Thursday, December 11, 2014

Petty Gods: Visible Stalkers, Decoy of the Petty Gods

Yet one more for Mr. LeBlanc:

Visible Stalkers
decoy of the petty gods

No. Encountered: 1/1d4
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 120' (40')
Armor Class: 3
Hit Dice: 8
Attacks: 1 + Special
Damage: 4d4+2 + Special
Save: F8
Morale: 5
Hoard Class: None
XP: 500

Roughly the size of a normal swan and looking somewhat like a child's awkward attempt to create an oversized decoy of an orange-billed flaxen waxfeather, the Visible Stalker is the bane of magic-users the world over.

Visible Stalkers were created by a committee of the petty gods of whimsy, who sought to create a creature to stymie magic-users summoning petty gods or their servitors. There is a 35% chance that any effort to summon and entrap a petty god or their servitors in a magic circle instead results in the appearance of a Visible Stalker. There is a 10% chance they can also manifest as a result of a miscast invisible stalker spell.

When summoned, a Visible Stalker will refuse to serve a magic-user's request. They have complete resistance to compulsion-type spells and will instead pester the summoner with mundane questions ("What's that?", "Why is that bowl that color?" "Why are you wearing those silly-looking shoes?", etc.) or merely asking "Why?" ad nauseam. The creature will carry on like this until the summoner is completely exasperated (no matter how long it takes), at which point the magic circle binding is broken and the Visible Stalker can waddle away, having regained its freedom. Some Visible Stalkers have been known to follow around their summoners, continuing to refuse requests and asking questions until the victims have literally gone insane (Save vs. Sanity once every 3 days or go stark raving mad forever with no chance of reversal).

Once manifested on the material plane, Visible Stalkers can never leave; they can live up to 200 years, subsisting on a diet of mice, toads, and driftwood. Once freed from a summoning circle, they tend to gather in rafts of four and will generally flee from danger. They can only speak the Common tongue, but understand all languages.

Despite their comical appearance, Visible Stalkers have tough skins and are difficult to kill. They are resistant to fire-based attacks, impervious to non-magical missiles, and bladed weapons do half-damage. If attacked, they will hiss to warn off an attacker. They can perform a horrendous chomping bite for 4d4+2 damage.

If a Visible Stalker is reduced to 1 hp, it will crack its own neck by banging its head against the ground. Its brain stem will slip out of its skull and, using a barbed, tentacle-like foot, it will attempt to pierce the skin and symbiotically bond with the last person to strike it.

If the bond is successful (17% chance; no save), the visible stalker forms a permanent, silent parasitic bond with its host. The victim permanently gains the following: +2 WIS, +2 INT, 2d6 hit points, and telepathic communication with a random petty god (roll on the Table of Contents). They also suffer a permanent -5 to CON and, if a spell caster, lose the ability to memorize spells beyond 7th level. If the host is killed, the Visible Stalker dies, too.

If it fails to form a symbiotic bond with its intended target, the Visible Stalker will die within 20 minutes; its brain stem melts into a pile of delicious jelly that grants a 2-week +2 to CON if eaten on sourdough toast.

Visible Stalkers resent halflings for unknown reasons. This resentment will pass to any symbiotic host.