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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 14 Apr 2018 :  15:11:18  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
My PCs have managed to incur the enmity of Deiros Forktongue, who in my games is about the equivalent of a 12th level priest in spellcasting power.*

While he would prefer not to slay them himself (at least not publicly), as that would anger his most valuable ally, the lamia noble (and possible demigod) Kurushumgal, son of Ereshkigal, who has made... friends with one of them, Deiros feels confident that if his servants slay them before Kurushumgal has issued any proclamation about their safety, his ally and new recruit to the faith of Tiamat cannot fault him for having dispatched slayers while they were still their enemies.

The PCs and their fellow adventurers are resting in some tunnels deep under where Deiros is staying as the guest of Kurushumgal (in the ruins of a former temple of Unthalass, sunk into the ground in a long-ago natural disaster).

Between them and him there are two dry aquifers, one the home to a behir (mind-controlled by Kurushumgal) and another now filled with destrachans, a pack of niferns and Deiros' force of personal guards, four lizardmen (former gladiators, two of them also having outdoorsy skills and one being a Divine Champion of Tiamat) and two tren assassins.

Deiros wants to send his six reptilian slayers, with the niferns, through a narrow and secret way to come upon the PCs and their allies unseen, hoping that they can catch them sleeping or at least not ready for battle. The destrachans can hardly follow by the same route, as they cannot climb and are too heavy to be lowered down by ropes (as the reptilians will do with the niferns). Only magic that allows levitation would allow them to be used (and if that's possible, that would be great).

I'm looking for suggestions on what kind of monsters Deiros could summon with magic or have preexisting allegiances with to the extent that he might send them on an errand like this within the hour.

Most of the monsters around are actually controlled by Kurushumgal, which makes them no good for his purposes, but if some creature would be more loyal to a fairly orthodox Lawful Evil priest of Tiamat than to something more likely to be Chaotic Evil and with some pretty heretical ideas about Tiamat, they might obey Deiros in preference to Kurushumgal.

What are some cool reptilian and dragonic creatures that Deiros might summon with his magic?

I'm thinking dragonnes, but what else would be likely or useful, while still sticking with a theme?

What kind of magical enhancements is he likely to invest his servants with that will last hours?

What tactics will they be most likely to adopt?

Specifically, when the avenues of approach are few, due to the tunnels, how might the tren and lizard men try to contrive an ambush that will allow them to inflict maximum trauma and confusion in a short period of time, but still leave them the option of a successful tactical retreat?

Are there magical solutions to that which they might have plausibly gotten from Deiros?

What kind of Planar Ally can Deiros get that would be in line with his view on Tiamat and the superiority of reptilian and dragonic forms?

Edit: Considering Word of Recall, maybe Deiros can go with his servants and instantly escape along with the more valuable of them if it should prove necessary...

So, if scribes prefer, suggestions can also assume that he elects that method as his tactic.

Background

Deiros Forktongue, Talon of the Blue Baatoran, was in early life a priest of the hero cult of Tchazzar, in Chessenta, where he was born. Eventually, he rose to the innermost circle of that cult and was initiated into the secret behind Tchazzar's dragonic nature. While accepting Tchazzar as a mighty being, worthy of emulating, Deiros immediately asked to serve his true patron, Tiamat, in a more direct fashion and was allowed to become a wyrmkeeper in her service.

Eventually, Deiros Forktongue rose to prominence in Tiamat's service, as much as any man who is not born pure-blooded Untheri Mulan, of an ancient family, may achieve social distinction in Unther, and was entrusted with an important mission (one that would keep him far away from the true center of power in the cult of the Dark Lady). He was to establish a base of worshippers and clergy in the Vilhon Reach city of Surkh, the city of the lizard men.

In my game, there are many factions and religious schisms within the faith of Tiamat, though the necessity to work together against Gilgeam and then the Mulhorandi has somewhat tempered any open religious warfare or inquisitions. All the same, senior clergy often have irreconcilable religious differences and find it extremely difficult to accept what they view as heresies from other Tiamat worshippers.

A primary source of friction is, of course, the Cult of the Dragon, with some followers of Tiamat belonging also, in secret, to the Cult and worshipping Tiamat in her aspect as the Undying Queen. Others consider this heresy and the Cult of the Dragon the most dangerous foe that the Cult of the Dark Lady faces, as they steal away worship that should rightfully go to her, as the Nemesis of the Gods and the Queen of Dragons.

