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  1. #11
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    The Quasar BW is actually straight out of the Epic Bestiary itself- the only entry on the table marked D-14: Breath Weapon Dice Type on page 63 that's earmarked for Nehaschimics. I always figured that since neither of the sample Cosmic breath weapons actually shows up as the breath weapon of the two Adamic breeds we have, that just meant that two Adamics we didn't have must use those breath weapons; likewise, then, one of the two Nehaschimics we didn't have must use the d1000 breath weapon.

    Following this logic, when I sat down to actually make my versions of Singularity and Quasar, I knew one of them would use that breath weapon, so it was just a matter of which one should use it (and then, what the other one used if not the d1000). Given the choice, I thought a Quasar (being based on the concept of a "white hole" which is still a theoretical object to our science- we've never actually seen one though we've now found thousands of black holes) would be the more appropriate dragon to spew forth enough energy to deal that kind of damage, which left the Singularity Dragon needing a new breath weapon. And of course, there are a couple of good choices among the Trans abilities- I picked Omega as being the most fitting. Unfortunately, the Void Dragon already uses that one, in a way (compare the dragon and the ability and you'll see what I mean- the average of a d6 roll is 3.5, so you can work out what the average result of the Void Dragon's breath will be at a given age category easily enough), so I had to tweak it for the Singularity Dragon to make it really work. That's why I added the bonus the Singularity Dragon gets from draining levels- more than anything else it was to differentiate its BW from the Void Dragon's. The fact that I was able to justify it so neatly within the critter's flavor text was just a bonus that made it an even better choice.

  2. #12
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    Hey guys!

    Great work paradox42 matey. I will indeed 'chime in', in due course, although I am working the next two nights (on top of the preceeding two) so Wednesday is probably when I'll share my musings on the matter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
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    Hey guys!

    Great work paradox42 matey. I will indeed 'chime in', in due course, although I am working the next two nights (on top of the preceeding two) so Wednesday is probably when I'll share my musings on the matter.
    Hm...maybe he meant Wednesday the 9th?

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    Hey guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Alzrius
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    Hm...maybe he meant Wednesday the 9th?
    Apologies for my tardiness, lots of real world stuff last week snuffed out my time. Off work for the next 4 days, unfortunately I only had 2 hours sleep this morning and I can feel that slowly but surely acting upon me...much like the Black Hole Dragon's breath weapon I am being sucked in to an eternal slumber (or at least several hours slumber).

    Loved the write-up for the Black Hole Dragon, though I'd almost certainly have done its various (unique) powers differently. I did a lot of Black Hole/Gravity based research for the first Bestiary a few minor snippets were factored into the Orichalcum and Neutronium Golems. But I had a lot of notes for the Black Hole Dragon waiting in the wings.

    The dimensions (or interdimensions) for the Nehaschimic Dragons were chosen because of their opposition: Matter - Spirit; Time - Thought; Fate - Entropy.

    Similar thoughts on the Quasar Dragon. Thinking about the mechanics, I see it was a double edged sword for me to include so many powers in Ascension, so few surprises anymore, but I suppose its a great benefit for cosmic monster creation.

  5. #15
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    Hey paradox42 mate!

    Quote Originally Posted by paradox42
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    And of course, Belzamus is correct in pointing out the "glass cannon" nature of these dragons. Of course, as has been pointed out in other threads where I mentioned my current games, pretty much every monster I've used against my players has proven to be such a thing- and I'm fairly sure that's not a fluke. My players are powergamers, true, but we tweaked our house rules so as to severely nerf a lot of the big system breaks in Epic levels (for instance, we made Multispell a Divine Ability rather than an Epic feat- that's just one minor example).

    Uses of monsters become more about the flavor and less about the actual combat at these levels, I think. You want to have the players be heroes and have fun taking out the world-ending threat when necessary, but it's better to have them waiting around as antagonists that rarely (if ever) put on an actual appearance. If they do show up, have groups show up. Solo monsters just can't last in these levels. Combat is fast and brutal, and frequently one-sided, at these heights; whoever goes first nearly always wins (and in fact, as you yourself pointed out, nearly always one-shots the enemy). The thing is, this is true of everybody. So combat becomes increasingly rare, because nobody wants to be ambushed and killed- and if one side starts something, well, the other side's counterattack can almost certainly wipe out side 1. In situations such as that, diplomacy is a better means of resolving conflict, because that way everybody gets to live.
    Is that a facet of ultra-high level play, or a flaw in 3.5E? I suppose you could argue both. Not sure I am a big fan of 'lose initiative = you die' type of gaming.

  6. #16
    Well in my experience, while the problem can exist at lower levels, it's an issue that really gets exacerbated at ultra-high levels.

    I mean, you yourself, U_K, gave the Nexus Dragon a near-automatic TPK breath weapon; you just don't see abilities like that at lower levels.

