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New Monsters

Over the course of time, I have found it necessary to use creatures that I could be sure my players could not find in any sourcebook. Some have worked well over the years, others have been one hit wonders. I have included a tried and true creation, and a couple of interesting ideas...

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Anyimage loading...
DIET: Omnivore
INTELLIGNECE: High (13-14)
TREASURE: P individual, F tribal/clan lair

MOVEMENT: 6, Sw 12
HIT DICE: 3 (see below)
THAC0: 17
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Petrification, "vampiric evolution" (see below)
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Nil (see below)
SIZE: M (7' tall)
XP VALUE: 975 or by "evolved type" + 50%

Basilaar originated as creatures from the negative material plane. These disembodied spirits had gained a high level of intelligence and had the native ability to cloud and control the minds of lesser creatures in their proximity. The one thing these creatures yearned to do was to leave their plane. Eventually, they found a way to do so by selecting a race of creatures, and through use of arcane magics, blended themselves into the makeup of these creatures. Lizardmen were chosen in this case due to their strength and abilities in the water. Several clans were formed in this way, until creatures more powerful than the original negative planar creatures found out about this and put a stop to it. The stranded clans were able to propagate the species however, and eventually forgot about their forbearers. One thing they kept from their forbearers is the dislike of being pinned to a type of locale for the rest of their days, like lizardmen are to swamps and marshes. Because of the abilities these creatures inherited, though, they had certain ways of dealing with this.
Special Abilities:
     Petrification: Due to the modification the negative planar creatures made in these lizardmen,when a Basilaar strikes an opponent with his claws, the opponent must save vs. petrification or slowly turn to stone. The change happens over the course of 1 turn. As the rounds progress, the victim gets a cumulative -1 penalty to any actions as he/she stiffens and turns grey. At the end of the turn, the victim has fully turned to stone.
     Acidic Blood: When a piercing or slashing weapon opens a wound on a basilaar, there is a spray of acidic blood that has a chance of hitting the attacker. The attacker must make a Dexterity check to avoid this spray. The weapon must make a saving throw vs. acid; if the weapon fails the save, it is useless in d3 rounds (+1 per magical plus of the weapon).
     Mind Clouding: With this ability, for each HD of the basilaar, the basilaar may subjugate 1d6 HD of creatures, as long as the creatures are two HD less than the basilaar (or lower). The mind clouded creatures will fight to defend the basilaar with their lives, and will follow any orders without question, as long as they are within 300 yards of the basilaar. As an example, a basilaar at 3 HD may mind cloud 3d6 HD worth of creatures of 1 HD or less. A basilaar at 6 HD may mind cloud 6d6 HD worth of creatures of 4 HD or less. The process to cloud the mind of a creature (not a PC!) is 1 round.
     "Vampiric Evolution": This is the ability that can truly make a basilaar a thing to reckon with. When a creature is killed by a basilaar (meaning that the basilaar dealt the death blow, and it did not turn to stone), the basilaar may take the corpse back to his lair to perform a ceremony that invokes the forces that created the basilaar originally. This ceremony takes a week's time. The result of the ceremony is that the basilaar gains the special abilities, defenses, attacks, HD, and major physical form alterations of the creature he killed. Also though, the basilaar gains any special weaknesses the creature had. As an example, say a basilaar slays an Umber Hulk. The basilaar would gain HD, going to 8+8 HD. The basilaar would also gain an AC of 2, better claw damage, a lower THAC0, and so on. The basilaar would also get the drawbacks: low movement and clumsiness in open areas. If the basilaar in this form should slay another creature that it wants to become like, the ceremony can be done again, and the attributes of the new creature can be taken and the ones from the old shed.
Combat: The first thing basilaar will usually do is gauge the strength of the opponent(s) by sending their servant (mind-clouded) monsters into melee. If the opponents are worn down by the attack, the basilaar will likely move in and try to turn opponents to stone with their claws. The concept of defeat is not one they easily realize, and they will fight without quarter even if outnumbered, should they be cornered or fighting in their own territory.
Habitat/Society: Basilaar tend to organize in large clans or smaller tribes. The clans form around the basilaar who have "evolved" into something more powerful. Other basilaar will look to these leaders as a chance to go into battle against powerful creatures and possibly emerge victorious and steal these creatures' abilities. Generally, a clan leader will not allow another basilaar into the clan if it has evolved into a creature of more than 2 HD below the leader's power level. (As an example, a clan leader of 10 HD will not allow something of 8 or more HD into the clan - it may, in fact, try to take down the potential rival!) The clan will operate in an area that is partially dictated by the kinds of monsters that frequent that area. Basilaar flyers will command more territory than Basilaar that are not quite so mobile. On average, a clan's territory will be a range of roughly 10 miles.

