log in or register to remove this ad

 

3E/3.5 Kraken Variants

Cleon

Adventurer
Hey, two posts for you, too!
That's odd. There was only one copy when I posted that reply. Must be a system glitch.

I have to say that I like that for the Aspect. So let's go with it.
Good-oh.

I forgot to include the DC-determining ability in the description, but I'll make it "The save DCs are Charisma-based" as per standard.

I just looked through that book review again and didn't see anything that really adds to special abilities for the aspect, but it seems a bit light. What else do you think would work? Improved Grab and Constrict I think are good, but I'm not sure what else is good for this.
The only thing that tempted me was true seeing based on a rather loose interpretation of the eyes of a Khalk'ru mural seeming to gaze into the viewer's very soul.

Oh, and I think we should consider giving it Spell Resistance and maybe immunity to mind-affecting abilities, despite the original lacking those qualities. It needs at least some defences.

Anyhow, I'll add Constrict and Improved Grab while updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Cleon

Adventurer
Oh, we need to decide how much physical damage the tentacles do.

I'd go for 2d8 like a standard Kraken's tentacle attack.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I'll go for true seeing, sure. And 2d8 for the tentacle is fine.

We should work out the AC. Somewhere around your suggested value of 32 is probably ok; it's not too far from similar-HD demons and devils. What if we give it a +5 deflection AC (like a profane bonus) equal to its Cha bonus and then natural AC from +14 to +16, which is close enough to a kraken's NA to be reasonable. That gets us to AC 30 or 32.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I'll go for true seeing, sure. And 2d8 for the tentacle is fine.
So what about the idea of adding some defensive qualities such as Spell Resistance or Immunity to Mind-Affecting Effects?

We should work out the AC. Somewhere around your suggested value of 32 is probably ok; it's not too far from similar-HD demons and devils. What if we give it a +5 deflection AC (like a profane bonus) equal to its Cha bonus and then natural AC from +14 to +16, which is close enough to a kraken's NA to be reasonable. That gets us to AC 30 or 32.
Works for me. I'd stick to the proposed AC 32 mostly since it has a "2" in it like the original's -2.

I might as well formalize the profane bonus as a SQ.

Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That all looks good, and I'm fine with adding SR and Immunity to Mind-Affecting Effects.

Skills: Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Spot, ??? I'm having some trouble thinking of skills that a giant tentacle needs! :p
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That all looks good, and I'm fine with adding SR and Immunity to Mind-Affecting Effects.
Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

Skills: Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Spot, ??? I'm having some trouble thinking of skills that a giant tentacle needs! :p
Profession (masseur), Sleight of Hand and Tumble, obviously. ;)

I guess we could cadge a few skills from the regular Kraken. They have Concentration, Diplomacy, Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (geography), Knowledge (nature), Listen, Search, Sense Motive, Spot, Use Magic Device.

Of those Hide, Intimidate, Listen and Spot are good vanilla choices. The "peering into your very soul" flavour could be interpreted as it having a high Sense Motive skill.

Your suggestions of Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes) make good sense.

That leaves one.

Maybe Use Magic Device or Knowledge (arcana)?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Either of those would work if you have a strong preference. I think Know. (arcana) seems to fit a bit better from my feel for the flavor, though.

Feats: Power Attack, Imp. Bull Rush, Snatch (I know, it already has a lot of these abilities, but a giant tentacle should really be able to throw someone around), Lightning Reflexes, Cleave, Great Cleave? I could see swapping in Blind Fight, perhaps.

I feel like it should communicate telepathically.

Did we ever settle on a value for SR?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Either of those would work if you have a strong preference. I think Know. (arcana) seems to fit a bit better from my feel for the flavor, though.
OK, let's use arcana then.

That's 18 ranks apiece in Hide, Intimidate, Knowledge (arcana), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes), Listen, Sense Motive and Spot.

Which comes out to…

Skills: Diplomacy +7, Hide +11, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (arcana) +18, Knowledge (religion) +18, Knowledge (the planes) +18, Listen +18, Sense Motive +18, Spot +18, Survival +5 (+7 on other planes)

Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

Feats: Power Attack, Imp. Bull Rush, Snatch (I know, it already has a lot of these abilities, but a giant tentacle should really be able to throw someone around), Lightning Reflexes, Cleave, Great Cleave? I could see swapping in Blind Fight, perhaps.
I'm not keen on some of those. The flavour suggests Khalk'ru would prefer to annihilate enemies with its touch of destruction rather than pushing or tossing them about. Power Attack doesn't seem of much use either, since it makes it less likely to hit with its destructive touch.

Your final suggestions of Lightning Reflexes, Cleave and Great Cleave are fine though.

A regular Kraken has Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Iron Will.

Of those, I like Blind-Fight and Improved Initiative.

That leaves one. Maybe Combat Reflexes to increase its opportunity attacks?

Feats: Blind-Fight, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Cleave, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

I feel like it should communicate telepathically.
I was wondering about giving it some ability to "mind influence" people to help explain how it formed a cult of worshippers (and maybe why the hero of the book thinks he's the reincarnation of Khalk'ru's champion) but couldn't decide how to solidly express that as a mechanic. Maybe something similar to the modify memory spell or the psionic modify memory power? It would need to be able to work across planar barriers for Khalk'ru to work its will from "beyond".

