Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Don't you just hate it when your dog marks his territory by calling up a polar vortex via control weather?  Or how every time you try to give him a bath, he spontaneously turns into 6-ton killer whale?

No?  Your dog doesn’t do that?  Ever?  Huh.  Weird.

Move over owlbear…we’ve got a wolforca!  By which I mean the akhlut, of course.  Which would be tempting to make fun of, except 18 Hit Dice, Huge size, and a swallow whole attack that does bludgeoning and cold damage have a way of commanding respect.  Plus, the akhlut comes from Inuit myths, so it has a pedigree we can respect.  Besides, how can you not love a creature that creates entire storms on a daily basis just to mark its territory?  And the spectacle of a killer whale storming onto shore as a Huge wolf and completing its charge in the following round (with a +8 initiative bonus) is too cinematic for words. 

I’m guessing locals would regard akhluts as practically divine beings, given their storm calling ability—perhaps even as protectors, since they drive predators like winter wolves, sharks, and frost worms away.  Of course, how they go about avoiding or placating such a beast might have nasty ramifications for PCs…

Whalers become the hunted when an iceberg sinks their ship and their lifeboats are set upon by killer whales.  Adventurers hitching a ride with the whalers have just helped get one of the boats ashore when a killer whale bursts out of the water and becomes a giant wolf right before their very eyes…

The We Shu folk regard cetaceals and akhluts as two sides of the same coin, the yin and yang of the sea.  Some clans even take to revering one or the other as totem spirits.  Those that respect the akhlut celebrate storms, prefer to hunt or fish to tending any crops, and often engineer “accidents” to happen to strangers so that their akhlut totem animal remains well fed.

When the low-lying Yangmarahji Jungle floods after the monsoon season, the forest floor becomes one giant estuary.  Bull sharks, giant crabs, and river dolphins with fierce underbites swim between the trees as if they were born there.  But the Yangmarahji is a darkly magical place, and some of those dolphins have settled in the jungle for good.  When the waters recede, the giant river dolphins take the forms of wolves or boars and continue hunting.  This causes little trouble for the area’s flying apes, the derhii, but other travelers might not be so lucky.  (These tropical akhlut are partly responsible for the jungle’s rainy climate even during the dry season, and they are immune to the effects of silt, quicksand, or sinkholes.)

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 11

After Friday’s post, knightdisciple analyzed Agyra in a way that put my reading to shame.  Some highlights:

One thing that comes to mind is that the multiple heads and breathing lightning, as well as a big tail whipping all over the place, also reminds me of King Ghidorah. Which makes this a three-for-one Kaiju special!

See, this is the kind of expert testimony a Toro newb like me can't deliver!  Then he dug deep into the stats:

No matter what, while Agyra’s not overly talkative (Int 3), it/she is scary good at intuiting motive (Wisdom 29!).

A great point, and this calls to mind the Zillo Beast from Season Two of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.  The Zillo Beast wasn’t much of a planner or thinker, reacting primarily to stimuli.  But it had an uncanny ability to sense motive, able to immediately identify Chancellor Palpatine—a Sith Lord canny enough to be able to act right under Yoda’s nose, no less—as a malevolent threat and the source of suffering to be extinguished. 

And, of course:

I will say the Pacific Rim Fanboy in me wants to say there’s a monster of some sort, like, a golem or something, that PCs can control that’s at least of a size with Kaiju. Alternatively, maybe crafting such a defensive artifact is the culmination of a Kaiju-centric campaign!

*Forehead slam*  Why did I not think of that?!?  My helm is off to you, knightdisciple.  And for you and all the other PR fanfolk out there, there’s an old Companion-level D&D adventure you have to check out: Earthshaker by David “Zeb” Cook.  I’ve never read it, but I know it features an adventure inside one such gnome-constructed mecha.  And if you want your mecha to fight other mechas, The Book of Wondrous Inventions, edited by Bruce A. Heard, reveals the Alphatian and Glantrian answer to the Earthshaker in the form of a transforming golem, Jaggar’s Transforming Gargantoid.  Happy hunting for both books!

Anyway, read all of knightdisciple’s post here.

Finally, regarding yesterday’s post…who am I kidding?  Anyone who has seen even one of my character sheets knows I would read the hell out of Elves of Golarion III, IV, L, or whatever.  Once you go elf, other races go on the shelf.

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