Converting monsters from Tales From The Infinite Staircase

Cleon

Legend
I'm fine with Enlargement, Hardened Senses, Madness, and Mirror Safety. I'm a little less sold on Mirrorsight and Mirrowork Equipment.

I'm open to dropping the Mirrorsight, but I think we need the Mirrorwork Equipment to account for them making stuff while in Reflection.

I'm fine with Enlargement, Hardened Senses, Madness, and Mirror Safety. I'm a little less sold on Mirrorsight and Mirrowork Equipment. Doesn't the adventure also say that they went mad because they only existed during the rare and brief times that someone was looking into one of the mirrors in the library? That would imply they never adapted to living in the Plane of Reflections or whatever it is and that they still have their original equipment from when they lived in the Outlands.

I interpreted that as them going mad because of their Xenophobia, since it was due to non-Kamerel looking at them. Before the "invasion" they'd have been able to Pass Into Reflection and live in reflections being viewed by fellow Kamerel, which they'd have been all right with.
 

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Cleon

Legend
Incidentally, I've switched my view to "Legacy" mode and that blue text in my Homebrew looks a lot worse than it does in "Reborn" mode.

Perhaps I should try a different colour?
 

Cleon

Legend
Here's another Homebrew to keep this thread ticking over - the Silver Golem.

There aren't that many left on the list now. Just the Dark Dweller, Taker of Life and a "Shrunken Monster" template.

Oh, and the Kamerel Homebrew isn't complete.
 

Cleon

Legend
Original Stats
The entrance is watched by a single golem made of whitish silver (similar to an intelligent iron golem). A shard or lillendi escort can get anyone inside. Further, the golem stands aside for anyone who simply states he has business within Argentil or seeks the staircase.

SILVER GOLEM: AC 3; MV 6; HD 18; hp 80; THAC0 3 (0 with scythe +3); #AT 1; Dmg 4d10+3 (scythe +3); SA breathes poison gas once every rounds, Strength 24; SD immune to weapons of less +3 bonus, immune to most spells, magical fires heal 1 hit point per die of damage: SW electrical attacks slow the golem for three rounds; SZ L (10’ tall); ML fearless (20); Int very (12); AL N; XP 13,000.

Notes: gas breath can be used in addition to a physical attack. Gas fills a 10-foot cube directly in front of the golem and lasts 1 round. Creatures within the cloud must save vs. poison or die. This golem is immune to rust monster attacks.

Homebrew Conversion

Golem, Argent
Large Construct (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 18d10+30 (129 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares)
Armor Class: 30 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +20 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 29
Base Attack/Grapple: +13/+29
Attack: Silver scythe +27 melee (3d6+21/19-20×4)
Full Attack: Silver scythe +27/+22/+17 melee (3d6+21/19-20×4)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft. (15 ft. with silver scythe)
Special Attacks: Breath weapon, silver scythe
Special Qualities: Construct traits, damage reduction 15/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to magic, immunity to rust, low-light vision
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +9, Will +6
Abilities: Str 34, Dex 13, Con –, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 10
Skills: Listen +21, Sense Motive +21, Spot +21
Feats: Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Stand Still
Environment: Any (Heroic Domains of Ysgard)
Organization: Solitary or vigil (2-4)
Challenge Rating: 14
Treasure: Special (see below)
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 19-24 HD (Large); 25-54 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment:

A beautiful androgynous figure about twice as tall as a human, daintily holding an enormous scythe. Both its body and weapon appear to be a sculpted from whitish silver.

Argent golems are created by servants of the goddess Selûne on her home plane of Ysgard. Many of them serve as doormen at the entrances to Selûne's palace of Argentil. There are rumors that some argent golems have personalities and an alignment of "always chaotic good".

An argent golem does not value treasure and the magic silver scythe it wields is ruined if the golem is destroyed. However their bodies are made out of pure silver which is worth 17,000 gp if all 3,400 pounds of the golem's remains are collected. (Note that this is the Treasure per Encounter value of a monster with the golem's Challenge Rating. A more powerful argent golem will be larger and heavier so its silver's Treasure value matches its higher CR.)

An argent golem is 10 feet tall and weighs 3,400 pounds.

Combat
An argent golem is a fearless melee fighter. Their human-level intelligence and immunity to rust attacks makes them significantly more dangerous than an iron golem.

These golems make full use of their feats in combat. Their Combat Reflexes feat and 15 ft. reach may give them several attacks of opportunity in a round, and their Stand Still feat makes it harder to escape their reach. An argent golem often augments its damage with Power Attack, typically subtracting 7 points from its melee attack to make its silver scythe +20/+15/+10 melee (3d6+35/19-20×4). They will dynamically adjust their Power Attack values to adjust to the Armor Class of their opponents.

