Definately an interesting idea but wouldn't the time and energy that goes into plating and magically enhancing the skeleton defeat the primary value of the shambling skeleton, their sheer abundance and the low cost of creating them? I might suggest a drone skeleton that works the anvil and forge for the plating of these bad boys. Also, how does a Claw with 8 inch claws use a bow? Go to Comment
Yet another of those useful ideas that never got voted on. When I think of magically-enhancing minions, my attention immediately comes back to this sub. It's straightforward, but extremely influential in my thought-patterns. Go to Comment
Swords are the standard run-of-the-mill Ironbones, created in great numbers by mage circles to serve as shock troops to supplement armies of Death Walkers and Hobgoblins, and also used in packs to "clean out" small areas of resistance.
They appear as human skeletons covered in a darkly gleaming metal, usually seen roaming in packs. Their fingers end in long pointed spikes, and their mouths are filled with solid metal teeth, which can snap down hard enough to bite through bone. They usually carry longswords, rapiers, or clubs - always one-handed melee weapons. They do not wear armor, as their plating is enough, but may carry a shield of the same alloy that covers them. Although their gait is somewhat jerky and awkward, they move with surprising speed, and are exceptionally strong, which is usually a surprise to adventurers expecting them to crumble under their swords. They are not intelligent in that they cannot create or avoid traps, but are fairly skilled in fighting, and have a decent knowledge of group fighting formations, which they will use to their advantage if part of a pack. They are quite hard to destroy, even more so than normal skeletons, for even severed into several sections, snapping jaws and stabbing claws can pose a danger. Also, their metal plating seems to serve as a kind of spiritual barrier, making it even harder to free their souls and take the "life" out of them (see "On Death and Undeath" for more explanation). Go to Comment
Fists are much less common than Swords, created as the tanks of the ranks of Ironbones.
Standing over seven feet tall due to magical enlargement, their plating is much heavier and thicker than that of the swords. They lack the sharp claws and teeth of their lesser counterparts in favor of heavily plated club-like knuckles and almost an inch of plating on their foreheads. They never carry shields, instead wielding massive two-handed hammers, clubs, staves or axes, any weapon that does not require finesse to deal a brutal blow. They often supplement groups of Swords, rushing headfirst into battle to scatter and immediately weaken the enemy. They are immensely strong, and have relatively the same intelligence as Swords, albeit a little less strategically intelligence. They fight mercilessly, dealing swift and powerful blows left and right in a frenzy. If they should lose their weapons, they will use their massive fists and pound opponents into oblivion, and can crumple an enemy's helmet with a well-placed head butt. However, they pose much less of a danger when dismantled. Go to Comment
Claws are the assassins and rangers of the Ironbones, lithe and agile creatures used as scouts by the Armies of Night.
At first glance, a Claw may appear quite similar to a sword - it is the same size, and has the same metallic plating. However, even if one cannot see it quite clearly, there is definitely something different. It moves with a slinking gait, much smoother than the jerking shuffle of a Sword, and no scraping sound can be heard as it creeps along. If one survives long enough to see it in full, the difference becomes immediately apparent. Instead of a sword and shield, a Claw has its hands, with fingers ending in claws almost eight inches in length, retractable, and as sharp and deadly as ten daggers. Its mouth is crowned by wickedly sharp teeth, with two prominent fangs reaching down past the chin. On its back it carries a bow and quiver, and moves with an uncanny intelligence for a dead of its kind. Claws were used as scouts and rangers, to infiltrate cities, using their claws to climb over walls, or to pick of enemies in secrecy from afar with the bow. They are much quicker and agile than their counterparts, and their limbs do not scrape against each other due to a special lubrication and polishing treatment in their creation. They fight in bursts, leaping off walls to attack with their claws, then running off to loose arrows from the shadows. They have an almost living intelligence, and can sense traps, assess tactical situations, and use the area to their advantage. While they are much more elusive than their heavier counterparts, the lubrication procedure also makes them slightly easier to dismantle. However, this is balanced by the fact that their natural weapons (the claws on their hands and feet and their teeth) are still quite dangerous alone. Go to Comment
Hoods are the rarest of the Ironbones, created for the sole purpose of eradicating magi of the light.
