Hello and welcome back for Frightful Fridays! I've got two monsters for you this week, each fitting a loose theme of mounts. The elyftephant itself serves as a mount, primarily to undead creatures. It tramples everything in its path and provides protection for the creatures ensconced in its chest cavity, not that the undead elyftephant needs organs after all. This week's second offering, the octoquestrian, is an octopus-like aberration that likes riding horses, to mitigate its inability to get around on land. Woe betide anyone who kills an octoquestrian's mount, though, since the octoquestrian will turn the killer into its new horse.
I hope you enjoy the elyftephant and the octoquestrian. I will see you Monday for the start of the month-long Frogtober celebration. Thanks for reading!
Here are the links to the inspiration images for this week's monsters:
Despite the emaciated frame of this obviously undead elephant, it moves with a powerful stride.
Elyftephant CR 6
NE Huge undead
Init –2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +16
AC 20, touch 6, flat-footed 20 (–2 Dex, +14 natural, –2 size)
hp 76 (9d8+36); fast healing 5
Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +6
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4; DR 5/magic; Immune cold, undead traits; Resist acid 10, electricity 10
Speed 30 ft.
Melee gore +14 (2d8+10), slam +14 (2d6+10)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks increased damage against objects, trample (2d6+15 plus 2d6 negative energy, DC 24)
Str 31, Dex 6, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 19
Base Atk +6; CMB +18 (+20 bull rush); CMD 26 (28 vs. bull rush, 30 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Bull Rush[B], Power Attack[B]
Skills Perception +16
SQ riding chamber
Environment any land
Organization solitary or war unit (2–24 plus 2–12 skeletal champions or other intelligent undead)
Increased Damage Against Objects (Ex) An elyftephant that makes a full attack against an object or structure deals double damage. If the elyphtephant charges an object or structure, it deals triple damage against the object or structure.
Riding Chamber (Su) An elyftephant’s chest cavity is carved out, leaving space for 2 Medium or 1 Large creature to sit in relative comfort. Creatures within this cavity gain cover from attacks and benefit from the elyftephant’s elemental immunities and resistances. Additionally, these creatures take half damage from spells or effects that affect an area. The elyftephant’s riding chamber is suffused with negative energy however. At the beginning of the elyftephant's turn, it deals 2d6 points of negative energy damage (DC 18 Will save halves) and heals 2d6 damage to creatures healed by negative energy. An intelligent undead creature within the riding chamber can spend a move action to command the elyftephant. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Elyftephants are undead engines of war created by powerful liches and other undead transmuters. Rather than exposing riders atop their creations as living creatures are forced to do so with elephants, these creators built in a chamber to comfortably house other undead creatures. On occasion, these cavities are filled with mindless undead that leap into battle after the elyftephants batter down obstacles, but the elyftephants creators wanted undead generals and the like to control the battlefield from the safety of the larger creatures’ interior. These riding chambers are inimical to living creatures, so elyftephants cannot be turned against their masters very effectively.
Uncontrolled elyftephants charge at the largest object or collection of living creatures, and they always use Power Attack when in combat.
An elyftephant stands 11 feet tall and weighs 8,000 pounds. It can be created with create undead using an elephant’s corpse. The caster must be at least 15th level, and the elephant’s corpse must have taken negative energy damage before it died.
This dark purple octopus sits atop a white steed and seemingly guides the animal with its tentacles.
Octoquestrian CR 5
CN Medium aberration (aquatic)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +12
AC 19, touch 15, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 59 (7d8+28)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +7
Speed 10 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee 4 tentacles +10 (1d6+1)
Special Attacks insurmountable
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +11)
3/day—charm animal (DC 15), phantom steed
Str 13, Dex 21, Con 18, Int 18, Wis 14, Cha 19
Base Atk +5; CMB +6; CMD 21 (29 vs. trip)
Feats Animal Affinity, Mounted Combat, Ride-by Attack, Spirited Charge, Trample[B], Weapon Finesse[B]
Skills Acrobatics +15 (+7 to jump), Escape Artist +15, Handle Animal +16, Knowledge (nature) +14, Perception +12, Ride +17, Stealth +12, Survival +12, Swim +15
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Sylvan; speak with animals (horses only)
SQ amphibious, emergency mount, tentacled rider
Organization solitary, pair, or cavalry (3–20)
Emergency Mount (Su) An octoquestrian casts mount as a standard action, rather than taking 1 round. Additionally, it can expend two uses of phantom steed to cast it in 1 round rather than 10 minutes.
Insurmountable (Su) Once per day as a standard action, an octoquestrian can make a touch attack. If it strikes a living target, the target must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or transform into a light warhorse. This is a similar effect to baleful polymorph, so a victim that fails its Fortitude save must also make a DC 17 Will save. If this save fails, the victim loses all its extraordinary, supernatural, and spell-like abilities (as well as its ability to cast spells, if applicable), and uses the stats for a light warhorse. It still retains its class and level (or HD), as well as all benefits deriving from them, such as base attack bonus, base save bonuses, and hit points. It retains any class features other than those listed above. The save DCs are Charisma-based.
If the octoquestrian does not strike a target after activating this ability, it can effectively hold the charge until it successfully strikes a target, or it uses a spell-like ability (in which case, it loses the charge).
Tentacled Rider (Ex) An octoquestrian takes no penalty on Ride checks for riding bareback.
When the dread kraken sent its octopus armies to land to invade, those octopodes who did not question the order (and thus survived the dread kraken’s unspeakable wrath) worked out methods to adapt to land. Many of them turn to magic or spontaneously mutated, some transforming their tentacles into legs and some gaining the ability to fly. A rare few retained their original forms and used the available resources found on dry land to move about. One such species used horses as their mode of transportation and adopted the moniker octoquestrian. Octoquestrians possess innate animal empathy and a small suite of magic powers to control or conjure horses. They prefer living, tentacle-trained horses to those summoned or created with magic, but make do with what they have. If they lose a horse they have reared themselves, they employ their most devastating magic to permanently transform the killers into horses, which they ride in their previous mounts’ stead.
Despite their generally chaotic nature, octoquestrians work exceptionally well together and employ sound battlefield tactics. Octoquestrians often take levels in cavalier to improve their skill with horses and to bolster their ability to conduct battle effectively as part of an octoquestrian cavalry.
A typical octoquestrian measures 4 feet tall, while its tentacles extend for 6 feet, and it weighs 150 pounds. An octoquestrian can live for up to 125 years.