2006-05-17, 11:07 AM
Part 1: Mythology: The Crystal Blight
* Psionics came to the world only very recently, before which only the Mindflayers who came from the future and the Aboleths, who have been on the earth longer than the gods themselves had any psionic ability. About two years ago a stalwart party of adventurers came across a finely wrought mirror made of a strange silver glass that was as hard as diamond. The adventurers, as adventurers are want to do, figured out a way to activate the mirror, which the wizard figured was some sort of divination tool. It wasn't. With a few strange words and a gesture, our heroes changed the world forever.
* The mirror’s history is much longer. The mirror was made when the Old Gods lifted the dry land from the infinite depths of the poison sea and the first beings were crated to populate it. These were perfect creations, immortal like their creators and each directly set with a path and function. The first among these was Bareituthul (Ba-rí-too-thul), set to rule over all other creations and represent the will of the Gods on the new earth. Others were made, Runnerman (Rune-er-man), The Wealthy One, set to find and protect that which was precious in the world, Jarmatha (Jar-math-à), The Caller, set to know and announce the beginning and end of each Age, *Morill (More-ill), The Dreamer, set to spin the prophesy that would keep the earth from stagnation, Tyniara (Tie-nee-ar-a), The Wind Sorceress, set to keep the passage of Time constant and unyielding, Mythra (Myth-ra), The Unquenchable Flame, set to burn away all that was unneeded, Nicodemas (Nick-o-dee-mas), The Keeper, set to watch over that which was dead, and Indorill (End-or-ill), The Key, set to guard the gate to the heavens. All eight watched and kept their posts as the Old Gods made new life to populate this earth.
* Bareituthul, however, grew jealous of the Old Gods that made him. Though the Old Gods granted him rule over all they created, his authority could still be disputed by them. He set out to change the creatures the gods had created, but he did not have the power to do so. He went in secret to his brothers and sisters, one by one, and used his power over them to join them to himself. After this he took a new name, The Eight, and used Indorill’s power to unlock the power of creation. With this he spun the first Crystal Shard, an imperfect being of nonliving rock. He sent this shard to infect one of the creatures the Old Gods had made. This transformed the Old Gods’ creature into a new one, of living crystal born with a power completely separate from the magic of the Old Gods.
* When the Old Gods noticed that one of their creatures was missing, and that the Heavens had been unlocked, they immediately searched for Bareituthul to ask him for the reason of his treachery. When they found him he lashed at them with his new creation. The Old Gods watched in horror as the abomination ignored their commands and attacked, moving past their defenses as if they were non-existent. The Old Gods retaliated, but found they could not destroy the creature as their spells had no effect. The battle in the sky frightened the creatures on the surface of the earth. Most ran into the poisoned sea and died. Those that were corrupted by Bareituthul’s Shard survived, though the sea warped their bodies into the horrid creatures known as Aboleths today.
* Seeing that Bareituthul would kill them with time, the Old Gods bound his creation in a mirror made of Truestone, an unbreakable sliver rock from the center of the world. Knowing he would be next, Bareituthul used Morill’s power to spin the prophesy of his return, that he would rise again to rule the land with his creation. The Old Gods slew Indorill, and locked Bareituthul in the heavens, where he would be unable to influence the surface. The battle was too much for the Old Gods, and one by one they threw themselves into the sea and land, cleansing it and filling it with life, unruled life. With the Old Gods gone, Bareituthul and his creation could only wait and watch, until their prophesy came to fruition.
* This life, with time, gave power to new Gods, new races, new kings, new empires, and finally to our four heroes, who found the mirror the Old Gods made and opened it, releasing Bareituthul’s creation, and its powers, onto the world again. The creature, in its many millennia of solitude, atrophied into the single crystal shard that created it. This shard shattered when the adventurers struck it, shooting out and infecting everything it struck. This phenomenon, known as the Crystal Blight to scholars, gave rise to new creatures, gifted with a power that ignored magic. However, these new creatures where made from inferior stock, and have do not have the protections from normal magic, arcane or divine, that the original did.
* Rules wise, Psionics are a power separate from magic. It is essentially playing with no transparency. Psionic powers and abilites bypass spell resistance, dwarves’ resistance to spells, and anti-magic fields, but magic likewise bypasses anti-psionic fields and the like. Psionic powers can only be granted by the Crystal Blight disease (discussed later) or through psionic items crafted from crystal from a blighted area.
