Excerpts 10/03/2003


Underdark
By Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick



from Chapter Six: Monsters

The caverns of the Underdark are home to many hideous monsters that never see the sun. Such creatures are content to seep through the lightless strata below the earth in search of food, flesh, and souls.

Gloura
Medium Fey
Hit Dice: 7d6+14 (39 hp)
Initiative: +5
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), fly 60 ft. (12 squares) (good)
Armor Class: 22 (+5 Dex, +3 deflection, +4 mithral chain shirt) touch 18, flat-footed 17
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+3
Attack: +1 light mace +8 melee (1d6+1)
Full Attack: +1 light mace +8 melee (1d6+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spells
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 10/cold iron, darkvision 60 feet, unearthly grace
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +10, Will +9
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 21, Con 14, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 17
Skills: Diplomacy +5, Heal +11, Knowledge (nature) +10, Listen +11, Perform (caveharp) +13, Sense Motive +11, Spot +11, Survival +1 (+3 in above-ground natural environments)
Feats: Weapon Finesse (light mace)
Environment: Underground
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 7
Treasure: Standard (plus mithral chain shirt and +1 light mace)
Alignment: Often neutral good
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: +2

A beautiful humanoid creature with gray mothlike wings, silvery skin, and large, black eyes appears before you. She wears simple, homespun clothing and carries a slender white mace.

The rare and delicate glouras are the fey of the Underdark. The powerful magic of these creatures is more than sufficient to keep them safe from their foes. They are shy, elusive creatures who can sometimes be heard singing or playing caveharps far away, creating songs of heartstopping beauty. Glouras are sweet natured and nurturing, and endeavor to heal any injured animals, humanoids, or monstrous humanoids in the Underdark that they feel they can approach safely.

A gloura resembles a silver-skinned human with black eyes that seem too large for its face. From its back sprouts a pair of gray wings, like those of a moth. Glouras favor simple clothing, and most carry musical instruments, often caveharps.

All but the most evil of Underdark dwellers look on glouras with favor. Folk such as svirfneblin or slyths build small shrines at which they leave gifts of food, drink, and other tokens of appreciation for the deep fey who live near their lairs. The people of communities that do not have skilled healers often leave their sick or dying there, in the hopes that the deep fey may take pity on them and heal them.

Glouras speak Common, Sylvan, and Undercommon.

Combat

Glouras dislike combat and prefer to flee rather than fight. They recognize surface adventurers as folk who may not be as cruel or rapacious as some of the native Underdark races, so they often approach surface-world heroes to trade news and offer assistance.

Spells: A gloura casts arcane spells as a 7th-level bard.

Typical Spells Known (3/4/3/1; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound, know direction, read magic; 1st -- charm person, cure light wounds, expeditious retreat, silent image; 2nd -- calm emotions, cure moderate wounds, invisibility, silence; 3rd -- charm monster, displacement.

Unearthly Grace: A gloura gains a bonus to Armor Class and all saving throws that is equal to its Charisma modifier.

Devious Glouras

Though most glouras are good, some of these fey have turned toward evil. Devious glouras look exactly like benign ones, and they cultivate this resemblance as a means of protecting themselves and ensnaring victims. Devious glouras are capricious, vicious, greedy, and thoroughly evil individuals. They seek to acquire wealth by any means, but they prefer trickery to force.

Devious glouras tend to be nomadic, because any ruses they set up can never be perpetrated for long. It's dangerous for them to settle in any place for longer than a few tendays, since the locals are bound to catch on eventually.

Combat

Devious glouras use their spells for two main purposes. To get additional allies and enhance their strategic positions, they use spells such as charm monster or enthrall. To temporarily eliminate dangerous foes, they use spells such as confusion, sleep, or Tasha's hideous laughter.

Spells: A devious gloura casts arcane spells as a 7th-level bard.

Typical Spells Known (3/4/3/1; save DC 13 + spell level): 0 -- dancing lights, daze, detect magic, ghost sound, lullaby, read magic; 1st -- hypnotism, sleep, Tasha's hideous laughter, undetectable alignment;2nd -- blindness/deafness, detect thoughts, enthrall, invisibility; 3rd -- charm monster, confusion.

Mineral Warrior

A mineral warrior is a creature that has undergone a transformation into a creature of living stone. Many creatures embrace this change willingly, but evil Underdark races sometimes force it on others.

Sample Mineral Warrior (Stony Devil)

This creature of living, malicious stone has a hide barbed with jagged mineral points. The stink of hell wafts before it.

This sample mineral warrior (called a stony devil) uses a barbed devil as the base creature.

