View Full Version : The Horror! The Horror! (3.5)

Realms of Chaos
2010-10-23, 05:13 PM
The Horror
Large Aberration
HD 9d8+36 (76 HP)
Speed 50 ft. (10 squares); Climb 50 ft.
Init: +8
AC 23 (+10 natural, +4 Dex, -1 size); touch 13; flat-footed 19
BAB +6; Grp +12
Attack Claw +7 melee (1d8+2 plus Disease)
Full-Attack 2 Claws +7 melee (1d8+2 plus Disease)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks Dark Deception, Disease, Ghostly Horror, Petrifying Gaze, False Auras, Spell-like Abilities
Special Qualities Damage Reduction 5/-, Darkvision 60 feet, Immune to Fear, Low-Light Vision, Hidden Horror, Scent, Telepathy 100 feet, Unnatural Form
Saves Fort +6 Ref +7 Will +9
Abilities Str 14, Dex 18, Con 17, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 14
Skills Bluff +14, Concentration +15, Climb +22, Escape Artist +16, Hide +12, Intimidate +14, Move Silently +16, Sense Motive +15
Feats Improved Initiative, Ability Focus (Dark Deception), Improved Toughness, Mindsight (If not using Lords of Madness, replace with combat reflexes)
Environment Any
Organization Solitary
Challenge Rating 7 (???)
Treasure Double Standard
Alignment Always Evil
Advancement ---
Level Adjustment ---

What is that thing? Is it… no. Impossible to tell. Always moving. Always twisting… there it was again… a leg sticking out from its body, kicking out from an awkward angle. Another one emerges, a sharpened claw this time. Those eyes. Those soulless eyes. How did you fail to notice those eyes? What pitiless god could craft such horrid eyes? With a horrid screech, the horror continues forwards, bending and twisting in ways that should rightfully tear it apart…

In this world, there are terrible things… horrible… unspeakable things. Among the most vile in existence are beings simply known as horrors. Though they are quite intelligent and have been known to communicate with their prey, almost nothing is known about their origins, goals, or even physiology. Wrapped beneath layers and layers of enigmas (along with the illusions they carefully weave), horrors are known only for their behavior. Each horror seems to possess a territory of its own, whether a large mansion or a gloomy stretch of swampland. Though they tend towards urban areas, it’s unclear if this is for tactical superiority, greater concentration of victims, or simply for personal comfort (if such concepts exist for a horror at all).
Once it has chosen its home (or perhaps is spawned within its home), it begins its task of scaring, isolating, and brutally murdering every intruder it finds. One of the few things known about horrors is that they are capable of feeling joy. Although the degree of this joy may differ from horror to horror, a couple accounts describe the telepathic “voices” of horrors as being murderously gleeful, sometimes breaking into horrid laughter with no (apparent) cause.
Though capable of telepathic contact with any creature who possesses a language and producing an occasional screech, horrors never speak. Most accounts describe the horrors as being 10 feet long and one story claims that they weigh something like 10 pounds. If you find you, Celestia help you.

The one good thing that can be said about horrors is that they enjoy playing with their prey. Rather than launching frontal assaults, horrors attempt to scare them for awhile before luring or otherwise isolate others so that it can appear before them and attempt to petrify. If this tactic fails, they’ll instead rely upon skirmishes, using incorporeality and long range to attack foes from afar until at least some of them have contracted life blindness, at which point it attacks the uncoordinated foes. It is unknown what will happen when a horror starts losing a fight…

Unnatural Form (Ex): The space that that Horrors occupies in existence follows slightly different rules of reality, allowing it to move in ways that shouldn’t be possible. All attacks of opportunity against a horror gain a 50% miss chance. Furthermore, all grapple checks made against Horrors take a –8 penalty. Lastly, Horrors may fit into small areas as if they were diminutive in size.

Hidden Horror (Su): Horrors are hidden by some of the best stealth imaginable. Fortunately for hunters, however, this stealth is never quite complete. A horror is either invisible (as greater invisibility) or silent (as silence, creating the normal area of effect) at all times. A Horror may switch between these two modes of stealth with a swift action.

Petrifying Gaze (Su): All horrors possess a gaze attack that turns their enemies to stone. Fortunately, only creatures who can see the horror are affected in this way (thus requiring magic while the horror is invisible). The Fortitude DC to resist this petrification is 16. Unlike similar effects, this petrification can effect undead and constructs, though such creatures gain a +4 bonus to their saving throw. As a standard action, a horror can return any number of creatures petrified in this way back into flesh (even if their body has been warped through their stone shape spell-like ability in the meantime, though this would likely kill the victim immediately), regardless of the distance between them. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Ghostly Horror (Su): While invisible (either through hidden horror or some other effect), a Horror can spend a move action to become incorporeal for 1 round. While benefiting from this ability, a horror can see through all nonliving matter (though they know where it begins and ends as if looking at a disbelieved illusion) and such matter blocks neither line of sight nor line of effect for the horror. Lastly, while incorporeal, the horror may make melee touch attacks with its claws, dealing 1d8 damage and delivering disease as normal.

