[All] Fantastic Elements 2- even more weirdness

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Sounds like Limbo or chaos storms from Meatlandia for that last one.


After reading about some nifty things squid can do, here are some variants or powers for kraken:

- The abilities to glow and change color. Unlike lesser squid, kraken can produce blinding amounts of light, enough to scare off most ocean creatures and blast undead. Their ability to change color allows them to easily hide in plain sight and as it isn't magical per se, spells such as True Seeing do not reveal the kraken's presence.

- Kraken ink can have many different effects, from emotional rollercoasters* to simulacra of the kraken itself**. It could also create portals to Shadow, allowing the kraken to escape or bring in shadowy sea monster reinforcements.

- Using their jet to knock over ships and destroy docks. Why use fairly fragile arms and tentacles when a blast of water will do?

- Said arms and tentacles have brain tissue, allowing them conscious motion after being severed. This lasts for 1d6 hours. Alien after The Poseidon Adventure.

- The blood of squid has been called icy because of its blue color. It has actual liquid ice (which is not water) and makes chill attack against those who cut or sever its body parts.


Lesser vampires are those undead beings that drain blood, not levels. They have less of the powers of greater vampires and almost none of the weaknesses. Instead they have their own problem- they are strongly influenced by what sorts of blood they consume. If a lesser vampire is forced to drink from an illithid, its skin will turn slimy and discolored and its face will grow short tentacles. (Loosely inspired by Daybreakers.)


* Strangely some real squid ink contains dopamine.

** Scroll to the bottom of this page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudomorph
 

Sanctaphrax

Registred User
Validated User
The idea of spell research for divine casters seems very odd to me. A replacement is to allow clerics to encounter new or unusual phenomena related to their god's portfolio and then use Commune to both tell the divine of the oddity and make a request to replicate it.
It's weaponized syncretism. Gods, and religions, are inherently ill-defined beings with mutable identities. By adding myths to your god's canon and absorbing other religions into your church, you can expand the powers available to your god.

A slightly misspoken word with so much potential- dinosword. Blades that turn into prehistoric creatures or blades wielded by such beasts?
It's actually a t-rex head on a handle. Bites on command.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
It's weaponized syncretism. Gods, and religions, are inherently ill-defined beings with mutable identities. By adding myths to your god's canon and absorbing other religions into your church, you can expand the powers available to your god.
That is an excellent clerics (possibly with monks and paladins) campaign. Wander the world, worlds and planes searching for more converts.

It's actually a t-rex head on a handle. Bites on command.
Too many Gravity Falls jokes there.


That lesser vampire weakness could make for a useful flesh golem power.

When a jungle wants revenge, it animates several plants and fuses them together. The creature is a plantform kraken with plant and animal spells in place of fish summoning and weather control. It sounds terrifying from a distance and looks worse when it finally appears.

A merlane creation- a horse or other mount that transforms into a Leomund's Secure Shelter. The more mounts involved, the larger the structure and more amenities will be provided. A more expensive mount will replicate Hidden Lodge.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
A popular curse for necromancers is Nightmarish Form. It turns the victims into what they hate, dread or fear the most.

Basidironds (AD&D 2e MM II or Dragon 337) has spores that cause hallucinations. The descriptions for them, and whatever the DM can come up with, would make for a decent manifestation of Confusion spells and effects.

One nation uses great wards to keep sea monsters from invading the land. They have one unfortunately limitation- the wards don't work within three miles of shore. That means the ports must have significant military support, otherwise they will be lost to whatever sea monsters you use.

Fey lords and ladies can change the allegiance of lesser fae by feeding them his or her blood. So food and drink in fae communities are always suspect and mortal hounds are very popular as they can sniff out the blood whereas fey hounds can not.

Some human-sized fey Reduce themselves so they can live within living trees. If such trees are cut down, the fey's treasures spill out. This has encouraged the idea that leprechauns are more widespread than they really are.

Something in the core of the planet is sending forth veins of precious minerals to draw mortals down into the depths.

