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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


What, and let people see the books before buying them? That might cost you a sale if you let them be discerning!

Also for some reason (probably printing costs) AD&D 2e didn't have a lot of hardbacks, and even those largely had softcover editions as well.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 21:09 on May 17, 2016

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Late-era TSR cranked out a lot of reprinted material in their sourcebooks, didn't they? I remember a lot of derisive reviews in magazines like Inquest Gamer.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

There can't be a supplement dumber than Secrets of the Magister.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


What were the secrets?

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Alien Rope Burn posted:

What were the secrets?

Once upon a time, Mystra decided that if she wasn't careful, the knowledge of magic might die out altogether! So, she decided to appoint a special mortal champion who would make sure that knowledge was always available. She gave that champion special powers, and a bunch of cool perks! Then she decided that the office of Magister would be transferred to whoever killed the previous Magister.

There then follow the histories of all the Magisters, and they are basically all "and then he spent the rest of his life in hiding and flight from all the people out to kill him and steal his job."

At no point does the book recognize the cognitive dissonance involved here.

(Also there's all kinds of standard 2e Realms pointless detail, like about all the different kinds of bizarre creatures you get turned into upon retirement.)

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




"Mystra sucks but Ed Greenwood wants to jump her bones"?

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


I know it's not the canon reason, but I like to imagine that the Athar formed when someone sat down to write a book explaining the Faerun deities and thought ":stare: You know what? gently caress this poo poo"

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




The Athar probably get most of their membership from worlds like Faerun, but risk losing them when they find out not every prime world is as terribly run as theirs.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Alien Rope Burn posted:

What, and let people see the books before buying them? That might cost you a sale if you let them be discerning!
I'm thinking the reason is some mixture of this and "well, we need to get our money's worth out of our long-term contract with that box printer"

Bedlamdan
Apr 25, 2008


SirPhoebos posted:

I know it's not the canon reason, but I like to imagine that the Athar formed when someone sat down to write a book explaining the Faerun deities and thought ":stare: You know what? gently caress this poo poo"

IIRC the founder of the Athar was a cleric from the Dragonlance setting, and that makes an incredible amount of sense.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Most of the Faerunian deities, in my opinion, make sense for a pantheistic setting where you assume the vast majority of people will offer prayers to whoever's relevant for the purpose at hand. There's only a few big outliers, like Mystra.

At its heart, there are four central deities to the Realms - arguably just two. Selune and Shar were the original two, the goddesses of light and dark respectively. Mystryl, the very essence of magic, was created during the primordial battles between Selune and Shar, and then Chauntea, the spirit of Toril itself which took form with her creation.

Every other deity in the Realms is an ascended mortal or an interloper from another realm (Tyr, Oghma, and Sharess all explicitly came from Earth).

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Given the Dragonlance gods seem pretty incompetent - also kind of hard to take gods seriously when one gets blown to smithereens by the de facto guardian of Sigil

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


The Athar made some valid points.

Bedlamdan
Apr 25, 2008


Robindaybird posted:

Given the Dragonlance gods seem pretty incompetent - also kind of hard to take gods seriously when one gets blown to smithereens by the de facto guardian of Sigil

Dragonlance gods are very competent at maintaining a base of worshippers. Not much reason to obey the good gods without the evil ones constantly looming over you, and obviously the whole balance between good and evil thing is just a way to keep their pyramid scheme running.

This has always been my theory about Dragonlance.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Mage the Awakening: 2nd Edition

Getting to the Shadow requires either crossing the Gauntlet between worlds or finding a Locus, a sort of naturally occuring spirit Iris. Once you get there, it's...familiar, sort of. The Shadow is an exaggerated parallel of the human world. It is the land of spirits, where animism is just a fact. While a werewolf is native to both Shadow and material, mages are invaders. They're rarely welcome and get grudging respect at best. Every location has a Shadow counterpart, as do most objects - though fallen trees and wrecked buildings are usually whole in Shadow, maintained by the spiritual power they had when they stood. These things, in Shadow, are ephemeral. Anyone and anything that crosses over shifts to ephemeral matter, turning back when they return to the material plane. Anything that began as ephemera, however, arrives in the material world in Twilight.

Some parts of Shadow differ in size or shape from their material counterparts. A mansion might have extra rooms, or a forest reduced in the material world may be a twisted old growth in Shadow. A few places simply have no material counterpart at all. To reach them, you must cross the Gauntlet, then head through Shadow beyond the mirrored locations. Some Mysterium texts claim that some of these places are Irises to other worlds - the Lower Depths, Emanations, even the Astral...though going unconscious in Shadow is certianly a bad idea. The dominant Resonance of an area in the material determines its characteristics in Shadow, as that is what generates the Essence that fills the region and determines what spirits can feed best. Those places with no parallel are emergent things, growing from the mixing energies of nearby realms and spiritual connections that mages do not really understand.

The Shadow is full of spirits. There's a spirit for almost every living creature, object and emotion, and spirits covering species and evolutionary roles. Every cat has a spirit, and there is a greater cat spirit, too, and a spirit of stalking predators. Mages would name all these as part of the same 'spirit choir,' though the spirits might not agree. Humans and former humans, however, have no spirits. Some mages believe the human 'spirit' is possibly an aspect of the soul. Werewolves, meanwhile, are half spirit and half flesh in one being, both at once in all places. Spirits tend to be stronger the broader their profile, but this isn't always true. They obey a hierarchy of raw power and ecological niche. All spirits eat and drink Essence, the energy generated by Resonance. Essence flows through the entire Shadow, but is concentrated around ley lines. Few spirits, however, eat raw Essence much. They prefer to hunt each other.

Spirit, mechanically, is the go-to Arcanum for the Shadow. Any spells using it in Shadow get -2 to any Paradox rolls.



The Astral Realms are found inward, the worlds of the human soul and beyond. They are as much states of mind as places. The self, after all, is infinite, expanding out to other selves and intermingling. Travelers meditate and send their dream-selves out for knowledge. Everyone enters the shallowest reaches of the Astral by dreaming, but few go deeper. All mages traveled the Astral through their Watchtowers during Awakening, though they may nor have been aware of it at the time. They've gone beyond, even, to the Supernal - but can't duplicate the journey. Still, this allows them to go partway and even blaze new trails beyond individual dreams.

