creature of an hour

Gods of Hour of Devastation in D&D: The Scorpion God

It’s prerelease weekend, so to celebrate I’m designing rules for the three stolen gods, starting with the Scorpion God this weekend, and the Locust and Scarab gods in a double-post for release weekend!

A Stolen God. When Nicol Bolas first arrived on Amonkhet, his victory over the gods was swift and brutal. With Amonkhet claimed as his own, Bolas re-purposed the gods to do his bidding. While he kept 5 in Naktamun to run the society he had rebuilt, the other three were kept out of the city in preparation for his return. The Scorpion God was one of these three stolen gods, which Nicol Bolas corrupted and remoulded into a horror worthy to kill its siblings.

The First to Emerge. As the Luxa ran red, and Hour of Revelation Ended, the Hour of Glory began with the emergence of the three stolen gods. The Scorpion God was the first to break from its sarcophagus in the necropolis, the first to cross through the gate to the afterlife and into Naktamun, and the first to attack, silent but for a droning chittering. It was the first sight that many of the people of Naktamun had of what was to come as the hours continued.

God killer. Rhonas. Kefnet. Oketra. For other gods of Amonkhet, the Scorpion God’s arrival meant death, for within the course of hours, the Scorpion God felled three other gods. The Scorpion god is far larger and stronger than its forgotten brethren, and as a result, other gods pose little challenge to it.

The Scorpion God’s statblock was based arounnd some of D&D’s biggest monsters, most specifically the Empyrean and Tarrasque. I mean hey, the Scorpion god is massive and also a god. I gave it some legendary abilities and actions to make it an especially formidable combatant; the legendary Grapple action is based directly on how The Scorpion God kills Rhonas. To mirror the card’s ability to return to its owner’s hand once killed, I designed the “Rise Eternal” ability, allowing its return in a similar manner (so that it rises eternally). Finally, to add on to its main attacks, the “God-killer” ability allows it to deal massive damage to other gods and godlike creatures; against a god such as Rhonas, the average damage output from its multiattack comes in at a whopping 314 damage (112 slashing, 46 piercing, and 156 poison damage). 


As mentioned earlier, next weekend, I’ll be posting designs for both The Locust God and The Scarab God, completing Nicol Bolas’ trio of corrupted gods. Until then, I hope you all have a fantastic prerelease, and unleash your own corrupted gods for victory across the table! Good luck, and my you draw well! After all, the God Pharaoh has returned…

Tough as a Tardigrade

Without water, a human can only survive for about 100 hours. But there’s a creature so resilient that it can go without it for decades. This one millimeter animal can survive both the hottest and coldest environments on Earth, and can even withstand high levels of radiation. This is the tardigrade, and it’s one of the toughest creatures on Earth, even if it does look more like a chubby, eight-legged gummy bear. 

Most organisms need water to survive. Water allows metabolism to occur, which is the process that drives all the biochemical reactions that take place in cells. But creatures like the tardigrade, also known as the water bear, get around this restriction with a process called anhydrobiosis, from the Greek meaning life without water. And however extraordinary, tardigrades aren’t alone. Bacteria, single-celled organisms called archaea, plants, and even other animals can all survive drying up.

For many tardigrades, this requires that they go through something called a tun state. They curl up into a ball, pulling their head and eight legs inside their body and wait until water returns. It’s thought that as water becomes scarce and tardigrades enter their tun state, they start synthesize special molecules, which fill the tardigrade’s cells to replace lost water by forming a matrix. 

Components of the cells that are sensitive to dryness, like DNA, proteins, and membranes, get trapped in this matrix. It’s thought that this keeps these molecules locked in position to stop them from unfolding, breaking apart, or fusing together. Once the organism is rehydrated, the matrix dissolves, leaving behind undamaged, functional cells.

Beyond dryness, tardigrades can also tolerate other extreme stresses: being frozen, heated up past the boiling point of water, high levels of radiation, and even the vacuum of outer space. This has led to some erroneous speculation that tardigrades are extraterrestrial beings.

