Getting Swamped - Blindwater Content for the IKRPG

Getting Swamped

The new Blindwater Congregation theme force article introduces a muck-filled bushel of new models for the gatormen of western Immoren—including Unleashed alumnus Longchops. Our boy from the Blackmarsh Valley made good, Ma!

Some of these models are already present in the Unleashed roleplaying game, like Mist Speakers and, of course, everyone’s favorite reptilian monster hunter. (Or should that be monster-hunting reptile? Maybe the editors can clue me in.)

For some of the others, such as the Gatorman Husk, Soul Slave, and the poor old Void Leech, we’re rolling out a handful of new rules for you to try them in your own swamp-themed games of the RPG. The material presented here is intended to spark the imagination of players and to test out new rules, new gear, and new concepts. Once you test-drive critters with these new templates, feel free to give us your thoughts on the forums HERE.

New Creature Templates

Husk

Description: Husks are a type of undead construct bokors fabricate from the bodies of sentient creatures. In a necromantic ritual, the bokor imbues a body with unlife and places within it the larvae of several different forms of insects. These larvae feed on the putrefying flesh of the corpse from the inside, gradually replacing muscle tissue with growing colonies of their own kind. A husk is a graceless, ponderous thing but possesses surprising strength, augmented by the bokor’s magic and the wriggling life within its distended skin.

Should the body of a husk be pierced with a weapon, it erupts in a sludge of necrotic fluid and a biting, stinging swarm of insects. Gatormen prefer to create husks with colonies of swamp hornets, venomous centipedes, and diseased mosquitoes, though in a pinch, any kind of aggressive insect will do. Stories persist of expert bokors stuffing the bodies of larger beasts like blackhides with captured vektiss eggs, proving that no matter how bad a thing is, someone out there can always make it worse.

Stat Modifiers: +2 STR, –1 SPD and AGL, –2 DEF. The husk’s INT becomes 0.

Ability Modifiers: The creature gains the Carnivorous Swarm, Eruption of Flies, and Undead abilities.

Carnivorous Swarm – When this creature is disabled, center a 5˝ AOE on it, then remove this creature from play. Characters in the AOE suffer a POW 12 corrosion damage roll as a flood of corrosive fluid and insects bursts out of the body. The AOE is a cloud effect that remains in play for one round. A character entering or ending their activation in the AOE suffers d3 points of corrosion damage. A character damaged in this way must make a PHY roll to resist disease against a target number of 12. If the roll succeeds, nothing happens. If the roll fails, the character suffers Exhaustion.

Eruption of Flies – When this creature suffers damage as a result of an enemy attack at any time except while it is advancing, after the attack is resolved this creature can target the attacking model with a SP 8, POW 14 ranged attack that causes corrosion damage. Characters hit suffer the Corrosion continuous effect. This creature can make this ranged attack even while in melee. Each time this creature performs an Eruption of Flies attack and the attack roll is all 1s, the husk has expended the last of its colony’s insects and is removed from play.

Undead – This creature is not a living character and never flees.

Skill Modifiers: The creature loses all ranks in skills other than Detection.

EP Modifier: +2 EP

Notes: While it is possible to create a husk from most types of creatures, bokors prefer to make use of sentient creatures that are available, like bog trogs, croaks, and fellow gatormen. A husk can only perform Unarmed attacks and cannot use weapons. Creating a husk is a ritual.

Soul Slave

Description: Soul slaves are pitiable undead creatures fabricated from the living bodies of servile gatormen and bound to the spiritual essence of their creators and masters. A master can torture the spirit of a soul slave to exploit that spiritual pain as a kind of dark occult energy. This energy can feed the power to the slave’s master, or the soul slave can capture it to evoke its own spells in times of need.

Stat Modifiers: +2 PHY, +2 ARM, –2 DEF

Ability Modifiers: The creature gains the Arcane Assist, Mental Force, Spell Slave, and Undead abilities.

