Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Hydra

On a scroll thought to be a thousand or more years old, a prophecy tells of the end of the Blood War: when an unholy hundred-headed dragon from the Abyss spearheads an assault on Malsheem on the deepest level of Baator. Although the prophecy does not specify which side wins, the common belief of the demons is that such a monster will be able to turn the tide of battle in their favor, and that they will rule supreme in the lower planes. In order to fulfill the prophecy, a hydra with demon blood was bred through countless dark rituals and magic, with the intention of severing its heads and letting them regrow until the creature fulfilled the description on the scroll.

The plot has been fouled, however, by a trio of angels who stole the hydra at birth. It is now bound by magic and secreted away, far from demonic eyes. However, if it ever fell into their hands again...
Young Half-Fiend HYDRACR 5
XP 1,600
NE Large outsider (native)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scentPerception +10
DEFENSE
AC 19, touch 14, flat-footed 14 (+5 Dex, +5 natural, –1 size)
hp 47 (5d10+20); fast healing 5
Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +4
Defensive Abilities DR 5/magic; Immune poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, electricity 10, fire 10; SR 16
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., swim 20 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
Melee 5 bites +6 (1d8+3)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks smite good 1/day, pounce
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th)
3/day—darkness1/day—desecrateunholy blight (DC 14)
STATISTICS
Str 17, Dex 20, Con 18, Int 4, Wis 13, Cha 11
Base Atk +5; CMB +10; CMD 19 (can't be tripped)
Skills Perception +10, Swim +11; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
SQ hydra traits, regenerate head
ECOLOGY
Environment temperate marshes
Organization solitary
Treasure standard
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Fast Healing (Ex) A hydra's fast healing ability is equal to its current number of heads (minimum fast healing 5). This fast healing applies only to damage inflicted on the hydra's body.
Hydra Traits (Ex) A hydra can be killed by severing all of its heads or slaying its body. Any attack that is not an attempt to sever a head affects the body, including area attacks or attacks that cause piercing or bludgeoning damage. To sever a head, an opponent must make a sunder attempt with a slashing weapon targeting a head. A head is considered a separate weapon with hardness 0 and hit points equal to the hydra's HD. To sever a head, an opponent must inflict enough damage to reduce the head's hit points to 0 or less. Severing a head deals damage to the hydra's body equal to the hydra's current HD. A hydra can't attack with a severed head, but takes no other penalties.
Regenerate Head (Ex) When a hydra's head is destroyed, two heads regrow in 1d4 rounds. A hydra cannot have more than twice its original number of heads at any one time. To prevent new heads from growing, at least 5 points of acid or fire damage must be dealt to the stump (a touch attack to hit) before they appear. Acid or fire damage from area attacks can affect stumps and the body simultaneously. A hydra doesn't die from losing its heads until all are cut off and the stumps seared by acid or fire.

This month, as a participant in the A-Z Blog Challenge, I'll be writing a post each day (except for Sundays) and letting the alphabet guide my content. Thematically, all of my April posts (at least those related to the blog challenge) will be monster related. Each day, I'll be challenging myself to create an encounter, NPC, location, etc. that features a monster I've never used before in a roleplaying game. Hopefully this will push me to include more variety in my current campaign, and who knows... maybe I'll find a few new favorites.
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