Monday, March 28, 2011

XDMC 25: Create a Mount - Kaboomer Dragon

I forget to post this up here, but for the sake of completion, and having all of my XDMC entries up on the blog, I wanted to make sure that this goes up at some point.  My XDMC 25 Entry - The Kaboomer Dragon, didn't go over so well with the judges, but I had a lot of fun with it and it is going to go great in my steampunkish 4e Setting.  So, here you go...

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The Kaboomer Dragon

Explosionwerkz Rocket Dragon 5000

Description: Appearance
The Kaboomer Dragon appears to be made out of rusty metal, scraps of broken armor, and tidbits of broken goblin Klockwork machines. The general shape of the dragon is that of a newborn red dragon, however the resemblance is slim at best. Underneath the Kaboomer Dragon’s tail is a small vent, from which fire continuously pours out, also emitting a foul, aroma of sulfur which is totally repulsive to the any individual with a sense of smell. Each of this dragon’s claws are forged using rusted and often broken blades, which albeit don’t look like much, are incredibly sharp. The Kaboomer Dragon is also fairly… talky; sometimes it’s fairly hard to get it to shut up. See below for more.

Description: Personality
Although the Kaboomer Dragon is an animate construct, it is not completely unintelligent; though the amount of intelligence it does possess is left much up for debate. The Goblin artificers who engineered and manufactured all of the Kaboomer Dragon’s were possessed of a very wicked sense of humor. They enchanted all of the Kaboomer Dragon’s with a very “goblin” personality. The Kaboomer Dragon is cruel, and particularly ill willed. It also has a very suicidal train of thought. It requires a very strong, heavy handed master to keep a Kaboomer Dragon under control, verbally at least. The Dragon likes to bad mouth others, even its owner. The Kaboomer Dragon can be a very bad magical mount to keep around out in the open. It has the bad habit of ruining any attempts at Bluffs or Diplomacy with its big mouth. It has also been known to start numerous fights even among comrades. In general, the Kaboomer Dragon is not a very nice companion to have around.

Description: Behavior
The Kaboomer Dragon makes a severely troublesome traveling companion. The dragon does not have the ability to “act” on its own – it was not designed for that purpose. When it is not mounted, the Kaboomer Dragon cannot attack or do anything but talk, which it does to know end. It can be commanded to move somewhere nearby, but refuses to move into any area where it does not have eye contact with its maste. The dragon cannot carry messages (or perhaps simply refuses to out of obstinacy). However, the dragon has a wicked forked tongue. It likes to ode on virtually anybody, trying to convince someone to attack it. If it does so successfully, its unstable nature results in a very large bang.

Riders
Virtually anyone can ride a Kaboomer Dragon; whether or not that individual survives the process is a much different matter. The people, who in the past, have been most likely to buy and delight in the Kaboomer Dragon have all been slightly bent toward either the demented, or the ingenious. Many artificers enjoy these mounts and sometimes keep them as pets. They also serve as cheap flying mounts for many goblin armies; the goblins also sometimes give them away to Orcs (but never teach them how to use the new gift safely). Mad Wizards, dying to fly, have been known to buy a Kaboomer Dragon in that pursuit. Also, some very industrious Rogues have been known to use them for their non-mount related practical points, i.e. the Kaboomer Dragon’s big bang.

Acquiring a Kaboomer Dragon
Kaboomer Dragons can be acquired in one of several ways. “The Manual” which contains the ritual to rebuild and thus summon the Kaboomer Dragon can be bought on several black markets for 1000 GP (or 2000 if the Tome is of a greater magical nature – see “The Manual” section later on). However this method is somewhat hit and miss. Finding one of these tomes is not very easy; they aren’t particularly rare, just very, very mundane in appearance. “The Manual” is more often traded to a player by someone else who has grown completely tired of having the Kaboomer Dragon around. Sometimes this previous owner will explain how the dragon works, but most often, they will try to bluff that the dragon is far more useful and fun to be around than it is. The other, less common, but easier way is to actually get the dragon from one of the original makers. Contacting Explosionwerkz is somewhat difficult, but they have bases for their guilds all around the world; most of these locations have one or two Kaboomer Dragons on hand and the Goblins are more than willing to sell them off (for the same price as listed above). If the players do go this route, the Goblins add in a special bag of holding to the deal; this bag of holding can only contain the Kaboomer Dragon and “The Manual”, but the bag itself does not block sound or odor from the inside; the Dragon continues to babble and reek from inside the bag and does both of these things much better in fact, as if the bag acts as an amplifier for the dragon’s odious nature. While inside the bag, the dragon cannot receive orders and thus refuses completely to be quiet.


