Aztec / Mesoamerican themed monster options help


Advice

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So I'm working on a dungeon set in an abandoned pyramid to an aztec god and I'm wondering if anyone knew of what types of creatures would fit thematically with the concept. For reference the party will most likely be 10th when they reach the dungeon and the plan is for them to be in and exploring the dungeon till about 12th so I'm looking for CR's in about that range.


Snakes and eagles would be thematically appropriate. I wouldn't expect to find eagles inside a temple though. Naga seem like a good advancement of snakes. Which god?

Dark Archive

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Were jaguars! (Use were tiger stats with some class levels in Ranger or Oracle or whatever.)

Giant bugs, giant snakes, some undead (mummies, if the ruin is atop a mesa or something?), perhaps a 'feathered serpent' in a sacrificial pit that turns out to be a dinosaur...

Dig out a 3.5 Monster Manual and use the stats for a Mind Flayer, only describe it as a creepy tall and thin partially mummified figure whose 'stunning mental blasts' are terror-inducing roars (same game effect) and whose 'brain eating grapple' is a grappling hand that slowly burrows into your chest and tears out your heart (same game effect). The various spell-like abilities are refluffed to fit the theme, it teleports around like Jason in a horror movie, always ahead of you, or right behind you, no matter how fast you flee, and it's 'charm' is a madness inducing spell that makes allies flip out and attack each other (same game effect). If using a single 'heart ripper' buff it up to CR 10-12. Otherwise, use groups of them, and fluff them as the shriveled half-mummified remains of ancient heart-sacrificing priests, resurrected back to terrible life to defend the temple from these defilers.

Scarab Sages

Couatls and Yuan-Ti are thematic, but you have to get Yuan-Ti from 3.5, as they aren't in the SRD.

Second the Were-Jaguars.You could reskin Kenku as Eagle-warriors instead of Crow based.

Crocodiles could fit too, and Lizardfolk could make a stand-in for crocodile warriors.


Garudas, kamadans, and couatls. Plus definitely snakes, eagles, and jaguars.


Lillends.


Serpentfolk perhaps.

Caryatid columns work well, as you can style them however you want (appearance-wise).

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
BigDTBone wrote:
Snakes and eagles would be thematically appropriate. I wouldn't expect to find eagles inside a temple though. Naga seem like a good advancement of snakes. Which god?

Ohh hadn't thought of nagas. As for god the short answer is it was originally built in service to Tonatiuh. Long version is not long after that dedication the priests fell into worshiping Apollyon. After that the temple got assaulted and the daemon cultists culled by an ancient sect of followers of the empyreal lord turned god Gabriel, and now it's fallen back into the hands of worshipers of Apollyon. Despite all this it's inherent age, importance to the faith, and actual artifacts to him still hidden within the temple after all these years (including the founder, a powerful cleric of Tonatiuh turned mummy since his burial) attract and harbors creatures whatnot that are associated with Tonatiuh.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Set wrote:

Were jaguars! (Use were tiger stats with some class levels in Ranger or Oracle or whatever.)

Giant bugs, giant snakes, some undead (mummies, if the ruin is atop a mesa or something?), perhaps a 'feathered serpent' in a sacrificial pit that turns out to be a dinosaur...

Dig out a 3.5 Monster Manual and use the stats for a Mind Flayer, only describe it as a creepy tall and thin partially mummified figure whose 'stunning mental blasts' are terror-inducing roars (same game effect) and whose 'brain eating grapple' is a grappling hand that slowly burrows into your chest and tears out your heart (same game effect). The various spell-like abilities are refluffed to fit the theme, it teleports around like Jason in a horror movie, always ahead of you, or right behind you, no matter how fast you flee, and it's 'charm' is a madness inducing spell that makes allies flip out and attack each other (same game effect). If using a single 'heart ripper' buff it up to CR 10-12. Otherwise, use groups of them, and fluff them as the shriveled half-mummified remains of ancient heart-sacrificing priests, resurrected back to terrible life to defend the temple from these defilers.

