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Special Conversion Thread: Finishing off the oozes


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Big Mac

Explorer
Sorry for the delay. I've been busy the last couple of evenings.

Shade said:
Sure. Here are some ideas based on info from Wikipedia:

"Gold is the most malleable and ductile metal; a single gram can be beaten into a sheet of one square meter, or an ounce into 300 square feet. Gold leaf can be beaten thin enough to become translucent."

We could allow it to make itself so thin that it gains near-invisibility.
I like this, but it is a bit similar to an existing ability, so maybe we can fold it it. All Silatics can flatten themselves out to a one inch thickness and have improved hide checks. Maybe Gold Silatics could just have improved hide checks.

Perhaps they should all have "hide in plain sight" and the gold should have a higher DC.

The blurb seems to suggest that in wildspace a Silatic can swim through space, but in gravity it needs to change into a more blob like shape and use pseudopods to move. So if Silatics (including Golds) flatten themselves, maybe they should be immobile.

Shade said:
"Heat, moisture, oxygen, and most corrosive agents have very little chemical effect on gold..."

We could give it resistance to acid and fire.
This is good. The non metallic parts of the Silatic would still be vulnerable, but the creature could coat itself with its own metal as a thin layer of armor.

Gold is also a good conductor of electricity. I'm not sure if that would make these creatures less or more prone to damage from spells like lightning bolt.

Shade said:
When pure, the metal appears greyish-white and firm. The metal is corrosion-resistant. The catalytic properties of the six platinum family metals are outstanding. For this catalytic property, platinum is used in catalytic converters, incorporated in automobile exhaust systems, as well as tips of spark plugs. Platinum has a cubic crystal structure.
If I am not mistaken, gold is more acid resistant than any other metal.

The catalitic properties sound interesting. I'm not sure if it isn't "too scientific" for D&D, but maybe this could be folded into something else. Maybe Platinum Silatics could "eat" faster than other Silatics (so they take only 2 rounds to produce digestive fluid and only 2 rounds to reabsorb it). I'm not sure on this - I think it needs more thought.

Shade said:
"Platinum possesses high resistance to chemical attack, excellent high-temperature characteristics, and stable electrical properties. All these properties have been exploited for industrial applications. Platinum does not oxidize in air at any temperature, but can be corroded by cyanides, halogens, sulfur, and caustic alkalis. This metal is insoluble in hydrochloric and nitric acid, but does dissolve in the mixture known as aqua regia (forming chloroplatinic acid)."

Resistance to acid, electricity, and fire?
That sounds good. It is pretty similar to the Gold Silatic. Maybe the bonuses could be in proportaion to the metals themselves.

Shade said:
"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, short-term exposure to platinum salts "may cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat" and long-term exposure "may cause both respiratory and skin allergies."

Maybe its attacks require a saving throw or suffer a -1 penalty on some checks?
I like this, but wonder if we could fold this in with the existing acid attack and the catalistic nature of the creature.

How about changing the Platinum Silatics acid coating to a different coating that causes catalitic reactions and irritation? The catalitic reaction could result in acid building up on the surface of the pseudopods and the irritation could be similar to the sort of irritation you get in your eyes when chopping up onions.

How about if the Platinum Silatic scores a hit, their opponant has to make a saving throw to avoid crying for X rounds. Crying could cause a penalty to attck rolls and vision based checks.

Shade said:
"Nuclei of iron have some of the highest binding energies per nucleon..."

We could give it a "binding attack" that allows it to essentially have improved grab/attach against creatures wearing metal armor.
This is nice, although maybe it should only use this grab ability against objects containing iron. (Steel contains iron, so that would be most armor.) This attack would also imply that an Iron Silatic would be able to grab metal/iron/steel weapons. There are other 3rd edition monsters that grab weapons, so I think that could fit in with the rules.

A person who gets "grabbed" by an Iron Silatic should be able to escape by cutting themselves out of their armor (as well as by all other existing methods). And if they don't actually hit the Iron Silatic (or stop it eating their armor) the creature should just digest their armor and let them go.

Shade said:
"Iron (as Fe2+, ferrous ion) is a necessary trace element used by almost all living organisms."

We could allow the iron's metalsense to also detect living creatures, due to the iron content in their blood.
This is logical, but it changes the creature from one that attacks metal to one that might want to eat blood. Rather than feeding with one pseudopod unless disturbed, I could see these creatures ripping all living creatures apart. I'm not sure that would make them feel like the same creature.

But iron in blood probably does need to be built in somehow. How about having something in blood that makes Iron Silatics feel a bit sick. That could give you a reason for them not to eat people (even if they do have "Bloodsense" as well as "Metalsense").