The Explosion Encounter Power should target all creatures in the burst not enemies. That was simply a mistake in the actual creation process for this. It has been called to my attention in another post. As it may be too late to make edits on this, please feel free to judge as written, but if you have mercy, please read this as intended not as written above.


Lore
The following information can be discerned through a successful Arcana or History Check (though history checks are made at a -2 penalty). However, if the characters are actually in possession of a copy of “The Manual” they gain several different bonuses to these Lore checks.

The Character gains a +2 Bonus to these checks if they speak Goblin.
The Character gains a +2 Bonus to these checks if they are a Goblin or Hobgoblin.
The Character gains a +2 Bonus to this check if he or she is an Artificer.
The Character gains a +2 Bonus to this check if he or she has the Ritual Caster Feat.
The Character gains a +2 Bonus to this check if they have read “The Manual” and have already discerned anything about it above a DC 20.

DC 15
This mount, the Explosionwerkz Rocket Dragon 5000, more often referred to by its short name, Kaboomer Dragon, or its even shorter (Kaboomerang) is a particularly odious device. The Kaboomer Dragon is a medium sized mechanical construct, manufactured in the form of a baby red dragon. However, the Kaboomer Dragon is not only obviously mechanical, but looks as though it were always on the verge of breaking down… even freshly produced mounts look and feel like they are on the verge of falling apart. Structural integrity was not a priority in their design and enchantment; any individual Kaboomer Dragon’s life expectancy was simply not long enough for that. The official name of the mount is drawn from its makers, what it does, and possibly the total number of units which were initially created (though the 5000 really remains a bit of a mystery).

DC 20
The Kaboomer Dragon is legendary for one thing – they fly, really, really fast and then explode. When a Kaboomer Dragon detonates, they send fire flying in all directions; this has had the very unfortunate side effect of usually killing, or at least seriously injuring, its rider. However, there are individuals who have discovered ways to use that property successfully and to their own personal advantage. These individuals however are much rarer than the number of riders who have perished at the hands of their own Kaboomer Dragon.

DC 25
The Explosionwerkz Rocket Dragon 5000 has been around for a very long time, but very few people like to talk about it. These magical mounts were originally crafted by a Guild of Goblin Artificers known as the Explosionwerkz. These Goblin Tinkerers and Mages were experts in crafting odd, somewhat dangerous, magical constructs, weapons, and trinkets; the one common element through all of these magical clockwork contraptions was their tendency to have highly “explosive” components. Many of these “works of art” were just complex bombs masquerading as something else. However most of these explosive items came with a “life-time guarantee” of some kind; as long as the “owner” of the item lives, the Guild insists on replace any of their devices that happened to blow up with a new one.

DC 30
Originally, these Klockwork mounts were made and sold en-masse. The Explosionwerkz were excellent businessmen; they had a plan and made a lot of money. The Explosionwerkz Rocket Dragon 5000 was marketed at a very cheap price and was sold on a massive scale. Each dragon comes with a specially coded magical tome known as the “Manual”. The “Manual” is written in Goblin and encoded with arcane runes. Deciphering anything from the “Manual” requires significant Arcane skills. Once deciphered, actually understanding what to do with the knowledge gained from the tome is another matter altogether.

“The Manual,” when deciphered, contains everything needed to control, safely use, and even remake the dragon once it explodes. The owner of a Kaboomer Dragon writes his name on the inside cover of “The Manual” which constitutes a contract, certifying his or her ownership of any single Kaboomer Dragon. That user may, at a later point, scratch out his name and write down a new one, passing ownership of the Dragon to the individual named. A Kaboomer Dragon can never be without a master. If the master dies, the Kaboomer Dragon explodes and is lost until a new individual writes his name on the cover; at that point, the new owner can use the rituals contained within the tome to bring back the Dragon. The Dragon can only every truly be destroyed by first burning “The Manual” and then letting the The Kaboomer Dragon blow up.

The Manual
“The Manual” is a magical tome which contains all the essential blueprints and instructions for owning a Kaboomer Dragon. The book is incredibly hard to understand, but to those who understand the ways of Goblins, it can be made much clearer.

