The Cryptozoologist class and Nine Cryptids - Secret Santicore 2019
Happy Holidays to Dan D of the excellent Throne of Salt, here is your present!
At each level (including first) you gain a gift slot, if you have studied a cryptid, you can use their gift in that slot. If you have not, you gain a rumor on the location of a cryptid of your choice, and can use a basic gift. If you study a cryptid, you can replace a basic gift you have or fill an empty slot.You can not replace a non-basic gift once you have learned it.
A cryptozoologist has an attack bonus and saves as a wizard, and exp and hp as a cleric. They can wear light armor and are proficient with simple weapons.
At first level they gain the following abilities.
- Nice Face - People tend to open up to you, and tell you all sorts of stories. (You may or may not appreciate this most of the time)
- Proficiency/Advantage/bonus on history/folklore and tracking/bushcraft/wilderness lore as appropriate to system.
These are the three basic gifts you can choose from, even if you have encountered no cryptids
- Improved Vision - You can see in the dark, and gain a bonus to/advantage on perception or equivalent checks.
- Acute Smell - You can smell nearby creatures, (including your companions), giving you a sense of how many creatures there are within (level x 10’), and if you’ve been near them before. Can also give a general sense of creature type.
- Good Sense - You have a strong feeling which rumors are true and which are false. (Optional - The DM can let you choose whether a rumor is true or false.) People generally have a good opinion of you, and trust you to handle yourself. This tends to manifest as authority figures accepting when you use the line, “Trust me, I’m a scientist”.
Each cryptid has a short description, some evidence you can find to confirm that you are on its trail, a gift you learn from studying it, and some rumors associated with it. As is often the case, not all of these rumors are true, but which ones are which I leave up to you.
Tomo-oLobster the size of a small car, very very old. A fisherman’s tale.
- Evidence - Shed exoskeleton, can be used to make leather armor as strong as chain mail
- Study - From studying the creature, you learn how to wear medium and heavy armor without penalty, even if you don’t meet the strength requirements. You and all of your party also learn a clever trick to getting it on and off, which makes it take only a quarter of the expected time.
- It will free smaller lobsters trapped in traps.
- It eats dolphins, proposes, seal lions, and people.
- It will tip over boats if they are painted blue.
- It’s over 1000 years old, and it keeps growing.
- It migrates out to the ocean depths during the summer months.
- It has built a cave for itself and filled it with treasure from sunken ships.
- It’s highly intelligent, and will only attack fishermen.
- It has saved children who have fallen overboard.
- It’s not a lobster at all, it’s a type of demon.
- When it’s mad it causes storms.
The King of RavensOnly slightly larger than an ordinary raven, but much more intelligent and able to command other ravens. Usually found in large cities, they orchestrate daring burglaries which are attributed to human master thieves.
- Evidence - The feathers of the raven king, when free to move on their own (such as floating in water) will orient toward the most valuable item within 10 feet.
- Study - Once per day per level you can summon a flock of ravens to do your bidding, the command must be communicated in 7 words or less. If you ever injure or kill a raven, this ability is lost permanently. Some options are:
- Keep watch
- Scout the area
- Find someone/something
- Be a distraction
- Make a diversion
- Eat their eyes - Only works against an unarmed or helpless target, otherwise equivalent to being a distraction.
- He has a special fondness for red gemstones.
- He can pick locks with his talons.
- He eats the treasure that he steals, and then regurgitates it for his children, that’s how ravens become kings.
- His mate is pure white.
- Other ravens will bow when he arrives.
- He can speak and understand human languages.
- He lives in the bell tower of the largest cathedral.
- He is a messenger sent by god to punish the greedy.
- His favorite food is fermented berries - he likes to party!
- He can see through the eyes of every raven in the city.
Mushroom RingsStrange mushroom rings have started appearing near a small desert village, most people assume it is a natural phenomenon, some blame recent immigrants, but a few claim that there is a creature buried in the sand, and the mushrooms mark its burrows. They look like badgers that have had their hind legs replaced with three thick tentacles, and poisonous claws.
- Evidence - Rings of small purple mushrooms, if harvested carefully, they can be used to make a strong hallucinogenic poison which immobilizes the victim, and a strong anti-toxin, depending on how they are prepared.
