Saturday, January 19, 2019

API: The Seven Deadly Enemies of Mankind

The Seven Deadly Enemies of Mankind are some the strongest enemies the players in any of my games are ever likely to face.  They are powerful, yes, but that is not why they are the most dangerous.  A high number of HP does not make someone dangerous.  The Seven Deadly Enemies are most lethal because of their ruthlessness.  As such, this will require a small change in my style. 

To explain, usually, when I am acting as Referee and playing out the enemies' actions, I am magnanimous, taking care to distribute the damage evenly.  I also don't coup de grae fallen players, and generally try to be fair.  However, I will not be doing this when playing as the Seven Deadly Enemies.  

This is for two reasons.  Firstly, I want to convey their true lethality, the danger that they represent.  Secondly, I believe that unless you are playing a highly lethal game, player characters should not be killed by "small-time" enemies.  It's okay if the Gnoll Champion to splatter the Wizard, but generally I wouldn't let a bunch of 1 HD Gnolls rip apart a band of adventurers.  That is not to say I never would, exceptions do exist, but generally that is how I conduct myself as a Referee as a rule. 
However, the Seven Deadly Enemies are anything but "small-time".  If you are fighting them, you are officially in the big leagues.

Know your enemy

All of the Seven Deadly Enemies are Outsiders, using the base statblock found in this post.  Consult that for further information.  The specific powers of the Enemies is listed below.

                                                                  by BrunaGonda

T'Char, the Ten Crowned, the Herald of Envy 

"I see you laying on the floor of a dark basement, dying in agony, struggling to keep your innards inside your body.  In that moment of sublime pathos, you look up to Heaven and beg God, asking with bloody lips, 'Why?'  I stand above you in that moment, and call you a fag."

Omens:
About an hour before he is summoned or arrives through some other means, strange things begin to happen.  
First, strange storms full of multi-colored lightning blanket the area he is set to appear in, filling the sky with brilliant purples, greens and yellows.
Secondly, a person in the area suddenly snaps and attempts to kill his or her family.  If not stopped or noticed, the person will kill his or her family then him or herself.
Then, he will arrive.  A door will fling open, revealing an alien world for a split second, and then he will stalk through.

Appearance:

T'Char will transform any Host he is granted into a handsome man with brilliantly colored eyes and hair of a similar lurid hue.  He will usually ask for a suit and tie to be prepared for his Host to wear before he arrives, but if these arrangements have not been arranged and he has the time, his first move will be to acquire one.

True Form:

T'Char will only assume his true form if he is sufficiently aggravated, is attacked, or he feels it would be funny in this current situation.  If one of the aforementioned occurs, he will transform.

T'Char is a white-skinned humanoid in his True Form, pure as new-fallen snow with stripes of bright green running across his flesh, like those of a tiger.  He has four eyes, each one as brightly colored as a Christmas ornament.  He also has thirteen arms, but they shift in and out of his body, changing with his mood and activity level.  When he is calm, they glide in and out of his flesh, taking the place of his existing limbs, which slowly slide back into his torso.  When he is agitated though, the change occurs much faster and more erratically.  He also has ten crowns on his body, these former marks of kingship converted into rings, bracelets or bangles.  These crowns drift in and out with his limbs, but they never appear on his head, no matter what.   

                                                                 by chuu-art
    
Personality:

T'Char is a laughing, freakish monster.  He finds the struggles and trials of mankind endlessly amusing.  He thinks that the suffering of others is hilarious, mocking you as you bleed and die.  He thinks himself incredibly smart and witty, and if he has the time, he will compose some ironic poetry about terrible subjects, such as children dying young, how your wife is cheating on you and your children don't respect you, or what he's going to do to you.

Weakness: 

T'Char desires things he does not have.  If he sees something valuable, such as a rare magic item, a sentimental object, or even a physical feature, he will become seized by a desire to possess it.  He will then try to acquire if, through whatever means are most expedient, whether that means bargaining, threatening or killing the owner and taking it by force.  

                                                                     from Tumblr
Statblock Changes:

T'Char has a Damage Threshold of 4.
His AC is 14.
His attack bonus is +3.  He makes two attacks that each do 1d8 damage on a hit.
He fights with two alien blades made of a maiden's lost innocence and a boy's forgotten childhood.

