D&D Fight Club07/07/2006


Beshappal, the Vrock Berserker



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

Vrocks can be lots of fun, but they tend to be relegated to "flunky" adversaries once the PCs get to 12th level or so. At that point, combats often involve one powerful demon and several vrocks. But this installment offers a vrock that can hold its own even at higher levels. It might, in fact, have several other vrocks fighting alongside it, though the PCs should still be able to distinguish this one from the rest.

Beshappal, the Vrock Berserker

Spore Options

Normally, a vrock's spores cause no permanent change beyond the initial 10 rounds. But in the spirit of Creature Incarnations,the companion series to Fight Club that presents templated creatures, you might consider altering the threat level of these spores by applying optional "templates" to them.

For example, spores from a yellow musk zombie vrock might duplicate the consume Intelligence ability of a yellow musk creeper by dealing Intelligence damage over the course of 10 rounds. Effectively, this change transforms the vrock into a wandering creeper (see Fiend Folio, pg. 190).

Alternatively, you might assume that a unique experiment melded vrocks with bladelings, transforming their spores into needlelike growths that they can expel as though using the bladelings' razor storm ability (see Monster Manual II, pg. 31).

Or in lieu of spores, d20 Modern vrock might expel nanotech agents that infest living opponents as well as their powered weapons and armor. Such an effect could disable electric components or even recreate a rust monster's rust ability.

The chaos of the Abyss offers fewer opportunities for advancement than one might think. Demons tend to stay in the forms into which they were born (or in some cases, evolved) for centuries, or even millennia. Any demon that wants to advance to another form has to please a demon lord for a very long time to earn the privilege. And since the favor of demon princes is fleeting, as befits their chaotic nature, lasting approval is almost nonexistent.

The vrock known as Beshappal has always had great ambitions, but his plans to scale the ladder of demonic authority and influence have not gone as well as he had hoped. He worked for centuries to earn the favor of his prince, only to have his patron slain in the Blood War. Any other vrock might have taken out his frustration on underlings and tried again with a new patron, but Beshappal is no ordinary vrock.

Frustrated beyond measure, Beshappal sought out other avenues to increase his personal power. He went to the powers of Limbo for help, and they unlocked new potential within him. Beshappal grew in size, tapped the essential chaos within himself, and returned to the Abyss as a force to be reckoned with. He quickly obtained a prestigious position with Graz'zt, then allied himself with Demogorgon. Currently, Beshappal is loosely allied with both Lolth and Demogorgon, but he acts independently for the most part. He views himself as a budding demon prince, but the real holders of that title do not wish to see him obtain the near-divine power that they have, so they keep a careful eye on his ascent.

Combat

Beshappal can be encountered on the Material Plane when he is working toward some power-enhancing goal, either for himself or for one of his princes. Cunning and vicious, he is unwilling to die in the cause of another, so he uses his barbarian rage only on the Material Plane, where he cannot die permanently. Because he loves the rush that comes with raging, however, he can be taunted into using this ability even when it is unwise for him to do so.

Beshappal (17th Level)

Kill, kill, kill -- that's Beshappal's basic strategy in a nutshell. He likes to engage foes with full attack actions so that he can rend, and he prefers to take out the softer foes first. Typically, he uses Power Attack and rage to deal a lot of damage to one foe, teleports away to regroup, then returns and picks a new target. If he is in danger of dying, he teleports away just long enough to have an ally cure him, then returns a few minutes later to rejoin the fight.

Beshappal CR 13
Male advanced vrock barbarian 1
CE Huge outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tanar'ri)
Init +3; Senses Listen +32, Spot +32; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.