Medium Outsider (Baatezu, Earth, Evil, Extraplanar, Lawful)
Hit Dice: 12d8+96 (150 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares), burrow 15 ft. (3 squares)
Armor Class: 32 (+6 Dex, +16 natural) touch 16, flat-footed 26
Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+19
Attack: Claw +19 melee (2d8+7 plus fear)
Full Attack: 2 claws +19 melee (2d8+7 plus fear)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Earth strike, fear, improved grab, impale 3d8+10, spell-like abilities, summon baatezu
Special Qualities: Barbed defense, damage reduction* 10/good and 8/adamantine, darkvision 60 ft., immunity to fire and poison, resistance to acid 10 and cold 10, see in darkness, spell resistance 23, telepathy 100 ft.
Saves: Fort +16, Ref +14, Will +11
Abilities: Str 25, Dex 23, Con 27, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 16
Skills: Concentration +11, Diplomacy +5, Hide +21, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (any one) +15, Listen +18, Move Silently +21, Search +15, Sense Motive +10, Spot +18, Survival +1 (+3 following tracks)
Feats: Alertness, Cleave, Improved Grapple, Iron Will, Power Attack
Environment: Nine Hells of Baator
Organization: Solitary, team (2-4), or squad (6-10)
Challenge Rating: 12
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Always lawful evil
Advancement: 13-15 (Medium); 16-21 HD (Large)

* Use the best damage reduction that applies.

A stony devil is a barbed devil that has willingly become a mineral warrior. It wanders the Underdark in search of trouble to foment.

A stony devil is about 7 feet tall and weights about 300 pounds. It looks like a tall humanoid covered with sharp, stonelike barbs, right down to the tip of its long, pebbly tail. Its eyes are like translucent, semiprecious gems in its slate-colored body.

Combat

Stony devils eagerly fight with their claws, trying to impale their opponents.

Barbed Defense (Su): Any creature striking a stony devil with handheld weapons takes 1d8+9 points of piercing and slashing damage from the barbs that entwine over the monster's body. Weapons with exceptional reach, such as longspears, do not endanger their wielders in this way.

Earth Strike (Ex): Once per day, the stony devil can make an exceptionally vicious attack against any foe that stands on stone or earth. When using this ability, the stony devil adds +8 to its attack roll and deals 12 extra points of damage.

Spell-Like Abilities: At will -- greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only; caster level 12th), scorching ray (caster level 7th). 1/day -- order's wrath, unholy blight (DC 17, caster level 7th).

Fear (Su): A creature hit by a stony devil must succeed on a Will save (DC 19) or be affected as though by a fear spell. Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by that stony devil's fear ability for one day. Caster level 9th. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Impale (Ex): A stony devil deals 3d8+10 points of piercing damage to a grabbed opponent with a successful grapple check.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, the stony devil must hit with a claw attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can impale the opponent on its barbed body.

Summon Baatezu (Sp): Once per day, a stony devil can attempt to summon 1d6 bearded devils or a barbed devil with a 35% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 4th-level spell.

See in Darkness (Su): A stony devil can see perfectly in darkness of any kind, even that created by deeper darkness spells.

Creating a Mineral Warrior

"Mineral warrior" (also called "stony") is a template that can be added to any corporeal creature that is not a construct, undead, or an elemental (referred to hereafter as the base creature).

A mineral warrior uses all the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Size and Type: The creature's type remains the same, but it gains the earth subtype. Size is unchanged.

Speed: The mineral warrior gains a burrow speed equal to one-half the base creature's highest speed. The base creature loses its fly ability, if any.

Armor Class: Natural armor improves by +3.

Special Attacks: A mineral warrior retains all the special attacks of the base creature and also gains the earth strike ability.

Earth Strike (Ex): Once per day, the mineral warrior can make an exceptionally vicious attack against any foe that stands on stone or earth. The mineral warrior adds its Constitution bonus (if any) to its attack roll and deals 1 extra point of damage per racial Hit Die.

Special Qualities: A mineral warrior has all the special qualities of the base creature, plus the following.

Darkvision (Ex): A mineral warrior has darkvision with a range of 60 feet or the base creature's darkvision, whichever is better.

Damage Reduction (Ex): A mineral warrior gains damage reduction 8/adamantine. If it already has damage reduction, it retains both versions and uses the best one that applies.

Abilities: Change from the base creature as follows: +2 Strength, +4 Con, -2 Int (minimum 1), -2 Wis, -2 Cha.

Environment: Same as the base creature and underground.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.

Level Adjustment: Same as the base creature +1.

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