Constellation Template

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Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:38 pm

Hello, everyone!
I built this monster template to try and make creatures like the Ursa Minor and Major. I thought, "Why not expand that to every constellation?" So I did.
You can check out the whole thing here:
Through bit.ly, use this ender: NiA5zC.

But here's the main part I would like people to look at:

General Stats and Abilities
Constellations gain their powers from the love and appreciation they receive from ponies who
view them. Lesser Constellations, such as Corvus or Cygnus, may be easy enough to fight with a small
team of ponies. Greater Constellations, such as the Ursas or the Canes, are significantly stronger, with
the Ursa Major being definitely strong enough to level a city effortlessly. The most powerful
Constellations are known as Zodiacs. There are 12 known Equestrian Zodiacs, and though their powers
vary, they are all incredibly powerful, and should probably be reserved as final boss battles.
All Constellations have the following Traits:

Immortality: Constellations cannot be "killed." Everything below 0 HP is instead an
unconscious, ethereal state known as "Stellar Rest." During the nighttime, they regain 1 HP every
round until they are once again conscious. [Possible: Once they regain consciousness, they also get 30
more HP.] Once reawakened, though, they forget their previous grievances and return to their docile
state. Reprovoking a Constellation is probably not a good idea.
Nocturnal: Constellations prefer to sleep in the daytime and roam the world at night. When not
provoked, they are generally docile, although they are territorial and will protect other Constellations in
their care. (Waking a Constellation will provoke it.) Constellations get much of their power at night. In
the day, Constellations are severely weakened. Their Stellar Rest heals them at one-third the speed, and
many of their powers do not work without Luna's sky to guide them. [Possible: they also have half their
HP.]
Star Matter: All Constellations are made of Star Matter. It is as material as normal matter, but it
is also partially translucent and studded with the stars that form their Guiding Stars. Star Matter resists
physical attacks at Resist 4. However, it is slightly weaker to magic, effectively a Vulnerability 2.
Guiding Stars: Constellations take the form of the image detailed by the stars in the sky. These
stars are called their Guiding Stars. Constellations are significantly less likely to harm creatures of the
same shape as them.

All Constellations have the following Abilities:
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.

Greater Constellations and Zodiacs have the following Abilities:
[+1] Stellar Snooze
Regain 1d12 HP. If daytime, regain 1d4 HP instead.
[0] Draw Belief
Gain 2 PiP.
[-2] Stars Align, Free Action
Choose one enemy. All attacks now do 1d6 extra damage against that enemy.
[-3] Focus Starlight: Nocturnal
One enemy takes 2d6 damage. That enemy and all enemies nearby must also flip a coin; if tails,
they are blinded for 2 turns.

Zodiacs have the following Abilities:
[0] Nightcast: Diurnal, Free Action
The Zodiac spreads its Star Matter out across the horizon, turning day into night.
[-1] Starsign Collapse
All ponies born under the Zodiac's sign take 2d10 damage.
[-2] Starsign Reign: Nocturnal
If the current date of the battle is within the Zodiac's purview, deal 2d12 damage and heal half
the roll.
[-4] Starstorm: Nocturnal
All ponies take 2d12 damage.
[-6] Starstorm Omega: Nocturnal
All ponies take 3d10 damage and flip a coin; if tails, they take Vulnerability 3, Ongoing
Damage 2, and are blinded (save ends).

My goal was to give people the opportunity to make other constellations using a basic concept. They get pretty powerful, especially the Zodiacs, but I hope they're balanced reasonably fairly. What does everyone think? What do you think could be improved?
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Philadelphus on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:45 pm

I think the idea is great! As an astronomer, I really enjoyed the Ursae Major and Minor in the show. The template definitely looks good, and could be an interesting way to come up with new antagonists.

My only concern would be the Zodiacal abilities Starsign Collapse and Starsign Reign. From my (admittedly little) knowledge of role-playing games, time is generally treated rather nebulously, and keeping track of the exact day and which zodiacal sign it falls under and what their character's birthday is might be a bit more precise than people care for. (Also, do you use the true days that the Sun is in a particular constellation, or do you use the traditional days that are several thousand years old and about a month off at this point?) And while Equestria seems to have the same constellations, it doesn't necessarily mean that they have the same function or that the passage of time is the same (considering that the princesses are responsible for raising the Sun, Moon, and possibly stars, and seasons are changed by the actions of normal citizens). I guess what I'm saying is that it might be a bit premature to apply the Gregorian calendar to Equestria. I just think it works better if it's left undefined.

