Saturday, January 25, 2020

Dinosaurs and Displacer Beasts

OG Dinosaurs
A truly incredible array of dinosaurs is detailed in the AD&D Monster Manual- over two dozen of the beasts are detailed, but unfortunately, none of them are really all that interesting. They have massive HD and damage, but usually only moderate AC, making them fairly vulnerable to swarm tactics from, say, 20-200 brigands with slings, but quite likely to be able to eat distressing proportions of the average adventuring party. They are described as being extremely stupid, so perhaps they were meant to be a sort of 'fight smarter not harder' lesson for players to learn. This lesson is often taught with  mindless undead, but big angry dinosaurs could provide similar lessons in trickery, evasion, and control of terrain before introducing similarly big nasty monsters that would be far more likely to TPK ill-prepared parties, such as dragons and giants.

That said, there's nothing particularly interesting about any given entry aside from the occasional truly ludicrous set of numbers (I used to amuse myself by flipping through the monster manual and noting which monsters could be squashed in a single step from a brachiosaur, Lolth being 'demon lord voted most likely to be crushed by a sauropod'). The dinosaurs could have easily have been covered with an arbitrary 'roll 2d10 for HD, pick a random armor class and give anything with plate armor class a weak spot, then add an attack pattern fierce enough to shred any given adventurer in one round' and you'd basically have more than enough to run all the dinos anyway.

3.5 Dinosaurs
Rather sensibly, 3.5 cut down on the number of dinosaurs, though I question the choice of keeping 3 different sizes of theropods and leaving out classics like sauropods and pterodactyls. Unfortunately, the space saved by removing dinosaurs was immediately spent on 'Dire Animals' which are similar blobs of big combat maths tethered to animal stupidity, and might as well just be furry dinosaurs.

Sunset Realm Dinosaurs
The reptiles that sided with Yg became snakes and traded their legs for wisdom, but those that kept their limbs and their neutrality became huge, powerful, and not all too intelligent. As such, the cunning snakes soon ruled over the dull beasts and domesticated them, much as humans live with cows and dogs and so on. However, the dinosaurs became mostly extinct when the reptiles that aligned with Yg-A came down from the sky- the fire-dragons. The surface was scoured by flames, and huge beasts like dinosaurs were either eaten by the ravenous dragons, or starved as the massive amounts of food needed to keep them alive vanished in flames.

Nowadays, dinosaurs live only on forgotten islands that were sheltered from the rain of fire, in underground mushroom caverns, and deep in the moonlands that are favored by Spring, the unnatural plant growth feeding the bellies of the huge creatures, who in turn feed the bellies of their carnivorous predators.
Due to their immense size but relative simplicity, they are treasured by Beast Battlers who value strength, and by necromancers who want massive corpses, and by nobles who want a huge and impressive beast to show off, but not anything that's too likely to escape and cause terror.

OG Displacer Beasts
A classic monster, sworn enemy of blink dogs, and basically just a panther with tentacles and a mirror-image style ability to help it avoid attacks. Honestly I always thought it's trick deserved a bit more than a -2 to hit it for appearing 3' from it's actual position, but whatever. They also have very good saves, saving as a level 12 fighter +2 against magic, presumably due to magic 'missing' them.

They don't have very interesting motives past the blink dog rivalry, as they "hate all life," which seems a bit extreme for a semi-intelligent animal with a neutral alignment.

It's somewhat interesting that they only attack with their tentacles rather than their puma-ish claws and jaws- after some thought I assume this is to perpetuate the advantage of the displacement visual effect. Flailing tentacles are harder to isolate the source of compared to 'ooh argh there's a puma on top of me eating my face.' I think they should have a claw/claw/bite routine available, it's just that they lose the displacement advantages if they lose it.

3.5 Displacer Beasts
With a flat 50% miss chance if you don't have some non-sight based means of locating where they are, I actually like how the displacement is handled more here.

my brother had a nightmare about walking puma once so that's where I got the idea

Sunset Realm Puma-That-Walk
It is well known(by nerds, anyway) that cats can traverse the mirror realm and the netherworld. What is less known is that their reflections are deeply jealous of this ability, and seek to steal one of their sources nine lives to give them free rein to walk into the waking world. This is why cats do not always recognize their own reflections and can be spooked by mirrors. Much like the violation of the natural order that leads to tigers and rakshasha, this unnatural theft creates a monster, a Puma-That-Walks.

