Monster Mayhem
Out of the Swamp
Titan Salamander and Dragon Newt
By Scott Brocius and Mark A. Jindra

Lex wondered just how many days he'd spent trudging through the swamps on the back of this horrible gray beast. The dense fog and darkness provided by the thick canopy of trees made it seem like an eternity. The lizardfolk were right: The mount they sold to him could certainly handle the swamps better than his horse.

Time seemed to pass ever so slowly, and Lex speculated how many more kobolds he would have to slay before the day was through. If the rumors were right, the few raiding parties he had encountered thus far constituted just a fraction of the total force that guarded the caverns ahead.

His new mount fought well in the murky waters of the swamp, and it seemed to be developing a taste for kobold, but Lex could not quite get over the disgust of watching it feed on the bodies of his slain foes.

The fog slowly began to clear and the canopy above receded as the swamp gave way to the murky waters of a vast lake. Lex could see the islands he sought in the distance, and the obsidian spire that marked the entrance to the catacombs. The trip though the swamp was long and hard but for Lex, his quest had only just begun.

Lizardfolk are driven to survive. Survival of the race, tribe and individual is of paramount importance, and they value anything that gives them an edge over their neighbors. Certain enlightened tribes, including many quanak, have discovered the advantage of using animals for certain tasks. Interactions with both elves and humans have proven the worth of having animals as part of the tribe. This realization has led the lizardfolk to domesticate their own beasts for use as mounts and guards. The titan salamander and dragon newt serve particularly well in the swampy terrain of their masters.

Titan Salamander
Large Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 4d8+12 (30 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 13 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+11
Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+6 plus 1d6 acid)
Full Attack: Bite +6 melee (1d8+6 plus 1d6 acid)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Acidic bite
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +0
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 1, Wis 8, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +1, Move Silently +5, Spot +4, Swim +12
Feats: Alertness, Endurance
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm marsh
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5-12 HD (Huge)

This enormous reptile has a low-slung body longer than a human is tall, with a whiplike tail at least as long as the body. It has webbed feet and a mouth full of curved teeth.

The titan salamander is a lizardfolk mount. There are several varieties, as each tribe seems to have developed its own version of the animal. The differences are primarily cosmetic; the coloration ranges from a plain dark gray to various combinations of spots and stripes, and there are slight changes in tail length, body girth, and leg shapes. But as a whole, a titan's body is about 8 feet long with an additional 4 to 8 feet of tail, and weigh roughly 900 lbs. They have what appears to be an awkward gait while on the ground, but possess surprising quickness and are excellent swimmers.

The lizardfolk have turned these creatures into mounts and pack animals and have developed new combat strategies to utilize them.

Combat

Wild titan salamanders are nocturnal and consider any creature of small size as potential food. If they encounter anything larger, they prefer to flee. If forced to fight, they try to move the combat into a water source and use their bite to best effect.

Acidic Bite (Ex): The titan salamander's saliva is caustic and inflicts 1d6 points of additional acid damage on a successful bite attack.

Psionic Titan Salamander
Large Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 4d10+12 (34 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 40 ft. (8 squares); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 13 (-1 size, +1 Dex, +3 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+12
Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+6 plus 1d6 acid)
Full Attack: Bite +7 melee (1d8+6 plus 1d6 acid)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Acidic bite, psionics
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +5, Will +0
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 12, Con 16, Int 3, Wis 8, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +1, Move Silently +5, Spot +4, Swim +12
Feats: Alertness, Endurance
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm marsh
Organization: Solitary or pair
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5-12 HD (Huge)

A small number of titan salamanders, having been developed by quanak tribes, possess psionic powers. Psionic varieties almost always have some purple in their hides and usually weigh a little less than their non-psionic cousins. The typical psionic titan salamander has the following addition to its profile.

Acidic Bite (Ex): The titan salamander's saliva is caustic and inflicts 1d6 points of additional acid damage on a successful bite attack.

Psionics (Sp): 3/day -- burst, lesser concussion, vigor. Manifester level 4th.

Attack/Defense Modes (Sp): At will -- id insinuation/empty mind.

DM's Option: The titan salamander can be used as a special mount for a lizardfolk paladin, while the psionic version is appropriate for a psionic multiclassed lizardfolk paladin. The titan can be called at 5th level per the normal rules.

Dragon Newt
Small Animal (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-6
Attack: Bite -1 melee (1d4-2), or acid spit +4 ranged touch (1d4 acid plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Acid spit, poison
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +10, Move Silently +8, Spot +5, Swim +7
Feats: Dodge, Point Blank ShotB
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm marsh
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (3-7)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2-3 HD (Medium)

The yellow-green reptile is about the size of a small dog, withan oversized head and the frills and spines of its mightier dragon cousins.

Dragon newts get their name from their coloration and head frills. Their bodies are roughly 2 feet long with a short tail, and their oversized head has frills and spines similar to that of a gold dragon. They also have a small dorsal crest and small dark spots running in two lines down each side. Deceptively quick, they are just as comfortable out of the water as in it. They are usually nocturnal.

Lizardfolk have domesticated dragon newts to serve as sentries and additional muscle in combat. They are trained to recognize their masters' tribe as friendly and attack anything else. Quanak tribes with dragon newts use their poison instead of harvesting others.

Combat

A wild dragon newt attacks anything it considers food, which is anything Tiny or smaller. It spits at the target, then rushes forward to finish it off with its bite. If confronted by larger creatures, it usually spits once, then flees.

Spit (Ex): The dragon newt can spit acidic globules with a range increment of 10 feet. This is a ranged touch attack that deals 1d4 points of acid damage.