But on the whole, I think it's a great idea. The thought of fighting a Scorpius...brrr.

Although, how do you fight a Libra?
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:54 pm

My theory for the Starsign attacks was, if the pony characters themselves don't have applicable birthdays, then you could use the players' birthdays instead.
Libra would be an interesting fight. In my campaign idea that used the Zodiacs, it wasn't Ophiucus that was the final bad guy. It was Libra, a giant statue dedicated to keeping balance between the Zodiacs. In order to include Ophiucus, you have to find the Statue Of Libra where it resides and beat it down. I didn't necessarily have a whole plan for it. Maybe it could have stolen your PiPs and used them against you. Or maybe it could have Dominated your party members and forced you to fight them. Rather than a sentient opponent, it's almost more of a "force."
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Philadelphus on Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:14 am

Interesting, a fight against the force of cosmic balance. The idea of the player's birthdays could work I guess, although the stickler in me would insist on using the correct, updated dates, which would probably necessitate including Ophiuchus and looking everything up, aaand I should probably just keep my mouth shut. As I said, the idea overall is very good.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:13 pm

Philadelphus wrote:Interesting, a fight against the force of cosmic balance. The idea of the player's birthdays could work I guess, although the stickler in me would insist on using the correct, updated dates, which would probably necessitate including Ophiuchus and looking everything up, aaand I should probably just keep my mouth shut. As I said, the idea overall is very good.

Yeah, there are now like 13 Zodiacs, only there aren't, and... it's all very confusing.
Man, if you really wanted to, you could get really confusing and do stuff like the Chinese Zodiac or constellations from other cultures. I kind of stuck with the Grecian/Ptolemaic/modern constellation set, but you could go anywhere with that.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:52 pm

This is amazing. I can't wait to see this developed further. I can hardly imagine a scenario where this idea doesn't make it into the official Monster Vault.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:05 pm

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:This is amazing. I can't wait to see this developed further. I can hardly imagine a scenario where this idea doesn't make it into the official Monster Vault.

Glee!!! Very Happy
You've inspired me. I've got to be careful, or I'll go crazy and make designs for all 88 modern constellations.
So, what would you specifically like me to improve? I'm thinking of adding some applications, like campaign ideas or how to use them in scenaria. Anything else?
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:15 pm

AlicornPriest wrote:
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:This is amazing. I can't wait to see this developed further. I can hardly imagine a scenario where this idea doesn't make it into the official Monster Vault.

Glee!!! Very Happy
You've inspired me. I've got to be careful, or I'll go crazy and make designs for all 88 modern constellations.
So, what would you specifically like me to improve? I'm thinking of adding some applications, like campaign ideas or how to use them in scenaria. Anything else?

Glad to hear it.

A few things just need to be polished (there's a lot of design stuff you need to factor in). For example, due to the malleable flavor of all combat talents - there's no such thing as a magic attack vs. a normal attack. We can't have someone's flavor give them a combat boost or penalty. I'll be happy to go over them later with you and polish these elements. In the mean time, feel free to come up with more lore, some traits specific to certain constellations (Scorpius would have to be different than an Ursa Major right?) or just more cool monster design ideas in general.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:27 am

I've moved the Zodiac Constellations to their own file, here. I'd like to make sure that they are: 1) balanced, 2) difficult, and 3) interesting. I've added Aries, Virgo, Pisces, and Ophiuchus.
More stuff will be on the way, I promise. But I hope this is a good start. Tell me what you think! Smile
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Masterweaver on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:30 am

RETURN OF THE ADMIN ONLY LINK!
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:33 am

Yeah, what happens is that a forum's permissions need to be set specially to avoid that. Here's a link for any Admin to solve that problem.

http://help.forumotion.com/t111807-only-admins-are-allowed-to-see-this-link-problem
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:36 am