Many seasoned adventures, though they have faced many Iron denizens in their lifetimes, have never come across a Hood. They are reclusive, and the rarest of the Ironbones, created by the finest of the Night's magi in limited number. They are fearsomely intelligent, even more so than Claws, and are the most dangerous of the entire ranks. At first glance, they can immediately be distinguished from their "lower" brothers. Firstly, they are clad in a dark hooded robe, inscribed with the runes and insignia of the Night. And unlike their fighting brothers, the metal plating a Hood is not the same dark steel, but a lighter, silvery metal that glows faintly. But perhaps the most frightening difference is that, where Swords, Fists and Claws have only gaping sockets, a Hood has twin gems inset where eyes once rested, that sparkle with a dark inner light. The most astonishing aspect of these creatures is that they were imbued with enough intelligence and power to cast elemental spells, and powerful ones at that. The gems in their skulls hold vast reserves of the power, and Hoods are quite adept at using spells skillfully and effectively. Since their sole purpose was to combat the mage-warriors of the army of light, many their spells are geared towards weakening and disabling spellcasters. And as if that were not enough, their alternate metal plating has an added advantage - it serves to dispel and reflect a portion of all spells cast at it. However, while it can still enter into melee combat fairly effectively, it is much weaker than Swords or even Claws, and its magically resistant plating is much weaker against swords than the dark steel of its brothers. For this reason, if a Hood senses the battle is not in its favor, it will cast spells of shadow or illusion, and flee to a safer area. Hoods realize their value to the Night, and will not waste themselves needlessly. Hoods are becoming quite sought-after by necromancers hoping to control them, but as many an unfortunate spellcaster has learned too late, their loyalty is to the Night, and to the Night only. Go to Comment
Hmmm - that's a good point about the claws and bow - never though about that! I'll make them retractable, how's that? As for the other point, the purpose of making Ironbones was not to have a low-cost, expendable warrior, but to forge up a real heavy-hitter for the armies. Go to Comment
I, personally, think you should leave loopholes in it. That'd be realistic... Law codes are never foolproof. Perhaps there is a major loophole in it and that's what caused the Iron Throne to collapse. I dunno', just my take. Go to Comment
My wondering is why you are trying to re-invent the wheel? You could take a real world feudal legal system (common law and cannon law) and make it work for yourself (after some editing and such of course).
A neat set of laws that is easy to use for the GM in any any feudal fantasy kingdom(that means most of them;) I have not found any loopholes in it yet, has anyone? This is the kinda thing a GM often find a need for but does not always want to create him/herself.
Good work. Go to Comment
Now, I know this is BIG article, but what I was setting out to do here was create a system of laws for a quasi-feudal country governed by a king, lords beneath him, and people beneath them. While the country no longer exists, this code is used as the basis of law for the countries formed out of its ruins.This set of laws needs to be defining, with as little chance for loopholes as possible. It is stern, yet not overly harsh. It is also somewhat archaic, but I put a "translator" at the bottom.
What I need are some responses -
Is anything too harsh/to lenient/just plain out of whack?
Is there anything that could be exploited/are there any loopholes?
Are there any facets of law I have overlooked?
I will also be using this set as a basic outline for other sets of laws in my world.
Molk Peruda is encountered by the PCs on the second day of their journey west from the salt-choked port of Quyn, as they prepare to explore the jungle.
He appears a gaunt, wolfish man, with matted, dark hair that sprouts from his head in dreadlocks, contrasting with his well-oiled, blue-black, conical beard. His eyes are hidden ebon shards beneath thick arching brows, his nose, crooked, long, and reminiscent of a snout. His mouth is a thin, dark line, his teeth unseen even when he parts his lips to speak.
His skin is the color of tallow, surprising perhaps for a renowned jungle guide, yet his natural helm of dreads and the jungle's canopy keeps the sun from bronzing his originally pale flesh. On his back are tattooed three women from the waist up, side-by-side, each resembling the other but of different ages. This is a tattoo of Molk's mother, sister, and daughter. His wife (don't bring her up to him!) was killed by marauding Qullan years ago, and appears as her own tattoo on his broad but sunken chest.
His feet shockingly are turned around 180 degrees at the ankle, facing towards his back! A curse from a pernicious shaman. Molk walks feet backwards (he's used to it) and walks backwards, forwards. This can be very disconcerting and outright creepy to the PCs as he guides them through the rainforest.
Slung from his back is an archer's quarrel of treated wood carved to resemble a stalking leopard, in his hand a re-curved composite bow of horn and sinew, with a pair of vivid, red eyes, each one painted on the opposite side of the hand-grip. In a leather sheath at his belt, hangs a falchion, its pommel adorned with a curved bird's head and beak.