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3E/3.5 Kraken Variants

Cleon

Adventurer
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.
The first sentence is a bit cludgey. How about:

Expert Grappler (Ex): An aspect of Khalk'ru that chooses to grapple an opponent but remain ungrappled itself only takes 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.
Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.
 

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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
That looks fine. So I think an update with Expert Grappler and a choice of CR is all that's left. Is CR 15 ok for you?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
That looks fine. So I think an update with Expert Grappler and a choice of CR is all that's left.
Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

Is CR 15 ok for you?
It's within my range of tolerances. It does look a tad nastier than a CR 14 Nightwing so let's stick to Challenge Rating 15.

So now on to the "Full Version". I'd prefer to do the stats first and work out the flavour text for both at the same time.

Let's see…

Increase size to Colossal?

Increase Hit Dice to 30 or more? I'm reluctant to give it more than Demogorgon (37 HD).

Give it twelve tentacle attacks since it has a dozen such limbs.

Boost its abilities.

Let's see, the 27 HD Fiendish Codex I major manifestation of Demogorgon has Str 38, Dex 27, Con 38, Int 26, Wis 22, Cha 28 while its 37 HD full manifestation in Dungeon #150 / Dragon #357 has Str 42, Dex 32, Con 46, Int 30, Wis 26, Cha 32.

That's Str +4, Dex +5, Con +8, Int +4, Wis +4, Cha +4.

Which'd make our "Full Khal'kru" Str 38, Dex 25, Con 37, Int 15, Wis 24, Cha 24.

Hmm… that looks OK to me, although since I'm talking of giving it at least +15 HD instead of the +10 that the two versions of Demogorgon have, I'd be willing to tweak those +4 boosts to +6 and the +8 Con boost to +10 or +12.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Colossal is definitely right. I think Colossal+ is probably a bit too much. :D

HD30 is ok, though you could argue me up to as much as 33 if you wanted.

Yes to 12 tentacles The ability scores you list are ok, but I do agree with some of the tweaks. In particular, let's bump Str, Con, Wis, and Cha by +2 more. I know Int 15 is pretty low for an extraplanar deity-like being, but Khal'kru just doesn't seem superintelligent to me.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Colossal is definitely right. I think Colossal+ is probably a bit too much. :D

HD30 is ok, though you could argue me up to as much as 33 if you wanted.

Yes to 12 tentacles The ability scores you list are ok, but I do agree with some of the tweaks. In particular, let's bump Str, Con, Wis, and Cha by +2 more. I know Int 15 is pretty low for an extraplanar deity-like being, but Khal'kru just doesn't seem superintelligent to me.
So +2 more to Strength, Constitution, Wisdom & Charisma on top of the Str 38, Dex 25, Con 37, Int 15, Wis 24, Cha 24?

I'm fine with that.

Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
So +2 more to Strength, Constitution, Wisdom & Charisma on top of the Str 38, Dex 25, Con 37, Int 15, Wis 24, Cha 24?

I'm fine with that.

Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.
Okay, the first question mark is the Armour Class.

Here are a few Demon Lords for comparisons:

Adimarchus, Angelic Form (Dungeon #116): HD 30; AC 42, touch 25, flat-footed 36
(+6 Dex, +7 armor, +9 insight, +10 natural)
Adimarchus, Demonic Form (Dungeon #116): HD 30; AC 45, touch 25, flat-footed 39
(+6 Dex, +9 insight, +20 natural)
Demogorgon (Dragon #357): HD 37; AC 59, touch 19, flat-footed 44
(–2 size, +11 Dex, +32 natural, +4 armor, +4 deflection)
Demogorgon (Fiendish Codex I): HD 27; AC 43, touch 16, flat-footed 35
(–2 size, +8 Dex, +27 natural)
Demogorgon (Book of Vile Darkness): HD 39; AC 47, touch 25, flat-footed 39
(–2 size, +8 Dex, +9 insight, +18 natural, +4 mage armor)
Graz'zt (Dragon #360): HD 37; AC 54, touch 36, flat-footed 43
(–1 size, +11 Dex, +11 natural, +7 shield, +16 deflection)
Graz'zt (Fiendish Codex I): HD 27; AC 54, touch 12, flat-footed 51
(–1 size, +3 Dex, +22 natural, +13 armor, +7 shield)
Graz'zt (Book of Vile Darkness): HD 36; AC 43, touch 25, flat-footed 33
(–1 size, +10 Dex, +6 insight, +13 natural, +5 shield)
Juiblex (Fiendish Codex I): HD 21; AC 31, touch 11, flat-footed 29
(–1 size, +2 Dex, +20 natural)
Juiblex (Book of Vile Darkness): HD 26; AC 37, touch 22, flat-footed 34
(–1 size, +3 Dex, +10 insight, +15 natural)
Obox-Ob (Fiendish Codex I): HD 26; AC 41, touch 11, flat-footed 38
(–2 size, +3 Dex, +30 natural)
Orcus (Dungeon #149): HD 36; AC 55, touch 17, flat-footed 47
(–1 size, +8 Dex, +33 natural, +5 deflection)[touch AC should be 22]
Orcus (Fiendish Codex I): HD 26; AC 48, touch 20, flat-footed 42
(–1 size, +6 Dex, +28 natural, +5 deflection)
Orcus (Dungeon #89): HD 44; AC 42, touch 10, flat-footed 41
(–1 size, +1 Dex, +32 natural)
Orcus (Book of Vile Darkness): HD 37; AC 47, touch 27, flat-footed 40
(–1 size, +7 Dex, +6 insight, +20 natural, +5 deflection)
Malcanthet (Dungeon #149): HD 33; AC 50, touch 38, flat-footed 39
(+11 Dex, +12 natural, +17 deflection)
Malcanthet (Fiendish Codex I): HD 25; AC 42, touch 35, flat-footed 32
(+10 Dex, +7 natural, +15 deflection)

