Tuesday, December 6, 2011
When brainstorming a new hardcover bestiary, we have many goals. These books give us an opportunity to support new Adventure Paths and other products. A new 300-plus-page volume of monsters gives us a chance to delve deep into the world’s mythologies and find new and interesting creatures from stories around the world. We get to express our love for classic creatures, exploring the genre’s rich history and smoothing out some of its wackiness. But it also gives us the opportunity to be evil.
And we love us some evil.
Monsters have the potential to take on a number of roles in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. They can help a GM illuminate his or her campaign world. Monsters can serve as the impetus for adventure, calling the characters to quests with both words and actions. There is little doubt, though, that the chief job of monsters is to bring the hurt. Some of the best monsters are unflinching in their evil, and that’s the way we like them. While any monster has the potential for true evil, few fill that role like undead. And Bestiary 3has a large portion of undead. From the life-draining hollow serpent, to the soul trapping demilich, to the ship-wreaking sea bonze, all of these monsters have an all-consuming hatred for living things and the living world that has forsaken them. Even on the rare occasions where diplomacy is employed and parley is engaged, all but the most hopeful or deluded adventurer knows that an encounter with undead is doomed to end in the destruction of that corrupt thing or with character death. Their foul nature leaves little room for any middle ground. Even the gun-toting pale stranger—a gunslinger risen from the grave to right some past wrong—is corrupt, evil, and must eventually be put down to make the world a better, safer place.
So if you are like me, you love your monsters purely evil, and like to unleash hordes of unredeemable and creepy undead at your party, you are going to like what you find when you crack open Bestiary 3. While Halloween is long gone, consider celebrating a nightmarish holiday season with the ghastly things you find within its pages. You can start with this one: the tzitzimitl, and creature of apocalyptic evil, which exists only to blot out the sun and end all life that dares come across its path.
Illustration by Kieran Yanner
Tzitzimitl CR 19
NE Gargantuan undead
Init +9; Senses arcane sight, darkvision 60 ft., true seeing; Perception +31
AC 35, touch 11, flat-footed 30 (+5 Dex, +24 natural, –4 size)
hp 319 (22d8+220); fast healing 15
Fort +17, Ref +14, Will +19
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +4, light to dark; DR 15/bludgeoning and good; Immune cold, electricity, undead traits; Resist fire 15; SR 30
Speed 50 ft., fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee bite +26 (2d8+14 plus 3d6 electricity and energy drain), 2 claws +27 (2d6+14/19–20 plus 3d6 electricity)
Ranged eye beam +17 touch (10d6 electricity and 10d6 force)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks eclipse, energy drain (2 levels, DC 31)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 19th; concentration +29)
Constant—arcane sight, fly, true seeing
At will—bestow curse (DC 24), deeper darkness
3/day—animate dead, contagion (DC 23), greater teleport, haste
1/day—create undead, temporal stasis (DC 28), wail of the banshee (DC 29)
Str 39, Dex 21, Con —, Int 20, Wis 23, Cha 30
Base Atk +16; CMB +29; CMD 44
Feats Awesome Blow, Combat Reflexes, Improved Bull Rush, Improved Critical (claw), Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Point-Blank Shot, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Vital Strike, Weapon Focus (claw)
Skills Fly +35, Knowledge (arcana) +28, Knowledge (nature) +27, Knowledge (planes) +25, Knowledge (religion) +30, Perception +31, Sense Motive +31, Spellcraft +23, Survival +21, Use Magic Device +30
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Celestial, Common
Eclipse (Su) Anytime a tzitzimitl casts deeper darkness, any creatures in the area of darkness when it is created take 8d6 points of cold damage (DC 31 Fortitude for half). Any creature that takes damage from this effect becomes staggered as long as it remains in the area of darkness and for 1d4 rounds after it leaves that area. The save DC is Charisma-based.
Eye Beam (Su) As a standard action, a tzitzimitl can fire a glowing beam of force from its eyes at a range of 100 feet as a ranged touch attack dealing 10d6 points of force damage and 10d6 points of electricity damage.
Light to Dark (Su) As an immediate action up to three times per day, a tzitzimitl can convert a positive energy effect that affects it into negative energy. Doing so transforms the entire effect, such that it affects other creatures as well. A tzitzimitl can transform channeled positive energy in this way even if the positive energy would not otherwise harm it.