Monster Monday again. This time with a repurposed Invisible Stalker, an elemental of vengeance.

While some elementals are brought for benign reasons to the Realms of the Field, the Invisible Stalker is always brought for one purpose: to hunt and kill some quarry.

The invisible stalker is a limited form of air elemental, but has sacrificed some of its cousin’s offensive power (the whirlwind attack) for true invisibility, except for the exact moment it attacks. Even then, it is a DC 15 perception check to see the “thickening” of the air that occurs when the creature uses its melee attack.

It is the attack itself that is visible (and very audible!), however, and once it moves away from the target, it becomes invisible again.

Stalkers are not always summoned to evil intent, but they are always brought to the Realms of the Field for lethal intent. Unlike many other creatures, an Invisible Stalker will not stop attacking its target until it has reached more than double its wound maximum—it beats its target until the stalker is defeated or the foe is broken and dead on the ground.

Medium elemental, neutral

Speed 50 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)

STR DEX   CON INT WIS CHA
16 19 14 10 15 11
 +3  +4  +2 0  +2 0
Defenses   Wound Thresholds
Threat DC 14   Morale Injury KO Death
Hit DC 25 0-4 5-8 9-17 18+
DR 0 Control Thresholds
Vigor 104 Grab Grapple Restr. Incap.
Vigor Dice 16d8+32 0-5 6-10 11-20 21+

 

Proficiency +3

Skills. Perception +8, Stealth +10

Damage Resistances. Bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Damage Immunities. Poison

Condition Immunities. Exhaustion, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious

Senses. Darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 18

Languages. Auran, understands Common but doesn’t speak it

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Invisibility. The stalker is invisible.

Faultless Tracker. The stalker is given a quarry by its summoner. The stalker knows the direction and distance to its quarry as long as the two of them are on the same realm within Yggdrasil. The stalker also knows the location of its summoner.

Actions

Multiattack. The stalker makes two slam attacks.

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 2d6+3 thunder damage.

Roper

The roper is thought to be a result of what happens when a darkmantle, it’s smaller but similar-looking relative, fails to cleave into two creatures as part of its normal maturation process. When that happens, it continues to grow, and will eventually sprout tendrils. It will devour any darkmantles in the local area, and mature into a roper.

The roper is a large, pebbly-looking creature that mimicks a cave formation, either hanging from the ceiling or sprawling on the ground. It is mostly indistinguishable by normal vision from its rocky surroundings (even the dwarves cannot easily discern a motionless roper). It’s tendrils are usually at rest looking like stalactites or stalagmites.

It is large and ungainly, slow to move. It senses vibrations in the rocks and air, and when a prospective victim moves into range, it will lash out with its tendrils, grappling and reeling in its victim so it can gnash it with teeth that look like a quartz formation.

It is remarkably intelligent for a monstrosity, and calculating in what victims it will choose to attack—it is an evil creature, not an unaligned beast. If it perceives that a potential victim is very dangerous, it will not attack.

Large monstrosity, neutral evil

Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft.

STR DEX   CON INT WIS CHA
18 8 17 7 16 6
 +4 -1  +3 -2  +3 -2
Defenses Wound Thresholds
Threat DC 9 Morale Injury KO Death
Hit DC 20 0-7 8-15 16-31 32+
DR 7 Control Thresholds
Vigor 93 Grab Grapple Restr. Incap.
Vigor Dice 11d10+33 0-6 7-12 13-25 26+

*natural armor

Proficiency +3

Skills. Perception +6, Stealth +5

Senses. darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 16

Languages.

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

False Appearance. While the roper remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal cave formation, such as a stalagmite.

Foe Sense. The roper seems to be able to detect the relative strength of its foe. Upon detecting potential prey, it makes a Perception check with a DC equal to 18 – the potential victim’s Vigor Dice. If the check fails, it will perceive it as a meal and attack no matter what. If it succeeds, it will attack creatures of up to 5 Vigor Dice and fewer. It does this check once for each potential victim, as they come into detection range.

Grasping Tendrils. The roper can have up to six tendrils (1d4+2 at the start of combat). Each tendril can be attacked (Threat DC 20; 10 vigor; immunity to poison and psychic damage). Destroying a tendril deals no damage to the roper, which can extrude a new or replacement tendril on its next turn. A tendril can also be broken if a creature takes an action and succeeds on a DC 15 Strength check against it.

Spider Climb. The roper can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Actions

Multiattack. The roper makes four attacks with its tendrils, uses Reel, and makes one attack with its bite.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4d8+4 piercing damage.

Extrude Tendril. The roper extrudes a new tendril if it is below the maximum number it can control (six).

