View Full Version : [Creature-MitP]This scares even me, a little.

2006-09-01, 01:54 AM
I'll say up front, I was initially working on patterning things after the Tarrasque in terms of making a serious-as-anything one-shot baddie. I'm not sure I've completely succeeded, since part way through I relented a bit and realised that the Tarrasque just isn't a fair CR 20 - so I've tried to make this about the baddest REAL 20 I could envision. This one's based very loosely around a creature from a book by Jack Chalker - if you're ever at a loss for creature designs, there are far worse sources than books for inspiration :) Here, then, is the Grraaacht.

Submitted for Monsters in the Playground (http://www.giantitp.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=homebrew;action=display;num=11557461 87;start=0)

Large Outsider (Native)
Hit Dice:20d8+144 (234 hp)
Speed:15 ft (3 squares) or as host (see below)
Armor Class: 22 (dex+7, natural +6, size -1), touch 16, flatfooted 15 (or as host)
Base Attack/Grapple: +20/+32
Attack: As host; or Slam +27
Full Attack: As host; or Slam +27/+22/+17/+12 (1d6+8 and ability drain)
Space/Reach: 5 ft/10 ft
Special Attacks: Ability Drain, Ability Theft, Identity Theft, Spell-like Abilities
Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 10/-, Energy resistance (Universal) 20, Fast Healing 5, Outsider traits (Native subtype), SR (10+HD)
Saves: Fort +21, Ref +19, Will +16
Abilities: 26 Str, 24 Dex, 28 Con, 22 Int, 18 Wis, 4 Cha
Skills: Knowledge: Arcana +24, Knowledge: History +27, Knowledge: Nobility +24, Knowledge: Religion +24, Bluff +20, Disguise +20, Hide +27, Gather Information +20, Move Silently +32, Spot +27, Listen +27, Search +27, Swim +31, Spellcraft +25, Speak Language (Common, Elven, Dwarven, Gnome, Halfling, Orc, Giant, Draconic, Abyssal, Infernal, Celestial, Undercommon, Sylvan)
Feats: Greater Spell Focus (Enchantment), Spell Focus (Enchantment), Spell Focus (Transmutation), Spell Penetration, Greater Spell Penetration, Skill Focus (Bluff), Combat Expertise
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 20
Treasure: Triple Standard
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Advancement: 21+HD (Large)
Level Adjustment: -
I've had many names, but the first I remember is the one my earliest victims all called out - Grraaacht!

The Grraaacht was originally designed by a deeply psychotic but technically gifted wizard as the perfect spy. Originally formed of the ill-advised but competently-managed merging and transmutative manipulation of local children, pets and small summoned fiends, it resembles a large, leathery humanoid whose limbs and body are in constant flux, rapidly changing their length, complexion and thickness seemingly at random. Its original design was as a creature capable of working its way into any enclave, masquerading as one of their own, but as its power grew it quickly tired of its creator's control, finally stealing his identity. Its creation had ingrained in it spell-like abilities intended to aid in its mission of espionage, which have proved every bit as valuable in its pursuit of fun, generally at the expense of others. It typically attempts to use its Identity Theft in private or under conditions where it doesn't feel threatened, and often uses its skills to determine incoming threats so that it may intercept and neutralise them, or flee to a more favorable battlefield. It generally tries to keep a selection of attractive hosts under its control (if not in its presence at all times) and attempts escape if it believes it's in true danger. In combat it generally makes use only of its host's abilities unless exposed or significantly threatened, at which time it makes intelligent use of the most effective abilities at its disposal. In its natural form, it will usually attempt to waylay, render unconscious or charmed and then steal the identity of a lone wanderer. Due to the instability of its natural form, it is unable to move with particular grace or rapidity, and thus prefers to move from host to host.

Ability Drain (Su): When the Grraaacht strikes a foe in melee in its natural form, that opponent must make a will save (DC 25, con-based) or lose one point each of Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. Success eliminates the drain.