While that’s fun to think about, scientific evidence places their origin firmly on Earth where they’ve evolved over time. In fact, this earthly evolution has given rise to over 1100 known species of tardigrades and there are probably many others yet to be discovered. And because tardigrades are so hardy, they exist just about everywhere. They live on every continent, including Antarctica. And they’re in diverse biomes including deserts, ice sheets, the sea fresh water, rainforests, and the highest mountain peaks. But you can find tardigrades in the most ordinary places, too, like moss or lichen found in yards, parks, and forests. All you need to find them is a little patience and a microscope.

Scientists are now to trying to find out whether tardigrades use the tun state, their anti-drying technique, to survive other stresses. If we can understand how they, and other creatures, stabilize their sensitive biological molecules, perhaps we could apply this knowledge to help us stabilize vaccines, or to develop stress-tolerant crops that can cope with Earth’s changing climate. 

And by studying how tardigrades survive prolonged exposure to the vacuum of outer space, scientists can generate clues about the environmental limits of life and how to safeguard astronauts. In the process, tardigrades could even help us answer a critical question: could life survive on planets much less hospitable than our own?

From the TED-Ed Lesson Meet the tardigrade, the toughest animal on Earth - Thomas Boothby

Animation by Boniato Studio

dancing-thru-clouds  asked:

I would like for you to tell stupid tourist stories? Your story-telling style is very engaging.

First of all, thank you very much!

Since flattery will get you pretty much anywhere, allow me to tell you The Tale Of Jar-Jar.

The First year my family moved to Colorado, my family decided to take the annual summer camping trip to Yellowstone, now that we were on the right side of the rockies for it.  So we pile into the car with all my mom’s immortal camping gear from the 70′s (srsly, I still have the Colemann stove and cooler.  They work perfect)  and Cody,The Gentleman Shepherd.  

Due to Wyoming looking mostly like the ugly parts of Mad Max, we got onto the wrong highway and arrived after dark.  Cody waited patiently in the backseat rather than set up in the rain.  Gentlemanly.

The next morning, Mom is doing something miraculous with the Colemann and there is a breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon.  The sun is shining.  The birds are singing.  All is serene and beautiful. 

Then the people in the next site pull up.   They arrive in a Brand-spanking new Ford Pickup towing a trailer that looks like it was salvaged of a 50′s atomic test field.  The Husband emerges first and…

I don’t like judging people based on appearance but Man, when a dude walks out of a pickup wearing a confederate flag hat, and half of a mullet one tends to make assumptions.  

The eldest child came out next, a boy of about 12, with a rat-tail.
Followed by his brother, a boy of about 10, with a rat-tail
Followed by his brother, a boy of about 8, with a rat-tail.
Followed by his brother, a boy of about 6, with a rat-tail.
Followed by his brother, a boy of about 4, with a rat-tail.

The wife finally emerges, looking like death warmed over and carrying a boy of about two, with a rat-tail.  It is unclear if she has poor posture or if she is pregnant again.  The Boys capable of standing all immediately do so at the border of our site, staring covetously at my bacon.

Finally, with a loud plop and wheezing noise, comes thier dog, for a given value of dog.  Pugs are not terribly healthy-looking creatures at the best of times, but this poor thing looked like the canine equivalent of a Hapsburg.  One eye was so bulged as to be permanently wall-eyed, and his jaw jutted out in front of him at a distressingly kapakahi angle. 

“C’mere Jar-Jar!” hollers the Husband.

“Good God.” muttered my father.

The adults proved over the course of the next hour to be loathsome creatures- Husband was constant’y screaming at the boys the “fuckin’ get me the thing, you little-”  then getting mad when asked for clarification on ‘which thing?’.  The Wife was a non-stop stream of complaint- the sun is too hot, the shade is too cold, the tent is too far, the birds are too loud, and everything is awful, I’m going to complain to the ranger.  Eventually they got their camp set up, and Husband cracked his first beer of the day as we finished locking the bear box and leaving to hike.  It was about 10 AM.

