Friday, January 7, 2011

Gygaxian Democracy #10: The Vidrageist

Let's crowdsource a sea monster...

MOVE: 6"//12"
% IN LAIR: 50%
SIZE: L (20' long)
attack/Defense Modes: Nil/nil
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE: VI/475 + 6/hp

Despite the name--and many legends to the contrary--this bizarre amphibious creature is not undead. They are often found basking in the moonlight atop the ruins of flooded cities, and it is said that the moon grants them their strange abilities.

Upon first encountering any creature, the Vidrageist will...

(your turn)


biopunk said...

1). Perform it's mating 'dance'.

The Vidrageist will swim in ever-diminishing circles around a newly experienced creature in the hope of procreating with them.

If the Vidrageist is brushed against or touched during this time, a bioluminescent fluid will be exuded from the spines of its wing/fins and float on the surface of the water.

This fluid glows with a bright purplish-blue hue in males, and a reddish-orange in the case of females. Both fluids can be visible from many miles away on a clear night, and glow for 3-6 days if collected in an appropriate container.

It is generally assumed* that if the two fluids intermix, that they lose their luminescence and will sink to the bottom where a single egg will develop and a new Vidrageist will emerge after three full moons.

* Mainly by Gerexes the Sage and his pupils. Feeshawan of Oth maintains this time will not be less than six full moons.

Neither has raised a Vidrageist in captivity, but both would surely pay a goodly sum for a sample of the fluids...

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Huh. Interesting that you chose to do a monster tonight. I'm also doing one.


After performing its mating 'dance', if it is not touched, the Vidrageist will find the nearest roof top that is shaded from the sun but not the moon and expel the bio-luminescent fluids there. They will dry in the moonlight giving rise to a Carvagorn (A small, fluffy, triangular creature, with mouths on its feet. The Carvagorn is able to mate successfully with others of its kind, and will breed true. They are common, and their sex is determined by that of their parent (same gender as the Vidrageist that created them).)

TrentB said...

If not in moonlight: The Vidrageist will begin collecting the creatures feelings and emotions. If the creature is not especially reactive, it will attempt to elicit a response by either:
(1)stalking (to create fear or apprehension)
(2)caressing (to create... well.. something?), (3)singing, or
(4)threatening. Typically, threats are only threats and the vidrageist will avoid anything dangerous.

The Vidrageist collects these feelings and shares them with the moon. It is only interested in collecting feelings and will swim to safe depths if it feels uncomfortable.

If in moonlight (of sufficient strength): The Vidrageist will swim within audible range and sing, to both the moon and the new creature. These songs are the Vidrageists harvested emotions given the form of sound, and it feels compelled to share its music with both life and the moon that birthed it. The songs are unforgettable and unimitable and will affect any creature that hears it with one of the following (roll individually)(D10):
(1) Fear, (2) Pleasure, (3) Contentment, (4) Despair, (5) Anxiety, (6) Compassion, (7) Love, (8) Pain, (9) Disgust, (10)Hatred

The creature is overcome by this emotion and (if applicable) will respond to any stimulus with it.

The Vidrageist will continue to sing until sufficiently threatened, or until the moonlight becomes too dim for the moon to hear it. This may result in an extremely long and difficult experience for ship crews, who are often left maddened or worse from their encounter.

TrentB said...

Oh - it collects emotions by swimming in the vicinity of the creature, or where it has recently been, and processing the pheromones and residual spiritual presence of the creature. It detects and absorbs these things via spiritual receptors in its creepy-head-flaps. Detects emotions within 25km of its position, and can harvest them from within 50m, although closer is better.

hüth said...

If, somehow, you are completely drained of emotions by the Vidrageist, part of your soul (the Ib, specifically) cyclically detaches to roam quiescent shorelines, lakes, grottoes or other still bodies of water in search of new emotions to fill up on. This happens during the same phase of the moon as when the draining initially occurred.

Chris Lowrance said...

3) Explode.

Each hunk of rubbery flesh resulting from said explosion (1d20+4) remains alive and animate. These tattered obscenities move about like a mangled octopus and are quite mobile. They are also filled with nemetocysts, or stinging cells. Contact with one results in incredible pain (save or incapable of action for 1d6 rounds) and infection with Lunar Sickness.* The hunks will attempt to infect anything nearby - once having done so they will retreat to the nooks and crannies of the flooded city, take root and form a polyp.

*Lunar Sickness will manifest in three days. The flesh turns palid and fails to retain moisture, requiring constant wetting. By the the new moon the sufferer will need to drink salt water to live and will vomit up any food, but become a superior swimmer as their muscles strengthen inexplicably. They will feel an increasing drag back to the source of infection until, by the next full moon, it's unbearable. They will eventually be driven to swim down into the city, find the polyp that infected them, and allow it to consume them whole. By this method the vidrageist reproduces asexually while maintaining genetic diversity - it strips the DNA from the victim.

mordicai said...