Dream is the shallowest realm, experienced by every human. Mages can use Mind spells to enter the dreams of others or practice lucid dreaming to explore their own. Some Goetia and other, stranger supernatural beigns stalk through human dreams, and meditation in a dream state can help inspire a mage. Beyond this, however, is the Oneiros, the Personal Soul. This is the lowest layer of the Astral proper, containing the individual thoughts, beliefs and passions of each person, carefully locked in dozens of cells. Memories, beliefs, vices, virtues, the works. Each cell in an Oneiros is an individual realm, large enough on the inside for any setting. A traveler's Oneiros makes the people, places and things needed for the scene at hand. Most of these are weak Goetia, but a mage's daimon, a sort of embodied higher self, is stronger and more insightful. Here, mages raise personal Goetia or examine the Imagos of their Rotes. Mages may entire their own Oneiroi by default, but can use Mind magic to enter that of others, or they may cross by building a tenuous bridge of shared thoughts - specific people, places and things that both you and the other person are thinking about at the same time, and only if they have personal significance...as long as the other party is actively meditating or dreaming. The Oneiros, however, is usually just a starting point for Astral journeys. If a mage looks outward, they generate a vision-narrative about widening perspective. By dealing with the petty challenges of the vision, they meditate upon and vault into the Temenos.

The Temenos, or the Soul of Humanity, is thought of as the next layer up from the Oneiros. Here, individual souls coaelesce into the massed soul of all of humanity, where private thoughts become shared myths and archetypes. They gather by theme - there are realms of Fascism, Collectivism, and Democracy, all in the greater realm of Government and Human Nature. You can meet any god, any fictional character and anyone famous enough to fill a mythic role here. These conceptual realms also contain every magical tradition ever done by more than a single person. Regions belong to the Paths, Orders, Legacies and other cults. These groups usually take some interest in their realms, often protecting them magically. Traveling between regions is a game of association, a more general form of the traveling used between Oneiroi. To get from Democracy to Fascism, say, you'd travel through the realm of a failing government. If you want to head 'upward,' to the Anima Mundi, you must travel through a story of archetypes giving way to primal concepts and emotions, the dreams of beasts and stones and stars.

Mages use the Temenos to hunt for occult insight and to understand human nature. In fact, they can use it to alter collective thought-realms by changing their stories. This manifests itself in the material realm. Want to get a TV show canceled? Find the protagonists in the Temenos and kill them. On some level, viewers believe the show to be dead now and watch something else. The good news is, the more pervasive and important a concept, the harder it is to alter this way. Free will, true love and so on probably can't be radically altered this way, and gfenerally they have guardians as well. Goetia don't depend on their ideals being popular, but it helps, so they try to protect them. Goetia also play the parts of gods, celebrities and other personified ideas. As you pass through the Temenos and head upward, however, cultural skins flake off the collective ideas until you reach the border with the Anima Mundi: the Omphalos, or Boundary Stone. This is the liminal ream of High Speech that is the purest and highest form of human language. From here, you may either travel the stone's tunnels into the Anima Mundi, or skirt its edge to entire the realms of Primordial emotion and fears. These realms, representing the animal instincts of humanity, are poorly understood, and their inhabitants generally monstrous and protective of their territory. (And this, I think, is probably the closest we will get to a cromulent explanation of what the gently caress Beast is up to.)

The final layer of the Astral which mages can reach is the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the Cosmos, the Dreamtime. It is the shared soul of the entire Fallen World, even the animals and the stars. After following the High Speech runes of the Omphalos, you might reach the Swath, home of polluted nature and post-industrial civilization, or the Spire Perilous, a remnant of the Anima Mundi believed to have been damaged in the destruction of the Time Before. These places connect to the Dreaming Earth, home of nature and the raw elements, and from there, the Sidereal Wastes, the dreams of planets and stars. None of these places are human-generated dreams or ideas. Sidereal Mars is no planetary romance or home to little green men - that's in the Temenos. Sidereal Mars is sterile red sand...if Mars didn't once bear life. The Sidereal Wastes shift Time, such that time is divided there into actions rather than measurable units, even if actions might noramlly take years to complete.



In the Anima Mundi, travelers must resist the Ecstatic Wind, which dissolves human thought into the cosmic oversoul unless you protect yourself with an Astral Amnion. If you manage to pass the Sidereal Wastes, you will find a desolate beach on the shore of the Ocean Oroboros, which absorbs all light. This is the Astral reflection of the Abyss. Here, on this beach, you may find the citadels of the Aeons, incarnate beings that represent the Arcana, all but one manifesting in pairs to match the Path Arcana. The final Aeon, however, is the Old Man of the Abyss, who lives alone in a ramshackle hut. Mages can pass no further than the shores of Oroboros, for even touching its waters is tantamount to entering the Abyss. Mages sometimes cast things they do not want into the Oroboros, causing them to vanish forever - memories, souls, even items you've made into ephemera for the trip.

Mechanically, all you need to enter your own dreams is a Resolve+Composure roll as you go to sleep. Mind spells just bypass this need or let you into the dreams of others. Spells in dreams are cast normally, save that Sleepers do not treat spells affecting the dream or its narrative as obvious magic. The Astral proper is made of thoughts and emotions, but the Arcana affect them by the same rules as the material realm. In place of symbols, each Arcana's dominion has equally symbolic importance - Matter affects visions of stone, say. However, it still is easier to use Mind here, and Mind spells in the Astral get -2 to Paradox rolls. To make an Astral Path and begin your trip, you must meditate in a place of power - a Hallow, Demesne or Synese. Each of these has their own requirements to access. After you manage that, you meditate and roll Resolve+Composure to enter your Oneiros over the course of an hour or one scene. Exceptional success reduces this to a single turn. You enter your own Oneiros unless you are making telepathic contact with someone else, in which case mutual assent or Clash of Wills determines which Oneiros you visit.

Within your own Oneiros, your spells never risk Paradox so long as the magic remains within only your own soul. This does not, however, apply to shared or foreign Oneiroi. Further, Sleepers' Oneiroi cause Paradox risk on all magic cast within. A mage 'killed' within the Oneiros by its contents or native Goetia (though not intruders) do not suffer Soul Shock - they just wake up, disoriented but able to restore their dream health after meditating again. A mage manifests in dream form in their dreams or the Astral. This is shaped entirely by their self-image as influenced by the Supernal, rather than flesh, and the Shadow Name merit will often cause you to appear radically different to conform to your magical self. You use this form to interact in the Astral.

