View Full Version : [Creature-MitP]Darwin's worst nightmare

2006-08-30, 10:24 PM
Continuing the cryptic trend of subject posting, here's another of my creations, this one entirely original (though as you'll see it can be complex to actually keep track of the thing's stats)
I originally envisioned this as something similar to an Otyugh, but it's evolved somewhat since then. You have my permission to groan at that pun.
Submitted for Monsters in the Playground (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=homebrew;action=display;num=11557461 87;start=0)

Medium Aberration
Hit Dice: 12d8 + 36 (90 hp)
Speed:30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 18 (+3 Dex, +5 Natural), touch 13, flatfooted 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/+12
Attack: Pseudopod slam +13 melee (1d8+3)
Full Attack:2 Pseudopod slams +13/+8 melee
Space/Reach:5 ft/10 ft
Special Attacks: Adaptive Mimicry, Pseudopod Slam
Special Qualities: Adaptive Absorption, Adaptive Defense, Darkvision 60', Fast Healing 5, Linguistic Adaptation, Reactive Resistance, +2 (racial) bonus to all saves
Saves: Fort +9, Ref +9, Will +10
Abilities: Str 16, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 13, Wis 10, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +14, Swim +14, Climb +14, Spot +13
Feats: Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Weapon focus (slam)
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually Chaotic Neutral
Advancement: 13-18 HD (Medium); 19-30 HD (Large)

An Adapter may resemble a small otyugh, but the truth is that the Adapter has much more refined tastes.
The Adapter consists of four legs supporting a leathery torso roughly the size and shape of a pig with a single large tentacle sprouting from its back. It has no apparent facial features but a small cluster of cilia-like sensory appendages surround the "tentacle," which is actually an extruded pseudopod and allows the creature both to attack and to absorb food. A multi-coloured, oily sheen covers the Adapter, making it somewhat difficult to focus - an impression helped by the fact that the Adapter's flesh constantly changes texture, colour and consistency as well as being in a state of persistent twitching, roiling motion.

Combat - Adapters in combat typically attempt to knock down a first or single foe with a trip attack, then attack their opponents once each if possible in order to gain the benefits of their Adaptive Absorption. They make liberal use of their Improved Trip and Combat Reflexes feats in order to keep as many opponents as possible out of an immediate conflict, and tend to fight conservatively and carefully. An Adapter losing a fight is generally more inclined to flee and nurse its wounds if possible than to fight to the death.
Languages Spoken: Common, Special (see Linguistic Adaptation below)

Adaptive Absorption (Su): The Adapter constantly seeks to emulate its foes' strengths, and is able to do so to an extent. Whenever it hits any foe for the first time in a 24-hour period, it receives a temporary +2 to the ability score which is highest for that opponent. Modifiers from up to 1 different foe per two Adapter HD stack, although the temporary scores fade after 1d4 hours. When encountered, a typical Adapter will have two +2 enhancements to its ability scores (roll 1d6 or select)

Adaptive Defense (Ex): The Adapter's exact texture and composition is in a constant state of flux, so that the creature can adapt most favorably to any condition. At any given time, the Adapter resists physical damage or the type it most recently sustained above all others; it receives DR 2/- and DR 5/anything but the most recent damage type it received (slash/pierce/bludgeon). For example, an Adapter who's been hit most recently with a club will have DR 2/-, and 5/(slashing or piercing). If the most recent hit dealt multiple types of damage, the Adapter may select either one of those two as its strong resistance.

Adaptive Mimicry (Su): Once every 1d4 rounds, an Adapter may use a full-round action to duplicate the effect of any offensive spell of which it has been the target since its last action. The target is selected by the Adapter, and the effect has a caster level of (and effects based on) half the caster level of the original spell. Its DC and any effect dependent on casting ability modifier uses the original caster's ability score. Use of this ability does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Linguistic Adaptation (Ex): An Adapter produces language by modulating vibration of certain of its sensory appendages to create sound and communicate. An Adapter's bonus language is unselected and reflects any language, of the Adapter's choice, spoken by any creature it has touched (excepting languages with both audible and visual components, such as hand-signals). Once selected this language may only be changed upon contact with a creature possessing an applicable language.

Pseudopod Slam (Ex): Due to its purpose both as an instrument of combat and of digestion, the Adapter's slam incorporates enzymes designed to reduce any target to its component particles. As such, rather than the standard 1d4 it instead deals 1d8 damage.

Reactive Resistance (Su): The Adapter secretes a fluid which coats its skin and allows it to resist elemental attacks of the type from which it most recently sustained damage. Whenever the creature is damaged by acid, fire, electrical or cold damage the fluid reacts to intercept the next attack of that elemental type. If the damage is of multiple elements the Adapter may choose which to subsequently resist. The fluid enables an effect similar to Protection from Energy with the following exceptions: the maximum value of the protection granted is triple the Adapter's HD, and the protection remaining increases by 1 point per round for every 2 Adapter HD.

