D&D Fight Club10/13/2006


Reptilian Tool of Tiamat



Design Notes

The reptilian bugbear in Savage Species seemed to have a lot of potential, so I decided to flesh him out for this installment. A reptilian creature can be fashioned from many different humanoids and monstrous humanoids, but most such hybrids don't seem very interesting. Reptilian hags might be a good option, but for now, I leave those to your own fiendish imagination!

Bhissok, Reptilian Tool of Tiamat

Sometimes the powerful dragon gods breed servitor races on various worlds to advance their agendas in places where dragons cannot be as effective as usual. For example, sometimes a large number of weaker creatures can bring their influence to bear in a more pronounced way than a single dragon can. In such a situation, the dragon deities often create reptilian versions of the "minor" races that are plentiful on a given world.

In Rethild (the Great Swamp) and the Farsea Marshes, such an experiment is currently taking place. Since both of these areas feature swamps juxtaposed with mountain ranges, creating swamp-dwelling reptilian versions of the bugbears from the mountains seemed natural. So far, the two bugbear races do not know of one other, and each is being driven along a different evolutionary path by the dragons charged with their development.

Hatched among the Farsea Marsh reptilian bugbears, Bhissok was guided early into the service of the evil dragons. He practically grew up in the temples of Tiamat in the swamp, and his aptitude for magic was noted at a young age. Thus, he began training in war magic and eventually became a Talon of Tiamat. These special servants of the Dragon Queen spearhead efforts to spread Tiamat's influence throughout the world.

Combat

Because of the special emphasis placed on his training and the attention he received in his youth, Bhissok believes that he is better than both ordinary bugbears and other reptilian bugbears. While he knows he cannot triumph over an average member of either race in melee, he also knows that he has powers that his brethren will never have, and that the priests of Tiamat are likely to find his body and raise him should he ever fall in battle. Thus, he is less prone to flee than others of his kind are.

Bhissok (6th Level)

At this early point in his career, Bhissok relies more on his warmage spells than his on physical prowess. He keeps a potion of fly handy to facilitate escapes, but he doesn't enjoy having to run -- in fact, he is much braver (or more foolish) than his power level might indicate.

Bhissok CR 6
Male reptilian bugbear warmage 3
NE Medium humanoid (goblinoid, reptilian)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., scent; Listen +5, Spot +6
Languages Common, Draconic, Goblin

AC 24, touch 12, flat-footed 22
(+2 Dex, +5 armor, +2 shield, +5 natural)
hp 43 (6 HD)
Fort +5, Ref +6, Will +4 (+8 against frightful presence of evil dragons, +2 against enchantments produced by dragons)

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 morningstar +7 (1d8+3) or
Melee claw +5 (1d6+2) or
Ranged javelin +5 (1d6+2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +3; Grp +5
Atk Options warmage edge
Combat Gear 2 potions of cure light wounds, potion of fly

Warmage Spells Known (CL 3rd):
1st (6/day) -- accuracy*, burning hands (DC 13), chill touch (+5 melee touch, DC 13), fist of stone*, forcewave*, hail of stone*, magic missile, lesser orb of acid* (+5 ranged touch), lesser orb of cold* (+5 ranged touch), lesser orb of electricity* (+5 ranged touch), lesser orb of fire* (+5 ranged touch), lesser orb of sound* (+5 ranged touch), shocking grasp (+5 melee touch), true strike
0 (6/day) -- acid splash, disrupt undead, light, ray of frost (+5 ranged touch)
* spells described in Complete Arcane.
** spells described in Magic of Faerûn.