The ambergris of the Vidrageist is filled with the detritus of its emotional diet, which can be harvested upon its death. The ambergris can be used to create perfumes (1d6 doses upon a successful skill result) keyed to a specific emotion. When wearing the perfume, anyone within thirty feet must save or be influenced by the chosen emotion. Fear, anger, attraction-- any conceivable emotion that the Vidrageist has tasted can be prepared. This is a non-magical effect.

Delta said...

Double in Hit Dice.

Ronson said...

4. Call out to a random PC in the voice of a lost loved one, or someone else to whom she's had a strong emotional bond (good or bad). If the PC treats the creature with appropriate respect, it will grant the PC a cryptic prophesy. If not, it will curse the PC and swim away.

kelvingreen said...

The vidrageist lives its entire life, from egg to death, between one full moon and the next. However, its perceptions are hastened to such an extent that this month is to the vidrageist as six decades are to a human.

kelvingreen said...

Although the flesh of the vidrageist is generally inedible, certain halfling chefs have managed to perfect a delicious vidrageist stew, which commands high prices outside halfling society.

Menace 3 Society said...

5. is also a were-(d6 1 shark 2 wolf 3 polar bear 4 tiger 5 otter 6 sea-snake) and transforms and attacks! In animal shape it is only vulnerable to silver or magic in animal form. If it goes down into the twilight zone of the sea (below 200m), it is cut off from lunar influence and turns back.

6. Attacks until victim is dead or it is sated with 1d4: 1-3 silver 4: moldy cheese.

7. Sings a song of lunacy that requires a saving throw from all intelligent creatures who hear it or go mad. Effect of madness is d10: 1-2 Thalassophobia, irrational, anxious fear of the sea. 3-4 Thalassomania, the perpetual urge be out on the open sea when on land. May get violent. 5: Creature becomes extremely irritable whenever under the current phase of the moon. 6: Creature hears voices in breaking waves. Is this really insanity? 7: Creature believes him/herself to be a wolf, howls at full moon. 8: Creature believes him/herself to be a werewolf, has panic attacks around silver. 9: Creature believes him/herself to be a fish, tries to dive in and swim like one, drowning in the process unless he/she has gills already. 10: Monomania, character becomes obsessed with hunting down a type of sea creature, taking revenge on an entire species for the imagine wrongs done by a particular individual. Determine randomly.

8. Sprouts a lotus blossom out of its head that has a 1% chance of granting a priest/cleric/druid/etc type a +1 enlightenment bonus to one class of saving throw for the rest of his or her life. Other classes and creatures will try to eat the blossom, if successful, they will be in a drugged out stupor for d4+1 days.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

The ambergris of the Vidrageist can also be added to water or other liquids, giving it a flavor that can not be achieved throgh other means. However it makes the drinker experience one or more of the emotions that the particular Vidrageist has experienced.

hüth said...

This is the only reliable way to cure one emotionally drained by the Vidrageist.

D R L said...

9. Sensing danger, the vidrageist will place its front flippers to its temples and adopt an expression of concentration. Concentric psionic rings visibly emanate from the vidrageist's central cranial fin with an audible "VmmVmmmVmmVmm."

This instantly summons 2d4 2hd mermen to the vidrageist's defense.

crowking said...

...try to swim or move away from the potential threat or enemies. However, if cornered or any of it's newly born hatching's are in danger, It will exhale a 15x8x9 cone of highly potent rectal gas. All within the cone must sv vs breath weapon or pass out for 3d6 turns( treat as sleep spell) those who successfully save will be succumbed to nausea and fight and defend at -3 for said turns. The Vidrageist are 75% immune to magic and never horde treasure. They are true Chaotic in alignment.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...


So that's who Freezeflame the Flatulent is. A sentient Vidrageist!

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Well, that or the pet Vidrageist of The Decrepit Bishop Who Collects the Archivist.


Didn't Zak say that they're neutral?

iron said...

I though they were chaotic and had a special magic resistance.

Edit: Although they horde no treasure, their eggs are highly prized by alchemists and magic users types and are worth 10D10x2 GP' each within the occultist market.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

SIZE: L (20' long)
attack/Defense Modes: Nil/nil
LEVEL/X.P. VALUE: VI/475 + 6/hp

In any case...

Although their eggs are highly prized they must be transported to the destination within the span of a night, and it must have a large tank of water prepared as they explode (doing 5d20 damage in 500 feet) if they are not underwater by daybreak. It does not matter if the egg is hidden from sunlight, as many a trader has learned to their sorrow (if they were still alive after the kaboom).

crowking said...

5d20 points of damages? Yikes!! That's just as bad as barebacking a Remorhaz.

Chris Lowrance said...

What number are we on? Eh. Sorry, Zak.