2006-05-17, 11:08 AM
Part 2: Monsters: The Creatures of the Glass
New subtype: Crystalborn
”Glass! The entire glade turned to glass! I thought I had gone mad, that I had been wrong about those mushrooms being safe and I was just in a delirium. That thought left when I saw the creatures there, no fungus dream could have conjured those things. They glittered like rough cut gems, melding in and out of the glass that covered the ground. I tore out of there after that, I have enough to worry about without being attacked by some crystal monster.”
--- Jerod Skinner, Forester
When the Crystal Shard shattered, it left fragments in different places across the world. Those fragments merged with the surrounding wildlife making new creatures. These Crystalborn have a variety of shapes and abilities, depending on where the fragment that spawned them landed, but they all share common traits.
Crystalborn Traits: All Crystalborn have these traits, unless otherwise noted in their entry.
-Immunity to Electricity.
-Resistance to Acid and Fire 20.
-Glasswalking (Su): All Crystalborn have the ability to merge in and out of unworked crystaline formations (most commonly the "glass" covering areas where crystal blight has taken hold). As a move action, crystalborn can Meld with Stone as the spell except that they can only meld into unworked crystal instead of any stone.
-Linked Minds (Su): All non-mindless Crystalborn are psionicly attuned to others of their kind within 30 feet. If one Crystalborn is flanking a creature, all Crystalborn within 30 feet get the bonus to hit that creature as if they were flanking it. Also, no Crystalborn is considered flanked unless all other Crystalborn within 30 feet are also flanked.
-Telepathy out to 300 feet. Because this is their only way of communicating, Crystalborn do not often wander very far away from their brethren.
Besides the traits listed above, all Crystalborn carry the dreaded Crystal Blight disease discribed below.
Disease: Crystal Blight - DC Variable - Incubation 1 day - Damage 1d6 Dex and 1d3 Con.
The disease slowly calcifies any creature infected with it, turning them to crystal. Though a creature may stave off the disease with a sucessful saving throw, after the disease is contracted the disease is extremely hard to remove. No amount of saving throws can cure a creature. A creature that dies of con damage before it reaches 0 dex shatters and forms a Shimmershard Swarm. Any creature that reaches 0 dex before it dies of the con damage is completely covered in a crystal crysalis and emerges 1d6 days later with the Blightform template. Any Mindless creatures infected always form Shimmershard Swarms regardless of which stat reaches 0 first. Due to the psionic nature of the disease, arcane or divine magic that cure diseases have no effect on it's progress. The damage to ability scores can be healed, but it only slows the inevitable death or transformation. The only way to cure the disease is to heal any ability damage caused by it and surgically remove any crystal deposits. The procedure requires one hour a DC 25 heal check and deals 5d6 damage to the patient.
First Incarnation: The Shimmershard Swarm
"You know that stained glass window in the Church of Pelor by the Lord's Manor? Immagine if each one of those pieces decided to get up out of the window and dance around like leaves blowing in the wind. Only, it wasn't like that at all, the crystals wern't moving like leaves. It was more like cogs in a clock, they all moved at once in sort of a dance. Each time one moved out of a spot, another one moved to fill the spot. The lot of them attacked like a swarm of birds, diving and cutting. Poor Jeoffrey was torn to shreds, but I managed to get away with only a scratch, my arm is still stiff but it is alot better than being dead."
--- Indo Burthsmouth, Blackhammer Mercenary
Diminutive Aberration (Crystalborn, Psionic, Swarm)
Hit Dice: 12d8+12 (60 hp)
Speed: Fly 40 ft. (8 squares) Perfect
Armor Class: 23 (+4 size,+4 dex, +5 natural), touch 18, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +8/-
Attack: Swarm (4d6+disease)
Full Attack: Swarm (4d6+disease)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Distraction, disease, shine
Special Qualities: Crystalborn traits, hive mind, immunity to weapon damage, mindsight, psi-like abilites, swarm traits
Saves: Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +13
Abilities: Str 4, Dex 20, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 2
Skills: Concentration +9, Psicraft +7
Feats: Speed of Thought, Iron Will, Great Fortitude, Lighting Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Quicken psi-like ability (Specified Energy Adaptation)B, Ability Focus (Shine)B
Environment: Any (Blighted)
Organization: Solitary, Group (2-4), Colony (5-10)
Challenge Rating: 10
Alignment: Always lawful neutral
Level Adjustment: —
A Shimmershard Swarm is the weakest incarnation of the Crystalborn. Though they appear to be elemental or construct in shape close inspection of an individual Shimmershard reveals that inside its sharp crystal exterior there is a web of thin connective tissue. This stores psionic energy and forms a hive mind when enough Shimmershards are present. While swarming, each piece acts systematically and methodically giving a logical appearance to each ones place and movement. In combat, a Shimmershard swarm usually protects itself with force screen and defensive precognition before moving in to surround its opponents. If its enemies attack it with a certain element, the Shimmershard swarm protects itself with a quickened specified energy adaptation. If fighting multiple opponents, it tries to infect as many as it can with Crystal Blight.
