Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Dragon, Tar

Dragon, Tar (adapted from the Creature Collection)
Gargantuan Dragon (Tar)

Hit Dice: 35d12+210 (437 hit points)
Initiative: +3 (-1 Dexterity, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 40 feet, fly 120 feet (poor), swim 30 feet
Armor Class: 35 (-4 size, -1 Dexterity, +30 natural)
BAB/Grapple: +35/+59
Attack: Bite +43 melee (4d6+12, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 19-20 x2)
Full Attack: Bite +43 melee (4d6+12, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing, 19-20 x2) and 2 claws +38 melee (2d8+6, slashing, 20 x2) and 2 wings +38 melee (2d6+6, bludgeoning, 20 x2) and tail slap +38 melee (2d8+18, bludgeoning, 20 x2)
Space/Reach: 20 feet by 40 feet/15 feet
Special Attacks: Breath weapon, frightful presence, great bite
Special Qualities: Blindsight, DR 20/+1, immunities, keen senses, SR 28, tarred skin
Saves: Fortitude +25, Reflex +18, Will +22
Abilities: Str 35, Int 15, Wis 16, Dex 9, Con 22, Cha 12
Skills: Craft: Alchemy +29, Intimidate +37, Knowledge: Religion +23, Knowledge: Local +40, Listen +32, Search +37, Sense Motive +32, Spot +43, Swim +28
Feats: Cleave, Diehard, Endurance, Flyby Attack, Hover, Improved Critical (Bite), Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Power Attack, Skill Augmentation (Listen and Spot), Snatch, Wingover
Environment: warm or tropical hills and mountains and underground
Organization: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 18
Treasure: Quadruple standard
Alignment: Usually lawful evil
Advancement: None

Unlike other types of dragons, there is only one known tar dragon, the great wyrm Tyrwærðata, a massive and vicious beast dripping with black tar. No one knows why he has no progeny, but Tyrwærðata is still counted as one of the dragon sires by the Cult of the Dragon, although his faction has few adherents as he has no descendants. Some have suggested that Tyrwærðata lack of magical aptitude is the reason he never sired a clutch of hatchlings, but that is pure speculation, as the dragon is silent on that subject. The tar dragon is an immense creature of vast knowledge. He appears to be more stout than most dragons. His agility seems less than that of other dragon breed, but he is by no means clumsy. The strength he possesses more than compensates for any deficiencies of speed.

A dragon attacks with its powerful claws and bite, and can also use a breath weapon and special physical attacks, depending on its size. It prefers to fight on the wing, staying out of reach until it has worn down the enemy with ranged attacks. Older, more intelligent dragons are adept at sizing up the opposition and eliminating the most dangerous foes first (or avoiding them while picking off weaker enemies).

Although he is a poor flyer Tyrwærðata's undersized wings can keep him aloft and out of melee range of his victims until he has immobilized as many of them as possible with his breath weapon. Once his foes are captures in his tarry vomit, or once his initial supply is exhausted, he lands to either devour his foes or melee with any remaining foes. He usually targets those foes who manage to retain use of their weapons first.

Blindsight (Ex): A tar dragon can ascertain creatures by nonvisual means (mostly hearing and scent, but also by noticing vibration and other environmental clues) with a range of 30 feet x the dragon's age category.

Breath Weapon (Su): The tar dragon's breath weapon is a 120 foot line of tar. The foul smelling load of bile is inky black and mucilaginous. Using a breath weapon is a standard action. Once a dragon breathes, it can't breathe again until 2 rounds later. A blast from a breath weapon always starts at the dragon's mouth and extends in a direction of the dragon's choice. Creatures caught in the area can attempt Reflex saves (DC 33) or be stuck completely within the adhesive puke and are subject to drowning rules. A victim so caught may attempt a Strength check (DC 22) to first pull themselves part of the way out, and then another Strength check (DC 18 to extricate themselves completely. Those who successfully make the Reflex save begin partially caught and need only the second Strength check to escape.