Abilities Str 14, Dex 14, Con 17, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 14
SA warmage edge
SQ armored mage (light), advanced learning (forcewave), hold breath twice as long as a human
Feats Alertness, Dragonthrall, Weapon Focus (morningstar)
Skills Balance +5, Bluff +6 (+10 against dragons), Climb +2, Concentration +6, Hide +4, Intimidate +6, Jump +5, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Listen +5, Move Silently +6 , Ride +2 (+4 when mounted on a dragon), Speak Language (Draconic), Spot +6
Possessions +1 chain shirt, +1 light steel shield, +1 morningstar, 4 javelins, 29 gp worth of mundane equipment

Armored Mage (Ex) Bhissok ignores the spell failure chance for light armor and light shields.

Warmage Edge (Ex) When Bhissok casts a spell that deals damage, he adds his Intelligence bonus to the damage dealt by the spell (not each attack in the spell). If a spell deals damage over more than 1 round, this extra damage applies each round.

Skills Bhissok has a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.

Hook "Tiamat has trained me well in using magic to kill you."

Bhissok (12th Level)

Now that Bhissok has gained breath weapons, he relies on them from the very start of a conflict. Given a chance, he uses his Maximize Breath feat on his most powerful breath weapon first, and then falls back on spells and melee until he can breathe again. Melee is still his weakest area, so he prefers to move back 5 feet and cast spells rather than engaging.

Bhissok CR 12
Reptilian bugbear warmage 4/talon of Tiamat 5
NE Medium humanoid (goblinoid, reptilian)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +5, Spot +6
Languages Common, Draconic, Goblin

AC 27, touch 14, flat-footed 25
(+2 Dex, +6 armor, +2 shield, +2 deflection, +5 natural)
hp 94 (12 HD)
Fort +10, Ref +7, Will +6 (+10 against frightful presence of evil dragons, +4 against enchantments produced by dragons)

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee claw +10 (1d6+3) without gauntlet or
Melee +1 morningstar +12/+7 (1d8+4) or
Ranged javelin +9 (1d6+3)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Base Atk +7; Grp +10
Atk Options Maximize Breath; warmage edge
Special Actions breath weapons
Combat Gear 5 potions of cure light wounds, 5 potions of cure moderate wounds, 2 potions of fly

Warmage Spells Known (CL 4th):
3rd (4/day) -- fire shield, fireball (DC 16), flame arrow, gust of wind (DC 16), ice storm, lightning bolt (DC 16), poison (+10 melee touch, DC 16), ring of blades*, sleet storm, stinking cloud (DC 16)
2nd (6/day) -- blades of fire*, continual flame, fire trap (DC 15), fireburst* (DC 15), flaming sphere (DC 15), ice knife* (+13 ranged, DC 15), Melf's acid arrow (+9 ranged touch), pyrotechnics (DC 15), scorching ray (+9 ranged touch), shatter (DC 15), whirling blade* (+10 melee)
1st (8/day) -- accuracy*, burning hands (DC 14), chill touch (+10 melee touch, DC 14), fist of stone*, forcewave**, hail of stone*, magic missile, lesser orb of acid* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of cold* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of electricity* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of fire* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of sound* (+9 ranged touch), shocking grasp (+10 melee touch), true strike
0 (6/day) -- acid splash, disrupt undead, light, ray of frost (+9 ranged touch)
* spells described in Complete Arcane
** spells described in Magic of Faerûn

Abilities Str 16, Dex 14, Con 19, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 16
SA breath weapons, warmage edge
SQ armored mage (light), advanced learning (forcewave), hold breath twice as long as a human
Feats Alertness, Dragonthrall, Maximize Breath, Recover Breath, Weapon Focus (morningstar)
Skills Balance +5, Bluff +9 (+13 against dragons), Climb +3, Concentration +13, Hide +4, Intimidate +13, Jump +6, Knowledge (arcana) +6, Listen +5, Move Silently +6, Ride +6 (+8 when mounted on a dragon), Sense Motive +4, Speak Language (Draconic), Spellcraft +8, Spot +6
Possessions combat gear plus +2 chain shirt, +1 light steel shield, ring of protection +2, +1 morningstar, 4 javelins, gauntlets of ogre power, amulet of health +2, 29 gp worth of mundane equipment

Armored Mage (Ex) Bhissok ignores the spell failure chance for light armor and light shields.