Disease (Ex): Crystal Blight DC 17
Distraction (Ex): Any living creature that begins its turn in the same square as a Shimmershard Swarm must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or be Nauseated for one round.
Hive Mind (Ex): A Shimmershard Swarm with at least one hit point per hit die forms a Hive Mind giving it an intelligence of 8. If a Shimmershard Swarm falls below this total, it becomes mindless.
Mindsight (Su): A Shimmershard Swarm has the ability to attune it’s telepathic abilities to seek out active minds. To represent this a Shimmershard Swarm is considered to have blindsight out to 300 feet to any thinking creature. As this is a psionic ability, it bypasses magical attempts to hide thoughts.
Psi-like Abilities (Ps): A non-mindless Shimmershard Swarm has the ability to assemble its members into pathways of psionic power allowing it to use defensive precognition, force screen, and specified energy adaptation three times per day. It also has the power to use bodily adjustment once per day. All powers are Manifested Level 4th.
Shine (Ex): A Shimmershard Swarm can coat its members in ectoplasm as a full round action, making them reflect and intensify light until the ectoplasm is dismissed (which can be done by the swarm as a free action). Any creature that begins its turn in the square of a coated Shimmershard Swarm must succeed on a DC 19 fortitude save or be blinded for the entirety of the time in the swarm and one round afterwards. This ability does not function in areas with shadowy or worse illumination. The ectoplasm can be dismissed by psionic powers such as dismiss ectoplasm forcing the Swarm to spend a full round re-coating itself.
Second Incarnation: The Emerald Sentinel
"In these times of change the Holy Western Empire of Her Majesty the High Queen faces new enemies that seem to subvert the very land underneath our feet. These enemies, called the Crystal Blight by the slaves, seem to reproduce by transforming their victims by means of a disease, much like the Slaad. It has fallen on to me to study one of the larger forms of these subverters, known as the Emerald Sentinels. While alive, these strange creatures were seen floating above the crystallized areas hit hardest by the invaders. About the size of a man, these green, muti-faceted gems float without any detectable means of propulsion. They attack from afar, utilizing some unknown power to launch missiles of elemental energy. When forced into melee combat by a flying opponent, the true form of the beast is revealed. The true body of the creatures is made of some sort of viscous translucent material. The form of each Sentinel varies but each has four heavy limbs and a pair of bat-like wings, though the wings appear cosmetic as they do not appear to effect the creatures flying ability one way or another..."
--- En'teirnal, Investigator of the Holy Western Empire
Medium Aberration (Crystalborn, Psionic)
Hit Dice: 20d8+40 (120 hp)
Speed: Fly 80 ft. (8 squares) Perfect
Armor Class: 21 (+2 dex, +9 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +15/+16
Attack: Slam +20 (1d6+4+Cuncussion)
Full Attack: 4 Slams +20 (1d6+4+Cuncussion)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Concussion, disease, stun
Special Qualities: Crystalborn traits, DR 5/-, psi-like abilites
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +6, Will +16
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 20, Cha 10
Skills: Concentration +23, Psicraft +23
Feats: Speed of Thought, Iron Will, Great Fortitude, Lighting Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Weapon Focus (Slam), Empower Psi-like ability (energy missile)
Environment: Any (Blighted)
Organization: Solitary, Group (2-4), Colony (5-10)
Challenge Rating: 13
Alignment: Always lawful neutral
Level Adjustment: —
The diverse Emerald Sentinels make up the main stay of the Crystalborn. They can hold a fight in either long range combat, with their energy missile psi-like ability or up close by forming ectoplasmic limbs to strike with. These aberrations are most feared in large groups for the can not use their psi-like abilities and hold their ectoplasmic bodies together at the same time.
Concussion (Su): To be hit with an ectoplasmic slam by an Emerald Sentinel is especially dangerous to thinking creatures. Along with spreading Crystal Blight disease, the slam shakes mental processes causing an additional 1d6 damage which bypasses damage reduction. Also any thinking creature struck by an Emerald Sentinel must make a DC 14 fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round.