Dream forms have the following traits rather than normal ones:
  • Power: The higher of Intelligence or Presence for mages, just Intelligence for others. Used for any Intelligence, Strength or Presence tasks.
  • Finesse: Higher of Wits or Manipulation for mages, just Wits for others. Used for Wits, Dexterity and Manipulation tasks.
  • Resistance: Higher of Resolve or Composure for magees, just Resolve for others. Used for Resolve, Stamina and Composure tasks.
  • Dream Health: Replaces normal Health. Equal to Resistance plus your attribute maximum. Losing Dream Health causes wound penalties as normal. When you are 'killed', you get the Soul Shocked condition and return to your body.
  • Amnion: Only mages have one. It's a protective self-image, tkaing the form of some kind of protective covering. You may invoke it with an instanct action, gaining general armor equal to the lower of your Gnosis or highest subtle Arcanum, protecting against any physical-seeming attacks or the Ecstatic Wind. However, this refined egocentrism gives -2 to Finesse rolls and -1 to Defense. It is a form of equipment that does not stack with 'physical' armor, but does stack with spells or Attainments.
  • Path Tools: Any mage can will one of their Path tools into existence in dreams or the Astral reflexively, but only tools they've used before in the material realm.



In the Oneiros, you must pass through a vision and defeat any challenges to reach the threshold of the Temenos, passing it using the same system as Oneiros entry, save that you don't need to satisfy the means of access condition again. You can then choose to either step off the path and explore, or you can keep going, passing through a challenge from humanity's collective imagination. If you survive it, you can continue to the Anima Mundi. If you decipher its symbolism or mystery as well, you get an Arcane Beat. Magic works normally in the Temenos, save that every point within is a potential place Yantra for +1 to appropriate spells. To breach the Anima Mundi, you need to make the meditation roll again, arriving at the Omphalos and entering either the Swath or Spire Perilous. From there, you must contend with the Ecstatic Wind, which deals damage at various intervals.



When 'killed' by the Ecstatic Wind, you awaken with the Soul Shocked condition but also lose a full dot of Willpower due to depersonalization. Finally, your soul momentarily escapes its confines to smear across raw being, often returning with a Paradox Condition, which resolves itself as normal. You will encounter a challenge every time you move from one region of the Anima Mundi to the next. If you can solve its hidden truth, you get an Arcane Beat. If you just survive, you only move on. The Ecstatic Wind ends when you reach the Oroboros' shores. You may at any point in the AStral journey return to your Oneiros reflexively, just waking up. Returning to anywhere else requires a Resolve+Composure roll, but you don't have to pass through a challenge - you just walk back. Alternatively, you may deny yourself full psychic reintegration with the material to wake up in a single turn, but this leaves part of yourself behind and causes the Soul Shocked condition.

Next time: Still not the weirdest place.

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

Nifara posted:

Now I just need to actually get my poo poo together and finish it.

But thanks!

Please do, it's so much better than the neverending parade of WoD supplements.

RocknRollaAyatollah
Nov 26, 2008



Lipstick Apathy

Rand Brittain posted:

Once upon a time, Mystra decided that if she wasn't careful, the knowledge of magic might die out altogether! So, she decided to appoint a special mortal champion who would make sure that knowledge was always available. She gave that champion special powers, and a bunch of cool perks! Then she decided that the office of Magister would be transferred to whoever killed the previous Magister.

There then follow the histories of all the Magisters, and they are basically all "and then he spent the rest of his life in hiding and flight from all the people out to kill him and steal his job."

At no point does the book recognize the cognitive dissonance involved here.

(Also there's all kinds of standard 2e Realms pointless detail, like about all the different kinds of bizarre creatures you get turned into upon retirement.)

Mystra was all about might makes right even though she was diametrically opposed to that in terms of being a good, though officially neutral, deity.

Mystra also handed out chosen status pretty frequently, even to people who lacked the mental fortitude to stay sane from reading a punctuation error.

The Cult of the Dragon posted:

“And naught will be left save shattered thrones, with no
rulers but the dead. Dragons shall rule the world entire,
and . . .”

Sammaster the Mad translated the passage thusly:

“And naught will be left save shattered thrones with no
rulers. But the dead dragons shall rule the world entire,
and . . .”

He went full on evil after that and founded the Cult of the Dragon, which is a cult that wants to jump start the undead dragon apocalypse for reasons.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





If that passage was written in scripto continua or whatever it's called, where the word train keeps going without punctuation at all, he wouldn't even be wrong!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


To be fair, once you append "the Mad" to your name, there are certain standards of incoherency you have to live up to.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




Dogs in the Vineyard: How To GM

Play the town
So, you have a town, NPCs, and a situation. The rest is mostly reaction! Have the NPCs come to them and ask them to do this, fix that, make this better, tell them they're right. Then, back off and let the PCs lead from there. Provoke them to act, then react to their actions.

Don't write a story. You don't highlight them as heroes and villains. That's a Dog's job. Let go of what's going to happen. Don't play the story, play the town.

Drive play towards conflict
Roll the dice or say yes. If nothing's at stake, say yes. Go along with them, give them info if they ask for it. Let them do what they want. Eventually, they'll do something that the other characters don't like. Now, there's stakes, and now, there's conflict. Begin the conflict, roll the dice.

Actively reveal the town in play
Every town has secrets, but you don't. When the PCs start digging up dirt, let 'em find it. If someone lies, maybe make it clear that they're lying - you can usually tell when someone's lying in movies. Whatever's hidden in the town, the PCs will gravitate towards it, and then the fun starts.

Follow the players' lead about what's important
Kinda GMing 101. If your players take things in an unexpected direction, follow them there, and let whatever they're looking into be the heart of things.

Escalate, Escalate, Escalate
Once players take sides, that's your time to kick things up and start complicating their lives. As conversations start, you'll find that they're about certain moral judgments. Same as you do from town to town, challenge those judgments. Make their choices painful, don't give them easy answers. The players set the stakes, then you set them harder.

DO NOT have a solution in mind
You're playing by the same rules as everyone else, and they don't give you the power to nudge anything in the direction you want. Don't gun for the ending you envision, just listen and react. The job of the players is to carry out judgment, so they get the final say in how things end.

Playing God?
God isn't an NPC. You don't have a way to pass effective judgment on a PC's actions. The rules don't impose any sort of morality on them, leaving them to make those choices themselves.

Or so the book says, but I mean, the things that God likes are outlined in the book, and the punishment for them is actual demonic possession and destruction, so I'm not sure how that's supposed to line up with the game not imposing a moral system. Why does sin in anyone else open them to possession and locusts, but the PCs can't be judged?

