Dungeon 192 - Creature Incarnations: Abyssal Plague Demons

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DnDi_Large.pngDungeon 192
Creature Incarnations: Abyssal Plague Demons

by Michael E. Shea

Abyssal plague demons were introduced in Monster Vault™: Threats to the Nentir Vale. This article presents more powerful Abyssal plague demons, the carriers of the dark will of the Chained God.

Talk about this article here.

 
I expected epic level monsters, not paragon.

But, it is Netir Vale.
Nice, some of those will be useful in my current campaign down the line, along with the ones in the Nentir Vale Monster Manual.

Im actually thinking of fusing the Chaos Shard and the Abyssal Plague into one single event, and use elements from both.
I expected epic level monsters, not paragon.

But, it is Netir Vale.



Yeah, thats one thing I've found very strange about the Abyssal Plague. Its supposed to be some horrible multiverse-spanning plague that is tied to the will of a being so deadly and powerful the other gods had to rally together to chain him in a dieing reality, and yet these monsters apparently can't manage anything above level 15?

I mean, there's a lot less threatening things out there that get higher levels than this. I mean, heck, a bunch of giant scarabs who eat dung produce creatures that are similar or higher levels.
I expected epic level monsters, not paragon.

But, it is Netir Vale.



Yeah, thats one thing I've found very strange about the Abyssal Plague. Its supposed to be some horrible multiverse-spanning plague that is tied to the will of a being so deadly and powerful the other gods had to rally together to chain him in a dieing reality, and yet these monsters apparently can't manage anything above level 15?

I mean, there's a lot less threatening things out there that get higher levels than this. I mean, heck, a bunch of giant scarabs who eat dung produce creatures that are similar or higher levels.



Does anyone actually reads the articles before posting or is this just bashing bait?

From the pdf:

"A cult loyal to Tharizdun performed a dark ritual to penetrate his prison, and though the Chained God could not escape, the essence of his will did, in the form of a sentient red liquid laced with silver and flecked with gold, known as the Voidharrow."

"The relationship between the Voidharrow and Tharizdun is more complicated than mortals can understand. Though the two conscious entities had been entombed together since creation, their minds were not fully entwined. While Tharizdun commanded his cultists to set him free, it was the Voidharrow that escaped. Tharizdun still seeks freedom, but the Voidharrow’s primary goal now is to spread its disease as far as possible."

The Nentir Vale Monster Manual also states that the Voidharrow is an exarch.

I havent read the novels yet (of which the first one is available for free), but im sure there are more details there.

And i wouldnt be surprised if this is just part of the whole material; Heroic tier monsters in the Nentir Vale Monster Manual, now a Dungeon article with Paragon Tier monsters, and the link above states that the dragon Vestapalk is the host of the Voidharrow in the Core World setting, so its probable that another article is coming with epic creatures and the new stats for the demonic form of Vestapalk.
I was hoping for Voidharrow-Vestapalk here too.  But oh well.  This is good here.

Before posting, why not ask yourself, What Would Wrecan Say?

IMAGE(http://images.onesite.com/community.wizards.com/user/marandahir/thumb/9ac5d970f3a59330212c73baffe4c556.png?v=90000)

A great man once said "If WotC put out boxes full of free money there'd still be people complaining about how it's folded." – Boraxe

An Abyssal Plague Monster Theme article would help as well, lots of demons of all tiers to re-skin (although between this article and the section on the Nentir Vale Monster Manual, there is already something to work with).
I expected epic level monsters, not paragon.

But, it is Netir Vale.



Yeah, thats one thing I've found very strange about the Abyssal Plague. Its supposed to be some horrible multiverse-spanning plague that is tied to the will of a being so deadly and powerful the other gods had to rally together to chain him in a dieing reality, and yet these monsters apparently can't manage anything above level 15?

I mean, there's a lot less threatening things out there that get higher levels than this. I mean, heck, a bunch of giant scarabs who eat dung produce creatures that are similar or higher levels.



Does anyone actually reads the articles before posting or is this just bashing bait?

From the pdf:

"A cult loyal to Tharizdun performed a dark ritual to penetrate his prison, and though the Chained God could not escape, the essence of his will did, in the form of a sentient red liquid laced with silver and flecked with gold, known as the Voidharrow."