How about rust? Can anyone think of an advantage or disadvantage involving rust? Maybe Iron Silatics could find water repulsive (even if it doesn't actually cause rust damage in combat rounds).

Actually, maybe all silatics should be seen as food by Rust Monsters. A Rust Monster should be able to do dX damage to a silatic that fails its saving throw. Maybe the Iron Silatic should get a much lower saving throw than the other types (or maybe it should even have no saving throw against rust attacks).

Shade said:
Personally, I think the haste attack more than makes up for the stat variation.
Fair enough. I will bow to your improved knowledge of conversions. Just checking the numbers on the stats.
 

Big Mac

Explorer
freyar said:
The binding attack idea is cool but a bit of a stretch from the nuclear binding energy standpoint. ;)
I do share your concerns on this one. I'm not sure we should have too much scientific knowledge in D&D. But you could solve the problem by making this a magnetic grapple attack bonus. If an Iron Silatic could magnetise itself (X times per day) it could stick to metals that were magnetic (and get an improved grab), but it couldn't use this special attack on non-magnetic metals. So the ability becomes less powerful and easier to sell to players.

And a magnetic attack form would be good at giving the Iron Silatic a shot at pulling certain metal weapons out of the hands of characters.

demiurge1138 said:
Not a fan of ductility for the gold--these are oozes! They can do that anyway!
They can only get one inch thick. I think that the Gold Silatic abilty to do that should just get a boost over other silatics.

Shade said:
If we do the silver, I'd suggest its attacks are treated as silver weapons for purposes of overcoming DR.
I like this. It might need a bit more, but that is an excellent start.

freyar said:
That sounds good. We should note that the iron silatics will be much more aggressive toward most characters due to the iron metalsense.
...unless we say they don't like the taste of blood.

demiurge1138 said:
Should the iron one overcome DR as cold iron?
I like that, especially if we also have a Silver Silatic that overcomes DR like Shade suggested.

Can anyone think of why an Iron Silatic might have better magic resistance than other Silatics?

I just had a thought. We are personalising Silatics to their metal, but how does that stack up as a defense against metallic dragons? Silatics would probably want to steal the treasure from a dragon and eat the bits of metal stuck in their skin.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I think Hide In Plain Sight might be a good ability for gold as a way to represent its transparency.

Meanwhile, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. What else do we need for iron?
 

Shade

Monster Junkie
freyar said:
Meanwhile, let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. What else do we need for iron?
Skills: 9

Feats: 3

Environment: Any?

Challenge Rating: x

Advancement: x

An iron silatic can grow to a diameter of up to 6 feet and a thickness of about x inches. A typical specimen weighs about x pounds.

Should digest metal be Constitution-based save DC?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Skills: Still can't think of much that make sense but Hide and/or Move Silently.

Feats: Power Attack, Improved Sunder, Weapon Focus (pseudopod)?

Environment: Any, I guess.

CR: Probably 4, maybe 5

Advancement: 7-12 HD (Medium), 13-18 HD (Large)

Edit: 6 inches and 200lb? That might be a little low if we're thinking of these as pure metal; that's like 10,000 coins.

Definitely Con based.
 
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demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
Ranks in Climb make as much sense as Hide/Move Silently. Some of each?

The Power Attack/Imp. Sunder combo is good. Weapon Focus isn't doing it for me, though. Improved Initiative?
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Ok, 3 ranks each of Climb, Hide, and Move Silently. Sounds fair. Imp Init is good with me.
 



Big Mac

Explorer
freyar said:
Skills: Still can't think of much that make sense but Hide and/or Move Silently.
They seem pretty logical.

freyar said:
Feats: Power Attack, Improved Sunder, Weapon Focus (pseudopod)?
Sounds good, but should Improved Sunder only work against metal weapons? What is the basis behind the sundering? Is the silatic supposed to be good at disarming people or is it supposed to be good at grabbing metal weapons out of the hands of characters? I'd say the second sounds a bit more true to its metal-chomping nature.

freyar said:
Environment: Any, I guess.
The original blurb says silatics prefer to hang out in uninhabitable places where they are less likely to face attack.

freyar said:
CR: Probably 4, maybe 5

Advancement: 7-12 HD (Medium), 13-18 HD (Large)
I'm not good with the maths of this sort of stuff yet, so I'll let you guys deal with this bit.

freyar said:
Edit: 6 inches and 200lb? That might be a little low if we're thinking of these as pure metal; that's like 10,000 coins.
I think that 6 inches of height is too low, too. The blurb says they "hide well, for they can stretch as thin as 1" thick". While the blurb doesn't give the normal thickness, I'd expect it to be much more than 5 inches fatter than the minimum thickness. The illustration in MC9 isn't any use as it shows a silatic floating weightless in Wildspace (so it is in the thin "almost gracefull" mode). We know that silatics are not normally that thin on the ground.

