View Full Version : Pathfinder (Monster) The Phalanx Ooze. asking for critique on a custom monster.

2015-12-10, 05:40 PM
This is my first creation, and thus, I'm not sure how well this monster works, or how clearly I have described it. I can't really decide on a CR either. I plan to introduce my group (lvl 11, reasonably optimized) to it in an upcoming encounter, and would like to hear some feedback first. If you think it would be too challenging, I can probably try to introduce it later, but then again, my players have proven unreasonably crafty so far.

One downside I've already noticed is that it is a very mechanics heavy monster, which would work terribly using theater-of-the-mind style combat, as it comes with a bunch of rules regarding space and reach.

So, please, be as cruel as you need to be towards my baby.

Phalanx Ooze

The room stinks of death and strange alchemical fumes, and you hear the faint echo of a battle, voices screaming, the clatter of armor and marching feet. The pile of discarded armors and weapons on the floor seems to writhe and swell. Before you rises a wall of cracked shields and scraps of armor, between which you can glimpse glistening, oozing flesh. It starts towards you, as ancient, rusted weapons start to protrude from the cracks in its metal shell.

CR ?
XP ?
NE Gargantuan undead ooze
Init -4; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception -3

AC 16, touch 2, flat-footed 15 (-4 Dex, +5 natural , -4 size, +9 armor)
hp 145 (10d8+100)
Fort +13, Ref -1, Will +0
Defensive Abilities split, Phalanx, ooze traits, Undead Traits

Speed 20 ft.
Melee slam +12 (2d8+10 plus 2d8 negative energy plus Grab) 4 Spears and assorted piercing weapons+10 (1d8+8)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks Engulfing (2d8+10 damage, plus 1d8 negative energy, and 1d4 Wisdom damage), Encircling.

Str 24, Dex 3, Con 30, Int --, Wis 5, Cha 5
Base Atk +7; CMB +18 (+22 grapple); CMD 24 (34 vs. bull rush, can't be tripped)
SQ ooze traits, undead traits


Testudo (Ex)
The Phalanx ooze bristles with old broken weaponry, and is partially covered with ancient rusted armor and shields. As a full round action which does not provoke an attack of opportunity, it can contract upon a 3x3 area , threatening an area of 15 feet to each side, and increasing its ac by +2 against melee attacks and +4 against ranged attacks.. The ooze is considered braced against all charge actions when in this configuration, and can make three attacks of opportunity each round, (in contrast to its normal one), but cannot use its slam attack. Its speed is also reduced to ten feet.
To return to its basic form is an attack action, and creatures adjacent to it a it grows are pushed back as if by a bullrush action. If this fails, the creature is considered encircled, as the ooze grows to its normal size around it.

If a Phalanx Ooze is found already in testudo formation, one must succeed a DC 12 perception check to identify it as anything but a huddled formation of soldiers from a distance. Within 30 feet, however, it is almost impossible to mistake it for anything but what it is.

Encircling (Ex)
The Phalanx ooze is capable of filling 16 squares, and these spaces do not have to be in a 4x4 configuration. As a move action, it can move its mass in up to four squares five feet each, as long as these are still adjacent to each other.
The Phalanx ooze can, if two parts of itself are at opposite sides of its victim, receive a flanking bonus as if the victim was flanked by two different creatures.
In this configuration, however, an ally of the flanked victim can, if in a position to flank one of the flanking parts of the Phalanx ooze, ignore the ac given by the covering pieces of armor, and the ooze’s reach is reduced to five feet against such enemies.

Split (Ex)
Slashing and piercing weapons deal no damage to a Phalanx ooze. Instead, the creature splits into two identical oozes, each with half of the original's current hit points (round down). An ooze with 10 hit points or less cannot be further split, and loses grip of an engulfed character, which ends up prone in square adjacent to it. The Phalanx Ooze dies if reduced to 0 hit points.

If split more than once, the spit parts become half the size of the original ooze, and start losing it’s limited tactical ability. The split parts only have two weapon attacks each round, and can no longer take an encircling action.
Furthermore, it loses its reach when performing a Testudo action.

Every time a Phalanx ooze is split, there is a 50% chance that an Engulfed character is freed. If the creature is not, place it randomly within one of the two oozes. A perception check of 16 can be made by all character observing the split as to discern which ooze their friend is engulfed in.

Engulfing (Ex)
The Phalanx Ooze can, when using its Slam attack, try to perform a grapple action on a character. If the character is pinned by such actions, the Phalanx Ooze drags it into itself, and the character is forced to become part of the Phalanx Ooze. This means three things.

Firstly: If the character is armed, the Phalanx Ooze can attempt a disarm as a swift action every round. If this succeeds, the Phalanx ooze gains an additional attack with the victims weapon, at the Phalanx Oozes base attack bonus. It can only gain two extra attacks this way.

Secondly: A pinned character is moved, unseen within the Ooze, and is used to shield it from harm. When attacking the Ooze, the attacker is allowed a DC 16 perception check. If this check fails, there is a 30% chance that the attack will instead strike the engulfed character.

Thirdly: The character engulfed is constricted, and suffers 2d8+10 plus 1d8 negative energy damage and 1d4 Wisdom damage every round, as the unquiet spirits of the phalanx tear at its body and soul.. The Phalanx Ooze gains temporary hitpoints equal to half the hitpoint damage taken this way.
A Character which manages to break free from the Phalanx ooze ends up prone in a square adjacent to it

Environment: Battlefield, Dungeon
Organization: solitary, or pair,
Treasure: Incidental
Once a phalanx of soldiers, destroyed by some vile necromantic weapon, phalanx oozes are often found as a guardians of warrior nercromancers, or dormant on the battlefield on which they fell. When it senses a living creature, it seeks to encircle and engulf it, adding its victims to its mass.
Unlike many undead creatures, the Phalanx Ooze appears to recreate the tactics it used when it was a unit of soldiers, and is capable of closing its ranks in such a way that it might appear as a unit of soldiers huddled together from a distance.

