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Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/17/04 9:45 am)
Re: Session: Story hour and Gem Recovery
Is the Kaze of your name from the Japanese kaze?

Sort of. It's of the "Wind" variety lately, but it actually started as the French "que c'est" which I originally picked out of the Talking Heads song, Psycho Killer years before taking French (because I needed a language credit in college). Pulling a phonetic derivation from Psycho Killer's "Qu'est-ce que c'est?" I got Kiez Kah-se', but am lately feeling more stable (married, mortgaged, etc) and therefore have dropped the "Qu'est-ce" (and "?"), leaving me with the Kah-se' part, which, if you take out the "-" sounds like "Kaze", which, as "wind" instead of "virus", I like.

I've never actually taken Japanese, but I watch enough subtitled anime to start picking up on simple phrases.

And now you know.

::Kaze (has high hopes for this one...

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/24/04 12:14 pm)
Re: Fire Temple: What a Mess!
So everything was going according to plan -- the party shows up at the guard post of the fire temple, the guards won't let them into the temple because of the grand party that's going on. Dick Saucer shows up to invite the attractive lady-rogue to a private party. And then everything fell apart.

Lady rogue -- played by my wife -- got really shy. This gave one of the clerics the opportunity to suggest to the troll, "Hey, why don't you talk to him?" Him. The bard. The guy who they're afraid will captivate them with his voice. And of course, things only went from bard to verse when the troll asked "Could you sing me a song?"

Ranks right up there with "Rebuke Mom!"

So anyway, Saucer works his way into the mushy little minds of the rogue and the troll and begins to lead the rogue away to a private party. The guards assure the troll (who also wants to go to the private party) that he'll be allowed to go along "in a few minutes," and try to distract him by playing cards with him.

So Saucer and Keturah get back to Saucer's room where they begin to get their armor and such off. Saucer is stripped down first -- and the sight of him without all of his flashy armor forces Keturah into another will save which, fortunately, she makes giving her the chance to grab a sword and lash out at him with it -- flat-footed and naked. She rolled a 2 which -- inasmuch as she doesn't have weapon finesse -- is a miss. At this point, I could have let Keturah roll a bluff check to make Saucer think that it was just a kinky game -- Keturah's player is my wife who has no difficulty joking about such things away from the table. But even with the rest of the party away from the table while we were covering this sensitive bit, she was mentally stuck in ultra-chaste viriginal mode. Thus, there were three obvious choices -- lie and say she hit, tell her how she should respond to missing, or let her get annihilated/ravaged by Dick Saucer. Clearly the first choice was the best. Dick Saucer loses 24 HP and "screams like Michael Jackson."

Didn't help though because Saucer won the standard initiative by 1. I had him pop off Displacement defensively, hoping that he'd lose the spell -- which he didn't. (We don't bother with tiny arcane components here -- everybody has eschew materials.) So now he's displaced so that the rogue has a 50% miss chance -- causing her to miss her first attack. Dick Saucer is now going to leave the room at full tilt, jumping over the bed. Fortunately, Keturah has combat reflexes, so we'll give her a second AoO as he jumps over the bed if it's necessary -- which it was because she critically failed the first attack. The only lucky thing to happen in this combat was the last hit (getting past displacement) which dropped Saucer precisely to -1 HP before he could get past the curtain. [It occurs to me that she probably shouldn't have been able to get sneak attack on him no matter how panicked he was because of the displacement... oh well.]

Of course, all of the guards had heard Saucer scream after going into his room with a hottie of a half-elf, a notable point I observed for Keturah who -- still in chaste viriginal mode -- made not a peep. "They heard him scream," she observes, naively. "Yes, but they don't know that you were necessarily slaughtering him at the time, do they?" I prompt. "Oh" she says, and procedes to roll a natural 19 that can go to either an ample bluff or adequate perform check to convince the guards that everybody's having fun in Dick Saucer's room. She tucks his body in bed, collects most of his gear, counts to ten, and saunters out so pleased that Dick Saucer loaned her his rapier (prompting a guard to note that Dick Saucer should be careful who he lets play with his sword).

Meanwhile, back at the guard post, the guys are getting bored and nervous about all the screaming going on down the way so they attack the guards -- orc fighters with katanas -- and give direct witness to how hot my dice can really get (three d20s, rolled together for attack, each came up 19...). The troll got cut apart fairly quickly, as usual. One of the clerics, Xorn, popped off a confusion against half of the guards -- that worked out fairly well -- but then got attacked by the rest of the guards (who needed to roll a 19 to hit).

So one guardpost later, the team dives into the smoke-filled room and tries to follow the naturally adept troll. Which would work if he didn't roll so distressingly low on his survival check (1). So they realize that the troll isn't the best leader for this sort of thing and about this time, they start failing their fortitude saves against the smoke. First Xorn fails, then Punt fails, then Xadoc fails... and then they start failing them together. But by this time, the troll (Punt) has gotten his act together, slung Xadoc over his shoulder and grabbed Xorn, gotten back to the wall and is hurrying them out of the room. At which point, he falls down the 80' pit trap, taking Xadoc with him. (I allowed Xorn to kick off of Punt -- Punt was falling anyways -- to help keep himself on safe ground.) So now Punt and Xadoc are crashed at the bottom of the pit with Xorn failing fortitude saves at the top. He's able to set a rope and drop it down, though -- to 50', leaving a 30' gap left to go. It's about this time that the hyper-unhelpful mephits show up. Xorn is able to convince them (high bluff involving "escaped from rampaging troll") to lead him out of the smoke, which two of them do. The other two stay to guard/taunt the pit, which they start by kicking the rope down into said pit. This actually works out okay, because it reminds the troll that he's got some rope of his own to toss up. Which he does. And then a mephit lights it up and watches it fall back down.

So Xorn and Keturah are catching up, trying to be inconspicuous as they're glancing back at a hole covered in smoke that's making loud angry troll-noises. Not much for them to do but wait at the moment.

Back in the hole, Xadoc is trying -- and failing -- to convince the mephits that it's a good idea to let the troll out of the pit. Duh. After a while, though, the mephits get bored and wander off, at which point Punt can work on tossing a grappling hook some 80 near straight-up in the hopes of it catching properly.

After a while of doding -- and failing to dodge -- falling grappling hooks, they get it to stick and manage to crawl up out of the pit. Successfully navigating their way out of the smoke, they encounter another guard post (with a half dozen, not 2, guards) of the same calibur as before. The guards see "rampaging troll" and prepare to attack it. Xadoc says, "No, wait, I've charmed it!" to which the guards reply, "Oh good, we'll subdue it for you sir!" Most of the guards then surround and subdue the now rampaging troll while one last one bull rushes Xadoc out of the way with a cry of "Take cover, sir!" So troll is once again subdued on the ground. "Let's tie him up!" says one of the surviving guards, followed shortly by "Does anybody have any rope?" Xadoc suggests, "The troll has some in his pack," which prompts the guards to take the pack and strew the party's general posessions all over the ground. Keturah and Xorn show up at about this time with Keturah snapping into action at the sight of all of the loot being tossed out on the ground. "Stop, thief!" she cries, drawing an instant attack from one of the greedy guards (a miss). "I'm Dick Saucer's girlfriend and that's my loot," she bluffs adequately enough for the guard to feel outclassed and generally rebuked. So the guards leave most of the loot, but tie up the troll and are preparing to drag it away for D'Gran (he likes trolls, right?) when the party swings back into action attacking the guards and quickly subduing them (but not before taking even more damage from the nasty cutty swords).

