Theseus faced many obstacles on his way to Athens to claim his birthright. Less than a day’s travel from the great city, the young hero felt confident. Yet darkness was coming, and Theseus looked for a place to spend the night. To his surprise, in the valley ahead there was a large manor house with pastures and vineyards.
A richly dressed man greeted Theseus as he approached. The landowner explained that though he rarely had visitors this far afield, he enjoyed nothing more than entertaining guests and hearing tales of their travels. He invited Theseus to share a meal with him and stay for the night. For — as the man explained — he had a magic bed that fits every guest perfectly no matter their stature and that rids them off all ills. [More…]
Hungry and tired, Theseus was grateful for the man’s hospitality. His host went to prepare the bed straight away, so that his guest might take a nap before dinner. As he waited, Theseus looked around the house. As Theseus marveled at the many fine furnishings and decorations, the sudden appearance of a servant startled him.
The servant warned Theseus not to sleep in the guest bed, for her master was in truth the bandit Procrustes, the Stretcher. The bed did not adjust itself to fit the occupant; rather it adjusted the occupant to fit the bed! If the recliner were too tall, it cut off his feet, and if he were too short, the bed stretched him like a rack. In this way, Procrustes had killed many travelers and stolen their possessions.
The servant disappeared at the sound of her master’s footsteps. Procrustes took Theseus to the room and showed him the marvelous bed. Feigning wonderment, Theseus asked his host to show him how the bed worked. Yet the man would not, claiming that it would dispel the magic if he were to lie on it himself. Theseus insisted and forced Procrustes onto the bed, which killed him as it had so many before.
Procrustean Bed CR 5
Always N Large construct
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +0, Spot +0
AC 14, touch 9, flat-footed 14
(+5 natural, –1 size)
hp 63 (6d10+30)
Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2
Hardness 5; Immune Construct traits
Speed 40 ft.
Melee guillotine +7 (2d4+4/18-20) and
manacles +5 (1d6+2)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks improved grab, shorten, stretch
Before Combat A Procrustean bed waits until someone lies on it or sees through its glamer before it attacks.
During Combat A Procrustean bed attempts to grapple a single target, while biting with its guillotine at any allies its victim may have. Once it has grappled a victim, it attempts to either shorten or stretch them to death, before moving on to a new target.
Morale A Procrustean bed has no self-preservation instinct and fights to the death.
Str 18, Dex 10, Con –, Int –, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +4; Grp +12
Glamer (Su) Illusion masks a Procrustean bed, concealing its mechanisms and matching its appearance with its surroundings. A character who interacts with the glamer or has been warned about the bed, receives a DC 13 Will save to see through the illusion.
Improved Grab (Ex) If a Procrustean bed hits with a manacles attack, it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. The bed can grapple a creature of up to Large size.
Shorten (Ex) A Procrustean bed can make a guillotine attack against a Medium or larger foe it is grappling without penalty. In addition, it treats the target as prone (–4 AC).
Stretch (Ex) A Procrustean bed can stretch a Medium or smaller creature with a successful grapple check dealing 1d6+6 points of damage plus 1 point of Strength damage.
At first glance, a Procrustean bed looks like nothing more than a wooden four-poster bed. A glamer matches the bed’s appearance to whatever decor surrounds it, whether opulent or simple, well treated or decrepit. In truth, its curtains conceal a sharp blade suspended between the posts, while its base contains torturous pulleys and chains. When the bed is animate, the chains writhe like tentacles, while the guillotine blade gnashes like steel teeth. Though ambulatory, once placed in a room, a Procrustean bed will rarely leave.
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