Ohh god I would totally use a Mind flayer and damn that sounds tempting. Unfortunately I already have something like that in the form of an imprisoned Zushin Kami who has been pressed into the service of these new cultists and is bonded to the building itself. His basic goal is to slowly go crazy as he tries to fight off the intruders until the party either a.) finds the gate that functions as his anchor and kill him or b.) manage to convince him that they are not evil and can help him clear the final boss and finally start cleansing this place of Apollyon's taint. Also I already use a ton of aberrations and cthulhian monsters pretty regularly so I feel like I need to pull off a bit on the more overt references to them for a while so my party doesn't get wise.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Peachbottom wrote:
Garudas, kamadans, and couatls. Plus definitely snakes, eagles, and jaguars.

Which one is a kamadan? Also I'm liking the idea of were jaguar since I had planned for lycans (player subplot) but now that the aegis behind them has dropped the game having a nice replacement would be awesome (probably found some sort of forbidden rite inside the tomb somewhere). Also I don't think I really need to reskin considering how easy it is to make new lycans in pathfinder.


The Aztec god of the underworld was also associated with bats.

For real monstrousness, though, you can't beat the tzitzimime:

"The ultimate nightmare of the ancient Aztec: hideous, terrible star-monsters that somewhat resemble haggish women, their faces distorted in horrible mosquito-like forms and their hands clawed and grasping. They bring terror with them wherever they go, descending into the World whenever they can manage to do so in order to hunt humanity, especially pregnant women and children, who are their favorite prey. They move very quickly and stealthily, and drain (levels) as well as blood from those targets that have it."

The White Wolf game Scion has a lot of Aztec-themed monsters and enemies.

The Exchange

If you can dig up a copy, the 1st-edition module Lost Shrine of Tamoachan sounds very much like the adventure you already have planned. It's not the best-written of 1st ed modules, but I have a soft spot for it precisely because it was one of the first modules to leave 'fantasy Europe'. If I recall correctedly, the ruins included some awakened vermin (crabs and a giant luminous slug), an evil nereid, a sun-like monster (I used a xeg-yi from 3.0's Manual of the Planes in preference to the original gas spore), a mummified centaur, monks placed in stasis to guard certain tombs, a vampire variant, a will-o-wisp, an amphisbaena, giant hunting spider, and - of course - rock-throwing temple monkeys. The module also has some excellent old-school 'gimmicks' - rotating statues, diorama rooms, etc. - and came with hand-outs, visual aids which you could employ even if you're not using the adventure as a whole.


2nd ed AD&D had Maztica, a pseudo-South American continent as part of its Forgotten Realms setting. Googling for that might bring inspiration too.

Dark Archive

doc the grey wrote:
Which one is a kamadan?

Leopard with snakes coming out of it's back, that breathes a cloud of sleep gas, IIRC.

You can make it creepier by having the 'snakes' be blood-sucking parasitic vines that have engulfed and colonized a jaguar. Or the biting tentacles of a xenomorph-like Mythos critter that has crawled down it's throat and lives in it's belly...


The ahuizotl from Bestiary 3 is Aztec, as is the tzitzimitl from the same book. The shadow giant from the Inner Sea Bestiary certainly has an Aztec look/feel.

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Some critters, while depicted in garb suitable to their origins, such as genie, work fine as capricious favor-granting trickster nature spirits of all sorts of cultures. Dress a Marid or Shaitan up in Aztec looking clothing and jewelry, and replace any mention of brass with obsidian or whatever, and you've can turn a Persian-esque critter into a Aztec one pretty easily.


In my custom setting I had the origin of vampires be a group of Mesoamerican-style priests who had been so bloodthirsty and corrupt in their worship of a sun god that their own god cursed them.

They turned to worship of darkness, blood and evil, calling dark powers to empower their curse and turn it into a boon so they could seek revenge on those that dwell in the light.

I used mostly Pathfinder vampire stats, except that creating a new vampire required a ritual plus some weakness/power differences. At midnight, the aspirant (usually a favoured acolyte of the blood cult) has his or her heart cut out with an obsidian dagger, and replaced with a chunk of obsidian. From that point, the vampire can no longer be permanently killed unless its obsidian heart is captured and sacrificed to the sun god on one of the old altars.