Then the mephits show up again out of the smoke and use some scorching rays before running away back into the smoke -- baiting the party to follow.

So that's where we're at -- lots of dead guards, a raging party behind closed doors, a smoke filled room with hostile mephits and a party that's getting low on daily resources. Things are starting to look grim in the CRM.


Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/28/04 11:25 pm)
Earth Temple Champion: The Spored Master
So I'm using the Monster Manual 2 to replace most of the Earth Temple with Myconids. I think they add more atmosphere. We still need troglodytes to drive the plan forward, but Myconids are much more, well, earthy!

So anyway, each of the Earth Mephits (area 221) is being replaced with a Myconid Elder Worker. Snearak and his Troglodytes (area 220) are being replaced with a Myconid Circle Leader, 4 Junior Workers, 2 Average Workers and 2 Guards. Not having any more interest in sacrificing humans than a Xorn does in eating them, they'll sacrifice diamond dust to attract the Xorn -- PCs care more about diamond dust than some victimized NPC anyway. Troglodyte warriors in 218 can be replaced with a pair of Myconid Guards and Average Workers. Manticore in 224 gets replaced by teh Spored Master (see below) and the trogs in 226 and 230 are replaced by 1 Myconid Guard, 1 Elder Worker and 2 Average Workers. Uskathoth (area 223) gets replaced by Miikolak and her elemental (from area 226). And now an entire circle worth of Myconids is in the Earth Temple.

But what, you ask, is a "Spored Master" besides yet another awful pun at the expense of the "Swordmaster"?

Oh what indeeed.

Spored Master
Half Troglodyte (Monster Manual 3.5) Half Myconid (Monster Manual II) Sohei 1 (Oriental Adventures)
Medium Plant
Hit Dice: 6d8 + 1d10 + 49 (85 HP)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 20 ft (4 squares)
Armor Class: 30 (+1 Dex, +9 Natural, +10 +2 Full Plate), touch 11, flat 29
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+8
Attack: Maul of the Earth +10 melee (1d10 + 7 + 1d6 acid) or Slam +8 melee (1d6 + 4)
Full Attack: Maul of the Earth +10 melee (1d10 + 7 + 1d6 acid) or 2 slams +8 melee (1d6 + 4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: Spores, Stentch, Ki Frenzy 1/day, Ground Pound 3/day, Sound Burst 3/day
Special Qualities: Plant traits, Spores, Darkvision 90', DR 1/Adamantine
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +3, Will +5
Abilities: Str 18 Dex 12 Con 24 Int 10 Wis 13 Cha 14
Skills: Intimidate +11, Hide +13*, Listen +10, Spot +10, Survival +12, Diplomacy +11, Knowledge: Dungeoneering +9. Skills with a * have underground bonuses already figured in.
Feats: Improved Natural Armor x2, Improved Initiative, (Sohei) Weapon Focus: Maul
Environment: Earth Temple, area #226?
Organization: Usually solitary, but will aid others if appropriate
Challenge Rating: 7, at a guess. Maybe 8.
Treasure: Maul of Earth, +2 Full Plate, two 100gp diamonds, Lesser Key of Earth potion belt (Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting) w/Potion: Bull's Strength, Potion: Shield, Potion: Cure Moderate Wounds

This mushroom-man looks different from the others -- its skin has a vaguely reptilian quality with scaled patterns, its eyes have lizard-like pupils. Despite its only average stature, this creature exudes presence stronger than any of the other mushroom-men. But the other mushroom-men weren't wearing full-plate and carring huge hammers, either.

The Spored Master is my replacement for the otherwise lackluster Swordmaster. He's an abomination crossing of a Myconid and a Troglodyte. He's the champion and also effective leader of the Earth temple, backed by a couple of Troglodyte cleric lackies and uncontested by the myconid circle leader. He's built and operates rather like a tank -- he knows how thick his armor is and figures that he's usually safer in combat than out of it (where fireballs and whatnot may be lobbed at him). To create him, I took a 4HD Myconid (guard) and added the Troglodyte character statistics with the elite stat array on top of that to get him up to full power. I didn't bother giving him Sohei skills, and I gave his Myconid side Knowledge: Dungeoneering due to its underground synnergy instead of Knowledge: Nature. Also note that his only aggressive spores are borrowed from the Vrock's abilities, not the Myconids -- but being a hybrid beastie, I can justify it by saying that his reproductive spores really aren't working right at all.

He'll wade right in and start smashing people with the maul. If he finds somebody who can actually penetrate his armor, he'll try to Ground Pound, move away from anybody who could be helping whoever hit him and then start hammering on that strongest opponent.

Stentch (Ex): The Spored Master can release a nasty musk as a free action. All non-troglodytes within 30' must make a fortitude save vs. poison (DC 19) or become sickened (-2 to almost all rolls) for 10 rounds. A successful save protects the character for 24 hours. As this is poison, Myconids are immune.

Spores (Ex): The Spored Master has access to Myconid Distress and Rapport spores 5/day in a 120 spread -- he shouldn't need to use them, DC 19 to resist them. The Spored Master also has Reproduction spores, except that they behave like Vrock spores -- once per 3 rounds, as a free action, every target adjacent to the Spored Master can be covered with burrowing spores that deal 1d8 points of damage, as well as an additional 1d4 points of damage as they take root and grow for each of the next 10 rounds. Spells that affect poisons affect these spores. (Never understood why a bird-demon got a plant attack...)

Plant Traits: Immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, polymorph. Not subject to critical hits, mind-influencing effects, etc. Additionally, Myconids gain skills as Fey. Etc blah blah whatever.

Ki Frenzy (Ex): As a Sohei, the Spored Master can, as a free action, enter a Ki Frenzy which lasts for up to 10 rounds. While in the frenzy, he gets +2 Str, +2 Dex, +10' speed, a Flurry of Blows attack (extra attack at max bonus, all attacks -2). At the end of the Frenzy, he's fatigued. Go figure.

Spell-like Ability: As wielder of Rocking Hammer, Spored Master can use Sound Burst as a spell-like ability 3/day (CL 3, DC 13)

Ground Pound (Su): As wielder of Rocking Hammer, Spored Master can use a standard action to make an attack on the ground. At time of use, he declares whether the effect will be a stun or a knock-down effect. All other creatures within 15' of him must then make a Fortitude save vs. Stun or a Reflex save vs. Knock-down, with the DC being the total of the attack roll on the ground.

