Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Fire on the Velvet Horizon, 'Ice Age Eye to Imperator Ape' IMPERATOR APE OR EAGLE APE



Armour as chain, Move 45' land, 30' brachiating , 15(+3) Hit Dice, 108 hp,  fists 1d10+6, beak rend 1d8+6, Morale 12 (Fearless).

Treasure- The hide of an Imperator Ape is worth anywhere from 20,000 gp to a 100,000 gp. Roll a d10. 1-5 hide is mangled and unrecognisable. 6-7 20,000 gp. 8 40,000 gp, 9, 70,000gp 10 100,000 gp

3 attacks- fist, fist, beak

Immune to charm, sleep, confusion and fear effects.

Relentless- When reduced to half HP, the Imperator enters a ferocious battle fury. If the Imperator hits with either fists or beak, it may make another attack immediately with the appendage that scored the initial hit. It may do this repeatedly until it misses. This ability lasts until death.

Unstoppable- When reduced to 0 hp, the Imperator remains in the battle if it is able to make a save vs death. It rolls as a 15th level fighter.It must make this save everytime it receives damage from this point. At -50 hp, it dies regardless.

Perfect Vision- The Imperator can see with perfect clarity over any distance.


Imperator Ape - AC 16, HP 195, Spd. 45ft land, 30ft brachiating, +12, 2d8+6 fist, beak rend 1d12+6,   CR 18, 20,000 xp

S+6/D+3/C+3/I 0/W 0/C-4

Multi Attack: Two fists and a beak

Relentless-same as above.

Unstoppable-at 0hp, the Imperator may stay in the battle if it succeeds with a DC-12 Constitution save. Everytime it receives damage from this point, it must make a further Constitution save. It dies regardless, upon reaching negative 100 hp.

Immune to affects that cause charm, sleep, confusion or fear effects.

Legendary Actions

Pummel-Imperator Ape makes an attack against the nearest foe with a fist. Cost- 1 action

Swipe-Imperator Ape swats a foe off the ground with a bunched fist. Make an attack against an opponent engaged in melee. On a successful hit, damage is dealt and the target must make a successful Strength save, DC 18, to avoid being knockd prone and backwards 10 feet. Cost- 2 actions

Supreme Rush-Imperator Ape charges at a foe, up to twice its movement rate away in feet. Against that foe, tt makes a beak or fist attack at advantage. Also, until its next turn, it gains damage resistance to piercing, slashing and bludgeoning attacks. Cost- 3 actions

Fire on the Velvet Horizon, 'Ice Age Eye to Imperator Ape' ICE AGE EYE

Ice Age Eye


Armour as plate, Move 40', 18 Hit Dice, HP 135 , 4d10 dam (1 Trample), Morale 11.

Treasure: . The fur of an Ice Age Eye is worth 100 GP a sack. Theoretically one Ice Age Eye has about 30 sacks worth of fur to donate. Any cloak made from such fur, will provide immunity to the worst ravages of Winter.

Immune to cold damage.

White Gaze: Save vs Magic -3 else fall asleep for d6 turns. Anyone meeting the gaze of the Ice Age Eye is subject to this effect, making the save at the beginning of their turn.

The gaze also stills heat in general. Fires reduce in intensity by one category per round. From forest fire, to housefire, to bonfire, to camp fire, to torch, to candle flame, to ember, to exstinguishment.

Could a volcano resist the Ice Age Eye? That's up to the GM.


