Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

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James Introcaso sits down with game designer Rodney Thompson to discuss his work on the Star Wars RPG, Dungeons and Dragons, Destiny, and his on-going Kickstarter for the new Dusk City Outlaws.

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Author’s Note: The updated version of the monster below can now be found at the Free Game Resources page of World Builder Blog. Thank you for all your feedback and please keep it coming!

I’m continuing my October of updating some of the rough Exploration Age monsters made with the final D&D Next playtest packet into the new, finalized fifth edition rules.  We’ve already seen The Lingering Havoc, the blazing wraith, and the icebreaker shark. Today, I’ve got a new monster for to check out below, but first…

Time for a Correction

In my post about The Lingering Havoc I originally said this incorrect statement about proficiency bonuses.

Well it turns out you can’t just divide Challenge by four and round down, because proficiencies go up on the level immediately AFTER any which is a multiple of 4. By the rule above a Challenge 8 creature should have a +4 proficiency bonus, but actually it’s only +3. Creatures need to be Challenge 9 to get that +4 bonus.

So there’s actually three ways to figure out a creature’s proficiency bonus. The first two are very simple and third is a bit of an easier formula than the one above. I’ve change The Lingering Havoc post to reflect this.

  1. Look at the creature’s melee attacks and subtract their Strength bonus (Dexterity for finesse attacks) from the overall attack bonus. The remaining number is the creature’s proficiency bonus. If the creature is using a magic weapon to attack, be sure to subtract the weapon’s magic bonus as well.
  2. If the creature is Challenge 1 – 20, simply look at any character class chart in the Basic D&D rules or the Player’s Handbook. Class level corresponds to a challenge rating when it comes to proficiency bonuses. If you like this method, know that creatures with a challenge rating of less than 1 always have a proficiency bonus of +2.
  3. Divide the creature’s challenge rating by 4. Add 1. If the result is a whole number that’s the creature’s proficiency bonus. If it’s a decimal round up to the nearest whole number and that is the creature’s proficiency bonus. The exception is Challenge 0 creatures, who always have a proficiency of +2.

Open Wide

NOM!

So if you missed my first post on the gaping maw, it’s essentially a sarlacc pit from Star Wars. These enormous aberrant creatures take root in the desert sand and use their tentacles to drag living prey into their huge open mouths. In Exploration Age these monsters didn’t retreat underground with the rest of the aberrants, because they’re firmly rooted in the ground. They procreate via spores cast out in the desert winds, so some of the gaping maws are young, but others are ancient and terrifying.

Jumping Into the Maw

So the gaping maw can’t move. That means when facing high-level characters alone, the gaping maw may not be much of a challenge, because creatures could simply fly out of the maw’s reach and pepper it with ranged attacks. Remember, this thing is inspired by the sarlacc a monster which appears in what happens to be one of the best action set pieces in cinema history. Check it out below!

So the gaping maw is meant to be not just a monster, but a monster within a set piece battle. Or maybe you’re the creative type of DM who would put this beast into a tight space within an underground dungeon, or bury it with a sandstorm and let your adventurers suddenly find themselves on top of one. Whatever the case, when you’re reading this creature’s statistics think beyond adventurers simply taking it head on.

One of the gimmicks of the gaping maw is that in order to shut off its powerful regeneration, it must be attacked from within. Of course, heading down the maw’s throat is a gamble in itself, as it’s stomach gases are meant to paralyze a swallowed creature as the gaping maw begins to slowly digest it. Check it out below and let me know what you think!

Sarlacc side view.

Young Gaping Maw

Large aberration, unaligned

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)

Hit Points 95 (10d10 + 40)

Speed 0 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
21 (+5) 11 (+0) 19 (+4) 2 (-4) 10 (+0) 5 (-3)

Senses blindsight 60 ft., tremorsense 120 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages –

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)


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

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.

Tentacle Pull. The gaping maw can use its move to pull any number of creatures it is grappling adjacent to it.

Actions

Multiattack. A gaping maw may make two tentacle attacks or one tentacle attack and one bite attack.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5ft., one creature. Hit: 20 (3d10 + 5) piercing damage.

Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 15ft., one creature. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 16). Until the grapple ends the target is restrained. The gaping maw has four tentacles and so it can only grapple four creatures in this way.

Swallow. The gaping maw makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller target it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is swallowed and the grapple ends. The swallowed target is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the gaping maw.

Swallowed creatures must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become 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 hit points are reduced by 1 for every day it is swallowed. When it’s hit point maximum is reduced to 0 the creature is completely digested by the gaping maw and dies.

Adult Gaping Maw

Huge aberration, unaligned

Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 195 (17d12 + 85)

Speed 0 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
23 (+6) 11 (+0) 21 (+5) 2 (-4) 11 (+0) 5 (-3)

Senses blindsight 60 ft., tremorsense 120 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages –

Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)


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

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.

Tentacle Pull. The gaping maw can use its move to pull any number of creatures it is grappling adjacent to it

Actions

Multiattack. A gaping maw may make three tentacle attacks or two tentacle attacks and one bite attack.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 10ft., one creature. Hit: 25 (3d12 + 6) piercing damage.

Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 20ft., one creature. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 18). Until the grapple ends the target is restrained. The gaping maw has four tentacles and so it can only grapple four creatures in this way.

Swallow. The gaping maw makes one bite attack against a Large or smaller target it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is swallowed and the grapple ends. The swallowed target is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the gaping maw.

Swallowed creatures must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or become 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 hit points are reduced by 1 for every day it is swallowed. When it’s hit point maximum is reduced to 0 the creature is completely digested by the gaping maw and dies.

Ancient Gaping Maw

Gargantuan aberration, unaligned

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)

Hit Points 402 (23d20 + 161)

Speed 0 ft.


STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
26 (+8) 11 (+0) 24 (+7) 2 (-4) 12 (+1) 5 (-3)

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical weapons

Senses blindsight 60 ft., tremorsense 120 ft., passive Perception 11

Languages –

Challenge 20 (25,000 XP)


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

Magic Resistance. The gaping maw has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Regeneration. At the start of each of its turns, the gaping maw regains 20 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.

Tentacle Pull. The gaping maw can use its move to pull any number of creatures it is grappling adjacent to it.

Actions

Multiattack. A gaping maw may make four tentacle attacks or three tentacle attacks and one bite attack.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10ft., one creature. Hit: 30 (4d10 + 8) piercing damage.

Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 30ft., one creature. Hit: 26 (4d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 22). Until the grapple ends the target is restrained. The gaping maw has four tentacles and so it can only grapple four creatures in this way.

Swallow. The gaping maw makes one bite attack against a Huge or smaller target it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is swallowed and the grapple ends. The swallowed target is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the gaping maw.

Swallowed creatures must succeed on a DC 21 Constitution saving throw or become 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 hit points are reduced by 1 for every day it is swallowed. When it’s hit point maximum is reduced to 0 the creature is completely digested by the gaping maw and dies.

How’d I do? Let me know 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, 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?

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