Disease (Ex): Crystal Blight DC 19
Psi-like Abilities (Ps): An Emerald Sentinel has the ability to use energy missle (DC 17) at will which is its main form of ranged attack. It also has the power to use expansion once per day. All powers are Manifested Level 9th.
Third Incarnation: The Ruby Scorpion
”There is a new god in the desert my brothers, a god of light and stone. It is massive and silent and it cares for nothing but the consumption of all that lives. When I first saw the glittering lights in the salt flats I thought that Xendron had granted us another boon of water and I had stumbled upon his surprise. When I got closer, I realized that the glitter was not from water, but from a clear stone that has covered the entire flats. There were creatures that moved on and in that stone covering and were glinting and horrible to look upon. I was about to report to Xendron of these new invaders, that he might destroy them as the he did the lizards and dwarves that came before, but I noticed something about the largest of the creatures that chilled my blood. The beast was blood red and had eight spindly legs, two large fists, and a curving tail much like a scorpion. When I looked I thought I saw something familiar about it. It took me only a moment to realize, that the tip of its tail was not a sting, but the face of our Lord Xendron. The Sapphire Drake has fallen, and the new god has divvied his body among its servants.”
--- Indo Scale-speaker, High-Priest of the Bluehorn orc tribe
The dreaded Ruby Scorpion is a relatively rare form of Crystalborn, only appearing when the blighted area spreads tens of miles over a large open area. Built much like a large monstrous scorpion the beast has crystal fists instead of claws. The Scorpions have powerful psi-like abilities like hail of crystals and hostile empathic transfer but its most unique feature and most dreaded attack is its assume hostility ability. When struck in melee combat, a Ruby Scorpion may assume that attack, copying it to the end of its tail for use for itself. For example, if a Ruby Scorpion was bit by a mature adult blue dragon, it could use its assume hostility ability to gain that attack. The Scorpion’s tail would shift into the visage of a blue dragon’s maw and the Scorpion’s main attack would do 2d8+1.5xStrength damage. This ability does not gain energy damage of an attack nor any magical properties an attack has, but if an attack is psionicly augmented, such as by a collision or mindcrusher enhancement then the Scorpion’s attack also bears those properties.
New Template: Blightform
"I have no choice but to pull out my support in the defense of your town, Lord Boreth. While I am bound by contract to defend your town from harm from any source natural or unnatural. I find that my presence here can prove no help from the recent threat of the Crystal Blight. Furthermore, from the evidence in the case of Indo Burthsmouth I must say that our continued incursions into the blighted area will only enhance it's strength. Indo was transformed by some sort of disease that the glass creatures spread. His flesh was warped and twisted, his eyes and bones turned to glass like the creatures that infected him. Futhermore, it seems that a transformed creature has the capability to spread the same disease. I have lost over twenty men, who knows how many died of the disease and were transformed. I can see no end to this. My suggestion is to evacuate your town and call in the Imperial Army. Not that they would come, as they are busy fighting the elves to the west."
---Joe "One-Eye" Kormogan, Leader of the Blackhammer Mercenaries
The Blightform template can be applied to any living, corporeal, non-mindless creature here refered to as the base creature.
A Blightform creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and abilities except as noted here. Do not recalculate the creature’s Hit Dice, base attack bonus, saves, or skill points.
Size and Type: Type changes to Abberation and it gains the Crystalborn and Psionic sub-types. The base creature retains any subtypes that designate kind (such as Aquatic or Fire) but not those that designate a type of other creature (such as Goblinoid).
Armor Class: Natural armor improves by +4 (this stacks with any natural armor bonus the base creature has).
Special Attacks: A Blightform creature with an Intelligence or Wisdom score of 8 or higher has psi-like abilities depending on its Hit Dice, as indicated on the table. The abilities are cumulative. Unless otherwise noted, an ability is usable once per day. Manifester level equals the creature’s HD, and the save DC is Charisma-based.
1-2 Entangling Ectoplasm 3/day
3-4 Inflict Pain
5-6 Psionic Blast 3/day
7-8 Death Urge
9-10 Psichic Crush
11-12 Psionic Disintegrate
15-16 True Matabalism
17-18 Timeless Body
Special Qualities: A Blightform creature gains all of the qualities of a Crystalborn creature. A Blightform creature loses the ability to communicate intelligibly with any creature (even through Telepathy) except other Crystalborn. The DC of the Crystal Blight disease is 15 + Constitution modifier. Crystal Blight is spread through damage delt by natural attacks or non-reach melee weapons.
