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A Xenomorph for your toughts

Ramaster

Explorer
Hey everyone!

I'm trying to stat a Xenomorph (From the Alien Movies) for an upcoming encounter and I've come across some challenges.

First of all... would you say they are Medium or Large?

Second, as movie monsters, they are REALLY stealthy... should a +8 racial be enough (Plus max ranks, and class skill)?

Third, what other mechanics/abilities would help me design a faithful monster? I say, pounce, vicious criticals (19-20x3?), sneak attack

Thanks!

EDIT: Forgot to add, I'm designing it as a CR 10-12 creature.
 
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Systole

First Post
  • Large Abberration
  • Claw/Claw/Bite/Tail 10' reach, 15' reach on the tail
  • 50', 30' swim, 40' climb
  • Melee attacks cause additional acid damage (not sure about this one, but the bite should definitely have it)
  • Damaging the xenomorph causes acid spray which damages adjacent creatures (reflex save for half)
  • Immune to acid, resistant to cold, vulnerable to fire
  • Needs major bonuses to stealth & escape artist (for squeezing into small spaces)
  • Possible aura of fear due to their hideous appearance?
  • Pounce for sure
 

Angrydad

First Post
Hmmm. You'll have to make sure that anyone striking a Xeno with a piercing or slashing melee weapon takes a splash of acid damage (around 1d6 or maybe 2d6 if you're feeling mean) with each strike. I'd probably rule the average human-like Xenomorph is what, 8'-10' tall? That'd place it in Large category in my mind. I also think that you'll want to stat out facehuggers for the whole egg laying scene that will inevitably show up in an Alien inspired adventure. A facehugger need not be particularly tough, just scary because they can implant a helpless target with an egg, sort of like how a mindflayer can eat a brain of a helpless victim.
 

frankthedm

First Post
First of all... would you say they are Medium or Large?
Medium with powerful build. Effectively bigger than thier victim, but moving like a medium & without the baggage of large. Otherwise just keep them medium. Large will be too much a hinderance for them in d20.
Second, as movie monsters, they are REALLY stealthy... pounce should a +8 racial be enough (Plus max ranks, and class skill)?
Did you mean Stealth?

Third, what other mechanics/abilities would help me design a faithful monster? I say, pounce, vicious criticals (19-20x3?), sneak attack
IIRC the alien didn't go claw, claw bite & tail so giving them pounce would be very gamist.
 

Ramaster

Explorer
  • Large Abberration
  • Claw/Claw/Bite/Tail 10' reach, 15' reach on the tail
  • 50', 30' swim, 40' climb
  • Melee attacks cause additional acid damage (not sure about this one, but the bite should definitely have it)
  • Damaging the xenomorph causes acid spray which damages adjacent creatures (reflex save for half)
  • Immune to acid, resistant to cold, vulnerable to fire
  • Needs major bonuses to stealth & escape artist (for squeezing into small spaces)
  • Possible aura of fear due to their hideous appearance?
  • Pounce for sure
Great! Let's see...

I thought some people would say large... is just that... Ogres are large... do you really think a Xeno is as big as a ogre? I imagine them about as big as a half-giant, like, with Powerfull Build or something.

The natural attacks and reach seem great. Which one would you make the primary? Bite? Tail?

I like the speeds, think I'll use them.

I like the reflex to avoid the acid.

As for the immunities... what's your source for the ice immunity and fire resistance? On the games/movies, flamethrowers are used frequently to combat these beasties. The ice immunity is because they can survive in space?

Agreed on the skill bonuses? Should +8 be enough?

I'm still thinking about the Fear thing... In my experience, when you say Roll Will for fear you break the immersion you created with the description of the creature... sometimes, it is better if the PLAYERS are scarred, rather than the Characters.

Pounce FTW.

Hmmm. You'll have to make sure that anyone striking a Xeno with a piercing or slashing melee weapon takes a splash of acid damage (around 1d6 or maybe 2d6 if you're feeling mean) with each strike. I'd probably rule the average human-like Xenomorph is what, 8'-10' tall? That'd place it in Large category in my mind. I also think that you'll want to stat out facehuggers for the whole egg laying scene that will inevitably show up in an Alien inspired adventure. A facehugger need not be particularly tough, just scary because they can implant a helpless target with an egg, sort of like how a mindflayer can eat a brain of a helpless victim.


Think I'll go with 2d6, since I'm making it CR 10-12.

As for the size... yeah they might be 10' tall, but they don't stand up straight, they hunch.

The Facehugger won't be necessary, for now. As soon as they see the giant cave filled with eggs, they'll make a run for it, I'm sure!
 

Ramaster

Explorer
Medium with powerful build. Effectively bigger than thier victim, but moving like a medium & without the baggage of large. Otherwise just keep them medium. Large will be too much a hinderance for them in d20.

Did you mean Stealth?