We return some hours later to a very animated discussion between Wife and the Camp Supervisor about “I have rights you know!” vs. “Ma’am, we are under an extreme fire danger warning, and Fireworks have been banned in the park for ages.”  Jar-Jar, eager to avoid any outbursts, has scuttled under our bear box, wheezing in agitation.  Cody, ever gallant, positions himself between Jar-Jar and his mistress, doing his best impression of a Real Shepherd Who Isn’t Scared of Mice and Snowflakes.  Husband is unseen, but there are several beer cans in the fire grate.

That evening’s campfire, normally a time to listen to nocturnal wildlife and the Quiet noises of wild places, is instead a time to listen to drunken racist jokes, a sobbing toddler and Husband screeching “SAY AI WANNIT” whilst dangling scraps in front of jar-jar, until the dog stood on his legs and danced, garbling “Ai-Wa-War”  in a voice that sounded less like a bark and more like late-stage emphysema, before collapsing on what looked like sore joints.

Late that night, my parents discuss packing up and looking for a site in Teton down the road over the sounds of half-assed drunken sex.

The boys, in spite of their parents, are well mannered, intelligent and engaging to talk to, and seem content to frolic in the woods around the site, examining rocks and plants and the occasional insect.  Dad has a nice time telling them about the Yellowstone supervolcano whilst their parents have vanished to parts unknown.  Jar-jar remains off-lead and un-collared the entire time, huffing and puffing as he tries to keep up.  Still, five boys is perhaps too much attention for an elderly pug, and the too-hard petting and pulling of ears and tail and suchlike is tolerated with an exasperated whine and vacations under our bear-box. 

The second night, Husband was furious about something, cursing up a storm and throwing things and generally having a tantrum.  The eldest boy said something to him and he bore down on him, hand raised and screaming something about ‘useless pieces of shit.”
-When they were interrupted by my mother stepping into their site, all four feet eleven inches of ill-contained fury, staring him down.

“I was wondering.”  She said, eyes not moving from him. “If I could borrow some matches.”
“Ours got wet.” Dad added, immediately behind her, less as support than restraint.

I remember how ghastly quiet the woods got for a moment there, watching the scene unfold from behind Cody, the only sounds the campfire and crickets.

“Uh, yeah.  Matches.”  The Wife muttered, and it was enough to get Husband to back down.

“You have lovely children.”  Dad continued.  “Very smart, very polite.”
“You must be so blessed.” My mother adds, only slightly spitting the word.

My parents take the matches and talk a bit longer but I couldn’t hear.  Husband gave up, flopping down in his chair, but not before giving Jar-Jar a kick.

The next morning, as my family was packing up to head down to Teton instead, The Eldest boy approached us, concerned.

“Sir?”  he asked dad.  “Have you seen jar-jar?”

We hadn’t actually, his gravely groveling notably absent that morning at breakfast.  My sister and I went on a search with the boys through the camp, but to no avail.  We did find Wife, complaining to the campground host that there were too many wild animals around.  In the National Park.  Saddened and trying to give the boys some hope that perhaps jar-Jar had not been eaten by the coyotes, we left.

On the way out the main gate, we ended up behind a Buick with Florida plates, driven by a couple well into their octogenarian period, at about seven miles per hour.  As they stopped at the checkout gate, clearly asking for directions, a dog climbed up to sit in the back window.  A fat, lop-sided, wall-eyed little Pug, looking entirely too pleased with himself.

And that’s the story of how Jar-jar escaped the Hell family to Florida.