Breath Weapon (Su): 10-foot cube, cloud of poisonous gas lasting 1 round, free action once every 1d4+1 rounds; initial damage 1d4 Con, secondary damage 3d4 Con, Fortitude DC 19 negates. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Immunity to Magic (Ex): An argent golem is immune to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance. In addition, certain spells and effects function differently against the creature, as noted below.

A magical attack that deals electricity damage slows an argent golem (as the slow spell) for 3 rounds, with no saving throw.

A magical attack that deals fire damage breaks any slow effect on the golem and heals 1 point of damage for each 3 points of damage the attack would otherwise deal. If the amount of healing would cause the golem to exceed its full normal hit points, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. For example, an argent golem hit by a fireball gains back 6 hit points if the damage total is 18 points. An argent golem gets no saving throw against fire effects.

Immunity to Rust (Ex): Rust attacks, such as that of a rust monster or a rusting grasp spell, have no effect on an argent golem.

Silver Scythe: An argent golem's silver scythe functions like a Huge sized +3 keen ghost touch scythe with a 15-foot reach (20-foot for a Huge argent golem). It has the hardness and lightness of mithral and is treated as silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. The silver scythe is an intrinsic part of the golem. An argent golem cannot be disarmed or sundered, and if it is destroyed its silver scythe is also destroyed.

Note: Originally called "Silver Golem", renamed to avoid confusion with the Mystaran construct of the same name.


Originally appeared in Tales From the Infinite Staircase (1998) in Tale 1: Planewalkers
 

Cleon

Legend
Conversion Notes
This was pretty straightforward. Just take the SRD Iron Golem and add intelligence, skills & feats, a silver scythe and immunity to rust.

I didn't bother with a Construction entry since these things are made by Selûne's servants, not mortal mages.

I'd eyeball its Price at somewhere around 250,000 gp if it did have a Construction entry.

It'd be significantly cheaper to strip the keen and ghost touch properties from the scythe and give it Improved Critical (scythe) feat instead of Lightning Reflexes.

I did that in an earlier draft, but decided I liked giving it a magical weapon with a few special abilities above plain enhancement bonuses.

The ghost touch was to allow it to attack incorporeal intruders, and keen seemed an obvious match to a scythe.
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Back to the kamerel (I'll have to go over the others as we get to them, though perhaps we won't need to make many changes):

The quote I'm thinking of from the adventure is
And, by definition, this realm only exists when another being is looking into the reflection — for how can there be a reflection without someone to view it?
Thus, the kamerel’s desperate attempt at escape put them in a position where they only existed when other beings looked at them. Their xenophobia drove them mad in this situation, and they’ve remained within the reflection of mirrors and other shiny places for centuries now. Their entire existence consisted of hiding their ever-so-slight movements so that they were nothing more than a brief flicker in the corner of some mirror-gazer’s eye, so subtle that the viewer almost never noticed them. An unpleasant way to live to say the least.
So I'll agree with your interpretation of going mad because of other types of beings looking at them, but it seems to me that they pretty clearly don't exist except when someone else looks in the mirrors. That seems to indicate that they just keep their original equipment.
 

Cleon

Legend
Back to the kamerel (I'll have to go over the others as we get to them, though perhaps we won't need to make many changes):

Yes, I'm about done with the Staircase Homebrews. Only a couple left now - the Dark Dweller and its liquid opposite The Taker of Life. They're both nearly finished, but I keep on getting distracted when I try to finish polishing them.

So I'll agree with your interpretation of going mad because of other types of beings looking at them, but it seems to me that they pretty clearly don't exist except when someone else looks in the mirrors. That seems to indicate that they just keep their original equipment.

I'd be fine allowing a Kamerel to "enter reflection" with any objects they can carry, so long as they can't transport non-kamerel living creatures.

The idea of the mirror gear was more about whether the Kamerel can make stuff while in the Plane of Reflections than about what they can take into it, sparked by the line "The kamerel prepared the scry and transport mirrors called for in the following encounters long ago—they brought them along out of reflection, where they’ve spent the last few millennia".

If everything in Reflection is immaterial, the Kamerel would have to have taken all these magic mirrors with them when they entered Reflection thousands of years ago, but I get the feeling they "prepared" these items while they were in Reflection. These mirrors take a full year of preparation to make. Did they really have enough time and spare resources to manufacture a large stockpile of them at the same time as they were fleeing the Rilmani?

