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White Elephant for Dietaku: the Steelspine

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  • White Elephant for Dietaku: the Steelspine

    Steelspine, an Earth Elemental
    Spawned by Ore-Rich Veins


    Steelspines are elementals of the deep caves and tunnels beneath creation. Large overlapping scales protect their snakelike bodies as they smash through stalagmites and stalactites, hungering for metal-rich ores.

    Spawning in the narrow tunnels deep underground, they feed on those ores in order to grow. Their expanding size forces them higher and higher. A typical adult steelspine will be anywhere from twenty to fifty yards long, but their elders reach as long as one hundred yards. Sometimes after a rich feeding frenzy, a steelspine will grow too fast and become stuck, eventually dying. The metals in the ores, which have accumulated in its bones, are thus slowly brought closer to Creation’s surface over many generations.

    Steelspines are greedy creatures that love to devour shiny and precious metal, although they are not very discerning about this - they will choose polished brass over tarnished silver every time. They think themselves cunning, and are even occasionally right, but in the folk tales the unlucky human who finds himself bargaining for his life usually wins the battle of wits. In many of these tales, the human tricks the steelspine into a tunnel too small for it to fit, and waits for it to starve to death. Later, she comes back to excavate the bones, which may be fine steel or even gold. A rare adventurer may even find a few orichalcum bones, if they are willing to hunt steelspines near a volcano.

    Steelspines are generally solitary creatures, but in the winter months they tend to crave the company of others of their kind, and in many regions of Creation there is a great annual convocation of them in some appropriately large cavern. Here is where the true elders make their home - too large to delve for the richest ore veins, they feed on offerings from the respectful young - or on the corpses of the disrespectful.

    Essence: 4; Willpower: 4; Join Battle: 7 dice
    Personal Motes: 90
    Health Levels: -0x3 / -1x5 / -2x7 / -4x3 / Incap.

    Actions: Feats of Strength: 12 dice (may attempted Strength 7 feats, see Coil and Crush); Read Intentions: 4 dice; Navigate Underground: 6 dice; Social Influence: 4 dice; Senses: 6 dice
    Appearance 1, Resolve 2, Guile 3

    Attack (Bite): 12 dice (Damage 14, minimum 4)
    Attack (Grapple): 10 dice (12 dice to control)
    Combat Movement: 9 dice
    Evasion 2, Parry 6
    Soak/Hardness: 16 / 5

    Special Abilities

    Overwhelming Might: The steelspine makes unopposed grapple control rolls against enemies of smaller size, unless the victims use magic allowing them to grapple larger foes, such as Dragon Coil Technique (Exalted, p. 280).


    Legendary Size: The steelspine suffers no onslaught penalties from attacks from smaller opponents, unless they’re magically inflicted. Withering attacks from smaller enemies cannot crash it unless they have at least 10 post-soak damage dice, although attackers still gain the full amount of Initiative damage dealt. Decisive attacks from smaller enemies cannot deal more than (3 + attacker’s Strength) levels of damage to it, not counting levels added by Charms or other magic.

    Scale Armor: The steelspine’s overlapping scales give it incredible protection against most threats, granting it +8 soak. This is included in the 16 soak listed above. A difficulty 4 gambit to hack or pry off one of the scales can expose a weak point, removing this bonus and reducing its soak to 8.

    Offensive Charms

    Steel-Tipped Fangs Flash (5m, 2i; Supplemental; Instant; Perilous; Essence 3): The steelspine lunged forwards as it bites the opponent. It may make a bite attack out one further range band than normal, and if the attack succeeds it drags the target one range band closer.

    World-Root Serpent (15m, 3i, 1wp; Simple; Instant; Perilous; Essence 4; Eclipse): The steelspine becomes one of the roots of Creation, embedding itself in immovable stone. The steelspine becomes immobile and unmovable but gains the ability to leverage itself against the earth to gain reach and strength. It may make melee attacks and grapple rolls out to short range, and forfeited rounds of control add successes instead of dice to its Throw / Slam actions. (It can benefit from a maximum of seven forfeited rounds of control.)

    The Eclipse version of this charm cost 10m, 1wp, and does not grant the increased reach. It can be used after a grapple has been initiated.

    Defensive Charms

    Scale-Shattering Sacrifice (8m; Reflexive; Instant; Decisive-only; Essence 2): The steelspine sacrifices one of its scales to protect it against a deadly attack. It increases its hardness to 15 against a single attack. Afterwards, its soak is reduced as per Scale Armor above.

    Movement Charms

    Earth-Shattering Surge (10m, 3i; Supplemental; Instant; Essence 3): The steelspine ignores any difficult terrain on one movement action, and at the end of the action creates difficult terrain out to short range of its path. Everyone in this terrain when it is created is subjected to an environmental hazard, with a difficulty of 3 (resist with either Dex + Dodge or Stamina + Resistance) and Damage 2B.

    Miscellaneous Charms

    Coil and Crush (5m; Supplemental; Instant; Essence 3): The steelspine applies double 8s on a feat of strength applied to destroy objects by wrapping around them and crushing them. It may attempt Strength 10 feats.
    Last edited by AtG; 01-07-2019, 11:19 AM.

  • #2
    I love it! Your ability to stat is far better than mine, it seems, and just in time for me to ST. Thank you very much!


    • #3
      Dietaku FYI I made a tweak to World-Root Serpent that I think will make its bonus come into play more often.


      • #4
        Ah, good to know. Yes, it does look a little more powerful as it is now. Thank you!