View Full Version : Screamer [3.5 Race/Monster]

Admiral Squish
2010-07-22, 02:18 AM

Medium Abberation
Hit Dice: 2d8+2
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 feet (6 squares)
Armor Class: 12 (+2 natural), 10 touch, 12 flat-footed
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+2
Attack: Claw +1 melee (1d4) or Sonic Ray +1 ranged touch (1d8)
Full Attack: 2 claws +1 melee (1d4) and Sonic Ray +1 ranged touch (1d8)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Scream, Sonic Ray
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60, Blindsense 120, Immunities, Sonic Protection
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +5
Abilities Str 10, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 14
Skills: Listen +17, Move silently +5
Feats: Improved Initiative
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary, Pair, or Choir (20-30, plus 2-8 destrachans)
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +1

The creature that strides out of the dark seems completely unphased by the lack of light. At the edge of your torchlight, the humanoid shape appears to be an elf at first with long, pointed ears. But it's too muscular, and it's fingers end in claws. As it steps into the light, you see why it cared nothing about the dark. It's head bears no eyes, not even indentations for eyes, a perfectly smooth head above the flat nose. It's skin is olive and pebbly, and it's ears constantly swivel and flick independently of one another, each with a half-dozen specialized chambers. It bears a short, thick tail, and a couple of bony protrusions around the shoulders. Then, it opens it's jaws and screams, the sound tearing into you painfully.

In the winding, underground caverns beneath the world, sounds can sometimes carry for miles, and the intense solitude of the darkness can drive men mad. Vrak the Critic went mad in a very interesting. Fascinated by the properties of sound, he retreated to the caverns to study echoes and the carrying of sounds through the cavernous tunnels. But as the years wore on, Vrak began to speak of hearing a music of some sort, a symphony of silence that nobody else could detect. Determined to prove he wasn't mad, he studied sound and the way it was heard. He became fascinated with the complicated structures of the ears of the many creatures of the caverns, and theorized that they would be able to hear the symphony of silence.

His favorite subject was the destrachan. Unfortunately, though able to understand what he was saying, they were unable to respond to him but with crude pictures. Using his magic, he managed to blend the traits of the destrachan with those of a human, creating a creature he had hoped capable of hearing the symphony he spoke of and telling him of it. However, instead, these creatures quickly took control of the creation circles and chased away Vrak. Now, the Screamers multiply in the caves, eager to carve an underground empire that could even rival the drow.


A screamer usually opens up at a range with it's scream, trying to kill or knock out as many enemies as possible as it approaches. If enemies are heavily armed, he may try to shatter their weapons with his sonic ray before moving on to killing/knocking them out. Once in melee, they attack with claws or whatever weapons they may posses. A favorite tactic is to attack in a choir, layering their screams until an enemy is literally torn apart.

Scream (Ex):
A screamer is most famous for his scream. As a standard action, he may let loose a 30-foot cone of sonic energy that has a different effect depending on how they tune it. The DCs for these effects is 10+ 1/2 HD + cha
Flesh: This attack deals 1d6 sonic damage to living creatures in the cone for every two HD the screamer has. A successful reflex save halves the damage.
Nerves: This attack deals 1d8 nonlethal damage to living creatures in the cone for every two HD the screamer possesses. A successful reflex save halves the damage. In addition, anyone caught in the scream's area must make a fortitude save or be deafened for one round.
Material This attack shatters objects within the cone. Choose wood, stone, metal, or glass. All objects made of that material within the area must succeed on a DC 12 Fortitude save or shatter. Objects with up to 5 HP/HD of the screamer can be affected by this.

Sonic Ray (Ex): A screamer can fire a concentrated blast of sonic energy from his mouth as a natural attack. This attack deals 1d8 damage and ignores hardness. It has a range of 30 feet with no range increment.

Blindsight (Ex):
A screamer can use hearing to ascertain the location of all creatures within 60 feet as a sighted creature would.

Blindsense (Ex):
A screamer can use hearing to locate all creatures within 120 feet. Creatures within this range the screamer cannot actually 'see' still have total concealment against him.

Immunities (Ex): a screamer's lack of eyes leaves it immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight.

Sonic Protection (Ex):
While a screamer can be affected by loud noises or sonic damage, a screamer gains a +4 bonus to all saves against any sonic effect. A screamer whose hearing is impaired is effectively blinded.

A screamer's voice can be melodious or terrifying, and their incredible control over it gives them a +4 racial bonus to bluff, diplomacy, gather information, and intimidate checks that involve speaking, as well as perform (sing) checks. A screamer has a +10 racial bonus to listen checks.