The rest of the book is sample play and designer commentary, so that's about it for DitV. It's a very interesting game, but ultimately one that I'd love to extract from its setting and put into a different one.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Mage: the Awakening, 2nd Edition

Even realms like the Astral suffer the Lie. To escape it, you must reach the Supernal. This is done during Awakening, but you can't go back unless you become an archmaster and Ascend. The Abyss will obliterate you, otherwise. However, on rare occasions, links from the Supernal extend to the Fallen World beyond mere verges. They become worlds unto themselves, which you may enter materially, known as Emanations. Each symbolizes how an Arcanum manifests in the world. Typically, entry is via an Iris in a verge, near a potent Hallow or in places related to the Arcanum and symbolism. Some Legacies teach other ways to enter specific Emanations, but otherwise, those are the only ways in. Multiple Emanations exist per Arcanum, though some believe these are each regions of a sort of meta-Emanation, and that a spell might be able to let you pass between them. Every Emanation has its own unique physical laws, though always influenced by the dominant Arcanum. The inhabitants of an Emanation are Supernal beings, taking forms according to the realm's symbolism. They often mix Fallen myth and archetype with Supernal correspondences. The deeper in you get, the less Fallen myth is involved. The heart of an Emanation has a passage to the Supernal, but the Abyss makes them inhospitable before this point, corrupting the gate's periphery. Even if you managed to reach it, the unfiltered Supernal would destroy you.

The Orders record any Emanations they find, but most are so obscure that you'll only find a brief description by research into obscure Grimoires. Rumor has it that the Exarchs create Emanations of their own, linking them to Exarchate verges. The best known Emanation realms include the following, though many more exist:
  • The Mists, Realm of Unknown Destiny (Time). The Walkers in Mists learn to travel to this realm, which is relatively close to the material world. They use it to travel and to scry into distant times and places. The Mists are full of the fog of destiny-yet-unwritten, and its denizens are half-substantial manifestations of what might be. Irises to the Mists are found in Arcadian Verges and Astral realms representing the unknown and the future.
  • The Place Between, Realm of Liminality (Space, the Abyss). The Seers whisper that the forbidden Exarch known as the Gate bargained with the Abyss to create the Lie. The Gate stood between the Fallen world and the Abyss to negotiate, and members of its forbidden Legacy learn to enter the liminal Emanation realm it stood in, which resembles a ruined, distorted mirror of the material. Abyssal entities still haunt it, but spatial distortions allow quick travel between mirrored locations. Irises manifest in Abyssal verges or extreme Space Paradoxes.
  • Yggdrasil, Realm of Sacrifice (Spirit). Yggdrasil is an immense tree, its branches so full they blot out the sky. No living Legacy is known to use Yggdrasil, but Irises into it can be reached in ancient forests, verges of the Primal Wild and great trees in Shadow. It is full of wood dragons, giant squirrels and other creatures that know quite a lot, but will not share it unless paid in sacrifice. The tree itself may even whisper secrets...if you do as Odin did and hang yourself until the knowledge enters your soul.

An Emanation realm provides the same bonuses to magic as a Verge - +2 Yantra and no Paradox risk with its signature Arcanum - but only to the one Arcanum. While an Emanation is generally a material place, the inhabitants are Supernal entities, though visitors generally retain material form.

Magic may seem infinite in scope, but even masters have limits. They can't make souls or Artifacts, they can't alter supernatural power sources, they can't make spells that change beyond their initial Imago, and they can't enter the Supernal. However, archmasters seem able to do that. They are also called archmages, Imperial Masters, Seekers, Bodhisattvas, Exemplars and many other names. They are mages that have gone beyond their limits, transforming themselves into something more, though they never explain how. Most who try it are destroyed, and the archmasters often imply that they act to prevent the unworthy from achieving archmastery. They often come off as amoral, focused on Mysteries beyond mortal ken. The Pentacle bans archmasters from holding any rank, and see the fact that the Seers are run by them as proof of their slavery. Most mages don't other seeking archmastery in favor of pursuing their own interests, but everyone can name at least one Master who is questing to become an archmaster. Most die of old age chasing dead ends, but even so, if you ask your Order for help and are in desperate need, they can probably point you towards an archmaster.

However the archmage transformation is done, it is a profound one. Archmasters transcend their Path, forging a personal connection to the Supernal known as the Golden Road, a shimmering Astral realm seperate from all known Inner Realms. A handful of archmasters have revealed that these are actually their half-Ascended souls. Rather than meditate into the Astral, they meditate out of themselves, and their physical forms become about as vital to them as a normal mage's dream form. They can even go further, using some unknown Imperial Practice to create a Chantry, a personal Emanation Realm inside themselves, inhabited by Supernal beings and anything they create or import. Archmages form Irises in their Golden Roads and Chantries to places they find interesting, and these doorways are the ones you must find to get their attention. When an Archmaster dies, their realm does not vanish, but instead becomes a Wending, an unoccupied and unstable Golden Road that remains a valuable Mystery and nexus of useful Irises.

If living archmasters accept visitors, they rarely like to speak of their studies. This is not mere arrogance or impatience - the Orders have heard rumors of the Pax Arcanum, a nonaggression pact between archmages (and, some say, the Exarchs as well) to not grossly interfere in the Fallen World with their power. Archmages that break this unwritten rule vanish or are killed by Ochemata, avatar-servants of the Exarchs. When an archmag does agree to use Imperial magic for another person, they invariable set a quest or task in exchange. The Orders believe that these magics use unique Yantras, known as Quintessence, each the culmination of months or years of work on the spell. Archmages do at least all do one thing anyone can understand: their goal, uniformly, is Ascension, exploring deep Mysteries to fuel their own rise to the Supernal - even if it means decades or centuries of work.

Mechanically, archmastery is beyond the scope of the book, but at minimum: they treat all ten Arcana as Ruling, and have all ten Arcana Mage Sights up without cost. They automatically win Clashes of Wills against lesser beings. Their spells from the known Practices can break normal spell factors and cannot be countered or dispelled. If a mage explores a Golden Road, it is treated as an Oneiros for purpoes of magic. Wendings cause fluctuating PAradox bonuses or penalties, and Chantries are Emanation realms.

Next time: Denizens of other worlds

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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Mage: the Awakening, 2nd Edition

The game talks about the ephemeral entities as being ghosts, spirits and Goetia, with Supernal entities being similar but distinct. Interestingly, neither angels nor the God-Machine are mentioned in any context anywhere in Mage 2e; mages apparently have no idea it exists and would have no context for it if they did.