Deiros Forktongue considers reptilians closer to Tiamat than other creatures and breeding them for dragonic elements a sacred task. He rejects the doctrine of the Undying Queen as a perfidious heresy, as dead dragons are not reptilian and not true divine dragons.

Deiros is coming to worship Tiamat as the true Mother of Monsters, with dominion over all serpentine and reptilian creatures, as well as a wide range of legendary monsters, and as the spiritual mother of his recent ally, Kurushumgal, Ba'al apiru, an alleged son of (and rebel against) Ereshkigal, the Queen of Tortures, the legendary ruler of Unthalass' undercity.

*I use GURPS, not any version of D&D, but ignore the rule system, instead try to think about the question in terms of the underlying Realmslore, i.e. if the character is about powerful enough to use the equivalent of 6th level priest spells, what kind of creatures would he be likely to summon, what spells would he use to strengthen them and what tactics would he instruct them to use?

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Edited by - Icelander on 14 Apr 2018 15:19:31

sleyvas
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Posted - 14 Apr 2018 :  18:36:12  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Abishai make a good inclusion I would think. Furthermore the abilities of Abishai could be particularly useful, especially underground (going to show some uses under 3e/3.5e rules since I'm not familiar with GURPS). Also, there actually are already some Abishai near Unthalass which are involved with the Cult of Tiamat (they're being blackmailed by the High Priest). In coordination with a cleric spellcaster who can give them deeper darkness (which lasts several days... especially if its say extended... so a 12th level spellcaster extending deeper darkness could make it last 24 days), the abishai can have a 60' radius of darkness that it can see perfectly in. With its animate dead and desecrate ability, it can have multiple undead servitors to harry the party with (picture a small swarm of skeletal rats, such that it can use "aid another" rules to affect even a powerful adventurer... for instance a blue abishai can have 112 undead rats under his control). You might also use swarm rules for a similar effect (you don't have 300 rats, but they're also skeletal, so they are more resilient).

There is also the summon swarm spell, which can summon swarms of rats, bats or spiders and is only 2nd level. With its major image, it can actually distract the party while within its deeper darkness. Also, if one or more of those undead rats actually has darkness upon it but stays say 30' away from its fellows, they can cover the party in darkness, such that as a single party member is accosted by hundreds of rats, the party wizard can't target him for an area effect spell (and if you have multiple rats with multiple deeper darkness effects, the coverage of this area can be like a 90' to a 120' radius.. and they can move...). Having multiple swarms as well that move from round to round can be very effective in darkness. Throw into all this the use of sound & smell making spells (such as an abishai's at will major image) to imitate swarms of bats and rats in the areas where the swarms are NOT can also be an effective deception. Then throw into all of this, actually powerful skeletons and/or zombies of something that might be available to the priest that he keeps as servants would also be useful. The Abishai could also wade into combat amongst all this darkness and attack, the fade away to regenerate. They could use this type of hit and run attack, coordinated with say a major image to make someone THINK there's several bat swarms attacking under darkness, meanwhile he just comes in while the party is focused in those areas, and they can initiate a round or 3 of combat then leave. Note that an abishai's fire and poison immunity, as well as its huge cold and acid resistance, make it particularly "immune" to a lot of standard area effects, and it also has damage resistance that should be something like 5/silver or good OR 5/good OR 10/good depending on the CR of the encounter..... so they make for a very effective move in, attack, leave... move in, attack, leave... don't let the party sleep... encounter. If the cleric supplies them with some potions of curing should they find themselves in trouble, they can probably keep this repeatedly... especially if you have multiple abishai working together to fade in and out. Also, having the abishai using their change self abilities so that the parties doesn't know exactly WHAT is attacking them.