Masterweaver wrote:RETURN OF THE ADMIN ONLY LINK!
AARGHRARGHBLARGHL.
Here, have a google shortened one. http://goo.gl/dHGOx
If it won't let you see that, it's http:// goo.gl/ dHGOx. Put dHGOx after goo.gl.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Karilyn on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:37 am

Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Yeah, what happens is that a forum's permissions need to be set specially to avoid that. Here's a link for any Admin to solve that problem.

http://help.forumotion.com/t111807-only-admins-are-allowed-to-see-this-link-problem

WHY IS THAT EVEN AN OPTION? D:

AND WHY IS IT SET THAT WAY BY DEFAULT?
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:40 am

Karilyn wrote:
Stairc -Dan Felder wrote:Yeah, what happens is that a forum's permissions need to be set specially to avoid that. Here's a link for any Admin to solve that problem.

http://help.forumotion.com/t111807-only-admins-are-allowed-to-see-this-link-problem

WHY IS THAT EVEN AN OPTION? D:

AND WHY IS IT SET THAT WAY BY DEFAULT?

It's a mystery.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Karilyn on Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:48 am

Well whatever, that should be fixed, and I'm currently going through all the permissions by scratch, making sure to fix them so they are consistant between all forums. Only the campaign forum (members only can post or make threads), and the official forum (admins only can make threads), should be any different than the rest after I'm finished.

I so should be able to make a universal setting <_<;
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Videocrazy on Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:48 am

[0] Nightcast: Diurnal, Free Action
The Zodiac spreads its Star Matter out across the horizon, turning day into night.

Is this effective everywhere, or in the immediate area? Because while I doubt Celestia and Luna would be particularly pleased in either case, in the former I'd imagine one of the two would step in immediately.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:45 am

Videocrazy wrote:
[0] Nightcast: Diurnal, Free Action
The Zodiac spreads its Star Matter out across the horizon, turning day into night.

Is this effective everywhere, or in the immediate area? Because while I doubt Celestia and Luna would be particularly pleased in either case, in the former I'd imagine one of the two would step in immediately.

Just the general area. The idea was that it can simulate night with its own body. Perhaps it would be like a dome falling over the ponies.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Videocrazy on Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:05 pm

AlicornPriest wrote:
Videocrazy wrote:
[0] Nightcast: Diurnal, Free Action
The Zodiac spreads its Star Matter out across the horizon, turning day into night.

Is this effective everywhere, or in the immediate area? Because while I doubt Celestia and Luna would be particularly pleased in either case, in the former I'd imagine one of the two would step in immediately.

Just the general area. The idea was that it can simulate night with its own body. Perhaps it would be like a dome falling over the ponies.

Yeah, ok, that makes a lot more sense. I just initially read it as "SUDDENLY NIGHT IN EQUESTRIA", so I wanted to make sure one way or the other.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  XandZero2 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:58 pm

Yo AP,

One thing that strikes me in your Google Doc is Aquarius. Shouldn't he be a Seahorse?

Also, do you think I should more closely incorporate your fluff for Celestials into mine? Or should I leave it as is?
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:09 pm

XandZero2 wrote:Yo AP,

One thing that strikes me in your Google Doc is Aquarius. Shouldn't he be a Seahorse?

Also, do you think I should more closely incorporate your fluff for Celestials into mine? Or should I leave it as is?
Well, I think we can have dueling fluff. They're similar enough that I'm not too worried about it. Besides, they're constellations given "flesh." How much different can they get?
As to Aquarius. I didn't make Aquarius a seapony (SHOO BE DOO, SHOOP SHOO BE DOO!) because I wanted it to be able to carry water. Are you thinking of Eridanus, the river? That's kind of what Aquarius' symbol looks like.
Although, now that you mention it, I could make Virgo a seapony... Hmm...
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  AlicornPriest on Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:14 pm

I also realized I mega-derped on Gemini. The reason why Castor has more HP than Pollux is because I thought Castor was the immortal one. He's not, Pollux is. So I'm going to flip their names.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Cardbo on Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:48 pm

Something I've had in mind. This just makes it easier.

