KotM2 Fight! Broodiken

KotM2 Fight! Broodiken

broodikenWelcome to the King of the Monsters 2 finals (see the list of finalists): the broodiken is random finalist 10 of 10. These submissions are left almost entirely as they were received with the exceptions that all submissions are posted with an image and are standardized to KoboldQuarterly.com style. Let the fight commence!

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Sailors familiar with the southern islands speak of tribes where the men give birth. They mock the bloated bellies of the old shamans without understanding what they have seen. They would not laugh if they understood. I lived 5 years on these islands—2 as a prisoner, 3 as an apprentice. I know too well the broodikens. I sacrificed both mind and body to learn these secrets.

I travelled to the islands on a merchant ship captained by a man whose tongue dripped lies. I watched his deceits and betrayals. I saw him taken prisoner. I watched the shaman draw a dagger across his own bloated belly, birthing the broodikens. I saw the brood consume their prey.

I know the making of the broodikens and their purpose. I know their effectiveness as spies and assassins. Now, as the sailors titter at my swelling abdomen, I know their minds. I have eaten the seed and feel the broodikens moving inside me now. My brood will be born before this ship finds port…

Broodiken (CR 2)

XP 600
N Tiny construct
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +4

DEFENSE
AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +2 size)
hp 22 (4d10)
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +1
Defensive Abilities construct traits

OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +5 (1d3−1 plus attach)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.

STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 14, Con —, Int 2, Wis 10, Cha 6
Base Atk +4; CMB +4 (+8 when attached); CMD 13
Feats Dodge, Mobility
Skills Acrobatics +6, Climb +11, Perception +4, Stealth +14
SQ shared range

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization brood (2-4)
Treasure none

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Attach (Ex) When a broodiken succeeds on a bite attack, its four teeth latch onto the target. Each round, it automatically does damage to the target as long as it can maintain its grapple. It gains a +4 bonus to checks to maintain its grapple.

Shared Rage (Su) A broodiken cannot speak with its creator telepathically but feels strong emotions and recognizes the objects of those emotions. A creator can telepathically order broodiken to hunt for and attack individuals by sending the broodiken an image of the individual and the appropriate emotion.

Typical Characteristics

Broodikens are crude servants created by humanoid spellcasters willing to grow them within their own bodies. In appearance, they resemble their creators in the most basic of ways. They have the same number of limbs and basic features as their creators. Broodikens are 1 ft. tall with overly large heads and heavily fanged mouths. Broodikens born to monstrous humanoids with wings or horns gain crude ineffective versions of these which are not useful in combat.

Broodikens have little personality of their own and respond to their creator’s emotions, growling when their creator feels anger and babbling happily when their creator feels joy. When their creator is more than 100 ft. away, they cry loudly with a sound that resembles that of children of the creator’s own species. If discovered in this state by anyone other than their creator, they attack. When their creator focuses his or her anger on a specific individual, the broodikens attack as a group, using stealth to get close and overwhelm single opponents.

Construction

Broodikens are created through the consumption of the heart of a dead broodiken. Once this “seed” is consumed, broodikens (2d4) begin to grow inside of the “mother” or creator. Nurturing the growing brood requires consuming specific muds, ashes, and plants which cost 50 gp/day for each broodiken incubating. The incubation period requires 1 month and takes a toll on the health of the creator. During this time the creator becomes fatigued after 4 hours without 8 hours rest.

If the creator is not a spellcaster, a spellcaster who meets the requirements below must supervise the incubation and the birth. Most spellcasters birth the broodiken using a dagger before the broodiken tear their way out. A “mother” can only control one brood of broodiken at a time. Even beginning to incubate a second brood causes the first brood to become furiously jealous and turn on its own creator.

BROODIKEN
CL 5th; Price 3,000gp

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Construct, gentle repose; Cost 1,500 gp

(This post is Product Identity.)

12 thoughts on “KotM2 Fight! Broodiken”

  1. Insidious! (In the best possible way.)

    Question: What kind of damage does the brood do against the “mother” when it is “born”? If they aren’t cut out (which I assume would deal at least normal dagger damage, possibly per broodiken) does mommy bust open like the guy from Alien?

  2. Holy crap!

    This is really good. Everything about it just *works*; it’s very simple, yet compelling on a number of levels. And all the imagery fits like a glove.

    I presume these dudes get to use Dex for their CMB?

  3. @ Demosthenes777 — Insidious = Inside of us? // I should have include a line on damage by birthing. I’d say with a weapon, normal weapon damage (no strength bonus) with a DC 20 heal check allowing half damage. When the brood chews its way out, each one makes a damage roll, minimum 4 points of damage. No heal checks. (Of course the more powerful shamans keep a merciful dagger around for the occasion).

  4. @ Nic Quimby — thanks. Yes, “Creatures that are size Tiny or smaller use their Dexterity modifier in place of their Strength modifier to determine their CMB.”

  5. Okay, that’s the part I was missing (somehow that rule never really sunk in before now; it makes sense HERE, because broodiken are nasty little swarm-grapplers that just latch on wherever they can, but I don’t know how I feel about parties shrinking the halfling to make him a better wrestler).

  6. Nic,

    It might not help the halfling that much because it would increase the size penalty. So, if the halfling had 14 Str and 16 Dex it would even out.

  7. Yea, but how often does that happen? Even an ‘average’ halflings will have 8 strength, 12 dex.

    Anyway, I’m getting off track. Nice job on a really sweet(/creepy) construct. :)

    Also, while I’m already half-on/half-off-track, your RPG Superstar work was a blast. I was a little late to the party, but reading the archives for 2009 and 2008 was a lot of fun.

  8. Nice work! Reading through it, i remembered the feeling i got reading the tome of horrors.

    Mechanically well crafted and the storytelling potentials are very high! One can build a low level adventure based solely on these monsters.

  9. J Christopher Harris

    Outstanding. Reminds me of the flavor of magic in R. Scott Bakker’s books, and that’s a damn good thing.

  10. Thanks DoomedPaladin, Sungar, and J Christopher,

    I’m quite happy with the votes I’m getting. I think there were a lot of excellent monsters in this run of the competition, many of whom deserve more votes than they’ve gotten.

    Just to name two, I thought the Thistle and the Hooded Hunter really worked. They were so well written that they didn’t have to chew their way out of someone’s belly to be any good.

  11. Oh, yeah, and the Palaver. I even love the picture that KQ’s chosen for that one. The demonic remainder of an obsequious court adviser has a place in any Tian Xia campaign.

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