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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Godbound/Exalted: Random Dragon-Blooded Foes, Part 1

Now here's a concept which seems like an oxymoron: while the Terrestrial Exalted are the least of the Exalted host they remain nonetheless powerful individuals, each with a complicated life, history, personality, quirks and ideas not to mention personal motivation. To make tables to randomly generate them seem counterproductive and futile.

But perhaps not entirely. While important and critical individuals are NPC I'd need to carefully flesh out, there's always the need to quickly generate some dynast on the spot. This is especially true if the players have run afoot of some trouble and some Dragon-Blooded appear, eager to stop these vile 'Anathema' before they take innocent lives and/or endanger Realm assets. Even the weakest of the Dragon-Blooded is a worthy Exalted foe whose power exceed that of lesser spirits and mortal heroes.
When it come to designing these Dragon-Blooded, some key point:

  • These tables are primarily for generating foes. While all Dragon-Blooded are expected to know the basics of combat and be a threat, these are the fighters, martial artists, battlefield commanders and battle-mages: those who are equipped (at least in theory) to leap into action against a threat.
  • Because of the need for random generation and abstraction, many of these statlines are built around 'archetypes'. It is assumed each Dynast is a unique individual in spite of share stats, with his own favored tactics and personal skills.
  • The Artifact armors of the Dragon-Blooded are re imagined as the Regalia Armor of Godbound: fancy, but 'low magic' armors. More powerful and unique true Artifact armors are the stuff of legends passed to mighty champions, favored scions and war heroes. The rest make-do with cheaper Jade-laced armor.
  • Dragonblooded are not quite built as other foes are and more like semi-player characters in order to reflect their uniqueness.

The Host of the Immaculate Dragons

The Dragonblooded 'iconic characters' circa 2nd Edition.

Gifted with the elementally-infused blood of the Elemental Dragons, the Terrestrial Exalted were created long ago to be elite soldiers and lesser officers of the Exalted host. This war-like mindset continues to this day. Given that each Dragonblooded is more likely to focus on their personal preferred fighting style beyond the basics taught as children and teen, it make sense to unfortunately reduce these figures of might to some cruder archetypes.

Origin, Name, History and Personality

However for now, we must first know who they are as a person: are they a man or woman? What is their House and Aspect and how strong does their blood run? The last one may appear a bit odd at first but do keep in mind that their society give much importance to the quality of one's breeding and this will invariably affect both their power and how much respect they command as individuals of low birth are almost (but not quite, as they are still powerful and useful) second-class Dynasts.

D12
House
Associated Aspect
1
Cathak
Fire
2
Cynis
Wood
3
Ilselsi
Water
4
Ledaal
Air
5
Mnemon
Earth
6
Nellens
None
7
Peleps
Water
8
Ragara
Earth
9
Sesus
Fire
10
Tepet
Air
11
V’Neef
Wood
12
Minor Household
None/Any

As for personal/given names, this is what these tables were made for:

D2
D8
Sex
Aspect
Breeding


1
1-3


Male
House
Average: The Dynast has decent breeding and most likely two Exalted parents.
4
Fire
Unremarkable: Their ancestry is nothing glorious and they may descend from ‘Lost Eggs’.
5
Air
Poor: The Dragonblooded family has Exalt but their own parents may not be Exalted themselves.


2
6


Female
Water
Decent: One of their parent is most likely an Exalted. Gain +1 HP/Level.
7
Earth
Strong: Both parents are Exalted and themselves the children of Exalts. As above but also gain +1 Gifts Point.
8
Wood
Impeccable: Perfect pedigree and possibly directly related to the Empress herself! As above but gain +1 Effort.

D10
Motivation (What drive them to serve the Realm?)
1-3
Family: Being raised inside Dragon-Blooded society sternly has instilled in them a strong sense of duty to their family and the Dynasty.
4-5
Faith: The teaching of the Immaculate Faith ring true in this Dynast and they are very pious even if they may not be monks themselves.
5
Heroism: In spite of the many...questionable acts the Realm often commit, this Dynast is driven by a genuine desire to improve the lives of others.
6
Greed: The opportunity to increase one’s fortune is always was motivate this Dynast at the end of the day. They want to line their pockets.
7
Hedonism: All this ‘work’ is temporary and only the means to afford hosting and attending luxurious parties or even feeding their addiction.
8
Patriotism: The Dynast is motivated by their desire to serve the Realm and ensure it’s continued stability, perhaps more than their own House if push come to shove.
9
Glory: Being a Prince of the Earth has perks and this Dynast is obsessed with personal glory and recognition.
10
Fear: Either through some blood debt or from an abusive childhood, this Dynast fear not living up to expectation. Pleasing who they owe their continued existence to is their sole motivator.