Arcane Assist – While this creature is in the control range of a bonded warlock or bokor, that character can upkeep one spell without spending fury or gaining fatigue.

Mental Force – This creature can use Mental Force at the beginning of each attack. If it does, all attack and damage rolls resulting from the attack are boosted. After the attack is resolved, this creature suffers d3 damage points.

Spell Slave – This creature must be in a bonded warlock or bokor’s control range to perform a Spell Slave action. When it does, it casts one of the spells from its master’s known spells with a COST of 3 or less. This creature cannot cast upkeep spells or spells with a RNG of SELF or CTRL. When casting an offensive spell, Spell Slave is a magic attack. Use this creature’s controller’s ARC when making the attack.

Undead – This creature is not a living character and never flees.

Skill Modifiers: This creature all ranks in skills other than Detection.

EP Modifier: +5 EP

Notes: While it is possible to create a soul slave from most sentient creatures, bokors prefer to use bog trogs, croaks, and fellow gatormen. A soul slave can only perform Unarmed attacks and cannot use weapons. Creating a soul slave is a ritual.

Void Leech

Description: By tormenting the living spirit and body of a sentient being, bokors have discovered a way to unravel enemy magic and fill the air with a void where the arcane and occult cannot penetrate. Covered in ritualistic runes hammered into their very flesh, these void leeches offer gatorman mystics a degree of magical protection rivaling that known even by sophisticated students of the arcane. It is fortunate for the wretches who become void leeches that this existence consumes their flesh at an accelerated rate, wasting them away to nothing in a flash of magical static.

Stat Modifiers: –1 PHY, STR, and PER. Part of the ritual to create a void leech requires the eyes of the void leech be removed; a void leech automatically fails all rolls depending on sight.

Ability Modifiers: The creature gains Blank Spot, Mage Static, Mindless, and Wasting Power abilities.

Blank Spot – A character with the Magic Sensitivity archetype ability cannot detect when a Gifted character casts a spell, nor can a harnesser detect another harnesser, provided the spell is cast or the harnesser remains within this creature’s command range.

Mage Static – Enemy magic attacks targeting friendly characters in this creature’s command range suffer –5 RNG.

Mindless – The creature no longer possesses the ability to think. It automatically fails all INT based rolls, cannot use weapons or equipment, and cannot be targeted by abilities or spells that take control of living characters.

Wasting Power – This creature can choose to use Wasting Power at any time during its activation. When it does, enemy animi and upkeep spells on characters in this creature’s command range immediately expire, then this model is removed from play.

Skill Modifiers: This creature loses all ranks in skills other than Sneaking.

EP Modifier: +2 EP

Notes: While it is possible to create a void leech from most types of creatures, bokors prefer to sentient creatures that are available, like bog trogs, croaks, and fellow gatormen. A void leech can only perform Unarmed attacks and cannot use weapons. Creating a void leech is a ritual.

Learn even more in the pages of IRON KINGDOMS UNLEASHED

New Rituals

The following rituals expand on the options presented in Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Wild Adventure.

Create Husk

Difficulty: 6 + the Willpower the target had in life

Knowledge: Exclusive. This ritual is known only to characters with the Bokor career and those with Lore (Kossk or undead) 2 or higher.

Duration: 12 hours

Description: Creating a husk requires a fresh corpse, usually a human, bog trog, croak, or gatorman. The creator must remove the internal organs—perfect for a mid-ritual snack—and replace them with an equivalent volume of appropriate insect larvae. The creator must sew shut the chest cavity, eyes, and mouth of the corpse to prevent the insects from wriggling free and then raise the body as an undead creature.

Special Rules: Creating a husk requires the body of a living or recently deceased creature and a nest of appropriate insect larvae (e.g., the brood chamber of an ant colony, a hornets’ nest, etc).

A character who creates a husk can direct the creature to move or attack once per round by performing a quick action. The husk must be in the character’s command range at the time the command is given; otherwise, it acts according to its instincts.

