XDMC #2 : Create a Villain With a Plan!
This entry is designed for the Spelljammer campaign setting some adapability notes have been included below. Spelljammer is a crossover setting produced in 1990. The basic premise is ships in space. Some look like boats others have weirder designs. They have some different laws of physics so that ships had a gravity plane and kept a bubble of air around it. The ships are moved by spelljamming helms. Most helms are powered by a mage or cleric who controls the ship. Slaver races employed lifejammer helms that sucked the life out of someone to move the ship.
Each solar system is inside a crystal sphere. You could travel from Forgotten Realms to Greyhawk by leaving the FR crystal sphere and traveling over to the GH sphere. More information can be found at http://www.spelljammer.org/.
Star God is a sidereant, a seven armed starfish like creature. It walks on two of the arms. The topmost has a face near the top of the limb. Each of the other four arms end in four short tentacles that can manipulate objects like a hand. It stands a little less than four feet tall with a grey sandstone like skin. The sidereants are found in many crystal spheres and are prized spelljamming crew members due to their ability to increase the speed of the ship. Ultimately the sidereants are driven to merge with one another creating a more powerful creature each time.
Two sidereant merge to form a dyan. Two dyan merge to form a triant. Two triants merge to form tetrant. This process continues until all sidereant have combined into the astrophage. The astrophage will then consume the sun(s) of the system it is in. Usually this will destroy the crystal sphere. At which point the creature explodes back into sidereants who are gated to random crystal spheres. The first tetrant determines the crystal sphere that the astrophage will consume. The tetrant telepathically summons the other sidereants. The sidereants are unaware of their ultimate purpose.
Star God had been floating in space for a long time. It only landed a few years ago on the planet. Humans freaked when they saw the starfish approaching and attacked the creature. Star God ran away only to be ambushed by some goblins. They knocked Star God out but didn't realize it wasn't dead. When Star God awoke it butchered the goblin chief. The head priest, Speaks-to-the-Seventh, saw the risen beast and the dead chief. Speaks-to-the-Seventh believes this to be the divine being he is destined to serve.
Star God has been living with the goblins as their god. During its time here the goblin tribe has prospered. The goblin have grown in numbers and wealth. Star God tries not to waste the resources of the tribe as it understands that the goblins could turn against it if the tribe suffers too much.
Recently the tetrant has formed in another crystal sphere and Star God feels the calling of the tetrant. It needs a spelljammer. It has learned of a crashed ship which may have an intact lifejammer helm. The goblins couldn't recover the helm due to the undead in the area. Star God intends to use the greed of fortune hunters to solve the problem. It still needs material to construct the ship so the goblins have been sent to steal raw material, mine, or even cut down trees. If they encounter serious resistance, they are to "accidentally" drop a map.
The map shows the location of the crashed ship but lists it as the goblin lair. It also lists some of their raiding points for authenticity. The map is more detailed and percise than a typical goblin scrawled map. Star God hopes the greedy will find the map and attack the "goblin lair." The goblins will then sneak in and take the lifejammer helm.
Once the ship is finished, captives for the helm will need to be acquired.
Star God is aware of the goblin's belief that it is a god. It will often go beyond what is needed to appear greater than it is. Standing in a burning fire is a common show of its power. If the adventurers are caught, it will explain the ease at which they were duped and promise they will have the honor of seeing the ship take to the skies while it drains their lifeforce. If not caught, a grand monologue explaining the greatness of the goblin tribe and how the stars will tremble before them will be made before the first captive is drained and the spelljammer takes to the air.
Sidereant Level 3 Elite Soldier
Small natural humanoid XP 300
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +2; low-light vision
HP 88; Bloodied 44
Regeneration 2 (if sidereant takes cold damage, regeneration doesn't function on its next turn)
AC 21; Fortitude 18; Reflex 17; Will 13
Resist 10 fire
Saving Throws +2
Speed 5, fly 3 (clumsy)
Action Points 1
Basic Melee; Javelin (standard at-will) * Weapon
+10 vs AC; 1d6+3 damage
Basic Melee; Fail (standard at-will) * Weapon
+10 vs AC; 1d10+3 damage
Melee; Two-Weapon Strike (standard at-will)
A sidereant attacks with both the javelin and the fail. They can be the same target or different targets.
Boost Flying Magic
As long as a sidereant is standing in sunlight any magical flying device it is on receives a boost in speed. The boost is relative to the standard flying speed of the device. A flying carpet would increase its fly speed to 7 while a spelljammer would increase its SR. A maximum of three sidereant can increase the speed of a flying device.
Alignment Unaligned; Languages Common
Skills Athletics +10
Str 17 (+4); Dex 14 (+3); Wis 10 (+1)
Con 12 (+2); Int 14 (+3); Cha 8 (+0)
Equipment heavy shield, flail, javelin
A character knows the following with a successful nature check.
DC 25: Sidereants are rather rare but prized spelljammer crew members due to their ability to speed up the ship.
DC 30: Sidereants can merge to form stronger creatures. They worship Sidereal, the Star-Mother.
For non-Spelljammer campaigns, change the sidereant to an aberrant. Star God can look more normal like a purple skinned humanoid with four arms. Star God could have been sent to observe the world. Perhaps to seek allies to destroy a common aberrant opponent or to assess the world suitability to the sidereants. The lifejammer helm could simply be an artifact that allows Star God to return home or construct an air ship (raid? observe? make contact?).
Bil Bowser created the sidereant race as part of the Spelljammer Creature Challenge back in 1999 for AD&D 2nd edition. I've dropped the poison and gas immunities and the bonus to hit large creatures. Otherwise I've tried to keep to the original idea.
1. As a part of the plot, the villain intends to offer a gift to either the adventurers or a third party (or parties). (The map to the crashed ship is a gift to the adventurers.)
3. The villain belongs to an organization that is ignorant of and would not approve that villain's plot. (The goblin clan would not appreciate it's god leaving.)
6. The villain may stop committing villainy if the PCs sacrifice something of more than a financial importance to them. (Star God believes the world to be barbaric and will only stop if the PCs show it that some people are civilized.)