Friday, December 14, 2012

Frightful Fridays! Goliath Etherfish

It's Friday, so that means another Frightful creature for your enjoyment! Thanks again to Flash, I'm back to nature--this time he provided a picture of the goliath tigerfish, which eats smaller crocodiles and attacks the rare human. I figured I'd turn things up just a little by creating a larger version that attacks from the Ethereal Plane. Hopefully, characters will be truly horrified when a 15-foot-long fish with foot-long teeth materializes from out of nowhere and attacks.

I hope you enjoy this installment of Frightful Fridays! Next week I hope to provide you with an early Christmas gift in the form of a mash-up double feature. Thanks for reading!

This improbably large, mottled grey fish appears out of thin air to attack. It opens its maw, revealing numerous teeth each the length of a short sword.
Goliath Etherfish             CR 8
XP 4,800
CE Huge magical beast (extraplanar)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9

AC 20, touch 12, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural, –2 size)
hp 104 (11d10+44)
Fort +11, Ref +10, Will +4

Speed 10 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +16 (3d8+6/19–20 plus bleed and grab), tail slap +10 (2d6+3)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks bleed (1d6), ethereal jaunt, regurgitate, swallow whole (2d6+3 bludgeoning damage, AC 14, 10 hp)

Str 22, Dex 17, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 11
Base Atk +11; CMB +19 (+23 grapple); CMD 33
Feats Dodge, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Initiative, Mobility, Skill Focus (Stealth), Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +9, Stealth +4, Swim +20
SQ ethereal swim

Environment warm seas or Ethereal Plane
Organization solitary, pair, or flotilla (3–12)
Treasure incidental

Special Abilities
Ethereal Jaunt (Su) A goliath etherfish can shift from the Etherial Plane to the Material Plane as a free action, and it can shift back as a move action (or part of a move action). Creatures the etherfish has swallowed whole travel with it. Otherwise, this ability functions like ethereal jaunt (CL 16th).
Ethereal Swim (Ex) A goliath etherfish can move its swim speed in any direction on the Ethereal Plane.
Regurgitate (Ex) When a goliath etherfish swallows 4 Medium creatures (or the equivalent in a mix of Large, Medium and Small creatures), it regurgitates the contents of its stomach into the Ethereal Plane. This does no damage to disgorged victims, but a character may resist this by forcing the etherfish to succeed at a grapple check to dislodge the character.

A goliath etherfish would make for a frightening predator in the seas of the Material Plane, but the fact it can attack its prey from the Ethereal Plane makes it even more terrifying. The creature prefers its sustenance comes from the Material Plane, so it launches occasional attacks in populated areas to fill its stomach with as many victims as possible. If it finds a bounty of prey, it fills itself up, disgorges victims on the Ethereal Plane, and then returns to grab more. A goliath etherfish is 15 feet long and weighs roughly 1 ton.

No scholar has been able to ascertain the goliath etherfish’s origins. Most scholars speculate the progenitors were a group of terrestrial fish that got swept up in an ancient interplanar portal. The etherfish not only adapted to their new environment, but they also kept their ties to the Material Plane—ties they exploit to hunt for prey.  The creature’s remarkable Dexterity, especially considering its size, owes to its adaptation to the currents of the Ethereal Plane.

Desperate planar travelers who are knowledgeable about goliath etherfish attempt to present themselves as tempting meals for an etherfish. They allow the creature to return to the Ethereal Plane and either wait for the creature to regurgitate them or cut themselves free. This method of travel is inexpensive but fraught with danger.


  1. This is a creature I'd like to see illustrated by Erol Otus or DAT.

    "Fraught with danger." Heh. Nicely done.

    Victims would want to resist being dislodged?!

  2. I'm not gonna lie--having any of my monsters illustrated by Erol Otus or DAT would cause a "squee heard 'round the world."

    If someone knew the fish was going to return to the Material Plane and he or she could resist the damage, then maybe a victim would try to stay in the fish.