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This a Color test painted version of the illustration below:
The black and white illustration is featured in the recent RIFTS: Vampires revised edition 2013 ” Table-top Role-Playing Game publication by Palladiumbooks. [link]
Featured: A Bone Werejaguar hunter at the prime moment of his kill, has just delivered the coup-de-grace to this jungle dwelling alien predator (dimensional being or D-Bee). As part of the Bone Were-jaguar‘s hunting magic practices, such a quarry will be converted into supernatural weapons to enhance this hunter’s hunting and combative prowess. In a nutshell, the more dangerous the quarry the more powerful the weapons that can be forged from its carcass.
Description (written by Chris “Slappy” Kluge): The Jaguar People of Palenque are skilled hunters and warriors, but by all rights, this small band of werebeasts should have been wiped out long ago by the superior forces (both numerically and in terms of raw power) from Chichen Itza and the Vampire Kingdoms. What makes the Bone Werejaguars such an unstoppable force is the arsenal of Metamorphic Weapons that each Bone werejaguar wields. The simple looking piercings and ornaments made of bone that adorn their bodies can be removed and transformed into lethal instruments within seconds.
Metamorphic Weapons are forged within the heart of slain prey. The Bone werejaguar performs a simple ritual over his fresh kill causing the item (in its smaller transformed form) to grow within the chambers of the target’s heart. The hunter then cuts the item out of the prey’s heart, and typically eats the heart in celebration. The ritual to forge Metamorphic Weapons is surprisingly quick and inexpensive, but there are some caveats that increase the challenge. For one, the spell caster must be the one solely responsible for the kill. If anyone helps at any point, the ritual will not work. No one is sure why this is. Perhaps if the hunter’s pride is harmed by the assistance, his focus is shaken in the ritual. The other caveat is that the final kill strike must be delivered by hand. Melee weapons are allowed, but the spell caster must be the one wielding it. Long range weapons and traps can be used to inflict damage, but the killing blow must be delivered up close and personal or the ritual will not work.
A small sum of potential psychic energy is spent by the Bone Werejaguar to begin the ritual, the rest of the psychic energy “given” by the prey. Only the Psychic energy from the single sacrifice can be used. Psychic Energy cannot be added from any other source such as ley lines, the spell caster, allies, or additional sacrifices. This potential Psychic Energy (which is doubled at the moment of death) is what determines how powerful the newly forged Metamorphic Weapon will be. Creatures with high potentials of psychic energy give “birth” to incredibly powerful weapons, which allows the hunter to go after even more powerful prey. The temptation to go after prey that is too strong too soon in order to gain their strength is something that has undone many a young hunter. Even veteran hunters fall into the endless cycle of seeking greater and greater challenges until they come up against one too great to overcome. The ease with which the bone Werejaguars can create these powerful weapons is both a blessing and a curse. Note: All Metamorphic Weapons are magic in nature and inflict full Hit Point damage to vampires and other werebeasts. As living weapons, they regenerate (double regeneration speed when on a ley line).
Bone Werejaguars are available in the RIFTS RPG as Optional Player Characters
Alignment: Feline werebeasts, like the Jaguar People, are typically anarchist or any evil (occasionally unprincipled) alignments.
Size: 6 to 7 feet tall in human and humanoid monster form, 5 to 6 feet long in animal form.
Weight: 200 to 300 lbs. (90 to 136 kg).
Hit Points (Special): Like the vampire, the werebeast is invulnerable to most weapons, including mega-damage energy weapons, explosives, bullets, fire, wood, steel, poisons and toxins. However, also like vampires, werebeasts are vulnerable to ordinary silver. Weapons that have at least a 50% silver content inflict double damage to supernatural things. Although Bone Werejaguars possess bio-regenerative powers, they are nothing like the vampires’, so being bludgeoned or stabbed by silver can kill the creature without requiring decapitation and staking.
Natural Abilities: Speak while in animal shape, prowl 80%, swim 60%, climb 90%/80%, acrobatics 80%, track by smell 70%, nightvision 300 ft (91.5 m), and bio-regenerate 2D6 H.P. per hour.
