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Old 12-12-2018, 10:13 AM   #1
Shadekeep
 
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Default The Book of Uncommon Beings

I've sent off the early version of The Book of Uncommon Beings to my illustrator, and wanted to share some of the new entries here for your feedback. The book will contain expanded versions of previously posted entries in the Speciation and Titan Slime threads, plus a lot of new beings.

I'll start in the next post with one of the rarest beings that may be encountered - the Tessarachnid. It's a long post because this is a really detailed being, and other posts in this thread will be shorter.

Hope you enjoy, and looking forward to your comments!
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:17 AM   #2
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Tessarachnid

The Tessarachnid is an intelligent spider-like being with the same ability as Mnoren to move between dimensions. They do this by constructing a web in the form of a tesseract, a four-dimensional shape that they can then move along from one three-dimensional space to another. They are distantly related to Gate Spiders, who share some of their space-warping ability, but Tessarachnid are much further along the evolutionary tree.

Physically a Tessarachnid takes up about as much space as a grown cow, though much of this is legs. They average eleven feet in length and six feet in width when stretched out, or eight by five when standing normally on bent legs. In a pinch they can squeeze through a gap as narrow as two feet wide. In game terms they are a two-hex being in their normal posture.

While they superficially resemble a giant spider, there are a number of evolutionary changes evident in the Tessarachnids. The legs end in retractable digits which are capable of fine dexterity and tool use. The exoskeleton is reinforced with internal chitinous struts that give the body greater support and strength. There are twelve eyes on the head, four of which see along the axis beyond our normal three-dimensional perception. The palps around the mouth are highly refined, giving the Tessarachnid sophisticated powers of speech. They are less hairy than common spiders, with small clusters of sensory hairs along the legs and around the ďhandsĒ which function much the same as catís whiskers. Their individual colours and markings vary greatly, but all of them have a primary body covering of pearlescent grey-white chitin. All Tessarachnid Citizens are female; the males are smaller, weaker, and lack higher reason, though they can still cross dimensions instinctively.

Tessarachnids have a complex civilisation built around their dimension-spanning travels. Each Citizen has great personal freedom within their society, but each is also answerable to the judgements of a panopticon council known as the Deathless. This council, whose proper name is, like all Tessarachnid words, unpronounceable to other races, consists of the greatest of their race, brought to the edge of immortality by the science and magic of a million worlds. The decisions and decrees of The Deathless might seem arbitrary and uneven to outsiders, but they are predicated on millennia of experience with thousands of realities. While the Tessarachnid do not have time travel, they do have so much experience that they can detect recurring patterns in history and intervene accordingly. This intervention usually occurs through the agency of the Correctors.

The Correctors are the truly dangerous members of Tessarachnid society. They are the functionaries of the Deathless, highly skilled Tessarachnid who carry out those missions which the Deathless deem important to maintaining their definition of universal order. Correctors work for a higher goal, so their individual actions can seem unfair, cruel, and abhorrent, even if the ultimate goal is a noble one. One doesnít even need to be directly in the course of a Corrector to be swept up in the aftermath, as Correctors are typically deployed when severe intervention is called for, and their actions can have far-reaching consequences. Each Corrector is empowered to make decisions in the field that their orders donít cover, but in extreme circumstances they will call for further orders from the Deathless.

Encounters with Tessarachnids, as with Mnoren, are rare indeed. It is rumoured that, long before the creation of Cidri, a vast reality-spanning war waged between the Mnoren, Tessarachnids, and Demons. Itís not know if any were allies, or if each fought the others. If this did happen, there is no sign of such a battle raging now. Male Tessarachnid, if encountered, are little better than animals and as such can pose a danger to players. Players who encounter a female Citizen Tessarachnid may be meeting a scholar, an explorer, or even an adventurer. She is likely to have access to bizarre and outrageous technology and artifacts from other worlds, which she will keep out of the hands of the locals. The Tessarachnid view conventional intelligent races much as we view a rambunctious kitten - energetic, unpredictable, naive, sometimes hostile, often endearing, but incapable of self-restraint or true reason.

