Converting monsters from Tales From The Infinite Staircase

Cleon

Legend
Lesser Sliver Homebrew

Original Stats
The first living beings encountered by the PCs will most likely be the shards. These beings resemble human women but are composed of moonlight and flame, the illumination of which shines visibly in their eyes, their hair, and even from the tips of their fingers.

Shards have unpredictable temperaments. They try to be friendly and accommodating, yet they are quick to anger and easily offended. Anything pertaining to Selûne, the realm, the palace, the moon, or the shards themselves might enrage them if phrased as anything but a compliment. If angered, they might attack characters for a round or two or they might just leave. If treated well, however, the shards can relate that the Planewalker’s Guild has its headquarters on the Infinite Staircase. They’ll even show the PCs how to get there and tell them a little about its nature if asked nicely.

The shards and the lillendi (see below) tolerate each other, but a body wouldn’t call them allies. The shards do not go into those areas under the jurisdiction of the lillendi, and vice versa.

SHARD: AC 6; MV 12; HD 3; hp 14; THAC0 17; #AT 1; Dmg 1d4 (fist); SA cast light, darkness 10-foot radius, burning hands, faerie fire and dancing lights each 3×/day (at 5th level); SD immune to fire, can see in any amount of light, darkness or shadow; SZ M (5’ tall); ML steady (11–12); Int avg (8–10); AL CG; XP 975.

Homebrew Conversion

Sliver, Lesser
Medium outsider (chaotic, extraplanar, good)
Hit Dice: 3d8+3 (16 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 60 ft. (good)
Armor Class: 14 (+2 Dex, +2 deflection), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+4
Attack: Starfire fist +4 melee (1d4+3, or 2d4+3 against undead)
Full Attack: 2 starfire fists +4 melee (1d4+3, or 2d4+3 against undead)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Moon magic, spell-like abilities, starfire fist
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., immunities (acid, disease, electricity, fire, light, petrification, poison), low-light vision, lucid vision, moonlight, moonward
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +4
Abilities: Str 13, Dex 14, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 15
Skills Concentration +7, Diplomacy +8, Knowledge (religion) +6, Knowledge (the planes) +6, Listen +9, Performance (any one) +8, Spellcraft +6, Spot +9, Survival +1 (+3 on the planes)
Feats
Alertness, Combat Reflexes
Environment: Heroic Domains of Ysgard
Organization: Solitary, crescent (2-4), quarter (5-10), circle (11-20), or synod (20-50)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always chaotic good
Advancement: 4–6 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment:

This being resembles a beautiful woman whose form shines like moonlit fire. The brightest light comes from her eyes, hair, and fingertips.

Slivers are shining female celestials said to be composed of moonlight and fire. They serve Selûne, Goddess of the Moon, and are sometimes called “shards” after the seven planetars who also serve that goddess. The lesser slivers described here are weaker cousins to the slivers detailed in Dragon #353. While the true shards are amongst Selûne’s mightiest celestial servants, lesser slivers are one of her weakest, being little more potent than a petitioner. They are identical to normal slivers in appearance and temperament, except they cannot sprout wings and fly. Lesser slivers dwell in the Gates of the Moon on Ysgard; they seldom leave that region and are rarely encountered on other planes. Lesser slivers yearn to become standard slivers and serve Selûne as messengers. It may take millennia of service for a lesser sliver to win the favor of the unpredictable moon goddess, but some “earn their wings” with a single artistic performance or deed of heroism.

Like other slivers, they are generally friendly or indifferent to non-evil visitors to their home, but are extremely hot-tempered and liable to erupt into a fury at any perceived insult. Should a creature make a remark about the goddess Selûne, her realm in Ysgard, the Moon, or the slivers themselves that is not phrased as a complement a sliver is likely to take offense and either attack the insulter or storm off in a huff. Slivers always attack evil creatures, who they can sense with their detect evil ability.

Slivers speak Celestial and Common.

A lesser sliver is about 5 feet tall and weighs 120 pounds on average.

Combat
Lesser slivers recklessly attack evil creatures or those who provoke them. They prefer using their burning hands, darkness, or faerie fire spell-like abilities in combat, but will freely strike with their starfire fists when it’s appropriate. When facing non-evil creatures, a lesser sliver usually attacks for a few rounds and then pause to see if its opponents will offer apologies or submission, they often use less deadly attacks (such as flare or nonlethal blows) during this time. If their opponents are evil, they would rather fight to the death than parley, although they may reluctantly flee if the slivers’ destruction seems certain.