Limited invulnerability: See hit point description. The creature is vulnerable to magic, psionics, and weapons made of silver (double damage). Wolfbay and garlic will hold all werebeasts at bay, like a cross, sunlight and running water have no adverse effect. Powerful mega-damage attacks and explosions that inflict great amount of damage may knock the creature down or stun it. Same Knockdown/Impact table as for vampires.
Shape-changing power: The myth is that a werebeast is human by day and beast by night, but this is not true. The creature can shape-change at will, day or night. The metamorphosis takes about 15 seconds (one melee) and there is no limit to the number of times the creature can perform a metamorphosis or how long he can maintain that particular shape. As stated previously, the creatures are quite intelligent, thus they generally assume the less frightening form of human during the bright sunlight hours when humans are on the prowl, and into monster humanoid form or animal shape during the night. Also, since they are nocturnal hunters, they tend to sleep most of the day and are active during the night. The three shapes are human, jaguar, and its natural shape of jaguar humanoid (half man, half jaguar).
Magic: A typical Bone werejaguar knows tongues, chameleon, astral projection, repel animals, heal wounds, metamorphosis: animal, and metamorphosis: human, but the Jaguar people of Palenque also possess a previously unknown discipline of magic called Hunting Magic. Whether it is instinctively known or taught at some point in their development is a secret that they do not share with outsiders. Whatever the source, every Bone werejaguar from Palenque knows all Hunting Magic spells.
Psionic Abilities: Sixth sense, see the invisible, and mind block.
Hunting Magic : Like the name suggests, Hunting Magic is specifically designed to enhance the hunting skills of the practitioner. Some spells focus on helping the practitioner track down prey, others are meant to conceal the practitioner from his target, and of course, there are spells designed to increase the hunter’s killing power. Hunting Magic is meant for precision tracking and killing. Its one drawback is it can sometimes focus the practitioner so intently on one target that he becomes oblivious to other possible dangers. The Jaguar People of Palenque are such skilled hunters that this is rarely a problem, but many young hunters from their home world fell victim to hidden dangers as they learned their craft. There many special alien hunting magic abilities that Bone Werejaguars harvest, however I chose not to copy them here, got to get the book XD
However, I figured as visual stimulant, it would be good for you to know what all those bone piercing might be and could transform into so I listed the Bone Werejaguar weapons. Also listed is the actual Bone Werejaguar hunting traps written by Chris Kluge!!! These exclusives are not listed anywhere else as of yet, so if Your a GAMER, spread the word, the Bone Werejaguar traps are here!!! They may help give you a good idea of how to design your own concoctions as well.
Typical Metamorphic Melee Weapons
Metamorphic Claw: This is the first weapon forged by every young hunter when they make their first solo kill. Its ornamental form is that of a small fork with three curved spikes coming out of the top and one spike pointing down. This bottom spike is driven under the skin on the back of the hand (below the middle knuckle). When transformed, the three spikes grow into three 12-inch long (30.5 cm) serrated blades. A cage of finger-like bones wrap around the hand for support leading to a solid handle in the palm that the hunter can grip. Damage, M.D.C., and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice.
Metamorphic Dagger: Its ornamental form is a tiny one inch (2.5 cm) long spike. Their tiny size makes them even more ideal for concealment. Some store them completely under their skin to hide them from enemies that are aware of Metamorphic Weapons. When transformed, the tiny spike extends into a 12-inch long (30.5 cm) serrated blade. Damage, M.D.C., and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
Metamorphic Sword: Its ornamental form is a long flat spike that is blunt on one end. The blunt end typically has an ornate design or carving on it. The spike is slid under the skin leaving the ornate design exposed. When transformed, the tiny spike extends into a four-foot long (1.2 m) serrated sword. Damage, M.D.C., and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
Metamorphic Two-Handed Battle Ax (The Decapitator): Its ornamental form looks like a small double-bladed ax head with two sharp spikes at the bottom of each ax blade. These two spikes are stabbed into the skin to hold the ornament in place. It is typically placed on the chest, above the heart. When transformed, it becomes a huge double-bladed battle ax with a six-foot long (1.8 m) handle. Damage, M.D.C., and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
5 to 80 P.P.E.: 2D6 M.D. damage, 75 M.D.C.
