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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  GM's Corner (Moderators: Bleak Knight, Glacialis)  |  Topic: The Roc
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Albert
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« on: January 04, 2007, 05:57:53 PM »

I'm not talking about action movies or action movie actors, but about giant birds. I found out a few days ago that the Roc from the MM is actiually an animal, and not a magical beast. Can you say 80ft wingspan astirax?
So, have any of you ever, uhm, made use of these giant birds i midnight? I haven't seen them mentioned in any of the books, but they might just fit in somewhere. I imagine the Kaladruns could be possible, or the highhorns, either with them being huge and free and majestic, or terrible shadowspawn.

Anyway, them being animals means their will save isn't that good, even with the Iron Will feat they only have +9, which means they'll fail on the basic Astirax' posession DC of 13 something like 1/6 of the time, not too shabby odds. These could rip channelers to shreds and draw a few points of spell energy at the same time, it would also make the "I think I see a bird that's been circling us for the last few hours, but I can't really make it out since it's flying quite high" type of astirax encounters a lot more terrifying.

So, strenght 34, Fly-By attack and the ability to sniff down channelers is that just too much?
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Dirigible
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2007, 07:44:59 PM »

I had a Sarcosan cahracter that was terrified of any flying moster, lest it turn out to be a 'roq'; I've always figured rocs are just right for swooping down on the plains and snatching up horses. They work best in an environment that's like their mythological background.

Also, rocstirax? Yikes!
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2007, 01:52:27 AM »

I always figured the roc as being a unique creature so the point of Astirax possession never came to my mind. I'd rather have lots ot little animals turn around the channeler of my group than just one.

They carry a much more insidious fear that just one big animal IMO. Yet, the idea of a big animal possessed by an astirax is a great one (imagine a bunch of war elephants bred in south Erenland by the sarcosans...).
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Albert
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From the north


« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2007, 07:58:49 AM »

Right, another big animal I haven't seen mentioned in the books is the elephant. I'm not sure if I like the idea of including them in my own game, but it would certainly make things interesting on the front against the jungle elves.

The problem with lots of little animals is that this is either going to take lots of astiraxes, rewriting the astiraxes or having the little animals come at the channeler one by one. Not a bad tactic the last one though, in Bleaks group our channelers got "dive-bombed" by posessed birds, a flock of them started throwing themselves down upon him (or the ground around him) one by one.
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Bleak Knight
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2007, 12:57:20 PM »

I don't think there are elefants in Erenland. Perhaps there were some imported by the sarcosans at some point, but they are probably extinct by now. Perhaps you could have some somewhere in eastern Erenland (north or south of Alvedara) or Asmadar.

I remember that dive-bombing. T'was fun. twisted

Anyway, if there are rocs, they probably live either in the Kaladruns or on the plains. Perhaps they live in the mountains, and feed on the plains too. Those things should have a large range once they get airborne. Also, I like the idea of a rocstirax (as Dir has named them). Very scary.
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Dirigible
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2007, 03:03:09 PM »

I like the idea of the Roc being unique. Remember in the olden days, we discussed there being unique / archetype monsters? THE manticore, THE chimera...
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smeagol
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2007, 03:27:49 PM »

I like the idea of the Roc being unique. Remember in the olden days, we discussed there being unique / archetype monsters? THE manticore, THE chimera...

Dir, I think you're on the right track. I'd have it as a mysterious monster, whose origins are lost to time. A lone survivor of a native eredanian species that was hunted to near-extinction by Sarcosans (the sahir thought that using its wings would allow them to fly so they could reach the stars). A failed Shadow experiment to create an airborne corps (orcs riding Rocs). Normal birds that were twisted by some strange power nexus, which they now guard (remember the vultures of Three Oaks in Fury?). Possibilities abound.

Making rocs unique will make players wonder.
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Bleak Knight
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2007, 04:14:53 PM »

Make them semi-extinct, like the condor, but don't make it a unique creature. It's an animal, not some wierd piece of immortal shadowspawn.
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Albert
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« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2007, 09:09:21 AM »

It being an animal and not a magical beast (and therefore astirax-possesable) means it shouldn't be unique. I wasn't going to flood my world with them in any case, but I'll include a few nests somewhere on high peaks and give them a gigantic range for their hunting. Also, since I've never included them in any campaign I think the players will wonder the first time they see one, even if they later find out that they're "normal" animals, and that there are more of them.


The roc-riding orcs gave me an idea. Orcs were originally rocs, not elthedar, Izrador merely chopped of their wings and jumbled up the letters. Tongue
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2007, 11:20:54 AM »

I like them, and have used them only once that i can remember *(in my gaming life, not in Midnight), i believe it would be something one could find on the kaladruns or be unlucky enough to stumble upon in erenland, while it is taking some boro or horse to feed its hatchlings.

Astiraxes can possess it indeed, but given it has 18HD and damn good saves, that would not be a common thing. Wink
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Albert
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From the north


« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2007, 08:27:22 AM »

18 animal HDs.

even with the Iron Will feat they only have +9, which means they'll fail on the basic Astirax' posession DC of 13 something like 1/6 of the time

Let the legate controlling said astirax have a few levels under his belt and it'll be easy.
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Nifelhein
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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2007, 10:19:55 AM »

First, animals get good saves on Fortitude and reflex, sometimes Will, by the rules, so saying their saves are bad is not really fair, and their save is the same as your fighter with iron will and +1 wisdom modifier has at level 18, so that isn't uncommon, specially because saves are where the problems of D20 show well enough for all to see.

At level 18 the save DC for said astirax's possession will be upped by 10, 5 because of HD improvement and another 5 due to charisma improvement, in that case the Roc can save against said ability with a roll of 14, which is above average, true, but I don't have many of those around, much less willing to travel through the world in search of the perfect animal for their astirax to be possessed.

I don't see much of a problem with things there.
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