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Strange Salve: River Beast

River Beast - Gary DupuisRIVER BEAST     CR 7
XP 3,200
CN Huge magical beast (aquatic)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +10

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 10, flat-footed 18 (+1 Dex, +1 dodge, +10 natural, -2 size)
hp 76 (9d10+27)
Fort +8, Ref +9, Will +5; +2 vs. spells and spell-like abilities
Defensive Abilities evasion; DR 5/magic

OFFENSE
Speed 10 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +13 (2d6+6), 2 claws +8 (1d8+3)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks brine breath (100-ft. line, 4d8 bludgeoning, Reflex DC 20 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds; see text), emerging charge +1d6, pounce
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th; concentration +11)
3/day—invisibility (self only, water only)

TACTICS
Before Combat A river beast uses invisibility to hide in the water, positioning itself for a devastating emerging charge.
During Combat When facing multiple opponents, a river beast downs one foe and grabs another before retreating, waiting to re-engage a smaller force of enemies.
Morale River beasts flee when reduced to 13 hp or less.

STATISTICS
Str 22, Dex 13, Con 15, Int 4, Wis 14, Cha 9
Base Atk +9; CMB +17; CMD 29 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Snatch, Toughness
Skills Perception +10, Stealth -7 (+13 invisible), Swim +21; Size Modifiers -8 Stealth
SQ amphibious

ECOLOGY
Environment water (Mohkba River)
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Brine Breath (Su) The gullet of a river beast is a brew of digestive juices and water that most mistake as brine, despite the creature’s freshwater habitat. The creature can release a 100-ft. line breath weapon that deals 4d8 bludgeoning damage (Reflex DC 20 for half) as a standard action once every 1d4 rounds. A river beast automatically receives a free trip combat maneuver (that does not provoke attacks of opportunity) on any creature that fails the Reflex save to halve this damage.
Emerging Charge (Ex) A river beast can start a charge while in the water and end it on land, using its swim speed to determine the distance it can move onto land; at the end of any such charge, the river beast deals +1d6 precision damage with each attack. While in the water, a river beast can use Swim in place of Acrobatics.

 

The so-called “river beasts” only appeared in the Mohkba River this spring, and none are sure where the creatures come from. They use their supernatural talents to hide, near vessels and waiting for the right moment to make an emerging charge, slaughtering one or two sailors before using Snatch to grab one to drag down into the water as it retreats. If the ship manages to stay afloat, a river beast follows it along like wounded prey, repeating the maneuver until its had its fill.

 

5E Rules

RIVER BEAST
Huge magical beast, chaotic neutral
AC 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 59 (6d12+18)
Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
STR 19 (+4), DEX 13 (+1), CON 16 (+3), INT 4 (-3), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 9 (-1)
Skills Perception +5, Stealth +5
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons that aren’t adamantine
Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, passive Perception 15
Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
Emerging Charge. If the river beast begins its turn in water, it can move in a straight line up to its swim speed to attack a target on the ground and deal +2d6 damage to any hits against that target until the end of its turn.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The river beast makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) slashing damage
Brine Breath. (Recharge 5-6). The river beast exhales brine in a 100-foot line that is 5 feet wide. Each creature in that line must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 26 (8d6) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one (and not knocked prone).

[Developed with some helpful advice from Tom Foster and Mick Hand! -MM]

 

AdventureAWeek.com and the AaWBlog have been waiting to release some 5th Edition material for a while, but not everyone has! Take a look at Rich Howard’s numerous aquatic builds and observations, and if you’re not quite as keen to the new rule set, he’s got a great new segment on the Dungeon Master Block podcast with tips for how any player can get more out of their tabletop roleplaying game experience!

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Statblock Sunday: Eye Eater

Final-Eye Eater-C by Gary DupuisThis blue-skinned creature swiftly floats out from a bank of mists on a carpet of blue and black smoke. It grins maniacally, the one eye dominating its face pursed in anger.