The abishai should also use their charm person, command, and suggestion abilities to gain MORE allies to use against the party. Another effective thing might be something like herding some rothe near to the party (possibly by simply charming and/or suggesting to say some duergar or derro or even just goblinoids herders to bring the rothe somewhere.. which combined with major image to make the humanoid THINK that some pathway is blocked might be easy) and then using their scare ability to create a stampede (and again, having this stampede occurring under a deeper darkness effect by simply placing an undead rat ON one of the rothe and having it tied down makes it particularly effective). In this scenario as well, it could be particularly effective if the abishai uses its major image spell to make the terrain that the party is in appear to be wrong. For instance, if the rothe are scared into stampeding into a small room, then shifting the appearance of the exit by say 5 or 10 feet while covering the actual exit with an image of wall/rock could have the stampede turning around and rerunning over the party.

Throw into all of this the lizard men and Tren you were describing above.

Abishai abilities from Monstrous Compendium (monsters of Faerun)

Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): At will: animate dead, change self, charm person, command, desecrate, detect alignment, major image, suggestion, and scare. These powers function as the spells of the same name cast by a sorcerer possessing caster levels equal to the individual abishai’s Hit Dice.
Summon Baatezu (Sp): Once per day an abishai can attempt to summon 2d6 lemures with a 50% chance of success, or another abishai of a random color with a 20% chance of success.
Immunities (Ex): Abishais are immune to fire and poison.
Resistances (Ex): Abishais have cold and acid resistance 20.
Regeneration (Ex): Holy water, holy weapons, and blessed weapons inflict lethal damage on an abishai. All other damage regenerates at the rate of 1 point per Hit Die per round; for example, a black abishai with 5 HD regenerates 5 points per round.
See in Darkness (Su): Abishais can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, even that created by deeper darkness spells.
Telepathy (Su): Abishais can communicate telepathically with any creature within 100 feet that has a language.
Vulnerability to Holy Water (Ex): Abishais take 2d4 damage from a flask of holy water, or 1 point of damage from a splash of holy water.

From the Monstrous Compendium - Monsters of Faerun on Abishai
IN THE REALMS
Gilgeam, the now-deceased god-king of Unther, cowed his worshipers by portraying Tiamat as an archfiend who would stop at nothing to destroy their land. Even so, many residents of Unther thought that any enemy of Gilgeam couldn’t be all bad, so the cult of Tiamat grew in secret for centuries. During the Time of Troubles, when all the deities were trapped on Faerűn’s surface, Gilgeam succeeded in slaying Tiamat’s avatar. His victory was short-lived: Tiamat’s new avatar, a red dragon originally named Tchazarr, attacked Gilgeam and proved that god-kings can die. Gilgeam’s death has increased the power of the cult of Tiamat in Unther. In the
city of Unthalass, where the cult is strongest, Untherians have received Tiamat’s “blessing” in the form of thirteen free-willed abishais of various colors who were marooned on the Material Plane during the Time of Troubles. The abishai prefer living in Unther to serving Tiamat in hell, and have established thirteen separate lairs in the Underdark near Unthalass. The abishais fear that Tiamat will eventually notice their absence, so they do not dare use their summoning ability. They cooperate to some extent, but resentment from the “lower” types against the single red abishai ensures that they remain mostly solitary. Given their choice, they
would spend their time terrorizing Unthalass’s outlying areas, but the high priest of the Tiamat cult is playing a dangerous game: blackmailing the abishais into doing his bidding by telling them he will turn them over to Tiamat if they resist.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 14 Apr 2018 19:32:11
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Icelander
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Posted - 14 Apr 2018 :  19:49:01  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Deeper Darkness is an excellent suggestion, considering that destrachans and niferns are naturally blind and 'see' through scent, hearing and echolocation.

Deiros Forktongue had already prepared his guards for an ambush in the upper aquifer, which is covered in long-lasting darkness magics, and they therefore all have some means of seeing or at least fighting in magical darkness.

Now that it seems the PCs' party will not move forward into the ambush area before Deiros can anticipate Kurushumgal giving some explicit instructions about them, Deiros has to move his forces to meet the PCs if he seeks to present their deaths to his ally as a fait accompli.

This will mean some difficulty for him, in that he cannot ensure surprise as effectively, the ground will not be as prepared and as each destrachan weighs two tons, he might have to leave them behind. At minimum, he will only be able to bring a few to bear, perhaps through the Wind Walk spell.

