Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Slaad

perhaps this is a slaad by Scrap Princess
"We make happening in red spaces, filling our happy hands with cree cree cree to keep the void quiet.  Sometimes we don't die." - A slaad, trying his best to explain slaad to a human.

Psychology

Slaad are not true Outsiders--they do not exist outside of our universe; they cannot see between the different timelines.  But they are aware of the multiverse, in a sort of fundamental way.

They can't articulate it, but they know that if a battle is replayed a billion times, the larger army wins 998 million times, the smaller army wins 2 million times, and on two separate occasions the battle is called off and both armies start a cult dedicated to the worship of a small orchid found growing inside a boot.

So, slaad can sort of sense the tremendous potential in each moment.  You might slip and fall on your sword, the first round of combat.  On the other hand, you might get a lucky hit in with a piece of celery and knock them off a cliff.

To put it another way, slaad are like children playing D&D, who only ever think about what happens if 1s and 20s were rolled, ignoring the other 18 possibilities.

They sense this great potentiality in every moment, but also sense that each result is painfully ordinary.  (Literally painfully.)  This is why they are so grumpy.

turtle frog
Speech

This same attitude extends to speaking.  They have no problem understanding Common.  But why would you ever say something plainly when you could make it much more interesting by babbling near-gibberish?

They still want to be understood, though, which is why their gibberish is never pure nonsense.

They're basically Hamlet, except with more pet names and half-baked kennings.

Culture

Slaad don't really have culture.  They show up.  They do weird shit toward some weird goal.  Then they leave (by turning themselves into objects).

Slaad are usually led by the largest slaad (see also: most blue-shifted, below).  The largest slaad are the most intelligent, and therefor the most aware of how much potential is wasted in every moment, and therefor the grumpiest.

Origin

Slaad arise spontaneously at intersections of great change (much like how maggots arise spontaneously from rotting meat).  Spontaneous generation is a fact of Centerra, and slaad arise spontaneously from inanimate objects.  They are also capable of "committing suicide" by turning back into objects.

A dormant volcano suddenly explodes and now there are slaad everywhere.

A warlord comes to power in a freak accident and now suddenly there are slaad serving under him.

A coin is flipped and comes up heads 43 times in a row.  An army of slaad seeps up from the ground.

And sometimes the origin is subtle--an old man decides to try eggs benedict for the first time, after spending his whole life avoiding them.  Suddenly the light in the restaurant dims, as dozens of slaad press their faces against the glass, eagerly watching him take the first bite.

These are the pivot points of the world.  We might not recognize them, but this is where the world pivots.

surinam toad
each slaad holds the next color incubating on its back
Goals

Slaad are drawn to the unlikely.  Sometimes they get a sense of these things and strive to recreate the ones that never occurred.  Other times they simply try to set up shop by building a fortress and slaadifying the surrounding landscape.

Biology

Slaad look like big honkin' frogs because the frog is the most intermediate of all shapes.  It's the cosmic average.  Right between fish and mammal and reptile, lairs the frog.

If the universe had a single creator-god, it would be shaped like a frog, too.

Slaad are a weird mix of blubber and claw.  They fart with their skin.  They lack true bones and instead maintain their posture with hydrostatic tissues--a bit like an octopus squeezed into the shape of a frog.  They always have a mouth full of spit (DM roleplaying tip!!!!).


Slaad Abilities

All slaad share a particular pair of abilities.

Schism: When a slaad is reduced to 0 HP, it turns into a pair of new slaad, moving down the color chain.  Purple (most powerful) --> Blue --> Etc --> Red (least powerful).
Yes, this means that a single blue slaad can turn into 32 red slaad.

Slaad sometimes exploit this ability by killing themselves.  (They have no fear of death.)  For example, if a yellow slaad wants to run for help BUT also wants to stay and fight the invaders, it might literally tear itself in half, creating two orange slaad.

Abiosis: Just as slaad emerged from inanimate matter, so can they be returned to inanimate matter.  This is accomplished by surrounding the slaad and shouting "You do not exist!" at it until it ceases to exist.  Alternatively, you can dictate what object the slaad will become, such as "You are a chocolate chip cookie!" until it becomes a cookie.  This takes a certain number of humans to attempt.  (It only ever takes one dragon, because dragons are more real than the rest of the world, and move through it like a shark through the ocean.)

