Huge Magical Beast
12d10+72 (138 hp)
20 ft. (4 squares), Climb 20 ft.
23 (-2 size, +2 Dex, +13 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 21
Boar Gore +15 melee (4d6+2) and Dog Bite +15 melee (2d8+5) and Dragon Bite +15 melee (4d6+5) and Horse Bite +15 melee (2d6+5) and Monkey Bite +15 melee (2d8+5) and Ox gore +15 melee (2d8+2) and Rabbit Bite +15 melee (1d8+5) and Ram Butt +15 melee (2d6+2) and Rat Bite +15 melee (2d8+5 plus disease) and Rooster Bite +15 melee (2d8+5) and Snake Bite +15 melee (1d8+5 plus poison) and Tiger Bite +15 melee (2d8+5)
Boar Gore +15 melee (4d6+2) and Dog Bite +15 melee (2d8+5) and Dragon Bite +15 melee (4d6+5) and Horse Bite +15 melee (2d6+5) and Monkey Bite +15 melee (2d8+5) and Ox Gore +15 melee (2d8+2) and Rabbit Bite +15 melee (1d8+5) and Ram Butt +15 melee (2d6+2) and Rat Bite +15 melee (2d8+5 plus disease) and Rooster Bite +15 melee (2d8+5) and Snake Bite +15 melee (1d8+5 plus poison) and Tiger Bite +15 melee (2d8+5)
15 ft./10 ft.
Breath Weapons, Disease, Improved Grab, Poison, Spell-like ability, Trip
Darkvision 60ft., fast healing 22, low-light-vision, scent
Climb +16, Listen +8, Spot +8
Blind-Fight, Combat ReflexesB, Improved OverrunB*, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Improved Natural Attack (gore), Improved Toughness, Iron Will
1/10 gold, standard goods, 50% items
*See Individual Heads for conditions and descriptions of these abilities
Rounding the boulder, you discover that the furry creature you were following is not nearly as harmless as you thought. As it rejoins the myriad of heads, you see that a long, leathery neck connects it to a gigantic, four-legged body. All twelve heads bellow in a discordant chorus as its reptilian bulk surges forward.
A zodiacal hydra is a far greater threat than any of its mundane relatives. Each head is a distorted, feral replica of one of the animals from the Chinese Zodiac. Its main body is closer in semblance to a common lizard than larger reptiles such as dinosaurs. Zodiacal hydras are better adapted to mountainous terrain than the swamps and marshes that their ancestors favored.
Zodiacal hydras are quite rare; no more than half a dozen are known to exist in the world. It is unknown whether the creator this monstrosity was a mad wizard or simply a bored god, but the consensus is that the creator was asian in origin.
Zodiacal hydras prefer to lair in mountainous terrain where prey is easily trapped. It will feign different animal sounds that are indigenous to the area in hopes of luring prey to where it is hiding. Once engaged, it presses the attack, moving in whatever way possible to place itself where it can strike at all opponents.
A zodiacal hydra follows all the combat rules located under the hydra entry in the Monsters Manual
(pg 155) except that 10 points of fire or acid damage is required to seal a severed head instead of the traditional 5.
Fast Healing (Ex)
: Each round, a zodiacal hydra heals 22 damage.
Individual Heads (Ex)
: Each of the zodiacal hydra’s heads are separate and autonomous from each other. It functions as a normal hydra for all combat purposes except where noted. Each of the hydra’s heads has a different ability or grants such an ability to the main body. In the event that the hydra loses a head, any ability that head granted is lost. Each head also deals a different amount of damage. The following chart lists the abilities and damage of each head. The DC for special abilities that are not spell-like abilities is 10+1/2 the Zodiacal Hydra's HD (6)+the appropriate modifier. The spell DC's are determined in the same way a Druid would derive its spell DC's (10+Spell Level+Wisdom Modifier).
Head Attack Type
Ferocity (Ex). Grants to main body and this head. The main body can continue to fight without penalty even while disabled or dieing. (This effect gives this head 10 additional HP)
Trip (Ex). Grants to this head only. If this head hits with a bite attack, it can make a free trip attempt without a touch attack or provoking an attack of opportunity (+13 check modifier). If the attempt fails, the opponent cannot react to trip the hydra.
Cone of Fire breath weapon (Su). Grants to this head only. Usable every 1d4 rounds. 4d10 fire damage. 30 ft. range. DC 21 Reflex for half. The DC is Constitution based.
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Improved Overrun. Grants to the main body. Special: a zodiacal hydra can use its breath weapons while attempting an overrun.
Improved Disarm. Grants to this head only
Improved Bull Rush. Grants to this head only and moves a target up to 5 feet past the extent of the hydra's reach.
Calm Emotions breath weapon (Su). Grants to this head only. Cone shape, 30 ft range. Usable every 1d6 rounds. DC 21 Reflex avoids, DC 16 Will negates. CL 12. The Reflex DC is Constitution based and the Will DC is Wisdom based.
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Stunning attack (Ex) usable 6/day. Grants to this head only. Must declare use before attack roll. Stuns target for 1 round. DC 16 Fortitude negates. The DC is Wisdom based.
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2d8+5 plus disease
Filth Fever (Ex) on successful hit. Grants to this head only. DC 21 Fortitude negates. The DC is Constitution based.
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Spell-like abilities: 3/day- Crowing Cacophony* **, Dawn**, Daylight. DC 13, CL 12. Grants to this head only.
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1d8+5 plus poison
Viper poison (Ex) on successful hit. Grants to this head only. DC 21 Fortitude negates. 1d6 Constitution damage primary and secondary. The save is Constitution based.
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Improved Grab (Ex). Grants to this head only
*Crowing Cacophony functions as the spell Creaking Cacophony. However, as long as the spell is in effect, the Rooster Head can take no action.
**Spells from the Spell Compendium.
A zodiacal hydra has a +2 racial bonus to Listen and Spot checks thanks to its multiple heads.
A zodiacal hydra has a +8 racial bonus to climb checks and can always choose to take 10 even if it is rushed or threatened.
A zodiacal hydra’s Combat Reflexes feat allows it to use all its heads for attacks of opportunity
All trade through a nearby mountain pass has stopped. Through magical communication, it has been discovered that no change has been made in the normal caravan schedules, yet still no one has made it through the pass. Benefactors from both sides of the mountains have sent search parties in after the lost cargo but neither group returned. A second, more expensive foray is being assembled. Aside from having the eternal gratitude from the provinces surrounding the pass (“favorable” conditions at the market), the sponsors are offering a large sum of money to whatever group returns with the cause of the missing shipments (dead, should it prove to be a monster of some kind).