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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
671 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  01:40:17  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I was going to actually dust off this old scroll but then I realized that I would be unfairly taking it in a different direction than the OP wanted.

Basically, for my "Maztica Alive" campaign, I am trying to complete a sourcebook on the scorpionfolk of the realms. Seventeen pages are already complete (first draft) and some truly generous and fantastic artists have already contributed most of what I need to the project.

In the thread that I linked to above, the OP asked for information on the deities of the scorpionfolk and that has been a huge part of what I have done so far. I gathered whatever I could from official material (mostly the blurb on Oaxaptupa from the Underdark sourcebook) and expanded it to create the gods below. This is one part of my first draft and I would be very thankful if anyone could...

1) Constructively destroy or appreciate what has been written.

2) Add other thoughts to either these deities or really anything else to do with realmsian scorpionfolk that they think might be a good idea to include.

Anyway, here goes...I'll put in 2 gods per post to make each one manageable size-wise. Note that there will be names and concepts in the descriptions that you may not recognize, but refer to other parts of the guide. For example, the Opistacanthi, Palophonti, and Imperatonti are all subraces of scorpionfolk I have developed.


Gods and Religion

Life revolves around omen and divination and according to the Tlincalli; all divination comes from the gods. Each day to the scorpionfolk is preordained and they believe their gods know all that has happened and most of what will. They also believe that their deities are always trying to speak to them through even the most mundane of events, imparting their vast wisdom. Great investments in time are spent attempting to interpret these messages.

While practicality is not completely ignored, the scorpionfolk design their hive cities in mystical patterns to allow for more accurate divination. Fully one in five manscorpions is a cleric or belongs to a clan that supports the cleric caste. An almost equal amount of sorcerers exist who are typically just as pious, and both classes are referred to as diviners.

The deities themselves are undeniably strange and most are bloodthirsty and aggressive. They are also quite alien in mentality to a human, but they do share one thing in common with many of the other Maztican deities…a love of sacrifice.

Blood offered upon Tlincalli altars goes directly to the gods’ throats and with eleven gods to feed, sacrifice is an almost constant activity.

The number eleven is the number of immortal beings worshiped by the Tlincalli, but is also appears almost everywhere in their culture and religion. They consider the number sacred, in part due to the number of limbs on a scorpion (8 legs, two pincers and the deadly tail). There are eleven signs of the scorpionfolk Zodiac, six vices and five virtues, etc.

Individual deities and demon lords are described below.

Axipotl
Title(s) Venomlord
Power Level Lesser God
Symbol Stylized Stinger
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Venom, Claws, Natural Weaponry
Worshipers Hishnashapers, Poisoners, Opistacanthi
Domains Animal, Planning, Hatred

Axipotl is the patron deity of the opistacanthi scorpionfolk and appears much like one of that tree dwelling offshoot. In fact, the resemblance of both the god and his worshipers to the humans of Maztica is mildly disturbing to the other gods. As the smallest of the gods he is often seen as an outcast, but he is still respected for his unbeatable marksmanship with a shortbow and theft of the strange human magic known as Hishna. When angered, the deity’s eyes glow with a fierce green light.

History/Relationships: Axipotl is somewhat of a loner and avoids contact with the other gods. Historically, he has been subservient to Huoxopica, but since his relatively recent theft of Hishna magic, he has come into his own. The human god Zaltec is furious over the theft of Hishna, however, and actively hunts the small scorpion god.

Much like Zaltec’s enmity to Qotal, Axipotl has grown to despise Pachutalixi and the feathered scorpion’s Pluma magic. The worshipers of each respective god are typically enemies because of this rivalry, though Pachutalixi’s do not frequently initiate any type of combat.

Dogma: Always fight from cover, claw to claw combat is for fools. Poison is a gift from your deity and you honor your god in its use. If you are smaller or physically weaker than others, you must defeat them with your cleverness.


Corantllil
Title(s) The Unceasing
Power Level Intermediate God
Symbol Anvil with attached Stinger
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Endless Activity, The Forge, Work
Worshipers The Worker Castes of Scorpionfolk
Domains Artifice, Craft, Knowledge

Corantllil plays a huge role in the everyday life of scorpionfolk. Work is considered second only to sacrifice in sating the gods’ appetites and Corantllil is said to be the fountain from which all industriousness flows. He appears as an incredibly large and muscular scorpionfolk with 16 legs instead of eight. His tail is capped with a fine chisel (though it can still inject poison) and one claw has been replaced with a massive iron hammer.

History/Relationships: If friendship can be said to exist among the deities of the scorpionfolk, it is best exemplified by Corantllil’s relationship with Pachutalixi. The two are not brothers, but act as if they are so, and even with their vastly differing outlooks and alignments, are quite overprotective of each other. Together, the scorpionfolk deities encourage their worshipers to create healing potions in massive quantities to counteract the great amounts of bloodletting the other gods demand on a daily basis. Corantllil’s work (and that of his worshipers) forging weapons, tools and shelter are also looked on favorably by Huoxopica, which keeps the worst of their ire from Corantllil’s merciful friend. Malinalxochitl has had fleeting relationships with Corantllil in the past but he often chooses to return to work rather than waste time on such fripperies. This annoys the Seductress to no end.

Dogma: Laziness is the ultimate sin and must be wiped away with blood. Only the scorpionfolk are willing to die in perpetual work, thus they are the only race that deserves life. If you are capable, you must be industrious. If you are not, then you too must make room for another. Use whatever means necessary to continue perpetual motion, for this will bring the scorpionfolk to greatness.