There's no indication it can "talk" telepathically. They don't seem to be sure whether it has a mind or intelligence. That'd be obvious if they could chat with it.

Did we ever settle on a value for SR?
No. Something like SR 24 or 25 feels about right for the Aspect.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Your suggested feats and skills will be fine.

How about SR 25?

The text I saw on it in the article you linked was mostly a combat scene, IIRC, though. I wouldn't expect it to talk much, even if it could. I'd just say telepathy feels right. But if you really don't like that, let's just forget communication. It's an aspect of a demigod or something similar, so maybe the "real" Khalk'ru communicates to its priests the way gods normally do.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Your suggested feats and skills will be fine.

How about SR 25?
Fine by me.

Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

The text I saw on it in the article you linked was mostly a combat scene, IIRC, though. I wouldn't expect it to talk much, even if it could. I'd just say telepathy feels right. But if you really don't like that, let's just forget communication. It's an aspect of a demigod or something similar, so maybe the "real" Khalk'ru communicates to its priests the way gods normally do.
Suits me.

We can think about giving the real Khalk'ru some kind of extraplanar influencing people ability when we get around to that conversion.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Sounds good.

We should probably modify Touch of Destruction so that " Any creature hit by an aspect of khalk'ru's tentacle attack or damaged by its constrict attack" is subject to the destruction.

Tactics: An aspect of Khalk'ru uses its Touch of Destruction as its primary weapon, constricting the most powerful or otherwise desirable opponents to ensure their demise. ??
 

Cleon

Adventurer
We should probably modify Touch of Destruction so that " Any creature hit by an aspect of khalk'ru's tentacle attack or damaged by its constrict attack" is subject to the destruction.
It'd be simpler to say "Any creature hit by an aspect of khalk'ru's tentacle or constrict attacks".

Tactics: An aspect of Khalk'ru uses its Touch of Destruction as its primary weapon, constricting the most powerful or otherwise desirable opponents to ensure their demise. ??
It's "primary weapon"? The dang thing doesn't have any other weapons unless you consider mildly unnerving creatures with the Intimidate skill a weapon.

Let's see.

An aspect of Khalk'ru uses its Cleave and Combat Reflexes feats to try to hit as many opponents as possible and affect them with its touch of destruction ability. It reserves its improved grab and constrict special attacks for powerful or desirable targets.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Well, I think I meant as opposed to constriction. But your proposal will work. Your suggestion for the Touch of Destruction text is fine, too.

Description: A gigantic tentacle extending from a rippling hole in the air. ???

Maybe the flavor text can borrow from whatever we come up with for the full Khalk'ru, which I'd say we're pretty close to starting.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Well, I think I meant as opposed to constriction. But your proposal will work. Your suggestion for the Touch of Destruction text is fine, too.
Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

Description: A gigantic tentacle extending from a rippling hole in the air. ???

Maybe the flavor text can borrow from whatever we come up with for the full Khalk'ru, which I'd say we're pretty close to starting.
I'd omit the reference to the "rippling hole in the air" since the one in the story extended from a immense shard of yellow translucent stone which appears to be the material used to create items that summon Khalk'ru.

Also, there are multiple uses of "black tentacles" and "black octopus" in the original text so we'd better refer to that hue.

Hmm… I'd keep the aspect's text simple and leave the bulk of the descriptive text for the main entry.

How's this:

A gigantic black tentacle coils in the air. It resembles the limb of a titanic octopus with sucking discs along its inner surface, but there is something ineffably hideous about it.

An aspect of Khalk'ru is a single tentacle from a terrifying extraplanar entity known as Khalk'ru the Dissolver who's only interest in the Material Plane is its annihilation. Crazed worshippers call upon Khalk'ru to destroy sacrifices or enemies and beg it to spare them. Most cults of Khalk'ru lack the means or power to conjure The Dissolver in its entirety so summon an aspect of Khalk'ru instead.

An aspect of khalk'ru is a 50 foot long tentacle.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Works for me!

Let's finish these up.

Since they're typically summoned, how about Environment: Any?
Always NE works for me, but I'm not opposed to CE, either.
The proposed advancement is ok, but I wouldn't mind leaving it at - since this thing is more or less unique. What would an advanced one mean really?
CR of 16 maybe? I think it's not quite as powerful as a marilith, but it's close.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Works for me!

Let's finish these up.

Since they're typically summoned, how about Environment: Any?
Always NE works for me, but I'm not opposed to CE, either.
The proposed advancement is ok, but I wouldn't mind leaving it at - since this thing is more or less unique.
I was unconvinced by the Advancement as well. It's certainly easier to change the Advancement from "Gargantuan 16-32 HD (Gargantuan); 33-60 HD (Colossal)" to "—".

Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

CR of 16 maybe? I think it's not quite as powerful as a marilith, but it's close.
Hurr… that's a tricky one. Khalk'ru is a one-trick pony but it's an awfully nasty trick.

