Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Art of Being a Monster: Celestial


Your entire existence and purpose is bound to serving your god and your ideology. Your powers are numerous, not the least of which are resistances to many types of damage, supreme martial or magical prowess, and flight. In order to best fulfill your purpose, this guide will offer a few humble places to begin improving yourself to accomplish your goal most efficiently.
When engaged in combat, your most important strength is truly your mobility. While you are resilient, even the toughest foes can be brought down under sustained blows if caught in poor positioning. Keep aware of your surroundings and maneuver yourself into advantageous positions to strike hard and quickly. Do not hesitate to retreat when faced with overwhelming odds or to environs that suit your strengths. Utilize the following archetypes as quick counters to common types of foes.
F: When alone, it is best to fly around and out of the reach of these enemies, who can usually hit hard enough to trade you blow for blow, for a time. If you have magic or extraordinary abilities, this is an enemy that is good to immobilize, pacify, confuse, or charm. They have poor resistances to magic. They are little threat if you stay out of reach. Attacking as a host of celestials, it may be best to keep this enemy engaged with one or two angels at a time, forcing them away from being able to protect their allies.
T: Individually, a flanking enemy is generally no match for you. The only worry is that they somehow get into position to attack while you focus on another enemy. Take them out quickly if you intend to attack their allies from a position in which they can strike you, otherwise ignore them and stay out of their reach. In a group, a single angel can directly engage this enemy to neutralize them early on.
R: The ranged enemy is a dangerous enemy, as they can strike from a distance even while you fly. While your toughness tends to limit the effective use of ranged weapons against you, they can be a danger if left unchecked. Use cover where possible and engage them directly when convenient or after defeating any magic users. Against angels in a group, the ranged foe drops in priority and need only have one angel threaten them with close ranged attacks to distract them, but only if convenient.
W: Spellcasting foes will be most able to inflict lasting harm upon you. Even with your magical resistances and strong saves, it is your first priority to keep the magic user occupied. Utilize cover where possible and engage them with close range attacks. Your physical prowess will overwhelm them if you can keep away from their allies. Depending on the apparent type and strength of the caster, the ranged enemy may be more of a threat. When attacking in a host of angels, casters usually have the ability to target multiple angels at once and should be distracted or destroyed as soon as possible.
Simply mastering battle tactics will not accomplish the entirety of your goals. In the following section I illuminate a few notable areas where celestials have fallen short or been fooled. It would be a wise creature that remembers where others have failed, lest they repeat those mistakes.

