D&D Fight Club
Voidmind Rot Reaver
By Robert Wiese

Welcome to Fight Club! This column provides complex opponents -- or occasionally allies -- at various challenge ratings. All you have to do is choose the right CR and drop it into your game. So if you're looking for a foe that's just a little different, this column is for you!

Design Notes

The voidmind rot reaver doesn't have a name because it is the kind of creature used for menial labor and is not meant to be an individual. For the same reason, this creature has loot as given on the Treasure Table in the Dungeon Master's Guide rather than the equipment suitable to a "character" of its level. Both the rot reaver and the voidmind template come from Monster Manual III, but the statistics for the combination creature are presented below.

Generally, two or more of these creatures constitute a single encounter, though you could use only one and add some human warrior guards to make up a patrol.

Voidmind Rot Reaver

A rot reaver is an apelike humanoid with green-yellow flesh covered with blemishes and patches of rot. It has two long tongues that wrap around its arms, extending down to the cleaver it wields in each hand. The creature gains strength from the destruction of undead, but it prefers the taste of living creatures. Rot reavers make excellent guardians because they can turn dead foes against living opponents and then destroy the undead they have created to heal themselves. In Faerūn, these disgusting creatures are created by secret rituals known only to a few.

One of those with the knowledge to create them is Sapphiraktar the Dracolich, who lairs deep in the Underdark. Every so often, some of his rot reavers are captured by mind flayers living nearby, who turn them into voidmind creatures to serve as guards.

Making a voidmind creature is a disgusting process that involves mind flayers eating most of the victim's brain and then replacing it with psionic green slime. The process leaves four holes in the victim's head that are plugged with caps, which sometimes leak a little slime. Each voidmind creature is bound to three mind flayers.

If all three mind flayers controlling a given voidmind rot reaver are killed, the creature is liberated. In such a case, it can usually find employment guarding prisoners or treasure for the Red Wizards, the Zhentarim, or other fell forces. Thus, these creatures can be found serving as guards just about anywhere.

Combat

In combat, a rot reaver is not subtle at all. Because it has no ranged attacks, it prefers to close for melee immediately. Once it has closed with its foe, it attacks with cleavers and attempts to use its wound rot ability with every attack. After it has licked an opponent's wounds, it concentrates on killing that foe as quickly as possible so that it can animate it in the middle of battle.

The voidmind rot reaver is usually accompanied by 1d4 human commoner zombies, but you can give it whatever humanoid zombies are appropriate to the site or treasure it is guarding. The creature generally uses half of the zombies as a shield or attacking force and keeps the other half near it for healing purposes. If the voidmind rot reaver is concentrating on one foe, it uses its zombie attackers to keep other foes away.

Voidmind Rot Reaver

The voidmind template gives this rot reaver some ability to attack from a distance. His tentacle extends his melee reach by 5 feet, but only for tentacle attacks. More significantly, the voidmind rot reaver can expel a 30-foot cone of slime once a day. He still prefers to fight at fairly close range, but he likes to spray foes with slime on his first combat action. If the slime stuns anyone, the voidmind rot reaver sends a zombie to attack the helpless foes.

The voidmind rot reaver can also grapple and constrict foes. He usually does not do so, however, unless he faces a lone foe or is surrounded by zombies that can keep other foes away from him while he constricts one.

Voidmind Rot Reaver CR 7
Male Voidmind Rot Reaver
NE Medium aberration
Init +9; Senses Listen +8, Spot +8; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Common

AC 30, touch 15, flat-footed 25
hp 105 (10 HD); DR 5/magic
Fort +12, Ref +9, Will +9
Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, energy drain, mind-affecting effects
Resist SR 20

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares); climb 20 ft.
Melee+1 cleaver +15 (1d6+7/x4) or
Melee tentacle +13 (1d6+9) or
Melee spiked armor +7 (1d6+6) or
Melee+1 cleaver +13/+8 (1d6+7/x4) and
Melee+1 cleaver +13 (1d6+7/x4) and
Melee tentacle +8 (1d6+6) or
Melee spiked armor +7/+2 (1d6+6)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacle)
BaseAtk +7; Grp +13 (+15 with tentacle)
Atk Options constrict 1d6+9, improved grab, wound rot (+13 melee)
Special Actions animate dead, cone of slime (DC 21), drain unlife, rebuke undead (+3, 2d6+13, 10th), sentient tentacle

Abilities Str 23, Dex 20, Con 22, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 16
SQ cleaver mastery, mind flayer host
Feats AlertnessB, Combat ReflexesB, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (cleaver)
Skills Bluff +7, Climb +14, Escape Artist +9, Intimidate +7, Listen +8, Sense Motive +4, Spot +8
Possessions 2 +1 cleavers, +1 spiked studded leather armor, cloak of resistance +1

Hook "Death is only the beginning."

