Gammon

Name: Gammon
Word of the Day: gammon
Environment: A specific industrial game house
Organization: Small groups
Attacks: Dice projectile
Defenses: RNG shield, self-destructive mechanisms
Weaknesses: While gammon seem to have no weaknesses that an outsider can exploit, by interacting with the environment you might find a window into the inner workings of this strange ongoing war.

Background: Gammon come in two variety; white with black stripes, and red with black stripes.  Though this may seem like a simple variance in coloration, gammon are low ranking soldiers in an ongoing war between the two sides of the conflict that has seized a specific industrial game house for ages. They are designed as part of the game house, and as such are almost entirely resilient to outside influences.

Tactics: Though gammon are the weakest members of their respective armies, they are designed for such an advanced and intricate level of combat that causing one any amount of harm is very unlikely. Gammon constantly shift their defenses to block all incoming damage that isn’t a painfully specific amount, making most attacks completely useless against them most of the time.  Other gammon counteract this by attacking with a constant stream of small icosahedral projectiles that deal incredibly random amounts of damage at a high frequency, increasing the likelihood that they will bypass the other gammon’s defenses.

Thankfully, gammon are only interested in the larger war the encompasses their home and will never actively attack outsiders.  Still, passing through the industrial game house forces adventurers to carefully navigate through both the gammons’ offense and defense.  While the stray icosahedral projectiles can be a pain, constantly flying and ricocheting off of other enemies, the self-destructive tendencies of the gammon can create even more devastating obstacles to pass through.  As gammon break, their eyes roll onto the ground, creating variously powered explosions.  Their teeth fly out and travel through the air in a hooked horizontal path as if they were thrown playing cards.  Segments of their body crash onto the ground, creating platforms that can bridge otherwise hard to reach pathways or crush travelers underneath.  Finally, when a gammon is defeated, it explodes in a large field of various of the aforementioned projectiles, creating a terrifying explosion that no living thing would want to get caught in.

While gammon are specifically designed to be resilient to any outside influences, there are two main ways you can make your experience at the industrial game house  a little less painful.  The easiest way to deal with gammon is to simply stay away from their battles, but in some cases the battles might be so large or in exactly the spot you need to pass through – in fact this can happen quite often!  In those cases, the best way to deal with gammon is to utilize the environment around you to gain the upper hand.  Since gammon are effectively pawns of an ongoing war, they can be easily manipulated by altering the patterns of the surroundings to guide their movement and actions.  Once you realize that a gammon is simply a piece in a game, it becomes deceptively easy to manipulate the game to your advantage as you climb to the top of the strange industrial game house.  Solving the game can be a different issue entirely…

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Naáché

Name: Naáché
Word of the Day: panache
Environment: Any place settled by a large number of birds
Organization: Ranges from solitary to small groups
Attacks: Various powerful divine spells
Defenses: Various powerful divine spells
Weaknesses: Though their spells are powerful, naáché cast overly flashy spells that take a long time to channel.  Interrupting them as they cast is a great way to keep them from finishing their devastating spells.  If that fails, have high resistances and hope for the best.

Background: When birds settle down in any given area, they establish a social class.  When those social classes grow large enough, eventually a gaudy upper class of avian superiority emerges – the naáché.  The naáché observe the high quality standards one might expect from a bird in their position, including the ability to draw upon a higher, mighty power.  This power is so great that many other lower class bird revere them and seek their guidance in times of need.

Tactics: Naáché are powerful divine casters that pride themselves in their knowledge of a privileged art.  They have access to a myriad of spells, all of which are incredibly powerful but require a large amount of time and focus to properly cast.  Naáché can heal entire groups of allies, grant teammates invulnerability, give allies an immense burst of strength, shield allies from ranged attacks and abilities, push enemies far away with a concentrated burst of wind, or create devastating cyclones that tear across the battlefield while pulling enemies inwards.

Naáché cast devastating spells that greatly turn the tide of battle, but that doesn’t make them unbeatable.  Since all of their spells are of the highest quality, it takes the naáché a long time to prepare them, giving you and your teammates a good opportunity to interrupt them.  Though they’re often paired with other enemy birds, make interrupting their casts your top priority, as certain spells of theirs are powerful enough to creature opportunities to cast other spells, or worse, allow another naáché to finish their channeling.  Once a naáché starts getting successful casts off, you’re going to have hope you have high resistances and prepare for a long and grueling battle, because their spells are powerful enough to make even the simplest encounters a challenge.

