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    Lightbulb [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Duskwing Moth Swarm

    A blood-curdling scream of terror sounds out from nearby, trailing off eerily. Dashing through a door you find a bed covered in a writhing mass of giant, dark winged moths. Its occupant however is nowhere to be seen...

    Diminutive Magical Beast (extraplanar, swarm)
    Hit Dice: 5d10-10 (17 hp)
    Initiative: +7
    Speed: 40 ft. fly (average)
    Armor Class: 21 (+7 dex, +4 size), touch 21, flat-footed 14; 20% miss-chance
    Base Attack/Grapple: +5/-
    Attack: Swarm (1d6 plus duskdream)
    Full attack: Swarm (1d6 plus duskdream)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./0 ft.
    Special Attacks: Distraction, duskdream, eternal sleep
    Special Qualities: Born of dream, darkvision 60 ft., immune to weapon damage, low-light vision, power resistance 15, swarm traits
    Saves: Fort +2, Ref +11, Will +4
    Abilities: Str 2, Dex 24, Con 7, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 8
    Skills: -
    Feats: Flyby Attack(B)
    Environment: Region of Dreams
    Organization: Solitary, Miasma (2-6 swarms), Nightmare (8-20)
    Challenge Rating: 4
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always Neutral
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -

    From the night terrors of those whom fear masses of insects, pour forth the duskwings, enveloping the sleeper that brought them into existence.

    A duskwing appears as a very large moth with velvetty purple or blue coloring so dark as to be nearly black. Its wing-span is almost a foot long with shadowy rippling movements flowing across the wings. While in flight with their brethren it is almost impossible to figure out where one duskwing ends and another begins. It has large, bushy antennae that flow behind nearly its body-length that writhes and curls in an oddly disconcerting manner. Its legs are quite long as well, and end in tiny, gripping claws.

    Combat
    A duskwing seeks to surround and attack any thinking being it encounters. Sleeping and psionic creatures are always focused on above all others. The swarm deals 1d8 points of slashing damage to any creature whose space it occupies at the end of its move. It will then quickly try to surround the victim and pull them into their realm.

    Born of Dream (Ex): A duskwing swarm appears hazy and out of focus, such that all melee and ranged attacks against them are assessed a 20 percent miss chance. This 20 percent miss chance is not the same as concealment.

    Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a duskwing swarm’s damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 10) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.

    Duskdream (Su): A duskwing swarm damage partially transforms their opponent into dream substance, which flashes away like steam.
    If one would be killed by the duskwing's swarm damage they do not die but are pushed physically into a dreamscape. However, this visit is not idyllic-the creature permanently relinquishes its ties to the waking world and becomes but a passing dream with a life forever bound to this nightmarish region of dream. Reality Revision, Wish, or Miracle can bring them back from dream, but must be done twice, once to rebuild their body and the other to bring them back to the waking world. The save DC is Charisma-based.

    Eternal Sleep (Su): Once per round 1d4 individual duskwings can be sent out as a ranged touch attack (+16 modifier, range 160 feet) to one or multiple targets. If successful, the opponent must succeed on a DC 11 will save or fall asleep permanently. Bend Reality, Psychic Chirurgery, or Reality Revision all may cure this condition, plus the equivalent spells such as Remove Curse, Limited Wish, and Wish. Those immune to sleep are also immune to this ability. The save DC is charisma based.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2008-08-31 at 02:01 PM.

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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Is this another creature of yours from the days of old?

    Also, I dunno if I like the Duskdream ability. It has a really cool flavor, but a CR 5 encounter that can effectively remove a character from the game with effectively no hope of coming back seems a bit unbalanced.
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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bookworm View Post
    Is this another creature of yours from the days of old?
    Yeah, I'm going through them all and fixing them up. Going to be posting my entire compendium later today.

    Also, I dunno if I like the Duskdream ability. It has a really cool flavor, but a CR 5 encounter that can effectively remove a character from the game with effectively no hope of coming back seems a bit unbalanced.
    Yeah, was thinking about that. Probably going to make that happen only if they're killed.

