Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Black Bestiary Preview: The Ho-Masubi (CR 11)

Black Bestiary (or possibly Everything Black) is the tentative title for Black Tokyo's massive bestiary.

 I figured I'd preview some more critters from this book and talk briefly about how they came about. First on the left, you have an image John sent me several months back. With some time on his hands, he rendered dozens of weird critters, some of which you've already seen in Closed and Heavy Future as various threats. This one obviously was destined for Black Tokyo, but as what I didn't know.

I wanted to find a creature from myth that could be represented by this Goro-inspired brawler. After some  research, the fire god that was killed by Izanagi after his divine birth killed Izanami (previewed a few posts ago) fit the bill perfectly. I chose the name Ho-Masubi, as it's one of the more obscure and evocative of the fire god's name, and made him a fire based undead, a straight up physical threat- basically a supernatural brawler, whose back story synchronizes nicely with Izanami's and gives the campaign a bit of foreshadowing.

Here's Ho-Masubi as he'll appear in the Black Bestiary.

Ho-Masubi (CR 11)
Large CE Undead (fire)
XP 12,800      
Init +3 Senses Darkvision 60 ft, lowlight vision, Perception +22          
Languages Giant, Ignan, Infernal, Japanese

AC 22 Touch 8 Flatfooted 22 (-1 size, -1 DEX, +9 armor, +5 natural)
HP 16d8 + 80 hp (152 HP)    
FORT +9 REF +4 WILL +13
Immune Fire, Undead Immunities 
Channel Resistance +4
Vulnerable Cold

Spd 40 ft
Melee +24/+19/+14 flaming burst katana (1d10+10 slashing plus 1d6 fire, 18-20/x2) Special Attacks Parody of Seppaku (30 ft cone, 16d6 fire, REF DC 22 half)
Special Qualities Fire Eater, Heat
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 16th  Concentration +20) 
3x/day – Fireball (R-DC 17)
1x/day – Quickened Fireball (R-DC 17)
            - Fire Storm (R-DC 21)

Str 31 Dex 8 Con - Int 12 Wis 17 Cha 18
Base Atk +12 CMB +23/+25 bullrush & sunder CMD 32
Feats Cleave, Great Cleave, Greater Bull Rush, Greater Sunder, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Toughness
Skills Craft (blacksmith) +20, Intimidate +23, Knowledge (religion, the planes) +20, Perception +22
Gear +3 flaming burst katana, mwk. o-yoroi

Environment any (found only throughout the Tatakama and Black Japan, only rarely found elsewhere in Asia, virtually unknown in the Western Hemisphere)
Organization always solitary
Treasure double standard (including gear)

Special Abilities
            Fire Eater (SU)
The Ho-Masubi recovers 1 HP per point of damage that a Fire effect would normally inflict. This cannot take the Ho-Masubi past his full normal Hit Point total.

            If any spell, supernatural or spell -like ability with the Fire descriptor is cast within 30 ft of the Ho-Masubi, there is a 75% chance that the creature becomes the spell’s target, regardless of the caster’s intention. If the Fire effect is an area effect, the Ho-Masubi is considered the epicenter of the effect. Flames seem to twist and flow, absorbed by the burning shrine carried on the monster’s back. The Ho-Masubi’s Fire Eater quality does not apply to its own spell-like abilities (though he can choose to be caught in the blast radius of his own fireballs, however.)

Heat (SU)
            An angered Ho-Masubi generates heat so intense that anything touching its body takes 10d6 points of fire damage. Creatures striking a Ho-Masubi with natural weapons or unarmed strikes are subject to this damaged, but those attacking with melee weapons are not. The heat can melt or burn weapons; any weapon that strikes a Ho-Masubi is allowed a DC 22 FORT Save to avoid taking damage. The Save DC is CHA-based.

            Increase the heat damage to 10d10 points of fire damage and the FORT Save to DC 25 for one round after the Ho-Masubi takes damaged from channeled positive energy.

            Parody of Seppaku (SU)
            As a full round action, the Ho-Masubi can draw his katana across his pendulous, burning abdomen. Doing so automatically inflicts 1d10+10 points of slashing damage on the Ho-Masubi, but he immediately recovers 1d10 HP due to his blade’s fire damage. In addition, all creatures within a 30 ft cone suffer 16d6 points of fire damage (REF DC 22 half). This ability functions much the same as a breath weapon.

            Izanami died giving birth to fire.

The Fire-Son was to be Ho-Masubi, but his enraged and grieving father murdered the newborn god within moments of his first breath. He sliced the Fire-Son into many pieces- the legend says eight equal parts, but there were far more bloody pieces than just eight.

            Ho-Masubi are the hulking, mad and loathsome remnants of the murdered Fire-Son. These giant undead exist only to burn; to burn homes and forests, to burn hope, to burn worlds, and eventually, to burn the Great Tree Yggrysadyl to ash. Driven by endless rage, their form reflects their hate. Ho-Masubi are massive, corpse grey oni dressed in a parody of a samurai’s great armor. Their hypertrophied arms split into two deadly forearms at the elbow, and their belly, groin and extremities burn endlessly with the magma-like flames that course through their corpses. Ho-Masubi carry a small Shinto shrine upon their back, lashed to them, that burns with plasma hotter than the heart of the sun.
            Despite their insanity and brute appearance, Ho-Masubi are shockingly intelligent, though they will often play the role of dumb brute to gain an advantage. When they do choose to converse, they are as well versed in religion as any scholar, and know the nature of the multiverse better than any occultist. Few ever see this side of them, as Ho-Masubi spend most of their miserable existences wreaking havoc.

            The fire-shrouded undead are rare in the Earth Realm. There’s rumors that the Amakaze have a handful of Ho-Masubi minions kept in deep cryo-stasis, ready to be unleashed at a moment’s notice, teleported anywhere in the world by high level tactical mages. If this is true, the Amakaze own something far more destructive than any modern nuclear warhead…..

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