D&D Fight Club11/10/2006


Quarrian, Choker Warlock



Design Notes

A reader suggested this month's monster: It seemed like an interesting concept, and not at all easy given the classes that the reader suggested. A good deal of thought went into compensating for the choker's low Intelligence and Charisma stats, which are necessary for the classes chosen. This is an example of taking one ability and trying to make the most use of it with different options. Unfortunately, that is not as apparent in the lower level version.

Who knows where chokers come from? What wizard thought it was a good idea to make these? Or did the whole race perhaps come from the Far Realm? Whatever the answer, the creatures now populate the world and prey on whatever they can find. Supernaturally fast, they often spell doom for a lone creature in the Underdark. Chokers are strange humanoid creatures, with long tentacled arms and a lot of teeth in their mouths. They perch up high and strike from the darkness with their long reach, grabbing and strangling potential food creatures. Though small, they are quite deadly. (For a look at chokers in action, check out the recent original adventure: Legend of the Silver Skeleton

Sometimes, as happens in the Underdark, a creature is born different than the rest of its kindred. It could be larger, or smaller, or faster, or smarter. In the case of Quarrian, a choker shunned among chokers, he was both larger and born with an arcane fire in his soul (or what passes for his soul). When he began showing this arcane fire, all other chokers fled and avoid him to this day. He wanders alone in the Underdark, or wherever he can find food. He has developed his arcane might as a warlock and taught himself the rudiments of thievery and attacking vital organs. Now he can pack quite a punch. Because he doesn't care that much about his own life, and he is not that smart, he enters battle situations that many would consider avoiding. If he gets in over his head, he might run, but then again at higher levels he might allow himself to be knocked nearly dead and use his fast healing ability to recover and make a run for it.

Quarrian makes a good hunter of the adventurers over a period of days in the Underdark, where he tries for a lone watch adventurer and generally causes the adventurers to be nervous and to over-use their resources.

Quarrian at 2nd Class Level

Quarrian relies on sneakiness and attacks by surprise, as do the remainder of his race. He makes very good use of his extra standard action every round, usually moving and hiding or making an extra attack.

Quarrian CR 5
Advanced choker warlock 1/rogue 1
CE Medium aberration
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +1, Spot +1
Languages Undercommon

AC 21, touch 12, flat-footed 19
(+0 Dex, +5 armor, +4 natural)
hp 55 (9 HD)
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +8

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 10 ft.
Melee 2 tentacles +8 (1d4+3) or
Rangedeldritch blast +7 (1d6)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Base Atk +5; Grp +12
Atk Options constrict 1d4+3, eldritch blast 1d6, improved grab, sneak attack +1d6
Invocations Known:
Least -- eldritch spear

Abilities Str 17, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 7, Wis 13, Cha 12
SQ invocation (least), quickness, trapfinding
Feats Extended Reach, Improved Initiative[B], Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Bluff), Stealthy
Skills Bluff +5, Climb +12, Hide +10, Listen +1, Move Silently +11, Spot +1, Tumble +4
Possessions+1 chain shirt of silent moves

Hook "When you feel my tentacles around your throat you will know that you are dying."

Eldritch Blast (Sp) An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet (though eldritch spear adjusts this to 250 feet). It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 1d6 points of damage. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell. If you apply a blast shape or eldritch essence invocation to your eldritch blast, your eldritch blast uses the level equivalent of the shape or essence. An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock's eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock's eldritch blast by 2.

Constrict (Ex) An advanced choker deals 1d4+3 points of damage with a successful grapple check against a Large or smaller creature, in addition to damage from its tentacle attack. Because it seizes its victim by the neck, a creature in the choker's grasp cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a choker must hit an opponent of up to Large size with a 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 can constrict. Chokers receive a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks, which is already included in the statistics block.

Quickness (Su) Although not particularly dexterous, a choker is supernaturally quick. It can take an extra standard action or move action during its turn each round.

Quarrian at 7th Class Level

At this level, Quarrian has more options for his extra standard action, including the use of darkness effects and extra sneak attacks when he can feint an opponent. One of his favorite melee tactics is to feint an opponent to deny him a Dexterity bonus to AC, and then use his extra standard action to make a sneak attack. With his devil's sight active, he can make sneak attacks in darkness zones that he has created, while foes cannot sneak attack him in return.

Quarrian CR 10
Advanced choker warlock 4/rogue 3
CE Medium aberration
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +1, Spot +2
Languages Undercommon

AC 24, touch 14, flat-footed 22
(+0 Dex, +6 armor, +2 deflection, +4 natural)
hp 88 (14 HD); DR 1/cold iron
Resist evasion
Fort +6, Ref +10, Will +11

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 10 ft.
Melee 2 tentacles +14 (1d6+4) or
Ranged eldritch blast +12 (2d6)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Base Atk +10; Grp +18
Atk Options constrict 1d4+4, eldritch blast 2d6, improved grab, sneak attack +2d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th):
At will -- detect magic
Invocations Known (CL 4th):
Least -- darkness, devil's sight, eldritch spear

Abilities Str 18, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 12
SQ deceive item, invocation (least), quickness, trap sense +1, trapfinding
Feats Extended Reach, Improved Initiative [B], Improved Natural Attack (tentacle), Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Bluff), Stealthy
Skills Bluff +14, Climb +13, Hide +12, Listen +1, Move Silently +13, Sense Motive +2, Spot +2, Tumble +5, Use Magic Device +2
Possessions+2 chain shirt of silent moves, ring of protection +2

Hook "With my eldritch powers I will weaken you long before wrapping a tentacle around your throat to choke the life from you."