Along with the usual powers of an Outsider, he is super fast, always going first in the initiative order unless surprised, and having a DEX score of 19(+4).

He is also able to inspire fear in those people who fight him.  The first time they see him move, the first time he does more than 10 damage to one person or every time he kill someone, they must save.  On a failed save, they take 1d6 CHA damage each round they continue to fight him.  If this CHA damage ever equals or exceeds the person's CHA score, then they must flee, and gain the Conviction, "I don't know what that was, but I am never fighting it again, if I have another choice."

                                                                 by LoLo-0

Tyche, the White Pillar, Minister of Sloth

"You speak of the greatness of mankind, but what have you really achieved?  Destruction of countless lesser beings?  Mounds of hideous, impractical creations?  New and more innovative ways to kill each other?  Frankly, even if you don't trust me, I can't see the harm in giving us our planet back.  After all, we could hardly do worse than what you've accomplished in a few short millennia."

Omens:
About a week before he is summoned or arrives by some other means, strange things begin to happen.
First, strange lights are seen at night, bright white balls that dance and pirroute through the air, before vanishing.
Secondly, some people nearby where he is due to arrive begin suffering from similar, horrible nightmares.  They dream of a terrible creature made of white plastic and polished chrome that hunts them through an endless labyrinth that reeks of antiseptic.
Then, when he arrives, clouds cover the sky and acid rain begins to fall.  This isn't enough to do damage, but it irritates the skin and damages historic monuments.

Appearance:

Any Host Tyche is given, he will transform into a inhuman looking thing, tall and thin, made of translucent, glass-like flesh, with stingers present on its middle fingers.

True Form:

Tyche will only assume his True Form to fight, or if assuming his True Form could benefit him in some other way.

When he transforms, a brilliant light floods the area, a spot light to truly display his form.  His true form is tall and legless, with a lower-body like a great worm.  His skin is white as snow, with no blemishes or marks.  He has two eyes and 19 arms.  A pair of dark eyes are the only relief from his monotonous color-scheme, which is dazzling in the light.

                                                                    by draledede

Personality:

Tyche is slow to move and slow to act.  He relies on the judgements of others, preferring to allow others the honor of the first move.  He is cautious and pragmatic, and known to think deeply on many topics.  He is a philosopher of a sort, very interested in mortal perspectives on most issues.  He is not kind of gentle, but he is rational, and sometimes that is all you really need.

Weakness:

Tyche is slow to move.  He is loathe to take risks, preferring to wait until he has all the information possible.  As such, if you flee, you are almost certain to escape.  If you set a trap for him, he will never be caught in it, but you could use a trap as a double-bluff, so that while he was investigating a possible trap you could attack him from the rear, if you were feeling clever.

                                                                     from Monster Vault
Statblock Changes:
Tyche has a Damage Threshold of 5.
His AC is 13.
He makes one attack with a +4 bonus to the roll.  He does this by stretching out one of his many arms.  Anyone hit by his attack takes 1d10 poison damage and is grappled.  Tyche will then reel the person back and keep them near him.  Each round they are grappled by Tyche, they take an additional 1d10 poison damage as he keeps injecting it into them.
Tyche also has the power of regeneration, able to recover 1 SHP a round.


Sin, The Maid of Lust, The Glass Harlot, The Bottomless Crone, The Infinite Mother

"They say I know nothing of valor, of honor.  They say that because I am so strong, I need fear nothing, and thus, I cannot understand courage.  For the sake of argument, let's say that is correct.  Tell me, who will teach me about courage?  Who will teach me the true nobility of the human spirit?  Who will prove to me that it is the humans that kill the monsters?  Come now, step forward!  Come and show me who is truly stronger!"


Omens:
A few days before she is summoned or arrives by some other means, strange things begin to happen.
First, the clouds in the sky begin surging and glowing, seeming to fold in on themselves, shining with bright, white flashes that look like lightning, but with no thunder.
Secondly, time begins to slow to a crawl.  You will feel you've been working on a project for hours, only to check the clock on the wall and find its only been ten minutes.
Then, when she arrives, "Shadilay" begins playing from an unseen source, filling the air for a while.

