Friday, June 28, 2013

Frightful Fridays! Polychaete Terror

Welcome to an early afternoon (or late morning or late evening, even) edition of Frightful Fridays! Paris pointed me in the direction of this large, weird worm that can bite through 20 pound fishing line and whose bristles can cause permanent numbness in humans. That makes for a delightful monster, especially once you ramp up the size and add a few nasty abilities. Today's extra provides some variants to the polychaete terror, if you happen to get bored with the base model.

I hope you like this giant worm, and I'll be back next Friday with a new monster. Thanks for reading!

This massive brown worm has a considerable array of stinging bristles along its body. It also has an unusually powerful set of jaws for a worm.
Polychaete Terror CR 17
XP 102,400
N Colossal vermin
Init -2; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 120 ft.; Perception +16

AC 32, touch 0, flat-footed 32 (-2 Dex, -8 size, +32 natural)
hp 273 (26d8+156)
Fort +21, Ref +6, Will +8
DR 10/piercing or slashing; Immune acid, mind-affecting effects; Resist cold 20, electricity 20, fire 20

Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +22 (3d6+10/19-20 plus grab) and 12 stings +21 (2d4+10 plus poison)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks many stingers, poison, powerful lunge, swallow whole (8d6 acid damage, AC 26, 27 hp)

Str 30, Dex 7, Con 23, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 10
Base Atk +19; CMB +37 (+41 grapple); CMD 45 (can't be tripped)
Feats Critical Focus(B), Impaling Critical (sting)(B), Improved Critical (bite)(B), Improved Impaling Critical (sting)(B), Weapon Focus (bite)(B)
Skills Perception +16, Swim +18; Racial Modifiers +16 Perception

Environment any warm aquatic or terrestrial
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure standard (gems, jewels and other items that withstand the polychaete's digestive acid)

Special Abilities
Many Stingers (Ex) While a polychaete terror can only bring 12 of its bristly stingers to bear in an attack, if it successfully uses its Improved Impaling Critical it does not lose any sting attacks while maintaining any impalements.
Polychaete Numbing Poison (Ex) String—injury; save Fort DC 29; frequency 1/round 6 rounds; effect 2d4 Dex (2 points of which are Dex drain); cure 2 consecutive saves. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Powerful Lunge (Ex) A polychaete terror can rapidly stretch its body out, giving it a 60-ft. reach until the beginning of its next turn. This imposes a -4 penalty to its AC. Due to the suddenness of this lunge, a character must succeed at a DC 20 Perception check to avoid being flatfooted against the polychaete.

Another baleful creation of the dread kraken, a polychaete terror is a giant sea worm grown to extraordinary size and gifted with a number of defensive capabilities. The creature's countless paralytic bristles are augmented so its poison has incredible potency. Finally, the segmented creature has a near rubbery quality, allowing it to instantly expand itself to make surprising attacks against its foes. A polychaete terror measures 35 feet in length and weighs 3 tons.

A dread kraken typically unleashes the mindless creature on a major population center, where the creature's incredible appetite drives it to a frenzy of destruction. After it causes some carnage, it fights until nothing else attacks it, at which point it stops and feasts on the victims it has impaled on its bristles. Usually left unsatisfied with that meal, it hunts for more prey. Characters who dispatch a polychaete terror are reward not only with whatever treasure survives in the creature's gullet, but also with easily obtained poison (requiring a DC 10 Heal check for one dose + one dose per 5 points over 15). A dose of polychaete terror poison has a price of 7,000 gp.


Variant Polychaete Terrors
Dread krakens did not stop with the base polychaete terror, especially since the creature's annelid nature renders it magically manipulable. A GM can apply the following changes to a polychaete terror to create a variety of encounters (or multiple different polychaete terrors in a single encounter).

Acidic Bristles This version of the polychaete replaces its sting's poison for an additional 1d6 acid damage when it hits with a sting. If it successfully impales a foe with a bristle, it deals this acid damage each round the foe remains impaled.

Breath Weapon This variant polychaete can breathe its digestive fluids in a 60-ft. line that deals 6d6 acid damage to each target in the line (DC 29 Reflex save for half). The save DC is Constitution-based. The polychaete requires 1d6 rounds between uses of its breath weapon.

Flight One fourth of the polychaete's bristles have the ability to levitate the creature. This allows the polychaete to crawl through the air, giving it a fly speed of 40 feet (clumsy).

Split Replace the polychaete's DR with this ability. Slashing and piercing weapons deal no damage, but the polychaete instead divides into two identical versions with half the original's current hit points. A polychaete with 20 or fewer hit points can no longer split.

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