Challenging my high-lvl group (NPCs and monsters; my players shouldn't read this!)




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  1. #1
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    Challenging my high-lvl group (NPCs and monsters; my players shouldn't read this!)

    If you play in my campaign, shoo! Shoo! There's secret stuff here, and I trust you not to go and read it.

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    Okay. I'll periodically post NPCs, monsters, and that sort of thing here! We'll see if anyone is interested.

    Two rules: please don't post any conversation about these things on the story hour, and don't mention any of this stuff to any of my players in other threads. For this to work, I don't want them to feel like I'm (or you are) taunting them with hidden information. All specific conversation about these things should stay here.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Piratecat; Sunday, 24th March, 2002 at 05:52 PM.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now writing TimeWatch, an investigative time travel game.

 

  • #2
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    We'll start off with the necropede. It's in the story hour somewhere around here, posted on 3/21/02.

    The necropede was something I cobbled together at almost the last minute. I wanted a monster that could burrow, that was scary, and that the PCs wouldn't expect. I thought, "What about ghoulish umber hulks - nah - or purple worms? Damn, I'm not sure yet whether or not I want the true ghoul template to work on non-humanoids. But... they have creepy necromantic flesh-altering magics, right? And what if you made a purple worm FROM a bunch of ghouls? Oh yeah, that oughta work." The bit where the skin turns around and sprouts arms didn't actually occur to me until it was already in combat... I wanted to scare the people who WEREN'T swallowed, and my general rule of thumb is that even if it doesn't hurt them, they'll remember it if it looks scary and they don't really know what it is.

    That's a good rule of thumb, actually; when it isn't immediately identifiable and classifiable, it's a lot creepier. I was at a con this weekend. An otherwise decent DM was describing a haunted, haggard NPC who was slowly dying of bad dreams and con loss. Then a PC made a knowledge: arcane check, and the DM said, "Oh, it's probably a night hag. Here's a picture of one. They live in the ethereal plane, and...." Well, there goes the excitement!

    Because this was cobbled together, expect some errors. I took a purple worm, slapped a true ghoulish template on it, tossed the poison stinger, added some additional grappling abilities, and went from there. But it's creepy, eh?

    Necropede (ghoulish conglomeration)
    Gargantuan Undead
    Hit Dice: 20d12 (130 hp)
    Initiative: -2 (Dex)
    Speed: 20 ft., burrow 20 ft., swim 10 ft.
    AC: 19 (-4 size, -2 Dex, +15 natural)
    Attacks: Bite +18 melee, grappling claws +11 melee
    Damage: Bite 2d8+12 and paralyzation (DC 22)/1 pt strength drain, grappling claws 1d8+6 and paralyzation (DC 22)/1 pt strength drain
    Face/Reach: 30 ft. by 30 ft. (coiled)/15_ft.
    Special Attacks: Improved grab, swallow whole, strength drain, paralyzation
    Special Qualities: Tremorsense, undead, turn resistance +4, resistant to blows
    Saves: Fort +10 (immune), Ref +8, Will +4
    Abilities: Str 35, Dex 6, Con --, Int 1, Wis 8, Cha 8
    Skills: Climb +14

    Roughly CR 16, I think.

    Resistant to Blows (Ex): Physical attacks deal only half damage to true ghouls and ghoulish conglomerations. Apply this effect before damage reduction.

    Undead: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and disease. Not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage.


    A few comments:

    A successful hit should do 1 point of strength drain; a creature grappled or swallowed loses one point per round, too. I actually forgot to do this in combat, so I decided that it only works when below ground. That way, when the PCs fight them in the underdark, I'll have a good rationale for it that doesn't involve me having to assign the PCs strength damage after the fact.

    This type of ghoulish conglomeration requires several hundred true ghouls to create. Upon death, it splits apart to liberate approximately 80 true ghouls capable of attacks. All other true ghouls perish when the conglomeration perishes.

    Everything else is pretty straight-forward, as per a purple worm. So, the question is... what would you have done differently? What other types of conglomerations should there be? *grin*
    Last edited by Piratecat; Sunday, 24th March, 2002 at 05:21 PM.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now writing TimeWatch, an investigative time travel game.

  • #3
    Hold the Peppers COPPER SUBSCRIBER
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    >shudder<

    I particularly like the way that it bursts apart when you finally kill it.

    As for future conglomerates, I'd say any form of creepy crawly would do. I sort of got stuck on the idea of a ghoul crab-- the hard exoskeleton is made of bones merged together, filled with flesh-merged ghouls inside that serve as the musculature. The exoskeleton would give it a nasty AC for natural armor, plus ghoul hands could reach out between the exoskeleton bones to claw and paralyze hapless PCs.

  • #4
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    I like the crab or other crustcean idea. I've always liked creatures that come from the water to raid land and go back into the water. Adds an additional level of difficulty for the PCs.

  • #5
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    WOW!

    I'm glad your're not my DM, because that thing is nasty. It was scary just reading it, i can imagine how those poor PC's fealt.

    It's a shame you forgot the Strength drain, IMO nothing gets a player scared like the words ability drain. Although it will be cool to see them soil themselves the first time they fight one underground.

    If the PC's ever end up in the water, a dire shark or whale version would be pretty cool. The pc's look over the ships rail and see the undulating mass of teeth, claws, and undead flesh speeding towards the ship just under the waters glassy surface.

    I think that'd be cool.

    Where can one find the True Ghoul template?

    It sounds nasty, I'd love to torcher my group with something like the necropeed next time i DM.

  • #6
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    Here's one person's version of the true ghoul template.

    http://www.enworld.org/messageboards...=&threadid=561

    It was originally a monster developed by Wolf Baur for his Dungeon adventure "The Kingdom of the Ghouls." I've made some changes in the template (and a LOT of changes in the module), but that's my starting point.

    I note that Fajitas, who plays Shara in my game when he's not in California, is a well-qualified rat bastard. I like the crab idea! I like the whale concept, too. Not that much water in most of the underdark, though!

    The next thing I'll show you here is Arballine, a ghoulish archer who's had a bad year. Later this week!

  • #7
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    Perhaps a bunch of bats with this applied. A bunch of little flying things. Sort of like in Pitch Black.

  • #8
    Originally posted by Piratecat
    The next thing I'll show you here is Arballine, a ghoulish archer who's had a bad year. Later this week!
    Darn, so it is a Goulish Archer, I was thinking along the lines of an undead 'living' balista, firing arrows with arrowheads of pygmied undead heads screaming and slathering with little mouths.

    But wait! it could still be a Goulish archer with a bow made from bone, grafted onto one of the arms.


    hehe

    BBQ Man
    Last edited by BBQ Man; Sunday, 24th March, 2002 at 06:33 PM.

  • #9
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    Perhaps the projectiles could be undead themselves. That could work with either the Balista or the archer. After the projectiles hit or even miss they animate and start attacking.....

  • #10
    I could see an emaciated mostly bony form with tiny arms and legs that branch out when a hit occurs. I did something similar with rangers using arrows that animated into twig creatures when they struck. Similar to twigblights.

    probably would have to make them skeletons though, kinda makes more sense I think.



    BBQ Man
    Last edited by BBQ Man; Sunday, 24th March, 2002 at 06:46 PM.

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