Friday, October 26, 2018

Frightful Fridays! Frogtober! Malleanura

Hello and welcome back for Frogtober! The prompt for day 26 of Inktober is "stretch," and the malleanura goes to surprising lengths with its limbs. I see this as a weird frog with 20-foot-long versions of those novelty sticky hands. However, it can use its sticky hands to inflict a minor curse of malleability on its opponents, and then control transfigured foes. As a sticky-handed frog critter does...

I hope you enjoy the malleanura. Another monster will be here for you tomorrow.

(reminder: art for the malleanura will be coming along in the next month, and I'll update this post and create a new post when I receive it)

This creature looks like a putty model of a bullfrog with ripples appearing almost imperceptibly under its skin. One of its forelimbs is as big as its body, allowing it to reach a considerable distance.
Malleanura      CR 12
XP 19,200
CN Tiny aberration
Init +7; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +24
AC 27, touch 19, flat-footed 20 (+7 Dex, +8 natural, +2 size)
hp 168 (16d8+96)
Fort +13, Ref +14, Will +15
Defensive Abilities amorphous; DR 10/cold iron; Immune polymorph; SR 23
Weaknesses vulnerability to lawful spells and effects
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee 2 slams +21 touch (1d24 plus curse of pliability)
Space 21/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft. (20 ft. with slam)
Special Attacks adhere, curse of pliability, puppeteer
Str 2, Dex 25, Con 22, Int 19, Wis 21, Cha 16
Base Atk +12; CMB +17 (+19 disarm); CMD 23 (25 vs. disarm, can't be tripped)
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Expertise, Combat Reflexes, Great Fortitude, Improved Disarm, Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Bluff), Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +26, Bluff +25, Climb +20, Escape Artist +26, Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (local) +20, Perception +24, Sense Motive +19, Spellcraft +23
Languages Aklo, Common; telepathy (60 feet, creatures affected by curse of pliability)
Environment any land
Organization solitary or contention (28)
Treasure none
Adhere (Ex) As a standard action, a malleanura can stick one of its limbs or its entire body to a creature suffering from the malleanura’s curse of pliability. It makes a touch attack against the target creature that deals no damage and incurs an attack of opportunity from the target creature. If the malleanura succeeds, its limb or body is stuck to the target creature. If the malleanura chooses to adhere its body to the target creature, as a free action, it can change its coloration to match that of the target creature, giving it total concealment. A malleanura choosing to adhere limbs to creatures can do so with two of its limbs. While it is adhered, it gains a +8 bonus to CMD against grapple combat maneuvers.
Curse of Pliability (Su) A creature struck by a malleanura must succeed at a DC 21 Fortitude save to avoid having its body become pliable and sticky. On a failed save, the creature gains a +2 bonus on combat maneuver checks to grapple and to CMD against grapple combat maneuvers, has a 25% chance to treat any critical hit or sneak attack as a normal hit, and gains the compression ability. However, the creature also suffers a 2 penalty on attack and damage rolls, incurs a 2 penalty on Strength-based checks, and increases armor check penalties by 2 (this applies to any worn armor, including armor that has an armor check penalty of 0). This is a curse and polymorph effect. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Puppeteer (Su) If a malleanura begins its turn in contact with a creature suffering from its curse of pliability, the creature must succeed at a DC 21 Will save or become dominated (as per dominate monster). The domination lasts as long as the malleanura remains in contact with the victim. If the malleanura is in contact with, and dominating, more than one creature, it can give all dominated creatures commands as part of a single move action. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Vulnerability to Lawful Spells and Effects (Su) A malleanura does not benefit from spell resistance against spells and effects with the lawful descriptor. Additionally, it suffers a 4 penalty against such spells and effects, and it takes 50% more damage from lawful spells and effects that deal damage.

Malleanuras are believed to have spawned in the same shapeless dimension that gave rise to gibbering mouthers and chaos beasts. They absorb material from their surroundings to grant their limbs impossible lengths, often to the surprise of those who make an assumption based on their size. The frog-like malleanuras are considerably more benign than gibbering mouthers and chaos beasts, for what it’s worth. While they have the capability to shape themselves and creatures they touch, they rarely do so with the end goal of killing creatures they encounter. However, it would be a stretch to say they are benevolent creatures. They understand their sharing a gift of elasticity isn’t entirely advantageous for most corporeal creatures, yet they still impart this gift anyway.

Worse still, malleanuras use this transformation as an inroad to control others affected by their curse of pliability. They mostly do this to preserve themselves from harm. By throwing one or two of the opposition’s allies against the opposition, malleanuras confound their opponents and can work their way toward escaping. Malleanuras are aware of the capabilities of the creatures they control, so they use those abilities to suit them best. However, they are reticent to force their puppets into situations that would get their puppets killed.

The reasons for this seeming beneficence are known only to malleanuras, which also seem to have intense rivalries with others of their species. Their main purpose for puppeteering other creatures is to fight proxy battles with other malleanuras. These combats have odd rules and change from conflict to conflict, but the death of a proxy is always considered a loss for the malleanura controlling the slain creature.

Rumors speak of more powerful malleanuras capable of maintaining control over creatures without having to remain in contact and overriding control by lesser specimens.

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