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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
671 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  01:43:18  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Ek-Chua
Title(s) Black Star, The Black Merchant
Power Level Lesser God
Symbol Lance on a Black Field
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Conflict, War, (Formerly) Mercantilism
Worshipers Fighters, warriors and merchants
Domains Commerce, Destruction, Evil, War

Ek-Chua holds two very different roles in the scorpionfolk pantheon. As the patron of merchants and trade, Ek-Chua once had a more neutral outlook, but in recent centuries he has become violent and bloodthirsty. Some believe he has become addicted to the pleasures of sacrifice, and so now he desires conflict and warfare over a mutually beneficial trade. While many of the scorpionfolk deities desire ritual sacrifices, Ek-Chua seeks them out on the battlefield itself. All blood spilled in senseless warfare is said to go directly to Ek-Chua.

History/Relationships: Ek-Chua has grown in power since he began focusing more on warfare. Many other deities now fear his rise and wonder if one day he will seek to usurp their own portfolios. Huoxopica, however, sees Ek-Chua as his right claw, and turns to the god for all matters that involve warfare. Ek-Chua is a master tactician and the pantheon’s leader knows it.

Dogma: There does not need to be reason for war, it is a gift in itself. Kill now, kill as often as you wish, kill before others have a chance to kill you. Be wise in choosing your enemies, however, and if you cannot defeat a foe he may be worthy of your respect. You may wish to trade with these creatures for the time being, until you are powerful enough to spill their blood!

Huoxopica
Title(s) The Scorpionlord, He Who’s Throat is Never Dry, The Divine Sting
Power Level Greater God
Symbol Perfect Scorpion
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Scorpionfolk, Sacrifice, Divination, Fate
Worshipers All Scorpionfolk
Domains Animal, Evil, Fate, Oracle

Huoxopica is the Scorpionlord, the true king of the pantheon and undisputed ruler of the scorpionfolk. Such has been the case since he found a tribe of primitive man banging rocks to make fire and transformed them into the powerful creatures which they are today.

His own form is that of the perfect scorpion. The glow that radiates from his chitin is supremely divine, and none but the other gods can remain in his presence.

Huoxopica has foreseen the fate of his creations and it is a destiny of greatness. While the future is never truly set in stone, if the scorpionfolk continue to follow him their ascension is guaranteed. He is almost entirely consumed with gifting his divinations upon his people, but such power requires fuel. Fuel in the form of blood! Much like his wife Ixtilli, Huoxopica is addicted to the blood of sacrifice and demands more and more as the centuries pass by.

Huoxopica came to Toril long before the continents the world looked as they currently do. He arrived as an interloper god from a far away, alien world. Starving from lack of worship, he found no creatures that were suitable for his attentions. Instead of fading away on this world, he instead chose to take one of the lowliest of creatures and change them into a more suitable form. In the caves, forests and deserts of this new world he found primitive mankind and gave them a gift of great power. He painstakingly crafted each of their new bodies, and the scorpionfolk would be his forevermore. This he had foreseen, for Huoxopica was the god of divination and of fate itself.

History/Relationships: Huoxopica rules his pantheon with an iron fist and allows no dissension. In truth, he sometimes fears his own wife Ixtilli. Not for the fear of her power, but instead for the fear of what war amongst the gods could do to his favored creations. Even in this, it is not that he cares for the scorpionfolks’ welfare, but for the disruption in the steady flow of sacrifice he has received for so long.

Huoxopica’s talent for divination has helped him avoid any attempts upon his power, and he has been merciless with challengers in the past. He currently has two problems which he sees as leading the scorpionfolk into unknown times. First, he has had numerous affairs with other deities and immortal beings. If his wife were to discover his infidelity, it would be a complete disaster. Secondly, he has avoided the attention of the human gods for millennia, but now with the coming of the mainlanders, Pachutalixi and Axipotl’s use of human magic and the influence of Obox-Ob, the humans can no longer be avoided.

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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
671 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  01:48:29  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Ixtilli
Title(s) Nest Mother
Power Level Greater Goddess
Symbol An Egg with developing Scorpion Inside
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Breeding, Reproduction, The Life Cycle
Worshipers Nest Keepers, Mothers
Domains Animal, Community, Evil, Family

Ixtilli is the wife of Huoxopica and claims to be the mother of the scorpionfolk race. She shares much in appearance to her sisters, but has almost no physical traits in common with the scorpion itself. This fact leads many to speculate that she was once in fact a human deity, but those who claim as much live very short lives. She enjoys surrounding herself with all different sizes of true scorpions.

History/Relationships: As the mother of the scorpionfolk race, not even Huoxopica is willing to challenge his wife when she sets her mind on a course of action. Her sisters Malinalxochitl and Nantzintli Coloti are jealous of her high standing and power, but would never raise their voices in protest.

Ixtilli is said to determine the successful reproduction of scorpionfolk and thus has as much power over fate as it has power over her. If she so willed it, every scorpionfolk in existence could become barren or exceptionally fertile, therefore she has much power over the race itself. Malinalxochitl suspects her sister of cruelly cursing her own barren body. Much sacrifice is offered in her name to sate her appetite while simultaneously beseeching her for many broodlings.

Ixtilli is also a jealous goddess and were she to ever discover Huoxopica’s tryst with the Kara-Tur being that produced Chikata, the repercussions would be drastic.

Dogma: Breed often, for it is the divine fate of the scorpionfolk to encompass the world. Protect your children, but do not coddle them, for nature will only accept the strong. Sacrifice many and often, for the old must make way for the new. Sacrificing oneself when you are no longer capable of reproducing will be the greatest show of respect to your goddess who gave you your life in the first place.