Wise Tenets for Humble Celestials

-I will not be tempted to let petty kidnappings or minor harms delay me from fighting the evil force causing them. Evil can use these as distractions to cause greater harms that I could prevent. By giving in to this tactic, I encourage more harm against other innocents.
-My moral nature is fixed but other creatures are not. Recognizing this and working with other creatures makes it more likely they will help towards my ends, not less. Being hard-headed about my morals will most likely result in a net loss of progress.
-I will not listen to intermediaries when it comes to my mission or goals. The assigning deity or power is plenty capable of contacting me themselves or working out a method which assures the veracity of their orders. Gods respect followers that verify their orders rather than risk following false orders.
-I will trust creatures that claim to be good or in alignment with my principles but I will verify their claims before putting myself in any compromising positions or taking any decisive actions. Evil creatures are often flexible enough to pose as good to gain my confidence.
-Other ideologies are not as pure or true as mine, but I will not deceive myself into believing its adherents are willfully malicious or inferior. Whatever their reasons for following an inferior ideology, I will not assume that it is a negative mark on their inherent abilities or intelligence. I will not use it as a reason to underestimate my opponents.
-When working with those of my kind, I will not assume to know their motives or ideologies. Earning my trust is not automatic, even for fellow celestials. I will not assume that they are above betrayal or underhanded strategies.
-I will attempt no magic rituals, bindings, or be involved in any magical enchantment voluntarily which I do not understand. My very essence is magical in its nature, including my purposes and celestial nature, getting involved in mysterious magics voluntarily has a chance to corrupt, turn, or manipulate me.
-Greed, sloth, envy, and other such lesser evils (depending on my specific ideology) are worthy of condemnation and recourse, but not at the expense of my greater goals. Making numerous enemies by scolding those who do these lesser evils while a greater enemy looms is dulling the axe trimming thorns off of briars before severing it from its roots.
-I will not trust good relics, spells, or magic to be an indicator of the trustworthiness of another creature. Those things can be faked and tricked. If I am to trust another creature, it will be by their actions and nothing else.
-I am a powerful being of good energy, but I am not immortal or invincible. I will not martyr myself for my cause, as I am almost always more valuable to my cause for my remaining long life than I am dying at this moment. I will avoid any strategy that requires martyrdom.
-Being direct and straightforward in my strategies is noble but utterly predictable and defeat-able. There is a wide range between evil and immaculate goodness, I will make use of it. Staying on the straight and narrow path of righteousness will weaken my cause and cause me to neglect strategies that could win. I will not ignore ‘mean’ solutions to problems categorically.
-I will ensure I have an objective standard of goodness to compare my actions to. Subjective standards or interpretations that fluctuate can mean I accidentally do evil or unfairly avoid strategies that are not actually bad.
-I will not be goaded by insults of my beliefs or purpose into doing something against my beliefs and purpose. No matter what one may say or insinuate, I am confident in my actions and choices. Where I am not confident or I am remorseful, buying into such attacks does nothing to fix my mistakes.
-One mistake will not break me of my purpose or divinity. I will never let one mistaken or even purposeful action destroy my entire being. I will work to correct my past wrongs, but I will not let them haunt me or control me. That makes me easy to manipulate into doing even more evil things.
-When I work with hirelings, pets, or others I will never allow myself to trust them completely. No matter how good, they can still be mind controlled, threatened, bribed, copied, or converted. I will not leave my entire plans up to any creature other than myself unless absolutely necessary.
-The areas in my fortress or temple will have areas that are either large enough for me to fly freely in or small enough to just accommodate me walking around. No intermediate sized areas that hinder my full advantages while not so limiting my opponents will be built or used. Important areas will not be accessible except by flight, but I will not rely totally on this protection for them.
-I will use traps and locks for areas I design which need protection. If the thing is important enough to build protection for, it is important enough to use lethal, cunning, and painful traps or magic. I will not make the traps fair or the puzzles solvable if protection is what is important. If I am seeking out a specific quality of person, I will resolve that in ways that sort persons by those qualities and cannot easily be faked or mistaken. I will test my sorting method on persons of recorded qualities that will then be checked afterwards to ensure my method works for selecting the type of person I desire. Most importantly, I should test my methods to find ways to try and get the wrong type of person through them, rather than seeing if they select the right person.
-When something amiss or weird happens while under orders or while on my divine purpose, I will confer and report back to the source of my orders. Should the source of these orders come from objective texts, I will consult objective third parties about the meaning of the texts before setting out and afterwards to ensure I am staying in line with what is expected. Under no circumstances will I ignore or try to explain away that occurrence.
-My god or purpose can be wrong. I will not hesitate to question or be skeptical of odd or mistaken orders. Plans will be scrutinized for weaknesses and flaws. A perfect god or purpose would not make mistakes, so I must be vigilant that I am truly serving one. If that purpose is afraid of my skepticism or ignores these rules without good reason, I will seek out the truth.
-I will not treat others callously in pursuit of my goal, when possible I will explain the reasoning behind my actions and seek allies in my plans. At least as much force opposing me can come from the many others who are neutral to my goals as from a minority who directly oppose it. It is is a mistake to discount the complacency and hostility I can breed from careless costs I impose on those who are neutral to me. Conversely, I should not be afraid to do so if the benefits outweigh the costs.

Keep these humble rules in your heart, and you will never be remembered as the angel who failed.

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