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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Araneas, continued

    Playing, at a D&D table near you!
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    - Spider hunt! we'll start with a simple type of encounter- with the Aranea as a monster, pure and simple- a wild aranea. lets say the aranea seeks to kill some hapless adventurers, how does it differ from the Aranea as we know it so far? well, there are a few ways. first of all, think like a spider- you're observent, and patient, and you plan... the aranea will first observe the party, and then will make some opportunity to get the characters get it's weave magic anchoring items.

    lets say, the party hears some fightings some distance off and they come to the allready decided battle, with the bodies of 1-3 humanoids on the ground (past victims), and some other humanoid just about to loot them. but it turn tails and run (invisibility or expeditious retreat will do nicely, as well as other spells, before turning to a spider and hiding). upon searching the bodies the party find some nice items. why shouldn't they keep them?

    next on the party starts to suffer small mishaps and ocnditions, or are just being spied by the aranea who learns their tactics, when they sleep and so on. the time is then ripe for the attack.

    aranea attacks with it's allies, spells, host abilities and poisons. not to mention making simple traps in the party's route. ambush, ambush, ambush.

    as to allies, ettercap and great spider work fine, but what about Ankhegs? (to grab a character and take it out of the fight). Kobolds? (also master ambushers and trap makers.) kreshnars? (to drive the party members into traps in fear, also divide and conquer)

    the aranea spell selection is as covered- mostly escape spells, illusion and enchantment. araneas don't rely on their spells however, they use them as amplifiers to an allready good plan.

    the host abilites can really make a difference in terms of options for the aranea, and in fact this is many times the very reason for the hunt- gaining a new, more powerfull host body. do remember that the gained abilites are limited by the Aranea's HD, but in most other ways it's like running a gestalt character. an aranea can gain divine spells, sneak attacks, a wizard's spell book, warlcok invocations and so on... this should come to bear in the combat, and confuse the players quite a bit!

    poisons: this in fact is the sore point of wild araneas, as they usually are able to produce only weak posions of what they find in the wild, but that may not be the case for some. huge- giant araneas may keep pet wyverns and extract the posion from them.

    the main thing here is to think like a hunting spider- build a "web" to draw your victims in, paralize/ divide them, and then strike! done correctly this can get the players to realise they are not dealing with a mere humanoid, but a strange mind indeed.

    once tracked to it's lair, the aranea becomes far less tactic and far more desperate. it escapes if it can, though it will try to either protect or destroy it's webbed weave magic room, so others can't capture it (it's to do wit hthe creature psyche, see explenation before)

    - "the friend" an aranea can serve as the villain's best spy- it takes hold of the body of a friend to the party, and keeps begin friends with them. thios could also be staged- the party "saves" someone from the BBEG's, who then swears loyalty to the party, only to in fact be a spy that spies on them all the time.

    this could go on for several adventures and should explain various issues such as the foes escaping before the PCs get there, or an enemey hunting party especially prepared for the group's tactics and so on. the traitor should not be that obvious idealy. some things that can help it be more "usefull": it can build things for the party, it can be a usefull cohort, it can supply information, and more. if it doesn't accompany the party, make sure they get some "tokens of gratitude" given to them.

    when found, the party can face the aranea, and maybe it's motives- was it coerced into service, or was it voluntery? the aranea can escape if it has enough time, leaving behind a stranger, who has no memory of it's enslavement. can this new guy prove to be trustworthy?

    the escaping aranea can return later, in a new body. will the PCs recognize it? it can be a versatyle, memorable minor (i'd say even major, but the mentality doesn't suit it) villain.

    again, a main key to make it unique is to play on the "awekwardness" factor in the aranea's character/s.

    - "traitor in our midst": speaking on minor villains, the shapeshifting traitor is a staple of many fantasy works. but why not choose a changling/ doppleganger/ lycanthrope? well, it is because tha aranea offers some specail and unqiue features to explore.

    first of all is it's alien mind. it doesn't fully act as expected, and can be found to respond or prepare in the most bizzare ways. this is a spider- it builds a webs of information, alarms, and contingencies.

    secondly it is not the normal shapeshifter. though it can mimic but one form at a time, it can fairly easely change forms. also, unlike a changling, it gains all the memories (and abilities!) of it's victims, and thus can act much better, and have access to information and places a normal shapeshifter can't get to. if it weren't for it's odd behaviour at times it owuld make a perfect spy.

    thirdly is the use of weave magic, that enables it to act from afar, manipulate and influence distant targets.

    the idea behind this encounter is that of the elusive traitor/ spy, that keeps running away, leaving an bizzare trail. at first the PCs should suspect the host, but then they might find the host vacated, without memory. would they believe it? would they start suspecting other shapeshifters? what happens when they find another traitor, a bit similar in behaviour, and some abilites are the same, but the rest is different? the transfer of bodies is a powerfull tool, and it make take the party time to realise they are dealing with the same creature (or two? or three?), rather then an entire cult or organization.

    - "hostage situation": this scenerio is especially appropriate for low HP hosts, that may be violently killed if the aranea is forcebly removed from them. if an aranea's presence is ascertained, it may start to bargain, offering the host's life in exchange. this could be an interesting bargaining, similar to bargaining with a barghest in some respects. (see previous posts). the aranea may offer them a quest, perhaps even joining on it as a cohort. this may get the party to know araneas and their peculiar way of thought in a "friendly way".

    - "power trip" dealing with an aranea can lead to a voluntery immersion, for a specific time, usually for a specific goal. this is especially true for spider worshipers like the Children of Winter from Eberron. they join forces with the aranea for a limited time, giving it control and empowering it by their abilities. the aranea then uses the merge to achieve the host goals, as well as it's own. most aranea usually honr their bargains, leaving the host when the deal is over. (they are orderly like that) this could explain a strange power boos (especially in sorcerous power) of a previously encountered foe.

    - "spiders are our friends!" as Araneas can make deals with foes, so can they make a deal with the PCs. there is the problem of the aranea taking over all the faculties of the player, but some player like the different roleplay challenge, as well as the power boost. if your players might like it, this may be an exciting and disturbing way to play something they have never played before!

    - "Spiders, spiders everywhere!" and of course there is the obligatory spider themed campaign. scaling up from monsterous spiders, to ettercaps, to araneas, to driders, to the Beblith fiends that control them... araneas can be the intermediates through all of this, plus, it's one of the only times when araneas are expected to work together. how about a party of aranea adventurers? note that in such a campaign the party is likely to ally with drow against their foes...

    - incubator: araneas lay their eggs in living victims. the party could hear of a missing local or could be captured themselves and used as incubators. this might add to the creepyness of the campaign as many players will find it horrific.

    - ancient secrets: what are the goals of the Araneas? what long lost secrets have they lost? in more high levels campaign (though it could be done in low levels as well), an aranea, or a group of aranea may seek to uncover more of their spidery magic, maybe to return to their elder glory? but what will be the consequences to the races that inhabit the world today?


    Bonus section! interactions with other monsters of the Compedium!
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    -Stirges: nos special relations. aranea tend to dispise these critters like most other humanoids, finding no real use for them. wild araneas sometime prepare special traps against deadly foes that basically drops a creature into a stirges abode.

    - stone giants: stone giants, like most giants hate Araneas and fear them. it is their existence that led the giants to destroy every monsterous spider they can find. however, araneas that grow that big are uncommon, aso they are mostly a subject of myth to the giants. an elder stone giant is taught how to notice the tell tale signs of arane possesion.

    stone giants usually mercifully kill a formerly possesed giant, believing it to be ever tainted, and they mourn it's loss. these are never turned into Watchers.