Screamers as Characters:

Personality: Screamers are crafty, cruel, and violent. Their destrachan heritage manifests itself as a pathological desire to hurt and kill that mixes well with their more human nature of cooperation and settlement. Screamers are individuals first and foremost, but they work well with others of their kind. Outsiders are generally thought of as tools and eventual targets.
Physical Description: Screamers are about six feet tall. Males have racks of bony projections on their shoulders nd the back of their neck while females lack them, with more rounded shoulders. Their faces look mostly human, though the nose is somewhat flattened and there are no eyes, or even indentations where eyes should be. Large ears at the sides of their heads constantly swivel and flick. A number of partitions within the ear render it complex and sensitive. Their skin is olive-colored and somewhat pebbly. Their four-fingered hands end in blackened claws, the ones on their indexes longer and slightly more curved. Their toes are similarly clawed and the walk on the balls of their feet, their heels up off the ground, making their feet vaguely resemble a tyrannosaur's.
Relations: Screamers are aggressively expanding their tiny nation as the magic circles that create them work full-time and those created are beginning to mate. The majority of undergrounders are somewhat divided about them. The drow believe them a tiny upstart that will pose no great threat to their empire. The kobolds see them as potential slaves, their sonic attacks would be extremely useful in tunneling if they could be properly controlled. Dwarves and deep gnomes view them as abominations that must be held back, but most see the military forces required to exterminate them as too much of a cost, both in gold and in lives. The screamers themselves are eager to establish their military might and are beginning to organize raids on nearby settlements.
Alignment: Screamers are amoral at best, the vast majority being a solid, unapologetic evil. Their city-building may suggest a lawful alignment, but it's more a collaboration of individuals that simply share the same goal.
Screamer Lands: Screamers still mainly inhabit the cavern of Vrak's Tower. The mage's subterranean tower has been transformed from study to castle. The screamer's sonic attacks allow them to cut and quarry stones rapidly, and they have rapidly fortified and expanded the cave into a city, the entrances guarded heavily. The doors on the tunnel entrances actually incorporate some of the mage's sound studies, opening only with a password-note, a specific frequency of sound. The few outsiders the screamers allow into the cavern are given special tuning forks that ring at the correct frequency.
Religion: Screamers are not a very religious sort. Their origins are clear, they were made with magic, not by some god's wave of the hand. Some screamers actually do find a sort of religion, worshipping the symphony of Silence the mage described, seeking knowledge and enlightenment through music and the exploration of sound itself.
Language: Screamers speak to one another in Common. However, their control over sounds allows them to converse in pitches inaudible to human ears, or low tones that carry miles, inaudible to all but the most sensitive ears.
Adventurers: Screamer adventurers are most likely rogues, relying on their incredible senses to avoid detection and hiding in the deepest shadows. Some, however become bards that use their voices to inspire emotions and bring destruction, and still others become clerics of the Symphony.

+2 Constitution, +4 Wisdom, +4 Charisma.
A screamer's base land speed is 30 feet.
Racial Hit Dice: A screamer begins with two levels of Abberation, which provide 2d8 Hit Dice, a base attack bonus of +1, and base saving throw bonuses of Fort +0, Ref +0, and Will +3.
Racial Skills: A screamer's levels give it skill points equal to 5 × (2 + Int modifier). Its class skills are Climb, Hide, Jump, Listen, Move Silently, and Survival. A screamer gains a +4 racial bonus to bluff, diplomacy, gather information, and intimidate checks that involve speaking, as well as perform (sing) checks, and a +10 racial bonus to listen checks.
Racial Feats: A screamer’s abberation levels give it one feat.
+2 natural armor bonus.
Special Attacks (see above): Scream, Sonic Ray
Special Qualities (see above): Blindsight 60, Blindsense 120, Immunities, Sonic Protection
Automatic Languages: Common. Bonus Languages: Goblin, Elven, Kobold.
Favored Class: Rogue
Level adjustment: +1

The Symphony of Silence:

Lesser Deity (True Neutral)
Portfolio: Caves, Echoes, Sound, Music, Darkness, Silence.
Domains: Cavern, Darkness, Madness, Oracle
Cleric Training: Prospective clerics of the Symphony of Silence must endure a ritual of isolation. The hopeful cleric is taken far from the settlement and left in a sacred cavern. The cleric is frobbidden from speech or any kind of noise-making, made to listen rather than speak. In the utter silence, they remain for a full week until the silence istelf speaks to them in it's transcendent song.
Quests: Clerics of the Symphony of Silence generally don't go on religiously-motivated quests. Their deity has no great will, it simply is. The clerics may sometimes go on quests of their own volition to prevent the loss of the silence of their sacred caverns, disrupting mining operations and pushing back expanding settlements.
Prayers: Prayers to the Symphony of Silence are generally one of two things, either choruses of exuberant song, or completely silent congregations.
Temples: Temples to the Symphony of song are situated in remote caverns, often with many entrances and exits, where the clergy go about their duties in total silence, listening to the silent symphony. However, there are a number of temples within communities that allow casual worshipers to access them.
Rites: Rites to the Symphony include a community-wide moment of silence, heralded by the tolling of a great bell. Te entire community is hushed for a few long moments before they continue their business.
Favored Weapon: Unarmed Strike, or a screamer's Sonic Ray.

