Adventures and design guides for tabletop RPGs: small but fierce gaming!

KotM Fight! Zaglossus

Posted In Articles, Front Page, Monsters | 8 comments

monstersWelcome to the King of the Monsters Contest finals: the zaglossus is finalist 10 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!

______

This dusky quadrupedal creature is powerfully built and bristles with long vicious quills. The monster’s headless torso bleeds an oily, viscous slime from the clenched orifice between its shoulders. A muscular black tentacle darts out from the weeping hole, dripping with dark mucus and lined with sharp teeth.  A floating halo of disembodied eyeballs surrounds the creature…

Zaglossus (CR 9)

6,400 XP
NE Large Aberration
Init +0; Senses tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +19

DEFENSE
AC 25, touch 9, flat-footed 25 (+16 natural, -1 size)
hp 147 (14d8+84); regeneration 5 (silver)
Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +11
Immune acid; Resist fire 20, electricity 20; SR 24
Weaknesses faceless

OFFENSE
Spd 30 ft.; burrow 20 ft
Melee Tentacle +15 (1d8+6 [15-20 critical] plus grab), 2 claws +9 (d6+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (30 ft. with tentacle)
Special Attacks augmented critical, constrict (1d8+6), steal features
Spell-Lilke Abilities (CL 9th)
At will—grease (DC 13), meld into stone, spider climb
3/day—black tentacles, rusting grasp (DC 16), stone shape, telekinesis (DC 17)

STATISTICS
Str 19, Dex 10, Con 23, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 15
Base Atk +10; CMB +16 (+22 grapple); CMD 26 (+30 vs. trip)
Feats Blind-Fight, Critical Focus, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (tentacle), Improved Grapple, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (Tentacle)
Skills Intimidate +19, Knowledge (local) +17, Perception +19*, Stealth +13
Languages Common, Undercommon

ECOLOGY
Environment any underground
Organization solitary plus 4-24 organs
Treasure 4,250 gp

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Animate Organs (Su): After one round of soaking in the Zaglossus’ potent mucus, removed facial features animate under the creature’s magical control. This control lasts for up to 14 days after the Zaglossus last tends to the organ, until the body part is destroyed or reattached by its original owner. Reattaching a body part is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

  • Eyes: The eyes are animated (use statistics of prying eyes), and provide vision for the Zaglossus. These eyes keep any extraordinary vision types they possess, such as darkvision or racial bonuses to Perception checks, plus any gaze attacks or eye rays. Each additional eye within 30 feet provides a +2 bonus to vision-based Perception checks.
  • Ears: The ears provide hearing for the Zaglossus, including any racial bonuses to Perception checks. Each additional ear within 30 feet provides a +2 bonus to hearing-based Perception checks.
  • Nose: The Zaglossus can smell and breathe through the nose, preventing suffocation, drowning or inhaled poisons while the nose has access to fresh air. Each additional nose within 30 feet provides a +2 bonus to smell-based Perception checks.
  • Tongue: The Zaglossus can speak remotely through any of its animated tongues. For each additional tongue within 30’ of the Zaglossus, increase the caster level of its spell-like abilities by 1.

Augmented Critical (Ex): A Zaglossus’ tentacle is razor sharp and threatens a critical hit on a roll of 18-20.

Faceless (Ex): A Zaglossus has no natural ability to see, hear, speak or breathe. It relies fully on animated organs to achieve these tasks.

Steal Features (Ex): On a successful critical hit with its tongue, a Zaglossus wiggles its slimy proboscis into a creature’s face, removing a part.

  • Eyes: The target is blinded.
  • Ears: The target is deafened.
  • Nose: The target loses its sense of smell.
  • Tongue: The target becomes mute and cannot speak or cast spells with a verbal component.
  • Teeth: The target is nauseated by pain for 2d4 rounds.

Ecology

Zaglossi are a cursed race of alien monstrosities which hatch headless from leathery eggs. During its first desperate moments to avoid asphyxiation, the infant creature steals organs from a sacrifice proffered by its parent. Zaglossi spend the rest of their lives collecting an eclectic mix of organs from as many different creatures as possible, delighting in the torment inflicted on the maimed. A Zaglossus’ diet consists exclusively of bones, and teeth are considered a special delicacy.

The Zaglossus’ thick and viscous slime provides the creature with incredible healing and a magical link to organs suspended within. The healing powers of the slime are such that an organ can be reattached to a creature merely by pressing the severed part to the bloody stump. The mucus’ alien chemistry is disrupted by contact with silver.

Habitat and Society

Zaglossi are solitary creatures that reproduce asexually, with genetic diversity drawn from their prey’s captured organs. Infant Zaglossi are independent after their first meal and soon colonize a new underground lair some miles away. Zaglossi generally lair near humanoid settlements, observing their victims from afar through their servitor eyes before ambushing prey from underground.

Towns under the depredations of a Zaglossus often leave their children’s infant teeth in a water-filled ceramic bowl at night as tribute for the beast. In the morning, the townsfolk use the slimy water as medicine to heal all manner of ailments.

(This post is Product Identity.)

    8 Comments

  1. Thanks to the judges and to Kobold Quarterly for the opportunity for the Zaglossus to run amok!

    Congratulations to all the other finalists and I’m really looking forward to everyone’s feedback.

    David Posener

    January 12, 2010

  2. Very, very creepy. I love the bit at the end with the townsfolk using it to heal their sick. A town with not enough children or elderly could easily turn to using “strangers that nobody will miss” and drag the PC’s into an encounter.

    I’m disappointed that no mention of it’s “long vicious quills” made it into the stat block, from it’s description. Also, I assume Prying Eyes is a spell in Pathfinder? How high of a Knowledge check would a character have to make to know that stolen bits can be re-attached? Now that I mention it, what happens when a character decides that he’d rather have that beholder’s eye or shifter’s nose rather than his own? Charisma damage? Or should you just count it as treasure?

    Doomedpaladin

    January 12, 2010

  3. Truly bizarre and creepy. I like the folk-remedy of trying to appease the monster and use it’s healing property. I think Doomedpaladin’s concern about attaching other creature’s organ’s can be addressed with a simple explanation that your body tends to reject any foreign parts. Kinda like blood types and regular organ transplants. Maybe interjecting too much reality to a fantasy game, but it’s better than just saying “No.”

    medievaltom

    January 12, 2010

  4. Delightfully twisted! Very nice.

    Daigle

    January 12, 2010

  5. Creepy indeed. Nice unique monster.

    Stefen

    January 12, 2010

  6. Creepy! The relation between the villagers and the creature is a quite disturbing twist…

    Nice work!

    Jarrod Camiré

    January 12, 2010

  7. Thanks a lot guys!

    DoomedPaladin – the defensive properties of the quills got themselves wordcounted out and turned into some crazy-ass natural armour bonus. Prying eyes is a 3.5/PFRPG spell (Sorc/Wiz 5 to be precise).

    I love the idea of attaching other creature’s body parts as treasure. It wasn’t what I was originally thinking of – but hey – why buy some eyes of petrification when you could graft some freaky medusa eyes right into your own head?

    David Posener

    January 12, 2010

    • “why buy some eyes of petrification when you could graft some freaky medusa eyes right into your own head?”

      Why, indeed. 🙂

      Scott Gable

      January 12, 2010

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest