View Full Version : Attempted Re-Brewing of the Basilisk (PEACH)

2010-01-08, 11:09 PM
I know you're thinking, what's wrong with the original? The answer is, It can one-hit anything within 30 feet. As a free action. So, instead, I've changed a few things around. The notations of what, exactly, are below.

Medium Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 6d10 + 12 (45 hp)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 20 ft., climb 5 ft.
AC: 16, touch 9, flat-footed 16 (-1 Dex, +7 natural)
Base Attack/ Grapple: +6/+8
Attack: Bite +9 melee (2d6 + 3)
Full Attack: Bite +9 melee (2d6 + 3)
Space/Reach: 5ft./5ft.
Special Attacks: Petrifying Gaze
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +3
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 11
Skills: Climb +10, Hide +0*, Listen +5, Spot +5
Feats: Blind-Fight, Improved Natural Attack (Bite), Weapon Focus (bite)
Environment: Warm Deserts
Organization: Solitary or colony (3-6)
Challenge Rating: 5
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always Neutral
Advancement: 7-10 HD (medium), 11-18 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: -

Petrifying Gaze (Su): Slowed (as the spell) for 1d4 minutes on first failed save, turned to stone for 2d4 hours on second failed save, range 30 feet; Fortitude DC 13 negates. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Skills: A basilisk’s dull coloration and ability to remain motionless for long periods of time grant it a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks in natural settings. A basilisk has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. A basilisk must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC higher than 0, but it always can choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing

Speed: I gave the basilisk a climb speed because anything with eight legs should have a climb speed. Seriously. Plus this makes the basilisk into a considerably better ambush predator, dropping down on PCs from above.

Feats: I swapped out Alertness for Improved Natural Attack, making the basilisk's primary weapon a more potent threat. Taking out Great Fortitude for Weapon Focus (Bite) serves this same goal.

Petrifying Gaze: As I said above, this is a one-shot kill for the level of PCs this is meant to encounter. As a result, I weakened the original effect to a Slow effect and made the final effect temporary, hopefully giving anybody the basilisk leaves as a statue a chance to live.

All in all, I hope to make the basilisk into a monster whose main tactic is to unleash its gaze from an ambush spot and move in to attack, then once something turns to stone, make an effort to coup de grace. If this doesn't work out, this basilisk is still capable of posing a decent combat threat. Compare this to before, when the only significant threat was the threat of permanently being turned to stone.


2010-01-08, 11:37 PM
I like it in general but I think you should drop the slowed. You're already being really nice by not making the petrification permanent.

I think instead you might include a lore check that would tell the players a cure for petrification.

At 45 hp there are plenty of characters at this level who can one shot the basalisk. It has a low ac and a slow movement speed.


2010-01-10, 11:39 AM
Kudos on the basilisk. I generally like to see variations on monsters.

Since they now have a climb speed, you should give them a Climb skills at +8 racial bonus. This is standard for all creatures with a climb speed.

A creature with a climb speed has a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The creature must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC higher than 0, but it always can choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. If a creature with a climb speed chooses an accelerated climb (see above), it moves at double its climb speed (or at its land speed, whichever is slower) and makes a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. Such a creature retains its Dexterity bonus to Armor Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus to their attacks against it. It cannot, however, use the run action while climbing.


2010-01-10, 11:45 AM
Right. Forgot about that. Will do. Thanks for the criticism!

2010-01-11, 05:15 PM
I'll agree with sigurd and suggest that if you fail the save you are petrified, not slowed. More so I think 24 hours is a better duration; the thing that makes the Basilisk so scary is that one screw up and you are out of commission, if you are going to give the petrification a duration, it needs to be longer to serve as a significant detriment. 2d4 hours just isn't enough to pose a serious setback.

I do like the idea of reducing the lethality of instant incapacitation effects though. I sometimes grant PCs and BBEGs a +2-4 plot armor bonus to death magic, petrification, paralysis, and such.

2010-01-11, 07:41 PM
Actually as a variant basilisk, it doesn't need to petrify an opponent for 24 hours, but it's not a bad idea. This way if the party is low on resources, it doesn't have to expend them on a spell but can wait out the effects. 2d4 hours usually isn't critical but 24 might be. That's one where the DM can decide the duration (2d12 might be good too -- the d12 doesn't get a lot of love in this game)


2010-01-11, 07:59 PM
I'd have to disagree on your assessment of whats wrong with the original. I'd say whats wrong is the way it almost completely disregards the actual mythology of the creature. Making eye contact caused death, not petrification (and didn't have a range). It was tiny. It was quite poisonous. And some mythology even goes to say it was so toxic that the ground it passed over was blighted, unable to grow things, water sources it drank from became toxic, and if slain with a melee weapon the toxin would travel up the blade killing the wielder. Oddly a mongoose could usually kill it without trouble though it would die as a result. I also recall there being some kind of weed resistant to the basilisks toxin.
If anything, the basilisk is too weak compared to the source.
That said, if one was made that matched the source, it would likely be much too powerful. As a more manageable threat for a party of players, this looks to do rather well.


2010-01-11, 11:19 PM
I understand what you mean Debby, but I just like the idea of the basilisk being a monster that requires planning to take out, rather than brute forcing your way through it. The petrification means that even a high level party can role poorly and lose a member, and stone to flesh isn't the kind of spell that is normally memorized by PCs. By making the duration 24 hours, you make it so you keep the character out of commission for a full day unless the party can get a spell to reverse it. The 2d4 doesn't accomplish this. By using 24 hours you get the same effect as a permanent petrification against high level characters, but do not basically write off as dead a low level character. Though if the PCs don't know that the petrification has a duration, they my leave the PC behind and then when it wears off, he finds himself alone, which may well end up being a death sentence.