Posts Tagged ‘Blog Carnival’

It’s time for part six of the prison for dragons series! If you’ve been following these posts than you know that the dungeon I’m building in each entry is inspired by this month’s RPG Blog Carnival theme, “Unusual Dungeons,” which was chosen by Nils Jeppe of Enderra.

The dungeon I’m creating is a prison made to hold dragons built by aberrations. Here’s all the blog posts I’ve written about the subject so far.

  • Part I – A general overview of dragon prisons
  • Part II – The historical background and character hooks of a specific dragon prison, Shuzal
  • Part III – A description of the area surrounding Shuzal and a table of random encounters
  • Part IV – The surface level of Shuzal’s ruined entrance citadel
  • Part V – The lower level of Shuzal’s ruined entrance citadel

So now it’s time to tackle Part VI – The upper level of Shuzal.

The Upper Level of Shuzal

Shuzal 5

In the demiplane where Shuzal is found everything was engineered toward keeping dragons in their cells. The aberrations didn’t count on losing the war and they certainly didn’t count on a tiefling necromancer turning one of the prisoners into a dracolich. Now that necromancer, Akros Sepora, rules the surface level of Shuzal and is building an army of undead ogres to destroy her old home, the Amber Spire.

One of Sepora’s soldiers, a vampire ogre named Sveja the Crow, was created only a month before. Sepora created the intelligent undead as an experiment to see if she could control captains who could command her undead armies in battle. Sveja despises Sepora, but is bound to do her bidding, which includes making forays back into the entrance citadel’s catacombs to murder her Ox Tribe friends and family to add undead to Sepora’s army. Sveja is looking for a way to break her thrall and the PCs could be just the solution she needs.

Features of the Area

Illumination. The sky of the demiplane shines a red light through thick, impenetrable clouds and braziers burn bright in the guardhouse. The entirety of Shuzal’s upper level is bathed in bright light.

Ageless. While on the demiplane creatures do not age and require no food or water to survive.

Braziers. The braziers in Shuzal are powered by the aberrant magic of the prison and never go out. A creature who moves into or starts its turn in the same space as the brazier takes 5 (1d10) fire damage.

Finite Demiplane. The edges of the map are impenetrable walls of reality. This demiplane is finite and creatures can travel no further than the walls. The cloud layer of the plane sits at 100 feet above the ground and this too cannot be pierced in any way. A creature burrowing into the ground finds it cannot dig further than 100 feet for that is the bottom of the plane.

Limited Flight. Creatures who can fly who are not aberrations or constructs cannot fly higher than 20 feet above the ground. The strange gravity of the aberrant magic holds them close to the ground.

Psychic Moat. The moat around Shuzal is a torrent of crackling psychic liquid. If a creature falls into the moat, its senses are completely assaulted and overwhelmed. That creature must make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. Creatures who fail take 55 (10d10) psychic damage and contract a random form of short term madness. Creatures who succeed take half damage and are not stricken with madness.

Towers. The towers of Shuzal are solid adamantine pillars with arcane cannons on top. The helmed horrors in Shuzal know how to operate the cannons.

Walls. The walls of Shuzal rise 50 feet into the sky and dive 100 feet below the ground to the bottom of the demiplane. The walls, gates, and doors of every structure here are adamantine (AC 23, HP 300, damage threshold 50). The walls are perfectly smooth and trying to scale them without a rope requires a DC 20 Strength (Athletics) check.

Arcane Cannon

Large object

Armor Class: 20

Hit Points: 100

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

Special alchemical canisters are loaded into the muzzle of these magically reinforced cannons. The gems along the barrel of the cannon can be charged with magical energy which is used to propel and explode the canister.

An arcane cannon is supported in a metal frame fixed to the top of the towers. Before it can be fired the cannon must be loaded and aimed. It takes one action to load the weapon, one action to aim it, and one action to fire it. The weapon must be fired by a spellcaster or helmed horror, who feeds an amount of magical energy akin to casting a cantrip into the cannon.