"Rocking Hammer" -- the Elemental Weapon of Earth
+1 Corrosive Cold Iron Maul (Medium 2-handed bludgeoning with acid damage), grants wielder DR 1/Adamant, allows wielder to use Sound Burst 3/day (CL 3, DC 13) and Ground Pound 3/day (DC varies, see above)

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/30/04 6:18 pm)
Session Journal Updated
Session journal (see link on first posting) is updated with last two sessions. The party retreated from the Fire Temple and is preparing for a ground-based assault from said Fire Temple coming against the Air Temple. What they don't realize is that the Fire Temple has a master of divination (replacing the demon-gnome) called Oret the Cull who is assisted by his quasit familiar, Lli. If they'd known that, they may have reconsidered their decision to not take Kelial and the air temple ogres on the offensive...

Anyway, Oret the Cull and Lli is, of course, a pun on Oracle 11i (which most software geeks should get). I'll have stats for those two and my revised half-dragon D'gran in a post or two.

What's probably going to happen is that Tass is going to ignore Oret's claims that rampaging interlopers are causing problems, but accept his advice about the Air Temple's defenses. Oret may do another attack from the Stalagos with the Mephits -- he's smarter than, well, anybody else in the game at the moment and he's making extensive use of his divining capabilities to stay that way. Tass will probably try to pay D'gran to coup d'etat Falcish (sp?) such that he can finish channelling energy to the air node and gain access to another altar.

Fortunately, the air temple has a back door that the PCs can use to get the heck out when things start going very badly for the air temple...

More as it happens,

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/31/04 12:46 am)
Oret the Cull and Lli
Replace the Fire Temple's gnome with somebody who's a bit more useful to them. Hopefully this is coherent as it's getting to be early in the morning. ;) Anyway, Oret's chambers tend to involve a torture victim on a rack with extra components that allows him to channel power out of the victim granting him a +4 circumstance bonus on Use Magic Device checks when in his chambers (with a live victim).

Oret the Cull
Male Human Diviner 7 (Prohibited: Enchantment)
Medium Humanoid
Hit Dice: 7d4 + 7 (26 HP)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+4 dex, +1 Ring of Protection +1), touch 15, flat 11 -- use Mage Armor
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+2
Attack: Wand of Sonic Ray +7 ranged touch (2x 4d6 sonic)
Full Attack: Wand of Sonic Ray +7 ranged touch (2x 4d6 sonic) or +1 Silver Dagger +3 melee (1d4 - 1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/5 ft
Special Attacks: Spells
Special Qualities: Familiar, "Bloodsight"
Saves: Fort +4 Ref +7 Will +5
Abilities: Str 8 Dex 18 Con 12 Int 18 Wis 8 Cha 8
Skills: Concentration +11, Spellcraft +16, Use Magic Device +16, Profession: Mystic +6, Knowledge: Arcana +14, Knowledge: The Planes +14
Feats: Scribe Scroll, Spellcasting Prodigy (FRCS), Cosmopolitan: Use Magic Device (FRCS), Spell Focus: Divination, Magical Aptitude, Improved Familiar: Quasit
Environment: Fire Temple
Organization: With Lli and either a prisoner (at rest) or directing a warband (at war).
Challenge Rating: 7, though he'll feel like a 9 or more
Treasure: Gloves of Dexterity +1, Cloak of Resistance +1, Ring of Protection +1, Wand of Scorching Ray (15 charges, CL 7, Energy Substitution: Sonic), Fire Temple Symbol, Lesser Key of Fire, +1 Silver "Bloodsight" Dagger
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

This is a gaunt man almost entirely covered in a thick ochre robe. He exudes an exceptionally creepy aura; the sort of aura that you expect from somebody who would claim to know something that you don't know and then want you to guess what it is while they cackle deleriously -- and annoyingly -- to themselves.

Oret the Cull (so called for his habit of using his special knife on the few people who are even weaker than him) is both the smartest and the least sane of any of the members of the Fire Temple. He knows that he's the smartest (though Tass gets irritated with him when he mentions it). He's also exceptionally talented at Divination, which is acknowledged throughout the temple. The simple fact of the matter is that the Fire Temple owes their exceptionally powerful tactical standing to Oret's divining capabilities first and foremost, as he finds the people that are worth recruiting. Due to his intellect and well-known divining capabilities, he gets to provide tactical advice to the temple which everybody except Tass is likely to accept. (Bear in mind at this point that Tass is the hedonist leader of the temple and will not likely go marching off to detonate anybody else if he doesn't have to -- effort and all that -- and thus Oret's raids are going to be limited to fire folk who don't care about currying favor with Tass, which would likely be the mephits since they're already superior to Tass in every way anyway.)

Note that, because Oret lives completely in Tass' shadow, it's doubtful that any of the other temples knows about him unless he's been seen in a raid. There may be rumors about the Fire Temple diviner, but they'll typically veer off to talk about Tass doing something or somebody in such-and-such a way...

All that aside, Oret is a fatalist, and a sadistic one at that. "I have seen the future and you are not in it!" would probably be a good flavor line for him. He claims that fate is immutable and unavoidable which would ordinarily tend him towards Lawful Evil, except that he's getting his views on the chaotic contents of the future from a bunch of elder mazoku (demons) who love this sort of thing. So he comes off as more Delusional Evil than anything, though since his cowardly self-preservation streak runs even deeper than his obsession with fate, he comes out to be Chaotic Evil.

Oret never goes anywhere that he has any doubts about, and he's a bit of a paranoid freak. He spies, he surveys, he divines, and then he uses his reputation as a tactician to put meat-shields to keep him alive when things start happening. He especially loves working with the fire mephits because they don't seem to mind when he detonates a fireball on them. He is, however, a coward and a weakling and will run away to assess the situation when combat begins to deviate in any way from what he expected. He tries to stay more than 60 ft away from enemies (meaning he can't usually use his wand with a range of 40 ft) and he is loathe to use his Phantasmal Killer lest it tip his hand as to how powerful he is -- he'll save it for what he expects to be a TPK encounter.

Spells: Per Day: 4+1/6+1/4+1/3+1/2+1 (DC 15 + level [+1 for divinations])
1: Mage Armor, Shield, Magic Missile, Magic Missile, Comprehend Languages, Comprehend Languages, Identify
2: Detect Thoughts, Detect Thoughts, Invisibility, Acid Arrow, Cat’s Grace
3: Arcane Sight, Clairvoyance, Clairvoyance, Fireball, Fireball
4: Scrying, Arcane Eye, Phantasmal Killer
Note that he may prepare Expeditious Retreat or Fly before going off on a raid to ensure that he can make it home again.

Bloodsight: In addition to its conventional properties, Bloodsight’s wielder can cast Divination 1/day. Instead of a material component, blood has to be spilled . If Bloodsight’s wielder is not chaotic evil (alignment) and is not a demon (race), the use of the Divination power results in horrifying visions that cause 1d4 points of wisdom damage (no save). Naturally, a high enough Use Magic Device check can circumvent the need for this roll. Or you can just give it to your Quasit familiar and have him figure it out. (Cost is probably $6500 -- major 8-diagram coins were $10K in Oriental Adventures with no requirements or potentially ill side effects. Naturally, if you're going to sell it to a Balor you could probably ask for more money as it'll be far more useful to him -- but do you really want to get greedy with a Balor?)

