Friday, April 15, 2011

M is for Marilith - A to Z psionic monsters

[Mind Flayers are obviously the most iconic "M" psionic monsters, but I have already done a detailed post on them,]

A Marilith is an awesome psionic monster, a demoness in fact. Unfortunately, while you are busy trying to check out her bodacious double D's, she is going to be chopping your head off with one of her six swords...

Basically, Marilith are the perfect physical manifestation of the Feminist Ideal. Let me quote directly from the 1e MM on this one:

"Lower level [males] greatly fear the domineering and cruel [feminists].... [Feminists] of this type are likely to desire the sacrifice of strong warriors to them."

See what I mean? There is more:

--They slither around looking like strippers, and they can Charm Person at will, but all they really want to do is sqeeze the life out of you...
--They are experts at looking great, making appearances, and causing sparks (polymorph self, project image, cause pyrotechnics)...
--No, you CANNOT touch them (AC: -7)!!!!
--They are, however, vulnerable to sweet talk, especially if you use their right name... ("All of these creatures have names which can be used to aid in negotiations.")
--They are chaotic evil! 'Nuff said.

Frankly, with so many attacks, with such a low AC and such a high magic resistance, combined with their psionic and magic powers, if your players don't handle a Marilith encounter skillfully, they could very easily be looking at a TPK. Your best bet is definitely to mind blast them into submission.
HD: 7+7
attacks: 6 hand weapons and 1 tail (2-8)
Magic resistance: 80%
INT: high

Psionic Ability: 130
attacks: Psionic Blast, Psychic Crush
defenses: Mind Blank, Thought Shield, Mental Barrier

Special powers:
at will:
cause darkness, 5' rad
charm person
levitate (1100 pounds)
read languages
detect invisible object
cause pyrotechnics
polymorph self
project image
gate demon (50%): type 1 (30%), type 2 (25%), type 3 (15%), type 4 (15%), type 6 (10%), lord or prince (5%)


Anonymous said...

You may want to edit your posting a entertaining write-up, but Marilith refers to the proper name of a specific one (an instance) of this type of demons, namely a type V (5) demon, not the name of the *class* of demon.

So you can't suppose to have "a" Marilith any more than one could have "an" Orcus; there is but one so the definite article is inappropriate.

Per the original DMG in the monster listing:
The other proper names for single instances of a type 5 demon are: Aishapra, Kevokuuli, Rehnaremme, are there would surely be other unique names.

Same thing would apply to the type 4 and 6.

Yet, under the italicized name in parenthesis for the type 1, 2, and 3 demons would relate to the name of that class of demon.

To reinforce this argument, notice how in the DMG for types 4, 5, and 6 demons, the names in the parenthesis are capitalized and listed as unique names for specific instances of such demons, but for types 1, 2, and 3, the name in the parenthesis are uncapitalized.

Justin said...

Ah, good point! Thank you for the tip.

Anonymous said...

Firstly, I had incorrectly stated that "a" is a "definite article", where in facts it's an "indefinite article".

Don't feel bad about the misread as the newer editions beyond 1e had the same misinterpretation, so *now* the official diction is as you had first posted; i.e. the official name of the class of a Type 5 demon is a "Balor" in 4e at least, even though that is not what Gygax had meant as any astute reader would discern.

But like all diction (even RPG diction) that descends from misunderstanding and reckless reading, we should ignore such people that use "irregardless" which one day will surely make its way into a dictionary near you, but is clearly from unintentional blending of the words "regardless" and "irrespective". Ho hum.

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