Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Creature—Hex Maw

I have a massive list of ideas for monsters sitting around. While deciding on what to write about, I stumbled upon this little entry: "Monster that damages prepped spells." A massive grin came upon my face, the kind that only a fellow GM can truly understand. I'm not one to hate on my players, but I think most anyone will agree that sometimes the wizard, cleric, or even the new-fangled arcanist should be scared, if only for a moment. Thus, the hex maw was born!

This creature was designed mostly to bring that caster down a peg, it's really not good for much else. However, I didn't design this with the intent of throwing one at the wizard around every turn. It's more of a one-scene wonder, meant to freak the caster out just the once (or twice!) and then move on. It should hopefully be a memorable encounter. Check it out, after the jump.

This massive floating sphere is composed of rough, bulbous flesh. The top and bottom of the sphere are dominated by a gaping mouth lined with rows of jagged teeth.
XP 3200
N Large aberration
Init +6; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +15
AC 17, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+2 Dex, +1 dodge, +5 natural armor, –1 size)
hp 102 (12d8+48)
Fort +8, Ref +6, Will +8
SR 18
Speed fly 20 ft.(poor)
Melee 2 bites +16 (2d6+5 plus grab)
Special Attack consume spells (DC 20), swallow whole (2d6 acid damage, AC 12, 10 hp)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th)
Constant—arcane sight
Str 21, Dex 15, Con 17, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 19
Base Atk +9; CMB +15 (+19 grapple); CMD 27 (can't be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Hover, Improved Initiative, Toughness, Weapon Focus (bite)
Skills Fly +11, Perception +15
Languages Undercommon
SQ massive maws
Environment any underground
Organization solitary, pair
Treasure incidental
Consume Spells (Ex) A hex maw feeds on primal magical energies, even those of yet uncast spells. Each round the hex maw maintains it's grab, it also drains 1d8 levels of prepared spells or unused slots, beginning with the highest level spell or slot available. For example, on a roll of 4 against a 5th-level wizard, a hex maw drains four levels of prepared spells. The wizard currently has one 3rd-level spell, two 2nd-level spells, and three 1st-level spells prepared. The hex maw drains the 3rd-level spell and one of the 1st-level spells (determined randomly). If the grabbed creature has the arcane reservoir class feature, this ability instead drains points from the reservoir first, then spells. A successful DC 19 Will save reduces the drain by half. This save DC is Constitution based.

When a hex maw drains spells in this way, it can choose to either gain temporary hit points or an increase to spell resistance equal to the total number of spell levels drained. These bonuses do not stack. Multiple drains renew the bonuses and the hex maw must take the highest bonus from multiple drains. The hex maw may gain both temporary hit points and the spell resistance bonus from multiple drains. These bonuses last for a number of rounds equal to half the hex maw's hit dice (typically 6).

Massive Maws (Ex) A hex maw's mouths are particularly large for a creature of it's size. A hex maw's bite attacks do damage as if it were one size category larger. In addition, a hex maw is capable of grabbing a creature in each of its mouth without penalty. It can maintain the grapple from both mouths as part of the same standard action. If the hex maw has swallowed a creature, it loses one these bite attacks. It can release a creature that is currently swallowed as a free action, allowing use of the second bite once more.

The hex maw is a curious creature that feeds mostly on magical energies, specifically those that resonate from ley lines of the worlds. They will feed on rocks and crystals that have become irradiated with magical energies from these ley lines. Over time, scholars speculate, the hex maw grew its second mouth to feed on multiple sources as one, as most of a hex maw's food sources contain only faint amounts of arcane energies.
Hex maw spawn have the young simple template and lose their second bite attack, as their second mouth begins significantly undeveloped. Rumors have been shared of greater hex maws that consume entire magical items.
A typical hex maw is 9 feet wide and weighs 320 pounds.

While not inherently evil, the massive creatures known as hex maws have gained a notorious reputation among the spell casting community. A spell caster, whether arcane, divine, or psychic, resonates more magic than a hex maw typically encounters, prompting an almost animal like response from the creature. It will generally do it's best to feed upon this new found source of food. At times, hex maws have been known to swallow a spell caster, probably with the intent to feed slowly upon them later, savoring their rare catch, or to share with a mate.

Hex maws rarely have anything resembling a society, as the environment will rarely provide enough sustenance for more than one of the creatures. A hex maw will occasionally seek a mate. However, it will generally wait until a large source of magic is found, such as a particular potent ley line or an unfortunate mage. A mated maw becomes particularly territorial and aggressive during this time. Scholars still debate how exactly these creatures mate as both studying one during a mating period or keeping a hex maw for study prove particularly dangerous.

No comments:

Post a Comment