Gods of Hour of Devastation in D&D: The Locust God

A Stolen God. When Nicol Bolas first arrived on Amonkhet, his victory over the gods was swift and brutal. With Amonkhet claimed as his own, Bolas re-purposed the gods to do his bidding. While he kept 5 in Naktamun to run the society he had rebuilt, the other three were kept out of the city in preparation for his return. The Locust God was one of these three stolen gods, which Nicol Bolas corrupted and reshaped as the centre of a swarm worthy to break Naktamun’s defences.

Heart of the swarm. The Locust God is always surrounded by an immense swarm of insatiable locusts. While it is capable of fighting itself, the Locust God mainly relies on this swarm to devour anything that comes close enough to threaten it. For those that stand in The Locust God’s way, death comes from thousands of tiny hungry jaws.

Through the Breach. “When the Hour of Promise arrives, the God-Pharaoh will tear down the Hekma, for its protection will be needed no longer.” After the Scorpion God emerged, entered Naktamun, and felled Rhonas, it was the turn of The Locust God to approach the city. The swarm surrounding it drank the Hekma, opening the city for the first time to the boundless wastes surrounding it, and granting entry to the wandering dead, who for so long had stared through the Hekma with hunger in their desiccated eyes.

For The Locust God, I worked from similar base stats as to those I used for The Scorpion God, but with big variation in its abilities. I lowered its strength, but raised its dexterity to be more fitting for a huge spindly fling creature. The main abilities of the Locust God focused on its swarm, which I naturally based on the spell Insect Plague. With that as the base, I worked out an appropriate size of the swarm, lowered the damage for the swarm’s massive area not to be too overpowered, and gave a way for the Locust God to make more direct attacks and drive the swarm against specific targets, as well as giving the swarm the capability to devour foliage and consume water (giving it a mechanic to represent the way the Hekma was destroyed). 
           As an additional rule, I wanted to do something that correlated with the card Hour of Promise, so I designed the Desolate Wake ability to represent the wandering undead of Amonkhet following The Locust God through the collapsing Hekma and into Naktamun.

Tomorrow comes an extra post for this weekend, a bonus to celebrate the release of Hour of Devastation: The third stolen god, The Scarab God. You can find my post for the Scorpion God here. I hope everyone is having a great release weekend so far!

Gods of Hour of Devastation in D&D: The Scarab God

A Stolen God. When Nicol Bolas first arrived on Amonkhet, his victory over the gods was swift and brutal. With Amonkhet claimed as his own, Bolas re-purposed the gods to do his bidding. While he kept 5 in Naktamun to run the society he had rebuilt, the other three were kept out of the city in preparation for his return. The Scarab God was one of these three stolen gods, which Nicol Bolas corrupted and reshaped into the builder of his army.

Eternal Arbiter. The Scarab God is the master of the Eternals. When a dead victor of the trials passes through the Gate to the Afterlife, their body ends its journey at the necropolis. It is here that the Scarab God embalms the bodies of the worthy dead with lazotep. Warriors without equal, these lazotep Eternals return from the dead with all the skills they used to earn their victory in the trials, but with a body far more powerful than the one they died with.

The Final Hours. “When all doubts have melted away, the worthy will meet the Hour of Eternity and earn a place at the God-Pharaoh’s side.” As the protection of Naktamun fell, gods were slain, and the deserts rushed into the city, the Hour of Eternity began. The Scarab God, last to emerge, led the Eternals towards Naktamun. The undead legion entered the crumbling city, and the slaughter began.

My main focus for statting-up the Scarab god was to give it an ability to produce the Eternals that it commands. The Eternalize action took base structure from spells like Animate Dead and Create Undead, with the core exception that the creature needed to retain its abilities it had in life, in the same manner that the Eternals keep the abilities that earned them their worthy deaths in the trials. To do so, I used the Wight stats as a template, the process of creating an eternal irons out weakness by raising ability scores, 

And thus end the prophesied hours and the return of the stolen gods. You can find rules for The Scorpion God here, and The Locust God here. I hope you enjoyed this weekend’s bonus post, and that you get a great use out of these creatures in your own games, be they set on Amonkhet or otherwise!