     Basilaar like to live in areas that are rainy and warm, although they will venture into temperate climates. Basilaar do not like very cold areas (permafrost) or very dry areas. They take advantage of natural shelters, and as they gains strength and size as a clan, will have servant creatures build structures and eventually, strongholds.

     Basilaar produce eggs, which take 6 months to hatch into offspring. They are much like lizardmen as far as lifespan and maturity cycle.

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Deep Forestimage loading...
ORGANIZATION: Not Applicable
DIET: Carnivore
INTELLIGNECE: Animal (1-3)
TREASURE: 10% chance of O
ALIGNMENT: Not Applicable (hungry!)

ARMOR CLASS: 7 (10 when it wraps a victim)
THAC0: 17
DAMAGE/ATTACK: d6 + d4/rd (see below)
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Blood Drain (see below)
SIZE: M (6'-10' long tendrils)
MORALE: Not Applicable

Bloodthorn plants are an example of a magical experiment went awry. A necromancer wanted to have a garden that could defend itself and provide him with ready-made blood drained corpses. Unfortunately, the plants were a little more intelligent (or maybe just hungrier) than the mage gambled on. The plant lives by capturing live prey and draining its blood through hollow thorns for nourishment. The plant is vulnerable to sunlight (takes 1 hp per round of direct exposure to sunlight or magical light), and makes no use of it, having no leaves. However, the bloodthorn often exists in symbiosis with another plant called a Shadowfern, which can provide protection from the light in exchange for protecting the shadowfern from herbivores. The nature of the symbiotic relationship will be described further in the entry for shadowferns. Bloodthorns do have the capability of movement, but is is very slow and of no tactical signifigance. They can migrate up to 2 miles a day by pulling their root systems along using their tendrils.
Special Abilities  The bloodthorn has the ability to drain blood from it's victim when it successfully hits and is able to maintain hold until the following round. The bloodthorn drains 1d4 hp per round, and causes the loss of one point of strength for every 10% of the victims maximum hit points it drains away. The strength points are regained with healing the affected hit point loss.
Combat:  The bloodthorn plant can sense movement and heat within 30 feet. When a victim gets within 5 feet, the plant strikes with both active tendrils on a single creature. Until then, the plant lies dormant, to conserve energy - it tends to be a while between meals! When the bloodthorn strikes, it can no longer move around much, so it's armor class becomes 10 while it is feeding. The hit points of the plant are divided evenly between the two tendrils. Doing damage equal to half the hit points of the plant will sever the tendril (and potentially cause a pretty good jet of blood, for you graphic DM's out there!).
Habitat:The bloodthorn lives in the deep forest, where little direct light filters through. Often it will be found in groves of shadowferns. The bloodthorn multiplies by budding off when a surplus of blood is available.

CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Deep Forestimage loading...
ORGANIZATION: Not Applicable
DIET: reverse of photosynthesis
TREASURE: 10% chance of O (if found with Bloodthorns)
ALIGNMENT: Not Applicable

NO. APPEARING: d100 x 10 sq. feet of plants
THAC0: Not Applicable
DAMAGE/ATTACK: Not Applicable
MORALE: Not Applicable

Shadowferns are plants that produce a pollen that magically absorbs light. These plants are quite rare, as they typically only grow in deep forested areas where there is very little sunlight. The only truly notable feature aside from the darkness generation is their symbiosis with Bloodthorn plants...
Symbiosis:  Shadowferns had difficulty with herbivores who preyed on the plant to a great degree. Bloodthorns have a vulnerability to sunlight and most other direct light. It turns out that each plant helps the other with its problems. Shadowferns drew a supply of herbivores to the carnivorous Bloodthorns. The Bloodthorns kill the herbivores and protect the Shadowferns, while the Shadowferns protect the Bloodthorns from direct light. In addition, the struggles of the Bloodthorns prey help the Shadowferns to distribute its pollen, and thus spread the growth of the Shadowferns.
Special Abilities:  The Shadowfern will blot out 20% of the light in an area per 10 square feet of plants and reduce vision in all spectrums accordingly. What this means is that if you have an area of Shadowferns that is 100 feet square (figure a 10x10 square on graph paper) just outside the Shadowferns, the light is reduced by 60% (the PC at this point is next to 3 squares, x 20%, is 60%). If the PC goes 10 feet into the Shadowferns, he is next to 5 squares. 5 x 20% is 100%. The lights are completely out. At this point, a light spell will be cancelled by the darkness. If a PC is completely surrounded by Shadowferns (180% darkness), it is the equivalent of a Continual Darkness spell as far as intensity.
Weakness:  Direct sunlight will harm the plants, causing wilting and death in 2 rounds.
Uses:  The pollen of this plant, when mixed with dye, will give a thief a +15% bonus to hiding in shadows. As such, the pollen is sought after by thieves guilds. 10 square feet of plants will yield enough pollen to treat one set of leather armor (human-sized).

Blood Borers
CLIMATE/TERRAIN: Deep Forestimage loading...
ORGANIZATION: Not Applicable
DIET: Carnivore
INTELLIGNECE: Animal (1-2)
ALIGNMENT: Not Applicable

MOVEMENT: 1 (if even that!)
HIT DICE: 1 hp
THAC0: Not Applicable
NO. OF ATTACKS: 1 (see below)
DAMAGE/ATTACK: 1 (see below)
SIZE: S (3"-5")
MORALE: Not Applicable
XP VALUE: 100 for surviving a night encounter!

Bloodborers are small creatures that live dormant under the soil of deep wooded areas. They are generally a dull red color, with bright yellow pustules that rupture and produce an anesthetic slime that is described later. They appear to be segmented, and have a ring of "feelers" that surround a central mouth located at one end of the creature. They hibernate for much of the time, but can awaken on a moments notice upon detecting vibrations. If the vibrations fade away, the Bloodborers do not fully awaken. If the vibrations suddenly stop, or if there is a sudden mass of vibrations that are irregular (like a party of adventurers making camp), they will seek out the source. Once within several feet, the creatures can sense heat as it absorbs into the soil. This heat sense will lead the creatures to burrow under a sleeping adventurer. The Bloodborer is coated in an anesthetic slime, that deadens skin upon touch. They will not awaken an adventurer whey they squirm into clothing and armor from below. The Bloodborer will send forth tendrils coated with acid to pierce the victim and begin draining blood. Each Bloodborer will drain 1 hp per hour. Thus, 15 Bloodborers will take 15 hp per round from a victim. 6 hours of that will kill most anyone. As per the Bloodthorn draining, the victim loses 1 Str point per 10% of hp loss, restored only when the hit poinnts are. The creatures are easily plucked off their victims, doing little damage as they come away. Of course, there may be breeds out there that are a little more stubborn than that...
Bloodborers added courtesy of E. Olson (no email address)


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