A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Apr 2007

    Default The Growing Infection (Creature)

    The Elder Cyst
    Large Undead
    Hit Dice: 16d12+16 (120 hp)
    Initiative: -4
    Speed: 20 feet (4 squares)
    Armor Class: 5 (-4 dex, -1 size)
    Base Attack/Grapple: +8/+18
    Attack: Slam +13 melee (2d8+6+1d4 Con damage)
    Full Attack: 2 Slams +13 melee (2d8+6+1d4 Con damage)
    Space/Reach: 10 ft./ 10 ft.
    Special Attacks: Insinuating Aura, Animate Cyst
    Special Qualities: Death Sense, Anatomical Mystery, Ooze Traits, Undead Traits
    Saves: Fort +5, Ref +1, Will +10
    Abilities: Str 22, Dex 3, Con -, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 5
    Skills: -
    Feats: Improved Toughness (B), Blindfight (B)
    Environment: Any
    Organization: Solitary, Sore (1 plus 3-12 skulking cysts), or Cancer (1-3 plus 10-50 skulking cysts)
    Challenge Rating: 8
    Treasure: None
    Alignment: Always Neutral Evil
    Advancement: 17-24 HD (Large), 25-32 HD (Huge), 33-45 HD (Gargantuan), 46+ HD (Colossal)
    Level Adjustment: -

    The pulsating mass in the distance grows closer. Beneath its oozing, crimson exterior, you can see some recognizable features. An arm or two, a few bones, and a skull. As soon as these features come into view, however, they start to sink back into the pulsating mass.

    When an individual bearing a necrotic cyst is killed, a necrotic cyst may emerge. When hundreds of such individuals are killed simultaneously, something more sinister comes into existence. As a necrotic cyst makes an individual more susceptible to necromancy, necromancers often enslave those who have them or implant some into those who do not. From this stock, experiments of dubious success can be held, both on the individual and on the cyst that they carry. For any which reason, when many carrying necrotic cysts are killed in close proximity, they form the much sinister elder cyst. There is another rumor, however, about their creation. Some sages believe that when enough living hosts of necrotic cysts are placed together, the cysts within all of them awaken, burying through their host’s flesh and draining their blood until they can form a single coherent mass. Of course, this is just conjecture…
    The Elder Cyst is unique in that it appears to have a working anatomy of sorts. Most of its mass appears to be partially coagulated blood but the only source from which the Elder Cyst appears to draw energy are the few recognizable humanoid parts that float within it. As these parts occasionally rise to the surface, they are more vulnerable to the occasional lucky hit than most mortals.

    Combat: An Elder Cyst rarely engages in combat, mostly because it has a hard time detecting living combatants. If attacked, however, it does its best to lash out in the general direction of its attackers. Usually, it allows its insinuating aura to corrupt and implant its foes before animating the new cysts.

    Insinuating Aura: An Elder Cyst insinuates a bit of itself into all who surround it. At the end of each of its turns, every creature within 20 feet gains 1d4 points of corruption and must make a fortitude save (dc 16) or gain a necrotic cyst (as the spell). If the amount of corruption gained in this way in one round surpasses the target’s constitution modifier, they do not get a saving throw to negate this effect. The saving throw is wisdom-based. multiple cysts may be implanted in this way, their effects stack. This ability is considered a necromantic effect.

    Animate Cyst: An Elder Cyst awakens the necrotic cysts of others, bringing them to “life”. As a move action, the Elder Cyst can awaken all necrotic cysts within the range of its insinuating aura. The process is painful, dealing 5d6 damage to the necrotic cyst’s host per animated cyst. As the end result, each target effectively has a skulking cyst within them (complete with spell-like abilities and constitution drain). The skulking cyst attempts to kill the rest of its host to the best of its abilities. The skulking cyst cannot take move actions on its own accord, however. In addition, due to limited connection to the nervous system, the host cannot attack an Elder Cyst or Skulking Cyst unless it succeeds on a will save (dc 16). Any Skulking Cyst(s) that manages to kill their host gains full autonomy, although it will not attack an Elder Cyst. If the Skulking Cyst is slain, all previously animated matter is sloughed off, dealing 1d4 constitution drain to its host but removing the necrotic cyst. All saving throws are wisdom-based.

    Death Sense: An Elder Cyst sees only dead and undead matter. As such, they cannot living creatures unless they either carry dead matter (such as rotten food or preserved meats) or contains dead matter (such a necrotic cyst). The Elder Cyst’s body allows it to act as a primitive sense organ, allowing it to “see” dead matter within a 60-foot radius in every direction.

    Anatomical Mystery: The Elder Cyst’s gelatinous mass carries within it partially animated organs and other such structures, giving it a unique “physiology”. An Elder Cyst is immune to bludgeoning damage. On the opposite side of the spectrum, critical hits can be scored on them using piercing or slashing weapons as if they weren’t undead. In addition, as some of the more vulnerable structures bubble up to the surface every now and then, the threat range of such attacks increases by 1 (stacking with all similar effects).

    Ooze Traits: Despite being undead, an Elder Cyst has all the benefits and disadvantages of being n ooze. Like oozes, Elder cysts do not receive skills or feats. Elder Cysts are mindless and blind, granting them immunity to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusion, and other attack forms that rely on sight. Elder cysts also have immunity to polymorph and cannot be flanked.
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2007-05-08 at 09:52 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Growing Infection (Creature)

    Gross and cool. I like it.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Jarchh's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Growing Infection (Creature)

    Really nice idea.. why not MIPII it?

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Growing Infection (Creature)

    Well this seems largely based on LM material. So if the folks running the MitP project are looking to make it universal...

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Apr 2007

    Default Re: The Growing Infection (Creature)

    Yeah, I would enter it but it makes direct references to information from both heroes of horor and libris mortis.

    I'm just honestly surprised that no one had attached necrotic cyst to a horror theme in the past. It was just begging for it.

    I've always like a creature that attacks you through your own "wounds".

    Should I raise the CR?
    Last edited by Realms of Chaos; 2007-05-08 at 10:38 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Matthew's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Growing Infection (Creature)

    No, I think the CR is okay. I like this idea.
    It is a joyful thing indeed to hold intimate converse with a man after one’s own heart, chatting without reserve about things of interest or the fleeting topics of the world; but such, alas, are few and far between.

    – Yoshida Kenko (1283-1350), Tsurezure-Gusa (1340)

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