Eldritch Blast (Sp) An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet (though eldritch spear adjusts this to 250 feet). It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 2d6 points of damage. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell. If you apply a blast shape or eldritch essence invocation to your eldritch blast, your eldritch blast uses the level equivalent of the shape or essence. An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock's eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock's eldritch blast by 2.

Constrict (Ex) An advanced choker deals 1d4+3 points of damage with a successful grapple check against a Large or smaller creature, in addition to damage from its tentacle attack. Because it seizes its victim by the neck, a creature in the choker's grasp cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a choker must hit an opponent of up to Large size with a 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 can constrict. Chokers receive a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks, which is already included in the statistics block.

Devil's Sight Sp) Quarrian can grant himself the ability to see normally in normal and magical darkness out to 30 feet for 24 hours.

Deceive Item (Ex) When using Use Magic Device, Quarrian can take 10 even when distracted or threatened.

Quickness (Su) Although not particularly dexterous, a choker is supernaturally quick. It can take an extra standard action or move action during its turn each round.

Quarrian at 12th Class Level

With even more options for extra actions, Quarrian is a serious threat. He's not that much of a melee threat, and he must use sneak attacks, guerrilla tactics, and his extra actions to his best advantage. He prefers getting a lone victim apart from any comrades to better even his odds. At this level, he uses his extra actions to use voracious dispelling on foes that have active spells (detected via his at will detect magic ability), and then to use his eldritch blast at long ranges while moving up and hiding. In melee, he uses his extra action to use a hideous blow and channel his eldritch blast through a melee attack.

Quarrian CR 15
Advanced choker warlock 9/rogue 3
CE Medium aberration
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Listen +1, Spot +2
Languages Undercommon

AC 27, touch 15, flat-footed 25
(+0 Dex, +8 armor, +3 deflection, +4 natural)
hp 129 (19 HD); DR 2/cold iron
Resist evasion
Fort +9, Ref +12, Will +13

Speed 20 ft. (4 squares), climb 10 ft.
Melee 2 tentacles +17 (1d6+4) or
Ranged eldritch blast +15 (2d6)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Base Atk +13; Grp +21
Atk Options constrict 1d4+4, eldritch blast 5d6, improved grab, sneak attack +2d6
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 4th):
At will -- detect magic
Invocations Known (CL 4th):
Least -- darkness, devil's sight, eldritch spear, hideous blow
Lesser -- fell flight, voracious dispelling

Abilities Str 18, Dex 14, Con 16, Int 8, Wis 13, Cha 12
SQ deceive item, fiendish resilience, invocation (least, lesser), quickness, trap sense +1, trapfinding
Feats Extended Reach, Extra Invocation, Improved Initiative [B], Improved Natural Attack (tentacle), Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Bluff), Skill Focus (Use Magic Device), Stealthy
Skills Bluff +14, Climb +13, Hide +12, Listen +1, Move Silently +18, Sense Motive +4, Spot +2, Tumble +5, Use Magic Device +7
Possessions+4 chain shirt of improved silent moves, ring of protection +3

Hook "Whether from far away or with me choking the life from you, my eldritch power will spell your doom."

Eldritch Blast (Sp) An eldritch blast is a ray with a range of 60 feet (though eldritch spear adjusts this to 250 feet). It is a ranged touch attack that affects a single target, allowing no saving throw. An eldritch blast deals 5d6 points of damage. An eldritch blast is the equivalent of a 1st-level spell. If you apply a blast shape or eldritch essence invocation to your eldritch blast, your eldritch blast uses the level equivalent of the shape or essence. An eldritch blast is subject to spell resistance, although the Spell Penetration feat and other effects that improve caster level checks to overcome spell resistance also apply to eldritch blast. An eldritch blast deals half damage to objects. Metamagic feats cannot improve a warlock's eldritch blast (because it is a spell-like ability, not a spell). However, the feat Ability Focus (eldritch blast) increases the DC for all saving throws (if any) associated with a warlock's eldritch blast by 2.

Constrict (Ex) An advanced choker deals 1d4+3 points of damage with a successful grapple check against a Large or smaller creature, in addition to damage from its tentacle attack. Because it seizes its victim by the neck, a creature in the choker's grasp cannot speak or cast spells with verbal components.

Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, a choker must hit an opponent of up to Large size with a 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 can constrict. Chokers receive a +4 racial bonus on grapple checks, which is already included in the statistics block.

Devil's Sight (Sp) Quarrian can grant himself the ability to see normally in normal and magical darkness out to 30 feet for 24 hours.

Hideous Blow (Sp) As a standard action, Quarrian can make a single melee attack. If it hits, the opponent is affected as if hit by his eldritch blast in addition to the damage from the blow.

Fell Flight (Sp) Quarrian can grant himself a fly speed of 20 with good maneuverability for 24 hours.

Voracious Dispelling (Sp) Quarrian can use dispel magic as the spell. If a target has a spell dispelled, the target takes 1 point of damage per level of the spell effect (no save).

Deceive Item (Ex) When using Use Magic Device, Quarrian can take 10 even when distracted or threatened.

Fiendish Resilience (Su) Once per day as a free action, Quarrian can grant himself fast healing 1 for 2 minutes.

Quickness (Su) Although not particularly dexterous, a choker is supernaturally quick. It can take an extra standard action or move action during its turn each round.


Additional Feats

These feats are not presented in the Player's Handbook or Monster Manual.

Extended Reach (from Savage Species): Your body or a part of your body with which you can deliver a melee attack is boneless and flexible, allowing you to threaten a larger than normal area with melee attacks. Add +5 feet to your normal reach.

Extra Invocation (from Complete Arcane): You learn one additional invocation from the list available to you, choosing an invocation of one grade lower than the highest grade invocation that you know.

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 he models proteins for the Biochemistry Department of the University of Ne vada, Reno.

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