Force Canister. Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 800/3,200 ft., one target. Hit: 55 (10d10) force damage.

Frost Canister. The frost canister can be shot 800 feet. It explodes in a 30-foot-radius sphere on impact. Creatures within the area must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. Creatures who fail take 22 (4d10) cold damage and have their speed reduced by 10 feet for one minute. Creatures who succeed take half damage and do not have their speed reduced. A creature whose speed is reduced in this way may repeat the saving throw at the end of its turn, ending the reduced speed effect on a success.

Lightning Canister. The lighting canister can be shot 800 feet. It explodes in a 20-foot-radius sphere. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 33 (6d10) lightning damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

C1 – The Portal

A sky and wall made of red clouds crackling with energy encloses the area you have just entered as you climb through the well. Across a river of bubbling blue energy looms an enormous black structure, the prison of Shuzal. High walls enclosing something long forgotten, but still active.

Normally an alarm would go off in area C9 when the portal is activated, but since Sveja the Crow is watching the monolith which controls the prison. She immediately quiets the alarm and watches the adventurers, using the monolith’s magic. She wants to gauge their strength and hopes they will free her from Sepora’s thrall.

Random Encounters. As the PCs spend time trying to figure out how to enter Shuzal, they may run into some of the denizens of the upper level of the demiplane. Sepora isn’t expecting an invasion, but she knows her attacks on the Ox Tribe have begun to draw attention so she keeps patrols wandering the area.

For every ten minutes the PCs spend outside the walls of Shuzal roll on the table below to see if a random encounter occurs.

d10 Encounter
1 – 6 No encounter
7 Psychic moat tendril
8 1d6 + 5 ogre skeletons
9 1d6 + 5 ogre zombies
10 1d4 + 1 helmed horrors

Psychic Moat Tendril. Sepora has been tinkering with the aberrant magic of the demiplane and now the psychic moat sometimes experiences energy surges as a result. If you roll this result, the next time a PC comes within 30 feet of the moat, a tendril of psychic energy reaches out and attacks the PC with a +8 bonus to the attack roll. If the attack hits the PC takes 5 (1d10) psychic damage, is grappled (escape DC 15), and is pulled 10 feet toward the moat. The tendril remains attached to the PC and continues to pull it 10 feet at the end of each round. The tendril retreats back into the moat if the PC escapes or if it is dealt 50 damage. The tendril has AC 15 and is immune to poison and psychic damage.

Raise the Alarm. If the PCs encounter enemies, combat longer than 5 rounds attracts the eye of the four helmed horrors working the walls, who alert the rest of the complex by firing off the arcane cannons at the PCs.

C2 – The Gates of Shuzal

A massive adamantine drawbridge creates the front gate of Shuzal. Currently the door is drawn up and perfectly flush against Shuzal’s wall.

Four helmed horrors float along the tops of Shuzal’s walls, ready to raise an alarm by firing the arcane cannon if they notice any enemies with their passive Perception 14.

The monolith in area C9 controls the drawbridge. If the PCs cannot figure out a way to cross the moat or scale Shuzal’s walls, Sveja the Crow uses the monolith to lower the drawbridge, hoping they’ll storm the prison.

C3 – Shuzal’s Grounds

Inside the black walls of Shuzal, the first thing to draw your eye is a deep pit in the middle of the grounds shielded by a field of blue energy. Behind this pit lurk three dome-shaped buildings connected by adamantine-enclosed hallways. The middle building is the largest standing 40 feet high, while the two smaller buildings are only 20 feet in height and much smaller around.

Eight ogre skeletons and eight ogre zombies patrol the grounds within Shuzal’s walls. If they are aware of the PCs or if the four helmed horrors on the wall raise the alarm, the undead converge on the PCs and attack. If things seem to be going the PCs’ way, more reinforcements from area C5 come to take on the PCs.