Breath Weapon (Su) Bhissok has three breath weapons, each usable once per day. He must wait 1d4+1 rounds after using one to use another.
Acid: 60-ft. line, 1/day, damage 8d4 acid, Reflex DC 18 half
Corrosive Gas: 30-ft. cone, 1/day, damage 10d6 acid, Reflex DC 18 half
Frost: 30-ft. cone, 1/day, damage 3d6 cold, Reflex DC 18 half

Warmage Edge (Ex) When Bhissok casts a spell that deals damage, he adds his Intelligence bonus to the damage dealt by the spell (not each attack in the spell). If a spell deals damage over more than 1 round, this extra damage applies each round.

Skills Bhissok has a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.

Hook "While you're worrying about my breath weapons, I'll kill you with spells."

Bhissok (17th Level)

Now, with even more powerful breath weapons to use with his Maximize Breath feat, Bhissok feels more confident about approaching conflicts than he ever did before. He is considerably more powerful in melee now, and his warmage spells give him a good selection of ways in which to deals damage. He is also more cunning at this level, and he knows how to use tactics and position to his advantage. Bhissok also likes having minions -- preferably a cleric and either fighters or barbarians -- from his tribe to render combat support.

Bhissok CR 17
Reptilian bugbear warmage 4/talon of Tiamat 10
NE Medium humanoid (goblinoid, reptilian)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +7, Spot +8
Languages Common, Draconic, Goblin

AC 29, touch 16, flat-footed 25 (or 27, touch 16, flat-footed 25 when using glaive); light fortification
(+4 Dex, +6 armor, +2 shield, +2 deflection, +5 natural)
hp 157 (17 HD)
Immune acid, paralysis, sleep
Fort +14, Ref +11, Will +8

Speed 30 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +2 human bane glaive +18/+13/+8 (2d4+9, without shield) or
Melee +1 morningstar +18/+13/+8 (1d8+6) or
Melee claw +16 (1d6+5) (without gauntlet)
Ranged javelin +15 (1d6+5)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Base Atk +11; Grp +16
Atk Options Maximize Breath, Power Attack; frightful presence, warmage edge
Special Actions breath weapons, dominate dragon
Combat Gear 5 potions of cure light wounds, 4 potions of cure moderate wounds, 2 potions of fly

Warmage Spells Known (CL 9th):
4th (4/day) -- blast of flame* (DC 17), contagion (DC 17), Evard's black tentacles, orb of acid* (+15 ranged touch, DC 17), orb of cold* (+15 ranged touch, DC 17), orb of electricity* (+15 ranged touch, DC 17), orb of fire* (+15 ranged touch, DC 17), orb of force* (+15 ranged touch, DC 17), orb of sound* (+15 ranged touch, DC 17), phantasmal killer (DC 17), shout (DC 17), wall of fire
3rd (7/day) -- fire shield, fireball (DC 16), flame arrow, gust of wind (DC 16), ice storm, lightning bolt (DC 16), poison (+10 melee touch, DC 16), ring of blades*, sleet storm, stinking cloud (DC 16)
2nd (7/day) -- blades of fire*, continual flame, fire trap (DC 15), fireburst* (DC 15), flaming sphere (DC 15), ice knife* (+13 ranged, DC 15), Melf's acid arrow (+9 ranged touch), pyrotechnics (DC 15), scorching ray (+9 ranged touch), shatter (DC 15), whirling blade* (+10 melee)
1st (8/day) -- accuracy*, burning hands (DC 14), chill touch (+10 melee touch, DC 14), fist of stone*, forcewave**, hail of stone*, magic missile, lesser orb of acid* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of cold* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of electricity* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of fire* (+9 ranged touch), lesser orb of sound* (+9 ranged touch), shocking grasp (+10 melee touch), true strike
0 (6/day) -- acid splash, disrupt undead, light, ray of frost (+9 ranged touch)
* spells described in Complete Arcane
** spells described in Magic of Faerûn