Dark Deception (Su): Three times per day, as a standard action, a horror can choose to imitate either the effects of either the major image spell or those of the false sensory input power (Caster/Manifester Level 10, DC 22). If such an illusion or delusion is dismissed on the round after creating it and it has yet to be disbelieved, however, it does not count towards the daily maximum of the horror. The save DC is Intelligence-based.

False Auras (Su): As a standard action, a horror can create a magical aura within 100 feet that occupies up to four continuous 5-foot squares. The aura created is capable of misleading a single spell or power from the list below, selected as the horror uses this ability. As a move action, a horror may either dismiss any number of auras or move any number of auras up to 50 feet. Multiple auras may occupy overlapping squares, allowing a single square to be detected by multiple forms of divination. The auras last for up to 24 hours before fading away.
Possible spells/powers:

deathwatch (horror selects level of health and it is detected in the targeted square(s) even if there is no creature to see)
detect animal or plant (horror selects type of animal or plant and their “condition”)
detect chaos (select strength of aura, up to maximum of strong)
detect evil (as detect chaos)
detect good (as detect chaos)
detect law (as detect chaos)
detect magic (horror selects school of magic and strength of aura, up to maximum of strong)
detect poison (horror selects variety of poison)
detect scrying (“scrying” is detected when the aura enters the spell’s emanation)
detect secret doors (the horror sets a mechanism or trigger for the door but only if it wishes for one to exist)
detect snares and pits (the horror can either choose a type and trigger for the hazard or leave such matters “unknown”)
detect thoughts (horror dictates surface thoughts and Intelligence score, up to maximum of 25)
Detect Undead (horror dictates strength of aura, up to maximum of strong)
Detect Favored Enemies (as detect undead)
Detect Hostile Intent (“hostile intent” is detected as coming from the aura’s square(s))
Detect Psionics (the horror selects both the discipline and strength of the aura up to a maximum of strong)
Detect Remote Viewing (as detect scrying).

Spell-Like Abilities: At Will – Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound (DC 15), Open/Close, Wood Shape (DC 18), Stone Shape. The Save DCs are Intelligence-based

Disease (Ex): Life Blindness (BoVD). If not using the BoVD, Horrors instead deal 1 point of Wisdom damage with a successful claw attack. Such attacks can’t reduce a target’s Wisdom to below 1, however.

Skills: A horror gains a +8 racial bonus on climb checks and may take 10 on Climb checks even when threatened or distracted.

Commencing the Mindf###:
If you’re having a hard time, here are a couple of ways to really mess with people.
1. Use the duality of stealth to your favor Perhaps the best thing about using a horror is that they can effortlessly shift between a silent killer that doesn’t even let its victims scream and a source of distant skittering/splashing that doesn’t seem to have any source (perhaps have the horror intentionally botch move silently checks on occasion just to freak players out if they’re senses aren’t that good).
If your party is smart, they’ll realize soon enough that so long as they don’t hear the skittering, there’s little risk of claws flying out of walls and through trees to hit you. At the same time, though, silence will mean that anybody who actually finds the thing will be subjected to whatever form of death just left their NPC friend as a literal puddle of flesh and bones but an hour before. The one chance at “safety” that a party has is also their window to attack the horror (well, at least in their heads. The horror can change at will but how would the party know that?). That’s not even bringing up the possibility of having a conversation suddenly cut off as a player walks into the horror’s silence effect, knowing that there’s something right around the next corner ready to melt their face off.
2. Be creative with your deaths: petrifying people and stone shaping them leads to some uniquely gruesome deaths. Releasing the petrification afterwards can lead to even worse scenarios. What would your party say after finding the necropolitan wizard petrified with his left arm, now emerging from his right wrist, midway through the process of strangling himself? What would they say if they found an NPC’s corpse with a blank slate of a face and a message imprinted into it’s stomach? By using this variety of exotic and unpredictable deaths, your party will have no idea what it’s facing or what to do about it. If a horror needs a momentary distraction, there’s nothing quite like the death knells of a stone “table” who was just freed from petrification (or a recently unfrozen zombie in the vicinity of the PCs).
3. Alternate Modes of Communication: Although horrors can communicate through telepathy, that doesn’t mean that it’s the only way that it can talk to your party. Through use of wood shape and stone shape, you could easily “engrave” messages for your party to find (try to imagine a party who thinks that a monster can only talk to them through messages carved into its victims). Likewise, illusions and false sensory input can be used to deliver messages and even humanize the horror…
4. “humanizing” the horror: Surprisingly, horrors have a number of ways to come across as a separate entity, a false ally for your adventurers. While illusions are your best bed, a humanoid dancing lights can also be mistaken for a possible guide (and any form of dancing lights that stays consistently in the same room as the party might be mistaken as an automatic light source…). Most uniquely, a horror can stack up different auras together in order to create the illusion of entities or concepts to some mages. For example, you can overlap four auras to create the magical impression of an intelligent lawful good creature who, far from dead, is actually healthy (fighting off death when viewed by deathwatch). As an example to the contrary, imagine a stairway bustling with evil and undead auras that your party happens to notice… a bit unsettling. Anyhow, such additional entities created by a horror may be used to lead them on a wild goose chase for awhile, give them a task (such as eliminating an ooze that wondered into its property), or lead them directly into a death trap without wasting any time at all.