If a battle breaks out, there is a 10% chance at the end of every round of combat that a helmed horror patrolling the grounds outside of Shuzal flies over the wall to join the fray. Sveja the Crow makes sure the drawbridge is raised once the PCs are inside to make sure skeletons and zombies in the outside of Shuzal do not have a way back in.

Facing the enemy directly is a deadly encounter for the PCs. Make sure they are aware of the risks before they rush headlong into the battle.

C4 – The Pit

The pit here drops 100 feet to area D1.

Energy Field. The energy field here is controlled by the monolith in area C9. Any non-dragon creature can pass through the field without a problem, but creatures of the dragon type are stopped in their tracks. For the purposes of this energy field, dragonborn count as humanoids and are unaffected by the field.

C5 – Welcome Chamber

This adamantine chamber is flickers with the light of braziers and is filled with undead.

The ceiling in this chamber rises 30 feet. Sepora cleared out all the furniture and decoration in this room and uses it to store reserve troops. Eight ogre skeletons and eight ogre zombies stay here. If a battle breaks out in the grounds and the PCs appear to have victory close at hand, four ogre skeletons and four ogre zombies exit this area to join the fray in area C3. Sepora always has some undead stay back to guard her.

C6 – Abandoned Construct Lab

A large pit toward the back of the room is the only feature of note here aside from the braziers.

Three ogre wraiths (same statistics as a normal wraith, but size is Large) float about this room. They are an angry experiment gone wrong, but Sepora has managed to use her magic to keep them confined to this room. They abhor all life, even Sepora, and will attack anything that lives.

This room was once a laboratory for building and repairing constructs, but Sepora used all its resources and needed the place to store undead soldiers (and then later a place to bind the wraiths). All of the furniture and tools from this room and area C5 have been broken up and placed into the pit.

Pit. The pit is 30 feet deep, but 20 feet of the pit is filled with broken pieces of furniture and tools. A creature who falls into the pit takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage and 3 (1d6) piercing damage after landing prone.

Treasure. Searching the pit with a successful DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check finds a diamond worth 5,000 gp. Sepora bound the wraiths to this diamond and they must remain within 30 feet of it at all times.

C7 – Meeting Room

The small room has a stone table set with plush chairs and a bubbling fountain shaped like a many-tentacled beast nearby.

This quiet room was a place for aberration guards to hold meetings or socialize while not on duty.

The Fountain. A creature who drinks from the fountain regains 19 (6d4 + 6) hit points. The creature can only regain hit points from the fountain in this way once per day.

C8 – Sepora’s Chambers

A purple bed at the back of the room, a pool of red water, a bookshelf, a table, two chairs, and a chest are all which can be seen in this room… oh, and a hulking construct made of stone and steel which runs at you.

Akros Sepora is in this chamber, but odds are by now she knows the PCs are headed her way. She quickly casts improved invisibility on herself and climbs the walls of the chamber using her rod of arachna. She then sends her shield guardian to attack the PCs as they enter the room.

If Sepora’s shield guardian dies and she drops to less than half her hit points she tries to negotiate with the PCs. She first offers them the location of the diamond in area C6, hoping the wraiths will tear them apart. If the PCs don’t go for this she tells them that Maxathaltros, a silver dragon held below, has a large treasure hoard which he will use to reward any person who frees him. She offers to help the PCs get to the lower level of Shuzal and hopes the dragons finish them off.

Bookshelf. Sepora’s bookshelf holds her spellbook which contains all the spells she has prepared as well as another 20 spells of your choice. Remember Akros specializes in necromancy.

Pool. The pool of red liquid here is contact poison which sprays in a 20-foot cone originating from the pool at the end of each round in a direction of Sepora’s choosing.

Creatures in the cone must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. Creatures who fail take 11 (2d10) poison damage and are poisoned. Creatures who fail take half damage and are not poisoned.

Treasure. The adamantine chest (AC 23, HP 100) in this room is locked and requires a successful DC 20 Dexterity check made with thieves tools to pick the lock or a DC 22 Strength check to force the chest open. If an attempt to pick the lock fails or the chest is forced open, the poison mister trap activates (see below).