    -In Thunder's Step groups: these giants, who come into contact with humanoid settlements more often are more aware of araneas then their kin, but it's still considered mostly a myth to them. the giants watch closely in every giant settlement they pass for possesion, as this has led to a war in the past when a powerfull aranea took control of a cloud giant, gathered forces and went on conquest.

    -Yeth Hounds: (i'm taking a bit of creative liberty Prometheus): these two species actually work very well together! the Yeth hound benefits from the added protection and Weave Magic uses, while the Aranea have another guardian, and one that can effectively turn enemies into traps.

    strangely enough, their different minds only add to their curiousity of each other. Wild araneas are fairly often paired with these flying horrors.

    - Barghest: Bargehsts are immune to the aranea's immersion, and thus find it easy enough to trust. the aranea however is affected by the barghest feeding abilities, and so it fears it. both species are drived by alien needs, and both are outcasts and misunderstood. this does not confer trust between the two. it does confer tense possibilites of cooperation. bargehst often work with wild araneas, but they can work with city araneas in rural enough locations. the pair's different powers can fit well together, but it's usually the aranea who is the spy and look out, and the barghest who is the hunter.

    the interactions between the two species vary immensly depending on the personalities of the two (or more) individuals involved. one special case though is the "power trip" an aranea may offer. the barghest can broker this deal to another humanoid, using it's debt stones to guarantee the deal. this is a rare case though.

    - Gargoyles: Araneas are often attracted to gargoyles, though no one knows why. perhaps they seek the Gargoyle script, perhaps their odd mind, who knows? many araneas, wild and city, often seek locations of gargoyles for protection, and maybe in some odd way- companionship?

    araneas are very carefull usually not to oppose the gargoyle's guardianships, though they may create traps of alarm in that place. araneas often seek host bodies that know many languages for the gargoyle script, and so may seek to immerse in scholars who worship a temple where gargoyles are found.

    - Wights: (taking creative liberty batsofchaos) most Araneas hate the undead like most living creatures. an aranea that immerses in an evil clerci may use it's powers to control the wights. if a combined creature is killed by a wight, it transforms to the hybrid form, which serves it as a wight.

    - Serpent lords: the masters of venom sometime use araneas in their schemes, and even equip them with their poisons. dark and bone nagas especially appreicate the versatiliy of these creatures. most Araneas are to weak to oppose these serpentine masters, but some more powerfull ones try to hunt them for their poisons, especially the Neutral large ones.

    Serpent lords are very curious about the Weave Magic, but have done no credible effort to investigae it, generally more than satisfied to let their minions use it. this may all change though...

    - Troglodytes: troglodytes have been "occupied" by araneas before, though rarely. araneas seem to find very little reason to do so, troglodytes however seem to have a rich lore about araneas! they feature greatly in their stories and legends of old. this people may have clues to the araneas long lost past...

    - Hydras: as with stirges, no special relationship. araneas mostly fear the powerfull beasts.


    in conclusion: not my longest work, but still i hope it's of a good enough quality. i hope you enjoy, and tell me what you think,
    Kol.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2010-02-09 at 01:50 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    well, second page (finally), and 10 creatures (finally). not much, hardly any response, but i like it. hope some people out there do to!

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    I like what you've done with these creatures. I don't overly care for the extra rules, but the expanded culture and DM tips are pretty cool!

    The stirges, troglodytes and anarea's look wonderful and I look forward to using them that way some time.


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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    I discovered this thread some time ago and liked it then and I still like it now! I'd really like to contribute in some way, but haven't found the time to sit down and create an entry. Maybe I'll make the time...
    I apologise if I come across agressive. I'm the sort of person that will poke a wasps nest, just to see what happens. I don't hate you, I just like a good argument

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    I don't know, I think the Aranea is missing something. I love the 'intelligent spider' angle- it's what sets them aside from D&D's million other shapeshifters- but spider tactics make for terrible encounters. The monster lays in wait for the PCs to stop by, the Aranea lunges and immobilizes/paralyzes/takes out one of the PCs, and then that player sits out the rest of the fight. Woo.

    The web angle is clearly going to be really important- It's an extension of themselves. I love the idea that they Think With String.

    I'm thinking War Weaver, from Heroes of Battle? Tie everyone together, set all your spells up in advance, and then cast them all in one go?

    Or, and it'd involve some tweaking, Body Leech, for imprisoning people in cocoons and draining them dry?

    Or... Artificer, and a few thousand homunculi?

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    aha! finally some discussion about the revamped creatures. thanks for that Fishy! i'll try to address your points.

    the "spider tactics" that i refered to where more to do with drawing the victims to a desired, aranea favoured spot. or the general attitude of "i don't chase the victim, the victim comes to me". this is true both for real hunting, and for manipulations. but the difference from normal spiders is in the prey, that is intelligent, and the hunter, which responds to that fact and plans accordingly (for example the use of Weave Magic).

    Aranea's posion on it's own isn't enough to take a PC out of the fight, not out right, but it's traps might. as a DM though i'd always allow the PCs a reasonable chance to foil it's plans, or to counter/ deal with them. the araneas are smart, but they are not geniuses or all knowing.

    in most of my creatures i try to plan for the "common" creatures (as close as can be to the power level in the DM, and some options for advancemtn and powering up. (such as are the bigger araneas, with more Weave magic knowledge and using giants which power up their poison DCs). your later suggestions are sure interesting (the warweaver and body leach), but i think those should represent mroe unique and powerfull aranea. the artificer idea is very, very intriguing, what can such a strange mind build and create? perhaps the clockworks horror?

    one question though, the link you gave leads to "a room full of crazy". what's the connection exactly? i didn't get it. or is it a reference to the magical central rooms?

    thanks BooNL and Jellypooga for your support.
    Kol.

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    one question though, the link you gave leads to "a room full of crazy". what's the connection exactly? i didn't get it. or is it a reference to the magical central rooms?
    Ah, sorry about that, linked before reading. Yes, I was thinking about their 'web rooms', and Hiro Nakamura's time travel map from Heroes: Wall to wall, floor to ceiling interweaving strands of silk, with pictures or stolen personal effects tacked here and there. Which, to the Aranea, is as natural as keeping a journal or 'thinking out loud'.

    the "spider tactics" that i refered to where more to do with drawing the victims to a desired, aranea favoured spot. or the general attitude of "i don't chase the victim, the victim comes to me". this is true both for real hunting, and for manipulations. but the difference from normal spiders is in the prey, that is intelligent, and the hunter, which responds to that fact and plans accordingly (for example the use of Weave Magic).
    Ladies and gentlemen, Portia fimbriata. A spider that hunts other spiders, and possibly the smartest bug in the world. They can pick out and react to an enemy spider's blind spots and possible attack patterns, and they respond accordingly. They can crawl onto another spider's web and mimic the vibrations of a trapped fly, or a different species' mating call. They attack from weird angles, from behind cover, from a camouflaged ambush- or a simple bum-rush when their prey has its mouth full. I think they'd be a great jumping-off point for Aranea tactics and psychology (pun intended).

    I don't know if you want to steal it for Aranea, but because of the way their brains work, Portias are kind of bad at snap judgments. They experiment, and they learn from their mistakes, and they're able to retreat when things go bad, but they don't appear to be capable of coming up with things on the spot. Also, hilariously, because of the way their eyes work, they literally can't see objects bigger than a certain size. They might prey on Giants just fine, but a Dragon might be effectively invisible to them.

    Something to think about, is all.

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishy View Post


    Ladies and gentlemen, Portia fimbriata. A spider that hunts other spiders, and possibly the smartest bug in the world. They can pick out and react to an enemy spider's blind spots and possible attack patterns, and they respond accordingly. They can crawl onto another spider's web and mimic the vibrations of a trapped fly, or a different species' mating call. They attack from weird angles, from behind cover, from a camouflaged ambush- or a simple bum-rush when their prey has its mouth full. I think they'd be a great jumping-off point for Aranea tactics and psychology (pun intended).