Hmm, we've got a range from AC 59 to 31 there.

I'm thinking of aiming for AC 42 for Khalk'ru but could be persuaded higher. With the current ability and size modifiers that would require a natural armour bonus of +25. That doesn't seem too excessive.

Armor Class: 42 (–8 size, +7 Dex, +8 deflection, +25 natural), touch 17, flat-footed 35
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
AC 42 will work for me.

Maybe add Diplomacy and Use Magic Device to the skills list?

Before jumping on the feats, can you think of any other SAs or SQs? It seems maybe a touch light. Any SLAs we can justify?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
AC 42 will work for me.
Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

Maybe add Diplomacy and Use Magic Device to the skills list?
There's no indication Khalk'ru uses items - the protagonist wasn't even sure it was intelligent - and it never attempted to communicate with others.

Maybe Sense Motive and either Escape Artist or Tumble? The first since the protagonist thought it could "see into his soul" and the second because cephalopods are slippery customers.

Before jumping on the feats, can you think of any other SAs or SQs? It seems maybe a touch light. Any SLAs we can justify?
Hur… I could see us going for dream plus some generic utility SLAs common to demon lord type entities such as blasphemy, detect magic, detect law, greater dispel magic and the like.

Speaking of dream ages, ago I suggested giving it some special ability to influence creatures on the Material Plane from its extradimensional haunts. I guess we could go for something like that - maybe allow it to use suggestion once a week on material plane creatures it has some form of "connection" with?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I could go for Sense Motive and Escape Artist, sure.

I like dream and the other standard SLAs you list. I also like your idea for suggestion. What if we give it an ability to use suggestion through dream, if it's the one sending the message (not another messenger)? I read dream's range as crossing planar boundaries.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
I could go for Sense Motive and Escape Artist, sure.
Dang it, how did neither of us notice he already has Sense Motive. Still I can add Escape Artist to the list.

Updating the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

So we're still one skill short. What did you think of the Tumble proposal?

I guess we could give him Concentration if we're adding Spell-Like Abilities.

I like dream and the other standard SLAs you list.
Since we're using Demon Lords as inspiration, here's the SLA entry from the Demonomicron of Iggwilv's Demon Lord "template":

Spell-Like Abilities: All demon lords have the following spell-like abilities in addition to any the base creature possesses:
At will—astral projection, blasphemy, (or word of chaos for obyriths), desecrate, detect good, detect law, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, plane shift, shapechange, telekinesis, unhallow, unholy aura (or cloak of chaos for obyriths), unholy blight (or chaos hammer for obyriths).


3/day—any one symbol.


Each demon lord also possesses two additional at-will spell-like abilities, two additional 3/day spell-like abilities, and two additional 1/day spell-like abilities. These additional spell-like abilities should be chosen to match the demon lord’s “theme.” Each of the five demon lords detailed below list additional spell-like abilities.

A demon lord’s base caster level for spell-like abilities ranges from CL 20th to 25th, based on the demon lord’s overall CR (starting at CL 20th and adding +1 to its CL for every 3 points its CR exceeds 18, to a maximum of CL 25th at CR 33):


Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #359 “Demonomicon of Iggwilv: Apocrypha” by James Jacobs, September, 2007).​

That might be a bit much. I'd cut the plane shift and shapechange but most of the rest are possibilities.

