Difference between pages "Machinate (sage ability)" and "Nalfeshnee"

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[[File:Machinate.jpg|right|350px]]
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[[Category: Lacks Image]]
To '''machinate''' is to engage in plots and intrigues, building carefully crafted schemes or plots in order to obtain a sinister goal. Whatever this goal, the sage ability to machinate enables the character, or "schemer," to induce an allied non-player character to participate in the overall plan.
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{{Bestiarychart
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| name = Nalfeshnee
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| species = chthonic
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| noapp = 1
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| behaviour = malevolent
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| range = [[Abyss (plane)|Abyss]], subterranean
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| size = 10 ft. 6 in. tall
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| weight = 1,400 lbs.
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| int = 11–12
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| AC = -1
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| HD = 11
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| AP = 7
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| THAC0 = 13
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| hpdie = d12
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| attack = claw/claw, bite
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| dmg = 2–12/2–12, 4–24
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| special = [[Darkness (spell)|darkness]], [[Detect Magic (spell)|detect magic]], [[Dispel Magic (spell)|dispel magic]], [[Fear (spell)|fear]], [[Gate (spell)|gate]], immunities, levitation, magic resistance, [[Phantasmal Figure (spell)|phantasmal figure]], +1 weapon to hit, polymorph, [[Demonic Possession|possession]], [[Symbol (spell)|symbol]], telekinesis, [[Teleport (spell)|teleport]], ultravision
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}}
  
== Procedure ==
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These enormous [[Demon|demons]] are enormous beast-like creatures, with the snout, hooves and ears of a swine, the black glossy hair and body of an ape. In temperament these creatures are rapacious, cruel and arbitrary, receiving enormous pleasure from catching souls on the cliffs of the Abyss and rending them to pieces and devouring them, knowing the souls will incorporate themselves into [[manes]] – beginning the hunt once again, uncounted times.
The schemer determines that for the plan to work, it requires a person of some specific profession or skill to help carry it out. Possibly, the person may have access to a place the schemer cannot go.  It would be best if this person, or candidate, were already an ally, but if not, the schemer might [[Schmooze (sage ability)|schmooze]] the right person.  Once the candidate has been made into an ally, the schemer explains the candidate's part, and what the candidate should do.
 
  
Normally, this would require a [[Morale#Bravery Checks|bravery check]] on the candidate's part. However, '''if the candidate is given no expectation of personal danger''', then a bravery check is not required. The candidate will simply agree with the schemer, who uses their machinate skill to induce the NPC to act.
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The origin of these creatures is believed to have begun with [[demonic possession]] of creatures on the [[Prime Material Plane]]. For two thousand years, shamans and clerics carried forth a practice of casting demons out into animals, particularly swine, who were then ritually killed by driving them into pits or otherwise sacrificed. This returned many thousands of demons into the depths, whose bodies were contorted and reshaped into polluted manifestations of the original form.
  
On the other hand, if the candidate's part is clearly dangerous, with a likelihood of arrest or bodily harm, then the machinate skill grants a +3 to the candidate's bravery check, to see if they will accept their role.  If this bravery check fails, then the schemer must turn to some other means of inducement, such as [[Bribery (sage ability)|bribery]] or [[Extortion (sage study)|extortion]].
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As a result, there are many nalfeshnee with profound shapes and characteristics, including antlers, mandibles, back plates and ridges, eyes on stalks, tentacles, humped backs, spines, spikes and tails of various forms. Nalfeshnee possess larger wings with a span of at least a dozen feet, though the creatures are too heavy to fly.
  
== Application ==
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== Advantages ==
Properly managed, the schemer can make arrangements to have dozens of NPCs act in a manner that will appear to each one as perfectly safe and unthreatening, which will dismiss the need for checks. This depends on the schemer's ability to explain each role to the DM, who should give the greatest possible latitude to the schemer. The more complex the plan, the more likely it will be that innocents can be brought in to act in small, incremental ways that will produce a grand, desirable result.  The onus should be on the player to scheme, calculate and devise the result wanted, and then explain it to the DM as they might to the hapless NPC, who wouldn't really know what was going on.
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Nalfeshnee are immune to [[Sleep (spell)|sleep]] and charm magic, whatever the source, as well as attacks from cold, fire, electricity or gas of any sort. They are able to [[Teleport (spell)|teleport]]. They are able to be hit only by weapons with a bonus of +1 or greater. They possess a natural [[Ultravision (spell)|ultravision]]. If pressed, they have a 60% chance of gating another nalfeshnee to their location or 2–7 manes demons automatically. They are able to produce [[Darkness (spell)|darkness]] at will, encircling their selves with a 20 ft. radius of inky blackness, which can be dispelled only with [[Dispel magic (spell)|dispel magic]].  The nalfeshnee is also protected by a magic resistance of 65%.
  
The sage ability is necessarily nebulous, for conspiracies and mechinations must defy codification by the rules.  A wise and clever player, with few scruples, ought to be able to invent a scheme that could make use of a team of ordinary, common persons, stealing a paper here, passing a message along there, hiding a package, acting as a witness or an alibi, or otherwise helping the character to commit schemes of fiendish design.  The sage ability merely encourages the player to believe that if the matter is put to the NPC in a certain way, there will be no die roll required to convince the candidate to join in.
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They are also able to [[Fear (spell)|cause fear]], [[Levitate (spell)|levitate]], [[Detect magic (spell)|detect magic]], [[Dispel magic (spell)|dispel magic]], [[Polymorph self (spell)|polymorph self]] or use a [[symbol]] of hopelessness or pain. Once per day they may perform [[Telekinesis (spell)|telekinesis]] or create a [[Phantasmal figure (spell)|phantasmal figure]] once per day that will be indistinguishable from the original.
  