Pleonasm

Name: Pleonasm
Word of the Day: pleonasm
Environment: Any dark, wet area that doesn’t have another dominant species
Organization: Generally large groups
Attacks: Biting with its teeth
Defenses: Parasitic core, rubbery skin
Weaknesses: Area of effect abilities or mass debuffs can help you deal with the sheer numbers of pleonasm.

Background: There used to be a type of friendly, rubbery lizard that was difficult to kill but otherwise completely innocuous.  While most thought nothing of it, a particularly nasty parasite took notice of them, and over several generations, the lizards died off and the pleonasm took over their old rubbery shape.  Now pleonasm are strange rubbery skins filled with a pulsating, mutating parasite that spreads like wildfire and quickly become the dominant species in any given environment.  Their physical growth and their environmental growth can both be described as dangerous, rapid, and unnecessary. 

Tactics: Pleonasm are nasty, simple, and numerous.  Tough their tactic of overwhelming their opponent and tearing them to pieces using their inner parasitic mouths is simple, it’s also very effective.  Pleonasm are fast and sort of sway as they rush over enemies in a frenzy of teeth that bypass armor due to their sheer strength.  When a pleonasm dies, the inner parasite abandons its rubber skin and makes a desperate last attempt to bite anything it possibly can.  If it does, its gnashing teeth attempt to shred through the host’s skin, allowing the pleonasm to forcefully obtain a new outer skin.  In some cases, more and more pleonasm attempt to cram into a single rubbery lizard skin in order to prevent their own deaths.

Pleonasm are nasty, but there are certainly ways to deal with them.  Since pleonasm are comprised of unnecessary random organs and appendages pushing through the inside of their host skins, their inner immune systems are incredibly weak, and they suffer significantly heightened effects from various debuffs and disables.  Some effects take the pleonasm considerably longer to fight off, while other effects are amplified to an excruciating degree.  Since pleonasm both swarm in numbers and attempt to merge onto other beings with their last ounce of strength, area of affect abilities both hit a lot of them and create situations where the parasites are unable to find another living creature fast enough to survive being torn from its host.

Philixir

Name: Philixir
Word of the Day: philter
Environment: Any shady place they think they can do business, including outskirts of towns and lower floors of underground dungeons
Organization: Solitary
Attacks: Forces enemies to drink potions
Defenses: Frequent short distance blinks, plethora of healing potions
Weaknesses: While the main weakness of a philixir is that it can’t really fight back by itself, the easiest way to defeat one is to prepare your party for the nuances of the fight.  Long, powerful disables can prevent it from slinking away.

Background: Philixir like to think of themselves as clever businessmen, but in reality they are cunning otherworldly beings that blend in to society poorly by wearing ragtag adventuring gear. If you’re in a pinch, don’t be afraid to buy a couple of potions from one, but never approach one alone if you value your coin purse.

Tactics: In combat, a philixir teleports short distances across the room, sneaking around the battlefield and forcing potions down people’s throats.  When committed to a fight, a philixir will initiate with its most potent potion, a charming potion that turns whoever drinks it from foe to ally.  Normally it prefers to use this potion on lone adventurers to scam them out of all of their money, but it isn’t afraid to use it if forced into comba.  Once it’s made a new friend, the philixir sticks to the outskirts of the fight, aiding its new ally and itself with various healing potions.  The strange effect of potions produced by philixir is that if the potions heal someone above their maximum health, they inflict a terrible sickness that causes intense nausea and vomiting.  If an enemy is at high enough health, a philixir will sneak a potion down their throat to remove them from the fight for a while.

If you travel with a group, you shouldn’t have to prepare to fight a philixir, but as they carry a number of valuable healing potions, picking one off can sometimes be beneficial to the journey.  If you’re going to pick a fight with a philixir, there are a couple of things you can do to significantly sway the fight.  If your party goes into the fight at somewhere around two-thirds health, the philixir won’t be able to induce terrible nausea – its only disable.  Additionally, silencing disables cause a swelling of the throat, and anyone who is silenced won’t be able to have any potions forced down their throats.  Be careful though, because if your whole party is silenced the philixir will likely panic and avoid any confrontation to begin with!  Philixir will eventually realize and flee from a losing fight, so a disable like a stun or an immobilize will prevent it from annoyingly hopping away with teleports.

