This week’s Exotic Encounters gives us the opportunity to talk about our new book, Cosmic Threats: An Alien Bestiary. This fantastic tome provides 20 new monsters for you to enjoy, from CR 1 to 20. From weak to strong, Fine to Colossal, this book features a truly impressive variety of beasts. Of course, you very well might be wondering what to expect; after all, aliens come in all shapes and sizes, from those that simply resemble humans with funny looking faces, to the Lovecraftian horror. In our book we look at a wide variety of creatures, featuring shapes ranging from the familiar to the exotic to the truly bizarre. Below are just three of the monsters you get with your own copy of Cosmic Threats: An Alien Bestiary. I hope you enjoy!
The first monster we’re debuting for you falls into the category of the bizarre. The CR 3 myrot is hideous flying monster with a heavy disease theme. Not only is the monster capable of delivering deadly diseases, but it is itself a giant germ. Like a virus, it infects its foes in order to replicate, and its enemies… well, much the cells in a health class video, they violently erupt. Myrot are just one of many strange and deadly monsters which fit my “truly alien” vision.
Gliding through an alien sky, these airborne creatures are far from the typical avian, having an elongated body ringed with oscillating fins which provide its propulsion. Long, spiny tendrils drape lazily between its many rows of green gel-like eyes, which gaze unblinkingly at a world so different from your own.
MYROT CR 3
N Medium aberration
Init +2; Senses low-light vision; Perception +10
AC 15, touch 12, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +3 natural)
hp 27 (6d8)
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +6
Speed 15 ft., fly 30 ft. (average)
Melee 2 tentacles +7 (1d4+2 plus attach)
Special Attacks attach, disease cloud, fluid exchange
Str 14, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +4; CMB +6 (+10 grapple); CMD 18
Feats Ability Focus (disease cloud), Flyby Attack, Hover
Skills Fly +11, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +8, Perception +10
Languages Aklo, Myrot
Organization solitary, pair, plague (4-32)
Carrier (Ex): A myrot is immune to diseases, but can still carry and transmit them. When encountered, a myrot is typically infected with 1d4 diseases, chosen at random. All diseases carried by the myrot have a saving throw DC of 13 in order to resist the initial contraction, due to the unique genetic structure of the myrot and the effects it has on the disease in question. The DC of subsequent saving throws to resist the disease is the disease’s normal DC.
Disease Cloud (Ex): As a means of reproduction, myrot are capable of exuding a cloud of spores which can infect a target with their prodigy, as well as exposing the target to any diseases the myrot is currently carrying. Unleashing this cloud is a standard action. The cloud is created in a single square of the myrot’s choice within 30 feet, and lingers there for 1d4 rounds before dissipating. Any creature which enters or begins its turn in a square with a disease cloud must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15) or become infested with the myrot’s spores, and be exposed to any diseases the myrot is suffering from (DC 13 to resist contracting diseases). Every 24 hours after contacting the myrot’s spores, the victim must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15) or suffer 1 point of Constitution drain. If a creature is reduced to 0 Constitution in this way, the myrot’s spores reach maturity and begin to devour each other as they escape their host, destroying the host’s body in 1d4 hours and creating two young myrots, which flee each other’s company immediately.
The myrot can use this ability as often as it likes each day, but must wait 1d6 rounds between uses.
Fluid Exchange (Ex): While attached to a target, a myrot can exchange fluids with them in order to restore its health. While attached to the target, as a standard action, a myrot can inflict 1d6 points of damage to the target, and heal a like amount of its own damage. The target is also exposed to any diseases the myrot is carrying at this time. The myrot cannot use this ability to gain hit points in excess of its maximum hit point total.
Myrots are the terrible results of scientific experimentation with disease going out of control. Essentially, the myrot is an evolved virus and reproduces by infection. As such, the myrot lacks many of the usual basic genetic structures that diseases attack, which makes it a perfect host for carrying diseases of all sorts. In addition to their own deadly procreative virus, most myrots also carry a variety of strange diseases. Despite their deadly nature, most myrots are easily contained if well-prepared for, and planets which share a population with myrots will often keep far afield of them or drive them off using advanced weapons.
Myrots do make it into new planets and civilizations from time to time, and can be a serious and deadly threat to any population. Generally, myrots are deployed as a biological weapon by advanced and evil-aligned alien civilizations, such as the zadar, in order to easily eradicate large populations. Within a few short years, most primitive civilizations can be utterly destroyed by the myrots, which, lacking hosts for reproduction, will die off soon afterward, allowing the zadar or another civilization to move in with little effort. Other times, the myrots might be deployed in order to control other aggressive populations, such as a terrani swarm. Additionally, many cultures value the myrots as a scientific specimen, believing that the secrets of diseases and their cure may be coming to culture within the myrots.