Typical Metamorphic Throwing Weapons
Metamorphic Throwing Knife: Like the dagger, its ornamental form is a tiny one inch (2.5 cm) long spike, but they are almost needle thin. They are stabbed point first into the skin, typically in rows along the forearm so they can be quickly pulled, transformed and thrown. When transformed, the tiny spike extends into a thin, 6-inch long (15.2 cm) blade. Damage, M.D.C., range, and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
Metamorphic Throwing Disc: This heavy throwing weapon does impressive damage and has a decent range. It is a favorite in Palenque and most hunters will have at least one. Its ornamental form is a thick double ended spike that is curled into a circle. It is typically worn as a nose ring. When transformed, it fuses into a solid ring. It grows to an 18-inch (45.7 cm) diameter and the entire edge becomes razor sharp. Damage, M.D.C., range, and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
Metamorphic Spear: Its ornamental form is a long and thin spike that is pointed on both ends. It curves up slightly at both ends and is typically slid under the skin so that the flesh is centered at the base of the curve. When transformed, the tiny spike straightens out and extends into a seven-foot long (2.1 m) double-ended spear. It is an excellent close range weapon and is balanced well for throwing. Damage, M.D.C., range, and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
Metamorphic Catch Spear: This is a unique thrown weapon designed more to trap the prey in place than to inflict damage. Its ornamental form is similar to the standard spear except it looks segmented, like a tiny animal spine. When transformed, the tiny spike straightens out and extends into a seven-foot long (2.1 m) double-ended spear. It still seems pretty similar to the standard spear. The difference becomes apparent when the spear hits its target. The exposed end of the spear curves itself towards the earth and then fires itself into the ground. A thin yet strong 8-foot (2.4 m) cord attaches the two halves together. The M.D.C. value of the cord is that of the entire weapon, so basically if the prey cuts itself free, it kills the weapon. The weapon uses elemental-like magic to bond the sunken spike to the very earth, making it nearly impossible to pull it free. It requires a supernatural P.S. of 55 or greater to pull the spike out of the ground. Pulling the other end out of the prey is the easier choice (requires a supernatural P.S. of 35), but it is barbed and inflicts full damage once again when it is torn free. While trapped, the prey has difficulty maneuvering and suffers penalties of -2 to strike, parry, and dodge. Damage, M.D.C., range, and bonuses are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
Typical Metamorphic Traps
Metamorphic Foot Trap: This is similar to the Metamorphic Catch Spear, but it is left in the ground for an unlucky victim to step on. Once activated, a spike is shot into the foot of the prey where it lodges itself tight. An 8-foot (2.4 m) long cord attaches the spike to another one that bonds the trap to the earth. The M.D.C. value of the cord is that of the entire weapon, so basically if the prey cuts itself free, it kills the weapon. Due to the elemental-like magic of the trap, it requires a supernatural P.S. of 55 or greater to pull the spike out of the ground. Pulling the other end out of the prey is the easier choice (requires a supernatural P.S. of 35), but it is barbed and inflicts full damage once again when it is torn free. The ornamental version looks like a spiky flower. The point at the bottom is driven into the skin to hold it. When transformed, it grows to a two-foot (0.6 m) long version of itself. The spike is driven into the ground, leaving what looks like a dead flower or weed sticking out of the earth. Even upon close inspection it does not look like anything to fear (provides a bonus of +15% to the concealment skill). This spiky ball folds in on itself as it drives into its prey and then opens back up again to secure itself in the target. While trapped, the prey has difficulty maneuvering and suffers penalties of -2 to strike, parry, and dodge. Damage and M.D.C. are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
5 to 50 P.P.E.: 1D4 M.D., 30 M.D.C.
51 to 120 P.P.E.: 1D4 M.D., 40 M.D.C.
121 to 250 P.P.E.: 2D4 M.D., 55 M.D.C.
251 to 350 P.P.E.: 2D4 M.D., 70 M.D.C.
351 to 500 P.P.E.: 3D4 M.D., 90 M.D.C.
501 to 750 P.P.E.: 3D4 M.D., 120 M.D.C.
751 to 1500 P.P.E.: 4D4 M.D., 160 M.D.C.