Drag. The roper executes a drag attack, pulling a grappled creature straight towards it. If the Roper wins a contest of Athletics, it pulls the target 10′ closer to it, divided by the target’s size modifier. If the roper wins by 10, the base distance increases to 15′, and 20′ if the contest is won by 20 or more. If a target ends within reach of the Bite attack, the roper will follow up with a Bite as soon as possible!

Tendril. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 50 ft., one creature. Hit: 2d6+4 control per tendril, and the roper can’t use the same tendril on another target without first letting go.

It’s Monster Monday again, and for this morning, in honor of the allergies that are making my life a tetch more difficult than I’d like to imagine, I’m offering up a few of the various fungus-like creatures from Dragon Heresy.

These are less “monsters” then they are hazards. They are not sentient and they’re just aware enough to cause adventurers trouble – but they make great obstacles and barriers to overcome, and will naturally come to populate, and even dominate, the dark, dank, and magically-enhanced places of the world.

Fungi

Natural fungi play the role of nature’s decomposers, and are quite different than the usual plants. They play a vital role in any natural ecosystem, and when such a system is naturally enhanced by, and perfused with, magical energy, odd things can happen.

Shrieker

The shrieker might be a naturally-evolving organism, or it may have been purposefully created by a druid as a warning mechanism. They can be used as an alarm system in any dark place that can support their growth, and will react to any unnatural or mobile light source, or the presence of any moving creature. Their cry is piercing and loud, but not hazardous to those with normal hearing. Those with particulary sensitive ears (such as cats and dogs) might face a turn of stun if caught in such a blast of sound (make a DC 15 Constitution save to avoid this effect).

The shrieker can’t be grappled effectively—it can be plucked or destroyed, but grabbing the giant mushroom won’t change its behavior. Continue reading “Monster Monday: Fungi”

It’s once again Monster Monday, and today we’ve got some monsters of the human variety for you. Between other parties of adventurers, as well as bandits and other riff-raff, early encounters in Tanalor may well be fellow humans; certainly in situations focusing on the internal politics of Torengar or the Neveri wars, they will be.

Duellist

The duelist will fight for money as an enforcer or even a gladiator, but is most often found as a paid judicial champion, or the Torengarian equivalent of a lawsuit artist, pressing false injury claims and proving himself the injured party by defeating his opponent in a judicial duel (the berjast).

Medium humanoid (any race), any alignment

Speed 30 ft.

STR

DEX   CON INT WIS CHA
18 15 16 10 12 15
 +4  +2  +3 0  +1

 +2

Defenses Wound Thresholds
Threat DC 16* Morale Injury KO Death
Hit DC 27 0-5 6-10 11-20 21+
DR 2* Control Thresholds
Vigor 112 Grab Grapple Restr. Incap.
Vigor Dice 15d8+45 0-5 6-10 11-20 21+

*studded leather, medium shield

Proficiency +3

Saving Throws. Str +7, Dex +5, Con +6

Skills. Athletics +10, Intimidation +5

Senses. passive Perception 11

Languages. any one language (usually Common)

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)

Brave. The duellist has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Brute. A melee weapon deals one extra die of its damage when the duellist hits with it (included in the attack).

Actions

Multiattack. The duellist makes three melee attacks or two ranged attacks.

Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft. and range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 2d6+4 piercing damage, or 2d8+4 piercing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack.

Shield Bash. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 2d4+4 bludgeoning damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Grapple. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d10+4 control damage.

Reactions

Parry. The duellist adds 3 to its Threat DC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the duellist must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.

Shield Defense. The duellist takes a blow or deflects a missile weapon with his shield. The shield has DR5, and can absorb three “hits” before it is broken. Shields have resistance to piercing damage from ammunition or light thrown weapons. The shield takes 1 hit if the damage (after resistance) is 6-10 points, 2 hits if it is 11-15 points, and is instantly destroyed if it takes 16+. Continue reading “Monster Monday: Human Opposition Sampler Pack”

It’s Monster Monday again, and today I give you trolls.

They’re a classic part of norse mythology and legend, and have been tweaked a bit to fit with the Dragon Heresy cosmology. Four sub-types are presented, based on both the SRD and my team’s reading of the legends themselves. There’s a troll here for every occasion!

Troll

Trolls are large and physically powerful fae, strong and hard to hurt. They have a stocky, muscular build, large powerful thick-fingered hands with rough claws, and short legs. Their appearance varies considerably, but they usually have pointed ears, a large nose, thick callused skin, sharp fangs or tusks, horns on their heads, shaggy hair, or animal-like tails.

Common in the mountains and deep forests, trolls often make the entrance to their faerie homes among rock outcrops, standing stones, inside caves, or under bridges.