Anyhow, as I said earlier, the main issue is we need to nail down the nature of the Plane of Reflection and what state the Kamerel exist in while they are resident to that dimension. Here's a few problems I ran into while trying to write up a SQ for the Kamerel's Pass Into Reflection ability:


  1. Do the Kamerel in Reflection have a material existence relative to each other? i.e. can they touch, talk, cast spells etc on each other?
  2. What happens to them when the observer giving them reality looks away? I'd guess they either vanish until someone looks at them again or are instantly displaced to another reflection.
  3. What can the observer see of the kamerel? The text says "Their entire existence consisted of hiding their ever-so-slight movements so that they were nothing more than a brief flicker in the corner of some mirror-gazer’s eye, so subtle that the viewer almost never noticed them". That suggests they could show themselves to observers, but are using spells or stealth to conceal themselves.
  4. What counts as a reflection? It's not just mirrors, but "other shiny places" create spaces in Reflection a kamerel can exist in.
  5. Does the observer have to see the reflection clearly? If the glass is foggy, or they're looking at the reflection of something very far away or hazy, such as a distant mountain, does that exist in Reflection, and how does the Kamerel perceive it? If the observer views an indistinct reflection, does the Kamerel see a blurry equivalent in Reflection?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I'd be fine allowing a Kamerel to "enter reflection" with any objects they can carry, so long as they can't transport non-kamerel living creatures.

The idea of the mirror gear was more about whether the Kamerel can make stuff while in the Plane of Reflections than about what they can take into it, sparked by the line "The kamerel prepared the scry and transport mirrors called for in the following encounters long ago—they brought them along out of reflection, where they’ve spent the last few millennia".

If everything in Reflection is immaterial, the Kamerel would have to have taken all these magic mirrors with them when they entered Reflection thousands of years ago, but I get the feeling they "prepared" these items while they were in Reflection. These mirrors take a full year of preparation to make. Did they really have enough time and spare resources to manufacture a large stockpile of them at the same time as they were fleeing the Rilmani?

Anyhow, as I said earlier, the main issue is we need to nail down the nature of the Plane of Reflection and what state the Kamerel exist in while they are resident to that dimension. Here's a few problems I ran into while trying to write up a SQ for the Kamerel's Pass Into Reflection ability:


  1. Do the Kamerel in Reflection have a material existence relative to each other? i.e. can they touch, talk, cast spells etc on each other?
  2. What happens to them when the observer giving them reality looks away? I'd guess they either vanish until someone looks at them again or are instantly displaced to another reflection.
  3. What can the observer see of the kamerel? The text says "Their entire existence consisted of hiding their ever-so-slight movements so that they were nothing more than a brief flicker in the corner of some mirror-gazer’s eye, so subtle that the viewer almost never noticed them". That suggests they could show themselves to observers, but are using spells or stealth to conceal themselves.
  4. What counts as a reflection? It's not just mirrors, but "other shiny places" create spaces in Reflection a kamerel can exist in.
  5. Does the observer have to see the reflection clearly? If the glass is foggy, or they're looking at the reflection of something very far away or hazy, such as a distant mountain, does that exist in Reflection, and how does the Kamerel perceive it? If the observer views an indistinct reflection, does the Kamerel see a blurry equivalent in Reflection?

Well, I'm willing to leave aside the bit about foggy reflections as something for the DM to worry about.

Here's another question: Do reflections in any surface let kamerels live, or only mirrors in the library?

Anyway, I think your first question is the most important. If the answer is yes, then we should just state that and allow them to make magic items, etc. Though it's hard to imagine how they'd accumulate enough years of existence to make lots of items. If the answer is no, I'd just say that they had a number of the transport and scry mirrors made before the rilmani showed up --- they are mirror mages, after all --- and made more during a long enough retreat.
 

Cleon

Legend
Well, I'm willing to leave aside the bit about foggy reflections as something for the DM to worry about.

That'd be OK I guess, it's one of the less important questions about Reflection.

Here's another question: Do reflections in any surface let kamerels live, or only mirrors in the library?

I'm pretty certain it's not just mirrors in the Library. For a start, it says they can use any sufficiently shiny surface. Secondly, the Library is (was) a place shunned by Kamerel due to its connection with the non-kamerel beings, so it seems highly unlikely that they'd have used it as the place to move into Reflection. Thirdly, the Kamerel were, apparently, a huge empire when they Passed Into Reflection. It's seem difficult for every Kamerel on the plane to move into Reflection if they all had to crowd into one place (the Library does have the advantage of being potentially infinitely large on the inside, but all the Kamerel would still need to file through the door to get inside).

Anyway, I think your first question is the most important. If the answer is yes, then we should just state that and allow them to make magic items, etc. Though it's hard to imagine how they'd accumulate enough years of existence to make lots of items. If the answer is no, I'd just say that they had a number of the transport and scry mirrors made before the rilmani showed up --- they are mirror mages, after all --- and made more during a long enough retreat.

Well there's flavour about them being in Reflection for millennia, so a Kamerel Mirror Mage wouldn't only need to be "in existence" for a percent or so of that time to have decades to enchant the mirrors.
 


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