Abilities Str 20, Dex 18, Con 20, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 16
SA breath weapons, dominate dragon, frightful presence, warmage edge
SQ advanced learning (forcewave), armored mage (light), hold breath twice as long as a human
Feats Alertness, Dragonthrall, Maximize Breath, Power Attack, Recover Breath, Weapon Focus (morningstar)
Skills Balance +7, Bluff +13, Climb +5, Concentration +18, Hide +6, Intimidate +17, Jump +8, Knowledge (arcana) +14, Listen +7, Move Silently +8, Ride +8, Sense Motive +4, Speak Language (Draconic), Spellcraft +10, Spot +8
Possessions combat gear plus +2 light fortification chain shirt, +1 light steel shield, ring of protection +2, +2 human bane glaive, +1 morningstar, 4 javelins, belt of giant strength +6, amulet of health +2, gloves of Dexterity +4, 21 gp worth of mundane equipment

Armored Mage (Ex) Bhissok ignores the spell failure chance for light armor and light shields.

Breath Weapon (Su) Bhissok has five breath weapons, each usable once per day. He must wait 1d4+1 rounds after using one to use another.
Acid: 60-ft. line, 1/day, damage 8d4 acid, Reflex DC 24 half
Corrosive Gas: 30-ft. cone, 1/day, damage 10d6 acid, Reflex DC 24 half
Fire: 30-ft. cone, 1/day, damage 14d8 fire, Reflex DC 24 half
Frost: 30-ft. cone, 1/day, damage 3d6 cold, Reflex DC 24 half
Lightning: 60-ft. line, 1/day, damage 12d8 electricity, Reflex DC 24 half

Dominate Dragon (Su) Once per day, Bhissok can attempt to dominate a dragon (as dominate monster spell but only dragons are affected; Will DC 23 negates).

Frightful Presence (Ex) As a free action, Bhissok can activate a fear aura. Any creature other than a dragon within 90 feet that has fewer than 17 HD must make a DC 23 Will save. Success renders the target immune to the effect for 24 hours. Failure causes a creature of 4 HD or fewer to become panicked for 2d6 rounds, or a creature with 5 or more HD to become shaken for the same period.

Warmage Edge (Ex) When Bhissok casts a spell that deals damage, he adds his Intelligence bonus to the damage dealt by the spell (not each attack in the spell). If a spell deals damage over more than 1 round, this extra damage applies each round.

Skills Bhissok has a +4 racial bonus on Move Silently checks.

Hook "With Tiamat's power at my beck and call, I can strike you down with burning death."

Additional Feats

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

Dragonthrall (from Draconomicon): You gain a +4 bonus on any Bluff check made against a dragon, and a +2 bonus on Ride checks made when you are mounted on a dragon. You gain a +4 bonus on saving throws against the frightful presence of evil dragons, and you take a -2 penalty on saves against enchantment spells and effects produced by dragons.

Maximize Breath (from Draconomicon): If you use your breath weapon as a full-round action, all its variable, numeric effects are maximized. A maximized breath weapon deals maximum damage, lasts for the maximum time, and so forth. The DCs for saving throws against your breath weapon are not affected. When you use this feat, add +3 to the number of rounds you must wait before using your breath weapon again. The benefits of this feat stack with those of breath weapons enhanced with other metabreath feats, but it does not maximize them. For example, a maximized breath weapon further enhanced by the Tempest Breath feat produces the type of wind effect noted in that feat's description, but the velocity of the wind is not maximized.

Recover Breath (from Draconomicon): The interval you must wait between uses of your breath weapon is reduced by 1 round (minimum 1 round). The benefits of this feat stack with those of other metabreath feats, reducing the total time you must wait to use your breath weapon again by 1 round.

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. In his spare time, he models proteins for the Biochemistry Department at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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