Animate Dead (Su): As a standard action, the voidmind rot reaver can animate any dead creature within 60 feet that was affected by his wound rot ability within the last 24 hours. Creatures so animated rise as zombies. The voidmind rot reaver can animate 10 HD worth of undead at any one time, and these don't count against the Hit Dice of undead he can control using his rebuke undead ability.

Cleaver Mastery (Ex): In the hands of the voidmind rot reaver, a cleaver (identical to a +1 handaxe) deals quadruple damage on a successful critical hit, instead of the normal triple damage for a handaxe.

Cone of Slime (Su): Once per day, the voidmind rot reaver can eject his psionic slime in a 30-foot cone. This attack deals 10d6 points of acid damage to every creature within the cone (Reflex DC 21 half). Any creature that takes damage from the slime takes a -2 penalty on Will saves and is stunned for 1d4+1 rounds (Fort DC 21 negates).

Constrict (Ex): If the voidmind rot reaver has a hold on his foe, he can constrict for 1d6+9 points of damage with a successful grapple check.

Drain Unlife (Su): Any time he deals damage to an undead creature with one of his cleaver attacks, the voidmind rot reaver heals a number of hit points equal to the damage dealt.

Improved Grab (Ex): If the voidmind rot reaver hits with his tentacle attack, he can attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Rebuke Undead (Su): A voidmind rot reaver can rebuke undead as an evil cleric (+3, 2d6+13, 10th). The voidmind rot reaver automatically controls any 5-HD or lower undead that he affects with his rebuke ability, and he can command up to 10 HD worth of undead at any one time.

Sentient Tentacle (Ex): At will, the voidmind rot reaver can extend a tentacle made of psionic slime from his head and attack with it. The tentacle has a 10-foot reach and is sentient, so it can attack on its own. If the voidmind rot reaver grapples with his tentacle, he can still use his other attacks on additional targets with no penalties.

Wound Rot (Su): When he damages a living creature with a cleaver, the voidmind rot reaver can immediately make a touch attack (+13 melee) with one of his tongues to lick the wound. If the attack hits, the victim takes 1 point of Constitution damage and becomes vulnerable to the voidmind rot reaver's animate dead ability. Creatures immune to ability damage are immune to this special attack.

Voidmind Rot Reaver Fighter (14th Level)

Once this voidmind rot weaver gets into melee combat, he relies almost wholly on his cleaver attacks. Doing so allows the best use of his weapon feats -- especially Power Critical. He saves his grappling attacks for late in the battle, when it's time to finish off a wounded foe, though he might decide to grapple an enemy spellcaster if he gets the chance. After fighting for a few rounds, he tries to use his Power Attack feat as well. He usually chooses a foe he has managed to hit a few times as the target for his first Power Attack and begins by shifting just a few points of attack bonus to damage.

Voidmind Rot Reaver Fighter CR 11
Male Voidmind Rot Reaver Fighter 4
NE Medium aberration
Init +9; Senses Listen +8, Spot +8; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Common

AC 32, touch 15, flat-footed 27
hp 151 (14 HD); DR 5/magic
Fort +16, Ref +10, Will +10
Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, energy drain, mind-affecting effects
Resist SR 24

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares); climb 10 ft.
Melee+1 cleaver +20 (1d6+10/19-20/x4) or
Melee tentacle +18 (1d6+10) or
Melee spiked armor +16 (1d6+7) or
Melee+1 cleaver +18/+13/+8 (1d6+10/19-20/x4) and
Melee+1 cleaver +18/+13 (1d6+6/19-20/x4) and
Melee tentacle +13 (1d6+7) or
Melee spiked armor +16/+11/+6 (1d6+7)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacle)
BaseAtk +11; Grp +18 (+22 with tentacle)
Atk Options constrict 1d6+10,improved grab, wound rot (+18 melee)
Special Actions animate dead, cone of slime (DC 21), drain unlife, rebuke undead (+3, 2d6+13, 10th), sentient tentacle

Abilities Str 24, Dex 20, Con 22, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 16
SQ cleaver mastery, mind flayer host
Feats AlertnessB, Combat ReflexesB, Great Fortitude, Improved Critical (cleaver)B, Improved Initiative, Improved Two-Weapon FightingB, Power Critical, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (cleaver), Weapon Specialization (cleaver)B
Skills Bluff +7, Climb +13, Diplomacy +5, Escape Artist +7, Intimidate +7, Jump +4, Listen +8, Sense Motive +6, Spot +8
Possessions 2 +1 cleavers,+1 spiked nimbleness breastplate, boots of striding and springing, cloak of resistance +1

Hook "I could just eat you up."