One reason that ancient treasures are still in good shape are eternal golems. These constructs have an aura that repairs and maintains non-living goods. In effect it is a Mending spell with a casting time of an hour. So they can't repair everything quickly but everything will be fixed eventually.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Arcane magic is inherently Chaotic. The presence of divine magic allows mortals to use it effectively.

Some locations only allow proprietary light sources to work. This is a major pain in the rear for ruins where all the lights have long since decayed away.

One could use additional wandering monster tables (or additions to existing ones) when the characters perform specific actions, use particular schools of magic, or when monster populations are slain. Examples:

- Wall spells that create physical objects (Stone, Iron, etc.) cause a shockwave through the ground and may draw burrowers that are otherwise too distant to sense the caster.

- Dragon lairs are infested with ethereal filchers waiting for the beast to die. The dragon can sense them and may or may not deal with them from time to time. If the filchers are allowed to start stealing some of the hoard, their predators, also ethereal creatures, will follow them into the lair.

- The party opens a door that has been sealed for 500 years and allows the undead spiders and rats within to escape into the dungeon proper. This isn't a wave of monsters and the characters may not even realize where the new critters came from.

- One or more of the characters bathes in a magical pool and draws the attention of nature spirits. They possess plants and animals and attempt to seduce the bathers to go to the Twilight Lands or kill them if they try to stay in the mortal world.


What might be the purpose of cosmos elementals?
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
The reason the gods do not get their hands dirty is that major interventions result in reality shifts, ones they can't predict.

Some sorcerers have powerful, strong-willed familiars. Sometimes the caster is the master and sometimes the familiar is in control. Use the intelligent magic item rules and increase the ego of the familiar as the caster gains levels.

Some monsters created with my favorite tables:

- A shapeshifter that exchanges its appearance with statues it encounters. This is a constant effect so any time after the first shift a statue will gain the appearance of another statue. This is permanent until dispelled.

- A massive cetacean that hunts during the day, flying in desert skies. It uses a net of solid sound 120' in diameter to entangle its prey.

- A big cat that can bypass non-epic barriers with ease and retain its supernatural ability to balance on anything no smaller than a raindrop.

- The terrestrial kin of the froghemoth is a toad with tentacles for hind legs and a tongue that can smash granite walls. If defeated and not slain, the taodhemoth will grant a Wish or Disjoin a curse.

- A sea mount that provides immunity to weather while moving on the surface but rarely delivers its rider to the right location. It may have celestial blood as its touch harms undead.

- A golem made of mudstone that can track by following trails of dust and other leavings. It can go bezerk like the clay golem and if it does, the mudstone golem will turn into a small sandstorm that is quite difficult to destroy.

- A mass of tentacles that glow with odd shifting patterns. The creature's light show makes it difficult to discern how far away it is, in effect it has displacement though only in one plane. The creature heals when exposed to light based magic and regenerates when exposed to torch light or brighter.

- A salt water fish that causes wooden hulls to grow branches and leaves. It consumes the latter when there is no kelp to be found. Though surface sea faring races aren't fond of them for obvious reasons, those beneath the waves occasionally raise the fish to increase their stocks of lumber.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Every once in a while one gets an idea that could change everything if used well. And now I wish I had gotten this idea years ago, before I wrote Basilisk Goggles.

Magic items that adapt to the physical limitations of their users.

Simple idea that I have never seen before. Yes there is the One Ring changing size and Star's wand changing shape for each wielder, but nothing this extreme.

This allows sword and wand wielding oozes, though they probably won't use them effectively. What the swords and wands would look like, I don't know. But they would not have the form they would take if wielded by humanoids.

For plants that can not physically act, such items could still be used. Most likely they would be entangled in branches or orbiting like ioun stones. And if the plants are mindless, the use of such items would also be random and ineffective.

How would you use this?
 

Sanctaphrax

Registred User
Validated User
Somehow I assumed that was a thing in D&D already. After all, I've never heard of a player needing to get magic armour resized. But now that you mention it, I don't think I've ever seen that privilege extended to nonhumanoids.