A lesser sliver’s natural weapons, including her starfire fists, are treated as good-aligned, chaotic-aligned, and silver weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Lucid Vision (Ex): A lesser sliver can see as clearly as normal daylight in all degrees of light or darkness, provided she can see anything at all. Thus, she can see colors in total (non-magical) darkness with her 60 ft. darkvision, and a darkness spell does not impose concealment (20% miss chance) since she can still see in its shadowy illumination. Similarly, she will never be blinded or dazzled by light, no matter how bright it is. However, a blacklight spell’s total darkness is impenetrable to darkvision and normal vision, meaning it fully affects a lesser sliver. Lucid vision only penetrates light and darkness, so concealment due to cover, fog and the like affect the lesser sliver normally.

Moon Magic (Ex): A lesser sliver casts spells and spell-like abilities at +1 caster level when standing in visible moonlight, or +2 caster level on the three nights of the full moon. This benefit does not apply during the day, underground, or during a new moon.

Moonlight (Ex): A lesser sliver constantly emits moonlight from her body. She can vary the brightness of her moonlight at will, ranging from light equal to a candle (dimly illuminates 5 ft. radius) up to a hooded lantern (clearly illuminates 30-foot radius, shadowy light to 60 ft. radius), or any degree in-between. Lesser slivers can suppress their moonlight as a free action if they need to hide, but are loathe to do so.

Moonward (Su): A lesser sliver’s innate magic grants her a +2 deflection bonus on AC and also functions as a protection from evil effect for the sliver (caster level 5th). This warding aura can be dispelled, but the sliver can create it again, as a free action, at will. (The defensive benefits from the protection from evil effect are not included in the stat block.)

Spell-Like Abilities (Sp):
At-will—flare (DC 12), light; 3/day—burning hands (DC 13), dancing lights, darkness, daylight, detect evil, faerie fire. Caster level 5th, the save DCs are Charisma-based.

Starfire Fist (Su): A lesser sliver produces star-like motes of twinkling light from her hands when she attacks her foes. A starfire fist does 1d4 damage plus the lesser sliver’s Strength modifier and her Charisma bonus. The base damage increases to 2d4 against undead.


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

Legend
Shad Homebrew

Original Stats
...a group of diminutive earth creatures called shad, leap out of the Dream Diver and attack the PCs, using wire-mesh nets to capture them. These creatures most likely pose little threat to the PCs...

...Mulk, a shad particularly unwilling to go into battle, hangs back at the pretense of controlling the chaos environment for his side, but planning to attempt an escape when the opportunity presents itself.

Each shad holds a single net, capable of holding a creature up to 10 feet tall. Attack with a net requires a successful attack roll by the shad. Once a net hits a character, she must make a successful Strength check to escape—this check can be attempted once per round, but the victim cannot make any other actions while trapped.

SHAD SLAVES (6+1 per PC): AC 6; MV 12; HD 2+1; hp 8 each; THAC0 19; #AT 1; Dmg 1d4 (dagger); SA Nets; SD immune to poison, disease, petrification and paralyzation, +1 to saving throws vs. spell, breath weapon, and wands, contort to fit through areas as small as 6 inches square; SZ S (4’ tall); ML steady (11); Int avg (9–10); AL N; XP 175 each.

MULK, SHAD: AC 5 (wooden shield); MV 12; HD 3; hp 15; THAC0 17; #AT 1; Dmg 1d4 (dagger); SA Net; SD immune to poison, disease, petrification and paralyzation, +1 to saving throws vs. spell, breath weapon, and wands, contort to fit through areas as small as 6 inches square; SZ M (5’ tall); ML steady (12); Int avg (10); AL N; XP 270.