X) Emit an unearthly, keening wail that, as it turns out, sounds like a horrible insult in the listener's mind. It ranges from very Linda Blair "your mother sucks cocks in hell!" kind of stuff to lame jabs like "A paladin, huh? What, you couldn't make up your mind so you decided to cram the worst parts of two jobs together?"

The beast will continue this barrage of annoying insults indefinitely. This is a large part of why they are "Very Rare."

Any kind of "detect magic" voodoo will reveal the creature is cursed and isn't actually talking. It's just an animal, after all. Apparently something wants them all dead, and can wait a long time for it to happen.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

Well that or something is trying to help, but isn't very good at at magic, as the first letter of each insult will chain together to form a prophecy about whoever is hearing them. Not that anyone knows that...

Zzarchov said...

- Causes colour blindness in all who look upon it (failing a save?), until the next full moon all who have looked upon the vidrageist will see the world through sepia tones. If the vidrageist is slain before the next full moon this condition will become permanent unless a victim eats the entire heart of the vitrageist, uncooked.

migellito said...

will become incorporeal, this state accompanied by a faint silvery luminescence. If attacked from a ship, it will use its incorporeality to enter the lower decks directly from the water. It will then use its ability to move among the decks for purposes of defense and attack.

On an attack roll of a natural 20, the vidrageist has captured their target in either maw or flipper, as appropriate. It will then go incorporeal, bringing the unfortunate captive with it.

Sean T. Collins said...

...immediately flushes with bright blue bioluminescence and emits a sickly sweet odor, both of which are completely irresistible to a wide variety of hematophagous insects. The vidrageist then begins relentlessly following who/whatever encountered it, relying on the swam of insects to batten on the victims before landing on the vidrageist, at which point they become embedded in its sticky epidermis and consumed by the digestive juices contained therein, allowing the vidrageist to consume the nutrients in the blood the insects drew. The vidrageist continues its pursuit until the pursued escape the flood zone, until daybreak, or until its bioluminescence shifts from blue to purple, indicating satiety. Victims have a 1 in 4 chance, statistically, of contracting a blood-borne disease from insects drawn to the vidrageist; malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and vampirism being the most common.

Pturtle said...

X+1) ... it will begin to flash the bioluminescent spots along its tail and the fringes of its pseudo-wings. The Vidrageist is a social creature, organizing into packs or prides; these prides distinguish themselves from one another by patterns of flashes. If the characters fail to flash an appropriate signal, they will be attached on a d6 roll of 1 or 2, with other rolls resulting in an apathetic reaction. If the characters attempt to replicate an appropriate signal, and fail to do so (it's never an exact copy - there's always a sign-countersign), the creature will attack the PCs as an enemy, with its full offensive arsenal. If, by some means, the PCs are able to replicate an accurate response, the Vidrageist will lead them back to the pride's lair, as it would to an injured or lost comrade. Vidrageists are very curious creatures, and are attracted to shiny objects; a Vidrageist lair will be the repository of 2d20 major gems, 5d1000 gp, and 1d10 random magic items. (Please feel free to adjust treasure type to acceptable, yet still lucrative, levels...)

Pturtle said...

(Jesus... next time, I'll read the responses preceding mine, so I don't look like a plagiarizing nimrod...)

IHaveTilFive said...

First, it scans for any sign of aggression or possible threat. If it feels threatened, it barks out a shrill shriek, causing any creature with hearing in a 60’ radius to save vs. fear. If in moonlight, this at a –3 penalty. Failure will cause the victim to tremble uncontrollably, feeling as if the vidrageist is seeing into its soul; moving out of sight from the beast will cause this to cease.

In 2d4 rounds, d3 additional vidrageist will respond to the shriek,appearing in the vicinity.

If not threatened and not in moonlight, it will likely (70%) swim away, or else find a spot to lay just above the waterline. If in moonlight, it will examine intelligent creatures, ignoring other animals.

For those with Wisdom of 5 and under, it will gaze at them, save vs. paralyzation. If successful, the person will receive an idiot-savant-like revelation to a problem or puzzle that has been stumping those around him/her for some time. Failure results in a Wisdom loss of –1, an Intelligence loss of -2, and a Charisma loss of –3.

Those with Wisdom from 6 to 14 will: (d8) be ignored (1-5), be attacked (6), be spit upon by the beast (chunk of ambergris which Mordecai described) (7), or become nocturnal, all rolls –1 in open daylight (Save negates). Also, 1% chance each person that this triggers a latent ancestral lycanthropy. (8)

For those with Wisdom 15+, save vs. magic. It gazes deeply into the eyes. Failure: It finds something it likes and takes. One random attribute loses d3 points permanently. This also causes a permanent fear of the sea. Success by 4 or less: A Sadder But Wiser Man – permanent loss of d4 hit points, but can use one d4 level cleric spell each day during this phase of the moon each month. Success of 5+: Can astrally project three times during each full moon and use remote viewing three times during each new moon.