Abishai are the most common summoning associated with Tiamat priests, as the PCs are well aware, and Deiros' rival Malyse has already been established as favouring summoned abishai. I wasn't aware of the thirteen stranded ones. I'll have to consider who the 'high priest' referred to would be, as since the Time of Troubles, Tiglath, Shudu-Ab, Malyse and Deiros have all, at different times, had some claim to that title. As Deiros does not seem to have been in Unthalass for more than a few months (he was still at his post in Surkh in 1372 DR according to the 3e FRCS)' I suppose that Malyse is the most plausible option. It also suits Malyse's established personality.

Given that the abishai have an innate ability to see through magical darkness, which I hadn't considered, I think the are too tactically useful for Deiros not to use them in this situation, even if they are more of a specialty for his rival. Surely Deiros can summon some, even if he has no blackmailed abishai allies.

Good work. Can you think of anything else which it would be good to summon for a battle designed to be fought entirely within magical darkness? Reptilian features pretty much a must...

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Icelander
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Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  01:50:34  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, getting ambushed sucks a lot and the PCs are glad that they detected the preparations for the ambush and were able to use counter-scrying magics to trick Deiros and set up an ambush of their own. Preparing the ground by shaping the tunnels with earth magic, placing dry wood and oil in prepared burning positions, making a defensive trench and channels for the Thayan oil and Alchemist's Fire to run down and pool in the killing area.

Six lizard men and tren with class levels ranging from 6th to 11th (ECL 8th to 12th, I discover, if this had been D&D), twelve niferns, six black abishai, two green abishai, a hamatula/barbed devil named Kal'gon, Shemhet the Underdark landwyrm, ca 200 undead bats and ca 1,000 undead rats were dispatched in about eight seconds.

Well, technically, the undead rats are not yet all destroyed, but those who manage to run through the Alchemist's Fire burning in the tunnel ahead of them are currently being trampled by the tap-dancing satyrs, as Hashur the faerie dragon whistles a merry tune and a ghost sound spell plays the drums.

Orzag Childeater, a red abishai, fled with a holy Arrow of the Moon through his profane stomach. Deiros, his fiendish dragonne mount Balzryg and four destrachans with Wind Walk spell cast on them are still present, but considering that the next second will see the destrachans blown back out of combat range with a Gust of Wind, I expect Deiros to activate his Word of Recall and leave the destrachans to whatever fate awaits them.

Deiros Forktongue is shocked and appalled at the way his carefully planned stealth slayings were turned against him and his servitors massacred with holy fire, moonlight and, well, just regular fire, as his mortal servants weren't immune to such.

Abadas 'The Mad' 'I Just Get These Headaches' Hussein might or might not truly be a prince of the City of Brass, but the fire genasi is certainly able to light a bonfire, launching a huge fireball per second or varying them with blasts of fiery breath. He had been camouflaged in the middle of the killing zone, being, of course, entirely immune to harm from fire of any kind. Actually, he's learned to draw energy from flame and use it to power his fire spells.

After he entered the divine light of Nanna-Sin inside the dead god's floating island on the Astral, his magical attacks have been imbued with some kind of holy moonfire, which plays havoc with any kind of supernatural evil creature. Such as abishai. The nifern, tren and lizard men aren't supernaturally evil, but hit them with enough fire and they'll burn well enough.

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Edited by - Icelander on 15 Apr 2018 10:40:40
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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  03:41:50  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
creatures with tremorsense are also useful in areas with deeper darkness (ankhegs for instance). In the 3rd edition underdark book there's also a stone wolf like creature with wings. Its called a stone flyer, and it has tremorsense AND earthglide. Plus, individuals that ride it get earthglide extended to them. So, in essence, the enemy could "ride" these mounts through the stone, come up under the party, attack and then flee through the earth on their mounts. IF this is all done under darkness as well, you can see the advantage.

Giant cockroaches (also from underdark book) also have tremorsense.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
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Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  03:43:39  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and IF you allow for a conversion of the 2e imbue undead with spell ability..... those undead rats, especially if they're coming in under cover of deeper darkness on other rats.... they can be nasty.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
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Posted - 15 Apr 2018 :  09:56:07  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Oh, and IF you allow for a conversion of the 2e imbue undead with spell ability..... those undead rats, especially if they're coming in under cover of deeper darkness on other rats.... they can be nasty.


