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Thread: Improved Coral Golem?

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    Improved Coral Golem?

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    I'm using a coral golem from Stormwrack in an upcoming part of the campaign I'm using. The coral golem starts at CR 9 and rises to CR 13 if fully advanced. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I might advance it to a CR around 21? Thanks.

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    Outsdie of the crank up the hit dice?

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    probably use the guidelines in the back of the monster manual... add HD and through that crank up the stats, saves, special attack DCs etc.
    Alternatively add 'classes' or class-like levels. I know you're not supposed to add classes to non-sentient things but it does make life easy if you add appropriate classes (esp NPC classes). e.g. adding warrior to a golem sounds ok, but not sorcerer or rogue.

    further example: I did up 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse but instead of being just undead I gave pestilence the HD, Saves and BAB of a druid, famine got a rogue's HD, saves and BAB, war got a fighter's and death got a wizard's. Also the special attacks were themed to their 'classes' so death got way more spell-like abilities than war, etc

    edit: if there are no real rules then these boards are great for stimulating the juices or just go with your gut and start getting creative what's the worst that could happen? TPK?

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    using savage species rules you could extrapolate. or you could just eyeball the creature and go from there... let me go take a look....

    ....

    well... you could make it an awakened construct. then it would have an interesting personality and back story in addition to combat capability. you can advance it up to 32 hd, that's worth something. also you could add some "built-in" feat choices for interest and variation. if you go with the awakened route, then it would have the full selection of feats and skills just like a pc, and access to basic epic level feats if you advance it to at least 21 hd.

    just for fun, you could also add new types of projectiles, say bombs or splash weapons with glue, acid, or poison (all appropriate choices for a marine-based golem). all three even! a shrapnel grenade works too. if it guards an area with sea access, you could even have various sea creatures living in symbiosis with it. maybe embed a decanter of endless water (sea water) within it so that it can use it as a weapon, and provide the necessary water for it's symbiotes when out of the water. i'd say a kraken is a bit much, but maybe some octopi or squid, maybe jellyfish for the paralytic. ^^

    maybe give it a special permanent variant of otiluke's telekinetic sphere, so that it is always surrounded by a large radius of water. then the players will have to swim to get into melee combat with it. and ranged effects will function as if underwater.... that's worth some bonus challenge rating, too. a dispel magic would only suppress the effect temporarily... if you put the decanter in there, then it can "regenerate" the water around it. ^^

    need more ideas? =D
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Outsdie of the crank up the hit dice?
    I'd thought about saying, "aside from just giving it more hit dice beyond the 32 it gets when fully-advanced" but I was too tired. I've already doubled its hit dice from 16 to 32 in order to get it from CR 9 to CR 13; I'd have to double its hit dice again to 64 to get it up to CR 21. I might end up doing that as the easiest way to make it a CR 21.

    Does anyone know the reason that some creatures advance only to twice their base hit dice while others advance three times? In this case though to make it CR 21 I'd be advancing it to four times its base hit dice.

    Quote Originally Posted by ignimbrite View Post
    probably use the guidelines in the back of the monster manual... add HD and through that crank up the stats, saves, special attack DCs etc.
    Alternatively add 'classes' or class-like levels. I know you're not supposed to add classes to non-sentient things but it does make life easy if you add appropriate classes (esp NPC classes). e.g. adding warrior to a golem sounds ok, but not sorcerer or rogue.

    further example: I did up 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse but instead of being just undead I gave pestilence the HD, Saves and BAB of a druid, famine got a rogue's HD, saves and BAB, war got a fighter's and death got a wizard's. Also the special attacks were themed to their 'classes' so death got way more spell-like abilities than war, etc

    edit: if there are no real rules then these boards are great for stimulating the juices or just go with your gut and start getting creative what's the worst that could happen? TPK?
    So you had the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse as constructs with class levels? What made you think of that?

    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    using savage species rules you could extrapolate. or you could just eyeball the creature and go from there... let me go take a look....

    ....

    well... you could make it an awakened construct. then it would have an interesting personality and back story in addition to combat capability. you can advance it up to 32 hd, that's worth something. also you could add some "built-in" feat choices for interest and variation. if you go with the awakened route, then it would have the full selection of feats and skills just like a pc, and access to basic epic level feats if you advance it to at least 21 hd.

    just for fun, you could also add new types of projectiles, say bombs or splash weapons with glue, acid, or poison (all appropriate choices for a marine-based golem). all three even! a shrapnel grenade works too. if it guards an area with sea access, you could even have various sea creatures living in symbiosis with it. maybe embed a decanter of endless water (sea water) within it so that it can use it as a weapon, and provide the necessary water for it's symbiotes when out of the water. i'd say a kraken is a bit much, but maybe some octopi or squid, maybe jellyfish for the paralytic. ^^

    maybe give it a special permanent variant of otiluke's telekinetic sphere, so that it is always surrounded by a large radius of water. then the players will have to swim to get into melee combat with it. and ranged effects will function as if underwater.... that's worth some bonus challenge rating, too. a dispel magic would only suppress the effect temporarily... if you put the decanter in there, then it can "regenerate" the water around it. ^^

    need more ideas? =D
    I've already advanced it to its limit of 32. I did notice the awakened construct template in Savage Species, but that's not the route I want to take. Basically the same epic wizard who has crafted all the obsidian golems in the Maze of the Riddling Minotaur (an old colored-box series D&D module from the 1980s that I've converted to 3.5 for epic-level play) has crafted the coral golem to guard the "hidden cove" where the party's current boat captain and his son hid their boat 20 years ago when they sneaked on the island and took vengeance against the pirate captain who had brought the captains wife and daughter there to be sacrificed to the Minotaur. (The Minotaur is an epic-level abomination, CR currently 25 but since the party has gone up so much since I first planned it, I probably will boost him, maybe up to CR 30, by the time they actually get there.) When the captain takes the boat back into the cover, the coral golem, sitting on the floor of the cove, will start to attack the boat, and the part will have to go underwater to destroy it before it destroys the boat. (They sort of need the boat because, assuming they survive the maze, they will need to go to another island that they haven't visited before and so can't just teleport there.)

