[Let's Read] D&D 4e Monster Manual 2?

Ragnarok Engine again, re Owlalisks: whoa! It’s an owlalisk! I’d have used an extra owl, myself, but that is quite the hybrid. Is this Chaositech full of stuff like that?
Chaositech doesn't entirely hang together, but it is chock-full of wonderful bits to scavenge. It is meant as a sourcebook for cults of True Chaos, which is what you would get if Warhammer's Chaos Cultists worshiped a set of deities that were more Lovecraft (by way of Clark Ashton Smith) and less Heavy Metal magazine. Over-the-top gonzo, aims for a lot of Clive Barker body horror and careens past it into silly.

In addition to fluff on possible cults and some new Chaos-inspired spells, the bulk of the book is dedicated to the titular Chaositech, a good 50 pages of weird and alien technology. Weirdtech guns and bombs, symbiotic implants, crude surgical cyborgery, everything under the sun. Except somehow it's not Technology per se, it's Chaotic and antithetical to Law. Yeah. And learning how to build and implant it drives you insane over time.

The last few chapters include rules for mutation (including templates that can be applied to creatures or PCs), with a version of Warhammer's ever-popular Random Mutation Tables and a chapter of monstrous foes. The monster chapter concentrates on the Galchutt, the category of monsters that are to True Chaos what Demons and Devils are to their respective alignments.

This chapter also gives us a number of wonderful templates, like the Fused Aberration template used to build the Owlalisk. Other wonderful templates include Chaos-Altered Creature (a creature that has been subjected to Chaos Surgery to "improve" it and add weird tech from the previous chapter, the example is an Owlbear with bone lacing and a blinding ray gun!) and Chaosamaton (a template for turning a set of creature stats into a completely mechanical (but somehow still "chaotic") clockwork monstrosity. The example here is a clockwork Purple Worm with a Disintegration beam in its head!)

There is a whole lot of awesomeness in this book, but it's so scrambled together and confused that it gets nonsensical. I had planned to split it out and use the Chaos Cults, Mutations, and Galchutt as one threat and the Chaositech (stripped of some of the anti-Law nonsense) and weird creature templates as another, possibly as the foot soldiers and technology of a Neogi invasion from the stars. It's a 3.X book full of crunch, so it would be difficult to use as much more than a source of inspiration for 4E.
 
>>Says he'll have another thread post before Monday
>>Last post was 2 years ago.
Feels bad man.

In all due seriousness though, anybody willing to restart this thread? I kinda liked where it was going. I'd be willing to do it, but I don't think I'm smart enough or a close enough reader for that.
 
Well, nobody bit. So I'll just take on the task of continuing this thread myself! Now I must tell you, I don't know much about D&D math, so I'll only touch lightly on the actual mechanics and focus more on the fluff.Now that we've got that out of the way, let's dig into:

Beholders: Everyone's favorite non Open Game Content!

Yep, if there's one monster iconic to D&D, it's definitely the beholder, these good ol' xenophobic flying murderous eyeballheads. D&D has some pretty weird iconic monsters. Let's take a look at them!

Gauth: Bbecause Heroic Tier PCs gotta have something to fight

Basically, a weaker, tinier beholder meant for Heroic Tier DMs who gotta have a Beholder fight, but don't want the results to remind them of "Steamroller Vs. 4th Grader". I believe these schmucks were around since 2e, and are the product of the same made of thought that gave us the Firedrake and the Stone Man. Even the fluff says it rides on its less crappy counterpart's coattails to bully lesser creatures (Presumably ones too dumb to wonder why this beholder is an awful lot smaller than the other kind).

The Lore seems to support this, saying that it's cowardly and relies on allies and slaves to protect it, but it will screw over those "allies" at a moments notice to save its own bacon. There's something symbolically rich about the fact that the Gauth seems to reveal what a beholder is when stripped of all its grand power, a smug; selfish little tyrant.

The sample encounters show it hanging around with goblins, but I can totally see it as the tinpot dictator of some small humanoid village, manipulating the peasants for some grandiose/way out of his league scheme. I can also see the little bastards being press-ganged by bigger, nastier Beholders as their minions.

Beholder Eye Of Frost: Let's kick some Ice!

Okay, I had to. If I ever used this guy in a game, I'd keep making him spew Mr. Freeze-style ice puns until the players started to throw things.but that's just me, and I digress.

Anyway, the Fluff says that this guy is just as big a jerk as the other Beholders, but it's also a lot more impulsive, living for the moment instead of concentrating on long-term plans. This seems to give it a thematic similarity to the similarly impulsive White Dragon, but I don't know how intentional that was. I do think that that could work as a story hook for a White Dragon/Eye of Frost villain team up founded out of mutual respect (Well as much respect as a xenophobic eyeball face and a crazy flying mammal lizard can have for each other).

Anyhoo, most of its attacks involve various ways of turning you into a popsicle, and its lore has a few tidbits in it. First piece of lore is that they prefer to live in cold places, which is right up there in lore with "Bear Lore DC 45: Bears #$*% in the woods." But there also is something else interesting in there. It says that they work for such nasties as Ice Archons, Frost Giants and Oni, but they don't really like them much. They just work with them so they can hurt people.

This, to me, seems like it could present an opportunity for a party to try and recruit them by telling them they can cause a lot more mayhem by workign with the party. That could be fun, in a Make-the-DM-cry sense.

Well, this post is getting a bit long, so I'll split it up. I hope you guys like this, and I hope I don't get lazy and shirk my duties on it!
 
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