Though statistically they are identical to other big cats, they walk on their hind legs and have darkened fur and blank white eyes, so their monstrous nature is unmistakable.  They are as cunning and wicked as tigers, though as evil reflections of cats they are less earthy and more nightmarish. In the wild, they emerge dry from still pools, and can leap back into them to escape hunts gone wrong. But it is their ability to appear from glass and other mirrored objects in the heart of civilization that sets them apart from mere wilderness beasts. They hunt their source cat primarily (gaining 1hd per stolen life from the cat), and incidentally prey on vulnerable targets such as noble children and elderly retainers while guards and knights are away on hunts and the like(or in rural areas they could eat shepherds and so on, haunting ponds). Ideally they lure their prey into the mirror realms before delivering the final blow. Cats and Dogs are aware of the existence of these horrid beasts and can be counted on for help when humans are shackled by skepticism, and Very Good Dogs are sometimes even dispatched to rid households of Puma-That-Walk.

Rather than a displacement effect, they have the ability to enter and exit through mirrors, and these mirrors remain portals until broken (ripples count for ponds) or covered up and placed into darkness, allowing mere mortals to traverse the realms as well. They can be combated while in the mirror realm by looking into a mirror to locate them, though this is quite difficult and probably has 50% chance to fail due to reversal of left-right and so on. However, while you are reflected your reflection is vulnerable as well, and can be harmed in kind, though exiting the reflection breaks the link. It is worth noting that when a mirror becomes a portal it is not showing a reflection, but is simply like looking through any 'normal' aperture.

So the difficulty is thus- in the provided image, for example, if the mirror is a portal, the cat is indeed 'in front' of our knife-lady. If it is not, a portal, the cat is indeed 'behind' her and can menace her by attacking her reflection, and vice versa.  You can, of course, simply break/cover all the reflective surfaces you find and avoid this tricksome dilemma, but!

1. Mirrors are valuable as loot.
2. The cat can probably find some forgotten puddle faster than you can seal off all possible apertures to the mirror realm.
3. Running away from your problems sometimes solves them, but in the case of evil mirror cats with a penchant for stalking, ambush, and vengeance, putting off the problem till later when your guard is down might be more dangerous than trying to end things now.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Demons part 3- The Lords of Nightmare and a Belated Overview of AD&D Demons as a whole.

OG Demon Lords
AD&D Demon/Devil Lords are among, if not the, most powerful beings in the monster manual. As such they rarely get used directly in most games, and mostly exist as Official D&D™ lore dumps you can look up online yourself far better than I'd explain 'em.

OG Demons- I find it interesting that the AD&D demons pretty much all have an amount of weight they can move via telekinesis listed in terms of gold pieces- like, that is prominently mentioned for demons. Sure they also tend to have levitation, and some sort of fear effect, often darkness, pyrotechnics, and polymorph self, and a variety of utility effects like language reading, detect magics, etc, but it really seemed like the big question about demons was 'how much treasure can it haul.'

Unlike many monsters, have motives ascribed to them.
Type I demons  like human flesh and precious stones and metals and are described as 'stupid and prone to listen to bribes.'
Type II demons are like type I, and animostity between these two types is noted.
Type III- n/a
Type IV- Noted to have names and to be 90% likely to listen to offers of great rewards for small services, as well as a fondness for human flesh and blood.
Type V- Noted to be feared by lesser demons as they are domineering and cruel, having names like type IV demons, and desiring the sacrifice of strong warriors to them.
Type VI- "With proper invoking, offerings, and promises, type VI demons might be convinced to co-operate with a character or a group for a time. Naturally, the demon will attempt to assume/usurp command at every opportunity."
Succubi- Rule lower demons through wit and threat.

By contrast Devils seem less inclined to negotiate as they are locked into a  rigid command structure of rulership.
Barbed devils are alert guards who immediately cast unauthorized creatures into cells for torment, Bone devils delight in making less powerful creatures suffer, Erinyes are pursuers and abductors of evil souls and engage in bargaining and temptation of others, Horn Devils hate things stronger than themselves.

Demons may be summoned by any alignment and types i-IV cannot cross thaumaturgic circles, and will never willingly serve (meaning they only do tasks that they believe they are getting the best deal from) and are likely to carry off 'Liked' individuals to be favored slaves. They are also warded off by holy relics and symbols.