Appearance:

Sin is subtle, and keeps her Host looking exactly as they did before she took over their body.

True Form:

Sin will only assume her true form if she is attacked, if it would benefit her, or she feels it would be funny in this current situation.  If one of the aforementioned occurs, she will transform.

Sin's true form, from a distance, resembles a naked, buxom, black-skinned woman with six arms and no eyes.  However, as you get closer, you realize that her skin is very odd.  It is actually closer to translucent grey, resembling a sheet of cloudy glass with a female form visible behind the "glass".  However, as you look closer, you see more and more layers of glass in the way, endlessly refracting this vague female form from many many layers back.  The deeper you look, the more layers you see, as Sin's body is apparently infinitely deep.


Personality:

Sin seems to love and enjoy everything about the world.  She sees beauty in everything, from the horrible to the small.  To her, a field of broken corpses is as beautiful and interesting as a teacup full of jasmine is.  She is endlessly interested in the small eccentricities of our world, from pain to starbucks to money to the small zaps of static electricity.  She is also passionately interested in sex, and will likely try to seduce you.  However, she is not likely to be successful, as Sin conducts herself with all the grace of a stampeding herd of wildebeests.  Her idea of flirting is to fling herself at the object of her affections in the most obvious way possible and hope they notice.

Weakness:

Sin has absolutely no impulse control.  If she sees something sexy (Sin has a wide variety of features she finds sexy) she will try to seduce that person.  If she sees something interesting, she will want to touch and examine it.  If she sees something tasty looking, she will want to eat it.  If not stopped, Sin will go after it without hesitating for a second.


Statblock Changes:
Sin has a Damage Threshold of 8.
She has an AC of 10.
She fights by stealing your weapons and attacking you with them.
She makes four attacks with these weapons with a +6 bonus.  Each successful attack does 1d8 damage.
Sin can also, instead of making four weapon attacks, make 1 stinger attack with a +6 bonus.  Anyone stung by her stinger must save or die.
Sin is immune to non-magical weapon damage.
She can also, as a full action, turn intangible.  While intangible she cannot affect physical objects, but they cannot affect her either.


Plague, the Firstborn of Death, the Knight of Gluttony

"I will devour your limbs.  I will make of you a banquet of suffering.  The blood will flow unending.  Your fear is the garnish for your flesh.  I will eat you all alive!  Kill!  Kill!  KILL!"


Omens:
Yesterday, before he is summoned or arrives through some other means, strange things begin to happen.
First, a bunch of people began having similar dreams.  They were all slightly different, but they all were centered on the theme of being chased by a giant horror that wanted to eat them, rotting from the inside, being a walking corpse, or being stuck next someone with a persistent cough for an 18 hour flight.
Secondly, someone carries out a biological terror attack on a nearby public place.
Then, prey animals will scatter and hide, falling silent.  Domesticated animals will hide or flee, attacking people and going berserk if they are prevented from escaping.  Then he will arrive, and it will be too late.

Appearance:

Plague makes any Host he is given into its ideal form, handsome, free of blemishes, unsightly marks, making them beautiful, whole and healthy.

True Form:

Plague is a great, doglike beast with a slavering muzzle, overflowing with razor sharp teeth.  He is quadrupedal, with four forelimbs and two rear ones.  He also has a fifth forelimb that comes out underneath his chin.  That one ends in another mouth, one with fangs that bites anyone who gets too close to it.  The rest of his forelimbs end in four-fingered hands.  He could choke you, if he wanted to.  His body is made of a scintillating, black material, a substance that resembles black mercury.  Its properties are unknown, but it is known that wherever Plague goes, water is contaminated, plants die, and anyone who ingests any of the fluids coming off Plague sickens and dies.  The only relief from the flowing, liquid nature of his body is his three eyes, all which are bright orange, and glow when he wishes them too.