- Study - If you can catch one to dissect, you can extract its venom glands, which has the same effect as the mushroom poison. It will continue to function even when removed and can turn a cup of fresh blood into a dose of poison in ten minutes.
- It followed the new-comers from their old home.
- It’s eaten the mayor’s dog.
- The mushrooms are actually its teeth.
- There is only one of them, and it has many tendrils, it’s huge!
- It will only attack people who are alone.
- If you disturb the mushrooms it will get angry and attack.
- If you disturb the mushrooms it can’t leave from this exit anymore.
- It’s a scavenger and will emerge to feast on cacasses.
- The hallucinations caused by the mushrooms are vision of heaven, and you can speak to the righteous deceased when using them.
- It was summoned because someone commited a great crime, probably adultery...
HarshadaSome locals speculate that Harshada is a squid of some kind, who swam up the river and was unable to leave, others believe it is a new and unique species that has evolved for life in the river rapids.
- Evidence - On occasion, Harshada will release a cloud of ink when startled, or to escape pursuers. The ink can be filtered out of the water and used to make special tattoos, which can increase your stats and saves. You’ll just need to find a tattoo master.
- Study - Watching it use its long tendrils to climb through the rapids and snag objects on the shore gives you insight into whip techniques. You gain proficiency with whips if you didn’t have it already, you attack as a fighter of your level when using a whip, and you can do sweet whip tricks.
- It will grab children and pull them into the water.
- It loves fresh fruit
- It will steal fish off of fishing lines, once they have been reeled in
- It can climb even the large waterfall in the mountains.
- It’s a type of river demon, created by the blood from the slaughter of innocents.
- It can turn invisible at will.
- It’s hundreds of feet long, it just coils up constantly, so it seems smaller.
- It’s miles long, and doesn’t move often, just lays in the deepest part of the riverbed all the way down the river.
- It can recognize outsiders by sight, and hides from them
- It changes colors depending on its emotions, cool colors are bad, warm colors are good.
Aloo'aiCastaway sailors have told tales about a strange island that seems to appear from nowhere, and has abundant, unusual, but tasty, fruit trees. They swear that it must move, because after a few days they find themselves closer to shore or major sealanes than they would have guessed, which lead to their rescue.
- Evidence - Aoo'ai leaves vegetation and fruits in his wake, they are unlike any other plants you've seen. They provide excellent nourishment, counting as a days worth of rations, and cure most poisons or illnesses.
- Study - If you are able to study the processes by which Aloo’ai grows the strange fruits on its back, you learn some basic alchemy. You are able to make two potions (randomly chosen) with the resources available in a small chemistry lab or by an hour forging in the wild. You learn an additional one every second level.
- The creature saves only the virtuous sailors, and those who have been unfairly marooned.
- Some of the fruits on the island are very strongly alcoholic.
- The creature can sense everything going on in the oceans, that’s how it can find castaways.
- It will not save landlubbers.
- It can dive beneath the waves, and will if you anger it.
- It can call ships to it psychically, the crew will have dreams about an island paradise, and the captain will feel a strong instinct to change course.
- Its presence messes up compasses in the area, causing them to go haywire and not settle.
- It doesn’t actually move, just exists in several places at once, breaking the laws of spacetime. (The rumor spreader doesn’t really understand what that means, he’s just repeating idle speculation of the ship’s doctor)
- It was created by <appropriate diety> because of a feud with the sea god, mostly to annoy them.
- It is the same creature featured in myths from around the world, and it is immortal.
Living CloudsLiving Clouds are from another age, when the world was younger, and long thought extinct.
- Evidence - Living clouds drop eggs in their path, which are often mistaken for marble pebbles. Since there are so few others, they are not fertilized, and just left there. If they are heated, they explode in a cloud of steam with the force of gunpowder.
- Study - Living clouds are curious and playful, and after some study, they will become friendly to you, and willing to aid you and your companions. You can bargain with them for favors including altering the weather in an area and carrying you and your companions.
- They love to play in hurricanes and other strong weather
- They can be distinguished from normal clouds by their constantly shifting forms.
