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Monday, April 13, 2009

Grim Monday: Crevice Creature

Today's Grim Monday is an oceanic horror, ready to feed on the unwary swimmer that ventures too near. This beast was originally one of several beasts I designed for a tropical island-hopping campaign.

The Crevice Creature is a sedentary relative of the octopus, living in rifts and crevices in the sea bottom. It anchors itself with two powerful tentacles, using its remaining six limbs to capture prey lured near its lair. Crevice Creatures are ambush predators. Each of its six hunting tentacles end in a thin, worm-like appendage. The beast extends its tentacles in all directions, coiling the luring tip back and moving it to suggest easy prey to passing fish. Anything that ventures near is grabbed by the Creature's powerful, sucker-equipped tentacles and dragged to the beast's large, beak-like jaws. The Creature's body is a soft, shapeless mass protected from passing predators by the tough sucker-lined surfaces of it's attack tentacles. Two large eyes on retractable stalks allow the creature to see its prey, while a protruding vent tube provides clean water to the beast's gills.

When they first hatch Crevice Creatures are free-swimming, having the appearance of their octopus relatives. After their first year of growth they settle in a crevice or rift and begin their sedentary ways, shifting locations from time to time as they outgrow their lair. The sedentary form has a tentacle spread of a foot up to thirty feet or more. Larger specimens can easily capture human-sized prey (Image by foxtongue).

Crevice Creatures have the following physical characteristics (attributes are given for small / medium / large specimens where appropriate:
  • Epic hide ability due to camouflage.
  • Fair toughness tentacles, Average toughness body.
  • Six Fair / Good / Great attacks with tentacles to any target within range. Attacks can be directed against up to three separate targets. Successful tentacle attacks result in the target being snared and dragged to the beast's jaws in the following round.
  • One Good / Great / Superb attack with beaked jaws to any snared target.
  • Ink spray - The Creature can jet forth a cloud of noxious ink, filling a spherical area equivalent to its tentacle spread. The ink blinds anything within its area of effect (Superb difficulty test to see within the cloud). It also has a mild paralytic effect on creatures within the cloud, slowing reactions by half (Good resist check to avoid effect).
The undigested remains of any victims (anything inorganic) pass through the Creature's body and are deposited in the depths of its home, along with any carried items. The ink glands of the Crevice Creature are valued both as a dye and as an ingredient in a paralytic poison.


Lurkinggherkin said...

Sounds like my sea-elf character's worst nightmare!

Actually, I think what I would do with this creature is have its body sunk right down into the crevice and completely filling it so that it's impossible to attack it from all sides - the only angle of approach is straight down in between the tentacles and towards its waiting jaws. If you gave the tentacles regeneration ability like hydra heads that would be one tough beastie. (I'm thinking in 3e terms here).

Mark Thomas said...

@Lurkinggherkin - that's exactly how I used the creature in my campaign. It was tucked away in a deep cave with only tentacles and nasty beak exposed. Our party mage bravely attempted suicide with a point blank range lightning bolt, which miraculously killed the creature and left him with 1 HP. Don't ask me how...