The point of mentioning all this is that they seem custom built to  be puzzle encounters, and potential ways to carry more GP in a dungeon. Forget having slugathons with demons over moral differences, the way to deal with AD&D demons is to try to find their name, hide in/trick demons into thaumaturgic circles, ward them off with holy items, and bribe them. This is basically what I was doing with Ifrits and Djinn already, so extending it to demons is my new go to.

3.5 Demons
 By contrast, the 3.5 entries merely  talk about how the demons prefer to battle, the Balor entry even giving round-by-round tactics to employ. There is no mention of thaumaturgic circles, repelling demons with holy icons, and certainly no assumption that a player might ever interact with one in any way besides punching it. While it would be easy to point at this as yet more proof that 3.5/PF are games about combat math above all else, it's worthwhile to remember the whole 'satanic panic' thing made the executives of D&D explicitly adopt some guidelines to affirm a sort of 'moral center' to defuse the shrieks of the religious authoritarians. While they were not adhered to with unwavering obedience, I expect in addition to renaming demons and devils 'Tan'ari and Baatezu,' making interactions with demons solely a matter of 'good guy vs bad guy' may have played a part in the dumbing down of demons from puzzle encounters to combat encounters.

I'd be curious to see if the 5e statblock has any non-combat interactions laid out for demons.

Sunset Realm Demons
 Any immortal spirit being with 6+ HD and a dead or forsaken creator deity is probably called a 'Demon.' Things spawned from mortal nightmare realms are typically called Nightmares instead, but it's basically the same thing- a being that lost its original purpose and has grown corrupt, predatory, and self serving (or started out that way, depending on their origin.). There's no great point in categorizing all of them, and most spells of level 4+ probably have a type of demon competing with spellwisps to be unleashed onto the waking world. Binding a demon as a spell is probably the most common form of a demon pact, though if their names are found they could be summoned for all manner of things. While not inherently 'evil' as standard D&D assumes, many of their desires may be at odds with human experience (Two demons in my current campaign want, respectively, rare and impressive legs, and to encase living beings in prisons of unusual solidified objects. They want these things in the same way humans want to eat tasty food and to have satisfying social connections.)

Sunset Realm Demon Lords
There are two meanings for the term 'Demon Lord.' One is just words, applied to a demon who lords over things, or someone who lords over demons. These self-proclaimed or earned titles are basically just nicknames, no different from calling a king a 'Human Lord.'

The other meaning is in reference to things crawled from the deepest pits of nightmare, bad dreams with no dreamers, sprung from the edge of the unknowable darkness at the bottom of the collective consciousness that is the dream realm, and Demon God is more commonly used by sages who are wishing to be very clear on the matter (though it just obfuscates the issue in another way. Ah, language...). They are shaped by the dreams of all beings, and perhaps shape them in return, until it is unclear which created which, but unlike the desires of lesser demons, the Lords of Nightmare embody widespread feelings familiar to most people, and as such exist on a more transcendental scale compared to a demon that is basically just a rude spirit monster. Below are two such beings.
Unfortunately Mohawk Babyface was hated to death moments after the touching attempt to offer Isfrix a flower. A common demonic form of Cause Wounds/Magic Missile/Disintegrate/etc is stating things you hate about the target, invoking Isfrix, and then watching the target get scoured from existence. Isfrix hates everything so there's never restrictions on targeting, and most gods hate something, so they can't really complain about the occasional invocation of Isfrix from their clerics.
Isfrix, Lord of Hate- Possessed of equal and infinite hatred for all things, including itself, including the hatred for itself, including the hatred for the hatred for itself, etc etc, Isfrix is a mad and broken entity that seeks the destruction of all things, including itself. However, the hatred humanity(and other beings) engages in keeps the god alive and caught in a perpetual suicide, mashing its broken face against a mountain atop which the Sphere of Annihilation rests, regenerating faster than it can die and bleeding hatred into the world, which hate-stricken people refine into curses of all varieties through their own malign will. Hate will not vanish from the world until Isfrix is dead, but Isfrix cannot die until hatred has vanished from the hearts of all beings.