I don't think it's Challenge Rating 16 nasty though - 1d4 negative levels per hit would require 6 strikes for an aspect to annihilate a level-equivalent foe and are easily removed by a standard 4th-level restoration spell.

A planetar is CR 16 and they're way nastier (although admittedly they're under-CR'd). Nightwalkers and Horned Devils are CR 16 and have similar defenses but a lot more versatile abilities and higher damage output.

I'd go for CR 15.

The proposed advancement is ok, but I wouldn't mind leaving it at - since this thing is more or less unique. What would an advanced one mean really?
Originally I was toying with the idea of having some special scheme that altered the number of tentacles involved and ended up with the HD near to that of the full manifestation of Khalk'ru.

Something like for each additional 3 or 4 HD of advancement the aspect of Khalk'ru can squeeze one more tentacle into the material world. The placeholder was based on 4 HD per tentacle (so two tentacles at 19-22 HD, three at 23-26 HD, four at 27-30 HD and so on) and allowing an aspect to have all twelve of Khalk'ru tentacles (at 59 HD). Although 3 HD per tentacle with a max HD of 50 seems a more attractive progression now.

Upon reflection, that's awfully fiddly and I'm not thinking 50 or 60 HD might be too many for Khalk'ru in all his glory. That's way more than even a Demon Prince or the like. Heck, it's more than any of the Greater Titan conversions we made.

Also, there'd be quite a jump in power with each tentacle it gains which means the standard CR advancement wouldn't work either. It would make more sense to do it like a Hydra and have separate "Aspect of Khalk'ru, N-tentacled" in progression.

That seems more trouble than it's worth, so shall we move on to the full McCoy once we'd settled on the aspect's Challenge Rating?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Hurr… that's a tricky one. Khalk'ru is a one-trick pony but it's an awfully nasty trick.

I don't think it's Challenge Rating 16 nasty though - 1d4 negative levels per hit would require 6 strikes for an aspect to annihilate a level-equivalent foe and are easily removed by a standard 4th-level restoration spell.

A planetar is CR 16 and they're way nastier (although admittedly they're under-CR'd). Nightwalkers and Horned Devils are CR 16 and have similar defenses but a lot more versatile abilities and higher damage output.

I'd go for CR 15.

*SNIP*

That seems more trouble than it's worth, so shall we move on to the full McCoy once we'd settled on the aspect's Challenge Rating?
Upon reflection, even CR 15 might be a little too high.

The annihilation effect is basically just extra flavour on top of a 1d4 level energy drain. If it was just ordinary energy drain a victim who lost all their levels would be just as dead.

So a better comparison would be to an energy-draining monster.

Consider the CR 11 Devourer or the CR 7 Spectre.

The EL table says that four Devourers or 7-9 Spectres that are advanced to their maximum of HD 14 would be an equal threat to the aspect of Khalk'ru's CR 15, but is that so?

The devourers can potentially do 8d6+72 damage plus eight energy levels per round with their claw attacks, while the spectres' incorporeal touches can do up to 9d8 plus 18 energy levels per round! On paper the spectres are way nastier.

The aspect of Khalk'ru does 2d8+18 plus 1d4 energy levels. A melee combatant with a lifedrinker can easily do worse than that at CR 15.

Challenge Rating isn't an exact science, let alone the Encounter Level rules, but I'm growing more confident in thinking CR 15 or lower.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Those devourers and advanced spectres have much lower ACs, though (which is definitely counteracted a bit by the spectres' incorporeality I concede). And a considerably lower attack bonus, to boot. So our aspect can possibly last longer and definitely has a better chance to do damage each round. I'd worry about dropping the CR too much. What if we give it some ability to make more attacks per round or use its tentacle attack while grappling? Would that push it up to CR 15 for you? And/or just boost the energy level damage?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Those devourers and advanced spectres have much lower ACs, though (which is definitely counteracted a bit by the spectres' incorporeality I concede). And a considerably lower attack bonus, to boot. So our aspect can possibly last longer and definitely has a better chance to do damage each round. I'd worry about dropping the CR too much. What if we give it some ability to make more attacks per round or use its tentacle attack while grappling? Would that push it up to CR 15 for you? And/or just boost the energy level damage?
It's already got Great Cleave and Combat Reflexes to add to its attack opportunities but I do approve of the idea of improving its ability to tentacle-attack while grappling.

I propose adding Expert Grappler, as in:

Expert Grappler (Ex) A grell that chooses to grapple with one tentacle and remain ungrappled itself takes only a –10 penalty on its grapple checks instead of the normal –20 penalty.

I'm also in favour of increasing the Energy Drain damage to make it worthier of CL 15.

How about making it 1d4+2 energy levels rather than 1d4?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
We'd have to modify the language a bit, but this should be ok (perhaps being overly explicit):
Expert Grappler (Ex) If the aspect of Khalk'ru chooses to grapple but remain ungrappled itself takes only a –10 penalty on its grapple checks instead of the normal –20 penalty. It may then make tentacle attacks as normal.

1d4+2 levels of energy drain works for me.
 

Most Liked Threads

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top