Eye Eater      CR 5
XP 1,600
Medium aberration
Init +8; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +18

DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 10 (+8 Dex, +1 dodge)
hp 52 (7d8+21); fast healing 1
Fort +5, Ref +10, Will +5
Immune illusions, mind-affecting effects

OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (perfect)
Melee two slams +15 (1d4+2, Crit x3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (15 ft. eye gouges)
Special Attacks eye gouges
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +10)
constant—true seeing
at will—haunting mists, obscuring mist
1/day—plane shift (self only)

TACTICS
Before Combat The eye eater uses its spell-like abilities to confuse prey and get within reach to eye gouge.
During Combat Eye eaters do not fight to kill, they fight to maim—once a target has been deprived of an eye (or eyes; see experience palette below) the monster moves onto another. The only exception to this is when an enemy strikes an eye eater’s eye, at which point it aims to completely blinds their foe.
Morale When all creatures within its perception have been maimed, removed of an eye (or eyes), the eye eater flees.

STATISTICS
Str 15, Dex 26, Con 17, Int 16, Wis 11, Cha 8
Base Atk +7; CMB +9; CMD 28 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Combat Expertise, Dodge, Flyby Attack, Weapon Finesse
Skills Escape Artist +18, Fly +26, Intimidate +9, Perception +18, Spellcraft +13, Stealth +18, Survival +10; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Languages Common, Draconic, Elven, Dwarven, Gnome, Halfling, Undercommon
SQ experienced palette, impossible flight, sound mimicry

ECOLOGY
Environment any (Aventyr’s Underworld)
Organization solitary, pair, or murder (3-6)
Treasure double

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Impossible Flight (Ex) It is completely impossible to see what exactly keeps an eye eater aloft, and even the cunning creatures are unsure of how they achieve flight so swift and perfect.
Experienced Palette (Ex) Eye eaters are quite strange and unless their prey wounds its eye or possesses more hit dice than the eye eater, it only takes one eye per creature it encounters. Should an eye eater’s single eye get wounded (AC 27, flat-footed 18; hp 8) it is immediately healed as soon as it completes a successful eye gouge.
Eye Gouges (Ex) Within the arms of eye eaters are long tendrils ending with hooked, serrated barbs. When uncoiled (a free action) the eye eater can replace any slam attack with an eye gouge. Eye gouges have a range of 15 feet and are melee touch attacks made at a -8 penalty; on a successful hit, a tendril impales the target’s eye. At the beginning of the eye eater’s next turn any uncoiled tendrils reel back into its arms (along with any eyes impaled by them). Tendrils have an AC of 12 and 10 hit points.
Creatures with one eye suffer a -4 penalty to visual-based Perception checks. A damaged eye is restored after the barb is removed (a DC 23 Heal check) and the creature receives a cure spell or other form of magical healing.

Eye eaters are some of Aventyr’s most mysterious and malicious denizens, often found wandering the Underworld but said to frequent even the most inhospitable regions as well. Enigmatic and unfriendly to virtually all races, these monsters quick descend on camps of adventurers (typically as they rest) and assault with dashes peppered by maiming strikes before disappearing when their quarry is blooded (and short of an eye each).

 

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Statblock Sunday: Golem Liberum

Golem Liberum - JAM

As if sent askitter by an unseen gust of wind, the books in the library are thrown from their shelves. Some twirl about, airborne with pages fluttering back-and-forth, while others fall, bounce, and flip across the ground as if being pushed by an unseen force. Within moments the tomes pile, slam, and organize themselves into a haphazard stack that vaguely resembles a short humanoid form.

