澳门英皇娱乐

Showing posts tagged the daily bestiary

Plankta

Planktas are odd. Bestiary 5澳门英皇娱乐 describes them as “stony creatures formed from the shattered remnants of ancient island civilizations devastated and inundated by natural or magical cataclysms”—okay, check, we got that—“and given life by unleashed magical energies and the anguished spirits of those lost in the tragedies.” Makes sense. Except…planktas do not remain creatures of unleashed energies and spirits—in other words, they are not outsiders or fey or even undead. Instead, they become aberrations—true mortal creatures, albeit alien ones.

Of course, becoming such a creature also means having the drive to procreate…and in the plankta’s case, that means destroying more island civilizations. It’s a grisly life cycle to say the least.

None of that will probably ever come into play at your game table, unless you’re really deeply exploring themes of climate change and island cultures. And even the choice to make them aberrations probably had to do more with behind the scenes math—“We need X number of aberrations in this book, and we only have Y, so get brainstorming.” But once the monster is in print, I find it super interesting to wrestle with the implications of what’s in the stat block.

One more thing about planktas: They are described as animate jumbles of buildings and rock, and the illustration makes them look vaguely hermit crab-like. But that’s by no means made explicit in the text, so their forms might be even more outlandish, depending on the nature of the cataclysm that formed them…

A band of adventures began its career 澳门英皇娱乐in the shadow of an exploding volcano, ferrying passengers out of the doomed city of Hestius. Now the Hestian Beast, a plankta born of Hestius’s destruction, threatens their adopted home of Sanctis. Now far more experienced and with a clear enemy in sight, this time they resolve to fight rather than ferry.

Ships have been disappearing along Giant’s Foot Strait. A clan of deep merfolk has been blamed, but the truth is a plankta has been raining boulders (and its own discorporated rocky body) on the passing ships. Investigating the mystery may uncover the hitherto unknown sunken city whose destruction birthed the plankta, as well as unlock a runic alphabet that has had researches stumped for years.

The Ringwrack is a vast chain of archipelagos circling the Sea of Rage. Planktas are more common here than anywhere else in the world, thanks to the extreme level of volcanic activity in the region and the destructive procreation of the planktas themselves. Planktas that were fathered rather than arising spontaneously tend to resemble their sire. Those that resemble stony hermit crabs were born from Old Karg, those that resemble weeping whales made of marble were sired by the White Witch, and those that resemble massive iguanas seem to trace back to a mystery progenitor near the equatorial line.

Pathfinder Bestiary 5 195

I have feelings about 2019. I have feelings about the last decade. I’ll save them for another day, but suffice it to say I’m ready for 2020 in a big way. Happy New Year, everyone.

Plague Giant

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(Illustration by David Melvin comes from the artist’s DeviantArt page澳门英皇娱乐 and is © Paizo Publishing.)

I’m on record as being very picky when it comes to certain kind of [noun] monsters. I want my [noun] giants to be from some kind of recognizable landscape or elemental force. (I grudgingly accept rune giants澳门英皇娱乐 because they are dope.) I want my [noun] golems to be from things you carve or mine—no web or stained glass golems, please. I’m basically done with [noun] dragons altogether, preferring more unique branches of the family tree.

Yet all that goes out the window when I hear the word “plague.” Plague golems? Sure. Plague dragons? BAD. ASS. Plague armadillos, plague puddings, plague leprechauns? Why the heck not—let’s make galarchauns a thing! (Somewhere I have an Irish reader who is wincing. Tá brón orm!)

So I like plague giants as they’re presented in Bestiary 6.  I mean, who doesn’t love the special ability Hurl Corpse (Su)? (And imagine the cinematics of a giant lair just having stacks of corpses piled around for ammo, or a giant pushing a massive corpse cart the size of a cottage through a blasted landscape.) And they cause a disease that withers limbs. And what kind of monsters do they summon? Vultures maybe? Rats? Nope—tick swarms!澳门英皇娱乐 I don’t even know why I like that; I JUST DO.