They could turn into black jaguars instead of wolves/bats. Their DR was changed to 10/Glass (including obsidian). I don't recall the rest, but it was more or less along the lines of powers themed on malevolent blood priests.


Mapinguari? Thunderbird? Monster Sloth?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Alejandro Acosta wrote:
Mapinguari? Thunderbird? Monster Sloth?

Mapinguari? Also why monster Sloth?


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The ahuizotl was described as dog-like, with hands capable of manipulation and an additional hand on its tail. The ahuizotl was feared due to its liking for human flesh, especially nails, eyes, and teeth. It was said to live in or near the water and uses the hand on the end of its tail to snatch its prey.

Chanekeh, Chaneque or Ohuican Chaneque, as they were called by the Aztecs, are legendary creatures in Mexican folklore. They are conceived of as small, sprite-like beings, elemental forces and guardians of nature. By tradition, these beings would attack intruders, frightening them so that their soul would abandon their body, which the chaneques enclosed in the depth of the land. If the victim did not recover their soul through a specific ritual, he or she would become ill and die soon after.

In Aztec mythology, Cipactli was a primeval sea monster, part crocodile, part fish and part toad, of indefinite gender. Always hungry, every joint on its body was adorned with an extra mouth. The deity Tezcatlipoca sacrificed a foot when he used it as bait to draw the monster nearer. He and Quetzalcoatl created the earth from its body.

Also, in Aztec mythology, the Quinametzin Giants who, legend says, populated the world during the previous era of the Sun of Rain and its ruler was the god Tlaloc, but they were punished by the gods because they did not venerate them, and their peak-civilization came to an end as a result of great calamities and as a punishment from the heavens for grave sins they had committed. The construction of the pyramid of Cholula and the City of Teotihuacan (The Place Where Men Become Gods) was attributed to the Quinametzin Giants.

Encantados are a Brazilian legendary creature. They live in a deep underwater realm named the Encante. Encantados are most commonly described as a type of freshwater dolphin or sea snake with the ability to shapeshift into human form. The transformation is rare, but when they do it's usually at night. They can't disappear while shapeshifting and they show magical abilities, such as the power to control storms and haunt humans. Encantados are musically talented, seductive, and they have an attraction to parties. They use various mind control techniques and can inflict illness, insanity, and even death. The creatures are known for kidnapping humans, and that is why many villagers will not go near the Amazon River at night. Plenty of South Americans believe in the existence of the encantados and claim to have seen and interacted with the species.

The Mono Grande ("Large Monkey") is descibed as an ape-like, hairy cannibal with a man-like torso. This creature has been sighted in South America. The mono grande is reported as being aggressive to humans, and it attacks humans on sight but might carry off women for breeding. The first formal report of the large monster was in 1533, when Pedro Cieza de León reported sightings from natives and one Spanish settler.

The Cherufe is a creature of rock and magma. It is said that Cherufe inhabit the magma found deep within Chilean volcanoes and are the source of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Some say this creature is the source of meteorites and volcanic stones that cause damage in volcanic regions. The only way to avoid the destruction by the hands of the Cherufe was to satiate the beast's taste for human flesh - the Cherufe likes virginal maids to be thrown into the volcano. There is a creepy legend that says the Cherufe likes to ignite the disembodied heads of the sacrificed maids and hurl them out of the volcano.

According to native folklore the mapinguari has a series of unnatural characteristics related to other fantastic beings of Brazilian mythology. These include the creature only having one eye, long claws, caiman skin, backward feet and a second mouth on its belly. In more recent eyewitness accounts it has consistently been described as resembling either an ape or giant ground-dwelling sloth and having long arms, powerful claws that could tear apart palm trees, a sloping back, reaching heights of 7 feet when standing on its hind legs and is covered in thick, matted fur.

These creatures should get you started.


The maftet could work. Winged half great cat humanoids who roost in ruins.
They are in bestiary 3 also.


