Sunday, August 21, 2011

New Labyrinth Lord Monster/Class: Dweomon and Dweomon Master

The Arch Mage Quercus is viewed by historians and seers of the mystic arts as both a surpassing genius and a complete and utter maniac.

He was fascinated with finding a relationship between the forces of magic and the very spark of life, and in his studies he made great strides in the development of magical life forms such as homunculi, golems, and in the pseudo-life exhibited by creatures of the elemental planes.

It is said in the accounts of those who knew him that he was also a great proponent of the preservation of knowledge, having lived through the sacking of the Archive of Azure in his days as an apprentice. The accumulation and protection of magical information was one of the overarching goals of his life.

He was known to often speak of finding some way to make magical knowledge capable of fending for itself, without being consigned to fragile paper or brittle clay or stone.

In his twilight years as a Professor of Thaumaturgy at the Vermilion College, these two obsessions came together in a great magical experiment that resulted in Professor Quercus' passing from this mortal plane, along with most of the structures and inhabitants of the College's Zoological Garden, leaving behind a completely new form of magical life in the smoking, sparkling rubble.

These creatures would come to be known as Living Spells, the Dweomon.


No. Enc: Lvl 1-3: 1d8/Lvl 4-6: 1d4/Lvl 7-9: 1
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: Lvl 1-3: 60' (20')/ Lvl 4-6 90'(30')/ Lvl 7-9 120' (40')
Armor Class: Lvl 1-3: 8/ Lvl 4-6: 6/ Lvl 7-9: 4
Hit Dice: Spell Level of Spell Embodied
Attacks: Bite
Damage: Lvl 1-3: 1d4/Lvl 4-6: 1d6/Lvl 7-9: 1d10
Save: As Magic User of their HD
Morale: Lvl 1-3: 4/Lvl 4-6: 6/Lvl 7-9: 8
Hoard Class: None

A Dweomon is, simply put, a spell given the form of a living animal. They live and breathe, move about in the fashion of their kind, sleep when tired, fight when cornered, and eat when hungry.

This last function they do quite voraciously and without much discernment, being perfectly happy to feast on animal, vegetable, or mineral matter. As the creatures age, they develop preferences for food, generally depending on what type of creature they resemble. Sometimes, they develop a taste for the exotic, like eating gold or musical instruments or books of poems. Dweomon of all types relish gemstones, and also many find spellbooks a surpassing delicacy.

Some are intelligent enough to learn to speak, although most exhibit animal intelligence at best. Regardless, they all seem to show a high level of self awareness and cleverness.

From nose to rump they may range from a foot long in the smallest, weakest specimens, to nine feet long for the very largest and most powerful types. A good rule of thumb seems to be about a foot in length per level of spell they embody. Weight varies greatly based on form, and the closest equivalent natural life form is a good baseline to estimate from.

Their form and appearance ranges up and down the branches of the great tree of life, from insectoid to birdlike to mammalian to humanoid, with many combinations of multiple types possible as well. They exhibit a wide range of colors and patterns, many not found in any form of natural life.

A Dweomon may cast the spell it embodies once per day, after which it must have a full night's sleep and consume its weight in food before it may do so again. They may gain additional castings if they consume a gemstone of 50 gp per spell level in value.

Dweomon Creation

To create a type of Dweomon, roll randomly on the magic user/elf spell tables using a d12 to determine what spell it embodies. Then take one set of dice (d20, d12, d10, d8, d6, d4) and roll them. This will generate the creature's general description.

