Elite Opponents08/21/2004


Mohrgs



This column aims to provide DMs with interesting opponents to pit against the PCs in their campaigns. Building off of a simple base -- typically a standard monster from the Monster Manual -- each column uses the building blocks provided in the rulebooks to craft a variety of foes. Through the addition of class levels or templates, or even via simple HD advancement, the creatures presented in this column are transformed from run-of-the-mill opponents into memorable foes. Check out this column every month for a new batch of formidable enemies built from a different monster!

The Mohrg: Death That Walks

This month, our base creature is the mohrg -- a particularly vicious undead being. A mohrg is the animated corpse of a mass murderer or some similarly horrific (and unatoned) villain whose inherent evil enables it to continue its depredations well beyond the grave. Indeed, the Monster Manual describes it as a creature "tortured by an all-consuming hatred of living things," which serves as an excellent motivation for any foe of the PCs. Any way you look at it, the mohrg is just about as evil as evil gets.

Each of the four enhanced mohrgs described in this article draws additional powers from a different source. Their challenge ratings range from 9 to 13, but if your campaign needs even tougher foes, increasing their Hit Dice can further augment their killing power.

Shadow Mohrg

The shadow mohrg is an exceptionally stealthy undead denizen of the Plane of Shadow. It favors hit-and-run techniques, often choosing to paralyze a foe and then retreat into the shadows before striking again. If reduced below one-half its normal hit points, the shadow mohrg uses its shadow blend ability to escape into darkness, so that it can heal quickly and then strike again.

Unlike most creatures, a mohrg keeps its original type (undead) and does not become a magical beast with the application of this template.

Shadow Mohrg: CR 9; Medium undead; HD 14d12; hp 91; Init +8; Spd 45 ft.; AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 19; Base Atk +7; Grp +12; Atk +12 melee (1d6+5, slam) or +12 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); Full Atk +12 melee (1d6+5, slam) and +7 melee touch (paralysis, tongue) or +12 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); SA create spawn, improved grab, paralyzing touch; SQ darkvision 60 ft., evasion, fast healing 2, low-light vision, lucky, resistance (cold 19), shadow blend, undead traits; AL CE; SV Fort +6, Ref +12, Will +11; Str 21, Dex 19, Con --, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Climb +13, Hide +21, Jump +11, Listen +11, Move Silently +27, Spot +15, Swim +9; Alertness, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility.

Create Spawn (Su): Creatures killed by a shadow mohrg rise after 1d4 days as zombies under its control. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the shadow mohrg must hit a Medium or smaller creature with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Paralyzing Touch (Su): An opponent touched by the shadow mohrg's tongue must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or become paralyzed for 1d4 minutes.

Evasion (Ex): If a shadow mohrg makes a successful Reflex saving throw against an attack that normally deals half damage on a successful save, it instead takes no damage.

Fast Healing (Ex): The shadow mohrg regains hit points at the rate of 2 per round. Fast healing does not restore hit points lost from starvation, thirst, or suffocation, and it does not allow the shadow mohrg to regrow or reattach lost body parts.

Lucky: The shadow mohrg gains a +2 luck bonus on all saving throws (already figured into the statistics above).

Shadow Blend (Su): In any conditions other than daylight, a shadow mohrg can disappear into the shadows, gaining total concealment. Artificial illumination, even a light or continual flame spell, does not negate this ability. A daylight spell, however, will.

Undead Traits: A shadow mohrg is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing.

Spellstitched Mohrg

The spellstitched mohrg appears as a normal mohrg with runes carved into its skeletal form. Fortified by arcane rituals, this creature can bring considerable magical prowess to bear against its foes. Powerful necromancers often create these creatures to serve as elite guardians for their lairs.

This particular spellstitched mohrg opens combat by employing one or more rays of enfeeblement (preferably from hiding) to weaken its foes. For each ray that hits, the target takes a penalty to Strength equal to 1d6+5. The spellstitched mohrg also makes frequent use of its scorching ray. With each use of this ability, it can create three rays (each dealing 4d6 points of fire damage) that it can use against separate targets or a single foe. If possible, it uses its false life and mage armor abilities before combat begins. While these effects are active, it the following adjustments to its statistics are in effect: hp 106; AC 27, touch 14, flat-footed 18.

Spellstitched Mohrg: CR 9; Medium undead; HD 14d12; hp 91; Init +8; Spd 30 ft.; AC 23, touch 14, flat-footed 19; Base Atk +7; Grp +12; Atk +12 melee (1d6+5, slam) or +12 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); Full Atk +12 melee (1d6+5, slam) and +7 melee touch (paralysis, tongue) or +12 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); SA create spawn, improved grab, paralyzing touch, spell-like abilities; SQ damage reduction 10/magic and silver, darkvision 60 ft., spell resistance 15, turn resistance +2, undead traits; AL CE; SV Fort +6, Ref +12, Will +11; Str 21, Dex 19, Con --, Int 11, Wis 11, Cha 10.

Skills and Feats: Climb +13, Hide +21, Listen +11, Move Silently +21, Spot +15, Swim +9; Alertness, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility.

Create Spawn (Su): Creatures killed by a spellstitched mohrg rise after 1d4 days as zombies under its control. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the spellstitched mohrg must hit a Medium or smaller creature with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Paralyzing Touch (Su): An opponent touched by the spellstitched mohrg's tongue must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or become paralyzed for 1d4 minutes.

Spell-Like Abilities: 3/day -- scorching ray, ray of enfeeblement; 1/day -- false life, mage armor. Caster level 14th.

Turn Resistance (Ex): A spellstitched mohrg is treated as a 16-HD undead creature for the purpose of turn, rebuke, command, or bolster attempts.

Undead Traits: A spellstitched mohrg is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing.