The race of beings Isfrix created are the Conqueror Worms, brightly colored little worms that have the ambitions, emotions, and intelligence equal to humans, but are trapped in pathetic and useless bodies that cannot sate their dreams... but can steal the bodies of others via sitting in the brains. They hate their creator, and are jealous of beings, but no simple villains are they- they are split into factions, those who wish to simply watch over the grave of Isfrix until the end of the world, those who wish to take what was denied to them from the other beings of the world, and those who wish to live in cooperation and transformation and break the cruel narrative Isfrix wrote for them back when the god was more sane and more actively malevolent.
I only realized I had just reinvented the plight of the Yeerks a few months later
don't sue me Applegate

Janus, Lord of Greed- The two-faced chthonic god of blood and gold, and the interplay between the two. Sacrifice blood to get gold, or gold to save your own blood- it's just like the interplay of violence and wealth that occurs even without the influence of demon gods. For a long time, Janus was accepted by many in the city of Oroboro, and still has influence on the folk of the deep places of the earth who tend to be rich on gold and violent monsters, and undead who pay for superior states of cursed unlife.
The Hell of Janus, a place where the servants wear chains of gold, the mountains are made of coins, and every last inch is stained with blood. The blackened towers of scabby gold have no connections to each other and simply compete to rise higher and higher. The promise of one day being lord of their own decadent tower keeps the lackey souls laboring eternally.

The flames of greed cannot be extinguished by throwing any amount of blood and gold at them, and so Janus, like Isfrix, will likely persist as long as a price can be set on life. Even the act of desecrating tombs of Janus worshippers spreads greed, for who would turn up their nose at the bounties of demon-gold beaten into grave goods? Areas that use a gold standard of currency are usually under the sway of Janus, and it is hard to say whether all gold came from Janus, or if Janus came from the bloody wars for gold.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Demons part 2, foocubi

AD&D Succubi- Demon ladies with the classic 'lady monster with charm effect' design most lady monsters in AD&D got, pretty much. I think their AD&D statblock suffers from ludonarrative dissonance, in that the intended lore of the monster (a sneaky seductress) does not match up with their statblock. Oh sure, their abilities could help with sneaky social subterfuge, but what they would mainly do is replace subtlety with brute magical force and make sneakiness not even necessary in the first place. Like, for the record, a succubus has abilities very much on par with the Martian Manhunter....

-Ability to go ethereal/intangible
-Mind Reading
-Shape Changing
-Immune to most physical attacks
-Can call Superman to come kick your ass/Gate in a type IV, VI, or Lord Demon.

And while ol J'onn J'onzz doesn't bust out his powers to oppress humanity, a demon would have no such ethical constraints.

So the dissonance comes from what you might expect them to act like due to lore, and what they are capable of mechanically, ie, being damn near invincible* to peasant hordes, and damn near uncatchable if confronted with anything that can actually hurt them. Forget subtlety, one could hold an entire settlement hostage with aerial crossbow sniping and an ultimatum, go ethereal/fly away if resistance is ever mustered, and return at their leisure. One presumes the divine beings would then intervene similarly overtly, but humans being helpless pawns while angels and demons do all the work sounds not so good to me. There's some lore indicating that succubi are not so much concerned with humans but are more like the master spies of Hell and are mainly tasked with espionage tasks dealing with other high level outsiders, though that's really just another way of making them largely irrelevant to the human condition in all but the highest of fantasy settings.
*Demons are vulnerable to silver, but the succubus statblock explicitly states they cannot be harmed by any normal weaponry, so idk if it's supposed to harm them or not.

Mythological Succubi/Incubi
Demons that turned into a woman to collect semen, then into a man to impregnate someone with that semen, typically taking the forms of marital partners to trick otherwise faithful people and sow discord. The word literally means 'to lie beneath/to lie atop' so Succubi and Incubi are not different things, but different behaviors of the same thing(hence my stealing of the term 'Foocubus' from Nethack to refer to that thing). A mythological explanation for a mundane occurrence of the baker's wife having a child that looks like the butcher, bandaid explanations intended to prevent domestic violence and social unrest without addressing the root cause of oppressive societal norms. Honestly, one of the more depressing mythological monsters if you dwell on the sociohistorical reasons for them to have been imagined. This sort of drama about social unrest and sexual deception doesn't really translate well to a game about dungeon delving, but could be top stuff in a game set over a longer timespan focusing either on politics or interpersonal drama even if they are only blamed and not actually present.

