Random Encounters09/16/2004


City Scenes, Part 3



Death from Below

Scavengers and hunters of all kinds flock to cities. There they find plenty of refuse and all manner of unwary prey. It helps if an urban predator or scavenger can keep a low profile, because crowds of urban folk can pose a danger to almost anything.

One creature that fits the roles of both scavenger and hunter is the rare and lethal assassin jelly. This particular specimen is typical of the species. It lurks in the city sewers, usually near an intersection, using its tremorsense ability to pick out lone city dwellers walking around after dusk. When it believes it has found a lone victim, the jelly tracks its prey to its home and waits until the victim is asleep, then it moves in to suck the victim dry.

Assassin Jelly: CR 6; Medium ooze; HD 5d10+25; hp 52; Init +6; Spd 30 ft., climb 30 ft.; AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13; Base Atk +3; Grp +5; Atk or Full Atk +5 melee (1d6+3, tentacle); SA Constitution damage 1d6, improved grab, paralysis; SQ blindsight 60 ft., camouflage, hide in plain sight, immunities (electricity, sonic, and mind-affecting effects), ooze traits, scent, tremorsense 120 ft.; AL N; SV Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +3; Str 15, Dex 15, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 1.

Skills and Feats: Climb +10, Hide +13, Listen +13, Move Silently +6, Spot +13, Survival +5 (+13* when tracking by scent); Improved Initiative, Track.

Constitution Damage (Ex): After an assassin jelly establishes a grappling hold on a living foe and it begins its turn with the foe in its grasp, its many mouths suck blood and other fluids from the victim. The jelly deals an extra 1d6 points of Constitution damage in addition to its tentacle damage with a successful grapple check. When it can grapple a paralyzed foe, an assassin jelly typically draws every last ounce of fluid from the body, leaving behind nothing but a dry husk.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an assassin jelly must hit a foe the same size category as itself or smaller with its 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 deal Constitution damage.

Paralysis (Ex): An assassin jelly's mouths produce an anesthetic slime. A target hit by an assassin jelly's tentacle attack must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds. The Save DC is Constitution-based. The jelly can grab a paralyzed opponent automatically.

Camouflage (Ex): Even when it isn't hiding, it takes a DC 15 Spot check to notice an assassin jelly.

Ooze Traits: An assassin jelly is blind (blindsight 60 feet) and immune to gaze attacks, visual effects, illusions, and other attack forms that rely on sight. It is immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, and polymorphing. It is not subject to critical hits or flanking.

Assassin Jelly
Medium Ooze
Hit Dice: 5d10+25 (52 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Armor Class: 15 (+2 Dex, +3 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+5
Attack: Tentacle +5 melee (1d6+3)
Full Attack: Tentacle +5 melee (1d6+3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Constitution damage, improved grab, paralysis
Special Qualities: Blindsight 60 ft., camouflage, damage reduction 5/--, hide in plain sight, immunities (electricity, sonic, and mind effects), ooze traits, scent, tremorsense 120 feet
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +3, Will +3
Abilities: Str 15, Dex 15, Con 20, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 1
Skills: Climb +10, Hide +13, Listen +13, Move Silently +6, Spot +13, Survival +5 (+13 when tracking by scent)
Feats: Improved Initiative, Track
Environment: Any warm or temperate land
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 6
Treasure: 1/10th coins, 50% goods, 50% items
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 6-10 HD (Medium); 11-15 HD (Large)

What seemed to be just a wet spot on the wall is in fact a nearly transparent creature that slithers about like some great, repulsive amoeba.

A relative of the gray ooze and ochre jelly, the assassin jelly is a cunning hunter, though it can survive on carrion or most other kinds of organic refuse. It craves the body fluids of warm-blooded prey.

Unlike most other oozes, an assassin jelly has an outer shell of clear, hard plates that protect its body, with a gelatinous core. The creature normally forms a shallow puddle about 5 feet across and about 3 inches thick in the center. It can flatten itself to a thickness of about half an inch and roll itself into a long rope, so that it can squeeze under doors or through openings about a half-inch across.

Although intelligent enough to speak, an assassin jelly has no vocal apparatus, and it attempts to contact others telepathically when needed. It reveals no thoughts, though it behaves like a thinking creature.

Combat

An assassin jelly's underside contains hundreds and hundreds of tiny rasping mouths. The creature attacks by forming a snaking tentacle that it uses to slap foes. A hit deals bludgeoning damage and slashing damage from the mouths.

An assassin jelly prefers to stalk lone prey and ambush its victims while they sleep. From time to time one will follow an entire party to its lodging or campsite. The jelly tends to stay just within range of its blindsight ability and uses its camouflage and hide in plain sight abilities to then slither in to attack its chosen victim. Often the victim's companions don't notice the assault until they find their comrade's desiccated husk in the morning.

Constitution Damage (Ex): After an assassin jelly establishes a grappling hold on a living foe and it begins its turn with the foe in its grasp, its many mouths suck blood and other fluids from the victim. The jelly deals an extra 1d6 points of Constitution damage in addition to its tentacle damage with a successful grapple check. When it can grapple a paralyzed foe, an assassin jelly typically draws every last ounce of fluid from the body, leaving behind nothing but a dry husk.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, an assassin jelly must hit a foe the same size category as itself or smaller with its 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 deal Constitution damage.

Paralysis (Ex): An assassin's jelly's mouths produce an anesthetic slime. A target hit by an assassin jelly's tentacle attack must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or be paralyzed for 3d6 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based. The jelly can automatically grab a paralyzed opponent.

Camouflage (Ex): Even when it isn't hiding, it takes a Spot check (DC 15) to notice an assassin jelly.

Hide in Plain Sight (Ex): An assassin jelly can attempt to hide even when being observed. If the jelly's Hide check result is less than 15, it still takes at least a DC 15 Spot check to notice it, thanks to its camouflage ability.

Skills: An assassin jelly has a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks and can always choose to take 10 on a Climb check, even if rushed or threatened. An assassin jelly has a +8 racial bonus on Hide, Listen, and Spot checks. It also has a +8 racial bonus on Survival checks when tracking by scent.

Bringing the Parts Together

The assassin jelly often lurks, out of sight, near the location of any large-scale activity. Afterward, it picks a victim to follow home. The PCs might encounter the assassin jelly when they retire for the night after they have one of the other encounters in this article series.

Coming in Part 4 of City Scenes

Dare you trust the potions and charms sold by Madame Phadra?

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