Poison (Ex): The dragon newt's skin and saliva are toxic (contact, Fortitude DC 10, initial and secondary damage 1d4 Str). Striking the dragon newt with an unarmed or natural attack subjects the attacker to the poison save. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Skills: A dragon newt's coloration, natural agility, and keen senses give it a +3 racial bonus on Hide, Move Silently, and Spot checks.

Psionic Dragon Newt
Small Magical Beast (Aquatic)
Hit Dice: 1d10 (5 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-5
Attack: Bite +0 melee (1d4-2), or acid spit +5 ranged touch (1d4 acid plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Acid spit, poison, psionics
Special Qualities: Low-light vision
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +10, Move Silently +8, Spot +5, Swim +7
Feats: Dodge, Point Blank ShotB
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm marsh
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (3-7)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 2-3 HD (Medium)

A rare number of dragon newts are psionic, developed by some quanak tribes. Psionic dragon newts tend to be yellowish red in color instead of yellowish green. The typical psionic dragon newt has the following addition to its profile.

Spit (Ex): The dragon newt can spit acidic globules with a range increment of 10 feet. This is a ranged touch attack that deals 1d4 points of acid damage.

Poison (Ex): The dragon newt's skin and saliva are toxic (contact, Fortitude DC 10, initial and secondary damage 1d4 Str). Striking the dragon newt with an unarmed or natural attack subjects the attacker to the poison save. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Psionics (Sp): 3/day -- burst, catfall, spider climb. These are manifested as a 1st-level psion.

Attack/Defense Modes (Sp): At will -- ego whip/empty mind.

Skills: A dragon newt's coloration, natural agility, and keen senses give it a +3 racial bonus on Hide, Move Silently, and Spot checks.

Applied Templates

We had a little extra room in this month's Monster Mayhem so we thought we would apply the Skeleton, Zombie, and Fiendish templates from the revised Monster Manual to the dragon newt for your enjoyment.

Skeletal Dragon Newt
Small Undead
Hit Dice: 1d12 (6 hp)
Initiative: +8
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+1 size, +4 Dex, +1 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-6
Attack: Bite -1 melee (1d4-2)
Full Attack: Bite -1 melee (1d4-2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/bludgeoning, darkvision 60 ft., immunity (cold), undead traits
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +2
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 19, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills: --
Feats: Improved InitiativeB
Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm marsh
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (3-7)
Challenge Rating: 1/3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil.
Advancement: --

Skeletal dragon newts are formed by the animate dead spell.

Combat

These creatures function much like ordinary skeletons.

Undead Traits: A skeletal dragon newt is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. Darkvision 60 ft.

Zombie Dragon Newt
Small Undead
Hit Dice: 2d12 (16 hp)
Initiative: +2
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 14 (+1 size, +2 Dex, +1 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-4
Attack: Bite +1 melee (1d4-1) or slam +1 (1d4-1)
Full Attack: Bite +1 melee (1d4-1) or slam +1 (1d4-1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft. /5 ft
Special Attacks: --
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., single actions only, undead traits
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +3
Abilities: Str 8, Dex 15, Con --, Int --, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills: --
Feats: ToughnessB
Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground
Organization: Any
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral evil.
Advancement: 3-6 HD (Medium)

Zombie dragon newts are formed by the animate dead spell.

Combat

These creatures function much like ordinary zombies.

Single Actions Only (Ex): A zombie dragon newt has poor reflexes and can perform only a single move action or attack action each round. A zombie dragon newt can move up to its speed and attack in the same round, but only if it attempts a charge.

Undead Traits: A zombie dragon newt is immune to mind-affecting effects, poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects or is harmless. It is not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage to its physical ability scores, ability drain, energy drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or death from massive damage. It cannot be raised, and resurrection works only if it is willing. Darkvision 60 ft.

Fiendish Dragon Newt
Small Magical Beast (Aquatic, Extraplanar)
Hit Dice: 1d8 (4 hp)
Initiative: +3
Speed: 20 ft. (4 squares); swim 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 15 (+1 size, +3 Dex, +1 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple: +1/-6
Attack: Bite -1 melee (1d4-2) or spit +4 ranged touch (1d4 acid plus poison)
Full Attack: Bite -1 melee (1d4-2) or spit +4 ranged touch (1d4 acid plus poison)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Acid spit, poison, smite good
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, resistances (cold 5, fire 5), spell resistance 6
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +1
Abilities: Str 6, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 3, Wis 12, Cha 8
Skills: Hide +10, Move Silently +8, Spot +5, Swim +7
Feats: Dodge,Point Blank ShotB
Climate/Terrain: Any evil-aligned plane.
Organization: Solitary, pair, or pack (3-7)
Challenge Rating: 1
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always evil (any).
Advancement: 2-3 HD (Medium)

A fiendish dragon newt has red tips on its frills and a malevolent gleam in its eyes.

Combat

Fiendish dragon newts use their spit attacks early, reserving their smite good attacks for opponents who seem appropriate.

Smite Good (Su): Once per day the fiendish dragon newt can make a normal melee attack to deal 1 point of extra damage against a good foe.

Spit (Ex): The fiendish dragon newt can spit acidic globules with a range increment of 10 feet. This is a ranged touch attack that deals 1d4 points of acid damage.

Poison (Ex): The fiendish dragon newt's skin and saliva are toxic (contact, Fortitude DC 10, initial and secondary damage 1d4 Str). Striking the dragon newt with an unarmed or natural attack subjects the attacker to the poison save. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Skills: A fiendish dragon newt's coloration, natural agility, and keen senses give it a +3 racial bonus on Hide, Move Silently, and Spot checks.


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