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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Meh, I feel like it enhances the concept of the Mindflayers as these strange alien aberrations who've been doing horrible things to other races for a millennia when there's actual remains of those experiments, either abandoned or escaped across the Underdark, the legacy of centuries of attempts at creating the perfect slaves.
    Last edited by War_lord; 2017-03-13 at 02:48 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #92
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    There are, perhaps, 40 humanoid races in the MM? Therefore ~10% of them are the result of the illithids messing up someone in the past.
    Plus I think there's more, it's tickling at the back of my mind (no mind flayer tentacle joke required, mmmkay?).
    It makes sense, though, given how powerful they are, and how long they've influenced the world

  3. - Top - End - #93
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    It makes sense, though, given how powerful they are, and how long they've influenced the world
    And all the aboleths could come up with were chuul?
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

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  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    And all the aboleths could come up with were chuul?
    The only thing that still exists of the Aboleths' creations (in the MM) is the Chuul. That doesn't mean that there wasn't something else that wasn't as long lasting. Look at us. What percentage of modern human creations would last eons? I think the only thing that would last that long in the US is Mount Rushmore. Outside of large stone carvings, I'd say nothing.

  5. - Top - End - #95
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    And all the aboleths could come up with were chuul?
    The Aboleth might be elders who predate the literal gods, but they never had much interests for those fancy new things like "not living under the sea" and that kind of things. Their prime was way, way back, and they've spent eons sleeping or not caring.


    Meanwhile, the Illithid's empire could only be stopped by the Heat Death of the universe (or equivalent), then they sacrificied most of the power they still had to go back in time, and since have been very industrious.

    Note that it means the Mind Flayers got outwrestled by 10% of the humanoid species.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2017-03-13 at 04:01 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #96
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    And all the aboleths could come up with were chuul?
    The aboleths actually have the illithids beaten there.

    The duergar and the gith escaped the illithids' control, with the latter now on the hunt against their former masters.

    The kuo-toa were abandoned like broken toys and hold no loyalty to the illithids.

    That leaves the grimlocks versus the chuuls. Which servant race would you rather have?

  7. - Top - End - #97
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    And if you look into other settings, in Golarion (Pathfinder), Aboleths uplifted the human race. When the Atlantis-expy grew too proud to listen to their masters, Aboleths called an asteroid to wipe them out... of course, they miscalculated and destroyed their civilisation as well. And messed up the whole planet.

    In Eberron, Daelkyr take Mind Flayer's role in creating weird abominations... in fact, Mind Flayers thenselves are THEIR creation. Meanwhile, Aboleths lurk in the darkest depths of the sea, older than any other thing on the planet except the fiends (they are contemporaries), and unlike fiends, they weren't defeated and bound in the Silver Flame, because they haven't shown much interest in the surface world. Yet...

  8. - Top - End - #98
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharur View Post
    The only thing that still exists of the Aboleths' creations (in the MM) is the Chuul. That doesn't mean that there wasn't something else that wasn't as long lasting. Look at us. What percentage of modern human creations would last eons? I think the only thing that would last that long in the US is Mount Rushmore. Outside of large stone carvings, I'd say nothing.
    The various moon landing craft will be there pretty close to forever. No weather. Just thermal cycles every two weeks as they go from sun-facing to not or vice-versa.

    The last thing anyone remembers of the United States, IMNHO, will be either the Declaration of Independence or Apollo.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

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  9. - Top - End - #99
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    And if you look into other settings, in Golarion (Pathfinder).
    Golarion is not a DnD campaign setting.

    Sorry if I come off as rude, but Pathfinder is not the same as WotC's fluff.

  10. - Top - End - #100
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    The various moon landing craft will be there pretty close to forever. No weather. Just thermal cycles every two weeks as they go from sun-facing to not or vice-versa.

    The last thing anyone remembers of the United States, IMNHO, will be either the Declaration of Independence or Apollo.
    There is also the Voyager program, with the data they contain.

  11. - Top - End - #101
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    They're always Lawful Evil so there's not a great deal of use for them beyond "evil naughty bad guys" as they stand; maybe you could add a bit of nuance to their culture beyond "evil slavers from the astral dimension", have a secret unification movement of the two people of Gith, maybe?
    .

    Why can't you use them well as just "evil slavers from the astral dimension". I feel that there is a lot to do with just that; for example:

    >Threat of Raiders (Characters):
    -Raiders of your settlement is always a threat that you can use against the party. When DMing, I usually have several "raiders/monster" attacks prepared in case the game stalls and I can't think of anything. "Raiders attack" is a great way to avoid people being stuck in a social situation.
    -Raiders who can ignore walls is a bigger one: it looks safe but they can still get you. See also, the world building section.


    >Introduce the Astral Threat:
    - Githyanki can be a great introduction to the astral plane, and the outer planes in general if everything before has been centered on the Material Plane. Who do the Githyanki slavers sell to? The efreeti, or other genies, perhaps?
    - A CR 3 is generally a hard encounter for a level 2 party, and in 5th edition you can make higher level fights by throwing together a bunch of them together.