This does not mean that the candidate will succeed at their task; but that should be a simple, reasonable [[Ability Checks|ability check]], to be made when the time comes.  It depends on what is asked for; if a chef is asked to create a dish to be served, then obviously no roll would need to be made. If the schemer then arranged for the dish to be placed in reach, when no one else was present, so that it could be [[Dosing (sage ability)|dosed]], then again, there would be no need for anyone to make a roll.  It is all a matter of how circumstances were arranged.
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All these abilities can be performed at will, requiring only 1 [[action point]] to perform. However, no more than one such power may be performed per [[combat round]]. Most may be performed from round to round, but a given power can’t be put into place if already present.
  
There might be a ''tiny'' chance that a guard assigned to carry a small package might be searched — perhaps 1 in 20, or even 1 in 100. The DM should definitely not give a likely chance to something like this failing, since the guard would know how and when to act; these things should fail only because they are done often, so that a 1 in 100 chance is sure to come up eventually.
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Nalfeshnee may not possess creatures who are aware of what they are facing; however, an unconscious creature may be possessed and used as an outer shell to protect the demon. The act of possession requires one full round of the nalfeshnee’s movement.
  
The DM should measure such risks fairly!
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== Dweomercraft ==
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Due to the exorcism ritual that exiled them to the Abyss, sometimes centuries ago, nalfeshnee make excellent and willing servants for wizards seeking revenge upon a certain culture or people. If summoned and thus enabled to act, nalfeshnee are quite willing to perform any service, so long as it requires no more than a week to complete. The freedom to do as it pleases, after the given service, will always be the condition the nalfeshnee demands in exchange.
  
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After a week, whether the service is performed or not, the nalfeshnee’s need to seek revenge on those who exorcised it to the Abyss (or their descendants) will get the better of the demon. It will abandon its promises and teleport to where it can begin the revenge it has nurtured. Nalfeshnee prefer to possess a body, then murder its victims secretly, causing as much anguish as possible to one poor creature at a time, for as long as it can remain at large.
  
See [[Politics (sage study)|Politics]]
 
  
[[Category: Lacks Image]]
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See [[Bestiary]]

Revision as of 19:24, 20 August 2020

Nalfeshnee
Species chthonic
No. Appearing 1
Behaviour malevolent
Range Abyss, subterranean
Size 10 ft. 6 in. tall
Weight 1,400 lbs.
Intelligence 11–12
Armour Class -1
Hit Dice 11
Action Points 7
Max. Stride
THAC0 13
Hp/Die d12
Attack Forms claw/claw, bite
Damage 2–12/2–12, 4–24
Special Attacks darkness, detect magic, dispel magic, fear, gate, immunities, levitation, magic resistance, phantasmal figure, +1 weapon to hit, polymorph, possession, symbol, telekinesis, teleport, ultravision

These enormous demons are enormous beast-like creatures, with the snout, hooves and ears of a swine, the black glossy hair and body of an ape. In temperament these creatures are rapacious, cruel and arbitrary, receiving enormous pleasure from catching souls on the cliffs of the Abyss and rending them to pieces and devouring them, knowing the souls will incorporate themselves into manes – beginning the hunt once again, uncounted times.

The origin of these creatures is believed to have begun with demonic possession of creatures on the Prime Material Plane. For two thousand years, shamans and clerics carried forth a practice of casting demons out into animals, particularly swine, who were then ritually killed by driving them into pits or otherwise sacrificed. This returned many thousands of demons into the depths, whose bodies were contorted and reshaped into polluted manifestations of the original form.

As a result, there are many nalfeshnee with profound shapes and characteristics, including antlers, mandibles, back plates and ridges, eyes on stalks, tentacles, humped backs, spines, spikes and tails of various forms. Nalfeshnee possess larger wings with a span of at least a dozen feet, though the creatures are too heavy to fly.

Advantages

Nalfeshnee are immune to sleep and charm magic, whatever the source, as well as attacks from cold, fire, electricity or gas of any sort. They are able to teleport. They are able to be hit only by weapons with a bonus of +1 or greater. They possess a natural ultravision. If pressed, they have a 60% chance of gating another nalfeshnee to their location or 2–7 manes demons automatically. They are able to produce darkness at will, encircling their selves with a 20 ft. radius of inky blackness, which can be dispelled only with dispel magic. The nalfeshnee is also protected by a magic resistance of 65%.

They are also able to cause fear, levitate, detect magic, dispel magic, polymorph self or use a symbol of hopelessness or pain. Once per day they may perform telekinesis or create a phantasmal figure once per day that will be indistinguishable from the original.

All these abilities can be performed at will, requiring only 1 action point to perform. However, no more than one such power may be performed per combat round. Most may be performed from round to round, but a given power can’t be put into place if already present.

Nalfeshnee may not possess creatures who are aware of what they are facing; however, an unconscious creature may be possessed and used as an outer shell to protect the demon. The act of possession requires one full round of the nalfeshnee’s movement.

Dweomercraft

Due to the exorcism ritual that exiled them to the Abyss, sometimes centuries ago, nalfeshnee make excellent and willing servants for wizards seeking revenge upon a certain culture or people. If summoned and thus enabled to act, nalfeshnee are quite willing to perform any service, so long as it requires no more than a week to complete. The freedom to do as it pleases, after the given service, will always be the condition the nalfeshnee demands in exchange.

After a week, whether the service is performed or not, the nalfeshnee’s need to seek revenge on those who exorcised it to the Abyss (or their descendants) will get the better of the demon. It will abandon its promises and teleport to where it can begin the revenge it has nurtured. Nalfeshnee prefer to possess a body, then murder its victims secretly, causing as much anguish as possible to one poor creature at a time, for as long as it can remain at large.


See Bestiary