Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Art of Being a Monster: Bedeviling Eye

Bedeviling Eye

This guide is to reach out to you great creatures of the deep caverns, with your great magic defeating eye and many-magiked eye stalks. Your superiority is assured, as you were intelligent and wise enough to acquire a copy of this manuscript.
It is your magical abilities that give you your greatest advantage. Thus, it is always to your credit to keep it at the front of your mind in your strategies and plans. However, it is not the only advantage you have. Your flight abilities and high intelligence are formidable abilities that should not be ignored. Your focus of any combat should be to corral enemies in such a formation that your magic hits as many of them as possible while keeping your enemies from surrounding you. Observe the patterns of their attacks and remember the following tactics against these archetypes.
F: These generally slow warriors are limited to direct ground attacks. These enemies are fairly easily avoided and they present little threat as long as you stay out of their reach. Additionally, they often resist your magic poorly. Target them from a distance while moving once other, more dangerous targets have been dealt with.
T: More nimble than front-line combatants and more adept at dodging your magic rays, flanking type enemies should be dealt with by using mind-targeted effects and unavoidable area damage. Barring those two approaches, direct bites can quickly cripple an annoying flanker. Attacking from above is the easiest way to keep your flanks from their reach.

R: With powerful ranged attacks that excel against single targets and attacks that are usually not negated by your main eye, ranged enemies can be lethal. They should be kept under sustained fire from your magic rays to prevent them from gaining a good firing position. Additionally, keep moving and put cover between you and the ranged enemy until you can get close enough to threaten with your bite attacks. Direct physical threats will impair their ranged ability. Focus your attacks on this enemy where you can, dealing with other archetypes if they present a bigger threat.

W: Spellcasting enemies are your second most dangerous foes. Their magic is varied and unpredictable, but unless they are incredibly specialized, your magic negating eye will make short work of them. Some of their targeted spells may hit you too quickly to be negated, so neutralize them quickly with direct damage, especially ongoing damage likely to disrupt their casting. Avoid mental spells which they generally are strong in resisting. You can move more quickly than them so utilize cover to make it difficult for them to target you. Getting close enough to use your powerful bite can be a strong counter to frail spell casters.