    I don't know if you want to steal it for Aranea, but because of the way their brains work, Portias are kind of bad at snap judgments. They experiment, and they learn from their mistakes, and they're able to retreat when things go bad, but they don't appear to be capable of coming up with things on the spot.
    that is very much like how envisioned the Aranea, only with the "waiting spider drawing it's victims" as an extra motif. there is no reason why the aranea can't "go hunting" though, if it suits the time and circumstances. (i have envisioned it more passive, but there are many araneas, with many attitudes and modes of action, so why not) it's nice to know that there is a real world example. the aranea is observent, dedicated, adaptive long term planner, with a few tricks to help it like immersion and weave magic, but it doesn't respond well when things are not to plan, and tends to just flee or hide. araneas however, being more intelligent than spiders, and having more needs and desires than just eat, tend to (at times) invest more in learning about their goal (doesn't have to be prey), and weaving the webs and making the manipulations to achieve it...

    it's only my perception of course. a different type of psychology could lead to the preying Portian Araneas, which truly hunt you down. i think that these might actually work better in pairs or small groups, each member inhibiting a host with different skills and abilities, and together they can counter and adapt to different prays a bit more easely...

    my thoughts only, to each his (or her) own. i like the discussion!
    Kol.

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    All this talk about spiders and aranea's makes me want to come up with a campaign specifically dealing with one of these creatures.

    Kol Korran, are you taking suggestions for creatures to write up? I was browsing the SRD and upon a creature I'd never heard of or seen before: the Spider Eater. Maybe something to write out, if only to stay in theme


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    There was an Aranea andventure in Dungeon once. Didn't play it, but from reading it, it seemed most likely that the players will never have a clue that any araneas are at all invloved. that's fail.

    Creatures that might be fun to explore are Behirs, Lamias, and Phasms. Maybe I do one of them some day.
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    Very well done. If you are taking suggestions, what about the Kuo-toa?

    Poor things have so little fluff it is just plain sad.
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    Thats the best they have except a small bit about the realms one.
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    Quote Originally Posted by BobVosh View Post
    Very well done. If you are taking suggestions, what about the Kuo-toa?

    Poor things have so little fluff it is just plain sad.

    Thats the best they have except a small bit about the realms one.
    The realms one's have a ton of fluff. The FR UNDerdark book has a ton of info on them and there society. Like why monks? and there god and what not..


    OP-
    I like what your doing here. The first ones you did i liked Arnea and Trogs i didn't understand i see them alot though.
    I hope to see more.
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    wow! responses! always good! thanks...
    there seem to be quite a few suggestions on creatures to write an entry upon. i must say that it usually takes me some time to get an idea in mind that is solid enough for a full entry, but it's never bad to get the creative juices flowing. lets see who we have so far:

    • Trolls (AdmiralSquish private message): not sure they qualify as maligned, forgotten and misunderstood, but the PMer went on the lines of Troll culture being misunderstood due to the way they view things differently, which stems from their ability to "not die". might be an interesting concept, though i need more...
    • Spider Eaters (BooNL): definetly an over looked creautre, but so far i've got absolutley no idea what to do with them. any suggestions? (also, BooNL, if you're interested in spider themed campaign, with araneas as major players, you can check the "playing in a D&D table near you!" section for various encounter suggestion. one of them deals specifically wit hthe subject if i remember correctly...
    • Behirs (Yora): lovely, haven't thought of them in a long while! they might be intriguing, though again- i have no concrete ideas. would love to hear ideas from all you people.
    • Lamias (Yora): i in fact loved the 4E conversion of them- so cool! and so much possible fluff behind it! so far i'm thinking of maybe doing my first 4E refluff over them. i might do for 3.5 as well, though i can't think of anything specific. another candidate for both versions is the hag, all types of them.
    • Phasm (Yora): again- a splendidly good candidate. the ultimate shapeshifter, with a possibly intriguing psychology. i will need to think of them.
    • Quo-Toa (BobVosh): they indeed have plenty of material upon them, from the FR guide, to some major adventures (in 2nd ed i think) and more. i won't spend time on them, but i welcome anyone's new and refreshing uptake.


    so, where to from here? here is what i suggest:
    • if you can, write an entry! i know my entries tend to be long and taxing, but yours really, really doesn't have to be. check out the Yeth hound and Wight entries for simpler ones. or write out your own entry! the second post give an example of my order of things, but it's just a suggestion. if you wish, feel free to discuss with me either on the thread or in private messages.
    • if you don't have the time/will/skill to write an entry, and you want me to do so, please tell me why you think your critter has been mistreated, what is your main concept and changes, and anything else you can think of. the reason i post in such long intervals in because it takes me a long time to form a concept, help me with that. two minds are better than one.
    • if you're not sure of a concept, but are willing to test it, post your ideas here, and we'l lall discuss it (or on a different thread if you prefer). i hope this does not derail the thread too much.
    • lastly, and hoepfully this might spurn some interest- which of the above creatures (or new ones) do you think deserves a new treatment the most? i'd like to "cater for my readers" (as few as you people are). lets have suggestions, and a vote. i will try to comply as best i can, if i can (no promises here)


    oh, RagnaroksChosen: thanks for the support. what exactly didn't you understand about the aranea and trogs? the trogs i'd concur were not my best work, but i hope some may still like them.

    all of you, thanks again.
    Kol

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    What?! I just made suggestions for creatures that would be interesting if somebody would flesh them out!

    I really may do one of them at some point in the next weeks, but I'm not to hog up candidates that would be free for anyone to tackle.
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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    sorry yora, i didn't meant that they are your responsebility to make, i put your name next to the creature as a sign of respect, and to see where it originated from. of course it's free for all to tackle.

    Kol.

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    I've got some ideas brewing for the Spider Eater. Mind you, this is all from a quick brainstorm.

    What we know about them:
    • They are highly aggressive
    • They are (un)commonly used as mounts. Even so far as having special mount rules
    • They lay their eggs into large creatures, usually arachnids. The young eat the host from the inside
    • They look like a huge friggin' wasp with bat wings
    • They have an awesome poison ability. It doesn't kill, it just paralyzes for up to 5 weeks!


    I'm thinking we expand on that mount concept a bit. Maybe there's a not-so-civilized society of (ab)humans who train these and use them for general purpose. Maybe they settle themselves close to ancient ruins of other cilivizations. This in order to scavenge whatever they can from those ruins and building Spider Eater hatcheries in them, everyone knows most ruins are overrun with arachnids .

    We could even go so far as to say this race breeds giant spiders as well. If only to use harvest their poison and hatch move Spider Eaters in them.

    I think the first step should be deciding on the race of (ab)humans. Are there any obscure humanoids anywhere with little to no fluff? Xvarts could work .
    Also, the name Spider Eater has to go, it's awful...

    So, is there anything in here you like?


    Recently resurrected. Sorry for bailing on you guys.

    "Never play leapfrog with a unicorn"
    Awesome OOTSatar by Crimmy, masterfully done.

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    Default Re: Monster Compedium for the maligned, forgotten & misunderstood monsters

    While I have not read ll the way throug yet, I can tell you worked very hard on this and want to continue reading your "improvement"

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    thanks Dvandemon! always nice to be appreciated. do note however that this thread get updated once every several months, as my ideas takes a long time to develop to a full worthy post. so yeah, it make take some time. if you wish not to miss anything, than i suggest you subscribe to the thread.

    currently i'm thinking of ideas for Hags, Lamia, and also some odd thought for the Behir (thanks to Yora's suggestion)

    if you wish to contribute, you're more than welcome to. the thread suffers from a lack of writers... i know it doesn't interest many. at least it interest some.

    so again- thanks, and i hope you like what you read!
    Kol.