Modifications

  • +4 Difficulty: The husk’s Eruption of Flies attacks gain an additional damage die against living characters. Adding this modification requires at least six larvae from a venomous or poisonous breed of insect.

Failure

  • Fail by 4 or less: The colony dies before it can sustain itself on the body of the husk.
  • Fail by 5 or more: The husk seems to have been a success, but it will erupt without warning someday. Any time the husk rolls all 1s on an attack or skill roll, or at any other time of the Game Master’s choosing, it first performs a single Eruption of Flies attack targeting a random character, then it is disabled. Note that this takes precedent over the normal rules for rolling all 1s on an Eruption of Flies attack.

Create Soul Slave

Difficulty: 8 + the Willpower the target had in life

Knowledge: Exclusive. This ritual is known only to characters with the Bokor career and those with Lore (Kossk or undead) 3 or higher.

Duration: 24 hours

Description: To create a soul slave, the creator must have a living subject at hand, as well as ritual items to lure wild spirits. The creator draws in the wild spirits to attack and torment the soul of the subject at the moment of death, then binds the spirit under the creator’s control.

Special Rules: Creating a soul slave requires a Gifted living sentient creature, as well as ritual items like candles, incense, and small animals to use as sacrifices.

A harnesser can bond to and control a soul slave by using a bond slot. For the purposes of bonding, the soul slave is considered to have the Resonance: Swamp ability.

A will weaver can choose to bond to a soul slave instead of choosing a new spell when the character has enough experience to do so. If the soul slave is destroyed, the will weaver can bond to a new soul slave without gaining additional experience. A will weaver can choose to sever the bond to a soul slave at any time. The soul slave becomes a creature under the Game Master’s control, and the will weaver can opt to gain a new spell at that time.

A character can be bonded to only a single soul slave at a time.

Modifications

  • +4 Difficulty: The soul slave learns an additional COST 1–3 Spell chosen from the Bokor spell list. This spell cannot be an upkeep spell or have a RNG of SELF or CTRL. If the corpse used was of a Gifted character, the spell can instead be any spell the character knew in life.

Failure

  • Fail by 4 or less: The soul slave does not awaken and a pyre of occult energy consumes it utterly.
  • Fail by 5 or more: The soul slave awakens but is violently insane and aggressive. Screaming in agony, the soul slave immediately becomes hostile to its creator on completion of the ritual and attacks, using offensive spells from the creator’s own spell list until it is destroyed.

Create Void Leech

Difficulty: 16

Knowledge: Exclusive. This ritual is known only to characters with the Bokor career and those with Lore (Kossk or undead) 2 or higher.

Duration: 18 hours

Description: The creation of a void leech requires the creator to kill the higher mind of the subject, a task usually performed with poisons like the Venom of Kossk, tatzylwurm venom, vektiss venom, or similar substances. The creator blinds the subject and impales numerous wooden or bone chits that have been inscribed with arcane runes over the body. Finally, the creator places the eye of a swamp horror, dracodile, pale tatzylwurm, or similar predator into the void leech’s mouth to act as a focus for its power.

Special Rules: Creating a void leech requires a Gifted living sentient creature, as well as ritual items like wooden or bone runes and the eye of a large predatory swamp creature.

A character who creates a void leech can direct the creature to move or attack once per round by performing a quick action. The void leech must be in the character’s command range at the time the command is given; otherwise, it acts according to its instincts.

Modifications

  • +2 Difficulty: The void leech gains a +2 bonus to command range.

Failure

  • Fail by 4 or less: The subject of the ritual fails to become a void leech and is instead an eyeless, mindless invalid.
  • Fail by 5 or more: The subject of the ritual fails to become a void leech and dies of its wounds. As it dies, it produces a burst of arcane static that debilitates any Gifted characters who participated in the ritual. Such characters suffer –1 ARC for the next d3 days.