    Edit: There, adjusted. Shouldn't be any worse than a vargoille's (or however you spell it) ability to transform you into another without any hope of reverting back.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2008-08-22 at 10:29 AM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Shouldn't the touch attack be a +12 instead of 16 for the permanent sleep ability? Seems to make sense to tie it to their stats and attack bonus, at least, rather than arbitrarily saying "anyone they try to hit, they hit, at this level." :)

    Burning feats is one thing, but it seems a bit much to give a +4 away. :)

    Missed the fact that the swarm isn't just made up of diminutive creatures, it itself IS diminutive. My bad, though I can't see a diminutive swarm engulfing a medium-sized target effectively. Carry on ;)
    Last edited by fangthane; 2008-08-22 at 11:30 AM.
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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Quote Originally Posted by fangthane View Post
    Shouldn't the touch attack be a +12 instead of 16 for the permanent sleep ability? Seems to make sense to tie it to their stats and attack bonus, at least, rather than arbitrarily saying "anyone they try to hit, they hit, at this level."
    You're forgetting their size modifier to attacks.

    5 (BAB) + 7 (Dex) + 4 (Size) = 16
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2008-08-22 at 11:03 AM.

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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Duskdream damage is awkward. Remove the damage from Duskdream itself -- the swarm damage is merely 2d6 damage, and there is the additional Duskdream effect if it kills someone. (As worded, if the first 1d6 swarm damage didn't kill you, but the 1d6 extra Duskdream damage did, you wouldn't be turned into a dream)

    Eternal Sleep has Remove Curse is the lowest level spell that can fix the attack. That's a level 3/4 spell, requiring level 5 to 7 spell casters.

    As a CR 4 encounter, it shouldn't have save-or-die effects that require level 5 to 7 characters to cure.

    If you have a single spell caster with a damage spell up that is not reflex based (or does half damage on a miss), this creature is trivial. If not, this creature simply slaughters a party. Psions are utterly crippled against it (15 resistance? For a Cr 4 creature, that's basically immune to that damage type...)

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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Duskdream damage is awkward. Remove the damage from Duskdream itself -- the swarm damage is merely 2d6 damage, and there is the additional Duskdream effect if it kills someone. (As worded, if the first 1d6 swarm damage didn't kill you, but the 1d6 extra Duskdream damage did, you wouldn't be turned into a dream)
    That makes sense. However, as for the rest...

    Eternal Sleep has Remove Curse is the lowest level spell that can fix the attack. That's a level 3/4 spell, requiring level 5 to 7 spell casters.
    As a CR 4 encounter, it shouldn't have save-or-die effects that require level 5 to 7 characters to cure.
    Vargoille - CR 2, save or die and be transformed into another Vargoille. Requires 5th level caster before transformation. Nothing helps afterwords.
    Cockatrice - CR 3, Save or go permanently to stone. Requires an 11th level caster.

    Psions are utterly crippled against it (15 resistance? For a Cr 4 creature, that's basically immune to that damage type...)
    Huh? They have to roll an 11.

    Other beings around it's CR that have to roll an 11 or higher include...

    ACHAIERAI - CR 5, SR 19
    ARCHON, HOUND - CR 4, SR 16
    AZER - CR 2, SR 13
    BRALANI - CR 6, SR 17
    DERRO - CR 3, SR 15

    And that's just a few I've found going through the first pages of the MM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Hmm, I think I may have misinterpreted something else due to your sloppy work...

    When it sends out the 1d4 moths to put someone to sleep, does each of the 1d4 get to pick a different target, does one target save 1d4 times, or does it just not matter what's rolled on the D4 because they all beeline for the same target who gets a single save?

    I'm assuming it takes a standard action as that's not specified, since it does involve making an attack roll.. :)
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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Quote Originally Posted by fangthane View Post
    Hmm, I think I may have misinterpreted something else due to your sloppy work...

    When it sends out the 1d4 moths to put someone to sleep, does each of the 1d4 get to pick a different target, does one target save 1d4 times, or does it just not matter what's rolled on the D4 because they all beeline for the same target who gets a single save?

    I'm assuming it takes a standard action as that's not specified, since it does involve making an attack roll.. :)
    It's a swarm, so individual actions don't count as part of the swarm. Will elaborate that the individual moths can go anywhere they want, from a single target to multiple.

