October 2012 Archives

Baleful Destroyer

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Armor Category:
4 [15]
Monster Type:
Fell Beast
Health Dice:
Malevolent Order
150' (50')
No. Appearing:
Pack (1d4)
Attacks & Damage:
† Tentacles (2)1d6 — † Claws (2)1d4 — † Bite 1d6
Special Attacks & Abilities:
Illusory Displacement: (-2 Opponent To Hit) The baleful destroyer can project thoughts into its victim's mind, making it appear to be several feet from its actual position.
Deceptive Suggestion: (Save vs. Spells) The baleful destroyer can subtly influence the thoughts of any intelligent creature it makes eye contact with, making the victim fervently believe it is harmless.
Chemical Drain: (Successful melee attack; Save vs. Toxin or take extra 1d6 dmg & reduce movement speed by 10' for remainder of encounter) Upon successfully striking its victim, the creature ingests chemical compounds from the victim's bloodstream, eventually reducing the victim to a husk.
Treasure & Possessions: 30% 1d8 Gems, 10% 2 Magic Items + 1 Potion

AC [Desc] 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
To Hit 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
AC [Asc] 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Blast or Breath Toxin or Disease Ray or Gaze Magical Device Spells
10 11 12 13 14

Vaguely feline in appearance, baleful destroyers are deadly six-legged predators with fiendish intellects that belie their bestial appearance. Their shimmering hide ranges from indigo to purplish black and two vicious, claw-tipped tentacles sprout from the shoulders. These claws make fearsome weapons, but are also suprisingly dextrous, allowing for manipulation of weapons, tools and traps as needed.

A network of tendrils on the ears and back send and receive electromagnetic vibrations, allowing them to communicate telepathically and subtly manipulate thoughts. They have a voracious appetite and subsist on the raw chemical compounds (primarily phosphorous) derived from the bodies of their prey.

Combat & Tactics
Baleful destroyers are stealthy, vicious apex predators. They will use intellect to outwit and intimidate potential victims, but tend to revert to a bestial state when severe hunger sets in (20% chance when encountered in the wild). When in a bestial state, the Deceptive Suggestion ability is replaced with a simple telepathic broadcast of the creature's murderous intent.

Feel free to use baleful destroyers as straightforward combat-centric beasts, but they also have potential to be surprisingly intelligent and clever foes. Their mild innate telepathy allows them to coordinate attacks when not encountered individually. The telepathic ability also allows them to appear to be where they are not, making them harder to hit.

Weighing In...


In the ongoing quest to quantify the imaginary, I found myself wondering if there's a way to approximate the weight of a monster. I came across an article at the University of Arizona's website which provides formulas used in the estimation of livestock weight. They seemed like they might be useful in the approximation of monster weights. For the math behind the formula, check out the article.

Basically, to approximate the weight, you need two cross sectional diameters and the length of the torso (in feet). We'll use the monsters in the above sketch as an example. The illustration depicts an intrepid adventurer fighting off a razorbacked wormhound while a giant orthoceras surfaces behind him. Depending on which way the combat goes, it's either crunchy monster snack time or the knight is going to be having king-size calamari for dinner.

We'll start with the orthoceras (my favorite extinct nautiloid cephalopod). If the adventurer is approximately 6' tall, then the orthoceras is approximately 18' long and has a cross sectional diameter of 3' at the front tapering towards the back. So the numbers we'll use in the calculator are: 3, 1 and 18. JavaScript crunches the math for us and we find that the giant orthoceras is approximately 2,302 lbs, which seems reasonable for an eighteen foot armored squid.

Now we'll turn to the wormhound. I'll approximate that the creature's torso is 3.5' in length and the relevant cross sectional diameters are 2' and 1'. Plugging those numbers into the calculator gives us an estimated weight of 298 lbs., which also seems reasonable.

Is this useful? Probably not. Are these results scientifically accurate? No. Are they based on real world principles? Certainly. But when your gaming group insists on dragging that monster corpse back to town to the village taxidermist as a trophy, you can give them an idea as to how difficult the task will actually be.

Monster Weight Calculator
All measurements in feet
Cross Sectional Diameter 1:
Cross Sectional Diameter 2:
Torso Length:
Monster Weight (Pounds):

Pater, Susan. "How Much Does Your Animal Weigh?" Backyards & Beyond. 1.3 (2007): 11-12. Print.

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