Saturday, March 12, 2016

Silicates

A silicon dioxide-based race of chronomancers with a roughly humanoid body shape. Organic muscles work because they’re made of material that contracts when electricity is applied by the nervous system. The quartz that silicates are composed of reacts to electrical current by vibrating at a constant rate. That’s why humans use quartz crystals to regulate their timepieces.

The regularity of these vibrations has allowed the silicate race to evolve with a sense of temporal awareness in addition to the spatial awareness possessed by humans. Over the course of that evolution, they’ve developed the inborn ability to manipulate time by creating temporal anomalies.

Silicates are asexual, and reproduce by seeding quartz clusters that grow to about a 2 foot height and radius. Once that size is reached, the cluster is again visited by its parent and imbued with a self-sustaining electrical pulse that does for silicates what DNA does for organic life. This pulse rearranges the physical material of the new silicate into a bipedal form, at which point the new silicate gains sentience and mobility. Each cluster produces 1d6 silicates. The electrical pulse is also a coded message containing all of what the parent considers to be the most important knowledge, which is instantly learned by each new silicate.

In appearance, new silicates feature the rough surfaces and hard edges of fresh, raw crystal. Their upper limbs end in big, chunky three-fingered hands. As they live out their lives and grow in power, they’re ground down by time and experience, becoming smooth and soft-edged. This is important for adventurers who might encounter them to keep in mind, since it means that the ones with rounded, organic-looking forms are the most dangerous.

Silicates can grow crystal weapons as sharp and strong as steel. Sometimes, powerful silicates learn to permanently imbue the weapons they grow with time-related powers and curses.

They “eat” gemstones and precious metals. This makes their acquisition a primary motivation for silicate NPCs, and groups of them usually try to keep a fully stocked pantry (but are you really willing to sink low enough to steal food from this ragged band of alien survivors? well probably yeah). Silicate PCs gain the value of the minerals they ingest as XP. This is in place of, not in addition to, the normal XP for loot rules.

These creatures were first encountered 529 years ago by the rokai Hojo Mori while he was on a slave raid in the outside worlds. Recognizing that they were too powerful to be suitable for use as slaves, he instead sought to learn how their powers worked in order to harness them himself. To that end, he pretended to diplomatic aspirations and extended an invitation which several of the creatures graciously accepted. Once they were in his castle, Hojo Mori treated them as guests until he learned how to trap them in a stasis prison, outside of any timeline.

WIS: 4d6  INT: 4d6  DEX: 2d6  STR: 2d6  
HD: d4
Saves progress as a magic-user, but apply a bonus equal to half of the silicate’s level (round up) to breath/reflex/DEX saves.
Add WIS bonus to AC. 
Immune to poison and sneak attack damage.
Acid and sound-based attacks do double damage.
Silicates don’t heal naturally with rest like organic life forms do. Instead, they rely on their Entropy Reversal ability for healing (see below). If the silicate is unable to reverse any damage done, the missing chunk of quartz becomes a permanent “scar” and their max hp is permanently lowered by the amount of damage that wasn’t healed.
Silicates can create one temporal anomaly per day per 3 levels (round up) without straining themselves. After that, creating further anomalies costs 1d6 hp damage (save vs. magic to avoid the damage, with a cumulative -2 penalty each time that resets each day).

Stasis Bubble- Stops time within a diameter of 10’ per level for one turn per level. This effect can be set up as a trap to be triggered by a reasonably simple condition determined by the silicate creating the anomaly. This anomaly will continue to exist in its dormant state for as long as the silicate wishes, but it also continues to count against the silicate’s anomalies per day. That is, a silicate who begins a new day with a stasis trap previously set up, begins that day with the ability to create one less anomaly per level. If such a trap is triggered, the silicate who set it is immediately aware of the fact, but not of the specific circumstances. If the silicate dies before the anomaly is set off, it ceases to have ever existed.

Forward Slip- Slows down time for the silicate long enough to perform one standard or movement action per level in the blink of an observer’s eye. So a level two silicate can make one attack and move at normal speed before anyone else knows what happened. Any victims are considered to be surprised or flat-footed, even if they’re already in combat with the silicate.

Entropic Touch- A successful touch attack causes the victim to physically age several decades or even centuries (depending on the normal lifespan of the species) in matter of seconds (save applies, only affects creatures and objects which can normally die of old age). The shock of this sudden transition causes 1 permanent point of CON damage per 2 levels of the silicate (round up). If the target is an inanimate object, it instantly becomes subject to the ravages of time to the point of uselessness. Wood and leather rot, metal rusts and disintegrates. Magic items are entitled to a saving throw to avoid destruction.

Macrouncertainty Cloud- There are always an infinite number of realities which are so close to this one on the world tree that the only difference is the exact location of a single being. This anomaly causes the silicate’s analogs in three adjacent realities to become visible in this universe for one round per level of the silicate. These images are constantly shuffling around with the silicate in a multidimensional shell game, and are impervious to harm. Every direct attack that would normally hit the silicate has a 3/4 chance of passing harmlessly through one of the images (which flickers for just a moment, but comes right back at the end of the round). If one of the images is already flickering from an attack, and another successful attack is made, that one only has a 2/4 chance of missing the silicate. So if the silicate is the target of five attacks in one round, only the last two attacks will have the normal chance of hitting it.

Reverse Slip- The silicate is able to very, very briefly reverse the temporal velocity of reality itself, essentially taking a step back in time. The silicate can only turn back time by a second, just far enough to re-take one roll or re-think a single, extremely recent, and incredibly bad decision. If the new roll still fails, and the silicate is high enough level to create multiple anomalies per day, more than one anomaly can be used to retry a single die roll multiple times. This can also be used to force an opponent or allow an ally to re-take a roll.


Entropy Reversal- Touch any living (or recently dead) thing to instantly undo all damage taken by that creature within the past ten minutes. This anomaly’s effect doesn’t stack with itself. For example, if you use it once to heal 12 hp taken in a recent battle, you can’t immediately use it again to gain another 12 hp. Extending the effect further back in time costs another daily anomaly use per extra ten minutes— so it would cost a level 6 silicate all their free anomalies for the day to undo damage that was 30 minutes old. This applies to ability score damage and conditions like disease or level drain as well as hit point damage. This anomaly cannot be used to bring a creature back from the dead.

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