- Their eggs are much lighter than they look, and smell like fresh rain
- They prefer warm, wet climates and will migrate throughout the year.
- They can be taught to understand basic symbols, but they must be the size of a city block for them to notice.
- There is a farmer who creates crop circles on his farm to instruct the living clouds on how much rain he needs.
- They enjoy fireworks and will stop to watch them.
- They fear dragons, and any other beings old enough to remember them.
- They are very sensitive to smells, and appreciate offerings of perfumed water.
- They all understand the ancient language of cloud giants, who used to use them as mounts.
Avalanche worms live high in the snowy mountain peaks, burrowing through glaciers and into the sides of mountains. Only a few of the mountain folk have ever seen one, and they are considered bad omens.
- Evidence - If you can find the entrances, the tunnels dug by avalanche wurms contain streaks of metals which are indigestible to avalanche wurms, including gold and silver, which are common in the mountains. More rarely, you can find excreted chucks of adamantium, which they use to help digest other materials.
- Study - With study, you understand how the wurms use sound to both burrow through stone, and to sense what lies ahead. You can create chimes that are able to collapse stone walls or structures, and learn to listen to the stone to tell how deep it is and if there are minerals or metals present. Both of these abilities can affect 10 cubic feet of stone per level.
- Many villages leave out offerings to the wurms, to protect them from avalanches and other disasters.
- The wurms don’t actually cause avalanches, they work to prevent them.
- Their teeth are made of precious and semi-precious gemstones
- They are very territorial, and will fight over prime glaciers.
- They eat only stone and iron.
- They can’t sense the presence of most living beings, because they are not dense enough.
- They will rescue locals who have been trapped in avalanches, or stranded.
- They hunt by sound, make as little noise as possible when traveling through the mountains.
- They work to keep the mountain passes clear all year round, so they can attack travelers.
- There is a wurm queen, who directs the avalanche wurms, it has great psychic powers.
The Firebringer has been described as a large a bison with its horns covered in candles, who starts fires out in the prairie.
- Evidence - In the spring especially, you can find clumps of hair in the burned out sections of the prairie. This has been shed by the Firebringer, and can be used to make heat proof and flameproof cloth.
- Study - The Firebringer sings to the fire to force it to spread or die as appropriate, as you study it, you also learn these songs and can do the same.
- When people see it, they gather up their possessions and run, because the prairie fires aren’t far behind.
- It’s actually a vengeful ghost, punishing the settlers on it’s land.
- It accepts offerings of cooked food to spare towns
- It is reborn in the flames every year, and grows very quickly.
- There is a whole herd of them out somewhere which the Firebringer has been ejected from, that’s why it’s so angry.
- It will show up to investigate any prairie fire that it did not start itself, and will sometimes put them out
- It is very territorial, and will attempt to drive out other creatures from its territory, especially other bison.
- It will spare the elderly and any houses where they live out of respect.
- It hates loud noises and enclosed spaces.
- It follows the same route every year, regular enough that the locals know when they should be prepared to fight fires, down to the week.
Blood ParasiteA symbiotic organism that lives within the bloodstream of other creatures, it allows them to control their blood, for faster healing, better metabolism, and as a somewhat gross weapon.
- Evidence - When fighting an enemy with a blood parasite, it will use the below abilities, and when it gets to ~10% of its health, the blood parasite will escape, bringing enough blood with it to kill the creature.
- Study - If you can capture a one, you can introduce it into your own bloodstream to gain the ability to control your blood.
- When wounded by a piercing or slashing weapon, one happens at random.
- Gain a blood tendril, the tendril can attack using your attack bonus and deals damage equal to the damage that caused the original wound. Lasts 1d6 Rounds.
- Blind an adjacent creature. Deals one damage per turn until the blood is wiped away with an action.
- Heal all but two of the damage.
- Gain a permanent +1 bonus to your constitution score.
- There’s a <Insert monster> in the dungeon/ruins with strange blood powers. (Multiple conflicting reports)
- The dungeon is covered in trails of blood, from its travels between hosts.
- It’s trying to gather enough blood to form a body for itself, so it no longer needs hosts.
- It was summed by a blood cult over 100 years ago, all of whom it killed.
- If you get infected, you will die within the year.
- It fell from the stars.