Red Death. A successful Heal check with a DC equal to the Save DC of Red Death can negate the bleed damage of Red Death for one hour. This check may only be attempted once per minute (or some other suitable time period).

The Vorpal Tribble
2008-09-02, 10:16 AM
I'm not certain the Heal skill can help though...you only get a save against an ongoing disease every 24 hours, and the character doesn't count as being infected unless they fail that initial Fortitude save, so you can't use Heal to replace their save.
Where are you getting all that? I don't see anything like that in the text of Heal.

"Treating a disease or tending a creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell takes 10 minutes of work."

But it also says each time you make a saving throw against a disease check you make a heal check. I specifically mentioned making a check every minute to stave off that round's damage. Since it is a check against a disease it counts.

And btw...

That Red Death seems a little harsh - it's effectively a Save-or-Die that bypasses immunity to death effects, as it's technically a Disease.
Far more creatures have immunity to disease than death effects.

Ascension
2008-09-02, 10:25 AM
Oh, man, this is great. I've always loved that short story.

Too bad anyone who paid attention in high school English would see it coming from a mile away if you started describing Prospero's fortified abbey, and the Red Death itself isn't nearly as stylish without the color-coded rooms.

TeeEl
2008-09-02, 12:21 PM
Where are you getting all that? I don't see anything like that in the text of Heal.

"Treating a disease or tending a creature wounded by a spike growth or spike stones spell takes 10 minutes of work."

:smallconfused: Hmmm...


Use of the Heal skill can help a diseased character. Every time a diseased character makes a saving throw against disease effects, the healer makes a check. The diseased character can use the healerís result in place of his saving throw if the Heal check result is higher. The diseased character must be in the healerís care and must have spent the previous 8 hours resting.

Obscurejones
2008-09-02, 04:21 PM
This will haunt my PC's. This'll teach em not to mock an English major!:smallamused:

The Vorpal Tribble
2008-09-04, 08:19 AM
Ok, may I just say diseases in D&D were obviously made by two people separately.

Zeta Kai
2008-09-04, 08:39 AM
Ok, may I just say diseases in D&D were obviously made by two people separately.

Why do you say that? Do you see an inherent schizophrenia about the rules for diseases?

DracoDei
2008-09-04, 08:53 AM
Noted. So just specify explicitly how much of the time between checks the healer has to be spending on the person before they can add a Heal check as a back-up to the Fortitude save.

fangthane
2008-09-04, 11:34 AM
Here's another wrinkle you'll need to explicitly contradict if you want it to be untrue:

"Two successful saving throws in a row indicate that he has fought off the disease and recovers, taking no more damage."
- From the SRD on disease.

And I quite agree, there are few places as clear an indication of a committee-build as the skill-check substitutions, but do bear in mind that typically diseases are set for a 1-day interval between their effects, which is obviously the intent of the 8-hour requirement. They just don't want people able to spend a minute "healing", then rest 8 hours and continue knowing they've got almost a full day before the next save.

Grax Hellfire
2008-09-04, 11:37 PM
Come on people! It is the Red "Death." It is like tuberculosis on steroids, it is meant to kill people.

Magnor Criol
2008-09-05, 09:32 AM
Come on people! It is the Red "Death." It is like tuberculosis on steroids, it is meant to kill people.

This is very true, but DnD isn't a game about dying. It's a game about a group of people not dying, though they'll come close several times. So the problem is whether or not characters have a reasonable chance to not die from this guy. It shouldn't be a cakewalk, but it shouldn't be nigh-unlikely, either.

I don't have a head for balancing and mechanics, so I don't know where that ability falls on the balance spectrum, but this is a well-designed creature nonetheless. I particularly like the evocative description of the blood trickling down its chin and becoming part of its vestments...nice imagery. Another hit, milord.

Debihuman
2008-09-05, 10:22 AM
If you wish to mimic harsh diseases that can kill quickly, you only need to look at cholera where death can occur in less than 24 hours. While I am a great proponent of game balance, I don't necessarily think that a fast-acting disease necessarily breaks the rules so much as is an exception to the rules.

I might have written the rules differently and noted the exceptions to the rules. Here's how I would have looked at it.

Disease (Su and Ex): Red Death is a particularly virulant disease which usually results in death in a very short period of time. It it passed by touch, Fortitude DC 22, incubation period 1d3 minutes, damage 1d4 Dex and sweating blood. Victims takes 1d4 points of damage per minute from blood loss, though they can stave off that minute's damage with another Fortitude save. Those who fail their save begin sweating blood and can infect others as well. Elementals, Fey and Outsiders (extraplanar) are immune to this disease. The save DC is Constitution-based. Successful saves do not allow the character to recover. Only magical healing can save the character.

Grey Watcher
2008-09-05, 11:36 PM
If you wish to mimic harsh diseases that can kill quickly, you only need to look at cholera where death can occur in less than 24 hours. While I am a great proponent of game balance, I don't necessarily think that a fast-acting disease necessarily breaks the rules so much as is an exception to the rules.

I might have written the rules differently and noted the exceptions to the rules. Here's how I would have looked at it.

Disease (Su and Ex): Red Death is a particularly virulant disease which usually results in death in a very short period of time. It it passed by touch, Fortitude DC 22, incubation period 1d3 minutes, damage 1d4 Dex and sweating blood. Victims takes 1d4 points of damage per minute from blood loss, though they can stave off that minute's damage with another Fortitude save. Those who fail their save begin sweating blood and can infect others as well. Elementals, Fey and Outsiders (extraplanar) are immune to this disease. The save DC is Constitution-based. Successful saves do not allow the character to recover. Only magical healing can save the character.

It looks good, though I don't know if an ability can be Su AND Ex at once. I think Extaordinary, Supernatural, and Spell-like are meant to be mutually exclusive terms (since they mostly relate to who the ability interacts with things like counterspelling and anti-magic fields.

Oh, and for some reason, I really want to try updating this monster to 4th edition. Y'know, try out the monster-building rules with an really cool idea.

MythMage
2008-09-07, 03:19 PM
Very cool creature, with stylish execution. I would grant it DR 5/ or 10/cold iron, just because that's a hallmark of powerful fey.

An ability can't be wholly Ex and Su at the same time. However, an ability can have separate parts which are Ex and Su. For example, a creature may have a Grace-like ability that grants them a resistance bonus to saves and an insight bonus to attacks. The resistance bonus could be Su while the insight bonus was Ex. Only the Su part would vanish in an antimagic field.

However, in this case, the disease is explicitly like mummy rot (magical), and so should simply be supernatural.