Malinalxochitl
Title(s) Grass Flower, The Seductress
Power Level Lesser God
Symbol Scorpion on a Rose Thorn
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Portfolio Sorcery, Seduction, Sex
Worshipers Hedonists, Diviners (Sorcerers)
Domains Magic, Charm, Trickery, Passion

Malinalxochitl is the beautiful and sultry sister of both Nantzintli Coloti and Ixtilli, though she sees both women as bitter rivals. She is incredibly beautiful by human standards and the males of very few species can withstand her charms. Malinalxochitl often appears completely naked, even shunning common items of jewelry or other adornments.

History/Relationships: Malinalxochitl has few friends amongst the gods of any pantheon, including her own. As the sister of Ixtilli, she is considered part of the royal line, and it is this fact that has prevented the others from destroying her on many occasions. Malinalxochitl has had brief trysts with each of the male scorpionfolk gods at one point or another, but the goddess herself is barren and cannot produce offspring. Some of the most ancient texts claim this curse was brought upon her because she ate her entire clutch of first offspring in ages past. Corantllil is the closest she has come to a true relationship, simply because of all the male gods; he has been the most unconcerned with garnering her attentions.

As the goddess of sorcery, Malinalxochitl receives much of her worship from scorpionfolk diviners, but she wisely does not flaunt this for fears of angering Huoxopica. Though she feels she could easily seduce and distract the god should they come to blows, her ever present sister Ixtilli could make it more difficult than necessary.

Dogma: There is no need to engage in close-up face to face combat when both sorcery and seduction offer so many alternatives. If you cannot defeat your foes yourself, simply send your devoted slaves to do so. While strength and ferocity can win a battle, other means can easily win wars.

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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
671 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  01:55:50  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
NOTE: Glau is originally the creation of Varyar on the rpg.net forums and is used with permission.

Original Link


Nantzintli Coloti (Glau)
Title(s) The Huntress in Darkness, Lady Scorpion
Power Level Lesser Goddess
Symbol Black Tribal Scorpion
Alignment Neutral Evil
Portfolio Hunting, Nature
Worshipers Rangers, Druids, Hunters (Scorpionfolk and some Humans)
Domains Animal, Darkness, Evil, Strength

The sinister, aloof deity named Nantzintli Coloti is the patroness of hunters, cold-blooded rangers and druids. She is primarily a scorpionfolk deity but she is also one of the only deities to also have a small following among mankind. In Faerun, she is known as Glau. The Lady Scorpion dispatches her minions to hunt down and murder all those who cross her path and sometimes even the paths of her worshipers. The huntress is relentless, cold and methodical, making her quite popular among the fatalistic scorpionfolk. She is also revered by some humans dwelling throughout southern Faerun and Anauroch (where her cult is outlawed by most of the Bedine tribes).

Nantzintli Coloti oddly appears more human than scorpionfolk. A trait she shares with her sisters Ixtilli and Malinalxochitl, though she is not quite as alluring.

The church of Glau is a primal one, with very little in the way of formal scripture or liturgy. Followers of Nantzintli Coloti honor the Huntress in Darkness every night as the sun sets and the time to hunt begins, while those who worship her as Lady Scorpion offer their prayers at the stroke of midnight and any time they use their poison to claim a meal or a rival.

History/Relationships: In days gone by as a deity of Faerun, it was said Glau had a rivalry with Bhaal, one that ended only at the insistence of Malar. Malar, according to the tales, is either Nantzintli Coloti’s father or her lover (some legends say it's both); her mother is sometimes named as Shar but more often some powerful fiend of Carceri. It is true that Glau has an odd, sometimes subservient and sometimes adversarial relationship with both Shar and Malar when on the mainland, depending on the moods of the three evil deities. Glau is bitter rivals with Talona and a sworn foe of Lolth, who she considers clumsy and heavy-handed in her malice. She has a strange sort of friendship with Mask and even Sharess, another Faerűnian deity said to have trysts with Glau. It is known both sometimes visit Glau's lair, the Caverns of the Blacktalon. Most good deities despise Glau, and she is especially hated by Torm, Mielikki and Eilistraee (who thwarted a long-ago scheme by Glau to worm her way into the hearts of renegade drow).

Amongst the scorpionfolk, she is well regarded by the other deities despite her frequent associations with the gods of humans, in part because it helps them to keep the foreign gods out of the scorpionfolk world. She is vigilant in keeping her people “pure” and secluded from the gods of man. What few realize is that it was her insistence that led Huoxopica to call for revenge against Cordell and the Amnians. She did not anticipate this would indirectly lead to the defection of many of her worshipers to the demon lord Obox-Ob.

Dogma: In this world, you are either the hunter or the hunted. Strength and savvy are the heart and mind of the true hunter. Be wise and vigilant when stalking the weak, for they may take you by surprise. A true hunter strikes only at the right moment, or else risks it all. Never let others carry your burdens or fight your battles. Bury your passion on the hunt, exult in your victory.

Pachutalixi
Title(s) The Tolerated, The Feathered Scorpion
Power Level Lesser God
Symbol Winged Scorpion
Alignment Neutral Good
Portfolio Healing, Recovery, Pluma
Worshipers Healers and Neutral or Good Scorpionfolk
Domains Good, Endurance, Healing, Community

As the only god of the scorpionfolk with a strong sense of morality and an absolute abhorrence for sacrifice, Pachutalixi is a pariah amongst the gods. Though he has no humanoid traits, his brightly colored and feathered wings make his appearance far less threatening than the other deities. The rare good scorpionfolk almost exclusively worships this god.

History/Relationships: Often picked on as the “weak” god of the scorpionfolk, Pachutalixi might have been slain long ago were it not for his close relationship with the well-respected Corantllil. In addition, Pachutalixi and his worshipers lend their powers to helping Corantllil develop powerful healing. Pachutalixi avoids gods other than Corantllil lest they be tempted into slaying him and stealing his portfolio.