As a Magic Item
The Book is a magic item of its own right. It functions as a +1 Magic Tome (see ARCANE POWER, however, at the DM’s discretion, “The Manual” may also function as a “Book of Undeniable Fire”, also see ARCANE POWER). It is functions as an implement for any Artificer, even those who do not possess the proficiency to use it.

The Book also has one additional power, described below:

Power (Encounter): Free Action. Trigger: The Kaboomer Dragon uses its Explosion Power. Effect: The owner of the Kaboomer Dragon is immune to this attack.

Special Ritual of “The Manual”
In addition to functioning as a Magic Tome, the book also contains one important ritual which is found below:

Rebuild Kaboomer Dragon
This ritual functions exactly as the “Raise Dead” Ritual (Found in THE PLAYER’S HANDBOOK) except for the following information. This ritual can only be used on the Kaboomer Dragon associated with “The Manual”. It costs only 250 GP (the Goblins that created the Kaboomer Dragon would have considered this an essential “cost of ownership and expediancy” ). The Ritual can only be cast from “the Manual” itself and on its own has no Market Value. The Ritual is also reduced to level 5. The Ritual takes only 1 hour to cast. Also, when the Kaboomer Dragon is returned to life, it does not suffer any of the penalties associated with the spell.

Accessing the Book’s Powers
Using a successful Arcana check, the book’s power can be fully unlocked (a character not trained in Arcana can make a simple intelligence check). The user gets a +2 to this check if he or she speaks and reads Goblin. All of this can be explained if the user inherits “The Manual” and the Kaboomer Dragon from a living owner who explains it.

DC 10 – The user can use “The Manual” as a magic item, see above.
DC 15 – The user understands that “The Manual” is used to control the Kaboomer Dragon. The user also understand the process used to gain ownership of the Dragon itself.
DC 20 – The user understands how to use the special power associated with the tome which keeps the user free from harm when the Kaboomer Dragon detonates.
DC 25 – The user understands how to use the Rebuild Kaboomer Dragon ritual contained within “The Manual”. (If the DM chose to allow the book to function as “The Book of Undeniable Fire” the powers of that magic item should be unlocked at this level rather than at DC 10).
DC 30 – The user discerns the curse of the Manual as explained below.

The “Curse” of the Kaboomer Dragon
One of the things which is particularly odious about owning a Kaboomer Dragon is that it simply will not stay dead. Whenever the owner of the Manual takes an Extended Rest, the Manual automatically casts the Rebuild Kaboomer Dragon ritual without consuming any GP or any effort from the owner. The Kaboomer Dragon is rebuilt in existence in a square adjacent to the owner (often where they are sleeping). If the Kaboomer Dragon is summoned in this way, it has a nasty habit of bad mouthing the owner and everyone nearby, refusing orders to be quiet, causing anyone in the immediate vicinity to lose the benefit of that particular extended Rest.

In addition to the nasty ability of the Kaboomer Dragon to keep coming back alive, the Kaboomer Dragon also has a very nasty Curse as well. If anyone, other than the owner of the Dragon attempts to ride the Kaboomer Dragon, it immediately uses its Explosion Power. Also, if the owner of the Kaboomer Dragon attempts to ride the Kaboomer Dragon without first reading “The Manual” and achieving a DC 15 on the associated Arcana check with the book, the Kaboomer Dragon immediately uses its Explosion Power as well.

Summary of Optional Elements Used
Headstrong – The Kaboomer Dragon is a blasphemous little cur. It uses its evil little metal tongue to a great and evil purpose – causing as much trouble for its owner as mechanically possible, Goblin style.
Key – The Kaboomer Dragon cannot be ridden or used safely without owning or possessing “The Manual”, but that alone does not guarantee the rider’s safety. He or she must also discern how to use the Power associated with the tome or they may go up in smoke.
Odious – The Kaboomer Dragon is a horrible creature to have around. It looks awful, reeks of horrid filth and sulfur, and has a terrible, terrible mouth which opens for virtually no purpose other than to hurl insults and taunt enemies of the mount’s owner into battle.
Speed – As indicated in the Stat Block, if the Kaboomer Dragon does not move at least 5 squares in any turn it was mounted, it explodes. It may very well also explode in several other circumstances as well. DO NOT TAMPER WITH THE KABOOMER DRAGON!

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