Friday, April 22, 2011

Personae Malevolent 4; Ape Slaad

Name: Ape Slaad
Race:  Magical Beast
Classes: Magical Beast 6
Alignment N
This hulking monstrosity lurches about on it's over sized fists, unnaturally long tongue dangling from it's mouth from betwix unsettlingly large canines. It's beady black eyes are somehow suffused with beastial intelligence, nostrils flaring as it sniffs the air, all while muttering noises that sound not unlike some awkwardly-spoken eldritch language. An ape slaad is always hunched forward on it's knuckles, but if it were to stand straight it would easily reach 9 feet in height, weighing around 600 lbs.
Single, Mated Pair (2), Pack (3-6), Knot (7-20)
ECL - 5


STR 24 (7)
DEX 16 (3)
CON 16 (3)
INT 5 (-3)
WIS 13 (1)
CHA 8 (-1)

Speed: 30
Initiative: 3
BAB: 6
Grapple: 17

AC 16 (-1 size, +3 Dex, +5 Natural)
Flat Footed  13, Touch 12

HP 59

Fort 8
Ref 8
Will 3

Claw, +13 melee (1d8+7)
Bite, +13 melee (1d8+3 save DC 16 vs poison,)
Tongue, +9 melee (1d4+7, save DC 16 vs poison,)

Full Attack
Claw/Claw +13 melee, and Bite +11 melee
Tongue, +9 melee and Bite +11 melee

Space/Reach 10 ft/10 ft. (tongue up to 20 ft)

Class/Racial/Extraordinary Abilities:
Darkvision 60 ft
Low-Light Vision
An ape slaad's coloration gives it a +4 racial bonus on Hide checks.
An ape slaad has had the toad aspect of it's composition enhanced to make great leaps, giving it a +10 racial bonus on Jump checks.

Fantastic Leap (Ex)
An ape slaad is able to make all jumps as though it had a running start.

Rend (Ex)
An ape slaad that hits with both claw attacks latches onto the opponent’s body and tears the flesh. This attack automatically deals an extra 2d8+10 points of damage.

Improved Grab (Ex)
To use this ability, an ape slaad must hit with it's tongue attack. It can then grapple as a swift action and pull a grabbed opponent of medium or smaller size into it's mouth in the same round, then making a bite attack. The ape slaad can then maintain the grapple with just it's mouth while leaving it's hands free, but must do so at a -10 penalty.

An ape slaad keeps a thick coating of powerful hallucinogenic saliva along the inside of it's mouth and over it's tongue. Failing a DC 16 Fort save renders the target Stunned for 1d4+1 rounds, whereafter he is Dazed for 1 additional round.

A Stunned creature drops everything held, can’t take actions, takes a –2 penalty to AC, and loses his Dexterity bonus to AC.
A Dazed creature can take no actions, but has no penalty to AC.

Improved Natural Armor
Improved Natural Attack (claws)


Hide - Ranks (6) + (dex) + misc (3)= 12

Jump - Ranks (6) + (str) + misc (10)= 23

Move Silently - Ranks (6) + (dex) + misc ()= 9

Fluff and tactics:
The ape slaad is not a true slaad at all, but rather a magical beast created by crossing a toad with a dire ape (though another way to look at the name might be a "mimic slaad", as ape is also a word for mimic). This creature was created by a clever mage who wanted to be able to scare people off by fooling them into thinking he had bound several red slaadi to his service. The fruit of his labor resulted in a reasonable facsimile, likely good enough to fool anyone who hasn't seen a slaad before, and in fact, produced a being who was superior in some ways (though slightly inferior when taken on the whole).

An ape slaad is just smart enough to be taught to parrot a few words in the slaadi tongue, though they are nonsense sounds as far as the beast is concerned. Though they understand a few words of Common, these are usually limited to simple commands at best. A combination of breeding and magical enhancement have resulted in ape slaadi being very obidient to one particular master, as well as having enhanced strength and jumping capabilities and the hallucinogenic poison the toad half would naturally secrete through the skin being weaponized into a sort of venom.

After the eventual death of the arch mage who first engineered their race, ape slaad began breeding in the wild, and have started to establish a foothold in the wilderness around their old tower. Their protective instincts drive them to be violently territorial to a degree that might surprise even their dire-ape ancestors, and as their numbers increase they start to "protect" a wider and wider area. When a Knot begins to exceed about 20 members, a portion of the group will break off and range far afield in search of more plentiful hunting grounds.

True slaadi tend to have violent reactions to ape slaadi, and do their best to kill them whenever they have an encounter, though such an event is rare.

In combat, an ape slaad hurls itself into the fray with wild abandon, howling and croaking in a bizarre amalgamation of sounds from each side of it's lineage, while slashing away with it's oversized claws and fangs. Against multiple opponents, most ape slaad have been trained to look for the person wearing the least armor to target with their tongue attack, which often results in the legs of an unfortunate spellcaster dangling from the ape slaad's mouth. It can hold prey in it's mouth and throat with relative ease, making a bite attack against the unfortunate (possibly stunned) person in it's jaws while still slashing away with it's arms. They have learned that humanoids are a serious threat when they are encountered, and are cunning enough to leave a single wounded humanoid as bait when others are nearby, knowing that they tend to hurry to their own kind.

The party is moving along a well known caravan route that snakes through the woods, on their guard against a band of highwaymen known to harass the area. Perhaps they're escorting a caravan to make some extra coin, or alternately it may just be part of their journey. Suddenly, a horrible cacophony erupts from the woods a few hundred feet ahead, and a man clad in leather armor bursts from the tree line. He makes it a few feet into the road before a thin line shoots out and snags him, dragging him back toward a hulking shape just barely out of sight.

This was the last of the highwaymen, the gang having run afoul of a pack of 5 ape slaadi. Two of the slaadi are at injured, one being at 41 HP and the other at 37. All of them are lingering near the road, and have spotted the party. After some far off babbling croaks, the dying highway man is spat back out on to the road at -7 HP, the slaadi hunkering down to make use of their natural coloration to hide from the new threats, waiting to set an ambush as the man moans in agony.

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