Homebrew Conversion

Shad
Small Outsider (Earth, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 2d8+2 (11 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+1 size, +3 natural), touch 11, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+3
Attack: Dagger +4 melee (1d4+1) or dagger +3 ranged (1d4+1) or net +4 ranged touch (special)
Full Attack: Dagger +4 melee (1d4+1) or dagger +3 ranged (1d4+1) or net +4 ranged touch (special)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Net mastery, shad metal net
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., illiteracy, immunities (disease, paralysation, petrification & poison), squeeze
Saves: Fort +4, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 11, Cha 9
Skills: Appraise +3 (+5 for Craft-related items), Craft (any one) +5, Escape Artist +12, Hide +5, Listen +5, Move Silently +5, Profession (miner) +5, Spot +5, Survival +3, Use Rope +6 (+8 bind with net)
Feats: Endurance, Weapon Focus (net) (B)
Environment: Elemental Plane of Earth
Organization: Solitary, clump (2–5), or bole (6–60)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: 50% coins, standard goods (gems only), 50% items
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 3–6 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: +2

A man-shaped being the size of a large gnome or small dwarf. It appears to be a living creature, but its physiology looks more like clay or loam than normal flesh.

Shad are an intelligent race native to the Elemental Plane of Earth. They are a simple people who live in small communities called boles. Shad are relatively weak and they are often enslaved by stronger creatures especially dao genies. Indeed, the majority of plane travelers only encounter shad as slaves of the dao. Those shad who remain free dwell in out-of-the way areas that are low in minerals in the hope of avoiding confrontation with more powerful earth creatures, since there is little in such places to interest them. Unfortunately, the shad themselves are of interest to the dao, who often mount slave-taking raids on free shad settlements.

A shad’s bones are amazingly elastic, and their flesh is as pliable as clay, allowing them to comfortably squeeze through remarkably tight spaces. Shad feel more comfortable in narrow cracks and crevices where larger creatures have difficulty reaching them.

Shad are proficient in simple weapons and nets.

A typical shad stands 4 feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds, while advanced shad grow up to 5 feet tall, or a few inches more, and can weigh 200 to 300 pounds.

Shad speak Common and Terran. Most shad cannot read.

Combat
Most shad dislike combat, and they normally only fight in self-defense or when forced to by a dao master. They prefer to attack with shad metal nets, then if they succeed in entangling their opponents they close to melee range and either stab their foes with daggers or bind them with in nets.

Shad are fairly steady in combat, but their courage usually fails if half their number fall in battle. Not even the cruellest of dao masters can instil enough fear into shad to prevent them scattering in the face of such losses. A fleeing shad tries to squeeze into a bolt-hole and hide.

Illiteracy: Shad do not automatically know how to read and write. Shad may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages they are able to speak. A shad who gains a level in any character class other than barbarian automatically gains literacy.

Net Mastery (Ex): Shad are experts with nets. A shad is treated as if it were one size category larger than its actual size when using a net, which allows a Small shad to net a creature up to size Large. Furthermore, on any round a shad controls a net’s trailing rope an opponent entangled in the net has –2 competence penalty to skill checks or ability checks involving the net (i.e. Concentration checks to cast spells while entangled, Escape Artist checks to escape the net, Strength checks to resist forced movement or burst the net, or Use Rope to bind a character). Finally, shad have Weapon Focus (net) as a bonus feat.

Shad Metal Net (Ex): A shad normally carries a wire-mesh net made from a special metal that shad can infuse with their own natural malleability, making its wires as flexible as silk cords. A shad metal net has hardness 10, 5 hit points, and requires a DC 26 Strength check to break (DC 28 on rounds the shad is using its Net Mastery). If a shad metal net is out of contact with a shad for more than an hour, the net’s infused flexibility fades and its wire-mesh becomes as stiff as steel cables. This does not change the wire-mesh’s durability, but makes it useless as a net (although already entangled opponents will still be trapped by it). A shad can restore a shad metal net’s flexibility by handling it for a minute.

Squeeze (Ex): A shad's malleable flesh allows it to move and fight in confined spaces as if it was one size smaller than it actually is (although it still has the Space and Reach of its normal size). In addition, a shad can fit through a gap as narrow as 6 inches square as a full round action.

Skills: Shad have a +10 racial bonus to Escape Artist checks and a +2 racial bonus on Profession (miner) and Use Rope.


Originally appeared in Tales From the Infinite Staircase (1998) in Tale 4: In Disarray.
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Kamerel first:

Size distortion makes thematic sense, but why not base it on reduce person instead? That's the precedent (see efreeti and duergar).
Pass Into Reflection and other mirror-related abilities will be good, and I agree we can discuss them more (of course! ;)).
I'm not sold on Madness, though. However, making them sorcerers and limiting their spells known to "mirror magic" might be a simple solution to the casting issue.
 


