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Monday, November 2, 2009

Living Weapons

The aquatic races of the deep caverns and caves suffer grave handicaps when it comes to weaponry. The lack of wood and inability to work metal underwater has led to the use of bone as a primary construction material and toxic, venomous, or just plain nasty creatures as the damage dealing component. Because of water resistance thrusting weapons are preferred, so most Living Weapons are spear-like, consisting of four to six foot long shaft tipped with a cluster of curved spikes, which hold the weapon's living payload. Each weapon is "primed" with one of the following creatures:
  • Razor Nautilus - Normally these fist-sized predators scour the deep cracks and crevices of the subterranean aquatic realm, grabbing their prey with strong sucker and claw equipped tentacles. When used as a Living Weapons the creatures grab the target and attach themselves with their strong tentacles, causing a Good wound on impact and continuing to inflict Fair damage each subsequent round. In addition they release a cloud of inky black dye, which obscures vision if underwater, or stains anything it comes in contact with black if on land. The Razor Nautilus can survive for one hour out of water. It has a tough shell providing Great defense.
  • Venom Stars - These multi-armed creatures are covered with a thick coat of venomous spines and have excrete a strong digestive acid. When used as a Living Weapon the creature grabs the target and immediately belches forth a Fair strength acid that eats through wood, metal and flesh, inflicting Fair damage and searing pain each round. Attempts to remove the creature are met by sharp spines, which inject a paralyzing neurotoxin into any flesh that comes in contact with them (Great test of resistance to avoid the effects). Venom Stars can survive for hours out of water.
  • Stoneshell Crabs - Thick-shelled crustaceans with strong, sharp claws, Stoneshells inflict Good slashing wounds with each attack. Unlike other Living Weapons Stoneshells are tied to the weapon shaft, so they can be used repeatedly. Stoneshells are shore-dwellers, so they can survive for extended periods out of the water. They have Superb toughness due to their thick shells.
Races that use Living Weapons often keep several at hand, sticking the butt of the spear-shaft into the lake bottom if underwater, or using keeping the creature in a small barrel of water if on land. The Razor Nautilus and Venom Star are used as first strike weapons. Once they've attached themselves to a target the combatant switches to a Stoneshell, or a simple shell tipped spear.
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