Sorry, I thought Mapinguari was an animal spirit. Like twice the size of a normal bear that walks upright, a humanlike face and claws and a bony exoskeleton (natural armor +5) Mapinguari IS the Monster Sloth. This enormous ground Sloth roams the remote regions of South America far from the predations of mankind. Many Amazonians believe the Mapingurai is the transformed body of a Shaman maybe seen foraging, cursed by the Gods for uncovering the secret of immortality. or it is just Monster Sloth supposedly extinct for 8 thousand years. the civilized ones are looking for it but the Natives don't wanna disbelieve their superstitions. it has a gland in it's abdomen that emits an unbearable stench; maybe used to keep people away or effect escape (some people call it their second mouth). It can be a legend like Bigfoot. Maybe somebody wants to capture it for his private zoo or as a trophy and your party want to convince the bounty hunters not to kill it at least until you can investigate the native's supernatural claims. Killing it would incur the wrath of the Gods. thus bring about more horrible shapes. It could possibly be a nature spirit like the fish (moon spirit) from The Last Airbender. Remember when the Fire Nation Wanted to kill it to destroy the Northern Water Tribe? Let's say the Olmecs wanted to kill the Mayans. Maybe Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. An expedition out to the rain forest. But while you research, let's say the overzealous hunters jump the gun and wound him and make him go into rampage on the villagers. Hurry and save the villagers and maybe keep the hunters from becoming monsters themselves. Sorry if it looks thrown together. Just ideas.

Sloth, Dire (add the stench attack (universal monster rules) and you have a Mapinguari) you might have to adjust the CR.

This massive sloth is brownish–black, and its fur has a greenish tint to it. Its eyes are white.

Dire Sloth (from complete tome of Horrors (3rd party)
CR 3

XP 800
N Medium animal
Init +0; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +1

DEFENSE

AC 15, touch 10, flat-footed 15 (+5 natural)
hp 26 (4d8+8)
Fort +8; Ref +4; Will +2

OFFENSE

Speed 15 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d4+4), bite +7 (1d6+4)
Special Attacks rend (2 claws, 1d4+6)

Stench (Ex)
A creature with the stench special ability secretes an oily chemical that nearly every other creature finds offensive. All living creatures (except those with the stench special ability) within 30 feet must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 stench creature’s racial HD + stench creature’s Con modifier; the exact DC is given in the creature’s descriptive text) or be sickened. The duration of the sickened condition is given in the creature’s descriptive text. Creatures that successfully save cannot be affected by the same creature’s stench for 24 hours. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell removes the effect from the sickened creature. Creatures with immunity to poison are unaffected, and creatures resistant to poison receive their normal bonus on their saving throws.

Format: stench (DC 15, 10 rounds); Location: Aura.

TACTICS
A dire sloth attacks by biting and rending its opponent with its claws.

STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 10, Con 14, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 10
Base Atk +3; CMB +7; CMD 17 (21 vs. trip)
Feats Great Fortitude, Power Attack
Skills Climb +12, Stealth +9 (+13 in dense undergrowth), Swim +13; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth (+8 in dense undergrowth), +4 Swim
SQ staggered

Template Base
Dire Creature

ECOLOGY
Environment warm forests
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none

Dire sloths grow up to be 7 feet long and weigh up to 250 pounds. The fur of a dire sloth is stained green by algae.

Pictures: http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=mapinguari&qpvt=mapinguari&FORM =IGRE


Here's a listing from mythical creatures:
http://www.mythicalcreatureslist.com/mythical-creature/Mapinguari


real mapinguari sightings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ_1QT2x4FA

more images:
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=Mapinguari+Sightings&FORM=RESTAB

There's also legends of a Mountain Ghoul
Despite local Indian legends of a mountain ghoul called lemisch or yemische, which fitted descriptions of the mylodon.

http://www.myspace.com/the_cryptozoologist/blog/509815310#!

I hope you understand Spanish but it does confirm the Shaman legend. According to the video, he took the form to be immortal. Maybe you can come up with some sort of artifact or ritual to make him mortal again either with or without turning him human again. or treat it like a curse.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULHWVmc9yEI

http://cryptid.hubpages.com/hub/Mapinguari-Sightings-Does-Mylodon-Still-Exi st

ALSO CHECK MYLODON.


Ghosts and Vampires of Peru.


https://youtu.be/oRWO6EEH4Nw

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