Cleon

Legend
Kamerel first:

Size distortion makes thematic sense, but why not base it on reduce person instead? That's the precedent (see efreeti and duergar).

An examination of the power description I proposed should reveal that it is based on reduce person.

The differences from the Efreet/Duergar version are deliberate.

Firstly, kamerel live so close to the Spire of the Outlands that only 1st level spells work (the Spire's magic-dampening powers still exist in 3rd Edition, going by Manual of the Planes). Regular reduce person spells or "This is the equivalent of a 2nd-level spell" (Sp) powers like am Efreeti's Change Self simply don't work.

Making it a (Su) is worse, since the Spire cancels all Su powers within 600 miles, while 2nd level spells are only cancelled within 200 miles.

I'm going to propose that a kamerel spellcaster's "Mirror Magic" spells are less effected by the Spire which we could extend to (Sp) powers, but I'll leave that argument for later.

The "no ability changes" was mainly to make the maths easier, but it was also motivated by the "Kamerel Warrior" being Small size according to the original stats.

Pass Into Reflection and other mirror-related abilities will be good, and I agree we can discuss them more (of course! ;)).
I'm not sold on Madness, though. However, making them sorcerers and limiting their spells known to "mirror magic" might be a simple solution to the casting issue.

The adventure is pretty clear that these mirror-berks are all completely barkin' after their long stay on the other side of the mirror.

I have a bunch of ideas for various kamerel powers which I will unveil in the near future. The Pass Into Reflection is proving to be tricky. I haven't worked out a proposal I'm happy with so far.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I meant, why not just say "it functions as reduce person"? I'd much prefer that.

Hmmm. I don't think I realized that about the Outlands. Why not make it an Sp and give them a "Mirror Magic" SQ that lets them cast and use SLAs near the Spire?
 

Oryan77

Adventurer
I meant, why not just say "it functions as reduce person"? I'd much prefer that.

Hmmm. I don't think I realized that about the Outlands. Why not make it an Sp and give them a "Mirror Magic" SQ that lets them cast and use SLAs near the Spire?

All magic is affected on the Outlands. Spell-like abilities are annulled the same way that normal spells are (per spell level) depending on the ring you're in. Even Supernatural abilities are annulled (within the 5th ring I believe).

Divine powers, poison, Psionics, astral travel, and Positive & Negative Energy are also annulled depending on the ring you're in. I think this is all covered in the 3e Manual of the Planes. But I could be thinking of some 2e Planescape rules.

I don't remember what ring this adventure takes place in. But this stuff might be something to consider. Just trying to be helpful. :)
 

Cleon

Legend
I meant, why not just say "it functions as reduce person"? I'd much prefer that.

But that doesn't have enough exception-based design! :p

We don't necessarily have to give them size-shifting, since there's no mention of it in the original. The kamerel warriors could simply be a separate small-size caste, with the drivers/wizards being a medium size caste, but I preferred the idea of them having a size-shifting ability (mostly because it fits in nicely with the size limit of their Transport Mirrors).

Hmmm. I don't think I realized that about the Outlands. Why not make it an Sp and give them a "Mirror Magic" SQ that lets them cast and use SLAs near the Spire?

The Kamerel's "Mirror Magic" is pretty definitely their version of arcane spellcasting, not SLAs, going by the original adventure.
 

Cleon

Legend
All magic is affected on the Outlands. Spell-like abilities are annulled the same way that normal spells are (per spell level) depending on the ring you're in. Even Supernatural abilities are annulled (within the 5th ring I believe).

Divine powers, poison, Psionics, astral travel, and Positive & Negative Energy are also annulled depending on the ring you're in. I think this is all covered in the 3e Manual of the Planes. But I could be thinking of some 2e Planescape rules.

I don't remember what ring this adventure takes place in. But this stuff might be something to consider. Just trying to be helpful. :)

The 3E Manual of the Planes rules on the Outlands are pretty similar to the original Planescape version.

The Tales From the Infinite Staircase adventure the Kamerel appear in specifies that only 1st level spells will function, so it must be in the band 101-200 miles distant from the Spire.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
It just seems to me that the easiest thing to do is to have

Mirror Magic (Ex): Kamerel are able to cast arcane ? spells up to X level in the Outlands.

Then I'd either not give them Su or Sp abilities or else add SLAs to that ability.
 

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