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    As a suggestion for a concept on the Hags (Green, Sea, Annis, Desert, etc.), there has never been mentioning of their breeding habits or of the concept of male members.

    So I put forward that Hags enter periods of sexual activeness where they forcibly rape a male humanoid creature (not of type but shape). The imprint of the Hag itself overrides the other parent (save in extreme cases like Undead or Outsiders or Dragons, etc.) and results in a child who is more a genetic clone of the Hag mother, i.e. resulting in another female Hag.

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    Hags! more than just a pretty face... (remake of Green, Sea, Annis, Night and Dusk hag)

    This post comes not a long time (considering my usuall time scale) after the Aranea one. this is mainly due to the ideas about hags been brewing in my mind for some time now. unfortunatly i haven't done any of the other ideas suggested by the members of the forum (i liked the ideas about Phasm, Slaadi and the Behir most). this is not due to not agreeing to do them, it's just that... well, i didn't know how to evolve them beyond a basic idea or two. i apologize for you all who wished their ideas to show up. maybe i'll get better ideas in the future.
    As always, i hope you enjoy. this work is inspired by many ideas, mostly numerous tales and folklore in many cultures. I feel that it could be devloped much more, but i think this post sets a good basis for future developments.
    It just occured to me (mainly due to the mention of "desert hag" by Bendraesar in the post above this) that there might be other hags i didn't consider. i have referred to all the hags i know, and i'm sorry for any absentees. if you wish, write an addendum.
    One last thing- the hags of Droaam (from Eberron) have inspired quite a bit of this, but i think the article can refer to many types and sorts of hags. Enjoy!

    Green, Sea and Annis hags (MMI), Night hag (MMI) and Dusk hag (ECS)



    Spoiler
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    Bad Street Rep: Hags have a great position as the main baddies in many tales, as ones using wily magic, ancient lore, decpetion, malice and more to gain their ends. In D&D however they are done poorly- a few simple unimpressive SL abilities, maybe a strange supernatural weakening power, and... that's it. where is the magical power? the ancient lore? if witches are supposed to be just a character class then why make a specific creature? a species?
    the hags decpetion mostly relies on their disguise self ability, which frankly is fairly shabby, and easely resisted. most shapeshifters can do better. Hags function quite poorly in combat, but they were never meant to.
    and we come to the matter of Coveys: these are truly very basic, again with an odd assortment of powers- are all coveys the same or do they differ?
    then there is the mystery of the Night hag- why is it seperate? it is clearly more powerfull, but why does it has these special abilities (especially the dream haunting) what are it's goals? it clearly lives a different life than other hags- what made it different?
    In short- the hags done by Wizards are a poorly done concept, one which most DMs find not up to the task, and therefore most times neglected.

    i like it because C'mon- HAGS! obsolute icons of fairy tales and spooky tales and what-not tales! i am still chilled by the three hags at Macbeth, and some other stories, from children to very adult. Hags to me are close to the common races, yet still a bit different. and something in them, their way, their outlook, their presence mark them as roleplaying potential supreme. i think that done right they can be a great asset to any gaming table.


    And now, presenting to you the new and improved Hags:

    Perception and Concept
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    - Perception:hags are no longer evil child eating disguised crones in the swamp (well, they can be, but they don't have to). Hags are now part of the fey (a mostly forgotten part), who were partly cursed after their leaders turned on they fey kingdom. however, they remain the repositories of great forgotten magical, crafting and ritualistic secrets gone for the ages. amongst all the creatures described in the compedium this far they have the most open ended goals, from simply surviving and getting by, to rulling the cosmos. as such they often serve the DM at one of these positions:
    • a powerfull and extremley varied magical caster through out the levels
    • a user/knower/holder of forgotten knowledge or tools. they could be neutral, allies to the players or rivals.
    • a powefull aspect of female power- the hag can empower females to different degrees.
    • a diplomatic encounter with a shrewd rival.
    • the covey: added complication by adding up the powers of 3 hags to more than just their powers combined.


    - Concpet: Hags have first started as feys of knowledge and power, taking care of the land. through time they have seperated to different roles. but in all of these roles the search of knowlledge and power to preserve the land continued. the hags types are a matter of responsibility, not of racial seperation, and they define the Aspects that the hags embodies, and which empower her.

    hags devloped a Ancestral Memory- each born hag draws on the lives and knowledge of her ancestors. this fuels her magical powers. hags are in a constant search to expand their rememberence of these memories, especially in order to learn Ancienct mysteries

    these Mysteries are an integral part of the hag's role- they are spells the PCs don't usually have access to (but which they can after meeting the hag), strange forgotten knoweldge there is no other way to get, or items only Hag-craft can produce (examples are given below). i know some DMs don't like to put such limits on players in the game, but most of these resources can be tapped into, and are not overly powerfull. their main role is to give the hag an added flavour, and it is backed up by their history, memory, and role.

    Lastly, the hag has a special role in empowering strong representatives of the female kind, especially monster species who are mostly female (Harpies for example). this is left to the DM if s/he wants to bring it into the game. i think it adds another dimension to the hags.


    Place and Interactions
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    - Place in the world: the origin of the hags is a long, long, long time ago indeed. it is probably tied to the origins of the fey and the fey courts. though today all hags are ugly and misshapen, tales say that long ago these were creatures of beauty. perhaps not as breath taking as the nymph, but definetly something to behold. some say the hag's Shroud ability (their ability to take on more beautifull forms), comes to try and compensate for that lost splendour. however, different hags use it differently, and some don't use it at all. though some hags may desire the long lost beauty, some seem to have accepted the loss and moved on.

    hag kind (no one knows the name they had before) took a different route than most other feys- they sought to study the land, the trees, the seas. they wished to learn nature's mysterious ways. but not just nature- the world, those who live in it, magic, the gods- everything interested the hags! yet they were mostly patient with their learning- a hag would take over an area as her safe keeping and learn. mostly through observation, but also experimentation.

    maybe they were more kinds of hags, but two types were prominenet- the Sea hag, who chose watery environments as it's home, believing that water was the most importent and influential element and the Land hags. the sea hags usually grew as fierce as storms, as powerfull as waves, or as dead calm as ponds. they tended to be fickle, and grew more and more distant from the races, more drawn to the natural world.

    the other type was the forest hag, or jungle hag or swamp hag. some call her the land hag. she grew more interested in what's alive, plants and animals and more. as time grew by these kinds grew more and more interested in intelligence, awareness and thought. they became more interested in the affair of other races, fascinated by what they found in these new enterprising spirits that were not bound by the ways of the fey courts.

    some of them sought to know even more. they expanded their research, to include any form of awareness, and found their answer- in dreams. these hags, once powerfull enough, devloped the ability to skip into the ether, and look and touch dreams, maybe even toy with them. this became a fascination, an obsession to these hags. they learned more, never satisfied...

    which led to the great discovery. again it is unknown how they did it, but the greatest of the hags in those days have transformed the awareness of the race, made it different- each had had the memories of it's predecessors! and each new born hag had it too!

    not soon after though, the new races of the world came into conflict with the ancient Fey Courts. the struggle was long, and in it the hags were called from their seclusions to fight on behlaf of the fey princes and princesses. what follows is lost to the ages, but it seemed that the hags somehow either refused to follow orders or have griveously betrayed the fey court. the new races may have been saved thanks to that, but no one knows. the hags sure don't care. the fey courts were struck, but not entirely defeated, and some sort of an uneasy truce was made. some say one of the new races came to stand between the court, accepting it's terms and the other races. this race was the elves of old.