Elite Fiendgrafted Mohrg

Like other sentient undead, the mohrg earns a high degree of respect from fiends, particularly demons. Such creatures appreciate the evil that the mohrg spread in life, as well as its continuing hatred of the living. In some cases, the fiends' respect leads them to make physical "improvements" -- most notably fiendish grafts -- upon the mohrg's form.

The following elite mohrg has received two fiendish grafts: fiendish skin and membranous wings (see Fiend Folio for details). The improvements granted by these grafts are included in the statistics below.

Elite Fiendgrafted Mohrg: CR 10; Medium undead; HD 14d12; hp 91; Init +11; Spd 30 ft., fly 60 ft. (average); AC 27, touch 17, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +7; Grp +14; Atk +14 melee (1d6+7, slam) or +14 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); Full Atk +14 melee (1d6+7, slam) and +9 melee touch (paralysis, tongue) or +14 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); SA create spawn, improved grab, paralyzing touch, poison; SQ darkvision 60 ft., fiendish skin, membranous wings, resistance (cold 10, fire 10), undead traits; AL CE; SV Fort +4, Ref +13, Will +10; Str 25, Dex 24, Con --, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 13.

Skills and Feats: Climb +15, Hide +24, Listen +12, Move Silently +24, Spot +16, Swim +11; Alertness, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility.

Create Spawn (Su): Creatures killed by the fiendgrafted mohrg rise after 1d4 days as zombies under its control. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the fiendgrafted mohrg must hit a Medium or smaller creature with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Paralyzing Touch (Su): An opponent touched by the fiendgrafted mohrg's tongue must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or become paralyzed for 1d4 minutes.

Poison (Sp): 1/day; Fort DC 19 negates. Caster level 16th.

Undead Traits: A fiendgrafted mohrg is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing.

Kurge: The Mohrg Assassin

Few undead beings are more suited to the life of an assassin than mohrgs, especially since they may well have pursued such a profession in life. Though most mohrgs don't advance as characters, the rare exception can be a truly deadly enemy.

Kurge the Executioner is such an exception. This literally cold-hearted killer keeps to the shadows, relying on his extraordinary powers of stealth to assess his targets before striking. Kurge is even capable of passing as a humanoid creature (thanks to his disguise self spells), though he takes a -5 penalty on Disguise checks when attempting to appear as a living being. (He can do only so much to disguise his skeletal nature, after all.) Kurge sometimes assumes the persona of a necromancer or a cleric of some death god, since such beings often appear particularly emaciated. In such cases, he brings along a few zombie victims to reinforce the disguise.

Kurge the Executioner: Male mohrg assassin 5; CR 13; Medium undead; HD 14d12 plus 5d6; hp 108; Init +11; Spd 30 ft.; AC 27, touch 18, flat-footed 20; Base Atk +10; Grp +17; Atk +18 melee (1d6+7, slam) or +17 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); Full Atk +18 melee (1d6+7, slam) and +12 melee touch (paralysis, tongue) or +17 melee touch (paralysis, tongue); SA create spawn, death attack, improved grab, paralyzing touch, sneak attack +3d6; SQ darkvision 60 ft., improved uncanny dodge, (poison resistance +2), (poison use), uncanny dodge, undead traits; AL CE; SV Fort +5, Ref +17, Will +14; Str 24, Dex 24, Con --, Int 14, Wis 18, Cha 13.

Skills and Feats: Climb +24, Disguise +12, Hide +29, Listen +28, Move Silently +29, Spot +28, Swim +17; Alertness, Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (slam).

Create Spawn (Su): Creatures killed by Kurge rise after 1d4 days as zombies under his control. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Death Attack (Ex): If Kurge studies his victim for 3 rounds and then makes a sneak attack with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the sneak attack may also either paralyze or kill the target (Kurge's choice). The Fortitude save to survive this effect has a DC of 17.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, Kurge must hit a Medium or smaller creature with his slam attack. He can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Paralyzing Touch (Su): An opponent touched by Kurge's tongue must succeed on a DC 18 Fortitude save or become paralyzed for 1d4 minutes.

Sneak Attack (Ex): Kurge deals 3d6 extra points of damage on any successful attack against flat-footed or flanked targets, or against a target that has been denied its Dexterity bonus for any reason. This damage also applies to ranged attacks against targets up to 30 feet away. Creatures with concealment, creatures without discernible anatomies, and creatures immune to extra damage from critical hits are all immune to sneak attacks. Kurge may choose to deliver nonlethal damage with his sneak attack, but only when using a weapon designed for that purpose, such as a sap (blackjack).

Improved Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Kurge cannot be flanked and can be sneak attacked only by a character with at least 9 levels of rogue.

Poison Resistance: As an assassin, Kurge gains a +2 bonus on saves against poison, but this ability is superfluous, since as an undead he is immune to poison.

Poison Use: Kurge is trained in the use of poison and never risks accidentally poisoning himself when applying poison to a blade. This ability is superfluous, however, since as an undead he is immune to poison.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex): Kurge retains his Dexterity bonus to AC even when flat-footed or targeted by an unseen foe. (He still loses his Dexterity bonus if paralyzed or otherwise immobile.)

Undead Traits: Kurge is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. He is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to his physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. He cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if he is willing.

Assassin Spells Known (4/3): 1st -- disguise self, feather fall, jump, obscuring mist; 2nd -- cat's grace, invisibility, undetectable alignment.

Possessions:Boots of levitation, chime of opening, gauntlets of ogre power, ring of protection +1.

About the Author

By day, Andy Collins works as a senior designer in the Roleplaying R&D department at Wizards of the Coast, Inc. His credits include the Player's Handbook v.3.5, the Draconomicon, and the upcoming Unearthed Arcana. By night, however, he fights crime as a masked vigilante. Or maybe not.

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