Inside the chest are two diamonds worth 1,000 gp each, some robes made for Sepora, a journal which details all of Sepora’s exploits against the Ox Tribe and hatred of the Amber Spire, and a wrist spider.

Sepora carries, a key to the chest, a rod of arachna, and the amulet used to control the shield guardian.

Poison Mister Trap. A nozzle connected to a vial of poison gas is hidden in the chest’s lock. When the trap is triggered the nozzle creates a 15-foot cone of gas originating from the lock. Creatures within the cone must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. Creatures who fail take 22 (4d10) poison damage and are poisoned for 1 hour. Creatures who succeed take half damage and are not poisoned. A DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) check allows a character to deduce the trap’s presence from alterations made to the lock to accommodate the nozzle and vial. A DC 15 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools disarms the trap, removing the nozzle and gas vial from the lock.

C9 – Monolith Room

As you enter this room a magic hum can be felt deep within your chest. A large ogre with glowing red eyes and sharp fangs bows as you enter the room, standing before a massive glowing pillar.

The Shuzal monolith in this room allows for monitoring and controlling various aspects of Shuzal. Sveja the Crow watches over the monolith by order of Sepora. Sveja was told by Sepora to guard the monolith and let no one touch it, so if the PCs attempt to use the device while Sepora is alive, Sveja must attack them.

Monolith. The Shuzal monolith is a magic item which can be attuned to up to three creatures at once. It is attuned to Sveja and Sepora at the start of the adventure. A creature must spend 1 hour with at least one hand or body part touching the monolith to become attuned to it.

While standing adjacent to the Shuzal monolith an attuned creature immediately knows if the portal into Shuzal’s demiplane has been activated.

Creatures attuned to the monolith can use the following actions when they are touching the pillar.

  • Cast scrying anywhere within the prison or demiplane
  • Raise or lower the drawbridge in C2
  • Turn the energy field over the pit on and off in C4 (this requires at least two creatures attuned to the Shuzal monolith to use their actions in the same round)
  • Activate the enormous psychic net in area D1

Sveja the Crow. Sveja the Crow does not wish to fight the PCs. She wants them to kill Sepora and free her from the necromancer’s thrall. She believes the PCs can take out the necromancer and if they haven’t by the time they approach Sveja, the vampire is very blunt in her request. Kill Sepora and Sveja will tell the PCs all she knows about the complex. She tells them she must attack them if they touch the monolith and explains why if given the time.

If the PCs have already killed Sepora, Sveja has watched the event through the monolith and expresses her gratitude.

When Sepora is dead, Sveja tells the PCs that Kerrinalastraya is planning on breaking out of her prison and has the means to do so. If she gets out it could spell disaster for any who feel her wrath. Sveja is worried that her Ox Tribe family will be the first to go.

If this doesn’t appeal to the PCs, Sveja tries to tempt them into the lower levels by telling them they aberrations kept weapons of great power in their vaults and now Kerrinalastraya is using them to escape the prison. If they stop Kerrinalastraya perhaps some of those weapons could be theirs!

Sveja will help the PCs in any way she can… from the upper level of the demiplane. She fears Kerrinalastraya’s power as does not want to fall into the thrall of another soon after escaping the grasp of Sepora.

Next Time…

…let’s head into the cell block!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

This month’s RPG Blog Carnival theme is How/Where You Write/Prep chosen by V.A. over at Leicester’s Ramble. So it’s all about where and how people like me and all the other creators and GMs out there write for tabletop RPGs. Whether you write homebrew adventures, a blog, novels, short stories, supplements, articles, or rule books, this information is for you.

My Schedule

Like most of you I have an insane schedule. I’ve got a full-time job, three regular podcasts, and freelance assignments. I’m in a committed relationship with an amazing woman that I enjoy putting time and energy into. I run two D&D games. I’ve got family relationships and friendships to maintain. I also have the human requirements of food, clean clothes, showers, exercise, and sleep. I don’t even have kids or school to attend like many of you and I’ve already got a full schedule. So when am I supposed to write for this blog and my campaigns?