    but the transgression was not to go unforgiven. the fey princes and princesses reached into the collective mind of the hags and tore it up badly. it was not entirely shredded, but from then on each new hag born only remembered bits and pieces of her former ancestors. their beauty was taken as well (modern day hags uses the Shroud ability to hide their ugliness) more over, the leaders of the hags, those who learned to meddle in dreams, (some say that they tried to meddle in the dreams of the fey court itself!) were more seriously punished- they were banished from the sunlight's embrace, burned by it's touch, and were forever more called Night hags. they left the caring of the world to the hands of their lesser sisters, and focused on the minds of intelligent races everywhere, even beyond the planes...

    banished from the protection of the fey, the rest of the hags tried to find allies in the world. and they found them with the giant kin, who accepted their wisdom and magical power eagerly. this alliance lasted centuries, in which some of the land hags decided to try and merge their essence with those of giants. and so the Annis hags were born- fiercer and more powerfull physically then the rest, but less powerfull magically. these hags also took upon the aspect of the earth, and so the land hags turned more and more to the living world, mainly plants. and they turned into Green hags.

    a strange phenomenon started happening in the last millenia- when a hag is born to a night hag (more on that later) she is sometimes born to be a dusk hag. these beings can withstand the light, and posses powerfull prophetic powers. they are often bound by their perception of "fate", and do what they can to fullfill it. that is their responsebility, and their aspect. (this part is exactly like the Eberron lore)

    Eberron note: in the Eberron history the hags allied with the Xenedric giants before their cataclysm. the Annis was made then. it might be that the (not yet called) night hags have touched and somehow lured the Dal Quor to Xenderic, and for that they were punished by the powerfull magics of the giants themselves, not the fey court.

    it might also be that the elves learned some of their magics from the hags themselves, manipulating as they were. who knows their goals?

    Hags today: all that was said is ancient history, but that is a great part of what hags deal with. Sea hags and Green hags still mostly take care of a designated territory, but since the lost days of the fey there is no such real obligation. it is mostly a habit. some prefer to roam the world. Annis hags are usually quite predatory, though still highlly intelligent, and often seek the company of giant kin.

    a hag is always born as an ugly, hideous, old looking baby, which is taken from the mother (more on that later) and given to the hag-mother, who takes her with her, to take care for and tutor. as mentioned before, hags have an Ancestral memory- bits and pieces of here forebearers hags. as she grows, this knowledge enables her to tap into greater power, but first she must learn and deal with her aspect.

    the aspect is a manifestation of power closely linked to the type of hag she is (Green tends to have plant powers, Sea hags have water powers and so on). the aspect partially affect her personality, though strong willed hags usually affect this aspect in their surroundings as well (a sea hag's shore will reflect her own character). the aspect grows in power as the hag does.

    tapping into her Ancestral Memory lets a hag grow in power in 3 main ways: first she learns obscure knowledge faster than common people do. secondly she may tap into various Ancient mysteries, and lastly, perhaps most importently- the Hag's magical abilities increase. nearly all hags in the past have learned some sort of magical tradition or another, arcane or divine, wizard or cleric, and more... each hag can tap and learn spells from various disciplines, storing them in her memory. the more she grows in power, the more spells she learns.

    but once the hag's education is done, she is basically on her own. due to the various restored memories, each hag has a jigsaw of information to draw upon. hags are long living, into the centuries. what they do with that knowledge is their own choice. some

    some hags have a particualr field of interest which they seek to explore, some have a goal like creating an alliance, gain power, rule someplace, avenge a misdeed (that could have taken place thousands of years ago), affect a prophecy, take care of a region/ race/ group, and more. still, some might just want to cause havoc, or instill fear, or whatever else drives the common person.

    almost all hags however are infinitely patient, and will take measures to assure their success the best they can. long plans stretching over decades and more are common amongst hags. hags often (not always) have allies, and gain specific target- appropriate resources. many times they create Hag-Craft items to aid them

    and then there are causes that interest, or demand more than one hag. these ominous times call for a trio of hags, for the power of three, for a hag covey. these coveys are usually without friction, as the hags have their own rituals to make sure they work together, although that is not a must- friction have occured before, but it is rare. the coveys usually work well! a covey usually relies on the sum of the hags knowledge, and increases it, with one member of the trio as the leader. all aspects of the three hags become stronger- more spells from the Ancestral memory, the aspects become stronger, and more access to Ancient Mysteries.

    some hags though prefer to not seek grandiose life, and spend decades in the same area. these usually create good relationships with the neighbours, or at least peacefull ones. a hag like this is most likely to call in for a birthing favor- when a hag seeks a child she must seek a worthy mother. hags are incapable of carrying babies- they are strangely barren (some say due to the fey court curse). after finding a potential mother, the hag usually parlies with her. at extreme cases the mother is kidnapped, and taken into the hag's domain, but most times hags much prefer to avoid such crass methods. a large payment or favor is often granted on the mother to be. no one exactly knows why the hag chooses whom she chooses, but maybe it has an effect on the type of hag the baby will become.

    the mother is then impregnated by normal means, and after which the hag perform a special ritual (part of the ancestral memory), which transforms the child within into a hag to be. the hag usually takes a place by the mother to be using her Shroud power, or sets a time and meeting for the child to be born.

    hag birth are usually very hard, but made much easier if the hag is allowed to help. (all hags are somewhat of a maiden) a hag born is not necesserily the same type as the "mothering" hag! the only rules is that Dusk hags can only be born to Night hags, and that Night hags births are especially rare.

    sometimes a hag can lend her power to a females of either groups or singles. the hag weakens herself in order to empower those creatures. a hag in this capacity does so either in exchange of something from the group, or because she believes in it's cause. hags perfrom in their most feminine aspect in this role, and take on a more fitting form doing so (using her shroud to wrap a more fitting image around her). some creatures benefit even more from this exchange, creatures who's the female aspect is strong with them.

    it's importent to note that the hags, more than any other creature in the compedium have the greatest range of roles and possibilites in any campaign world, though they tend to be unique, influential, and memorable. it's the DM's job to do so.

    Sea hag: her Aspect make her very attuned to nature, though the sea hag is more attuned to the raw power of water, tends to change moods rapidly, but has even greater patience than most hags do. the hags tend to either deal with creatures of the depths, of shore creatures.

    Green Hag: is usually nurturing of her surrounding, caring for plant and animal, but also for more intelligent beings. the hag still posses some of the dedication and clever though of the Night hags. she is the most "common" hag, most likely to deal with other sentient beings. most further references are as of to her.

    Annis hags: the most physically powerfull, but less magically inclined. tends to roam less civilized areas. has the power of earth with her, and so tends to feel ok everywhere. the most secretive and contemplating of the bunch.

    Night Hags: clearly the most powerfull, but also the most detached. they have no natural world aspect to bind them. they are usually travelers, moving from place to place, often between planes as well. their goals and motives are truly an enigma.

    Dusk hag: more cursed than blessed, they are an off shoot of the night hags. bound to prophetic visions (DM fiat) they are mostly to be used as a prophecy tool in campaigns

    - Interactions: on a regular basis, hags mostly prefer to deal little with the world. when they do they most times prefer to be practical (though Dusk hags can be cryptical in their dealings), but again, all venues and forms of communications are open. hags are usually good negotiatiors, and not easely fooled. hags relations depends on their goals and knowledge of the other person. they seek the leverage of information, and feel ill at ease when the other knows more than they do.

    even so, there are several special cases:
    - young hag: hags are usually very motherly at young hags (who can take up to 30 years to mature), but they are also very instructive and strict, and very proud of their secrets and knowledge.