Quasit Familiar
Tiny Chaotic Evil Outsider
Hit Dice: 7HD (13 HP)
Initiative: +7
Speed: 20 ft (4 squares), Fly 50 ft (10 squares, Perfect)
Armor Class: 22 (+2 size, +3 dex, +7 natural), touch 15, flat 19
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/-6
Attack: Claw +8 melee (1d3-1 plus poison)
Full Attack: 2 Claws +8 melee (1d3-1 plus poison) and Bite +3 melee (1d4-1)
Space/Reach: 2.5 ft/0 ft
Special Attacks: Poison, Spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Alternate Form, Darkvision 60', Deliver touch spells, DR 5/Cold Iron or Good, Fast Healing 2, immune to poison, Improved Evasion, resist fire 10, speak with master, granted abilities
Saves: Fort +4 Ref +7 Will +5
Abilities: Str 8 Dex 17 Con 10 Int 10 Wis 12 Cha 10
Skills: Per Quasit
Feats: Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Fire Temple
Organization: With Oret or occasionally basking in the callous disregard that Tass has for everything and everybody else.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Lli is almost always invisible. He tends to move about looking like a dark elf -- even when invisible -- in the hopes that fighters won't be able to see him and spellcasters won't waste their spells on a dark elf.

As a mazoku, Lli shouldn't be helping any mortals too directly, so his devotion to Oret is frowned upon. But being nothing more than a tiny Quasit, the rest of the mazoku don't tend to care to much. They don't generally realize that he's helping Oret to eavesdrop on what they know about the mortal world, particularly by frequent use of Bloodsight and occasionally prying deeper with his Commune ability.


Lli doesn't do combat. He scouts while invisible and reports back. He'll always be present in a combat to enjoy the dying pain of Oret's victims, but he never willingly attacks anything more dangerous than a farmer.

Poison (Ex): Injury, Fort DC 13, 1d4 Dex/2d4 Dex

Spell-Like: at will -- detect good, detect magic, invisibility (self); 1/day Cause Fear (30’ radius, DC 11, CL 6); 1/week Commune (6 questions, CL 12)

Alt Form (Su): Per polymorph, but no larger than medium size. (CL 12)

The PCs have already seen Oret behind a flock of Mephits. It's not going to get better.

::Kaze (is "suddenly all out of jokes to tell." ;) )

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/31/04 11:44 pm)
D'gran -- as a half dragon
Here's D'gran. Ry-Zu doesn't mean anything (that I know of) beyond denoting that the Ogre Magi is not the same as the Common Oni (while referring to it as an Oni instead of an Ogre). He is advanced one hit dice racially (though he should've been advanced by class -- so sad). I already picked a couple of errors out of my when copying them here, but I believe this to be effectively correct (except for my speling this evening...) -- or at least how I want it. Remember that we have a Troll PC who is supposedly the heir to the leadership of the Gorall tribe, as soon as he can defeat Slaazh in troll-to-troll combat to claim the position (which will allow the trolls to join the PCs for what should be a magnificent squishy combat).

And without further ado...

Half Red-Dragon Ry-Zu Oni
Large Dragon
Hit Dice: 6d10 + 30 (63 HP)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 40 ft (8 squares), Fly 40 ft (good), Fly 80 ft (average)
Armor Class: 23 (-1 size, +9 natural, +5 +1 Giant Chain Shirt), touch 9, flat 23
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+18
Attack: Giant Chain Lash +14 melee (2d6 + 16 + 1d6 fire, 15' reach)
Full Attack: +1 Giant Flaming Chain Lash +14 melee (2d6 + 16 + 1d6 fire, 15' reach)
Space/Reach: 10 ft/15 ft (clipped by 5 ft because I don't believe that a 20 ft length of chain can be wielded with any degree of accuracy as a melee weapon)
Special Attacks: Spell-like Abilities, Breath Weapon
Special Qualities: Darkvision 90', Low-light vision, SR 20, Regen 5, Immune to Sleep, Paralysis, and Fire.
Saves: Fort +10 Ref +2 Will +4
Abilities: Str 30 Dex 10 Con 20 Int 15 Wis 14 Cha 20
Skills: Concentration +13, Listen +10, Spot +10, Spellcraft +10, Bluff +9, Sense Motive +6, Intimidate +9, Survival +6, Knowledge: Arcana +6
Feats: Flyby Attack, Blind-Fighting, Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Chain Lash (Spiked Chain)
Environment: Fire Bridge
Organization: With small army of flunkies
Challenge Rating: 10
Treasure: Gauntlets of Ogre Strength, +1 Giant Flaming Chain Lash, +1 Giant Chain Shirt
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

This looks like the sort of oni that is commonly drawn in depictions of hell -- like a big, upright ogre with horns --except that its skin is rust-colored and has large draco-esque wings. He wears a chain shirt to cover what looks like his already distressingly thick skin and wields an enormous lash with wicked metal barbs, each wreathed in flame.

Degran, despite his oni lineage, has claim to walk the earth because of his dragon lineage, of which he is immensely proud. He was recruited by Oni Con Wasabi and immediately fell under the sway of Tass and his Fire Temple. He relishes the prestige he gains for working for the best temple above and beyond his awesome natural superiority over the rest of the rabble under the mountain. His loyalty to the Fire Temple, though, is bartered for every time a task is required -- Degran knows that the Fire Temple has a source of near-infinite weath tapped from Volophiel and he intends to profit extensively from it before he turns against the temple structure.

Degran is already beginning his plans on to destroy everything and everybody in the mines once they stop being useful to him. Oni Con Wasabe suspects this (as he's had the same thoughts sometimes), but won't interfere until Degran wipes out half of the remaining temples -- probably Air (weak) and Fire (immune) if they're available. But in the meantime, Degran lives off the fat of the temple, picking over whatever he wants and then manuvering whatever he can do without to wherever it's most strategically advantageous.

Degran has procured the loyalty of some hill giants (too stupid to realize that they're being ripped off), temple grunts (proud -- and afraid -- to work for such a leader), trolls of the Gorall tribe (annoyed that they're being ripped off by Degran's pick-and-pass behaviors). He's also got a couple of wizards -- a further affront to the trolls -- to augment his magical arsenal.

Degran will try to avoid personal combat as much as possible making vicious use of his flyby attack coupled with 15 ft reach. It doesn't mean much in the confines of his outpost, but it could be resumed later when the party encounters him again. If he doesn't seem to be striking terror and pain into the tiny hearts of his puny adversaries, he'll cut loose with darkness and invisibility hoping to outmanuver his foes. The breath weapon and cone of cold get held in reserve for when enemies are lost in darkness unless there's a clustering of them that's too good to pass up. If a group of foes look particularly dangerous, he'll pass up his first couple of attacks to give his troops a chance to soften them up. He will never leave his troops to handle something on their own -- even if they don't fail, Degran doesn't want to deal with inflated egos in his ranks.