Epochal Chains: The Ice Age Eye produces chains capable of freezing just about anything. Any object the Ice Age Eye chooses to bind, begins to freeze rapidly. This can be as small as a leaf or as large as an ocean. Six, 5 mile hexes per day may be frozen. They must be connected to the Ice Age Eye. Freezing a city might take an hour or so. The target climate shifts to arctic.
Chains can be melted with fire or will melt on their own. A large, hex scaling chain, might take up to 2 weeks to melt if subjected to fire (eg. bonfires built along its length). If struck by lightning, the chains greatly weaken. A group of four wizards or clerics, wielding magic lightning, can destroy up to a hex worth of chains per day. Upon breaking the chain between the Ice Age Eye and the bound target/hex, the climate returns to normal by the next morning.
 If a chain is directed at a living being (which is rare, it freezes mainly what it loves), a save vs paralysis must be made to avoid binding. If bound, a save vs death at -4 must be made to avoid instant flash freezing and sudden death. This counts as the Ice Age Eye's attack.  


Ice Age Eye- AC 17, HP 270, Spd. 40ft  +12, 5d10 dam (trample),    XP CR 14 XP 11,500

S+6/D-2/C+4/I+1/W+2/C 0

Legendary Resistance: Ice Age Eye may choose to pass a failed save; 3/day

Immunities- Immune to cold damage

 White Gaze- DC-18 Wisdom save, else fall asleep for d6 turns. Anyone meeting the gaze of the Ice Age Eye is subject to this effect, making the save at the beginning of their turn.

Epochal Chains- As above. If a chain is directed at a living being (which is rare, it freezes mainly what it loves), a DC-15 Dexterity save, must be made to avoid binding. If bound, a DC-18 Constitution save must be made to avoid instant flash freezing and sudden death. This counts as the Ice Age Eye's attack.

Weirder Dragon Born

A busy few weeks of gigging and production has come top an end, so I'm able to go back to my D&D comfort den,  perhaps with some extra insights gleaned from beating my brains a little. Or perhaps not.

At any rate,  I've been playing multiple games of my LotFP/D&D 5e hybrid since last Friday, with a couple of sessions on G+/Roll 20. It's been interesting to say the least, mainly because I've had the opportunity to develop a few ideas for my OSR community/homebrew setting---ideas which I think are not boring.

One of my players wanted nothing more than to play as Dragon Born. Frankly,  I was kind of horrified.  At best, they felt underwritten  and cartoony. At their worst,  they had a lame, B movie kind of vibe. Grotesque scenes floated before my third eye, scenes from a film, probably on the Sy-Fy Channel. I saw a rubber Dragon man stinking out the inn of ignorant goode folk. Just sort of looming there, waiting for his obligatory, stiffly choreographed fight scene and possibly , probably,earning a noble death, proving that the hero played by some 80s guy, was right to trust the big, dying lizard.

I mean, maybe you actually like the sound of that, I don't know. I mean, rubber heads definitely have their place. CGI heads, I'm still deeply unsold on. So think of those if you dig rubber.

Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, they even seem a poor fit for high fantasy, unless it's the kind of high fantasy championed by the Forgotten Realms,which, personally, as a setting,  seems too much like a LARP gathering in an American gym hall (and yes,  I've witnessed one...a Vampire game,  like the weirdest PE lesson of all time and a definitely saleable spectator sport). The idea of Renaissance Fair villages full of Midwestern peasants, I find, indescribably cack. To me, Dragon Born fit into that milieu.

There's no sense of mystery to them.  No sense of what makes a Dragon special. We see reasonable cracks at this with the other races...their racial abilities go some way to describing them as a culture and a species. But to say that dragons are defined by the types of damage they deal and resist... well, could it get any more boring?

What kind of losers are Dragon Born anyway?  How would you deal with the inferiority complex?  By hanging around other losers of your own species?  Or by stinking out inns, standing at the back of adventuring parties,  contributing nothing but your breath weapon and your BIG RUBBER DRAGON HEAD?

Even so, my player was thoroughly enchanted with the concept...thus, the race had to be made acceptable to mine eyes. I succeeded, but let's check your sensibilities...

The Dragon Born

The Dragon Born, ironically enough,  are not born,  but created. They emerge, from suicidal devotion to ideas,desperate need to escape the tatters of  life,doomed efforts to understand that which cannot be understood...and even; on occasion; from the wrong needle, dug deep into a vein, seeking an escape only the opiates of Yoon Suin can provide.

