Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Werk: Koponu

In this week's Wednesday Werk, we'll look at the Koponu.

The Koponu are a race of subterranean, amphibious humanoids.  Koponu are typically found as slaves of other subterranean races, such as troglodytes (the specimen below knows Draconic for this reason).  Some are free-living, however, and are typically found in caverns and subterranean ruins (old aqueducts, cellars, dungeons, and the like).

Free Koponu form their own underworld ecologies, replacing the typically mammalian and avian pets and farm animals of humanoid civilizations with amphibians.  Supposedly, they have even bred and trained creatures such as warfrogs and fighting-newts.

Koponu are most notable for the bioluminescent slime they secrete.  Even stranger, those attacked by Koponu have been occasionally "infected" by this slime, causing the victim to glow like the Koponu.  Although harmless, this can be fairly unfortunate on dungeon delves, as glowing adventurers make better targets.

The following specimen is indicative of a typical sort of Koponu (despite the name, it is not only found in sewers).  Knowledge of Draconic suggests a relationship with troglodytes — either this is a slave, an escaped slave, or a descendant of escaped slaves.  Free Koponu are typically more inclined to run away if a fight begins to go unfavorably, but enslaved Koponu will fight at the whim of their masters, knowing that the penalty for failure is likely death anyway.

At the DM's option, characters successfully attacked by Koponu may be exposed to the affliction known as "The Glows."  At the end of the encounter, the character must make at DC 12 Endurance check (if the Koponu has been altered to be higher than 1st level, the DC should reflect a moderate Endurance check of the Koponu's level).  Failure indicates that the character has caught "The Glows," which lasts until the end of the victim's next extended rest.  While under the effects of "The Glows," the character sheds dim light in a 1-square radius, and while in total darkness, grants a +2 power bonus to any creature attacking her.  This is typically more annoying than debilitating, although stealth tends to be difficult (if not impossible) when one is glowing softly, for example.

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