Building the Prince of the Earth

We now know what that Dynast is and now it is time to assemble the start of their statline.
Basic Dragon-Blooded Stats
AC: Armor-1, Become Armor -2 at Level 4 and -3 at Level 8
Move: Usually 30’
HP: 8 +4/Every Level
Saves: 15-Level
Attacks: +Hit Dice, Gain x2 Attack at Level 4 and x3 at Level 8
Damage: Weapon+1, Become Weapon +2 at Level 4 and +3 at Level 8
Morale: Between 8 and 10
Effort: 2 +1/Every 2 Level
Usually, Dragon-Blooded can take between 1 or 2 Actions per turn.
It is worth noting that most Dragon-Blooded encountered 'in the wild' are NOT considered to be Level 1, as the Dynasts spend years in formation waiting for the moment they will (hopefully for them) Exalted. Since childhood they are trained in the art of war and they are adept at using sword, spears and bows where the child of a commoner would be learning the basic crafts of his work. Many of them begin training in martial arts before their Exaltation.

As such, an 'average' Dragonblooded statline would more likely look closer to this:
Average Dragon-Blooded (Level 4)
AC: Armor-2
Move: 30’
HP: 24
Saves: 11+
Attacks: +6 x2
Damage: Weapon+2
Morale: 9
Effort: 4

Friday, 29 June 2018

Godbound/Exalted: Random Undead Horrors, Part 3

The finale (for now?) focus on the remaining major horrors of the Underworld: the dreaded Mortwights.

Skeleton by johnnymorrow.

Mortwights

Real talk here: Mortwights are the stuff of absolute nightmare even if the Nephwracks are canonically more powerful. Mortwights are all about utter and absolute destruction, born those who know they could not destroy the world and all around them. In death they refuse Oblivion, if only to help spread it to the entirety of existence. These are creatures whose entire metaphysical nature is one of spiteful destruction, creatures who relinquish any and all remaining trace of sanity or mercy. They are one thing: murder.

The appearance of Mortwights is quite noticeably different from the usually more flesh and/or ethereal ghosts. They resemble twisted skeletal shapes, with little to no flesh or muscles on their elongated frame. They express no emotion safe perhaps destructive rage and madness.

Of all the creatures described so far, the Mortwights are arguably the least suited to being tied to the undead infestation of Ancalia. Instead, they are better suited as singular entities born of the madness and self-damnation of the most vicious and murderous scum. Alternatively, Mortwight could be a specific type of necromantic creation: an (un)living weapon one point in a direction, press the trigger and hope to whatever higher power that it doesn't ever come back. A final option would be to make them creations of Hell.

As per the 'Verse of the Champions' conversion (Which I can't seem to find a link to), Mortwight are statted as Stalking Horrors. They lack the Cold Breath ability of Uncreated, instead gaining the innate ability of the Word of Murder, which they are bound to.

D8
Mortwight Appearance
1
A tall, skeletal figure with bones of pure jet black ebony. Two pinpoints of bright colors indicate where the eyes are.
2
This thing is impossibly thin, with almost parchment or wrapping-like grey and semi-translucent skin.
3
Only a few bloody, ropey tendons and muscles cling to this undead’s skeletal form.
4
This creature was once a man. Once. Now it is impossibly thin and it’s hands have turned into long, jagged blades.
5
Bloody drop constantly from this skeletal, as if it the flesh had just been removed.
6
This skeleton has become warped, with longer arms than legs. It walks on all four.
7
‘Spiky’ is the best way to describe this skeleton: jagged blades and spikes erupt at various points of it’s form to be used as natural weapons.
8
This blackened, ash-covered skeleton constantly emit fumes and cold, spectral flames.

Greater Mortwight
AC: 3*
Move: 40’ Float or Walk
HD: 12
Saves: 9+
Attacks: Auto x2
Damage: 1d12+1 Straight
Morale: 11
Effort: 4
*If used as corporeal undead rather than ghosts (or ghosts inside bodies) then these creatures need magical weapons to be damaged. Otherwise they can be hit normally when inside bodies.

Greater Mortwights are unliving instruments of murder and destruction. Some are capable of intelligence and cunning but most will willingly drive themselves in a fury of absolute annhiliation, destroying as much as they can. Greater Mortwights are able to take two actions per turn.

Mortwights Gifts
D4
Offensive
Defensive/Support
1
Unerring Blade
Festering Rage
2
Surge of Strength
Defy the Iron
3
Thirsting Razor
Contempt of Distance
4
Furious Counterstrike
Walk Between the Rain

D6
Mortwight Tactics
1
Use all available actions and effort to be spent to maximize it's damage output and wreck the ever loving crap out of anything in sight.
2
Attack the most wounded foe.
3
Slip back into the shadows and prepare to strike a vulnerable foe whenever possible.
4
Attack as many foes at once as it can.
5
Activate a Gift or use a Miracle to weaken/debuff a wounded foe.
6
Use all actions to rampage and instantly destroy something useful or someone important. Worthy Foes or things protected by Miracles, Gifts or something else get a Saving Throw.