1501 to 2000 P.P.E.: 5D4 M.D., 210 M.D.C.
2001 to 5000 P.P.E.: 4D6 M.D., 260 M.D.C.
5001 P.P.E. and above: 5D6 M.D., 320 M.D.C.
Metamorphic Bear Trap: This trap is similar in function to the Foot Trap. It is designed to clamp onto the target’s foot or leg and hold it in place until the hunter can come and finish it off. However, this trap is designed to be far more damaging. It also is bound directly to the ground without a leash. Due to the elemental-like magic of the trap, it requires a supernatural P.S. of 55 or greater to pull the spike out of the ground. It also requires a supernatural P.S. of 60 to pry the jaws apart. The overall effect is that the captured prey is much more distracted and has even poorer maneuverability. This inflicts penalties of -4 to strike, parry, and dodge. The ornamental form looks like a tiny version of the bear trap, complete with tiny, needle like teeth and a single spike coming out of the back. It is stored teeth first on the hunter with the larger spike facing outward. The hunter can actually choose how large the trap will grow when it transforms, up to a size of five feet (1.5 m) across. Larger prey requires a larger trap, but any size increase makes it more difficult to conceal. There is no penalty at two feet (61 cm) across, but for every additional foot (30.5 cm), there is a -4% penalty to the concealment skill. Damage and M.D.C. are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
5 to 50 P.P.E.: 2D4 M.D., 30 M.D.C.
51 to 120 P.P.E.: 2D6 M.D., 40 M.D.C.
121 to 250 P.P.E.: 2D6+2 M.D., 55 M.D.C.
251 to 350 P.P.E.: 3D6+3 M.D., 70 M.D.C.
351 to 500 P.P.E.: 4D6+2 M.D., 90 M.D.C.
501 to 750 P.P.E.: 5D6 M.D., 120 M.D.C.
751 to 1500 P.P.E.: 6D6 M.D., 160 M.D.C.
1501 to 2000 P.P.E.: 1D4x10 M.D., 210 M.D.C.
2001 to 5000 P.P.E.: 1D4x10+10 M.D., 260 M.D.C.
5001 P.P.E. and above: 1D6x10 M.D., 320 M.D.C.
Metamorphic Dragon Trap: This is a kill trap. It is basically an enormous Bear Trap designed to spring up into the torso, instead of just the limb. Large daggers flip up from the trap as it closes to maximize lethality. Its ornamental form is similar to the Bear Trap except the teeth lay flat (like the when the trap is set). This means the hunter needs to stab the longer mounting spike into their flesh to store it. If the prey does survive the trap, they are stuck pretty solid. There is no leash on this trap so there is no room to maneuver. Due to the elemental-like magic of the trap, it requires a supernatural P.S. of 55 or greater to pull the spike out of the ground. However, it only requires a supernatural P.S. of 25 or greater to pry the jaws apart. This is because there is a 01-70% chance that the trap will re-engage on the poor target before it can get free. Damage and M.D.C. are based on P.P.E. from the sacrifice:
5 to 50 P.P.E.: 4D6 M.D., 15 M.D.C.
51 to 120 P.P.E.: 6D6 M.D., 22 M.D.C.
121 to 250 P.P.E.: 8D6 M.D., 32 M.D.C.
251 to 350 P.P.E.: 1D6x10 M.D., 45 M.D.C.
351 to 500 P.P.E.: 2D4x10 M.D., 60 M.D.C.
501 to 750 P.P.E.: 3D4x10 M.D., 75 M.D.C.
751 to 1500 P.P.E.: 4D4x10 M.D., 95 M.D.C.
1501 to 2000 P.P.E.: 3D6x10 M.D., 130 M.D.C.
2001 to 5000 P.P.E.: 4D6x10 M.D., 175 M.D.C.
5001 P.P.E. and above: 5D6x10 M.D., 220 M.D.C.
Commentary: As stated before, this was one of my favorite illustrations for this book. I have been watching some tutorials of Feng Zhu and wanted to do a warm up to see what my speed was as I continue to bang away on art and clearing the plate. So I warmed up on this illustration to test some brush techniques and speed painting. This was about 6.5 -7 hours in. There is still plenty I could do to it, but I reminded myself it was a test painting.