Of the symbols I favour symbol of insanity.

The personalized SLAs ought to be powers themed to annihilation and destruction, such as storm of vengeance, enervation, weird, mage's disjunction, and implosion. Its ability to sense other planes indicates it ought to have scrying or greater scrying. Plus we have the aforementioned suggestion.

I like dream and the other standard SLAs you list. I also like your idea for suggestion. What if we give it an ability to use suggestion through dream, if it's the one sending the message (not another messenger)? I read dream's range as crossing planar boundaries.
Afraid not, the SRD "unlimited" range specification is "The spell reaches anywhere on the same plane of existence".

We might be able to use some of this portion of the Temptation ability of the Demonomicon version of Pazuzu:

Temptation (Su): Pazuzu takes great delight in tempting and corrupting mortals to chaos or evil. If a creature utters the name “Pazuzu” three times in succession, an unholy link between the speaker and Pazuzu is immediately established. For one minute, Pazuzu may use detect good, detect law, detect thoughts, and tongues to examine the speaker, despite any distance (physical or planar) that might separate the two. If he wishes, he can even use his planewalking ability to travel to the speaker’s location. He always uses Sense Motive if necessary to determine if the one who calls him is trying to entrap him.

I'm also wondering about something resembling the obyrith's Form of Madness:

Form of Madness (Su): Obyriths appear in forms so noxious and horrific that those within 60 feet of an obyrith who observe it are subject to madness. When a creature first encounters an obyrith, it must attempt a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 the obyrith’s HD + the obyrith’s Cha modifier). Failure indicates that the victim is afflicted with some permanent form of madness or insanity. The kind of malady and its duration depends on the obyrith. A creature that makes a saving throw against an obyrith’s form of madness is immune to that particular effect for 24 hours. Blindness is no protection against an obyrith’s form of madness—their presence is an affront to all five senses. This is a mind-affecting ability. Chaotic evil outsiders are immune to an obyrith’s form of madness. The insanity caused by an obyrith’s form of madness ability is permanent in most cases, but can be removed by greater restoration, heal, limited wish, miracle, or wish.

Maybe "viewing" or being "viewed" by Khalk'ru causes slow Wisdom drain, and characters who lose all their Wis and go mad become fanatical worshipers who try to summon the destroyer?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Concentration for the added SLAs makes sense to me.

Well, since we're talking about all these SAs, what do you think about making Khalk'ru a full-on obyrith lord? Then I don't mind adding most all of that (well, not the thrice-spoken name bit, but the cross-planar suggestion).
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Concentration for the added SLAs makes sense to me.

Well, since we're talking about all these SAs, what do you think about making Khalk'ru a full-on obyrith lord? Then I don't mind adding most all of that (well, not the thrice-spoken name bit, but the cross-planar suggestion).
If we make Khalk'ru a literal Obyrith then perforce it must be native to the Abyss while the original flavour suggests it comes from some unknown alien dimension (possibly the Far Realms?).

So I'd rather not make it an actual Demon, but would be happy giving it some (or many) of an Obyrith Demon Lord's abilities.

Anyhow, I'll update the Khalk'ru Working Draft with Concentration since we've agreed on that.

So shall we settle on the SLAs before arguing over Form of Madness and the "Temptation Equivalent"?

Let's see, a standard obyrith demon lord has got:

At will—astral projection, word of chaos, desecrate, detect good, detect law, greater dispel magic, greater teleport, plane shift, shapechange, telekinesis, unhallow, cloak of chaos, chaos hammer, plus one, plus two.

3/day—any one symbol, plus one, plus two.

1/day—one, two.

I still think we should cut or replace the plane shift since obviously if Khalk'ru could do that it wouldn't have to do all this fussing around with being summoned by worshippers to leave its native dimension. The shapechange also seems inappropriate. Upon reflection I'd also swap out the telekinesis since it never did anything like that in the novel.


We've already discussed dream and suggestion - maybe make it mass suggestion instead? Oh, and I suggested storm of vengeance, enervation, weird, mage's disjunction, and implosion, scrying and greater scrying.

Hmm, what else? Maybe sending and nightmare (for when weird is too potent).

Dang it, I'll just do some swapping of the above and see what I can come up with.

How about the following:

Spell-Like Abilities: At will—astral projection, chaos hammer, cloak of chaos, desecrate, destruction, detect good, detect law, enervation, greater dispel magic, greater scrying, greater teleport, mass suggestion, nightmare, unhallow, word of chaos; 3/day—dream, symbol of insanity, weird; 1/day—implosion, storm of vengeance. Caster level 20th; save DC 18 + spell level.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Hmmm. Want to pull from some Great Old One abilities? Pathfinder has these, and there might be some common abilities in Elder Evils.