Glenneldhis

Name: Glenneldhis
Word of the Day: palingenesis
Environment: A specific valley
Organization: Unique
Attacks: Rebirthing ioata, commanding nature, and sheer strength
Defenses: Glenneldhis relies on the sympathy of the ioata to absorb damage and debuffs from it.  Its high base defenses and insane health pool are the backbone that keeps it in the fight.

Background: In the secluded glen of the ioata, when their tree of life fell to horrible rot that crept upon the valley, the ioata sacrificed themselves to salvage their tree, known as Glenneldhis.  Glenneldhis knew that in its weakened state it would no longer be able to sustain the valley with just the light that kept things prosperous in times passed, and despite its frailties, Glenneldhis pulled itself from the ground, keeping the rot from spreading into its roots and dooming the entire glen.  Though the rot and its devastation still linger, Glenneldhis roams the glen, caring for the new life that sprung from the shadow of a plague.

Tactics: Glenneldhis takes good care of the glen, and will crush anyone it believes to be harmful to its habitat.  Glenneldhis uses straightforward tactics to defeat its enemy, using its command over nature to cause roots and vines to burst from the ground, immobilizing enemies so that it can hobble over to them and crush them with a single swing of its mighty arm.  The main complexity of fighting Glenneldhis comes from the ioata that swarm its core, which aid the protector in various ways.  The ioata are constantly absorbing damage and debuffs from Glenneldhis, and reciprocally Glenneldhis takes the most wounded and beaten ioata and reincarnate them as perfect ioata.  Perfect ioata can’t inflict status effects, but they do carry some of its guardian’s regenerative power, emitting a weak healing aura.

As the fight goes on, the rot starts taking more and more control over Glenneldhis.  It begins to rot nature it commands, causing the immobilize to deal damage and have a tapering slow that reduces defenses.  Its punches begin to spray out lines of infection that corrupt the ground, and it begins to systematically spew cones of infection from its mouth.  Standing in the infection deals damage and inflicts various status effects, potentially leaving you blind, poisoned, crippled or silenced.  Ioata that absorb infection or are reincarnated become infected ioata.  Infected ioata carry a degenerative power, emitting a weak damaging aura, and bursting into a ring of rot on death.

Fighting Glenneldhis takes some careful consideration and planning.  Mobility is important, since dodging terrain can be fairly easy if you stay on your feet.  Since ioata are constantly healing it, picking them off can help keep damage and debuffs on Glenneldhis, but picking them off slowly leads perfect ioata, which provide small stacking healing auras to all enemies.  If you simply ignore the ioata, you’ll have to beat your way through hordes of status effects against a foe that is constantly regenerating.  Neither is a great option, but that’s what makes Glenneldhis such a unique challenge.

As Glenneldhis begins succumbing to rot, it’ll start slowly losing life on its own,changing the flow of battle drastically.  Mobility becomes restricted but still important, since the field begins filling with hazardous terrain while still lashing out at you.  The ioata slowly turn from inflicting annoying status effects to becoming the primary source of damage.  The infected ioata’s aura helps kill off the other ioata, but at this point in the fight they’ve basically all become living grenades anyways.

As a unique creature, Glenneldhis doesn’t innately have a weakness and requires you think on your feet, adapting and responding to his various means of attacking.  A good mix of various strategies such as high mobility, area of effect damage, resistance to status effects, high burst damage, and high survivability should greatly aid your endeavor.

Dungeon Obliterator

…because who has time to crawl through a dungeon?

With all the hype surrounding Diablo III and my PC under repair, I’ve been poking at the Diablo III skill planner a good bit.  For those of you who didn’t know, I absolutely love mechanics, and I enjoy reading about how a game works almost as much as I enjoy playing them.  So it got me thinking, what’s something that hasn’t explicitly been done in a dungeon crawler before, and what type of theoretical class would I enjoy playing?  This is my idea for a brute-force style character that almost literally plows through dungeons.