I'd allow the spell, but it's an arcane one, usually known only to specialist necromancers or at least magic-users who focus on necromancy and the undead. Deiros Forktongue has no particular affinity for undead and only because of the innate abilities of the abishai did he have so much of them.

And there's no arcane caster taking part in Deiros' attempt on the lives of the PCs' adventuring party, let alone one capable of casting the equivalent of 6th level spells. Deiros can cast 6th level divine spells, granted by Tiamat, and some of his creatures have spell-like powers, but arcane magic is the province of Kurushumgal, who is otherwise occupied and not supposed to know that Deiros is trying to slay these intruders before it occurs to Kurushumgal to order them brought peacefully to his abode as guests.

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LordofBones
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Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  04:14:04  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why not additionally flavor standard clerical spells to be thematically appropriate? Flamestrikes that appear from the mouths of red dragons, the caster's hand turning into a black dragon's mouth for a harm spell, planar allies that bear distinct reptilian features, divine power turns the caster into a draconian juggernaut with the five heads of Tiamat emblazoned on his chest, etc.
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Icelander
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Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  06:50:54  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

Why not additionally flavor standard clerical spells to be thematically appropriate? Flamestrikes that appear from the mouths of red dragons, the caster's hand turning into a black dragon's mouth for a harm spell, planar allies that bear distinct reptilian features, divine power turns the caster into a draconian juggernaut with the five heads of Tiamat emblazoned on his chest, etc.


Oh, I always do that.

I was mostly looking for creatures to summon or have as Planar Allies that were reptilian and appropriate as servants of Tiamat. Endless monster books over 5 editions means that there are a lot more creatures than I can ever remember.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  12:57:30  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Oh, and IF you allow for a conversion of the 2e imbue undead with spell ability..... those undead rats, especially if they're coming in under cover of deeper darkness on other rats.... they can be nasty.


I'd allow the spell, but it's an arcane one, usually known only to specialist necromancers or at least magic-users who focus on necromancy and the undead. Deiros Forktongue has no particular affinity for undead and only because of the innate abilities of the abishai did he have so much of them.

And there's no arcane caster taking part in Deiros' attempt on the lives of the PCs' adventuring party, let alone one capable of casting the equivalent of 6th level spells. Deiros can cast 6th level divine spells, granted by Tiamat, and some of his creatures have spell-like powers, but arcane magic is the province of Kurushumgal, who is otherwise occupied and not supposed to know that Deiros is trying to slay these intruders before it occurs to Kurushumgal to order them brought peacefully to his abode as guests.



Hmmm, in 3.5e there is also a feat that is interesting. He probably doesn't have it though, BUT... from Libris Mortis... destruction retribution... all undead you create when killed give off a burst of negative energy doing 1d6 damage plus 1d6 damage per 2 hd. This negative energy hurts the living and heals the undead.

In the case of undead rats, I'd probably do a ruling that each burst only does 0-1 point of damage (say d3-2). However, having some kind of "bigger" skeletons wading in amongst a few small swarms of zombie/skeleton rats could result in the skeletons getting healed and the party being hurt if they do something to kill the many small rats at once... and again, doing all of this under darkness means the party may not even realize what caused the sudden negative energy damage.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
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Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  14:26:05  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmmm, in 3.5e there is also a feat that is interesting. He probably doesn't have it though, BUT... from Libris Mortis... destruction retribution... all undead you create when killed give off a burst of negative energy doing 1d6 damage plus 1d6 damage per 2 hd. This negative energy hurts the living and heals the undead.

In the case of undead rats, I'd probably do a ruling that each burst only does 0-1 point of damage (say d3-2). However, having some kind of "bigger" skeletons wading in amongst a few small swarms of zombie/skeleton rats could result in the skeletons getting healed and the party being hurt if they do something to kill the many small rats at once... and again, doing all of this under darkness means the party may not even realize what caused the sudden negative energy damage.


Wouldn't help have helped Deiros if he had the equivalent of such a feat. The undead were created by the animate dead innate spell-like abilities of the nine abishai and the hamatula.

Only one PC was in the magical darkness, the rest were in a fortified trench about fifteen feet from the outer edge of the deeper darkness, with a rear guard on the other side of the trench to deal with any attack from that side of the tunnel.

