View Full Version : Ooze Lich

2007-02-21, 08:50 PM
A discussion of the Cthulhu mythos over in the general Gaming forum got me thinking about Lovecraft's old "Dunwich Horror" story, in which an old wizard gets Shub-Niggurath, the black goat in the woods, to impregnate his daughter.

I've had a special class of wizards in my campaign for a while that specialize in chaos-magic (essentially magic dealing in Lovecraftian aberrations, but also associated with the elements untamed by form and order). That places necromancy beyond their ken, and I got to thinking what kind of perverse form might such a wizard employ to extend his life, on par with the necromantic powers employed to turn a cleric or wizard into a lich.

My answer: the Spawn of Niggurath, a creature formed by merging an ooze-body with the Wizard's own body,

Bigger'n a barn... all made o' squirmin' ropes... hull thing sort o' shaped like a hen's egg bigger'n anything with dozens o' legs like hogs-heads that haff shut up when they step... nothin' solid abaout it - all like jelly, an' made o' sep'rit wrigglin' ropes pushed clost together... great bulgin' eyes all over it... ten or twenty maouths or trunks a-stickin' aout all along the sides, big as stove-pipes an all a-tossin' an openin' an' shuttin'... all grey, with kinder blue or purple rings... an' Gawd it Heaven - that haff face on top... the half-face being the distended and gigantic remains of the Wizard's original countenance.

Here's my writeup, based closely on the Lich template from the MM, with appropriate modifications. I'd appreciate any comments on in-world logic or game balance. My aim was that the template be approximately equal in power to the Lich template, so comment accordingly. At present, I'm particularly concerned about whether I did right to remove its power to use weapons, while allowing it to retain the power to employ use-activated and spell-trigger magic items:

Spawn of Niggurath
A Spawn of Niggurath is a spellcaster who has taken on a new, immortal ooze body—a near-equivalent of a lich in power. A Spawn of Niggurath has a tentacled and amorphous body, its face stretched horribly across what would ordinarily be its back. But, thankfully, it is ordinarily invisible to sight.

Spawns of Niggurath speak Common plus any other languages they knew in life.

Creating A Spawn of Niggurath
"Spawn of Niggurath" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature), provided it can create the required base body (by creating a gibbering mouther and growing into a chaos beast).

A Spawn of Niggurath has all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type
The creature’s type changes to ooze (immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, polymorph, stunning, critical hits, flanking). Do not recalculate base attack bonus, saves, or skill points. Size becomes huge.

Hit Dice
Increase all current and future Hit Dice to d10s.

Armor Class
A Spawn of Niggurath gains no special armor bonus.

A Spawn of Niggurath has a slam attack which does additional acid damage, but it loses any other natural weapons or any ability to use other weapons.

Full Attack
A Spawn of Niggurath can use its slam attack up to six times per round as a full attack, but no more than one attack on a single opponent.

The slam attack of a Spawn of Niggurath does 2d6 damage + an additional 2d6 acid damage.

Special Attacks
A Spawn of Niggurath loses any special attacks related to the base creature’s physical anatomy (poison, etc.) but gains those described below. Save DCs are equal to 10 + ½ SoN’s HD + SoN’s Cha modifier unless otherwise noted.

Fear Aura (Su)
Though invisible, a Spawn of Niggurath radiates a strong aura of the preternatural and unwholesome. Creatures of less than 5 HD in a 60-foot radius must succeed on a Will save or be affected as though by a fear spell from a sorcerer of the SoN’s level. A creature that successfully saves cannot be affected again by the same SoN’s aura for 24 hours.

Horrifying Anatomy (Su)
Any creature that isn’t mindless or devoted to the worship of Primal Chaos which sees a Spawn of Niggurath (after it’s invisibility has been dispelled, for instance) must make a Will save or be driven temporarily insane (as the spell Confusion, for # rounds = SoN’s level)

A Spawn of Niggurath can cast any spells it could cast while alive.

Wand other Magic Item use
A Spawn of Niggurath can employ any spell-trigger or use-activated item. But it cannot employ items (such as armor or rings or helms) which take up a body slot. Nor can it employ weapons.

Special Qualities
A Spawn of Niggurath retains all the base creature’s special qualities and gains those described below.

Invisibility (Su)
A Spawn of Niggurath’s body is composed of chaos-matter which doesn’t interact properly with light. (Spot check of DC 20-30 required to target from 30 ft, 50% miss chance)

Damage Reduction (Su)
A Spawn of Niggurath’s ooze-body is amorphous, giving the creature damage reduction 15/bludgeoning. Its natural weapons are treated as magic weapons for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Immunities (Ex)
A Spawn of Niggurath has immunity to cold, electricity, polymorph (though it can use polymorph effects on itself), and mind-affecting attacks.

Increase from the base creature as follows: Str+4, Dex-4, Con+8.

Same as the base creature.

Solitary or troupe (1 Spawn of Niggurath, plus 2-4 chaos beasts and 5-8 gibbering mouthers).

Challenge Rating
Same as the base creature + 2.

Standard coins; double goods; double items.

Any evil.

By character class.

Level Adjustment
Same as the base creature +4.

2007-02-21, 08:59 PM
Creating A Spawn of Niggurath
"Spawn of Niggurath" is an acquired template that can be added to any humanoid creature (referred to hereafter as the base creature), provided it can create the required base body (by creating a gibbering mouther and growing into a chaos beast).

How does that work?

2007-02-21, 09:41 PM
Love love love the fluff! I'm almost certainly going to yoink this or some minor variant of it. The idea of a recurring chaos-flavored bad guy recurring at a higher level as a Jabba-the-hutt-esque ooze of evil is just damned awesome.

I don't think taking away weapon use is a big deal. It certainly fits with the fluff, and if this is something that a wizard is doing to himself, it's not like he's likely to be a melee-monster. Heck, you could even allow additional non-weapon items to be used, since as I picture it he can kind of grow whatever appendages he likes in order to use them.

Given that Jabba the Hutt is my first image (though I know it's not quite accurate), do you maybe think you should reduce his movement? I don't picture him as very mobile. Perhaps give him some telepathic ability instead (I picture him in the middle of his castle (or whatever), dispensing orders to his minions and not moving much.

Also, since he is an ooze, perhaps give him the ability to split into pieces by piercing/slashing weapons rather than the damage reduction. If each piece could cast spells every round (though still be limited by his total number of spells)...(shudder)...nasty. Of course, why wouldn't he just sit around in pieces all the time? Perhaps after some fairly short amount of time (an hour?) the ancilary pieces die if not rejoined (perhaps resulting in permanent HP loss that can only be restored by restoration/heal)?

Just some thoughts. Love it the way it is!

2007-02-22, 08:07 AM
Thanks for your enthusiasm. Growing a Chaos Beast from a Gibbering Mouther is just fluff, of course, part of how I set up my campaign. Neither creature is naturally-occuring.

cferejohn, you're right. I forgot about reducing movement (set move = 15") and I also forgot to add an engulf attack.

I'm intrigued by the idea that slashing weapons cut off pieces that can cast spells independently (along the lines of the Black Pudding's Split SQ). I'll have to consider that; the trick is whether this enhances or undercuts the fluff. Lovecraft's ooze creatures have an anatomy (often tentacled and horrific, reminiscent of invertebrates like jellyfish, really, only lacking any sane symmetry) whereas D&D's ooze creatures have none (recalling the monsters from 50's Sci Fi movies like the Blob).