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Temotei
2014-03-13, 04:41 AM
Quagmire Stalker
Medium Aberration (Aquatic)
Hit Dice 6d8+6 (33 hp)
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), swim 40 ft.
Initiative: +4
Armor Class 17 (+4 Dex, +3 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple +4/+8
Attack Bite +8 melee (1d6+4 plus poison)
Full-Attack Bite +8 melee (1d6+4 plus poison) and 2 claws +3 melee (1d4+2 plus poison)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks Marsh haunting, poison, silent exhalation
Special Qualities Darkvision 60 ft., formless, low-light vision, natural invisibility
Saves Fort +3, Ref +6, Will +6
Abilities Str 19, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 13, Cha 7
Skills Concentration +10, Hide +6, Listen +10, Move Silently +22*, Spot +10, Survival +14*, Swim +18
Feats Power Attack, Skill Focus (Move Silently), Stealthy, TrackB
Environment Warm marsh
Organization Solitary, pair, knot (3-8)
Challenge Rating 5
Treasure Half standard
Alignment Always chaotic evil
Advancement 7-18 HD (Medium); 19-30 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment

Fear is the greatest enemy. Get a hold of yourself...every time I take a step I swear I see something out of the corner of my eye moving in the water, but when I look, nothing is there and the water is still. I have to get out of this damnable marsh, but...for some reason, this heat just won't let up. I won't survive for much longer without cooling off, and I don't think I'll get out before that happens. I dread going toward the water, but it seems I have no option. - Adventurer's Journal

A quagmire stalker is the silent death of the marsh, borne from the side effects of black magic and witchery. Evil drives this being, its main desire to kill anything that wanders too close to its home--a body of water deep in marshland, which it never leaves. Because of this, life around a quagmire stalker's home is basically nonexistent, creating an unsettling silent atmosphere.

A character particularly attuned to nature may be able to make a Knowledge (nature) or Survival check to notice how lifeless it is surrounding a body of water containing a quagmire stalker. The Survival check's DC should probably be 15 (or 17 if you use the 10 + 1/2 HD + Int modifier formula as above for the Spot check in silent exhalation), while the Knowledge (nature) check should probably be around DC 20 (or, again, 17 if you use the 10 + 1/2 HD + Int modifier formula).

Upon killing a creature, a quagmire stalker makes a cursory check for various measures of wealth and often uses these coins and items as further bait for greedy wanderers if it cannot force them to enter its abode.

Spells such as see invisibility and even true seeing reveal only an outline of a shape of a twisted and bent humanoid, though it weaves and sways as if its entire form is moving with a blowing wind. However, its eyes are clear to the observer--pitch black, six in number, and locked on to its prey. These are the only parts of its body that don't move.

A quagmire stalker has a height between 3 and 6 feet tall, varying moment to moment, but is completely weightless regardless of its height.

Combat

Formless (Ex)
A quagmire stalker has no real form, and spells such as see invisibility and even true seeing reveal only an amorphous outline. Any attacks against the quagmire stalker still have a 20% miss chance even when it is seen in this manner.

Marsh Haunting (Su)
As a standard action, a quagmire stalker can designate a single creature within 100 feet to become extremely uncomfortable in the marsh heat. The designated creature must make a DC 17 Will save or be compelled to take off any armor or clothing it is wearing and attempt to cool off in the quagmire stalker's resident body of water for 1 minute (or more, if the character wills it). Creatures affected by the endure elements spell gain a +4 bonus on their saving throw against this effect, while those immune to feeling heat or fire altogether are immune. A successful Will save simply makes the target feel uneasy--perhaps even a little paranoid--though it is immune to future compulsions from the quagmire stalker for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save DC is Intelligence-based.

Natural Invisibility (Su)
This ability is constant, allowing a quagmire stalker to remain invisible even when attacking. This ability is inherent and not subject to the invisibility purge spell.

Poison (Ex)
Injury, Fortitude DC 14, initial damage 1d6 Str, secondary damage 2d6 Str. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Silent Exhalation (Su)
As a full-round action, a quagmire stalker slowly lets the target's breath out, beginning to drown a creature that has entered the same body of water it resides in, though the creature doesn't know it is drowning; rather, it feels relaxed and cool, finally getting a nice reprieve from the harsh heat of the marsh. A quagmire stalker must maintain concentration on drowning the creature as a standard action each round, and therefore cannot drown more than a single target at once. Onlookers don't notice anything out of the ordinary until the target creature falls unconscious. When this happens, each witness may make a DC 17 Spot check each round until the creature dies to notice the creature hasn't simply fallen asleep sitting upright (this is an exception to the rule of creatures going prone upon becoming unconscious). When the target drowns, onlookers realize the creature is dead without Spot checks.