    - mature hags: hags try to be very informed about their peers, in any way possible. most times the two will try and exchange information, as a commodity. things change though if they wish to start a covey. then usually all cards are laid on the table (to gain the other hag's trust). competing hags almost never try to get to overt hostilities, rather they'll try to beat each other in an infomrtional chess game (of which the players can be the pieces)

    - fey: most hags are long past the break up from the court, and might join forces if needed. however, most fey (barring female only fey), have a disdain from interacting with a hag, and might even try and get rid of one if she's traveling in their midst. Night hags are a different thing alltogether- they hate the fey and their court deeply, and have at a few times before tried to harm them.

    - Dryads, Nymphs, and other female only fey: as these can be empowered by the hags powers, they greatly appreciate them, and often take good measures to achieve their good will and cooperation

    - Elves: some say the hags taught them their first spells, some think it's rubbish. hags have a strange distaste of the elves though, for no real appearent reason. it's not that they are overtly hostile to them, they are just less likely to help them. some theorise that the elves have devloped the ability not to sleep especially in order to avoid the nightly attacks of night hags.

    - unintelligent undead, construct, oozes: as creatures outisde their aspect, who also do not dream, most hags dislike them. however, some hags especially specialize in animating dead, or creating golems, so nothing is certain.

    - giants: all hags get along quite good, especially the Annis hag who is truly welcomed. this goes also to ogres, trolls, ettins and others of giant kin. see also special note about stone giants in the last section.

    - dream creatures (such as quori): night hags treat these sometime as prey, sometimes as neutral parties to deal with, rarely as allies

    - dopplegangers and changlings: knowing their value, hags usually go to great lengths to try and befriedn these creatures, offering magical assistance and more.

    - outsiders: mostly deal with night hags. no special relation, the nighthag deals equally with all.

    - creatures of an aspect: this only refers to the sea, green and annis hags. with creatures of their aspects the hag tries to be more protective, but isn't afraid to use them for her own means,.

    - Harpies:hapries usually gain the empowerment of Green hags or Annis hags. most hags find them crude, and are weary of their song, but find them especially effective as brute force. hags tend to either lead them or "advise" them

    - medusas: again greatly empowered by the hag. the cunning and intelligence of the medusas usually makes them equell partners with their dealings with the hags. the hags are ever weary though of a stony gaze.

    - succubus/ erinyes: usually only the night hag deals with them. treachery many times follows, especially with the succubus.

    - gynosphinx:a hag usually welcomes dealing with her, and vice versa, though mostly for knowledge. sometime a hag helps a gynosphinx find a right mate


    Game Mechanics
    Spoiler
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    - Game mechanics: as with my other entries, the following is mostly suggestions, and a blue print. i didn't get to the actual numbers. however, i do believe this could be done easely with this guidelines, by someone more inclined to it.

    1) general info:: this replaces the MM info.
    • all hags are fey, except for the night hag which is a native outsider. Annis get HD and BAB as a giant.
    • sea hags have the water subtype, annis hags the earth subtype.
    • most hags are neutral, but they could be of any alignement.
    • all hags begin with 8 HD
    • all hags have DR/ cold iron and SR
    • Shroud: the hag uses illusions (equel of major arcana for effects similar of diguise self) to look like a humanoid, giant, monsterous humanoid or fey of medium or large size. 3/ day, lasts 1H/CL (half HD) DC to disbelieve: 13+ int mod
    • horrific appearance: all enemies that sea the hag as she is, must save will or be frightened for 1 min/ HD.
    • touch of the aspect: a hag makes a touch attack against an opponent, and 2d4 damages an ability score, unless the target makes a fort save (against the physical attributes) or a will save (against the mental ones). a sea hag affects Con (the subject drowns in water. this is the only ability that can kill a subject instead of just incpacitating him). green hags affect dex (the subject grows more... barky and start rooting) annis hags affect strength (the subject feels a great weight of earth upon him, till he collapses). Night hags affect intelligence (they make the subject thoughts unsensical, irrational, disturbing the process of his/ her mind). and dusk hags affect wisdom (showing the subjects the frightening glimpses of all encompasing fate, driving him/ her towards madness).
    • annis combat abilities: as in the MM
    • night hag:spell like abilities, immunities like in the manual. as to Dream Haunting- the night hag get one spell of the haunted person (if he was a spell caster), and is considered as fully rested after a haunting)
    • night hag is harmed by sunlight- 1d4 damage per round (sunlight themed spells are considered empowered in terms of damage to her)
    • Dusk Hag: as in the MM, except as noted above and below.
    • skills and saves: +4 for sense motive, +4 against illusions and mind affecting


    2) Ancestral Memory: the hag recieves the following benefits depending on HD. if she recieves any more HD due to templates, classes or more she advances in all of these as well:
    • +6 to 2 knowledge skills. every HD the hag recives 2 skill points to assign freely to knowledge skill.
    • access to Ancient Mysteries- I can't define these exactly, but they should be mechanical aspects that the players can't normally use. such as new spells, or Hag-Craft items lore. i suggest the hag has access to 1 anciet mystery for every 4 HD she has.
    • spell casting: a hag gains spells (2/ level) and can memorise spells as a wizard of half her HD (annis as third her level). however, the spells she can gain are from any class whatsoever, including those from Ancient mysteris. her caster level also equels half her HD. (Annis as third)


    3) Aspect: the hag has access to two domains related to her aspect. she does not cast one more spell per day, but can sponteneously cast any spell on the aspect lists instead of spells she memorized under her Ancestral memory. (of the same level) the hag begins with one "must" domain, one other selected domain, and another one every 4 HD above 8. for all hags a possible domain for selections is knowledge. the hag of course gains the domain power.
    • green hag: plant is a must, others are animal, pestilence and mind.
    • sea hag: water is must, others are air and weather.
    • annis hag: earth is must, others are strength and travel.
    • night hag: dream is must, others are magic and mind
    • dusk hag: Oracle is must, others are mind and dream


    Covey powers: the covey bestows several powers:
    • spell casting of the leader: the leader is considered to have extra HD (half the sum of the two other hags), for the purpose of spell casting from Ancestral memory. if for example there is a 12 HD, 10 HD and 8 HD hags, than the 12 hag casts as a 10 level wizard (of various schools) instead of 6th for ancestral memory
    • the other two hags are considered to have 1 more ancient memory casting level.
    • the powers of Hag Craft items is greater. this will be detailed in their section.
    • each hag can cast spontanesouly from the aspects of the other hags while together.


    5) ancient mysteries and Hag craft items: amongst other things, you can have the hag know how to make one or more Hag Craft items. these are basically sorts of weakened minor artifacts that can only be made by hags, as they invest some of their essence in them. these tools are powered by the hags, but can be used by others. each tool has 10 charges (or some other appropriate number) before turning to dust if not powered by the hag. there are many tools, as many as you'd imagine, here are some examples:
    • Night stone: as detailed in the MM, but can also plane shift 3/ day. the stone cannot be powered by a covey, unless there are at least 2 stones in it, in which case they can also use Gate 1/ week.
    • hag eye: as in the MM. can be created by a single hag as well. a covey can create as cast illusions and mind affecting spells through it on a target. a target that saves can't be the target of a spell cast through an eye for 24 hours.
    • staff/ bowl/ horn/ tool of summoning: the hag summons a creature (or creatures) whom she befriended up to her HD of up to 6 intelligence which is up to a mile away, and she can tell him to perform a task for her, as if under lesser geas. a covey can summon a creature from up to 100 mile, up to the HD of the entire covey, as if under geas. each use can be done once a month.
    • Shadow web: a hag can create a suit of passages in the shadow plane up to a mile, which can be accesed by a special token. she can have half her HD exit points. a covey can have the passages up to 100 miles, and as many exit points as half the covey total HD. note: this "item" is quite hard to make and represents an extensive investment on the hag's part.
    • Orb of storms: 1/day can change the weather by one degree, once per week by three degrees. all in the range of 10 miles. a covey extends up to 100 miles, and can change the weather by 3 degrees 2/ week
    • Cauldron of power: (eye of the newt!) the hag can charge the fluid inside with a spell. whomever drinks his portion (enough for 8 medium or small creatures) is affected by the spell for hag's HD hours. a covey can affect 3 spells simultaneously and it lasts for a day. the cauldron can be used twice a week.