"The relationship between the Voidharrow and Tharizdun is more complicated than mortals can understand. Though the two conscious entities had been entombed together since creation, their minds were not fully entwined. While Tharizdun commanded his cultists to set him free, it was the Voidharrow that escaped. Tharizdun still seeks freedom, but the Voidharrow’s primary goal now is to spread its disease as far as possible."

The Nentir Vale Monster Manual also states that the Voidharrow is an exarch.

I havent read the novels yet (of which the first one is available for free), but im sure there are more details there.

And i wouldnt be surprised if this is just part of the whole material; Heroic tier monsters in the Nentir Vale Monster Manual, now a Dungeon article with Paragon Tier monsters, and the link above states that the dragon Vestapalk is the host of the Voidharrow in the Core World setting, so its probable that another article is coming with epic creatures and the new stats for the demonic form of Vestapalk.



Its not bashing bait, or lack of reading. I read the whole article. I love the Abyssal plague. I've made it an integral part of my entire campaign.

Its just kind of jarring when you go from a bunch of orcs to fighting beings made of the liquid will of a being who wants to devour the universe, and did in an alternate universe (read  the old Sharn article). They just seem a bit over the top for heroic tier no?

The original bunch of plague demons is like level 5-8 (i'd have to check, I upped mine all to level 10 and 11). They seem to be mostly soldiers.

The plague spreaders, in this article, which seem more like the proper initial forces, are paragon. Heck, a corpse animated by the plague is apparently more powerful than a creature that seems to be almost entirely made out of it.

Lastly, I said it seemed STRANGE. I didn't say stupid, lazy, epic-hating, or any other of those words. I just find it strange the way they've organized the levels for these guys.

Epic support for them would be awesome, but it still doesn't stop it from seeming strange to me for the time being. Just because they were making a book of heroic tier monsters, doesn't mean they need to lower the level of something that should probably be a higher level.

Its not bashing bait, or lack of reading. I read the whole article. I love the Abyssal plague. I've made it an integral part of my entire campaign.


I apologize if it was too harsh.
 

Its just kind of jarring when you go from a bunch of orcs to fighting beings made of the liquid will of a being who wants to devour the universe, and did in an alternate universe (read  the old Sharn article). They just seem a bit over the top for heroic tier no?

The original bunch of plague demons is like level 5-8 (i'd have to check, I upped mine all to level 10 and 11). They seem to be mostly soldiers.

The plague spreaders, in this article, which seem more like the proper initial forces, are paragon. Heck, a corpse animated by the plague is apparently more powerful than a creature that seems to be almost entirely made out of it.


Perhaps for bigger encounters, but for skirmishes and a preview of what is to come, no; the first wave does not need to be heavy hitters.

Also, why not give the Heroic Tier a taste of it?

But i grant you that the selection for each tier could have been better researched; or not, see below.

But even the pdf has a section about rescaling the level of the monsters.


Lastly, I said it seemed STRANGE. I didn't say stupid, lazy, epic-hating, or any other of those words. I just find it strange the way they've organized the levels for these guys.

Epic support for them would be awesome, but it still doesn't stop it from seeming strange to me for the time being. Just because they were making a book of heroic tier monsters, doesn't mean they need to lower the level of something that should probably be a higher level.



Actually, in the Design & Development article about the Abyssal Plague, it states:

"The Abyssal Plague is something of an experiment. We wanted to see if we could create an event that would bridge our disparate novel lines, encouraging readers loyal to just one of our worlds to try reading books set in other worlds. We also wanted to create an event that would be experienced in both novels and game products, creating some level of shared experience between novel readers and roleplaying gamers."

The page that appears to be the main page for the event also refers to an Encounters event; by the way, that page could really get a layout update, at least to also incorporate the other related articles (including a reference to this one).

Since the event is still under way in the novels front, either they dont want to reveal too much on the game front (and thus the monsters already detailed have corresponding entries in the already released novels, which i cannot confirm, as i havent read the novels as previously stated), or due to the latest releases (ShadowFell and the upcoming Neverwinter Guide) and associated material, they fell behind.

Another possibility that just occurred to me is that the Epic campaign they mentioned somewhere they were working on could actually be tied to this event, and possibly be released along with the later novels.