Slaad get a save to resist being shouted back into non-sentience.  If they succeed, they cannot be turned into an object until the next round.  Once they fail their save, they are mewling and helpless while they spasm into objecthood.  The process takes 1 minute, and no one can stop yelling at the slaad during this time.

All slaad have a swim speed.  Green and violet slaad can fly.  The primary colors (red, yellow, blue) are the physical fighters, while the secondary colors (orange, green, purple) are the spellcasters.

Red Slaad
HD 1  AC leather  claw 1d6
Move 12  Swim 9  Int 7  Mor 7

*Schism -- Turns into a pair of black, lumpy pearls (each worth 10c) when reduced to 0 HP.

*Abiosis -- Requires 3 people or 1 dragon.  Can turn into nothing larger than a sword, nor worth more than 10c.

Orange Slaad
HD 2  AC leather  claw 1d6
Move 12  Swim 9  Int 8  Mor 7

*Spellcasting -- Can cast one of the following spells 1/day, determined at random: enter chaos*, randomize object*, acid arrow, shatter.

*Schism-- Turns into two red slaad when reduced to 0 HP.

*Abiosis -- Requires 10 people or 1 dragon.  Can turn into nothing larger than a cart, nor worth more than 100c.

Yellow Slaad
HD 3  AC leather  claw 1d12
Move 12  Swim 9  Int 9  Mor 7

*Zone of Chaos -- 50' radius.  Whenever you declare an action in combat, you must instead declare two unrelated actions (no fair saying "I attack it with my axe" and "I attack it with my sword").  Then flip a coin to determined which action you actually attempt.

*Schism-- Turns into two orange slaad when reduced to 0 HP.

*Abiosis -- Requires 30 people or 1 dragon.  Can turn into nothing larger than a cottage, nor worth more than 1000c.

Green Slaad
HD 4  AC leather  claws 1d12
Fly 12  Swim 9  Int 10  Mor 7

*Spellcasting -- Can cast one of the following spells 1/day, determined at random: animate object, dispel magic, transposition*, greater mirror image*.  Can also cast one spell from the orange slaad list 1/day.

*Schism -- Turns into two yellow slaad when reduced to 0 HP.

*Abiosis -- Requires 100 people or 1 dragon.  Can turn into nothing larger than a ship, nor worth more than 10,000c.

Blue Slaad
HD 6  AC leather  claws 3d6+infect  spit acid 3d6, 50' range, 20' diameter
Move 12  Swim 9  Int 11  Mor 7

*Infect -- Target must save or turn into a demi-slaad.  Demi-slaad must never take an obvious course of action.  (Obvious courses of action in combat are things like "I attack the bad guy with my weapon." or "I cast spells in a way that helps my friends the most.")  Demi-slaad must also never perform the same action twice in the same scene.  Each time a Demi-slaad takes an obvious course of action, they have a 1-in-6 chance of permanently turning into a yellow slaad (NPC).

Demi-slaadism is can be cured by getting another slaad to remove it (by spitting in your eyes).  Since slaad are immune to torture, do not love each other, and do not fear dead, this usually means that you have to help them in some way.

*Schism -- Turns into two green slaad when reduced to 0 HP.

*Abiosis -- Requires 300 people or 1 dragon.  Can turn into nothing larger than a castle, nor worth more than 100,000c.

Violet Slaad
HD 8  AC leather  claws 1d12+vorpal
Fly 12  Swim 9  Int 12  Mor 7

*Spellcasting -- Just give it a bunch of spells.  Violet slaad are basically named NPCs--you shouldn't generate them from random tables.  Some suggestions: greater animate object, mass enter chaos, create slaad, slaad party*

*Schism -- Turns into two blue slaad when reduced to 0 HP.