Skills
A quagmire stalker has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line. *A quagmire stalker gains a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently and Survival checks when in the water.


Adventure Hooks

Patrols in a nearby marshland town have been disappearing more and more frequently.

A witch hunter is going out on a hunt in the hot marsh less than a day's walk from here. She invites you to join her if you're up to the task of facing forbidden magics. She says that the locals believe the swamp is cursed with something far worse than witches.

You find an explorer's journal half-buried in the peat of a marsh. It details the explorer's descent into paranoia and madness as he was unable to find a way out and continually felt the need to bathe in the marsh waters.

Debihuman
2014-03-13, 05:30 AM
What is lifeless waters in special qualities?

If it is making concentration checks, why isn't concentration one of its skills?

Debby

Inevitability
2014-03-13, 12:04 PM
If it is making concentration checks, why isn't concentration one of its skills?


Concentrating on something and making concentration checks are two different things. The first is simply spending a standard action each round, in order to keep some effect going. The second is often used by spellcasters, and allows you to cast defensively, or resist a blow you take while casting a spell.

Temotei
2014-03-13, 11:45 PM
What is lifeless waters in special qualities?

Oops. A legacy of an edit. The DM note used to be a special quality, but it felt awkward as such.


If it is making concentration checks, why isn't concentration one of its skills?

Debby


Concentrating on something and making concentration checks are two different things. The first is simply spending a standard action each round, in order to keep some effect going. The second is often used by spellcasters, and allows you to cast defensively, or resist a blow you take while casting a spell.

Yus.

Debihuman
2014-03-14, 01:04 AM
Concentration checks aren't just for spellcasters.

From Concentration Skill: "You must make a Concentration check whenever you might potentially be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action that requires your full attention." Since the quagmire stalker has to maintain concentration to drown a creature, it would potentially have to make a skill check to see if it can be distracted from this.

"A quagmire stalker must maintain concentration on drowning the creature as a standard action each round, and therefore cannot drown more than a single target at once."

For symmetry, it helps to have creatures gain a size when they double their HD. 7-12 HD (Large), 13-18 HD (Huge) for example. If you want to bump at Medium size, then 7-11 HD (Medium), 12-22 HD (Large) also works.

Debby

Temotei
2014-04-20, 12:29 PM
Concentration checks aren't just for spellcasters.

From Concentration Skill: "You must make a Concentration check whenever you might potentially be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action that requires your full attention." Since the quagmire stalker has to maintain concentration to drown a creature, it would potentially have to make a skill check to see if it can be distracted from this.

Concentration added as a skill, along with a slightly higher Intelligence score (and therefore slightly more difficult save DCs).

Debihuman
2014-04-21, 08:19 AM
See below for the rules on Drowning because it conflicts with the Silent Exhalation Special Ability. These should work together to make sense.

It doesn't take a Spot check to see someone has fallen unconscious. The target falls over prone. That is usually enough to attract attention. Since it only takes one round to go from unconscious to dying, the Spot check doesn't make a lot of sense. However, it should take a Spot check to notice the target isn't breathing normally before that.


Drowning
Any character can hold her breath for a number of rounds equal to twice her Constitution score. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check every round in order to continue holding her breath. Each round, the DC increases by 1. See also: Swim skill description.

When the character finally fails her Constitution check, she begins to drown. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hp). In the following round, she drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she drowns.

While this version of Silent Exhalation is more complicated, it works better with the rules on drowning. I tried to keep to your original text as much as possible. Edit. I also incorporated how healing works with drowning for completeness' sake.

Silent Exhalation (Su): As a full-round action, a quagmire stalker slowly lets the target's breath out, beginning to drown a target that has entered the same body of water that it resides in. For every round a quagmire stalker maintains its concentration, its victim must make a DC 10 Constitution check to hold its breath and each round the DC increases by 1. During this time, the target feels relaxed and cool, finally getting a nice reprieve from the harsh heat of the marsh and is unaware that anything is amiss. The target can talk while losing its breath but takes a -1 penalty to its Concentration check each round to do so.

A quagmire stalker must maintain concentration on drowning its target as a standard action each round, and therefore cannot drown more than a single target at once. Once the target fails its Constitution check, it falls unconscious (0 hit points). In the following round, the target drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, the target drowns.

Anyone within 20 feet of the affected target may make a DC 17 Spot check to notice the target isn't breathing properly. Creatures that do not breathe are unaffected by this ability.

