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KotM Fight! Grave Linnorm

Posted In Articles, Front Page, Monsters | 14 comments

grave linnormWelcome to the King of the Monsters Contest finals: the grave linnorm is finalist 3 of 10. These submissions are left almost entirely as they were received with the exception that all submissions have had minor alterations for proper spelling (not grammar), formatting, and the addition of an image. Let the fight commence!

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Rising from the gruesome devastation is a serpentine monster of truly horrific proportions. Scales the color of tarnished and rusting mail flake from the creature’s coiling hide, while a hot charnel stench wafts from its gaping mouth. The monster roars as it takes to the air, shaking loose a cloud of noisome flies and putrefying flesh from its loathsome flanks…

One of the rarest and most terrifying linnorms to ever exist, the grave linnorm haunts the site of great and bloody battles, horrible massacres, or graveyards and mausoleums with a long history of violent death or necromantic meddling. More powerful than even the feared tarn linnorm, grave linnorms are often found with plague zombies or vampires that they have created with their deadly breath or diseased bites.

While none but the most foolish would ever willingly approach a grave linnorm, their knowledge of the afterworld is legendary, and many heroes have sought out these monsters to secure some lost piece of lore or hidden secret about the gods or powerful undead menace.

An average grave linnorm is 100 feet long and weighs 20,000 pounds.

Grave Linnorm (CR 23)

XP 820,000
CE Colossal Dragon
Init +14; Senses darkvision 180 ft., low-light vision, scent, true seeing; Perception +44

DEFENSE
AC 42, touch 12, flat-footed 32 (+10 Dex, +30 natural, –8 size)
hp 512 (25d12+350); regeneration 15 (cold iron and epic)
Fort +27, Ref +24, Will +22
Defensive Abilities freedom of movement; DR 20/cold iron and epic
Immune ability damage, ability drain, curse effects, death effects, disease, energy drain, mind-affecting effects, paralysis, poison, sleep; SR 34

OFFENSE
Speed 50 ft., fly 120 ft. (average)
Melee bite +35 (4d8+18/19–20 plus disease and energy drain), 2 claws +35 (2d6+18), tail +30 (3d6+9 plus grab)
Space 30 ft. Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon, constrict (tail, 3d6+27), death curse, disease, energy drain (1d4 levels, DC 32)

STATISTICS
Str 47, Dex 30, Con 36, Int 7, Wis 27, Cha 30
Base Atk +25; CMB +51 (+55 grapple); CMD 71 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Critical Focus, Exhausting Critical, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Improved Overrun, Power Attack, Tiring Critical, Toughness
Skills Fly +30, Knowledge (religion) +34, Perception +44, Stealth +22; Racial Modifier Knowledge (religion) +8, Perception +8
Languages Aklo, Draconic, Sylvan

ECOLOGY
Environment battlefields, graveyards and crypts
Organization solitary or host (1 grave linnorm and 2–8 vampires or 5–20 plague zombies)
Treasure triple

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Breath Weapon (Su) Once every 1d4 rounds as a standard action, a grave linnorm can unleash a 90–foot cone or 180–foot line of deadly withering energy, dealing 25d8 points of damage to all creatures struck (Reflex DC 35 halves). Any creature struck by this withering energy must also make a DC 35 Fortitude save or take 2d8 points of Dexterity damage and become nauseated for 2d6 rounds by the horrific stench. If a creature is slain by the withering breath it animates as a plague zombie (see the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary for details) of the appropriate size and Hit Dice on the following round. The plague zombie is under the control of the grave linnorm, and the grave linnorm can control a maximum of 125 Hit Dice of undead at any one time. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Death Curse (Su) When a creature slays a grave linnorm, the slayer is affected by the curse of undeath.