The Wise Bedeviling Eye's Guide

As you begin to implement the above tactics into your battlefield regimen, you may notice your other, grander schemes and behaviors begin to trip you up. Take note of the following list which will highlight areas of possible weakness that an intelligent and wise Bedeviling Eye such as yourself has no doubt thought of. Who does not appreciate external confirmation of their well reasoned thoughts.
-I will never rely entirely on my own magic and magical abilities. There are numerous spells and effects that can nullify them, and I am known as a strongly magical creature. I will have non-magical backup mechanisms where possible for key parts of my lairs and plans. Additionally, it may come about that I use my own anti-magic field on my own magic or enchantment. I would not want one accidental or forced tactical decision to destroy my entire plan.
-I will not allow small tunnels or narrow passages to be built or exist around my lair. Even if they are meant entirely for lesser creatures or my pets to use, I will not build what are essentially strategically advantageous passageways for my enemies to use that I cannot.
-Kindness and trade are weaknesses of lesser creatures, to be sure, but I will not avoid using them towards my goals if they would work. I will not avoid ‘nice’ strategies unnecessarily just to protect my self-image or pride.
-Clever plots and ingenious devices need no explanation and the only ones I will give are their execution. Only unintelligent or insecure creatures need to boast of their achievements. I will show mine off by achieving them. Giving away hints and long winded speeches will only give my enemies more resources to fight me with.
-If I am interested in a fair match or a difficult opponent, I will start a competitive league as a hobby. I will not handicap myself or use anything less than my full abilities in my plots. Likewise, I will not engage an obviously superior opponent directly. I can salvage my pride by defeating them later, there is no use senselessly getting myself killed.
-I will make sure my young are treated well and have a good education. Treating them poorly or hindering their advancements are likely to create a self-fulfilling prophecy of betrayal when they grow older.
-My young will have every reason to support themselves, their family, and myself. They will understand, through careful and honest instruction, the value of allies and these rules. This will create a much stronger network of Bedeviling Eyes than any single Eye on their own.
-Alliances are powerful things that impinge upon my word. Not breaking my word is a powerful tool that cannot be regained once lost. I will not make or break any diplomacy lightly, and certainly never without a back-up plan for what should happen if the alliance dissolves.
-I will accumulate magic items, spells, and rituals which have mysterious or realistic appearances and functions. I will use these to both bolster my magical credence and to create false magical noise, ensuring that thieves and invaders will not be able to directly distinguish powerful magic from useless magic easily. This will especially help ensure my plots are harder to disrupt and my treasures cannot be used against me.
-I will not invade, attack, steal from, or harm my neighbors unless I utterly destroy them. They can recover from anything less and will harbor resentments towards me. Everything not worth destroying them for is not worth creating enemies and will be obtained in other more subtle ways.
-I am great, but my greatness will take a sharp blow if I should die, so I will not let my pride keep me from taking sensible actions. Nor will I let any challenge or retort from a lesser creature compel me by a sense of dignity or pride into doing something stupid. The only person whose opinion I should care about is my own. The exception to this rule is when I can use an appearance of prideful weakness to leverage my opponents into a disadvantageous position.
-I will not trust the effects of my magic or abilities to have thoroughly dispatched my foes. I will ensure their death with the complete destruction of their corpse once combat ends. No enemy put to sleep, turned to stone, or otherwise incapacitated will be considered defeated until they have been reduced to dust.
-Lesser races, while inferior in every way, can occasionally overcome this handicap and be useful in certain situations. I will not let their inferiority or my hatred of such distract me from the possibility of individual exceptions. I will treat these exceptions well, in so far as their merit takes them. It is for this reason that I should at least hear out an offer of parley, generally. It is not the lesser races fault they are inferior and they should be rewarded when they try to act more civilized like Bedeviling Eyes. It is not to my advantage to destroy or act with unneccessary cruelty to the lesser beings that stand out from their lowly origins.
-Other, unrelated Bedeviling Eyes are difficult to work with. They can be untrustworthy and nasty. I will maintain as near perfect a reputation as I can when working with those of my own species. Where I cannot ally or maintain neutrality, I will evade or utterly destroy the other Bedeviling Eyes I meet. I will not stay around avowed, living enemies and I will not betray sworn allies.
-While my strongest features are my magic abilities, I will make sure that I keep my physical abilities and skills strong. This allows me to surprise my foes who have come prepared with strong magical defenses. This includes creating mechanisms, controlling beasts, and setting traps that strike hardest against enemies that are protected against my normal lines of attack.
-I will never stay to fight to the death, and in anticipation of an enemy eventually gaining the upper hand, I will have a number of backup plans. My victory will only be sweeter for the temporary victory my opponents have achieved. These backup plans should have every appearance of a true defeat on my part. Suggested strategies may include things like keeping a mirror in your lair which you ‘accidentally’ strike with a petrifying ray or death ray, which is followed by an illusion to appear as such. Others would include ‘falling into’ your own trap or magical device that is actually harmless.
-I will ensure that my lair’s terrain is as hostile to my enemies as possible. As my lairs are normally deep underground, I will ensure that my lair is full of true sunlight. The sun is not dangerous to me, but to my most hated foes in the deep, it is (as well as being another sign of their inferiority). If possible, the source of this light should be able to be turned on and off at a moments notice, surprising any sighted enemy. Against my Bedeviling Eye enemies, I will have pockets of dense air or anti-gravity which will ruin their hovering abilities, trapping them at my convenience.
-Any pets or slaves I have will be treated comfortably, but never fully trusted. They should not be given undue reason to work against me or hate me, but neither will I leave critically important tasks in their hands without any redundancy. I will not keep pets that fail in their task but I will not harm those that are merely messengers of bad information.
-My treasures, while they are pleasing to the eye, will not be kept in concentrated areas or in easy to carry forms. Artwork, furniture, expensive tiling, and other lair improvements are to be prefered over easily stolen coins or gems. If I feel that I must keep portable riches for need of quick relocation, my plans have already failed and I am not in a position to be hoarding treasure.
-If schemes are so complicated that others cannot comprehend them, they probably have too many moving parts. If they contain weaknesses my pets can point out, they are poor plans. In either case, they will be reevaluated. I will balance the risk and reward ratio of my scheming with a preference for low risk and then for high reward.

Take heed what is written here, hold it true to your Axthysiol (the innermost, largest gas bladder), and only time will vanquish you.

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