An unconscious target that is removed from the water automatically stabilizes but does not regain lost hit points. A dying target must first be given First Aid before it stabilizes. A successful Heal check (DC 15) stabilizes the target.

Debby

Temotei
2014-04-24, 06:54 PM
See below for the rules on Drowning because it conflicts with the Silent Exhalation Special Ability. These should work together to make sense.

I'm...not seeing how they conflict. The drowning rules still function the same.


It doesn't take a Spot check to see someone has fallen unconscious. The target falls over prone. That is usually enough to attract attention.

Considering the target is relaxing in a pool of water, they're pretty much already prone. If they aren't, it's not a stretch to imagine the quagmire stalker holding them up and maybe slowly (and quietly) bringing them down after unconsciousness.


Since it only takes one round to go from unconscious to dying, the Spot check doesn't make a lot of sense.

The Spot check is made before death. No Spot check is necessary after death, not dying status.


However, it should take a Spot check to notice the target isn't breathing normally before that.

This might be a better time to use a Spot check, yeah. I think I'll change that when I get back later tonight.

Debihuman
2014-04-30, 04:04 AM
I'm...not seeing how they conflict. The drowning rules still function the same.

You left out the part where the victim had to make a DC check to hold his breath to avoid drowning. In fact, you left out the save altogether so it was either an oversight or you were disregarding the rule.



Considering the target is relaxing in a pool of water, they're pretty much already prone. If they aren't, it's not a stretch to imagine the quagmire stalker holding them up and maybe slowly (and quietly) bringing them down after unconsciousness.

Relaxing in a pool generally means the target is sitting upright, possibly leaning back; falling prone means the target has fallen face first into a pool of water. That's not relaxing, that's drowning.



The Spot check is made before death. No Spot check is necessary after death, not dying status.

I suppose. I think anyone looking at the victim would see he's fallen prone into the water.



This might be a better time to use a Spot check, yeah. I think I'll change that when I get back later tonight.

Looking forward to your edit.

Debby

JeminiZero
2014-04-30, 09:01 AM
Marsh Haunting (Su)
As a standard action, a quagmire stalker can designate a single creature within 100 feet to become extremely uncomfortable in the marsh heat. The designated creature must make a DC 17 Will save or be compelled to take off any armor or clothing it is wearing and attempt to cool off in the quagmire stalker's resident body of water for 1 minute (or more, if the character wills it). A successful Will save simply makes the target feel uneasy--perhaps even a little paranoid--though it is immune to future compulsions from the quagmire stalker for 24 hours. The save DC is Intelligence-based.

There should be a note somewhere that this is mind-affecting (or at least it looks mind-affecting to me). Perhaps state that it works like the Suggestion spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/suggestion.htm), except that it can only suggest the designated creature take off armor or clothing and attempt to cool off in the water.

Also, how does it interact with magical protection against heat? Things like endure elements, fire resistance, or even outright fire immunity? Would say, a fire elemental who failed his save, decide to jump into the water?

Temotei
2014-04-30, 03:25 PM
You left out the part where the victim had to make a DC check to hold his breath to avoid drowning. In fact, you left out the save altogether so it was either an oversight or you were disregarding the rule.

Ah, I see. The terminology for drowning sucks, frankly. Second paragraph, it says "the creature begins to drown." That's what I was running off of, disregarding the ability to hold its breath. Maybe it's a bit too harsh, though?


Relaxing in a pool generally means the target is sitting upright, possibly leaning back; falling prone means the target has fallen face first into a pool of water. That's not relaxing, that's drowning.

I'll make it clearer what I was picturing with the edits.


I suppose. I think anyone looking at the victim would see he's fallen prone into the water.

WHAT'S GOING ON OH HE'S JUST LYING FACE DOWN IN WATER NBD
-- Standard adventurer

But actually, I'll fix this.


There should be a note somewhere that this is mind-affecting (or at least it looks mind-affecting to me). Perhaps state that it works like the Suggestion spell (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/suggestion.htm), except that it can only suggest the designated creature take off armor or clothing and attempt to cool off in the water.

It is now mind-affecting and noted as such.


Also, how does it interact with magical protection against heat? Things like endure elements, fire resistance, or even outright fire immunity? Would say, a fire elemental who failed his save, decide to jump into the water?

Good points. Added a bit about endure elements providing a bonus on the saving throw and complete immunity for those more accustomed to the heat.

Debihuman
2014-05-02, 04:42 AM
With Silent Exhalation, do targets get a save to avoid drowning or not? It's not stated one way or the other.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that a weightless creature can have a 19 Str.

Debby