Elite Opponents
Variant Lifeleech Otyughs
Creature Incarnations
By Robert Wiese

This was supposed to be roper month, but ropers are magical beasts and we've seen a lot of those lately. We did want something from the Underdark, though. Fortunately, one of my scouts reported seeing these weird creatures in the Underdark, so we captured some and checked them out. The lifeleech otyugh is a variant creature already. Published in Monster Manual III, it is an otyugh with the special ability to benefit from nearby healing spells. That's very handy, unless you want to make an undead one. All the undead templates became off-limits because the creature would be destroyed by its own special ability. However, interesting variations exist in the multiverse and we have some here. Step this way, and keep your wands ofcure light wounds in check, please.

Lifeleech Otyugh Jelly

Using the gelatinous template from Savage Species usually makes a creature less powerful than the original, but with a higher Challenge Rating. In this case, however, the creature is still pretty nifty for its CR. However, the gelatinous template doesn't give it any new means of attacking, and it does decrease the creature's Intelligence a lot. This creature looks like a blob of clear-ish gelatin with four thick tentacles emerging from somewhere in its middle. It grabs and constricts, and it gravitates toward anyone casting healing spells almost instinctually.

Gelatinous Lifeleech Otyugh CR 10
N Large aberration
Init +1; Senses blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +8, Spot +8
Aura lifeleech
Languages Common

AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 16
(-1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural, +4 deflection)
hp 130 (9 HD); fast heal 5
Immune polymorphing, stunning, flanking
Fort +12, Ref +4, Will +10; +4 racial bonus on saves against mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep, and paralysis

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 10 ft.
Melee 4 tentacles +14 (1d8+8 plus 1d6 acid) and
bite +9 (1d6+4 plus 1d6 acid) or
slam +13 (2d4+4 plus 1d6 acid)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. with tentacles)
Base Atk +6; Grp +18
Atk Options Combat Reflexes, constrict, improved grab

Abilities Str 27, Dex 12, Con 29, Int 1, Wis 14, Cha 4
SQ resilient,spell-strengthened hide
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (tentacles)
Skills Climb +16, Hide +5 (+13 in lair), Jump +2, Listen +8, Spot +8

Lifeleech Aura (Su) Whenever a spell or spell-like ability with the healing descriptor is used on a creature within 60 feet of a gelatinous lifeleech otyugh, the otyugh gains the benefit of the healing spell as if it had been one of the spell's targets. If a healing spell cast within 60 feet of a gelatinous lifeleech otyugh would grant it enough hit points to exceed its full normal total, it gains the remaining hit points as temporary hit points. A gelatinous lifeleech otyugh can't have more temporary hit points from its lifeleech aura than its full normal hit point total. Temporary hit points gained in this manner last for 1 hour. This ability affects spell completion and spell trigger items (such as scrolls, staffs, and wands), but not other magic items.

Constrict (Ex) A gelatinous lifeleech otyugh deals automatic tentacle damage with a successful grapple check.

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a gelatinous lifeleech otyugh must hit with its tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If it gets a hold, a gelatinous lifeleech otyugh can constrict.

Resilient (Ex) A gelatinous lifeleech otyugh cannot be flanked, takes 1d6 less damage from a successful sneak attack, and takes one-half the additional damage dealt by a critical hit.

Spell-Strengthened Hide (Su) The sickly gray "skin" of a gelatinous lifeleech otyugh has been infused with magical energy. This strange energy grants a gelatinous lifeleech otyugh a +4 deflection bonus to its Armor Class (included).

Shadowy Spellwarped Lifeleech Otyugh

Both of these templates are fun, but they don't add a lot of power to a creature. You might say that shadow blend is a great power, but displacer beasts have a similar power and there are ways around concealment (especially at CR 10). The shadow template I used is from Lords of Madness (there are a few versions), and the spellwarped template is from Monster Manual III.

This creature looks like a gray-black otyugh with strange brown striped markings across its body almost like a camouflage pattern. It wades quickly into melee and focuses on one creature at a time. When its spell resistance blocks a spell, it chooses its absorption benefit based on extra hit points, then defense, then attack, using whatever is most advantageous for the spell blocked. It always fires up mirror image as soon as it is attacked, giving it extra defense against ranged foes.

Spellwarped Shadow Lifeleech Otyugh CR 10
NE Large aberration (extraplanar)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +14, Spot +14
Aura lifeleech
Languages Common

AC 24, touch 17, flat-footed 20
(-1 size, +4 Dex, +7 natural, +4 deflection)
hp 112 (9 HD); fast heal 5
Resist cold 14; evasion; SR 20
Fort +11, Ref +7, Will +12

Speed 60 ft. (12 squares), climb 20 ft.
Melee 4 tentacles +16 (1d8+10) and
bite +11 (1d6+5)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. tentacles)
Base Atk +6; Grp +20
Atk Options Combat Reflexes, constrict, improved grab
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 5th):
1/day -- mirror image

Abilities Str 31, Dex 18, Con 27, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 8
SQ shadow blend, spell-strengthened hide, spell absorption
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (tentacles)
Skills Climb +18, Hide +8, Jump +22, Listen +14, Move Silently +10, Spot +14

Lifeleech Aura (Su) Whenever a spell or spell-like ability with the healing descriptor is used on a creature within 60 feet of a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh, the otyugh gains the benefit of the healing spell as if it had been one of the spell's targets. If a healing spell cast within 60 feet of a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh would grant it enough hit points to exceed its full normal total, it gains the remaining hit points as temporary hit points. A spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh can't have more temporary hit points from its lifeleech aura than its full normal hit point total. Temporary hit points gained in this manner last for 1 hour. This ability affects spell completion and spell trigger items (such as scrolls, staffs, and wands), but not other magic items.