Abilites:Increase from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Con +4, Int +4, Cha +4.
Challenge Rating: HD 4 or less, as base creature +2; HD 5 to 10, as base creature +3; HD 11 or more, as base creature +4.
Level Ajustment: +5, but you would have to either remove the communication limitation or all be Blightform creatures.
2006-05-17, 11:10 AM
Part 3: Items: Blightborn tools
"Magic with magic, steel with steel, and blight with blight."
---Furmor Darkanvil, Duergar Artificier
Crafted out of gold wire and Blightrock (substitute any crystal substance for other worlds) a Mindcatcher is a powerful protective talisman crafted to absorb psionic energy and suspend it. Any time the wearer of a Mindcatcher is targeted by a psionic power or psi-like ability they can choose to absorb it into the Mindcatcher. The manifester of the power must then attempt a manifester level check opposed by the Mindcatcher’s manifester level. If this check is failed by the manifester of the power and the power is under the maximum power point limit the power is absorbed into the Mindcatcher and the wearer is unharmed. This effect stops chaining powers at the wearer of the Mindcatcher. At any time thereafter, by spending an amount of time equal to the time it took to manifest the power, the wearer of the Mindcatcher may release the power locked in the talisman and use the power as if the original manifester had cast it. Each time the item expends a power, the Mindcatcher has a 50% chance of burning out and becoming useless. Any one Mindcatcher can only be used to store one power at a time.
Variable Psychokinesis; Manifester Level: the maximum power point limit; leech field and reddopsi; Price: maximum power point limit squared x1000 gp
2006-05-17, 11:11 AM
Part 4: Race: Elm-Tiela
“They looked like drow in crystal armor, sir. One of them attacked with two energy blades that our counter-mages couldn’t dispel, and the other just screamed at us as out ballistae flew 30 feet in the air and crashed into the cavalry.”
---Gimble Goodrock, Musician in the 201st Halberdiers
As far as my actual campaign goes, the blight hasn't been around long enough for these guys to show up. They come in to being around 120 years after the first signs of the Crystal Blight. The Elm-Tiela (Shard-Slaves in Western Elven) came about as a result of the elves of the Holy Western Empire experimenting with Blightborn. After years of research and hundreds of failed experiments trying to create a controllable psionic race the elves finally stumbled upon a viable one. When a certain off-shoot of drow, a rare sub-species with no spell resistance and limited telepathic capabilities, was infected with Crystal Blight and allowed to form into a chrysalis it did not create a Blightborn drow. Instead, it created a dark-skinned elf, plated with ebony and violet crystal. This new race could communicate normally and while it lacked the telepathic and extra-sensory powers of the Blightborn, it also did not spread their disease. These new slaves spearheaded the invasion of the Eastern Empire as their abilities functioned in the Dampening Fields that the Eastern Empire erected around their boarders.
::Elf-born: Except where noted, the Elm-Tiela have the abilities of an elf.
::+2 int, +2 wis, -2 con: The crystal "armor" that Elm-Tiela posess acts as a sort of psionic focus, making them unusually intelligent and perceptive. However, they do retain the frailty of their elven stock. This replaces the elf's stats.
::Medium: As Medium Creatures, Elm-Tiela have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
::Elm-Tiela have a land speed is 30 feet.
::Humanoid (Elf): Though they look different, Elm-Tiela retain the basic structure of an elf.
::+3 Natural Armor: Elm-Tiela are plated with ebony and violet crystal bands that protect them from harm.
::Curse of the Blight: The Elm-Tiela are born via a mutation of the Crystal Blight disease, and while they do not exhibit most of the symptoms, they are cursed by its presence none the less. All Elm-Tiela are immune to Crystal Blight, but take a -2 penalty to charisma based skill checks due to the effect Crystal Blight has on the mind. Furthermore, all Elm-Tiela are sterile, the only way to make more is to create them via the process indicated above.
::Metacreative Master: Elm-Tiela have +2 Manifester Level on all Metacreativity powers.
::Naturally Psionic: Elm-Tiela gain 1 bonus power point at 1st level. This benefit does not grant them the ability to manifest powers unless they gain that ability through another source, such as levels in a psionic class.
::Psionic Attunement (Su): The Elm-Tiela can detect the resonace of the power that made them. Any Elm-Tiela can manifest Detect Psionics as a supernatural ability at will with the manifester level equal to thier hit dice.
::Level Ajustment +2
::Favored Class: Psychic Warrior
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