Though Vulkoon rarely interacts with his pantheon at all these days, Pachutalixi is attempting to befriend the barbaric god of the imperatonti because he has seen some kindness in the demigod in the past.

Finally, to counteract Axipotl’s discovery and theft of Hishna magic, Pachutalixi has made contact with the human god Qotal. Qotal has taught the well-meaning scorpion god the magic of Pluma and he now shares it among his own worshipers. There are a significant number of Pachutalixi’s diviners who now multiclass as plumaweavers.

Dogma: Show mercy where none exists. Good actions will return to you tenfold and therefore it is the province of the strong, not the weak. Keep yourself useful and humble in the face of overwhelming evil, but help wherever you may. Heal all that you can, because evil or not, they are your people. The scorpionfolk will come around to your way of thinking if you lead by example.

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Edited by - Seethyr on 26 Oct 2011 01:57:51
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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
671 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  02:00:33  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Only posting one here...the next two are technically demon lords.



Vulkoon
Title(s) The Emperor Scorpion, The Divine Scorpion
Power Level Demigod
Symbol Tail stinger surrounded by scorpion claws
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Portfolio Survival, Emperor Scorpionfolk
Worshipers Emperor Scorpionfolk, Jungle Drow, Survivors
Domains War, Protection, Strength

Vulkoon is described in detail in Lopango – Land of the Sacred Sun. That information is summarized here in addition to new insights on the dogma of his worshipers.

Vulkoon is an ascended mortal who once assisted Obox-Ob in imprisoning the equally vile Rr'ikin'aka in the Wells of Darkness on the Abyss. Vulkoon was never comfortable with Obox-Ob’s treatment of its own worshipers, however, and eventually he led his followers to seek out other lands. Vulkoon became king of his people and eventually their deity. Though he is only a demigod now, Vulkoon’s powers are certainly on the rise.

Dogma: Survival of the species is more important than the individual. The greatest honor one can have is to die in the service of scorpionfolk as a whole. Be wary of betrayal, even amongst your own kind, for not all will be as unselfish as you.

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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
671 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  02:04:13  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Demon Lord: Rr'ikin'aka

The self-titled King of Scorpions is truly no longer a major player in the politics of the scorpionfolk. Ages ago he made a grab for ultimate power with the scorpionfolk and scorpions in general. Huoxopica’s wrath was immediate and unmerciful. He enlisted the help of the obyrith demon lords Obox-Ob and Tharzax to either slay or permanently remove the threat.

Obox-Ob in turn, enlisted the mortal (at the time) scorpionfolk hero Vulkoon as bait to capture Rr’ikin’aka within the Wells of Darkness on the 73rd layer of the Abyss.

Few scorpionfolk these days still revere the imprisoned demon lord, and those that do receive little power from him. In secret, however, Rr’ikin’aka exists as a vestige, and there is a small number of scorpionfolk binders that call upon his power. Neither Huoxopica nor Obox-Ob knows of their existence despite all their powers of divination. Rr’ikin’aka also has a sect of followers, particularly the binders, who believe they know a way to set their lord free. If this should come to pass, he will no longer be a vestige. Rr’ikin’aka is fully described in Lopango – Land of the Sacred Sun.

Demon Lord: Obox-Ob

Obox-Ob has been a part of the scorpionfolk pantheon for thousands of years. This unknowable obyrith demon lord cares nothing for his worshipers, but he is worshiped with devotion nonetheless. The most evil of scorpionfolk call him patron, and Huoxopica is too busy demanding his own sacrifices to care.

Despite his (its?) alien nature, Obox-Ob is an opportunist. He sees the recent invasion of humans in Maztica as an opportunity to wreak much havoc and evil, both upon the invading humans and the scorpionfolk themselves. In this move, he may have finally overstepped his bounds and come to the attention of both Huoxopica and Vulkoon (who already despised the demon lord).

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MalariaMoon
Learned Scribe

324 Posts

Posted - 26 Oct 2011 :  06:13:58  Show Profile  Visit MalariaMoon's Homepage Send MalariaMoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Seethyr,

Interesting read, as I’ve said before I’m a fan of Maztica and your attempts to breathe new life into it.

Good work on creating a cool pantheon, I’m curious to learn more about the different races of scorpionfolk. The notion of eleven as their sacred number is a convincing starting point, and there’s a lot of nice details in there (for example, I like the thought of Malinalxochitl eating her own young). I’m a lore junkie, why not go into greater depth (like the style of entry used in Faiths and Avatars)?

Some small criticisms if I may:

There’s a lot of reference to bloodletting amongst these deities. Although this is certainly in keeping with the Maztican pantheon, I’d suggest the scorpionfolk would consider using their stings the most sacred way of despatching their sacrifices. This wouldn’t lead to much release of blood (most scorpions have a neurotoxins which kill through paralysis of the heart or lungs). However, scorpionfolk venom needn’t conform to nature of real world scorpion venom. Some clerics might have a poison similar to some snakes, which cause haemorrhaging from all the bodily orifices, which certainly satisfy an evil deity’s bloodlust.

Venom could well play an important part of the scorpionfolk’s religion. Clerics might divine the future through observing the dying thrashings a stung sacrifice. Perhaps ingestion or injection of small amounts of poison could lead priests to have visions or fever dreams where the will of the gods is depicted.

One other observation; in the write-up of Nantzintli Coloti, Faerun is referred to as ‘the mainland’. Considering Maztica is itself a continent, surely its people wouldn’t consider Faerun to be the mainland?

