Thursday, November 6, 2014

Creature Preview: The Overlord Dragon (CR 20)

Okay, I am deliberately not mentioning anything about Tuesday's elections, because I want to kill the fuck out of a whole lot of motherfuckers right the fuck now. Just....FUUUUUCCCCKKKK!

Okay, now that that is out of the way, while I'm waiting on the final Black Bestiary artwork, and some artwork for Advanced Tech, I'm putting together a mid-length bestiary
for Heavy Future. It was originally just a collection of random monster stat blocks, and then a few critters into the manuscript, a pattern started emerging. Most of these creatures are space-born threats- either predators lurking in hyperspace itself, or capable of surviving (and hunting) in space almost indefinitely. There's a few interesting planet bound alien animals, too, but most of the focus is on space.

Right about this time, I realized that I'd already begun the process of updating the Lifechain stuff from my 2008 release, Guide to the Known Galaxy, by including a Lifespawn subtype in Closed: Monsters of the Army of God. I could build on that, update some of the creatures from Guide for use with Pathfinder, which is something I've wanted to do for years now, and introduce them to Heavy Future, and the wider Otherverse Games multiverse. Plus, adding Lifespawn apex predators to Heavy Future just makes that campaign more dangerous and that much more interesting.

Last night, I revised the Overlord Dragon. I did a pretty radical revamp on the creature. Not the least I changed his appearance slightly. My original design was eyeless and more typically draconic, but I had this wonderful Rick Hershey (Standard Stock Art) from Empty Room Studios. I've loved this image since I bought- it has an almost claymation-esque solidity and three dimensionality to it- and I've been wanting to use it for something for a while now. I redesigned the Overlord Dragon, retaining its core, as an imperious, cold and physically powerful threat, but changing almost every mechanical aspect of the monster. I retained its utterly unbalanced, crazy deadly breath weapon though, since that was the most fun part of the old, D20 Modern based Overlord Dragon.

Take a look at the new stat-block, and the Lifespawn subtype as it will appear in this upcoming bestiary, which I'm tentatively calling The Dark Star Bestiary.

Overlord Dragon (CR 20)
Colossal LE Dragon (lifespawn)
XP 307,200
Init +4 Senses Darkvision 1,500 ft, lowlight vision, scent, Lifesense 5,000 miles, perceive unencrypted wifi/radio/television signals, Perception +   
Languages Celestial, Draconic, Galactic Common, Infernal, Truespeech  
Aura Radioactivity (Highly Irradiated area, 60 ft), Frightful Presence (1,500 ft, WILL DC 29 negates, plus Fearsome Violence)

AC 38 Touch 14 Flatfooted 38 (-8 size, +4 deflection, +32 natural)
HP 23d12 + 276 hp (425 HP)
Damage Reduction 15/adamantine
Regeneration 5 (natural attacks and spell-like or psi-like abilities wielded by Lifespawn)
FORT +25 REF +13 WILL +18
Immune Cold, Electricity Fire, Radiation, Draconic Immunities
Resist Acid 10, Sonic 10 SR 23
Weaknesses Lifecount 5

Spd 60 ft Flight 120 ft (average) Zero G Flight 4,500 ft
Melee eight +30 claws (4d6+15 slashing, 20/x2 plus rend) plus +30 tail whip (6d6+7 bludgeoning, 20/x2, 60 ft maximum range)
Ranged two +15 Starbreaker Missiles (12d6 energy, 20/x4, 5,000 ft range increment)
Special Attacks Rend (2 claws, 4d6+15 slashing), Star Fury Breath Weapon (30 ft x 10,000 ft line, 20d12 energy plus radioactivity and communication distruption, usable every 1d4 hours)
Special Qualities Draconic Panoply of Weapons, No Breath, Greater Starflight
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 13th Concentration +18) 
Constant – Mage Armor