    6) Empowering females: the hag can give up power (temporarily lose HD to give "extra HD" (including BAB, saves and so on) to females around. the exchange is 3HD hag for 2HD for a single female or 1HD to a group of up to twice the hag's original HD. if the creature is one from the "mostly female" races mentioned than the positive effect is doubled. the range is 30 ft/ original hag HD.

    a covey has 10 times the range, can divide the HD loss, and adds 2 HD to a single creature or 1 HD to several creatures without cost. (these are doubled as well if befitting)
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2010-02-09 at 01:50 PM.

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    Hags, continued

    Mysteries and the Unknown
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    -Mysteries and the Unknown: several mysteries shroud the hags. most notably are the hags final goals. it seems that the hags are working towards some end, some common goal that they percieve. it explains why there are so little frictions between them, and why they work so well together. night hags seemed somewhat detached from the overall scheme, but dusk hags seem to have come back to the fold, and may herald to be the navigators through destiny... what is the long term plan?

    other mysteries revolve around the history and the nature of the hags. the hags are a fey like no other- what exactly caused the schism, what have the hags done? this may explain why the fey no longer has such a hold on our world like in ancient times.

    as to the hags themselves- the mystery of their ancestral memory is something that several other races have tried to copy and failed. it could be a boon, or a hindrance to whomever finds it next. what is hidden in the vast landscape of hags memory? what secrets are there to behole?

    if there is anoyone to find them, it's the hags, which explore ever deeper, uncovering one more piece of information, one more secret morsel. if our sages wish to uncover their secrets in time, they had better hurry! the competition is allready well underway!


    Playing at a D&D table near YOU!
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    - forewarned is forearmed: before getting to more interesting ideas lets start with the classical "going to kill the witch" scenerio, where the party is on a dungeon crawl going to kill a hag. a hag mostly functions in combat as as "many spells/ low level" caster. thus it needs allies to buff, and control spells to use. her Aspect spells help her a bit as well, but they are mostly for flavour. what a hag really must do to protect herself could be summarised in 4 things:
    • get information- this is what the hag is all about. know your enemy. the hag will use scouts, rumors, spells, test ambushes (sending minions for 2-3 rounds to see party's tactics and retreat) and more to find out about her enemies.
    • use the setting to her advantage- though not statted out, it is assumed the nature around the hag's place (in case of annis, green and sea) is influenced by the hag's nature itself. make perilious territory, collapsible passages and more.
    • ancient mysteries: use hag eyes, shadow webs, strange spells and more to give the hag an advantage "how did she do that?" is what you're aiming your players to say.
    • allies- a hag knows she's weak in combat (annis and night excpetions) so she'll make sure she got good allies to rely on.

    if it's a night hag, then she'll also make a misery of the party's main caster's nights. while she is fully rested.
    lastly, like most good villains, she needs a plan of escape. hags make good recuring villains, scaling well with levels.

    - a guide to secrets: a hag can work well as the PCs patron or guide to ruins or ancient cities and mysteris and so on. she can work under the effect of a Shroud or reveal herself as she is. the thing is to have the party guess at her intentions. she may be helpfull, but she definetly have her own goals.

    - a price for knowledge:while the party might seek some information about an ancient mystery, they might find the answer with a hag (maybe under guise). but in return they have to perform a service. will they pay the price?

    - Beauty and the Beast: a stange duo terrorizes a nearby community- a shapeshifting reaping creature (annis hag) and a nymph. you could play on this game of looksand choices of women between the males in your party. this encounter/ adventure should emphasize the relation of hags to the fey world, and perhaps raise eyebrows amongst them. maybe they'll get to explore more.

    - chess game: continuing on "a price for knowledge", the party might be played by 2 (or more?) different hags or creatures, trying to affect some outcome (perhaps like the draconic prophecy in Eberron?). the party is being played, but by how many hands? who are they? and what are their goals? the hags here should each feel different, with her own pesronality (perhaps different types?) the hags themselves should most likely be elusive, or they can reveal their hands one play at a time.

    - a birthing favor: a hag wants a baby to be born. she contacts either a PC or an NPC that the party care for. from here there are many possibilites- the woman backs out on the deal (perhaps due to pressure from family), or the baby is prophecised to be a powerfull night hag, and more. the hag may desire she deserves the baby, maybe even take the mother with her. (or maybe the mother comes willingly? running away from her family). now into the mess, come the PC (and have them witness the birth...)

    - planar manipulations: night hags, with their insight to the minds of sentient creatures, make excellent manipulators and negotiators. they are also masters of interpllanar travel, and other ancient secrets... what if a night hag, or a covey of night hags decide to unleash the force of some plane on the world, mainly on the fey? can the PCs stop her/ their scheme? how do you found these elusive beings?

    - Girl power! Go!: a hag could lend assitence to some females, giving them more power temporarily. (an egg laying dragon mother?) should be interesting if the party allready encountered these beings before. i suggest a prepared invisibility spell for the hag though.

    - a hand in many pots: to best portray the hag, have her inveted in many types of endeavours. make the party guess as to what she's at. at first they shouldn't recognize her, but her behaviour (more than her appearance) should tip them off.

    - 1.. 2.. 3! now take all the above suggestions and do it with a covey. however, a covey is best portrayed when the PCs have allready met at least 2 of it's members before. then the power increase is significantly felt! best of all is if the party met the different members at different occasions and didn't realise the connection. now that they are together, everything clicks...


    Bonus section! Reactions with the other monsters in the compedium!
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    - Strige: no real reaction. Green and Annis hags sometime train and raise them as guards/ nusiance/ pets. but most times they prefer to get rid of them.

    - Stone Giants: as mentioned earlier, the giants and the hags had a long standing relationship. especially with annis hags, who are half giant in a way! some theorise that the Central Geode and Held Storm are ancient secrets that the hags (most likely annis and sea) passed on to the giants.

    annis hags are welcomed by stone giants everywhere. they usually have rough competitions but not more. Annis many times take either refuge, or lend magical support to these communities.

    ThunderClaps often work deals with sea hags, share their knowledge and trade. when a sea hag travels inland she is often accompanied by a few such giants as an honor guard.

    - Barghest: Barghest are definetly a thing against the natural world, and so the hags feel quite repulsed by them. however, there have been tenueos collaborations in the past. some think that night hags might have created the first Debt Stones, in order to be able to make a real deal with the creature, but the truth is unknown.

    - Yeth Hounds: Dusk hags have a fondness for these creatures, and sometime lair near them. night hags have found uses for them as well the yeth hounds make strange deal wit hthe hags though.

    - Gargoyles: hags often seek gargoyles, in order to read the gargoyle script and ask questions that may or may not be answered. hags often lair in ruins infested by gargoyles, enjoying the information and protection.

    annis hags have a special affinity for gargoyles, they being made of stone and have devloped a sort of game of altering the stones to different shapes to communicate. gargoyles seem to enjoy that.

    - Wights: most hags dislike the undead greatly, especially the proliferating wights. on a few cases they try to parley, but most times the hags retreat, and either circumvent the abomination, or find allies who'll help destroy it.