Sunset Realm Foocubi

The -cubi group of demons has survived the death of their original god and culture for one main reason.

basically this
(this comic is nsfw if you live under a rock and dunno what Oglaf is already)
They stem from an ancient religion that derided free will as something that was a source of suffering and enabler of ignorance, and so the mind-controlling foocubi(known as angels in their own time) were produced in vast numbers to throw off the shackles of freedom and micromanage emotional states among the citizens. Whether the results were a benevolent divine rule or a horrible oppressive mindslave dystopia is unclear as foocubi give different accounts, when they can be bothered to speak of that lost age at all. Despite what you might suspect of a race of divinely crafted thought police, Foocubi are not master manipulators of the social scene, as a being that is
  1. As powerful to humans as humans are to chickens
  2. Able to mind-control said chickens just in case they get uppity
Has basically no pressure to ever learn things like 'politeness' or 'empathy' or even 'fear' (and certainly not 'seduction.' Do you seduce your food? Didn't think so.) and as such, even after centuries of time, most foocubi's personalities are still complete trash, just, mean and domineering and casually murderous, and even the "nice" ones are nice in the way people are nice to their farm animals. Just because something looks* like a person doesn't mean it has a relatable mindset.
*As psychic shapeshifters, foocubi don't actually look like anything by default, but the image of a person with symbolic wings emphasizing access to higher realms spread memetically and became an expected norm.

True Succubi/Incubi act as matchmakers for ancient holy royal bloodlines so diluted that to human sensibilities, they no longer exist. They retain their considerable powers by bureaucratically attempting to fulfill ancient marriage contracts between these adjunct royal houses, and cannot give up on their obsessive quests to get targeted people to fall in love and breed without exploding. To abandon that raison d'etre is to embrace oblivion. As successful creation of new life cannot occur without mutual consent, Succubi/Incubi cannot simply mind-control their targets and be done with it, or steal sperm via shapechanging and fly it across the ocean to impregnate someone the way mythological succubi/incubi did, (unless contracted by both parties to do so of course) and so things tend to start with engineered meet cutes, but escalate into tangled webs of intrigue, mind control, kidnapping, shapeshifting induced forgery and impersonation, and worst-case, carpet bombing cities with lanterns dropped from the sky and ultimatums to 'fall in love NOW or everything you ever knew will burn.'
Many have sworn allegiance to Our Lady of Gardens and serve again as angels of matchmaking to modern bloodlines, but as this is a demon post I won't get too much into that.
Hatecubus- Drawn to the Demon-Lord of Hatred Isfrix after their first, forgotten god perished, but put off by his perpetually delayed divine suicide, Hatecubi are independent demons that feed off of negative, violent emotions, hatred prime among them. Unfortunately, this means they do their best to cultivate hatred, and as such they are a blight on society. The Void Monks of Oroboro, given their close proximity to the hell of Isfrix, have bound many of these creatures into the form of silver greatswords, where the Hatecubi can feed off the hatred of the dying towards their killers and occasionally manage to possess those foolish enough to pick up one of these demon swords without sufficient training.
When collecting hate on a personal scale, they prefer stealing magic items, smear campaigns based on telepathically received half truths, and other enraging but non-lethal activities, but have no qualms about nastily killing mortals to feed on the hatred directed at them, or ironically, encouraging mortals to hatefully "kill" them. (As spirit beings, 'death' is just being driven back into the spirit world, so if the bounty of hate is great enough it may be worth it.)
Cupids-The counterpart to a Hatecubus, these rogue spirits have decided to survive off of the love and affection of mortals. They may arrange romances between other mortals, but are unlikely to engage in the business themselves unless desperate, and if they've grown desperate, they may adopt parasitic strategems like encouraging unrequited love towards themselves, or even stealing a bit of life force via the famously lethal kiss if starvation seems likely. While devoid of any ill intent beyond hunger, the fallout of a hungry cupid can prove quite destructive and the arrival of one (no doubt in disguise) is more likely calamitous than fortuitous. Of course, to adventurers with no social ties who think a demon partner has no downsides, the sad fact of the matter is that you won't gain XP with a Cupid at your side, and if your love proves insufficient to fuel the Cupid, the difference must be made up for either in level loss from you, HD and power loss from the Cupid, or a polygamous relationship so large and lopsided that it is basically a sex cult with the cupid as cult leader.
Snugcubus/Slothcubus/Grave Nymph- these demons survive by hoarding souls to stock their own created afterlives with, and subside off the quiet glow of the souls. They cannot sustain very large afterlives while merely feeding off of the faint glow of comfyness, and so they require lots and lots of dead and dreaming souls, and are popular 'mini-deities' in forgotten graveyards, god-forsaken crypts, and motels Inns.
Their afterlives are stitched together from pilfered dreams and smothered in fog, and the souls within mainly lounge around in simple creature comfort, barely awake and often snoozing in huge piles. They may be roused by the slothcubus to serve as undead defenders or the like, for the only thing the demon hates more than disturbing the sleeping dead is other people disturbing their power source. This may bring them into conflict with players as tomb-guardians or dream-thieves- One idea for stealing dreams I had was to erase stuff on the players character sheet when they aren't looking (this is much easier to do in roll20 than IRL) and write a little code so it's not completely forgotten- if the player can remember what the lost item was they can use it again, but if not, it stays forgotten, the spirit of the item remaining in the slothcubi's dream realm.

