Monday, February 20, 2012


I know I promised some folk over on the messageboards that I'd give them some NPCs this week, and that's coming on Thursday.

Today I thought I'd talk about recycling old ideas. Now I don't subscribe to the concept of ideas being a finite resource. You have to believe there's always something new for you to say, and if not that at least a method of communicating an old idea in a fresh new way.

Today I'm going to use the example of the Explodaphant. Originally just a throwaway idea in my free M&M 2e Adventure: Attack of the World Watchers. Explodaphants were creatures native to The Lost Island, a sort of monstertopia homage to the savage land. There were no real stats for them, I just sort of left it up to the individual GM's imagination to flesh out.

During the past couple of days Explodaphants have popped back into my head so I jotted down the thought as a facebook status update:

Explodaphants have a unique defense against predators. They spontaneously and violently combust; leaving their would-be attacker dead, burned and flayed by shards of ivory. Thus a single explodaphant can protect an entire herd from the predations of poachers or savannah Wyrms.
I have no idea why that popped into my head but I liked it. Basically never throw an idea away, not completely. Keep it stored somewhere safe, write it down. Use it. Then if nobody has seen it, use it again! You might have the best idea at the wrong time, and that's cool, because you can always come back to an idea later. The point is keep a note of it somewhere because you never know when you might need to use it again, like to fill a blog post on a Tuesday night after work.

In any case I've had explodaphants percolating in the back of my mind and then today I drew out a nutty little sketch during my lunch break at the job. I couldn't just leave this alone, I figure I better strike while the iron is hot.

So today I'll present the Pathfinder bestiary style write up of the Explodaphant for the Pathfinder Rules set, and also the M&M 2e Rules Set.
Section 1: PF Rules
This creature is larger than a normal elephant, with stumpy ivory tusks protruding from its mouth and horns on its head. Bubbles of clear flesh undulate with a strange orange liquid.

Explodaphant CR 11

XP 12,800
N Huge magical beast
Init +1; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +24


AC 21, touch 9, flat-footed 20 (+1 Dex, +12 natural, –2 size)
hp 141 (13d10+70)
Fort +14, Ref +10, Will +8

Vulnerability Volatile


Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +21 (2d8+12), slam +21 (2d6+12)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks

burning geyser (60 ft cone, 13d4 plus burn (2d4),
Reflex DC 21 for half, usable once every 1d6 rounds),
explode (30 ft. sphere, 7d6 fire damage + 6d6 slashing
damage, DC 21 for half)


Str 34, Dex 12, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 7
Base Atk +13; CMB +26, CMD 37 (41 vs. trip)
Feats Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Iron Will, Iron Will,

Power Attack, Skill Focus(Perception), Weapon Focus (gore)

Skills Perception +24

Burning Geyser (Ex)

An Explodaphant can spray the alchemical juices stored in its body, from its trunk, in a 60 ft cone dealing 13d4 damage as a standard action. Those caught in the area of effect can make a DC21 Reflex save for half damage, those that fail the save also take 2d4 burn damage each round for 4 rounds.

Explode (Ex)

An Explodaphant can build up pressure in its body in such a way as to cause it to explode in a conflagration 0f fire and ivory. The explodaphant can only do so if its breath weapon is not recharging. Exploding is a full-round action during which the Explodaphant glows intensely before letting loose a 30 ft. radius sphere explosion dealing 7d6 fire damage + 6d6 slashing damage. Those caught within the blast radius can make a DC 21 Reflex save for half. The Explodaphant is not immune to this damage and must make a Fortitude save against DC 10 + Damage Dealt or be automatically reduced to negative constitution hit points. An explodaphant's volatile weakness is not triggered by this ability.

Volatile (Ex)

An Explodaphant that takes fire or electricity damage risks having its alchemical pouches rupture or explode. If an Explodaphant is brought to negative hit points by taking damage from fire or electricity it activates its Explosion ability automatically as a reaction.


An explodaphant is found in magically rich environments. Herd travelling grazers, explodaphants are wary of predators and people usually warning them off with a spray of their volatile alchemical mucus. Explodaphants will even go so far as to blow themselves up in order to give their herd a chance to escape.
Design Notes: I built the Explodaphant right off the Mastodon chassis, I changed its type to Magical Beast, converted its HD and BAB over and added a breath weapon and a unique ability. TThe increased HP and damage output seemed to push it up into CR 11 from CR 9, which was fine by me and I called it a day. It's AC is a little low but its HP is a little high, and it can do some fairly solid attacks. It probably sits on the low end of CR 11, but PCs of that level should have little trouble against fire attacks.
Section 2: M&M 2E Rules

Explodaphant Power Level 10/Minion Rank 6

Str 30, Dex 10, Con 21, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 7

Skills: Notice 8 (+9)

Feats: Endurance

Power: Additional Limbs 1 (trunk), Growth 8 (Power Feats: Innate, Flaws: Permanent), Protection 4, Strike 1 (Power Feats: Mighty), Blast 8 (Extras: Cone; Alternate Power: Blast 12 Extra: Explosion, Drawback: Self-Damaging).

Combat: Attack +6 (includes +2 due to size), Damage +10 (trample or gore), Defense +0 (includes -2 due to size), Initiative +0.

Saving Throws: Toughness +9, Fortitude +12, Reflex +5, Will +6.

Costs: Abilities -1 + Skills 2 (8 ranks) + Feats 1 + Powers 56 + Combat 20 Saves 17 - Drawbacks 8 = 87

Design Notes: I built this right off the elephant chassis, adding a Blast with an explosion alternate power.

I hope you enjoyed today's blog, don't forget you can comment right here, or on This Thread at You can also find me on Facebook Right Here. As always comments, questions and critiques are welcome. I'm also interested in taking requests. So until Thursday have a good one. So go ahead and hit up those links, because all that follows is some OGL stuff.

See you Thursday.

Boring Legalese


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