IIRC the alien didn't go claw, claw bite & tail so giving them pounce would be very gamist.
You ninja'ed my on that Powerful Build thing.

I did mean stealth! Edited out "pounce", typo.

You are right about pounce... that might just have been my trying to make my favourite movie monster more powerful.
 

blargney the second

blargney the minute's son
You could make the aura of fear mechanically simple: anyone within 60' that can either see or hear it is shaken, no save.

It needs a death burst. 10' radius, 8d6 acid, ref for half should about do it.

Attacks ought to go tail/bite/claw/claw with 3 or 4d6 sneak attack. Add rend on the claws.

For feats, consider: Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack. Improved Crit on at least the tail, Multiattack.
 

Systole

First Post
While they're about 8-9' tall or so, which is very bordeline Large, xenomorphs are very long-limbed and sort of skeletal looking. They're also hunched and seem to take up a lot of space. They seem more like 10'x10' than 5'x5' to me, but to be honest I'm not totally sold on that. It could be that the basic strain is medium, while the warriors are large and the queen is huge.

I said acid immune, cold resist, fire vulnerable. Acid immune for obvious reasons. Cold resist because they can survive in space, and fire vulnerability since flamethrowers seem to be the weapon of choice in the movies. Besides, it's nice to find a CR10-12 that isn't fire resistant or fire immune.

+8 for stealth is a good one. For Escape Artist, you might want something closer to the Malleable ability from the giant slug.

Malleable (Ex)

A giant slug's body is very malleable, allowing it to fit into narrow areas with ease. A giant slug takes no penalty to its speed or checks when squeezing in an area that is one size category smaller than its actual size (10 feet wide for most giant slugs). A giant slug can squeeze normally through an area two size categories smaller than its actual size (5 feet wide for most giant slugs).

I like Rend, Spring Attack, and Death Burst. Shaken no save is a tough sell because you're talking about hardened warriors who've survived some pretty gruesome baddies to get to 10th level. Now that I think about it, I like an Aura of Fear, but with a low enough save that 12th levels should make most of the time, but lower levels would crap themselves. Maybe DC 14 or so?
 

Ramaster

Explorer
(...)fire vulnerability since flamethrowers seem to be the weapon of choice in the movies. (...)
Oh, I read Fire Invulnerability! That explains a lot...

Well, this is what I have so far:

Xenomorph
(Aberation 13/Medium) HP 104 (13d12+26)
Ini/spd: +10
AC/CMD: 26 (6dex1dodge9nat)
Melee:
Bite +19 (1d12+7) 19 x3
Clawx2 +15 (1d8+5) 19x3
Tail +18 (2d8+7) 19x3 Stun DC18
Ranged: -
Salvaciones: F10 R14 W5
Special: When hit, Ref 18 2d6 acid. Sneak Attack +3d6. On dim light 20% miss chance and +8 stealth; Acid and Cold immunity;Fire vulnerability
Skills: Stealth (+8race+6feat+13ranks+6DEX+3ClsSkll) +36
Feats: Dodge / Wpn foc BITE / Wpn foc CLAW/Skill focus Stealth/Mobility/Multiattack/Step Up
Stats: STR20 DEX23 CON15 INT5 WIS13 CHA7

This is my crappy default statblock. "Special" refers to Su and Ex abilities (Ex, in this case). I gave them a d12 but low CON because of how skinny they seem (once the marines land a couple shots on them, they are dead). The Stun DC for the tail attack (similar to that awesome dinosaur on the bestiary, forgot it's name) is CON based (1/2HD + CON). They have a good BAB, FORT and REF saves (the bastards are hard to kill). They do have a low will save, but maybe they are immune to mind affecting... not sure about that. As for the INT score, they are CLEARLY more inteligente than most animals, but not by that much.

I'm planning on throwing two of them at a 9th-level-4-person-semi-optimized party (that'll be the only encounter of the day).
 
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paradox42

First Post
Don't do Immune to Cold, as I seem to recall a Xeno getting frozen solid and shattered in one of the movies. Plus, the Queen in the first Aliens Vs. predator didn't look too healthy before she got free of the ice- though admittedly she did obviously survive a long time.

I'd suggest Resist Cold 20; that should be enough to stop most Cold attacks while still leaving them vulnerable to super-nasty stuff like White Dragon breath. Cone of Cold at 9th level will have an average damage output of 31.5, which means a measly 10 points to the 100-hit-point critter. It'll notice, but it won't really be badly hurt. Once the party sees how it reacts to the +1 Fire Sword, or a Fireball spell, they'll concentrate on hammering it with that anyway.

Also, hit dice are tied to creature type, so if you plan to give it d12 HD then you need to note it as a monster ability. Name it something like "Alien Toughness" or the like.

What you've got is good for a typical Human-hatched Xeno, but we know from Alien 3 (among other sources) that the critters "learn" from the Facehugger hosts they grow inside. So if you plan to bring in more Xenos later, you might consider making them a Template (with your "base" Xenomorph being used for the result of an average Human host, and extrapolating from there).
 

