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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Beast Constructs

I used these creatures in a campaign a few years back. I removed some of the campaign-specific material from this write-up. Hopefully they still make some sense.

These bizarre creatures are constructed from the dessicated and mummified remains of dead beasts, sewn together and enchanted with necromantic energies; each beast an amalgam of various parts and components from multiple natural creatures. The magical arts involved in creating these hideous creatures are long lost, having died out along with the ancient death-worshiping race that first perfected them. Some rare examples of these beasts live on, guarding the forgotten tombs and temples of this long-lost race.

Beast Constructs are mindless creatures, each a pieced-together horror made up of two or more mundane creatures stitched together with silvery threads of necromantic power. Constructs are generally 'programmed' with a specific task or mission, then left to their own devices. All constructs have the following characteristics:
  • Superb toughness - all constructs gain tremendous physical toughness and vitality from the necromantic processes that create them.
  • Magic resistance - constructs are immune to mind-affecting spells or enchantments.
  • Life detection - the necromantic energies that animate these creatures allows them to accurately sense any living creature within 100 yards.
  • Regeneration - constructs recover from damage at a Fair rate, generally healing all damage within one day.

Some typical constructs include:
  • Hound Serpents - Hound-headed lizard creatures with long slender legs webbed with bat-like wings. Hound Serpents are capable of leaping, gliding flight, and fight with Good bite and claw attacks. Their enchanted fangs paralyze foes who fail to resist their spell.
  • Lion Shells - Tortoise-shelled creatures with the heads of lions, these slow-moving beasts are incredibly tough and emit a terrible roaring noise in addition to a Superb bite attack. Those that succumb to the roaring noise (Good resistance check for anyone within 30 feet) are deafened and confused by the terrible sound.
  • Alligator Hound - These creatures have hyena bodies with one or two alligator heads and a thick reptilian tail. They move with Good speed and attack with Great biting attacks (one per head) and a powerful tail lash (Good damage). Thrice per day the creatures can vomit forth a jet of water 30 feet long and three feet wide. Anyone struck by this powerful stream is knocked prone (Good test of reflexes to avoid).
  • Vulture Serpent - These huge serpents have vestigial wings and an over-sized vulture's head. They attack with a powerful constrictive attack (Good damage each round), and a nasty bite, which transfers one rank of vitality from victim to beast each time it succeeds.

Command Rods

These relics are made from bone and brass. Each consists of a short bone handle fitted with a disc of brass inscribed with a representation of one or more Beast Constructs. These rods grant control over the depicted creature(s), and a Good test of divination magic will reveal the command words required to activate their magics. Each Command Rod will also inflict Legendary damage upon any Beast Construct, but using a Rod in this fashion destroys it.
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