    - troglodytes: um... i have no idea for their relations.

    - hydras: the hags, especially green hags, try to befriend hydras, mostly so they could coexist. if succesfull, the hydra can make a powerfully summoned creature (through staff of summoning). hydras consider hags as tutors and mentors, if they are not just food. it is not entirely uncommon to see a hydra ridden by a green hag.

    legendery hydras are sometimes sought after by hags, especially night and dusk hag, for their information and vision.

    - Araneas: as with the barghest, there exist a very tenuos situation. araneas like to Immerse themselves in hags, due to the power gained, and the floods of memory and information! that is a rush of an experience for the aranea, and they will go for many lengths for it. sometimes the hag knowing this, will willingly submit for the immersion for a short while in return for a "service" from the araneas... mainly gaining information from someone inaccesible, or use of the Weave Magic.

    some think that the Weave magic was secret knowledge stolen from a hag's memory, but more likely it is a true legacy of the aranea species.


    in conclusion: boy am i tired! as i said in the beginning- the ideas here are but seeds to other ideas. hag development can continue in many ways, but still i hope this was a good start. i hope you enjoy it, and as always- give me your feed back. i promise to try and do someone's else idea next time!
    Kol.
    Last edited by Kol Korran; 2010-02-09 at 01:50 PM.

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    and now, let there be a rest for the wicked... hags are done, i'm gonna sleep.

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    I didn't read, cos I'm quite sleepy. But once I wake up, I will and I'm pretty certain it'll be awesome.
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    Bumpity, for JUSTICE! This shouldn't have fallen off the page before a few days.
    ...
    Very good. I especially approve of the little Bene Gesserit touch. But those numerous typos need fixing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnsvnc View Post
    Bumpity, for JUSTICE! This shouldn't have fallen off the page before a few days.
    ...
    Very good. I especially approve of the little Bene Gesserit touch. But those numerous typos need fixing.
    heh heh, bumpity for justice...

    i tired to fix the typos. english is not my native language, but i think i did pretty ok. not perfect, but hoepfully reasonable. (that's what happens when you're writing posts late at night) thanks for the critic. glad you enjoyed cnsvnc!

    as to the Bene Gesserit- just thinking of Alia or Mohiam (i hope i spelled it right) is hag/ witch material all over! i had do take something from that, with some twists...

    boy, these posts are taxing. perhaps i should consider a smaller format...

    Kol.

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    Can I transcribe these entries so I can use them for some sessions? I just read Dungeonscape and would love to use these . In fact, maybe we should all form a think-tank and write a sourcebook.

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    I can't say I like what you did with the serpent lord, especially the couatl of Eberron. The feathered serpents were nerver considered inferior to dragons, even if they are less powerful. In fact, many dragons admired the couatl or even viewed them as superior to dragons due to their knack for psionics (which you failed to mention) and their natural immortality.

    When the couatl gave up their lives to seal the rakshasa rajahs, the dragons even had survivor guilt (since they thrived afterwards) and many devote their entire life and future generations to guarding the peace that couatls brought with their own life force. If that isn't blatant respect then I don't know what is.

    I also hate the idea of couatl being evolved nagas, especially in Eberron. If anything I think it would be more fitting that all "other" serpent lords are degenerate/devolved couatl, which would account for their near extintion numbers.

    You didn't mention Shulassakar, which are basically good yaun-ti found only in Eberron. They are also psionic but have feathers. The more advanced ones have wings as well.

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    Well, some of these ideas won't fit all, but i appreciate critique. the article isn't meant as a definitive way of playing he serpent lords, just one take ofthem which i liked. it is mostly aimed at Non- Eberron, though i draw inspirations of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by classy one View Post
    I can't say I like what you did with the serpent lord, especially the couatl of Eberron. The feathered serpents were nerver considered inferior to dragons, even if they are less powerful. In fact, many dragons admired the couatl or even viewed them as superior to dragons due to their knack for psionics (which you failed to mention) and their natural immortality.

    When the couatl gave up their lives to seal the rakshasa rajahs, the dragons even had survivor guilt (since they thrived afterwards) and many devote their entire life and future generations to guarding the peace that couatls brought with their own life force. If that isn't blatant respect then I don't know what is.
    I agree with you. that is the way i viewed Couatls in the setting. I didn't realize what i wrote implied otherwise in Eberron. i thought those familiar with the setting would know this. however, i added your explanation in the article, under "places and relations", under the "Eberron note".

    I also hate the idea of couatl being evolved nagas, especially in Eberron. If anything I think it would be more fitting that all "other" serpent lords are degenerate/devolved couatl, which would account for their near extintion numbers.
    well, that is your right to play it so. my idea is only a suggestion.

    You didn't mention Shulassakar, which are basically good yaun-ti found only in Eberron. They are also psionic but have feathers. The more advanced ones have wings as well.
    I'm an Eberron fan, not an expert. i own only 3-4 of the books. haven't seen them mentioned. which book are they in?

    and again, thanks for reading. any thoughts (perhaps even positive ones?) on the other articles?

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    I love the Barghest! I'm not sure I would use it exactly as you have it, but the idea of a ritual gone wrong matches the image really well! When I altered the Barghest myself I added the ability to dominate wolves, Dire Wolves, Worgs and goblinoids as a SLA and gave them camps full of Goblins and wolfies so that their SLAs would have actual use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kol Korran View Post
    I agree with you. that is the way i viewed Couatls in the setting. I didn't realize what i wrote implied otherwise in Eberron. i thought those familiar with the setting would know this. however, i added your explanation in the article, under "places and relations", under the "Eberron note".
    You implied that all the serpent lords (especially the naga) were dragon wannabes which is were got the idea "couatl have an inferiority complex" from. Thanks for including my explanation though.

    well, that is your right to play it so. my idea is only a suggestion.
    The thing is based on your theory, couatl, who are true immortals, would have replenished their numbers to the Age of Demons in the eons since their sacrifice. I mean if nagas were just ascending left and right and not dying (since couatl are immortal) then their numbers should increase pretty steadily. This is clearly not the case, if anything it is quite the opposite, the couatls' numbers are dwindling to be almost extinct.


    I'm an Eberron fan, not an expert. i own only 3-4 of the books. haven't seen them mentioned. which book are they in?
    Shulassakar are mentioned in the link. They are also mentioned in Secrets of Sarlona as the rulers of a kingdom who were exterminated (also to near extiction) by the Dreaming Dark.

    The history of the couatl is a bit confusing in Eberron since some sources say they evolved in Xen'drik while others say their home was in Sarlona. I would lean towards Sarlona since Secrets of Sarlona and Dragons of Eberron explicitly say so. The Dragonshards article (by Kieth Baker) in the only source that says they started in Xen'drik, but it is only a web article.... written by the granddaddy of Eberron. One thing that is not in dispute is that the couatl helped decipher the dragon prophecy and sacrificed themselves to seal the great demons.

    The Yaun-ti also have a much richer history in Eberron compared to other settings. They rose to prominence after the fall of the Syrrak Empires in southern Sarlona, only to be driven out by the Inspired decades later. The dragons then let them stay on their continent for a while but then kicked them out yet again and banished them to Xen'drik which is where most Yaun-ti in Eberron are found now. Are the Yaun-ti also descendants of the revered couatl like the shulassakar? Was that the reason the usually aloof dragons welcomed them into their land when few others were allowed? What did they do to become banished yet again? Eberron certainly knows how to tease.

    and again, thanks for reading. any thoughts (perhaps even positive ones?) on the other articles?
    Didn't mean to be negative, I liked what you did with most of them, just the serpent lords felt a little unpolished and lacking in concrete canon to support it. Keep up the great work.

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