Generally speaking, this is a rehash of the ephemera rules from the core. There's some notable exceptions, however, that we should mention.



First, on Essence and Mana. Ephemeral entities use Essence, Supernal ones use Mana. Ephemeral beings must spend 1 Essence each day in the material world to remain active, or else they go into hibernation. Goetia and Spirits are pushed to their home realm, while ghosts are forced to the Underworld if they have no Anchors left, but instead reform at the nearest Anchor otherwise. Supernal beings need not spend Mana to remain active but have a very limited lifespan anyway. In its home realm, a Goetia, ghost or Supernal entity will regain (Rank) Essence/Mana per day. Spirits do not. Spirits, ghosts and Goetia without a suitable manifestation Condition bleed one Essence per hour instead of per day, and if they run out of Essence they bleed Lethal damage instead. Supernal entities always bleed out lethal damage.

Oh, and the Familiar condition is finally defined. A Familiar can use any other Manifestations freely, but does not suffer Essence bleed at all. They and the bonded mage have Connected Sympathy and may use each others senses reflexively. Casting through these senses is remote viewing but does not require Sympathetic range. A familiar and its master can pass Essence or Mana to each other, converting the one to the other. However, any conversion loses 1 point - so giving three Essence into Mana causes the mage to get 2 Mana, while passing 4 Mana to Essence causes the spirit to get 3 Essence. If a familiar is discorporated, it reforms at a location bearing the mage's Signature Nimbus. Either party may end the Familiar bond at will.

That was short, so let's talk about specific places now! London's first. London has its own mage population, plus a lot of mage tourists who come in seeking its mysteries. The entire place is a maze of bus routes, walking paths and the Tube, and it's a running gag among local mages to claim that all of the taxi drivers are Proximi with an affinity for Pandemonium. The important takeaway, however, is that High Speech can be found anywhere in London - etched on buildings, flashing in neon signs, hidden in street art, written under cobblestones. The way the roads are set up, there's an infinite number of possible paths through London, and these paths have shown a tendency to write out High Speech words. Not all of these are runes, but the mages of London have dubbed these routes Runewalks. Wheb a mage walks them intentionally, they usually get a magical outcome related to what they hope for. Walk a healing symbol will strengthen a healing spell. Ride the Underground in the symbol of the word for clarity, you get inspiration for problems. However, you have to mark the trail somehow for it to work. Breadcrumb trails, mark buildings with chalk, touch every lamppost on the way, swipe your Tube card, repurpose a fitness tracking app.

The problem is, you can also trace a Runewalk accidentally or purposelessly, and this often has surprising results. Some mages go on unfocused Runewalks when they're out of ideas for a problem's solution, trusting in the Supernal to guide them. Others do it out of sheer curiosity to see how the trail will affect them. Walk the Death rune and maybe you help a dying man find closure. Go on a pub crawl and end up condensing a week's worth of drinking into one night by walking the rune for 'water of life'. But sometimes, a Runewalk has tragic results. Unwittingly trigger the word 'lightning' and maybe you get struck from a clear sky. Or maybe you take out power in a three block radius. Sleeper memories of these events tend to be inconsistent - they remember a transformer blowing, maybe, for lightning guy. Trace out the rage rune and cause a bar brawl, no one remembers exactly what caused the fight save that it was an insult and they all heard it. Some hold that Runewalks are derived from subconscious desires manifesting in the presence of High Speech. Others believe the hidden symbols act as a guide, pushing you down a path once you start. The Orders keep libraries of successful Runewalks, which have been happening for centuries. It used to be hard for the Nameless to access these, but now there's whole websites dedicated to sharing these paths. However, following a route rarely yields the same results from mage to mage. In fact, two people can walk a Rune together and have different results - or the same ones. No clear pattern.

Runewalks have the same effect on Sleepers as seeing High Speech - that is, nothing. Sleepwalkers, however, can experience a Runewalk on a smaller scale. They may feel energized, joining a mage walking a healing symbol. Banishers and Seers have also been known to plant false paths or flawed routes for Order mages to find, sketched on napkins or posted online with throwaway accounts. At least one Seer with municipal power has tried to destroy a Runewalk before via mundane means - blocking off intersections and so on. The Consilium of London employs several cabals to watch out for this kind of thing and spread the word to the Orders and Nameless alike.

I'm gonna skim over the local politics - get the book yourself for that. I'm just sharing cool magic stuff. Off to LA! Mages know it as the city of dreams, more tied to the Astral tha practically anywhere else. Occasionally, parts of the Temenos become visible there. Everyone can see it, and it doesn't cause Quiescence. This is always noncorporeal, and photos tend to be blurred and unrecognizable. Most never appear more than once. One, however, appears a lot: the Lesser Wall, a mural that regularly changes appearance but is always the same size and always has at least one iconic LA image. Mages have seen it all over, and it often has cryptic High Speech messages on it. Sometimes, as before the Rodney King riots, the images on it are prophtic. Goetia also often possess people in LA despite the fact that normally they can't. Hundreds of people make transitory connections to the Astral while high or drunk or delirious, and the Goetia inspire them to speak or shout random phrases. Mind sight reveals that these people, universally, are asleep. Others are possessed by single Goetia, always while intoxicated or sleeping, and always by a Goetia somehow associated with them. Several celebrities have been possessed by legends of themselves, leading to tragic spirals of exaggerated behavior.

Most Sleepers are never aware of this except as reports of sleepwalking. Some, however, retain fragmentary memories. These people, whom mages name Dreamers, tend to believe it's because of mental illness, and they seek help - making it easier for mages to find and study them. Others try to talk to the entity possessing them and often learn how to invite it in and eject it. They may believe it a ghost, an alien or other things. Most dreamers seek out others, joining cults or support groups, including those run by the local Guardians. Oddly, their number seems tied to the local populaton - as more people come to LA, the number of dreamers rises. It was first noticed in the early 1900s, and only a handful got possessed. Now, nearly a thousand people are regularly ridden by Goetia.

Lastly, attempts to visit the Astral from LA seem to be easier, but less reliable. Using a Hallow to enter the Astral from LA costs one less Mana than usual, but when you first enter the Temenos, you must roll Gnosis. Fail, and you don't end up where you expected, instead arriving somewhere vaguely associated with LA or which is appearing in a mirage at present. Parts of LA can also be found in the Temenos, and an entire Astral mirror can be found in the realm called the Metropolis. Some of the murals and mirages of LA also show up in the Temenos, but never less than a day after first appearing in the city.