Happy halloween. :smallbiggrin:

Zeta Kai
2010-10-25, 05:22 AM
You're a sick man, RoC. I like that. :smallamused:

Seriously though, this is the best monster that I've seen in a while. It reminds me a lot of one of Afro's VUA-Villains. The use of Hidden Horror is particularly inspired psychological torture inflicted upon your players. Kudos.

2010-10-25, 05:50 AM
Oooh thats nasty :smallbiggrin: Really reminds me of a creature from Hellraiser comics that was a stiched together abomination of horrid things. Im running a horror campaign soon and I need a big gribbly hidden beast to dash around in the shadows. I think this will be perfect once I get round to it I can give you some playtested feedback :smallsmile:

Morph Bark
2010-10-25, 05:52 AM
Putting this in my Favourites with other monsters, now to wait for the time my party is of roughly the right level to let it at them and create a murder mystery. :smallamused:

Realms of Chaos
2010-10-25, 01:43 PM
Oh wow. For a moment I thought that this thing was going to be completely ignored.

I'm glad that everybody seems to like it, though. :smallbiggrin:

The Vorpal Tribble
2010-10-25, 02:00 PM
I'm especially fond of the idea of its messing with the petrified. Now wanting to work on a 'sculpt flesh' spell that works as shape stone, but you can do strange and unwholesome things to folks.

Grp +8
Forgot the size mod to make it +12. Now it's scarier!

Saves Fort +5 Ref +7 Will +9
Fort is +6

Ghostly Horror (Su):
When he can see through anything, is this even better than normal x-ray vision, being able to see through metals? Also, does force affects still effect him or block sight?

Challenge Rating 7 (???)
Seems about right as it has nearly no immunities or spell resistance.

I'd probably give it immunity or resistance to fear, and probably low-light vision. I'm just thinking of dominating this fellow and using it against others.

Zeta Kai
2010-10-25, 02:38 PM
Oh wow. For a moment I thought that this thing was going to be completely ignored.

I'm glad that everybody seems to like it, though. :smallbiggrin:

Yeah, I saw it one the 2nd page with 0 replies, saw that it was from you, & was intrigued. It's a diamond in the rough, to be sure. :smallcool:

Realms of Chaos
2010-10-25, 02:42 PM
I'm especially fond of the idea of its messing with the petrified. Now wanting to work on a 'sculpt flesh' spell that works as shape stone, but you can do strange and unwholesome things to folks.

The concept of various warped and twisted deaths created in this way was a big part of what inspired me to make this creature (along with the stealth element). :smallbiggrin:

Also, this guy does see through all non-living barriers (even thick lead walls), limiting its sight only by the normal penalty for distance... and normal darkness beyond its darkvision/low-light vision, I guess. This guy wouldn't be a very convincing villain in a large mansion murder mystery, after all, if it couldn't see everyone from halfway across the house and react. :smallwink:

Ranger Mattos
2010-10-25, 04:19 PM
I love it. But seeing as I'm no homebrewer, I can't really critique it. It's great anyways.

2010-10-25, 07:35 PM
Jason Fox (or is that Calvin?) would give this two severed thumbs up...

I initially missed the fact that it actually HAD stoneshape... nice touch of course.

Dumbledore lives
2010-10-30, 07:22 PM
I just want to say that this is an amazing monster. I used this against my players yesterday, and the result was an actual fear of the unknown monster. The ability to create auras in particular was really fun, and a brilliant addition.

The Pressman
2010-10-30, 07:32 PM
Does it also provide a commentary on colonialism in Africa? Does it +2 to attacks on people named Kurtz?