Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wednesday Werk: Zaldrim, Scarletscales

In this week's Wednesday Werk, we'll look at the Zaldrim and the Scarletscales.

Like many of the creatures from Hereticwerks, the Zaldrim are planar travelers.  They scour the planes in search of eldritch artifacts, seeking magic items and components for their own inscrutable ends.  Strangely, they are not able to travel the planes naturally, instead relying on spells, rituals, and magic items like most other creatures.

Zaldrim are psychic and clairvoyant, displaying senses and communication abilities far beyond those of other creatures.  They display amazing arcane knowledge, and any given individual is typically well-versed in arcane lore.  For the right price, a Zaldrim may even share this knowledge, conceivably teaching any ritual or alchemical formula of its level or lower.

Strangely, the Zaldrim appear to be arcane themselves, possibly being composed of arcane energy.  When slain, they violently explode in a burst of eldritch energies.

The following individual is representative of a typical Zaldrim spellcaster a potent magus who has learned many spells and is highly adept in their use.

(Some conversion notes about the Zaldrim:  the original version is vulnerable to Dispel Magic, Holy/Unholy Word, and Confusion.  This change showcases one of the downsides to the more rigid combat system of 4e.  Some of those spells no longer exist in 4e, and Dispel Magic is very limited, but enterprising DMs might add vulnerabilities or allow strange effects on existing powers.  If somebody tries something clever on the magical Zaldrim, feel free to adjudicate the rules with skill checks and the damage by level table.  Note that the high Arcana skill covers the Zaldrim's ability to use several spells like Detect Magic and Read Magic at will.)

The Scarletscales are one of several varieties of ophidian humanoids found among the planes.  The Scarletscales are the keepers of a mystical military culture, combining the worst traits of monstrous humanoids and movie martial artists.  As a race, they train to seek worthy opponents with which to cross blades.  They are extremely cunning, however, and are certainly not above dirty tricks to win a fight.  Despite their alignment, they do not display the savagery of the orcs and their kind, instead channeling their destructive urges into a sort of ferocious grace.

Valorous bards tell many tales of Scarletscale swordsmen.

(As an aside, 4e DMs may wish to lump Scarletscales with the snake-cultists of Zehir, or just leave them as their own thing.  Or they may wish to imply some sort of war brewing among the evil cultists of Zehir and the chaotic evil cultists of some demonic snake-deity.  Whatever floats your boat.)

The following Scarletscale depicts a typical warrior of the species, a swordsman with a few magical tricks to increase his lethality in combat.


  1. Wow. This was eye-opening. Nice to see some of the structural/mechanical differences between the editions opened-up and to have a good work-around made available like what you're suggesting. We'll have more details on the Zaldrim up at the blog fairly soon, after we get caught-up on Wermspittle a bit more. There are other sub-types of Zaldrim, some more arcane than others, and not all of them are quite what others would expect, some are actually artificial forms or projected-constructs.

    You're doing a great job with this series, and we are really enjoying your efforts. Thanks for doing this--it really is quite intriguing, at least to us, to see how you're interpreting our monsters and adapting the rather simplistic Labyrinth Lord mechanics to 4E. It has been quite a nice education and you've helped us to get a better idea of what the expectations are in 4E, and how the mechanics differ from what we're used to or have come to expect. Cool.

  2. Thanks for the reminder--we should go back over he old stuff that's still pending out there and just make the monsters available once and for all off the blog, like the other Serpentfolk sub-types from Vhonj, etc.


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