I think that the only blurb we have left is the bit at the begining: "Silatics are amorphous blobs, 5-7' in diameter..." I think these guys should be more like 5-7 feet in height, as well as diameter, when they move about. Flattening themselves to 1 inch thick should be something they do to hide.

Is hide +5 enough for a creature that can be 1 inch thick or should it gain some sort of circumstance bonus when it flattens itself? (This is why I menioned hide in plain sight, earlier.)

Also, should the silatic's "stretching as thin as 1 inch" be a two dimensional ability (so it can make itself like a pancake) or should it be able to stretch that thin in any dimension (so that it can make itself long as well as thin)? This creature can potentially slide under a badly fitted door, or climb through barred gates. That could help it sneak onboard ships without causing damage that alerts a crew to its presence. Should it be able to do that sort of stuff?

One last thing

Shade said:
Treasure: See text
There is nothing in the text, yet. It should be 6d10 lbs of iron for the standard creature and 7-18d10 lbs of iron for the advanced versions of the creature (unless you want to stick with "1d10 lb of iron per HD").

Should anything like "silatic jelly" count as treasure? Maybe it could be useful as a spell component.
 
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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Big Mac said:
Sounds good, but should Improved Sunder only work against metal weapons? What is the basis behind the sundering? Is the silatic supposed to be good at disarming people or is it supposed to be good at grabbing metal weapons out of the hands of characters? I'd say the second sounds a bit more true to its metal-chomping nature.
Improved Sunder as a feat works against any kind of weapon, shield, etc, but a DM should play the silatic as only going after metal weapons and shields. The reason I chose that feat was so that the silatic can attack the metal stuff without suffering an AoO.

The original blurb says silatics prefer to hang out in uninhabitable places where they are less likely to face attack.
True, but that doesn't really tell us much about the environment. If they can survive in Wildspace, I guess any environment will be acceptable to them.

I think that 6 inches of height is too low, too. The blurb says they "hide well, for they can stretch as thin as 1" thick". While the blurb doesn't give the normal thickness, I'd expect it to be much more than 5 inches fatter than the minimum thickness. The illustration in MC9 isn't any use as it shows a silatic floating weightless in Wildspace (so it is in the thin "almost gracefull" mode). We know that silatics are not normally that thin on the ground.

I think that the only blurb we have left is the bit at the begining: "Silatics are amorphous blobs, 5-7' in diameter..." I think these guys should be more like 5-7 feet in height, as well as diameter, when they move about. Flattening themselves to 1 inch thick should be something they do to hide.
6 inches seems to be pretty standard for amorphous oozes (gray ooze, etc). If we change the volume like that, we should definitely increase the weight...
Is hide +5 enough for a creature that can be 1 inch thick or should it gain some sort of circumstance bonus when it flattens itself? (This is why I menioned hide in plain sight, earlier.)
Well, they're not necessarily transparent, and they're still big, so +5 to Hide is probably still ok.

Also, should the silatic's "stretching as thin as 1 inch" be a two dimensional ability (so it can make itself like a pancake) or should it be able to stretch that thin in any dimension (so that it can make itself long as well as thin)? This creature can potentially slide under a badly fitted door, or climb through barred gates. That could help it sneak onboard ships without causing damage that alerts a crew to its presence. Should it be able to do that sort of stuff?
Oozes can often do that, yeah, but you're right that we need to mention that in the flavor text.

There is nothing in the text, yet. It should be 6d10 lbs of iron for the standard creature and 7-18d10 lbs of iron for the advanced versions of the creature (unless you want to stick with "1d10 lb of iron per HD").

Should anything like "silatic jelly" count as treasure? Maybe it could be useful as a spell component.
Let's say 1d10 lb of iron per HD. Since the original text doesn't mention anything about the jelly being useful, I'd rather not add anything.

Finally, the original text gives us:
Silatic Ooze said:
When a silatic absorbs enough metal (around 100 lbs), it seeks out an uninhabited area and splits in two. The two new silatics, each 3-1/2' wide, are dazed and instinctively move in opposite directions. Five hours after splitting, they regain their senses and search for food. If the reproduction occurs in a confined space, the two silatics fight to the death upon regaining their senses.
We should probably add a split ability, like so:

Split (Ex): A silatic ooze of 12HD or more may split into two silatic oozes as a full round action, each with half as many HD (if the original had an odd number of HD, one of the "children" will have one more HD than the other). The two new oozes are mentally incapacitated and instinctively move away from each other (taking penalties on all other actions as if they are frightened) for five hours. After those five hours, if the two children are still close to each other, they will fight to the death.
 

