Thursday, March 28, 2013

Stat My Wife's Dinosaurs

My wife doodled some dinosaurs (and a crocodile and pterosaur) at work and I saw the page of doodles laying around.  I asked her if I could post them on this blog and she acquiesced.

Non-commercial rights granted to use these drawings in your personal game.  If you want to stat up and name any of these critters on your own blog, feel free... provided you comment here with the link.  I think Dinosaur 9 could be a magic using dino-assassin turning un-invisible after the attack, or perhaps a chameleon dino mid-paper emulation.  But that's just me.

Emma's Dinosaurs (and a crocodile and a pterosaur)

- All Commercial Rights Reserved - Emma Nash 2013 Pen and Ink - 

Dinosaur 1

Dinosaur 2
Dinosaur 3
Dinosaur 4
Dinosaur 5
Dinosaur 6
Dinosaur 7
Dinosaur 8
Dinosaur 9

Crocodile 1

Pterosaur 1

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Snake Man Scientists and Servitors (part one)

Snake Man Scientist:  A four-armed sterile caste that occurred through random mutation shortly after the Prime genome was expressed from a clutch of Temple Servitor eggs on Celestia, the Snake Man Scientists propagate their species by cultivating the mycelial egg mats which hatch under the correct conditions.  Unlike the Primes who emerge from the egg in amphibious tadpole form, Snake Man Scientists burst from their eggs as a tiny version of their adult form.  Several molts are required before they attain their adult size, and the coloration of each of these molts identifies several juvenile stages.

Snake Man Servitor:  The result of many years of controlled breeding and experimentation by the Snake Man Scientists, the Servitors are bipedal, four-armed and covered in brilliant purple and violet scales.  The Servitors are an attempt to recreate the original Temple Servitor created race that served the pan-universal religions of the Celestian temple cultures.  Despite the origins of both Snake Man Primes and Snake Man Scientists as mutant variants of the Temple Servitors and the bloody rebellion that freed them from temple servitude, creating their own servitor race was a high priority of the Snake Men.  Ancient Snake Man Proverb:  Treat others as you would not desire to be treated yourself :)
Servitors are bred with a servile nature and an unfailing belief in reincarnation into Prime form upon death.  Servitors are quite intelligent and serve both as lab assistants to the Snake Man Scientists and ranged fire support on the battle field.  Unlike Snake Man Spawn (which are never outfitted with weapons or armor to denote their inferior status compared to the Prime and the Primelings of their line), Servitors wield blast cannons and wear energy armor into battle.

As a side note I stumbled upon this DeviantArt page by JGood8 which seems to contain drawings of the snake man scientists lifted directly from my cranium.  I figure if he can telepathically invade my mind like that, I can post his drawing here - at least I linked to him!  And I will gladly remove this picture if requested, but I had to post it.  This is EXACTLY what a 3rd molt juvenile Snake Man Scientist looks like, on the left in color:

Friday, March 8, 2013

Snake Man Spawn

Snake Man Primes constantly emit spores that grow into mycelial mats which produce fruiting bodies and ultimately tadpoles that eventually metamorphosize into the adult snake man form (see Snake Man Prime post).  These are referred to as snake man spawn to differentiate them from the Prime of their line.  Snake man spawn are marginalized and live in constant fear of being slaughtered by their own Prime or a Prime of another line.  When a snake man spawn is killed, all line allies within 50 gain a temporary +1 bonus to hit and damage until the end of the encounter (stackable up to +5 for other spawn, no limit to the bonus the Prime of the line can gain in this manner).  For this reason Primes enter battle in the middle of a vast convoy of their spawn, who lend their life energies to the Prime and their clone brothers even in death.  It is not uncommon at all to see a Prime cutting down swathes of his own spawn to get pumped up before a battle.  Spawn are not given battle armor or weapons, relying on the snake man martial arts (heavy on tail sweeps, knockdowns, strangulation, punches and elbows) and their deadly venomous bite in combat.
Snake Man Primeling

Snake man spawn have no rights or protections in snake man society, and are considered only barely above the created Servitor race that assist the snake man scientists.  Only if a spawn survives for long enough to be one of the 100 oldest spawns of the line, one of the next in line for Primehood, does it receive any rights at all.  The 100 oldest spawn of the line are referred to as Primelings and they are never allowed to be in the same vicinity as the Prime of their line, so that if the Prime falls the line will not fall with him.  Primelings begin to develop a tumor in the left shoulder that becomes the fetal twin sister that will awaken upon the Prime transformation.  Even though the twin remains nascent and unconscious until the Prime transformation, they do lend some psionic abilities and protection to the Primelings that sets them apart from the other Spawn of the line.  Primelings are also outfitted with magic armor and weapons in the style of their line. Primelings are trained in the snake man weapon arts by the Prime of another line.  Each line has a traditional relationship with another line that shares the same weapon style, the Primes of each line training the primelings of the other.  Killing a Primeling is considered a mortal insult to the Prime of the line, and a duel to the death between the Primes involved usually follows.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snake Man Primes

Snake Man Primes are the warrior and dominant caste of snake men.  They only have male snake sexual organs.  There are 7919 lines of Primes, a number that has not changed since the original mutation in a batch of temple servitor eggs on Celestia birthed the species.

Each line has a Prime, the eldest living member of the genetic line.  When the previous Prime is killed (a Prime is effectively immortal and will not die of natural causes) the next oldest member of the line becomes the new Prime.  Only the Prime of each line can reproduce; upon achieving Primehood the four organ tentacles constantly emit spores that grow into a fleshy mycelial mat in the presence of energy and moisture.  These mycelial mats produce fruiting bodies with a water filled pod on top.  Connections through shadow to Shadow DNA (sDNA) cause mycelial tissue in a specialized node to turn into animal flesh and a tadpole is formed which swims up the stalk of the fruiting body and lives in the pod, eating algae blooms in the water if there is light present or pieces of the fruiting body itself which decay and fall off in the absence of light.  A fully grown tadpole bursts from its pod and wriggles to a dark place to metamorphosize into the adult snake man form.  Each snake man is an exact genetic clone of the Prime of its line with whom he shares a telepathic link of unlimited range.