The saving throws assume that the tar dragon sues the minimum required size of discharge on an opponent. The dragon can store four "loads" at any one time. One load is required to capture Medium-sized opponents, while Large opponents require two loads. Huge victims require three loads, and Gargantuan foes require the full four loads. Anything less than the required number of loads partially captures an opponent that fails the save, and a successful Reflex save allows the victim to escape the breath weapon entirely. The tar dragon works up a new "load" every second round.

Crush: While jumping or flying the tar dragon can land on opponents as a standard action, using its whole body to crush them dealing 4d6+18 pints of damage. Crush attacks are only effective against opponents three or more size categories smaller than the dragon (though it can attempt normal overrun or grapple attacks against larger opponents). A crush attack affects as many creatures as can fit under the dragon's body. Creatures in the affected area must attempt a Reflex save (DC 33) or be pinned, automatically taking bludgeoning damage during the next round unless the dragon moves off them. If the dragon chooses to maintain the pin, treat it as a normal grapple attacks. Pinned opponents take crush damage each round if they don't escape.

Frightful Presence (Ex): The tar dragon can unsettle foes with its mere presence. The ability takes effect automatically whenever the dragon attacks or charges. Creatures within a radius of 360 feet are subject to the effect if they have fewer Hit Dice than the dragon. A potentially affected creature that succeeds at a Will save (DC 28) remain immune to the dragon's frightful presence for one day. On a failure, creatures with 4 or fewer Hit Dice become panicked for 4d6 rounds and those with 5 or more Hit Dice become shaken for 4d6 rounds. Dragons ignore the frightful presence of other dragons.

Great Bite (Ex): Whenever the tar dragon scores a critical hit with its bite attack or merely succeeds at a bite attack against an immobilized foe, the dragon swallows the victim whole. Anyone who is swallowed must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 26) each round against the noxious contents of the beast's stomach, lest they black out. A swallowed creature is considered to be grappled, while the tar dragon is not. A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 100 points of damage to the dragon's interior. The Armor Class of the interior of the tar dragon is 25. Once the creature exits, the dragon’s regenerative capacity closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out. The tar dragon's interior can hold 2 Huge, 4 Large, 16 Medium, 64 Small, 256 Tiny, or 1,024 Diminutive or smaller opponents. Swallowed victims are dead and digested in 1d4 hours. The existence of even the slightest undigested bit allows a victim to be raised from the dead, but once a creature is digested completely, the victim cannot be recovered.

Immunities (Ex): Tar dragons are immune to sleep and paralysis effects.

Keen Senses (Ex): A dragon sees four times as well as a human in low-light conditions, and twice as well in normal light. It also has darkvision with a range of 1,200 feet.

Spell Resistance (Ex): As dragons age, they become more resistant to spells and spell-like abilities. The tar dragon has spell resistance 28.

Tail Sweep: A dragon of at least Gargantuan size can sweep with its tail as a standard action. The sweep affects a half-circle with a diameter of 40 feet, centered on the dragon's rear. Creatures within the swept area are affected if they are four or more sizes smaller than the dragon. The sweep automatically deals 2d6+18 points of damage. Affected creatures can attempt Reflex saves (DC 33) to take half damage.

Tarred Skin (Ex): Bludgeoning and slashing weapons that touch the tar dragon become stuck in the same sort of tarry substance that the dragon uses as its breath weapon as the tar dragon keeps itself covered in its own tar. Weapons can be pulled free only with a Strength check (DC 16). Piercing weapons are not affected.

Note: Like many creatures from the Creature Collection, the tar dragon needed some work to bring it into line with standard 3e D&D rules. The original version had too few feats and his damage had been calculated incorrectly for a Gargantuan dragons. The saves against his abilities needed to be adjusted as well. I also advanced him to 35 Hit Dice (and made appropriate adjustments to his stats) and eliminated the "advancement" range from the entry, as he is a unique creature so "advancement" is a concept that makes no sense in this context.

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