There are ten venerable dragons,  shepherds of the creatures of flesh, stewarding and winnowing as they see fit. Their ultimate origin is unclear...that they are orders of magnitude more potent than mortal races is as obvious as their matter is alien. They seem to bear a kind of responsibility towards the creatures of flesh. But it is more accurately a commitment, to a terrible kind of eugenic omnicide.

Areas home to dragons, warp and twist in fashions apt to nature of the master of the land (where they live, they are always masters).  Their very proximity,  causes reality to bend towards a model in which the Dragon dominates and flourishes.

At some juncture,  their blood appeared in stoppered vials, circulating through the arcane underground,  such as it is.  How this blood had been obtained, was open to conjecture.

Some say that the blood was donated by these gargantuan doom lords, with intent and carried out by their servants.

The blood of the Dragon is highly mutagenic. If one injects the blood,  then a change occurs on a fundamental physical, mental and spiritual level.  In short, the subject becomes Dragon Born, their identity and matter, being overwritten by the power contained within the draconic blood.

No memories exist of the former individual. If the blood is injected,  a new level 1 being comes to exist.  This creature is entirely new, ageless and inquisitive.

Some perceive this as apotheosis.  Others as escape from a life of shame, crime,  illness or grave misfortune.  It is undoubtedly a kind of suicide.  Even so, all that hope to receive the intravenous mutagen, tell  themselves a trace of their old self will remain.  But it does not. Whatever was born human, is cast away irrevocably.

And yet a visual clue persists.  The Dragon Born can assume a humanoid shape for a few hours a day. The shape, the illusion, is the image of the former, abandoned identity.

They learn swiftly,  the benefits of surreptitious behaviour. Their true forms are too monstrous to be acceptable.  They find themselves hunted by Cube Knights and Monster Slayers, driven into wild places,  far from civilisation. And yet they are attracted to the lives of mortals, their strange ways their odd achievements. They also, are tempted to feast upon them. There exists a beast in the heart  of every Dragon Born, no matter how seemingly noble.

Some insinuate themselves back into society. Reptilian presences within the higher echelons of culture.  They are constantly seeking, wondering,  attempting to find purpose. The worst of them groom  and farm sentient life  so as have a ready larder of flesh. Some they say, are deep ensconced within the greatest aristocracies of the land.

Sometimes they dream and their dreams are atomic splendour. And remote.

Sometimes they receive thoughts from the one that spawned them. Sometimes they are imperatives.

Both The draconic and mortal experience, are open to them and yet they are neither. They can see through the illusions perpetuated by other Dragon Born. Sometimes they form alliances and secret societies,  though they are just as often loners.

The fleeting notion that they are part of a greater whole, never leaves them. They are obsessed with transformations and indeed,  many continue to seek physical metamorphosis throughout their seemingly endless lives.

The mysteries of existence never end. They see inside the inside of themselves and they are compelled to make it explicit. But it is a mirror looking into itself. There seems to be cessation of revelation.

A true and inimical Madness waits for many Dragon Born. Some say this madness leads ultimately to a strange city, all angles terminating in impenetrable Draco-Space. Finally, the oldest Dragon Born are here, building, creating something. The angles keep getting tighter. Can an angle exert something akin to gravity if it is acute enough? Acute through multiple spatial plateau?

Some scholars think so.

Every Dragon Born is saddled with a Draconic Temptation. Roll a d10. The Dragon Born has disadvantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma rolls whilst resisting the Draconic Temptation and able to satisfy it immediately.

1 Virgin Heads
2 The Fat of Children
3 The Flesh of Dogs
4 The Hearts of Lovers
5 The Skin of Saints
6 The Bones of Knights
7 The Eyes of the Holy
8 The Tongues of Fathers
9 The Blood of Mothers
10 The Unborn Whole and Crunchy

Every Dragon Born learns a Draconic Truth. They know one such Draconic Truth when they are created. They may learn a new one whenever they qualify for an attribute increase or whenever they find/persuade a Venerable Dragon to teach them.