Ability Theft (Su): When the Grraaacht is adjacent to an opponent who is incapable of defending himself, it may take a full round action to envelop and begin draining that opponent's Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma. The process involves the Grraaacht (or its host) seeming to melt sideways to attach to its victim. A character so assaulted receives a DC 29 (con-based) will save to reduce the drain damage to 1 point per ability. An opponent who fails his save has each ability drained 1d4+1 points. The victim does not die when reduced to 0 in this manner, and the Grraaacht will continue until all three ability scores are 0 if pursuing an Identity Theft.

Identity Theft (Su): When enveloping an opponent of medium, large or huge size whose ability scores have been completely drained, the Grraaacht may take a full round action to occupy that opponent's body and animate it. If it already had a host, it leaves behind a small pile of that host's bones and remaining goods. Having recently absorbed its opponent's entire personality, it is able to almost perfectly imitate any host whose body it inhabits (+15 circumstance bonus to any skill checks made to establish its identity). Its ability scores are temporarily adjusted to reflect the better of its own scores and those of its host, adding back any mental statistics drained by the Grraaacht's own attacks. It retains its own natural armor bonus and selects from its host's equipment as best complemented by its merged ability scores. It is capable of using any of its own, or its host's, spell-like, supernatural and extraordinary abilities as well as all its skills, feats, and class features. (duplicates in any case do not stack). Any attempt to use skills, feats, features or abilities opposed to its own alignment (i.e. specifically requiring a Good or Lawful alignment) forces the Grraaacht to make a will save, DC 25, or lose that ability entirely. Any attempt to discern the creature's alignment while imitating a host also forces it to make a will save, DC 25. If successful, its alignment appears to be that of the original host and any other attempts made by that caster will yield the same result. If failed, the caster learns the Grraaacht's true Chaotic Evil alignment (but does not necessarily understand its meaning). An opponent whose identity has been stolen in this manner cannot be raised normally; attempts to cast Resurrection* force the Grraaacht to make a will save, DC 20+1/2 victim's original HD + caster's wisdom modifier, or be forcibly ejected from what is now completely a corpse, suffering 12d8+72 damage in the process. This damage is not subject to healing through the Grraaacht's fast healing ability. If the Grraaacht fails its save, the resurrection may proceed as normal; in any other case it fails. If True Resurrection is used, the DC is 25+1/2 victim's HD + caster's wisdom modifier. If the Grraaacht has already moved on to a new host, the saving throw DC is increased by +5 and the damage is reduced to 1d8+6. Resurrection of a previous host does not expel the Grraaacht from its current host, if any, though it does cause the expulsion of a small remainder of that prior host's mass.
*Resurrection requires a piece of the creature's body post-mortem, so possession of such a piece relies on wish or similar magic, engagement of the Grraaacht while it emulates the creature, or sifting its leavings for expelled bone mass when it's taken a new host.

Spell-like Abilities: At will- Daze (DC 20), Mage Armor, Feather Fall. 3/day - Charm Person (DC 21), Deep Slumber (DC 23). 1/day - Charm Monster (DC 24), Polymorph (DC 22). 1/week - Dominate Person (DC 25), Baleful Polymorph (DC 23). The Grraaacht casts as a 10th-level wizard and the DCs are intelligence-based. The Grraaacht must prepare its spell-like uses as a wizard, however its 'spellbook' is written into its own creation and thus it is able to prepare its intrinsic abilities without external reference.

Edit - Fixed type syntax
Edit - fixed the alignment-based abilities in Identity Theft; it can fool some of the Gods some of the time... :) Also removed notes from when I was creating it, and fixed up the description a touch. Also put in a secondary clause for the resurrections and a qualification. Touched up a couple of descriptions to mention the left-behind bones and such... I don't think I need describe the "such" do I, but there's bound to be a little meat too, or at least gristle. :)
Edit - don't believe nobody caught that - changed the spell focus(evo) to (enc) as I'd initially intended them to be. Which raises the DC a bit, even if its host doesn't have an int bigger than 18.
Edit - Did the saves DC's up, revised the int a bit because mental saves were a couple points lower than I'd anticipated, adjusted saves for ability drain based on HD; the slam takes a -4 penalty on its DC which I've included.