Your suggested SLAs look good to me!
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Limiting to Form of Madness and cross-planar suggestion or whatever is fine.

Anyway, revising form of madness to Wis drain is fine, though I guess we need a new ability name. Maybe
Maddening Presence (Su): Khalk'ru's presence is so horrific that any creature within 60 feet who observes it are subject to madness. Failure on a DC 33 Will save indicates that the victim takes 1d4 Wis drain. Rather than entering a withdrawn nightmare state, a creature drained to zero Wisdom regains its normal Wisdom score but becomes a fanatical worshiper of Khalk'ru who returns to their home plane and attempts to summon Khalk'ru there. A creature that makes a saving throw against Khalk'ru's maddening presence is immune to it for 24 hours. Blindness is no protection — Khalk'ru's presence is an affront to all five senses. This is a mind-affecting ability. The save DC is Charisma-based.

I removed the immunity for chaotic evil outsiders and restriction on healing the Wis drain. Does that work for you?
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Limiting to Form of Madness and cross-planar suggestion or whatever is fine.

Anyway, revising form of madness to Wis drain is fine, though I guess we need a new ability name. Maybe

Maddening Presence (Su): Khalk'ru's presence is so horrific that any creature within 60 feet who observes it are subject to madness. Failure on a DC 33 Will save indicates that the victim takes 1d4 Wis drain. Rather than entering a withdrawn nightmare state, a creature drained to zero Wisdom regains its normal Wisdom score but becomes a fanatical worshiper of Khalk'ru who returns to their home plane and attempts to summon Khalk'ru there. A creature that makes a saving throw against Khalk'ru's maddening presence is immune to it for 24 hours. Blindness is no protection — Khalk'ru's presence is an affront to all five senses. This is a mind-affecting ability. The save DC is Charisma-based.

I removed the immunity for chaotic evil outsiders and restriction on healing the Wis drain. Does that work for you?
That looks very good, although I would suggest a minor tweak.

Demon Prince Obyriths have wider areas for their Form of Madness. The standard appears to be 120 feet since Dagon, Dwiergus, Obox-ob and Ugudenk all have that range.

So I'd change the first sentence to "Khalk'ru is so horrific that any creature within 120 feet who observes Khalk'ru's is subject to madness."
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Maddening Presence (Su): Khalk'ru's presence is so horrific that any creature within 120 feet who observes it are subject to madness. Failure on a DC 33 Will save indicates that the victim takes 1d4 Wis drain. Rather than entering a withdrawn nightmare state, a creature drained to zero Wisdom regains its normal Wisdom score but becomes a fanatical worshiper of Khalk'ru who returns to their home plane and attempts to summon Khalk'ru there. A creature that makes a saving throw against Khalk'ru's maddening presence is immune to it for 24 hours. Blindness is no protection — Khalk'ru's presence is an affront to all five senses. This is a mind-affecting ability. The save DC is Charisma-based.

How about that cross-planar suggestion? Something like this, perhaps:
Distant Suggestion (Sp): Once per week, Khalk'ru may use suggestion as a spell-like ability on a creature located on a different plane of existence, provided that the target creature knows of Khalk'ru's existence.
 

Cleon

Adventurer
Maddening Presence (Su): Khalk'ru's presence is so horrific that any creature within 120 feet who observes it are subject to madness. Failure on a DC 33 Will save indicates that the victim takes 1d4 Wis drain. Rather than entering a withdrawn nightmare state, a creature drained to zero Wisdom regains its normal Wisdom score but becomes a fanatical worshiper of Khalk'ru who returns to their home plane and attempts to summon Khalk'ru there. A creature that makes a saving throw against Khalk'ru's maddening presence is immune to it for 24 hours. Blindness is no protection — Khalk'ru's presence is an affront to all five senses. This is a mind-affecting ability. The save DC is Charisma-based.
That looks fine. I'll add it with the next upate to the Khalk'ru Working Draft.

How about that cross-planar suggestion? Something like this, perhaps:

Distant Suggestion (Sp): Once per week, Khalk'ru may use suggestion as a spell-like ability on a creature located on a different plane of existence, provided that the target creature knows of Khalk'ru's existence.
The wording looks fine but I'm not fond of the name. I'd rather have something more, ah, suggestive of working in another plane than "distant". Maybe "Interdimensional Suggestion" or "Otherworldly Suggestion"?
 



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