Maybe many magic items aren't so much objects as they are concepts. A magic sword isn't really a sword, it's a semi-solid blob of weapon-ness. What kind of weapon it is depends entirely on what the concept of a weapon is to its wielder. Since oozes have no concept of non-natural weaponry, it would integrate itself into their body as a really deadly pseudopod. For a plant it might become a set of implanted metal thorns, for an animal it might become a horn, and for a kraken it might become some kind of spear that straps itself to the end of a tentacle. I'd expect it to get more and more like a body part the dumber the wielder is.

Bonus: the axe guy never gets stuck with a spear.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
I really like that. Some magic items that are stored as oils or your semi-solid blobs that can not be identified only through magic or physical contact add a bit more mystery to magic.


Some oracles are spirits that possess the character asking the questions. This allows direct mental contact and no ambiguities from language. Of course the answers can still be shrouded and unclear.

One pest of the seas are whales that cast illusions. They do so for fun, to entertain themselves and their friends. That occasionally makes navigation difficult depending on what the illusions mimic.

Arcane casters can create offspring by donating caster levels. The more people involved and the more levels invested, the more human-like (or whatever the parent species are) and powerful the resulting child will be.

Trillochs are monsters that act as parasites that feed on death, driving their hosts to kill. How about some variants, ones that drive their hosts to do good deeds, heroics and self sacrifice; to learn everything within a specific field; to rebuild something (culture, object, location) that is long lost; to close the connections to dangerous tangents (the portals no one in their right mind approach); to collect and hoard; to wander reality. Mechanically this would inflict penalties to actions that are not goal oriented and bonuses that are. If the player is unhappy, then they will have to find some way to banish or destroy the trilloch infesting their character. So adventure hooks either way.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
A friend suggested turning those magic item blobs into monster templates. I like the idea of treants wanting Frostbrands so they can put out fires as well as have the other functions of that sort of sword.


There is one very advanced magical nation that hasn't pacified or conquered the world because it is in the middle of a war with demons, aliens or Lovecraftian horrors. Just getting near their borders is asking for mutation or being press ganged into their army. In fact most of their living forces are uplifted animals that did get too close.

The magic in dragons' breath weapons causes seeds or spores to germinate quickly on corpses. The process takes a few hours (weeks for cold), so the draong has enough time to eat choice prey.

One nomadic race needs to use racial memories to navigate in their multi-generational travels. They go around the world literally.

Not too long ago I mentioned the idea of generation ships on a massive world that is mostly ocean. Those ships have extra-dimensional spaces within that hold megadungeons. They may be tests for crew, incursions from other realities meant to stop the migration, or side effects of magical construction.

Some aberrations corrupt clouds to capture and storage for ephemerals, such as emotions or dreams. They are used as weapons in a war in the Astral plane.

One earth elemental has given a tribe of ogres a bit of power (i.e. some of their numbers are witches or warlocks) in exchange for muscle. They are digging deep to open a portal to Earth so that the elemental can sneak into the mortal world so it can start its experiments on infusing living things with different forms of Earth.

Hell captures many living people who try to invade its nations of the damned. One use for them is growing homunculi with various mutations or templates that can be easily summoned by weak diabolists or those who need short term allies. Imps aren't happy with them but aren't in a position to do anything.

Some ideas for magic horseshoes with quirks or curses:

- Noisy and draws more wandering monsters.

- Draws the horse to the closest significant monster.

- Makes the horse eat random objects that it can swallow or chew.

- Horse leaves elemental tracks. These may be subtle and only visible to the wise (i.e. magic users) or not so much, such as the shoes that start fires.

- Rider can not track effectively.

- The rider turns into a horse and horse into new rider.

- The horse runs too fast and rider falls off at great speed.

- The horse slows everyone, thought this is subtle and may not be noticed for a while.

- If the horse stays in a specific location for longer than a day, Plant Growth is applied to the area around where it is kept. This may cause stables and other buildings to collapse as the plants (or fungus) keeps growing day after day.
 
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