Friday, April 6, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Sidereal Tick

Hello, and welcome back to Frightful Fridays! I've got a more serious, albeit weird, monster this week. The sidereal tick rides along on colossal horrors from beyond the stars and jumps off to attack more palatable prey (like, say, PCs). To sustain itself, it drains its victim's physical blood and essence and pulls the husk into the void making up its stomach. As an added bonus, it's difficult to remove, just like non-Lovecraftian ticks.

I hope you enjoy the sidereal tick, and I'll see you next week with another monster.

This odd insectile creature has several legs sprouting from random locations on its body, clear eye-like organs covering its body, and a gaping, toothy maw opening up into darkness.
Sidereal Tick      CR 10
XP 9,600
CN Small aberration
Init +11; Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +15
AC 23, touch 19, flat-footed 15 (+7 Dex, +1 dodge, +4 natural, +1 size)
hp 127 (15d8+60)
Fort +11, Ref +12, Will +8
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, amorphous; DR 10/cold iron; Immune cold, mind-affecting effects; Resist acid 20; SR 21
Weaknesses susceptibility to vermin spells
Speed 30 ft.
Melee bite +19 (1d62 plus attach and blood drain)
Special Attacks attach, blood drain (1d3 Con and 1d3 Cha), true and terrifying visage
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 15th; concentration +17)
   Constant—displacement, freedom of movement
   At will—dimension door
   3/day—quickened dimension door
Str 6, Dex 25, Con 18, Int 7, Wis 9, Cha 14
Base Atk +11; CMB +17 (+21 grapple); CMD 26 (can't be tripped)
Feats Agile Maneuvers, Dimensional Agility[UC], Disorienting Maneuver[UC], Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Quicken Spell-Like Ability (dimension door), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +20, Escape Artist +20, Perception +15, Stealth +19; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
Special Qualities no breath
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or infestation (310)
Treasure standard
Attach (Ex) A sidereal tick has a +4 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple and to its CMD against attempts to break grapples it initiated. If the tick is attached to a creature, the creature moves with the tick when it uses its quickened dimension door spell-like ability. Additionally, the victim gains the tick’s spell resistance, which the victim cannot voluntarily lower.
Blood Drain (Su) A creature reduced to 0 Con or 0 Cha as a result of a sidereal tick’s blood drain is lost to the void constituting the tick’s interior. While the creature is in the void, it cannot be brought back to life short of a miracle or wish spell. If the tick is killed, it disgorges whatever portion of the void it touches; each creature consumed by the tick has a 25% chance of spilling out.
Susceptibility to Vermin Spells (Ex) A sidereal tick is affected by spells that target vermin as if it were a vermin. It loses the benefit of its spell resistance for such spells.
True and Terrifying Visage (Su) A sidereal tick’s true appearance is grotesque at a primal level. A creature using true seeing or similar magic to see things as they are in reality must attempt a DC 19 Will save. On a failed save, the creature becomes confused for 1d6 rounds and must succeed at a second Will save to avoid becoming permanently confused (as per the insanity spell). On a successful save, the victim is instead confused for 1 round. Regardless of the result of the saving throw, the creature can’t be affected by the same sidereal tick’s true and terrifying visage for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Sidereal ticks are pests that attach themselves to aberrant creatures from the far reaches of the universe. While the creatures are nuisances to the horrors from beyond the stars, they are devastating to victims unused to impossible geometries. Often, groups of the creatures dislodge themselves from their hosts and ravage worlds in advance of the more terrifying creatures. In this way, an invasion of sidereal ticks acts as an early warning for an apocalyptic threat to those knowledgeable about the weird vermin.

Sidereal ticks have voracious appetites they barely sate on their normal fare. When presented with food with fixed anatomies, they become insatiable. Once they attach themselves to such prey, they remain affixed until their prey is dead and consumed or they are killed or forcibly removed. Their strange relation to reality allows them to avoid many attacks and move with relative ease. They use their teleportation ability to escape with prey, especially when faced with armed resistance. Fortunately, while they have alien minds, they react to magic similarly to terrestrial vermin.

Sidereal ticks measure 3 feet in diameter and weighs 15 pounds. They have relatively short lifespans at 5 years but enter hibernative states that prolong their lives when traversing the stars with their hosts.

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