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KotM Fight! Grievous Wailer

KotM Fight! Grievous Wailer

gecko, monsterWelcome to the King of the Monsters Contest finals: the grievous wailer is finalist 4 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!


Neither the crunching of the snow underfoot nor the scent of their furs worried the old chief. The stories passed down through the generations assured him that the creature knew his tribe was there but would not attack. They drew closer slowly, careful to walk in the path the creature made, following its weird and maddening twists and turns. A half day of following this strange route wore on the nerves of his young people but the stories were clear—the creature will not attack unless one crosses its path. Those who follow closely face no danger. Then, openly defying her chief, a young rager threw her spear, piercing the creature’s thick grey hide. There would be a battle by the fire for the Throne of the White Bear tonight. The old chief would worry about that later. First, he had to survive this battle. With a pitiful howl, it began…

Grievous Wailer (CR 10)

XP 9,600
N Huge aberration
Init -2; Senses blindsight 60 ft, darkvision 60 ft, scent; Perception +12

AC 18, touch 6, flat-footed 18 (-2 Dex, +12 natural, -2 size)
hp 189 (18d8+108)
Fort +16, Ref +4, Will +11
Immune cold

Speed 50 ft.
Melee bite +18 (2d6+7) and 2 claws +16 (2d6+7 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks chilling grip, plaintive Howl
Weaknesses light sensitivity

Str 24, Dex 6, Con 20, Int 3, Wis 11, Cha 14
Base Atk +13; CMB +22 (+26 grapple) (+24 bull rush); CMD 30 (32 vs. bull rush)
Feats Awesome Blow, Blind-fight, Diehard, Endurance, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Natural Attack, Power Attack, Run, Toughness
Skills Climb +13, Perception +12
Languages none

Environment cold tundra
Organization solitary or pack (one wailer followed by scavengers of any kind)
Treasure none

Chilling Grip (Ex) Grievous wailers can absorb body heat from other living creatures. Every round that a grievous wailer maintains a grapple, they can choose to do 3d6 cold damage to the grappled creature.

Plaintive Howl (Ex) Grievous wailers can emit a low, mournful cry as a standard action. All creatures within 120 feet of a grievous wailer must make a DC 21 Will save or become overcome with grief and loneliness, behaving as if sickened (-2 penalty on all attack rolls, weapon damage rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks). Each round, the sickened character can attempt to make another Will save (DC 21) until they recover their composure. Those within 30 ft of a plaintive howl must also make a save (DC 15 Fort negates) or become deafened for 1d4 rounds.

Typical Characteristics

Grievous wailers resemble giant geckos but with heads much too large to be supported by their thin necks and gangly bodies. They walk upright with their single light-sensitive eye focused on the sky above and stand approximately 24 ft. tall. Their wrinkled, leathery skin is usually dark greenish-gray. As they walk, they let out long lonely cries that fill those who hear them with a sense of loss.


Grievous Wailers wander in areas of intense cold, often towering over the barren, rocky terrain they claim as their own. They follow a bizarrely circuitous route, walking in ever growing spirals and then turning suddenly to run in straight lines from one rocky outcropping to another. They are as likely to ignore those who cross their path as to strike out in a ferocious rage. The reasons for this violent rage is as inexplicable as the route the wailers take. A grievous wailer constantly wanders over a territory as large as 40 square miles, usually resting at locations with unusual rock formations or ruins. As huge carnivores, grievous wailers require such a large territory to support their ferocious appetites.

Habitat and Society

Grievous Wailers prefer solitude, only entering each other’s territory for mating. While they are rarely encountered in pairs, smaller scavengers often trail a grievous wailer feasting on the remnants of its kill. These scavengers soon learn that a wailer will never attack a creature that follows it at a distance, only those that cross its path in front of it.


Grievous Wailers are sensitive to normal light, and prefer to rely on their blindsighta product of their keen sense of smellwhen fighting. If enraged or confronted, wailers release a plaintive howl and then run at top speed towards combat. Every four rounds they let out another plaintive howl.

(This post is Product Identity.)

12 thoughts on “KotM Fight! Grievous Wailer”

  1. Very original (afaik) and also useful in many other wilderness settings I’d say. Quite funny for a monster with light-sensitivity to walk upright with its only eye aimed at the sky :)

  2. This is a nifty monster, Trevor! I always like dangerous creatures that aren’t necessarily out to get the PCs — it opens up a lot more possibilities.

    Oh, and plaintive howl is a nice ability with a great name. I will probably yoink that at some point.

  3. Hello all,

    I’ve read the other entries with interest and am honored to be in this contest. I look forward to seeing the other six entries over the next couple weeks!


  4. I like it! There seem to be a shortage of creatures that can substantially add to atmosphere and effect, rather than just play the role of sword fodder. This is a very strong condender for a critter that can do the one just as well if not better than the other.

    One minor nitpick: if the critter is inherently cold, maybe the chilling grip ability should read “deals 3d6 cold damage,” rather than “can choose to do 3d6 cold damage.”

  5. I agree on both the flavor (oddly compelling for a snowy lizard thing) and the damage.

    Actually, I’ve got more than one nitpick with every one of the Top 10. But editing them would be wrong for the contest.

  6. Nicely done, Trevor. I agree with Randy, above, that monsters that don’t automatically seek out pc’s are a nice change of pace. Imagine the party’s indecision when it ignores them for a while.

  7. Very original Trevor. You’ve conjured up an intriguing image of a fiercesome yet somehow also sympathetic monster which lends itself to more possible depth and story possibilities than most monsters do. For example, why does it wail? If necessary, could low-level PC’s defeat or appease this monster by finding that for which it eternally seeks? Just a stray thought but all in all a great entry and a cool monster!

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