Str 41 Dex 11 Con 35 Int 21 Wis 20 Cha 22
Base Atk +23 CMB +46 (+48 bull-rush and trip) CMD 56 (60 vs trip/bull-rush)  
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Cleave, Fearsome Violence, Fly-By Attack, Greater Bull-Rush, Greater Trip, Hover, Improved Initiative, Improved Bull-Rush, Improved Trip, Power Attack
Skills Acrobatics +26, Climb +41, Computer Use +31, Craft (visual arts) +31, Fly +33, Intimidate +32, Knowledge (history, the planes, technology) all at +31, Perception +31, Sense Motive +31

Environment deep space or extraplanar (hyperspace)
Organization usually solitary, sometimes accompanied by a single offspring (Young Simple template applied twice) or various half-dragon servitors, valets and bodyguards
Treasure triple standard (in lair)

Special Abilities
            Draconic Panoply of Weapons (EX)
            The Overlord Dragon has the cruel intellect common to all dragons, but has evolved potent, purely physical defenses rather innate mystical power. The Overlord Dragon’s natural weapon attacks ignore an object’s Hardness and are considered both magical, adamantine and cold iron weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

            Fearsome Violence (EX)
            The Overlord Dragon’s Frightful Presence ability has a range of 1,500 ft, but it otherwise functions as the standard monster ability. The Overlord Dragon has the Fearsome Violence feat. This means that opponents must attempt a new WILL Save against the dragon’s Frightful Presence, even if they have previously saved, at +1 to the base WILL Save DC, each time in a combat encounter that the Overlord Dragon slays a creature.

            Hyperspatial Charge (EX)
            The Overlord Dragon may make a full attack after a charge when flying using its Zero G Flight ability or traveling through hyperspace under its own power.

Starbreaker Missile Array (EX)
The Overlord Dragons have evolved biological processes similar to missile launch rails, as a consequence of their Lifechained (possibly Genesis bloodline) heritage. An array of bio-mechanical missile racks are visible on the underside of the dragon’s body, just fore its strange genitals.

            The dragon’s Starbreaker missiles disrupt reality on a sub-quantum level, completely severing the bonds between quarks. There is usually nothing left of a starship caught in one of these blasts, not even drifting atoms! Damage inflicted by Starbreaker Missiles is an unspecified energy type, not subject to energy resistance or immunity. A target destroyed by these missiles is completely disintegrated, along with all their gear.

            Star Fury (SU)
            The Overlord Dragon’s breath weapon can boil the atmosphere away from an earth-like planet. The Overlord Dragon’s Star Fury breath weapon is a 30 ft wide by 10,000 ft long line, allowing it to easily be used as stellar distances. The Overlord Dragon can choose to breathe a shorter line if it wishes, if it wishes to fight conservatively.

            The damage inflicted by the Star Fury breath weapon is an unspecified energy type, not subject to energy resistance or immunity. Objects and creatures destroyed by this breath weapon are completely disintegrated, along with all their gear.

            The area affected by this breath weapon is considered a Highly Irradiated area and remains so for 1d4 minutes after the blast.  The breath weapon also generates a fearsome electromagnetic pulse, which can terminally disrupt planetary communications. Electronic communication is impossible for 1d4 minutes for a 100 mile radius around the blast site.