Spell-like Abilities: At Will -- darkness, invisibility; 1/day -- charm person (DC 16), cone of cold (DC 20), gaseous form, polymorph, sleep (DC 16). Caster level 9.

Regeneration (Ex): Being half-Red Dragon, only Acid can do significant damage to Degran. Decapitation and all of the other creative ways of killing Ogre Magi still apply.

Flight (Su): Degran has the supernatural capability of flight as an Ogre Mage (cease or resume as a free action, 40' movement with good maunverability) and the conventional capability of flight as a large half-dragon (80' movement with average manuverability).

Breath Weapon (Su): 1/day -- 30 ft cone 6d8 fire, reflex DC 18 for half.

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/4/04 8:41 pm)
About that Water Temple
Geography: As you may recall from early on in this thread, the Moathouse was converted into a lighthouse on the coast. I'm glad I made that change because now it's useful -- way back when (over a millenia ago), when the largest Black Spike was slammed into the earth during a/the war of the outsiders (thus reducing a mountain to a crater), the impact effectively shunted a river. Previously, the river had run off of the mountain down to the sea. But now the mountain was down and the rolling tide washed back up the line and into the void space of the spike. Since that time long ago, the river's thin course has been covered such that it is more of a long underground inlet from the ocean to the Stalagos. Around the base of the black spike, the water is frozen into a solid block of ice some 8 ft thick. In addition to being hypothermia-inducing cold for the average human adventurer, the water is saltwater. The inlet from the ocean can go directly into the water temple (area 193), or be just outside of it.

Architecture: Virtually all of the Water Temple is underwater -- put a slope down between area 199 and 190 on map K and another between area 174 and 177 on Map J. The water, as previously mentioned, is filtered and slightly warmed by a complex Wall of Force effect -- that's the dotted line on Map J.

Driving Force: The bulk of the Water Temple is, like the Air Temple, comprised of folks who think that humans are just plain a bad idea. Most of them don't realize precisely what will happen, but figure that if it puts the humans back in their place, it's not all bad. Their high shamaness realizes the full extent of what is likely to happen, but believes that if the humans aren't stopped then all other sentient life will dumb and die out anyway. The shamaness was recruited by Du'rezo personally, the only one of the temples with such a connection. She has little no use for the temple hierarchy beyond keeping her people fed and her divinations funded.

Politics: Inside the temple, everybody's got a fair amount of respect for everybody else, despite the fact that nobody's that great at channelling energy. The Water temple is in a distant 2nd place to the Fire temple in this respect -- virtually nobody has the raw force of personality to power the elemental node. The water temple has slight disdain for the Earth temple -- the Myconids are all right, but the Troglodytes are genuinely creepy -- doesn't care about the ineffectual Air temple, and has nothing but loathing for the Fire temple and, more specifically, its leader Tass. Tass' over-the-top flamboyant reach-exceeding-grasp way of constantly pushing forward without really knowing where he's going is the sum and total of what pretty much everybody in the Water Temple hates about humans in general.

Troops: The core forces of the Water Temple are Locathah (spears) and Merfolk (trident) warriors. There are only a few Kuo-Toa in the temple proper, and they aren't fighters per se. The fighting force of the temple are barbarian Sahuagins and a few armed-and-armored Scrags, backed up by Sharkmen (see Savage Species, statblocks will be posted later).

177. 4 Merfolk and 1 Kuo-Toa are typically here.
178. 1 Kopru (Monster Manual 2) and 4 Locathah rest here, ready to reinforce 177. The Kopru has a bit of a lair dug out beyond just the room on the map.
179. 1 Morkoth (Monster Manual 2) makes its lair back slightly from the hallway, such that temple forces can pass by without concern.
181. 7 Merfolk bunk in this room (larger than pictured). The door slides, it does not stick.
182. 4 Sharkmen Rogues (lvl 2) hang out here doing sharky things. There is no pool, this entire place is underwater.
183. 1 Nixie Ranger (lvl 2) makes its home on the balcony. The balcony is a natural(?) stone shelf, not wood.
185. 1 Dire Shark is here, using the optional "Animal Companions of non-adventurers can be twice as big as normal" rule. The shamaness isn't much of a combatant, but her animal companion can make up for that.
186. 1 Morkoth makes its lair 20 ft beneath an illusionary floor. Anybody walking along the bottom is in dire risk of falling in and then being subsequently hypnotized.
187. 1 Merfolk Shamaness (lvl 7) rests here.
188. 1 Merfolk Fighter/Waverider (lvl 5/2, see Savage Species) and her Large Shark mount rest here.
190. There will be a small foot-path which can be used to circumvent (go over) the water temple. It will drop off into 172 (with rusted iron rungs hammered into the wall). The Sea Hag and her prisoners will be guarding the boats, as written.
189. 5 Merfolk and 4 Locathahs are guarding this area.
192. 1 (Probably -- haven't written him up yet) Sahuagin Ranger/Barbarian/Scaled Horror (lvl 2/2/2, see Savage Species)
193. 1 Sirine (with yet indetermined class levels) is observing here, wondering if she wants to join the temple.
194. 3 Scrags with Large +1 Ranseurs and Large +1 Mithral Shirts guard the temple. (The advanced Skum were nifty, but they were only super-nifty if you have an Aboleth later on -- which I don't.)
195. The pools of doom don't exist. The Water Elemental effectively lives in the horn and is thus effectively resident to this plane.
196. 1 Sharkman Rogue/Ranger (lvl 4/2) rests here.
197. 2 Kuo-Toa serve the 6 Sahuagin barbarians that rest here.

Tactics: The Water temple is very strong on defense, very weak on offense. They will only attack the Fire temple if the Fire temple over-extends itself by, oh say, going and wiping out the Air temple. The shamaness makes use of divination as often as she feels she can afford it to keep track of happenings elsewhere in the temple. If the Water temple is nervous, the Sahuagin will be strategically set at guard posts such that they can hopefully communicate with the sharks and sharkmen as an early warning system. If the Water temple is genuinely afraid, they'll pack up and move to the alter side of their area to reduce their exposure to hostiles. (The Morkoths, Kopru, Sea Hag, and Sirine will not join the temple's movement should they re-arrange in such a defensive posture.)

Stat blocks coming soon.
::Kaze (grins at the Underwater Combat rules on p92 of the DMG)

Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/5/04 11:59 pm)
Attack on the Fire Temple
Well, in an abrupt change of tactics, the party went after the Fire Temple taking almost all of the Air Temples' few defenders with them. They set out early in the morning, before the Fire Temple had time to wake up and organize their offensive (which was going to involve sending Mephits over the Stalagos to hit the Air Temple balcony and then beseech D'Gran to coup d'etat Fachish).

The Fire Temple forces were sleeping in the altar room and were just waking up to the sounds of Gnolls dying in the smoke-filled room... then there was the sounds of Ogres outside as they finished gathering their wits, then the door was down and the combat got started.