AC 31, touch 12, flat-footed 28
(-2 size, +3 Dex, +5 armor, +3 deflection, +14 natural, -2 rage)
hp 265 (17 HD); DR 10/good
Immune electricity, poison
Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; evasion; SR 20
Fort +26, Ref +16, Will +19

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 50 ft. (average)
Melee beast claw +29 (3d6+20+1d6) or
Melee 2 beast claws +29 (3d6+14+1d6) and
Melee bite +25 (2d6+6) and
Melee 2 talons +25 (1d8+6)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Base Atk +17; Grp +37
Atk Options Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack; Rend (6d6+15+2d6 from beast claws), Snatch; spores, rage 1/day
Special Actions dance of ruin, stunning screech, summon demon
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th):
At will -- mirror image, telekinesis (DC 19), greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only)
1/day -- heroism

Abilities Str 34, Dex 16, Con 32, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 19
SA dance of ruin, rage 1/day, spores, stunning screech, summon demon
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Multiattack, Power Attack, Rend, Snatch
Skills Balance +5, Concentration +30, Diplomacy +8, Hide +14, Intimidate +24, Jump +15, Knowledge (the planes) +23, Listen +32, Move Silently +22, Search +23, Sense Motive +23, Spellcraft +23, Spot +32, Survival +23 (+25 following tracks), Tumble +13
Possessions beast claws, bracers of armor +5, ring of protection +3, ring of evasion, cloak of resistance +3, 3,780 gp

Dance of Ruin (Su): To use this ability, a group of at least three vrocks must join hands in a circle, dancing wildly and chanting. At the end of 3 rounds of dancing, a wave of crackling energy flashes outward in a 100-foot radius. Every creature (except demons) within the radius takes 20d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 22 half). Stunning, paralyzing, or slaying one of the vrocks stops the dance.

Spores (Ex): Beshappal can release masses of spores from his body once every 3 rounds as a free action. The spores automatically deal 1d8 points of damage to each creature adjacent to him, then penetrate the skin and grow, dealing an additional 1d4 points of damage each round for 10 rounds. At the end of this time, the victim is covered with a tangle of vine growths. (The vines are harmless and wither away in 1d4 days.) A delay poison spell stops the spores' growth for its duration. Bless, neutralize poison, or remove disease kills the spores, as does sprinkling the victim with a vial of holy water.

Stunning Screech (Su): Once per hour, Beshappal can emit a piercing screech as a standard action. Every creature (except demons) within a 30-foot radius must succeed on a DC 29 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round.

Summon Demon (Sp): Once per day, Beshappal can attempt to summon 2d10 dretches or another vrock with a 35% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 3rd-level spell.

Skills Beshappal has a +8 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks.

When not raging, Beshappal has the following changed statistics:
AC 33, touch 14, flat-footed 30
hp 231 (17 HD)
Fort +24, Will +17
Melee beast claw +27 (3d6+17+1d6) or
Melee 2 beast claws +27 (3d6+12+1d6) and
Melee bite +23 (2d6+5) and
Melee 2 talons +23 (1d8+5)
Grp +35
Abilities Str 30, Con 28
Skills Jump +13

Hook "I will rip and tear and turn you into a bloody pulp."

Beshappal (22nd Level)

Beshappal's basic strategy remains pretty much the same -- kill, kill, kill. Though he's much tougher now, he still targets a cleric or wizard first and sticks with that enemy until it's dead, then teleports away for a few minutes to get healed by some ally in the background. His main combat strength is his full attacks plus rending. However, he uses heroism on himself if possible before the combat starts and diverts even more of his attack bonus to Power Attack at this level.

Beshappal CR 19
Male advanced vrock barbarian 5/ranger 1
CE Huge outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tanar'ri)
Init +3; Senses Listen +32, Spot +32; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.