Animate Dead (Su): As a standard action, the voidmind rot reaver can animate any dead creature within 60 feet that was affected by his wound rot ability within the last 24 hours. Creatures so animated rise as zombies. The voidmind rot reaver can animate 14 HD worth of undead at any one time, and these don't count against the Hit Dice of undead he can control using his rebuke undead ability.

Cleaver Mastery (Ex): In the hands of the voidmind rot reaver, a cleaver (identical to a +1 handaxe) deals quadruple damage on a successful critical hit, instead of the normal triple damage for a handaxe.

Cone of Slime (Su): Once per day, the voidmind rot reaver can eject his psionic slime in a 30-foot cone. This attack deals 10d6 points of acid damage to every creature within the cone (Reflex DC 21 half). Any creature that takes damage from the slime takes a -2 penalty on Will saves and is stunned for 1d4+1 rounds (Fort DC 21 negates).

Constrict (Ex): If the voidmind rot reaver has a hold on his foe, he can constrict for 1d6+10 points of damage with a successful grapple check.

Drain Unlife (Su): Any time he deals damage to an undead creature with one of his cleaver attacks, the voidmind rot reaver heals a number of hit points equal to the damage dealt.

Improved Grab (Ex): If the voidmind rot reaver hits with his tentacle attack, he can attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Rebuke Undead (Su): A voidmind rot reaver can rebuke undead as an evil cleric (+3, 2d6+13, 10th). The voidmind rot reaver automatically controls any 5-HD or lower undead that he affects with his rebuke ability, and he can command up to 14 HD worth of undead at any one time.

Sentient Tentacle (Ex): At will, the voidmind rot reaver can extend a tentacle made of psionic slime from his head and attack with it. The tentacle has a 10-foot reach and is sentient, so it can attack on its own. If the voidmind rot reaver grapples with his tentacle, he can still use his other attacks on additional targets with no penalties.

Wound Rot (Su): When he damages a living creature with a cleaver, the voidmind rot reaver can immediately make a touch attack (+18 melee) with one of his tongues to lick the wound. If the attack hits, the victim takes 1 point of Constitution damage and becomes vulnerable to the voidmind rot reaver's animate dead ability. Creatures immune to ability damage are immune to this special attack.

Voidmind Rot Reaver Fighter (18th Level)

At this level, the voidmind rot reaver makes good use of his Powerful Charge feat by charging into combat after loosing his cone of slime. He is careful, however, to make sure his zombie servants don't fall too far behind when he does so.

Voidmind Rot Reaver Fighter CR 15
Male Voidmind Rot Reaver Fighter 8
NE Medium aberration
Init +9; Senses Listen +8, Spot +8; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Common

AC 34, touch 16, flat-footed 29
hp 197 (18 HD); DR 5/magic
Fort +17, Ref +10, Will +10
Immune ability damage, ability drain, acid, energy drain, mind-affecting effects
Resist SR 28

Speed 20 ft. (6 squares); climb 10 ft.
Melee+1 cleaver +25 (1d6+11/19-20/x4) or
Melee tentacle +23 (1d6+12) or
Melee spiked armor +21 (1d6+8) or
Melee+1 cleaver +23/+18/+13 (1d6+11/19-20/x4) and
Melee+1 cleaver +23/+18/+13 (1d6+7/19-20/x4) and
Melee tentacle +18 (1d6+8) or
Melee spiked armor +21/+16/+11 (1d6+8)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacle)
Base Atk +15; Grp +23 (+27 with tentacle)
Atk Options constrict 1d6+12, improved grab, wound rot (+23 melee)
Special Actions animate dead, cone of slime (DC 21), drain unlife, rebuke undead (+3, 2d6+13, 10th), sentient tentacle

Abilities Str 26, Dex 20, Con 22, Int 9, Wis 12, Cha 17
SQ cleaver mastery, mind flayer host
Feats AlertnessB, Combat ReflexesB, Great Fortitude, Greater Two-Weapon FightingB, Hold the Line, Improved Critical (cleaver)B, Improved Initiative, Improved Two-Weapon FightingB, Power AttackB, Power Critical, Powerful Charge, Two-Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (cleaver), Weapon Specialization (cleaver)B
Skills Bluff +7, Climb +14, Diplomacy +5, Escape Artist +7, Intimidate +7, Jump +0, Listen +8, Sense Motive +6, Spot +10
Possessions 2 +1 cleavers,+2 spiked nimbleness strength breastplate, boots of speed, ring of protection +1

Hook "We could be so good for each other."