Edit - realised the base attack was off, and modified to incorporate repairs to the damage resistance ability. That'll teach me to make up monsters while I'm smoking...
Ok, that's the feats patched up and the +2 to saves inserted as a racial special - if I were enhancing it beyond 20 I'd consider raising that to +3 or +4. I've thought about the AC and I'm not sure it needs much work - with a few dex absorptions it rises nicely enough, though I did rethink the fast healing - 5 is more appropriate. I may have got a bit verbose with the Reactive Resistance section ;) As to CR, I was initially thinking to post it as a CR 8 but decided I'd made it a bit ornery; still, it's not a 10. I did realise though that for a reaching tripping critter who likes to hit multiple targets, Combat Reflexes was a retroactive no-brainer. Rethought again and added a +2 natural - 5 is consistent with tough hide. Should give it a little more melee resilience.
Edit - added enough intelligence to take advantage of Combat Expertise and trip. Duh.

2006-08-30, 10:37 PM
Energy Resistence and damage reduction are opposites - your apparent intent with the DR is that he gets DR 5 that applies only to the last physical damage type he took, and a non-stacking DR 2 vs. everything else. Unfortunately, as worded, if he gets hit by a slashing weapon, he ends up with DR 5/Slashing, DR 2/Piercing, and DR 2/Bludgeoning.... which means a slashing weapon penetrates the DR 5, and only has to deal with DR 2. If he gets hit by a piercing weapon, he ends up with DR 5/Piercing, DR 2/bludgeoning, and DR 2/Slashing.... which means the next piercing weapon to come along only has to deal with an effective DR of 2, as it penetrates the DR 5....

Common confusion, but the exact wording you're after for the technical definitions of DR is DR 2/- (vs. everything) and DR 5/Slashing Or Piercing after being hit with a Bludgeoning weapon, DR 5/Piercing or Bludgeoning after being hit with a Slashing weapon, and DR 5/Slashing or bludgeoning after being hit with a piercing weapon.

Then, of course, someone will hit him with a Morningstar and be subject to two damage types simultaneously....

Edit: Yeah, that's good. At least, it says what I'm pretty sure you mean, now.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-08-31, 08:17 AM
This is an interesting idea. Hmmmm....Only thing I would do would be to bump the CR to 10.

MitP Vote: Yes.

2006-08-31, 10:13 AM
looks fun, can i have one as a pet?

Mitp Vote Yes

Saithis Bladewing
2006-08-31, 10:16 AM
MitP Vote: Yes.

2006-08-31, 10:20 AM
An excellent character concept, although two mechanics questions:
Why the three feats on saving throws?
With a +2 racial bonus on saving throws (which would fit the character flavor just as much), you can replace those three feats with others, such as Combat Expertise (it's a pre-req for Improved Trip), Improved Natural Attack (1d8 becomes 2d6), etc. this creature can be a very, very unique CR10.

And, any ideas on how to best make the AC of this creature high enough to survive more than one or two rounds of melee? Even with its DR, 16 AC for CR9 or 10 is incredibly low, a full-bab level 9 PC with just 20 Strength and Weapon Focus is hitting on anything but a critical failure. Or Power-Attacking for an extra 9-18 damage an attack.

A 10/10 for concept, and an 8/10 for mechanics.

2006-08-31, 10:40 AM
Reactive Resistance is worded a bit wonky, and I agree that its feats should be reconsidered.

Despite that, MitP Vote: Yes

2006-08-31, 03:44 PM
Dangnabbit, y'see these are the things I neglect when I'm baked... ;)

As to the feats, I'd totally forgotten that Expertise is required for the Improved feats; I'll have to repair that and you guys are completely correct that just giving it an ad hoc +2 racial save and removing those 3 feats is probably the best answer (though it does beg the question of what else could work well with the critter's abilities)

The AC I'll definitely have to fix up a bit, and I'm thinking natural has to be the way to work it. I'll have to rough up some fixes and get those edited in later. Perhaps I'll give it the ability to absorb magic items and a potential for 'owning' a RoP or AoNA and 'absorbing' its functions; that should work fairly well and retain the critter's flavour. I'll do some virtual combats later and see what I come up with.
Nope, I can't really shoehorn items in there; perhaps with its big brother, but not yet. It should be resilient enough (and surprising enough, to most players) to survive reasonably well, and the fast healing bump should help a bit there too.

As for Reactive Resistance I'll work out a better wording on that (I agree it's not ideal yet) - essentially, it's an ablative elemental shield which protects vs the last element against which it failed to protect, maxing at 20 total and regenerating its protection 5 points' worth a round, but that's not quite d20-quality language :) I'll do better :) I'm also not entirely sure that this particular ability is quite strong enough - it'd take about a level 7-8 fireball once every 4 rounds, which may not quite be where I want it (I'm considering giving it 10/round to a max of 30)

Edit - The saddest thing is that even if this does get in the collection, I won't be able to use the flavour text I'd prefer.
...but which is quite incapable of drinking the coffee.

2006-08-31, 10:27 PM
I really want to see this put into Mitp, but please come back and polish it up, 'kay?

Mitp vote: yes

2006-09-04, 03:13 PM
MitP Vote: Yes

2006-09-06, 09:43 PM
MitP: Yes, caveat on cleanup.

2006-09-07, 12:55 PM
Ok, it's currently about as cleaned-up as I'm aware it specifically needs to be; some of you might have specific adjustments in mind which either haven't been made clear to me or which I've missed or ignored in earlier items in the thread. That said, if there's anything specific people have issues with, let me know and I'll either justify things or change 'em to accommodate, depending.