Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Library is a Very Dangerous Place

Paper Tigers - A lost tribe of human ex-cataloguers gone feral. Originally brought to serve the in the Madgod's Library, they were replaced with the mechanical shelving units when they inevitably went completely bugfuck crazy. They attack visitors for food, treasure and equipment whenever they believe they have an advantage.
- They shave each other completely, usually go around wearing a loincloth made from pages torn out of the books, and use scarification to create tiger stripes all over their bodies.
- Physically, these lunatics have the statistics of ordinary human civilians, but they are not to be underestimated within the confines of the Library. This is because:
- They know the contents of every book in the Madgod’s Library before pulling it off the shelf, and can choose the effect of opening the book instead of having to roll for it randomly. Also:
- One in four Paper Tigers have eaten Library bat guano and undergone a random mutation. (see Library Bats below)
- Their equivalent of the Dewey decimal system is a series of nonsensical pictograms scratched into the bookshelves. Any character who tries to cast read magic on the symbols must save or go permanently insane, effectively becoming a Paper Tiger and running off into the depths of the Library.

Shelving Unit - A horse sized, steam powered automaton with eight long claw-tipped legs. The claws are articulate enough to grasp and manipulate books and sharp enough to shred your average suit of chain mail.
-These bastards are quick and have two attacks per round.
-They can produce puffs of steam that obscure vision (which they do not rely on) in a 15 foot radius, as well as causing 1d6 fire damage to anyone in a 5 foot radius. Shelving units are immune to this particular attack, but not to fire damage in general.
- They don’t usually bother anyone, but anytime a book is moved, a shelving unit will sense it and show up in 1d3 rounds to return it to its proper place. They aren’t programmed to be rude, so they won’t interrupt readers until they put the book down somewhere, but they will follow anyone who continues to walk around with one or more books. Shelving Units will not allow anyone to leave the Library with any of the Madgod’s books, unless of course the character can present a Library card (which entitles them to borrow one book at a time). Attempting to physically damage a Library book will also incur a shelving unit's wrath.
- They can’t talk, but they can understand all spoken languages, and their body language is cartoonishly expressive.
- Shelving units viciously attack bookworms on sight, but are afraid of the entropy moths that bookworms metamorphose into, and will not approach them willingly.

Bookworm - A two-foot long caterpillar with the face of a madly grinning human.
- They can spray a 15 foot cone of goo that causes paralysis to anyone it touches (save to avoid), and usually flee immediately after. This doesn’t immediately affect shelving units, but it does dry quickly (1d4 rounds) and gums up their joints at that point, immobilizing them.
- When fleeing, they can move faster than their appearance implies (half again the speed of an unencumbered human).
- Bookworms are usually found in groups of 3d4 worms. This usually allows a lucky few to get away, if a group of shelving units gets the drop on them. Larger groups can be found during serious infestations.
- Once they've eaten enough books, they create a cocoon for themselves, which is clearly visible but naturally camouflaged against the shelving units' (non-visual) sensors. At the end of its gestation period, an entropy moth emerges.

Entropy Moth - About the same size as a bookworm, entropy moths are mostly covered in pearlescent fur. They have the unblinking and expressionless face of a human mannequin, but with the nose and mouth replaced with a curled proboscis resembling that of any other moth.
- When these creatures flap their wings, they radiate waves of chaos in a 15 foot circle. All inanimate material in this radius begins to break down. Metal weapons and armor rust, organic material deteriorates, and mechanical devices immediately stop working, then fall apart 1 round later. This does not affect the Madgod’s books, but does affect normal books. Magic items (including spell books) can save to avoid this damage.
- The entropy field also alters spell effects that enter it. Roll on the table to determine how the spell is altered.
1 Spell is deflected towards a new, randomly chosen target.
2 Reverse the effect of the spell; if it would normally cause damage, it heals instead, etc.
3 All numeric qualities of the spell (intensity/damage, area of effect, etc.) are tripled.
4 Spell is replaced with a random spell of one level lower.
5 All numeric qualities of the spell (intensity/damage, area of effect, etc.) are halved.  
6 The spell is absorbed by the entropy moth, which becomes impregnated and uses its next turn to hook its proboscis onto someone's bare flesh and implant an egg sac in its victim. The eggs hatch 1 hour later (unless the character expels them by making a successful save or a relevant healing spell is cast), and the character experiences crippling pain while 1d4 larval bookworms make their way to the brain. Bookworms eat their victims’ brains, but only digest the actual information, expelling the rest as waste. Bookworm hosts die horribly, by puking out their brains and shit.
- There are two small glands near the base of an entropy moth's head which are highly prized by alchemists and artificers. They can be used to create effects such as spell resistance, reflection, and absorption (in order of increasing difficulty).
- These moths' antennae are specially adapted to constantly detect traces of magic on items and creatures. They are attracted to magic and other manifestations of chaos like their smaller cousins to a flame.

Library Bats - Since the paper tigers were impossible to control and the shelving units were incapable of dealing with entropy moths, the Mad God brought a colony of giant bats into the Library to serve as a natural predator for the moths. Because the bats’ diet consists mainly of animals that fuel increased randomness, the rate of mutation in the bats was increased. Within a dozen or so generations, they developed evolutionary adaptations to the unique dangers of the Library.
- The ears and related neural structures of Library bats have become attuned to the energies radiated by magic, madness, and chaos, and the creatures can intrinsically understand and vocally reproduce any spell or magical effect that they have recently (past half hour or so) observed. This even applies to non-vocal sources of magic, such as Library books. If the effect's intensity is determined by caster level, treat the bat as having the same level as whoever it observed creating the effect. 
- Eating the guano of a Library bat will make any character that can digest it extremely ill (disadvantage to everything) for 24 hours. At the end of this period, the character gains a random mutation, which has roughly even odds of being beneficial in nature. One in four members of the Paper Tiger tribe have undergone this transformation.

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