The Art of Being a Monster: Rakshasa

 Rakshasa

Your iron will and enduring predatory instincts will grind down your enemies into delectable ground meal. Lay out your elaborate machinations like so many spider webs, each node a trap ready to be sprung. Scatter your enemies with magic, disorient them with illusions, and raise their fallen comrades as undead to ensure there are no survivors. Start each engagement in a friendly disguise, luring your opponents into a false sense of security, and pounce when they bare their necks.

F: These walking tin cans will get in the way of your casting and can strike quite hard given half an opportunity, so keep them out of reach. Put up spell barriers, disorient them with ongoing illusions, embed traps into the terrain, and keep your minions on the defensive. Your magical abilities should provide superior mobility and if they become stunned, rip out their throat with your blessed claws.

 

T: Watch the sneaky thieves and make sure your back and flanks are protected. These are children at the game of predator and prey, but even the apex predator must be wary lest they slip in and slip a knife in between your ribs. Observed and prepared for, they can be easily neutered by directly engaging them with a decently tough minion to keep them distracted. Alternatively, they are often weak to illusion and a pretension for discovering traps, even if there are more important targets. Make sure they are never allowed near critical or powerful mechanisms they can disable, destroy, or worse, wield.

R: Keep out of the ranger’s line of sight and pin them down with withering spellfire and minion attacks. Nip their annoying arrows in the bud by forcing them to stay mobile, prevent them from getting the high ground, and engage them in narrow, twisting paths that offer just enough visibility for spell targeting but not for arrow flight. It is the tiger’s place to be the hunter, no arrogant fleshy ape with delusions of grandeur can take that spot.

W: These robed copycats may attempt to wield the arcane arts but will fail in comparison to your innate mastery. Stay wary of their abilities though as their lesser spells could nudge yours off course. Do not allow them free reign to tamper with your magical wards nor to target you with spellfire. Their weak constitutions and combat abilities call for keeping them solitary from their comrades and surrounded by minions. Prowl around the flanks of the battlefield to sink your teeth into the soft flesh of the wizard.

The Rhakshasa’s Unceasing Hunt

Otherworldly excellence and organization is paired with a deadly instinct for the hunt. As long as you do not lose yourself to bloodlust and hunger, so long as you keep to your meticulous plotting, you shall not fall. Strike from the shadows. Attack and retreat, tearing away pieces of your foes until they collapse under their own weight.

  • Practice escape maneuvers and combat techniques for when magic does not function correctly.
  • Cultivate a sad backstory that presents yourself as the black sheep of your kind, the one lone Rakshasa fighting to overcome the negative stereotypes of your species.
  • Never divulge your plans or backstory from a moment of strength. At best, they are conversation starters or delay tactics.
  • Create innocuous dead-switches for important spells, such that some change will automatically occur once the magics are no longer active and preventing that change. They should be designed so others will ignore or not see. Rely on dead-switches only for confirmation of failure not for confirmation of ongoing success.
  • Put in place a false disguised shape that will remain in place should you fall unconscious or be forced back to your true form. Glamer effects and projected illusions are better suited to this purpose.
  • If you absolutely must continue to devour humans, make sure you do so in untraceable ways. Never leave behind a pattern and regularly change your method of modifying your routine to avoid blind spots that might create evidence.
  • Do not settle yourself into ancient location, place known to harbor relics, or in a place of legend. This will absolutely be a place that adventurers, even those not looking for you, will end up. Let arrogant fools take up residence in those spaces.
  • Despite the deliciousness of human flesh, make regular public appearances in disguised form among the humans at the same time as your minions are out hunting your meals for you. Create regular alibis as part of your usual schedule.
  • Never kidnap, eat, or attack a member of high station in society unless you intend to fight their relatives and allies.
  • Stay in contact with your fellow Rakshasa for alliances, rumors, and to keep updated information of who can be blamed for human victims.
  • Fill your lair with traps and puzzles that can be activated both magically and physically so that even without spells, you are never disarmed.
  • If a hero stands before you, seemingly aware of but unafraid of your magical powers, take great care in your next steps. Kill them non-magically.
  • Keep illusion and displacement magic on hand. Should a hero begin to get the upper hand, switch places with a disguised minion or construct that can be killed in your place.
  • Make regular plans to challenge heroes in contrived situations, such as forest ambushes, wrestling matches, or infiltrating war camps. Attempt to win, but keep an eye on making the hero’s victory more miraculous, and Rakshasa’s less threatening, should they win. That hero should be on your payroll.
  • Do not trust another Rakshasa to fulfill their end of a deal, bargain, or trade. Use third party arbitrators and magical bonds to do any business with your kind.
  • When you capture a human meal, treat them kindly and make their death as swift and painless as possible. Should they escape, the chance of seeking vengeance is lessened. Should all these tips fail, this tactic should hopefully make your own last few days more merciful.
  • Mechanisms and spellcraft of your design, unless intended for your minions, should only be activatable with a backwards grip. Do not assume this means they cannot be used by humans.
  • Assume any plan with more than one point of failure will crumble when used. Design each step of your plans as independently as possible while relying on as little complexity as you can.
  • When selecting a fallback position, lair, or base of operations, make sure that the iconography of the place does not mark it as obviously yours. There should not be evil paintings, chained up slaves, piles of skulls, or the like. Rely on peaceful but boring scenery to allow attention of your enemies to drift elsewhere.
  • Your claws are not sacred and are a valid weapon to enchant, but only as a backup solution. Be trained in using metal weapons and armor, disdaining any preference for claws except when they are the most practical tool at hand.

Making these traditions your own will ensure your longevity and many fruitful hunts. Grow your machinations until all the world grinds to dust at your feet, where you can rebuild it in your image.

1 thought on “The Art of Being a Monster: Rakshasa

  1. I must say this is very nicely written. It seems this was penned by a successful Rakshasa.

    Like

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