2006-09-01, 02:37 AM
Only thing I really noticed was that it should be listed as a:

Large Outsider (Native)

Rather than a:

Large native Outsider

Fualkner Asiniti
2006-09-01, 07:59 AM

You should put a descritpion in the flavor text. right now I'm envisioning an Ooze. So, you should write a description.

*shivers more*

MitP vote: Yes.

*curls in fetal position*

Lord Iames Osari
2006-09-01, 08:07 AM
MitP Vote: Yes. Now go away!

2006-09-01, 08:58 AM
It is indeed very scary.

MitP Vote: Yes

2006-09-01, 10:55 AM
When it does an Identity Theft, what do the Detect Law/Chaos/Good/Evil spells get on it? If it snatches a Paladin, a Druid, or some similar class, does it get those abilities too?

EDIT: I mean things like Aura of Good and Divine Health for a Paladin; Nature Sense and Wild Empathy for a Druid; Rage for a Barbarian - basically anything that's under the things you lose if you become and Ex-Paladin, Ex-Druid, Ex-Barbarian, etc.

2006-09-01, 02:05 PM
with a 4 charisma, the charm person spell is going to fail almost always... but otherwise this could be dangerous..

2006-09-01, 02:47 PM
So...it's a nastier version of the Doppleganger?

2006-09-01, 07:03 PM
with a 4 charisma, the charm person spell is going to fail almost always... but otherwise this could be dangerous..
Muhahahahahaaaaa... Not if it's recently eaten an Erinyes, it's not :)

That's the trade-off though, really - in private, it has all the time it could want, but in combat it's not really much of an option unless it's up against players of level 10-13 or so. In which case they should be running as fast as they can when it takes over their NPC friend :)

Fualkner - funny you should mention that - I was torn between native outsider and ooze based on the conflict between its creation and its nature - I opted for outsider for two reasons - simpler to do the BAB/saves, and I didn't want to confuse this with one of those generally-mindless ilk :)

It definitely displays a few oozelike qualities though, which can also be played up in a first-time encounter depending on how much flavour you like to give your players. If/when my group gets to 20, this thing will definitely be scoping them out as a potential threat; their bad luck if it decides they ARE one :)

Telonius - that's a damn good question and one of which I hadn't thought previously - I've got an answer already (not a tough question, but very very good) and will be editing it in shortly :)

Winged One
2006-09-01, 07:08 PM
MitP vote: yes.

2006-09-01, 07:28 PM
I can't help but notice gnomes and other well-deserving-of-such-a-fate Small creatures are immune to Identiy Thief... overlook, or on purpose?

I would boost it's Charisma significantly, and maybe lower Dexterity if you feel the need to balance it out. Seems like the kind of creature that would be able to hold people transfixed, even as a gross, leathery thing. That and, as said, he'd prettymuch automatically fail on any Charm Person attempt.

Will saves seem a bit low for True Ressurection and losing a good/lawful aligned ability (only needs to roll a 9), but then again I'm not that great at balancing things out.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-09-01, 07:29 PM
Sounds alot like a Tsochar.

So, uh, whats it look like?

2006-09-01, 08:25 PM
I can't help but notice gnomes and other well-deserving-of-such-a-fate Small creatures are immune to Identiy Thief... overlook, or on purpose?
On purpose actually - I don't want it becoming bigger than huge because it'd get way too nutty (though a larger Grraaacht, were anyone so inclined to find a wizard to make one, could probably do so) and I figure it probably doesn't care that much about being small - medium is 'standard' for most societies it would want to infiltrate, acceptable in even most small areas if not necessarily welcome, and it's not like a catatonic halfling is going anywhere, before OR after he fails his will save. :)

Seems like the kind of creature that would be able to hold people transfixed, even as a gross, leathery thing. That and, as said, he'd prettymuch automatically fail on any Charm Person attempt.
I can see the point there, I suppose there might be room to give it a BIT more... But really it's intended more to be a leapfrogger than a stay-at-home; it would far rather be living someone else's life, and then someone he knew, and then someone she knew - and most of its targets are going to have enough of a charisma score that they will provide it the ability to charm and dominate their neighbors. Essentially, I want it not to want to be itself, if you see what I mean.