My Happy Place – The Commute

I have a 20-minute to 30-minute (one way) commute to work that uses public transportation. While I’m waiting for and on the train, I write. That’s what I’m doing as I write this sentence. Even if if have to stand on the train and hang onto the bar over my head with one hand because all the seats are taken, I write. Even if my commute is as fast as can be each day of the work week (and that never happens with the Washington, DC metro), that’s 3 hours and 20 minutes of solid writing I can get done each week.

I do this writing on my iPhone using the Notes app. I can email, text, and copy/paste my words with a few quick finger motions. Notes is linked to my Google account so all the work I do is automatically backed up. Combine this with the WordPress app I also have on my phone and posting a blog update is a breeze.

Of course, using a smartphone is not ideal for editing. That’s why the man (in his corporate anti-rock-and-roll visage) created the lunch break.

Edit During Lunch

I’ll be honest. I hate editing. I’m sure Greg Blair can attest to this fact as he has found many a typo in my blog over the past year and emailed me about them. (Thanks, Greg!)

Still, editing is one of the most important parts of the writing process. Editing is shaping your lump-of-clay words into a beautiful statue. It never takes as long as you think and if you can find time to write, you can find time to edit.

I like to edit my work during my lunch hour. This works out well for me since I don’t need to edit every single day. I usually need only two hours of edit time a week, depending on how many projects I have going and how many PDFs I’m trying to put up on the Free Game Resources section of this site. That gives me three hours for whatever I need to do, like grab lunch with a friend, catch up on work for my day job, run errands, write podcast notes, etc. Giving myself two guaranteed hours of edit time is great and I try to use them at the beginning of the week. That way if I need some extra edit time I can try to use my lunch hours later in the week to help me out.

The Editing Exception

I must admit that there is one thing I never edit and that’s my home campaign notes. Good lord are they riddled with typos and mistakes, but it doesn’t matter! Those notes are just for me and I know what I meant. Unless you’re planning on sharing your home campaign notes, don’t worry about editing. Save yourself some time (and also use helpful organizational tools and improv techniques to cut down on your prep time).

Best Laid Plans

Sometimes all the lunch hours and commute time in the world aren’t enough to get a project done. Sometimes life gets busy and all your time free time is spent doing stuff that isn’t writing. In these cases I still have my favorite time to write, which is the early morning.

Starting the day off writing is like starting the day off with a great workout. You feel accomplished and ready to face the rest of the day once the task is complete. If you can wake up and get going before anyone else in your household, that’s even better. Your distractions are limited because the rest of the world is sleeping or just waking up. Email, Facebook, Twitter, texts, and more are just as sleepy as the rest of the world. The quiet and the good night’s sleep you just had put you at the top of your writing game. The anxiety you felt the day before as stress built up over work, family, etc. is gone or at least lessened at the start of a new day.

There’s another great reason I like to write at the start of the day. The work gets done sooner. That writing is no longer hanging over my head. Even if you enjoy writing, waiting until the last moment to complete something makes it feel like a chore. It can conjure up bad memories of pulling all-nighters to finish a school assignment. Write in the morning and you’ll be less stressed the rest of the day.

Music

When I’m writing I tend to like music without lyrics or music with lyrics I know by heart. For me lyrics I don’t know very well become distracting. (Did she just say she wants to see my peacock?!?) Depending on what I’m writing I usually opt for something thematic for fantasy, like a John Williams and Hans Zimmer station on Pandora, or I go with something upbeat to help the words flow and keep me in a good mood. That’s where my favorite bands The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Action Slacks help out. I’ve been listening to them forever so the lyrics don’t trip me up and their fast-paced songs help the words flow like ambrosia.

Listening to music can help you get inspired and write faster, so if you’re on a schedule grab a favorite album or appropriately theme soundtrack and get rocking.

What About You?

