3D shell by Aki Inomata; crab by Evolution
One of the better ideas I had was, after seeing this picture, how the Kuo-toa/Deep-Ones might travel around in huge crab cites. The crabs themselves would be half-elemental and carry the tide with them where ever they go.

This city would move from the coast inland all the while flooding anything in its path and leaving brackish marsh in its wake. All the shell would be is a living reef of Kuo-toa singing mad hymns all the while. A tide pool from a briny hell. Maybe the crab would pick up chunks of cities, towers, and landscapes like decorator crab. Maybe it even has torn a piece of the night sky with it. Maybe this is actually the water elemental protecting itself from the eyes of other gods by disguising itself as a normal spiritual thing (See I have worshipers, cities, bits of land, factions, & sacrifice!). But really its just a crab that wants to eat everything.

The Kou-Toa themselves would be divided into two factions: THE TIDE (Kuo; pious majority) and THE DEEP (Toa; seditious and heretical minority).

Since the Kuo-Toa half the unique ability to make their own gods, I'd include rules that any extraordinary act, natural 20, or use of magic of a level equal to or greater than the observing Kuo-Toa's HD would result in them worshipping the PC. This would grant powers and abilities, but if left unchecked the PC would become a chaotic godling (and essentially dead). This would be the urging of the Toa who always seek to undermine the Kuo.

Maybe this would be a great dungeon idea or just become a wetter version of Broodmother Skyfortress. Maybe that is not so bad a thing. Maybe run it as a point-crawl with several small dungeons in it. Sorta like Legend of Zelda.

Also, a great time to fold together Kuo-toa, Deep-Ones, and Sahuagin. Plus tritons, mermen, and so forth-- I mean who really needs these many fish people. Also add those intelligent octopus found in the 2e MM.

Central to this idea is movement (because its a giant crab city) and time (because its going somewhere). So what if players are given a literal host to play with. They have to infiltrate, destroy or accomplish X in Y days or the crab destroys a capital. Magic weapons, wishes, artifacts, and such abound but little time to collect it all.  Or two phase I- deal with the city and phase II- deal with the aftermath.

  • Crab elemental constantly adds collections of stuff to its back
  • Calendar tracks the progression of crab as it travels along the coast destroying towns/cities/temples at regular intervals
    • this adds a new location
    • adds new armies
  • Deep-ones most emerge when civilizations are raided
    • they also emerge to take sacrifices
    • when emerging to raid, most other locations close up shop
  • Some NPCs are influenced by the deep-one minority faction and have become god-like in their abilities in one particular thing
  • Being so close to the origins of divinity, or something like it, dreaming allows ethereal scouting but that comes with its own predators

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