I hope these thoughts help! #61514;
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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
671 Posts

Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  00:37:18  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon

Hi Seethyr,

Interesting read, as I’ve said before I’m a fan of Maztica and your attempts to breathe new life into it.

Good work on creating a cool pantheon, I’m curious to learn more about the different races of scorpionfolk. The notion of eleven as their sacred number is a convincing starting point, and there’s a lot of nice details in there (for example, I like the thought of Malinalxochitl eating her own young). I’m a lore junkie, why not go into greater depth (like the style of entry used in Faiths and Avatars)?

Some small criticisms if I may:

There’s a lot of reference to bloodletting amongst these deities. Although this is certainly in keeping with the Maztican pantheon, I’d suggest the scorpionfolk would consider using their stings the most sacred way of despatching their sacrifices. This wouldn’t lead to much release of blood (most scorpions have a neurotoxins which kill through paralysis of the heart or lungs). However, scorpionfolk venom needn’t conform to nature of real world scorpion venom. Some clerics might have a poison similar to some snakes, which cause haemorrhaging from all the bodily orifices, which certainly satisfy an evil deity’s bloodlust.

Venom could well play an important part of the scorpionfolk’s religion. Clerics might divine the future through observing the dying thrashings a stung sacrifice. Perhaps ingestion or injection of small amounts of poison could lead priests to have visions or fever dreams where the will of the gods is depicted.

One other observation; in the write-up of Nantzintli Coloti, Faerun is referred to as ‘the mainland’. Considering Maztica is itself a continent, surely its people wouldn’t consider Faerun to be the mainland?

I hope these thoughts help! #61514;




This is exactly the type of discussion I am looking for, thank you so much!

The scorpionfolk subraces are actually in the monster book, but a bit more of them will be spelled out in this guide.

I really wanted the majority of these gods to be nasty. Not as bad as a demon lord, and honorable in their own way, but I wanted them to LOVE sacrifice. Your suggestions, however, make perfect sense. I think what I might do is write up a separate section which explores the whole sacrifice and divination process in detail. This would be a great place to update the "Stinger Races" that were mentioned in Monsters of Faerun. Removing hearts like the rest of the Mazticans, as you mentioned, does not fit the scorpionfolk so the "bloodletting through poison" will be used.

I've been thinking of going deeper into detail and using the Faiths and Avatars format but to be honest with you, I think it might lead to just too big a section on deities. I could easily seeing it take up half of the entire netbook which I don't feel is proportional to its importance.

Great point about Nantzintli Coloti. I have removed all references to the "mainland" in the book draft. As in love with the Aztec culture as I am, I'm ashamed that I harbored some inherent prejudice there. I guess it's hard to completely beat down Eurocentrism.

Thanks again! I'll have some more pieces of the book posted here soon.

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Seethyr
Senior Scribe

USA
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Posted - 27 Oct 2011 :  05:11:15  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ok, so going with your suggestion, every deity is going to have his or her own methods of sacrifice. They will fall into two categories that will possibly lead to different boons for the priests performing the sacrifices. The two categories will be their FAVORED method and other PREFERRED methods when the favored is not available...

Here is the entry for the terrible god of venom, Axipotl.

Sacrifice and Divination

In Gods and Religion, it is apparent that the scorpionfolk pantheon is quite a bloodthirsty crowd of immortals. With the exception of Pachutalixi, each god feeds on the actual blood spilled in their name. Any sacrifice will generally serve the gods, but to truly fuel the gifts that the gods and goddesses provide, it must be committed in ways specific to each deity. Each god or goddesses’ specific favored mode of sacrifice is provided below, along with a few others that are generally preferred when the favored mode is unavailable.

Some gods can choose to bestow a boon for properly performed sacrifices that are either favored or preferred. Note that this is not always the case, and the deities can be quite stingy with their boons. Only the “Great Pattern of Life” performed by a high priest of Huoxopica (foolishly called the “Stinger Race” by mankind) guarantees a boon.

Axipotl (Favored Sacrifice): Death of any sentient being, including other scorpionfolk, by a special venomous concoction known as the Crimson Fountain.

This terrible poison leads to such a gruesome death that most would actually have preferred to have their hearts torn out. The poison must be injected from the specially preserved stingers of a deathstalker scorpion (a common creature in many upperworld deserts), though very little of this creature’s own venom is actually in its composition. Because of this limitation, and the fact that the poison becomes inert within seconds of exposure to air, it is never used as a weapon The damage caused is 1d8 Con/1d8 Con, but it also causes extreme pain (victim is nauseated) and blood pours forth from every orifice and pore of the victim. Sacrifices are given repeated doses until death, at which time the poison earns its colorful name.

Axipotl (Preferred Sacrifice): Sacrifice is only preferred by Axipotl if three circumstances are met. The sacrifice itself must be sentient, death must occur from venom (damage through other means is acceptable as long as actual death is via the venom itself), and the victim must be physically restrained. Axipotl does not shy away from battle and war, but he does not consider deaths in actual warfare to be suitable to be considered a preferred sacrifice, even if death is through the successful use of venom.

Axipotl (Favored Boon): For twenty-four hours after a favored sacrifice is performed in Axipotl’s name, up to five beings present at the sacrifice receive a +1 divine bonus to the save DC of their own venomous attacks. These five recipients are determined by the scorpionfolk performing the sacrifice and may or may not include him. This boon may be granted as many times as there are available sacrifices, but multiple effects do not stack. The twenty four hour timer is simply renewed.

Axipotl will typically only grant this boon to the opistacanthi, and then only when they are at war.

Axipotl (Preferred Boon): Same effect as Axipotl’s Favored Boon, but the bonus only applies to the actual scorpionfolk performing the ritual.



What do you think?

