Excerpts 08/02/2002


Monster Manual II
by Ed Bonny, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter



Same old creatures wandering your dungeons and haunting your towers? PCs getting jaded? Then it's time to startle your players with new foes! Monster Manual IIunleashes a horde of monsters to challenge your characters, from old favorites reincarnated with the new D&D rules to new nasties that surpass your players' worst imaginings. This excerpt showcases three of the new critters: an undead, a magical beast, and a giant. En garde!

Effigy

Medium-Size Undead (Fire, Incorporeal)
Hit Dice:
27d12 (175 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: Fly 60 ft. (perfect)
AC: 20 (+2 Dex, +3 deflection, +5 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 18
Attacks: 2 incorporeal touches +16 melee touch
Damage: Incorporeal touch 1d6 plus 2d6 fire plus energy drain plus infuse
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 5 ft./ 5 ft.
Special Attacks: Energy drain, infuse
Special Qualities: Fire subtytpe, incorporeal subtype, SR 28, undead traits
Saves: Fort +11 Ref +13, Will +20
Abilities: Str --, Dex 14, Con --, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 16
Skills: Balance +4, Escape Artist +17, Hide +17, Jump +2, Listen +20, Search +23, Spot +25, Tumble +17
Feats: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Expertise, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (incorporeal touch), Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Run, Weapon Focus (incorporeal touch)
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Solitary, pair, or brood (3-5)
Challenge Rating: 17
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always chaotic evil
Advancement: 28-54 HD (Medium-size)

An effigy is an envious undead creature that hates living creatures and lusts after the life energy they possess. It seeks to possess a living creature and take over its life, but it cannot maintain its usurped body for long. Eventually the fires of its own raw hatred literally immolate the body it has possessed.

An effigy appears as a translucent humanoid shape composed of multicolored flame. Its eyes glow white within the flickering fires of its insubstantial body, but it has no other discernible facial features.

Combat

An effigy seeks to join its undead force with the body of a living host, which it then burns out from within. It need not be joined with a body to attack, but it often keeps its most recent body's ashes animated within its fiery heart.

Energy Drain (Su): Any living creature struck by an effigy's incorporeal touch attack must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 26) or gain two negative levels. For each negative level bestowed, the effigy heals 5 points of damage. If the amount of healing is more than the damage the creature has taken, it gains any excess as temporary hit points. If the negative level has not been removed (with a spell such as restoration) before 24 hours have passed, the afflicted opponent must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 26) to remove it. Failure means the opponent's level (or Hit Dice) is reduced by one.

Infuse (Su): When an effigy hits a humanoid or monstrous humanoid that is no more than two size categories larger than itself with its incorporeal touch attack, the opponent must make a successful Will save (DC 26) or become infused with the effigy's spirit. The effects of infusion on the opponent are similar to those of a magic jar spell, except as noted here. Upon infusion, the effigy gains control of the infused creature. While infused, it uses the body's physical ability scores but its own mental ability scores. It also uses whatever attack forms the subject has available. Such attacks still do 2d6 points of additional fire damage, but they do not bestow negative levels.

An infused effigy automatically deals fire damage and inflicts energy drain on its host body each round. The subject dies upon reaching -10 hit points or dropping below 1st level. At that point, the body becomes a flaming corpse.

Each round after infusion occurs, the subject must make an opposed Wisdom check against the effigy. Success casts the effigy out, forcing it to retreat 30 feet. Thereafter, it may not attempt to infuse the same target again for 1 round per point of difference between the check results. A failed save leaves the effigy in control of the body. If an effigy is turned while infused in a host, it abandons the body to flee.

Fire Subtype (Ex): An effigy is immune to fire damage but takes double damage from cold unless a saving throw for half damage is allowed. In that case, it takes half damage on a success and double damage on a failure.

