Thursday, February 4, 2016

Encounter: Aeromola

See attribution at the bottom.
Flying fish are a pretty typical fantasy and video game staple. Sometimes jumping out of the water to knock you off a platform or... just swimming, in the air. Probably easier to animate and more daunting or pretty than a fish flopping around and gasping for air. Today, I'm borrowing that concept for the choking affliction for an original creature I call the Aeromola. Let's take a look at putting it together.


First off, the main piece of this guy is the affliction, choking. Choking by itself is worth 20 CER. He inflicts fatigue damage, specifically, dehydration fatigue. I don't see a point value for Fatigue damage in the CER article, so maybe I need to ask +Christopher R. Rice about that. I am going to assume it is worth 2x. I am also going to say it is an automatic hit, but doesn't do much Fatigue damage. Let's see what we are standing on now.

Attack Skill15Active Defense0
Affliction20Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points0Hit Points0
Total Offensive Rating (OR)37Total Protective Rating (PR)0

This guy has already blown my lower cap of 30 points, but with all the heavy hitters out of the way let's see if we can finish this. I want to give it a weak crushing bite. Maybe 1d crushing, and I need to think about how flying will affect its move.

Attack Skill15Active Defense0
Affliction20Damage Resistance0
Fatigue Points0Hit Points3
Total Offensive Rating (OR)41Total Protective Rating (PR)3

OK, I think we have arrived. I see no especial reasons to give it any extra defenses, except maybe extra  Hit Points owing to their typically high mass. I could weaken its Health a bit as the wiki article interestingly states that real molas are vulnerable to parasites, but meh. Stats look like this.

ST: 13HP: 13Speed: 5
DX: 10Will: 10Move: 8 (Air)
IQ: 4Per: 12
HT: 10FP: 10SM: +0
Dodge: 8Parry: N/ADR: 0
Bite (10): Reach C1d crushing
Draw Moisture: Automatic success, always on 10 yard radius emanation, Target loses 1 FP to dehydration, then enters a quick contest of HT versus the Aeromola. If the target fails, they choke for seconds equal to margin of failure. Tying does nothing, and Success may stun the Aeromola. Those who do not breathe are not affected by the choking condition. Those who do not drink are not affected by the dehydration condition.
Traits: No Fine Manipulators; Detect (Moisture); Wild Animal; Quirk (Panic, runs when frightened); Wild Animal;
Skills: Brawling-10


100 years ago, top bio-thaum inventors were saying it would be impossible to ever build a flying machine, so began an experiment into creating a beast of burden through the burgeoning field of bio-thaumatology. This was back in its hayday where the monarchy funded various research projects into all manners of scientific inquiry.
Thaumaturges decided to harness the power of the Mola Mola and grafted into it the ability to fly and survive out of the water. Unfortunately, it all went wrong. In the same research facility, a project was being conducted for a cheap way to harness latent air moisture using highly absorbent fibers in base sea sponges and mundane slimes to help travelers to new arid settlements, as this was also the agenda of the day for the empire. However, the meteoric shielding between labs was faulty, and cross-wired sigils produced the aeromola abomination we know today.
Technically able to live out of water, in fact, not being able to submerge in the stuff nor drink it, it's only method of survival was the accidentally implemented capability to draw in ambient moisture from the sponge slime experiments. As it spontaneously appeared, it began to immediately dehydrate many of the staff to death without any recourse.
Inexplicably, it has since somehow multiplied and overtaken a large section of irrigation and aqueduct fixtures. Quick thinking civil engineers dismantled some of the infrastructure, keeping the spread from going too far, but the town, labs, and those that died were never safely recovered.
Adventurers speculate that one might be able to approach safely if submerged in large amounts of water to weaken the direct dehydration attacks of the aeromola [perhaps in large bodies of water, it can only afflict coughing instead of choking?]
Some scientist are interested in removing its dehydration organ, but are too afraid to do the work themselves. Bringing back a dead, but in-tact fish might net $1,000 if a researcher is interested.
100 years ago, no one believed that humanity could achieve flight. 95 years ago, artificers invented the sun-stone powered passenger hot air balloon.

Other Notes and Closing

Magic animals leave a lot of leeway for additional abilities. Especially magical affronts to the gods. Lots of lore and world-building options too. What does the church think about magicians magically creating new animals? Playing God? Appreciating his creation? Do other experiments fail? How could one specimen have gone on to create more offspring?
To make it stronger, I think the best first step is to make it bigger, and maybe increase fatigue damage to 1d. It might have a symbiotic relationship with a type of bird as well. Real life mola molas emerge from the water to allow seagulls to pick parasites from their bodies. Being a "sun-fish" a crazy variant might shoot solar beams or similar. Some fish have beaks and might be able to do better types of injury than crushing.
What other impacts could they have as an invasive species to a particular biome? In a fantasy world, it might be preyed on by something that doesn't need moisture to survive, so maybe it is in a place full of rock like monsters?


Mola Mola Photograph By Nol Aders, modifications by PaladinWhite - Image:Mola-mola-Lisboa-20051020.jpg, CC BY-SA 3.0, $3

Precis - Flying Fish forcefully fling fatigue.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...