Polaris Bear
120 HP
[+2]Roar
All opponents that haven't already taken an action, flip a coin. If its heads they lose their actions for the rest of turn.
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.
[-4]No Sell
Negates all damage taken so far during this turn.
[-4]Sideswipe
1d8 Damage to all opponents

Thoughts?
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  SilentBelle on Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:31 am

Cardbo wrote:Something I've had in mind. This just makes it easier.

Polaris Bear
120 HP
[+2]Roar
All opponents that haven't already taken an action, flip a coin. If its heads they lose their actions for the rest of turn.
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.
[-4]No Sell
Negates all damage taken so far during this turn.
[-4]Sideswipe
1d8 Damage to all opponents

Thoughts?

I think roar needs to be reworked. The problem being that if the bear ends up rolling last in initiative, then the move is very much moot for the rest of the battle, where as if it goes first, the move is far too overpowered.

Side swipe should be more powerful for being a [-4] move maybe (1d12, 2d6, or even 2d8), or maybe give it an extra effect aside from damage.

No Sell suffers from a similar problem that the roar does. If the bear is last in initiative, then this move becomes ridiculous. And conversely is useless if they roll highest.

Over-all I feel like a battle with this particular monster would be a painfully drawn out ordeal where the moves that they build up to aren't particularly exciting or dangerous, the only thing the players have to watch out for is the stellar strength. Tactically, it would make most sense for it to just pump out minions. And since these constellations have a minion creating move, I assume that it's meant to be a solo monster.

I would suggest maybe giving it a trait that gives it pips when it's hit, otherwise a group of 4 players are going to be able to blow this thing away in a manner of 8 rounds or so, without feeling particularly threatened. You might want to couple that with a reactive attack to deal more damage instead of the ability to reduce damage. I meant the bear has 120 HP, you don't have to be too worried about the bear keeping it's HP up. This way, the bear either spends it's pips on creating minions (I am assuming that minions are like summons in this case, and go right after the caster.) to deal significant damage, or it uses the previously mentioned reactive attack to damage the players that hurt it, or if it has a more powerful version of sideswipe. It depends on how you want to bring the players down. All at once with giant sweeping attacks? A focused beat down with minions all targeting the same player? Or as a feral beast that lashes out at the players that dare to attack it?

Really what I think the biggest thing you need to figure out is the flavour of this creature. What do you want it to do? What role does it play, how many players do you intend for it to face, what separates this monster from the others? Once you answer those fundamentals, then this beast will start to take it's true form. Of course my advice is far from perfect, but as long as it gets us thinking, we'll be one step closer to making a suitable monster.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Cardbo on Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:42 pm

Polaris Bear
120 HP
Trait:Magnetic Resonance
Gain +1 Pip whenever you're attacked.
[+2]Roar
All opponents that haven't already taken an action, flip a coin. If its heads they lose their actions for the rest of turn.
[+1] Flatten
Deal 1d8 damage to one enemy or 1d4 to two.
[+1] Stellar Strength: Nocturnal
The next attack will deal an extra 2d4 damage.
[-X] Create Minions
Create X Minions, which are smaller versions of the Constellation. They have 1/10 the HP and
no Resistance or Vulnerability.
[-4]Sideswipe
2d8 Damage to all opponents

I liked Roar too much to get rid it. If you have ideas to improve it, I'm listening. I got rid of No Sell, because as you said, combining it with Roar is a little much and makes it just take longer to defeat it. I also bumped up the damage of Sideswipe.

Basically its a boss monster. It should appear alone and summon minions as the fight goes on.
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Re: Constellation Template

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:37 am

Roar looks a bit overpowered to me.

Proposed battle order for Polaris Bear:
Roar (repeat a few times)
Unleash massive swarm of minions from the PiPs from Roar, any you start with, and all the ones you gain from the 50% of the party who are able to attack you each previous turn.
Continue to keep half the adventurers helpless and unable to do anything by using Roar while your swarm of minions makes short work of them. Call additional minions as necessary.

At the very least make Roar a [-] talent so that the boss can't just spam it each turn. Even better, make it a standard effect like blindness or confusion. Standard effects at least hold out the hope of being recovered from or removed by talents. Being forced to sit out your turn with no action possible and no way – even potentially – of doing anything about it is boring and frustrating, especially if it could keep happening to you turn after turn.
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Re: Constellation Template

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