When a snake man becomes Prime a set of genes are activated which cause a dwarf female conjoined twin to grow along the arm and left shoulder.  One eye opens in the palm of the left hand from which the female twin can see.  It takes many years for the newly developing female twin to achieve adulthood, and many more years to fully access the memory of the previous female twins.  A fully mature female twin has full access to the memories of all her clone-sisters before her.  Even newly forming female twins have powerful psychic abilities which add to the battle prowess of the Prime.  When a Prime raises its left hand in battle and the eye of the twin opens, enemies cower and flee.  Over long centuries the female twin's continued growth causes a hunchbacked deformity that saps the physical strength of the Prime even as the psychic powers of the twin continue to expand exponentially.  The lines of the Primes are ranked according to the longevity of the Prime of the line.  The oldest Primes are completely dominated by their female twins in normal life, existing in a kind of vegetable slumber while the twins hone their mental skills.  The 10 oldest primes have not stirred for over 20,000 years.  If roused the combination of deformed male Prime warrior and ancient female psionist would be perhaps one of the deadliest combatants in the multiverse.

Snake Man Biology Pt. 1 - Introduction

I introduced the Snake Men in my 4e campaign in Session Numero Uno through the wild tales of a swamp trapper who told of a "city made of gold" that he and his friends had discovered, which he claimed was inhabited by snake men.

A handful of sessions later the party was in an alien spacecraft made of pure energy and they were accessing the data logs of several linked satellites in stable planetary orbit.  In the course of observing several billion years of planetary formation they also caught a relative blink-of-the-eye in time highlighted by a meteorite slamming into the exact center of the formation of alien spacecraft, forming the depression now filled by the swamp.  Yes, the many minareted and domed city which stood on the meteorite was made of gold. A circular rocky ridge in the center of the swamp, thrown up by the impact, conceals the city of gold. Mushroom life sprouted across the meteorite shortly after the crash, and from the mushrooms sprang tadpoles which metamorphosized into snake men.  To the party's horror they discovered that all of the humanoid races of the planet had their origin as experiments released by the snake men scientists into the swamp.

When the party thought to look for the visual evidence of the swamp trampers finding the city, they observed two snake men meet the three trappers on the top of this ring.  A snake man held up its hand and two of the trappers disintegrated into dust.  The third trapper soiled himself as the other snake man grasped him solidly for a moment before releasing him.  The party's informant fled promptly.

Curious, the party kept investigating that moment in time through satellite footage and discovered that the outbreak of the white death plague could be reliably dated to shortly after the return of this swamp trapper to the settlement.

Several sessions later, the party had crossed the mountains and was exploring the verdant rainforest beyond.  They found an artifact of the snake man, a flying laser shield meant to be worn by a snake man warrior.  This shield revealed that the snake men had four small organs that could interact with four circular depressions on the inside of the shield, like four sensitive finger-tentacles that stick out of the snake man torso.

Using ritual magic to look into the shield's past, they watched its creation by snake man scientists, all of whom had four arms.  The scientists tended to mats of mycelial tissue which they grew in molds in the shape of the shield and many other items (I just realized that the use of the word "mold" in the sense of a 3-dimensional negative shape that you pour or push a substance into to form a sculpture could be confusing when the substance that fills the mold is mycelium!).  When the molds were full of mature mycelium the snake  man scientists activated a complex arrangement of pearls and gemstones that transferred energy through shadow and turned the mycelium into many different substances, gold in the case of the enchanted flying shield.  The discovery of this shield was the first step in the party's current understanding of how to manipulate energy through shadow, the foundation of a true understanding of magic.

When the party began to piece together the history of the city states of the great human civilization on the other side of the mountains they realized that the influence of the snake men had crossed that great natural barrier long ago.  They discovered the fingerprints of the snake men in the blood tattoo magic that raised their hackles.

Even Manu Jablitu, the ancient technomancer lich who has become number one on the party's most wanted list for quite a few sessions in a row now, was first encountered because his services were procured by the snake men to solve a dimensional instability.  A while back the players in my Mutant Future campaign discovered an alien installation in a strange dimension that had a machine in it containing the entire 4e probaverse in a controlled singularity.  A player running PCs in both campaigns looked at the machine and infamously said "I'll flip some switches".  I asked him to roll d100 and he rolled a critical failure "01".  As a result, the machine began powering down and the stars started going out in my 4e campaign and many monumental constructions of the ancients that drew their power from the stars no longer worked.  The snake men were pissed and Manu Jablitu was brought in to fix things, but interestingly the 4e party managed to stabilize the probaverse without resorting to reprogramming the machine like Manu Jablitu intended to do.  All Manu Jablitu has done since is rise to near mythological status as the party keeps encountering more evidence of the crap he has done in the past.  Much of which was done under the patronage of the snake men, evidently.

I bring all this up because last session Beautiful Bob used the psychic enhancing module in the radiant energy vortex that he was accessing from the energy bath of the lich Pay-Gon to split his consciousness into 16,000 pieces to simultaneously accept a telepathic information feed from the 16,000 intellect-equivalent crystal gas mind the party encountered.  It may take him a while to process, but Beautiful Bob actually received the entire genome of both the warrior or "snake man prime" caste and the four-armed scientist caste in this telepathic transmission from the crystal gas mind.

I plan to write several posts about the biology of the snake man now that the party would definitely know the ins and outs.

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