I'm making a critter. I could use some feedback.
I wanted to make a really dangerous creature that wouldn't have an agenda.
In the year 885 Olbrecht of Bonisagus (one of the order's most influential early authors on magical beasts) was studying a dragon when he observed an attack on that dragon by a similarly sized draconic creature. The second creature appeared from nothingness and exhibited a remarkably savage nature but only bestial intelligence. After a brief altercation the beast flew away rising higher than any altitude he, or the dragon he was studying, could reach.
Investigating further, Olbrecht found that he was able to observe the creature on two further occasions by creating the illusion of a dragon soaring high above the tops of mountains. This creature apparently thought the illusions to be a challenge to its territory. The beast was often invisible and not only completely impervious to fire but also able to dispel ignem magic apperntly effortlessly.
Olbrecht documentaed his findings and the beast became, for a short time, well known in hermetic circles. It was not seen again until 1105 when a Verditus maga experimenting with devices to allow travel to exceptional altitudes was threatened by a beast matching Olbrecht's description. She first noted it by the dragon shaped holes it created in the clouds she had conjured for shade as it flew down to her location.
Olbrecht's Sky Drake is an ancient creature. That lives high in the sphere of air. It perhaps may have possessed some sort of intelligence in ancient days but it at present has the mind of an animal, perhaps it is the result of eons of lonely flight, perhaps it is related to the nasty scar on its temple, perhaps it never was more than an animal. It is among the most powerful of drakes possessing the size and might of a Dragon. It flies ceaselessly and is territorial of a vast volume of empty sky stretching all of the way up to the sphere of fire.
I want this to be the mightiest of Drakes so I chose might 40 in accordance with RoP Magic p 74. I choose size +7 I want a really big beast , this is the size of a 30-35 ft. tall giant (per RoP: Magic), it is, according to Mystery Cults, bigger than a killer whale, and smaller than a humpback whale.
Base attributes (using seven points on only physical attributes as per p. 38 of Mystery Cults) are:
But I adjust for size +7, give it mental characteristics as if it were a bird and I get
I was thinking of winter season for my drake, but that brings up a problem. Winter season is 1,200 experience points (RoP: Magic). For a creature who doesn't have languages or lore that's enough for Brawl and athletics around level 20 and everything else relevant at level 13 or so. I'm not partial to that plan. My new plan is to just choose what feels right. It's simple, fast and will get what I want. I'm wondering if I have a third alternative anyplace? (I know Jean Paul Sartre would say that I'm stuck with option 2 regardless of what I choose, but I'm wondering if the books present another methodology).
Basic abilities for a clawed beast or a bird from Mystery cults are :
Looking at the ability list I'm going to add in Stealth and Hunt.
I'm going to choose level 8 for what I think it's amazing at and level 5 for the rest. So
Awareness 5 (flying creatures)
Athletics 8 (flying)
Brawl 8 (claws)
Hunt 5 (track by scent)
Stealth (gliding invisibly)
Survival 5 (at the highest altitudes)
Looking at the animal qualities, I see stuff that seems appropriate: accomplished flyer, aggressive, Crafty, Extra Natural Weapons, Fast Flyer, Grapple, Keen Eyesight, Pursuit Predator. But most of this is really for making up animals and won't apply to my mythic drake. I'm going to change its cunning to +1 and not worry about whether or not it has the thick scales quality. Does anyone here see that as problematic?
Next I'll deal with magical qualities and inferiorities.
RoP: Magic encourages me to choose a number equal to my creature's might, specifically might before adjustment for size. That would have been 47 points if I'd have chosen an initial might to get the critter to 40 after a -7 adjustment.
As a minor quality I'll choose personal power for invisibility
As a major quality greater power: unravel the fabric of Ignem
Two minor qualities for improved powers, to spend on the previous two powers
Major Quality Focus power Crafter of Ignem
Major Quality Focus power Crafter of Auram
Major Quality Greater Virtue Greater immunity Fire
Major Quality Greater power Flame Breath
Minor quality improved powers to spend on the flame breath
Major Quality no fatigue
More minor qualities:
Improved defense *2
improved Soak *2
Minor virtue *6 all spent on improved characteristics
That's 36 points, it seems like plenty to me. I suppose I could have taken a smaller starting might and then spent points on improved might in order to get things to balance. Spending that much additional effort to get my creature to adhere to arbitrary rules is not something I'm going to do.
So here's a first pass at Olbrecht's sky drake
I looked at the fire breath of Stelatus in the core book and at the spell design of Arc of Fiery Ribbons and didn't love either, so I created a fire breath that I'm more fond of than those.
So what are any issues with the final creature?
How would you have followed the books more closely or less closely? Tell me about how much or little worth our systems for creature creation are for you. While from my method you can tell that I find them greatly too restrictive for my games, I'd much rather have them and choose to ignore them than not have them.