Admiral Squish
2010-07-22, 09:43 AM
Alright, I fixed the abominable snarl that was 'screamers as characters'.

Nobody's gonna comment on this? Freaky destrachan-man! What's not to love?

2010-07-22, 10:02 AM
Might be a little higher than challenge rating 1, since you can effectively take out half a level 1 group with a well aimed Nerve Scream. Bring two and the entire group can be unconscious within the first round.

Compare your stat bonuses to the Drow (http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Drow), who has a 2 level adjustment. Also compare your racial skills.

Admiral Squish
2010-07-22, 10:06 AM
Is does come with 2HD, however, so it's actually ECL 3.

2010-07-22, 10:28 AM
Fair enough. So let's say you have a level 3 party. A wizard, rogue, druid, and barbarian. Two of the guys pop out from the side and get a surprise round. They both Nerve Scream. One gets 8 and the other 7. The wizard is down, the rogue either makes the save, goes down, or loses most of his health. The druid probably takes it, but loses at least half his health. The Barbarian is hurt, but still good for combat. Let's the screechers then get initiative. The rogue either makes the save, goes down, or loses most of his health. The druid either makes the save or goes down, and the Barbarian either makes the save or takes another chunk health. So before they have a chance to even fight the Screechers, only the Barbarian (and maybe the rogue) is left standing, and he can be taken down in another round or two (and the rogue shortly after).

Obviously this all counts on the screechers get the surprise round and initiative, but screechers appear to be designed with getting the surprise round in mind, and their initiative is high enough that them getting first attack wouldn't be surprising.

The Tygre
2010-07-22, 04:03 PM
I just got an image of these guys as a destrachan-cavalry. Metal. :smallcool:

2010-07-22, 04:50 PM
Interesting. Couple thoughts:

You neglect to actually give the screamer the "blind" special quality. I suppose its understood?

Need to specify the calculation method for the save DCs on various things.

An at-will breath weapon that deals 1d6/HD with a scaling DC tied to an ability that gains a stat bonus is...pretty dramatic for a PC. For sure it would be LA+2 if it didn't have racial hit dice, but there's a suck factor for the RHD which would reduce the LA...I'd tend to call it square as it is.

Admiral Squish
2010-07-22, 05:19 PM
Okay, to resolve issues with the nerves scream, I moved it down to 1d6/2 HD, and added in a deafened effect dependent on a second save. I think it needs more punch now, though, any ideas?

I also included a general save DC that applies to all scream effects. I'm wondering if charisma really has anything to so with it, though.

EDIT: Also, shuffled around the bonuses a bit. Dropped the str bonus and upped the cha one.

2010-07-22, 06:42 PM
The stat bonuses are nice by themselves for a character and if you add the scream, that makes a damn nice LA+1.

Admiral Squish
2010-07-22, 06:45 PM
People keep forgetting the RHD...

Andion Isurand
2010-07-22, 09:02 PM
You should make those burrowing constructs (w/ Tremorsense) called Screamers that jump out of the sand at you with blades spinning... from the movie Screamers.

2010-07-22, 09:20 PM
This does seem like a nice monster/race. Not quite sure what you could do to give the nerves scream more punch. Maybe have it also gain +1 damage per 2 HD (possibly on the off HD). Would still be weaker than 1d6 per HD, but make it stronger than the Flesh Scream.


Admiral Squish
2010-07-22, 09:54 PM
Maybe make the base a d8 instead?

Admiral Squish
2010-07-23, 03:03 PM
Alright, I made the nerve scream base d8, and I added a PHB-standard entry under racial traits. I'm thinking I may need to make a bard ACF or something, and maybe a proper diety entry for the Symphony of Silence.

Admiral Squish
2010-07-24, 11:56 AM
Alright, added a Deity entry. I'm surprised there's no music domain anywhere I can find...

2011-03-04, 11:21 AM
I still think they either need a higher CR or a higher LA. Altogether, they've got +10 to their various ability scores, right off the bat! Not to mention their nonmagical natural attacks that can totally screw you, and their tendency to get the drop on you.

Makensha is right; they'll totally destroy the average Lv. 1 party in just a few rounds, and even quicker if they get the drop on you.