            Overlord Dragons control an empire that stretches across a hundred-score worlds separated by almost incalculable distances, even when traveled via hyperspace. Individual clans might separate themselves from their nearest kin by 10,000 parsecs or more, and the great, fusion-hearted dragons are known to travel the endless gulf between galaxies, and cross the planes to exercise their authority. From the moment they hatch, these monstrous and regal beings are taught that they are the highest form of life the galaxy has to offer, and that all lesser beings are their subjects. They are trained to be benevolent rulers, forging peace and expanding the range of civilization and culture, but they are first and foremost: rulers. A culture designed by the dragons glorifies the great beasts. An Overlord Dragon’s subjects are well cared for, well loved pets, but over the generations are cunningly bred and culled into their inhuman master’s ideal of beauty.
            The dragons have a rigid social hierarchy and clearly defined government. Overlord Dragons are born in deep space, and soar unaided through the stars. Young dragons only make planet-fall after several millennia of tempering, and are only allowed to carve out a planetary lair for themselves after proving themselves to their elders. Young dragons protect hyperspace travelers not out of generosity, but to blood themselves against other Lifespawn and win glory. Teen dragons are only considered adults when they successfully bring down a suitably powerful opponent, and hatchlings compete fiercely for the opportunity to battle one of these legendary opponents.
            Overlord Dragon culture is imperial and expansionistic. Strict controls are placed upon the number of dragons which can reside on a single continent or on a single world. When breeding or immigration forces the dragon population past this quota, a wing of the great creatures takes flight, in search of a new world to conquer and transform. Overlord Dragons, for all their power, are few in number. Most spacers consider them nothing more than terrifying legends; their holdings are distant enough from the main hyperspace lanes that few outsiders ever see an Overlord Dragon’s fiefdom.
            Overlord Dragons have rejected much of the sorcerous might of what they consider ‘lesser breeds’ of Dragon. They have instead concentrated on the purely physical, the practical and the quantifiable rather than the unseen. The race is atheistic and coldly logical. The dragons themselves are keenly intelligent, and many consider themselves great artists or artisans, practicing ancient techniques that predate humanity’s evolution by uncounted millennia. Many of the most influential and feared Overlord Dragons are master technologists, who have augmented their natural might with cybernetics, powered armor and advanced, artifact level weapontry of their own design. The Overlord Dragon presented here is a young specimen, still arrogant enough to reject mortal technology in favor of their own, raw physicality. 

Overlord Dragons are lean, sinewy dragons without wings to mar their clean, serpentine lines. They have eight powerful limbs ending in talons with a monomolecular edge more than able to shred a starship’s hull in a single pass. Their scales are the crystal blue of oxygenated sky, and golden iridescence plays over their powerful bodies, produced by the star-like nuclear forces contained in their hearts.

            Like many Lifespawn, the Overlord Dragons are intensely colorful, decorative species. Their bodies are studded with luminous eye spots and strange orifices, which vent the glowing plasma that is a by-product of the dragon’s fusion powered metabolism. When addressing their planetary supplicants, the Overlord Dragons allow themselves to be intricately painted in a rainbow of colors and complex patterns; some paint schemes are so intricate they must be applied by specially built robot expert systems. 

The Lifespawn Subtype
Creatures with the Lifespawn subtype are genetically connected to a galaxy spanning eco-system. They are extremely powerful and have a connection to the enigmatic beings that forged the current universe. Creatures with this subtype are often referred to as Lifechained creatures or by the name of their particular genetic lineage, such as Nemesis Lifespawn or Gazelle Lifespawn.

This is an abbreviated treatment of Lifespawn, who are fully described in Guide to the Known Galaxy (Otherverse Games, 2008), and reflects the author’s intended revisions to how Lifespawn powers work.

·        Lifespawn receive Darkvision 60 ft and gain the Scent special quality. Lifespawn can sense the distance to and general direction of all other creatures with this subtype within one mile. Some Lifespawn have even greater Lifesense radius.
Location: Senses Format: Darkvision 60 ft, scent, Lifesense 1 mile

·        Lifespawn are immune to non-magical disease and poison.
Location: Immunities Format: Lifechained Immunities

·        Lifespawn have a statistic called a Lifecount, which measures the relative strength of their bloodline. Lifespawn suffer a penalty equal to their Lifecount on saving throws against effects caused by other creatures with this subtype. Immunities to a particular effect, such as poison or disease, does not apply against effects caused by other Lifespawn.
      Location: Weaknesses Format: Lifecount X

·        Some, but not all Lifespawn, are capable of spaceflight. These Lifespawn gain the No Breath and Greater Starflight special qualities. Lifespawn typically fly as fast as a top of the line military starship; in space, they gain a Zero G Fight speed of at least 500 ft (one space scale square). Lifespawn can enter hyperspace by traveling in real space using their Zero G Flight for at least 1 minute (10 rounds) to build up speed.
Location: Special Qualities Format: No Breath, Greater Starflight



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