The rear guard quickly destroyed any magical darkness with Arrows of the Moon* launched by Gharzany Arat, former bandit, current henchman of Rasul Khamsin Mubtasim (PC), and, oh, a desert werewolf. Then most of the rats were squashed with Holy Smite from Qurupagg, the lamassu henchman of Abadas (PC).

The rest spent a long time trying to negotiate the spiky, uneven ground (prepared with magic) and loose, oil-soaked wood, until several bottles of Alchemist's Fire were loosed on them by severing a cord, trapping them in an inferno about thirty feet away from the rear guard.

The few undead rats who made it through the fire were, as noted, trampled by tap-dancing satyrs, who had been summmoned by Hashur, a tiny faerie dragon that Abadas recently made friends with.

The hamatula, two black abishai and the red abishai charged through the fire, trusting in their fire-immunity. So did the underdark landwyrm, after several moments of hesitation, trusting in thick scales and enough speed not to spend a long time in the flames.

The abishai never even reached the rear guard, as the Arrows of the Moon are pretty much kryptonite for demons who are vulnerable to holy weapons. Especially when shot by a powerful ranger/fighter werewolf and aimed at the 'voolnerabbles', as a member of Ankh-Morpork's Watch might put it. Though he's probably be referring to a slightly more southerly region than the heart, lungs and major blood vessels in the chest.

The red abishai managed to run away with an arrow in the belly, as he had a breastplate covering his heart. The hamatula should have fled, but things happened too fast and it took two Arrows of the Moon to the face and was pounced upon by a lamassu before it could. Exit hamatula.

The poor underdark landwyrm had thought to run through the flame and attack distracted defenders. Instead, it faced a bloody and furious lamassu looking for new prey and a desert wolf in hybrid form who managed to draw his hunting sword and dodge away from the initial charge.

While Qurupagg the lamassu is meant to be a wise advisor to the PCs on behalf of Nanna-Sin, there must have been a time when he was something else, as he disemboweled the unfortunate landwyrm in two seconds of four-footed raking, spreading intestines and organs everywhere. There's no way of telling whether the mess Gharzany Arat made of the neck and face of the landwyrm in the meantime even mattered, though it is probable that his jaw being locked around the carotid artery would have proven lethal in pretty short order.

Both Gharzany Arat and Qurupagg took wounds, Qurupagg pretty bad ones from the hamatula, and both of them have pernicious bleeding wounds from the claws of the landwyrm, which spray blood dramatically in an arterial rhythm and require magical healing if they are not to become life-threatening in the next few seconds. Fortunately, Qurupagg has priestly magic and Akhita, a moon priestess, is no more than twenty feet away from them, in the fortified trench.

*Equipment of elite archers from the Legion of Nanna-Sin, magical arrows that do positive energy damage, trail moon motes and destroy magical darkness.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  14:49:30  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Hmmm, in 3.5e there is also a feat that is interesting. He probably doesn't have it though, BUT... from Libris Mortis... destruction retribution... all undead you create when killed give off a burst of negative energy doing 1d6 damage plus 1d6 damage per 2 hd. This negative energy hurts the living and heals the undead.

In the case of undead rats, I'd probably do a ruling that each burst only does 0-1 point of damage (say d3-2). However, having some kind of "bigger" skeletons wading in amongst a few small swarms of zombie/skeleton rats could result in the skeletons getting healed and the party being hurt if they do something to kill the many small rats at once... and again, doing all of this under darkness means the party may not even realize what caused the sudden negative energy damage.


Wouldn't help have helped Deiros if he had the equivalent of such a feat. The undead were created by the animate dead innate spell-like abilities of the nine abishai and the hamatula.

Only one PC was in the magical darkness, the rest were in a fortified trench about fifteen feet from the outer edge of the deeper darkness, with a rear guard on the other side of the trench to deal with any attack from that side of the tunnel.

The rear guard quickly destroyed any magical darkness with Arrows of the Moon* launched by Gharzany Arat, former bandit, current henchman of Rasul Khamsin Mubtasim (PC), and, oh, a desert werewolf. Then most of the rats were squashed with Holy Smite from Qurupagg, the lamassu henchman of Abadas (PC).