Game Stats

Citizen
ST: 14 + 1D6
DX: 9 + 1D6
IQ: 24 + 2D6
MA: 12

Corrector
ST: 17 + 1D6
DX: 11 + 1D6
IQ: 29 + 2D6
MA: 12

Male
ST: 9 + 1D6
DX: 12
IQ: 6
MA: 14

Can shift across fourth-dimensional space in three turns, vanishing or re-entering elsewhere.
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Book of Uncommon Beings

Tessarachnid. Love it!

Q: What do they eat?
A: Whatever they want!
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Old 12-12-2018, 10:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Book of Uncommon Beings

Perhaps they hunt Mobius Ants? ^_^
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Shadekeep View Post
Perhaps they hunt Mobius Ants? ^_^
Ha! Perhaps!

Maybe you could make-up some other insect-like beings that can also dimensional shift and maybe even time-shift. These beings could be partly responsible for sowing chaos through-out the dimensions and time. They would be mostly mindless pests and the main source of Tessaracnid food.

Just food for thought! :)
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Old 12-12-2018, 01:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Book of Uncommon Beings

Suggested change to ability. They have the innate spell like ability to create a temporary gate to any location that they are very familiar with for only 1 fatigue. However these gates are not just flickering, but at the end of the flicker cycle. At the end of the each turn after the turn of creation and after each figure passes through roll one die on a six the gate vanishes.

Wizards can stabilize these into normal gates, but they need to roll one more die on their 50 point create or control gate spell casting.

Hint: The places on the other side are highly unlikely to be familiar to any human.
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Book of Uncommon Beings

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Originally Posted by platimus View Post
Ha! Perhaps!

Maybe you could make-up some other insect-like beings that can also dimensional shift and maybe even time-shift. These beings could be partly responsible for sowing chaos through-out the dimensions and time. They would be mostly mindless pests and the main source of Tessaracnid food.

Just food for thought! :)
I think there is probably a very rich four-dimensional ecosystem, and our universe is fortunate not to intersect it more than it does. Even a 4D bacterium has abilities we can't counter! I recommend the books "Flatland" and "The Boy Who Reversed Himself" for a glimpse into just how much we'd be at the mercy of the higher planes. ^_^
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Book of Uncommon Beings

For the next entry, this is a class of animals, with three species provided. Of course you could add your own as well. I can see a bird or snake with this ability being an interesting addition.

Dupliculata

The Dupliculata are a class of creatures with an ability in common - they can project an image duplicate of themselves. The species are not directly related, but it seems the underlying cause of this talent (be it magical or genetic) will sometimes surface in a new specie. In each case the duplicate image is a mirror reverse of the original, moving and acting in reflection of the original. It is projected at a certain distance, and then moves in mirror fashion related to the original. At least three species have been discovered with this talent - Legerdemice, Panglamoura, and Jagerfaux.

Legerdemice are small grey mice with white chests and long fuzzy tails. They use their image casting talent to distract predators and give the true mouse the chance to escape. Some children keep them as pets, and it can be disconcerting to put one in its cage only to see what appears to be the same creature crawling around freely outside it moments later. They can generally be considered a nuisance creature for combat purposes.

Panglamoura are very large pangolins, relatives of the glyptodont. Their scales are a lustrous blue colour, and their digging claws are startlingly white. They are herbivores, and have very few natural predators, so their image casting is most often used in mating displays. The male will perform an elaborate series of motions with its mirror duplicate in an attempt to impress a potential mate. If a Panglamoura senses a threat it will project its image at a distance and then move in the opposite direction, hoping the predator follows the image long enough to lose track of the true creature. Their scales act as 5 point armour. They can do 1d6+1 damage with their claws if injured or provoked, but otherwise they will simply curl into an armoured ball until the predator gives up and goes away.