                                                    by nachtwulf

Personality:

Plague is a feral creature, highly intelligent, yet one who seems to place no value on higher concepts.  If he wished, he would behave as a beast does, rutting, sleeping and eating whenever he pleased.  He kills and hunts, not out of hatred, but because that is what predators do.  He is completely amoral, never stopping to consider the moral implications of what he is doing.  To Plague, things like morals, manners and laws are not worth considering.  They are mere fancies, to be ignored unless absolutely necessary.

Weakness:

Plague loves to eat humans.  He finds them delicious.  If he has the opportunity, he will try to eat any humans he can find, living or dead.  It takes 1d3 humans to fill him all the way up.  After that, if he feels it safe, he will find a quiet place to nap and sleep off his lunch.

                                                           by inshoo1

Statblock Changes:
Plague has a Damage Threshold of 6.
He has an AC of 12.
He makes two bite attacks with a +5 bonus, each one doing 1d10 damage on a hit.
Plague can turn invisible as a full action.

Plague can inspire strong emotions in people.  As a full action, all people within his field of view must save.  On a failed save, those people take 1d6 CHA damage each round they are still within his field of view.  If this CHA damage ever equals or exceeds the CHA score of any one of those people, then that person becomes overcome with the emotion of Plague's choice.  For example, if he choose fear, they must flee.  If he choose psychotic rage, they must make an attack each round.  If he choose crushing sadness, they get -1 to attack and damage.  If he choose rapturous joy, they must save or be unable to continue fighting.  All these emotional effects last for 1d10 minutes, or until something that doesn't fit the mood happens.

Plague can also spew clouds of toxic smoke.  He can only use this ability every 1d4 turns.  The Cloud covers a 50' square area and can be dispersed by rain, spraying water, or wind.  Anyone in the cloud takes 3d6 damage when they first enter it, then an additional 1d6 damage each round they are still in it.  If you are wearing a gas mask or other protective gear, save to take half damage.  If you are wearing a full biological chemical warfare hazard suit, you take no damage from this attack automatically.


Uniris [You-near-iss], Woman Scorned, Harpist of Hell, Singer of Doom

"You think I don't understand how you feel?  You think I'm some unsympathetic bitch?  Well guess what, you're goddamn right!  I don't care about you at all.  Actually, scratch that, I do care about you.  I hate you so much, I hope there's a God, just so I can know he's going to shove you in a metal coffin and light you on fire for all eternity, you stupid, sinning ape!"

Omens:
About a week ago, before she is summoned or arrives through some other means, strange things begin to happen. 
Firstly, some people near where she is due to arrive start suffering from bouts of amnesia, forgetting large chunks of their day.
Then, those same people begin suffering blackouts, night terrors and terrible dreams they barely remember.  All these dreams involve being on a date with an attractive woman, hanging out with a female friend, or meeting the woman their (son/male friend/etc) has been dating.  These dinners always go terribly, and someone usually ends up being shot or dying violently. 
Finally, when she arrives, time begins flowing at an accelerated rate for a brief period.  Eventually, the flow of time returns to normal, once she stops using her powers.

Appearance:

Uniris will change any Host she is given into a beautiful female humanoid thing, with full lips, a fine body, long, shimmering hair, and anything else she thinks is attractive.  She will also change their clothes for something sexier.  However, despite her obvious physical attractiveness (when have you seen an ugly shape-shifter?) she can never truly be hot.  She's too nervous usually, constantly looking over her shoulder and fidgeting.  There's also the problem of her personality, but we'll hold off on that for a second. 

True Form:

Uniris will only assume her true form if she needs to fight, or she's angry.  Otherwise, she will remain in her current form.  But if she needs to fight or you tick her off, she will transform.
 
Uniris a three-eyed, four-armed, legless monster.  She is covered in white and grey scales, so colored that she could camouflage herself against a modern cityscape.  She is constantly moving and twitching in this form, bubbling with nervous energy.

                                                                 by monpuasajr

Personality:

Uniris is a paranoid wreck.  She always shoots first, and never shows any mercy.  She never lets people live.  Uniris lives by the mantra of the Origin of Species, "Survival of the Fittest".  She knows that the strong do as they will and the weak suffer what they must, and she knows she is weak.  Thus, Uniris does not practice any form of mercy or fair-play.  