In stark contrast to the myrot, the zadar are much more traditional and the only humanoid represented in Cosmic Threats: An Alien Bestiary. The zadar are representative of what most of us think of when we think of aliens. They look like the grey aliens from the Roswell stories and the famous hill abductions. The zadar are cold, unfeeling beings devoted to knowledge, best used in a scary science kind of story. My favorite thing about the zadar is their alien tech. Alien tech is reoccurring ability that describes the kinds of special technologies and artifacts carried by various alien cultures. The zadar wield not a laser gun, but a light box, capable of producing a beam which is lethal to most forms of life. They also carry a stun stick so that they can take victims alive in order to perform experiments.
The creature standing before you stands a little over 5 feet tall. About a third of this height is from its oversized head, which has soft features and a pair of huge midnight-black eyes which shine with infinite depth. It is otherwise humanoid in shape, and is dressed in a shimmering suit of a strange, black material, which fits its slender form like a glove.
ZADAR INFILTRATION SPECIALIST CR 8
N Medium humanoid (zadar)
Init +7; Senses Perception +0
AC 22, touch 12, flat-footed 14 (+11 armor, +1 Dex)
hp 97 (13d8+39)
Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +10
DR 5/— and 15/piercing; Immune sonic
Speed 20 ft.
Melee zadar shock stick +10/+5 (1d4+2 plus stun)
Ranged zadar light box +13/+8 touch (2d6 plus 2d6 per previous hit)
Special Attacks alien tech (zadar light box, zadar radio plastic armor, zadar shock stick) awe, scientific attacks
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 12
Base Atk +9; CMB +9; CMD 22
Feats Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Skill Focus (Craft [alien tech], Knowledge [geography]), Toughness, Weapon Focus (zadar light box, zadar shock stick)
Skills Craft (alien tech) +24, Intimidate +14, Knowledge (geography) +21, Knowledge (planes) +15
SQ tech specialist
Organization solitary, pair, or science team (4-12 plus 1 expert of 6th level or higher)
Treasure standard (zadar light box, zadar radioplastic armor, zadar shock stick, other treasure)
Alien Tech (Ex): A zadar infiltration specialist possesses the following pieces of advanced technology: a zadar light box, zadar radio plastic armor, zadar shock stick, and has a 50% chance of having one other piece of alien tech, determined at random. Alien tech may be used by any creature, but only creatures of the subtype mentioned in the item’s name are naturally proficient with that item.
Zadar Light Box: This weapon resembles a box and must be held in two hands. When a shutter on the front is opened, a beam of pure white light is emitted from the box, requiring a ranged touch attack to hit the target. The beam has a range of 100 feet. If the beam hits, it deals 2d6 points of damage + 2d6 points of damage for each previous consecutive hit with the light box against that target, to a maximum of 10d6. This damage is never reduced by damage reduction, and ignores hardness. A zadar light box can fire 100 times before it burns out.
Zadar Radioplastic Armor: This armor functions as a suit of +2 full plate, except that it also provides the wearer with DR 15/piercing. In addition, the suit constantly emits vibrations that render the wearer immune to sonic attacks.
Zadar Shock Stick: This short baton functions as a dagger, except that it deals bludgeoning damage and stuns any creature it deals damage to, unless the target succeeds on a Will save (DC 10).
Awe (Su): A zadar is an alien being which can inspire a potent sense of awe in those who see it for the first time. Whenever a creature gazes upon a zadar, he must succeed a Will save (DC 18) or be dazed for 1d4 rounds. A creature that succeeds his saving throw is immune to this ability for 24 hours. The saving throw DC is Intelligence-based.
Scientific Attacks (Ex): A zadar uses its vast intellect and gathered knowledge of anatomy to damage its foes by striking precisely, and adds its Intelligence modifier to melee damage rolls and to its CMB. This damage is precision-based damage.
Tech Specialist: A zadar is unusually skilled in both the creation and use of alien technology and is proficient with all forms of alien tech. Additionally, a zadar can create a piece of any alien technology it has been able to study for at least one hour, using Craft (alien tech). The DC for this check is equal to 15 + the CR of the creature mentioned in the name of that piece of alien tech. Creating a piece of alien tech in this way costs a zadar 2,000 gp in raw resources and takes 1 week to construct.
The zadar are a powerful spacefaring race which has achieved a great deal of cultural dominance in their exploration of the galaxy. Driven by cruel science and cold reason, the zadar are an unfeeling and wicked group of aliens which command some of the most powerful starships in the galaxy. Though physically unexceptional, the zadar make up for it with powerful technology; whether it’s their dreaded light box or their radioplastic armor, even a zadar science officer is more than a match on the battlefield for most warriors of lesser civilizations.
The zadar are driven by a curiosity untempered by empathy, and their desire to unlock the secrets of the universe has led them to perform some of the most heinous acts in the recorded history of the galaxy. Zadar abduct members of other species in order to perform scientific experiments without any regard for the other species’ sentience, and it is not unheard of for zadar to destroy entire civilizations in order to study a rare mineral or plant found on the same planet.