The dungeon obliterator is your typical eight foot tall pile of muscle wielding a giant two-handed weapon that looks like it should be impossible to swing.  Heavy armor slows the obliterator down too much, and he prefers leather armors for faster face-checking.  While the obliterator is a seasoned adventurer that tears through dungeons, he still views magic as a sissy fairy art and refuses to use it unless it makes his weapon extra shiny.  Everybody likes shiny.

Equipment type: Non-magical, except for weapon
Weapon type: Any heavy two-hander
Armor type: Leather/hide or lighter

Dungeon obliterators emphasize their ability to simply tear through a dungeon, rather than carefully traverse it.  Relying mostly on their bread-and-butter two hander, most of the obliterator’s abilities are passive.  Here are some ability ideas that an obliterator could use to rip dungeons a new one.

-Stupid useless enemies and obstacles always get in the way of the big fun ones, and raw damage is usually the best way to tear minions into pieces with a single blow.
Passive: Increases basic attack damage.  When an enemy or object weak enough to be killed by a single melee strike approaches you, there’s a chance you’ll instantly kill it, saving you time.  The chance increases the higher your basic attack damage is above the damage it would take to one-shot them, and at later ranks is a guarantee against breakable terrain.

-Traps are annoying, but mostly they just piss you off.
Passive: You take slightly less damage from triggering traps, and at later ranks of this ability you’re immune to effects of traps that aren’t damage.  Whenever you take damage from a trap, you get pissed off, increasing your movement speed and basic attack damage.

-While potions are necessary and delicious, they aren’t smashing things – until now!
Active: Drink a potion with increased healing potency because its delicious.  Afterwards, turn the empty bottle into a mid-ranged glass grenade that cuts enemies, lowering their armor drastically.

-There’s nothing quite as satisfying as the crunch of an enemy skull, don’t you agree?
Passive: Whenever you hit an enemy, the joy it brings heals you very slightly, and whenever you kill an enemy, you’re healed a bit more.
Active: Though stopping isn’t ideal, you can stop and stamp out an enemy’s corpse for further enjoyment, healing you as long as you continue to stomp it, or until it’s a bloody pulp.

-Managing equipment and picking things off the ground can be such as hassle.  Thankfully, with your eyes on the prize, it becomes pretty easy to sort through all of the garbage.
Passive: You can set a minimum value for equipment, and anything that drops on the floor worth less than that value will get trampled.  Once you’ve figured out what you want, you automatically pick it up (including gold) without losing any speed. Also slightly increases rare item drop rate.

-As you smash the dungeon to pieces, you become those pieces.
Passive: When you smash various objects or trample useless items while running, the chunks of those items stick to you, creating a small shrapnel barrier.  When you stop running, the shrapnel flies forwards, dealing AoE damage that scales with the amount of stuff you’ve smashed.

-Things that are locked can be really inconvenient, but lucky for you strength is the universal key.
Active: Smash open something that’s locked, regardless of whether or not it was a door, a chest, or a riddle-sealed passage.  The higher the rank, the less likely you are to smash whatever is inside of the chest, and the less likely you are to get sprayed with the incoming debris.

-Stopping is really inconvenient, and running is a whole lot of fun.  Especially running though enemies, and into bigger enemies.
Active: You start running and refuse to stop for whatever reason.  If you run into an enemy, you first make a basic attack against them, only stopping you if that attack doesn’t kill them instantly and building up basic attack damage as you continue to move, leading into you eventually slamming an enemy with a single, incredibly powerful attack.  Coupled with your passive that lets you make free attacks against enemies that get close, sometimes you’ll even be able to run through an enemy that would normally take you two swings!

-Being surrounded is usually a downside, but to you, it simply means more skulls to crush.
Active: Swing your weapon in an arc around you, striking each adjacent enemy with a basic attack.  The damage is amplified by the number of enemies around you, meaning the more the merrier.

-Big enemies are just like little enemies, only bigger.  Which means you still just have to hit them, only bigger.
Active: You swing your weapon with a little extra oomph and a small chance of dealing a large critical strike, with the critical strike damage increasing with ranks rather than the chance.  In the unlikely event that this swing doesn’t kill the enemy, your next activation of this swing has significantly increased critical strike chance.

-Since you rush through dungeons so effectively, you gain a better understanding of them than the typical adventurer.
Passive: You gain experience at a slightly higher rate than other adventurers.  Also, you receive a chunk of bonus experience based on how quickly you completely clear each dungeon floor of enemies.