*Abiosis -- Requires 1000 people or 2 dragons.  Can turn into anything.  Smart players will turn them into sentient spaceships (a task at which they excel).

mata mata
technically this is a turtle, but whatever
New Spells

New Spell: Enter Chaos
Wiz 1
Free Action to Cast
The next time the target creature would roll a d20, they instead flip a coin.  Treat a result of heads as if a 20 were rolled and a result of tails as if a 1 were rolled.  No save.

New Spell: Randomize Object
Wiz 2
Target object turns into a random object if it fails a save.  Object must be non-magical and not larger than a greatsword.  Roll a d20 to see what random object it turns into.  (According to my calculations, these are the twenty most random objects possible.  This should probably be a d100 table, but fuck it.)

  1. hammer
  2. dress
  3. top hat
  4. feather duster
  5. glass of milk
  6. hobby horse
  7. teapot
  8. boot
  9. dead snake
  10. dagger
  11. rolling pin
  12. paper fan
  13. random book
  14. key (to a random locked door in the dungeon, if possible)
  15. live chicken
  16. sack of glitter
  17. rake
  18. teddy bear
  19. candle
  20. loaf of bread
New Spell: Transposition
Wiz 3
Two similar objects switch locations.  If any of the objects are unwilling creatures, they get a save to resist.  If either object/creature makes their save, the spell fails.

New Spell: Greater Mirror Image
Wiz 4
Exactly as mirror image, except the duplicates can interact with the world (similar to unseen servant)  and will attempt to duplicate your actions.  Like, if you spend your turn cleaning a desk, your duplicates will also spend their turns cleaning the desk. If you make a melee attack against an enemy, they will also make basic attacks that deal 1d6 damage and use your base attack score.

New Spell: Slaad Party
Wiz 6
Duration: Concentration
Everyone in the area must save or turn into a slaad (no mechanical effect except you gain a swim speed and a 1d6 claw attack).  Then, all slaad in the area (including the people who just turned into slaad) must spend each round of combat attacking a random target with their best melee weapon.  If the caster is struck, they must roll to maintain concentration.

I stole this from Scrap Princess

6 comments:

  1. briliant. my characters are about to enter a dungeon, perhaps it will be filled with slaad...

    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent and devious ideas here for chaotic monsters that will fill out somewhere in my campaign's wastelands...

    Also, here's another 30 random items. Probably the second most random list, but my calculations could be off by plus or minus one garblak.

    21. Rock

    22. Two forks

    23. Partially torn piece of paper

    24. Cover of a children’s book

    25. Fingers of a glove

    26. Pig knuckles

    27. Marble foot

    28. Pair of glasses, perfect for one nearby npc or pc

    29. Swordfish

    30. Bucket of water

    31. Rat king

    32. Blueberry scone

    33. Block of ice

    34. Bough of holly

    35. Puddle of tar

    36. Compass

    37. Baton

    38. Blueprints to a single building owned by a nearby npc or pc

    39. Chest full of sand

    40. Sack of bricks

    41. Bleating lamb

    42. Rocking chair

    43. Pickaxe

    44. Giant oyster

    45. Empty waterskin

    46. Burning log

    47. Pile of oats

    48. Clowder of cats

    49. Someone’s diary
    50. Bloody beartrap

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been waiting to hear about the Slaad ever since you mentioned them offhandedly in one of your posts about Outsiders. You have to stop doing that; otherwise people might think you have this all figured out and are just lazy, instead of coming up with it fits and starts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 51: door, affixes itself or can be used later (or leads somewhere weird)
    52: pile of straw (half spun into gold)
    53: tuba
    54: children's book featuring original object as main character
    55: small campfire
    56: gin and tonic
    57: letter from an old friend
    58: exact copy of one PC or NPC's diary
    59: music box
    60: portrait, either of a PC, or someone interesting and unexpected
    61: quince jam
    62: map (most likely accurate)
    63: fashionable outfit (materializes worn by character, if applicable)
    64: pot of coffee
    65: cool shades
    66: graph calculator
    67: abacus
    68: Roman dodecahedron
    69: small pond
    70: ringing telephone (call from other dimension or elminster or something)

    ReplyDelete
  5. "If the universe had a single creator-god, it would be shaped like a frog, too.

    -Reminded me of this.

    ReplyDelete