Previews
In Like a Beholder, Out Like a Beholder
Previews for March and Beyond
By Mat Smith

Sandstorm Sampler

Chapter 5: Magic offers up an array of new arcane and divine spells (including new domains), as well as a couple new psionic powers and a few epic spells:

Repose Domain

Deity: Anubis, Osiris.

Granted Power: You may use a death touch once per day. You must succeed on a melee touch attack against a living creature (using the rules for touch spells). When you touch, roll 1d6 per cleric level you possess. If the total at least equals the creature's current hit points, it dies (no save). The death touch is a supernatural ability that produces a death effect.

Repose Domain Spells

1 Deathwatch: Reveals how near death subjects within 30 ft. are.
2 Gentle Repose: Preserves one corpse.
3 Speak with Dead: Corpse answers one question/two levels.
4 Discern Lies: Reveals deliberate falsehoods.
5 Command, Greater: As command, but affects one subject/level.
6 Undeath to Death: Destroys 1d4 HD/level undead (max 20d4).
7 Destruction: Kills subject and destroys remains.
8 Surelife: Protects you from death due to hazards.
9 Wail of the Banshee: Kills one creature/level.

Inconstant Location
Psychoportation (Teleportation)
Level: Psion/wilder 6, psychic warrior 6,
Display: Visual; see text
Manifesting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 minute
Power Points: 11

You transport yourself around the battlefield, making it hard for your enemies to pin you down. At the beginning of your turn, as a swift action, you can teleport yourself to any other space to which you have line of sight, so long as that space is no farther than you could move in a normal move action. (A swift action is a type of free action that you can take only once per round, on your turn.) You can bring along objects as long as their weight doesn't exceed your maximum load. This transport is instantaneous and does not provoke attacks of opportunity. Once you teleport, you can take your actions for the round normally. You do not have to adjust your location each round, but the duration counts down just the same.

Augment: For every additional power point you spend, the duration of this power is extended for 1 round.

From Chapter 6: Monsters -- whether you're in a "desert-ish" location or not, you'll want to have some extra water (holy or not) on-hand when you run into a new type of undead known as the Ashen Husk.

Unquenchable thirst animates an ashen husk.

Ashen Husk
Medium Undead
Hit Dice: 2d12+7 (20 hp)
Initiative: -1
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares; can't run)
Armor Class: 11 (-1 Dex, +2 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 11
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/+5
Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d6+6)
Full Attack: Slam +5 melee (1d6+6)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft
Special Attacks: Create spawn, dehydrating aura
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/slashing, darkvision 60 ft., undead traits, unholy toughness
Saves: Fort +0, Ref -1, Will +3
Abilities: Str 18, Dex 8, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 15
Skills: --
Feats: Toughness
Environment: Any warm
Organization: Single, pair, or caravan (3-18)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil
Advancement: 3-6 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: --

This animated corpse is bone dry, its flesh so desiccated that it appears nearly skeletal. The air around it wavers with a dry, sucking heat, as if the corpse brings with it the soul of the waterless desert.

Ashen husks lost their lives to unquenchable thirst. The evidence of their dry death is obvious as a supernatural deliquescent aura.

Ashen husks stand just shy of 6 feet tall, but in their dehydrated state, weigh only about 140 pounds.

Many ashen husks died of exposure in the open desert when they became lost without water. Sometimes entire caravans go lost, and many of these unfortunate creatures might be seen years later as stumbling corpses with a thirst born in hellish heat.

Combat

Ashen husks slam their foes with bone-hard limbs, but they expose their real threat against living creatures caught in their dehydrating aura.

Dehydrating Aura (Su): An ashen husk gives off a 10-foot-radius emanation of dehydrating heat, a deadly threat for creatures that must drink to survive. A living creature within 10 feet of the ashen husk takes 1d4 points of nonlethal damage from heat each round unless it has at least heat protection level 1, and must make a DC 13 Fortitude save or be dehydrated (see the dehydrated condition). A creature that makes its save gains immunity to that ashen husk's dehydrating aura ability for 24 hours, although it might still take the nonlethal damage from other sources of heat. The nonlethal damage from heat becomes lethal damage for a creature that is dehydrated. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Create Spawn (Su): Creatures killed by an ashen husk's dehydrating aura rise after 1d4 days as free-roaming ashen husks. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Unholy Toughness (Ex): An ashen husk gains a bonus to its hit points equal to its Charisma modifier times its Hit Dice (already figured).


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