143 - I Want You (M)

Author’s Note: im a mess. park chanyeol did this to me. dont touch me i am vulnerable.
Pairing: Chanyeol x Reader (oc; female)
Genre: smut
Summary: On a day off, you spend all day craving your boyfriend. In the middle of one of his meetings, you decide to let him know.
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: explicit sexual situations; explicit language; dirty talk; mentions of breathplay; themes of voyeurism
Word Count: 7,030

Originally posted by fy-sexo-exo

The thing is, it starts with a text.

YN[4:03 PM]: I want you.

The thing is, you had him this morning, deep, slow, and intense until you both were shaking from the pleasure.

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Warlock Week: New Spells

image credit: Benjamin Ee

Arm of the Far Realm

  • 5th level conjuration Warlock spell
  • Casting Time: 1 Action
  • Range: 30 ft.
  • Duration: Concentration, up to 1 minute
  • Components: V, S

You conjure a tentacle whose slick purple skin crackles with electricity. The tentacle sprouts from the ground in an unoccupied space of your choice that you can see within range. When you cast this spell, you can direct the tentacle to lash out at a creature within 30 feet of it that you can see. That creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or be pulled 20 feet directly toward the tentacle. Creatures pulled in this way take 5d10 lightning damage.

Until the spell ends, you can direct the vine to lash out at the same creature or another one as an action on each of your turns.

Black Spikes of Yeenoghu

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“The boy in him has cried and begged not to touch the young wolf, but who was he to tell him No to such tempting prey. Derek never even had a chance…" 
.
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… and further with my Void Stiles drawing. 

Aboleth Expert

Our party fought an Aboleth and two of our party members began suffocating in their helmets. They managed to figure out they had gills and removed their helmets. After we killed the thing, this exchange happened:

Me OOC: “Can I roll to see if I know anything about how to get rid of the gills?”

GM: “sure, roll Arcana”

*rolls nat 20*

GM: “They will go away within 4 hours of contact with the creature, continued contact increases this time”

Me OOC: “Can we harvest aboleth parts to use for gills at a later time?”

GM: “You can attempt, that would require a medicine check”

*rolls another nat 20*

GM: “wtf…Alright, using Raileas helmet as a sort of bucket, you scoop some of the mucus into it, and using part of its skin, you manage to seal the helmet with the mucous in it. You gain aboleth mucus bucket, with 20 uses.”

Me OOC: “When you’ve lived over 200 years, you learn some weird stuff.”

Archery!!

As is my sacred duty as a homebrewer, it’s time to needlessly overcomplicate an established mechanic to add more decisions and strategy to the game! These variant arrows and bows are meant to force characters to think more strategically about their positioning and the types of weapons they use against their opponents.

Variant Bows

I have changed the existing statistics for ranged weapons to encourage their intended usage. The existing rules for range and damage remain in place except where written. I also added two new ranged weapons: the repeating crossbow and the composite bow.

Longbow: The purpose of the longbow is distance, especially in a tall arc as in the longbowmen in the Battle of Agincourt. While it is possible, it is more difficult to fight in cramped space and without access to that tall arc. Moreover, fighting while mounted and trying to get that high arc is near impossible. My new longbow rewards you for your distance offering heightened damage from its time falling through the sky. It also punishes you for using the longbow for close or mounted combat.

A creature has disadvantage when firing the longbow at a target within 30 ft. or less or when mounted. When firing beyond the normal range (thus with disadvantage), if you have a high enough ceiling (outdoors or else height equal to the distance fired), you deal +1d8 damage on a hit.

Shortbow: The shortbow, in contrast with the longbow, is designed for closer combat and horseback (as in Parthian tactics and Mongolian cavalry archers). For this new shortbow I give a bonus for using it as intended, and an additional debuff for sniping from long range.