澳门英皇娱乐Obviously, plague giants are the result of some curse or divine intervention or some other dire event…and what that event was might be something your PCs can discover in the course of the game, or it might be a mystery they never learn, as they’re too busy dodging rotted corpse missiles.

Adventurers are providing aid to a plague-stricken town when an unnatural mist rolls through town. Out of the fog comes a pair of plague giants pushing a massive cart, offering to collect the town’s dead. The offer is a sincere one, and removing the corpses will help stem the tide of infection. But then the plague giants make their way to the hospital, and begin collecting still-living victims with no regard to their prognosis.

After their service preventing diabolists from disturbing the Storm Moot—and enduring much anti-human prejudice and violence in the process—a band of adventurers are allowed the rare honor of sitting in on giant summit. The meeting is thrown into turmoil when a delegation of plague giants arrives. While not precisely banned from the Moot, the cursed giants have never attempts to attend before.  Most present wish to bar them entry, but they insist, particularly as they come bearing the corpse of the exiled fire giant jarl Vulsk with them.

One reason plagues aren’t more prevalent is that the plague powers are a fractious, jealous bunch—a mix of demigods, daemons, demons, and divs jockeying for worshippers and warring over ownership of specific strains of infection. One sign a plague power is in ascendance is when it has the puissance to transform nearby giant tribes into plague giants, sending them out as earthly avatars to further the power’s ends.

Bestiary 6 134

Plagued Beast

Whenever demons or undead take over a country, or some horrible magical event happens in a region, there’s always the question of what life in a realm of death is actually like. Like, what happens to the animals? Do they flee? Do they remain, skittish and agitated? Do ghouls eat them all or do they find a way to persist? Or are they, too, morphed?

The plagued beast is the result of demon plague—in Golarion, yet another stain from the Worldwound. But in your game it can work for any necromantic or fiendish affliction, and is useful for giving your undead something to ride that’s sturdier than a skeletal steed.

The centaurs of the Iron Lands澳门英皇娱乐 are in dire straights. Demon plague is racing through their herds, decimating the stock just before the yearly horse fair the centaurs depend on for buying winter stores. If they can’t cull the undead beasts and save their horses, they will have to rely in the Medichar Bank for a loan—an ill prospect, as Medichar law protects only humanoids from slavery if they default. Adventurers are needed to hunt down the plagued steeds (possibly hindered by Medichar Bank agents) and discover the root of the infection.

Loch Annis is famous for three things澳门英皇娱乐: a series of three sentry keeps, the hag (long slain) that gave the loch its name, and a serpentine beast, likely an elasmosaurus, that draws tourists and naturalists. But when some necromantic storm engulfs one of the keeps, the lake monster “Annie” becomes a plagued horror, terrorizing towns up and down the loch.

A traveling circus’s showstopper is covering one lucky farmer’s animal in gold. Crowds for miles around come to watch the Eeling & Sons Circus lead a horse, mule, or kite deer through a magic mirror, which it comes through dusted in real gold leaf the farmer can then curry out of the animal’s hide. But three months into the act, an alarming pattern is emerging: Every animal that has gone through the mirror comes down with demon plague. After a plagued deer terrorizes a halfling village, the sheriff wants the circus stopped—permanently.

The Worldwound 56 & Pathfinder Bestiary 5 194

Long time no see, huh? Happy holidays, everybody.

Looking for the piranha swarm? We’ll cover it when we cover the dunkleosteus.

Phasmadaemon

The ram-horned, mantis-armed phasmadaemons personify death by fright. They also happen to cause澳门英皇娱乐 death by fright (convenient, that!), courtesy of illusion spell-like abilities supercharged to be practically real, and they feed on fright, too—demonstrating, all in all, a horrifically efficient and thrifty biology.

Though phasmadaemons didn’t make it into the hardbound Bestiaries till number 6, they’ve been around since Horsemen of the Apocalypse, so GMs looking for a deep dive on their tactics, hunting habits and culture should look there. Two things in particular jump out at me, though. The first is how powerful (CR 17) phasmadaemons are—an indicator that causing death by fear alone somehow situates them closer to the daemonic ideal than, say, more base deaths such as drowning, being mauled, or exsanguination.