How do you like to write and what helps you be super quick? I’m always looking for more tips so sound off in the comments below!

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

I have to admit, I was stumped. This month’s RPG Blog Carnival themeStar Wars. Don’t get me wrong, I love (the original) Star Wars. I’ve played many a Star Wars RPG, read many a Star Wars book, been Luke Skywalker many a time for Halloween… The list goes on. Heck, I even produced Star Wars! The Musical when I was in college.

Still, l just could not come up with a way Star Wars related to what was going on over here at World Builder Blog. I thought and thought and then gave up. Maybe I was just going to be a disappointment to the RPGBA and bow out this month. I felt like a lameo.

Then I realized I had to stop being so literal. Star Wars is in space. Exploration Age is more of a medieval fantasy world (though Space Exploration Age sounds incredible! Hmmm…) So what ? Story is story and fantasy is fantasy. There are so many things in all of our games that could be inspired by Star Wars. The posts I’ve done on mounts, the empires of Bragonay and Parian, airships, and more share aspects with Star Wars. Heck there’s more to come that has yet to be revealed relating to smugglers and ancient orders and who knows what else! Star Wars has all that a bag of chips. So I was a fool.

Well today, I’m going to talk about my favorite Star Warsian beast and how I can fit it into Exploration Age. It’s not the rancor, though he is a close second. This beast is native to Tatooine, one of the greatest places in the Star Wars universe. I’m not speaking of banthas or Jawas. No, no! I’m speaking of the sarlacc.

What are Sarlaccs?

Nom nom nom.

According to Wookiepedia, sarlaccs are essentially large, plant-like omnivores that grow downwards into the earth and outwards forming ever deeper and wider living pits of teeth. They live for 20,000 to 50,000 years, but their Exploration Age equivalent will have immortal lifespans.

The sarlacc has crazy tentacles that can grab a creature and pull it toward it mouth. Since the sarlacc doesn’t move it doesn’t need to eat terribly much, but it can fit a lot into its huge stomach and will eat anything it can which happens to approach because in the desert who knows when your next meal will be?

The beaked, snake-like tongue doubles as its mouth opening. The sarlacc devours pray through its tongue. Once a victim is in the stomach, spines laced with neurotoxins paralyze the victim so it sarlacc can digest in peace over the course of 1,000 years.

Why Sarlaccs Rock

Sarlaccs are ferocious, hungry, and torturous. They slowly digest victims over the course of 1,000 years after devouring them in the grossest and most horrific way possible – via strange snake-y tongue. In terms of tabletop roleplaying, the sarlacc scene in Return of the Jedi is one of the best designed set piece encounters ever! Sarlaccs are like an enormous desert Venus flytrap that eats several people at once. Suck it, Audrey II.

Also, if we look at Expanded Universe lore, sarlaccs can be escaped, but only if you’re a BAMF like (non-canonical spoiler alert!) Boba Fett so sarlacc s are terrifying, but not wholly insurmountable villains.

Sarlaccs in Exploration Age

A look at the entirety of a sarlacc. Gross.

Ok, so how do I work sarlaccs into Exploration Age’s story? First, they’re going to need a different name, because copyright. How about gaping maws? Get it? Because their mouths are… Of course you get it. It’s painfully simple. For that same copyright reason and for fun and simplification, I’m going to change a few other details here about the sarlacc. The gaping maw is inspired by the sarlacc, not an exact copy.

Well Canus is already a world full of interesting horrors, which includes many an ancient aberrant creature. Gaping maws certainly seem weird enough to be aberrants. There’s plenty of deserts on Canus, so maybe these creatures have taken root in the desert and when their brethren went underground they could not follow as they were too rooted in their pits. They did not represent much threat to the dragons, so they didn’t bother to kill the gaping maws.

The older a gaping maw is the bigger and deeper it is. They are stationary creatures with spiked tentacles that whip around and drag prey into their tongue mouths. They digest their prey very slowly, killing them over a slow and torturous digestive period which can last months.

