Excerpt from
Planar Handbook
A Player's Guide to the Planes
By Bruce R. Cordell and Gwendolyn F. M. Kestrel

You've adventured in sunken ruins, abandoned dwarven mines, temples to death gods, and the thief-filled sewers of large cities. Still, you know there must be more to adventure, more to reality than what you've so far seen. You yearn to experience for yourself the mystical realms told about in stories and authenticated by the appearances of strange outsiders pulsing with elemental vigor or divine strength. You know there has to be more to the multiverse. And you are right.

The Planar Handbook offers a vast array of options for exploring and adventuring on the planes. Like a hero of myth, your character can descend into the land of the dead, traverse Olympian mounts, or battle devils in Hell itself. In this player's guide, you'll discover new races, classes, feats, equipment, spells, and magic items to help burst the barriers and bridge the gaps between the Material Plane and other environments and realities. Now, you hold the reins for instigating a trip away from the familiar Material Plane. With this handbook, you can become better prepared to make that trip -- and to return.

From Chapter 6: Creatures of the Planes

DHARCULUS
Medium Aberration (Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 8d8+40 (76 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 22 (+2 Dex, +10 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 20
Base Attack/Grapple: +6/+7
Attack: Tentacle +8 melee (1d4+1)
Full Attack: 6 tentacles +8 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Improved grab, ethereal bite
Special Qualities: Dualplanar, spell resistance 20
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +4, Will +11
Abilities: Str 12, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 11, Wis 17, Cha 17
Skills: Listen +14, Spot +14
Feats: Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Weapon Finesse
Environment: Ethereal Plane
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 9
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually neutral
Advancement: 9-11 HD (Large); 12-24 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment: +7 (cohort)

A swarm of blind, writhing creatures flails through the air, drawing a deeper shadow of menace behind.

A dharculus inserts its mawed tentacle ends into corporeal planes to feed, much like a bear scoops trout out of a stream. To corporeal eyes, a dharculus's six tentacles appear as a swarm of blind, snakelike creatures sliding through the air in a deadly school (though the shadow of the creature's menace is visible in dreamy outline). On the Ethereal Plane or to those who can see across the ethereal border, the tentacle tips all come together in a fused, wormlike braid that forms the dharculus's body. The posterior end of the cylindrical body loops back toward the front like a question mark, the end of which is a huge, drooling maw filled with razor-sharp teeth. Several tentacles end in eyes instead of maws, which the entity keeps safely ethereal to search the Material Plane for its next meal.

The dharculus is a creature from an alternate reality far from the Material Plane, and perhaps beyond the planar cosmology as it is presently understood. It may be that these creatures are dependent on some element from their unknown place of origin; however, reports indicate that more and more of these creatures are hunting along the shoals of corporeal planes.

A dharculus does not speak.

Combat

A dharculus's dual-plane existence provides it exceptional protection against its prey, while it is free to attack most potential victims with impunity, first by establishing a hold with a small mawed tentacle, then by bringing its otherwise intangible ethereal bite into play.

Dualplanar (Ex): The bulk of a dharculus's body resides on the Ethereal Plane, but the monster possesses the capacity to insert or remove its mawed tentacle ends into or out of the Material Plane as a standard action. Creatures that are stuck on the Material Plane find it difficult but not impossible to target the dharculus. Because the monster is dual-planar and therefore exists partially on the Material Plane while its tentacles are inserted, its foes on the Material Plane can attack the creature as if it had cover, and so it gains a +4 bonus to Armor Class and a +2 bonus on Reflex saves. A dharculus can take a standard action to remove its tentacles from the Material Plane, allowing it to effectively retreat completely into the Ethereal Plane.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a dharculus must hit a Small or larger creature with its tentacle 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 attaches the tentacle to the opponent.

After a successful grab, a dharculus can try to attach its remaining tentacles with a single grapple check. The opponent can escape with a successful grapple check or Escape Artist check, but the dharculus gets a +2 circumstance bonus for every tentacle that was attached at the beginning of the opponent's turn.

Ethereal Bite (Ex): A dharculus that begins a turn with all six tentacles attached and that makes a successful grapple check automatically makes an ethereal bite (biting with its enormous, body-sized maw, which is normally relegated to the Ethereal Plane), dealing 6d6+1 points of damage. The maw and main body of the creature remain only a threatening thickness in the air even when the bite is delivered, so the sudden jerking and wounding of a victim become all the more unsettling to the victim's compatriots.


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