Incorporeal Subtype: An effigy can be harmed only by other incorporeal creatures, +1 or better magic weapons, spells, spell-like abilities, and supernatural abilities. The creature has a 50% chance to ignore any damage from a corporeal source, except for force effects or attacks made with ghost touch weapons. An effigy can pass through solid objects, but not force effects, at will. Its attacks ignore natural armor, armor, and shields, but deflection bonuses and force effects work normally against them. An effigy always moves silently and cannot be heard with Listen checks if it doesn't wish to be.

Undead Traits: An effigy is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects. It is not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, energy drain, or death from massive damage. An effigy cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. The creature has darkvision (60-foot range).

Gravorg
Large Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 10d10+30 (85 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
AC: 13 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +5 natural), touch 8, flat-footed 13
Attacks: 2 claws +13 melee and bite +8 melee
Damage: Claw 1d6+4, bite 1d8+2
Face/Reach: 5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks:Reverse gravity
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., DR 5/+1, SR 19
Saves: Fort +10, Ref +6, Will +4
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 8, Con 17, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 8
Skills: Climb +16, Hide +3*, Listen +3, Spot +3
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Ability Focus (reverse gravity)
Climate/Terrain: Any underground
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 8
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 11-15 HD (Large); 16-20 HD (Huge); 21-25 HD (Gargantuan); 26-20 HD (Colossal)

A gravorg is a carnivorous predator that lairs underground. These monsters are only rarely encountered in the wilderness; they tend to move from cave to cave or dungeon to dungeon in search of prey. The sound of armor and flesh repeatedly striking stone often means that a gravorg has found another victim. The beast is so voracious that the remnants of such an encounter may be nothing more than piles of bones and equipment strewn haphazardly over a dungeon floor.

A gravorg is a 10-foot-long, four-legged animal that vaguely resembles a sloth. Its fur is a mixture of white, gray, and black hairs. This coloration makes it look like a lump of stone when motionless.

Combat

A gravorg uses reverse gravity to bounce its prey off ceilings or other overhangs, then dismisses the effect to drop the opponents back to the floor. Only when its victims appear unconscious or dead does a gravorg come out of hiding and begin to feed.

A gravorg caught outdoors uses its reverse gravity ability to throw predators in the air repeatedly until the latter either flee or become disabled. The monster uses its claws and teeth almost entirely for tearing open its prey rather than for self-defense.

Reverse Gravity (Sp): At will, a gravorg can produce an effect like that of a reverse gravity spell (caster level 10th; Reflex save DC 15), except that the range is 200 feet and it affects an area of up to five 10-foot cubes. The monster simply stacks the cubes to reach a ceiling or other overhang, then uses any remaining area to disrupt the prey's companions.

Skills: *A gravorg receives a +10 bonus on Hide checks in subterranean areas.

Mountain Giant
Colossal Giant (Earth)
Hit Dice: 30d8+390 (525 hp)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 80 ft.
AC: 31 (-8 size, +29 natural), touch 2, flat-footed 31
Attacks: Mountain giant club +30/+25/+20/+15 melee, or 2 slams +30 melee, or rock +15/+10/+5/+0 ranged
Damage: Mountain giant club 4d8+24, slam 2d6+16, rock 4d8+16
Face/Reach: ft. by 40 ft./25 ft.
Special Attacks: Crush 2d6+24, fling, grapple, rock throwing, trample 4d6+24
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., rock catching, scent, summon giants
Saves: Fort +30, Ref +10, Will +10
Abilities: Str 43, Dex 10, Con 37, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 7
Skills: Jump +18, Listen +16, Spot +16
Feats: Alertness, Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (mountain giant club), Power Attack, Sunder
Climate/Terrain: Any mountains
Organization: Solitary or family (2 plus 1-3 noncombatants)
Challenge Rating: 26
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic
Advancement: By character class

Among the largest giants in existence, mountain giants are primitive creatures given to cruelty and capriciousness. They take great pleasure in flinging boulders down upon passing smaller creatures, trying to hit them as they flee. Mountain giants often live to be 100 years old.

