Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Art of Being a Monster: Illithid

Wait for a little longer, what I'm working on is going to be awesome (at least from my perspective). In the mean time, here is another type of monster laid out in crystal clear, rational strategery.
In the deep dark, dangerous places of the world, your kind does not hide from the world. The world and all its light and heat hide from your psionic powers and cunning minds. This guide will serve to reaffirm what you already know and humbly put forward variations of your existing plans. Your psionic gifts and mental dominance is assured, whatever your path to domination might be.
Often, adventurers and surface folk will seek you out to slow or stop your plans. These enemies will be well trained and prepared for your tactics. You must at all times keep your wits about you and assume nothing about your opponents. Pride has been the downfall of many weaker psions and Illithids. Keep every terrain advantage, minion strength, and psionic ability between you and your opponents. It is imperative that you be free to move about the battlefield and strike where you please. There is no shame in retreating if it means that you win when it really matters, in the final battle.
F: When against the melee focused enemy, unleash your psionics while keeping out of reach. Turn them against their allies with mind control or simply lock them down with disabling effects. Minions and terrain can be put to great advantage by screening your attacks and movement from their reach.
T: The flanking, sneaking enemy will require you to stay close to terrain and your minions. They can screen out the thief's flanking attacks, engage a thief directly, and give you breathing room. They are a minor threat compared to other enemies but will suffer easily from mental attacks.
R: A ranged enemy will be a grave threat if you are stuck out of cover or stay in one place. Keep behind cover and force them to fire at any other target than you. Like the fighter, they are very useful if mind controlled, but the ranger is still a priority to keep disabled. Be wary of stepping out of cover predictably as they may delay their arrows until you move from cover.

W: The enemy spellcaster is the most dangerous enemy. Tactically position your minions and psionic effects to screen out the wizard’s allies. Once the path is clear, move in close. Blast them with close range effects and any unused minions melee attacks. If their spells prove troublesome or your minions clustered dangerously, be ready to interrupt their spellcasting. A particular joy is sending the wizard’s allies to do this job under mind control.
The Illithid’s Refined Machinations
Nothing below is anything new to the wise psionic creatures reading this guide. What is presented below will be a helpful reminder for an Illithid’s minions, allies, and thralls. These points will be the methodology that will be followed to avoid unnecessary delays and setbacks in ones plans.
  • I will not stop and devour enemy brains or energies before destroying the other enemies. I will double-check all bodies to make sure they are dead.
  • Never will I allow my minions or thralls to wear helmets. My traps and minions will attack head-wear in my lair where possible.
  • While it is menial to search the minds I control, I will never remain in the dark about my minions’ states of mind. In order to ensure that secret betrayal is not looming, I will take precautions to randomly sweep their minds at unpredictable intervals.
  • I will not assume my control is flawless or permanent and I will plan accordingly.
  • The true extent of my powers will not be measured or explained. No one will ever be truly sure the exact nature of my powers as I will routinely use new tactics and psionics. Research will be vital in this role.
  • I will not rely entirely on my psionics. Mixing in mundane items, alchemy, and other magics will round out my power and ensure I am not easily defeated by those prepared to fight psionics.
  • My neighbors will not be ignored or denigrated. I will keep good and regular contact with others. This contact should be mutually beneficial.
  • My psionics are not perfect and I will supplement mind control and mind reading with more mundane hypnosis, diplomacy, motive sensing, and other psychological skills.
  • No one will be entirely sure what will happen to those I have mind controlled when I die or lose control. I will spread terrifying rumors to this effect so it is easier to convince my opponents to spare me in exchange for their allies’ minds.
  • No matter how useful they are for fighting other psions, I will not keep psionic immune or psionics cancelling minions or artifacts nearby. I will not contract with anti-psionic mercenaries.
  • I cannot assume there will be sufficient time to rest after any combat and I will not expend all of my mental energies immediately in any combat unless necessary.
  • I will not mistreat or denigrate my minions or thralls. I will reinforce my mind control with mundane kindness, illusions, and aligning our goals where possible.
  • My pride is not worth my life. I will never risk my life just to defend my pride. Who cares what lesser beings think of me if I win in the end?
  • I will not wait until I fight my opponents to discover if they have brought anti-psionic weapons. I will bait out their attacks with psionic minions, illusions, and traps in my lair.
  • Under no circumstances will the traps in my lair be able to kill me by accident. I will never assume them to be disengaged or expended.
  • It shall not be easy to kill or capture me without well thought out plans. I will keep active psionic, magical, or mechanical effects that attackers know will end upon my kill or capture.
  • My masterpiece, doomsday machine, or psionic opus will not be easily destroyable. Illusory copies, defensive mechanisms, and decoys will all be applied where appropriate.
  • I will not retain projects, experiments, or minions whose goals do not align with mine in some way. They will be sent away, in kindness, when our paths differ. Mercenary work is a tenuous shared goal at best.
  • I will not lair entirely in a stereotypical locale. I will branch out to new environs to expand my impact, broaden my power base, increase my stability, and control places unaccustomed to psionic influence.
  • I will not anger my neighbors where possible. Enough ants can still eat a bear.
Keeping your due diligence in commanding your lesser thralls to keep in line with these guidelines. The world will bend at your will and you will enjoy the delicious minds of every sentient creature. Fail in this diligence and your rivals will best you.

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