澳门英皇娱乐The second is that—though this isn’t really reflected in the rules, it’s a great story bit—phasmadaemons somehow also collect fearful imaginings and trade them with each other. I’m a big fan of the soul markets of the night hags, so the notion of even more quiddity-derived commodity trades excites me to no end.

Struck by an azata’s arrow, a thanadaemon goes mad as the celestial wound grows septic. No longer content to represent death by old age, it begins stalking the living, culling souls before their proper time—and in the process, disrupting a phasmadaemon’s carefully orchestrated hauntings. Offended, the phasmadaemon tricks mortal adventurers into hunting down the wayward thanadaemon, though all the while it also sends illusory torments to harry their progress and stoke their fear. Once the thanadaemon is slain, the phasmadaemon offers its thanks by revealing itself to the adventurers before attempting to murder them.

Fireworks, porcelain masks, and sinuous manticore puppets澳门英皇娱乐 are all hallmarks of the Yung New Year’s celebrations. But the court sorcerer made a deal with the daemonic Lord of the Wastes to win Yung’s last war against the northern barbarian tribes, and now daemons have begun slipping unchallenged into the empire. The rise in terror and deaths are largely felt only as a malaise that hangs over the city. But that changes during the New Year parade, when a porcelain-masked phasmadaemon erupts out from under the procession’s manticore puppet and sends illusionary horrors to torment citizens.

Bugbears that perfect the art澳门英皇娱乐 of stalking and terrifying victims are sometimes visited by a phasmadaemon. The daemon stalks the chosen bugbear over the course of three days and nights, attacking at random, setting up ambushes, and never letting the goblinoid sleep. Though few bugbears could hope to defeat a daemon in combat, if the champion does not show fear throughout the entire ordeal, the phasmadaemon will grant the bugbear some boon. Often these boons include the gift of an intelligent magical weapon, magical prowess (treat as added class levels or the half-field template),a spell-like ability, transformation into a greater barghest, or some other dark blessing.

Horsemen of the Apocalypse 52–53 & Pathfinder Bestiary 6 74

Hi guys. Been a while since we did a monster. For my Blogger readers, here’s some of what’s been going on—including some fun with monster reading recommendations, some big news, and some bleak news. For my Tumblr readers, thank as always for sticking around and keeping me company.

Several times on this blog—particularly as my weekdaily posting schedule slackened in 2016 and 2017 and fell off to almost nothing in 2018 and 2019—I’ve mentioned changes to my life that have drawn me away from the computer: new radio show time...

Several times on this blog—particularly as my weekdaily posting schedule slackened in 2016 and 2017 and fell off to almost nothing in 2018 and 2019—I’ve mentioned changes to my life that have drawn me away from the computer: new radio show time slots, more work/life balance, more time at the gym, and even professional freelancing.

And somewhere in that list, you probably caught mentions of caregiving, and ambulance rides, and ERs, and long, long hospital stays.

I met —Katerina—at a radio station party in late spring of 2013. We were almost immediately inseparable, and spent that summer and fall going on road trips, playing games, and generally falling head over heels for each other.

And then one weekend in early 2014, she called me from Katsucon and told me she was having trouble walking and that she’d needed to borrow a hotel wheelchair.

This was our first brush with mitochondrial disease. I met her down at the convention and pushed her for the rest of the con. By the next week, she’d ordered her own wheelchair. And I spent the next five and a half years helping to take care of her and preserve her independence in the face of—once we’d gotten a diagnosis, which in itself took two or three years—a degenerative disease she knew would kill her.

Some people get a manageable version of mitochondrial disease. Kat got the version with gastroparesis, progressive organ failure, and profound muscle and nerve pain that left her in such daily agony she qualified for palliative care. None of which stopped her from loving life, traveling when she could, creating art, playing games, and making plans for a bright future.

Katerina passed away the morning of August 24. We laid her to rest in accordance with her Jewish faith on August 29.

She was this blog’s biggest fan. And I was—and still am—hers.

To support people still living with mitochondrial disease and to support disabled gamers in general, please consider a gift to the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and Able Gamers, two organizations Kat was devoted to. Thanks.