Weakness:

You might think that Uniris' weakness would lead her to be more accepting, more generous, and more accommodating of others.  You would be totally wrong.  Uniris is vicious, hot-blooded and has an explosive temper.  Any jokes about her being weak, small, pathetic or of lower status than any of the other six Deadly Enemies, or god forbid, any other life form will make her explode and attack that person.  Uniris never attacks people in melee combat, unless she is angry.

                                                                   by titi-artwork

Statblock Changes:
Uniris has a Damage Threshold of 3.
She has an AC of 15.
She makes three attacks at +2, each attack doing 1d6 damage.
She can fire three shots from her Harp Guns, or she can draw her Selenium-Swords and hack at her opponents in melee range.
Uniris is super fast.  She always goes first in the initiative order, unless surprised, and has a DEX of 19(+4).

                                                     
Darrel Kevin Smith, The Speaker for Darkness, the Mouth of Avarice

"Yep, that's me.  You're probably wondering how I got myself into this situation.  Well, it's really a funny story.  You see, it all started when I downloaded this magic spell off the internet..."

Omens:
About a week ago, before he is summoned or arrives through some other means, strange things begin to happen.
First, people begin having strange dreams of sitting opposite a monster, who asks them to make a saving throw, whatever that means.
Secondly, small animals begin dying.  Cats, older dogs, fish, hamsters, rabbits, etc.
Finally, when he arrives, pictures and statues of people begin to weep blood.   

Appearance:

Darrel Kevin Smith is a great, legless, surging mass of gelatinous flesh colored white, black and orange.  He has three eyeballs floating amidst his blobby body, and 22 arms moving and shifting freely across his body.  In size, he is large enough to fill large hot tub, and cover the floor of at least one room of a dungeon (a small room, though).   

True Form:

Darrel Kevin Smith is a pudgy male human.  He is light-skinned with bottle-green eyes and black hair.  He also has a wispy mustache.

Personality:

Darrel Kevin Smith is quite insecure about his position among the Seven Deadly Enemies.  He realizes how new he is to the team, and seeks to prove himself.  He is hungry for honor, to prove himself.  As such, he takes to his work with great zeal.  He takes time to joke with his enemies, to mock and tease them for their ineptitude.  Though unless you're directly standing in his way, he really has no problem letting you go.

He also has a great passion for many nerdy things, such as Star Wars, Cowboy and Western movies, horror of all forms (especially Stephen King books) and military history.

Weakness:

Darrel Kevin Smith needs to accomplish his objectives.  He cannot fail, he is terrified of the possibility.  As such, if there is any chance he might win, he will take it.  He could be easily trapped, if you knew this.


Statblock Changes:
Darrel Kevin Smith has a Damage Threshold of 7.
He has an AC of 11.
He makes three attacks a round with a +6 bonus to his attack rolls, each attack doing 1d8 damage on a hit.
He attacks by freezing parts of his liquid substance and spitting them at people.  They do 1d8 poison damage on contact, as they re-liquefy and seep through the skin.

He can also spray a blast of acid from one of his mouths.  He can only do this every 1d4 rounds.  The acid hits a 30' cone that is 30' long and does 3d6 acid damage on a hit, save for half if you have no shield, save to resist all damage if you do.

He can also fire up to four lasers from his eyes.  He can only do this every 1d4 rounds.  The lasers each do 1d6 damage on a hit, and can hit separate targets.

He can also turn intangible.  While intangible, he cannot be affected by physical objects, but they can't be affected by him either.

He is immune to cold and cold damage.

He can also give his Demonic Gifts to others, if he so chooses.

The First Enemy

Now, the other six Deadly Enemies can show up without the need for further foreshadowing beyond their omens.  The others are minions.  The Prince though, he is different.  The Prince is the boss of bosses, the final culmination of an adventure or a series of adventures.  He is strong, yes, but he is also intelligent, charismatic, and pure, absolute evil.  The other Deadly Enemies are mere children compared to him.  He is their leader, their Father, their God.  They worship him.

The Prince allows them to serve him, working on completing his own grand, master plan.  His plan should vary to fit whatever campaign you are running, but it should always be simple enough not to be foiled and evil enough that it should be stopped.  Also, I've gone ahead and given the Prince a sub-objective, something to complete while other adventures are happening.  The Prince is trying to acquire the Sovereign's Sacred Treasures, and once he acquires them all, he will be all but invincible. Not that he really needs the help right now.


