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[Let's Read] AD&D 2e Spelljammer Monstrous Compendium Appendix

Topher

Member
RPGnet Member
Banned
I hope the thread lasts long enough to get to Witchlight Marauders (which I would love to see a 4E conversion of someday).

Topher
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Delphinid

Next is the delphinid. I sense one of those articles written by PETA girl (we had that quite a few times in the original Let's Read thread) with a cutsy little Space Flipper which



OMG look at that face!

That thing is strait from the abyss! Look at it... six jaws, three eyes... what an abomination.
Anyway, delphinids are space dolphin swimming through the phlogiston (that's the medium between planets). They are chaotic good. Wait, what? That has to be a missprint. They clearly meant chaotic EVIL. Which nonevil creature needs not one mouth but three to ensure everyone of its victims dies slowly and in agony, being painfully chewed to death by hundreds of teeth?

So, let's read the first sentences of the description:

These friendly beasts swim harmlessly through the phlogiston. They have on occasion been known to help stranded travelers.
Next missprint. What they meant was of course that they pretent to help stranded travellers to rip out their throat at the first chance. How would they help stranded travellers anyway? Carry them to the next planet and drop them of? This is space, not the ocean. There's no beach. Okay, they might bring them back to the ship, but



AARRRGH THOSE EYES!
Nightmares guranted for the next days. Thanks you very much.

Each delphinid has its own personality, While they travel together in a school, there does not appear to be a leader. Each delphinid does as it pleases. The group tends to follow the one with the idea of the moment.
Yeah. Sure. This is space, not candyland or Delphinid Socialist Hippie Utopia. You can't just swim through phlogiston and be nice to everybody. You can be glad if there're enough stranded sailors to eat and you don't have to eat your own kind. And one more thing about the body: the MCA says it's "trilateral". Wouldn't that mean that the mouth(es?) should be around the had, not in a row? Uh... maybe that would be too much for the authors to stomach. I guess they came up with the trilateral symmetry to make the delphinid different from regular dolphins. So this



AH! MAKE IT GO AWAY!
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Does it mention their diet? I think of wildspace as a Chile like desert- little bits of food here and there but not nearly enough for all the critters that live in it.
 

Ranger7

Lost in space
Validated User
A second vote for the Witchlight marauders! Love those buggers.

I wonder if anyone will ever pick up (or be allowed to pick up) the rights to Spelljammer again. If they did produce it in 4th ed or Pathfinder I'd grab it.
 

DarkTouch

Retired User
I wonder if anyone will ever pick up (or be allowed to pick up) the rights to Spelljammer again. If they did produce it in 4th ed or Pathfinder I'd grab it.
There are at least two Spelljammer-like Supplements for Pathfinder in the works that I know of. How close they'll be able to get to the original spelljammer is questionable due to rights and whatever. We'll see when it comes out.

Spelljamming(of a sort) is a default assumption in the 4th Edition Planes. It is sort of a cross between Planescape and Spelljammer where if you want to hop out to the outer planes then you're probably taking a spelljammer from outer plane planetoid to planetoid while sailing around in the astral sea. I really have to assume that there are a bunch of non-diety held planetoids out there to make any sort of trade worth while. You can also hypothetically keep sailing in one direction long enough and eventually hit an entirely different system with a whole different set of gods.
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Does it mention their diet? I think of wildspace as a Chile like desert- little bits of food here and there but not nearly enough for all the critters that live in it.
The ecology section mentions that delphinids are omnivorous (because they can't be picky in space) and specifically like fruit sailors feed to them. Yeah, another attempt to convince us that they are harmless. It's pretty obvious that they prefer fresh, bloody meat. ;)

The general problem with the space mammals is that someone has to bring food from planets into space, because this is the only way to add energy to the system (as space plants aren't mentioned AFAIK). But again, the whole crystal sphere phlogiston was made of handwavium to begin with.


Spelljamming(of a sort) is a default assumption in the 4th Edition Planes.
I think both 3.xe and 4e had rules for spelljammer ships (or at least one of them).
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Dizantar

The dizantar is a humanoid in samurai-style spiky armour wielding a halberd. Its (his?) true form is unknown, as it disintegrates ashes right after being killed. They have only three fingers (although the picture shows four), so sages assume they’re not human. The dizantar like to hunt arcanes.

And that’s it.

Origin? Unknown (maybe an ancient race… oh, we already had that like, what, five times?). Diet? Unknown. Means of reproduction? Unknown. Reason they hunt arcanes? Unknown. Language? Well, common & dizantar.

The thing with arcanes (who are said to hire bodyguards when they are hunted by a dizantar) is a plot hook, but having to defend someone against a race whose entire purpose of existence seems to be to hunt that someone is a bit lame.
And meeting a dizantar (which will be solitary) in combat is no fun: an armour class of -3, a THAC0 of 13, 20% magic resistance, eight hit dice, a morale of 20 (fearless) and 7 – 16 damage per attack make it quite a challenge. It also has dimension door, the armour can do spike damage, it detects magic and illusion, rips through magic armour with no penalty and can magically detect an attacker over a long distance. And exceptional intelligence, so don’t think about trying to trick it. An instakill attack is really everything it lacks.

At the point were the encounter with the dizantar will not result in an instant TPK much more interesting enemies will be available. Young dragons for example. That’s maybe because a single dizantar can kick a young dragon’s butt pretty hard, and I#m not exaggerating here.

All in all I don’t like the dizantar. No background, vague goals, no motive, too strong, generic looks.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Wait until you get to the zodar. It is just as lame and many times more powerful.
 
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CaliberX

Registered User
Validated User
It says they turn to ash upon death, but maybe ash is all that was in there to begin with. Arcanes are happy to buy magical items; maybe Dizantars are one purchase they regret? We're talking the worse suit of cursed armor anyone had the unluck to struggle into here.
 
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