Eberron has living spells, magical emanations that have somehow gained sentience through some strange arcane twist, and now roam the landscape causing mayhem.
I’ve seen suggestions of living breath weapons having the same twist – dragon’s breath that’s gained a will of its own, and now travels about causing mischief.
I’ve been watching some old episodes of Star Trek recently, and after a particular moment, I was reminded of an idea I shelved a good few months ago – living weather.
Someone invariably lands or crashes on a planet/planetoid and somehow sudden weather changes occur all around them, often localized and causing issues only for them (and their compatriots unable to use the transporters to beam them out). It happens across a few episodes, but the one I was particularly watching was from the season2 episode of Star Trek Voyager called Tattoo.
Now, yes this weather could be an emanation of a nearby draconic lair or an ability of a powerful elemental, but what if that sudden change to the weather was intelligent somehow? It knows enough to do the things its particular weather pattern would do, but extremely locally. Can it be attacked other than with magic, or is this something that needs to be spoken to and bargained with?
I like the idea of a couple of small spinning balls of air harassing adventurers – let’s call them a swarm of gusts, that try to disorient their targets or at least cause a bit of nuisance for the fun of it. At more dangerous levels, there’s a full storm that only takes up a cube 20 feet to a side, but deals bludgeoning damage from debris and lightning damage from sparks of electricity.
Snowstorms are just as easy, but can a heatwave be used as living weather though? Is an intense summer day capable of being weaponized to such a degree it becomes an encounter for an adventuring party to deal with? I want to say probably, but it’s going to take a bit more of an effort to build the creatures up and see what they should do.
On the plus side, I think I have just the right place to put them once I’ve built them…