The Prince

"Don't listen to your Dad, he's a liar."

"Beware the Glowin Guy."

"All Hail President Light!"


- Occult Graffitti cleaned off various subway stations, bathroom walls, or squatter's nests

"Question what the TV tells you, question what a pop star sells you.  Question Mom and Question Dad, question Good and question Bad."


- Marina from Marina and the Diamonds, in her single "Sex Yeah"

Alternate Titles: Dawn-child, The Glowin Guy, Brightstar, Son of the Morning, King of the Golden Lands, Overlord of Solar Radiance, Man in the Highest Office, President Light, Hardcase-in-Chief, Master of Mistresses, Dominator, Prosecutor, Challenger, The Rival, Man of the New World, Father

The Prince is heralded by:

Dreams of a man framed in light, a beautiful man whose face you can never see.  He will speak to you of innocuous things, or of gifts he wishes to give you.  You always wake up unsettled, despite how peaceful the dreams seem.
Feathers left around where he has been, or floating on the breeze.  They are soft and downy, white but speckled with brown.
Murmurs and rumors in bars and pubs.  "Dad's comin', they say.  Whoever that might be."  Or "I hear the Rival's in town.  Whose he a rival to again?"  To which someone responds, "Everybody, I think."

Make sure to draw out the Prince's arrival.  Torment the players with dreams for a long time.  He should be a long shadow on the wall, like the Walkin Dude in The Stand, or Shai'tan in the Eye of the World, a creature that chases and hounds the players for ages, teasing and mocking them, but never getting close enough that they might strike at him.  Then, when they're least ready, have him walk in through the front door, prepared for the fight of his life.

Looks like:

A man in faded jeans and a denim jacket, wearing a Greenpeace button and a Steven Universe pin.  He's handsome, with long, unbound hair, a bit of stubble, and warm eyes, with only the slightest of bags under them.  He smells of sweat and masculine grit, but in a good way.  He doesn't seem to own anything but the clothes off his back and a small backpack that he carries everywhere with him

True Form:

Do not look upon the Prince with your Sight Beyond Sight.  If you do, save.  On a failure, you go stark, raving mad.  On a success, there is a 90% chance you repress the memory.  If you are the 1-in-10 people who see him and stay sane, you will be extremely reluctant to talk about him.  But if you must, you will.

Here's what you will tell them:

"I saw the kings of the world, bowing at his feet.  I saw he was as tall as the sky, big as godzilla, walking across the globe, footsteps across the world, crushing cities beneath his tread.  I saw him chatting with white nationalists in an isolated cabin in Nebraska.  I saw how he knew the Feds were going to shoot them, and how he was going to enjoy that.  I saw how he sat in meetings with Assada Shakur, chanting and cursing out the cops with the rest of them.  I saw how he rides first class and chats with CEOs as he flies across the world, discussing stocks and carbon tax.  I saw how he kills, easily and casually, like swatting a fly.  I saw how he hates me, personally, viscerally, but not as he hates what I am.  I also saw, how he saw me." 

Statblock Changes:

He has a Damage Threshold of 6.
His AC is 12.
He is immune to blunt damage (including bullets) along with heat and fire damage.
He is also wearing the Plate of Protection, which is currently disguised as a denim jacket.

He makes two attacks with a +5 bonus, each one doing 1d10 damage on a hit.
He attacks with his pistol, a massive, silver automatic that fires enormous silver slugs.  It's clearly a pistol of alien manufacture, even if the design is familiar.  He can summon this gun to his hand at any time, and make it disappear at will.

If he doesn't want to shoot you though, he can just punch you.  He is super strong, his punches doing 1d6+4 damage.  He has a practical STR of 19(+4).

If none of that will satisfy him, he can also touch you with his Hand of Glory.  He makes his left hand glow a brilliant gold, translucent flames wrapping around it.  Anyone he touches with this must save or die.

Finally, he also has Telekinesis, and is able to manipulate objects with his mind alone.


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