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jiriku
2009-10-06, 03:56 PM
Alright, low-level adventuring party explores a ruin in a jungle, finds gigantic magical artifact, but lacks the resources to haul it away. Patron NPC who hired them now hires the PCs, a higher level party, to take possession of the artifact and bring it back to civilization.

Players arrive to find that the low-level party was poking around in the lower levels of the ruin in the meantime, and accidently released That Which Had Been Better Left Alone. It killed them all. The players must secure the area before they can haul off the artifact.

I need a solo monster, or perhaps a group of 2-3 similar monsters. About CR 8-10, bonus points if you can include elements of one or more of the following:

cosmic horror (a la cthulhu mythos)
serpentine features (the ruin is of a yuan-ti civilization)
odd monster (something players won't immediately recognize)
tricky combatant (not just a simple melee brute)
no insta-kill effects (I try to avoid using save-or-die effects on PCs)

Any suggestions? Templates and advanced monster HD are fine.

gdiddy
2009-10-06, 04:24 PM
A Grick that has PC Fighter levels and rides on a Rust monster mount.

They will need new pants and you may need to buy new chairs.

Lapak
2009-10-06, 04:32 PM
Take an eight-headed Hydra. Re-fluff the stats such that instead of heads it has horrible tentacles with slashing ridges on them and ramp up the horrifying aspect of the description.

Increase Intelligence to Average, give it a couple of levels in Barbarian, and make good use of its Swim speed to ambush the players and/or come at them from unexpected places.

jiriku
2009-10-06, 04:45 PM
Take an eight-headed Hydra. Re-fluff the stats such that instead of heads it has horrible tentacles with slashing ridges on them and ramp up the horrifying aspect of the description.

Increase Intelligence to Average, give it a couple of levels in Barbarian, and make good use of its Swim speed to ambush the players and/or come at them from unexpected places.

Ooooo me likey!

Iku Rex
2009-10-06, 04:55 PM
A darktentacles (MM2, CR 7) would work. Throw a template or two on it to make it more powerful. Suggestions: Monster of Legend (MM2, +2), pseudonatural (CArc, +1) and/or winged (SavSpec, +1).

Cieyrin
2009-10-06, 05:06 PM
Ruin Elemental from MMV is a CR 10 that could be right up your alley. It's not exactly common, could conceivably be locked up in a ruin without having to worry about organic food supplies (if you care to have logical explanations for creatures being in places and it can look like anything you care to, as it's built of fallen masonry, which would probably be the Yuan-ti architecture. It's kinda brutish but it does ranged combat surprisingly well, plus it can cause shock waves to push around and knock people flat on their backs, so it can go forth and beat down people with impunity.

Them's my 2 coppers. Take as you will.

ShadowsGrnEyes
2009-10-06, 05:47 PM
Take a Yuan-Ti abomination out of the MM1 and add the "half farspawned" template out of lords of madness. Which will put it at an attractive 9 cr i think.

If you really want to spice up the horrow aspect of it throw the dark template(out of tome of magic) on top of that.

Now you have an Serpent monster with tentacles, spell like abilities, increased stats and speed, that can hide in plain sight and turn itself into a mass of writhing tentales for a beautiful CR10. You wont need extra monsters after that.

. . . ooh add swarm shifter too and it can also transform into a swarm of snakes. . . (overlook the undead requirement)

Thurbane
2009-10-06, 08:16 PM
Take a Yuan-Ti abomination out of the MM1 and add the "half farspawned" template out of lords of madness. Which will put it at an attractive 9 cr i think.
Exactly what I was going to suggest. :smallbiggrin:

Yuan-ti make awesome baddies, and the Lovecraftian Half-farspawn template reeks of awesome. I might stat this up when I'm back at my books...

Zeta Kai
2009-10-06, 08:49 PM
Take this monster (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5024872#post5024872) & re-fluff it to pure hateful evil. Lure your players to an evil church to fight the cultists inside, only to spring on them the horror of the cathedral itself trying to kill them. They will never know what hit them, & it fits almost all of your criteria (it may be a tad strong @ CR13).

evil-frosty
2009-10-06, 08:58 PM
You could take a few Yuan-ti (preferably w/ class levels) and just add the pseudonatural template to them and you can just give them the right description to get the horror effect.

arguskos
2009-10-06, 09:04 PM
If you want something that's a pretty scary melee combatant, take a peek at the Voor from MMIV. It's insane scary in combat against anything it can reach, and it's got good reach. Think about it. :smallwink:

Thurbane
2009-10-07, 01:58 AM
Large Outsider (Native)

Hit Dice: 9d8+54 (94hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), climb 20 ft., swim 20 ft.
Armor Class: 24 (-1 size, +2 Dex, +13 natural)
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+18
Full Attack: Masterwork falchion +14/+9 melee (2d6+7/18-20) and bite +11 melee (2d6+2 plus poison) and 2 tentacles +11 melee (1d6+2) or masterwork composite longbow (+5 Str bonus) +11/+6 ranged (2d6+5/X3)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks: Aversion, constrict 1d6+7, improved grab, poison, produce acid, spell-like abilities, true strike
Special Qualities: Alternate form, blindsight 60 ft., chameleon power, change shape, damage reduction 5/magic, darkvision 60 ft., detect poison, immunity to poison, resistance to acid 10 and electricity 10, scent, spell resistance 19
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +8, Will +13
Abilities: Str 21, Dex 15, Con 23, Int 20, Wis 24, Cha 20
Skills: Bluff +11, concentration +18, hide +10*, intimidate +13, knowledge (the planes) +17, knowledge (arcana) +17, listen +19, move silently +14, sense motive +13, spellcraft +13, spot +19, tumble +8, use magic device +11
Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Mobility, Multiattack
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: Double standard
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Level Adjustment: +11

Spell-Like Abilities: At will - animal trance (DC 17), entangle (DC 16); 3/day - blink, blur, deeper darkness, neutralize poison, suggestion (DC 18); 1/day - baleful polymorph (DC 20), greater invisibility, stinking cloud (DC 18), touch of idiocy (DC 17).

jiriku
2009-10-07, 01:01 PM
Wow! There's too much good stuff here to use! I'm gonna have to pick one of these and save some of the others for other encounters. Thanks everyone, these are sweet!