The gleetch is probably my favorite of these new monsters. Physically it resembles a cross between a giant jellyfish and a squid. The size of a kraken and every bit as malicious, the gleetch is from the Lovecraft camp of aliens in this book. With inscrutable motives and cosmic magic, the evil gleetch makes a perfect big baddie for a vast number of campaign types. Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…
This sickly, translucent creature resembles a horrible cross between a giant squid and a jellyfish. Its head is massive, with a large pulsing bell-like structure near the top. Dangling from the head is a mass of fine stinging tendrils, surrounded by immense tentacle arms. Eerie purple and red lights constantly stream through the creature’s nearly transparent body, gleaming with malice.
GLEETCH CR 17
LE Gargantuan aberration (aquatic)
Init +4; Senses blindsight 120 ft., darkvision 60ft., telepathic senses; Perception +27
AC 30, touch 10, flat-footed 26 (+4 Dex, +20 natural, -4 size)
hp 270 (20d8+180)
Fort +15, Ref +12, Will +16
Immune electricity, mind-affecting effects, poison
Speed 20 ft., swim 60 ft.
Melee 2 arms +22 (2d8+10 plus grab), 10 tentacles +17 (1d8+5 plus poison)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft. (25 ft. with arms)
Special Attacks bioelectric shock, constrict (2d8 + 10), nightmare ink, poison, sea transport, telepathic incursion
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th)
At Will—control water
3/day—chain lightning (DC 21), suggestion (DC 18), telekinesis (DC 20)
1/day—dominate monster (DC 24)
Str 30, Dex 18, Con 28, Int 18, Wis 18, Cha 20
Base Atk +15; CMB +29 (+34 grapple); CMD 44 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Ability Focus (bioelectric shock, nightmare ink), Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (arm, tentacle), Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (arm, tentacle)
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +24, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +24, Knowledge (geography) +27, Knowledge (planes) +24, Knowledge (religion) +24, Perception +27, Sense Motive +24, Swim +41; Racial Modifiers: +8 Swim
Languages Gleetch, telepathy 100 ft.
Environment any ocean
Organization solitary or pair
Bioelectric Shock (Ex): A gleetch’s body constantly produces a high voltage electrical current which it can release in a burst of electrical radiance. Once per minute, as a standard action, the gleetch can release this electrical current that affects all creatures within 5 feet. Adjacent creatures suffer 10d6 points of electricity damage, but creatures in a grapple with the gleetch instead suffer 10d10 points of electricity damage. In either case, a successful Reflex save (DC 31) halves this damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Nightmare Ink (Ex): A gleetch’s psychic nature causes the ink produced by its body to have a terrifying psychological impact on any creature it comes into contact with. As a full-round action, the gleetch can release a 200-foot cone of jet black ink, which obscures vision beyond 5 feet (creatures within 5 feet have concealment) and persists for 1d4 rounds. Creatures beginning their turn in the ink cloud must succeed on a Will save (DC 27) or have their heads filled with terrible nightmares. This has the effect of dealing 1d10 points of damage and causing the affected creature to become frightened for 1d4 rounds. A creature which succeeds on its Will save is shaken for as long as it remains within the ink cloud, instead. A gleetch can use this ability 3 times each day, but must wait at least 1 minute between uses. This is a mind-affecting fear effect.
Poison (Ex): A gleetch’s venomous tentacles carry a poison which blocks chemical receptors in the brain, slowing muscle reactions and draining the target of his will to fight back.
Tentacle—injury; save Fort DC 29; frequency 1/round for 2 rounds; effect 1d4 Str, Dex, Int and Wis; cure 1 save.
Sea Transport (Sp): A gleetch possesses vast knowledge of ancient alien magic and is able to travel the planets by creating a cosmic connection between the sea of one world and another. In order to use this ability, the gleetch must spend a full week submerged at a depth of at least 2,000 feet and must spend at least 4 hours a day concentrating on its ritual. At the completion of this ritual, the gleetch can create a mystical portal which functions as a gate, but connects to any location in any sea or ocean on any planet on the material plane. This portal lasts for 1d4 weeks before closing.
Telepathic Incursion (Su): A gleetch possesses a strong telepathic field which allows it to influence the lives of individuals around it. As a full-round action, whenever the gleetch is at a depth of 1,000 feet or less, it can extend the range of its telepathy to 1,000 miles. Additionally, it can use its suggestion spell-like ability on any creature it makes telepathic contact with.
Telepathic Senses (Su): A gleetch is aware of the exact position of any creature within the range of its telepathy, and it can pinpoint such creatures even if it cannot see them.
The gleetch is a curious creature, hailing from a now-destroyed ocean planet. Considered to be an offshoot of the kraken species, the gleetch is both extremely intelligent and extremely cruel and powerful. While the gleetch lack any kind of technology, they are well known to be among the universe’s most accomplished explorers, using secret magic in order to transport themselves from one ocean to another, regardless of the world it’s on. In this fashion, the gleetch move from world to world, using their vast psychic powers to control the events of the world around them and secretly enslave entire systems to their will.