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Converting monsters from Dragon magazine (Part Two)

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freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
We should mention the head butt in pounce, too, I think. Tail sweep looks ok.

Maybe split the ranks between Spot and Listen? Seems reasonable for a predator like this.

Should we add tremorsense (like bulette) so it can sense prey while underground?
 

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demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
The headbutt DC is already going to be pretty good, what with it being based on Str. Improved Initiative might be a good idea--if it goes first, it's more likely to get a charge in.
 



freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
CR 6 is probably right, due to the higher damage, even though the attack bonus is a little low.

Hippos average 4000 lb or thereabouts, and these are bigger, so maybe 10000 lb?
 

demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
There's still no definitive answer in the dingonek as to when the headbutt goes off. Is it included in pounce, or is it instead of the full attack?
 


freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Part of the pounce. Let's just say "including 2 claw attacks and a head butt attack" at the end of pounce.
 


demiurge1138

Inventor of Super-Toast
I don't think we need to specify that there are two claws in the pounce--it gets a full attack, which includes the claws anyway. Mentioning the claws specifically makes it seem as if they get two more, like a rake attack.
 

freyar

Extradimensional Explorer
Fair enough, esp since we also mention them in powerful charge. But I think we should mention the head butt.
 





Shade

Monster Junkie
This next one was created by James Jacobs, is affiliate with Iuz, and is wicked deadly. What more can you ask for? ;)

Murdakus
Climate/Terrain: Empire of Iuz
Freq: Very rare
Org: Solitary
Activity Cycle: See below
Diet: Carnivore
Int: Semi (2-4)
Treasure: Nil
Align: Neutral evil
# App: 1
AC: -4
Movement: 15, fly 18 (D), sprint 30
HD: 18
THAC0: 7
# ATT: 5
Dmg/Att: 2-12/2-12/3-30/3-30/2-24
SA: Death frenzy, severing, breath weapon
SD: Immunities, regeneration, absorb heat
Magic Resistance: Nil
Size: G (50' long, 45' tail)
Morale: Fanatic (17-18)
XP Value: 25,000

These behemoths are more than 90 feet long when fully grown and vaguely resemble dragons. They have six powerful legs, a pair of batlike wings, and a long prehensile tail tipped with a scythelike stinger. A triple row of spines extend from the base of their thick necks to the stinger. Murdakus have two separate sets of saurian jaws filled with razor-sharp teeth as well as two eyes on each side of their horned heads.

Combat: A murdakus attacks five times per round and can split these attacks among separate attackers. Two of the creature's attacks are bites from its twin jaws for 3d10 points of damage each. It can also rear up on its hind four feet, allowing attacks with its claws for 2d6 points of damage each. Finally, the murdakus can strike at anything within 45 feet with its tail blade, inflicting 2d12 points of damage on a hit and severing a random limb from the target if it scores a natural 20.

Against creatures beyond melee range, a murdakus has only one attack: its breath weapon, usable once per turn. This consists of a pair of narrow beams of intense heat that lance forth from each of its jaws. Teh murdakus msut aim these twin beams in different directions in up to a 90 degree arc; creatures of size L or smaller can be hit by only one beam. Each beam causes 12d6+24 points of damage to all creatures in its path (120 feet long and 5 feet wide). Teh murdakus loathes to use this attack, however, since it lsoes the ability to regenerate for the next turn as its body heat replenishes. If reduced to less than 1 hit point, a murdakus goes into a frenzy, gaining double its normal amount of attacks for 1 round. At the end of this round, it loses a further 3d8 hit points and drops to the ground.

The murdakus regenerates damage at the rate of 1d4 points per round as it draws heat from the surrounding environment to magically repair its wounds. Whorls of fire and shimmering radiance play over the body of a regenerating murdakus; anyone touching a regenerating murdakus must make a successful saving throw vs. breath weapon or suffer 1d4 points of heat-based damage. A murdakus cannot regenerate damage caused by acid or negative energy. A sure way to slay a murdakus permanently is to reduce it to negative hit poitns within a turn of its use of its breath weapon.

The murdakus is immune to mind-affecting attacks and suffer half damage from poisons that do not slay outright. Fire attacks heal damage on a point-for-point basis. Although resistant to natural cold, it suffers normal damage from magical cold.

Habitat/Society: Murdakus are ravenous; just one of them can depopulate all life within 2 square miles in less than a day. Luckily, they have terribly inefficent metabolisms. After 1d3 days of activity, a murdakus must rest for 2d4 weeks. Until it rests, it suffers a +4 penalty to its AC, a -4 penalty to its THAC0, and a 50% reduction to its movement. A very hot fire (like dragon breath or a fireball) revitalizes a murdakus for 1d3 days.

Ecology: During the dark times of the Greyhawk wars, the Bonehart decided to create a chimerical monstrosity to devastate their enemies. Their first attempt spawned a lesser form of murdakus that functioned for a short period of time before lapsting into a fatal coma. Seeking to improve their creation, the Bonehart infused the beast with the ability to metabolize heat. Unfortunately, the murdakus quickly built up an immunity to magical control and rebelled against their allies, causing great damage to Iuz's forces before retreating into the northern wilderness. Iuz was angered at the turn of events, and ordered the deaths of all those who knew the secrets of murdakus creation and destroyed all of their notes. Since then, no new murdakus have been created, and none have been known to breed.

Originally appeared in Dragon Magazine #270 (2000).
 

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