Big Mac

Explorer
freyar said:
Improved Sunder as a feat works against any kind of weapon, shield, etc, but a DM should play the silatic as only going after metal weapons and shields. The reason I chose that feat was so that the silatic can attack the metal stuff without suffering an AoO.
I figured that is why you added it, and I like the ability. I just thought that this might need clarification in the blurb.

freyar said:
True, but that doesn't really tell us much about the environment. If they can survive in Wildspace, I guess any environment will be acceptable to them.
"Any" will do. A note in the blurb that says that silatics don't breath and often hide in uninhabitable areas could be helpful.


freyar said:
6 inches seems to be pretty standard for amorphous oozes (gray ooze, etc). If we change the volume like that, we should definitely increase the weight...

Well, they're not necessarily transparent, and they're still big, so +5 to Hide is probably still ok.
6 inches is standard, huh? If that is the case then I suppose it would make more sense for this creature to transform into a pancake like creature. The rest of your logic (on the hiding and stuff) makes more sense if a silatic isn't a more 3 dimensional creature.

freyar said:
Oozes can often do that, yeah, but you're right that we need to mention that in the flavor text.
Oozes can do it, but the question is - can silatics do it? If a silatic is a pancake shaped creature that can shift in size, can it actually lengthen itself (in one direction) to become more like a cigar shaped snakelike blob?

freyar said:
Let's say 1d10 lb of iron per HD. Since the original text doesn't mention anything about the jelly being useful, I'd rather not add anything.
That sounds good. Someone can always write supporting material with things like spells or items that call for Silatic Jelly.

freyar said:
Finally, the original text gives us:

We should probably add a split ability, like so:

Split (Ex): A silatic ooze of 12HD or more may split into two silatic oozes as a full round action, each with half as many HD (if the original had an odd number of HD, one of the "children" will have one more HD than the other). The two new oozes are mentally incapacitated and instinctively move away from each other (taking penalties on all other actions as if they are frightened) for five hours. After those five hours, if the two children are still close to each other, they will fight to the death.
I like this. The mechanics are great. 12HD works for the Iron Silatic - others will need more HD.

The original ability was more of an imperative than an option. A silatic would not normally use this ability unless it was alone in a place where it believes it will be undisturbed, but that makes the ability something players will never see.

Maybe a silatic that hits a certain size could feel a desire to look for an isolated spot and then split as soon as it is safe to do so. A silatic that keeps feeding (and growing) should probably automatically split after a few more HD. (So there should be a maximum size/HD for each of these creatures.) I think that bigger silatics should become rarer and rarer.

How about once the silatic hits a certain size it needs to make a saving throw every time it levels up, or maybe even every time it feeds, to avoid splitting in a public place? Players could then throw metal at a large silatic until it splits and then try to take out the two babies before they get over the birth-confusion. Something like that could actually be fun.
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
I think we just need to put "iron silatic" as the first mention of "silatic" in the Split ability b/c the HD values will change for the other versions. Then I think the iron is done. :)
 

Big Mac

Explorer
freyar said:
I think we just need to put "iron silatic" as the first mention of "silatic" in the Split ability b/c the HD values will change for the other versions. Then I think the iron is done. :)
If you think my comments on the split are nothing to worry about then maybe it is done.

As "Split" is now personalised for the individual silatics, do you think it is worth personalising "Metalsense". After all it is already partly personalised to iron.

Plus I also think that an Iron Silatic would be able to sense steel and to eat the iron within that steel.

But I think that everything else is done. I especially love this bit:

Silatic said:
Silatics do not hoard nor covet treasure, but up to 1d10 pounds per Hit Die of the associated metal may be recovered from a slain silatic.
That sentence is just beautiful. :)
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Big Mac said:
If you think my comments on the split are nothing to worry about then maybe it is done.
Well, I think those comments might fit better in the flavor. I don't think the silatic should have to save to avoid splitting, though. (Forced reproduction is just too creepy. ;) :p )

As "Split" is now personalised for the individual silatics, do you think it is worth personalising "Metalsense". After all it is already partly personalised to iron.

Plus I also think that an Iron Silatic would be able to sense steel and to eat the iron within that steel.
Good idea to personalize metalsense. I think you're right about steel, but I think we've sort of covered that by mentioning weapons and armor.
 

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