Next time: Salamanca and Tokyo

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:





Planescape Monstrous Compendium: Animal Lords and Gehreleths


These two mega-entries are small, so I’m going to mash them together. Animal Lords (18000 xp) are quasi-powers, and are gods for animals. The Compendium says that the four Animal Lords provided are just examples, and there are in fact Animal Lords for every variety of animal. The :spergin: nitpicker in me wonders if that means an Animal Lord for each species, genus, family or whatever. If I had to rule on it, I’d say that if there’s a stat-block in the MM for it, it gets its own Animal Lord.


All Animal Lords share common properties. They can take either the form of their respective animal or humanoid form. When appearing as the latter they look vaguely like the animal they’re lording. Their fighting style and form is based on their animal in both forms. Every Animal Lord have a small suite of spell-like abilities and are immune to “charm-related” spells, which is a much more succinct than listing out every different effect like it does with Planetar and Solar. Animal Lords can summon 2d6 animals of their type 3 times per day, and get enhanced senses based on their type. Despite living in the Beastlands, Animals Lords are Neutral and for the most part are concerned only with the affairs of their animals. As with combat, an Animal Lord’s personality is related to what animal they represent.





A Cat Lord fights with a Long Sword of Wounding or throws +2 Darts (which get +3 to hit thanks to their dexterity). In animal form, they appear as a black panther and get attacks as such. Cat Lords have the most fluff written about them. Cat Lords are involved with protecting both wild and domestic cats, and their charisma is dependent on how people feel about cats. Which...I’m pretty sure is not how Charisma works even in the turbulent times of 2nd Edition.





Hawk Lords are really bad at fighting in human form, although they can cast Charm Person 7/day. I suppose that’s balanced by their animal form having flight. Unlike other Animal Lords, Hawk Lords enjoy interacting with humans.





In contrast, Lizard Lords rarely interact with humans. In human form, they rely on a gaze attack that forces a Spell Save a -3 or makes the victim susceptible to the Lizard Lord’s suggestion. In animal form they appear as a giant gila monster or komodo dragon. Despite the former appearance they don’t get poison. Instead, on a natural 20 their bite does double damage and grabs the target, doing normal damage automatically on subsequent turns.





Finally, Wolf Lords always transform into animal form in combat, but it still mentions that they have a poison dagger. In animal form they get two bite attacks per turn and are immune to non-magical weapons.


The main strength of Animal Lords is they have 15HD and a 5 THAC0. By comparison, a Pit Fiend has 13HD and 7 THAC0 (although is that with or without their Strength score factored in? :iiam:). Honestly, I find Animal Lords uninteresting, especially compared to so many other creatures in this MC. So let’s move on.


Gehreleth are a fiendish race native to Carceri. There is a long fluf section that describes the peculiarities of the three different species, but the most important part is that the Gehreleth are followers of a quasi-power named Apomps. Each Gehreleth wears a necklace with an obsidian triangle that supposedly links them to the memory of every other Gehreleth. Gehreleth spawn from the bodies of travellers that died on Carceri. There are exactly 3,333 of each type, although when the Blood War is at its strongest this number doubles. When a Faratsu dies, a new one spawns from a corpse. When a higher tier Gehreleth dies, a lower one gets promoted at random. Like other Fiends, Gehreleth have a chance to summon their brethren.


Jrevis, a Faratsu, to a Clueless Prime before he ate him posted:

Oy! What’re yer lookin’ at, berk? Yer ain’t so sweet yerself!





Faratsu (14000 xp) have 19 strength and prefer melee combat to using their spell-like abilities. After six rounds of combat they enter a battle frenzy, which doubles their number of normal attacks and give +2 bonus to attack. Faratsu has slightly sticky skin, so they have a bunch of complex rules on opponents and weapons getting stuck. They have a few spell-like abilities that have limited usefulness and are immune to illusions and phantasms.





Kelubar (17000 xp) are known as “Slime Gehreleth” because they exude slime that smells awful. Anyone within 30 feet must make a Poison Save or be incapacitated for 1d10 rounds. They have 20 strength. Kelubar’s demon-sweat adds 1d6 poison damage to their melee attacks (save for half). They get a couple of spell-like abilities in addition to the ones listed for the Faratsu, Kelubar can cast Spider Climb (even though they have wings) and Ray of Enfeeblement 1/day.


Talaf the Slimer, coming upon a lost adventurer in Carceri posted:

What’s that I spy in the dark? A lonely little elf? Perhaps I can be of assistance...





Shator (22000 xp) are the nobility of Carceri (or at least the Gehreleths). They have 21 strength and a +2 on surprise rolls. In addition to claws and bite Shator carry weapons which have a 45% chance of being magical. The text says they prefer magic in combat, although they limited selection: Beguiling (as the Rod of Beguiling) 1/day, Ray of Enfeeblement 3/day, Cloudkill 1/day and Stinking Cloud 3/day.


Gehreleth are strange for a fiend race-they never fight amongst each other. Gehreleth have a class system, despite there being equal numbers of each species. Gehreleth are the summoning stock of the Lower Planes, but they are dangerous because they are vengeful and have a tendency to disobey orders (especially Faratsu).


I like Gehreleth, but I feel they need some reworking of the fluff. I don’t necessarily mind the fluff and mechanics not lining up, because the stats purpose are for the PCs to fight them, not to simulate battles between them. But more than the Yugoloth, Gehreleth feel like a real stretch for why they haven’t been wiped out. The Yugoloth, at least, explains that they play the Baatezu and Tanar’ri against each other. The Gehreleth attack everyone, and with their low numbers, all it takes is one Abyssal Lord to get sick of their bullshit.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Idunno why, but the Cat Lord illustration is iconic to Planescape to me. Did they use that to advertise it a lot?

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Since they spawn out of corpses, I guess the Gehreleth are going to exist as long as there are dead bodies on Carceri. You can kill them all and they'll just grow back in a few years.

I'd ask why they're giving numbers to species from places that are supposed to be infinite in size, but it was the '90's.

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



It never fails to mildly irritate me that the Cat Lord got turned female for this book. The original Cat Lord (from 1E's Monster Manual II) was male, and it just feels terribly cliched to me that anything cat-related MUST be female.

(Looking around, I see that 3.5's Epic Level Handbook brought back the Cat Lord as a male. Maybe the Cat Lord can just change genders at will?)

Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





The Planescape Cat Lord and the Greyhawk Cat Lord are two different beings. The latter has nothing to do with the large animal lord group.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Check your campaign setting, catlord.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

by many accounts a diligent administrator and manager who was instrumental in increasing industrial productivity during the war

Lipstick Apathy

theironjef posted:

We made another Afterthought, this one sure to go down in our own memories (because these things started to blur together way back before we had hit 100+ episodes) as the one with the Rush Limbaugh opening. It's a brief defense of the noble shitfarmer and a bunch of questions on Afterthought 32 - Hiro Protagonist (note, there is no Neal Stephenson stuff).

Monopoly Munchkin/Munchkin Monopoly was good, but I have another idea ...

... Munchkin d20

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Rand Brittain posted:

Once upon a time, Mystra decided that if she wasn't careful, the knowledge of magic might die out altogether! So, she decided to appoint a special mortal champion who would make sure that knowledge was always available. She gave that champion special powers, and a bunch of cool perks! Then she decided that the office of Magister would be transferred to whoever killed the previous Magister.

There then follow the histories of all the Magisters, and they are basically all "and then he spent the rest of his life in hiding and flight from all the people out to kill him and steal his job."

When did Terry Pratchett write D&D sourcebooks?

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

Mystra also handed out chosen status pretty frequently, even to people who lacked the mental fortitude to stay sane from reading a punctuation error.

This really does sound like Discworld, doesn't it?

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


Kavak posted:

Since they spawn out of corpses, I guess the Gehreleth are going to exist as long as there are dead bodies on Carceri. You can kill them all and they'll just grow back in a few years.

Maybe, but it may be possible to kill them permanently by getting rid of Apomps. Or it may not, but I'd think one of the larger factions would try.

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 18:57 on May 21, 2016

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




SirPhoebos posted:

Maybe, but it may be possible to kill them personally by getting rid of Apomps. Or it may not, but I'd think one of the larger factions would try.

Is Apomps detailed anywhere? I guess it could also be that Carceri sucks so much that not even the Tanar'ri want to bother cleaning house there. Do gehreleths do anything to the rest of the planes besides make sucky summons?

Doresh posted:

This really does sound like Discworld, doesn't it?

Wizards have no sense of right and wrong, so it would follow that their god would be the epitome of that.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


Selachian posted:

It never fails to mildly irritate me that the Cat Lord got turned female for this book. The original Cat Lord (from 1E's Monster Manual II) was male, and it just feels terribly cliched to me that anything cat-related MUST be female.

You've got DiTerlizzi to blame for that one. After his success reinventing the modrons he was given free rein to reinvent some of the other creatures from the MM. He thought the cat lord would be "more interesting" as a woman, so *zap* there she is.

Halloween Jack posted:

Idunno why, but the Cat Lord illustration is iconic to Planescape to me. Did they use that to advertise it a lot?

I don't know, but I feel the same. I think in my case it might be because I got into Planescape via the Blood War card game, and the three illustrations I remember from that are Pazuzu, the marut, and the cat lord.

Or maybe it's just because she's a well-realised hot woman. v:shobon:v

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


Kavak posted:

Is Apomps detailed anywhere? I guess it could also be that Carceri sucks so much that not even the Tanar'ri want to bother cleaning house there. Do gehreleths do anything to the rest of the planes besides make sucky summons?

Later on they keep interfering with the Yugoloth's attempt to build their super-cool clubhouse in Carceri. And because the 'loths want to keep their project a secret, they can't plop down a huge army to stop them.

EDIT: Later books give the implication that Apomps is a rogue Baernoloth. Those guys are stated out in the Planes of Conflict box set, so I suppose you could use that as a jumping off point.

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 18:32 on May 18, 2016

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Maybe I'm missing the forest for the trees here, but the Yugoloth seem like they were kinda just tossed out there to fill the Neutral Evil box on the alignment chart. I like most of the illustrations, though; their combination of humanoid and animal traits is more in line with what I expect from medieval demonology than the other fiends. The Dergholoth looks like something out of a Bosch painting.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:


^At least initially that's probably correct. Later Planescape books expand on their role in the Blood War and the rest of the Planes. Just in this book, one distinction you can see is unlike Baatezu or Tanar'ri, the Yugoloth don't create new members of their race from damned souls. So 'loths don't have a base asking price for them to deal with mortals. They still want to screw you over, but that's because they're jerks, not because they have a quota to fill.

Kavak posted:

I'd ask why they're giving numbers to species from places that are supposed to be infinite in size, but it was the '90's.

As for this part of your question, it's because the stats for many of these monsters were written well before the setting was really thought through. Stuff like only 1,000 Osyluth to police all of Baator, or an entire species of Tanar'ri dedicated to judging souls are effects of someone writing a monster entry without thinking how they'd fit into a campaign setting set on the Outer Planes.

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS


gradenko_2000 posted:

Monopoly Munchkin/Munchkin Monopoly was good, but I have another idea ...

... Munchkin d20

You joke, but that's happened, and I could swear it got written up in this thread.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me! :swoon:




Planescape Monstrous Companion: Mephits

Mephits (420 xp) are the messengers and go-fors of powerful planar creatures (mostly the evil-inclined ones). They come in 16 variety, each named after an Elemental, Paraelemental or Quasielemental Plane (except Vacumm; the Plane of Steam provides Steam and Mist Mephits). All variety of Mephit fight with their claws and a breath weapon of their type. They also have a 25% chance to Gate Mephits of their type (some Mephits can Gate certain other types too). A Mephit can heal 1 hp per turn when in contact with the appropriate element.



Mephits are sycophantic assholes. To their superiors, they are groveling craven, and highly annoying (although they never betray their creators). Towards weaker creatures or other Mephits, they take up an air of authority and heavily brag up their accomplishments. This can lead to awkward moments for them, as the flavor quotes in the book highlight:

Zaebos, a member of the Dark Eight, upon resuming his true Pit Fiend Form posted:

Abernathanorial, Ditch Queen, Doom of Dryads, Dearth of Light, Mephit of Darkest Smoke posted:

Foolish human! Know you not that I am feared among mankind? Bow down and cower!
Yeah, right.

Not surprisingly, Mephits live short, troublesome lives. One cool detail is that they like to smoke pipe tobacco. A dumber detail is that mages on the Lower Planes send Mephits to enemies as “gifts” that imply messages, and the type of message depends on the Mephit sent. For example, sending an Ice Mephit means the recipient is forbidden to enter one’s home. This part makes me think of the part in the Jedi Prince young adult books where the lead Dark Side prophet was crushing colored paintballs to deliver strangely specific messages. The ecology actually provides rules for creating Mephits, although I don’t think the process would work on Lower Planes because of the restrictions to casting on the Outer Planes. Oh and despite tormenting helpless creatures and settling disputes with games of tug-of-demihuman, Mephits are Neutral alignment.