Trolls are dangerous, with a proclivity for kidnapping and eating people, thieving, and raiding homesteads. They shun sunlight, and mostly come out when it is twilight or overcast. Alfar or Winterfae often use them as guards or warriors, but trolls are more solitary and independent than goblins: they are willful and hard to control.

Mountain Troll. These trolls are magical beings and accomplished shapeshifters. The least hostile of the trolls, they may talk rather than fight if the mood suits them. Some adventurous souls have even joined them for dinner without becoming dinner themselves! They are still perilous, prone to violence and exhibiting disturbing anthropophagous tendencies, and their potent magics and cunning only increase the hazard.

Thurs. These are dull-witted brutes. Although very violent, they can often be tricked by the quick thinking. They dress in rude furs and usually carry large clubs. Many will happily serve powerful masters in exchange for regular food, a comfortable place to sleep, and better equipment.

Stothtroll. A breed of fae that has been twisted into something horrible by the strange magics of the great rifts of Tanalor. Their minds were broken into ravenous, unreasoning monsters yet still possessed of near-human cunning. Meanwhile their bodies were fortified and given unnatural endurance, to the point that their wounds twist and heal even as you watch.

Grendelkin. None too bright, these monstrous trolls are remarkably resistant to weapons. They can be found stalking misty marshes and dark fens, skulking among the dark pools and venturing out at night to inflict carnage on nearby peaceful people. Continue reading “Monster Monday: Troll”

It’s Monster Monday, where I highlight a creature from the upcoming Dragon Heresy RPG. Today we have a devilishly good time, and I’ll throw down a monster you’ve seen before – on the cover fo Dungeon Grappling! The Marilith demon. Demons are of the “burn it all down” school of evil, and while some of them are mighty and powerful, in the cosmology of Etera, they reside on the middle planes of Asgard, called The Realms of the Field.

Marilith (demon)

One of the most feared combatants in stories filled with fierce fighters, the marilith is known by many descriptive names: deathsnake, lady of blades, and the elvish Cuisin Ar, this six-limbed demon is one of the most deadly sword-weilders ever encountered.

The marilith has the lower torso of a serpent, and can use the serpentine tail for both mobility and on the attack. The upper body is inevitably a beautiful female form, often appearing elvish or human, but with slightly off-color skin (reports always differ as to precisely what color it is) and six arms. Each arm carries a longsword (oversized for medium creatures), and each longsword is invariably magical.

The marilith is quite intelligent, and for a creature bent on the destruction and wonton torture of all life, engages in a remarkable amount of long-term thinking. Almost alone of demon-kind, she will ally with others to bring larger plans to fruition, and there is much subtlety in their conception. Mariliths are not shapechangers or spellcasters, however, so they must work through proxies and cultists if they wish to influence Etera without giving themselves away.

In combat they are direct and deadly, wielding their blades with blinding speed and deadly accuracy. The first attack is nearly always with her nearly prehensile tail, seeking to grapple and restrain a foe. This can vastly increase the effectiveness of the six blade attacks that follow. If hard pressed, the marilith will teleport out of danger, regain her bearings, and then teleport back into the fray. The marilith will often sport a contoured magical breastplate for protection.

Tentacled Marilith. Some rare marilith demons were formed with one or two pairs of their human-like arms replaced with a pair of (very) long tentacles. Such creatures still have six attacks, but may use their tentacles for either grappling or bludgeoning. Continue reading “Monster Monday: Marilith Demon”

Monster Monday is a feature that will occur every other week. It will feature an excerpt creature from the working draft of the Dragon Heresy RPG.

A wight is the restless corpse of a warrior, animated by bloodlust and hatred. The wight is created when a warrior is so fond of killing, maiming, and fighting without a good cause that upon its death, the Valkyries not only reject the spirit, but deny its passage to Dauthaheim. Clinging to its lust for violence, it rises each night to claim more victims.

They are typically withered husks of fallen warriors, but with plenty of flesh still remaining. They do not rot naturally, but nor do they heal. The wounds taken in life (and in undeath) lie gaping upon them. They are grey-colored, with tattered, wispy hair. If they wear armor (and many do), it will typically be a hodge-podge of pieces—treat the DR of any more interesting armor as half it’s usual value.

Not all wights are human, and it is not uncommon to encounter lizardfolk and human wights alike at the location of long-forgotten battles during the wars that plagued Tanalor and Torengar alike over the last few thousand years.

These restless dead dwell in ancient burial mounds during the day. They have an instinctive feeling for how from from their barrow-home they may roam until they cannot return before the sun rises.

Continue reading “Monster Monday: Vaettr (Wight)”