Monday, October 21, 2013

Monster Mondays: Ghastly Puppeteer

by Jeff Harris
intro by Frank Gori

This week we are taking on H.P. Lovecraft. While science fiction writers looked to the future, H.P. Lovecraft liked to look at the past and his imagination gave us a horrific lens with which to view it. Was there some horrific beings forgotten by modern sensibilities lurking out there in the dark, waiting to be awakened?

This week's monster monday by Jeff Harris creates a new horror for your deeps. It's not an elder god but perhaps the forerunners of something more terrible in your campaign..

Ghastly Puppeteer

     This massive and repulsive creature slides towards you with disturbingly little noise, leaving a trail of glistening slime in its wake.  First glance reveals what appears to be an oddly shaped giant slug.  However even the barest of investigation shows this to be only a passing resemblance.  Four 15 foot long tentacles grow from behind what passes for the things head.  All four are nearly a foot thick and rubbery ending in a pore-like orifice ringed by four hooked claws.  Most of the creatures great bulk is comprised of its flexible boneless body, but unlike the mindless giant slug, the ghastly puppeteer as some call it, has a discernable head.  Jagged mandibles flank a small circular mouth, which in turn conceals a large snail like radula.  Also unlike any giant slug, the horror sports a set of three yellow aboleth-like eyes.  Once close to prey its tentacles wave faster as if excited, reflexively extending their single long and needle sharp spine.  Normally hidden from view within those same tentacles, these are what give it the title of ghastly.  Once you see those, they say you should hope it tears you apart in its jaws, because what the spines do is so much worse.    

 Ghastly Puppeteer   CR 10
XP 9,600
CE Huge aberration (aquatic)
Init –2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +23

AC 23, touch 6, flat-footed 23; (–2 Dex, +17 natural, –2 size)
hp 168 (16d8+96)
Fort +10, Ref +5, Will +11
DR 5/slashing or piercing Resists acid resistance 15

Speed 20 ft.; climb 20 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee mandibles +17 (3d6+10), 4 tentacles +15 (2d6+3 plus grab and dominate)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.

Str 24, Dex 6, Con 20, Int 14 , Wis 12, Cha 4
Base Atk +12; CMB +22; CMD 28 (can't be tripped) 

Feats Improved Natural Armor, Improved Natural Attack (bite), Improved Natural Attack (tentacles), Multiattack, Ability Focus (dominate), Lightning Reflexes, Toughness, Skill Focus (stealth). 
Skills Acrobatics +7, Climb +23, Escape Artist +7, Knowledge (arcane) +18, Perception +23, Spellcraft +18, Stealth +15, Survival +10, and Swim +23.
SQ amphibious, dominate, grab, malleable, slime trail


Malleable (Ex):  A ghastly puppeteer’s body is very malleable, allowing it to fit into narrow areas with ease. A ghastly puppeteer takes no penalty to its speed or checks when squeezing in an area that is one size category smaller than its actual size (10 feet wide for most ghastly puppeteers). A ghastly puppeteer can squeeze normally through an area two size categories smaller than its actual size (5 feet wide for most ghastly puppeteers). 

Dominate (Su):  When a ghastly puppeteer successfully grabs an opponent with a clawed tentacle, the concealed spine impales the target.  Once inside tiny fibers are injected and seek to link with the targets central nervous system.   If the target creature has an intelligence of 1 or greater, the ghastly puppeteer attempts to dominate it.  This affect works as the spell dominate person save the following.  The target is allowed only one will save when first successfully grabbed, no action the puppeteer forces the target to take allows for a new save.  Once dominated a puppeteer has access to all of a targets abilities as if they were the creature.  However those who save successfully cannot be dominated by that puppeteer for the rest of the combat.  The duration of the dominate effect is unlimited; however severing the tentacle immediately ends the effect.  A tentacle has the same Armor Class as the puppeteer and 1/8 its hit points, totaling 21, damage to tentacles do not count against the puppeteers hit points.  Any target who is dominated and then has their tentacle severed is stunned for 1d4 rounds after being freed due to the mental trauma of the experience.  To resist the dominate effect require a DC 22 will save; this save is constitution based and includes +2 from ability focus. 

Slime Trail (Ex):  The passage of a ghastly puppeteer leaves a greasy mucus trail in its wake.  This slime lasts for an hour after the creature has passed.  The terrain the creature has passed over is affected as if grease spell had been cast in those squares.  A DC 16 reflex save is needed to avoid falling, the save DC is constitution based.

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