    So the awakened construct doesn't really fit the story. If it got awakened, I don't think it would stick around for years in a little cove where it barely has room to move.

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    that depends. maybe it's a philosopher or a star gazer? i can think of many reasons why a hunk of semi-living bone would be happy where it is and just spend it's time contemplating it's navel. would give you an excuse to add monk levels if you really wanted to. ^^ maybe it just likes the local organisms. or maybe it's stuck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    that depends. maybe it's a philosopher or a star gazer? i can think of many reasons why a hunk of semi-living bone would be happy where it is and just spend it's time contemplating it's navel. would give you an excuse to add monk levels if you really wanted to. ^^ maybe it just likes the local organisms. or maybe it's stuck!
    Well if it were a philosopher or star gazer I don't see it just attacking the boat as soon as it enters the cove.

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    why not? it's blocking it's view. so it's trying to shove it out of the way. doesn't know it's own strength, the players misinterpret what the thing is trying to do, they attack out of hand, it defends itself. presto. insta-combat.

    besides, it's a chunk of bone made by living organisms pooping on it. i doubt it thinks the same way we do.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    why not? it's blocking it's view. so it's trying to shove it out of the way. doesn't know it's own strength, the players misinterpret what the thing is trying to do, they attack out of hand, it defends itself. presto. insta-combat.

    besides, it's a chunk of bone made by living organisms pooping on it. i doubt it thinks the same way we do.

    Nah, if I were going to use an awakened construct, I'd want to give it an interesting personality and backstory, motivations, etc. I really just want a mindless automaton created by the wizard who creates the obsidian golems that he put in the cover to guard it against anyone else using it to sneak onto the island.

    You have given me an idea though: maybe if the party survives the maze and destroys the Minotaur, its spirit will animate a surviving obsidian golem, and come in search of vengeance later.

    Edit: Ooh! You just gave me another idea, nijineko! After he comes back as an awakened construct and presuming they destroy him, I can have him come back for the third and final round as a revenant! I have the 3.0 version in the Monsters of Faerun softcover book, and an update of sorts in pieces in a pdf from the Wizards website. I wonder if they've published a 3.5 revenant somewhere, like Liber Mortis? Thanks for the ideas!
    Last edited by CelestialBarbarian; 10-16-2008 at 03:58 AM.

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    well, idea generation is what i'm good at. =D quantity guaranteed, quality not so. ^^
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
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    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialBarbarian View Post
    So you had the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse as constructs with class levels? What made you think of that?
    They are still undead, but instead of just using an undead's BAB and Saves I decided to differentiate between the different horsemen by giving them 'classes', especially as they are all 14 HD. It helped inspire my customisation of them, particularly the special abilities.
    Although making them constructs like the Inevitables .... mmmm that would be pretty cool too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ignimbrite View Post
    They are still undead, but instead of just using an undead's BAB and Saves I decided to differentiate between the different horsemen by giving them 'classes', especially as they are all 14 HD. It helped inspire my customisation of them, particularly the special abilities.
    Although making them constructs like the Inevitables .... mmmm that would be pretty cool too.
    I never really liked the inevitables. Anyway, I thought you meant that your Four Horsemen were constructs with class levels. Since many undead under 3.5 are just templates, it's fairly common to find undead with class levels. What gave you the idea to make the Four Horsemen undead anyway? Now that you've explained it, I agree it makes sense, but I don't know that I would have thought of it myself. I probably would have made them quasi-deities or demigods. I have to admit though that I never thought about turning the Four Horsemen into D&D creatures, although again I agree that it makes perfect sense. I might use that concept some time. I think it would be interesting if you couldn't actually destroy them until removing the underlying cause of the conflict or disaster. Maybe I'd make them like ghosts, where you can destroy them but they reform in 1d4 days unless you remove the underlying cause.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nijineko View Post
    well, idea generation is what i'm good at. =D quantity guaranteed, quality not so. ^^
    Yes, it's fun to bounce around ideas! Thanks again!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CelestialBarbarian View Post
    I never really liked the inevitables. Anyway, I thought you meant that your Four Horsemen were constructs with class levels. Since many undead under 3.5 are just templates, it's fairly common to find undead with class levels. What gave you the idea to make the Four Horsemen undead anyway? Now that you've explained it, I agree it makes sense, but I don't know that I would have thought of it myself. I probably would have made them quasi-deities or demigods. I have to admit though that I never thought about turning the Four Horsemen into D&D creatures, although again I agree that it makes perfect sense. I might use that concept some time. I think it would be interesting if you couldn't actually destroy them until removing the underlying cause of the conflict or disaster. Maybe I'd make them like ghosts, where you can destroy them but they reform in 1d4 days unless you remove the underlying cause.
    I pilfered the original stat blocks and I think they were all corporeal undead, then I messed about with the stat blocks (and made pestilence incorporeal) until I was happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ignimbrite View Post
    I pilfered the original stat blocks and I think they were all corporeal undead, then I messed about with the stat blocks (and made pestilence incorporeal) until I was happy.

    Cool. From what source did you pilfer their stat blocks?!

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