AC 32, touch 13, flat-footed 29; improved uncanny dodge
(-2 size, +3 Dex, +5 armor, +4 deflection, +14 natural, -2 rage)
hp 350 (22 HD); DR 10/good
Immune electricity, poison
Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; evasion; SR 20
Fort +29, Ref +18, Will +21

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 50 ft. (average)
Melee beast claw +34 (3d6+15+1d6/19-20) or
Melee 2 beast claws +34 (3d6+15+1d6/19-20) and
Melee bite +30 (2d6+7/19-20) and
Melee 2 talons +30 (1d8+7/19-20)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Base Atk +20; Grp +40
Atk Options Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Power Attack; Rend (6d6+15+2d6 from beast claws), Snatch; favored enemy (humans +2), rage 2/day, spores
Special Actions dance of ruin, stunning screech, summon demon
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th):
At will -- mirror image, telekinesis (DC 19), greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only)
1/day -- heroism

Abilities Str 34, Dex 17, Con 32, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 19
SA dance of ruin, rage 2/day, spores, stunning screech, summon demon
SQ trap sense +1, wild empathy +5
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Destructive Rage, Intimidating Rage, Multiattack, Power Attack, Rend, Snatch, TrackB
Skills Balance +5, Concentration +30, Diplomacy +8, Hide +18, Intimidate +28, Jump +16, Knowledge (nature) +10, Knowledge (the planes) +23, Listen +36, Move Silently +26, Search +23, Sense Motive +27, Spellcraft +23, Spot +37, Survival +29, Tumble +15
Possessions +1 keen unholy necklace of natural attacks, beast claws, bracers of armor +5, ring of protection +4, ring of evasion, cloak of resistance +3

Dance of Ruin (Su): To use this ability, a group of at least three vrocks must join hands in a circle, dancing wildly and chanting. At the end of 3 rounds of dancing, a wave of crackling energy flashes outward in a 100-foot radius. Every creature except for demons within the radius takes 20d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 22 half). Stunning, paralyzing, or slaying one of the vrocks stops the dance.

Spores (Ex): Beshappal can release masses of spores from his body once every 3 rounds as a free action. The spores automatically deal 1d8 points of damage to each creature adjacent to him. The spores then penetrate the skin and grow, dealing an additional 1d4 points of damage each round for 10 rounds. At the end of this time, the victim is covered with a tangle of viney growths. (The vines are harmless and wither away in 1d4 days.) A delay poison spell stops the spores' growth for its duration. Bless, neutralize poison, or remove disease kills the spores, as does sprinkling the victim with a vial of holy water.

Stunning Screech (Su): Once per hour, Beshappal can emit a piercing screech as a standard action. Every creature (except demons) within a 30-foot radius must succeed on a DC 29 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round.

Summon Demon (Sp): Once per day, Beshappal can attempt to summon 2d10 dretches or another vrock with a 35% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 3rd-level spell.

Skills Beshappal has a +8 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks.

When not raging, Beshappal has the following changed statistics:
AC 34, touch 15, flat-footed 31
hp 306 (22 HD)
Fort +27, Will +19
Melee beast claw +32 (3d6+18+1d6/19-20) or
Melee 2 beast claws +32 (3d6+13+1d6/19-20) and
Melee bite +28 (2d6+6/19-20) and
Melee 2 talons +28 (1d8+6/19-20)
Grp +38
Abilities Str 30, Con 28
Skills Climb +15, Jump +14

Hook "Rip, tear, and rend. That's all it takes to turn you into a tasty snack."

Beshappal (27th Level)

At this level, Beshappal is a little conflicted about going into a fight. He is stronger by far if he uses his frenzy ability, but doing so means that he cannot control when he stops fighting, and he cannot retreat. Furthermore, if he uses deathless frenzy, he could easily go into extreme negative hit points before the fight is over and be unable to teleport out for help. So Beshappal is careful with his frenzy ability and generally does not use it until at least one-third of his enemies are down for the count. And he still prefers targeting priests and healers first to cut down on his opponents' healing potential.

Beshappal CR 23
Male advanced vrock barbarian 5/ranger 1/frenzied berserker 5
CE Huge outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar, tanar'ri)
Init +4; Senses Listen +32, Spot +32; darkvision 60 ft.
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy 100 ft.