The Ogres died instantly as Tass fireballed them. Kellial killed a salamander in a single round with a crit + normal hit using his Weapon Master buffs. Tass killed the rogue with the scorching ray wand after the rogue had entered the room, gone into a spate of indecision, and gotten split open by Skass. Fighter-Cultist Xorn refused to surrender and died (and then complained about it). Punt and Xadoc surrendered. Skass and a salamander died; Tass went down but stablized.


Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/20/04 8:30 am)
Last Week's Game
In Short: When you've got a party of trolls, don't set them up against a pack of low-level dwarves in full plate with shields; doubly so when the dwarves have a caster with AC buff spells.

Anyway, the fall out from the defeat at the fire temple was that Punt got turned over to Degran (who was too busy eating to get a direct oath of loyalty, so Punt got sworn into the troll tribe instead) and Xadoc got promoted to middle management of the Air temple, as Degran had already been dispatched to dispatch Falchish by the time the negotiations were complete.

Over the next few days, Punt bonded with the troll tribe and came to understand their suffering under Degran. They went out to hunt Umber Hulks (good) and Dwarves (not good -- took 2 freakin' hours!) and had to bury Tock who fell in combat with the dwarves. (The dwarves had rampaged through the front gate, slaughtering everybody.)

Xadoc, meanwhile, joined the ranks of middle management, was subjected to The Most Evil PowerPoint[tm] Presentation that the World has Ever Seen!, Geased, and then sent out to finish the work at the Air temple, both in less than 26 days and in less time than it takes the Earth temple to complete their work. For the first few days, he resisted his new job, focusing instead on scaring people off by doing things like making a zombie janitor out of Xorn's remains (Create Mop -- material components: a quarterstaff, an old sweater, and a nail. ;) ) that "Shh"ed everybody it saw. After a couple of days of suffering and feeling the criticism from the fire temple building, he realized that trying to stop the Air temple was going to get him killed and not save the world at all. So an alternate plan would be necessary...

Fire Temple: 100% complete
Water Temple: 81% complete
Earth Temple: 67% complete
Air Temple: 53% complete

And this lead into a far-and-wide ranging session last night that I'll post sometime soon...


Mr Kaze
Tolling Bell Cultist
(2/21/04 9:45 am)
Session 16: Summer, Day 25-30 (95% RP in the CRM!)
So Xadoc was feeling a bit grouchy and pressed upon when a pack of new recruits showed up (just in time to re-stock the barracks at the front door). So between his thinly veiled threats and the zombie janitor "Shh"ing all of the recruits, only one (hobgoblin) recruit actually decided to stay with the Air temple (Choranth was flirting with him); all of the others either went to the front gate or to the Fire temple. (Not all of the gnolls who had been recruited made it to the front gate -- a couple of them were waylayed by trolls who "wanted to talk of many things; of sailing ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings..." if you get the meaning, which the gnolls didn't until it was much too late.)

So Xadoc starts dumping most of his spells into the altar (good) and messages the mermaid shaman of the water temple (who doesn't have a name or stat block yet) and asks her for any help she can provide, how about a 1-on-1 tomorrow? She doesn't respond, but does send the Sahuagin Horror over for a brief chat where he reveals that the water temple has been doing better lately due to occasional parties that involve singing and shark-wrestling and the like. Hence, if the air temple wants to boost its power, it needs to put the stinking zombie away and throw a big 'ol party.

So we started planning a party.

Xadoc went to Choranth and asked her what her backstory was (I ripped Martina Xoana Mel Navratilova's backstory about adventurers coming in and killing her dad and detonating her castle while politicals just sat by and watched) and she got started making decorations. Xadoc designed an invitation poster and had the hobgoblin make copies. Xadoc finally got around to searching the desk with Falchish's notes concerning the possibility of using the dimensional instability around the black spike to cast summoning spells (Int check vs. DC 20 to determine how many days of additional research and study will be required to turn the notes into something useful). Xadoc and Choranth also discussed the possibility of a bar-b-que of meats and vegetables and mushrooms, but Choranth noted that if the myconids from the earth temple came and saw bar-b-qued mushrooms, they'd probably freak out a bit.

First stop on Xadoc & the Hobgoblin's "Invite Everybody" tour was Degran. Degran always wants something -- bribes or soldiers or food or whatever -- so he always demands "I think you have something for me!" whenever anybody goes by. Last time, Xadoc was warned of this behavior by the trolls for fear he'd lay claim to Punt so he responded "Yes I do!" and loudly but hastily presented Degran with a small bag of gold and then scooted everybody on past. This time when presented with "I think you have something for me!" the immediate answer was "Yes I do!" with the unfurling of an invitation poster. So Degran's coming to the party. A successful diplomacy check later, and he's able to borrow that sad little runt of a troll to go invite more guests.

So Xadoc, the Hobgoblin and Punt arrive at the front gate where a bored half-elf archer is directing a pack of gnolls and orcs on their guard duties. She's all to happy to come to the party and will certainly accompany them on their quest to invite more people.

The group (calling them a party at this point would sound odd ;) ) heads up into the earth temple where they present the Troglodytes with invitations. (The myconids don't seem too interested in the party.) The troglodytes say they'll come, make rude comments about Degran's choice of drinks and promise some special myconid concoctions...

Their troglodyte escort then takes them up to the edge of the temple and sets them on their way to the air temple bridge, where Frank, Bob, Ralph and a buch of other guys are perpetually high or drunk. They're slow on the uptake, but they're all about the party. There's also a perpetually pissed-off mercenary dark dwarf and his freaky companion (you'd be pissed off if you were a level 7ish fighter stuck hanging out with a bunch of stoned level 1 warriors all of the time) and Xadoc tells the dwarf that Degran's challenged him to a drinking contest. This elicits a string obscene insults from the dwarf to Degran (who isn't present) and ensures that the dwarf will be there.

At this point, somebody realizes that there are only two women that they've seen in the temple (Choranth and the archer), so they need to go "hunt down" some women. Ordinarily, I don't approve of role playing overt racism or sexism just like I don't like role playing torture sequences... but when you've got a bunch of stoned guys saying that they're going to go hunt down chicks in the woods, days from any town? Well that's just silly (so silly that Xadoc stayed behind to do spell research).

Fitting in all too perfectly, in The Book of Challenges on page 60, you've got "The Ladies of the Lake" challenge. Naturally, I had to take the poor nymph and dryad out -- stoned guards hitting on a nymph? Yikes! -- but I left the honey trap in to get the players to relax their defenses down as they approached the girls sitting by the lake. So negotiations with the "hot chicks" were going really well and the guards had started daring each other to strip down (an activity the ladies were not discouraging as they started to lead them into the forest). Unfortunately, Punt -- who was granted additional time away to bring in the women -- tried to flank them and ended up tripping off the assassin vines. With a shriek, the ladies turned on/into the half dozen guys who were in various states of undress and laid into them. Punt was able to break the assassin vine that had caught him within two rounds, and the hobgoblin and archeress were busy sinking arrows into the guards (not the girls) from behind. After the guards have been slaughtered in sundry and painful ways, the hobgoblin steps forward to present an invitational poster to the "ladies" -- at which point, the Lamia charges him and saps half of his wisdom. Fortunately for the hobgoblin, with six fresh kills, the Lamia didn't really feel like running him down, so he wasn't pursued as he ran full tilt out of there.

