Friday, January 16, 2015

Formian Worker

In saner world, one not ruled by the tyranny of alphabetical order, we would have covered the humble formian worker before now.  Oh well. 

Anyway, you can't run an army of expansionist interplanetary/interplanar invaders without a pretty good supply chain.  And that’s where these lasses come in.  Alone they're little threat (Cr 1/2, bite +3), but in groups those aid another checks begin to add up.  And while it doesn't show up in the stat block, the flavor text indicates that sometimes these doughty workers come packing alchemist’s fire…

Kobold undermining brings a keep crashing down.  The rubble also happens to clog the spring that fed the keep, and the resultant subterranean flooding brings furious formian workers boiling out of the ground to find the cause of the disturbance.  When adventurers are sent to retrieve whatever is left of the baron’s property (not to mention tax records and collections owed to an impatient earl), they find themselves caught between trap-setting kobolds and formian workers lobbing alchemist’s fire.

A line of iridescent gorgets becomes all the rage in Abilard.  As prices go sky-high, a rival designer hires adventurers to find more of the exotic material.  It turns out they come from the shimmering hides of formian workers.  Once it becomes clear that the formians are intelligent, the adventurers have to choose between killing the humanoids for their chitin and disappointing their patron…which could have lasting consequences in the status-obsessed city.

For the Lyonessen pioneers, reliable food sources are a scarce commodity.  To feed a distant outpost, one of the army commanders hatches a desperate scheme.  Using an aromatic concoction that causes formian workers to obey humanoids as if they were taskmasters, adventurers will trick a caravan of workers into bearing their harvests to the outpost rather than their home hive.  But bad weather and a run-in with a crysmal slow the journey.  If the unguent runs out before the journey is done, the formian workers will shake off the concoction’s influence and attack.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 113

And so Formian Week comes to a close.  Farewell, my insectile friends.

Near as I can tell, looks like I only lost one reader over yesterday’s rant(s)!  I call that a victory.

This video on Middle-earth mythology got a lot of attention on Reddit today.  I especially dig it because it gives a shout-out to my former professor, Verlyn Flieger.

In other People I Know news, my friend Amanda co-owns (coöwns?) and runs a coffee shop two blocks from my house.  In addition to being pretty awesome in general, in the last two years or so she’s become a big advocate for sick leave for all employees in Maryland.  I am now wishing that I had taken a sick day yesterday to hang out with her, because she (the very short woman in the photo) and friend-of-a-friend Brendan had a pretty memorable day.

Last chance to get last week’s show before it vanishes at midnight tonight!  But I’ll be on air tomorrow if you want to hear a request.

1 comment:

  1. Anyone who can enjoy Card's work despite his being an enormous asshole can continue to enjoy your work despite the odd rant that's semi-obnoxious at worst. Where the death of the author is concerned, your CR is much, much lower.