    On the other hand, though, ultra-high-level characters and creatures should be able to do awesome things like that, so it presents a sort of conundrum.

    I mean, hit-dice annihilation is cool. Really cool. But it also freaking sucks when it happens to you. And of course, there are counters for most of the uber abilities, but then you just divulge into rocket-launcher-tag and eventually someone runs out of shields...or they don't and the fight ends up a complete stalemate since neither side can hurt the other.

    I think it's more of a problem with trying to quantify cosmic beings, they kind of break rules by definition, so it's nearly impossible to balance that sort of power.

    Oh, well. Still fun.

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    I have to agree that it goes with the territory of ultra-high-level play in general. But a new phenomenon has arisen in my "late" game, which came to light for me last week. The PCs in that party have been attacking the home galaxy of the Hungry Void monster (though they don't know them by that name), and have been taking out clouds of several hundred swarms one by one moving across the galaxy via teleportation trying to stay ahead of the distress messages transmitted by dying nanites to others of their kind. They are, in other words, trying to stay as stealthy as possible for as long as possible.

    Last session a new wrinkle on the "win initiative or die" phenomenon occurred: the PCs attacked a cloud of 400 swarms, which as it happened had high enough bonuses with so many swarms in close proximity that even the party fighters could only hit swarms on a natural 20. What happened was, the party fighter who went first went into the cloud expecting to take it out with essentially one super Whirlwind Attack (he has the ability to hit everything in his reach, and several abilities to increase his size and reach, so he was easily able to get all the swarms with the one Whirlwind), just like the party had done with all prior clouds. In this case, however, due to him being unable to hit them all in one blow, the cloud survived... and got a turn.

    Since the cloud had members with Seventh Sense (hey, what else am I going to use 400 Anyfeats for but get some nice Divine Abilities?), I decided that the nanites would see that the party's next few attacks would kill every member of the cloud in short order, with the cloud being able to do little to stop it. So, the entire cloud skeedaddled (i.e. ran away) into a faster-than-light hyperspace jump of some kind.

    The leader of the PC party, upon witnessing this, used HIS Seventh Sense to go back a round and prevent the PCs from ever teleporting in on that nanite cloud in the first place.

    In other words, the Seventh Sense and similar higher abilities end up creating a sort of detente once both sides have them: both sides can perceive undesirable consequences resulting from combat, so neither side actually initiates combat. This alone, I think, can satisfactorily explain such things as the Sidereals sending themselves into eternal slumber. Combat, at this stage of game, actually moves beyond the instantly-lethal territory into a new one where it simply doesn't occur. This, in turn, brings the game even more into a realm of pure roleplaying and less roll-playing, which many DMs clamor for at lower levels.

    Ironic, isn't it?

    But very, very interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop in my next few sessions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Upper_Krust View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    Loved the write-up for the Black Hole Dragon, though I'd almost certainly have done its various (unique) powers differently. I did a lot of Black Hole/Gravity based research for the first Bestiary a few minor snippets were factored into the Orichalcum and Neutronium Golems. But I had a lot of notes for the Black Hole Dragon waiting in the wings.

    The dimensions (or interdimensions) for the Nehaschimic Dragons were chosen because of their opposition: Matter - Spirit; Time - Thought; Fate - Entropy.

    Similar thoughts on the Quasar Dragon. Thinking about the mechanics, I see it was a double edged sword for me to include so many powers in Ascension, so few surprises anymore, but I suppose its a great benefit for cosmic monster creation.
    Thank you for the kudos; do you mind sharing what you have (or can remember) about how you intended to do them? How close was I?

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    Howdy paradox42 mate!

    Quote Originally Posted by paradox42
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    Thank you for the kudos;
    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by paradox42
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    do you mind sharing what you have (or can remember) about how you intended to do them?
    I still have those notes readily available, however, I do plan on a Black Hole Dragon for 4E, so I'll be using those ideas therein, forgive me for not wanting to spoil any surprises at this juncture.

    Quote Originally Posted by paradox42
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    How close was I?
    I think my version will be a good bit different.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by paradox42
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    In other words, the Seventh Sense and similar higher abilities end up creating a sort of detente once both sides have them: both sides can perceive undesirable consequences resulting from combat, so neither side actually initiates combat. This alone, I think, can satisfactorily explain such things as the Sidereals sending themselves into eternal slumber. Combat, at this stage of game, actually moves beyond the instantly-lethal territory into a new one where it simply doesn't occur. This, in turn, brings the game even more into a realm of pure roleplaying and less roll-playing, which many DMs clamor for at lower levels.

    Ironic, isn't it?

    But very, very interesting. I'm looking forward to seeing how things develop in my next few sessions.
    Sounds a bit like Dragonball Z, in that really bad things can happen, but they just get undone with the titular dragonballs (ie. Seventh Sense).

    I still think actions should be grounded in consequence though. But I guess at the levels you are playing at why shouldn't the game have come full circle.

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