Friday, January 22, 2016

Frightful Fridays! Oceanic Hydra

It's a Frightful miracle! Yes, today's post is actually on a Friday. It's been a while since this feature has gone to the sea, and today's monster does so in a big way. The dread kraken-spawned oceanic hydra rampages across the sea, smashing ships and devouring sailors, and it enjoys protection from fire that would otherwise severely hinder it.

I hope you enjoy the oceanic hydra, and I'll be back next week with another monster. Thank you for reading!

PS: Don't forget the Here Be Monsters 2 contest going on now. This post has all the details you need to enter your monster. I'm hoping to see a lot of great entries!


Four crested serpentine heads are barely visible through a shroud of mist. The creature towers over maritime vessels.
Oceanic Hydra      CR 18
XP 153,600                                                                           
CE Colossal magical beast (aquatic)                  
Init –1; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +25
Aura aquatic shell (5 ft.)
DEFENSE
AC 33, touch 1, flat-footed 33 (–1 Dex, +32 natural, –8 size)
hp 312 (25d10+175); regeneration 20 (fire)
Fort +21, Ref +13, Will +12
Immune acid, cold
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft., swim 80 ft.
Melee 4 bites +29 (3d8+11/19–20 plus grab)
Space 30 ft.; Reach 30 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 10d6 bludgeoning damage, Reflex DC 29 for half, usable every 1d4 rounds), capsize, constrict (3d8+11), ship killer
STATISTICS
Str 33, Dex 8, Con 25, Int 5, Wis 18, Cha 10
Base Atk +25; CMB +44 (+46 bull rush, +48 grapple and sunder); CMD 53 (55 vs. bull rush and sunder, can't be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Cleave, Cleaving FinishUC, Crippling CriticalAPG, Critical Focus, Great Cleave, Greater Sunder, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Cleaving FinishUC, Improved Critical (bite), Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Perception +25, Swim +29
SQ hydra traits, regenerate head
ECOLOGY
Environment any aquatic
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Aquatic Shell (Su) A constantly flowing shroud of water surrounds an oceanic hydra. This aura douses all nonmagical fires in the area and inflicts a –4 on ranged attack rolls. Additionally, the hydra gains concealment (20% miss chance) against all attacks made from more than 5 feet away. If a creature with the fire subtype ends its turn adjacent to the hydra, it takes 25d6 points of damage (DC 29 Reflex save for half). Finally, the shell dispels any fire spells targeting or including the hydra in their area, but the hydra must succeed on a dispel check (1d20 + the hydra’s HD) against the spell (DC 11 + caster level of the fire spell). If a hydra succeeds at dispelling a spell with an area of effect, it only dispels the portion covering the hydra’s space.
If an oceanic hydra takes at least 50 points of fire damage from a single source, it loses the benefit of its shell. If it is in a body of water, it can use a standard action to restore the shell.
Breath Weapon (Su) In addition to the damage dealt by an oceanic hydra’s breath weapon, the hydra also gains a free awesome blow combat maneuver against all creatures taking damage (creatures succeeding at their Reflex saves add 8 to their CMD).
Hydra Traits (Ex) An oceanic hydra can be killed by severing all of its heads or slaying its body. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever a head affects the body, including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage. To sever a head, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting a head. A head is considered a separate weapon with hardness 0 and hit points equal to the hydra's HD. To sever a head, an opponent must inflict enough damage to reduce the head's hit points to 0 or less. Severing a head deals damage to the hydra's body equal to the hydra's current HD. A hydra can't attack with a severed head, but takes no other penalties.
Regenerate Head (Ex) When an oceanic hydra's head is destroyed, two heads regrow in 1d4 rounds. A hydra cannot have more than twice its original number of heads at any one time. To prevent new heads from growing, at least 10 points of fire damage must be dealt to the stump (a touch attack to hit) before they appear. Fire damage from area attacks can affect stumps and the body simultaneously. A hydra doesn't die from losing its heads until all are cut off and the stumps seared by fire.
Ship Killer (Ex) An oceanic hydra ignores 5 points of hardness with all of its attacks.

Dread krakens took terrestrial hydras for their regenerative abilities and grafted on several abilities to create marine engines of destruction. The resulting oceanic hydras are slightly more intelligent than their land-bound progenitors and only start off with four heads. Where they truly shine is in their devastating abilities. They breathe a torrent of seawater that pushes foes away, and they have a protective watery shell that proves antithetical to fiery creatures and effects. Oceanic hydras prefer to open their attacks by breaching the hulls of ships and attacking those fleeing from the sinking vessels. As with many dread kraken creations, these hydras owe no fealty to their creators, but the krakens are content to allow the hydras to rampage on the surface while they remain safe on the ocean floor.


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