AC 30, touch 11, flat-footed 26; improved uncanny dodge
(-2 size, +4 Dex, +5 armor, +5 deflection, +14 natural, -2 rage)
hp 438 (27 HD); DR 10/good; takes 2 hp nonlethal/round
Immune electricity, poison
Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; evasion; SR 20
Fort +33, Ref +23, Will +25

Speed 40 ft. (8 squares), fly 50 ft. (average)
Melee beast claw +43 (4d6+30+1d6/19-20) or
Melee 3 beast claws +43 (4d6+21+1d6/19-20) and
Melee bite +39 (2d6+10/19-20) and
Melee 2 talons +39 (1d8+10/19-20)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Base Atk +27; Grp +48
Atk Options Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Dire Charge, Power Attack, Rend (8d6+19+2d6 from beast claws), Snatch; deathless frenzy, favored enemy (humans +2), frenzy 3/day, improved power attack, rage 2/day, spores, supreme cleave
Special Actions dance of ruin, stunning screech, summon demon
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th):
At will -- mirror image, telekinesis (DC 19), greater teleport (self plus 50 pounds of objects only)
1/day -- heroism

Abilities Str 46, Dex 19, Con 32, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 19
SA dance of ruin, rage 2/day, spores, stunning screech, summon demon
SQ trap sense +1, wild empathy +5
Feats Cleave, Combat Reflexes, Destructive Rage, DiehardB, Dire Charge, Improved Natural Attack (claw), Intimidating Rage, Multiattack, Power Attack, Rend, Snatch, TrackB
Skills Balance +6, Concentration +30, Diplomacy +8, Hide +19, Intimidate +28, Jump +22, Knowledge (nature) +10, Knowledge (the planes) +23, Listen +36, Move Silently +27, Search +23, Sense Motive +27, Spellcraft +23, Spot +37, Survival +29 (+31 following tracks), Tumble +16
Possessions +1 keen unholy necklace of natural attacks, beast claws, belt of giant strength +6, bracers of armor +5, ring of protection +5, ring of evasion, cloak of resistance +5, anklets of speed

Dance of Ruin (Su): To use this ability, a group of at least three vrocks must join hands in a circle, dancing wildly and chanting. At the end of 3 rounds of dancing, a wave of crackling energy flashes outward in a 100-foot radius. Every creature (except demons) within the radius takes 20d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 22 half). Stunning, paralyzing, or slaying one of the vrocks stops the dance.

Deathless Frenzy (Ex): While in frenzy, Beshappal is not treated as disabled or dying when brought to 0 hit points or below. He can keep fighting until his frenzy ends, at which point the effects of his wounds immediately apply. This ability does not stop death from massive damage or from death effects.

Frenzy (Ex): To break frenzy, Beshappal must make a DC 20 Will save, which he can attempt once per round as a free action. While in frenzy, he must attack foes until he runs out of them or until he breaks the frenzy. Then he must attack the nearest creatures. While frenzied, he can only use the following skills: Intimidate, Listen, Spot, Tumble. He cannot activate magic items, drink potions, or use scrolls. Beshappal can use rage and frenzy at the same time.

Improved Power Attack (Ex): When using the Power Attack feat, Beshappal gains a +3 bonus on damage rolls for every -2 penalty taken on attack rolls, or a +3 bonus for every -1 penalty taken when using a two-handed weapon.

Spores (Ex): Beshappal can release masses of spores from his body once every 3 rounds as a free action. The spores automatically deal 1d8 points of damage to each creature adjacent to him. The spores then penetrate the skin and grow, dealing an additional 1d4 points of damage each round for 10 rounds. At the end of this time, the victim is covered with a tangle of viney growths. (The vines are harmless and wither away in 1d4 days.) A delay poison spell stops the spores' growth for its duration. Bless, neutralize poison, or remove disease kills the spores, as does sprinkling the victim with a vial of holy water.

Stunning Screech (Su): Once per hour, Beshappal can emit a piercing screech as a standard action. Every creature (except demons) within a 30-foot radius must succeed on a DC 29 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round.