I don't have Lords of Madness, so I'm not familiar with the half-farspawn template, but I gather that it's similar to the pseudonatural template? I'm noticing alternate form and true strike, plus the damage reduction and magic resistance. Plus...invisibility, darkness casting and stench...[shudder].

Gnorman
2009-10-07, 04:46 PM
If you want something that's a pretty scary melee combatant, take a peek at the Voor from MMIV. It's insane scary in combat against anything it can reach, and it's got good reach. Think about it. :smallwink:

And the advanced Dreadful Lasher version is... drum roll please... CR 9!

Voors. Are. Awesome. Multiattacking rending clawing shredding tentacling xenomorphic awesomeness. Plus a climb speed, so they can traipse around all the fallen pillars and rubble with ease.

Dingle100
2009-10-07, 07:36 PM
How about a Gargoyle with attitude
After it casted the entangle the lower level party would not know what hit them. They would be pin cushioned in no time.


Gargoyle (Medium Monstrous humanoid)
Ranger level 6 (skill points 30) Dungeon Crawler
Hit die: 4d8+6d8+40(88hp)
Init: 4
Speed: 40,fly 60,swim 0,climb 0,burrow 0
AC: 20 +2 No Armour, +0 Shield, none
AC flat footed :16
AC Touch: 14
Base Attack/Grapple: 10/14
Attack: +14 Claw 1d4+4 Crit(20-20)X2
or +18 (+2/+2) Longbow ,Composite 1d8+7 Crit(20-20)X2
Full attack: +14 Claw 1d4+4
+14 Claw 1d4+4 Crit(20-20)X2
+12 Bite 1d6+2 Crit(20-20)X2
or +16/16/11 (+2/+2) Longbow ,Composite 1d8+7(range 110)
Space/Reach: 5/5
Special Attacks:
Favored enemy Number of Favored enemies = 2
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/magic, Darkvision 60, Other freeze DC20 spot to see if gargoyle is alive,
Animal Companion
Track Gains Track as a bonus Feat
Wild Empathy Improve attitude of an animal
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +13, Will +6
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 11, Chr 7
Skills: Hide 14, Jump 6, Know dungeon 1, Listen 6, Move Silently 14, Search 1, Spot 6, Survival 9
Feats: Many Shot, Rapid Shot, Armour prof light, Endurance, Hover, Martial Weap Prof, Multiattack, Point Blank Shot, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency, Toughness, Track, Weapon focus(ranged),
CR: 10
Spells Known:
Ranger
Spells
Level 1 (1) DC 11
Entangle(Transmutation)[ ] X 1
V,S,DF rng: Long 400ft + 40ft / level Dur: 1 min./level (D)
SV Reflex partial; see text Area: Plants in a 40-ft.-radius spread




MAGIC ITEMS (max value 16000)

Ring of Protection (+2) +2 AC (8000gp)
Ranged Magic (+2) +2 to Hit/ +2 Dam (8000gp)

Total Value = 16000
http://www.dinglesgames.com/

Masaioh
2009-10-07, 09:01 PM
Twilight Troll
Large Giant (Earth)
Hit Dice: 10d8+50 (95 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 40 ft. in hide armor (8 squares); base speed 50 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Armor Class: 21, touch 10, flat-footed 20 (-1 size, +2 dex, +8 natural, +3 hide)
Base Attack/Grapple: +7/+17
Attack: +2 Heavy Flail +14 melee (2d8+11/19-20) or slam +12 melee (1d8+11)
Full Attack: +2 Heavy Flail +14/+9 (2d8+11/19-20) or 2 slams +12 melee (1d8+11)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft.
Special Attacks:
Special Qualities: Low-light vision, darkvision 120 ft., tremorsense 120 ft., light blindness, spell resistance 11, immunity to acid
Saves: Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +5
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 10
Skills: Listen +13, Spot +13
Feats: Power Attack, Cleave, Great Cleave, Ultimate Cleave
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral evil
Advancement: By character class
Favored Class: Barbarian
Level Adjustment:

I made this monster for one of my campaigns. It is meant to serve as a beast of burden, so perhaps you could have it in shackles, being led by a Yuan-ti? It would be interesting to have a huge beatstick to fight while a Yuan-ti caster hurls spells at the PCs.

I never wrote a formal description for the thing, so here goes: It resembles a Troll, about 10-12 ft. in height and quite thin. It has black skin coated in a sort of mucus-like substance that is mildly corrosive to other matter, but not corrosive enough to be harmful to PCs. It also has long white hair, similar to Drow (actually a sort of evolutionary dead end).

When you describe the thing, specifically mention that is resembles a Troll, so that the party will think 'OMG it's weakness is acid!'. You can even give it immunity to fire, saying that the mucus-like substance on it's skin won't catch fire or something.

Ormagoden
2009-10-08, 02:13 PM
how could you ignore the rust monster riding Grick!

jiriku
2009-10-08, 02:27 PM
how could you ignore the rust monster riding Grick!

Hahahaha! I'm sorry, I just can't be afraid of something that looks like a half-moth armadillo with a propeller mounted on the end of its tail.