Animal Type: Roll 1d20
01 Arthropod - Insect
02 Arthropod - Arachnid
03 Arthropod - Crustacean- May breathe underwater.
04 Amphibian
05 Reptile - Lizard
06 Reptile - Snake
07 Reptile - Turtle - AC -2
08 Reptile - Draconic - Fly 90' (30')
09 Bird - Songbird - Fly 180' (60')
10 Bird - Raptor - Fly 180' (60')
11 Bird - Fowl - Fly 90' (30')
12 Mammal - Rodent/Mustelid/Lagomorph
13 Mammal - Ursine/Procyonid
14 Mammal - Feline
15 Mammal - Canine
16 Mammal - Bovine/Caprine
17 Mammal - Equine
18 Mammal - Primate
19 Humanoid
20 Roll Twice, first roll is front end/head, second roll is back end/body

Attitude: Roll 1d12
01 Surly and Uncooperative
02 Flighty and Timid
03 Affable and Friendly
04 Clingy and Shy
05 Listless and Sleepy
06 Aggressive and Irritable
07 Helpful and Obedient
08 Overzealous and Impatient
09 Amorous and Affectionate
10 Oblivious and Distracted
11 Random and Capricious
12 Aloof and Standoffish

Coloration: Roll 1d10
01: Red
02: Orange
03: Yellow
04: Green
05: Blue
06: Violet
07: Brown
08: White
09: Grey
10: Black

Hide Quality: Roll 1d8
01: Dull
02: Glossy
03: Bright
04: Dark
05: Spotted (roll second color)
06: Striped (roll second color)
07: Piebald (roll second color)
08: Glowing

Natural Weapons: Roll 1d6
01 Fast Runner/Flyer- Double Movement Rate
02 Claw/Claw: Lvl 1-3: 1d4-2/1d4-2|Lvl 4-6: 1d4/1d4|Lvl 7-9: 1d6/1d6
03 Horns: Lvl 1-3: 1d6/Lvl 4-6: 1d8/Lvl 7-9: 1d12
04 Stinger (Paralytic, Save Vs. Poison)
05 Breath Weapon (HP dmg, 3xDay)
06 Roll Twice

Special Abilities: Roll 1d4
01 Brave - +2 to Morale
02 Wings - Fly 180' (60') If already winged, add 30' (10') to movement
03 Speech (80% Common, 10% Demihuman, 5% Humanoid, 5% Draconic)
04 May cast 1d4 additional spells of 1/2 their level 1 time per day. Range of spells is rolled randomly at creation and remains fixed.

Dweomon Masters

Of course, such manifestly mystical creatures will not be left to wander in the wild. So much power on the paw, claw, hoof or wing will naturally be sought after by the ambitious or foolhardy.

In the years following their creation, a new breed of animal tamer has arisen who's goal is to seek out and capture these magical creatures, turning their abilities to their own purposes. They travel the land looking for wild Dweomon to tame, or to trade or take from others of their profession by barter or battle.

These Dweomon experts follow the last cryptic scrawling left by Professor Quercus on the last standing wall remaining of his laboratory:

Etiam augue omnes.

"Must catch them all."

These men and women are known as Dweomon Masters.

Hit Dice: d6

Their primary ability is to bond with and command Dweomon. A first level Dweomon master may bond with first level Dweomon, and every two levels after that they gain the ability to bond with a higher level of Dweomon. (Eg: At Level 3 they may bond with Lvl 2 Dweomon, At Level 5 they may bond with Lvl 3 Dweomon, etc. etc.)

This bonding may only occur with a wild Dweomon if the creature in question has been pacified with offerings of food and kind treatment, or has been captured or subdued, and the subject gets a Save vs. Spell with a +1 bonus for every point of non-subdual damage inflicted on the creature. Wild Dweomon will roll a reaction check upon encountering a Dweomon Master and behave accordingly, even to the point of casting their embodied spell if need be.

A Dweomon Master may automatically bond with a Dweomon that has been freely traded from another Master, or with one hatched by one of the Dweomon in his or her service. Hatchling Dweomon will imprint on the first Dweomon or Dweomon Master it sees.

A Dweomon will follow their Master loyally, but they are very much like henchmen. They will roll Morale checks if ordered into danger or unpleasant tasks, will bridle at abuse or neglect, to the point of running away and becoming wild again with a permanent +4 to their Save vs. Spell for bonding purposes. Conversely, if the creature is treated with respect and kindness, the Dweomon Master will gain a faithful and powerful ally.

