KotM Fight! Spark

KotM Fight! Spark

ball lightningWelcome to the King of the Monsters Contest finals: the spark is finalist 7 of 10. These submissions are left almost entirely as they were received with the exception that all submissions have had minor alterations for proper spelling (not grammar), formatting, and the addition of an image. Let the fight commence!

______

This large mote of electrical energy floats menacingly nearby, erupting in a shower of sparks and tendrils of electrical discharge as the creature charges forth, headstrong into its enemies, disappearing in an instant leaving only the whiff of ozone…

When a great storm rips across a world in the Material Plane, it sometimes tears rifts between the planes and lets loose base creatures composed entirely of elemental energy, yet embodied with a sentience resembling the denizens of its new home world. A spark, also called an ampere by those studying such phenomenon, does not intend to understand other creatures; it only wishes to use them as a conduit for their unbridled energy.

Spark (CR 5)

XP 1,600
N Tiny outsider (air, elemental, extraplanar)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 17, flat-footed 17
(+5 Dex, +5 natural, +2 size)
hp 39 (6d10+6)
Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +3
DR 5/—; Immune electricity, elemental traits

OFFENSE
Spd 10 ft., fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee shocking grasp +6 (5d6 electricity)
Space 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks inhabit
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th)
At will—shocking grasp
3/day—lightning bolt (DC 17)
1/day—call lightning (DC 17)
Save DCs are Charisma-based

TACTICS
Before Combat A spark lies in wait for an appropriate victim, controlling its light output or inhabiting a mundane metallic object.

During Combat A spark sizes up its combatants and chooses the strongest victim to inhabit. Once inside a victim it attempts to use the new vessel to deliver shocking grasps or casting lightning bolt or call lightning against distant enemies. If ejected from a creature, a spark immediately tries to inhabit another victim.

Morale Clever enough to know when the fight is lost, a spark stays in a victim long enough to feel them perish, but flees combat if unable to inhabit other enemies.

STATISTICS
Str 4, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 18
Base Atk +6; CMB +9; CMD 16
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse, Ability Focus (inhabit)
Skills Fly +26, Knowledge (planes) +9, Perception +10, Spellcraft +9, Stealth +22
Languages Common, Auran
SQ elemental traits

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Inhabit (Ex) As a standard action, a spark can attempt to infuse itself within a mortal host. The spark must make a successful touch attack against a Medium or smaller creature, which can be combined with the touch attack from its shocking grasp spell-like ability. This action draws no attack of opportunity. The victim of this attack must succeed on a DC 17 Will save or become inhabited by the elemental. Once merged with the victim, the spark can choose to lurk just beneath the surface, or use its spell-like abilities through the host. Each time the spark attempts to use a spell-like ability the victim can attempt a new saving throw to expel the creature. While inhabiting a creature, a spark takes no damage from physical attacks, quarter damage from energy effects, and half damage from force effects.

The victim of this symbiosis gains the creature’s Dexterity and Charisma score, but otherwise keeps all normal statistics. Victims harboring a spark gain none of the creature’s natural immunities. A spark can attempt to control the victim’s actions beyond spellcasting, but usually the speech and actions seem jerky and erratic to its peers. To resist this dominance, the victim must succeed on a DC 17 Will save each round their normal actions are compromised. In addition to creatures, a spark may inhabit unattended metallic objects indefinitely. This ability is equivalent to a 5th level spell and is Charisma-based.

Ecology

Fueled by frenetic thought patterns and erratic actions, a spark jolts through its new world in search of a physical body, drawn by an urge to know form. Some accomplished spellcasters seek sparks for symbiosis. Sorcerers with elemental bloodlines or clerics devoted to deities with elemental domains reach an agreement with these strange creatures and allow them to ride within their bodies. Consider any NPC having a voluntary, symbiotic relationship with a spark to be CR +2.

Sages suggest other elemental forces similar to sparks exist, embodying the other elemental energies, perhaps even sonic and force.

Habitat and Society

Rare and single-minded, only in the most unique circumstances do these creatures meet one another. On rare times when these creatures form on the Material Plane, they have an alternately charged mate from who they never travel more than 300 feet. These pairs are particularly dangerous to the already storm-soaked region. Crackling with energy too quickly used up, sparks rarely survive longer than a year, even within a symbiotic relationship with a mortal form. When they expire, they simply wink out, and sages hypothesize the creatures simply return to the fabric of the elemental plane.

(This post is Product Identity.)

20 thoughts on “KotM Fight! Spark”

  1. Very creative Adam. I love elementals and this is a nice addition. I would suggest adding some kind of negative health side-effects to the voluntary inhabitation scenario. Since they burn out in a year, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine them burning through voluntary hosts too. Nicely done!

  2. I liked the thematically concise nature of the creature and its powers. The fact it is a Tiny creature also makes it interesting. Not all dangerous monsters are giants!

  3. I like this entry. This is a monster that doesn’t necessarily have to attack everyone once it has inhabited a host, and this gives it some roleplaying potential.