Aside from these generalities, Mephits have personalities based on their type. It’s typical elemental tropes. Air Mephits are fickle and empty headed, Earth Mephits are stubborn and humorless, and so on. It gets more creative with the more obscure types. Radiance Mephits are permanently stoned. Salt Mephits have sarcastic wit. Smoke Mephits are loafers and tell bad jokes about their creator. Each Mephit type has slightly different abilities in combat. Finally, the Ecology section suggests how wizards use Mephits for what are essentially modern household appliances, which I feel doesn’t really fit the setting because it reduces the fantastic parts into really mundane effects.



Air Mephits have a single-target breath weapon with a 10 foot range they can use every other round, but needs to fuel it with grit and small debris (1d6 damage). They can cast Blur 1/hour and Gust of Wind 1/day. In a vacuum, Air Mephits die instantly

Smoke Mephits fire a sooty ball every other round that has a 20 foot range and does 1d4 damage and blind for 1d2 round. They can cast Invisibility and Dancing Lights 1/day. On death, they explode doing 1 damage to everyone within 10 feet.



Once per day, an Earth Mephit can grow to L size for 1 turn, increasing their fist damage from 1d4 to 2d6. 3/day, they can spit a rock with 15 foot range. They can use it beyond three times, but doing so causes 2 damage. Passwall and Transmute Wall to Mud instantly destroy Earth Mephit.

An Ooze Mephit’s breath weapon is a Stinking Cloud effect of 10 foot radius. Transmute Mud to Rock instantly destroys them.



Fire Mephit actually get a proper breath weapon with a 15 range and 1 foot radius, which they can use 3/day. It does 1d8+1 damage (Breath Save for half). Alternatively, the Fire Mephit can breath the fire in a 120 degree out to 5 feet which does 4 damage (no save). Fire Mephit can cast Magic Missile (2 missiles) and Heat Metal 1/day.

Radiant Mephit can cast Color Spray 1/day. They are immune to all spells that affect or work through vision, but they are not allowed to save against mind-affecting spells. Also, “unless directly attacked, they usually become distracted and forget their opponents.”



The writers forget to give the range of a Water Mephits breath weapon, which does 2d4 damage for 2 turns (save for half). They are immune to fire, but take double cold damage

An Ice Mephit’s touch imposes a cumulative -1 to hit penalty, up to -3, for 3 turns. They can shoot a volley of ice shards 3/day at one target (1d6, save for half). They are immune to cold, but take full damage from fire and heat.



Dust Mephit can create a cloud of dust with a 15 foot radius 3/days. The cloud lowers AC by 4 and imposes a -2 to hit (save to avoid). They take max damage from water or wind attacks.

Both the claw attacks and breath weapon of Salt Mephits are very painful. Aside from the damage, victims must make a Paralyzation Save or be stunned for 1d2 rounds. They can cast Taunt 1/day. Ice Mephit take max damage from water attacks, and even normal water does 1 point of damage per round of contact.




For Lightning Mephits, the book says it works like the Lightning Bolt spell 3/day, but then specifies how it doesn’t work like it (3d6, 1 target only). Attacking a Lightning Mephit with metal non-magical weapons and may shock the attacker (save or 1d3). Lightning’s are instantly destroyed by being doused in liquid (at least 5 gallons). They fully regenerate from contact with an electrical source.

Mineral Mephit have a 10 foot radius Glitterdust as their breath weapon, which they can use 3/day. They can move through stone walls of up to 1 foot. Passwall or Transmute Rock to Mud instantly destroy them.



A Magma Mephit has the strongest claw attack (1d8+1 each) and can destroy most non-magical material in 3 rounds. They can fire a blob of lava every 3 rounds for 1d6 damage, 10 range. Magma Mephit can shapechange into a pool of Magma.

Ash Mephit, according to the combat text, cannot claw or bite, but the stat block lists normal attacks anyway. Their breath weapon is a 10’ radius 1d6 (save half), but it costs 1 hp every time they use it. Once per day, an Ash Mephit “can harangue good and neutral creatures with a lengthy recitation of its woes.” This works as Leomund’s Lamentable Belaborment.



Mist Mephit breath a ball of poison mist every other round, up to 3/day. It does 1d4+1 damage and blinds for 1d4 rounds (Poison Save to avoid). Mist Mephit can cast Wall of Fog and Gaseous Form 1/day.

A Steam Mephit’s claw attacks and breath weapon have a 50% chance to stun a target for 1 round (this effect is cumulative). Their breath weapon can be used every other round, and has 20 foot range and does 1d3. Once per day, a Steam Mephit can create a rainstorm of boiling hot water over a 20x20 area. This does 2d6 damage, no save. Finally, they can cast Putrefy Food and Drink 1/day.

Next time: Frog Drugs

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




SirPhoebos posted:

Later on they keep interfering with the Yugoloth's attempt to build their super-cool clubhouse in Carceri. And because the 'loths want to keep their project a secret, they can't plop down a huge army to stop them.

EDIT: Later books give the implication that Apomps is a rogue Baernoloth. Those guys are stated out in the Planes of Conflict box set, so I suppose you could use that as a jumping off point.

Well then build it somewhere else. What the hell is a Baernoloth, anyway?

Side question: Each of the Lower Planes seems to have a decent theme going, but what's Gehenna's deal? It seems like its solely meant to contain all the Neutral Evil deities that don't fit in the entropy and suck of the Gray Wastes, like Bhaal.

EDIT: Mephits as appliances and messages is one of those things that seems cool until you think about how any of that would actually work or what it'd look like. And what's the difference between Vacuum and Negative Energy?

Kavak fucked around with this message at 19:17 on May 18, 2016

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Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Doresh posted:

When did Terry Pratchett write D&D sourcebooks?

The thing is, the book doesn't think of it as funny. At no point did the author catch on that the office of Magister is a cruel joke that does nothing to accomplish Mystra's supposed objectives in creating it.

Sammaster going mad over commas is an even longer and weirder story, because in fact the comma thing happened after he was already insane for completely unrelated reasons, some of them good reasons, some of them involving hitting Mystra's friend-zone. More importantly, one of the reasons was "Elminster was a curmudgeon to him", and I like to think that a lot of the card-carrying villains in the Realms turned to the dark side purely because Elminster pulled his hilarious-old-jerk routine once too often.

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