A creature has -1 to attack rolls made with a shortbow at a target more than 80 ft. away. A creature firing a shortbow at a target within 30 ft. grants the attacker +2 to the attack roll.

Light/Heavy Crossbow: Crossbows have immense power at the expense of loading time and lower range of accuracy. Moreover, simple peasant militia can use a crossbow but not necessarily aim it very well. My version of the crossbow deals double the damage but takes an entire action to reload, so it can only be fired every other round. Yes this means crossbows lose out on a bit of DEX damage but that simulates the lack of accuracy. Moreover, critting with the crossbow becomes far deadlier as it will now deal 4 damage dice. I did not change Hand Crossbows as they are probably a bit easier to reload and this might give rogues a little TOO much burst with an Assassin’s auto crit.

The light and heavy crossbow deals two dice of damage but takes 1 action to reload before it can be fired again.

Repeating Crossbow: A new weapon that acts like a light crossbow but without any loading restrictions. The real-life counterpart to the repeating crossbow was easier to load and draw but had significantly less power and accuracy behind it. It basically fired as quickly as you could pull back the drawstring until it locks, aim, then release the trigger; the new bolt would fall into place on its own. The repeating crossbow costs 50 gp (A regular light crossbow would cost 25 gp).

A Repeating Crossbow is a light crossbow that does not require an action to reload, but each attack beyond the first imparts a cumulative -1 penalty to attack and damage rolls. The magazine of ammunition holds 20 bolts before it must be reloaded, which takes an action.

Composite Bow: Another new weapon that has extra resistance by being made from a variety of materials that allows you make a stronger draw to put extra power behind your shot. I simulated this by letting you add all or some of your STR to the damage if you have any. Making a short or longbow into a composite bow adds 25 gp to the cost times its grade. So a +3 Composite Shortbow would cost 100 gp (25 gp + (25x3) gp).

Shortbows and longbows can both be built as composite bows. composite bows come in several grades: +1, +2, +3, and +4. If your STR modifier is at least equal to the grade of the composite bow, you may add an amount equal to the composite bow’s grade to the damage of the attack. Otherwise, you have disadvantage on attacks made with the composite bow.


Arrowheads

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Making Your Undead Deadlier...

With the Release of Tomb of Annihilation, and the Undead Dangers of the Chultan Jungles waiting, We give You a Great Selection of Traits, Abilities and Attacks and More to make Your Undead just a little bit deadlier…

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8

Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. Creatures crawl in search of blood. To terrorize y'awl’s neighborhood. And whosoever shall be found. Without the soul for getting down. Must stand and face the hounds of hell. And rot inside a corpse’s shell.

Sword of Dungeons & Dragons

A new card for Magic the Gathering’s joke set Un-Stable is appearing at Hascon called the Sword of Dungeons & Dragons. As a fan of both nerd-things, I’m pretty excited. Let’s stat this martial monstrosity:

Sword of Dungeons & Dragons

Magic Weapon, legendary, requires attunement

The weapon is a +2 weapon that deals 1d4 bludgeoning, 1d4 slashing, and 1d4 piercing damage on-hit. The attuned creature is immune to poison damage and radiant damage while wielding the weapon. The weapon has 3 charges on it that replenish at dawn. A charge can be spent to add 1d20 poison or radiant damage to their next attack that hits. Once per week, the attuned creature can call forth a Young Gold Dragon under their command for 8 hours. The dragon arrives 10 minutes after it is called.

//I feel like the weapon is crazy but it touches on everything at least a little flavor-wise and it IS legendary so it’s not for low-level characters. The dragon can’t be used mid-combat most of the time so it’s hard to abuse it, and it’s only usable once every week so it feels more like a last resort. On the downside, it will slaughter almost any boss you throw at the players so hit hard if this item lands in your game. To make it a bit less powerful, I would suggest trimming the dragon’s time to 1 hour instead of 8 so they can’t rest or they lose the dragon.