Gaping maws are tough. The best way to kill a gaping maw is to attack it it from the inside, which is difficult since the noxious gases created by its stomach acids can paralyze a creature. Creatures swallowed by the gaping maw may resist its noxious stomach gas and try to attack it from within. The gaping maw may try and crush the creature using its stomach muscles if it attacks, but this is a last resort. It prefers to digest slowly and conserve its energy.

Gaping maws are asexual and reproduce every 100 years by releasing spores which burrow into the sand and take root, growing into young, then adult, then ancient gaping maws. Not many gaping maws get to mature however, since as babies they can easily be dug from the earth and devoured by various desert animals.

D&D Next Statistics

Using the last public playtest packet, here’s how I’d represent gaping maws in my game.

Gaping Maw, Young

Huge Aberration

Armor Class 14

HP 52 (7d10 + 14)

Speed 0 ft.

Str 18 (+4)

Dex 10 (+0)

Con 14 (+2)

Int 3 (-4)

Wis 9 (-1)

Cha 8 (-1)

Alignment unaligned

Languages 

Traits

Damage Resistance: The gaping maw is resistant to all nonmagical weapons.

Grappler: The gaping maw has advantage on attack rolls against a creature grappled by it.

Magic Immunity: The gaping maw is immune to spells of 3rd level or lower, and it makes saving throws against spells of 4th level or higher with advantage.

Regeneration: At the start of each of its turns, the gaping maw regains 5 hit points. If the gaping maw takes damage from a creature it has swallowed, this trait doesn’t function on the gaping maw’s next turn. This trait ceases to function while the gaping maw has 0 hit points.

Actions

Multi-Attack: A gaping maw may make four tentacle attacks or two tentacle attacks and one bite attack.

Melee Attack – Tentacle: +5 to hit (reach 20 ft.; one creature). Hit: 10 (1d10+5) piercing damage and if the target is Large or smaller, the creature is grappled. While using a tentacle to grapple a creature, the gaping maw can make that tentacle’s attack only against the grappled creature.

Melee Attack – Bite: +5 to hit (reach 5 ft.; one creature). Hit: 15 (2d8+6) piercing damage.

Melee Attack – Crush: +5 to hit (all swallowed creatures). Hit: 12 (1d12+6) bludgeoning damage.

Swallow Whole: While grappling a Medium or smaller creature, the gaping maw can make a bite attack against the creature, and if the gaping maw hits, it also swallows the creature. A gaping maw can swallow 16 Tiny, 8 Small, 4 Medium creatures at a time. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained.

Swallowed creatures must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw. Failed Save: The target is paralyzed for 24 hours. At the end of this period if the creature is still swallowed by the gaping maw they save again or remained paralyzed for another 24 hours. If the creature does save but remains swallowed it is subject to another saving throw 24 hours after the successful one. A swallowed creature’s maximum HP is reduced by 1 for every day it is swallowed. When it’s max HP is reduced to 0 the creature is completely digested and dies. A swallowed creature may attack the gaping maw. When attacked from the inside the gaping maw loses all resistances and immunities.

Encounter Building

XP: 340

Gaping Maw, Adult

Gargantuan Aberration

Armor Class 15

HP 88 (11d10 + 33)

Speed 0 ft.

Str 20 (+5)

Dex 11 (+0)

Con 16 (+3)

Int 3 (-4)

Wis 10 (+0)

Cha 8 (-1)

Alignment unaligned

Languages 

Traits

Damage Resistance: The gaping maw is resistant to all nonmagical weapons.

Grappler: The gaping maw has advantage on attack rolls against a creature grappled by it.

Magic Immunity: The gaping maw is immune to spells of 5th level or lower, and it makes saving throws against spells of 6th level or higher with advantage.

Regeneration: At the start of each of its turns, the gaping maw regains 10 hit points. If the gaping maw takes damage from a creature it has swallowed, this trait doesn’t function on the gaping maw’s next turn. This trait ceases to function while the gaping maw has 0 hit points.