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MalariaMoon
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Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  13:47:29  Show Profile  Visit MalariaMoon's Homepage Send MalariaMoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cool! The idea of specific methods of sacrifice, with corresponding boons, will really give the Scorpion Gods a distinct flavour, gruesome though it maybe. It could be something that could be taken further in the book ... maybe a Prestige Class which allows a Scorpionfolk to change the nature of its own venom as it advances? As it levels up, new venom's with different potencies and effects can become available.

- On a different note, the use of 'stingy' made me smile - due to the context of the article I read it in a completely different way!

- I wonder what Mazticans do call Faerun. If Maztica is the True World, I wonder if that makes Faerun the False World? Given that the arrival of Cordell and his armies had some fairly negative impacts, I doubt many in Maztica would look on the Realms favourably.

- One other thing crossed my mind. Do you have any intention of drawing on whip scorpions as inspiration? I noted that the Palphonti scorpionfolk have a whiplike appendage, but otherwise seem quite different. I spent a year living in a remote area of Peru, and whip scorpions regularly got into my room. They're pretty big and pretty hideous (although in actual fact fairly harmless); a whip scorpion of monstrous size, perhaps with additional powers or mutations would make a deadly opponent for a party of adventurers.
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Seethyr
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Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  23:26:06  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That PrC idea is truly a keeper! I've been told PrC's I've made in the past have been waaay too underpowered in the past, so when it's first draft is done, I'll certainly need help tweaking it.

Oh boy...stingy! I swear it wasn't on purpose, but I have to say, there is no way it's going anywhere in the editing now!

Maztica Alive Netbook V is going to be a 3e update to the setting in general. I'm hoping it will be the best of all of them and I've been thinking ahead for it already. It's development post is actually here on the Piazza. Hopefully we can find a good way to address the "False World" when that comes around.

The palophonti are based off of the extinct species of giant sea scorpions which did have a whip-like tail rather than an envemomed one (venom apparently didn't evolve yet). So there is plenty of room for land based whip-scorpion lore. In one of the 3e sourcebooks, I believe giant whip-scorpions were developed. Here's a thought...would it be too off-Maztica to develop a Kaiju based off that creature using the template from the Dragon Magazine article (I forget the number, but its a great article)?

Anyway, my next post has the Sacrifice and Boon rules for Corantllil (who is canon btw).

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Seethyr
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Posted - 28 Oct 2011 :  23:29:07  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Corantllil (Favored Sacrifice): Corantllil’s favored sacrifice is one of the few that doesn’t require the death of its recipient.

Corantllil is known as the Unceasing because he almost never leaves the side of his forge. Like the other gods he craves blood, but instead of consuming it he found that it works quite well to quench a blade when it is being tempered. Before forging a tool or instrument of war, a scorpionfolk craftsman can garner Corantllil’s favor by giving of his own blood. The sacrifice must amount to 50% or greater of the blacksmith’s maximum hit points. This is, in part, why his worshipers have come to depend on the administrations of Pachutalixi’s faithful.

Corantllil (Preferred Sacrifice): Blood taken from other sentient beings is still pleasurable to Corantllil, though Pachutalixi has had some strong influences on his ally in this manner. Years ago, he preferred that a sentient being have its throat slit and the blood used for tempering, but this has recently expanded to any warm blooded animal. His more bloodthirsty priests are still willing to practice the old ways, to the constant disappointment of Pachutalixi’s clergy.

Corantllil (Favored Boon): If a scorpionfolk blacksmith performs a favored sacrifice and is in good standing with this deity, he will usually receive a +2 divine bonus to any one Craft skill for a 24 hour period after the sacrifice. Multiple sacrifices do not result in stacking boons, but they do reset the 24 hour timer.

Corantllil (Preferred Boon): As giving of oneself is more valuable to Corantllil than taking from another, the bonus to crafting is reduced to +1 and only remains for 6 hours after the sacrifice is performed.

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Seethyr
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Posted - 10 Nov 2011 :  05:07:40  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I need a quick suggestion for a location I am developing. How many scorpionfolk would you guess live in their primary settlement in Maztica's underdark?

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The Sage
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Posted - 10 Nov 2011 :  14:44:41  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rip Van Wormer and I once brainstormed manscorpion/scorpionfolk/tlincalli population numbers for various locales throughout the multiverse.

As I recall, we allowed an average of around 5,000-to-7,000 for the entirety of Toril. Translating that into scorpionfolk numbers for the Maztican Underdark is a little easier, I suppose, given that the tlincalli are said to be natives of Maztica. So it would seem like a logical proposition for the majority of the population to still be found there.

We do know that an entire hive-city shifted itself to Faerűn, which I would roughly approximate as, maybe, just under a quarter of their entire population -- so, around 1,250 tlincalli per hive.

Keep in mind that these are just draft numbers based on what little we know about the scorpionfolk of the Realms. There have never been any official population figures, so this is all still speculative.

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Edited by - The Sage on 10 Nov 2011 14:48:19
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Seethyr
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Posted - 11 Nov 2011 :  16:58:35  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is actually really helpful, thank you so much. I seem to remember reading somewhere that 1,000 scorpionfolk took the portal to found Oaxaptupa but I'm not quite sure where I read that atm. I'm proposing developing an Underdark city named "T'lincall" and the population numbers you mentioned seemed just right.

By the way, the part of the guidebook that deals with the gods is completely edited and complete, once I write up a few locations (such as T'lincall), I am going to try to develop a set of Scorpionfolk Grafts. I think that might be fun to do.