Drathir

First Post
ummm so far it looks good to me so im just going to point out that for fear you could (book says should) roll for them, dont even let them know whats going on just tell the rogue he :):):):) himself or something, I know more work for you but is remembering -2 on atks and what not really that hard?
 

Ramaster

Explorer
Don't do Immune to Cold, as I seem to recall a Xeno getting frozen solid and shattered in one of the movies. Plus, the Queen in the first Aliens Vs. predator didn't look too healthy before she got free of the ice- though admittedly she did obviously survive a long time.

I'd suggest Resist Cold 20; that should be enough to stop most Cold attacks while still leaving them vulnerable to super-nasty stuff like White Dragon breath. Cone of Cold at 9th level will have an average damage output of 31.5, which means a measly 10 points to the 100-hit-point critter. It'll notice, but it won't really be badly hurt. Once the party sees how it reacts to the +1 Fire Sword, or a Fireball spell, they'll concentrate on hammering it with that anyway.

Also, hit dice are tied to creature type, so if you plan to give it d12 HD then you need to note it as a monster ability. Name it something like "Alien Toughness" or the like.

What you've got is good for a typical Human-hatched Xeno, but we know from Alien 3 (among other sources) that the critters "learn" from the Facehugger hosts they grow inside. So if you plan to bring in more Xenos later, you might consider making them a Template (with your "base" Xenomorph being used for the result of an average Human host, and extrapolating from there).
Thanks for the feedback!

Cool ideas come to mind... an Elven Hatched Xeno would be most deadly... a Dwarven one super resilient... So many possibilities!!!
 

Marclee

First Post
I said acid immune, cold resist, fire vulnerable. Acid immune for obvious reasons. Cold resist because they can survive in space, and fire vulnerability since flamethrowers seem to be the weapon of choice in the movies. Besides, it's nice to find a CR10-12 that isn't fire resistant or fire immune.
Cold resistance cannot be justified by them surviving in space.
Space is devoid of heat. You cannot call it cold. Since there is vacuum in space, no heat will disperse by convection or conduction. Just radiation which doesn't account for much. Humans could survive in space if only the temperature were the problem.

So aliens: vacuum immune. Aliens don't explode like humans do.

On the matter of size though..To me they do appear large, comparable to a horse I guess but the way they move seems more fitting to a medium creature.
It stands around 7 feet tall, averaging in at anywhere between 140 kg and 180kg
source: aliens wikia

The saliva is not acidic. A Bite attack would therefore not include any acid damage.
The site stated that some aliens are able to spit acid though.

Further, aliens seem to have a different way of seeing their prey. In the article they are talking about echolocation, electro-reception and normal vision. Dark-vision would seem appropriate to me.

Aliens are also portrayed as extremely resilient. Damage resistance.

What about the inner mouth? It goes through metal and skull and instantly kills the humans. Any way to incorporate that?
 
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paradox42

First Post
Good points there. I think some sort of Blindsense is a Good Idea.

And definitely DR- though exactly what type is another matter. Do any of the weapons in the movies "count as magical," really? The stuff the Yautja/Predators use seems to work great on them, but lots of human-made weapons don't seem to do much besides get the Xenomorph's attention. So, probably DR 5/Magic or 10/Magic. Or /Adamantine rather than /Magic, perhaps.
 



Werebat

First Post
Anything with Blindsight (or even Blindsense) and reach is a frightening prospect when you fight it in the mist... Although I'm now segueing into another movie I guess... :uhoh:

Edit: Barring mist, steam from water running out of broken pipes and into something hot, like a furnace, might fill a room with a similar effect. Just an idea...
 

Ramaster

Explorer
All great suggestions...

BTW, where can I find the Dragonborn template?

I need to do a little more research before I delve into the addtional sensens... blindsight seems cool, so does darkvision.
 

Fooly_Cooly

First Post
Yeah they would certainly have darkvision. Im thinking more of a tremor sense then blinde sense. The eyes work fine. And I would say blind sense is a bit of a smell thing. Blind sight more of an inner mind thing. They seem to be the type that would find prey by sound a the vibrations through the surroundings. its looking pretty terrifying though. If I were running a different campaign I would love to use these. Sadly I dont think they would fit in way of the wicked.Lol
 

Ramaster

Explorer
Ok, I run the section with the Xenos!

Before combat, the Xeno kills the two rangers that were guiding the party through the cave without them noticing.

When the Xeno decides to attack, the party was terryfied. On the first round of combat (after a nasty sneak attack on the surprise round), the Xeno wins initiative and procedes to take out the optimized Lore Oracle/Bard with one full attack. He gets his way with the Deathmage a couple rounds in and finally gets beaten up by the barbarian. Man, what a fight!
 

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