-When you feel pain, you become numb to it, and sometimes you just don’t feel like feeling the pain much at all. You’d think you can’t smash feelings, but you can.
Passive: Whenever you take damage, you get a stacking resistance to incoming damage for the next couple of seconds.
Active: You gain a chance to completely ignore a source of damage for a certain amount of time.  The damage is stored, and after this effect wears off you receive the damage in full, but broken into several smaller waves of pain.

-Sometimes you’re not where the fight is, and that’s just plain unacceptable.  Every good savage needs his initiation, and you’re no exception.
Active: You dash insanely fast towards the target enemy, bringing with you some extra basic attack damage.  If enemy dies either before you reach them or as you reach them, you immediately dash at the nearest enemy, repeating this dash a number of times based on this skill’s rank.

The idea behind the obliterator was to cut out some of the fluff that slowed down late-game experiences in dungeon crawlers.  Useless items?  Useless pots and vases to smash? One-shotting enemies?  All of these things play into the obliterators strengths, coupled with the bonus experience received for clearing a floor quickly helps keep mid to late game interesting.  Though an ultimately straight forward class, the obliterator was designed with the concept of “too much carnage” in mind.  You’re definitely still going to want to plan out what skills you need, and how many ranks you need in them, otherwise you might find yourself killing basic enemies so easily that you honestly could’ve put some points elsewhere.  That, plus with all the downsides of being reckless you’re definitely going to have to manage your health more than any other class would.

Br’aralird

Name: Br’aralird
Word of the Day: braird
Environment: Grassy areas such as meadows, plains
Organization: Solitary
Attacks: Thorny grip, devouring prey whole
Defenses: While the body of a br’aralird is incredibly vulnerable, their tentacles are a bit tougher, and they keep the rest of themselves underground for safety.
Weaknesses: Vulnerable tentacles and mouth, keeping in good health

Background: Br’aralird live underground in various grassy regions where turpartin are abundant.  Though many argue that turpartin are not living beings, but are instead traps deployed by the br’aralird, the br’aralird have never been observed making one, nor do they have the ability to do so.  These underground squid generally lay dormant while their plant-like tentacles curl and mimic small bramble patches.  When something brushes up against one of its tentacles, it quickly lashes out, breaking the earth above its head to devour whatever it grabbed.

Tactics: Since br’aralird spend most of their time in wait, they will never attack you unless you stumble into one of their resting tentacles.  Once awoken, br’aralird generally keep their heads below ground and flail their thorny tentacles around, grabbing on impact.  Once something is grabbed, they will poke their heads out to see whether or not what they grabbed is small enough to swallow immediately, and if it isn’t, they’ll proceed to squeeze them tightly, dealing damage over time and stunning them.  When the prey seems near death, the br’aralird will raise its whole head above ground and devour them whole.

While a lone br’aralird can be handled fairy easily by a small band of prepared adventurers,  br’aralird almost always rest in places littered with turpartin.  They seem to have an innate sense of where the turpartin are, and while their prey is avoiding the sticky obstacles, the br’aralird has better chances at landing a grab.  If an enemy gets stuck, the br’aralird is quick to ensnare them, and while it won’t devour the sticky mess, the goo makes it very difficult to break or be broken free.  Br’aralird will put their injured tentacles inside of turpartin to protect them if it can, using them as secondary weapons that only immobilize and slow enemies.

While fighting a br’aralird can be difficult, exploiting its weaknesses as a team can turn the tide of the fight.  While br’aralird tentacles are fast and deadly, once one stops to grab someone you can easily focus your damage on it, though you should avoid attacks that might also injure your ally.  Once a tentacle is injured, the br’aralird will no longer grab with it.  Once all of its tentacles are injured, the br’aralird is forced to spring from the ground, trying to devour you whole.  When it tries to devour you, you can chuck something harmful into its mouth, or if you can manage to get a turpartin in its mouth it’ll be unable open its mouth for the rest of the fight.  Since at the beginning of every fight the br’aralird immediately devours whatever aggravates its tentacles, you can start each fight disabling its ability to devour.  As long as you keep your allies in good health, they shouldn’t reach a point of injury where the br’aralird thinks it can eat them anyways, unless you want to gamble and use that opening against it.