Actions

Multi-Attack: A gaping maw may make six tentacle attacks, or four tentacle attacks and one bite attack.

Melee Attack – Tentacle: +6 to hit (reach 25 ft.; one creature). Hit: 12 (2d6+5) piercing damage and if the target is huge or smaller, the creature is grappled. While using a tentacle to grapple a creature, the gaping maw can make that tentacle’s attack only against the grappled creature.

Melee Attack – Bite: +6 to hit (reach 10 ft.; one creature). Hit: 21 (3d10+6) piercing damage.

Melee Attack – Crush: +6 to hit (all swallowed creatures). Hit: 18 (2d12+6) bludgeoning damage.

Swallow Whole: While grappling a Large or smaller creature, the gaping maw can make a bite attack against the creature, and if the gaping maw hits, it also swallows the creature. A gaping maw can swallow 32 Tiny, 16 Small, 8 Medium, or 4 Large creatures at a time. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained.

Swallowed creatures must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw. Failed Save: The target is paralyzed for 24 hours. At the end of this period if the creature is still swallowed by the gaping maw they save again or remained paralyzed for another 24 hours. If the creature does save but remains swallowed it is subject to another saving throw 24 hours after the successful one. A swallowed creature’s maximum HP is reduced by 1 for every day it is swallowed. When it’s max HP is reduced to 0 the creature is completely digested and dies. A swallowed creature may attack the gaping maw. When attacked from the inside the gaping maw loses all resistances and immunities.

Encounter Building

XP: 3,920

Gaping Maw, Ancient

Colossal Aberration

Armor Class 16

HP 142 (15d10 + 60)

Speed 0 ft.

Str 23 (+6)

Dex 13 (+1)

Con 18 (+4)

Int 3 (-4)

Wis 12 (+1)

Cha 8 (-1)

Alignment unaligned

Languages 

Traits

Damage Resistance: The gaping maw is resistant to all nonmagical weapons.

Grappler: The gaping maw has advantage on attack rolls against a creature grappled by it.

Magic Immunity: The gaping maw is immune to spells of 7th level or lower, and it makes saving throws against spells of 8th level or higher with advantage.

Regeneration: At the start of each of its turns, the gaping maw regains 15 hit points. If the gaping maw takes damage from a creature it has swallowed, this trait doesn’t function on the gaping maw’s next turn. This trait ceases to function while the gaping maw has 0 hit points.

Actions

Multi-Attack: A gaping maw may make eight tentacle attacks, or six tentacle attacks and one bite attack.

Melee Attack – Tentacle: +7 to hit (reach 30 ft.; one creature). Hit: 15 (2d8+6) piercing damage and the creature is grappled. While using a tentacle to grapple a creature, the gaping maw can make that tentacle’s attack only against the grappled creature.

Melee Attack – Bite: +7 to hit (reach 15 ft.; one creature). Hit: 32 (4d12+6) piercing damage.

Melee Attack – Crush: +7 to hit (all swallowed creatures). Hit: 24 (3d12+6) bludgeoning damage.

Swallow Whole: While grappling a huge or smaller creature, the gaping maw can make a bite attack against the creature, and if the gaping maw hits, it also swallows the creature. A gaping maw can swallow 64 Tiny, 32 Small, 16 Medium, 8 Large, or 4 Huge creatures at a time. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained.

Swallowed creatures must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. Failed Save: The target is paralyzed for 24 hours. At the end of this period if the creature is still swallowed by the gaping maw they save again or remained paralyzed for another 24 hours. If the creature does save but remains swallowed it is subject to another saving throw 24 hours after the successful one. A swallowed creature’s maximum HP is reduced by 1 for every day it is swallowed. When it’s max HP is reduced to 0 the creature is completely digested and dies. A swallowed creature may attack the gaping maw. When attacked from the inside the gaping maw loses all resistances and immunities.

Encounter Building

XP: 20,010

So let me know what you think! Does it feel sarlacc-y and do you want to use one of these for your game?

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