Grizl' Bjorn
2015-12-11, 03:26 AM
This is really cool! It brings together some really cool themes into one creature and ramps up the horror element of oozes greatly.Does it have any elemental resistances, immunities or vulnerabilities? Any special vulnerability to sunlight beyond its Undead traits? If you wanted to add more bells and whistles you could also give it a mental attack of some sort for those who aren't being engulfed? What happens if you try to raise someone who has been assimilated?

2015-12-11, 07:51 AM
Creatures can only have one Type. If it is an ooze that has become undead then it should be Undead (augmented ooze). You should note which traits it has exactly because those two types contradict and it shouldn't have all of them. If it has darkvision 60 feet, it's not blind. If it has a Con score it's alive and not Undead. It loses Con 30 and gains Con -- (with the +0 modifier) for special abilities that are Constitution-based.

Here are the Undead traits.

No Constitution score. Undead use their Charisma score in place of their Constitution score when calculating hit points, Fortitude saves, and any special ability that relies on Constitution (such as when calculating a breath weapon's DC).
Darkvision 60 feet.
Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms).
Immunity to bleed, death effects, disease, paralysis, poison, sleep effects, and stunning.
Not subject to nonlethal damage, ability drain, or energy drain. Immune to damage to its physical ability scores (Constitution, Dexterity, and Strength), as well as to exhaustion and fatigue effects.
Cannot heal damage on its own if it has no Intelligence score, although it can be healed. Negative energy (such as an inflict spell) can heal undead creatures. The fast healing special quality works regardless of the creature's Intelligence score.
Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects or is harmless).
Not at risk of death from massive damage, but is immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points.
Not affected by raise dead and reincarnate spells or abilities. Resurrection and true resurrection can affect undead creatures. These spells turn undead creatures back into the living creatures they were before becoming undead.
Proficient with its natural weapons, all simple weapons, and any weapons mentioned in its entry.
Proficient with whatever type of armor (light, medium, or heavy) it is described as wearing, as well as all lighter types. Undead not indicated as wearing armor are not proficient with armor. Undead are proficient with shields if they are proficient with any form of armor.
Undead do not breathe, eat, or sleep

Here are the ooze traits (some of which should be lost when it becomes undead)

Mindless: No Intelligence score, and immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects). An ooze with an Intelligence score loses this trait.
Blind (but have the blindsight special quality), with immunity to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight.
Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning.
Some oozes have the ability to deal acid damage to objects.
Not subject to critical hits or flanking. Does not take additional damage from precision-based attacks, such as sneak attack.
Proficient with its natural weapons only.
Proficient with no armor.
Oozes eat and breathe, but do not sleep.


2015-12-11, 08:05 AM
Grizl' Bjorn
I guess some kind of charm effect, something that tries to compell the characters to join it. Or maybe a fear effect based on general creepiness...
I'll think about the rest of it. I could add some of those.
Thank you for your criticism.

Pretty big oversight on my part. I really should know how types and subtypes work by now. I'll look more into it.
Thank you for your criticism.

2015-12-11, 08:20 AM
Homebrewing is not as easy as people think. There are a LOT of niggling details that crop up all the time. I find it handy to open up the PRD and go through the stat block line-by-line [3.5 SRD has a much easier stat block to follow for that reason]. I'm still working on becoming familiar with the rules.

If you find the creature needs more hit points because that Con 30 added a lot [more than the creature even needed], give it Toughness as a bonus feat if necessary .

One other thing: if the creature is made up of old weapons why does its attack cause Wisdom damage? I recommend it causes lockjaw (i.e. tetanus) as a disease instead. Paralysis and eventual death should be scary! You can find Tetanus here: http://www.worldsofimagination.co.uk/worlds%20med%20Diseases.htm


2015-12-11, 08:50 AM
The Wisdom damage was meant to be an effect of being encased in dozens of liquefied tortured souls, and was only supposed to be added when engulfed by the thing. If it looks like it was meant to do otherwise, I better look it over.

Good call on adding Toughness, it really needs to be able to take a beating. Still, should I maybe up the AC , as it is covered in metal, or is the reach/split/testudo protection enough? I don't want to make it untouchable for everyone but spellcasters...

Otherwise, lockjaw is a thematically appropriate disease, what with the rusting metal and such. Would it be too much to add Lockjaw infection to the weapon attacks, and keeping the negative energy damage/wis damage on the engulf attacks? I'm talking not only from a game mechanics standpoint, but also from a thematic standpoint.

2015-12-11, 09:31 AM
I would recommend severely toning down the engulfing attack as it does far too much damage for just 10 HD. You really need to balance the CR with HD and the attacks so that it's not a TPK or pushover.

What CR are you aiming for? See monster creation rules here: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/bestiary/monsterCreation.html

I suspect that you need to add more HD to give it more power. If you are looking for CR 10, add more HD rather than AC. 10 HD for a Gargantuan creature is well, unimpressive. This should have at least 15. That will solve some of the design flaws.


2015-12-11, 09:35 AM
Alright, I can work with that. Thanks.

2015-12-18, 11:38 AM
When does it split? The way it reads now suggests it would split every time it would take any slashing or piercing damage at all, which sounds a little goofy. You might want to put an amount of damage it would need to take per hit/round to split.