Xadoc meanwhile discovers via divination that the best way to incite fighting at a party without having to do anything wrong himself would be to let these creatures who don't much like each other get good and drunk and then drop a Zone of Truth in the midst of them. (The official divine proclimation was, "The truth hurts, don't it?") He also attended the final party of the Water Temple, as they finished their channelling.

So while there wasn't much experience for a whole lot of exploration, I expect we'll be seeing a big old mess of experience next week.

Fire Temple: 100% complete
Water Temple: 100% complete
Earth Temple: 72% complete
Air Temple: 65% complete


Mr Kaze
(3/2/04 8:53 am)
Session 17: Summer, Day 31-32 (Death Death Death!)
So we had the party that was arranged. It was a bit awkward because the player who had set it up had to do a last minute cancellation...

Fatality List:
Miilokak was killed by Degran (Cone of Cold) and Tass (Scorching Ray wand).
Degran was killed by Oret the Cull (Phantasmal Killer)
Oret the Cull was killed by Tass (Scorching Ray wand)
Tass was killed by a whole lot of people -- Punt's overrun, Oret's Scorching Ray wand, Kal's sneak attack...

But the real question is "Why did Oret kill Degran?" The short of it is that Oret shouldn't have been there but the DM didn't spend enough prep time and so Oret -- fully statted out and ready to roll -- was there with his agenda of being free from the ever-increasingly annoying Tass (who, having survived a near-death experience, has an even more loud-and-proud ego than ever before). Tass was more resistant to magic than Degran was and Tass was gloating over the dead Miilokak -- so he didn't connect PhK going off with Oret until the frosted Scorching Ray clipped him.

Too bad for Oret that Tass has twice Oret's HP.

Anyway, the newly formed party still had plenty of work to do with Degran's hill giants and their pet "Fluffy" and all of the sundry party guests.

Combat took three hours. Passing out the loot took another 40ish minutes.

::Kaze (wonders where they'll go next)

Mr Kaze
(3/12/04 4:30 pm)
Session 18: Summer, Day 33
Xadoc has subverted the most impressive (that is to say, the ones that survived) of the new recruits. They decided that their first task should be to polish off the Fire Temple. Lli intercepted them and exchanged the Altar's instructions for the Bloodsight dagger (he made them an offer he knew they wouldn't refuse -- laced with just enough honesty to be misleading).

So they show up at the Fire Temple, surround a dozen orcs and summarily slaughtered them. Laron and Xadoc never even made it into the fight.

Then they go to kick down the door -- all fire resistance and all. Some of them are opting for "let's try to negotiate" some are saying "kill 'em all!" Having heard the altercation out in the hallway with the orcs, Arlainth -- bereaved at the loss of Tass -- faces the incoming party (that just crashed through the door) and announces: "Mister Xadoc-san! We Missed You."

Fortunately for the party, Mink (archer) beat Arlainth on initiative so she was able to start shooting at him immediately. He got off one acid-substituted Fireball, but Mink downed him (with the assistance of a scorching ray by Xadoc) in the second round. Then there was the matter of the Salamanders who'd been recently gated in (and weren't very happy about it and would explode -- see Savage Species -- if any of them actually got killed) that were thrashing the party pretty good in just a single round -- due in no small part to both Punt's and Kal's lack of readily available magic weapons.

At this point, the unhappy tentacle rod, which had been stuffed into a bag and handed to the troll for safe keeping, woke up. And grappled the troll.

At this point, the lead salamander (avoiding a TPK) called for a stop to the combat in exchange for the tentacle rod so they could get home, which they did -- leaving the tentacle rod on the altar (everybody who was paying attention -- that's Xadoc -- made their will save vs. the altar very handily). So then they're packing up to leave but they don't want to leave the rod on the altar -- bluff check on the troll to go collect it, which he does. He takes a bag and tries to collect the rod. Well the rod doesn't want to be collected so it starts trying to grab at the troll. The troll is panicking at this point -- the last time this thing got fiesty with him, it managed to put him at the mercy of some unhappy salamanders and now it's freaking out again. This time the troll handily avoids the grapple, but is caught in a bit of a comprimising position with the altar (that is, touching the altar at the same time as the rod while the rod is trying to bind him up, slow him down and maybe even curse him). Troll realizes what he's done, rolls a fantastic reflex save, and ducks and covers in the shallow fire pit while the altar shows off the sum and total of the chaotic infinite nature of the multiverse to whoever's paying atttention -- that would be Xadoc, but this time he fails his save and is left feeling *very* weak (9 points of strength).

And, after all of that, the tentacle rod fell back into the multiverse and out of the party's hands forever.

Good thing that there's another one later on.


Mr Kaze
(3/12/04 4:46 pm)
Re: Creature of the Day -- Vampiric Doppelganger (more or le
So I'm looking at the outer fane and I'm thinking of redoing most of the varied and sundry creatures with Yuan-Ti and their ilk. But then I come across this pair of Flesh Golems. And for reasons related to the fundamental perception of reality this week, I've been thinking about The Matrix a bit. So I see this pair of flesh golems. And I'm thinking about Thrommel (because he's a big player and a frequent favorite that I've already decided I'm not going to use). And then I think about the albino spectre twins in Matrix Reloaded. And here's what I came up with using a Doppelganger and a Vampire... (with a pair of these kids to replace the pair of Flesh Golems)

I don't think that they're quite as tough as they could be with the full vampire template, but their etheral form should give them more options than just "be beaten down into gaseous form and fly off to a well defended coffin".

Medium Monstrous Humanoid (Shapechanger, Undead, Freakish)
Hit Dice: 6d12 (44 hp)
Initiative: +10
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 29 (+4 Dex, +3 Wis, +10 natural, +2 Bracers), touch 19, flat-footed 22
Base Attack/Grapple: +5/+13
Attack: Slam +9 melee (1d6+6)
Full Attack: Slam +9 melee (1d6+6) or Shuriken +10 (1d2+5 -- 10') or Sai +10 (1d4+5 -- Disarm +17), Flurry -1/-1,
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Detect thoughts, Flurry of Blows
Special Qualities: Change shape, immunity to sleep and charm and mind-influencing effects, DR 10/magic + silver, Fast Healing 5, Resist Cold 10, Resist Electricity 10, Spider Climb, Turn Resistance +5, Evasion
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +13, Will +9
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 18, Con -, Int 13, Wis 16, Cha 18
Skills: Bluff +21*, Diplomacy +6, Disguise +12* (+14 acting), Hide +14, Intimidate +6, Listen +15, Move Silently +14, Search +9, Sense Motive +16, Spot +17, Tumble +9
Feats: Expertise, Great Fortitude, Blooded, Combat Reflexes, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Improved Grapple, Deflect Arrows, Improved Disarm
Gear: Bracers of Armor +2, Sai of Disarming +1, Shuriken of Returning +1 (5), Earring of Turning Resistance +1

These bizarre creatres rely on their speed to pepper their opponents with light blows and then move off to regenerate, change their disguise, and attack again.