The rest spent a long time trying to negotiate the spiky, uneven ground (prepared with magic) and loose, oil-soaked wood, until several bottles of Alchemist's Fire were loosed on them by severing a cord, trapping them in an inferno about thirty feet away from the rear guard.

The few undead rats who made it through the fire were, as noted, trampled by tap-dancing satyrs, who had been summmoned by Hashur, a tiny faerie dragon that Abadas recently made friends with.

The hamatula, two black abishai and the red abishai charged through the fire, trusting in their fire-immunity. So did the underdark landwyrm, after several moments of hesitation, trusting in thick scales and enough speed not to spend a long time in the flames.

The abishai never even reached the rear guard, as the Arrows of the Moon are pretty much kryptonite for demons who are vulnerable to holy weapons. Especially when shot by a powerful ranger/fighter werewolf and aimed at the 'voolnerabbles', as a member of Ankh-Morpork's Watch might put it. Though he's probably be referring to a slightly more southerly region than the heart, lungs and major blood vessels in the chest.

The red abishai managed to run away with an arrow in the belly, as he had a breastplate covering his heart. The hamatula should have fled, but things happened too fast and it took two Arrows of the Moon to the face and was pounced upon by a lamassu before it could. Exit hamatula.

The poor underdark landwyrm had thought to run through the flame and attack distracted defenders. Instead, it faced a bloody and furious lamassu looking for new prey and a desert wolf in hybrid form who managed to draw his hunting sword and dodge away from the initial charge.

While Qurupagg the lamassu is meant to be a wise advisor to the PCs on behalf of Nanna-Sin, there must have been a time when he was something else, as he disemboweled the unfortunate landwyrm in two seconds of four-footed raking, spreading intestines and organs everywhere. There's no way of telling whether the mess Gharzany Arat made of the neck and face of the landwyrm in the meantime even mattered, though it is probable that his jaw being locked around the carotid artery would have proven lethal in pretty short order.

Both Gharzany Arat and Qurupagg took wounds, Qurupagg pretty bad ones from the hamatula, and both of them have pernicious bleeding wounds from the claws of the landwyrm, which spray blood dramatically in an arterial rhythm and require magical healing if they are not to become life-threatening in the next few seconds. Fortunately, Qurupagg has priestly magic and Akhita, a moon priestess, is no more than twenty feet away from them, in the fortified trench.

*Equipment of elite archers from the Legion of Nanna-Sin, magical arrows that do positive energy damage, trail moon motes and destroy magical darkness.



Yeah, I'm just throwing out options. In fact, thinking on Abishai, if one were made into an NPC with class levels, this could be a great addition of feats for them. I say this since they do have animate dead as an at will ability. Deadly chill would be another great addition.

On a sidenote: there's some rakshasa that's necromantic. I think its even in Unther. Wonder if it has animate dead as well at will.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1313 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  15:19:33  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Yeah, I'm just throwing out options. In fact, thinking on Abishai, if one were made into an NPC with class levels, this could be a great addition of feats for them. I say this since they do have animate dead as an at will ability. Deadly chill would be another great addition.

Orzag Childeather is more of a warrior type than a master of necromancy. He wears some minimal armour and is leathal with mace or sword, but he's no better at innate magic than the next red abishai.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

On a sidenote: there's some rakshasa that's necromantic. I think its even in Unther. Wonder if it has animate dead as well at will.


That would be the Ak'Chazar rakshasa.

Thanks for letting me know that there is a canon reference to them in Unther. I love rakshashas and am using them in Tamtuthalass (my name for the undercity of Unthalass), though I had no evidence they were there beyond the relative proximity of regions where they are noted to exist.

The relevant abilities of an Ak'chazar rakshasa:

Rebuke Undead (Su): An ak'chazar rakshasa can rebuke and command undead as a 20th-level cleric. An ak'chazar rakshasa can make up to nine rebuke attempts per day.

Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day - animate dead; 2/day - control undead (DC 23), create undead; 1/day - create greater undead, magic jar (DC 21), trap the soul (DC 24). Caster level 20th.

Spells: An ak'chazar rakshasa casts spells as a 12th-level sorcerer. It favors spells of the necromancy and enchantment schools.