Golem Liberum    CR 4
XP 1,200
CN Medium construct
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft. low-light vision; Perception +0

DEFENSE
AC 22, touch 14, flat-footed 18, (+4 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 47 (5d10+20)
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +1
DR 5/—; Immune construct traits, magic (except for fire damage)
Weaknesses vulnerability to fire

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft
Melee 3 slams with bookbindings +5 (1d4 bludgeoning)
Special Attacks flurry of pages
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 18, Con —, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1
Base Atk +5; CMB +5; CMD 19
Feats Improved Initiative[B]
Languages Common, polyglot (can understand 2d4 random languages); cannot speak

ECOLOGY
Environment any (preferably a library)
Organization solitary, pair, troop (3-8)
Treasure standard + 1d6 random scrolls containing 1st- or 2nd-level arcane spells

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Flurry of Pages (Su)
As a full-round action, a golem liberum can cause pages to tear from the many tomes that comprise its body and send them in a fluttery flurry towards any target within 60 feet. The flurry of pages inflicts hundreds of tiny paper-cuts to its target dealing 1 point of bleed damage (DC 20 Reflex negates). The flurry of pages also obscures the targets vision causing them to react as if dazzled (DC 25 Will negates). A golem liberum can have only one active flurry at a time, but may move the effect to another target within 30 feet of the first affected target as a swift action.

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Statblock Sunday: Mannstirge

mannstirge - gary dupuisMannstirge            CR 3
XP 800
CN Medium aberration (chaotic)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10

DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 16, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural)
hp 22 (4d8+4)
Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +6
Defensive Abilities ferocity; Immune disease, poison

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.; fly 30 ft. (poor)
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d4-1 plus grab)
Special Attacks blood drain (1 Constitution), claw probisci, double drain

TACTICS
Before Combat Mannstirges have been known to track prey for weeks, sometimes even months, waiting to attack enemies at night when they are most vulnerable.
During Combat These creatures are cunning but single-minded, seeking to isolate targets before begining the slaughter. A mannstirge releases a creature after it has dealt 6 or more points of Constitution damage.
Morale Mannstirges wing off into the night when reduced to 10 hit points or less.

STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 20, Con 13, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 9
Base Atk +3; CMB +2 (+14 grapple); CMD 18 (26 vs. grapple)
Feats Dodge, Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +13, Fly +9, Perception +10, Stealth +13, Survival +10
Languages Common, Undercommon
SQ diseased (as a stirge), lycanthropic empathy (stirges)

ECOLOGY
Environment any, temperate and warm swamps
Organization solitary
Treasure double

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Claw Probosces (Ex) When a mannstirge hits with one of its claw attacks, proboscis protrude from within its arms and bite into the target. The mannstirge loses its Dexterity bonus to AC and has an AC of 14, but gains a +8 racial bonus to maintain its grapple on a foe. A mannstirge that takes half its remaining hit points in damage automatically releases a grapple caused this way.
Double Drain (Ex) A mannstirge that hits a creature with both claw attacks in the same turn deals double damage with its blood drain ability.
Sanguine Feast (Ex) Mannstirges gain a +1 enhancement bonus to Constitution for every 2 Constitution damage dealt to creatures through its blood drain ability. This enhancement bonuses for 10 minutes.

Few scholars have been brave enough to study the mannstirges too closely, and those that do rarely survive. Fell predators of the night, the rumors and legends of their creation are myriad—some say that mannstirges are transformed stirges so fattened they cannot fly, while others claim that werewolves beset upon by swarms of the lesser creatures are transformed into flying monstrosities. Once a mannstirge finds a suitable territory in which to feed, it continues to attack prey there until killed or driven off from its lair.

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Statblock Sunday: Lightning Wasp

Final-Wasp-C

Lightning Wasp     CR 1
XP 400
CN Diminutive vermin
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception -1

DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 19, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 size)
hp 3 (1d8-1)
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will -1
Immune electricity, vermin traits

OFFENSE
Speed fly 40 ft. (good)
Melee sting +9 (1-5+1d4 electric)
Ranged lightning stinger +9 (1d4 electric, Range 20 ft.)
Special Attacks lightning swarm, lightning zap

STATISTICS
Str 1, Dex 20, Con 8, Int —, Wis 8, Cha 7
Base Atk +0; CMB -9; CMD 11 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Weapon Finesse