There is no limit to the number of Dweomon that may follow a Dweomon Master, beyond the (possibly considerable) expense of care and feeding, and the difficulties that may arise between Dweomon of wildly varying types and personalities all vying for their Master's attention and care. The creatures' extreme rarity and high demand makes it uncommon for any but the most extremely powerful to amass much of a menagerie.

A first level Dweomon Master will start with a single Dweomon companion. This one is always the most loyal of their collection and will always have a morale of 10. While Dweomon are truly genderless, they will tend to take on the character of their Master over time.

A Dweomon Master cannot wear armor any heavier than leather, but may use shields. They select from a limited range of weapons more suited for subdual and capture over dealing lethal damage which includes clubs, nets, and quarterstaves, and for ranged weapons slings and shortbows or light crossbows equipped with special beanbag tipped arrows that stun rather than kill. (These cost the same as normal bolts or arrows, but only do subdual damage to unarmored targets.)

They can carry a dagger or shortsword, but only for self defense, and will never use it on a Dweomon or any other magical creature.

Upon reaching 9th. level, a Dweomon Master may choose to set up a stronghold that can serve as a training center, medical facility, and hostel for other wandering Dweomon Masters. 1d6 Apprentice Dweomon Masters will arrive to train under him or her, and any wild Dweomon wandering into the area around the center will be attracted as well by what they instinctually know is a safe and friendly environment for them.

Dweomon Masters use the Magic User table for level advancement, and use Thief saving throws.

Dweomon Eggs

All Dweomon regardless of type or appearance are genderless, and reproduce by laying eggs.

This happens once a year, and is marked by a huge increase in the amount of food the creature takes in. (The Dweomon will eat 10X its weight in food every day for a week. Due to their highly omnivorous nature, this isn't too much of a problem unless those keeping them have buildings or belongings they're particularly attached to.)

These eggs are commonly bicolored and spherical, usually red and white (some say this relates to the heraldry of the Vermilion College, although this is largely viewed with skepticism), but other colors are possible. They are nigh-indestructable, and vary in size from as tiny as robins' eggs to about a foot in diameter for the most powerful specimens. A knowledgeable Dweomon Master can estimate the level of an egg on a 3 or less on a d6.

Dweomon eggs are inert, and may remain so indefinitely until a spell is cast upon them, either by a spellcaster or by another Dweomon. If the one who hatched the egg is neither another Dweomon or Dweomon Master, the infant Dweomon will remain dependent until full grown, at which time it will attempt to escape into the wild. For some reason, a Dweomon cannot cast a spell on its own eggs to make them hatch. A pair of Dweomon in the wild may form a "mated pair" of sorts, hatching one another's eggs and raising the offspring to adulthood.

When a spell is cast upon a Dweomon egg, the egg hatches into a Dweomon that is the embodiment of that spell, regardless of what type laid the egg in the first place. A newly hatched Dweomon is 1/3 the size of its adult form, and has only 1 hd, gaining 1 hd per month until reaching their full growth. They lack any special attacks or other abilities until they reach their full growth.

The only limiting factor on this is that the eggs of lesser Dweomon aren't capable of hatching into greater Dweomon, and in fact if a spell of higher level is cast on a lower level egg, the egg will explode doing d6 damage for every point of difference in level out to its level X 10 feet radius.

A higher level Dweomon egg "fertilized" with a lower level spell will result in a matching litter of lesser Dweomon equal number to the level of the egg divided by the level of the spell. Any rounding errors result in a random Dweomon of the remaining levels embodying a different spell of their level.

Dweomon Eggs are highly prized, especially those of higher level, and can command prices of at least 100 gp per spell level on the open market. Dweomon are highly protective and possessive of their eggs, and will not part with them willingly. A Dweomon Master who takes one of his charges' eggs to sell or give away will find the creature suffers a cumulative -1 to Morale every time this is done, until such time as the creature runs away.

This class is hereby designated as Open Game Content via the Open Game License.

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