Constrict (Ex) A spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh deals automatic tentacle damage with a successful grapple check.

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh must hit with its tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If it gets a hold, a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh can constrict.

Shadow Blend (Su) In any conditions other than full daylight, a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh can disappear into the shadows, giving it total concealment. Artificial illumination, even a light or continual flame spell, does not negate this ability, but a daylight spell will.

Spell Absorption (Su) Whenever a spell fails to penetrate a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh's spell resistance, the creature gains one of the following benefits, chosen at the time that the spell resolves.

Might: The spellwarped creature gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Strength for 1 minute.
Agility: The spellwarped creature gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Dexterity for 1 minute.
Endurance: The spellwarped creature gains a +4 enhancement bonus to Constitution for 1 minute.
Life: The spellwarped creature gains temporary hit points equal to 5 x the level of the failed spell.
Speed: The spellwarped creature's base speed increases by a number of feet equal to 5 x the level of the failed spell.
Resistance: The spellwarped creature gains resistance 10 to one energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic).

Spell-Strengthened Hide (Su) The sickly gray "skin" of a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh has been infused with magical energy. This strange energy grants a spellwarped shadow lifeleech otyugh a +4 deflection bonus to its Armor Class (included).

Ice Fairy Lifeleech Otyugh

Our last creature for this visit is an ice fairy of sorts. This half-fey cold element otyugh was found in the Unseelie Court, and it must be returned soon or I'll have an army of fey after me. The cold element template comes from Manual of the Planes, and the half-fey template comes from Fiend Folio. This creature looks like a delicate white-blue otyugh with butterfly wings on the side opposite its mouth. Its tentacles are icy-white and they even feel cold to the touch. It looks kind of silly with its wings, actually. But it's still dangerous. Since its save DCs are kind of low, it uses its spell-like abilities only on obvious fighters and as a secondary means of affecting foes. It does like to use confusion, though, and will open a melee with that.

Half-Fey Cold Element Lifeleech Otyugh CR 11
CE Large fey (cold)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Listen +19, Spot +19
Aura lifeleech
Languages Aquan, Common

AC 25, touch 17, flat-footed 21
(-1 size, +4 Dex, +8 natural, +4 deflection)
hp 76 (9 HD); fast heal 5; DR 5/magic
Immune cold, critical hits, enchantment spells and effects, paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning
Fort +8, Ref +7, Will +13
Weakness vulnerability to fire

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 80 ft. (good), climb 20 ft.
Melee 4 tentacles +12 (1d8+8 plus +1d6 cold) and
bite +7 (1d6+4 plus 1d6 cold)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft. (15 ft. tentacles)
Base Atk +4; Grp +16
Atk Options Combat Reflexes, constrict, improved grab
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 9th):
At will -- charm person (DC 12)
3/day -- detect law, protection from law
1/day -- hypnotism (DC 12), faerie fire or glitterdust (DC 13), sleep (DC 12) or enthrall (DC 13), Tasha's hideous laughter (DC 13) or suggestion (DC 14), confusion (DC 15), eyebite (DC 17) or lesser geas (DC 15)

Abilities Str 31, Dex 18, Con 27, Int 11, Wis 18, Cha 8
SQ icewalking, spell-strengthened hide
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Iron Will, Weapon Focus (tentacles)
Skills Climb +16, Hide +12, Jump +12, Listen +19, Move Silently +10, Spot +19

Lifeleech Aura (Su) Whenever a spell or spell-like ability with the healing descriptor is used on a creature within 60 feet of a half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh, the otyugh gains the benefit of the healing spell as if it had been one of the spell's targets. If a healing spell cast within 60 feet of a half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh would grant it enough hit points to exceed its full normal total, it gains the remaining hit points as temporary hit points. A half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh can't have more temporary hit points from its lifeleech aura than its full normal hit point total. Temporary hit points gained in this manner last for 1 hour. This ability affects spell completion and spell trigger items (such as scrolls, staffs, and wands), but not other magic items.

Constrict (Ex) A half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh deals automatic tentacle damage with a successful grapple check.

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh must hit with its tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking attacks of opportunity. If it gets a hold, a half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh can constrict.

Icewalking (Ex) This ability works like the spider climb spell but applies to all icy surfaces. Within the Elemental Plane of Cold, the cold element creature may move normally.

Spell-Strengthened Hide (Su) The sickly gray "skin" of a half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh has been infused with magical energy. This strange energy grants a half-fey cold element lifeleech otyugh a +4 deflection bonus to its Armor Class (included).

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About the Author

Robert Wiese has been playing D&D since 1978 after he watched a game played in the car on the way home from a Boy Scouts meeting. He was fascinated, and delved into this strange world of dragons and magic and sourcebooks. Years later, he was hired to edit tournaments for the RPGA Network, and from there progressed to running the network after his boss was assassinated in the great Christmas purge of 1996. Times were tough, but he persevered and brought the RPGA into a shining new era. Eventually he met a girl who liked to play D&D too, and he left Renton for the warmth and casinos of Reno, Nevada. Now, he works in the Pharmacology department of UNR studying mouse foot muscles and the effects of RF emissions on same. He spends as much time as possible with his wife Rhonda and year-old son Owen.


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