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Posted - 12 Nov 2011 :  00:44:54  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I seem to remember reading somewhere that 1,000 scorpionfolk took the portal to found Oaxaptupa but I'm not quite sure where I read that atm.
I'm thinking it *may* have been Monsters of Faerűn, but I don't recall any specific numbers of tlincalli being mentioned in that tome.
quote:
... I am going to try to develop a set of Scorpionfolk Grafts.
I may actually have some ideas I'd like to offer for this, if you're interested in a little collaborative effort?

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MalariaMoon
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Posted - 12 Nov 2011 :  10:44:42  Show Profile  Visit MalariaMoon's Homepage Send MalariaMoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd also enjoy creating a few scorpion grafts if the opportunity arose!
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Seethyr
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Posted - 12 Nov 2011 :  18:25:45  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Absolutely! I could use all the help I can get.

Do you think the grafts should be for any race or should there be some that are wholly dedicated to scorpionfolk only? Both?

For example, I was thinking a scorpions tail might be an excellent graft but why would scorpionfolk have developed such a thing. As far as I know they're not so big on keeping slaves.

Also, I am not quite sure how to price these items and write up an official stat-block.

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Posted - 13 Nov 2011 :  02:32:36  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

Do you think the grafts should be for any race or should there be some that are wholly dedicated to scorpionfolk only? Both?
My initial thinking would seem to suggest that only those tlincalli directly involved in conducting war, should require grafts. Simply because I see so many warmaking grafts being applicable here.
quote:
Also, I am not quite sure how to price these items and write up an official stat-block.
We could use the EBERRON rules for grafts on this. I'll consult the relevant books.

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MalariaMoon
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Posted - 14 Nov 2011 :  03:12:43  Show Profile  Visit MalariaMoon's Homepage Send MalariaMoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote

The vibe I get from tlincalli is that they wouldn't much appreciate aspects of their sacred form grafted onto to creatures, particularly sentient beings. However, I could envisage the scorpionfolk creating formidable battle beasts by stitching together giant sized features of various insectoid and arachnoid creatures. Perhaps some of the more marginal deities in the pantheon of scorpionfolk gods might indulge the crafting of scorpion features onto other beings if it serves their own agendas.

Sage, what EBERRON sourcebooks feature the rules for grafts? I'll consult them and get homebrewing.
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Seethyr
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Posted - 14 Nov 2011 :  04:17:43  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is going to be great.

I agree with your assessment of the scorpionfolk seeing their forms as "sacred" so perhaps grafts on humans (and others) could be relatively rare.

Although, I'm am hesitating to rule them out completely. Perhaps it's only because a Scorpion Claw graft (an added natural attack or two), Scorpion Legs (adds a climb speed), and a Scorpion Stinger (natural attack + poison)are just too good (and obvious) to give up.

On another note...

An artist on DA made this for the book, which I am pretty sure is going to be the cover of the whole project. It's a representative of a creature I am calling the "Obyrith-Touched," based off a template I am working on. The scorpionfolk seem to have growing ties to Obox-Ob and here is the result...

Obyrith-Touched Scorpionfolk

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MalariaMoon
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Posted - 15 Nov 2011 :  18:14:29  Show Profile  Visit MalariaMoon's Homepage Send MalariaMoon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hi Seethyr

Here are some proposals for different scorpionfolk grafts. Have a look over them – tell me which ones you like and which ones you don’t, and I’ll develop them further.

STINGER GRAFTS
• Barbed Sting: Extra damage and a chance of impalement (plus the usual injection of poison) due to barbed hooks on the stinger.
• Spitting Sting: The stinger can shot a stream of highly acidic poison for a short distance (mechanically similar to a breath weapon)
• Manticore Sting: The stinger can fire a limited number of poisonous barbs over a short distance. Once all the barbs have been fired, the stinger can no longer be used in melee or ranged combat until new barbs have grown.
• Web Spinner: Using magical technology possibly stolen from the drow, the stinger is replaced with a powerful spinneret. The spinneret can be used to fire ranged webs at opponents, or to weave webs over a longer period of time.
CLAW GRAFTS
• Pincers: The scorpionfolk’s foremost set of legs are replaced with the pincers of a standard scorpion, allowing it to make additional claw attacks at the cost of reduced speed.
o Tri-claw: One of the scorpionfolk’s pincers has three interlocking tines, increasing damage and giving a bonus to grapple checks.
o Oversized claw: One of the scorpionfolk’s pincer is three times the normal size. It does more damage and can crush a foe on a successful grapple attempt.
o Burrowing claws: The combat utility of the scorpionfolk’s pincers are lessened considerably, but it gains a 20’ burrow speed.
WHIP FEELER GRAFTS
• Whip feelers: The scorpionfolk has a thin pair of chitinous whip feelers (similar to those of a tailless whip scorpion) grafted onto its torso. They’re incredibly long, with a reach of 15’. They do no damage, but can be used to deliver touch attacks.
o Slashing feelers: The feelers can now inflict damage.
o Poisonous feelers: The feelers are coated in a contact poison (slightly weaker than the poison of their stinger).
o Eyed feelers: The tips of the feelers have several eyes, allowing the scorpionfolk the All Around Vision ability.
o Prehensile feelers: The feelers have limited ability to grip items. They can be used to hold wands and other items. They can only hold light melee weapons, and do so clumsily, with penalties to attack rolls and damage.
TORSO GRAFTS
• Luminosity: The scorpionfolk’s body glows with a natural luminescence akin to a light spell in darkness.
• Metabolism overdrive: The scorpionfolk acts as if under the effects of an extended haste spell, but at the end of this effect it falls into a helpless torpor.
• Fortified carapace: The scorpiongfolk’s natural chitin is incredibly tough; this graft acts like the armour ability of the same name. Grafts of light, medium and heavy fortification can be acquired.
o Superheavy carapace: A scorpionfolk with a heavily fortified carapace can select this feat. It increases its natural armour at the cost of speed. It can’t be knocked prone or moved from its location by the attacks of its enemies.
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The Sage
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Posted - 16 Nov 2011 :  01:36:15  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon

Sage, what EBERRON sourcebooks feature the rules for grafts? I'll consult them and get homebrewing.