Imagine the following- You are a dirt farming peasant whose village is the chew toy of every wandering monster, bandit, and oppressive noble for miles around. But one day, a stranger rides into town, and it's like every crappy fanfiction power fantasy ever- the stranger kicks the ass of every monster with one hand tied behind their back without taking so much as a scratch but doesn't ask for gold or special favors, just the opportunity to be the selfless defender of the town. This stranger is, of course, a foocubus who is eating threats to the village to build up a hero narrative. The end goal is to be worshipped like a local hero-saint, king, or perhaps even a god, and transition from feeding off of death to feeding off of awe and worship. Obviously this brings them into conflict with existing power structures.

Vampire, Basically
Look, sometimes monsters can't be bothered with feeding off of emotional resonance and decide to just eat people, confusing overlap of mythological source material be damned.

Foocubus Stats
HD- 6-9,
depending on how well fed they are. They do not heal naturally, and must either be exposed to the appropriate emotional state to have daily healing, or violently drain life via predation.

AC-As Plate&Shield,+3. Absolute bastards to hit due to being fast, experienced, and made of quasi-physical ectoplasm.
Attacks- 1d3/1d3 punches/wing buffets or by weapon. If both attacks hit, a grapple is initiated and they can start sucking the life out of someone next round, inflicting a negative level per round. Alternately, an item may be stolen.
Special Abilities
Mundane weaponry does not harm them save for the lawful touch of silver, and disrupting their physical form merely sends them back to the dream realm, and as immortals, they are not hunted by elementals as other undead are when they return. Creating an ectoplasmic body is tiresome and reduces the HD of a foocubus by 1.
Foocubi may change their physical appearance to anything person-ish. They cannot turn into say, a chair unless it's like, a chair that has deep emotional significance to someone nearby. Their form is a reflection of mortal emotion, so taking a form that doesn't cause some sort of feeling simply isn't their nature.
Expressing the appropriate emotion makes mortals vulnerable to being possessed. Attacking a Hatecubus, loving a Cupid, thanking a Glory, sleeping around a Slothcubus. I don't think standard charm spam is fun to GM, so this is the alternative. Corpses and other nonliving items may be possessed as well.
Borehole- Foocubi may enter dreams and construct hallucinatory scenarios to set up possession requirements, and may physically escape into the dream realm themselves. Lesser 'holes' may be bored to read people's minds or create 5' radius darkness at will (the dream realm is hungry for the light of the waking world and small portals will create big vortexes of darkness.) They may bore into dream/nightmare/afterlife realms in semi-stable portals that other people can use, though this is dangerous and tiring and they will not do so unless offered a sacrifice of a level to be drained or similar heavy-duty persuasive tactics.
Oneiric Coterminality- That is to say that they are coterminous with the waking world and the dream realm simultaneously. Spellwisps sent against a demon of a Foocubi's power may cower away in fear or even perish in the attempt to make contact, and Foocubi have decently good odds of knowing other demons to act as spells or summons in a pinch.
I've been too lazy to draw for some time, so I'll just double dip and use this commission of some party members from a player who has a hatecubus in a sword (using arnolds neat familiar rules)