ECOLOGY
Environment any non-cold
Organization solitary, pair, fury (3-8), maelstrom (9-16)
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Lightning Stinger (Ex) A lightning wasp can fire a bolt of electricity from its stinger at creatures within 20 feet of it. Any target wearing metal armor takes additional damage (medium armor +1 electric damage, heavy armor +2 electric damage).
Lightning Swarm (Ex) A lightning wasp deals +1 electric damage with its sting and lightning zap for every lightning wasp adjacent to it.
Lightning Zap (Ex) Any creature that hits a lightning wasp in melee combat using a natural attack or metallic weapon takes 1d4 electric damage. Creatures grappling a lightning wasp take 1d4 electric damage on the first turn and 1 electric damage each turn spent grappling it.

Lightning wasps are curious creatures that can appear anywhere throughout Aventyr, though they almost always emerge from particularly vicious storms. The unnatural buzzing of their sizeable wings creates a drone throughout the air that roils like thunder as a maelstrom of lightning wasps descends on an area to hunt, scorching the land aflame with their electrified stingers before moving on to wreck havoc elsewhere.

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Statblock Sunday (Macabre Manses): Ipalolo Devil

ilpalalo devilA smooth bone covers the front of this creature’s head, a pair of slender wings folded neatly behind its back. The void of facial features gives off a chilling presence as you gaze upon it.

Silent Devil (Ipalolo) CR 11
XP 12,800
LE Medium outsider (devil, evil, extraplanar, lawful)
Init +9; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; see in darkness; Perception +12
Aura unholy (20 ft., DC 26)

DEFENSE
AC 28, touch 12, flat-footed 26 (+2 Dex, +16 natural)
hp 154 (14d10+70) fast healing 3
Fort +14; Ref +6; Will +14
DR 5/good; Immune silence, cold; SR 19

OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 claws +19 (2d6+6, Crit 17-20/x2), tail slap +14 (1d6+6)
Special Attacks silencing touch (Will 22 DC)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +17)
At will—deeper darkness
5/day—improved invisibility, suggestion
2/day—summon (level 4, 2d4 hello hounds 90%)

TACTICS
Before Combat Ipalolo devils usually hide in wait, offering what the victim wants most, hoping for the creature to turn against it own before summoning a lesser creature to attack enemies first.
During Combat If no prey take its bait, the ipalolo devil strikes shortly after its summoned creatures attack, targeting good-aligned casters to silence them, methodically wiping out spellcasters first. With each death the ipalolo devil tries again to bargain with the remaining creatures for what they most desire.
Morale Ipalolo devils fight until below 30 health before fleeing.

STATISTICS
Str 23, Dex 14, Con 18, Int 20, Wis 18, Cha 15
Base Atk +13; CMB +19; CMD 26
Feats  Critical Focus, Critical Bleeding, Flyby Attack, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Vital Strike, Skill Focus (stealth), Vital Strike
Skills Acrobatics +19, Bluff +19, Diplomacy +19,  Fly +19, Intimidate +19, Knowledge (arcana) +21, Knowledge (planes) +21, Perception +20, Spellcraft +21, Stealth +25, Survival +20
Languages Celestial, Infernal, Undercommon;  telepathy 100 ft.

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Silencing Touch (Su) The ability functions as the spell silence except that is targets a single target instead of an area. The silenced creature is not immuned from sonic- or language-based attacks, spells, and effects. This ability is included in all melee attacks the Ipalolo devil makes, and directly bypasses spell resistance.
Wicked Claws (Ex) An ipalolo devil’s claws are abominably sharp and deadly, dealing 2d6 slashing damage on a successful hit and possessing a natural critical threat range of 19-20/x2.

Ipalolo devils serve directly under dukes or counts of hell, largely so that they may sow distrust among the lesser creatures of the planes. These creatures love the feeling that washes over them when they’ve successfully convinced comrades to fight each other to win what they want most from life, regardless of what that might be. Ipalolo devils are solitary creature enjoying silence most in life (aside from initiated squabbles). It is not known if the smooth bone over the ipalolo devil’s face is its own, or a mask the creatures like to wear.