It didn't have the same useful teachings as the previous two articles Mike wrote, nor the fit-into-a-gaming-session story (and I missed that), but I thought these were useful monsters with fun powers. They are also strong. I particularly like how the swarm enters into the PC's body for a bit. There's good RP fun to be had after that happens!


Talk about this article here.


For what it is worth, the "Discuss" link on the article page links to the "They Creep" article instead of here. Not sure who fixes that. (And, I should say that the job is overall really well done. If I were responsible it would be wrong at least 1/3 of the time)

Thanks!

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Pruanu, I think you viewed my opinion of which comes first backwards.

These paragon guys, who seem to be mostly about spreading plague, would make more sense in heroic tier thematicly. Their current level doesn't matter, i'm just thinking story flow.

Normally i'd think the idea would be to spread the plague, and then turn those corrupted by the plague into soldier types (the original batch) in order to hold areas/defend the weaker plague carriers, so that it can move on.

In this case however, the soldier types seem to be weaker compared to those who spread the plague, which makes their role seem, odd.

If compared to the Flood from halo, its like the Flood Carrier and Infection forms are more powerful than the Flood Combat or Pure forms. Perhaps its similarity of unit types which is throwing me off.

In essense, what seems to be the "starter demons" to fight, are actually paragon, and those you fight when you delve into already plague-claimed lands are almost half their level, down in heroic tier.

That all being said, yeah, we'll probably get some epic support down the road for these guys, I'd find it odd if they didn't. Its just the current ordering of their monster types is strange.
Pruanu, I think you viewed my opinion of which comes first backwards.

These paragon guys, who seem to be mostly about spreading plague, would make more sense in heroic tier thematicly. Their current level doesn't matter, i'm just thinking story flow.

Normally i'd think the idea would be to spread the plague, and then turn those corrupted by the plague into soldier types (the original batch) in order to hold areas/defend the weaker plague carriers, so that it can move on.

In this case however, the soldier types seem to be weaker compared to those who spread the plague, which makes their role seem, odd.



I agree with you, thus the "But i grant you that the selection for each tier could have been better researched;"

But not knowing the novels story flow, i offered another possibility for that selection.
I don't know anything about the novels but it seems like the intended use for these guys is heroic: the party does other stuff but occassionally run into these strange plague monsters (the heroic mobs) -> paragon: the plot thickens and the party meets the plague spreaders -> epic: the party takes on the source.
An article that further analyses the construction of these monsters.
Nice to see that blog write-up. I missed that aspect, which was included in the first two articles Mike wrote.

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Dark Sun's Ashes of Athas Campaign is now available for home play (PM me with your e-mail to order the campaign adventures).

I hope we'll see more of the abyssal plague in the future. What we've seen so far has felt very... unfinished. Where are the adventures from Dungeon? Where are the themes/p-paths/epic destinies from dragon? In general, there's been a surprising lack of hype for what is supposed to be a major event in the D&D multiverse. I would expect banner adds on the main site, a forum space dedicated to discussing it, and an index page showing where all the articles are.

I love the idea of the abyssal plague and have enjoyed everything so far, but as a whole concept it feels half-baked. A little more effort from WotC would turn a good product into a great product.
That all being said, yeah, we'll probably get some epic support down the road for these guys, I'd find it odd if they didn't. Its just the current ordering of their monster types is strange.



Epic abyssal plague this month in Dungeon #197, yay Laughing
That all being said, yeah, we'll probably get some epic support down the road for these guys, I'd find it odd if they didn't. Its just the current ordering of their monster types is strange.



Epic abyssal plague this month in Dungeon #197, yay Laughing



Never thought i'd be wanting plagued demons for xmas!
That all being said, yeah, we'll probably get some epic support down the road for these guys, I'd find it odd if they didn't. Its just the current ordering of their monster types is strange.



Epic abyssal plague this month in Dungeon #197, yay Laughing



Never thought i'd be wanting plagued demons for xmas!



Or a Book of Vile Darkness Tongue Out

WotC has a wicked sense of humour.

The previews of BoVD haven't thrilled me too much, but it is on my list due to my list this year being really small.


People kept bugging me for more ideas, I'm not going to complain Smile  
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