Animate Dead (Su): As a standard action, the voidmind rot reaver can animate any dead creature within 60 feet that was affected by his wound rot ability within the last 24 hours. Creatures so animated rise as zombies. The voidmind rot reaver can animate 18 HD worth of undead at any one time, and these don't count against the Hit Dice of undead he can control using his rebuke undead ability.

Cleaver Mastery (Ex): In the hands of the voidmind rot reaver, a cleaver (identical to a +1 handaxe) deals quadruple damage on a successful critical hit, instead of the normal triple damage for a handaxe.

Cone of Slime (Su): Once per day, the voidmind rot reaver can eject his psionic slime in a 30-foot cone. This attack deals 10d6 points of acid damage to every creature within the cone (Reflex DC 21 half). Any creature that takes damage from the slime takes a -2 penalty on Will saves and is stunned for 1d4+1 rounds (Fort DC 21 negates).

Constrict (Ex): If the voidmind rot reaver has a hold on his foe, he can constrict for 1d6+12 points of damage with a successful grapple check.

Drain Unlife (Su): Any time he deals damage to an undead creature with one of his cleaver attacks, the voidmind rot reaver heals a number of hit points equal to the damage dealt.

Improved Grab (Ex): If the voidmind rot reaver hits with his tentacle attack, he can attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity.

Rebuke Undead (Su): A voidmind rot reaver can rebuke undead as an evil cleric (+3, 2d6+13, 10th). The voidmind rot reaver automatically controls any 5-HD or lower undead that he affects with his rebuke ability, and he can command up to 10 HD worth of undead at any one time.

Sentient Tentacle (Ex): At will, the voidmind rot reaver can extend a tentacle made of the psionic slime from his head and attack with it. The tentacle has a 10-foot reach and is sentient, so it can attack on its own. If the voidmind rot reaver grapples with his tentacle, he can still use his other attacks on additional targets with no penalties.

Wound Rot (Su): When he damages a living creature with a cleaver, the voidmind rot reaver can immediately make a touch attack (+23 attack bonus) with one of his tongues to lick the wound. If the attack hits, the victim takes 1 point of Constitution damage and becomes vulnerable to the voidmind rot reaver's animate dead ability. Creatures immune to ability damage are immune to this special attack.

Additional Feats

The following feats are from sources other than the Player's Handbook and the Monster Manual.

Hold the Line (from Complete Warrior): You may make an attack of opportunity against a charging opponent that enters an area you threaten. Your attack of opportunity happens immediately before the charge attack is resolved.

Powerful Charge (from Miniatures Handbook): If your melee attack hits at the end of your charge, it deals extra damage (1d8 if you're Medium, 2d6 if you're Large, 3d6 if you're Huge, 4d6 if you're Gargantuan, or 6d6 if you're Colossal). This feat works only when you charge, not when you're mounted. If you have the ability to make multiple attacks on a charge, you may apply this extra damage to only one of those attacks per round.

Power Critical (from Complete Warrior): When using the weapon you selected for the Weapon Focus feat, you gain a +4 bonus on the roll to confirm a threat. If you're a fighter, you may select Power Critical as one of your fighter bonus feats. You can gain Power Critical multiple times. Each time you do so, it may be with a different weapon or the same weapon. If you take the feat more than once for the same weapon, the effects stack.

About the Author

Robert Wiese entered the gaming hobby through the Boy Scouts and progressed from green recruit to head of the most powerful gaming fan organization in the world. He served as head of the RPGA Network for almost seven years, overseeing the creation of the Living Greyhawk and Living Force campaigns, among other achievements. Eventually, he returned to private life in Reno, Nevada, where he is still involved in writing, organizing conventions, and playing. He also models proteins for the Biochemistry Department of the University of Nevada, Reno, and spends as much time as possible with his wife and many pets.


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