  4. I’ll be thinking of this one every time I walk across a carpet in wool socks.

    I could see this creature being at the center of an urban mini-adventure, a murder mystery, or a minion in some arcanists lab.

  5. Is this the standard formatting for a Pathfinder RPG monster?

    I would hate to be the one “infused” – especially after just watching a trailer for the new movie, ‘Legion’. Being controlled by a parasitic force never leads to good things. :P

    Nice work, Adam – great to see you keeping it up. ;)
    -will

  6. This is the block for “Inhabit” that I’ll probably use for this creature. There’s a penalty to the host if it fights the creature and fails, and also a slow, daily draining of the host’s life force. Note this might bump the CR a little, there’s never been a good framework for the CR affect of additional powers/abilities.

    Inhabit (Ex:) As a standard action, a spark can attempt to infuse itself within a mortal host. The spark must make a successful touch attack against a Medium or smaller creature, which can be combined with the touch attack from its shocking grasp spell-like ability. This action draws no attack of opportunity. The victim of this attack must succeed on a DC 17 Will save or become inhabited by the elemental. Once merged with the victim, the spark can choose to lurk just beneath the surface, or use its spell-like abilities through the host. Each time the spark attempts to use a spell-like ability the victim can attempt a new saving throw to expel the creature; failure indicates the host takes damage as per shocking grasp – if the host chooses not to resist, there is no negative effect. While inhabiting a creature, a spark takes no damage from physical attacks, quarter damage from energy effects, and half damage from force effects.

    The victim of this symbiosis gains the creature’s Dexterity and Charisma score, but otherwise keeps all normal statistics. Victims harboring a spark gain none of the creature’s natural immunities. A spark can attempt to control the victim’s actions beyond spellcasting, but usually the speech and actions seem jerky and erratic to its peers. To resist this dominance, the victim must succeed on a DC 17 Will save each round their normal actions are compromised (and be subject to the same penalties for failure as for resisting use of the spark’s spell-like abilities). In addition to creatures, a spark may inhabit unattended metallic objects indefinitely. This ability is equivalent to a 5th level spell and is Charisma-based.

    Each day the spark inhabits a host, the host must make a DC 14 Fortitude save (Constitution based) or be subject to the effects of a negative level as the energy of their body is slowly drained. These negative levels cannot be removed by any means other than removing the inhabiting spark, at which point the host is allowed saves after 24 hours as for normal level drain. If a host ever has total negative levels (from any sources) equal to its hit dice, it dies.

  7. Hm … I might consider giving the host Improved Initiative and Weapon Finesse as bonus feats, as well.

    Plus, instead of giving the host the spark’s Dexterity and Charisma, what about a +4 bonus to each instead?

  8. Me likey… could you please send me some baby Sparks to infuse into my home electronics… also my AC.. My electric bill is very high in the summer.
    …also…I think it would be cool if my TV could blast potential thieves with a lightening bolt.

    Thanks for sparking my interest in the game again. I find it shocking that I’ve been away for so long. It appears that once you infuse yourself into the RPG world, you are doomed to inhabit it forever.

  9. Nce one, Adam. One thing that keeps bugging me is, if the host’s “movements seem jerky,” etc., the flavor text there should be attached to an approriate rules clarification (“associates of the possessed creature are automatically aware that something is wrong with their companion, and can pinpoint the effect as some form of domination on a DC [X] [Perception or Spellcraft or whatever] check).” Leaving it open is a recipe for dissatisfied players if you’re running the encounter and don’t think through the implications carefully and quickly enough to make a ruling on the fly — or, in other words, that should be the designer’s job up-front, not the DM’s job during play.

  10. Seems it’s a battle between spark and treacle at the moment. Yet again Mr. Daigle shows us he’s on the money with his simple yet effective monster.

  11. I want to thank everyone who commented on and voted for this critter. There have been some awesome suggestions for modifications to the design, and while I had a wordcount to deal with, I really hope to incorporate these suggestions to the final write-up should this creature win. I have already been taking notes and have changed what I plan to use for my home games.

  12. Very cool creature. I need to know – was this critter at least partially inspired by Zzax, from Marvel comics?

    Nice work.

  13. I’m shamed to say that I had to look up the reference to Zzax, and I was totally a Marvel guy when I regularly bought comics…and thank you.

    In other news, I got the greenlight today to give the critter a bit of a revision using some of the suggestions made here in these comments. So, for that, thank you all for your comments and excellent ideas on how to make this monster better. In perfect Open Design/KQ style, we’re listening and I hope you all enjoy the final version when it appears in KQ #13! (In print! With awesome art!)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Kobold Courier and Earn Loot!

Stay informed with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox weekly. Join now and receive a PDF copy of Prepared 2!

Ghouls in a graveyard, the cover of Prepared 2

Join The Kobold Courier

38878

Be like Swolbold. Stay up to date with the newest Kobold Press news and updates delivered to your inbox twice a month.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
Scroll to Top