Sunday, February 7, 2021

PoE- Essences

Sometimes, energies converge. These may be cosmic energies of fate or time, or they may be the result of wayward magic, or even extreme emotion. One could say that in every specific move of a dancer, there is a greater or lesser passion- in the same way, a single being at a single time may break a boundary of energetic convergence. In such circumstances, these beings have reached a certain breaking point and, for the safety of reality, they are trapped within crystal.

Beings trapped in essences are no longer normal. They may be violent monsters in the heat of a rage, or a monk in the midst of a harrowing realization. Regardless of the reason; they were trapped by the Gods for a REASON and releasing them from this prison is very dangerous.

Essences are released if you attempt to break them out, as the prison is unstable and liable to be broken. Simple pulling or cracking the crystal with a weapon is enough to free them. They can also accidentally be freed- if you are fighting in a room with monsters trapped in essences, there is a 1 in 6 chance somebody bumps into one enough to free it. If your hunting dog sniffs it, that's another 1 in 6 chance, etc.

Essence Monsters
For an essence monster(s), roll a random encounter. Then, describe the monster(s) frozen in place, either in the middle of an action or simply standing around. The players can clearly see the monsters, what they are and what they're armed with and so on. This gives the chance for the players to strategize with how they are going to fight these monsters.

When the monsters are released, they will spring to action. Once one of the essence monsters is broken free, all of them in the group will be busted out at the same moment. The essence monsters may be headed by an elite.

Roll on this table to determine what power the essence monsters have. Some essence monsters may have multiple powers for added challenge.

Essence Power Table -
Roll 1d6
[1] Potence- These monsters are surrounded by a power aura, and are modified. Roll once on the Monster Modifiers table to determine what power they have collective gained as a result of being supercharged with energies. The head monster (or only monster if there is just one) also gains +1 HD, +1 to hit and ac, and increases the damage die of its attack(s) by one size larger.

[2] Arcane- This monster knows a random spell. The maximum level of spell it can know is equal to its HD as a Magic User of the same level could know; so no Essence Goblins knowing Disintegrate or anything like that. In the event of multiple monsters, only the head monster knows the spell, but can cast the spell once per each monster that was trapped in essence alongside it.

[3] Negative Energy- Swirling energies of chaos surround these beings. The first attack roll against them automatically fails and counts as a roll of 1. If applicable, the first casting of Turn Undead against them also automatically fails, but this will consume the aura and make them vulnerable. This power is on every monster trapped in essence, but the head monster is consumed by negative energy. On an attack roll of 20, the victim must save or have one level drained vs the head monster.

[4] Combat- These monsters have a magical power they can use in combat. Each monster has one copy of the power. Roll on the Azurite Monster Powers table.

[5] Hysteria- Every round, a random character (player character or hireling) will be overcome with a sensation, emotion, or have some chaotic shit happen. No matter how many monsters are trapped in essence, there is only one of these effects per round.

Hysteria Subtable- Roll 1d6

  1. Rage. Character must save or attack the nearest living thing.
  2. Sadness. Character starts crying. Disadvantage on ranged attack rolls from their tears.
  3. Laughter. Character laughs; cannot cast spells or speak.
  4. Spasm. Save or fall to the ground. Takes one round to get back on your feet.
  5. Fear. Morale check or the character flees. If a PC, consider Charisma damage instead.
  6. Darkness. Lowers the light level by one, or extinguishes one torch.

[6] Elemental- This monster is charged with elemental power. Becomes resistant to a single element, taking half damage from that element. It also deals +1 damage of that element with all attacks. If the creature was already resistant, make it immune. If it was already immune, it now heals if it takes damage of that element, and so on. You can roll the same element on this table multiple times.

Elemental Subtable- Roll 1d4

  1. Fire
  2. Ice
  3. Lightning
  4. Acid

Art @SkintickeT5 (reddit- couldn't find any other sites)

Essences as Loot
Once you have defeated an essence creature, they will drop an essence. This is the solidified power they were once charged with, in a small and mostly stable form. This energy "feels" roughly as the type of power the essence creature had, so if you hold it in your hand you can feel roughly the same emotion or intense waves of energetic power that was present in the creature.

Essences can be used to magically enchant items. Living creatures are too unstable; the power within these is what got the monsters trapped within crystal in the first place. But inanimate matter can be infused with the power in these essences.

Whenever you kill a head monster infused with an essence, it drops one essence. It looks like a cool glowing symbol thing that can be used on an item to give it magical powers. Only the head monster will drop an essence, but will drop multiple essences; one for each essence power the monster possessed.

Essences are still very chaotic. Whenever you apply an essence to an item, roll on the following table to see what happens. You can also sell them quite a bit to mad scientists and arcanists alike.

Essence Crafting Table-  Roll 1d8
[1] Cursed
- The chaotic power is malign in nature. It becomes a 2 HD animated object, stats fitting the object, with the same essence-power that the monster had. Aggressive. If you want, you could make this Essence crafting roll a secret DM roll- make the item animate the moment when it is used for its intended purpose, but otherwise seems like it's magically enchanted by the essence.

[2-3] Minor Empowerment- Object is infused with magical energy and counts as a +1 magic item. Any damage or aging of the object is fixed.

[4-6] Essence Empowerment- The object gains a minor power, equivalent to the Essence. Using an elemental essence on a piece of armor will make it grant some resistance or protection from that element. If it is a Hysteria essence and it is put on a weapon, then grants a similar effect of Hysteria on a target it strikes, once per day. Etc.

[7-8] Greater Empowerment- As Essence Empowerment, but grants the full effect of the power to the wearer. The number of items you have enchanted with essences can count as the "number of monsters" for the description of essence powers above, but for your own abilities. Also, the enchanted item is counted as a +1 magic item.

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