Typical Sorcerer Spells Known (6/8/8/7/7/6/4): 0 - daze (DC 17), detect magic, disrupt undead (+22 ranged touch), mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost (+22 ranged touch), read magic, touch of fatigue (+19 melee touch, DC 17); 1st - charm person (DC 18), chill touch (+19 melee touch, DC 18), mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement (+22 ranged touch); 2nd - blindness/deafness (DC 19), daze monster (DC 19), false life, mirror image, touch of idiocy (+19 melee touch); 3rd - halt undead (DC 20), lightning bolt (DC 19), ray of exhaustion (+22 ranged touch, DC 20), suggestion (DC 20); 4th - charm monster (DC 21), confusion (DC 21), enervation (+22 ranged touch); 5th - dominate person (DC 22), teleport; 6th - disintegrate (+22 ranged touch, DC 22).

From Realms Helps.

Obviously, I'm not wedded to any particular edition version of creatures noted in Realmslore and can represent them mechanically in GURPS the way I believe they ought to be represented. Sometimes that means emulating a particular edition version, sometimes that means emulating what they can do in novels or the fluff notes about them, but the D&D rules fail to capture.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 16 Apr 2018 15:22:04
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
6915 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2018 :  16:40:55  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Icelander

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Yeah, I'm just throwing out options. In fact, thinking on Abishai, if one were made into an NPC with class levels, this could be a great addition of feats for them. I say this since they do have animate dead as an at will ability. Deadly chill would be another great addition.

Orzag Childeather is more of a warrior type than a master of necromancy. He wears some minimal armour and is leathal with mace or sword, but he's no better at innate magic than the next red abishai.

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

On a sidenote: there's some rakshasa that's necromantic. I think its even in Unther. Wonder if it has animate dead as well at will.


That would be the Ak'Chazar rakshasa.

Thanks for letting me know that there is a canon reference to them in Unther. I love rakshashas and am using them in Tamtuthalass (my name for the undercity of Unthalass), though I had no evidence they were there beyond the relative proximity of regions where they are noted to exist.

The relevant abilities of an Ak'chazar rakshasa:

Rebuke Undead (Su): An ak'chazar rakshasa can rebuke and command undead as a 20th-level cleric. An ak'chazar rakshasa can make up to nine rebuke attempts per day.

Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day - animate dead; 2/day - control undead (DC 23), create undead; 1/day - create greater undead, magic jar (DC 21), trap the soul (DC 24). Caster level 20th.

Spells: An ak'chazar rakshasa casts spells as a 12th-level sorcerer. It favors spells of the necromancy and enchantment schools.

Typical Sorcerer Spells Known (6/8/8/7/7/6/4): 0 - daze (DC 17), detect magic, disrupt undead (+22 ranged touch), mage hand, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost (+22 ranged touch), read magic, touch of fatigue (+19 melee touch, DC 17); 1st - charm person (DC 18), chill touch (+19 melee touch, DC 18), mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement (+22 ranged touch); 2nd - blindness/deafness (DC 19), daze monster (DC 19), false life, mirror image, touch of idiocy (+19 melee touch); 3rd - halt undead (DC 20), lightning bolt (DC 19), ray of exhaustion (+22 ranged touch, DC 20), suggestion (DC 20); 4th - charm monster (DC 21), confusion (DC 21), enervation (+22 ranged touch); 5th - dominate person (DC 22), teleport; 6th - disintegrate (+22 ranged touch, DC 22).

From Realms Helps.

Obviously, I'm not wedded to any particular edition version of creatures noted in Realmslore and can represent them mechanically in GURPS the way I believe they ought to be represented. Sometimes that means emulating a particular edition version, sometimes that means emulating what they can do in novels or the fluff notes about them, but the D&D rules fail to capture.



I know its kind of off topic, but it could be interesting if there's some kind of love relationship between say one of these rakshasa and a lamia (both being "cat" folk of a sort).... a forbidden love possibly even. Since base lamia themselves aren't exceptionally powerful, you could definitely advance one with some class levels.

I myself love Rakshasa as well, though its a new thing. I never thought much about them until I started seeing options for them, and over in my story of Katashaka I've got this concept of two warring cities (one led by a council of Rakshasa, one led by the classic lamia <not snake bottom, and having various types of mammalian bottoms, not just cat>). I may even take my own idea that I just presented above and use it in Katashaka.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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