Summon Demon (Sp): Once per day, Beshappal can attempt to summon 2d10 dretches or another vrock with a 35% chance of success. This ability is the equivalent of a 3rd-level spell.

Supreme Cleave (Ex): Beshappal can take a 5-foot step between attacks when using the Cleave or Great Cleave feat, though he can take only one 5-foot step in a round.

Skills Beshappal has a +8 racial bonus on Listen and Spot checks.

When raging but not frenzied, Beshappal has the following changed statistics:
AC 34, touch 15, flat-footed 34
hp 438 (27 HD)
Fort +31, Will +23
Melee beast claw +40 (4d6+25+1d6/19-20) or
Melee 2 beast claws +40 (4d6+18+1d6/19-20) and
Melee bite +36 (2d6+8/19-20) and
Melee 2 talons +36 (1d8+8/19-20)
Grp +43
Abilities Str 40, Con 32
Skills Jump +19
When not raging or frenzied, Beshappal has the following changed statistics:
AC 36, touch 17, flat-footed 32
hp 384 (27 HD)
Fort +31, Will +23
Melee beast claw +38 (4d6+22+1d6/19-20) or
Melee 2 beast claws +38 (4d6+16+1d6/19-20) and
Melee bite +34 (2d6+7/19-20) and
Melee 2 talons +34 (1d8+7/19-20)
Grp +41
Abilities Str 36, Con 28
Skills Jump +17

Hook "Kill! Kill! Kill! KILL! I won't stop until you're dead!"

Additional Feats

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

Destructive Rage (from Complete Warrior): While you are in a rage or frenzy, you gain a +8 bonus on any Strength checks you make to break down doors or break inanimate, immobile objects.

Dire Charge (from Epic Level Handbook): If you charge a foe during the first round of combat (or the surprise round, if you are allowed to act in it), you can make a full attack against that opponent.

Intimidating Rage (from Complete Warrior): While you are raging, you can designate a single foe within 30 feet that you can attempt to demoralize as a free action (see the Intimidate skill). A foe that you successfully demoralize remains shaken for as long as you continue to rage. You may use this feat only once against a single foe in any particular encounter.

Rend (from Draconomicon): If you strike the same opponent with two claw attacks, you automatically deal extra damage equal to that of two claw attacks plus 1-1/2 times your Strength bonus. You cannot grab an opponent at the same time as you rend it.

Magic Items

Beast Claws (from Savage Species): Usually found in a size that fits a Medium humanoid, this pair of +1 spiked gauntlets sports claws at the tips of the fingers. The wearer can make claw attacks (1d4/x2 slashing damage for Medium characters).

If worn by a creature that already has a claw attack, beast claws have an enhancement bonus of +2 instead of +1. The creature deals its normal claw damage while wearing beast claws, plus an additional 1d6 points of damage. Creatures of animal intelligence usually do not willingly wear coverings on their forelimbs.

Caster Level: 7th; Prerequisites: Craft Magic Arms and Armor, polymorph or wild shape class feature; Market Price: 9,610 gp.

Necklace of Natural Attacks (from Savage Species): The enhancement bonus on this necklace is applied to attack and damage rolls involving one or more of the wearer's natural weapons. In addition, any weapon special quality applied to this necklace also applies to those natural weapons. For instance, a +1 throwing returning necklace of natural weapons would apply its enhancement bonus as well as the throwing and returning special abilities to one or more of the wearer's natural weapons.

Caster Level: 3rd; Prerequisites: Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armor; Market Price: 600 gp, plus the cost of the enhancement bonuses, times by the number of natural weapons affected. (Thus, a +1 necklace of natural weapons that affects one natural weapon costs 2,600 gp. If the same necklace affects six natural weapons, it costs 15,600 gp.) Weight: --.

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 spends as much time as possible with his wife, new son Owen, and many pets. He is still involved in writing, organizing conventions, and playing, and in his spare time, he models proteins for the Biochemistry Department of the University of Nevada, Reno.

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