A mountain giant resembles a titanic hill giant, standing more than 40 feet tall and weighing nearly 50,000 pounds. Greasy, jet-black hair frames a face with bulbous features and a skin tone that can be any shade from tan to reddish brown. The typical mountain giant wears only minimal clothing -- usually a breechcloth and a shirt made of rough animal hide that barely covers a large pot belly.

A mountain giant's bag contains 3d4 rocks, 1d4+2 mundane items, and the giant's personal wealth. These items tend to be humanoid artifacts that the mountain giant considers playthings, such as broken wagons, small huts, and furniture, including tables and beds.

Combat

Mountain giants attack in a straightforward manner, stepping forth to overrun opponents whenever possible. They also enjoy picking up foes and hurling them against a mountainside. Many an armed foe has foiled a mountain giant's initial grab attempt only to be scooped up by the monster's other hand.

In melee, mountain giants use their height to smash their clubs down on the heads of their foes. A mountain giant who feels seriously threatened often uses its summon giants ability to engage its foes with other opponents, then steps back to hurl boulders. Against groups of smaller foes, mountain giants prefer their trample or crush attacks.

Crush (Ex): A mountain giant who jumps at least 20 feet into the air (or jumps down from a height of at least 20 feet) can land on opponents two or more size categories smaller than itself as a standard action, using its whole body to crush them. A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under the giant's body. (This is normally a 40-foot square, but the giant can instead opt to come down on its seat and cover a 40-foot by 60-foot area.) Each creature in the affected area must succeed at a Reflex save (DC 38) or be pinned, automatically taking 2d6+24 points of bludgeoning damage. Thereafter, if the giant chooses to maintain the pin, treat it as a normal grapple attack. While pinned, the opponent takes crush damage each round.

Fling (Ex): A mountain giant who sucessfully grapples a foe two or more size categories smaller than itself can hurl the creature as a standard action. A flung creature travels up to 120 feet and takes 12d6 points of damage. A creature that is flung off a mountain takes this amount of damage or the appropriate falling damage, whichever is greater. The giant also can throw the flung creature as though it were a boulder. In this case, the flung creature takes 12d6+16 points of damage, and any opponent it strikes takes 4d8+16 points of damage.

Grapple (Ex): If a mountain giant hits an opponent that is at least one size category smaller than itself with a slam (used as a melee touch attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple (grapple bonus +54). If it gets a hold, it can fling the opponent on the next round. Alternatively, the mountain giant has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use one hand to hold the opponent (-20 penalty on grapple check, but the mountain giant is not considered grappled). In either case, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals slam damage.

Trample (Ex): As a standard action during its turn each round, a mountain giant can trample opponents at least one size category smaller than itself. This attack deals 4d6+24 points of bludgeoning damage. A trampled opponent can attempt either an attack of opportunity at a -4 penalty or a Reflex save (DC 41) for half damage.

Scent (Ex): A mountain giant can detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.

Summon Giants (Sp): Once per day, a mountain giant can attempt to summon 1d8+1 ogres, 1d6+1 trolls, or 1d4+1 hill giants with a 25% chance of success.

Skills and Feats: A mountain giant has EHD as though it were a Huge creature.

Mountain Giant Society

Mountain giants live largely solitary lives in desolate mountain ranges and volcanic peaks. Though most of them resent intruders, some like to keep a few dwarves and humans as pets. When more than one mountain giant is encountered, it is usually a mated pair with children.

Mountain Giant Characters

A mountain giant's favored class is barbarian, though the cleric class is also popular among the race. Mountain giant clerics can choose any two of the following domains: Earth, Strength, and Trickery.

A mountain giant PC's effective character level (ECL) is equal to its level + 25. Thus, a 1st-level mountain giant barbarian has an ECL of 26 and is the equivalent of a 26th-level character.

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