Sorry MM, I didn't see this earlier.

The rules for grafts were presented in the Eberron Campaign Setting and Magic of Eberron as I recall. There's a few in Forge of War as well.

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The Sage
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quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I agree with your assessment of the scorpionfolk seeing their forms as "sacred" so perhaps grafts on humans (and others) could be relatively rare.
I've always seen the tlincalli as having something of a insectoid-like hierarchy to their hive-cities. Not as clear cut as workers/labourers and such, but I'd imagine there are tlincalli on the lower rungs of their society who remain unproductive. It's these scorpionfolk that I see becoming candidates for the grafting process.

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Seethyr
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Posted - 16 Nov 2011 :  02:51:28  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon

Here are some proposals for different scorpionfolk grafts. Have a look over them – tell me which ones you like and which ones you don’t, and I’ll develop them further.



Brilliant...the whole lot of them! You really captured a great mixture of their warlike nature and their alien freakishness with these concepts. I'll run through questions I have on some graft by graft...

quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon
•Barbed Sting: Extra damage and a chance of impalement (plus the usual injection of poison) due to barbed hooks on the stinger.



What is a game effect of impalement? Is it extra damage? Does the victim become grappled?

quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon
Spitting Sting: The stinger can shot a stream of highly acidic poison for a short distance (mechanically similar to a breath weapon).



Would this be better as simply a ranged attack with a contact poison instead of acid? Or even just an acidic attack? Do you think that giving the attack a range and adding acid might be giving too much for one graft?

quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon
Manticore Sting: The stinger can fire a limited number of poisonous barbs over a short distance. Once all the barbs have been fired, the stinger can no longer be used in melee or ranged combat until new barbs have grown.
• Web Spinner: Using magical technology possibly stolen from the drow, the stinger is replaced with a powerful spinneret. The spinneret can be used to fire ranged webs at opponents, or to weave webs over a longer period of time.



Love these!

quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon

Pincers: The scorpionfolk’s foremost set of legs are replaced with the pincers of a standard scorpion, allowing it to make additional claw attacks at the cost of reduced speed.
o Tri-claw: One of the scorpionfolk’s pincers has three interlocking tines, increasing damage and giving a bonus to grapple checks.
o Oversized claw: One of the scorpionfolk’s pincer is three times the normal size. It does more damage and can crush a foe on a successful grapple attempt.
o Burrowing claws: The combat utility of the scorpionfolk’s pincers are lessened considerably, but it gains a 20’ burrow speed.



This group almost sounds more like Feats to me then grafts. Do you think we could split this whole concept and make a few into Feats?

quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon
• Whip feelers: The scorpionfolk has a thin pair of chitinous whip feelers (similar to those of a tailless whip scorpion) grafted onto its torso. They’re incredibly long, with a reach of 15’. They do no damage, but can be used to deliver touch attacks.
o Slashing feelers: The feelers can now inflict damage.
o Poisonous feelers: The feelers are coated in a contact poison (slightly weaker than the poison of their stinger).
o Eyed feelers: The tips of the feelers have several eyes, allowing the scorpionfolk the All Around Vision ability.
o Prehensile feelers: The feelers have limited ability to grip items. They can be used to hold wands and other items. They can only hold light melee weapons, and do so clumsily, with penalties to attack rolls and damage.



So would the Whip Feelers essentially be a prereq for for the other types? One of my homebrew races in the book...the palophonti...already have a whiplike appendage that causes disease. I think "whip-like appendage" might be a prereq in general for the latter grafts.

quote:
Originally posted by MalariaMoon
• Luminosity: The scorpionfolk’s body glows with a natural luminescence akin to a light spell in darkness.
• Metabolism overdrive: The scorpionfolk acts as if under the effects of an extended haste spell, but at the end of this effect it falls into a helpless torpor.
• Fortified carapace: The scorpiongfolk’s natural chitin is incredibly tough; this graft acts like the armour ability of the same name. Grafts of light, medium and heavy fortification can be acquired.
o Superheavy carapace: A scorpionfolk with a heavily fortified carapace can select this feat. It increases its natural armour at the cost of speed. It can’t be knocked prone or moved from its location by the attacks of its enemies.



A few of these raise the question of Feat vs. graft again. What do you think? Either way, I think that Superheavy Carapace could have a prerequisite of a large natural armor bonus.

Again, these are fantastic.

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Seethyr
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Posted - 16 Nov 2011 :  02:56:07  Show Profile  Visit Seethyr's Homepage Send Seethyr a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by Seethyr

I agree with your assessment of the scorpionfolk seeing their forms as "sacred" so perhaps grafts on humans (and others) could be relatively rare.
I've always seen the tlincalli as having something of a insectoid-like hierarchy to their hive-cities. Not as clear cut as workers/labourers and such, but I'd imagine there are tlincalli on the lower rungs of their society who remain unproductive. It's these scorpionfolk that I see becoming candidates for the grafting process.



I think you're correct. I need to re-read the Oaxaptupa entry in the Underdark 3.5 sourcebook again, but I believe there was certainly a notion of castes with "diviners" being at the top. I don't know if I read this or homebrewed it (honestly have forgotten), but I believe tlincalli refer to both their clerics and sorcerers as diviners. The warrior caste is valued but are still expendable in a John Rambo sort of way.

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