Friday, March 20, 2015

Ahool for 5e

I present to you the Ahool, a mysterious cryptid of the jungle. Part bat, part ape and all predator.

This lovely picture is by Haley Dubay.

Medium monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class 12
Hit Points 26 (4d8+8)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft., fly 50 ft.
Str                    Dex                  Con                  Int                    Wis                  Cha
16 (+3)             15 (+2)             15 (+2)             6 (-2)               12 (+1)             6 (-2)
Skills Athletics +4, Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses Blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Challenge 1
Echolocation. While it can’t hear, the ahool has no blindsight.
Keen Hearing. The ahool has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Multiattack. The ahool makes two attacks: one with its bite, one with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) slashing damage.
Ahools are reclusive jungle predators that combine the features of a bat and an ape. They have the head, body and legs of an ape, though their feet end in vicious claws, while their arms are large bat wings with a ten foot wingspan. Their head sports a pair of bat-like ears. They can be quite vicious, but are smart enough to know when they are outclassed by another creature.
Treetop Predators
Ahool typically stalk prey from the branches of jungle trees. After they have had time to study their chosen prey, when the time is right, they swoop down in a vicious attack. Their attacks are swift, and ahool don’t do protracted battles. If they are not able to swiftly make off with their prey, they will withdraw and find a better hunting opportunity. They view just about every other species as possible prey, unless it’s too big, in which case they view it as a threat.
Family Units
Ahool males are usually loners, only briefly joining a female ahool to mate. A male will warn off other males intruding into his territory, but there are rarely battles between rivals. An ahool killing another ahool is almost unheard of.

Ahool females usually form units, so that they may share the rearing of young. Upon reaching adulthood, females will typically continue on with the troop, while males go off to establish their own territory.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Marscon 2015

Last weekend was Marscon 2015, in sunny Bloomington, MN. It was relocated to the Hilton near the Mall of America. All in all, a good time. Unfortunately, I had a somewhat disorganized weekend, so I probably didn't take full advantage of what the con had to offer.

First off, the hotel. The Hilton was a new location for Marscon. A pretty nice hotel, but the parking lot was a bit too small. The Hilton did have some overflow parking down the hill that it shares with, I think, the Park Plaza. Two issues with this: 1. there is nothing to indicate that this is overflow parking, and 2. as you may or may not know, some con goers can't handle hills as well as others. But, the hotel was pretty nice otherwise, and easy to get around. The staff seemed decent as well. Some people complained about the heat in their rooms, but I didn't have an issue with that.

Second, the programming. Marscon had a nice spread of programming, and it's upped its game with educational programming and things for the youngsters. There appears to have been some last minute chaos, though. I found out Wednesday night that the con had decided to use two of my panel ideas and that I was on both panels to act as moderator. Both went okay, but only one other person was on one panel with me, and I was the only person on the other panel.

I wish I'd hit the movie room. It appears to have had a good selection of movies and people seemed happy with it. And as always, there was karaoke. And room parties. A fair number of room parties that ranged in quality from 'meh' to pretty darn cool.

I think the con staff did a pretty good job overall. There was one incident with a security volunteer, but I won't go into the specifics because it would just be hearsay and it seems to have been dealt with appropriately. The consuite staff in particular did a great job.

All in all, a pretty good con. It was perhaps a little disorganized, but this was a new hotel and I expect things will run more smoothly next year.