Jagerfaux are the most dangerous of the Dupliculata discussed here. These large forest hunters resemble jaguars with moss-coloured fur dappled with dark splotches. Their coat makes them difficult to spot when they arenít moving. When hunting they will project their duplicate in a way that will drive their prey closer to the true Jagerfaux. A mated pair will often hunt together, both using their image projections to deadly effect. Their fur acts as 1 point armour, and they do 1d6+2 damage with claws or bite.

The image duplicates cast by Dupliculata function under the same rules as magically conjured Images. They can be disbelieved, and will vanish if forcibly struck. The images cannot do any direct damage, nor can they physically affect things. Since they mirror the movements of their caster, they can be somewhat easier for intelligent beings to detect, as their motions will often be out of synch with their surroundings. For example, on rough terrain the footfalls of the duplicate are unlikely to match up with the uneven ground. But in the animal world these images are often the key to surviving another day.

Game Stats

Legerdemice
ST: 1
DX: 13
IQ: 5
MA: 10

Panglamoura
ST: 25
DX: 10
IQ: 5
MA: 6

Jagerfaux
ST: 11
DX: 14
IQ: 6
MA: 14
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Book of Uncommon Beings

And on more, just to round things out. This time it's a plant.

Tepes Brier

The Tepes Brier is coarse thorny brier that grows both as a vine and as a shrub. It most commonly is found as a vine, growing in obstructive thickets in woodlands. It has large, glossy, dark purple leaves that capture what little sunlight penetrates the forest canopy. Toothed black thorns grow at intervals along the length of the vines. In the late Spring the brier grows small crimson trumpet-shaped flowers that are pollinated by beetles. At the beginning of Autumn the brier begins to grow fruits, some of which are the truly dangerous part of the plant.

While the Tepes Brier will grow many small golden plum-like fruits along the vine, it will also send reproductive vines underground to grow large melons just below the forest floor. These subterranean melons have a hard rind, and as they ripen tremendous pressure builds inside the fruit. It takes the weight of a ram, deer, or unlucky traveler to break through the rind of the melon, and when this happens dozens of barbed vines erupt upward under pressure into the victim. For a creature the size of a ram or small deer, this injury alone is usually fatal. For larger prey it is more often the daturine toxin in the thorns that eventually kills them. This toxin also makes the corpse go stiff, and the corpse thus becomes both nutrient and scaffold for the brier to grow into a shrubbery. Very often one can still make out the skeletal remains of the prey within the fused vines of the brierís trunk.

The fruit of the Tepes Brier is actually both nutritious and tasty (mildly sweet with a pleasing tartness). Unlike the explosive underground melon, these plums are the seed-bearing fruit of the vine, and are how the brier propagates. The fruit is typically eaten by ungulates and the seeds are excreted in their dung, which then provides fertiliser for the seedlings when they sprout.

A character stepping on a ripe Tepes Brier melon may have a 4D6 vs DX chance to jump out of the way, assuming they know the danger or are instinctively reacting to their foot breaking through the ground. Failure to evade means 2D6 damage from the vines (armor may reduce), and an additional 1d6 from the daturine poison on the thorns each turn they remain in the character. If no initial damage is taken from the vines due to armor protection, it is assumed the thorns did not penetrate and there is no need to remove the vines. Otherwise, a character surviving the initial damage can roll 3D6 vs DX each turn to remove the vines, with a successful roll removing them all. Other characters may render aid with the same chance for success. At the end of each turn in which this attempt fails (or is not attempted) and vines remain in the character, the aforementioned 1D6 poison damage occurs. Note that the thorns on the regular vines of the plant do not contain this poison; only the impaling vines within the melon are so coated.

A player who identifies this plant and locates a buried ripe melon could conceivably remove it and use it as trap. A 3D6 vs DX roll is needed to prevent accidentally rupturing the melon upon removal, with the same dangers as stepping on it. A harvested melon is will stay dangerous for up to a week, after which it simply rots. The melon is not good to eat at any point, due to the poison in it.
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Old 12-14-2018, 09:18 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Book of Uncommon Beings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadekeep View Post
And on more, just to round things out. This time it's a plant.

Tepes Brier
What is the roll for a Naturalist to identify the plant?
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