Curse of Undeath: save Will DC 32; effect the creature gains one negative level each day that cannot be removed while it is affected by the curse. If the creature dies while affected by the curse it immediately transforms into a vampire. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Disease (Su) Linnorm Blight: Bite – injury; save Fort DC 35; onset immediate; frequency 2/day; effect 1 negative level and 1d8 Con drain; cure 4 consecutive saves; The save DC is Constitution-based. Any creature slain by linnorm blight is transformed into a vampire under the grave linnorm’s control on the following round. Any vampire created in this fashion count towards the total number of undead that the grave linnorm can control.

Freedom of Movement (Ex) A grave linnorm is under the constant effect of freedom of movement, as the spell of the same name. This effect cannot be dispelled.

True Seeing (Ex) A grave linnorm has true seeing, as the spell of the same name. This effect cannot be dispelled.

(This post is Product Identity.)

    14 Comments

  1. While none but the most foolish would ever willingly approach a grave linnorm, their knowledge of the afterworld is legendary, and many heroes have sought out these monsters to secure some lost piece of lore or hidden secret about the gods or powerful undead menace.

    Those heroes must still have been fools!

    Darkjoy

    December 28, 2009

  2. Heroes do foolish things fairly often in my campaign. And it’s a good thing they do!

    Kobold Quarterly

    December 28, 2009

  3. Would be a great quest for an high level evil character that wants to slay one to become a free willed vampire. Could even have an artifact that activates only when you slay a grave linnorm, giving the owner control over the undead belonging to the linnorm.

    Xorial

    December 28, 2009

  4. Is ‘grave’ an adjective or a noun? When I saw the name I thought that your linnorm might be a serious linnorm.

    Chuck

    December 28, 2009

  5. Looks good, except that “withering” isn’t an energy type in Pathfinder. Specifying that it’s “negative energy” damage would be vastly more useful in that you’d immediately know if undead take damage, what resistances apply, and so on.

    Kirth Gersen

    December 28, 2009

  6. Delightful!

    The curse of undeath should be in the standard affliction format (and needs a “Cure:” entry, even if it’s “None”).

    Kudos on the Disease (format and effects – wowza!)

    Majuba

    December 28, 2009

  7. Wow! This is quite a beast! Good work!

    Jarrod Camiré

    December 28, 2009

  8. “Rising from the gruesome devastation is a serpentine monster of truly horrific proportions. Scales the color of tarnished and rusting mail flake from the creature’s coiling hide, while a hot charnel stench wafts from its gaping mouth. The monster roars as it takes to the air, shaking loose a cloud of noisome flies and putrefying flesh from its loathsome flanks…”

    ———-
    Love the description. I can feel it, smell it, hear it, and see it. You don’t make me taste it … or, yes, what is that? Ash? It tastes like ashes.

    Trevor Gulliver

    December 28, 2009

  9. Grave linnorms are often quite serious, but no, it’s the noun grave.

    Deadly withering energy is simply descriptive. The energy is actually untyped, which makes it more deadly (neither negative energy nor unholy). Think the horrid wilting spell (which probably makes most undead immune to it but not benefit from it either). This could have been cleared up.

    For the death curse, I was actually simply following the format in the Pathfinder Bestiary for the linnorm entries. These probably need to be errated as well.

    Phil Larwood

    December 28, 2009

  10. Very cool entry. Love the death curse.

    medievaltom

    December 28, 2009

  11. Phil, you evil bastard! I really dig this linnorm, love that you did it for Pathfinder rules and love that it’s got a rockin’ CR. Very nice!

    Daigle

    December 28, 2009

  12. ooooh scary! Looks like a tough cookie indeed.
    How many heroes are there that would actually approach such a monster? “many”???… foolish seems a bit too light a description…

    Fred

    December 29, 2009

  13. Nice, the Corpse Tearer as a Pathfinder monster. No matter what else I would to see this dragon in print in some capacity.

    Fenryx

    December 29, 2009

  14. Fenryx, if it wins the contest it will appear in print and will be fully illustrated!

    But there’s that small detail about winning first…. Voting starts in a few weeks, when all the judges’ entries have been revealed.

    Wolfgang

    December 29, 2009

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