Will saves seem a bit low for True Ressurection and losing a good/lawful aligned ability (only needs to roll a 9), but then again I'm not that great at balancing things out.
It all depends, really - if it ate a 10 HD creature and a cleric with a fairly low 20 wis does the True Res, you're talking about a DC 35 and the Grraaacht needs to roll a 14 at best, a 19 at worst (and having taken a 10 HD, it's more likely to need a 17+ roll to save)
As to losing the lawful or good ability, the thing to remember is the save must be made every time an ability is used; so it might be able to cast a spell with the Good descriptor once, but it has to save again next time. Ditto turning, any Paladin ability, any Monk ability and so on. I suppose I could probably make it a will save raised by number of times used though...

Edit - Having done a little research it turns out Tsochar are aberrations and more like The Thing than this, but definitely there's some kindred thinking there in general terms. This guy has better saves and attack per hit die though, and the skills to back up the career in espionage. This guy also has no symbiotic properties - it's a parasite, through and through, absorbing, killing and using its host until it finds a better, and lining up likely prospects when it's able. I've patched up the descriptions a bit now, so rather than repeat myself I'll just direct your attention upward :)

2006-09-01, 08:33 PM
Yea, nevermind about the saving throws; I misread, they're fine imo.

2006-09-01, 08:50 PM
Veeeeeery sloooooow. Honestly, the main problem I see with this guy is that even with his great Hide and MS skills, he's going to have a hard time acquiring kills. He DOES have Deep Slumber, but the DC is unimpressive and won't drop many higher-caliber creatures.

2006-09-01, 09:06 PM
Bear in mind though Athanatos, the intent is that it wants to hop host to host, and that speed, coupled with its low natural charisma, is just about its only real weakness (well, other than that will save ;) ). I'll admit though, I'm sort of tempted to raise his SLA quotient to make Dominate and Charm Monster a little more worthwhile.

2006-09-01, 09:25 PM
Nice monster! Its powers remind me of Bebi's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bebi#Special_Attacks).

*Resurrection requires a piece of the creature's body post-mortem, so possession of such a piece relies on wish or similar magic, engagement of the Grraaacht while it emulates the creature, or sifting its leavings for expelled bone mass when it's taken a new host.

That doesn't apply to True Resurrection, so if you want it to be totally resurrection-proof then you should remove that bit I just quoted.

2006-09-01, 11:28 PM
sounds nasty. where do you want to put it, in your campaign, or wherever?
gah, all these people with human bard avis.

2006-09-02, 12:50 AM
wait...does this thing take the creature's soul and use it as part of the identity theft? Or is it only in cases where the body is necessary that it most make a will save or be ejected? By the way, was it on purpose that it's name sounds like someone trying to scream but having his windpipe squeezed to hard to do so?

2006-09-02, 03:46 PM
KS - that's the researchable angle of attack for an intelligent party; the Achilles' Heel, if you will. It's still not entirely perfect because the creature does its utmost to protect itself and if it knows the party knows who's its primary 'self' it'll jump bodies knowing it can absorb the lesser damage much more readily.

The balance is derived in part also from the fact that a resurrection costs 10k gp whereas True costs 25. The extra 15k is worth a raise in DC by 5 and worth not having to find a piece of the body.

Tom - I intend to have this thing in cities mainly, going through a victim at a time in bad areas of town and occasionally setting itself up in luxury by way of the servants' entry. I may drop the party hints or use a little deus ex machina to have it eat a follower or NPC guide if it sees them as a potential threat and opts to research things, but ultimately there're a number of ways I can introduce it :) In the meantime, it continues to keep the poor quarter free of freeloaders ;)

Eigth - More smothered than throttled, but that was the general idea :) It actually does hold the souls of all those it's absorbed (save those few who've been resurrected) along with a remnant of still-vital biological material, but only the current host is important to the masquerade; I realise though that I was unclear on what I intended with the lesser damage hit, so I'll fix that momentarily. Effectively, the 1d8+6 damage won't expel the creature but will expel a small amount of goo and bone which corresponded to that ex-host.

Edit - there we go, all updated and getting a bit more polished :)