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    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default Re: GITP Monster Competition IX - Birds And the Bees

    Giant Bacillus

    [a small portion of a giant bacillus swarm, shown actual size]
    Fine Ooze [Swarm]
    Hit Dice: 10d10 + 40 (95 HP)
    Initiative: -4
    Speed: 10' (2 squares), climb 10'
    Armor Class: 16 (+2 natural, -4 dex, +8 size), 14 touch, 16 flat-footed
    Base Attack/Grapple: +8/-
    Attack: Swarm 2d6 acid
    Full Attack: Swarm 2d6 acid
    Space/Reach: 5'/0'
    Special Attacks: Infection
    Special Qualities: Fast Healing 10, Blindsense 60', Multiplication,
    Succeptibility to fungi, Stench, immunity to weapon damage, Ooze traits, swarm traits
    Saves: Fort +7, Ref -1, Will -1
    Abilities: Str 1, Dex 3, Con 18, Int -, Wis 3, Cha 1
    Skills: -
    Feats: -
    Environment: Any non-cold non-desert
    Organization: Colony (1-20 swarms)
    Challenge Rating: 7
    Treasure: Half standard, no goods or leather items
    Alignment: Always Neutral
    Advancement: -
    Level Adjustment: -

    As you open the trapdoor, you are almost felled by what feels like a solid wall of sulfurous stink. What's beneath it appears to be a sort of graveyard or oubliette--at any rate, it contains the skeletal remains of thirty or so humanoid creatures, swarming with...no, they're not maggots. No maggot was ever that large--the floor is a good 20 feet below you, and you can see these things clearly; they must be over an inch long. Glistening, pustulent yellow cylinders, slowly oozing over and through the bones. Thousands upon thousands. Millions, perhaps.


    Giant bacilli are very simple organisms that reproduce and spread at an exponential rate. They're cylindrical, about an inch long, and filled with a substance with the color, consistency, and smell of pus (it is not pus, and does not itself carry disease). Their surface is covered in an acidic, transparent, and slightly adhesive slime, which enables them to climb up walls and even spread across ceilings. Whatever mechanism they use for movement is not visible to the naked eye; they simply appear to glide slowly along surfaces.

    Ecology: Giant bacilli are never encountered except in dense swarms. They can live almost anywhere where the air is reasonably damp and temperatures are generally above freezing.

    Giant bacillus colonies slowly dissolve and digest any animal flesh, leather, or soft plant materials (with the exception of fungi; see below). They can survive for months without any digestable matter, although colonies require it to spread (that is, to create new swarms).

    Individual bacilli reproduce by fission--a single bacillus will appear to elongate and then divide in two. Individual bacilli within a swarm are continually reproducing and dying off; a single swarm can maintain its size for a considerable length of time without any additional organic material, with living bacilli consuming dead ones to reproduce.

    If, however, a swarm consumes 100 lbs. of digestible matter, its reproductive rate will go into overdrive until it doubles in size--effectively creating another swarm. This will continue as long as there is matter to consume and space for the colony to spread. Swarms can also reproduce by infesting living hosts and digesting them from within.

    Giant bacillus colonies sometimes infest heaps of organic garbage or offal; noticing them in such a heap generally requires a DC 15 Spot check, or actually searching through the heap (which subjects the searcher to a swarm attack).


    Giant bacilli are mindless, with few senses, so they are not really combatants in the usual sense. They can sense organic matter at a distance of 60', and will generally swarm towards it, but they are otherwise inert.

    Infection (ex): Any creature subject to a giant bacillus' swarm attack must make a Fort save (DC 19, Con-based), or some giant bacilli will successfully enter their body via an orifice or open wound and set up an infestation. An infestation can be cured by any spell or effect that cures disease. Otherwise, the progress of the infestation is as follows:
    • Each hour, the creature must make a Fort save (DC 19) or take a single point of Con damage. This damage cannot be healed without first curing the infestation.
    • The creature is generally not aware of the infestation until they have failed one of their Fort saves. At that point, they become aware of a dull ache, which intensifies as they take further constitution damage.
    • When the creature reaches a constitution of 2 or less, the bacilli become visible, moving under the skin.
    • When an infested creature of size S or larger dies, its body dissolves in one round into one or more swarms of giant bacilli. A creature becomes one swarm per 5' square it occupies. A creature's hard tissues (bone, claws, wood pith, etc) are left after its dissolution. When an infested creature of size T or D dies, its body dissolves into a smaller number of giant bacilli (not enough to make a swarm) which will disperse on their own within a round.

    Fine creatures are immune to infestation, as are creatures (usually of the Plant type) that have fungus as at least a substantial portion of their anatomy, and creatures that are immune to disease.

    Fast Healing (ex): A giant bacillus swarm automatically heals 10 HP of damage per round from any source. The only way to prevent the healing is to kill the entire swarm (e.g., by reducing it to 0 HP).
    Fine creatures are immune to infection, as are creatures (usually of the Plant type) that have fungus as at least a substantial portion of their anatomy, and creatures that are immune to disease.

    Blindsense (ex): A giant bacillus swarm can sense the presence and general location of digestible organic matter out to 60'. Creatures made of inorganic material (such as some constructs), incorporeal creatures, and creatures made entirely of hard tissue (such as skeletal undead) are invisible to a bacillus swarm.

    Multiplication (ex): A giant bacillus swarm deals 2d6 acid damage per round to any soft organic tissue inside its area; once an object is reduced to 0 HP (or a creature is killed), it is consumed by the swarm. When a swarm has consumed 100 lbs of matter in this fashion, it doubles in size, effectively creating a new swarm in an adjacent square. There must be such a square that is not already occupied by a giant bacillus swarm for this to happen.

    Succeptibility to fungi (ex): As an ooze, a giant bacillus is immune to most poisons. However, this immunity does not include poisons derived from fungi. Exposure to even a simple preparation of powdered fungal material (even if usually non-poisonous) acts on the swarm as a poison of DC 15, doing 1 primary + 1 secondary Con damage.

    Stench (ex): A giant bacillus swarm produces an overpowering smell of sulphur and rot. All creatures with a sense of smell within 30' of a swarm must make a Fort save (DC 19, Con-based) or be nauseated as long as they stay within that range, plus 1d4 rounds thereafter. Even those that make their save are sickened as long as they stay within range.

    Immune to weapon damage (ex): As swarms of fine creatures, giant bacillus swarms cannot be damaged with weapons.

    Ooze traits (ex): As oozes, giant bacilli are mindless; blind; immune to poison (except for fungus-based poisons as above), sleep effects, paralysis, polymorph, and stunning; and immune to critical hits and flanking.

    Swarm traits (ex): As swarms, giant bacillus swarms are: destroyed at 0 HP; immune to tripping, grappling, and bull rushes; unable to grapple; immune to spells targeting a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells); and susceptible to high winds as Fine creatures. They take an extra 50% damage from spells or other attacks that affect an area.


    Plot hook:
    The characters, investigating a dangerous cult, need to interrogate the highest-level cult member in custody, who is being held in the dungeons of a neighboring kingdom. But when they arrive at the palace, they learn something disturbing--nobody has come out of the dungeon in days. When a set of guards failed to appear after their shift, more were sent to investigate...and they didn't come back, either.

    If the characters go down, they find a massive infestation of giant bacilli. They also find a handful of trapped survivors, including the prisoner they're looking for--who, in bargaining for his rescue, doesn't mention that he's had a run-in with a swarm already, and has been feeling a bit off for over a day...
    Last edited by belboz; 2007-05-20 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Plot hook
    My latest homebrew: Gastrus