    Missed the fact that the swarm isn't just made up of diminutive creatures, it itself IS diminutive. My bad, though I can't see a diminutive swarm engulfing a medium-sized target effectively. Carry on ;)
    Um, what?

    The swarm takes up 10 feet, as 'all' swarms do. They are diminutive individually, and since it is the individual that goes forth the attack is done as an individual.

    This is how it is for all swarms. You measure their size and bonuses by the individual.

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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Oops, was thinking DR.

    Vargouille: One-off save against DC 12 or be paralyzed for 2d4 rounds. Can be cured with a level 2 cleric spell.

    Only after that fails can the Vargouille try to kiss. DC 15 check, takes 24 hours to take the target out, can be slowed/halted by sunlight or a daylight spell, and cured by remove disease.

    All of this on a creature that is likely to be killed by the first sword-blow that hits it. (AC 12, 5 HP, crappy saves).

    In your creature's case, it is hitting 1d4 people with a save-or-die that takes them out of the battle immediately. Non-spellcasters at that level can do nothing except be targets -- if your spellcaster(s) get bonked, your party is wiped.

    The Cockatrice is a pretty nasty critter -- but it too has relatively crappy defenses (+7 reflexes is the only one that is hard to beat). And is a relatively poor creature at that. :)

    Here is a CR 4 swarm:
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/s...centipedeSwarm
    which your swarm utterly demolishes in every sense except HP.

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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Quote Originally Posted by Yakk View Post
    Vargouille: One-off save against DC 12 or be paralyzed for 2d4 rounds. Can be cured with a level 2 cleric spell.

    Only after that fails can the Vargouille try to kiss. DC 15 check, takes 24 hours to take the target out, can be slowed/halted by sunlight or a daylight spell, and cured by remove disease.

    All of this on a creature that is likely to be killed by the first sword-blow that hits it. (AC 12, 5 HP, crappy saves).
    Considering it is a CR 2 compared to a CR 4, I'd hope it would be a bit less powerful, yes.

    Remove Disease is the same level as Remove Curse.

    Fact of the matter is, paralyzation is the same as going to sleep for all intended purposes.

    In your creature's case, it is hitting 1d4 people with a save-or-die that takes them out of the battle immediately. Non-spellcasters at that level can do nothing except be targets -- if your spellcaster(s) get bonked, your party is wiped.
    No, first it has to hit them. Then they have to fail the save. And do they die? No, they go unconscious. Creatures that don't sleep aren't even effected.


    Here is a CR 4 swarm:
    http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/s...centipedeSwarm
    which your swarm utterly demolishes in every sense except HP.
    Twice as many HP, better fort save, almost equal will, more swarm damage.
    Fighters also can't do anything against them.

    As you can't resurrect anyone at 4th level anyways, then whether their soul goes to hell or nightmare makes little difference.

    So basically they can put you to sleep but are weaker and less damaging.

    I say they are just different and require different tactics.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2008-08-22 at 12:25 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Hmm, you can probably tell I don't deal a lot with swarms

    Well, not with their design as much as with their destruction... Strikes me that the CR for these things is pretty much on the money though. DC 11 saves on a CR 4 is pretty generous if you ask me; even the fighter's got better than 50/50 odds in most parties.

    Are spells which specifically cancel magical sleep precluded as remedies? I recall there being a spell at level 1 that instantly brings allies within 20' to wakefulness but I don't know where, or whether, that sort of thing factors into this design. Maybe it doesn't work, maybe it does; maybe it just gives a new saving throw for those asleep. Just a thought. :)
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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Don't swarms have a nausea effect? /nitpick
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuincherguixe View Post
    ... that works really well, it's almost like...

    Oh god! Chuck Norris is Cthulhu! It all makes sense now. Everything is meaningless! Only in death can we escape!

    *hangs self*

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    Default Re: [Creature] Crawling out of your dreams...

    Quote Originally Posted by littlechicory View Post
    Don't swarms have a nausea effect? /nitpick
    ...what the crap?

    It originally had Distraction... dunno where it went to. Good eye, thanks.

    Are spells which specifically cancel magical sleep precluded as remedies?
    Aye, probably.

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