    >Sources of Psychic damage:
    -Sometimes you just want some Psychic damage
    -If you want a bigger threat to your Bear-Totem Barbarian (Bearbarian?), these guys do Psychic damage
    -Likewise if you want a source of Psychic so that your GOO Warlock's Thought Shield comes into play.

    >Slavers:
    -Capturing the PCs (thus making them great for a new DM (personal experience talking) ramping up difficulty. If you TPK, you are taken slaves instead of killed).
    -Capturing the PCs allies and friends: Great for removing resources and motivating players
    -Capturing that guy the PCs need. Now to get that information, item, etc, the PCs have to fight their way through the Githyanki.
    -Their lawful: if they're of the right bent, PCs don't need to fight them, they can by their friends out of slavery. Which is one way to get the Paladin on board a heist caper.

    >Gith:
    - If your PCs have relations with the Githzerai, this will color their interactions with the Githyanki.
    -For reasons that I will include in the Githzerai discussion, Gith relations generally affect one out every two or three games of mine, but that's due to a quirk of my setting, and one of my players favoring the Monk class.

    Hook #4a: Githyanki raiders capture the party as slaves: Astral Adventure Time

    Hook #4b: Githyanki raiders capture the party's allies as slaves. The party must learn how to traverse the astral plane or otherwise locate their allies, and fight to get them back.

    Hook #4c: Raiders capture the party's allies, and are auctioning them off for an enormous sum. How can the party raise such a sum so quickly? Dungeon delving or heist adventure ensues.

  12. - Top - End - #102
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharur View Post
    Githyanki can be a great introduction to the astral plane, and the outer planes in general if everything before has been centered on the Material Plane.
    About that, do you think the illustration on page 158 is a view of the Astral Plane for the githyanki or of Limbo for the githzerai?

  13. - Top - End - #103
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    About that, do you think the illustration on page 158 is a view of the Astral Plane for the githyanki or of Limbo for the githzerai?
    I'd guess astral plane. It looks too peaceful for The eternal chaos of limbo.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    In Eberron, Daelkyr take Mind Flayer's role in creating weird abominations... in fact, Mind Flayers thenselves are THEIR creation. Meanwhile, Aboleths lurk in the darkest depths of the sea, older than any other thing on the planet except the fiends (they are contemporaries), and unlike fiends, they weren't defeated and bound in the Silver Flame, because they haven't shown much interest in the surface world. Yet...
    The aboleth are what Khyber vomited up to take over the underwater portions of Eberron. Chuul and merrow are their servants (in my setting), and one of them is orchestrating a war via proxy with a black dragon using the local pirate lords. Yes, the players get to meet and smack the aboleth.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    First Impression of Volo:

    Flail Snail is OP for CR 3 and drops way too much loot.
    Last edited by NNescio; 2017-03-14 at 12:12 AM.
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  16. - Top - End - #106
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    I count four of these flayed minds: the duergar, the gith, the grimlock and the kuo-toa.Also the intellect devourer, though that is more of a fleshy construct.
    I'm okay with most of these, but I feel like if the Kuo-Toa needed a 'were changed by another species' origin (and they don't), the aboleth or some other aquatic horror would have made more sense.

  17. - Top - End - #107
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by ShikomeKidoMi View Post
    I'm okay with most of these, but I feel like if the Kuo-Toa needed a 'were changed by another species' origin (and they don't), the aboleth or some other aquatic horror would have made more sense.
    Yeah, I've always thought that as well. Couldn't they just be their own little fish goblin civilization?

    Btw, does anyone wanna have a crack at the Githzerai?
    Last edited by kraftcheese; 2017-03-14 at 06:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by ShikomeKidoMi View Post
    I'm okay with most of these, but I feel like if the Kuo-Toa needed a 'were changed by another species' origin (and they don't), the aboleth or some other aquatic horror would have made more sense.
    Maybe the kuo-toa were the illithids' attempt at gaining influence underwater, like the chuuls were sent by the aboleths on land.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by kraftcheese View Post
    Yeah, I've always thought that as well. Couldn't they just be their own little fish goblin civilization?

    Btw, does anyone wanna have a crack at the Githzerai?
    Not today for me.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterMercury View Post
    I'd guess astral plane. It looks too peaceful for The eternal chaos of limbo.
    I think you are right. Plus, the same picture was put on pages 46 and 47 of the DMG, where the Astral Plane is described.

    And there is a view of Limbo on page 61. I wonder how different the Elemental Chaos would be.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    I think you are right. Plus, the same picture was put on pages 46 and 47 of the DMG, where the Astral Plane is described.