Charm DC17 (Su): A vampire doppelganger can charm any setient creature with a gaze, with an effect similar to a Charm Person spell. Non-humanoids gain a +4 on their will save (good for 24 hours). The ability has a range of 30 feet and the effect lasts for 48 hours.

Detect Thoughts DC17 (Su): A doppelganger can continuously use detect thoughts as the spell (caster level 18th; range of 60'). It can suppress or resume this ability as a free action.

Energy Drain DC17 (Su): Living creatures hit by a vampire's slam attack (or any other natural weapon the vampire might possess) gain two negative levels. For each negative level bestowed, the vampire gains 5 temporary hit points. A vampire can use its energy drain ability once per round.

Change Shape (Su): A doppelganger can assume the shape of any Small or Medium humanoid. In humanoid form, the doppelganger loses its natural attacks. A doppelganger can remain in its humanoid form until it chooses to assume a new one. A change in form cannot be dispelled, but a doppelganger reverts to its natural form when killed. A true seeing spell or ability reveals its natural form.

Fast Healing (Ex): A vampire heals 5 points of damage each round so long as it has at least 1 hit point. If reduced to 0 hit points in combat, it automatically assumes ethereal form and attempts to escape. It must reach its spawning pool home within 2 hours or be utterly destroyed. (It can travel up to nine miles in 2 hours.) Any additional damage dealt to a vampire forced into gaseous form has no effect. Once at rest in its pool, a vampire is helpless. It regains 1 hit point after 1 hour, then is no longer helpless and resumes healing at the rate of 5 hit points per round.

Etherealness (Su): As a standard action, a vampire doppelganger can become ethereal per the Ethereal Jaunt spell, but can remain that way indefinitely and has a speed of 20.

Resistances (Ex): A vampire has resistance to cold 10 and electricity 10.

Spider Climb (Ex): A vampire can climb sheer surfaces as though with a spider climb spell.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A vampire has +4 turn resistance.

Create Spawn (Su): Any living creature killed by a Vampire Doppelganger's energy drain and then submerged in their spawning pool rises again as a Vampire Doppelganger, devoid of any memories from their previous life save their own appearance.

Skills: A doppelganger has a +4 racial bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks.
*When using its change shape ability, a doppelganger gets an additional +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks. If it can read an opponent's mind, it gets a further +4 circumstance bonus on Bluff and Disguise checks.

When reduced to 0 hit points, a Vampire Doppelganger becomes ethereal and retreats to its spawning pool.

Mr Kaze
(3/12/04 6:33 pm)
The Deck of Mazku Things
Given that the deck of many things has a bad habit of ending games either by making PCs too powerful or annihilating them outright, I wanted to give the option of something that spreads a bit of chaos that they're entirely too curious to try out...

The Deck of Mazoku Things

Composed of flaws cut from the fabric of reality, the deck of Mazoku things fundamentally alters the universe. The effects of this deck cannot be undone by any magic short of a Wish. (Even then, a Wish can only "roll back the last card revealed" -- nothing more.) Decks of Mazoku things are frequently tended to by mazoku who are curious about the potential of mortals and are interested to see how the deck reacts to them compared to other mortals. Only mazoku can unlock their power for mortal creatures. (Otherwise they're just a defectively short deck of indestructable playing cards.)

Each character, in no particular order (use initiative, probably) is given a chance to request up to 23 cards -- unless the character is killed, sent to another dimension, or has a stat reduced to 0, the deck will reveal the quantity of cards requested at a rate of 1/round. The cards are resolved in sequence at a rate of 1/round. Cards are only returned to the deck after all applicable are resolved for the requesting character. Once one character has completed their selection, another character may request cards in a similar fashion.

The Good... Hearts
Ace of Hearts -- A Bag of Chips ['cuz you're all that] (Gain +2 to your lowest ability score)
King of Hearts -- Hand of Justice (Gain Turn/Destroy Undead 1/day using your HD as your cleric level, regardless of alignment)
Queen of Hearts -- Exceptionally Well-Endowed (Increase body size by one step (but not gear size) -- consult the Monster Manual for effects of size increases)
Jack of Hearts -- Smoothest of Operators (Gain Darkvision +60' (up to 120'))
10 of Hearts -- Cosmic Empowerment (Treat Caster Level as 1 level higher for all spells, ranges, damages and CL checks)
9 of Hearts -- Passionate Fury (Gain Rage 1/day as per Barbarian, regardless of alignment)
8 of Hearts -- Heroic Adeptness (Gain Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization with any currently wielded weapon)
7 of Hearts -- Heart of the Dragon (Learn Draconic and be automatically qualified for Dragon Disciple PrC, regardless of prerequisites [unless you're already a half-dragon])
6 of Hearts -- Covering the Well (Gain +2 to your lowest save)
5 of Hearts -- The Statuesque Athlete (Gain +1 to Str, Dex and Con, but -1 to Int, Wis and Cha)
4 of Hearts -- Balance (Add +1 to your lowest save, but -1 to your highest save.)

The Bad... Clubs
Ace of Clubs -- Narian Banishment (send the poor f'ker to Narnia forever until they find their way out.)
King of Clubs -- Thorough Analysis of Chaos (Roll 3d6. Remove this amound from both WIS and CHA, but add it to INT)
Queen of Clubs -- The Transvestite (Change bodies with another setient being on-and-from the same plane -- typically generally in the same room. Exchange races, racial modifiers and base Str, Dex, and Con scores, and other such whatnot. Note that if you find yourself in the body of a not-fully-grown Savage Species, then you may have some growing up to do before you can continue your own career goals.)
Jack of Clubs -- Insignificance (You, but not your gear, are reduced a size -- such as "from Medium to Small." Consult the Monster Manual for the precise side effects.)
10 of Clubs -- The Clouded Mind (For purposes of casting spells -- range, spell penetration, caster level checks, damage, et all execept spells known and spells per day -- treat all of your Caster Levels as 1 lower)
9 of Clubs -- Everything You Know is Wrong (Lose half of all Knowledge skill ranks)
8 of Clubs -- Gross Incompetence (Lose proficiency with your primary weapon)
7 of Clubs -- Reverse Polarity (Heal from negative energy, suffer with positive energy -- you start to smell funny and animals don't like you any more. If you channel energy (cleric), your form of channelling does not change.)
6 of Clubs -- The Philosopher (-1 to Str, Dex, Con. +1 to Int, Wis, Cha.)
5 of Clubs -- Achilles Heel (+1 to your highest save, -1 to your lowest)
4 of Clubs -- Achilles in High Heels (-2 to your lowest save)
3 of Clubs -- The Bag of Chips from the Bottom of the Crate (-2 from highest ability score)

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