1 Egg Rebirth: a dragon born can construct an egg from itself out of which it will be reborn. This costs 5000 xp to create the first time, doubling thereafter. It is a costly process. Invariably they emerge less human, gaining a new Draconic Temptation with each renewal.

2 See True Geometry: the Dragon Born can utilise space according to dragons. Once per day, per point of Wisdom bonus, it may Dimension Door. A DC 15 Wisdom save must be made to avoid passing into a different dimension for d6 rounds. Carcosa, say. They usually end up somewhere portentous.

3 Breather underwater/aether. Does what it says on the tin. Phlogiston would work just as well as Aether. Beware Aetherial Regrets, which are fascinated by Dragon Born. They also are now able to resist extremes of pressure.

4 Draconic Trans-mind. They can reach into a kind of Akashik Record, a draconic supra consciousness...a reptilian over soul. Roll 5 d20 and arrange in any order. These are the results of the Dragon Born's next 5 d20 rolls. Put this down to the fact that Draconic Trans-Mind knows the limits of neither time, nor space. This emanation is perhaps a side effect of the Strange City.

5 Envoy. The Dragon Born been chosen by a great dragon, to represent its interests amongst the lesser races. The Dragon Born gains advantage on persuade rolls with wise members of monstrous races (those who recognise the Envoy's crest). They become subject to random dragon missions and a gain a host of  new enemies. On the other hand, whenever a monster city is entered, the Dragon Born can rely on having the capability of drawing upon one contact, a being aware of their importance.

6 Stone Sleep. Can enter a stony encased hibernation trance appearing to be a foetal statue. This takes about 10 minutes. The Dragon Born is treated exactly like a petrified individual, but remains conscious and can re-flesh with a thought. DC 10 con save required, else cannot awake for d100 years without outside help. This help, involves the Dragon Born's favourite Draconic Temptation.

7 Mutagenic Blood. The Dragon Born's blood, creates more Dragon Born if injected intravenously. The transfused individual, is immediately level 1 in a new class. About a pint is required. The old person is completely gone. The new Dragon Born is a physical clone and will be favourable towards the one that made it.

8 Hoard Strength. GPs have powerful effects upon Dragon Born when slept upon. A minimum bed of 5000 gp, is enough to constitute a hoard.  Sleeping on it, will ensure the Dragon Born begins each morning inspired.  Furthermore,  the Dragon Born may make a DC 18 Insight check to know who was the last owner of any given GP in their collection.  A DC 18 Insight check will reveal their current location. Treasure must spend at least 2 weeks within   the lair of the Dragon Born to qualify for hoard status. The Dragon Born becomes trnasfixed by the notion of acquiring more wealth for its hoard.

The Dragon Born still possesses a breath weapon and a resistance. A d10 can be rolled to determine the Dragon colour of origin.

(I used the ten Venerable Dragons from Rafael Chandler's extremely fun 'Terratic Tome', as the basis for the breath weapon/resistance of my Dragon Born. You can use the normal ten if you wish. I don't really have much time for them, as written.)

Vermilion             Fire, 15' cone, resistance to poison or fire
Azuline                Lightning, 30' line, resistance to electricity
Porphyrous          Insects, 15' cone, resistance to piercing
Chlorochrous       Enchanted Cloud (force), 15'cone, resistance to force
Nacreous              Sulfur (fire), cone 15', resistance to poison or fire
Flavescent            Sonic Death (force) 30' line, resistance to force
Albicant               Cold, 15' cone, resistance to cold
Chromatophoric   Fire & brimstone (fire) 30' line, resist fire
Gamboge              Spores (poison), 15' vibe,  resist poison
Atrous                   Acid, 30' line, resist acid

Everything else, I'd keep as is. I recognise that I've certainly made the race more complex, but honestly, I think they needed that. Well...I needed that.