    And there is a view of Limbo on page 61. I wonder how different the Elemental Chaos would be.
    There'd be more elemental and paraelemental manifestations; a river of fire hitting a wildwater and evaporating, a wind of earth eroding a spire of air, smoke crawling around a rising ooze, magma dripping into mud, etc.
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  22. - Top - End - #112
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Regitnui View Post
    There'd be more elemental and paraelemental manifestations; a river of fire hitting a wildwater and evaporating, a wind of earth eroding a spire of air, smoke crawling around a rising ooze, magma dripping into mud, etc.
    I'm thinking that's Limbo; the elemental chaos would be wild surges of different types of elemental energy but not bizarre manifestations of energy.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

    "It's never good when you make a fiend cringe" - MadGrady

    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    I'm thinking that's Limbo; the elemental chaos would be wild surges of different types of elemental energy but not bizarre manifestations of energy.
    Limbo has anything from pieces of continent to Boltzmann Brains forming out of it's aether. I don't think the view from a githzerai monastery can be described for more than an instant. The elemental chaos is at least, elemental. The creatures living there may even have stable zones, but given that it's elemental and chaotic, I assume elemental energies running wild and contrary to their natures wouldn't be unexpected.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    The DMG's description of Limbo opens with elemental mutability. "Stone melts into water that freezes into metal...". The illustration is all albout wild elements too.

    So if the Elemental Chaos is like that, only without the forests and castles randomly appearing out of nowhere, that makes it feel like a lesser version of Limbo.

    Maybe it is because I come from 4e where, IIRC, there was no Limbo, and githzerai monasteries were found in the Elemental Chaos instead. Hmm... I am glad 5e kept the Feywild and the Shadowfell, but I am not sure it needed the Elemental Chaos.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post
    The DMG's description of Limbo opens with elemental mutability. "Stone melts into water that freezes into metal...". The illustration is all albout wild elements too.

    So if the Elemental Chaos is like that, only without the forests and castles randomly appearing out of nowhere, that makes it feel like a lesser version of Limbo.

    Maybe it is because I come from 4e where, IIRC, there was no Limbo, and githzerai monasteries were found in the Elemental Chaos instead. Hmm... I am glad 5e kept the Feywild and the Shadowfell, but I am not sure it needed the Elemental Chaos.
    The elemental chaos doesn't exist anymore. It's been replaced with Limbo, which is older than it, by the way. The elemental planes are separated with a common language. So maybe the elemental chaos did exist, but has long since been tamed into four elemental planes with shared boundaries.

    Or at least that's the impression I got.
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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Regitnui View Post
    The elemental chaos doesn't exist anymore. It's been replaced with Limbo, which is older than it, by the way. The elemental planes are separated with a common language. So maybe the elemental chaos did exist, but has long since been tamed into four elemental planes with shared boundaries.

    Or at least that's the impression I got.
    See? That's how superfluous the Elemental Chaos is in 5e. You did not even notice it was on the map of the Great Wheel in the PHB.

    It does have a different description than in 4e, though. The four elemental planes are once again separate, and each of them is divided into a region humanoids can survive in and a region of pure raw power. Much like the Material Plane can be considered the place where the inhabitable elemental realms blend together, the Elemental Chaos is where all the raw powers collide.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    There are actually 10 inner planes - Air, Earth, Fire, Water; Feywild; Shadowfell; and the boundary planes of Ash, Ice, Magma, & Ooze. It is not immediately clear if the Feywild should be considered "opposite" to the Shadowfell.
    This ... is my signature finishing move!

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    According to some online quiz, I'm a 6th level TN Wizard. They didn't give me full XP for all the monsters I've defeated while daydreaming.
    http://easydamus.com/character.html

    I am a Ranger Archetype: Gleaming Warden (thx to Ninja Prawn)

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that there was at least one setting where the Underdark was actually a plane, rather than merely "big underground cave system".

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Shining Wrath View Post
    There are actually 10 inner planes - Air, Earth, Fire, Water; Feywild; Shadowfell; and the boundary planes of Ash, Ice, Magma, & Ooze. It is not immediately clear if the Feywild should be considered "opposite" to the Shadowfell.
    The Feywild and the Shadowfell are not among the Inner Planes. Rather, they share the central position of the Material Plane.

    And personally I do consider them opposite, a vivid reflection and a macabre shadow of the world. I would treat them like travellable regions of the Positive and Negative planes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharur View Post
    Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that there was at least one setting where the Underdark was actually a plane, rather than merely "big underground cave system".
    I like the big underground cave system, and how the Fomorians live inside its Feywild echo.

    As for the Underdark of the Shadowfell, you just don't go there. It is the quintessential basement of childhood fears. It is not even known what exactly hides in there.

    Also, don't call them the Feydark and the Shadowdark. It ruins everything.

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    Last edited by Millstone85; 2017-03-15 at 05:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Let's Read The Monster Manual II: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Fight Them

    Quote Originally Posted by Millstone85 View Post

    Also, don't call them the Feydark and the Shadowdark. It ruins everything.
    Hehe, Feydark, shadowdark. It's like the planar version of a character that uses too many splatbooks and prestige classes. I can barely believe that they were ever a thing.

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